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activated carbon

Could someone use activated carbon to produce hyrdogen out of water extremely fast because of the huge amount of surface area? Or would that not matter?

Topic by guyfrom7up    |  last reply



Can you impregnante activated carbon into an air filter yourself?

Hi, I have a cabin air filter in my car.  Toyota sells activated carbon filters that helps absorb odours, but not for my  model car. i was wondering if its possible to impregnate the filter with activated carbon / activated charcoal myself somehow? thanks for any ideas!

Topic by hoobyjuice  



where can I source some activated carbon for a project like this? Answered

I just want to make a little fume extractor, and every web search pulls up all commercial stuff ack

Question by itsme_bernie    |  last reply


What type of binder is user for making activated carbon briquettes for water purification?

Hello everyone, I am trying to make a water purification device which needs to have compressed activated carbon filter. I am facing the problem of binding the charcoal dust together so that it does not come out when contacted with water. I tried making the briquettes with starch but it is water soluble. I have read some papers on binding the charcoal using extrusion process but could not find what exactly is the binder used. Here the binder should not cover the surface area of the carbon particles as well. I am looking to find here, what is the binder used and how is it used, i.e, ratios. I want to make something like this in the image which is water insoluble. 

Question by vin177    |  last reply


British Columbia introduces carbon tax

VICTORIA -- Driving and other fuel-dependent activities are about to get more expensive as British Columbia becomes the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce a consumer-based carbon tax.The carbon tax will apply to virtually all fossil fuels, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, coal, propane, and home heating fuel. B.C.'s carbon tax, the provincial government claims, will be the most comprehensive in the world.full article

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


Energy return on investment for various different energy sources

We're used to thinking about the cost per unit of energy (e.g. $/gallon of gasoline) with the implicit assumption that cost is a rough indicator of what is required to obtain that energy. The Oil Drum has a nice piece on Energy Return on Investment (EROI) and the implications of using low EROI energy sources. To dive right in, it's instructive to think about the EROI of domestic oil production as a function of time:100:1 in 193030:1 in 197011-18:1 in 2000EROI on the Web part 2 of 5, (Provisional Results Summary, Imported Oil, Natural Gas)Energy return on investment, sometimes called EROI and sometimes called EROEI, is thought by many, including myself, to be a critical issue for determining the past, present and future status of human society. It is usually considered in terms of energy return on energy investment, but it can also be considered in terms of energy return on monetary investment. While much of human progress has been attributed, rightfully, to technology, much of that technology has been a means of using more energy for human ends. This is true for fire, knife blades and spear points (energy concentrating devices), the development of agriculture and the increase in its productivity and, essentially all aspects of the industrial revolution.EROI is simply the energy delivered by an energy-obtaining activity compared to the energy required to get it. If the numerator and denominator are expressed in the same units (barrels per barrel, MegaJoules per MegaJoule) the result is a dimensionless ratio, i.e. 100:1 or 10:1). Obviously a higher ratio implies a more desirable fuel than a lower one, other things being equal (which is rarely the case). The concept is extremely simple in theory but often very difficult in execution, mostly because society generally maintains its records in monetary rather than energy terms. Another problem is that the U.S. Government has not supported such studies in a consistent fashion and it is my perception that the quality of some energy records as are kept by e.g. the U.S. Departments of Energy and of Commerce appear to be deteriorating in recent years. Thus deriving the energy cost of getting energy (or most other things) is generally somewhat, and oftentimes exceedingly, difficult. A second problem is that the usual measure of the quantity of a fuel, its heat value, often does not give a full assessment of that fuel's ability to do economic or other work. Most simply electricity and thermal heat from e.g. coal or oil have a great difference in their ability to do work, such as we are willing to trade three or four heat units of coal or oil in a thermal plant for one thermal unit of higher quality electricity. Thus if the input and output fuels are of different quality then it is often thought desirable to weight in some way the inputs and the outputs. A third problem is that it is important to consider boundaries: how large should we draw the boundaries of the energy analysis for the inputs? We will consider these issues in far more detail in later publications but there are many reasons why it is important to make summaries of EROI available at this time even though many uncertainties exist in the numbers that we present here, and indeed with any numbers that might be possible to generate.via jforbess

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


The yeast in my mead is not creating any Co2. What should I do?

I've been brewing mead at home for a couple of months now. I started a 1 gallon batch of mint and honey mead about an hour ago and there is no activity going on in it. The yeast looks like it is swimming around but there is no carbonation bubbling to the top. I used dry active yeast which is what I've used for other batches over the past months. Q1: Should I wait until tomorrow and check it? Q2: Should I add another pack of yeast to it? Q3: Referring to Q2, will adding any more yeast to it cause a yeasty brew in the final product?

Question by foxy1paco    |  last reply


Home-Brew water purification unit

Lately I've been looking into home water purification; and I was hoping I could get some community support, and ideas :) So far in my online research, I have found that active carbon works well as a filter. So, I was thinking I could sew some between two pieces of fabric, and then put it at the bottom of a pvc pipe, thus letting the water go through it; From there, I got the idea of making a wooden box, which will be just about (1 ft x 1 ft) all the way around. I'd also line the inside with a plastic sheet, like those found in a home pond. I think that would make a good housing for the filtering equipment; I'm still working out the details on the actual purification of the water; I have a basic understanding of it, though if you have some insight, please do share :) Also, if active carbon would be a good solution, where would be a good place to find it; I live in the Glendale, Arizona area, so somewhere around here, if you could.

Topic by James.Litewski    |  last reply


Decontamination advice for a found Carboy? Answered

I have a nice 5 gallon glass bottle with a screw on lid ( I think they are called a carboy ) which I would like to make into a terrarium or maybe an aquarium. The problem is it formerly contained chloroform. I didn't use the chloroform, I just found the carboy/bottle. How would I go about making it safe to use. I was thinking activated carbon slurry, but thought I would ask here for best advice.

Question by underwhelmed    |  last reply


Possibility of making temporary hair colouring?

Hello there, I've always wanted to dye my hair grey but didn't want to go through the hassle and the possible hair damage of bleaching.  I came across someone selling chalk sticks for temporary hair colouring and was wondering if a cheaper, liquid version could be made to cover all the hair instead of a small part. My initial idea was to use calcium carbonate and grey food colouring with maybe a little bit of talcum powder which will then be mixed with some water so it can be applied easier. These are the ingredients in the colouring I want to use: glycerol, propylene glycol, silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide, vegetable carbon  Is there anything here I should be concerned about? As I'm going for a grey colour I was also looking at using a small amount of activated charcoal or some other skin safe fine black powder. Is this the best way or are there better alternatives? Advice will be appreciated. Thanks for reading.  

Topic by egrayton    |  last reply


what chemicals aside from bicarb soda are present in pool ph buffer? Answered

Hello i just went to the dump shop and picked up a 4kg bag of bicarb soda as ph buffer for free, and when i got home, i noticed it smelt of ammonia, so i though it might have some ammonium carbonate, so i figured i could get rid of it by adding some water to the ph buffer and then boiling it. however, i have noticed that it turned my hands blue, and although the blue washed off, i am now hazardous as to what else may be in thr ph buffer, although it states sodium bicarbonate is the active ingredient. i plan on dividing it, selling 2kg on my site in 250g batches for $2 each, and the other i plan to use as a sodium source for my sodium reduction cell. i need to know though, what the other chemicals in the pool buffer are so i can state the purity of the ph buffer. also will anything lebeled as "soda ash" be pure sodium carbonate?

Question by oldmanbeefjerky    |  last reply


Filtering out certain categories while browsing

Is there a way to filter out certain categories of instructables while browsing? I know that I can choose to only view a particular category using the /category: flag, but I'm trying to figure out how to filter out certain categories while seeing all the rest when browsing the latest instructables. For example, the recent explosion of knitting projects or the k'nex craze a while back. Nothing against either of those types of instructables; I'm just not interested in them, and they're so prolific they kind of drown out everything else. I tried searching for an answer, but I keep coming up with activated carbon filters and guitar noise filters :P Anybody know of a way?

Topic by chantling    |  last reply


Microbial instructable on the cheap

I'm interested in this instructable on isolating plastic degrading bacteria but the author doesn't appear to be active at the moment.I have no experience in this area. Any ideas on if/how could perform a valid experiment on the cheap? The only two prohibitively expensive items seem to be an autoclave (I'm assuming I could use a microwave or pressure cooker) and the Hass Broth: The solution used to feed the bacteria containing all their required elements except carbon, which they get from the plastic.Would it still be a viable experiment if I gave the microbes a banana peel or something and hope they're still hungry for plastic? Also can I get away with using a cheap milligram scale?I know this isn't a typical type of question but any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Question by Refinity    |  last reply


What is the Best Way for a Do-It-Yourselfer to make a few good Diamonds? Can I just Heat some Methane and add Water? Answered

I'm looking for practical ideas and expertise with making such things. I have a Wood Furnace that gets hotter than 1000 F and a tiny Camp Stove burning Pellets.  I have Propane for the Carbon. Water could be used to a little Hydrogen or Oxygen. I would like to make a 1 carat Round Brilliant Cut perfect Diamond and a 1 1/2 inch Maltese Cross looking Diamond as perfect as possible. I believe I could make the 1 carat Diamond in a 1/2 inch tube using a low quality Diamond as the substrate and target at the end of it. I would have to activate the gas mix moving through the tube just before the substrate. Do I need a Microwave or UltraViolet Light or something? I need some Know-How and Inspiration.

Question by Zues.gods    |  last reply


How can I make cheap honeycomb core boat hulls

I saw a 'How It's Made' episode where they revealed how to make honeycomb core simply by making a paper accordion, expanding it, dipping it in resin then sawing it into cores. I WANT TO DO THAT! They said they used a thermoplastic paper as well as a heat-activated glue. But why couldn't I use a cheaper more readily available material? Does the resin provide ALL the structural strength, or does the thermoplastic paper itself provide the strength? I would assume it's like fiberglass, whereby after it's infused with resin it's super tough... but the fiberglass itself provides strength too... What kind of material could I use for this? Straight up craft paper & elmer's glue? After the cores are cured and cut, I'll sandwich them between various layers of either wood laminate, plastics, fiberglass, or carbon fiber. Thanks!

Question by jmlidea    |  last reply


Capacitor as power supply circuit?

I have seen those heavily discounted maxwell ultracapacitors on electronic goldmine lately, and with the holidays around the corner I plan on having my hands on one soon. The two possibilities i might get are 1 3000F 2.7V capacitor, or 2 2600F 2.5V capacitors which can make 5200F 2.5V or 1300F 5V. (A side question: capacitors cannot really be chained in a long series like resistors can without running into problems, right? Isn't there a problem with the energy not being distributed evenly?) My main question is what circuit or ic I can use to turn this large capacitance into a useful power supply. Because of its discharge curve, If I wanted to run something that needed 2 volts, it would stop running although there is still plenty of energy. The other issue is the inherent low voltage of ultracapacitors in general. I hear this is because the activated carbon used to achieve such high capacitance has a low breakdown voltage and there isn't much they can do about it. If I wanted to create a power supply that delivered a constant 5 volts from a capactior with lower voltage, how would I go about doing this?Thanks!

Question by seanroberts    |  last reply


(newsletter) USB Keyboard Hack, Drill Small Holes, Roommate Blocker...

Sign-up for this newsletter: Welcome back! Digital Days Photo Contest - Show us your best photo trick, tip, or homemade gadget to win a new Sony digital camera! Converse Back to School in Style Contest - Make or customize anything school-related and win a gift card so you can make your own custom Converse shoes! CLOSES SUNDAY: SINGER Kids Crafts Contest - Create something crafty with or for a kid and win a sweet new serger or sewing machine from SINGER! CLOSES SUNDAY: Forbes Teach Me Fast Contest - Make a 30-second how-to video and win one of six awesome Flip MinoHD video cameras! Winning videos will be featured on Forbes.com. Winners announced for the Low & Slow BBQ contest! See who won! Want faster updates and inside info? Follow Instructables on Twitter and Facebook! Sew a Where the Wild Things Are Hat How to Tie Various Knots 15 Minutes SMS Door Entry Alarm Drill Small, Precise Holes Win a digital camera! Closes this Sunday! Aluminum Bottle Alcohol Stove Magic Stick Trick Hack a USB Keyboard Door Activated LED Lighting Roommate Blocker Make a Laundry Water Recycler Make Carbonated Beverages Cardboard .357 Magnum Prop Closes this Sunday! Win a pair of custom Converse shoes! Make Your Own Bacon Camp Table for Backpacking Thingamaplush Robot Big Sturdy Loft Sign-up for this newsletter:

Topic by fungus amungus    |  last reply


Make supercapacitors from graphite in a DVD burner

The outline is that you can deposit graphite oxide (a cheap bulk material) onto a film of PET (the plastic used in Coke bottles), hit it with a commodity infra-red laser (such as the one in a $30 LightScribe DVD burner) and end up with a form of activated carbon material that can be used as the electrode in an electrolytic capacitor.  Add some aluminium foil, separator membrane and electrolyte and you've got cheap, robust energy storage.  The headline numbers are a few hundred milliFarads per cubic centimetre at a few volts, which works out to 1.36kWh per cubic metre of stacked capacitors.  It's still about 50 times less energy per volume than lead acid batteries, but you could store as much energy as your house will need overnight in the size of a garden shed or a set of bunk beds.  They charge/discharge in seconds and retain >95% capacity at 10,000 cycles so seem suitable for storage to even out intermittent energy generation from, for example, solar or wind power. I'm really thinking about cost here- unless I'm missing something fundamental it doesn't seem like producing these on a high volume roll-to-roll process would be excessively difficult, and the cycle life means the replacement time would be many years even in heavy usage.  Could you get sufficient kWh per dollar to make these a viable storage mechanism for home-scale renewables? There's a more informative article here.

Topic by PKM    |  last reply


Neotech NT7086 display and arduino?

I found a couple of these older looking dot matrix LCDs in some electronic logbooks that didnt work. it was a 14 pin connector, so i figured why not try it out. i found the pinout of each pin using the chips that were on board, but i don`t know where to go from here, or if i should even bother. the display was made by or for hantronix, and they have a touch layer that could be used as well. each display has 7 of the NT7086PQ chips on it, a 74HC74D, a 74HC40103D, and an LM324. it was originally connected via a flat flex cable, but it had a convenient place for headers to plug it into a breadboard. the 74HC40103D is an 8-bit synchronous binary down counter: http://www.nxp.com/documents/data_sheet/74HC40103.pdf the 74HC74D is a Dual D-type flip-flop: http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/302/74HC_HCT74-225071.pdf the Neotech chips are LCD display drivers: http://www.crystalfontz.com/controllers/NT7086.pdf upon inspecting the physical properties of the display I can see there are the rubber/carbon edge contacts on two sides and a ribbon on one end. The pinout i figured out is: 14 is GND 13 is base on SOT23 transistor     (connected to 12 on parent board) 12 collector on a SOT23 transistor 11 gets pulled low at some point (pulled low on parent board) 10 is power 9 is cl2          (unactive high?) (on one set of neotech chips, assuming the edge contact drivers) 8 Clock input (74HC40103D) 7 does nothing 6 is d4 on one chip? 5 is display off  (active low) 4 is d4 3 is d3 2 is d2 1 is d1 So i would appreciate any input people have. I would ideally like to drive this using an arduino/atmega, and although i have not read the neotech datasheet to much depth it would appear to work similar to the popular parallel displays, but maybe with different syntaxes. so is this a possible thing, or is it a fruitless endeavor? thanks in advance.

Question by zack247    |  last reply


Project Collaboration?

I'm REALLY bored at work at the moment and need a personal project to distract me. The problem with past projects is I often run into problems or lose interest and they fall by the wayside. I was thinking that if the project was a collaboration I'd be more motivated and could call on people with better skills than me. Anyways I'll propose a few projects, and let me know if you are interested. Or if you've got an idea, post it up. I'd love to do something robotics related, but m programming skills aren't great. I can use "wrapper" environments, like Matlab and Arduino, but raw C++ isn't a strong point. I've got access to all the CAD stuff that would ever be needed, Pro/E, Solidworks, AutoCAD, ANSYS, Strand7. I've got some skills in and access to composite manufacturing, like carbon fibre and glass but no vacuum baggin facilities anymore. My first project idea is a bargraph type watch - kind of like the awesome binary watches here, but the time increments on a bargraph. I think only one bargraph to show the minutes would be necessary - you pretty much know the hour most of the time, and you could work it out using the minutes if it's around the hour. A ten segment display would give resolution of 6 minutes - good enough for most purposes. I could do the hardware layout and manufacturing for this project, but I don't think I could do the programming. how about a homemade SMS device? not the most practical when mobile phones are so small and cheap and would be WAY more fully featured, but I think it would be cool to have a homemade device that could at least send SMSs. Open source, single sided PCB, would be awesome. obviosuly as small as possible but maybe aim for something the size of a blackberry of treo? Not stylish maybe but maximum hacker cred thumb keyboard ---> microcontroller ---> cellular module&LCD GPS based car locator - I know this functionality exists in modern cars but certainly not my 1994 feroza - a box that sits in your car that SMSs you GPS coordinates if your car alarm is activated. I've been looking for this for ages in a commercial product but the prices are outrageous. Other more outlandish projects are a CNC machine and single sided, through-hole, no (or very little) programming MP3 player Any ideas?

Topic by trialex    |  last reply


help wanted developing cool fidget jewelry

I have had an idea for creating cool non childish fidget toys as jewelry. My real idea is to create something which could use an ir sensor to pick up someones pulse and then play it back to them through a vibration motor.. (its similar to baby's reacting to there mothers heart beats in the womb an has a massively calming effect on most people,,, to the point where build a bare workshops has the option to include a beating heart)   I submitted the idea to Quirky but it wasn't taken on for one of there projects.. I think it still has legs an could be a commercial success. being there's already a bit of interest from educators who has seen research pointing to fiddle toys as being the best thing since the carbon atom arranged itself into cool new shapes. There are a few other alternatives which could be developed.. an i think it would be awesome to develop a whole range of these things an see them in jewelry shops looking like ailion artifacts with documents about how they can help you..  I think everything about it should be play with able , so magnets textures ect ect  Here is the initial idea  ____________________________________________________ People fidget,, A lot of people fidget. A lot of the time.. They fidget during presentations, on commutes, whilst thinking of ideas and whilst being productive on the internet. And that’s not a bad thing. Fidgeting helps people to be who they are. They wouldn’t do it if there wasn’t a good reason for it. From what I understand different parts of the brain are responsible for different things. And some of them are associated with each other. Interestingly for most people learning is enhanced when there doing something. Much more of the brain becomes active when any movement is involved. Retention of information becomes greater and creativity is increased as the parts of the brain associated with these things become active. I did some independent research on the strength of the book (Fidget to focus) when I did my teacher training, And found that though I didn't have a class full of what some would deem the unteachable I did have a class full of tappers, twiddles and shakers. When I gave them all the option to utilise just a simple shaped piece of wood, and the permit ion to fiddle with it during session they loved it. The feedback I got from the use of the wooden shapes was terrific. With 8 of the 15 students “forgetting” to give the shapes back at the end of the session. And the class being more engaged during the session. The Solution I aim to develop a range of warble fiddle toys primarily as jewellery. Jewellery is now gender neutral, A fiddle toy worn around the neck would allow for an easy accessibility in comparison to being fixed to an item of clothing. Jewellery can allow for a range of shapes to suet different people and allow for a shape or shapes ideal for those wanting to play. So far I have made a shape and seen that people like to play with it. I think the minimum next step would be to make this shape in different materials to give different textures weights and looks. But what I would really love to do would be to introduce all sorts of awesome new functions into the fiddle toy jewellery. I would love to include a number of different haptic responses potentially echoing the users pulse. This has been shown to calm infants simulating a factor present in the womb I know the sound of a heart beat is known to relax most people and has been included into calming music I suspect the same as a tactile would be just as calming helping someone to come from an elevated heart rate to a calmer one in a sympathetic match. Or starting off strong and diminishing from its trigger. Iterations could include a variable trigger like an old school stress relief toy. Magnets with a ruggedized coating to avoid clicking, tracking a whole host of things which could be useful in giving the user the best tools for understanding when they fiddle and why. __________________________ For the Quirky proposal which is pretty much exactly what is above https://www.quirky.com/invent/1603684/action/vote/query/view=trending&categories;=all

Topic by world of woodcraft    |  last reply


Record Solar Powered Flight

UK-built solar-powered plane has set an unofficial world endurance record for a flight by an unmanned aircraft.The Zephyr-6, as it is known, stayed aloft for more than three days, running through the night on batteries it had recharged in sunlight.The flight was a demonstration for the US military, which is looking for new types of technology to support its troops on the ground.Craft like Zephyr might make ideal platforms for reconnaissance.They could also be used to relay battlefield communications.Chris Kelleher, from UK defence and research firm QinetiQ, said Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) offer advantages over traditional aircraft and even satellites."The principal advantage is persistence - that you would be there all the time," he told BBC News. "A satellite goes over the same part of the Earth twice a day - and one of those is at night - so it's only really getting a snapshot of activity. Zephyr would be watching all day." The latest flight was conducted at the US Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.The Zephyr flew non-stop for 82 hours, 37 minutes.That time beats the current official world record for unmanned flight set by the US robot plane Global Hawk - of 30 hours, 24 minutes - and even Zephyr's own previous best of 54 hours achieved last year.However, the Yuma mark remains "unofficial" because QinetiQ did not involve the FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale), the world air sports federation, which sanctions all record attempts.The US Department of Defense funded the demonstration flight under its Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) programme. The 30kg Zephyr was guided by remote control to an operating altitude in excess of 18km (60,000ft), and then flown on autopilot and via satellite communication.It tested a communications payload weighing approximately 2kg.At first sight, the propeller-driven Zephyr looks to be just another model aircraft, and it is even launched by hand. But this "pilotless" vehicle with its 18-metre wingspan incorporates world-leading technologies.Its structure uses ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre material; and the plane flies on solar power generated by amorphous silicon solar arrays no thicker than sheets of paper. These are glued over the aircraft's wings.To get through the night, the propellers are powered from lithium-sulphur batteries which are topped up during the day."A lot of effort has gone into power storage and light-weighting the systems," explained Mr Kelleher. "Lithium sulphur is more than double the energy density of the best alternative technology which is lithium polymer batteries. The engineers from the Farnborough-based company are now collaborating with the American aerospace giant Boeing on a defence project codenamed Vulture.This would see the biggest plane in history take to the sky, powered by the sun and capable of carrying a 450-kilo (1,000lb) payload.US commanders say the design must be able to maintain its position over a particular spot on the Earth's surface uninterrupted for five years. QinetiQ is the public company that used to be the British Government's military research department, before they privatised it.BBC articleQinetiQ's page on Zephyr

Topic by Kiteman    |  last reply


Refill your Brita Filter, Fireball Shooter, Beer Can Roof...

Sign-up for our newsletter here. Mar. 27, 2008 Welcome back! Enter the new April Fools' Day speed contest! Show us a clever prank and win some cool prizes. Burning Questions is back with Round 4. Answer a question from our list to win our eternal thanks and an Instructables patch! Both the Pocket-Sized speed contest and Pets Month will be ending in a few days. This is your last weekend to enter! Check out these cool instructables! How to refill a "disposable" Brita brand water pitcher filter with activated carbon. Why buy a replacement filter for $6 to $10 (or more) when you can refill your old filter cartridge housing for about 50 cents?! posted by IAMSatisfied on Mar 24, 2008 Shopping Bag Wallet Make a virtually indestructible wallet with a very surprising design by reusing one of those strong shopping bags. posted by rollin on Mar 24, 2008 Make a Vibrating Dog Collar for a Deaf Dog Hack a remote control car with a dog collar to give yourself a way to call your deaf dog. All for about $5. posted by arcticpenguin on Mar 26, 2008 Make Shingles and Siding Out of Aluminum Cans (Beer Can Roof) This chicken coop is protected by the power of hard work and a lot of beer. posted by robbtoberfest on Mar 24, 2008 15-Minute Halter Top Need a halter top RIGHT NOW? Here's how to make a stylish, no-sew top in just 15 minutes with an old T-shirt and a pair of scissors. posted by Smexy Dead on Mar 24, 2007 Making a PostSecret in Photoshop PostSecret is an online art project that allows people to anonymously mail in postcards with their secrets on them. Try making one of your own. posted by AmandaRose on Mar 23, 2008 What tricks are up your sleeve? Pocket-Sized Speed Contest Give your old shirta new life! Portable speaker in a CD case Now that you only listen to MP3s, try making your own portable speaker in your old CD case. Here's how you do it. posted by fatrickuk on Mar 21, 2008 Fireball Shooter! Make a flaming fireball shooter just like magicians use. Save your cash and make your own! posted by Kipkay on Mar 22, 2008 Transform a boring old black t-shirt with bleach! Here's a way to transform boring old black t-shirts into "something else." It's like tie-dying, but uses bleach to remove the color, instead of adding it. posted by stinkymum on Mar 1823 2008 Pocket Graffiti Pen Crack open a permanent marker to make an impromptu device for getting a funky sprayed-on look. posted by PocketSized on Mar 21, 2008 Green Rainwater Use this simple but beautiful way to collect rainwater for use in your yard so that it need not go to waste. The best part: you can create it yourself. posted by Michelle Kaufmann on Mar 24, 2008 Pink Eraser USB Flash Drive Use an analog icon to hide your flash drive in this digital age. posted by fungus amungus on Mar 26, 2008 Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric

Topic by fungus amungus  


Ionizing vs. non-ionizing radiation, units, and safety (updated)

Note: This was originally intended as a reply in the Americium-241 Science forum topicWhen people talk about "radiation," they are referring to many different things, and are probably thinking of some things that don't even apply. "Radiation," the invisible energy given off by radioactive materials, can be either "subatomic" particles or electromagnetic. The most common particles emitted are "beta rays," high-energy electrons, and "alpha particles," helium nuclei. Some sources can emit neutrons, protons, or "positive beta rays" (anti-electrons, or positrons), but those are much less common.The units we use to measure radioactivity are becquerels (Bq, decays per second) or curies (Ci, 3.7 x 1010 decays per second). Since the effects of radiation depend on their energy, another unit of interest is absorbed dose, the energy deposited per unit mass of target, measured in grays (Gy).Safety experts classify radiation into "ionizing," meaning there is enough energy to knock electrons out of atoms or molecules, and "non-ionizing." Infrared and ultraviolet light are non-ionizing, as are neutrons. Alpha particles (helium nuclei), beta particles (electrons) and gammas (as well as lower energy X-rays) are all ionizing radiation. The three have substantially different effects on biological systems, even at the same absorbed dose. Consequently, for radiation safety purposes, scaling factors are applied to produce numerical measures (sieverts, Sv) of "effective" or "equivalent" dose, that can be compared across different kinds of sources.Here's a small table with information for some commonly encountered sources. Isotope Source Activity Dose rate Am-241 smoke detector 35 kBq (1 µCi) 11 µSv/yr @ 1m Te-99m MRI contrast 740 MBq (20 mCi) 1.6 Sv/hr @ 1cm C-14 atmosphere, body 0.23 Bq 10 µSv/yr K-40 bananas, body 4.4 kBq 200 µSv/yrWhat you should see clearly from this is that the natural radioactivity in your body is comparable or larger than that in a common smoke detector. At SLAC, the limit for exposure to sources at the lab by most staff (including me) is 20 µSv/yr (5 mrem).As I noted above, neutrons are sometimes lumped in with ionizing radiation in non-technical "radiation safety" classes (we call them "the photon is your friend" training :-). That is not really accurate -- neutrons don't interact with electrons(*), and so cannot ionize directly. They can interact with hydrogen nuclei (protons), knocking them out of complex organic molecules, and leave behind ionized fragments and free radicals. The can also be absorbed by otherwise stable nuclei, making them radioactive; those new nuclei may in turn give off ionizing radiation.Neutrons lose energy much more slowly in passing through material, and so can penetrate much farther than ionizing particles or gammas. The nuclear interaction [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_section_(physics) cross-section] is much more important here than dE/dx (ionization) energy loss. Materials rich in carbon and hydrogen (for example, paraffin) are far more effective at neutron shielding than dense metals like lead.(* for the expert readers) Yes, there is n-e scattering through W and Z exchange, but the cross-section and energy scales are completely irrelevant to this discussion.

Topic by kelseymh    |  last reply


Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 Hosted at NASA* Ames Research Center - SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MARCH 9

Please note that our email server was down this past week so we are extending the deadline for Art Installations until Friday, March 9, 2007. If your submission bounced please resubmit it again by emailing submissions@yurisnightames.netWe will contact all those submitting within a week of the submission deadline.Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 Sofia Hanger 211, NASA Ames Research Center*, Moffett Field, CAhttp://www.yurisnightames.netFriday, April 13th, 20076:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. - VIP Event Hosted by Keynote speaker, Anousheh Ansari . The first privately-funded female space explorer!10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. - 3,2,1, Lift Off!, An all-night collective experience toward the Overview Effect. Art Installations and Science and Technology DemonstrationsMusic Line UpPlaid ( Warp Records, UK) Luke Vibert ( Ninja Tune, Warp Records, UK), Telefon Tel Aviv (Hefty Records, USA)Interactive Experiences and Second Life KiosksSponsors List To Be Announced Shortly Affiliate / Collaborating Organizations (Partial List)4c design studios - NASA* - Nexus - Space Generation Advisory Council - Yuri's Night - Zero Gravity Arts Consortium Yuri's Night World Space Parties celebrate humanity's first venture into space (by Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin). The event connects diverse communities to pay tribute to our shared global heritage in space exploration. Through one long simultaneous celebration Yuri's Night bridges national, cultural, generational and social barriers to ignite excitement about what is new on the horizon in space exploration and to remind us of how much more humanity is capable of. Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 is just one of many worldwide parties sharing the same mission.How to ApplyPlease submit the following by Friday March 9, 2007:-Artist name, address, phone, email and title of artwork.-Philosophical Statement, as related to the Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 Theme (See Below)-Documentation of work: image, video, and/or sound files -Space requirements and special needs-Current state of completion-Required crew-Power requirements-Time to set upYuri's Night Bay Area 2007 will be held on Friday, April 13th in the Sofia Hangar 211 and on the adjoining tarmac at NASA Ames Research Center*, with several thousand people attending. The sizeable combined indoor and outdoor space lends itself to large-scale installations. We are looking for art installations, interactive works, science and technology demonstrations, video, sound works, light works, and large scale sculpture. Geodesic domes will be installed on the tarmac to showcase smaller and more intimate works. Other activities at the event will include:- Music from world-renown international talent (coming from the UK and beyond) and video artists.- A sundown keynote speech by Anousheh Ansari, the first female private space tourist (recently returning from a 10 day stay on the International Space Station) and the woman who is largely responsible for making the Ansari X PRIZE project possible- An environmental "greening of space" sub-theme, manifested through the use of environmentally friendly biodiesel and vegetable oil-fueled power, compostable plates and utensils, and tree planting in the name of our guests to balance out carbon emissions.Please give special consideration to the following:Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 is a celebration of humanity with a focus on space and technology, art and performance while honoring the historical nature of the space and the spirit of the people who once worked in and still inhabit the AMES Sofia Hanger 211, in which our event is hosted. Within the context of NASA AMES Research Center* we feel our contemporary relationship to space and sense the incredible possibilities for the future of human and robotic space exploration.Simultaneously, this place exudes a feeling of another time, a time of science fiction fantasy and early space exploration and its potential for fulfillment, some ideas made real, some not: rocket ships of the past, an International Space Station of the present and airships of the future, flying cars, and time machines, terraforming, robots, and settlements on other planets. We will share an interpretive journey into outer space starting with the arrival of 'space cadets' at NASA * Ames's Yuri's Night Spaceport who, after a communal 3-2-1countdown to LIFTOFF! will jettison into a magical journey through time and space, as we discover new communities, interactive art installations, science and technology demonstrations, performances and space art interwoven with simultaneous influences from the past, present and future educating us to new possibilities socially, ecologically and technologically. We will reach the zenith of our journey as we sense 'The Overview Effect', an unexpected gift given to many astronauts who travel into space when they gain a new profound insight and understanding of our planet Earth, when confronted with the presence of our world as seen from the distance of space. The results of this experience can reinforce personal sensitivity to environmental conservation and the greening of space and 'The Overview Effect' has the capacity to transform all patterns of human existence and evolution toward greater potentials in human diversity and creativity. With all 'space cadets' having experienced changed perceptions of space, time, sound, and weight all we will have the potential to transform the evolution of humanity as they experience a new dawn on planet Earth.In creating Yuri's Night together, we create a new narrative, a new science fiction for the future and given the spirit of Yuri's Night, our night, our dance is a dance of inspiration, joy and celebration!Special notices:Unfortunately, despite our desire to do so, we cannot accomodate traditional media in the form of paintings, drawings, or prints. No fire, explosives, or works that are potentially damaging to property or persons.Send application or questions to:submissions@yurisnightames.netMore information about Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007: http://www.yurisnightames.netGeneral information about Yuri's Night:http://www.yurisnight.net/2007/*References to NASA Ames shall not be construed as official NASA approval or endorsement of any non-Governmental or commercial entity or activity pending final legal approvals.

Topic by lannanh  


The little moonshiner....

Found an old topic that someone reactivated with a reply, so I though I do a new one to make it easier. "Moonshine" can be as tasty as any good spirit from the shops. I have done a few liters back in my days... There are a few things to consider right from the start though. What type of sugar is used, e.g. fruits, corn, wheat, potatoes or plain sugar and water. Equally important is the yeast, some prefer natural fermantation, others use baker's yeast, most prefer dedicated yeasts for wine. Even the water used plays a role in the final taste!Hygine is another thing that many people overlook or neglect. Anything that can grow in a warm and sweet enviroment will grow rapidly! That means if your yeast is not good or fast enough, other cultures can take over and sometimes totally change the outcome and quality. In some cases, like with fruits to the better but usually to the worse. Imagine you want to bake a nice cake with vanilla in it. But since your vanilla stick is already quite old and you stored it together with your garden herbs in one jar.... You get the idea of taste I hope ;) Just go from start to finnish like you would prepare chicken meat together with fish - keep it clean, keep it healthy.The still.... Now, if you trust some old blokes doing moonshine since they were kids then it all sounds so easy. But for the hobby brewer there are now tons of options available. Basic pot stills you can put on your stove, electric ones that are basically just an electric boiler with a cooling tube, tower models with several levels of control or the good old "reflux" still in copper. Why is it important to know your way around stills? Again, if you ask a cook then he will tell you why he uses a certain pot for certain dishes or why he won't work with certain materials. Sometimes it is for taste or ease of handling, often just preference. Lets check the main differences in material. We have the modern stainless steel and the classic copper. Stainless steel is easy to clean, won't affect the taste and won't cause any chemical reactions that would alter the taste of your product. That is true only if you trust the manufacturers ;) To compensate for the problems I will explain in a bit they use all sorts of gadgets. I call them brewing helpers and explain them in a bit. Copper on the other hand is now quite expensive and also deemed to be a pain to clean and sanitise. To be honest: how hard it is to clean a still only depends on the design. If you can seperate it into nice straight pieces with good access you can clean anything. But copper was and still is the prefered option for drinking vessels and cookware in a lot of cultures - and it is coming back into our kitchens now as well. Why is that then? Copper has natural sanitising abilities but also reacts with a lot of chemicals. And since copper is considered to be a "good" metal, these reactions usually happen only directly on the copper. Meaning all reaction products stay on the copper as well. Work with fruits or potatoes and a copper still can look dark black and really ugly when done. Do the same in a steel still and then compare the taste ;) Copper produces a far better taste! Especially sufur based compounds react strongly with the copper but also anything causing bad smells or tastes is reduced big time. To flux, reflux not not to flux at all!? A basic still heats the mesh to a set temperature, a cooling coil or similar lets the steam condensate and the alcohol (and everything else) drips out. More complex models have a more tower like appearance and with that allow for a better temperature control. Here the steam will cool down in the tower and at the right height you have the outlet. Brings a much more refined product. The best is still the reflux still however. Here the steam is allowed to travel further and cool down completely. Only a fraction is allowed to come out while the rest runs back down into the heated pot. From first to last model the quality, taste and purity improve. Lets take a closer look on what actually happens inside a still:Once the mix is hot enough that something can turn into a vapor or gas form it will try to escape. That is why we usually discard the first "head" coming out - it contains the most methanol for starters but also the worst of tastes. Again more on heads and tails later ;)In a simple still all steam produced is now turned back into a liquid.One reason why the alcohol concentrations is quite low, around 40%.But also the reason for the low quality taste that can happen.Even with a generous amount of head removed literally everything that is in the opt ends up in the spirit.A good temperature control is a must have and the less deviation the better.And as with all pots running low, once you are low enough all impurities left in your mesh will be concentrated.If the bottom now gets too hot they release unwanted tastes...We skip the tower models and go right to the reflux as the later is just better and includes all there is to say about the tower models anyway.At least on a hobby level a reflux still already starts with a quite tall boiling vessel.It just allows a better and more evenly heating of the mesh inside.While the bottom part is hotter than the top currents form that constantly mix what is inside.The heat is controlled so there is no real boiling, in the best option so that no part of the pot will go over 85° C.When all is hot enough so the first alcohol could run out the system is actually still closed.All vapour has to run back down the tower - which is why some towers even come with cooling fins...As a result all things with a low boiling point will stay in the tower as vapor and once the still is opened they come out first.The heads can be much smaller then too ;)Since the outlet is set at a suitable height and is naturally cooler than the steam, a lot of steam will condense above the outlet.Much more below it and only a fraction is collected to run to the outlet.That means that once the system has reached stable temps throughout that the tower is filled with ethanol vapour only.And since it is constantly re-boiled and runs back down and up all that comes out is already at quite high concentrations.With a good setup as high as 95% vol.It also means that you can have a great level of control about what exactly ends in your ethanol.Depending on how high the outlet is located a different amount of things that can either bond with ethanol or have a similar boiling temperature will be collected.Sole reason why most simple pot stills are designed to work with sugar and clean water only...When working with fruits as a base you often want quite a lot of the flavours and tastes preserved.Only experience and trying will get you tot he sweet spot where the alcohol content is just right and all wanted flavours are included.Go too high with your quality and the alcohol is too pure, go too low and the taste is bad...Which of course brings us back to why you should take your time before the cooking starts!I know far too many people who have no patience when it comes to the end of fermantation.Some yeast might be still active, far too much sugar left over in the mesh or just not enough care in general...You want most if not all of the sugar gone and used.What is not dead in terms of yeast needs to be dormant due to the alcohol concentration.And that can be the tricky part already!You see, once yeast dies off quickly due to the alcohol only the strong survive.In some cases, especially if you re-use your leftovers often, these few can still be active at over 20% of alcohol volume in the mix.The best option is to have a spare fridge and to put the entire container or drum in there.Let it sit cold for a few days, the yeast goes dormant, all sediments settly down to the bottom as no CO2 is produced anymore.Once all is really nice and clear use a hose or similar to remove the clear content only!Be careful here and once the levels are low use a seperate container to drain off!Take out what you can and if in doubt let what you take settle again for a day or two.Doing this time consuming step will make sure you only boil up what brings you the good stuff.On the other hand, when using potatoes, fruits or such you might have to press the liquid out and and add that to what you drained off already.I prefer to do this first and just put it back into the big drum again to let it all settle together.Ok, you only use sugar anyway but what comes out just does not taste or smell right...Would also mean you only use a basic still...As mentioned before the heads are what contains all the nasties.There are ways to actually measure if there is methanol present but for what we do now this is not so important.When the dripping start use shot glasses or such to catch it.Preferably while watching it ;)Smell what it is the glass when you put the next one under.The first glass should smell quite bad anyways.Quickly the smell in the glasses will change to something more "pure" and alcohol like - now start collecting for use.With a simple but good controlled still you will see the flow increases and levels out at some point.When the volume starts to go down your tails start.It is good practise to now use a seperate collecting vessel for the rest until what comes to fully discard.At some point you will notice the difference between just enough and really good temperature control.In a really good system the flow will go down to a slow drip or even stop.While in a dirt simple one the flow will just slow down for a while and then suddenly start running again.This running happens when the remainig water starts boiling...Keep smelling what comes out and once the taste or smell changes noticably again use a different container to collet what comes out. - This is you first tail collection.What comes out until the smell and taste go bad is your second tail collection - now you can turn your still off for a while.Let all what you collected cool down to room temperature is not already.Check what you collected from the heads, helps to have small jars for this ;)From start to last the smell should get better.If the last two or three collections smeel somehow interesting then add them to your main collection.Smell the first tail collection again - it should not be that bad anymore, especially if you let it cool down slightly open.Especially when working with fruits you might to add quite a bit of this to your main collection.If only sugar was used just move on to the last tail collection.In case you still don't like the smell mix the tail collection together and keep in a seperate and sealed vessel.Those tail collections can then later be used to destill them again (with more tails from other runs) to get a decent cleaning alcohol or something that might still be worth adding in small amounts for a better overall taste.However for sugar only mixes it can be considered to be for cleaning purposes only.What you have now is little waste and a lot of almost good alcohol.It still contains more or less amounts of unwanted things that mainly come from the yeast and their by-products.To "clean" you alcohol the best option is to destill it again - it will also increase the concentration quite a bit.Best option here is to use properly filtered and prefeably demineralised water to get back to a full fill of the still.If your still is quite small and what you collected would make for one or two full fills then go for it.Be warned though that you should not fill it up to the full mark, a bit under is better as the mix now will boil far quicker and more violent.Personally I prefer to have the alcohol conectration in the still at around 205% only.As we already discarded the worst of the worst in the heads during our first run only a tiny amount, like half a shot glass should be too bad in terms of taste and smell.Whatever comes after shall be fine.Again, once the tails start try to be carefull and if you can slow things down a notch.You will see a quite destinct reduction in the flow rate once the tails start - use a new container right away.The alcohol concentration should now drop quickly too as another indicator.If you want just pure tasting alcohol add what you comes out from this point to your tails container for later use as you don't want to drink it.Again, for fruits and potatoes you might want to keep the first bit of the collected tails.You alcohol concentration should now be already over 75% even if a basic still was used.The overall volume you collected will be lower accordingly of course - so don't be too disappointed by the liters you got from the second run.In a perfect world you now would use some nice barrel and let your creation age...But since we do moonshine...There is a chance that even after two runs you still taste and smell things you don't want or like.So if in doubt do it all again and get to 90 or more percent...Either way the final stuff should be now either watered down (filtered and clean of course) to the desired level.How to further improve on the outcome....There are little helpers along the way to get far bette results than without using them.If you check ready to go kits then they often contain specialised yest strains, a carbon mix and some "clearing aids".The yeast part is obvious, although I do prefer life prt wine yeast anyway.Carbon or activated charcoal is used to bind some of the bad odors and tastes the yeast produces.Keep in mind they are designed to work together, unlike using proper wine making cultures.Using power yeasts without carbon always results in a low quality.The clearing aids actually change the acidity levels and cause some things to mineralise or otherwise change so they settle to the ground.But they mainly make sure the yeast is dead.If you only use sugar then these kits are your easiest option and just follow their instructions.For fruits or anything else however you might want to try the slow route and use actual wine making yeasts for a change ;)And of course here we do not use carbon at all as we actually want to keep the taste of waht we use.We already had the proper way of getting the mesh to settle down, so that bit is clear.For sugar only you can now try to run your creation through activated charcaol or just add it and mix it.Let it sit and mix again for a few days.You do not need to filter the black stuff out, just drain it carefully and run the last bit through a coffee filter.Nothing will end in your destilled product.Inside the still you can use ceramic bioling thingies of all sorts.They provide a surface for water or mix to boil on instead of just the bottom.If you can't them for a good price then just use the stuff for aquarium filters ;)As said earlier too, copper is good but most modern stills are made from steel.If you can't find any copper wool pot cleaners you can cut some plumbing pipe into small sections.Inside the boiling vessel they will quickly turn brownish black while collecting bad things.Cleaning is easy with some cirtic acid/delimer/coffee machine cleaner...For a tower or reflux still it really helps to have these copper pads or wool inside for a far greater surface area to aid condensation and slow down the run off.I know how hard it is to get the stuff these days so if no other option use stainless steel ones and only loose the benefit of more cleaning through chemical reactions.Tools that come in handy....Monitoring the sugar and alcohol level to know when the mesh is right is quite obvious.What might not be is that you can correct bad level towards the end of fermentation.Yeast already dying slowly but far too much sugar left? Just add luke warm water to lover the alcohol conectration...Yeast going dormant with low alcohol levels? The sugar might be out so chack and if in doubt add some more.A good stir will help the remaining yeast to get more active in a day or two.So these little glass measuring tools should be put to good use from the start.During the destillation a purpose made overflow pipe to hold your alcohol tester is extremly helpful!The destilled liquid goes in through a pipe or hose at the bottom of the pipe.The bottom is closed, the top open to allow to drop the alcohol tester inside.Overflow or outlet should be just under the rim.During your run you can now see directly how the alcohol content changes.It will stabilse once the heads are finnished and get a slight rise just before it drops during the tails section.Improving basic desing of a basic still...Once you are done with a dead simple pot still and buy a reflux or tower model you might wonder why you did not build one yourself.What looked good on the pics and in the shop turns out to be still a bit away from perfect.The outlet might not have any flow control or is located to low/high.The vital overpressure protection might be missing and the thing sometimes runs out like a garden hose...For the later you can slavage some old pressure cooker and use the weight with the screw in counterpart in the lid ;)A simple hole in the top with flat weight on it works too, I used an old rubber plug from my bathtub one (could not find the purpose made one in time).For the outlet you can cheat a bit ;)Wrapping the tower with some insulating material improves on the heat loss - this helps if the still struggles to heat enough to provide a proper flow rate.Cooling the tower with wet towels, running water or similar well help on hot days or if the outlet is located reall high with little chance to provide decent condensation in the lower parts.How to cheat with the barrel....No matter if you just run with sugar or if you prefern corn, wheat, fruits....For some spirits good taste means good age.And well, good age for commercial spirits usually happens by resting in wooden drums.Oak, white oak, red gum and several other types of wood are used.Some small destilleries even use only locally available wood and won't even tell you which tree it was...Means we have a few chocices if we don't want to stick to the well known classics.But how do we make a barrel ?A good one is not just made from any old wood - the wood needs to be of the right age and moisture.To keep it simple just treat it like your firewood and let it rest for the same time.A good barrel is often "charred" - burnt with a flame or by rolling it with burning charcoal inside.This does two imortant things:1: It provides charcoal to bind remaining bad stuff.2: It releases some sugars from the wood plus resins and othe stuff.Both are an essential part of the final product and aging process!Now it becomes clear why a good sprit cost more than vodka...Using a neutral vessel like glass to age your spirit is one thing, preparing the wood the right way another...You see, size matters here in several ways.Big chunks provide a decent surface are without causing too much debris.The also provide more tannins for the color and more resins and sugar.Smaller chunks provide more charcaol for a higher level or binding impurities.But both will soak up far more alcohol than the correspong barrel size would!Obviously, if you are on a small scale on only got about 5 liters of alcohol to deal with loosing much is bad.The best way to char the wood IMHO is inside a clsed can or steel box.Just a small vent hole and a lot of turning with the right eye for when the wood is charred enough to be black and sealed.Opinions vary here but I use about a cup full of wood per 5 liters of alcohol at around 93% vol.Some goes for the storage, apart from dark some can't really agree here.Tossing and turning is as much prefered as undisturbed resting - take your own pick.The thig I do differently after the filtering off is to re-use the wood that is soaked.It goes into a freezer bag until the next run of the still and then the frozen wood is just added to the second still run to get back the alcohol in it, plus some nice taste and smell :)

Topic by Downunder35m  


UV filtration in your fish tank or small fish pond

Year after year the topic "I have a fish tank" seems to go more out of control. What was once a hobby just to have some fish can now be a design feature both in your home and inside the tank. Realistic looking lasdscapes, optical illusions that make you think the tank is much bigger and the list goes on. But one thing that now always pops up is the must have thing of UV filtration. Or to be precise: UV-C sterilisation! Now, if we trust Wiki and our big water suppliers then UV-C will literally kill anything alive that comes into contact with. So of course it would be a good thing to have for your tank - or not? UV-C is very dangerous for your eyesight and quite harmful for your skin! Looking into a proper UV-C lamp without protection means you can go blind! Even good sunglasses might not have enough protection in the UV-C range, so only use them for additional protection but never without and glass between you and the lamp! Don't be a fool! Treat UV-C seriously! You would not look into the full sun with your sunglasses and would not expose your eyes or skin to a powerful laser, UV-C is to be treated the same way! Let's start by using some boring text to explain the concept a little bit. On a large scale special and quite powerful systems are used to treat our drinking or pool water. Here special UV-C lights with a wavelenghts of 260nm or below are used to shine through the water passing by. There are two key factors here. a) the wavelenght b) the water flow rate and the corresponding time the water is in contact with the UV light To ensure all bacteria, viruses, algae and other harmful organics are dead the water must circulate for long enough so even the last water molecule had a few seconds of exposure. All this only works good with "crystal clear" water for obvious reasons as otherwise the UV has to be even more powerful to pass through. Single cell organisms literally crack into pieces similar to being exposed to gamma rays, more complex cells like algae have their cell membranes damages and the DNA suffers as well causing reproduction loss and early death. Even some chemicals break down, most importantly here chlorine based substances. Differences within the UV-C range! If you bothered to check Wiki about the topic of UV-C you will already know that only certain wavelengths within this spectrum will actuall be powerful enough to do what we want it to do. And here is the first problem for us hobby users. Most cheaply advertised "sterlisation lamps" you find in places like Ebay are actually totally useless. Stating to be selling a UV-C light to sterilze your water in such a case is still not considered to be fraud though. Simply because it still does what it supposed to do, just very slow and with very little effect. Only the so called "short wave" UV-C range is powerful enough! To avoid loosing business during the times of the biggest hype in 20 years no seller will actuall state the available wavelengths. That means without this info anywhere you can be certain the advertised lamp is of little to no use. Even those advertised to be short wave UV-C might not be the real deal. However, if a decent manufacturer is behind the actual lamp used it is possible to check the datasheet for these performance figures - but again most cheap systems come with no-name lamps inside. Check the prices for a reputable UV-C light with the same lamp fitting, e.g. G23 and you will see it might cost more than your entire system. Ok, you have a poper short wave UV-C lamp or consider getting a canister filter with one in it.... Never, ever test your lamp without proper protection!!!!! UV-C will damage your eye within seconds! If you system or lamp does not provide a viewing port or shine through area then you have to place a piece of glass between you and the light! UV-C won't be able to penetrate normal window glass but will pass through quartz glass. Place the lamp in a box and cover with the glass. How make proper use of UV-C sterilisation... The replacement lights are quite expensive, so let's see how to get the most out of them. As said before exposure is the key factor so the flow rate of the UV system must match tank size and flow rate of your filter system. Canister filters with a build in lamp should be designed to match but I will tell you later what to look for ;) Most of us will prefer to have a in-line system if there is already a good canister filter at work, so I will focus on those and rop in solutions. If you compare in-line system you might notice that some quite small and low power units claim to allow for the same flow rates as for example 40W units. Some are fraud and just want to sell while others use simple physics to make the claim true. A good system will utilise an auger like "ramp" that forces the water to circulate around the tube many times - causing up to ten times longer exposure rates. Others create this sprial effect more like a vortex with some diverters and modified inlets. The later seems to be less efficient though with low power lamps. An in-line system should be on the outlet side of your canister filter so the best quality water will pass through it. A drop in solution should be used alone and without the existing normal filter pump you might have in there. Ok, got it, but how do I actually use it now? Despite common thinking a UV-C system should not run 24/7 like your normal filter. You really only need it to solve problems you should not have in a healthy tank! It is not a magical solution to make your underlaying problems go away ;) Let's start with the most common reason someone buys a UV-C system: An algae or bacterial outbreak causing greenish or milky water. If that developed slowly over a period of weeks then you would be better off to do a good clean of the tank and filter plus a decent water exchange. A few drops of meds will do the rest. And if you constantly get algae growing on your glass, ornaments and plants then your nutrient levels and water quality is not right anyway and needs a good check. But of course there is also the problem of light - too much for too long and unwanted gree appears everywhere. If in doubt reduce the light power, shade out natural light or reduce the on time for your lights. Having said that we now face the problem of a sudden outbreak after introducing new fish or plants. If you don't have a quarantaine tank chances are that sooner or later you get unwanted or even harmful guest into your tank. Here the UV-C will be beneficial, which is why a canister filter with build in light should have a seperate switch or power supply for the light. After an outbreak or while introducing new life into your tank the UV-C will remove a lot of the things that we don't want to bring along. For new life I leave the light on non stop for a week, that is for a small 4ft tank with 200 liters. To control an outbreak it depends on how bad it is. I assume here you can still see the back of your tank  but that the water either appears greenish or slightly milky from bacteria. As a personal thing I prefer to to remove and clean my filter material before treating a severe outbreak. Once done I fill the filter with a mix of activate carbon material and fine filter wool. Reason for this quite simple: The outbreak causing stuff is already in your filter material and will be a constant source of re-infection. And since breaking down all this bad stuff causes even more bad stuff to be produced as biological waste we want to discard it properly once done. Using just fine filter wool and activated carbon also reduces the flow rate bit if compacted ;) Now we can turn on the light and pump and forget about it for a while. It is not recommended to run UV lights on a timer as you want them on all time to prevent short lifespan and have ongoing treatment of the water. Good idea to take a picture at the same of a day from now on to compare and check results. After 3 days the water should definately be clearer, if not then either your filter material is packed too losse or the lamp is no good. Once the water appears to be clear do a readin test - take a newspaper behind the tank and check if the text is clear - blurry means the water is still not clean. You will reach a point where the water quality will not further improve as much as in the days before. This is the time where you discard or clean out to dry your filter material and put the original stuff back in. The activated carbon should be discarded of course. You cleaned filter material will now need a certain time to grow enough good bacteria to go back to the old performance. During this time you should still leave the light on. In most cases with enough fish and plants in the tank a week should be sufficient. After that you can leave the light off and keep the tank fit and healthy. Special case: Algae everywhere! Especially after getting a new plant you can end up with quite pesty algae growth. Be it these long ghost hair types or in a bad case the black stuff growing on plants, ornaments and the glass. I have even seen tanks with algae covering the entire bottom of the tank causing the gravel to look like carpet. Here I can only advise to set up a quarantaine tank for your fish. Then remove all infested material for manual removal and cleaning. Infested plants should be cut clean and what can be boiled should be boiled in water for a few minutes. Now start scrubbing in the tank with ongoing water replacements. I prefer to let everything settle over night without any bubbler or pump running. This way I can suck up a lot of sediment the next day. If you can remove all plants and fish you can now use hydrogen peroxide and add it to your tank water. But this is only feasable for small desktop tanks. Before using the UV as above to cure an outbreak you should consider all water one last time. Allow at least 2 weeks with ongoing water checks before adding plants back in and another week before placing your fish back in the tank. The week before adding fish should be used to monitor the plats for any signs of algae you might have missed - if you find any remove it! A week after the fish is back in you can turn off the UV light. Underwater UV-C light!? In most online stores you will find quite cheap UV lights to be advertised as underwater or in tank use. Although it might sound tempting you should be well aware of the dangers of using them. The glass of your tank will block the harmfull UV rays but the water surface won't, so either don't ever look at it or use proper sunglasses with real UV protection. Apart from the dangers to you these lamps are not just cheap in price but also cheaply produced. That means there is no way of telling how much or how little UV-C is produced. If they are good then you still need to know in what type of tank setup you can use them. As plants can tolerate a bit of UV a placement as far away from the nearest plant should do, especially if you can place a bubble wall betwenn light and plants. The fish is another thing as some seem to be unaware of the danger in their tank. This means they can get too close to the light but I have not found any articles explaining how harmful UV-C is to fish or their eyesight. I guess once your fish starts to bounce into everything you know... ;) My advise is to stay away from the idea of hanging a UV-C lamp in your tank, the risk for you and your tank is just not justified. If you need to go cheap then get two or thre of these lamps so you have spares. But use them externally ;) Meaning: Take a UV proof plastic container of small size and place the light in there. To be really safe tape the lid and all holes for the hoses with black tape. Place the container above the water level of your tank and if you only have an internal filter pump push a suitable sized hose into the outlet to feed into you canister. Check how high you pump can make it and place the outlet or overflow slightly below this level. When to change the light? If you made it all the way down here then you might already had the benefit of using light to "cure" your tank. Now we are faced with the high replacement cost for the lamp itself. Ususally only flouroscent tubes are used. It is always good to check after purchase what type of lamp and manufacturer (if there is one) was used. In some cases the system itself is like an inkjet printer: Just a cheap way to make you buy the consumables. Let's say you new in-line filter was priced at $100 to have a nice round number, some are cheaper some much more expensive. The lamp used might be an exotic type and not even be available easy, so before you buy your system check where you can get spares, not just the lamp of course. A replacement lamp can be as ceap as 20 bucks or cost even more than your system if you need to order it elsewhere. The quartz glass sleeve can break too meaning you then need a lamp and cylinder. Going with a reputable brand and paying a bit more certainly helps to get spares in the future. Let's just assume you either got your system in bulk due to the price of replacement lamps or can get them at a reasonable price. UV-C lamps are not like your normal flouroscent light tubes you have around or maybe even on top of your tank. Consider them like the tubes used in the now unhealthy tanning beds. After a certain amount of time they no longer produce enough of the short wave UV light that we need. As you can't see it and most of us won't have the means to specifically measure it we have to trust manufacturers recommendations. For most good brands the numbers are the same: 8000 hours max. Considering the costs it does make sense to keep written track of the usage. Not too hard since we won't use them like normal lights but instead have them on for a week or more without turning them off. I recommend to have a replacement at hand long before you need it. A lamp can fail premature, crack or simply burn out. The 8000 hours are based on 24 hour usage, so one day on, one day off. This could mean for us the lifetime can be slightly longer but I would not go over 9000 hours. As a rule of thumb: If the water does not show good signs of getting clear on day thre the lamp is due.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Fighting with Nylon ;)

As some might know I still use an old Gen1 Prusa but love the challenge of basically getting everything done with that oldie. One of my latest challenges of "always" printing on a cold bed includes Nylon. If you ever had troubles because you ABS or PLA filament got too moist you will already know what happens to your print... Nylon is even worse when it comes to moisture as you can't see or really feel it. I was thinking of making a complete Nylon guide as an Instructable but think I will start here to kick off some discussion first. So, we know the Nylon must be really dry for a god print as otherwise we get bubbles, bad adhesion and of course a foamy looking print. Well, not really... Let me explain: A perfectly smooth and shiny finnish is not always required, and with the right settings Nylon still forms strong bonds even with a foamy look. However, the dimensions of parts are affected as well - outside dimensions go bigger and hole diameters smaller. If that is no issue for your print then there is no real need to perfectly dry your filament ;) Speaking of drying: People use all sorts of methods to dry their filament, not just Nylon. One of the most common and most expensive seems to be the use of your oven for several hours to dry it. Another way involves food dyhydrators, bit less on the energy bill but still... Then we have the smart guys using the sun and silaca gel for the drying - good and great but so useless in cold and wet climates... My advise here: Take your time! I mean, sure you want to print right after the filament arrived in your letter box but a bit of preperation will save you filament and frustration. Usually filament comes in a sealed bag with a pack of silica gel and it should be dry and ready to use. But Nylon can become too moist within the time it takes to finnish a long print if you are in a wet climate. This means you start printing and all is good but the next day your new print looks ugly as for no real reason. Make use of these sealed storage containers. Put the filament in there with a good amount of indicating silica gel and only have a hole to feed the filament through - if in doubt use a bowden fitting and a short lenght of teflon tube to prevent friction. A piece of sticky tape over the hole when you don't use the filament and the filament is always ready to use. Reminds me to make an Ible for a suitable storage solution with spool holder... Anyway... When it finally comes to print Nylon you should know cardboard works best as a bed as Nylon sticks really well to it. I glue mine onto a layer of masking tape, this way it won't lift from the bed and I can still replace it very easy. But the most common mistake with Nylon is to print it too fast. The stuff really expands and shrinks a lot from filament to print and high speeds only too often cause the layers to seperate later on. Some people compensate with higher temperatures but I don't like the idea of fitting a filter system with activated carbon filters... Also keep in mind the intense shrinkage when setting the extrusion multiplier! If your ABS prints fine with 0.85 you can expect that the same sized Nylon prints fine somewhere in the range of 55-60! Now you also know why printing with thick layers is not such a great idea if you require all dimensions to fit. Although only outside accuracy can be done by cheating in the settings, getting outside, inside and extrusion widths settings accurate is almost rocket sience ;) Nylon is expensive or not available here in the diameter I require.... I had the same trouble and reverted to trimmer line and a modified, dedicated hotend instead. Why dedicated you wonder? Nylon can be real pain to clean as nothing dissolves and if you heat the parts hot enough to melt it you can not work easy with them. Having a decicated hotend means you won't run into the problem of burnt ABS or PLA clogging the nozzle ;) It also means you can match the hotend to the trimmer line you choice (more on that in a minute). For example, in some areas trimmer line of 2mm or 3.3mm diameter is the most popular and cheapest. Just drill out the hotend to cater for the new diameter, which I did after noticing the filament got stuck in the neck of the cold end ;) Trimmer line - does it matter which one? It does these days! Avoid everything that is not round or labeled with terms like "duracore", "dual core", "multi layer"  -basically all that indicates it is not just a single, solid stand of Nylon. Long lasting, special core line is great for your lawn trimmer but really bad for your hotend! PET, High temp nylon or even fibre re-inforced cores are in use, so in the best case you mix the nylon with overheating PET, in the worst you block your nozzle permanently. If it looks like it has a core or some sort of "mantle" around it, it means not usable.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Yuri's Night Bay Area: updated science/tech/art lineup announced

Prepare for Liftoff! www.worldspaceparty.org Get ready for something entirely different. On April 13th the Bay Area joins the world in celebration of space exploration in a unique convergence of artists, scientists, astronauts, performers and musicians. Yuri's Night is a commemoration of humankind’s first venture into space, by Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. This gathering bridges national, cultural, generational and social barriers to ignite excitement about what is new on the horizon in space exploration and to remind us of the magnificent feats humanity is capable of. Yuri's Night Bay Area will be held at Moffett Field in the NASA Ames Research Center's massive SOFIA hangar, home to the world's largest aerial observatory. Our host for the evening is pioneering space traveler Anousheh Anasari, the first privately funded female to reach orbit. She is joined by Dr. Chris McKay, world renowned expert in astrobiology and terraformation with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames Research Center, as they welcome you to a dazzling array of interactive art installations and science demos, interwoven with musical and acrobatic performances by some of the world's finest entertainers. Cutting-edge interactive technology and live demos will include: Neuro feedback games and visualizations including Telekinetic Asteroids and Mind RipplesExplorations of the world through NASA World Wind and Gigapan, the high-resolution panorama projectPortals into Second Life and Burning Man Earth, Google's Black Rock City browserA roofless stargazing lounge, with an exceptional telescope provided by NASASquidlabs' Instructables and ground-breaking kite technologyScience demonstrations and innovations from the worlds of robotics, engineering, biology and astronomy, will also be on display: A talk and interactive demos from a senior SETI scientist on efforts to detect earthquakes from spaceExplorations of Techgnosis by Erik DavisInteractive next-generation science data visualization software from NASA Ames' Astrophysics DivisionRobots from Justin Gray, Carnegie Mellon University, and NASA, including the next generation of roversExclusive heavenly imagery from SloohDisplays of microbial fossils, live microbial mats, and magnetic and fluorescent bacteriaASME's human-powered vehiclesEngage with space-inspired and technology-infused art installations, including: StarZipper, the 200 foot high installation powered by LEDs and Helium created by internationally renowned artist Michael Light and collaborator Dave RattrayPeter Foucault's self-propelled motion sensor Drawing RobotsSpot Draves' collaborative evolutionary high-definition visual algorithm generator, Electric SheepDynamically inflating sculptures by AKAirwaysHypKnowTron and ChakraTron, the interactive light sculptures by GaspoExperience rare video works documenting art in space: Matières Chorégraphiques by Kitsou Dubois, celebrated French dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Ki ProductionsProjects from the Zero Gravity Arts Consortium, Lowry Burgess's monumental project The Seed of the Infinite Absolute, Lorelei Lisowsky, and Frank Pietronigro's 'Drift Painting' in microgravityMeet Japan's space artist Ayako Ono and watch Jean Luc Soret's Space Art videos, direct from Paris's International @rt Outsiders Festival.The Documentary Dome, featuring our planet's greatest space documentariesWitness awe-inspiring space-themed performances by an armada of acrobats and dancers, featuring: KC Bella Fuega and Spiral Hoop Dance (orbital hooping and bellydance)Flowtoys (celestial light performance and UFO flowplanes)VigilAntiUP (intergalactic stilting)A Parade from the Future (with cutting edge Bay Area circuit benders and other worldly creatures).Live dance and acrobatics fused with audiovisual performances, will be coordinated with a world-class lineup of live electronic music: PLAID - Warp Records, UK TELEFON TEL AVIV - Hefty Records, Chicago (special early evening set) BLUETECH - Aleph Zero, Native State, Portland OOAH + BORETA - Glitch Mob, LA/SF SUTEKH - Context, Soul Jazz, Leaf MR. PROJECTILE & JONAH SHARP (aka SPACETIME CONTINUUM) - Merck, Reflective, Astralwerks RD - Designed Disorder, Glitch Mob, LA WELDER - Cyberset MOZAIC - Nexus DR. TOAST - False Profit Music environs will be complimented by a team of visual artists -- including KOSHO, CELESTINESTAR, RECURSIVEVIDEOLAB and VIBERATION -- spinning light into space throughout the night. Meanwhile, outside on the tarmac, the SPACE COWBOYS will have their own dynamic lineup of djs aboard their interstellar party transporter, the UNIMOG. Also on the tarmac will be Playaflies and Rabbit in the Moon's outside VJ set PLUS large scale sculpture and multimedia installations from the bay area's finest and beyond. This year’s theme is the greenification of space. The event is bio-diesel powered, a variety of organic food and drink will be available, waste products will be composted and recycled, and one tree will be planted for every ticket sold in an effort to offset the event's carbon emissions. Come join us in celebrating the accomplishments of mankind on a collective cosmic journey to the depths of space and beyond. Brought to you by Nexus, Symbiosis and so many others. *********************** Friday, April 13th, 2007 Event opens at 6:30pm NASA Ames Research Center* Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA, 94035 Tickets are on sale now. Limited $30 presale tickets still available, but not for long! Purchase advance tickets at: http://www.worldspaceparty.com/tickets.phpLimited VIP tickets available. Privileges include: VIP room overlooking the main floor, open bar and food throughout the evening, a chance to meet silicon valley innovators and dynamic thinkers, exclusive Bay Area Yuri's Night memorabilia and much more to be announced. PLUS! Space Cadets are invited to go weightless and experience zero-gravity on Sunday, April 22, 2007! This unique VIP experience will provide you with a ZeroG flight flown from San Jose International Airport PLUS exclusive access to all Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 events. 3-2-1 Liftoff! VIP Flight Tickets $5,000.00 each. Email zerogartists@mac.com to reserve your seat today. Don't let this zero gravity opportunity to fly float by! As always, please check www.worldspaceparty.com for the latest… Yuri's Night Bay Area Crew, Over and Out. End Transmission.++++++ Any special requirements for individuals with disabilities should be related to the event staff or security, and reasonable arrangements will promptly be made. An ADA/Handicap parking lot will be available and marked with signs. References to NASA Ames shall not be construed as official NASA approval or endorsement of any non-Governmental or commercial entity or activity.

Topic by lannanh  


Tap water often quite dark and with a strong chemical smell - what to do?

I don't ask for much help but this time I am reaching the end of my knowledge and patience with landlord and water authorities.That's the story so far:When I moved in I did the usual checks and tests but of course did not pay too much attention to what comes out of my taps.After a few weeks I noticed that the drain in bathroom sink seems to rust on the enamel....Easy wipe with some cleaner fixed it but since the actual drain is made of brass I started to wonder what caused the discoloration in the first place.A bit later I had my niece here and while she had a shower I realised that I only get very little hot water from any other tap in the house.Landlord stated that no one would need hot water from two outlets at one and refused to have it checked out - WTF??Paid for plumber myself and the result was not good.The hot water system is connected "open" was his answer after half an hour of messing around.For the lame man it means that whenever there is a pressure difference between hot and cold water it will go through the hot water system.Did not fully get this so he showed me in the laundry.Open the hot water a bit and it runs out fine, open the seperate cold water tap and the hot water stops.This even worked when turning on the cold water in the kitchen.The water is able to go back into the hot water system through the outlet much easier than through the inlet side.And to top it off, the current install basically turns the hot water system into a giant bypass valve :(Paid a few bucks extra so I would get that same explanation in writing for my landlord a few days later.The next and growing problem is the chemical smell.If highly chlorinated then my aquarium test kit would show this and recommend to use a water conditioner when using tap water to top the tank up.And it does not really smell like any chlorinated water I know.Definately a chemical cleaning or sanitation smell though.The plumber could not do more than basic tests so I contacted my water supplier.To my surprise they were happy to send someone out for free.Of course they only cared about their product and all tests were limited to the tap right next to the water meter.Pressure ok.Water clearity ok.Chlorine levels next to zero."Harmful substances test" came back negative as well.It was recommended that I have the plumbing under the house inspected for the water color changes and smells/bad taste.And I had to admit that what came out of the front tap really looked and smelled fine.Work slowed me down for a while and the problem only came back to my mind when I came back from a weekend trip.Needed something to drink quickly so I filled a glass from the tap.It came out like from a rusty bucket.Definately of brownish color and the chemical smell worse then ever.Had to let the water run for about 15 minutes to get something out I dared to drink.Installed a water filter a few days later and though all is good now.Pre-filter, 0.5 micron filter and then a cartridge with activate carbon.Am a single and the unit was meant to be for a busy family.Should have been good for well over 5000 liters of water.I don't really use much in the kitchen for drinking and cooking purposes so I guesstimated I need new filters every 12 to 18 months at worst.They lasted less than 4 weeks before the water came out in drops instead or running....Cutting the fliters open revealed that both pre- and fine filter were fully blocked and brown.Provided all documents and evidence to my landlord but again was told there is no issue and the house is just old :(As a last resort I tried to get under house yesterday to check the pipes itself.Couldn't get all the way in due to all the pipes from the ducted heating system.But I found a bad mess of literally all bad plumbing skills.From the water meter a just finger thick copper pipe goes under the house.This goes into some 1/2" galvanised steel pipe and it look the main way of sealing the connection was some glue or resin around the screw fitting.The same old gal but thinner pipes go close to where the connections for water go.There the "plumber" again used screw on press fittings and glue to connect to thin copper pipes.Hot water is designed the same way, one big gal pipe straight through and then thin copper pipes connected to it.I am not a plumbing expert but I do know that copper and steel won't mix if water is involved.Assuming the hot water system is affected in the same way then this giant battery is eating away the thick gal pipes while supplying me with all the byproducts of this galvanic reaction.The landlord won't budge unless I take legal action and around here you would want to do this as a tennant.Right now I have a long garden hose from the front tap going through my kitchen window :(At least I get usable drinking and cooking water this way, my fish no loger suffer losses after the topping up the water from this hose either...But this can't go on like this.Once the gal pipes start to leak the landlord is required to act but not before that.And chances are these thick pipes will last a few more years before failing :(If i wouldn't know better then I would say at some stage the ducted heating was replaced and to have more room all but the main gal pipes were removed.All copper pipes are the flexible ones and are bend to follow the floor and wooden beams.What are my real life options to fix this water problem?A set of filters ever 4 or 6 weeks sets me back close to 120 bucks each time, hence the garden hose :(What sort of tests can I make to determine what is actually created in my water that causes the smell, taste and discoloration?By the way: a simple rust test available to check for corroded steel pipes only shows traces of rust even if the water is of a slight brownish color.Replacing the piping myself is not just far over my budget but also not allowed for a tenant.And somehow I still wonder if there is more hiding in the walls but could not get close enough to see if the opper pipes actually connect to the taps or just another piece of old steel pipe.Apart from the obvious, what are the dangers of having steel and copper pipes mixed like this for my health?

Question by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Hydrogen Peroxide at home and in the Garden

Although the topic is quite old for some of us and mostly because I am too lazy today to make an Instructable: Hydrogen Peroxide ! Back in the day Hydrogen Peroxide was mainly known for the ability to bleech your hair, later it replaced chlorine based products for the preparation of paper and organic fibres. For me it is a good opportunity to go back in time and to pull out some of the remedies my grandparents already used. Who knows, there might be something that helps you or you might know other good uses that I failed to mention here, so feel free to comment. First off: What actually is hydrogen peroxide? We could check Wikipedia but I think it is enough to say that it basically water with an added oxgen mulecule which turn the stuff into a quite powerfull oxidizer. When hydrogen peroxide reacts the added oxygen is released and the normal water remains. Precausions and health risks. In the normal supermarket form hydrogen peroxide comes at a strenght of just 3%. This is just enough for wound treatment or cleaning off a fresh and small stain. The stuff you can buy at your hair dresser comes in concentrations of 5-15%, above that it is of little use to them. Pool grade peroxide however can come as high as 50%. It often requires a permit of at least leaving a copy of your drivers license to buy such high concentration but well worth it price wise. The downside of anything above 5% is a risk for your skin, eyes and airways. So when handling hydrogen peroxide you should waer long sleeve rubber gloves, safety or better swimming goggles and make sure that you don't create vapour by spraying it against the wind direction. Having water at hand to dilute and spillage on your skin is always good. What happens to me if things go wrong? Well, if handled correctly nothing should go wrong but of cause the worst would be eye contact. Getting concentrated hydrogen peroxide in your eyes means extreme pain and even with rinsing it out asap eye damage is more than just possible. Again: wear proper eye protection and if spraying use a filter mask, the paper type is enough!!! Nothing immediate happens on sking contact but a few minutes after contact the skin will turn slightly brown or goes white. This is caused by the oxygen release into your skin cells, if washed off quickly after noticing the discoloration will fade after a few hours. Prolonged exposure of the skin can cause skin cells to fully discolor and living cells might get damaged - a burning sensation is usually the sign that you need to wash the area now ;) Enough bad stuff said, let's see what we can do in the garden.... Fungal infection of your old roses or on your fruit trees? Sometimes the weather does not like our plants and by the time we discover a fungal infestation it is usually pruning time. There are commercial producta available that work quite well but especially the copper based ones tend to do more harm than good in th long run. An alternative is a solution of 10-20% hydrogen peroxide. Spray generously over all affected parts of the plant, leaves, twigs, stem and all. Make sure everything is properly wet! In some cases the fungus can act as a water replellent and it seems impossible to get any of the solution to wet these areas - a drop of dish washing liquid into the bottle will fix this! Watever runs off can be left as it only helps to get oxygen into the soil but of course you should not soak the area... Leave it on for about an hour, around 20 minutes if it quite warm. Rinse all off with clear water and repeat every 2 days for 5 treatments all up. After this time wait 2 or 3 weeks and check if the fungus still gows in some hard to reach areas. If so then repeat the treatment there until satisfied but wait another 2 weeks every 5 single treatments. In some areas of the world certain types of fungus on roses are refered to as "rust". ----- Moved into a new home and the garden beds smell really bad? The last house I moved into had a previous occupant with a big dog but no time to clean after his pet. The garden beds looked dead and I mean so dead that I could not even find weeds in them. And the smell was a distinct mix of old dog poo with lots of fresh cat poo mixed in it - the perfect outdoor pet toilet :( Trying to dig it all under made me recover that the top soil was more §$&*# than soil. I had to get rid of the bacteria of all the poo and somehow neutralize a lot of the unwanted "nutrients". The solution was to first loosen all the soil as deep as I could go. Then I added rice straw (but anything straw like or dry grass will do) to mix it through. At this stage I wished I had a gas mask LOL All up the contaminated garden beds covered about 20square meters. I got a 10 liter canister of pool grade hydrogen peroxide, from this I diluted down with 20 liters of water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to help with the soil wetting. All was applied as evenly as I good with a watering can and then the area was covered with some tarp to try keeping as much oxygen on and in the soil as possible. A day later the tarp was removed and all beds watered with hose to drowning point. This watering was repeated every 3 days for 3 weeks to drive out all the excess and unwanted nutrients from the poo. The smell was already gone except for some cat urine residue which disappeared after some rounds of watering. Three months after the initial treatment I did some soil tests, added nutrients were required and the next season I had vegetables growing :) ----- Planting? Whether from seeds or seedlings, give hydrogen peroxide a try! I use a 5% solution to soak the potting mix I use before putting my seeds in it. Not only does it kill a few of the unwanted things that might still be in there but it adds a lot of oxygen into the soil, which gives the seeds a much better start. For seeds I use a 5% solution as well but only leave them in for about an hour before placing them between some wet paper towels until they start germinating. This way I can be sure all harmful bacteria and fungal spores are dead and I can use a sterile seed to keep going. Might just be my opinion but I think the germination rate is better and seedling in comparison start growing faster and stronger. Home uses.... As we learned before hydrogen peroxide, at least in higher concentrations is a powerful way to remove fungus. In our bathrooms we often have the problem that the ceiling starts to develop black spots as in the colder times water condenses here and takes a long time to dry off. If you now go to your favorite hardware store they will recommend the use of a chlorine based product, basically bleach... And although it does the job it also means your house will stink for days and if you scrub the ceiling you will get it on your sking and stink too. Hydrogen peroxide at 20% or higher concentrations can be sprayed onto the cleiling :) Of course you will need good protection for this and all things color should be removed, like towels or floor mats. By protection I mean a minimum of swimming goggles, a tyvek suit or similar to cover all exposed skin areas and at least a paper dust mask, better a filtered respirator like you use for spray painting or using insecticides. If you have a spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle then a stream is far better than a spray mist!! Not only is your exposure far lower but it much easier to wet the ceiling quickly. Wet all affected areas, then leave and the room, close the door and take off all clothes you used t protect you. The clothes can be left out to dry but double check that you had no soaked spot where your sking might have been in contact - if so rinse the skin with plenty of water! It will take some time to work and then dry, so best to do this in the summer time or if during the colder times you need to make sure the room is porperly heated and aired out to dry! Repeat until all black spots are gone, really bad areas will leave a permanent discoloration looking like a slight brwonish color is the ligh it right otherwise you won't see it. Once fully dry it is best to scrape off all lose paint and then to use a acrylic based sealer before giving the ceiling a fresh coat of white. The sealer will prevent the water to penetrate more than the paint level and if you get the fungus back on the paint it is far easier to clean ;) ----- Carpet cleaning.... When moving into a new rental with carpet on the floor you often are left with areas indicating the carpet might be "clean" but the underlay certainly is not. You can fix the underlay but you certainly can make sure all harmful stuff is gone from the carpet. Carpet cleaning machines can be hired but often much cheaper if you buy the "recommended" cleaning product with it. Rent is usually based on a daily base and price depends on how much cleaner you need. If you only want to desinfect the carpet which otherwise looks mostly fine than go for the smallest pack available and use it to spot clean areas you want cleaner first. For the desinfecting part I recommend to test how high you can go with the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide before using it on a big scale - keep in mind the carpet will never be fully dry and the remaining peroxide will continue to act! Test a 10% solution first before you go higher as you don't want to buy 30 liters or more of pool grade peroxide - just trust me on that one and only try to buy this much you do want to get into trouble a few days later! If 10 percent solution left on the carpet does not cause any bleaching of the fabric (unwanted bleaching that is) you can try higher for spot cleaning in demanding areas. A good spot to try the solution is under the cover or duct outlets, under these joining bars where carpet changes to tiles (if you can lift them off) or in wardrobes if the carpet goes inside. There are two way to treat your carpet once the general cleaning is done. a) use a garden sprayer or similar to wet the carpet This is good for single room treatment like for the baby room but especially on thicker carpets it requires a lot of solution and can become costly. Once wet leave for at least 30 minutes so the peroxide can do its thing, then use the machine with either the solution filled or just to dry off the carpet. I recommend to use the peroxide solution in the machine as it allows for better penetration and it will remove more soiled solution this way. If your catching container starts bubbling like mad it means you have a lot of §$%&#+ in the carpet and it might be best to first clean it all with the normal carpet cleaning agent before using the peroxide again - again tesing on smaller areas can help wasting the peroxide. If you need to store prepared solutions than it is best in a cold place. It will take several hours on an otherwise clean carpet for the peroxide to fully disappear so it best to use shoes and prevent skin contact during that time - especially if a baby crawls around ;) ----- Toilet.... We don't want to talk about it but everyone needs to clean their toilet sooner or later. For most things in there using the toilet brush when it happens will keep things clean and healthy. But what if someone in the house is sick or with a weak immune system? You could use all sorts of commercial cleaners and desinfectants but a wipe with wet towel or cloth soaked in a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide will quickly eliminate all harmfull things on your seat, lid or bowl, including the buttons to press and the door handles ;) Just wipe and leave it wet for a minute or two then wipe again and ry - done! Personal use I always pack a small bottle of supermarket grade peroxide when going off road or camping trips. Although we now have modern desinfectants that won't stink or otherwise harm you I still prefer the old stuff ;) If you are far from civilisation than the last thing you want to need is medical attention for something that started as small as a scratch or graze.... Out in the unkown wilderness you will never know if the rockk you just crash landed on was used as a urinal by a fox the night before... A bit of gravel left in your skin might contain harmful bacteria... A cut with your own knife?? - What did you all cut since the last proper cleaning of the blade? You see where I am going here, a small thing might turn into something really nasty a day or two later. If you clean a freash and minor wound properly and then rinsie it with hydrogen perodixe most if not all harmful leftovers will be killed by the releasing oxygen. Of course this pretty much useless on bleeding wounds or where it is obvious that you won't be able to remove all debris from the wound - here it means you trip is still over in favour for proper medical treatment. The thing is that hydrogen peroxide was basically abandoned for all wound treatment once the modern "cleaning aids" became available as the peroxide will not only attack harmful things but also living tissue. The claims goes as far as causing bad scar tissue, damage to blood vessels and even "burning" of the tissue. One big problem I have with all these claims is that they were never really mentioned until the new meds came out. IMHO exposure time and how you use it it the key - common sense if you ask me. Noone should ever soak a wound in peroxide, if it is that big that you need to soak it you need medical attention anyway. And as said you should rinse the wound, that means all remaining liquid should be allowed to flow off - this will only leave a minor amount of peroxide in the wound and the exposure time will end with once all oxygen is released. For minor wounds I only use a paper tissue or cotton bud soaked in peroxide and wipe the wound.... ----- Smelly feet? Ok, maybe not the best way to start a conversation but we all know what sneakers do to our feet in the summer... Insoles with copper and activated carbon will help a lot and at least "cure" your sneakers while they are off your feet and have time to dry. But the smell is actually cause by bacteria growing from everywherey in your sneaker to your sking, actuall starting at your sking... If you wear your sneakers for long periods of time time or even whenever possible and also suffer from a bad smell hydrogen peroxide might be able to help you. Most sneakers will tolerate a machine wash and should come out germ free, if that is no option pack them in a sealed back and leaven them in the freezer over night - this will kill all bacteria and remove the smell. Now to break the endless cycle you need to remove the bacteria from inside your skin. So daily sock changes, freezing shoes and washing feet is a must! Your feet will really benefit from a foot bath in a 5% solution of hydrogen peroxide. To keep costs at a minimum use a container that is just the right size for your feet and prepare the solution from pool grade peroxide. I an ideal case you should not need more than 2 liters but all used product can be stored cool and re-used the next day, after that you need to make a new batch. Keep your feet submerged for at least 10 minutes. This will allow a deep penetration of the skin but might result in some white spots that will disappear after a few hours. Consenquent foot baths can be reduced to 5 minutes. After about a week you should notice that wearing your sneakes no longer causes and bad smell and you can stop the treatment. Freezing the sneakers over night, dialy (or more) sock changes and daily, proper cleaning of your feet should prevent any further bad smells :) ----- Bleaching your hair Althoug it was done for many years I really can't recommend using hydron peroxide for this purpose! Any concentration strong enough to have a proper effect in a reasonable time will at least cuase skin irritation. Back in the days they said your burning scalp is what you need to endure to get blonde hair :( And as said already you really don't want to get that stuff into your eyes... General uses If you have a fruit based stain then cahnces are hydrogen peroxide will remove it, especially if fresh. Even at supermarket concentration repeated application and proper drying off with a paper towel or similar will remove even red wine or beetroot stains. ------ Blood... On you skin blood is easy removed with cold water, same on other surfaces but washing off is no option a wet cloth or cotton piece will work fine. Hydrogen peroxide is good if things need to go fst or if the surface is porous, here the releasing oxigen will drive out the blood with the bubbles. ----- Fish tanks... If you love your tank then you really hate to medicate or even worse have a bad algea infestion, especially the stuff of the black kind. A change to activated carbon filter material is always recommended after a medical treatment to remove all leftovers from the system. However, certain medication simply won't be affected by a carbon filter and stay in the system until fully used or broken down otherwise. Especially in bigger tanks a partial water change is often out of the question as it would cause too much additional stress to the fish and plants. Hydrogen peroxide can help to break down most if not all remains of the used medication while at the same time adding more oxygen to the water. To be sensitive and safe in all enviroments I recomment to calculate the concentration based on the volume of your tank and to add the required amount of peroxide very slowly into the outgoing water stream from your pump. By slowly I mean in terms of a slow drip if using solutions over 10% to be added to the tank. If in doubt remove a suitable amount of tank water into a bucket and add the concentrated peroxide to reach the final tank limit. I strongly recommend to stay below 2% in favour over additional treatments a few days later if required. That means the diluted solution you add should be entered into the tank slowly if in doubt add a glass full every few minutes. For the treatment of the dreaded black algea you do the same 2% solution but be prepared that it will take several treatment until you see them die off. If you can then it is best relocate the fish for a few days so you can use a stronger solution of 5-8% just with the plants left in the tank. When transporting fish in a bag it can pay off to add a little bit of 3% peroxide to the bag to give additional oxygen for transport. I do this maually for every fish I buy from a store so I can be sure all fungus and bacteris is killed of before I introduce it to my tank. Really helps to prevent loosing a lot of fish just because you added one or two more to your tank ;) For the normal sized transport bags I use a good shot glass full of 3% peroxide in case you wondered. ----- Fridge and freezer Be it after long use or because you bought one second hand - once empty and warm some of our colling gadget just smell bad. A good clean with a hot water and your favourite cleaning agent is a good start, no need for aggressive stuff ;) If clean but still smelly, like after a power failure with fish in it you might want to go one step further. Best option is to use a spray bottle and a peroxide solution of at least 15% here. Use proper protection as mentioned above and spray all surface with the solution until soaked. What you can take out you take you take out, clean properly and then wipe or brush with the same peroxide solution. Bare aluminium should be handled with caution as in some cases it can oxidise badly, leaving a white and not removable crust behind. Here it is best to wipe and then wipe again with a cloth soaked in clear water to limit exposure time. No need to dry out - wipe out and check if it still smells, if so repeat and wiped off all areas as good as you can with a solution soaked cloth. Once the smell is gone dry out and enjoy smell free use from now on :) ----- Fruit and vegetables Unless you know exactly what happened to it you might want to clean your vegies and fruits properly before using them. Pesticides, herbicites, fungicites.... Not mention normal fungus and bacteria on the product.... On a commercial base hydron peroxide baths are often used to clean products for sensible people, hospital use or long term storage. For a personal use this only makes sense if you have free and unlimited access to the peroxide. An alternative are ozone bubblers. Expensive models can eb bought in shops or online, complete with timers or even a gauge showing the concentration in a room. On a hobby level for the kitchen sink we can use an ozone generator, air pump and bubble stone from the aquarium store ;) Let the pump bubble out the ozone for a minute or two, fill the sink with the fruit and veggies and move them around every few minutes. Best of course with an open window to limit you exposure to the ozone! Rule of thumb: If you can smell it is already too much in the air! The ozone in the water does the same as the peroxide: It breaks down harmful things with pure oxygen. The downside is that it is very harmful for your airways and body in general, so against all what youtube can offer I actually prefer to treat my fruit and veggie in a sealed bag. Place them inside, push out as much air as you can and then fill up with the ozone from the generator. Once the bag is full leave for about 30 minutes then wash and use or place the things in the fridge.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Top 50 2008: Instructables

Yesterday we looked at the Top 50 commenters for 2008 and today we'll be looking at the numbers for the top 50 Instructables of 2008. Since there's no one way of declaring a list of Instructables, we created three top 50 lists. These cover Instructables in order of rating, pageviews, and comments. Instructables on these lists were all published in 2008.Let's go to the graphs and charts!Top 50 Instructables: Pageviews   Instructable Views 1   Body-Mod: Elf Ears 347738 2   Use your laptop as an Xbox/Xbox 360 "Wireless Adapter" on Windows XP/Vista, and Mac OSX 220780 3   Fix the Red Ring of Death! (without towels!) 177285 4   Laser cutter, start slicing stuff for under 50 dollars 159647 5   Run Backups on any Wii Without a Modchip 159408 6   How to build a 72Volt electric motorcycle 159261 7   How to make out 145713 8   Inverted Bookshelf 137198 9   Munny Speakers 124736 10   Awesome led cube 118293 11   Firefox Pranks! 117449 12   How to make an Iron Man Arc Reactor 116481 13   How to French Kiss 115958 14   How To: Make Bath Bombs 108287 15   Gift Ideas 107914 16   DIY USB "Hard Drive" 96588 17   Safely Shaving Your Pubic Hair 96144 18   WinXP Overhaul Guide: How to make it look like Vista, run like lightning, and stay productive, fast & smooth 94980 19   Laser Tattoo 94705 20   DIY Vinyl Wall Art 92752 21   How to refill a "disposable" Brita brand water pitcher filter with activated carbon. 89724 22   Make your own Roll-Up Keyboard 89558 23   Hidden USB Storage 86430 24   how to add EL wire to a coat or other garment 84340 25   Build a 60 Watt Solar Panel 82286 26   Grow a square watermelon 82275 27   LeGummies brick shaped gummy candies 81368 28   USB 80875 29   How to remove most of the seeds when cutting up a watermelon 80822 30   How to Make a TRON Style Lamp: The MADYLIGHT 80281 31   LED Cube 4x4x4 78936 32   Covert Spy Sunglasses 78633 33   Build a water mortar 77090 34   Super Nightvision Headset Hack! 76634 35   A better laptop stand for bed 76101 36   Amazing plasma globe tricks that you never knew before!!! 74842 37   How to get a Free Itunes Account (No Credit Card Needed) 74490 38   Make an iPod Video Projector 74026 39   Homemade Gifts 73478 40   Lasers 73242 41   Remote shutter trigger for Digital Cameras 72911 42   Ergonomic Laptop Stand Made From a Coat Hanger 72321 43   MAKE A HIGH VOLTAGE SUPPLY IN 5 MINUTES 71744 44   Protect Your Home with Laserbeams! 71387 45   Iron Man Helmet 71358 46   Get Big Money for Dead Batteries 70261 47   How to Put on a Condom 69805 48   How to make an Iron Man Mask 69617 49   How to build a 96-Volt Electric Motorcycle 68924 50   Nintendo Lunchbox 68164 Top 50 Instructables: Ratings   Instructable Rating 1   Build A Plasma Speaker 4.64 2   Build A Net Gun 4.62 3   Wall-E Robot 4.60 4   Sew your own Instructables Robot Plushie! 4.60 5   How to Make a Portable Game System 4.54 6   Build Your Own Butler Robot!!! - Tutorial,Photos, and Video 4.54 7   Electromagnetic Floater 4.52 8   LED Cube 4x4x4 4.50 9   LeGummies brick shaped gummy candies 4.49 10   DIY Vinyl Wall Art 4.49 11   5-minute Chocolate Cake 4.48 12   When a Phillips is not a Phillips! 4.48 13   Airgun with eXplosive air-Release Valve 4.47 14   How to Build a Robot - The BeetleBot v2 ( Revisited ) 4.45 15   How to Start a Business 4.45 16   Gandhi: 17' Tall Cardboard Avatar 4.44 17   turn signal biking jacket 4.44 18   Hidden USB Storage 4.44 19   Cyber/Steampunk Futuresque Sci-Fi Hand Gun 4.43 20   LED Chess Set 4.41 21   Build your own Electric Car! 4.41 22   LCS-1M - A Full-Featured, Low-Cost Hobby Oscilloscope 4.40 23   Build a World's Smallest Electronic Shocker! 4.39 24   Lego USB Stick 4.38 25   MAKE A PILLAR WITH A DECORATIVE CAPITOL AND BASE 4.38 26   EGG FLOWER VASE 4.38 27   Aliens Powerloader Halloween Costume 4.38 28   Munny Speakers 4.37 29   Giant 100mm LED 4.37 30   Coilgun Handgun 4.37 31   How to Thank Instructables 4.36 32   Guitar Tube Amp 4.36 33   How to get a Tshirt for GoodHart 4.34 34   Creepy Cobweb Shooter! 4.34 35   Grow Your Own Bioluminescent Algae 4.32 36   How to make a Portal Gun 4.31 37   how to add EL wire to a coat or other garment 4.30 38   Duct Tape Messenger Bag + Hardware 4.30 39   Firearm Safety: The "do's" and "don'ts" of enjoying guns safely. 4.29 40   The Stirling Engine, absorb energy from candles, coffee, and more! 4.29 41   Recycle Old Light Bulb 4.28 42   USB Batman Spotlight 4.28 43   Coffee table upgrade! 4.27 44   Steampunk Dystopian Sniper Rifle (Mercury Bow) 4.27 45   Building Small Robots: Making One Cubic Inch Micro-Sumo Robots and Smaller 4.27 46   How to grow flowers on a military base in Iraq 4.26 47   How to make your own LED lightbulbs 4.26 48   Iron Man Helmet 4.25 49   Cardboard/Fiberglass Halo 3 inspired Master Chief Costume 4.25 50   Build Halo Armor 4.25 Top 50 Instructables: Comments   Instructable Comments 1   Build a World's Smallest Electronic Shocker! 812 2   Knex Heavy Cannon 645 3   Awesome led cube 637 4   Simple Xbox 360 Rapid Fire Mod 591 5   Build A Plasma Speaker 494 6   DD-27 V2.75 compact AST rifle 454 7   WinXP Overhaul Guide: How to make it look like Vista, run like lightning, and stay productive, fast & smooth 453 8   The accidental pocket jet engine... 427 9   Scavenge free electronics, food, and help the environment 400 10   How to make your PSP "Better" or how to have more fun on a Sony PSP 379 11   Laser Tattoo 376 12   Amazing plasma globe tricks that you never knew before!!! 376 13   DSman195276's sidearm --updated-- v1.5 is here! 371 14   MAKE A HIGH VOLTAGE SUPPLY IN 5 MINUTES 363 15   Wall-E Robot 352 16   Knex Heavy Cannon v5 - Handheld 342 17   Fix the Red Ring of Death! (without towels!) 341 18   How to Build a Time Machine (Vortex Distortion Space and Time Dilating Device) 340 19   Knex Heavy Cannon v2 - Mini 339 20   How to get a Tshirt for GoodHart 338 21   Run Backups on any Wii Without a Modchip 336 22   Make A Water Leyden Jar 331 23   Park 52 knex sniper 327 24   Build a simple Marx Generator 323 25   Knex Guinea Pig Trap 318 26   TRUELY semi-auto knex gun 315 27   L96 308 28   How to Build a Knife 307 29   Pineapplebob's Sniper Rifle 306 30   True Trigger, 10 Round, Auto-Loading, Knex Concept Rifle 299 31   Fire Shaving 290 32   DJ Radio's knex SPEC-9 sniper rifle 285 33   How to UPGRADE from Vista to Windows XP on an Acer laptop 283 34   How to dodge a draft 279 35   Protect Your Home with Laserbeams! 279 36   Hidden USB Storage 277 37   Knex Compact AST Pistol 276 38   Cyber/Steampunk Futuresque Sci-Fi Hand Gun 276 39   Steampunk Dystopian Sniper Rifle (Mercury Bow) 275 40   Pocket sized survival kit 274 41   Knex Pistol "TDS" With Simple Slide Action *Updated as of 8/26/08* 271 42   Use your laptop as an Xbox/Xbox 360 "Wireless Adapter" on Windows XP/Vista, and Mac OSX 269 43   Body-Mod: Elf Ears 266 44   Knex M4 Carbine (True Trigger) 257 45   How to make a Portal Gun 255 46   DSman195276's sniper rifle 254 47   Reaper Crossbow 254 48   fully automatic knex gun (UPDATED) 252 49   Build your own computer 252 50   LeGummies brick shaped gummy candies 252

Topic by fungus amungus    |  last reply