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Server Airflow Help?

As you can see here, I just got 3 new blow fans for my server I'm making. But I'm not making it in a server box/case, or even in a computer case, I'm making it in a plastic shelving unit. I have 5 fans in total; the three blow fans, and a medium and a small computer fan. I'm completely new to the airflow concept, so I will need some guidance.ideasBelow are some things that I think will improve airflow, but you tell me if it's good or not.1. leaning motherboard -Is making the motherboard "lean" so the bottom is semi exposed a good idea for airflow? Or would the air not circulate as well?2. "chaining" blow fans -Would "chaining" the blow fans together (putting them in sequence) make a twice as powerful stream of air?questions1. Should air be sucked out of the box, or blown in?2. What would the ideal airflow solution be?Thanks!-Shadow Ops

Question by Arbitror    |  last reply


building air cannon: is it better to have the air chamber in a straight line with the barrel?does it affect performance? Answered

I've been reading a lot of information air cannons, some say it's better to have the chamber, directly and back up the barrel for best performance.some say it doesn't matter, it's all in the trigger mechanism. What is the best, piston or sprinkler valve? Thanks I actually do have a lot more questions but I feel the need to be brief.

Question by Leedo    |  last reply


how effective is this airflow design? Answered

I am working on a very small build pc, and i was thinking that the best way to reduce overall height would be to design a cover piece that directs the airflow from the intake fanover the CPU and northbridge heatsinks and out the back of the unit via an exhaust fan. this method was chosen because the fan cannot be on top of the cpu heatsink because the unit would be too bulky if it was. I have attached a crude image of the planned cover and the layout of the board's heatsinks, and i would like to know if this is a effective method for cooling, in such a small form factor. if it isn't, what is?

Question by zack247    |  last reply


confetti blower clogging

Hello everyone. I have a question which I think will be a simple one for you guys. I bought these mini confetti blowers for our church. They suck confetti, which are mainly small shiny rectangular pieces or some rose shaped paper-like material pieces, and blow them to the air. So ours came with a hose setup to suck the confetti: http://i.imgur.com/L3dzXMM.jpg I decided to modify it to suck confetti from inside a box like these ones do: http://i.imgur.com/EkE930u.jpg Here's a sketch of how it looks now with the box I made. http://i.imgur.com/Q5rPvfp.png What's happening though, the confetti pieces after few seconds form a clog where the box connects with the tube. http://i.imgur.com/pd7ZYFL.png If I push that clog with my hand, the confetti is sucked in and flows through the tubes and is blown just fine. I modified my box from the inside like so, but it didn't change anything. http://i.imgur.com/60vn7yW.png -> http://i.imgur.com/F5hzBwr.png Someone unlike me who actually understands why that is happening, can you explain why clog happens and how would you suggest me to modify my box shape to fix this? Not that the hose setup is bad, it just looks like a modified vacuum cleaner like that and not very pretty to have in ceremonies and we still need a box to put the confetti pieces and the hose in to suck the confetti so I thought I could just have the box on the machine itself and make it easier to handle.

Topic by MarkL9    |  last reply


How would I make a sensor sense motion coming at me from behind while I'm moving forward?

I'm trying to make a small sensor that would detect a large object coming at me from behind at about 60mph while I'm moving forward at around 7mph. What kind of sensor would I use? I looked up the different types and I found Passive/active infrared, optic-based, piezoelectric, and ultrasonic. I tried to figure it out myself and my best guess is ultrasonic? Like what cars use to detect deer, they use "ultrasonic airflow sensors". Ideally the sensor would beep and get louder or faster as the object approaches. Would I use an arduino? I'm very new at this :/ Thanks for any help!

Topic by arrowstation    |  last reply


Airfoil vs. Flat Wings?

I built a model airplane which is rubber band powered. At first I built the wing of the shape of an airfoil and I can assure you that the shape was perfect. When I tested the plane, it just kept on going and going straight with very high speed but never took off. I guessed that the weight was more. So, after removing the weight it still didn't take off. I then used just a flat piece of cardboard for the wing with a slight tilt, so that it would deflect the air downward and produce the upward thrust. I then tested the plane, and even though the wing was heavier than the airfoil one and the plane moved on the ground slower than before maybe due to increased drag and weight.....the plane took off just beautifully just after a few seconds of launch!!! I don't know what was the reason, the airfoil shape was perfect, the surface area of the both wings was same. I guess that flat wings produce more lift.....I doubt that the airfoil produced any lift at all, or maybe they require significantly higher airflow over them than flat tilted wings to produce a fair amount of lift...can you tell me what could be the reason?

Question by Wisaam    |  last reply


For airflow would a filter be better placed prior to or after the main fan? Answered

I am looking to build a very simple air filter setup to help reduce dust and cat particles in the air while deep cleaning.  Would I be better off putting the filter on the front side (air out) or back side (air in) of the fan.  I know to keep dust off of the fan itself the back may be better but will i get better air flow with it on the front?  Thanks for any info.

Question by kinderdm    |  last reply


which way is the air flow going in a laptop stand? Answered

I want to make a laptop stand for my wife but I don't know wich way the airflow of the fun goes, Is the airflow pointing up towards the laptop? or Is it point down away from the laptop? I want to make this instructable and I am talking about the fan that is attached to the laptop stand. www.instructables.com/id/DIY-super-budget-laptop-cooler/ thanks for your time and your answer.

Question by eduardoh    |  last reply


Does the air disruption truely affect energy usage in this particular situation?

I was reading the comments in this Ible: https://www.instructables.com/id/Parasitic-Wind-Turbine/ and they said that having the turbine in the way of the airflow would create more of a load on the A/C thereby causing it to use more energy. I don't understand it in this case. I can see how putting it in line, mounted to the exhaust port, thereby blocking the exhaust would restrict the airflow. I don't see how using the already exhausted air would restrict the airflow. That, IMO, would be like saying that when you are stopped at a red light and another car is behind you, your engine is working harder because that car is behind your exhaust. Am I thinking right on this?

Question by Zippomanonfire    |  last reply


how can i control the airflow coming from my airpump for a brine shrimp hatchery?

I think i want to make a valve of some type on the tubing itself. i have an airpump that doesnt come with any flow control, i put a tube on that and an airstone at the end, but my "aquarium" is really small (gallon and a half, tops) and the bubbles are causing havoc. I need to be able to divert some of the air somewhere along the tube. any help would be appreciated.

Question by parker92    |  last reply


Heat gun mod question

I am not an electrician but I like to tinker. I am just getting started with DIY type electronics kits and I have decent soldering skills. I cant say I am an expert at reading prints, but I can usually build a simple schmatic. I wish to disassemble a heat gun for parts and add in a potentiometer to vary the heat, another potentiometer to control the airflow, and a digital temperature probe with temp display. I am attempting to build a heat generating device with precise control of the temperature and airflow. I dont really want to spend $150 on a fancy LED digital display heat gun with variable heat dial, so this is my next option and potentially a heck of a lot more fun. Initially I just want to get the variable heat and airflow control(potentiometers) hooked up, and if it will be easy enough I can later install the temp display. I could always just use a cheap "laser" temp probe to check the temp and ensure it is fairly stable. The heat gun I am looking at is a piece of junk and it only has 2 temp settings. How easy is it to install a potentiometer for varying the heat and one for the airflow? I assume I can just install the one for heat control inline after the circuit that sets the maximum heat level and dial in the temp I want. As for the airflow control I assume I could do the same thing, but instead put it before the power lead feeding the fan. I am not an electrical engineer so I want to make sure this will work first before I fry my cheapo $20 heat gun. Would it be bettter to just gut the entire thing and work with the naked parts and install my own circuit to control and display the temp or could I keep the basic unit intact and mod from there? Any ideas, or a basic schematic that would satisfy this requirement would be greatly appreciated.

Topic by RokGoblin    |  last reply


I want to drill into my computer and make a fan grate on the top of it and make it for a large fan.? Answered

I just want to drill into the top of my aluminum based case so it will provide more airflow to the insides of the computer.

Question by chessman.exe    |  last reply


Detailed Instructions for Spiral Wine Cellar?

Does any one have or know where to get detailed instructions on building a spiral wine cellar? I understand the basic concepts of the construction and the ducting for proper airflow i just want to make sure I'm not missing something important here...

Question by ActionTekJackson    |  last reply


dust protection for computer and router?

Im the designer for a plastic/wood furniture shop. I'm having problems keeping dust from computers, even with equipment not in the workshop.  (office on the side) what would be the best design to keep airflow for computers and hardware but minimize the dust. Thansk. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19129520/Photo%20Jan%2016%2C%202%2035%2047%20PM.jpg

Question by ebaltierrez    |  last reply


How do i build a weatherproof, dust proof video projector enclosure with good airflow for use in a desert enviroment?

I'm going to be using a projector in the desert at night and need to build an enclosure for it. The enclosure will have to have a serious filtering system to keep blowing sand and dust out, it also will have to be able to block any rain that just might fall. While doing all that it must push alot of air out of the box to keep the projector cool enough. It does NOT need climate control because the desert gets really cool at night when ill be using this unit. Ideas?

Question    |  last reply


What design features could be considered to make the laptop sit better on your legs, or that increases airflow when on a desk?

Asus, a sponsor of Instructables, has put together WePC where they are asking for input on their next generation laptops. As part of their sponsorship, they've asked my opinion on various aspects of laptops. Most recently What design features could be considered to make the laptop sit better on your legs (curved bottom), or that increases airflow when on a desk? In the next couple of weeks, I will be asking for your input on the final set of features for their community designed netbook. This is pretty exciting because feedback from users on Instructables will be directly incorporated in a consumer product that is scheduled to hit the shelves at the end of this year. For now, laptop stands:Instructables is full of laptop stands, and so I thought that the best way to answer this question would be to check out what lead users are already doing.A PVC laptop stand is one of the basic types, and it only requires cutting the PVC. The parts are held together with friction, and easily disassembled if necessary.PVC Laptop Standhttps://www.instructables.com/id/PVC-Laptop-Stand/An even more minimalist laptop stand can be fashioned from a metal coat hanger. Perhaps the Netbook should have flip-out legs to let users do this without an additional accessory?Ergonomic Laptop Stand Made From a Coat Hangerhttps://www.instructables.com/id/Ergonomic_Laptop_Stand_Made_From_a_Coat_Hanger/If you want to use your laptop in bed, the stand's legs needs to straddle you, like this laptop stand for bed.A better laptop stand for bedhttps://www.instructables.com/id/A-better-laptop-stand-for-bed/Since a laptop is essentially a monitor with a computer attached to it, an adjustable monitor arm can act as a laptop stand.Adjustable Vesa Arm Laptop Standhttps://www.instructables.com/id/Adjustable_Vesa_Arm_Laptop_Stand/Construction materials aren't only for insulating houses!Insulating Laptop Padhttps://www.instructables.com/id/Insulating-Laptop-Pad/Need to use your laptop outside? Try a tripod.Laptop Desk From Old Camera Tripodhttps://www.instructables.com/id/LAPTOP_DESK_FROM_OLD_CAMERA_TRIPOD/With the exception of the stands that are simple shelves, all of these stands have some sort of positive attachment point to the laptop in common. Like cameras, laptops should get a standardized bolt pattern allowing users to easily mount them in a variety of different ways. For more laptop stand ideas, see our Laptop Stands Guidehttps://www.instructables.com/id/Laptop_Stands/

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


computer fan mod ???? will reversing fan direction cause overheating etc?

I have an older computer, and i was thinking instead of buying a new fan and installing as an out-take, what if i just reverse the one fan i have to pull air out, instead of running two fans.. would this cause overheating or any other problems, or would it provide better airflow in a "vacuum" effect for the computer. i only have the one fan in it right now.

Question by bradburyk    |  last reply


5v to 12v convert

Hello, I want to connect a portable solar powered rechargeable to 2 DC fans of 12v to cool my car. 1. I have 2 options of portable solar powered: (A) 1500mAh, outputs: 5.5V / 800mA (B) 2000mAh, outputs: 5V 500mA     which one is preffered to connect to those PC fans? 2. most of the PC fans are working at 12v. I don't quite sure if I'll build simple 5v to 12v regulator it will works and produce enough airflow. Thanks.

Topic by ashakif    |  last reply


Can you use the Solar heater with earth tube, or would the heat coming through the tube go into the ground?

Have been browsing the different sites looking for a good way to passively heat and cool my place, for winter times heating primarily.  Was looking at the following instructable https://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Heater/ when the above thought hit me.  If I didn't want to cut into my wall to do the solor heater, is it possible to run it through earth tubes to provide the heating.  Didn't know if you would have to much heat displacement coming through the tube going into the earth.  Airflow is to be ran by a simple computer fan on low powered solar panel/battery

Question by mysfit    |  last reply


What would be a better medium for "cooler cells"?

Talking about making cold packs by reusing plastic bottles. They'd be used in a portable cooler (stacked between spacers for airflow). The obvious option would be just water, but I was thinking something a bit more creative. Possibly: ~water and salt ~water and alcohol ~water and antifreeze ~just antifreeze ~polypropylene glycol ~https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-%2420-ice-pack-for-%242/?ALLSTEPS (The bottles would likely need to be epoxied shut to prevent leaking. Their life would also matter, can't have stuff growing in them after a few uses.) Which do you think would stay cooler the longest?

Question by explosivemaker    |  last reply


What should I use for a hovercraft fan?

I have all the necessary building materials (wood, plastic tarp, foam, etc...) as well as a 22 hp engine and a weed whacker engine (both gasoline). I'm having trouble figuring out what i need in terms of a lifting fan. I've determined that i need something that can provide at least 4000cfm. I've looked at industrial shop fans 20+ inches in diameter which seem to provide enough airflow to work, but I've never seen them used in my research. Can anyone help?

Question by Transience    |  last reply


is it possible to use a chamber capable of firing multiple shots before having to re-fill?

Is it possible to use a chamber capable of firing multiple shots before having to re-fill? cause the way i picture it you could use an attachment to the chamber connecting a independent pressure valve which in turn would be connected to the air tank. the fact that its self regulating would spare you having to fill up the chamber with the turn of a valve after each shot...but even so I'd need a independent pressure valve/regulator (small enough) that would shut the airflow at 100psi. and i prefer the pvc not blow up on me. i'd really like to try it but how and where could i find that type of valve that works similar to scuba equipment??

Question by DIYtheKid    |  last reply


Variable speed on a 5v brushless fan

Hi everyone! I have a 5v DC (0,15A, 50mm x 15mm) computer brushless fan that I want to power with a battery pack (4x AA rechargeables= 4,8v) or the MightyMinty Boost. This small blower is meant to be a part of a woodgas stove, and will bring air to the fire through a small duct. I'm looking for a circuit that would allow me to control the speed of the fan and the airflow. Kinda like a dimmer switch. Is there a readily available switch or devices that I could plug between the batteries and the fan? I guess the RC guys out there know a few thing about variable speed controller. I'm a newbie at this; I don't what to build a circuit from scratch, unless it's really simple. Thanks

Topic by jemor143    |  last reply


Options to improve cooling and reduce consumption for portable coolers

I recently had to start learning how to service airconditioners on the fast and that learning got me thinking about my portable coolers.... Some of us like to go camping or on longer fishing trips, so there might be one of those 3-way fridges in use or a better cmpressor model. The one thing they all have in common is that they can only cool down to a difference in ambient temperatures. No matter which way we turn it the cooling produces heat and that needs to get away somehow. The other big thing is the cooling cycling - or the lack of it on a warm day. After some reading and thinking I came up with some ideas that might be applicable to your existing cooler if you are willing to mess around a bit. Let's start with the produced heat, shall we? Down here in Australia most people either have the fridge in their4WD or camper. In a car or small camper trailer there is often the problem of airflow, so the cooler might be doing overtime for no other reason than a lack of airflow. If you check online sites like Amozon and Ebay you quickly find fan systems meant to be installed inside the cooler to get lower temperatures and a quicker cooling of fresh goods. The thing is that the box is quite well insulated and the benefit of the airflow goes only as far as it can reach. And even if the box is quite empty and you would have a benefit of the cold air moving around it won't change the fact that "improved" cooling always comes with more heat in this case. But if we use one of these fan systems to actually improve the airflow on the hot side we not only get better cooling but also a reduce power consumption - something worth considering if you have no backup power generator.... This of course brings us to placement. As I have done the mistake myself you might be tempted to put a 3way cooler onto your seat. Opening it with the back free means the lid always gets stuck on the seat, do it the other way around and you block the airflow. If you do put it on the seat then make sure two things match: 1. The thing is secured properly. 2. The airflow from your aircon is able to reach the hot side of the cooler. Even permanent installations in a camper benefit from a good airflow. Often the fridge or freezer is built into some sort of bench and the airflow behind might be very limited. A simple solution here is to add a vent on top of the bench to allow the hot air to escape. A better one is to use a fan that is powered together with the heating element or compressor and drives the hot air to the outside. How to improve the cold side of the box or fridge? Well, to be honest there is not much that can be done unless you are prepared for some serious work. Depending on compartment size, contents and how full it is a little fan can help to keep the temperatures even but it won't help to get it cooler or reduce the cycling periods for the cooling. The only really working way that I found is to use a "battery" for the storage of the cold. The cooling works by checking the inside temp of the box and if above the set temp the cooling won't stop. This is all well and good while we have a constant supply of power but once we are on batteries it would be great to keep the active time to a minimum. A working solution is to build a container that fits around the cooling element. Smaller types often use an aluminium heatsink, bigger types might come with a compressor and an evaporator. In either case proper sealing is important! Most good models are fully waterproof, meaning even if you would fill them with water they would not leak in other areas than the door. But double check and if in doubt use a bit of silicone to make sure. Ok, but how do we "store" the cold coming from the device? Cold packs ;) These things contain a ready to use mix that holds cold temperatures quite well. Another really good alternative is alcohol or radiator coolant, although the last has limited capabilites in terms of holding capaity for the cold as it is desinged to exchange heat fast rather than to keep it. With a suitable sized and sealed box around the active cooling element we will need longer to actually see any cooling happen (with a warm "battery") but that can be compensated for by good planning or a frozen water bottle. If the cooling element is covered with a box of cooling gel then it has to cool this first before anything happens inside the box. But once it does the pack is already far below the normal temp it would have during normal operation. Remember the inside of the cold pack cools down first before the outside will get cold ;) So once the set temperature is reached the device will shut off. But since the cold pack is far below the set temp it will continue to cool our box until the core is warmer than the set temp. Quick thinkers will now say the benefit is lost as the time required to cool the "battery" down again is much longer than the normal cycle time - and they would be correct. But as we get much colder temps inside the gel box the overall running will still be less compared to normal operation. And since from the second cycle on the gel is only warming up to operating temp of the box it will be much faster than with a warm box. Another benefit might be the ease of cleaning and ice removal. Some peltier driven coolers have big cooling fins or a quite bad design for the heatsink allowing mould to grow where you can't remove it easy. If the box is made from stainless steel and flush with the back wall of the box we won't have that problem anymore. Ok, but how much is good or too much for the size and gel content? You got me there as it is bit tricky. You don't want to loose much usable space for starters and you don't want to wait hours for the gel to cool down if the box was not used. IMHO the size should fit the cooling element with about 20% to spare all around. If stainless steel is not an option than aluminium is the next best choice. Thin sheets can either be be cold formed with a hammer or "brazed" with a good torch and the right rods. Ok, before that route is there anything I should consider or do first? Depends ;) 3-way systems usually use a flame or heating elements to heat an ammoia solution. After years of neglect corrosion can form and reduce the amount of heat transfered into the system and reducing the efficiency this way. It might help to take the heating elements out once a year or so to clean them and the contact areas from any corrosion or dirt build up. With a fixed shedule for this you won't have the problem of never noticing a badly corroded heating element either - and this is the main failure on these systems.... Modifying your camper or making a few mods to your 4WD drawer system is not for the faint of heart and should be done with consideration. The last thing you want to do is rush things to find out it was not necessary. Before cutting holes check if you can't find the room for the fan in a different spot and use ducts to control the airflow - sometimes it is easier to blow air in than to get air out ;) When it comes to creating vents or connections for air to the outside always make sure it is waterproof and insect safe! If you can let the outlet go downwards so water won't run in, for 4WD trailers consider a flap to prevent water from going during a river crossing. Flyscreens will not only prevent insects from coming in but on the inside also prevent dust to go eerywhere - allow to the removal and cleaning! The salts used in these cold packs can be corrosive, so you have to make sure there are no leaks and that there is no steel to come into contact with gel - this includes screw ends hidden in through-holes. If in doubt use a coat of paint but keep it as thin as possible. Even on peltier systems it might be impossible to remove the heatsink without massive surgery on the internals. So before you take it all apart to gain access check if it is far easier to seal around the box opening and possible screw connections using silicone. The cooling battery can be screwed on and sealed with silicone as well as an easy escape route. Although for this to work you need to check if the material of the box allows for a proper bond with the silicone! Some materials just won't allow anything to stick at all, even after sanding them. So do a test first in an area where you would be able to cut the silicone away without causing damage. If you can rip or peel it off the surface you should not try to use a cooling battery screwed to the wall, only use a box that is fully sealed with the cooling element and has a seperate back - one complete unit around the cooling element. I have a 3-way system with a freezer compartment that does the cooling for the fridge too - what can I do? These units either provide good freezing with the fridge temps too low or good fridge cooling with no freezing capabilites - depending on the thermostat used. Our problem is that is next to impossible to add a cooling battery of the normal kind to these systems. The L-shaped freezer box can really only be added with a L-shaped cooling battery from underneath. Only if you don't need any freezing at all you could add a cooling battery to fit into the freezer box shape. In either case the benefit is somehow limited by the way the thermostat is used. If there is no temp control for freezing it should be fine. Warnings... Only peltier driven coolers are free from refrigerants. Every 3-way or compressor system uses refrigerant as evident by more or less piping and heating elements. Never attempt to screw anything into a cooling element containing refrigerant! Even if you think between the channels all will be fine it won't be! The material is just pressed to form the channels and any damage caould mean refrigerant leaking out! Use silicone instead and make sure all surfaces are properly cleaned before applying it, also wait until the silicone is really fully cured before putting any stress on it. As said, these cooling gels can be corrosive, especially if DC voltage is involved. Make sure that everything that is not aluminum or plastic is properly sealed before allowing ongoing contact with cooling gels. Do not attempt any of this if you have to ask yourself what tools you might need or how make a suitable container for the gel. If in doubt check Google on how to work with aluminium or stainless steel if there are not enough Instructables for it. The gel will expand a little bit if it freezes, this no problem in a metal container if you allow for a bit of flex or on the side added strength  - whatever suits you better. Another option is to get a few different cold packs (by the active ingredient) and to do a check in a little container. Freeze it and note whe level cold and warm. Little to no difference means nothing to worry in terms of expansion during freezing.

Topic by Downunder35m  


Solar Power Towers Efficiently Using Brayton Cycle

I want to point out a solar to electric generation concept that has yet to be seen anywhere, even though it originated back during the Carter Administration's ERDA programs of the late 70's. I’m talking about solar power towers that convert solar energy into electricity at the hundreds of mega-watt level. While power towers do exist today, and the world currently does have a handful of them as shown in Fig-1, none use the Brayton Cycle nor can they boast an energy conversion efficiency at the mid to upper thirty percent level.  A group of engineers got together at a think tank organization called Sanders Associates in Nashua, N.H., several decades ago, and designed a unique Brayton Cycle, 100 MW solar Power Tower concept for generating electricity. This was accomplished under ERDA (Energy Research Development Administration) who gave us a phase-2 follow-up contract that took our phase-1 design and built a working scale model at the 10 KW level. This model was tested at the Georgia Tech Solar Research Facility and "registered" ~37% electric solar conversion efficiency. The system used ambient air as its working fluid, and was to be located in open-spaced desert regions. Phase-2 was lost to competition using a closed-loop liquid sodium system that boiled water into superheated steam at 900F to run a turbine that generated ~21% overall electric conversion efficiency.  Apparently, at that time ERDA would rather haul water out to the desert than use ambient air to generate electricity? The politics of their decision is beyond reason and clashes with improving the world’s development of green technology energy.  ERDA shut out our better technological performer and safely locked it away for another day! ERDA's official reason for turning us down: "this technology uses excessively high temperatures (2500F versus 900F) that are dangerous to workman maintaining the equipment". But that was back in the 70’s, maybe we’ve learned to deal with high-temp heat by now?   Solar Energy Concept Using Low Pressure Storage Our solar power tower would collect the sun’s energy by locating its ceramic heat exchanger on top of a tall tower as shown in Fig-1. The tower was located in the center of a field of active sun-searching mirrors (heliostats, Figure-2). These mirrors reflected sunlight onto our ceramic honeycomb heat exchanger, producing a concentrated flux intensity level that heated it to around 2500F. At the same time, low pressure fans generating only a few psi pressure would suck the ambient air through the honeycomb, heating it to just under the 2500F and then passing it through energy storage silos which stored the heat down to ~150F. We purposely designed the energy storage charging phase of our hot air system to work at only a few psi above ambient as a safety feature. The sun effectively acts as the combustor of our jet engine or Brayton cycle engine. Once the sun heats the air, it passes through heat exchangers consisting of a labyrinth of underground silos that are temperature segregated. These silos receive our 2300F airflow and cool it down to about 150F, transferring this heat into solid salt containers which turn to liquid once they have absorbed sufficient heat. Figure-3 is a schematic of this underground energy storage facility and shows the airflow being heated by a fully charged set of silos containing liquid salt-bricks. This airflow direction is reversed when we charge the silo’s salt-bricks. The bricks are kept in specially insulated, high pressure silos (located underground for added insulation) that store the heat energy at one atmosphere for later use. These underground silos act as our energy storage batteries, and when needed would discharge their heat energy accordingly into the moving airflow. This energy storage concept permitted the generation of electricity at night and during overcast days. Two sets of storage systems are required for continuous operation. One would be charging at low pressure while the other is discharging at high pressure through the Brayton engine to generate electricity.   Electric Energy Generation at High Pressure Electricity would be created by turning an electric generator at high speed. The generator was turned by running a jet engine connected to it.  The engine’s combustor for heating the air is effectively the sun, hence the name Brayton cycle for generating our solar electricity (Figure-4). The heat from the molten salt containers would increase the energy of the high pressure air coming from the compressor, and would then force it through a typical turbine that turns this energy into high rotational speed to run the generator and make electricity. Our solar jet engine sucks in ambient air using its compressor, as all jet engines do, and blows it through a series of silos at high pressure whose stacked bricks are held at different temperature levels. We start our airflow through a silo held as low as 150F and work our way up to ~2300F as we pass through our last, hottest silo which acts to complete the effective solar combustion process. This air preheating technique dramatically improves our energy turnover capability and allowed us to convert solar energy into electricity at near 37% efficiency. During our electric energy generation phase, the silos of our Brayton system requires operating at many atmospheres of pressure just as in any jet engine combustor using petroleum-based JP-fuel.      

Topic by RT-101    |  last reply


What sensor is best to use to measure smoke density via Arduino?

I have built a cold-smoker for smoking things like bacon, cheese and seafood. Smoke is produced by burning oak chips in an old fire extinguisher and (using the air supply from a compressor) blown into an old fridge in which the food hangs or is placed on racks. Excess smoke exhausts through a second pipe at the top of the fridge. I log temperatures inside the fridge using an arduino.For the best results the smoke density needs to be low but steady over a period of several hours. I currently control this by hand using a valve on the feed from the compressor. I'm working on controlling this valve automatically using a stepper motor to adjust the increase and decrease the airflow to maintain the correct smoke density.How can I sense the density of the smoke reliably? I need to sense levels of density rather than just its presence. The smoke carries tars so the sensor must be easily cleanable. Any suggestions very welcome!

Question by Henmarsh    |  last reply


Cheap air valves or solenoids?

I'm planning on building an unconventional pipe organ, but I am having trouble finding good cheap air valves that I can buy 60 of to complete an entire manual (keyboard). Normally, a classic organ would use mechanical linkages to a sort of air switchboard, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to build that kind of system (and I want everything to be physically robust and portable, for traveling and abuse during performances. Plus my pipes are very weird ones, and almost all of them would have to be offset anyway, so air tubes would be involved at some point no matter what.) So I'd prefer to have air lines going to each key, with a valve, and then the air lines continue to a much simpler switchboard, so that no pulleys or levers need to be involved. The valves can be electric (keys can easily connect a circuit instead of letting air through), or mechanical (pressing the key opens the valve), and my budget is about 2 dollars or less per valve. Any ideas or links? Homemade plans are welcome too, if you have a method that would be easy to mass produce and not cause leakage. Some of the lower notes may require higher airflow/larger valves too, so a solution that is scalable is preferred.

Topic by smurfsahoy  


How do i fix this zafira problem

Help zafira w reg keeps losing power almost feels like it's braking?i have a w reg 2000 zafira elegance 1.8 petrol and i have got a problem with it losing power big time at low speeds and quite serverly when cruise at 60-70 mph it almost feels like the brakes have been applied then all of a sudden it picks up and flies off. i've had the engine managment light come on so had it put on the computer at main dealer they found code p0100 and p0505 which they charged £250 to tell me and convert the air flow sensor (allegedly as i don't see any sign of work done) .then thay said i need a new throttle body and iac valve new mass airflow sensor and pipes new crankshaft sensor new camshaft sensor plus a new ecu but can't quarantee that will fix it so what do i do pay the £3500 for them to try that or plead for help on the internet for ideas on possible solutions so here i am please could someone help

Topic by msc    |  last reply


Desk mounted hifi amp? Answered

So I've just moved back from uni, and have encountered a couple of relocation problems - my beloved turntable won't fit on my shelves. So I'm planning on keeping it on my desk, but there's another problem, the amp that goes with it (Technics SUZ11) is shallower than the turntable, so if I stack them, the turntable is very prone to skipping from vibrations in the table (even if I just move my laptop a bit). So what I was thinking, was put the turntable on the desk, mount the amp underneath, have a joyously neat workspace? :)  I was looking at this instructable:. There are vents on the top and bottom of the amp, so airflow shouldn't be a problem, but I am worried about the weight (and ripping the mounting screws out of the table). I'd probably be sticking it on a cheap IKEA desk, which is made like this: Table top: Height 4cm Top: Fibreboard, Acrylic paint Frame: Particleboard, ABS plastic Filling material: Paper Bottom: Fibreboard Is it likely that I would encounter any problems? Or are there any other suggestions on how to do this? I've seen some CPU racks which  hold the unit in place with heavy duty straps, but these all seem inordinately expensive...

Question by clairey    |  last reply


Coanda effect VTOL or "hovercraft" - making a working model

I am currently working on the design of an impeller driven lifting device utilising the Coanda effect. My 3D printer is of course a great help here but only useful to test the vacuum cleaner assembly that I salvaged for the motor and impeller part. So far it is just I am interesting to see myself instead of reading it on the net but I was wondering if any RC model makers out here would be interested too? I have no clue about the available brushless motors and controllers or how much extra weight for electronics, batteries and so on but could provide the 3D files and design tips if anyone would dare to create a working RC model. Unlike all the designs on Youtube no propeller is used for the lift! Those designs might still use the Coanda effect, or better adjust it's airflow, for the steering but the actual lift comes from a prop. An impeller as used in vacuum cleaner does not provide lift and is more the "real deal". The last real world project that I know of was the Avrocar that was tested during the cold war but never made it into production. Just though it might be an interesting project to build your own "flying saucer" :)

Topic by Downunder35m  


Computer fan wiring issue? Answered

I just bought 3..SONYMODEL SFF22C10 VDC 0.51 ADC BRUSHLESS FANs..from Princess Auto in the surplus section. It was just labled "Sony Blowfan", so I assumed that they were computer fans, so I could use them with my server I'm setting up. It turns out my server's motherboard doesn't have the correct outlet for the fans plugs. In fact, I haven't ever seen a fan with a plug as small as this is! I'm assuming that the red wire is positive+, the black is ground or negative-, and the white lets the motherboard control the speed. I will only need the + and -, I want the fan to go full blast all the time. It is only rated for 10 VDC, but could I hook up all three of the fans to one of the extra hard drive 12 VDC power cables (yellow and black wires)? Or do I need a resistor, with how much resistance? Also, so do I make the fan run full blast off of only power, when it needs the white wire to have a signal?This question has been answered! See if you can help me with the next step of my project.https://www.instructables.com/answers/Server-Airflow-Help/-Shadow Ops

Question by Arbitror    |  last reply


Question Regarding Measurement of Vacuum Pump Air Flow Using Anemometer

Hello everyone, I am new to Instructables and am loving it so far. I was reading through some literature on a piece of equipment we have at work and it requires 18"Hg @ 25CFM. We have flow gauges at work, so it is just a matter of using one to determine the flow but it got me thinking... What is the most effective method of measuring airflow of a vacuum pump without a flow gauge. All I have is an anemometer, a basic understanding of physics and time. So I came up with this method and am looking for some folks to poke holes in it: I placed the anemometer at the end of a 36" piece of PVC with a 1.6" I.D. sealing the anemometer to the PVC to ensure no air gets pulled around the fan of the anemometer. The other end of the pipe is reduced to a 1/4" line (.16" I.D.) which is connected to the vacuum pump. Turning on the vacuum pump yields a steady 3.5MPH (307.98 ft/m)on the anemometer. Doing the math, I come up with 4.3CFM (307.98ft/m*.013962634ft^2).  Unfortunately, I cannot bring a gauge home from work to compare and I cannot bring my set up, as glorious as it may be. So this is more a thinking exercise. So what sort of accuracy would you guys think this 'rig' has? Can you think of some method for me to verify it's accuracy (or, more likely, lack thereof)?

Topic by mmcdonald6    |  last reply


audio amplifier for singing arc speaker, 110v design

Okay, I'm planning on starting on a plasma speaker, I know somewhat how I want to build it. My neighbor has one of the old school neon sign transformers for sale, he wants next to nothing for it. So I intend to use that to simplify finding materials. I am incapable of designing a circuit, so I am asking for help. What I need is for somethng to control the 110v for the transformer based on the audio input. My alternate idea was to use two NSTs and have them become a stereo channel unit. I do prefer that idea myself. I simply have no idea how to control the sound from the arc without taking the arc out. Honestly, my electronics knowledge in circuit design made me think a really big relay would work. Until I realized that was stupid. Anyways, my preferred idea is using a project box to contain a circuit, fused around critical areas to prevent the music device being blown up on accident or anything else bad happening. A stereo plug, with one transformer being the left, the other the right. I also want to try to drive either the low voltage or the 110v computer cooling fan type things so that there is an airflow through the arc.  Please help me-I can't design circuits for the life of me, and I would rather this work out. Thanks!

Topic by Nyanman  


$200-$250 computer build. all all the parts compatible, any issues you see?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- here are the parts for my first build. please tell me if you see a problem with the selection CASE: ------Cooler Master RC-343-KKN1 MOBO:------ASRock Z77 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 (any better value out there)? CPU: --------Pentium G620 (lga-1155) (can you best it within  $60?) (stock) GPU:---------n/a, on-board Intel HD 2000 RAM:--------Team Elite 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333MHz OS: ----------Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 bit. HHD: --------the old HDD i have in my old computer, a 250gb 5400RPM drive. OPTICAL: -my current DVD drive in my old computer. PSU: --------will 350W be enough power for this? i think so. [total cost]: <$250 including the parts i don't think i need. (optical, case, PSU, CPU, heatsink) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IF YOU SEE EVERYTHING IS GOOD AND COMPATIBLE AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS, YOU GET BEST ANSWER. other questions: 1) what advantages can i get out of a good housing/case? can i get more USB ports? or are the aftermarket cases just for looks and good airflow? 2) my current hard drive is loud (no clunking, but clearly audible clicking (30 decibles maybe?) and some faint brown noise under load). it is an older heavily used HHD, how much life does it have left? i don't know of any software to test it. i use Ubuntu as my only OS so a program to test it has to be for Linux (preferably .deb package) i have more info and qustions at: https://www.instructables.com/answers/ultra-budget-computer-system-with-good-upgrade-opt/ if you could also answer those, i would highly appreciate it.

Question by -max-  


Camoflauged Cage

Hey, I'm guessing this isn't a problem something that is only troublesome to me. You see, I am not allowed any pets, but you know, I am planning on adopting a couple of rats. (yea rats!) I need to make a cage which is hidden/camoflauged. It will already slightly be hidden and I'm sure I can arrange furniture in a way to conceal further. The cage needs to have air flow freely, made of plastic or coated metal, have a way to easily clean it, and it has to be escape proof! (no wire floors though, how ghastly) The rats I will aquire will be babies, about 4 weeks old. If they are males they'll get to be about 2 pounds and about three feet (including that wonderful tail xD) In a year. I live in an efficiency apartment, so I can't hide them in a closet (and if you ever seen a rat reaching out to grab the rapidly diaspearing light you wouldn't want to anyway) My best bet is "walling" off my room (which has the only bathroom) with a curtain, rearranging the furniture, and of course have a clever disguise! My first attempt (I was merely fostering these guys, their owner got evicted) was a storage drawer bin, I sawed off the back of the first drawer (and was planning on expanding throughout the set) and stapled in chicken wire to help with airflow. The fact that it was a mostly plastic drawer made it easy to remove and hose down quickly. I also sawed a little hole to hold up their water bottle which is an absolute MUST. They will knock over water bowls, sit in it, and most crazy of all, stuff bedding in it to absorb it. The main problem with this set up is that of course, you can see through it and see the little guys running amuk. I placed a blanket halfway covering the front and covering the sides, but Jackie decided that he was bored and pulled it all in, thusly exposing him and getting him caught `_` It lasted 2 months and I got them into a new home anyway. So! I'm sure I'm not the only one who has to hide a pet/pets dwelling! Does anyone have ideas??

Topic by Sick like a sickle cell    |  last reply


Solar - PV versus Solar Oven with Peltier

I was browsing the site as I am often wont to do, and spent quite some time revisiting old 'ibles covering various solar projects, almost all of which are heat related. I understand from general consensus that PV (photo voltaic) solar systems are very inefficient and one of the worst ways to harvest solar energy (when considering the cost of construction and the energy transfer capacity, etc.) Almost everyone who knows what they are doing suggest that the best (and easiest) way to harvest solar energy is to collect the heat - be it to heat air or water, cook food, or other such purposes.Now, I have recently been fascinated by a discovery relatively new to me, peltier units. These devices, for those who don't know, can work in one of three ways. They can harvest and/or produce either heat, cold, or electricity.Basically, if an electric current is run through a unit, it produces heat on one side and an equal amount of 'cold' on the other. Yes I know you can't produce cold - but for the layman, that is what we call it.Or, if one side is heated while the other side is cooled, the unit produces an amount of electricity from the difference in temperatures. One example I have seen and plan to make use of is in vehicles - if you place one or more of these on your exhaust manifold, or any other location where the engine produces waste heat, and airflow can reach it to cool the other side, you generate electricity from the waste heat energy that would otherwise just be . . . well, wasted.But it occurred to me today, if you had a unit attached in the middle of a solar collector, focusing sunlight on one side of the peltier unit, and isolate the other side of the unit in some cooling medium (perhaps even just air with a heat sink of some sort - more likely a cooling liquid though), how effective would this be at harvesting solar energy (heat) into electricity?Actually, I have been using the more common name of peltier, but I believe that for this application a seebeck unit (which is nearly the same, but different) would be required. As I understand it, Peltier units are used more as coolers and are almost always constructed with Bismuth Telluride (Bi2Te3) and used around room temperature and below; while Seebeck units are good for power generators are often constructed of PbTe or, SiGe as well as Bi2Te3 and are used at much higher temperatures.From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect :The effect is that a voltage, the thermoelectric EMF, is created in the presence of a temperature difference between two different metals or semiconductors. This causes a continuous current to flow in the conductors if they form a complete loop. The voltage created is of the order of several microvolts per degree difference.((more info can be found at the referenced wiki page on formulae etc.))Just curious on if this would ever be a decent way to harvest solar energy into electricity. I have also thought up using a thermal siphon solar heating system in which the liquid flows past one or more water wheels which power a small (and obviously slow) generator - but at that point I believe it would be so inefficient and limited in use as to just have absolutely no practical application. The peltier unit (used as a seebeck unit) would probably do better, but I am not certain, which is why I post the question.

Topic by karossii    |  last reply


Technology Makes Cheap Drinking Water from Air

INTRODUCTION:   How can we best apply basic technology to help the underprivileged and/or disaster-hit countries like Haiti? Daily hygiene and nourishment are among the top needs for disaster ridden regions!  Simply put, no water means no hygiene. The Romans understood that over two millennia ago and created their complexly beautiful aqueduct networks for handling both fresh and wastewater! Other ingenious water systems like “air wells” have been found in the city of Theodosia (cf: discovered in 1900 by Zibold, see Zibold’s Collectors/Dehumidifiers) dating back to Greco-Roman times during the Byzantine Empire. These were strictly passive systems that naturally dehumidified air, collecting its potable water in underground basins. All air, even in relatively dry desert regions, will precipitate or release its natural water content (initially in the form of vapor) through condensation when it hits its dew-point temperature and below. That means you “chill” it to an appropriate level that is anywhere from 5F to 50F below its current air temperature, depending upon how much water content (relative humidity) it has locally absorbed. The condensation of the water vapor releases its internal latent heat (reheating the cooled air) which must be constantly dissipated (absorbed by something) in order for water formation to steadily continue. So how do we dissipate this resultant vapor-heat and chill our air without any infrastructure or electricity, in an underprivileged or disaster-ridden region? We simply bury a long cast-iron or any metallic drain-pipe sufficiently underground where the temperature of the earth is naturally held to a constant at around 45F to 55F. That’s our “free” chiller gift from nature. One end of the pipe, Figure-1,  sticks out of the ground to suck-in local outside hot air, and the other end dumps cooled dry air and water into an underground cistern where it gets collected and is piped to the surface to both exhaust the cooled dry air and connect to a water pump. We need a hand operated water pump to lift up the water above ground, and we need an electric fan to constantly pump air through the ground-chilled piping system. We can even force the cooled piped air to exhaust into a tent-like structure where it provides air conditioning as an added bonus, but this adds the penalty of both power and the increased fan size necessary to drive our required airflow further into an enclosure! While this concept is not “passive” (requiring electricity to work) like those clever Byzantine air-wells, it will produce much more potable water and within a smaller volume than those elegantly passive historic devices. The electricity for our fan power requirements can be produced by any one of four ways using either “active” or “passive” techniques: 1) An active playground or bike-pedaling-person or oxen-driven mechanism-generator, 2) A passive windmill generator, 3) A passive solar energy collection system that directly generates electricity, or 4) A passive thermo-electric system that directly generates electricity using the Peltier effect, operating solely on temperature differences between the cell’s top and bottom surface (we jury-rig the cool pipe and hot ambient air to contact separate sides of the cell). Depending upon how much water is needed, the required air volume plus pipe length and diameter, together with the fan will be sized accordingly. We can also configure groups of parallel fan-driven air pipes that are radially fed into the cistern. The sizing of this underground network depends upon the ambient air’s local average temperature and relative humidity (how much water gets absorbed into the air) plus buried pipe depth and effective underground temperatures achieved. The basic concept is one where we “wring” water from air at some given humidity content. The higher its relative humidity the more water is recovered from the air. The air-wringing process simply chills the air as it scrubs along the cooled internal pipe surface until it starts to rain inside the pipe from condensation onto its surface. The condensation is like the dew that forms on car windows, grass or any cooled surface in the early morning, before the sun comes out and evaporates the dew back into the heating air. A further bonus is that our dew-formed water is naturally distilled and very clean. It is potable water ready to drink without the need for additional sterilizing agents. Of course, we must make sure that the interior piping and cistern network is biologically cleansed before burying it underground. The hand pump with its 10 to 15 foot extended piping to reach the underground cistern must also be cleansed. The beauty of this constantly replenishable water supply is its convenient underground installation anywhere! After the in-ground installation, we have a virtual, partially passive, no moving parts, non-breakdown system containing above ground total access to all moving parts that could breakdown, namely the water pump and electric fan. Also, it is easily maintained, with few moving parts (water hand-pump and electric fan) and basically lacking any technical complexity which makes it ideal for technologically backward regions. The example below uses a relatively small industrial fan moving air at 1500 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) with a DC motor rated at 1kW. This fan together with our underground piping system will conservatively generate 12 GPH (Gallons Per Hour) of potable drinking water without need for any purification chemistry. Based on an average electrical cost of 14-cents per kWh (kilo-Watt hour), the typical commercial distillation of one gallon of drinking water costs roughly 35-cents as compared to our cost of only 1.2-cents. Furthermore, if we decide to go green and use solar energy for generating our water, it would effectively cost us nothing beyond the initial installation! USING A PSYCHROMETRIC CHART TO SIZE OUR WATER SUPPLY: The following gets a little technical and is only provided for those die-hards who are truly interested in how the science works. Those non-technically schooled may skip this part and not miss the basic concept. Figure-2 shows a Psychrometric Chart for air. This chart summarizes some of the basic thermodynamic properties of air throughout its typical range of operating temperature. The chart uses six basic air properties that defines the physical chemistry of water evaporation into air:  (1) the enthalpy or total energy contained within a unit of air which is a combination of its internal and external energy, expressed as the amount of BTU-energy per unit mass of reference dry-air, (2) the specific volume or the ratio of a unit volume of local air to its mass of reference dry-air, (3) the humidity ratio or the amount (mass) of moisture in a local unit of air divided by its reference mass of dry-air, (4) the percent relative humidity per unit of local air, or the mass ratio (expressed in percentage form) of the partial pressure of water vapor in the air-water mixture to the saturated vapor pressure of water at those conditions (the relative humidity depends not only on air temperature but also on the pressure of the system of interest),  (5) the dry-bulb temperature or the locally measured air temperature, and (6) the wet-bulb temperature or saturation temperature which is the local air temperature experienced during constant water evaporation (a wet-bulb thermometer is typically used:   a thermometer that measures resultant temperature while wrapped in a water wet-gauze and spun to generate local air movement and max-evaporation)  1.0   The Process and A Sample Calculation Our Psychrometric Chart uses six thermodynamic properties that help to determine the amount of water available for extraction from the local ambient air as a function of its temperature, pressure and relative humidity.  Let’s assume the following local ambient conditions for the region we plan to construct our water system at:  (1) Typical daily air temperature Td = 106F and one atmosphere pressure assumed at sea-level, (2) Relative Humidity, RH = 55%, and (3) Typical underground temperature down at six feet is measured at Tu=55F (at 12ft. it drops to ~45F). This yields the following calculated results for obtaining a steady-state supply (changes at night) of water to fill the cistern:      1)      In our example, the “local” air (dry-bulb) temperature is Td=106F, at a relative humidity of RH= 55%.  Fig-2 indicates that the resultant Humidity Ratio is HR= 0.0253 Lbs-water/Lb-Dry-Air (intersection of Td=106F line and RH=55% line, then horizontal to HR value).  We then determine the “gulp” of air volume containing the HR Lbs-water which corresponds to the point of intersection of Td and RH. Interpolating on specific volume “mv” yields mv=14.7 ft3/Lb-Dry-Air (this value sets the optimum unit airflow for our given ambient conditions, and creates a ballpark pipe length to diameter ratio needed later). It represents the basic unit of air volume that will enter our underground pipe per given time, and ultimately defines the size of our fan and piping network. For increased water creation, multiples of this unit volume will scale up the additional amounts of water that can be collected. 2)      As the inlet air cools down to a temperature of Tu=55F, from contact with the relatively cold underground pipe, we follow the constant enthalpy line (red upward left-diagonal) from the intersection of Td and RH to its saturated air temperature condition of Ts= ~88F, which is its dew-point temperature where the corresponding local RH=100%.  At this temperature or under, the air precipitates and releases its moisture content, resulting in water condensation onto the pipe walls.  Since our air will chill to a final pipe temperature of Tu=~55F, we follow the RH=100% saturated curve (green) down to yield an HR=~0.009 Lbs-water/Lb-Dry-Air. This is how much water is left in the air when it gets to 55F.  Therefore for every pound of local outside air that enters the pipe, mw=0.0253 – 0.009 = 0.0163 pounds of absolute pure, distilled potable water precipitates onto the inside pipe wall (per pound of dry air that is cooled and dehydrated) to gravity-flow out the pipe exit and into the cistern. 3)      We now convert pounds of air per unit time into a unitized volumetric airflow that yields gallons of hygienically pure potable water production per unit time. For every Va=100 ft3 of local volumetric air movement per minute (CFM) through the pipe, which translates into ma=Va/mv= 100/14.7 = 6.8 lbs. of dry air per minute or 6.8 * 60 = 408 lbs. per hour (PPH), to yield a water-flow of mwf=ma * mw = 408 * 0.0163 = 6.65 PPH or 6.65/8.345 = 0.8 GPH of water.  An industrial fan rated at 1kW DC will typically move 1500 CFM at a pressure of 8-iwc, to continuously produce 15 * 0.8 = 12 GPH of pristine potable water. 4)      Not shown here are the design details of sizing our pipe, fan and solar collection system for electric power requirements using heat transfer principles coupled with a thermodynamic heat balance, and aerodynamic fan performance assessment. These details help to size the electric power generation requirements plus margin used to properly size a solar collector containing further margins for overcast days. The engineering involved here is straight forward but beyond the scope of the current project.

Topic by RT-101    |  last reply


Homes Protected from Raging Forest Fires

Every year we hear about countless homes being destroyed by forest fires. Unfortunately, the public isn’t aware that our current level of technology can readily address this problem. I have been examining a concept that has intrigued me over the past decade and which I call a “fire shield”. This shield functions by completely enveloping a private home and protecting it against encroaching forest fires. We’re talking about protection against a blazing fire storm generating high speed winds and flames in excess of 100 MPH. The shield would be a flexible structure that easily inflates like a balloon (needing perhaps three people for a day to erect) and forms a protective hemispherical, shell-like dome over the home (Fig-1). The structure would be impervious to penetration by high speed flames and their intense radiant heat, thereby keeping the enveloped home safe, cooled and protected. Each home would require a pre-fitted, customized buildup of a number of pre-built modular, balloon-like segments. They are manufactured and then assembled over the house only once, to get a customized tailored fit, then taken down and stored, and thereafter are ready to be deployed within a day’s advance notice of an encroaching forest fire. The Fire-Shield would be a modular, portable, inflated dome like those used for indoor tennis, which is prepared and custom-fitted to be later erected within a day. While typical inflated domes have their entire inner volume pressurized, our Fire-Shield will only require pressurizing a small volume contained between its double-walled structure that forms the dome as shown in Fig-1. The surface of its outer material uses NASA's radiatively reflective, aluminized Mylar to ward off the intense radiant heat of a fire storm. In addition this surface gets protected against the 100 – 150 MPH fire-winds, which are ready to impinge upon it, by injecting a high speed film of air (just like gas-turbine blades) produced by portable blowers. The actual heat-shield contains multiple, redundant pockets of cells directing the flow of air to both film-cool its surface and protect the shield against direct flame contact. Each major modular segment would contain its own portable, gasoline powered wind generator to supply the airflow. Depending upon home-size, several of these modules would be easily connected using Velcro plus redundant snaps and safety-stays. The shield gets attached over chimney tops and to pre-installed, grounded cement-posts, plus strategic hooks about the outside of the house. Special, inflated pillows are also strategically placed (between the shield and the house exterior) to facilitate the formation of a hemispherical shield that envelopes and protects our home against a high speed fire-storm. The Fire-Shield Design Concept The concept for a fire shield went through a gestation period of several decades as my career in thermo/fluids evolved. It started with the design of jet engine turbine cooling to thermal control of satellites, and finally to designing radiant heat barriers for cryogenics. These activities enabled receiving a score of patents as well. These activities inspired the concept for a rapidly deployable Fire-Shield to protect homes against a raging forest fire. The idea requires integrating several technologies ranging from inflatable commercial air domes to jet engine cooling to radiatively cooled spacecraft. Also included are flexible material coatings developed by NASA that radiatively reflects high temperature heat, making the deployable Fire-Shield a viable concept. Two key design principles are employed to protect both the heat shield and the home it envelopes. The first is shown in Fig-2 and uses a high speed film of air (faster than the anticipated fire-storm flame speeds of 100 – 150 MPH) that is locally directed to blow over the shield’s surface, cooling it and protecting it just like the metal turbine blades of jet-engines. The temperature of speeding flames impinging upon a jet engine’s metallic turbine blades is hot enough to easily melt them, yet the blades are protected by using this film cooling technology. The same technology will protect the heat-shield from meltdown when high speed flames of 100+ MPH attempt to impinge upon its surface. The second principle protects the shield against the intense radiant heat coming from a blazing forest fire where temperatures can exceed 2000 F. While this radiant heat does not physically touch the shield, as would a fire-storm’s flames, its presence is “felt” and is as deadly as the hot flames that would normally scrub over the shield without our film-cooling. We use a radiatively reflective, thermal coating barrier that repels this radiant heatload and protects the shield from melting. Such coatings were originally developed by NASA to protect satellites and spacecraft. The coating gets applied to the shield’s outer domed surface and will reflect better than 97% of all intensive radiant heatloads that are incident upon the dome’s surface. (Patent Pending; Original Concept Documented in 2006)  

Topic by RT-101  


Designing a working Ranque-hilsch Vortex tube to be 3D printable or machinable on a lathe

I have looked far and wide in the attempt to fully understand how these tubes actually work.Nothing online really satisfies me fully so I made my own theories ;)I won't bother you with them tough as the foucs is on giving some tips on designing these tubes.Lets start with the main components as you find them in petents and some of the online videos and tutorials:1. The tube.It does not seem to do much but it is a very important part of the design.The diameter needs to be correct for the pressure and air flow rate so the up and down vortex can form properly on the inside.The lengh is important as well because you won't the hot end outlet right where the tube is hottest.Too long and you waste more than you use, too short and you won't get a decent temp difference.2. The chamber, rotation box, inlet box or whatever you wanna call the thick bit where the air goes in that holds all parts together.Most designs, even commercial ones, seem to go dirt simple here.Inlet on the side so the air starts spinning around on the inner wall.And that's about it as it really is nothing but a simple cylinder.However, the free space and internal design of the components affect the performance of this chamber.3. The engine, diffusor or cold end tube.This little gadget, in commercail tubes, serves a dual purpose.Firstly I provides small inlets to generate several vortex stream for the tube.Secondly I provides the cold end outlet nozzle.Both the nozzle and the inlets are important for the workings.Depending on their dimensions you need a higher or lower airflow and get a higher or lower temp difference.With just these three bits you see that a lot of variables are involved.I simulated most of my parts, but with the lack of proper software this happened in the empty void between my ears ;)Needless to say I learned a lot of ways to design fance looking tubes with no real function LOLIf you use some aluminium tubing for the actual tube and machined parts you have an advantage over 3D printed plastic parts.Not just in terms of safety but also in terms of actually measuring the temp of the tube.Blessed are those who have a heat vision camera :(Either way, once you start the design there will be a lot of errors you would need address later - and they waste time and material.Let me share my thoughts on how designed my first working tube:Compressor delivers a certain pressure and flow rate.I made something to test how different diameter holes as a substitude for tubes would affect the air pressure and flow.Once I had a diameter that would not drain the compressor and kept a stable pressure I used this to calculate inlet and orifice sizes.Goal was to have the same overall cut area as for what worked on the compressor test.For example if a 10mm hole works fine than a first guesstimate for 5 inlets would be a 2mm diameter.Usually slightly more as interal friction and such create more pressure in the system.So far for the inlets and vortex creating parts - what about clearances??Imagine you have a short cylindrical space where the tube shall be mounted to.Your inlets need to have enough free space to allow for the air to spin around the center.Key is to have the clearance tight enough to keep a high pressure in this area.Imagine the 5 2mm holes from the above example providing the air flow.A 1mm gap would mean insane pressures that most likely will limit performance.On the other side a 8mm gap will cause a massive pressure drop and results in the vortext from the inlets to get chaotic.Hint:If you blow compressed air through the housing with the engine inside but no tube mounted and just a backing plate to close it then you should hear a distinct sound.If it sounds just like air escaping through some holes you got it wrong :(However, if start screaming like mad when the pressure goes up it means you created a quite powerful vortex ;)But don't confuse the sound of small holes with something that almost sounds like a siren ;)A tube lenght of around 15cm seems to work fine for most applications.However it makes sense to check the tube temp to make sure the lenght is set to the hottest part of it.If in doubt, try it out ;)You designed it so well, it makes all the right noises but it won't cool or get hot....I had this problem a lot in my early days.An old patent however gave the clue that you won't find that easy.On the hot end outlet you can use a simple cone to limit what comes out of the tube.Either with fancy internal outlets or just outer casing with slots.Not much different to what you find online.What you might miss though is the diffusor or vortex terminator.You see, the upgoing vortex is extremely fast in it's rotation.If it hits the outlet cone like this then most of the air will be forced out and the inner vortex won't form at all.A star like insert at the end of the tube will cause the outer vortex to become a straight upward stream.Not all of the air will be able to fllow this route, so the rest is refected and creates the inner vortex.A tiny detail that often gets lost it seems.

Topic by Downunder35m  


The risks of DIY carpet cleaning and how save a buck or two....

I am writing this partly because of bed experiences with rental angents/landlords and as a general help.Here in Australia as well as other parts of the world it is common pratise that a real estate agent goes through your rented home multiple times a year to check if you keep it clean and undamaged.In most cases these visits go without any hickup until you move out.At this point agents often try to make your life a misery.Some expect you get the house back to the state it was 10 years ago when you moved - an impossible task.Carpet cleaning is usually done with a rented machine.This mean you pay a deposit for the machine and "rent" is made by the highly overpriced cleaning fluid you have to use with the machine.But more and more people see that a $100 machine from the discounter is a "money saver".So lets start with the main differences between a rented, commercial grade machine and those you find at the discounter to buy.The later comes quite small and in plastic, the commercial one is usually all metal and has huge water and waste tank.And lets be honest here, if a good vacuum cleaner sets you back more than twice what your new floor cleaning machine costs.....For me the real difference is in the sucktion.If you start with 10 liters in a commercail machine then you should expect to get over 8 liters back in the waste tank.The added waste often makes it seem much more though ;)The cheap discounter vesion however often struggles to get half of the water back out of your carpet that it drained into it!This is not only due to the weaker vacuum created but also due to the general design and lack of sealing the area that is sucked up.But during a hot summer week this makes no vital difference as it dries off anyway, or does it?Dryness and contamination....If you wash your clothes than you let them fully dry before you wear them.With a freshly cleaned carpet we often don't have that luxury and if the weather won't play nice you might end with a moist carpet for weeks.A proper wash of the carpet would require that water is actually flowing through the fabric.This is achieved by designing water outlets and sucktion areas to be in close proximity.However, most carpets these days are thin and flimsy, the underlay brings the comfort and often the required insulation from the cold floor.Fun fact: Most quality carpets in the EU come with a rubber or foam like backing which prevents that little spills go through and also leave the carpet basically dry after a cleaning.If the amount of water your machine collects does not get very close to what you filled into the tank then you end with a quite wet carpet and underlay.Cold from underneath and with basically no airflow through it.And if you ever removed an old carpet that was cleaned every few years you do know why you wear a protective suit, gloves and a filter mask on your face....It is simply impossible with a handheld machine to prevent water and contaminants from getting into the foam underlay of US and AU style carpet assemblies.Once fully dry there is little chance for anything to grow, but every time you clean the carpet you add the water required...I had it in two rentals that when I cleaned the carpets with a really good machine that stains from within the underlay came back up into the carpet.A job planned for a day then turned into three days of using heater fans and living in a sauna while washing carpets :(The same is true if you end up with fresh dirt or such on the carpet while it is still moist underneat - it gets worked ino the carpet and becomes even harder to clean.Is a commercial cleaning the better option?Sadly I have to say this highly depends on your agent/landlord and how much time and money you have.In some areas agents simply ignore the law and demand from you that the carpet looks at least as good as when you moved in.And if old stains you did not know about come from the filthy underlay a rented machine can come close to the cost of getting a commercail team in to do the job once you vacated.Either way you get an invoice for the service and a statement about the condition of the carpets before and after the cleaning.These guys come with a big van and before it fires up with water only the vacuum is used.Imagine a monster sized vacuum cleaner head on steroids that connects to an industrial sized evacuation fan in the van.It literally lifts your carpet from the underlay and leaves nothing loose behind.The actual cleaning and sanitation works the same way only with the big difference that the water is sprayed with pressure through the carpet and into the underlay.Final round is done dry and with vacuum only, means the carpets are dry enough to walk on them without getting wet feet.A complete dry state is usually reached within 2 days during the summer unlike rented machines that keep the humidity in your house up and high for about 2 weeks until back to normal.Main benefit of a commercail cleaning is that you won't get any issues with your agent/landlord unless you damaged the carpets or made them impossible to clean - ever dropped an ink jet printer refill kit? ;)If I do it myself with a reasonably good machine or a rented one : Do I have options for the cleaning solution used?Trust me, I had to figure that one out quickly when I moved into my first rental down here.4 bedrooms, entire house with carpet except for the kitchen and wet areas.They appeared reasonably clean at a first look but when I used a UV flashlight at night the story was shocking....In what must have a room for a baby the carpet looked like a psychedlic art impression under the UV light.The living room was not much better.As a result the rented machine ran out of cleaning fluid quickly.Bought 2 bottles that were supposed to be suffient for the house size but if you need several rounds per room.I "finnished" the former baby room and was one bottle down already.Called it a day and in the dark the UV light showed a slithly fades art impression but nowhere clean :(The shop had a heavy duty cleaning solution but I did not consider it with a price twice as high.Instead I wondered what would make my carpet different from my clothes in my washing machine....So I got a canister of Oxy-cleaner - sometimes called nappy soaking powder, or similar.Just make sure you get one that does not foam up too much.I used a bucket to dissolve a good amount of the powder before filling it into the machine - at about 40°C.What ended in the waste tank when using this cheap alternative looked digusting to say the least!With that encouragement I decided to make a new bucket with some added washing powder, just a tablespoon worth or just over.Washing powder for front loader does not foam up much, unlike the stuff for top loader, so choose wisely.That was, all counted, the forth cleaning round for the former baby room but after this the UV light showed a clean carpet that also had nice spring fresh smell thanks to the washing powder.Using the same appraoch of lots of oxy cleaner and a bit of washing machine powder in semi hot water made cleaning the rest of the house a breeze!When going slow with the machine it was like mowing the lawn, it left a clean path behind.Not all carpets might tolerate oxy cleaners though, especially if they are quite colorful, so do a spot check first if you never used the stuff to clean up a little spill of red wine before.And please keep some of the commercial cleaning fluid at hand to give the machine a quick wash through with it, otherwise the shop might ask you if you used non approved cleaning stuff with it ;)Tips for adjustable cleaning machines....Some of the rented machines come with several possible adjustments you can make.In the most basic form you can adjust the amount water used and how strong the machine sucks.Keep the sucktion as high as possible unless you actually want to pre soak the carpet.The amount of water should be adjusted to the type of carpet not to how dirty it is!You want just enough water to soak the carpet without going into the underlay too much.A clear sign of using too much water is if you waste tank is only half full when the water tank is empty.A few of the really good machines let you adjust the distance between the water outlet and sucktion area.In most cases there pre-set to what, from experience is the most commonly type of carpet in the area.Your might be different though...A greater distance means more time for the cleaning solution to do its job.This works especially well for thicker carpets with amount of water turned down to below 50%.For thin carpets a short distance is better as the water does not have to go deep into the fabric.Here you can even increase the water flow for very dirty areas without risking to soak the underlay too much.In either case you should check the machine before taking it home and if adjustable have the options explained to you in the store.Anything for really bad areas?The entrance area is often subject to whatever our shoes collected outside, especially if you have kids or playful dogs.A bit of oil from the road, some sticky residue of something, dust, small gravel and sand....Vacuum out what comes out first, then use a suitable, not too stiff brush if your vacuum cleaner does not have a rotating brush in the head.Use a spray bottle and prepare a solution of warm water with a bit of washing machine powder and a shot glass worth of methylated spirit.Slightly wet the soiled area with the spray bottle without saturating it.Use the brush to agitate the carpet fibres - preferably directional and with even strokes.If they are not wet in the deeper areas spray a bit more.Again: you don't want to soak it you want to wet it.Give it about 20 minutes on a warm day a bit longer if the insede temps are below 25°C.Check with your hand if the area is still wet, the alcohol should speed up the evaporation here.Before it dries up repeat the process and check with a paper towel if it picks up the stains already.If so then run over the area with cleaning machine.Best results are achieved if you manage to get the fibres wet all the way down with the brush and won't let the area fully dry off again after the spraying.How can I speed up the drying time?The only way to speed things up is heat and airflow.If outside humidty is quite high then you will struggle.Even in the summer times the humidity levels over night can get well into or even over the 80% region.Opening doors and windows then to get the carpet dry won't really help you.Best time to clean your carpets is actually at night because by the time you are done the sun is out and the humity levels much lower.On a good day below 30%.This is true even for the winter times.Put a few fans up and make sure the temperatures are well above the 20°C mark.If in doubt you have to turn the heater on.Once the humidity inside is sky high you open up all windows and doors to have an exchange of air.A few minutes suffice here unless there is wind at all.If it is a hot summer day you can of course just let it all open until the sun goes down again.During colder times pay special attention to cold areas, like your toilet, bathroom or in general areas that won't warm up properly.Even if the room was not cleaned the moisture can accumulate here and cause mold and mildew.If in doubt make sure the ENTIRE house is warm enough until your carpets are fully dry again.A humidity sensor or gauge certainly helps, two are better so you can check inside and outside at the same time.

Topic by Downunder35m  


Looking for a cheap compressor with a high pressure rating or for airbrush use?

Today a friend of mine asked me if I know a way to reduce the noise level of his compressor in the work shed. With the current heat he prefers to work in the evening and nights, which does not make his neighbours too happy. His main use for several airbrush guns and sometimes for mormal airtools or the big spray gun for an undercoat or similar. So his main concern is oil in the airline and the actual flow rate is of second concern as he has an old 25kg propane cyclinder as an additional air tank. For relative low air volumes I would suggest an old fridge compressor. With a thicker pipe at the outlet that is filled with stainless steel wool most of the oil stays in the compressor. That is if this pipe is a) long enough b) upright c) of sufficient diameter so there is enough for the oil to avoid it being pushed up A second, standard oil seperator will be enough for the oil level required for airbrush stuff - and most other things too. If there is no pressure regulator on the airbrush system it is best to add a small air tank and shut off valve for it. In our case however a fridge compressor would be just enough to keep the bigger airbrush gun running but not to fill the tank at the same time. Not to mention the problem of fluctuating pressure levels. Since we already had a tank and pressure shut off connected to the loud compressor it was only a matter of finding something that keeps the neighbours happy. The first thing we did was to check how often the compressor comes on and how long it runs till the tank is back to pressure. With that and the stated air volume on the compressor we guesstimated that something a bit bigger than the compressor of a window airconditioner should be sufficient. The search begins.... If you don't know what to look for I give you a few hints: Older airconditioners often run on R22 or R12 - both use quite high system pressures which is a bonus, but more on that later. As a rule of thumb for these compressors you cans say: the bigger the higher the flow rate. At the local wreckers and scrap yards we found a few units but noticed the bigger ones often used three phases and not just one :( So we opted for the R22 compressor of a 4.5kW unit. Keep in mind the 4.5kW is for the entire system, so the quite massive fans can be removed from the sum. Usually the compressor alone is the 2.5 - 3kW range. Ok, we found the big thing but how does this help us? First things first ;) The oil was removed as the housing stating the original oil amount. This allowed us to use an oil rated for air use that has little to no water absorption qualities - you don't want water in your compressor. With the usual heat the water should be no problem anyway. Next was a pressure test to make sure the thing actually still works, so we added some plumping in the form of standard connectors to the inlet and outlet. We got well above 200PSI and abondoned the test at this stage as it was more than enough already. The air volume seemd to be well more than expected too so let'S move to the next stage. A fridge or aircon compressor always needs to have a certain amount of oil in it as it will otherwise seize and overheat quickly. But they are also designed so that the oil mixes with the refrigerant to cool all moving parts. So the biggest hurdle is to make sure the oil stays where it should stay and won't enter or get lost in the tank. Only real option for this to use something to catch the oil that is capable of releasing it into the compressor once it shuts off. Now there are several options for this so I start with the most basic: A "catch can" will get most of the oil, especially if filled with stainless steel wool or similar. Downside is that you have to find a way to get it back into the compressor. A step better is a thicker pipe filled with stainless steel wool to catch the oil. If placed upright and the outgoing pipe can be bend a bit upwards you have a good chance that most of the oil will sweep through the valves and get back down into the compressor housing. But only too often the cheap or even free compressor is better than expected and the oil won't get back into the housing as the vlaves are just too good. The last and IMHO best option is a pressurised return system. Most compressors for bigger aircons have a seperate filling port or sealed off piece of pipe. In this case you can do a simple check to see if they are usable for our purposes. Open the port of pipe and use a simple bike bump or similar to get some pressure in it. With a dedicated oil filling port you are best off but they are hard to find. The air you pump in should come out of the high pressure side - you might need a little pressure to overcome the valves. If you hear any bubbling in the housing (use a pipe on your ear or a sensitive microphone) it means you are going through the oil inside the compressor - perfect! You might not hear any bubbling but the port or pipe is still usable. Get ready with your fingers and start the compressor. The fill pipe should be sucking air in, same for the service port if there is one. A dedicated oil port should not suck but instead force some oil up if you cover the high pressure outlet. I assume all is good and no oil is splashing out of the open pipe or port. Add a small amount of oil with a syringe or similar into the port/pipe. If you see an oil mist coming out of the high side it is bad news. Clean outlet air is good. To get the oil back from the catch pipe or can we have to add a hose or pipe with a needle valve. It needs to be adjusted so that there is only a very little airflow (or oil mist) coming out. This regulated outlet is now being connect to the port/pipe with a bit of suction that we found earlier. Now every time the compressor runs the collected oil is forced back into the compressor :) Please double check the port/pipe used is not directly connected to the intake port! The last thing you want is a puddle of oil going into the cylinder and damaging it! They are designed to move gas but not liquid! If in doubt use a hardened sttel nail or similar to create a small puncture in the top of the compressor housing if there is nothing else to use. Check first if the material sound very thick, if so it might help to drill with a 5 or 6mm drill first - only about 1mm to make sure you won't enter the housing and conimate it with metal shavings! Once you have a small puncture hole of about 2mm in diameter get some 2 component metal repair glue mix and add a suitable connection for the collecting pipe/can. If you feel up to it you can of course use a blow torch and solder the connection on. Now we have the compressor working with a oil return system that also gives up very little to no oil at all in our system. You might now think you are good to go but you should at least add a decent and fine filter to the air inlet ;) The compressor noise of a bigger system can still be an issue if thicker pipes are used that allow the noise to travel out. Keep in mind they usually run in a fully closed system.... As we only need to match the noise level of the compressor itself a solid steel can like an old fire extinguisher in the 1kg rage is a good way out. Fill it with filter wool and a fine filter pad after adding some hose connectors either end. You can misuse the trigger nozzle and keep it to seal the top if you braze a connector on it. If the intake here is about 5 times larger than the pipe connection to the compressor itself the air flow going into the thing is low enough for a cheap paper air filter can or box if you have a quite dusty enviroment to work with. The real trick is to have a hose or pipe on the inside of the fire extinguisher connected to the compressor pipe connection. A garden hose is great here as is reduces the noise quite good and is dirt cheap. Make a lot of about 2mm sized holes in this pipe and close the other end of it off. Now the compressor will suck it through the small holes and the soft garden hose reduces the noise, the surrounding padding brings it down to basically nothing. The special case of clean air for airbrush.... If you read this for the sole purpose of airbrush use then this chapter is just for you, all other might want to skip it. The two things you don't want to enter your gun is oil or water. Both are a common thing in normal compressors due to lubrication and pressure difference resulting in condensation of the humidity in the intake air. Oil free compressors of good quality can cost quite a few bucks and often require ongoing replacement of membranes or piston seals. A refrigeration compressor with the above modifications already provides clean enough air for most airbrush users if a proper tank is used to store enough of the compressed air. So you might just want to add a basic oil filter or very fine paper filter close to the regulator. For very detailed work with very sensitive paints you might want to build a filter box containing of several layers of oil absorbent paper. This stuff is often used in the industry to clean up minor oil spills and bind oil very well. A PVC pipe (pressure rated please) with 5-8 layers of filter screens should last about a lifetime before the filters need changing if the diameter is in the 10-15cm range. That leaves us with the dreaded problem of condensation and water contamination. Depending on the type of paint and gun used a small amount of water vapour is usually no problem. Solvent based paints usally show their disliking by unwanted drops or run offs caused by water droplets. Of course you just go and buy a professional dehumidifier and accept the ongoing replacement costs for the cartridges... But if you are in a climated that has above 30% humidity for most of the year than you will have to remove the water one way or the other. A big enough storage tank for the air that is upright usually helps to release any condensated water prior to usage. But if you use a homemade tank you might want to avoid this problem completely and forget about water in the system altogehter. Silaca gel is the answer here, specifically the indicating variety that changes color once "full". A spaghetti glas or similar should be big enough unless you are in a very humid climate - is so just use multiple in a row. The air intake side for the compressor has to go through the silica gel to be effictive. This mean we need two holes in the lid. One with a pipe or hose going all the way to the botom - that is the air intake side. The other right on the lid - this is the air outlet side which continues to the compressor intake. With the color change in the silica gel we can estimate how much usage we have left until we have to heat it up to remove the water. If this color change happens quite fast from the bottom to the top, let's say within three days or less than you really need to use more jars with silica gel in a row or a longer one - like using a long and clear acrylic pipe instead. Of course you can always just cut holes and "viewing glasses" along the length to a PVC pipe.... No matter how wet your climate is you want to get at least 100 hours of compressor run time before you need to recharge the silica gel. This brings us to the recharging.... Once the color changes and you only have about one quarter left to the top you want to get the water out of the gel and re-use it. To do this you simply heat it up in your oven to around 120-150°C - the supplier should state the max temp for this. If you use a gas oven or one with limited accuracy here it is best to stay within the 120° range. You need to stir and mix the gel or use something big enough like an oven tray. But be aware that these little balls are like glass! The roll and bounce like no tomorrow! IMHO it best to use an old cooking pot that has no plastic handles for this and not to overfill it. This allows for easy mixing without making a mess that might cause a bad trpping hazard on your kitchen floor tiles! Once the gel is back to original colr it is time to let it cool of to a safe temperature and to fill it back into our canister or pipe. Tanks and shut off systems.... We have a refrigeration compressor working for us, and since it was for R22 we can use much higher pressures as a simple compressor from the hardware store. The low pressure side is used to 70PSI or around 5Bar of pressure in normal working conditions. The high side often works at pressure in the range of 200-300PSI or 14-20Bar! The tank we used is a big propane tank that was restamped at some stage in his life for the use of LPG - so it was tested to quite high pressures. The lower pressure limit is what keeps the stored gas liquid at the given temperature. For Propane at an imaginary 30°C this would around 155PSI or 10Bar. The stamped test pressure, although outdated, showed 600PSI or around 40Bar of pressure with no problems - and the thing was thick in the walls... The old shut off switch from an old air compressor was adjustable after removing the safety cap with a bit of force and the help of few cold beer. With a little tank attached we adjusted it to turn the compressor off at 250PSI or around 17Bar of pressure. If your tank is old or has no test pressure stamped on do your own test in a safe location. Make sure the area is secured so there is no chance of debris from a brusting tank can go anywhere - this includes to chain down the tank itself ;) Use the aircon compressor to fill it up to 300PSI or 20Bar of pressure - this should be tolerated with ease by any propane or LPG tank. Shut the valves and let it rest for a day or so. It is best to do this in the early morning so the heat from the day will slightly increase the pressure. At the end you still want to have a working tank and no major pressure losses. All of our mods on this tank were done without actually harming the tank. This was possible as the original valve had a release port for filling purposes - as it standard on most refillable ones. Here we removed the valve and added a pressure guage instead - better to know what is happening than to assume things. As this "port" had a seperate connection to the bottom of the brass valve we added as T-connection to allow for the connection to the compressor. Just be be really sure a thin piece of copper tubing was brazed to the exit hole of this port so all incoming air will be going down and away from the outlet connection with the big shut off valve on top - which we use to actually isolate and close the tank when not it use. Last thing required was something to connect the pressure shut off switch and regulator to. That was the only major expense on this project as we had no old BBQ hose or similar to get a suitable connector to the tank. We bought a simple adapter for the use of smaller hoses and cut the unwanted bits off we there was only the bottle conntector with the nut left. After removing the rubber ring we brazed piece of copper pipe onto it. Here we drilled holes and fitted severy connectors. First for the pressure switch, then for the connection to the pressure regulator and two standard ones with a ball valve for air hose connections. One air hose connection female, the other male so a standard compressor can be connected as well or "backfilled" for additional and mobile storage use. As we wanted to avoid any reduction in the safety and burst pressure no release valve was added at the bottom on the tank. The added silica gel filter stage was used instead so no water will get into the system to begin with. Additionally, and painfully for me and me friend, the inside of the tank was coated with a layer of acrylic paint to prevent and rust as it was free from it when we checked it at the beginning. This involved filling a suitable amount of paint into it, closing the top while keeping the thread clean and then to move the tank around to cover the inside evenly. If you do this be prepared for some weird movements with your friends LOL Once we were sure all ust be covered by paint at least three times we released the exxess paint and allowed the inside to dry with the assistance of some air forced to go in with a length of pipe. This was repeated 3 times... Then another two just for the bottom third of it where there might be some moisture after all... Now you don't want to remove the brass valve with everything connected to it just to turn the tank over to releae the collected water. Instead we made sure the added pipe on the former relese port would go all the way to the bottom of the tank. If any water collection is suspected only the connection to the compressor needs an additional valve for the disconnection so the water will be force back out here. To make this easy and fast we used standard quick connectors and a piece of flexible airhose rated to 20bar of pressure for the connection to the compressor. We checked the performance of the moisture removal and oil removal only for a few hours of running time while priming some surface for later use. The compressor oil used was very smelly to say it nice but nothing coul be smelled in the first paper filter after the pressure regulator. To check for remaining moisture levels (65% humidity in the house) we used a 10m length of clear PVC tubing going through an ice bath. After 30 minutes of moderate air release there was no condensation on the inside of the tubing visible. Of course if you only need it for air supply and don't care about a bit of moisture and oil you can keep it simple ;) Benefits of doing such a stupid thing: For starters noise and the peace of mind that you can do a lot of airbrushing until the compressor needs to kick in again. Then of course the benefit of an almost silent system compared to a standard compressor - something you can actually tolerate while doing art. But the real deal is knowing YOU did it and you did it for cheap. Warnings and some advise... I know, it should be at the very beginning but I just hope you read till the end ;) If the compressor fails from overheating you are up for a new one. This means the tan size should be within the limits of what the compressor can handle - same for what you actually use on air. You want an empty tank to be filled before the compressor feels hot to touch - quite warm is fine but if you can't leave your hand on it then it is too hot. Same story for the usage. There is no point in using a tiny 10 liter storage tank if you need that capacity every few minutes. The compressor would only have little pauses and overheat quickly. You want a good balance of usage time before the tank goes below supply pressure and running time of the compressor to get it to full pressure again. This brings us to the safety of high pressures. Where possible only copper tubing or sufficiently rate hoses should be used, the later as short as possible to avoid them acting like a whip if something goes wrong. When it comes to the safety of the tank you want to make sure to stay withing it's rated limits. All benefits of a compressor capable of producing over 500PSI otr close to 35Bar is wasted if your tank and pressure regulator can't handle it. This must not mean that you try to use a gas cylinder of unknow age and pressure rating and assume it will work! If in doubt use a lower shut off pressure and stay within the limits of normal air compressors - which is around 120PSI or 8Bar. Never, ever use a tank that is compromised by inside rust or bad corrosion on the outside! If you don't know how to braze copper tubing, pipes and connectors then check out some of the great Instructables about it! Whenever you know you won't use any compressed air for more than a few hours close all valves especially the ones going back to the compressor on the high pressure side! Some compressors really don't like a huge pressure difference constantly pushing on the reed valves. If your tank is big enough to allow for more than one hour of operation before the compressor has to top it up you might want to consider a one way valve right on the compressor outlet. This will prevent any massive pressures going onto the valves - especially helpful for modern compressors that only rely on the sealing capabilities of the clyinders or rotary system used. One thing you should always consider is a pressure relief valve rated for about 50PSI more than your tank pressure - it can be added to the pipe ;) If the shut off valve ever fails the relief valve gives you the ease of mind that it will blow before your tank does. Maintenance... If modded correctly the compressor should stay in the compressor and the compressor itself should not overheat from use. Having said that your compressor might force out a little more than your best catch system can handle. If that becomes a problem it might help to use an oil with a lower viscosity. If all fails it just means you need to top up oil once the last last paper filter is filthy or use slightly more to begin with so the intervals are longer. The silica gel, if used should be recharged before all of it is wasted - no point in adding it if you use it once full of water. If no gel is used there will be water in the storage tank. Even with the added paint and a good air filter it is possible that nasty things grow in there. Making sure the tank is emptied of any water after long uses and again before the next use is good practise. If no pressure gauge is used on the tank you must make sure the shut off valve is always working fine and within set parameters. I strongly recommend using a gauge and if not to perform a pressure check of the system every now and then to confirm all is within parameters of normal operation. A compressor constantly running means you either use far too much air or you have a leak - same story if the compressos kicks in after some of forgetting to shut it off and close the valves. If you keep the above in mind the salvaged compressor should work just fine for many years to come. Troubleshooting and alternatives.... You put everything together the right way, double checked and something is till not right? Maybe my crystal ball helps me to find something... 1. Always oil coming through the catch system. It usually means you use too much of it. A salvaged compressor, if the refrigent was removed legally from the system should still have a "correct" level of oil inside. Too much oil would mean is being pumped through the system at an excessive rate. Very thin compressor oils tend to do that in the compressor is misude like we do. Changing to standard mineral oil can help here. As a last resort you can use a pressure gauge or good judgement to allow more flow through the needle valve from the catch system back to the compressor. Too much backflow here would mean we loose system pressure to the set level of this needle valve! 2. The R22 rated compressor seems to be unable to produce enough pressure. First do a leak test using soapy water to rule out any leaks. Do a back pressure test on the ports. If you can push air through them in the reverse way with ease it means the valves are damaged making the compressor useless. You need to replace it. A regular cause with our type of usage is a constand back pressure from the storage tank to the compressor. To prevent this it might help to mount an electric solenoid between the compressor and storage tank. Such valve should be off when the pressure switch is engaged and on when the pressure switch is disengaged. This prevents the coil from overheating but requires a "normally off" type of valve. A good source at the wreckers are cars with LPG systems installed, they usually have suitable 12V valves somewhere on or near the tank and filler cap. 3. I am using several kg of silica gel but still get a lot of water in my storage tank. Going overboard in a humid climate can be a good thing here but if moisture makes it into the tank even with great amounts of silica gel there are only two causes: a) the tube or cylinder used is not long enough or not wide enough to allow the absorption of all the moisture going through. b) the flow rate is too high and the temperatures are too. For the first the solution is obvious enough. The second is related to the first for the diameter and lenght but temperatures constantly above the 30°C while operating somehow limits what the gel can do. Using a cooling coil on the intake side or simply putting the gel containers in icy water will help to a great deal here. If that is not an option than I suggest to layer the gel and to seperate it with fine paper filter screens. This will slow and even out the airflow allowing for more contact time with the gel. 4. The compressor gets very noisy after some time. If "some time" means more than 30-45 minutes you simply have it running too much and it overheats. If the noise increases too much when reaching the shut off pressure it can mean the pressure is too high for it. 5. Can I use multiple compressors from smaller units or refrigerators to get enough air volume? Of course you can but it might mean you have to lower your pressure expectations. Consider that each individual compressor would get the back pressure from all other compressors running while it's outlet valve is closed. To avoid premature failure you want to make sure the compressors are shut off at a lowver pressure. 6. I don't want to use a big tank but require a good airflow for airbrush. Two or three fridge compressors working one after the other with a small tank to keep the output pressure even can allow for about 30 minutes runtime per compressor. With three it gives one hour for the the first to cool off and should be enough for ongoing work. Downside is you need to make some sort of automatic switch to "rotate" to compressor working. Last words.... Is you find any spelling mistakes you can keep them. However, if you use them in any way to make a profit with them I kindly ask for 10% of your earning from it ;) Why did I not make an Instructable out of all this? Well the day was very hot, the beer very cold and my mobile phone at home, so I did not take any pics. To top it up the whole thing is now in a seperate box for additional noise reduction so it can be used in the same room where the guy is working. Of course he just used a nailgun for the job without any regard of access or at least easy view of the two pressure gauges. Typical if you have a great idea and the cold beer tells you to forget all about screws or hinges ROFL Only comment was: You created it and it works fine, why would need more than the pipe connections for the gel and regulator? Maybe he will reconsider when the service is due....

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Your thoughts on "UFO's", strange things and the unknown

Don't take what comes below too serious please ;) I thought for the start of the new year it would be fun to talk about things we take for granted or that we would call nonsense. You know topis like those provided by Erich Däniken and other that think outside the conventional archiological range. Modern science has provided us with new insights into very old stuff but also a new look on things we thought to know better anyway. Here is some food for thought: 1. India... In this beautiful and old country it was discovered that hundreds if not over 2000 years ago people used lathe technology on stones. For example to make pillars with a weight over a few tons... Chains were created from molten rock and in many areas you find polished stone that even after hundreds of years still has a mirror finnish. Some of these creations are claimed to be made with hammer and chisel but how do you get a displayed accuracy that even modern technology struggles to provide? I don't want to clutter everything with video links but check Youtube and you will find temples in India showing musical granite pillars and chambers carved into solid rock with a precision that seems impossible! If that long ago human knd already knew about gear systems and lathe technology, then what else have we lost over time that we now claim as new technologies? How could anyone polish an entire granite hall and a big one that is to a mirror finnish? 2. Peru... Apart from being full of archeological wonders there is also the impossible to be found. The Nazca region shows, in aerial views, kilometer long and perfectly straight lines. In other regions, also in other continents, we can see images of strange people or artwork - again only from high above ground level. Some of the artwork is only in correct proportions and with proper contours if watched from a very specific angle to the mountain in question. The kilometer long lines are not simply on standard mountain faces but instead on top of mountain that have the top removed to be perfectly flat. And even with a lot of posible options to interpret the lines they look like any other huge, modern airport landing strips - including runways and tracks to areas we would call terminals or service bays. You can ignore all possible ways to interpret the design and possible use, what you can't ignore is the missing mountain top and level of accuracy on such a massive scale! 3. Pyramids... On all continents except Australia we find pyramid structures with very similar features in terms of proportions, angles and the way the face in a certain direction. In Egypt they just recently found another hidden chamber... Tunnels, too small for a human to fit point to stars and star signs. Some of the tools used to create were found with the help of small robots but also that some seem to be quite modern in age. Did grave robbers use them at a time were it is beleived that such tools were impossible to create? Or could they be as old as the pyramids itself? In south america we find pyramid structures looking quite similar to those in Egypt - why so similar in features and appearance if there was no contact between the two civilisations? To make things worse some of the Inca structures show tunnel and channel systems "leading" to the pyramid in question. Classic thought is that they were like tunnels to direct water or provide access in the beleive the jungle was not removed to hide the complex. Makes no sense if you see the city like areas that are now exposed and studied. I mean: how would created a city in the jungle without removing the trees?? What could make you wonder is a simulation that was performed several years ago. Based on a computer model in 3D different theories were tested. Irrigation was ruled out quickly, same for access routes or secret tunnels for the priests. One funny student got bored and decided to play god. Assuming the Inca priests would call their gods in the sky temple to provide rain he let a monsoon go down on the pyramid. The result was unexpected so he showed the results to his companions and they did the same test agin but simulated a massive airflow going down directly on the pyramid. Turned out the flow would be directed away under ground with more efficiency than systems Nasa uses today for rockets and space shuttles... Mind you the tunnels are far from straight and without this simulation it was trusted that they could not do this stuff... We now have rocket technology that uses surface direction and vector control. The square and flat designs leave a void insight that pretty much perferctly match the angles of those inca pyramids? Apart from pure coincidence, what could be the reason for this match in shape and angle with a tunnel system perfect to remove hot engine gasses? Ok, I admit, not all continents, the pyramids in Bosnia are just a hoax, so Europe is out of the race ;) Sorry Semir :) 4. Artwork... Be it here in Australia, the African desert or America - we find images of mystical people or rulers that could make you wonder. Again modern tech in the form color filtering, desitity readings and 3D scanning provided us details unseen before. If you think of gods in very ancient times and try to imagine you would be a native: What do think how many different images of their god could 100 people imagine? Let's agree it would be plenty... But if we study artwork in caves and rocks from around the world we find similarities that IMHO can't be explained. Many show features that, compared with modern technology, could be mistaken for helmets, gloves or even manual control systems. Others show things thought to be as simple as pine cones to resemble modern milling or finnishing tools. Again only possible by enhancing details the naked eye won't see. With no contact to each other and often thausand of years apart: What could the reason for having images of their gods show very similar and sometimes identical "features" ? 5. UFO technology and sightings... Some people love to post videos of secret weapons and UFO's that are simple rocket launches at a perfect time and with perfect weather conditions to attract attention. But what about the things we don't get to see? Just recently the US finally admitted to have a program to investigate what we might call "UFO activity", quite costly one too... This means a lot of leaked videos from fighter planes or spy planes you find on the net are actually the real deal. Often "enhanced" with editing tools but authentic ones have been released by the military and other organisations now too. If it happens over US ground and no US organisations admits to be flying the things we see than what it is? Right, it is a UFO - An Unidentified Flying Object! Does not mean it is alien, despite far too many people thinking an UFO must be alien :( UFO means just that! At the time of seeing it the ones seeing it can not identify the craft or "thing". And, no you are not alone! ;) Happens in all parts of the world and even commercial pilots upload what they can't explain. Oh, you are still a sceptic? Does that mean you think some of these sightings must be alien or do think someone down here uses technology we are not supposed to know of? If you are like me you might like to relax watching the live feed from the ISS. In case you are not try it anyway! Every noticed that that despite the stations own speed "forgeign" objects appear to come towards the station or even to grow in size very quickly? If so you also noticed another very strange thing... No matter what happens up there the stream keeps playing, even at times when the station is moved around a bit to avoid a possible hit with debris. But every single time something appears to move around the ISS or come close to it the feed cuts out. Ok, not every time, for well known stuff orbiting around like satellites, other stations, rocket lauchnes or supply flights they stay on. So, what are those flying objects changing course and direction or even circling the station? Why does the live feed cut out once an object is identified to be unidentified? 6. Roswell technology boom... Some think the US did take ownership of an alien craft, you know the stories and movies I mean... So called eye witness reports and some leaked documents all claim certain unknown technology in great detail. Anything from fibre optics and microchips, over "intelligent metals" to light enhancing glass lenses and seemingly indestructable fibres... Some say that if we would had the option to copy and understand the technology to copy it (without knowing anything about it of course) then the tech boom of the 60' would have been instantly. Imagine flat screen TV's and smartphones with GPS 50 years ago for everyone... ;) 7. Great land in the south - Antartica... The mysteries originating from Antartica range from Atlantis over hidden civilisations and living dinosaurs to the often claimed secret Nazi base with submarines and lost technologies. We all know that life as we know it can't really exists down there, so no strange animals, ancient creatures or a possibility to sustain a secret military base some 60 years ago. Or it there more to it?? Warm lakes containing fresh water with signs of life in them have already been discovered. Same for caves under the ice with temperatures far above freezing - constantly and again with signs of life. Ages ago the continent was still joint with other and in a warmer region so no wonder to find fossils. If we already found places that sustained life for thausands of years then what living things might be down there? Maybe even a place like the Galapagos Islands but for life thought be extinct - imagine Jurassic Park for real under the ice ;) With thriving life, vulcanos, rivers, lakes and all long before the dinosaurs it is not hard to imagine the remains under the ice and carved into the mountains. In todays times it all covered by ice and the sea level is much much higher, so again not hard to imagine that there might be rivers running off under the ice and into the ocean. Some maybe even connected to lakes in a hot spot sustaining life. A secret base from some secret part of the Nazi regime over 60 years ago?? Well, with all we know today about Antartica and is also known about the technological options available at that time it is possible. A submarine could have operated for days or even a few weeks under the ice with support ships available. Not just with so called secret tech but simply with a big sub on a minimum crew and the support of crude ways to reclaim and produce oxygen. If an entrance to a river leading to a suistainable area exists or existed at that time it would have been just a matter of time and endurance to find it. Of course we can't know if it was already found and removed or used since those with capable submarines and technology these days would not talk about it ;) But private or non government explorations map and drill more than ever, so once they hit "restricted areas" or create their own base and research station under the ice we will know ;) What to do if you actually see (or think you do) a real UFO?? Grab the oldest and dirtiest camera aou can find, mount it on the end of your longest fishing pole and create the shakiest video possible. And please make no references at all that would allow to get on the loctation, time or date. Jokes aside there is a good option these days, your modern smartphone, telescope, GoPro or favourite drone. A fake is often uploaded in very bad resolution often so low you might think an old webcam was used. Good fakes are often just a rocket launch, so check for this before you claim it is of unknown origins. Modern tech allows us to record a video in 4K at 60 or even 120FPS , so no excuse for a 320x240 AVI video LOL Optical zoom causes bad results so try to avoid it if possible. Image stabilisation can do wonders for free hand shots of moving objects, so crank it to the max even if the resulting video is a bit smaller in resolution. Geotagging is also a good thing as it allows an easy reference. You might see much more with you eye than what the video show, or in the best case the other way around. That means before you upload take a step back and try too see the video like someone who was not there when it happened! Are the movements reall that impossible? Is it really not just a plane, rocket flares? What sounds did you hear at the time or shortly after that might not be audible in the video? Sometimes a plane in the distance still is in the sunlight while you already stand in the dark - keep elevation in mind ;) Compare with other videos online that claim to be taken around the same time and area - sure you did not film a rocket launch? But if your video is crystal clear and shows the impossible in great detail you might want to check for the usual markings on military aircrafts or flashing lights in green and red. Still all good and impossible to explain? Then what are you waiting for? Tell us where, when and with what type of gear and upload the video so we get evidence of unknown technologies in the use/testing or an actual UFO - Unidentified flying object, until we know better. ;) Again don't take me too serious today but enjoy some of the thoughts and let your imagination wander off a bit. Lost technologies and knowlege exists, existed, is found again - whatever you want to call it. If humans could move stone blocks the size of a small house and create them with an accuracy down to the mm then they might have known more than we think they did. If we could melt granite to form new things, manipulate its sound or carve hollow heads of just a few mm in size then again we lost something well worth knowing. If in ancient times people had no way of seeing really distant and dim stars then how were they able to accurately map them and predict their movement? If milling and lathe technology was known and used when in other parts of the world we were happy to create simple and weak tools: How was it possible to create gears and know about planetary gear systems? If the evidence of the work clearly shows advance technologies used then where are the tools used and why can we find any written records or images of it being used? If even the all mighty US military, secret agencies and space programs fail to explain what they encounter quite often since we fly around: What is really that seems to try to hide from us while appearing to watch how we evolve, explore and fight wars? Since you still bother to read all this nonsense: If it appears we have "evidence" of the existance of beings capable of flying or even space travel since the dawn of time and add all the modern evidence: Is it possible someone or something has been watching us since humans came to be? Did "they" guide some cultures at some stage during their evolution to show us modern ways of creating alloys, machine stuff or understand what was magic or the gods at that time? And if they did help our evolution in some parts then why did this greatly improved society disappear with no more trace than their stone remains? How would we react if they dare to help us again? Is there a reason that even after countless encounters noone tried to shoot one of the UFO's down? I mean, not even a claim for trying since Rosswell..... Not any evidence of a recent landing either..... Or are we just watched so closely because they want something back we too from them??? ;) I blame all spelling mistakes on my annoyingly unresponsive keyboard. But if you still find some then feel free to keep them! I still demand a fee if use them to make money from them ;)

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Cfmoto 650 - possible options to derestrict the Australian model

When it comes to motorcycles with restrictions then Australia seems to be pretty much alone in the world.Despite an abundance of bike to choose from that would fit weight/power limitations it seems to be common to go overboard here.As a result basically all popular motorbikes up the 650ccm hit the AU market in a restricted form if they don't match the limitations by default.For someone in the US just reading this might sounds like a useless concept to get people to learn how to ride a motorcycle.As a fully licensed rider and being on a budget a bike for just over half the price of a Japanase model is still tempting.And for general touring use the MT is actually quite a comfortable bike.Big downside is the impossiblity to get certain bikes in an unrestricted form.For the Cfmoto's of the older type, running the Ducati ECU it is as simple as adding a suitable fuel/ignition tuner module and removing the physical restrictions.The newer models from 2017 onwards use a more reliable Bosch ECU though.With them it is appearently possible to use BWM tuning module but with the requirement to do a full remap on a Dyno.The 2018 MT is my bike, so I will focus on this, but the gerneral things are identical on all the Cfmoto 650 models.A word on the legal things first....Outside AU none of this concerns you as your Cfmoto will come unrestricted anyways.Within AU however we are subject to several laws that make the legal modification of a so called LAMS motorcycle virtually impossible.You can even put a different exhaust or airfilter on them without risking to loose your license and get some hefty fines.As a fully licensed rider however the law often turns a blind eye on these things as they don't really matter as long as they won't affect the safety of the bike, rider or other road users.With the plated riders out for now, let's focus on the options for a fully licensed rider, shall we?There is no need for a RWC or anything if you already owned the bike in the LAMS version.But if you try, for example, to go to Vicroads and have the registration details changed to reflect that the bike is now running with it's full factory default power, or a bit more you are lost.Two reasons for this.Firstly Cfmoto did not bother to import and register for road use any unrestricted version of the 650's.Secondly the VIN number and engine number are fixed in a database for LAMS only bikes.You would need a full engeneering certificate to register the bike in any modified version that affects the power output or reduces the weight of the bike.Sets you back about 10.000 dollars and still won't garantee that Vicroads actually transform it into a legal, unrestricted bike.The police has little to no interest in what a fully licensed rider does to a bike - within the usual limits of course.And since you would not sell the bike without fully reverting it back to the LAMS state the risk of prosecution can be fully minimised:If your insurer agrees to provide full comprehensive cover once the bike is (properly) reverted to what the international models are it is down to serious accidents that might still cause trouble.For example when you cause severe injuries to someone else the bike would be checked for modifications that could have had an influence on the accident.My insurer explained it like this:If the bike is checked roadworthyness after an accident it would fail because it is no longer LAMS compliant.That would automatically default the rider to be responsible for the accident even if not at fault at all.With that it is mandatory to have all the details about the modifications listed and validated in the insurance policy!Adding a tuning module for example would mean providing a fully Dyno chart with a safety confirmation from a licensed vehicle tester.For example the confirmation would state that a power Commander with Auto Tune module was installed together with a slip on exhaust system.Bike specifications allow for the save use with said modifications based on the results of the Dyno runs.With that the rider is put back into legal territory as the insurer stands for the roadworthyness of the modifications.It certainly helps to just stick with the default options and to provide the Cfmoto cert copy from the same international version of the bike.A plated rider should never attempt any of this as it still means there is no way to get away - legally and financially!Possible tuning options for the LAMS versions:Adding one the usualy tuning modules is not only pain but also costly if done properly.Being a LAMS bike you will have a hard finding a reputable shop to install a tuning module for you.Doing it yourself can be tricky, especially if you consider that the default wire colors are often different on the bike.Takes a few hours to check the wiring diagram, follow and measure connections and then to finally risk starting the bike....It works though if you know what you doing.Biggest downside is that you won't find any ready to go maps that you can use.And trust me trying to modify fuel or ignition maps yourself is not for the faint of heart and only an option if you a) know what you are doing and b) have the tools for it.There is a good chance the bike actually runs worse than without the module.Now the obvious solution would be to go for some Dyno runs and to have it all setup properly.Again, with a LAMS bike you will have a hard time finding a licensed and reputable shop to take your bike in.If you find one that does it anyway than it really is best to go for the full package and to suck the costs up.Let them supply the required modules, sensors and all, deal with the airbox and throttle limiter.Then have the usual 3-4 Dyno runs to get the mapping done properly.This approached worked perfectly fine for the older bikes using the Ducati ECU.The new models with the Bosch ECU might still struggle to accept the tuning changes.Reason for this is the checking of literally all sensor informations.Means the tuning module must cater for this and not just fool the O2 and TPS sensor readings.Just removing the throttle limiter and airbox restrictions will cause the bike to run too hot very quickly and also puts your ECU into a lean default mode once you see ECU errors flashing on the dash.Real tuning options that won't have a chance to harm the engine:With all models available internationally and without any restrictions it is relatively easy to find a wrecker in the US, EU or even Asia to supply parts from crashed bikes or those confiscated for destruction by dismantling them.If you are a fully licensed rider and after a bargain or love your first bike so much that you want to keep it once the plates are gone:Organise the ECU, airbox and throttle body from any part of the world except Australia.Sometimes you even find them on Ebay so pay attention to the sellers home country (some AU sellers go international and would then just get the same what is already in your bike ;) )!!Why not just the ECU you ask?Our airbox has added restrictors, just removing is not the best option as they are also responsible for causing required turbulences in the airflow.A straight through or even pot filter option would again require ECU tuning.As said, talking stock here...The throttle body might not be required to get the full power the bike is intended for but you never know for sure.If in doubt pay a few bucks more and have the injectors and sensors included as well ;)But why would I want to pay for a throttle body if it is not 100% certain I would require it?It would'n t have the screw hole for the throttle limiter ;)This tiny detail can be of importance if you go the full lenght, more on that later.With those three components (or two if you want to go without the throttle body) you have a stock international version of the 650.Makes it relatively easy to convince your insurer that the bike is safe to use in this configuration.Adding just a slip on is no problem either as the normal ECU runs quite rich in the higher RPM's anyway and the new exhaust would not make too much mess here.But adding a less restrictive airfilter will need Dyno tuning.Going the full length, especially interesting if you buy a second hand Cfmoto.It will take you a lot of Emails and some overseas phone calls but it is possible to find a wrecker that can sell you the registration plates for the frame of the bike - legally if said wrecker is allowed to sell frame number for rebuilds.Adding this plate to your order means your second hand bike can be deregistered, sadly this means unless you pay extra you need to hand in the numberplates as well.No big deal however if the bike comes without numberplates anyway.Once you installed all parts and replaced the frame ID plate you take the bike for normal RWC check and get your green slip.With that you go and ask to register your bike with new (or your old) numberplates.The Vin will not show up in their database and a red flag comes up, prompting some questions from the offcial behind the counter.The bike you know have is an imported model you got for cheap when you saw it for sale in some carpark with a blown engine.As the actual engines are identical you replaced the blown engine with one from an AU bike that crashed and was written off.In return you now pay a slightly higher than usual transfer fee but get the bike registered as he international model without LAMS restrictions.Even the engine showing up as a LAMS engine is of no concers here as there is no legal reason to not allow the use of a lower powered engine in a motorcycle.You insurance polcy will also go up a few bucks but that is not really worth crying about now anymore.Once you go out with your numberplates you can enjoy a legally derestricted (imported) Cfmoto.Ok, I got it an I say I am a fully licences rider that does not care too much and wants to go as cheap as possible...A brand new ECU from China sets you back about $400AU.Downside is that you are never 100% certain the mapping will fit what is installed on your bike.There might be differences for the US or EU market, not so much though for Asia - so ask for what market region the ECU is intendet and prefer the Asia market here.The airbox limiters should be safe to remove but you might have to make simple plates up to install so the air turbulences are within specs - you will notice if the bike runs really crappy in the high revs and struggles to provide power to the wheel...Unless Cfmoto actually include more limitations in or around the throttle body going with stock should be fine - flashing ECU error will tell you if not.Postage from China can be a pain, not so much for time it takes but for the money charged to use proper and trusted courier services.Up to $100 just for postage is not uncommon but also means the parts are your within a week or 10 days most.Some provide cheap flat rates but both have the risk of being asked to pay import duties if held by AU costoms.Going second hand from some wrecker outside AU can be slightly cheaper for the ECU but again postage can a pain on the pocket.The obvious downside is that the bike with such a simple and direct mod would be still a LAMS bike and if checked make it illegal to use with all the corresponding consequences for the rider - even if fully licensed, please check the above insurance part again if you must.If done properly and maybe even with a slip on: what gains are we talking about in actual figures on the wheel?To be honest not really that much at all, the bike is just too heavy.But the response will improve noticable!The bike pulls out of corners with ease now and no longer requires you shift through the gears with a screaming engine.Imagine you have a small, 4-cylinder car and went on a long holiday trip with your heavy camping trailer always attached.Holidays are over, you unhook the camper and go for a quick run to the shops for supplies.It is that wow feeling that you get when you take off with the weight gone...The gears run higher with a more evenly distributed power instead of just a narrow window of RPM's with enough power to pull away.The KW and RPM values are available on the Cfmoto homepages.What about top speed?I managed to get to a full 110km/h !! ;)For anything above that ask your local Dyno please or pay for a day on the track.What if the police gets me and makes trouble because of the modifications?A well trained officer in a bad mood will always be your nightmare.So I won't go into the troubles if you still need plates or just got your full license a few days ago...You are allowed to ride any road legal motorcycle, no matter the power ratings.However, a really pesky cop wanting to go by the full book on you will use the computer to check your bike and registration details.And if he knows the most obvious non-legal mods to LAMS bikes, like the shiny exhaust you will need a lift home.Chances are though that a clean driving record and having your full license for a few years indicates that you actually know how to handle your bike properly.That is the point where your honesty and details with the insurance company matter.Preferably with you having a copy of your policy with you when riding the bike.With that you can always argue the modifications are documented and approved by your insurer and corresponding vehicle tester.Makes it then only a minor offence for not being LAMS conform.The paperwork to fight you on what your insurer singed off for is just not worth it with a possible drunk driver getting past while you argue....Legally they can still book you or even take the bike but do they ever bother to take those Harleys or street racers with screaming exhausts you hear from miles away before you even see the bike? ;)As said, it comes down to a LAMS offense that is fully covered by your insurer and with that not really worth making a big fuzz about.If you got pulled over for speeding or other offenses the story will be different though as it then could be argued you made these modifications with the INTENT of illegal activities - like speeding or pulling stunts that are not allowed on public roads.Here you insurer can refuse the cover the same way they would for the same offences on a fully legally unrestricted bike.Is it worth taking the risk?No, it is not!If you are after a bike with good handling and power you would not ride a Cfmoto...As a true LAMS bike the resale value is actually quite good if the bike is kept in good condition.Modified you will have a hard time selling it as no learner would take the risk - a working brain assumed here.For a keeper once fully licensed or someone on a budget it can be quite tempting.After all, it leaves a nagging feeling if have a full license and sit on a restricted bike....You always have to explain what you ride and why anyway every time you pull over where chatty bikers are around.Selling the bike in good condition and maybe together with the extras you got over the years might be enough to justify the extra for a second hand bike from Asia, Italy or Austria and give you more leasure and pleasure in the long run.Doing it properly and in the most legal way costs quite a few bucks.If you add this to the current asking price of around 7500 ride away will add at least another $1500.Depending on the exhaust system even more.If you require proper identification and tracing of things like VIN plates it can be clse to $2000.At this point you already see really only makes sense it is a cheap second hand bike, whicj makes the entire approach a bit questionable anyway.With now close to $10.000 for a new bike the difference to a well known brand with maybe a better reputation is not that big anymore.The bike would already be unrestricted and making road legal modification wouldn't interest anyone.Not to mention of course the warranty issues as Cfmoto won't honor any of it if you modify new LAMS bike!Now add the possible costs for repairs or parts that would otherwise be free and free of labour costs and the bargain becomes very expensive before the warranty period is over.There will be the point where you ask yourself why did you bother in the first place....Warranty....Once modded the factory warranty is void so to say.Problem here is that the law is intentionally unclear on the reasons and options applicable here.As the bike would (without exhaust mod) be just like any international model the law states the warranty must be granted.However, Cfmoto has the right to refuse it anyway based on the exclusions required by law to prevent non-LAMS conform bikes from getting back on the road.A blown engine with a proper service history would be no big deal without this.The right to refuse a free warranty replacement for covered parts if the bike was not serviced by a licensed dealer is something car manufacturers already failed with.Cfmoto however will argue that their terms and conditions always superseed any Australian laws or regulations unless it was legally shown that one or more sections are actually invalid in Australia.This includes any evident or suspected tampering with the LAMS restrictions.If in doubt an ECU reading would indicate the impossible throttle positions used and the different ECU.Means even once the warranty is over you can't really take your bike to your dealer for a service or just a check without risking troubles.Some say this is still not enough to deter restricted drivers, I say that any fully licensed rider should have the right to enjoy his bike without LAMS restrictions.But if in doubt Cfmoto is always right, no matter how they argue.Last words from the wise camel....If you are fully licensed it is entirely your choice what you do with your bike and how you deal with - or interprete possible legal issues.Anyone required to display plates should just not think about modding the bike, it is not worth the risk.Although not really a big deal for an experienced rider, the added power and better response can cause a bad judgement.You might have been happy to open her up fully around your favourite hiarpin bend but now it could mean you loose traction even if don't try to break your LAMS approved speed record.Especially when things get a bit slippery and unexpected it can be difficult to prevent the heavy beast from going down.Never underestimate what you can't see and react to in time!Never overestimate your skills or the bikes real capabilities in terms of handling and grip!Once you are fully used to the different response you are fine, until then it is better to play it safe instead of ending up to be very, very sorry....

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply