How to get a bandwidth meter that caclulates accurate bandwidth usage?

I recently got a cable modem and took a limited 2 month plan. The bandwidth is limited so I tried to install two bandwidth meters - the free NetVue and another one called DU Meter which I had used long ago.But the problem is that even when I am not doing any downloading or even browsing, both these meters show that I'm downloading at 5 - 7 kBps, constantly. This way, they show a much higher value than the actual bandwidth usage. I wish to know my daily and  weekly usage, but I cannot know using these two.Can anyone tell me what is the problem with these meters or if I need any other kind of meter for use with cable modem? Very appreciated, if anyone can help. Regards, RS?

Question by rseni   |  last reply

Are there any programs I could use to stop my brother using more than his fair share our bandwidth limit? Answered

Basically, we get 60GB of off-peak data per month, I need a program to put on his computer (router isn't good enough to put a program on it) that will send an email or some other form of warning to me or my father when he uses more than 20GB All help much appreciated, please and thanks, Julian

Question by Pie Ninja   |  last reply

Video in the ads is killing my bandwidth!

I know instructables pays the bills with targeted ads. That's cool, and useful. No problems there. The problem is putting a 5 minute video in the ads. That gets downloaded when I look at an Instructable. I'm on a satellite link, and my bandwidth costs me quite a bit. If I'm going to have to pay to download a video to look at an Instructable, I either won't look at it, or I'll install ad blocking software. If I want to look at videos I'll go to Vimeo, or YouTube.  Don't let poor choice in ads drive away the users.

Topic by rallen71366   |  last reply

cant connect to my 5 bandwith network on my hp pavillion notebook 17.3 inch screen?

Hi i can connect and have a choice on my chromebook of the 2 networks i have on my belkin 450 router, which is the 24 and 5 bandwidth network, but on my laptop it will only show and let me connect to the 24 bandwidth and when i tell it to forget it it always comes back, it will amnually let me add the other network but it doesnt show up and when i try to get it to share it wont but the 24 network says u can chare but the 5 says cannot share. my laptop wndows 10 works fine everywhere but at my home on the 24 bwidth and also the ping is 20 and speed 4 on my 5 its 9 nad speed 45 plz help why cant i share my 5 bandwdth network and why wont my laptop give me the choice that my chromebook does of both of my networks? also the only diff is it has windows 10 and windows def virus prot! it works great everywhere else! plz help! noone seems to b able to help, not even best buy! i will glady donate a tip if someone can help! it is worth 100 bucks to me! have i turned network sharing off by accident on my router, bcause even on my chrme book the 24 wrks but it is high ping and slower speed! Connection status: Connected Hardware address: 28:C2:DD:16:93:85 Configure automatically IP address: 192.168. Subnet mask: Gateway: 192.168.plz help

Question by LaytonR   |  last reply

PWM question for the experts here.. Answered

I am in need of some way to change a PWM signal coming from my Arduino. The firmware only allows for PWM settings from 0-255. What I want to accomplish is this: With the 0 as the lowest value and 255 the highest for the incoming PWM signal I want to change it to a "smaller bandwidth". Ok, your are confused according to my crystal ball... The connected device (here a powerful laser) starts to work at PWM values of 6. The hardware limit is at around 180 as otherwise the tube will overpower and could be damaged. But I would like to be able to convert the full input signal to a range equal to being 6 the lowest and let's say 16 the highest. So the original 0 should, after the conversion, equal to 5, just be sure the laser is off. And the original 255 should equal to 16. It seems to be a quite simple task but either my brain does not work today or my friend Google does not like me anymore. I tried to search through the Marlin firmware but could not find anything simple and obvious to make thes changes directly in the firmware. So I need something that I can implement into the firmware or something I can put on a little UNO or so that sits between the big Arduino and the laser.

Question by Downunder35m   |  last reply

Looking for a vps or reseller sponsor?

I'm looking for someone who could sponsor me a vps server or a reseller. I waned to use it for our web-host. In return I will advertise your site on ours. If there is anything else you want don't hesitate to ask. Requirements for VPS/Reseller: Space: 100 GB at minimum, but more would be greatly appreciative. Bandwidth: Unlimited I was hoping for, but 500 GB to 1 Tb would due. Thanks.

Topic by LoganRussell   |  last reply

Looking for a vps or reseller sponsor?

I'm looking for someone who could sponsor me a vps server or a reseller. I waned to use it for our web-host. In return I will advertise your site on ours. If there is anything else you want don't hesitate to ask. Requirements for VPS/Reseller: Space: 100 GB at minimum, but more would be greatly appreciative. Bandwidth: Unlimited I was hoping for, but 500 GB to 1 Tb would due. Thanks.

Question by LoganRussell   |  last reply

i have a question about bandwidth how much bandwith do i need to play online on xbox live or psn. i wanted to play mgo ?

people told me that i would have lag on mgo because servers are in japan does anyone know something about that , and i want buy 512kb it costs 50$ at month is the cheapest and the best could i play with that?? 

Question by luis-acs   |  last reply

How do you test effective range, resistance and bandwidth for the morse code telegraph by johnnyrockstar?

I have made the morse code telegraph machine and need to test the effective range, so I have to work out the resistance and how far apart the bases could be to still work.  I also have to test the effective bandwidth.  Can anyone help me with how i go about doing this?  I would really appreciate any help.

Question by Lizzieg22   |  last reply

What to do when your bored and you have internet bandwidth issues ? Answered

Hello ! Everything is in the title , Im bored and it's very warm over here (I wouldnt complain about that if I wasnt bored) , I'd like to find something that could keep me busy during a long time , something great to do and most of all : useful and cheap , nothing more than 50 bucks . Dont tell me to read a book , I dont have nothing interesting and I can't read more than 30 minutes ... Thank you ;)

Question by Anykey   |  last reply

Do submissions require there be a photo included?

I submitted an instructable that didnt need any pic ..So , to save bandwidth, i included none.  ..but now i dont see my contribution anywhere on the site... "how to cook a frozen or thawed pizza"

Topic by tkjtkj   |  last reply

Digital Scope Specs: wfms/s vs. GSa/s vs. Mpts/s vs. bandwidth?

Question say's it all. I understand the concept of analog bandwidth, being that the signal amplitude will be attenuated about 70% at the rated frequency, or something along those lines. I also think I understand the concept of sampling rate, being that the ADC inside the digital scope samples the input voltage level periodically (possibly billions of times per second), and then this gets stored in memory, and displayed. However, then what does the "Mpts/s" figure mean? Is this telling me how many points of the signal can be stored in the memory to be plotted on the screen? how much of this is 'good' and 'good enough'? Also, what about Waveform Capture Rate (wfms/s) I really have no idea for what might be, How it 'waveform' defined? a single period of a repetitive signal, like a ramp wave or triangular wave? Perhaps also a arbitrary wave? What would this tell me? Again, how much of this is 'good' and 'good enough'?

Question by -max-   |  last reply

Are the videos from Catchword really instructional, or just pitches?

Has anyone bothered to watch any of the videos which user Catchword has been uploading today?  They're long enough that they could actually be instructional, not spam.  I'm having trouble with high-bandwidth downloads today (damn you, AT&T;!), so I can't check for myself.

Topic by kelseymh   |  last reply

Is it possible to run a Minecraft server off my website server?

I use FatCow as a web-hoster, and I was just wondering if it would be possible to run a Minecraft server off of it, so I can play online with a bunch of friends. If it is possible, would it take up a lot of bandwidth?

Question by Ke-Bob   |  last reply

Make it easier to edit

So, it would be super sweet to have a little "edit" link next to each step, to jump right to editing that step and save a couple of page loads, rather than just that one giant edit button. Or an all-step editor, which would be super bandwidth hoggy but also cool. -Star, from the UK, through a super-tiny intertube.

Topic by stasterisk 

If I host my own website at home, will my Internet bill skyrocket? Answered

Well, I was thinking about hosting my own PHPbb forums at home, just as an experiment, but the forums may grow a little, but stay relatively small.  But if i do that, will my Internet Price skyrocket, or are they mostly Unlimited bandwidth? I also don't have the budget to rent webhost.  

Question by Steamdnt   |  last reply

How do I fix my Playstation 2 Slimline model to get on the internet wirelessly?

I am wondering, is it remotely, even possible to use a PS2-slim (SCPH-75001) model# shown; but -- can I use it with 802.11 bandwidth signals just like a computer?  I figure that.*  ...But, I don't know how to do it, the right way --- even though I've heard of several different methods to do so.  Is this possible.

Question by User1877   |  last reply

Categories and Channels

We've just released the big recategorization work which has been occupying the whole dev team for the last few weeks.  Christy has written up an explanation of it here so I don't need to say too much.  That's the big thing; there are a few more bugfixes in Pro payments and some caching changes to help with our bandwidth but check out the browse pages!  I found a bunch of interesting instructables I hadn't seen before just while verifying the functionality.

Topic by rachel 

Polygraph re-purpose?

Okay, here was my idea: an old polygraph is basically an amplifier connected to a pen graph. pen graphs and amplifiers were used on the old oscillographs. Those were replaced with oscilloscopes, where the amplifier connects to the deflection coils on a CRT (or into an AD converter, then yadda yadda yadda.) My thought was, because people with old polygraphs in my experience want to dump them, while people with an oscilloscope of the same capabilities want a premium for them. One guy near where I live has an uncle who collected stuff, and he has an old Heathkit oscilloscope he'd like $75 for. Square tube, relatively massive body, very, very low bandwidth. He also wants about $50 for the old tube base done, with the round CRT display. And it won't show a trace when powered up. But he has a somewhat dinged up polygraph with chart recorder that is for about $10. Could I, perhaps with some modifications, turn that polygraph into what works as a low-bandwidth oscilloscope/oscillograph? The old tube based one would be of collection interest only, and being old and Heathkit, I doubt their accuracy. Is there any way the old polygraph could be turned into the world's least practical oscilloscope?

Topic by Nyanman   |  last reply

Tektronix 475 Oscilloscope for sale

I have a Tektronix 475 oscilloscope for sale.  I had used it to create my Desulphator in an Altoids Tin instructable several years ago (see pictures).  The scope is a 200 MHZ bandwidth (very fast) analog 2-channel design and was a top of the line device at the time of its manufacture. This scope is in very good operating condition, has had an easy life, has very few blemishes and no scratches.  Please see my eBay auction for further details.;=221319636161

Topic by kmpres 

Dedicated sa-mp server?

Hi eeryone, i am a player of gta san andreas and san andreas multiplayer. I am wondering what parts of my pc would make my server run better. I mean... i have a dedicated pc just for this since the pc is sooo old, and i need to know what part gives me more bandwidth.  Because its got like 1 gig of ram and i dont even know what the cpu is. Anyway, yeah. The ip is but its not always on.

Question by sci4me   |  last reply

Extend logged in time to at least a week

If at all feasible, could you please extend the logged in timeout to be at least a week? I get the newsletter once a week and I click on links to the articles I'd like to read more. I then go back and read them only to find I have to log in and then refresh every article I want to read. I'm sure the refreshing takes up more bandwidth and memory than keeping my session in place for seven days or so. I have checked the 'keep me logged in' option but it only works for a couple of days. Thanks!

Topic by tchansen   |  last reply

Xvid & MP3

These two seems to be the most popular video "backup" codecs on the internet (if you know what I mean). Since I started playing the pirate game on the internet, I always wanted to transcode all my video files using these two. Over the past two years, I have probably wasted several gigabytes of Google's bandwidth in a frustrating and tiring search to find an easy way to do this. If anyone have found one or a nice compact free program, please please come forward and help a brother out. If you know a why to do so with VLC, it would be da boom.

Topic by nf119   |  last reply

Soldering Multiple Internal Mobile Phone Antenna together ?

Hi, I would like to know from dead phone or new part. Is it possible to  solder multiple internal mobile phone antenna together ? By  Adding these antenna in range of 1-25 piece together or so on other circuit board . By adding this  can we get high frequency bandwidth antenna ? Further can we use it some how to make it a broadband antenna or something else. These is just prototype type idea. Please feel free to let me know you inputs . Thanks       

Topic by rronald   |  last reply

Amazing 3-axis LED orb

What's better than LEDs? Spinning LEDs! Laserpointer forums member FireMyLaser has decided that spinning LEDs is so much fun that he built a contraption that spins on 3 axes and creates some pretty insane effects. He also posted lots of build photos, but for now he's exceeded his photobucket bandwidth. Hopefully they'll be up again soon. NOTE: this is a forum post. Forums are where users can post links to other cool things happening in the DIY space and as such instructions aren't always available. Thanks! LED Orb 2.0 via MAKE

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply

Instructables image quality

Am I just imagining it, or did Instructables' thumbnail and preview images used to be much higher quality than they are now? Personally, I'm a fan of PNGs for their lossless compression, but I'm fine with lossy formats like JPEG as long as the quality is high enough that there isn't blatant distortion all over. But when I look at thumbnails and preview pictures on instructables now, I can't help but notice how crappy they look with all the distortion. My question is whether the decision to use low quality thumbs/previews was made in order to conserve disk space, reduce bandwidth, or improve load times?

Topic by burzvingion   |  last reply

Feature Request (I): Simple URLs to get to new profile sections

The new profile display is very nice looking, and (as has been commented elsewhere) a good reduction in bandwidth for highly active users.Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any simple way to get directly to a particular display. Several of us have noted that we would prefer to have the list of recent comments as the first thing we see. It would be trivial to do this if the navigation links produced proper URLs (e.g. if the value of the "show=" argument were actually visible). Instead, the navigation appears to be done via JavaScript in such a way that users have no access to the underlying query URLs. Could this please be fixed?

Topic by kelseymh   |  last reply


It's really sad that instrutables is beginning to let advertisers "sneak" onto their site. It was such a beautiful idea to begin with and now I see more and more advertisements labeled as instructables.  PLEASE go back to everyday people sharing useful instructions instead of Charlatans spreading their own self-aggrandizing products.  Instructables, you WILL begin to lose your fan base unless something changes. I've seen it to many times in the past. Sites that start out with good intentions but eventually succumb to the almighty dollar. I know bandwidth isn't cheap and We don't mind the adverts on the edges but, PLEASE watch out for shameless self promoters. Watching With High Hopes, Me

Topic by drandall1   |  last reply

Cell / mobile phone signal relay.

I work in a building with a metal roof that is also in a small valley. We have absolutely no reception inside the building. Outside we have about 4 to 5 bars, inside there are none. Maybe one if you are near a window. The building is mainly one large open space on the side. I was wondering if it might be possible to passively "pipe in" cell phone reception. I was thinking of a large antenna on the roof that would be connected to a smaller antenna affixed to the middle of the ceiling of the main room. I know the antennas would need to be tuned to the correct bandwidths and I would need a little help with that. (Our carrier is Verizon in the USA btw). Would this sort of setup be feasible?

Topic by Jarun   |  last reply

Notes on specific laws - the Third Law

Third LawAs the level of civility approaches absolute zero, the uselessness of an exchange of posts approaches infinity.There are many threads which are started in good humour - seeking information, looking for an intelligent discussion, or passing on a humorous tidbit. Most of them carry on in the same vein, but, occasionally, people get carried away. Discussion becomes argument, argument becomes name-calling. Tempers fray, feelings get hurt, reputations damaged. We've all seen it, or even been there.Eventually, when a thread begins to descend into the mire, it actually swamps all the original good it might have done.Such a thread must be walked away from. Wash your hands of a troll before you get dragged too deep. Abandon it to the fate of the the Second Law, before you waste too much precious bandwidth.

Topic by Kiteman 

Can UART or FTDI serial work with communication in only one direction? Answered

Can UART or FTDI serial work with communication in only one direction? or no? Or is there no universal protocol (as in UART only defines the type of connection, not what data is sent though it)  I am building a quadcopter and was thinking of using one of the 2 audio channels to send serial data down one of the spare channels, and the other channel is just connected to a microphone to 'listen' to the noise of the props. I have 2 major concerns with this method: Will the frequency response and bandwidth of the audio channels be high enough to carry a 115200 bauds signal, or at the very least a 9200 baud signal? and the original question; do I need a 2-way connection for information from the UBLOX GPS or multiwii output? If yes, then i guess the only way to get telemetry is to get one of those 900MHz transmitters, yet another board that I will have to deal with.

Question by -max-   |  last reply

Cleaning Glass Cullet: getting the labels off already smashed bottles

Short Ver:  I'm looking for a way to get the paper, foil, glue, and plastic labels off the bits of glass that have been smashed at the recycling center. Long Story:  There are several good uses for recycling glass cullet, the glass is plentiful at the local recycling center, they get very little for it because there isn't a re-user within efficient shipping range.  I was looking into buying recycled glass to use in a project, but shipping to get it delivered is outrageous $.  I want to start off with glass as the aggregate in concrete countertops.  That's a lot of glass - a couple hundred pounds per countertop.  Yes, they're very heavy.  I've internet searched to my bandwidth limit.  No-one nearby does the glass cullett thing. So, I went to the local recycling center and picked up a couple of 5 gallon buckets of smashed glass.  Really great.  Now, how do I get all the labels off?  Thanks, Ruby

Topic by rubyintherough   |  last reply

Need an alternative to "long-term food storage in plastic buckets".

Hello, I'm in Mumbai, India. I spoke to a few people from the U.S. who do survival things and one had spent his life in long-term food storage. I wanted to this too. He explained me very clearly how to store food-grains long-term. What I was told is to get some big food-grade plastic buckets with air-tight lids and put the grains and a calculated amount of dry ice on top of the grains using newspaper. Then, put the lid on and after sometime, check if there is any expansion or change in the bucket and if the dry ice is evaporated. Then seal the lid tightly. But, my main problem is getting plastic sealed buckets here in India. I have tried a few malls, bakeries, shops and even online but can't find air-tight buckets or big containers larger than one liter capacity. I was able to find dry ice, though. Can anyone tell me an alternative to air-tight buckets that I can use? Much appreciated, Regards. RS

Question by rseni   |  last reply

Cleaning Glass Cullet: getting the labels off already smashed bottles

Also posted in Green Category Short Ver: I'm looking for a way to get the paper, foil, glue, and plastic labels off the bits of glass that have been smashed at the recycling center.  Or, a cheap (nearly free) resource in KANSAS. Long Story: There are several good uses for recycling glass cullet, the glass is plentiful at the local recycling center, they get very little for it because there isn't a re-user within efficient shipping range. I was looking into buying recycled glass to use in a project, but shipping to get it delivered to KANSAS is outrageous $. I want to start off with glass as the aggregate in concrete countertops. That's a lot of glass - a couple hundred pounds per countertop. Yes, they're very heavy. I've internet searched to my bandwidth limit. No-one nearby does the glass cullet thing. So, I went to the local recycling center and picked up a couple of 5 gallon buckets of smashed glass. Really great. Now, how do I get all the labels off? Thanks, Ruby

Topic by rubyintherough   |  last reply

How do I block neighbors from stealing my wifi?

I am new, and this is my first forum question - hopefully I will post some instructables soon! My dsl speeds have become very slow in general and horrible at certain times of the day. Of course, this could be caused partly by the daily cycle of general usage in my area, however I suspect that some neighbors are piggybacking through my wifi and killing my bandwidth. One reason for this is that even when my computer is off my modem registers activity. Is there anyway to block this either mechanically or otherwise? One key is that we live in a house where there is only one possible direction that people could hijack from - everyone else is way to far away. (unless, of course, they have been hanging out on this site and are using collanders and coffee cans...) For mechanical, I was thinking some kind of directional metal shield. I don't know if this would work, though. (my computer is opposite from the other houses so it wouldn't block me.) Any advice, or instructable how to do this would be appreciated. Thanks! -btw, I wouldn't mind sharing if I didn't think it was killing my dl speeds....

Topic by salmenos   |  last reply

The Best Suggestion I can Make

The biggest thing that bugs me about the Instructables site occurs to me every. single. time. I visit.  I can't be the only one. This can't be the first time this has been mentioned --- can it? I know how to "fix" it, too, and I have done that on my end.  But still. It seems I ALWAYS have to hit that "View All Steps" button.  EVERY.  SINGLE. TIME. Yeah, I know I can login and change my settings. I did, and I do.  But the login cookie is set too short so it doesn't stick for long.  So I come, back from an email, and AGAIN- I have to go through the first step(s), HIT THAT G*#$&MN; "View All Steps" button, GO  BACK THROUGH THE FIRST STEPS ALL OVER AGAIN AND TRY AND PICK UP WHERE I LEFT OFF.   Arguh. There's this nifty thing called AJAX where you can have more steps loaded when you hit the bottom.  It's a bandwidth saver, but not a complete PITA for the user. All the good sites are doing it. And one is not.  This would be you. Fix this, please.  Your traffic and conversions will increase.  I've hated this issue for long before I became a web designer. Thank you, Instructables!

Topic by awemaker   |  last reply

add a mini pcie slot in place of expresscard?

Ok, so if we've looked at the pinouts of the expresscard 34/54 slot and the mini pcie slot, we know that: -they both use USB 2.0 -they both use PCIe -they both run on similar voltages so i tried my luck and wired up a mini pcie slot in place of the expresscard slot in my laptop. ive got all the pins wired correctly and all the grounds are grounded, but my wireless adapter card is not recognized. first off, skip all of the "why bother adding a wireless card when you've already got one?" and "this is just a stupid idea" remarks, thats not what im asking. the miniPCI wireless card ive currently got works, but the bandwidth is really limited because its an older technology than mini PCIe. but back to the question at hand. why isnt my mini PCIe card recognized? i have a feeling that it might be the "CP USB" pin on the expresscard slot, which, on the pinout sheet is labeled as "card inserted", but i have no clue what i do with that pin to tell the computer to check for a card. does anyone have any ideas? expresscard pinout: mini PCIe pinout: any help would be greatly appreciated.

Question by zack247   |  last reply


After the recent site updates, I noticed that the view all steps link on top is replaced by a tiny push button next to the download button. Problem: I have not set the default view all steps option in my profile yet whenever I visit any ible, it shows all steps. Consequences of the problem: The ible takes time to load, eats bandwidth, many options like vote, stats are not functional unless the ible fully loaded Steps to reproduce: Open your browser Visit any ible, make sure you don't have allsteps set in your profile. If you see all steps enabled in ible, disable and view normal ible. Now open another tab in your browser and view a different ible. Notice that both ibles look normal (not all steps) Now come back tp first ible and press allsteps button, let the ible fully load. Now switch to other tab and fresh the page. You will notice that the allsteps button is already pressed and ibles loads all steps. Now open any ible and you will notice it is opened allsteps Possible cause of the problem: Before the site update, a ALLSTEPS querystring value was used in the ible URL to maintain the state of allstep. After the update it appears like cookie or session is used to persist state of allsteps button which is not unique and therefore allstep state of one ible is reflected in another. Environment OS: Windows 7 Home premium Browsers: IE9 and FF 20.01 I noticed this does not happen in Chrome 27.0 as the button relies on the ALLSTEPS querystring

Topic by Tarun Upadhyaya   |  last reply

A suggestion:

Hey, I was wondering if you could bring back more formatting for us non pro users. Bulleting would be really nice, and make me make better 'ibles. As a long time member and contributer, since September '06, racking in 65,000+ views, I feel that I had earned those features, and having them taken away is kind of a let down... Don't get me wrong, I do not want to sound ungrateful, instructables is one of my favorite websites, perhaps you could add a few other features instead of taking others away? For example: A new features feed, alongside featured and popular, PRO activity. A quick glance at the recent feed shows that they are less common than featured... I'd pay for some extra publicity! Higher quality resolution images uploads Stock images: Pictures of common items maybe? Would save you some bandwidth as well. I'm thinking tea kettles, pots, pans, soldering irons, sewing needles, etc. Pro members could submit their own photos(, and if they pass through moderation,) every say, 10 images nets them another patch to give out! This makes it easier to make instructables, eliminating alot of the materials step potentially, and letting users access good, clear images with greater ease. These are just a few ideas, and replacing the standard features to the every day member. One more thing, God forbid, you take these ideas while retaining the standard features: I may just quit :P All in all, I am an instructables lover, just these new changes are slightly irksome. -- Jeremy

Topic by vanpaun   |  last reply

USB, AVR, and PICs! Oh my!

Heya! I come from a pretty solid CS background, so I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept of EE projects.  I've got the basics of circuit design down, but I'm getting a little bogged down researching how to interface USB<-->ICs.  While I know efforts like Arduino provide a significant amount of pre-built software and hardware that can accomplish most DIY projects, I would really prefer to learn/have control over the whole software stack (and as much of the hardware stack as possible) from App to Userspace Driver to Kernel Driver (I've written a few, but never actually built my own circuitry to talk to).  I'm looking to learn for some resources on how to interface at a low level.  I wouldn't shy away from writing my own PIC/AVR/??? bootloader if it means I have more control over the communication stack.  I'm sure I'd be re-writing a lot of the Arduino/AVR software that's out there, but hey, I see it as a learning opportunity... right? :) It seems that FTDI makes some USB/UART(Serial) chips that many of the sparkfun-esque USB->Breadboard adapters are based on.  From what I can tell though, most of the chips do literal USB Full/Low speed->115200 bit/s Serial connection.  This seems like an awfully large downsample of the possible communication bandwidth... Is this how things like printers, external hard drives, and webcams work? So, in short, if I was going to write my own USB stack/drive/kernel module to go along with a custom IC bootloader, how would I go about it? Are there any resources out there describing how one would go about this? Thanks for your time! 

Topic by skyfire360   |  last reply

Electronic Toolkit

I do some work with the FIRST Robotics kids and it is amazing to see what they are doing.  Big problem though seems to be a general lack of electrical test equipment.  They don't really have the money to buy oscilloscopes, function generators, CAN and I2C analyzers.   So I got one of the M3 Discovery boards from STmicro and it is really cool.  It has four 5MS A/Ds on it plus a whole host of other features(CAN, I2C, Serial etc.). So it got me thinking. Why couldn't we turn one of these chips into an "All-In-One" electrical toolkit and keep it cheap($50-$60, BOM ~$20).  It would be fairly easy to turnkey. I threw together some simple specs, what do people think. 1) Will supply general use drivers so a user can use the app or write their own. 2) Oscilloscope   a. Two Channel     i. 2MHZ of Analog Bandwidth per channel     ii. 10MS/s per channel     iii. Trigger on rising edge, falling edge, on-command, run-stop actions     iv. Datalogging for extended time periods at up to 10hz per channel (data stored directly to console),  maybe higher rate will  just have to see 3) Serial – 2 Ports   a. Multi selectable protocol w/slew control     i. RS232, RS422, RS485 4) CANBus – 1 port 5) I2C – 1 port 6) SPI  - 1 port 7) 8 Discrete User Selectable 8) Function Generator   a. Two Channel      i. 1MS/s small signal change      ii. 250kS/s full range change      iii. 0-3.3VDC buffered output  9) PWM - 4 Channels

Topic by ase4542   |  last reply

Web Hosting Help for a Non-Profit

Hi,So this year I joined a non-profit organization called The Student Free Press Group. It distributes a newspaper called The Independent about once every 2 months or so. Here is a little blurb about them. The Independent is a student-run, student-owned, student newspaper and non-profit organization. It is important for us to emphasize "student" because we are in no way affiliated with the school district or Memorial High School.Philosophically, The Independent strives to be an open forum for students to express their views without oversight from school or governmental authorities. While news articles are required to be objective, editorial opinions are not censored; inclusion in the paper is based upon the quality of the writing rather than the nature of the opinion. The Independent serves the community not only by providing a forum for expression but also by giving students an opportunity to develop skills in writing, reporting, leadership, and independent initiative by becoming writers or editors of the paper.The Independent was born during the 1990-1991 school year after a censorship dispute between the administration and the student-edited school newspaper, The Sword and Shield. The administration, once a staunch supporter of student journalism, began to exercise the powers granted to it by recent Supreme Court decisions and sought to review each issue prior to printing. After encountering fierce opposition to publishing a news article revealing sub-par minority grade point averages at the school, all but one member of the editorial staff of the official school newspaper resigned in protest and, the following year, began publishing The Independent. Since that time, The Independent has gained the readership and the respect of students, faculty, and administrators.So here is my task. I need to create a professional looking website for the newspaper. I'm already have a domain but I am looking for a good, free hosting provider.So I am looking for a free web host that will give us a lot of space and a decent amount of bandwidth. In return I will allow them to put ads on the site and in the newspaper which is distributed to about 1,300 people. So I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in sponsoring the site/newspaper. If anyone knows anyone who would be interested please give a link or there email.Thanks for your time,Joe Rowley

Topic by joejoerowley 

What is my bottleneck? Answered

I just recently built a new gaming machine, and have been running into a bottleneck issue. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice.  My Specs: Windows 7 Ultimate MSI GD-55 Z-77a Motherboard Intel i5 3570k OC 4.2 Ghz Radeon HD 5770 x2 (Crossfire) 16Gb (4x4) Corsaire 1600Mhz RAM 1 Tb 7200rpm Western Digital HDD 850w Coolermaster PSU I have downloaded the most recent AMD drivers and Crosssfire Profiles. The problem I am having, is that I almost never see anything in my computer running at max while gaming. I will usually have my GPUs running at around 60-70%, and none of my CPU cores running higher than 50-60%.  The first thing that came to my mind was temperature. However my CPU never gets hotter than 65c, and my GPUs never hotter than 80c.  The other thing that I thought of was a possible lack of power. But 850w is at least 40% more than recommended for my system specs. To test this, I did a CPU benchmark, and a GPU benchmark at the same time, both hit 100% usage, and my computer did not lose power. (nor did anything get too hot) After ruling Temperature and power out, I thought maybe it was my RAM. However, I have read multiple places that it is nearly impossible for any game to max out quad channel memory bandwidth. I have more than enough of better-than-average RAM, storage isn't the issue. So I doubt its my RAM. But I am no expert. I then ran "Windows Resource monitor" to watch my HDD Disk usage. While gaming, nothing transferred more than a couple Mb/S. The specific specs of my HDD include a 64MB Cache, and a  6.0Gb/s Data transfer rate. My Motherboard also supports 6Gb/s Transfer rates. So I doubt its my HDD. I know my GPUs are 2 generations old, but if they were the bottleneck they would be running at 100% (or at least higher than 80%) Now I don't know what to think, except that its maybe software related. But I cannot think of anything specific that would do this sort of thing. Any suggestions?  

Question by schwerlin   |  last reply

Notes on specific Laws - the Zeroth Law

This is where the whole Law thing started:There is a fairly regular kind of thread that appears here.It starts should I make an Instructable about insert topic here?You know what? The answer is yes. Even if nobody else on the site is even vaguely interested in insert topic here, it is probable that somebody with access to the internet, somewhere in the world, will eventually develop an interest in insert topic here and resort to Google. Since this site is googlable (is that a word?), they can end up here, grateful to you and potentially a new and useful member of the site.So, unless it breaks the guidelines for what is suitable here (basically, Please remember that this is a family site), and you're not just re-inventing the wheel, then the answer to should I? is always yes.This has become the Zeroth Law:If an Instructable exactly like yours has not already been posted, then you shall post your Instructable.Instructables are, after all, the whole point of this site. If nobody posted new Instructables, the site would shrivel and die.It doesn't matter what you make, as long as it falls within the bounds of "good taste" (define them how you will). What does matter is that you make. If you look at other sites limited to making only one kind of thing (jet engines, chests of drawers, whatever), they tend to have a slow input of new projects, with many variations on a few basic themes posted early in the site's history. Instructables has a daily project count that rarely drops below ten, and sometimes hits thirty.Addendum to the Zeroth LawIf your Instructable has an identical goal to a pre-existing Instructable, but achieves that goal by a different or improved route, or in a different style, then you shall also post your Instructable.Why the addendum? Sometimes potential posters worry - there's already a project quite like mine, so should I waste bandwidth with mine? Of course you should! Some people will prefer the first version, but other people will prefer your version - maybe it's easier to read, the photos are better, or they prefer your sense of humour. Maybe you use different raw materials, or use different tools. Either way, unless your Instructable is indistinguishable from an earlier project, you should post your own.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply

30 July Site Update Feedback

There was a down-time yesterday and then a few minutes later a lot of things changed. It's good to know that the staff has been working hard to make our experience better. I checked the Site Update forum thread to check for what all has been changed and there has been no recent post. So here's what all I think changed and my 2 cents: Homepage top menu is different. The menu looks clean and minimalistic but it took me a while to find out what is where(as explore meant only the categories earlier). What I feel is that it seems a bit like everything has been swept under the rug. The moment you click on Explore, your senses are bomabarded with all the options: featured, all the categories(play, tech, outdoor...), contest, forum, groups, answers and even 2 contests on the right side. I think the previous menu setup provided a good balance as I didn't have to look too hard for an option(but that might be because I was used to it). If I wanted to check out the contests, it was right there. Answers, Groups and Forums were clubbed together. Explore had the various categories. To a new person the previous also advertises all the features of instructables except for just the projects. He might not click on explore now(I didn't at first). Also the menu under explore now takes a while to load and I get a loader for a few seconds. The site navigation menu should be pre-loaded and not loaded when clicked as it turns user away from exploring the site further. All the steps show together. Earlier it was optional and I kept the view to one step at a time, but that button is no longer there. Single step saves internet bandwidth and instructables load up faster. Now I have to scroll all the way down to view the comments. I honestly hope this is temporary and single step view will be brought back. Heavy instructables(such as with lots of images and GIFs) or with over 20 steps will take forever to load and finish off my mobile plan if I'm using internet tethering. Also it will put a pressure on authors to keep instructables small and light, hence losing quality. If there is some way to view a single step and the way to set it up has changed, please let us know. The Featured top bar looks good. Thin and clean yet attractive. The featured channel footer on the home page also looks really good. But there is some extra whitespace above it. Sorry for the bashing but changes will take time getting used to. Thanks for trying to always better the site. Are there other changes I missed? What do other members feel?

Topic by Antzy Carmasaic   |  last reply

Photo Challenge: Take a Photo Everyday in January

---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------- PLEASE READ THIS THREAD!!!! ---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------- With the New Year comes New Year's Resolutions, and one of my on-going resolutions is to improve my photography skills.  I have a hunch I'm not the only one who wants to be a better photographer, so I would like to pose a challenge in which I will also participate. The Challenge: Take a photograph everyday in January. The Reward: Bragging rights and a fancy patch to show everyone that you successfully completed the challenge. Simple, right?  It doesn't have to be the best photo EVAR.  It doesn't have to be beautifully lit.  It doesn't need perfect composition.  It just has to be the very simple act of picking up your camera, taking a shot, and posting it online.  It can even be a photo you're going to use in an Instructable, a dual purpose photograph.  The trick is that it has to be done every day.  No old photos.  No rehashes.  This is for personal improvement and making photography a habit. Now I realize that not everyone will be able or willing to do this everyday because stuff happens.  If you can take a photo for 20 days in January, you will get a patch.  If you can manage to take a new photo every single day, all 31, in January, you will get a very special patch! If you would like to participate in this challenge, leave a reply to this topic saying that you accept the challenge.  As you submit your photos, reply to your original acceptance reply.  This will keep things a bit tidier, and you will be able to see your accomplishments altogether.  There's a great deal of satisfaction in seeing a big chunk of what you've done and feeling motivated to do more.  If you would like to see an example of how to submit photos for the challenge, please look for my acceptance comment on this topic and how I reply to that comment with photos I am submitting. Alternatively, you can submit links to images on your Flickr, Picasa, DeviantArt, and other image sharing services.  This will save on bandwidth usage on Instructables.  Please do not submit links to private accounts such as Facebook and Myspace.  The images must be publicly viewable without requiring a linked account. There are some mighty fine Instructables on photography, so you might want to take a look around.  Hopefully, by taking part in this challenge, you will not only improve your photography skills but your Instructables as well.  You might even be motivated to post an Instructable about photography in January! If you would like to participate in a much larger challenge, check out Project365. So here's to a Happy (and productive) New Year!

Topic by AngryRedhead   |  last reply

TV antennas and what is possible indoors

Back in my young years a TV antenna was on the roof, quite big and only required to get 3 or 4 channels at best.The basic design of these Yagi antennas has not really changed since then.Same for the antennas required to get UHF and VHF channels at the same time.They either comes as two seperate antennas with a mixer or as a UHF antenna with some added loops for UHF.To talk some basics:For UHF you can get away with quite small dimensions for your antenna bits.After all a quarter wavelengths here is only around 15cm long.With VHF though we get already 30 to 40cm here depending on the channels.So called bradband antennas claim to be able to get a wide range of frequencies.That however is only true for their dedicated frequency band.If you take a normal whip style antenna then this becomes obvious - just compare the lenghts required and you realise "going the middle way" will mean neither UHF nor VHF would get any usable reception.For a long time now there is the option of so called "fractal antennas" to get better TV reception....Fractal antenna? What the heck is that?The theories behind them are about as old as fractal antenna designs that were not even considered to be fractals.Let me explain with the example of a standard FM radio antenna.For them we use frequencies from about 88 to 108MHz.And of course, for our cars they are always on the roof or mounted somewhere around the wheel arches.Some cars however does not seem to have any antenna depsite having a working radio.In this special case rest ensured they do have one, usually behind the plastic bumper bar ;)I like to go off road every now and then and lost count how many times I had to replace my antenna after getting to close to some bushes and trees.As a solution I used some thin wire to create a L-style anteanna on the inside of my windscreen.And funny enough it picks up more stations than a "proper" antenna outside.Really old design and if you think about it then an antenna with a kink that looks like L is ""self similar" - the definition of a fractal ;)More complex shapes like the Sierpinski models do exactly the same just in one more dimension.Cell phones use them as well as you WiFi router that has no external antenna anymore.Their designs and looks are so different that it is next to impossible to list the currently used shapes here.What it comes down to, when you just take a very basic flat or wire shape is that the straight single segment of the active antenna is split into one or many shorter segments that change the angle.They all have similar relations to the wavelenght still.Means really long segments might be half of a wavelength while the shortest bits are just 1/64 of a wavelength.Think of it (far too simple of course) like amny matched antennas combined into a single one.With that often comes a destinct radiation pattern, usually with a quite narrow beam angle that provides a quite high gain.Are fractal antennas any better than for example a proper Yagi antenna?You can ask 100 people and you get 100 different opinions for this one.This is mostly due to some simple facts like:Not caring about actual comparisons.Not being accurate enough when building the fractal antenna.Using just very basic equippment to compare results.For example when you have a 30 year old and quite small TV antenna on your roof and struggle with digital TV reception than you might want to just replace it all.In some case even the old rabbit ears on your TV set will work better.But take modern Yagi antenna with 12 or more segments and even station that are 100 miles away have a good chance.Comes down to possible gain, frequency match and of course how well the antenna is aimed at the transmitter.Then why is it that some fractal antennas still seem to perform so much better?The big antenna scam....If you paid attention during the intial DVB-T rollout in your country then noticed two things.a) You were told you need a TV or set top box capable of receiving DVB-T signals.b) You need a suitable antenna.Well, A is obvious but for B a lot of people got scammed badly.You see, in almost all cases the frequencies allocated for TV signal did not change at all.And an antenna really does not care if the incoming signal is analog or digital - it only cares about the frequency.But more and more local stations often meant that the trnsmit power is limited.After all it makes no sense to have a 500kW transmitter if the area to cover is only about 20 square km big.So people were told they need new antennas once the noticed digital TV is more like playing Tetris, blocks everywhere....You analog TV had no problem with a slightly weak signal, you did not really notice it unless the weather was really bad as well.All the benefits of digital TV however only work with a proper signal strength.If your areas still has both analog and digital TV channels then have a look on how your local transmitter provides the signals ;)Part of the big scam was hiding a very simple fact:All analog TV is transmitted in a horizontal orientation while almost all digital TV is transmitted in a VERTICAL orientation.Ok, we already gain and ignored it but why would the orientation be important?Your radio antenna is vertical because the FM signal is transmitted the same way - the "waves" if you like go up and down like a sine wave.You still get reception if you turn the antenna 90° to make it a horizontal one but you will realise that weak station are no longer available.The same happened with digital TV.And if there is only digital TV left in your area then simple turning your antenna 90 on the mast to have the single elements vertical instead of horizontal gives you top reception again ;)If you struggle to get all station then just try it out before buying a new antenna ;)Modern fractal TV antennas come paper thin and often with rediculous claims in terms of gain and range.On Fleabuy you can even find models claiming to get stations from over 2000 miles away LOLSome even come with the fake claim of being omnidirectional, meaning it does not matter where you place them or how you orient them.A fractal antenna can't change basic phsyics though...High gain mean highly directional or at least with a very flat radiation pattern instead of being more like a sphere.A high bandwidth means you compromise on the gain and/or the phsical dimensions.For example a thin whip antenna is quite limited in the optimum bandwidth while a piece of tubing provides amuch higher bandwidth but at the expense of gain (and some other problems).A fractal antenna can compromise between the two worlds much better than anything straight.And you would even need to make the traces on the plastic extremely wide because you can simply add different lengths for different frequencies.Means a wideband fractal antenna for FM, VHF and UHF basically is three different antennas combined into a single one.It also means that there is usually always more than just one single element of the antenna that is receiving a signal.If you experimented with WiFi antennas for your router or modem than you certainly found the famous Pringles can antenna - highly directional and with an insane amount of gain.Works exactly like a simple directional microphone.And you could, at least in theory do the same with a TV antenna - if there wouldn't be the problem of the wavelenght.A pringles can works for WiFi because the wavelenght only requires an antenna of about 3cm in lenght.You might not want a row of steel drums with a diameter of around 80cm on your roof just to watch the news though...Ok, if I need a new antenna anyway then should I get a fractal antenna or not?I try to make it simple:Roof option not possible or too costly AND your transmitter is not too far away then try one of the cheap paper thin antennas you find online.If you already have an antenna on the roof that is suitable for the frequencies you need then check it to know if it is still any good.With age and weather comes corrosion and some antennas are connected badly in this regard.Sometimes you are lucky and all it takes is to cut off a few cm of cable to get back to clean copper and to give the terminals on the antenna a good fine sanding or a wire brush treatment.In other cases you might find an amplifier under the roof that has faulty power supply ;)And well, certain animals love to chew through your cable...If all is goo from antenna to TV then as said try to flip the antenna 90° to get it vertical.No, I did not mean to point it up to the sky..... ;)I mean rotate it around the x-axis if X is pointing in the direction of the transmitter...

Topic by Downunder35m 

Is it worth dropping $400 on a really nice oscilloscope (Rigol DS1054Z)?

I will describe my situation: I am a hobbiest that likes to make cool projects, and plan to get into maybe RF analog stuff, (maybe start out with making a few FM bugs, reverse engineer a simple video transmitter kit, and a few other things.) as well get into arduino some more, AC analysis (learn about Xformers, power factor, maybe some math, etc.) and I so currently have an old 2ch. 30MHz analog oscilloscope that is a PITA to make real measurements with. Not only is it huge and takes up a lots of space, but also I'm not even sure it is in cal!) I will be transferring into UVA (or maybe VT) for EE, and gone this summer for a NASA internship at langley. (maybe I will be able to take it with me w/ a toolbox of some electronics stuff!) The scope I am looking at (what appears to be what many subscribers seem to use, and/or claim is pretty good) is the Rigol DS1054Z. I only know how to use my $30 30MHz BKprecision scope I got on craigslist from the son of a father who was a TV repairman, and have NO experience with the use of the fancy-shmancy digital scope! What little I know is from watching EEVblog review of other scopes in the past. (I do know that they can be useful for 'capturing' waveforms, and can be set up to trigger on a pulse, maybe a certain digital codes, and that could come in handy for reverse engineering crap.) What sells it to me, being a complete newbie to electronics and digital scopes is that it has a nice big screen, the specs seem good (other certainly think, I have no intuition of what any of those things mean except the bandwidth, and maybe the sampling rate, 1GSa/s), 4 channels, intensity graded display, and it has loads of functions and stuff for me to grow into, and hacking it to make it think it is a DS1104Z is tempting, but I probably will not do that right away. Maybe once I feel what it offered is limiting. The deal breakers is the $400 price, a bit steep for me (cheap for something this good, apparently but still.), the fear that by the time I really start using it, it will be obsolete and the same money can buy some quantum super duper ASIC tech whiz bang 3GHz 100Gsa/s 1GB segmented memory spectacular scope! I am not really sure if it has a source, or signal generator either. Some sources claim that higher end ones do, or certain models anyway, and it seems like the official site say's no. That brings me to my next point. Should I also get a decent function generator? 

Question by -max-   |  last reply

Quick rundown various Linux and BSD operating systems:

1.  Debian - one of the older base distributions and currently one of the most popular.  Uses the "apt" package manager for software installation.  Excellent server distribution. 2.  Fedora - the free community edition of Red Hat Linux.  Sponsored by Red Hat Linux.  Uses the "rpm" package manager for software installation. 3.  openSuse - sponsored by Novell, originally developed largely in Europe. 4.  Mageia - fork of an older distribution called Mandriva Linux. 5.  PCLinuxOS - also a fork of Mandriva.  Looks to provide out-of-the-box support for graphics and sound cards. 6.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) - based on Fedora, RHEL includes many enterprise-level enhancements and is supported Red Hat corporation. 7.  CentOS Linux - free enterprise-grade operating system that is built from the same source code as RHEL without the proprietary enhancements or support from Red Hat.  8.  Puppy - very small Linux operating system that boots the OS and applications completely into RAM.  Can operate on older computer equipment.  Excellent for use in emergencies and to recover data from hard drives. 9.  FreeBSD - operating system that is based on BSD code. 10.  Ubuntu Linux - easy to use operating system that is based on Debian Linux.  Supported by the Canonical corporation.  Ubuntu means "humanity to others".  Excellent server distribution. 11.  Linux Mint - currently one of the most popular distributions, based on Ubuntu Linux.  Looks to provides complete experience by including browser plugins and media codecs (ie: Flash) upon installation.  Excellent desktop distribution.  Also comes in lightweight editions for older hardware 12.  NetBSD - based on BSD code.  Can be run on a wide range of hardware.  Currently there are 57 different hardware architectures that can run NetBSD. 13.  OpenBSD - based on BSD code.  Source code built from the ground up with security first and foremost as the goal.  Ships "secure by default", that is, all non-essential services are disabled.  OpenBSD has embedded cryptography throughout the operating system; it utilizes OpenSSH, Pseudo Number Random Generators, cryptographic hash functions, cryptographic transforms and crypto hardware support. 14.  ClearOS - server and network distro designed for small businesses.  Based on Red Hat Linux.  Web-based interface controls anti-virus, anti-spam, VPN, content filtering, bandwidth manager, file services, SMTP services, print services, SSL certification, and web services. 15.  Kali Linux - distro that specializes in penetration testing and security auditing.  Over 300 penetration testing tools.  Based on Debian Linux. 16.  Lubuntu - lightweight version of Ubuntu Linux for older computers and netbooks. 17.  Gentoo - highly customizable distro that uses a package system called portage written in Python.  Mascot is Larry the Cow.

Topic by matt392   |  last reply