can I poll the energy from my 25w solar and 12v windgen with a circuit to charge a SLA??

Building a wingen will put out like 125ma and I have a PV panel puts out like 250ma can I combine the two and charge my 12v sla simultaneously? I know Ebay has dual PV  and Wind charge controller but any other circuit to do this ?

Question by celalboz   |  last reply


Wiring Multiple Turbines and PVs

Just a little worried... how do ya'll go about wiring multiple power sources together? I have been long under the assumption that your solar array will only put out power of the weakest panel. If I come across 3 different 12v panels, that have differing amperages, and have a wind turbine on a 12v car alternator, that ranges in power output, how can I wire these to make these most effective? Is there a charge controller out there that can manage multiple power sources? Pardon me if this is stupid. I just cant seem to get off the ground with these simple questions. i guess the most effective q to ask is: What do you do to wire multiple power devices of different outputs into a single battery bank/ grid tie system? Thanks so much for all yall's brilliant help. -Luke.

Topic by ineclipse   |  last reply


Solar Versus Wind Power: Which Has The Most Stable Power Output?

Due to the larger magnitude of solar PV power output fluctuations relative to those of wind at time scales shorter than approximately 31⁄2 hours, the costs of large scale solar PV integration are likely to be larger than those of wind.via Treehugger

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply


Lost the wind generator here

I saw an instructable about a wind generator here last month. I bookmarked it to show to a friend so we could build it. Now I go to show it and I can't find it. I believe it was called the chispito wind generator. It features 3 blades made from big pv pipe. Can anyone tell where it went. Do they take down older instructables periodically? Can anyone tell me where I can find this if it's not on this site anymore? Thanks

Topic by diane4m   |  last reply


Concept of the system for protection against hail tracking PV power plants Answered

Hello, I have a big request for you. Do you have something of the literature on the "Concept of the system for protection against hail tracking PV power plants" (desirable and protection from the snow; and wind). The respective literature I needed so that I could write a seminar and thus lay the course Project- power plants at the Technical University. This is literature that I found: http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1274657 , but i need a little more information about "system protection, as well as system control and external anti-interference measures. External interference includes weather influences, such as wind, sand, rain, snow, hail, and salt damage"->this text is from the link above. Thank you very much! Kindest regards! Mario

Question by MarioM28   |  last reply


can v store both diferent freqncies of dc frm solar and wind in a same storag batery and can we use sme invrtr for both?

I and my friends are doing a project on hybrid energy systems solar and wind combination my doubt is that can we combine both solar and wind power which is dc and of different  frequencies is there any equipment to convert them and store in same battery .do we have to keep a single inverter or double inverter so that we can reduce our project cost and make our project at cheaper rates at 350$. please help.

Question by shane.sandilya   |  last reply


can bridge rectifiers be combined to double the amps? Answered

Say we have 3 amp 3 rectifiers soldered would that function as 9amp rectifier or needed to be wired in a special way, series, paralel with other components? I am building an unknown power wind gen ans I gave 10   3 amp rectifiers. Thanks for sharing.. Al

Question by celalboz   |  last reply


Advice needed on adding a Wind Turbine (generator) to a DIY PV Solar System.

I have bought a 12 volt FD-300 300 watt wind turbine to add to my 12 volt DIY solar setup. The solar setup consists of 3 home made 70 watt panels on a single axis tracker charging 6x 12 volt 85 ah batteries wired in parallel (510 ah total) through a 20 amp controller. I run a 12 volt fridge/freezer (120 liter) and my now 12 volt (was 240 volt) evaporative air cooler (cools our 3 bedroom house) off the controller load output. The wind turbine has an inbuilt regulator. The instructions for the wind turbine tell me to attach it's + and - wires directly to it's own dedicated terminals on the battery bank. This is of great concern to me. How can this be done when the batteries are already connected to each other and to my systems controller? If it can be done without damage to the batteries would I still run the appliances through the load output on my controller? Would the different charge limiters cause an issue? My controller cuts out at 13.7 volts while the turbines controller would want to allow a charge of 14.1 volts. The two controllers also have different lower limits. As you can see I'm confused and in desperate need of quality advice. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Topic by Rob Patterson   |  last reply


off-grid solar/wind powered greenhouse

 Hello DIYers, I am planning on building a simple greenhouse (hoop-house) this spring. The construction will be for an 8'x12'x8'H design. Building this part is wonderfully easy. The hard part is building the off-grid power to supply power to the greenhouse fans and hydroponic pump(s). I'm not sure where to start with the plans.  Here is what I am needing some guidance: Do I build a PV panel then design my electrical needs around that...or vice-versa?? (I have forty 2W solar cells on order) I know i will need batteries...how many 12V batteries do I need? Type? What is the best configuration for the batteries? Should I use a DC hydro pump or AC hydro pump? DC or AC fan for cooling? Future plans include using an arduino to be the main controller.... Please keep in mind that this is a small(ish) hobby greenhouse and I hope to build it to be fully off-grid, at least for the summer months. I have the time to build it, but don't have the know-how for fully designing it (electrical stuff confuses and scares the crap outta me). I'm not against keeping the price low, but am willing to spend a few extra bucks to make sure it's designed right.

Topic by Tweac-it   |  last reply


Connecting small generators in series?

Hi all,I'd like to make a bunch of small generators, like Pleech turbines, for example. Each one might only be producing a couple volts and however much power. What is the best way to connect them together to get their combined power?I was thinking that I could just give each generator its own rectifier, and then connect everything together in series. Would that be efficient?My circuitry understanding is a little limited, so a simple solution that is 90% efficient may be better than a complicated solution that's 100% efficient.... :)Thanks for any suggestions!

Topic by Asbestos   |  last reply


Magnets, Magnetism, Field lines ???? An expert is needed for green wind power.

This is best placed in the green group as it is for the production of green electricity, but I think that it would not be out of place in the science section also. I have an idea, quite probably not an original one but an idea all the same. It came about as we go camping as a family and have been off the grid a few times. Basically we have had no way of charging our electronic devices for longish periods. Solar power I hear you cry, well that is all well and good if you live in a country that has good sunlight, but here in the UK it can be unpredictable and not produce enough charge to power modern devices. I am mucking about with dynamo’s on the bikes (pedal ones) and wind up devices. Something I am looking into is things like wind power or improved dynamo power. The basic principal behind all of these forms of power production is that of passing a conductor through a magnetic field to produce a potential difference on that conductor. Simples (reference to meerkat advert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBu0OtC6m9g). It has been a very long time since I have done anything like this (way back in school all those years ago) so please stick with me on this one. If I remember right the principal theory is that 1. The higher number of conductors (or loops in the coil) that passes through the field lines causes the voltage to be higher. 2. The stronger the magnetic flux the higher the current production within the conductors. This is a bit basic to some of you I am sure but I still need to get it out to confirm my thoughts. If this is wrong please correct me, as the title says, an expert is needed lol The bar magnet field lines project from the N end and loop back to the S end in this fashion Image 1 Putting two bar magnets together with N and S facing gives a field pattern like this Image 2 Now this is where I need the most help with. Toroidal magnets produce a different field pattern, and as far as I can make out from the internet it looks like this Image 3 & 4 What I want to know is what happens when you put two toroidal magnets on top of each other, what happens to the field lines then. I have thought that there are a few possibilities on this, the first is that the circular lines will extend to encompass both magnets creating like an hour glass formation in the cross section. The second is that field lines will combine/intermingle between the magnets and create a figure 8 pattern. In either of the two possibilities the field strength will be increased to what could be considered a focal point between the two magnets. So with the technical thoughts out of the way and progressing on the assumption that I am correct so far my thought of a high powered dynamo is this. A central shaft that is spun by wind or other means, attached to this shaft are disks like platters on a hard drive, attached to those platters are the toroidal magnets. The magnets are aligned and spaced to give maximum condensing of the field lines between the upper and lower platter. In the centre of the two (or more) platters is a fixed platter, not attached to the shaft and is stationary. On this stationary platter are the coils, fixed into position. Image 5 The coils are shaped and could be something like the voice coils out of a hard drive, which would be good as they would determine the size of the platters, being key stone shaped they will fit together to make a ring of coils. Image 6 The whole idea is based upon the maximising and focusing of the field lines from the magnets to a point producing the maximum amount of energy as the coils pass through the lines. I also think that due to the shaft being turned having little resistance or weight that even small amounts of wind energy would be able to turn it to produce the desired outcome. Now this is where I ask you all to comment and take my thoughts to bits where I have assumed things that are wrong. I have no problems being told where I am wrong as long as it is not in a nasty way. Cheers all

Topic by Batdragon 


i need a game engine Answered

I need a game engine simaler to, or exactly the same as The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, Majoras Mask, Wind Waker, And both versions of Twilight Princess, my plan is to modify , and combine them into a better engine, if not i will make my own from scratch that will be almost the same, but i figure  it will be easier to combine the existing engines, than to write one from scratch

Question by ashannon1   |  last reply


The Eco Powerplant

  Creating a Permanent IcePack in the Eastern Sierra A permanent Ice pack in a north south valley of the Carson Basin could insure constancy of water supply to Fallon area farmers and ranchers. Creating a permanent icepack in Northern Nevada is technologically and economically feasible, given the right location . This project will be solar powered, and serve as a peaking unit during times of high electrical demand. This technology will produce energy from solar by PV Panels mounted on a giant spanning grid over a north south valley in the eastern Sierra. A properly excavated mine could also serve as a location. Proximity to gas distribution and an electrical sub line are also important . This facilities' economic importance as a producer of LNG from surplus stock cannot be overstated. The upper part of the oval consists of a space grid spanning the valley or excavation. It is covered with steerable PV panels. The PV panels may be inserted into the grid or used to create liquid air , which in turn can be used to produce LNG. The thermal energy storage as liquid air would be contained underground in the mountainside itself.In Northern Nevada, these mountains are usually solid rock formations imbedded in sandy detritus, an excellent insulating material. Vast amounts of wind power are also available during spring and summer.   During summer peak demand, liquid air could be re expanded to run generators.   And most importantly , this plant will produce as a by product of its operation large amounts of water in the desert by freezing the ground on which it operates. Wet air passing over an expanse of frozen mountain rock will condense, and either form ice or rain. The production and maintenance of a liquid air production and re-expansion facility will also produce large amounts of water during times of high humidity.   Suitable locations in the Eastern Sierra would by necessity by close to either the Truckee or Carson River Basin.    

Topic by Mud Stuffin 


Exercycle Generator

63% of Americans are struggling with obesity (http://www.americansportsdata.com/obesitystats.asp). There is also a large green movement going on. So what if we combine these two ideas? I have been looking at instructables on how to build your own wind turbine, and instructables on how to use your bike as a generator for charging ipods and cellphones... why not combine the two ideas and create a stationary bike that puts electricity back into the power grid, much the way a home turbine does? Granted... it wouldn't be much power, but the more you exercise, the more money you save--and the better shape you get in. And those pennies each month add up to dollars each year... and again... the health benefits. It's almost like getting paid to exercise, which can be a big motivating factor. Thoughts?

Topic by EdsTwin13   |  last reply


can I wire 3 small 12 - 36v dc pm bl motor wind turbines output into 1

Ok...I have 3 mini wind turbines ..2 are 12 v dc and 1 is 36v dc they definately put outa shock when spun by hand! so what I want to do is combine the power outputs of these 3 motors into in one 48v  +supply A.do I wire them in series with diodes between..or in parrallel?..I hear both ways, but that cant be or do I wire them all (with diodes) to a "single" connection  (1 for + and 1 for -) B. what size/ type of diodes should i use on each motor (preventing back powering the motors) ulitimately I want to invert this power into 110 ac  but with decent watts any insight or help is greatly appreciated!!

Question by schel   |  last reply


No Electricity and No Stream; How Can I Move Water From Well?

I have raw land, in a State Park, which has no access to electricity or running water (stream or otherwise).  I am trying to build an aquaponics farm, however I don't have access to electricity for a well to deliver water to the system, or to the air pumps for aeration.  Any advise?  I need to know how to get water out of the well, and how to aerate the water for the fish and plants, without electricity.  I looked into Solar PV and wind turbines, and they are out of my budget. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Update *03/08/13* Thank you all for the wonderful help and suggestions.  I am going to try several of these to determine the best fit.  Also, please keep the suggestions coming, I will continue testing methods, even after setup.

Topic by msilverstein1   |  last reply


can someone look at this (simple) electricicity generation proposal and give me some tips. (with pictures)?

I want to use the wallpaper stripper for the prototype and if it works replace it with a combined heat, cooking, hot water system. Will adding the hydro have an advantage. the main reasoning behind this is using steam but not in a closed system as I dont have the engineering skills to mess about with high pressure steam. Any input is really appriciated. i have wasted enough time making things that will never be effective before finding instructables.

Question by mrgre99   |  last reply


match potential emergency energy sources w/ critical equipment

Trying to match potential emergency energy sources (solar, inverters, auto/marine batteries, wind turbines) with particular devices necessary for emergency response planning (laptops, flashlights, refrigerators, handheld radio units, other RF gear, wireless/wired networks) 1. Trying to calculate how much energy and in what form we'd need to, for instance, reliably keep a laptop running during power failure. 2. With respect to devices that need DC power - such as walkie-talkies - which are usually recharged (at least in North America) from AC power, through a DC converter, and then charged:: is it possible with devices which generate DC power - such as solar PV generators - to charge them directly without converting to AC and back to DC? We're looking not so much for particular matches between power source X and device Y - more methods for making the calculations.

Question by jsoroko   |  last reply


carbon fiber felt, carbon fiber matting

Seeking a source for remnants carbon fiber felt, will use as combination wind screen chimney internal liner to prevent loss of heat to the environment can use piece sized 4 x 24 inches-minimum. thickness 5 mm, 7mm or better if possible. carbon fiber is usually sold by the sq. yd./meter- i know that carbon fiber felt exists but can't seem to locate same, free or cheap is best, thats why i'm looking for remnant material. thanking you for your help big al

Topic by big al 1048   |  last reply


I have a plan ...

I have acquired, as a strict one-off, a quantity of solar cells.Apparently seconds that "work fine", the one I have unpacked is about 5 inches electrode-to-electrode, glass, and produces about 4-5V with no load in full sunlight. I assume the others are similar.A plan springs to mind. A plan to save money and be "greener". I want to use them to charge batteries during the day, then light my home with LED sources.A grand scheme, one that still requires the approval of She Who Must Be Obeyed, so I intent to take it is stages.Stage One: The Shed.I plan to install an LED light source, running off a battery charged by cells stuck to translucent panels already in my wall.Questions:what number and combination of (ordinary, cheap) LEDs would give a reasonable match for the brightness and colour of the currently-fitted 3-foot fluorescent tube?Is this a suitable circuit to charge the battery?Should I connect PV cells in series or parallel?Is there anything I should have thought of?

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Wanted: Infrared Laser Tag Technology for a New Drone Game

Hi, I'm looking for someone to develop infrared laser tag technology that enables drones to chase, shoot and record 'hits' on participating drones.      Here are the features I'm looking for: a)  Used primarily indoors to avoid problems with FAA, BVLOS, wind etc. b)  IR LEDs detectable @ 30 m c)  Indicates 'hits' by light and sound d)  Detection proximity + -  12" diameter e)  FPV not required for MVP- line-of-sight ok f)  'Shield' feature preferred g)  Self contained rechargeable battery h)  Smartphone integration preferred i)  After a certain number of 'shots', cannon briefly disabled    If you are an laser tag developer and this is something you can do please get in touch.     I will pay, or glad to cut you in on a Kickstarter / crowdfunding campaign revenue share if you prefer (or a combination of both).  I'm a Kickstarter specialist and plan on featuring it on a crowdfunding campaign.    I don't come onto the board very often, so please email me directly at: Earl Brown ebrown@combathawks.com 805-984-2925 Santa Barbara, CA  USA

Topic by EarlB7 


(newsletter) Wireless Power, Bike-Powered USB Charger, 6 Cent Throwie...

Sign-up for this newsletter: Welcome back! Get the LED Out! Contest - New contest! Enter any Instructable that involves LEDs and win some amazing lights from Monkeylectric! Mother's Day Contest - Closes for entries on Sunday! Make something special for Mom and win a sewing machine from Singer! Vote for the entries in the Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest to help decide who will win a MacBook Pro! Vote now!Help the Robot travel in our Cutout Contest. Post your photos and get a patch!Become a fan of Instructables on Facebook and get updates from the Robot. Laptop Bubble Stand Charge any USB Device with Your Bike Build a Woodworker's Workbench Pie in a Jar Make it glow, and win Monkeylectric lights! Closes for entries this Sunday! Wireless Power Web Based Water Metering 3D Anamorphic Street Art The LED Lightbulb Felt eeePC / netbook Pouch for $8 3D-Printed Combination Lock Make a Diamond Engagement Ring Make a Solar iPod/iPhone Charger Get outside! Vote for your favorites! No-Sew Duct Tape Zipper Pouch Portable 12V 17 Watt Wind Generator 6 Cent LED Throwie Urban Prospecting Detector Sign-up for this newsletter:

Topic by fungus amungus 


Instructables, Popular Science, and TreeHugger "Go Green!" Contest Results

Instructables, Popular Science, and [http://www.treehugger Treehugger] are pleased to announce the winners of the Go Green contest!The entries were fantastic- check the full list of projects as well as the winners for more great ways to green your life.Grand PrizeThe grand prize winner will receive a Breezer Liberty hybrid commuter bicycle with pedal-powered lights, an Instructables robot t-shirt, a brief write-up in a future issue of Popular Science, and a 1-year subscription to Popular Science magazine.Hydroponic Bog Garden (Water Recycling) by BiotankFirst PrizeEach first prize winner will receive a Solio Universal Hybrid Solar Charger (TreeHugger review here), an Instructables robot t-shirt, and a 1-year subscription to Popular Science magazine.Bicyle Power for Your Television by bdwhaleyGeodesic Dome Greenhouse by yes2techHow to MAKE PV Solar Panels by VIRONPortable 12V Air Conditioner --Cheap and easy! by CameronSSSolar Thermal Water Heater For Less Than Five Dollars by TheNaibSecond PrizeEach second prize winner will receive an Instructables robot t-shirt and a 1-year subscription to Popular Science Magazine.Build your own flat panel solar thermal collector by iwilltryCart Bike by zieakComposter (Drum Style) by jdlinkFree Air Conditioning by VygerGrow organic food without spending $ by gowithfloHack a Toilet for free water by gregorylavoieHow to save water in gardens and small-holdings: the Scrooge Bottle by KitemanMake an Evaporative Terra Cotta Beer Chiller by jolshefskyRecreate a Vanishing Ecosystem : The Eastern Vernal Pool by Tool Using AnimalThe Wind-up Headboard Reading Light by peterwbrownAll winners should watch their inboxes for a private message with prize-claim instructions.Thanks to our judges, who carefully read through all 63 eligible entries:arwen; canida; Dave Prochnow, PopSci; Doug Cantor, PopSci; ewilhelm; fungus amungus; Graham Hill, TreeHugger; John Mahoney, PopSci; Ken Rother, TreeHugger; Mike Haney, PopSci; noahw; numberandom; reno_dakota; seedlingproject; Shayne McQuaid, TreeHugger; stasterisk; T3h_Muffinator; TetranitrateFor more information on how we judged, click here for the full results.

Topic by canida   |  last reply


Da-lite Silver-lite manual projector screen: Repair help!

So today I totally scored at Goodwill with not one but TWO projector screens!  One is your typical matte white but the other is a silver screen by Da-lite!  (well, both are da-lite) And I was DALITEd (see what I did there?) to find them so cheaply!  So purchased them I did.  But getting home I discovered the silver screen projector (the case a beautiful teal color!) had some rips.  Luckily not across the main viewing portion but along the rails that A-roll it up and B-keep it from going into the case.  I managed to fix the tears along B but A I'm aware has some sort of tension spring dohickey that is only kept wound by the end caps!  And to fix that tear I'll definitely have to completely disassemble the thing.  (to fix the tears I've used a combination of hand sewing and shoe-goo on the underside, since it repairs vinyl.) I can't quite find a repair/replace/fix guide that even comes close.  I was hoping to come across a guide replacing the material at least but that was a no-go.  Closest thing I found was to carefully take off the ends and with the screen rolled up screw back one end (left) and wind the rod back with the other (right) before screwing it back in.  Guide didn't really specify my model though or even go into detail about the specific tension mechanism, so I'm doubtful at best on wanting to try it out. (and heaven forbid lose a finger!)  Not to mention mine pulls up instead of pulls down, so orientation seems like a toss up. Anyone have any suggestions for a DIY approach to this?

Topic by stalledaction   |  last reply


The Lovebox, Laser Projector, Dirty Soap...

Sign-up for our newsletter here. Dec. 20, 2007 Welcome back! Don't forget to enter the Homemade Holidays Contest! Share your homemade holiday gift ideas through an Instructable, a Slideshow, or a Video, and win great prizes from CRAFT magazine! Check out these cool instructables! LoveBox - The box of love Put your electronics knowledge to work by making a special present that delivers a random message of love when it's opened.posted by matseng on Dec 18, 2007 Rubens Tube Yule Log Make your fireplace dance along with the Christmas tunes by putting a classic physics experiment to good use.posted by bofthem on Dec 17, 2007 Cool Wave Ring Learn how to make a cool wave ring from scratch, or many other kinds, with these clear instructions and helpful videos. posted by hydemetals on Dec 13, 2007 Dirty Soap For the friends that have dirty minds and good senses of humor, this is the perfect stocking stuffer that makes soap fun again.posted by fungus amungus on Dec 15, 2007 Chocolate Peppermint Bark Dark or semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate, and crushed peppermint candies. What could be easier? posted by canida on Dec 8, 2007 Win a $15,000 VersaLaser! Low cost tank-tough workbench Build a workbench that can survive being run over by a tank, or at least anything you can throw at it.posted by jmengel on Dec 16, 2007 Mysterious Lightbulb PrankHave you ever seen the Magic Lightbulbs magicians use? Here's how to make one that will drive people crazy! posted by Kipkay on Dec 13, 2007 Laser Image Projector Project a creepy green image on any surface without having to worry about any focusing problems. posted by echo_anomie on Dec 19, 2007 A Home Power Plant - Wind Power Generator Revised Plans for Building a Wind Power Generator in the form of a Savonius Rotor Windmill. No welding or casting required, posted by bhunter736 on Dec 14, 2007 Build a Greenland Kayak This instructable will teach you how to build a 17 foot long Greenland kayak that will weigh 30-40 pounds and cost less than $300. posted by nativewater on Dec 18, 2007 Gingerbread! 'Tis the season for gingerbread! Whether you see it as a food or a building material, you can probably use a few new tricks. Check out these Instructables for some fresh ideas. Gluing a gingersnap cottage (like a nerd) Here's a safe and effective way of gluing a gingersnap cottage with molten sugar. posted by all_thumbs on Dec 2, 2006 Gingerbread Cake Bars with Lemon Glaze This the combination of gingerbread and lemon is easy to make and well worth the time! posted by aliciak on Sep 8, 2007 Candy Towers Built with a Molten-Sugar Hot-Glue Gun Build Seussian candy towers with molten sugar to make your gingerbread house unique. posted by ewilhelm on Dec 20, 2007 How to create gingerbread houses If you're new to the gingerbread house scene, here's a great way to get started. posted by simonechavoor on Dec 14, 2007 Ginger Bread Houses A few of our own gingerbread houses that we made to get into the spirit of the season. Happy Holidays! posted by ewilhelm on Dec 20, 2007   Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric

Topic by fungus amungus 


Ceiling fan generator mod to the max

I stubled upon several mods to convert a standard ceiling fan into a more or less usefull generator.So if you are looking to go this route then I might have some nice improvements that can be implemented.People like these mods for some weird reason, despite the fact that it requires quite a bit of extra work to make them weather proof.However, when it comes to the fundamentals then to me it looks like some folks out there are missing out.On the available power that is...Always the first step for a mod like this is to replace the induction ring with a lot of magnets.Second step usually is to remove a lot of the coils, especially the inner ring.Now, these two stator designs are common for fans with two speeds.Those with three or even reverse might have a different configuration!Lets start on the magnet part:The recommended way of placing the magnets is by creating an air gap as small as possible - makes sense.But then it is always the same amount of magnets as there is coils - and the spacing is also the same as for the coils.In the general generaotr design world this configuration is prefered as it allows for the best performance.If you dare to go a bit further and cosider how the magnets react to the stator configuration then you might want to consider a different option.You see, these two sets of coils for two different speeds mean just one thing:A different amount of poles is created, with the outer ring having more poles than the inner ring of coils.The core is split around the coils, not just to allow the windings to be made but also to provide independent paths for the magnetic field - resulting in the two pole configurations.Amounts differ by diameter, power level, manufacturer and so on.What is always the same is that the inner ring has less coils and that the outer segments of the poles created have even spacings.In the normal mods you see posted these gaps in the core for the outer ring are closed by inserting lamitaed pieces from some old transformer.And you end up with ONE usable coil configuration and ONE power output.The slightly advanced mod uses the inner coil to add some load depending on the speed to prevent spinning out of control in high winds.If you try a normal DC motor with permanent magnets than you will notice the strong binding forces, it is like the rotor sticks in certain places.The better ones use and uneven configuration to reduce this binding effect ;)In my mod the magnets are selected in size to almost be the same length as two stator poles next to each other.This allows for the best induction while still allowing "to experiment".Bringing the magnets and the coils into play...As said an exact match of the number of magnets to either coil ring is not ideal.The prefered option is to go somewhere in between.For example:Outer ring has 18 coils then the inner ring will have 9 coils - exactly half.360° divided by 15 make a nice 24 degress per magnet.But with 12 magnets you get an even 30°, which is far easier to deal with.16 magnets at 22.5° is another option.So, what does that exactly do for us?The bad thing is we get slightly less performance if you only see the standard mod with one coil ring.The good thing we get far lower binding forces and through that the thing will even spin in very light winds.Adding both coil rings with a suitable rectifier however results in a pulsing output of two sine waves.With just the rectifier we get a ripple that is easier to deal with through a capacitor.The extra power available is in the range of about 40% and make more than up for the "reduced" amount of magnets.Going the extra mile once more ;)Having created a much fancier ceiling fan mod now you might wonder if there is not a way to get even more out of it.And there is.For example by utilising a gear system or belt to get a far higher rotational speed on the generator than what the blades would provide, prefably then with quite big blades too and an automatic break for high wind conditions.With the reduced binding forces the generator will be happy to spin at quite high speeds in low winds.Downside is that you will need to build a far more sturdy bearing housing.In return though you get more stability and durability.You can do the math yourself based on the number of poles per ring and magnets to get the output frequency based on the RPM's.Perfect would now be to use a switch mode power supply configuration to directly transform the provided output into a stable DC per ring.And yes, it is possible to use mechanical systems to provide a fixed output speed from the blades to the generator - but way to complex and lossy!Lets do some lame math with no regards to realities:If the original fan would spin at 100 RPM at full speed than we could say our generator should provide the mains voltage at about 100 RPM.Keep in mind we utilise both coil rings and not just the high speed one!Geared and with the blades spinning at 100 RPM we might get as much as 1000V from this little generator....And even with the lower amount of magnets we migh see frequencies above the 500Hz range.The good thing now is that normal iron core transformers can still operate at these frequencies.A bit lossy in the upper range but acceptable for the purpose.Put simple: A 10 or 20:1 transformer per coil ring would provide us with a far more suitable output voltage and much higher amps.If you made it to here than you certainly wonder about other magnet configurations.Checking the stator configuration you will by now realise why I selected the magnet lenght accordingly.The magnets "activate" one coil after the other.The spacing between them means there is always some overlap where the magnets only cover one half of the stator for a coil.This is ok because we don't really have to worry about the resulting messy output.Ideally though you would want to have a magnet activate both coils, the inner and the outer at the same time.What we did though was to make sure that at no time more than ONE magnet fully covers more than ONE coil!It is the best option to cover both coil sets while minimising binding effects and increasing the avialable output.To go the last step you would need to invest a lot of time re-winding all coils :(You don't want to do this unless you have the means and no friends and family that might miss you for a few days....I found a far simpler way to change the coil configuration, although it is not as good a re-winding.So let's go full scale shall we?Ceiling fan reconfiguration!If you take the usual 18 to 9 configuration than one thing jumps to mind reight away: 3-phase power!Cutting the wire that goes from coil to coil might not always be possible and if it is then you need to know how to handle it.Magnet wire can be hard to solder.Burning the coating off results in corroded copper that is even harder to solder.If you are lucky though than a reall hot soldering irong will be able to melt the coating.The flux from the solder will start to cover the wire from the cut and the solder will follow.If not then using some fine sandpaper and time is the other option to remove the coating...Ok, you seperated all coil and have two wire ends per coil?I hope you did not cut off the ones going out to the actual connections to the outside world ;)Properly solder each wire end and take your time to check it is really proper and not just a few spots.Mark or number the coils on the rings!For the inner ring we have 9 but need only 3, so we start at one connection to the outside world and check if this connection is on the outside or inside of the coil.For this example I assume you picked the one that goes to the outside of the coil.Connect the inside wire to the outside wire of coil number 3, assuming we start with 1 here ;)From the inside wire of 3 you go to outside of 6 and the inside is you first new output connection.Do the same with the remaining 6 coils and where needed add the required output wire.It really helps to have wires with three different colors here, one color per new coil set.Note which color corresponds to to the three coils used!!!The outer ring with 18 coils is sightly different here.You see, we want a "flowing" magnetic field that makes best use of the new coil configuration!We can not simply bridge them in any way we feel like without considering how this might affect the electrical side of things.As we now take the approach of a three phase system it makes sense to use a more suitable magnet configuration as well.So before go to the outer ring of coils lets have a look of the best option for the magnets first:The stator packs are evenly spaced in our example and will alow us to use 18 magnets.This provides the best performance with the downside of a higher binding effect, but we need this configuration to get the best possible output.As said at the start I selected magnets that are just shy of being the same length as the corresponding stator segments.In a "free" setup these magnets would now be quite hard to place in a makeshift ring.Even harder in the original casing.A 3D printer certainly helps but some common sense too ;)Wood is easy to work with and if you select the right stuff than making a suitable ring to hold your magnets and attach to the drive system metal parts is not too hard.Bar or brick type magnets can be quite easy be utilised on a wood setup :)The key is that you add Flux Capacitors - sorry couldn't help the reference to Marty....What I mean is to add some magnetic material between the north pole of one magnet and the south pole of the other.Lets say your magnets are 15mm long and have a spacing of 5mm.Then a little plate of 12mm would be next to perfect.This plate needs to connect the magnets on the backside, the side facing away from the coils.Use a dremel tool or what you have to first create slots for the metal strips or bars, then the same for the magnets.Glue in the metal first and once set add the magnet, making sure the always go north to south with their alignment.Ok, and what does this do for us?I hope you are not one of these persons who starts building while reading...What we created now is a shortcut for the magnetic forces.The field between the magnets is severly compromised in terms of being usable for the coils.We do get a much soother run though...I only did that to have some fun and check if you paid attention - sorry :(What we really want is an effect similar to what you see on a loadspeaker magnet that is still in its metal shielding.A ring magnet with one pole on the inside and one on the outside is used here.The shielding provides a path for the magnetic field that is not going through the speaker coil - hence the little air gap for the coil.If we do the same then our efficiency will be going up quite a bit.Take two identical steel parts, like some butter knifes, and prefarbly a force gauge.If you try to pull your magnet at a 90° angle from the blade you will get a certain reading for the required force to lift it off.Most people now think that this would be the max a magnet can hold.So take the other knife and place the magnet between them.If you pull the knife off with the gauge now the reading will be higher than what you get from just the magnet ;)Taking that to our model and keeping the field lines in mind we now know that we could even use slightly longer plates if our magnets happen to be a bit short :)Just place them right behind each magnet !Back to the outer ring of coils....With 18 magnets we get an even system for both coil rings.However we want to make sure that our output waves are syncronised and not at random order.We need to combine two coils to be back on a 9 coil configuration as on the inner ring.The other option is to provide two sets of outputs for outer ring, resulting in 3 3-phase outputs.Both have their pros and cons....But if you check the 18 magnet configuration ina ction over the coils it becomes clear that combining two coils the usual way is possible but also that our inner ring does not get a proper north south action from the magnets!Only the outer coil ring works properly!For the inner ring we never get only a north south combo, instead a lot of mixes.Did I mention to read first? ;)Of course we can only use 9 magnets in our configuration, but at least I did not traick you on their size....You see, we need to account for the fact that the coils are not just evenly spaced but also that all configurations in terms of coils to stator pack are doubles or halfs.Makes a lot more sense if you know how these asyncronous motors work :)With 9 magnets we actually get both inner and outer ring coils activated properly.Plus we now have the benefit that there are always twoouter coils in sync with each other.Means apart from the same way you wired the inner ring you make this addition to the outer ring:"One" outer coil is created by going from one coilinner connection to the outer connection of the second after this, skipping one coil.The resulting output is again just 3 phases but with double the output voltage.The key is to again take notes of how you connect and wire the coils - and the colors used for the output wires!Let me give you an example for the correct order:I we take the number 1 coil on the inner ring then coils number 1 and 18 would be next to it on the outer ring.You want to combine 1 and 3, 2 and 4, 5 and 7,....And you want the resulting three coil packs and wires colores to correspond to the inner coils in the same order!That is true for the always same way of combining coils from the inner to outer connection - or the other way around but never mixed!Ok, we have done the magnets and the coil configuration now properly, no jokes this time!With two simple 3-phase rectifiers we get two DC outputs that can be combined or used seperately.As we end up with roughly double the output voltage on one output but all coils are the same it makes sense to treat them independly.For those who wonder why:If you add a load than one coil system would take a higher loading of it.Meaning while one coil set is stll fine the other will already start to overheat - if the load is too great.So we use two rectifiers with some filtering.In the basic form just a really big electrolytic capacitor of suitable voltage or a full LC filer system with multiple stages.Either way we can now utilise some better DC-DC converters to get going.Considering the equal max watss the coil rings can handle it make sense to include some current limiting.A good converter will provide this option.Both converters can now set to the desiered output or with some added protection diodes and adjusted properly to the same voltage combined for just one DC output.Compared to the standard mod of removing coils and bridgning stator packs the resulting output power in overall Watt will now be about 40-60% higher - depending on the model and quality of parts.Special words of wisdom:Consider the orignal max speed of the fan when used as intendet - see this as a theoretical max output that equals your mains voltage.Just ignore losses and such things - better to be safe than sorry.It becomes clear that it quite possible that your output will be far higher than mains voltage and that you need use transformers for the two 3-phase systems so you can use standard DC-DC converters, which have a max input voltage of around 50V only.This means your converter must be able to handle the higher amps!The fan might have only used 100W or less than 500mA but at high speeds and a ratios of lets say 10 to 1 for the gearing high wind speeds might get it up to over 5 amps on the transformer outputs.Please do the math first for your gear system in relation to the max wind speeds you want to use with your blades!If in doubt use a converter that has some reserves to offer, especially if you aim to charge batteries as quickly as possible.The most vital part however is to ensure that all previously cut wires are isulated properly!!!Magnet wire of the standard kind is good for about 1000V max, so don't drive it higher!Heat shrink with a hot glue liner is prefered but hard to apply in these thight spaces.Since nothing moves consider using long enough wires for your connections so you have enough space to solder without affecting the heat shrink tubes.Liquid insulation or rubber is the last option and should only be used to finalside the heat shrink security measures.Best option once all is confirmed to be working fine would be to make a custom mold and to fully enclose the staotr pack and wires with casting resin or an insulating casting mix.Make sure to keep the output wirese free at the their ends ;)What if I don't want to build a complicated three phase rectifier and just use a single phase system as it was?Firstly chances are your coils are already connected in a three phase configuration, just all in series.But working out a suitable magnet configuration to suit this is much harder if you want to use both sets of coils.In a series configuration like the original you also have to accept the losses from these connected coils.The higher the overall resistance the lower the possible output ;)Main problem however is to get the magnet working properly.The standard 9 or here even 18 magnet configurations still works, especially with the added shielding from behind.But the coils also produce a magnetic field, which grows with the load.Means that an top of all you also have the coils working against the magnets and create even higher losses.Explains why the simple folks prefer not use the inner coil set if they go with a single phase system.So either accept the losses and just use the outer coils or do it fully and get far mor output.And by the way: a 3-phase rectifier modlue is only a few cents more than a standard bridge rectifier ;)Ok, and why do I bother to write all this?People like to tinker but most don't really invent.Following some simple instructions is easy, trying to work it yourself much harder.The reward however is that you actually start to know what you are doing :)And what works for a ceiling fan can be used for these ring style washing machine motors too ;)Anyways...We need to get back our roots.Start thinking for ourself again, work things out instead of just looking them up.If people would be aware that a simple ceiling fan could provide about 3 times the output power of its rated installation value instead of only just about half......Super strong magnets allow real output even without re.winding all coils.And what works here works for other things too.We only learned to use magnets in a striaght way because we can not bend them.But we can bed the magnetic field lines to our advantage!The simple shielding used in this mod is nothing more than a shortcut to enhance the field strenght where it is is needed.By a simple coil modification we basically bet two electrical generators for the price and size of one.Apart from stating how easy it would be to place multiple stators and magnet rings into one generator the magnets itself also allow for even more output.If you ever played with hook magnets or speaker magnets then you know how much stronger they are compared to just the magnet once they seperate after hours of fun for you.Imagine you would replace the single bar magnet with two block magnets that are joined by a magnetic shunt like out simple shielding before.If the magnet blocks now would have a slightly smaller footprint than your individual poles:Imagine you create a hlaf ring shaped magnetic connection between the two blocks that also goes aruond the outer perimeter up to the outside of the magnets surface?I mean the surface facing the stator poles?Damn your imagination is good, yout it right away!Of course we would then have a magnet that allpies its full strength focussed onto each pole of a coil!And of course the resulting field would be far stronger than just using the magnet blocks itself and still significantly higher than just adding a shielding or connection between them.The affect of the next coil coming is also drastically reduced, which in return also increases the efficiency.In terms of numbers:If a fixed neodymium magnet would provide us 100$ field strength as the base point with no shielding (just the magnet blocks alone);A fully shielded and connected system, like in a hook magnet combined with a U-style magnet, would reach above 400% here.....Adding witchcraft to the mix ;)Although I know better I just assume some of you have now a working double-three-phase-ceiling-fan-generator.And that would mean you also have some fans to spare from your long experiments.Modern ignition coils seem to have nothing in common with our ceiling fan or resulting generator.So why do I try to use them anyway?For the ignition only one polarity is prefered so the spark works and travels as intendet.Means the "wasted" energy from the othe half of the pulse seems to be lost.The electronics do a lot here but magnets too ;)The core of the coil has magents at either end, turning it into one long magnet that still has the right properties to act as high voltage transformer system with the coils.The coil appear to be pre-loaded and with the ignition pulse it has to overcome the magnetic field pre-set by the magnets.And when the electrical impulse is off the same magnets also accelerated and increase the resulting fall back impulse - which provides the spark.Unless you have a suitable laser cutter or simlar cutting tech available somehow it will be hard to modify the metal plates of the stator.But if you could...Imagine you could add magnet inside the plates that are inside a coil.The same pre-loading would happen.Does not really help in terms of adding outpur as our rectifier would suffer badly here.It does give ideas though...Shielding works fine for the magnets, same for field shaping.Electromagnets use the same techniques...So why not use some leftlever transformer cores to add more "shortcuts" for the coils?Strips of transformer core sheets added either side of the coils increase their field strenght and result in better output!Three packs either side of the stator pack are usually no problem.Now take your leftovers and do a standard mod.Compare the max output on the same windmill with what you get from my mod(s).The only real magic I used here is that I actually bothered to combine multiple and already used methods to drastically increase the available output of an otherwise utterly useless generator mod ;)Warnings:If you take the above mods serious and to the their extreme than it is imperative to make sure you have safety measures in place!Assume the lowest rating for the magnet wire and if in doubt stick with a max output voltage of 800V.These mods are potentially lethal if you don't follow what is common sense to everyone dealing with high voltages for a living!Most people will start without any gearing or belts and use the wind directly.Even here it is easy to get far higher RPM than what the thing ever did under your ceiling.Without some fixes you will need transformers to reduce the output voltage accordingly.Only other option is to limit the max speed to what your DC-DC converter can handle.Making mistakes with mangets can cost you a lot of time and work, make sure to mark their poles somehow to prevent putting them in wrong.If in doubt then double check!Always keep in mind what the magnet wires and your connections can handle!You don't want any arcs or overheating.Some added electronics to monitor wind speed, rpm's, load and temperature of the coils can turn out vital once you upscale.Before letting your new generator do its thing make sure you tested all to the max!Use a drill or so to speed it up and check the limit regulation for the converters.Measure the actual volts and amps going through your coil sets at assumed max speed and max load.Monitor the coil temp while doing so to ensure nothing is out of limit!You are kidding me here right?A scrap ceiling fan shall provide more output as a wind generator than what was used to spin it as a fan?And of course I need not one but two 3-phse transformers...Pretty clear it is all a fake because nobody could replicate any of it unless limited to what the converters can handle...Didn't I say to think outside normal restraints already?A single phase transformer uses two coils in the most basic configuration.For example one side for 240V and te other for 12V.But some of them are more efficient than other ;)A 3-phase transformer uses 6 coils, two for each phase.And there are plenty of standrad transformer cores out there that would allow us to use this configuration.The worst being the MOT, or microwave oven transformer.Very lossy for a reason but good as an example as these have three core stems ;)Now that you see that you will that a lot more transformers actually allow you to replace the two coils with 6 ;)Ok, but why not use a rectifier first and not use a transformer or two at all?The resulting output voltage will without a gear REDUCTION be much higher than what a cheap DC-DC converter can handle.And at such speeds the effiency would be very bad too.You would need huge capacitors of good quality to deal with the now more impulse like output.And considering the primary side of the transformer does not require anything thicker than the wire on the coils of the fan...Not hard at all to find some suitable tansformers to salvage - or to use some nice ring transformers ;)No kidding around, just facts and possible options you might want to explore.Does that now mean I get free energy?Sure, if you mean you get the free nergy from the energy of the wind at no cost.No if you think a ceiling fan could ever power your house.Internal resistance, size and wire/connection properties set our limits.Not to mention that they are designed to be dirt cheap.If you are in a windy region and assume a realistic 300W minimum output from a 100W fan then adding more stage multiplies this.These fancy upright windmills are not just powerful but also would allow to use one modded fan either end.If big enough and with enough wind force throughout the year you could just add a second or third stage to ech end.With 3 on both ends the resulting output would then be suddenly 1.8kW per windmill....And all from scrap parts with only the costs for the magnets...No wind? Then use water....None of it? Get some greyhounds and build a big hamster wheel :)You get the general idea I hope...

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Instructables Restaurant at PICNIC 2010

I was honored to be asked to open an Instructables Restaurant in Amsterdam as part of the 2010 PICNIC festival.  Faithfully following recipes submitted to our Pizza contest, chefs from Eetcafe De Zwijger served three different types of pizza in an intimate setting within the festival, next to the mobile Fablab.  Each day, the crew served around 50 pizzas split equally between Homemade Pizza Margherita, Rose Garden Pizza, and Flammkuchen - the other type of pizza. The Instructables Restaurant is a combination concept art piece and experimental business model.  What would an open-source restaurant look like?  Can an open-source menu allow patrons to form a deeper relationship with the chef and the food?  Would people show up just to learn how to do it themselves?  With funding from the Waag Society, the creators of the restaurant, Arne Hendricks and Bas van Abel, are trying to answer these questions.  With my permission, they chose to leverage the Instructables brand in their initial "pop-up" restaurants, which have included a Cheesecake cart, DIY BBQ, and a soup night in addition to the Pizza restaurant -- all described on their Instructables Restaurant Blog. The space created for the restaurant at Picnic was great, and probably better than any live event I've ever organized for Instructables.  Two things that worked really well deserve to be specifically pointed out:  handing out comment sheets with each slice of pizza, and tear-away handouts with the recipes and instructions for furniture and decorations.  In one of the images below, you can see a collection of comments about the pizza submitted by tasters.  The handouts had links to the website and short forms of the step-by-step instructions emphasizing that anyone could make the pizza, furniture, or lighting themselves.  (The pads of handouts were especially appealing to me, because literally the next day at NYC Maker Faire, the wind was threatening to blow our business-card-format project cards all over.)  Scanned versions of the handouts are included in the slideshow below: See this slideshow here:  Instructables Restaurant Handouts Arne calls the Instructables Restaurant a "question."  If the answer to his question is yes there is something to an open-source restaurant, he has a spot in mind for a fixed-location version.  I can't wait to eat there. A brief aside: I'm a few inches above average height in the US, but in Holland, I'm short! The Dutch are enormous, as you can see in the group image with the five of us at the restaurant. Looking up to meet people's eyes was an interesting and fun change. More images of the Instructables Restaurant here on Flickr.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply


Music box concept + Guitar guts = Player Guitar

Don't know if this specifically needs to go in music but, whatever. for christmas i made my brother a (somewhat poorly constructed) lap steel guitar. seriously, it wasn't that good, but it worked and it was more of a "can i do this project" kind of thing, plus he has a friend who is an ACTUAL luthier so he's going to "redo it".... anywho, i made said guitar using zither pins for the tuning pegs and it got me to thinking. with the zither pins you could theoretcially have a guitar string of any length and use the pin to set that string to any given tone on any particular scale (say the functional length of the string was only 3 inches....you could still theoretically set the tune on that string to a semi permanent desired tone). so, with a bunch of short lengths of various guage strings you could create a guitar music box (probably more of a music barrel but, whatever). now, normal music box has the tone pins (not sure what they're called...but the tuned slivers of metal) stationary along one (or more) fixed planes and a revolving "picking" drum that strikes each pin to make the tone in the order that it needs to be in a piece of music. for whatever reason. so, combine these two ideas and you get a player guitar, or a guitar based music box, whatever. so, obviously this could be acoustic or electric. my personal preference is to lean towards electric, so that's where the question comes in. a normal guitar pickup has 4, 6, or whatever magnets fixed within it's coils so that you can pickup the signal from 4, 6, or whatever strings that are strung paralell(ish) across the guitar. for the music box concept to work (as opposed to a true player guitar that plays across the strings) the individual string pieces (that are all individually tuned etc) wouldn't be able to be parallell to each other like a normal guitar. they'd either be in line on the same plane or spaced out in odd ways (i've got an odd concept for the actual construction...where the strings do the moving and the "strummers" stay put). so, does a single magnet pickup exist? that could just be wired up into the rest of a normal electric guitar's circuitry? or would i have to build such a thing from scratch (and subsequently how would i do that)? would a normal electric guitar's circuitry be able to work the same with more than 6 pickups in play (thinking of a cheap one from a pawn shop...that's what i built the slide guitar from)? also, taking song suggestions and subsequent individual string tuning plans *i do know that there are "better" ways to make a self playing guitar that uses the normal guitar form factor and robotics and such....but this seems more fun. plus, i might make it into a wind powerd thing...electric guitar windchimes anyone?

Topic by crapflinger   |  last reply


A Hybrid of Coil and Rail gun

So I said i'd throw this up in the comments section on Youtube not too long ago, and I don't like it when something easy and free doesn't happen. This is some ideas and observations that have to do with coil guns (mostly). I'm in the process of finishing up several projects, so my resources are kinda spread out. I should have a prototyped coil gun finished in 2-3 weeks though, so if this doesn't clear things up, hopefully that video will. I should point out, I am a chemist with expertise in biochemistry, not electrical engineering. Basically my idea is to combine a railgun and a coil gun for the expressed purpose of avoiding the pitfalls that a pure coilgun or a pure rail gun have. At present, none of the designs out there would be capable of competing with an actual gun. By mixing the two, i'm hoping to get something that might eventually be capable of doing so. So.. I've included a very poor drawing (I'm not an artist). The barebones circuit is sketched in the lower right hand corner. The gun barrel, which is a piece of aluminum tubing split into two pieces to sever as a rail system, is sketched in the upper left, and again in the middle figure to show how to integrate the coil and rail system. Looking at the circuit design, you can see that this starts off as a very basic capacitor-inductor circuit. The charge is purposefully allowed to trickle through the circuit until the coil reaches saturation and the capacitor(s) are charged. When the trigger is pushed, the inductor side of the circuit has to dump into the rail system to complete the full closed loop. Because of the ferromagnetic material (the brown stuff), the magnetic force persists for a while (that is to say, it has high reluctance). The ferromagnetic material does one other thing that is important here. It forces the middle of the coil to be far off center. The coil is pulling the projectile into the middle of the magnetic field, but that is not necessarily in the center of the winding. Adding ferrite, or other high reluctance material, towards the end of the barrel biases the field towards that end.  At the same time that the coil stops getting current, the rail system become active. This allows a charge to pass through the bullet/projectile, and, even though the majority of the force is going to be caused by the inductive coil, the rail system allows an eddy current to setup in the bullet. This does several things. First the bullet doesn't have to be iron, nickel, or cobalt. With a stray eddy current in the projectile, any conductive material will work. The advantage here is that once the current stops, the non-magnetic material stops being  to the magnetic field, preventing backwards acceleration of the projectile as it exits the barrel.  Second, Rail systems and coil systems are not often used because they are perpendicular to one another, but, this can be used to put spin on the projectile, in a similar manner to rifling in a barrel.  After the projectile is fired, the circuit is open, preventing excessive electrical discharge.  My circuit design is really badly drawn... =T if it needs more explanation please post up questions. 

Topic by Qcks   |  last reply


Turbine generator with heat pump

I got another weird idea that I like to share as I don't see me putting into reality anytime soon but someone else might do it for me after reading it ;) If you like me and call home where it is far too hot for most of the year you might have wondered how to cut the energy bills down. Especially if you in a remote area "off the grid". Sounds interesting? Then just do me the favour of posting here if you plan to put into reality and keep us updated ;) Technology has come long way and with some mirror like Mylar foil anyone can build big reflectors to use the sun for heating all sorts of things. Modern solar hot water systems are designed to produce a temp high enough to kill all harmfull stuff that might otherwise grow in our system but we can one step further: (Keep in mind it is just an idea with no prototype to proofe the concept works as expected!) Using heat pipes in a round reflector that is linked to solar tracker would allow us to boil water for as long as the sun is out there. Don't know if the flat types used for hot water systems are capable of producing steam but someone might have an old one at hand and is willing to test it on a sunny day? Anyway, assuming we can build a large enough array of solar ovens heating water pipes it is possible to drive a turbine with the steam. A linked generator of suitable size would now provide the electricity we might need to charge batteries or to power other things. But of course this would be total waste of the remaining energy in the steam! Plus we could really need some airconditioner, don't we? So in my vision we don't want to waste the water either, which mean we not only use the heat but also reuse the water to go back into the solar oven. If we now use an uscaled version of our RV fridge and instead of a heating element or a flame our remaining heat from the steam we can power a big fridge and an airconditioner on the same continous-cycle-ammonia-fridge type to cool what we need. Depending on the size and insulation rating of a house it is possible to be totally independent from the power grid during the sunny times. During the winter times the same generator can be combined with a ducted heating system where the waste heat of it is used to produce the steam we need. Of course integrating this into one unit would be the prefered option to keep the physical dimensions small. Combine all this with some good sized battery backup and inverter system and you might have enough juice to spare to make it through a cloudy day or two. Add some wind generators if you are in a suitable area to provide additional electricty. I think with new parts and some handy work it should be possible to create such a system for under $3000US. With access to some well sorted scrap yards even for free, not counting consumables, selants and so on... Sadly I don't own a house and currently not even have a garage to set up a little workshop so for now it stays an idea only... Tried to find some sponsors or at least people with interest to create something like this down here but it is like trying to explain quantum physics to a hundred year old in the retirement village. Sure, you can build something that would give me electricity and cooling for free? ... Of course it will work, so come back and show me once you made it.... If that crap could work, why are still buying fridges that run on electricty and airconditioners that drain our bank accounts?... We have 5 cooling containers outside runningon generators that use over 200liters of fuel every day and come try to tell me a steam generator can cut me fuel bills down by at least 50% if not more?... Just some of the more friendlier responses I got after trying to find some interest. Don't know if it is problem of the Aussie mentality or if I am just unable to make someone understand that we can use the scorching sun for free :( But I am not willing to give up on the idea itself, so what do you think? Oh! You have the financial means and access to create some prototype to integrate into a new cool house or  self sustaining home? Please feel free to contact me so we can start and make a living out of it ;)

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Mono pole / single pole magnets!?

I made a quite intersting discovery today.The use of mixed orientations for a stronger or more directed field on one side and a much weaker on the other side of a magnet is nothing new. But if you check modern wind turbines or even just any old hard drive you find "chokes". I talked about shielding before but combining shielding a choking provides again another level of manipulation.If you ask anyone who claims to know magentic field or sience in general then you right away hear: There is no such thing as magnet with just a single pole!Like a battery one pole can't exist without the other!Keep going and your conversation parten either get angry or declares you a nut case.Also said before: The laws of nature and physics are not set in stone or complete for that matter!We only use what we know, or to be precise what we told to take as facts.A magnet with just one pole is impossible to manufacture, if you only think like making the magnet like any other magnet.Even cutting it in half will only give you two normal magnets again.Why is that so?How are magnets made is what you need to know.No matter the material they start as a blank and during the final processing an intense electromagnetic field is used to "prime" them.Like you would do on a screwdriver the material then keeps the "charge" and becomes magnetic.And this process requires a certain orientation.Imagine a big hydraulic press to make the magnet with some super strong electromagnets right beside the forms.Explains why you won't find a block magnet with the poles on opposing corners - the form is not designed to be rotated ;)Ferrite magnets can often be machined.If you mark the field direction of a block then you could just cut it into the shape you need.Like a half moon, triangle, pyramid...The orientation does not change, so you need to create the cuts so your required orientation matches the orignal block.Creates a lot of waste, is messy and often the magnets shatter.Still not possible to create a mono pole ;)But it allows for a great deal of field manipulations.For example a thick north and a thin south pole would show very different field strengths at the poles.How to create a mono or single pole magnet then??If you think outside modern science restraints it is suprisingly easy!You see, unlike a battery the magnet does not care if the "current" flows back to its own pole or a pole from a different magnet.In a hard drive the choked magnets have a field strength between them that is not just twice as much as th one from a single magnet.The field between the magnets is very stable too!No matter where you measure it is the same.Place two magnets in the same configuration with the choke and all you get between them is a mess.To understand the reality with magnets I need to explain a bit more though:If it does not matter from where to where the field lines go the it becomes obvious that you can guide them.Horse shoe magnets of the old kind where just two steel bars with a block magnet between them!Take a compass and check from what distance your magnet will start to affect the orientation.Now take two iron bars, rods, block or similar of about twice that length.Place the compass between one end and the magnet between the other end.Even with a little gap your compass will still move!You just extended the length of the field lines and directed them somewhere else as it also works with odd shapes.We know know and confirmed how choking works and as shielding is basically the same thing but for a different purpose you might get an idea where I am heading already.A "potted" magnet, like what you find in a speaker or as a hook magnet utilises two destinct features.a) A ring magnet is used.b) The field lines are directed to a specific area.One has them directed into a gap for a coil like in a wind turbine, the other to the surface to massively increase the field strenght in that area.If you take either apart you will notice the magnet just by itself is considerably weaker.Removing a pole from a magnet...If you paid attention so far and have a few magnets around then you already developed a feeling for the difference.Lets crank it up a notch, shall we?Make this experiment:Take two identical magnets and a soft steel bar or similar of lesser thickness than the magnets.Usually around 2-3mm for smaller N52 Neodymiums will do.If you dare make the steel the same size as the magnets.Now place one magnet on the steel and use the other to observe the difference in feel.There won't be much and both poles should still fell like before only that the field is now slightly longer.Trying to get two magnets to touch at the same pole is really hard, but see what happens if you add the other magnet on the other side of the steel...Despite having the same pole on the steel they won't repel and stick to the steel.Checking the field now with a magnet provides a very different feel!It is like having a magnet with a split pole where the opposing pole now is in the center.Impossible I know but you have it in your hand, so deal with the explanation yourself ;)And if that is so damn easy then how hard can it be to actually remove one pole fully?Design of the impossible magnet...If you want the south pole only then it would be the entire surface of your impossible magnet.That means you either need to make sacrifices or get creative for the next steps.Easiest from my experiments is to sacrifice like all scientists do and allow for some minor gaps.I won't give any dimension or step by step instructions.Think 3D and use your imagination.Our impossible magnet starts from the center.All magnets used should provide the same field strenght!To be precise it means no matter their grade, the the "force" of the magnets should be as close to identical as possible even if the size is different.You can use stacks or different types/grades...The center is a square block of soft steel, or iron as pure as possible - it needs to have a low "resistance" if you compare them to batteries and to avoid confusing terms.On this "dice" you place one magnet on each face, preferably of identical size to the block.So, for a 10x10mm block you use 10x10mm magnets -simple isn't it.All magnets are place with the same pole onto the block!In out example to get the south pole outside you would use the north pole.Now use six bigger magnet blocks for another layer.This time they are placed in attraction mode, meaning you let them stick together naturally.The resulting magnet will be far from perfect but you will have a hard time finding a strong attraction to the soth pole of a magnet if you move it around your cube.If you check the geometry you will now see how 45° degree angles and matching sizes for the blocks would be beneficial.Using ferrite magnets you can machine them to the desired size and use a thin aluminium or breass frame to hold the outside properly together, like edging on a fancy tranport box or chest.Check the magnet now and try to find anything else but a destict south pole on all faces and corners.No more nother pole....Does that mean it really is a mono or single pole magnet?Since modern science does not even consider a construction like this to be worth testing you already know the anser.For those working on a different level with magnets it will be a true single pole magnet.For the rest it will just be another fake.As by science a permanent magnet is defined to have two poles and to have field lines going from one pole to the other.All modern machines using them operate on this principle and "fact".But if I would give you a block of steel that has a core of lets say brass and a suffien wall thickness...Then this block would appear to be a steel block and nothing else.Modern science fails to see a magnet any other than a battery!If the "current" does not need to go back to same pole and there is no need for the field lines to go back to the outside pole then it is a single ple magnet like the faked box is a steel box.The physical outcome or in our case magnetic field is what defines it!The contra...All good has some bad, magnets are no different.Purely scientific viewed it would be impossible to create a gap free magnet like I described.And because never all field lines will take the shortcut there will still be a small amount of "north pole" to be found on the outside.But if that is in the range of about 1% of the field strength of the magnet then I say it can be neglected for almost all real life uses of such a magnet.Like the Halbach Array it is just a neat way of manipulating and if you like bending the known interpretation of our scientific understanding.Possible uses for these magnets exclude convention designs and for this reason alone anything you create with them will be the target of scepticism to say it nice.Ok then, what real life uses could there be for something we never needed?The question is the answer, as the impossible magnet is the solution.Ever watched these shopping shows in the night program?"It solves problems you didn't even know you might get..."Means that if you ever get the ide that your project requires a single pole magnet then you know how to make one ;)All I can up with would go against common scientific understanding and teachings, so I will spare you with my use cases ;)And what is missing here to actually make it work?Quite a lot as you might have noticed in your experiments if you use really good test equippment.Not so much however if you consider what I said about shielding and choking ;)Provide a path of far less resistance and shield the rest that still bothers you.I am not providing a ready to go model here that you can buy, someone else will do that if they see a financial gain it.My gain is provide a new understanding of things we forgot by giving your brain things to work with and develop.You might still say in the end that my way (or your results) are not good enough in some way.But then please also consider how many other people or documents you might be able to find that would have provided you with this information.Free energy is only a myth for as along as we allow ourselfs to only trust what modern science allows us to have.Allow the old knowledge in and every now and then simple ignore what you know and things become possible sooner than you might think.Wind and water were used as a source of free energy since the dawn of mankind.Our first motorised boats used the same "wheels" we already trusted to be driven by water to power a mill, saw or similar.And after we learned about motors we also found a way to make wind - by reversing our trusted wind mills into a fan.Instead of using the free energy to generate power for us we evolved to use create wind and propulsion by providing power to drive the same thin in reverse.Using the sun for power other by using a mirror was seen as witchcraft throughout history, then we got solar cells...Same for heat in the form of peltier elements and other things...Why then should magnets be any different??Just "Because it is so!" did not work for wind, water and solar, not even for heat....All it takes is a little notch in the right direction to change the way we think about magnets.We have no problem using electromagnets to make a motor spin.We have no problem using magnetic field of any kind to drive motors or generate electricity.We even fail to have a problem by manipulation electromagnetic fields for that purpose.But we struggle like an ant in sand hole to reach the surface again to see what is outside our trap before something grabs us from behind when it comes to permanent magnets.Even worse if you dare to claim your magnetic machine delivers a higher output energy than what you use to make it run.And wasn't it exactly the same ignorance and manifested "knowledge" that got revised so many times throughout history already?Again: Why should magnets or their understanding of interaction be any different?If you follow the above with just matching magnets and the core cube then the result will be at least very surprising to you.Allow this surprise to be an inspiration to improve instead of seeing as a proof of failure ;)And if you made it then please post about it here.Let me know what disappointed you with the outcome.Let me know what really got you wondering.Let me know if you found a suffiently strong north pole to rival the impossible southpole! ;)Start sharing, make other people wonder and make them share it to, let us go viral!The first to post a conclusive Youtube video with results is certain to get a lot, lot, lot attention....

Topic by Downunder35m 


Why "Vortex" for Vortex math and devices?

If you are new to the topic then it might give you a slightly quicker understanding than watching hours of youtube videos.I assume you have seen these various coils that make a sphere shaped magnet spin at insane speeds.They are a good start.You see by normal understanding these Rodin or Vortex coils should not be able to produce a field that rotates that fast.As with a lot of things we tried to use math to explain it in theory and than adjusted the math to match it.Vortex math was born.So how do you explain blue and red to a blind person that never saw anything?I mean in a way they actually know how it would look if they could see?Doesn't work, but we can use a Dyson vacuum cleaner ;)A lot of "tornados" add up to one giant super tornado.Spinning so fast that "all" the dirst stays behind and only clean air comes out.As in nature all the weather cells add up to one that is more powerful than the combined single ones.The tornados that form the term vortex are around the coils.But also around the entire donut as well as every single strand of wire.In any good vortex the rotational speed increases towards the center and bottom of the vortex.You can try that with some floating stuff when you drain your bathtub or sink.Try to imagine and endless tornado that runs around every wire like a spiral.The coil itself adds another spin vector to it and increases the moving speed or the single tornado.Combined it adds up to a very strong tornadoe moving very fast around in the coil pack.As this also creates a rotating field like another tornado in the donut shape it all gets twisted up.Physics as we know it won't fully explain these effects.Vortex devices that produce electricity are usually coils in a special winding configuration and pattern.Like we try to eliminate certain things with basket coils in the HF area a Rodin or Vortex coil tries to utlise these otherwise unwanted stray effects and interferences.Overunity is another term people like to use here but I leave it up to you if such a things is phsically possible with an electrical system.Vortex math tries to explain all these things demonstrated in experiments.However I found two slight flaws in the common approch.1. Only two dimension used.Unlike the coils the simplified Vortex math only operates in two dimensions.A circle instead of a sphere if you like.2. Again, unlike the coil harmony and resonance are neglected.It seems in some cases people try to draw a circle just with straight lines.While in reality you have a never ending, resonant "stream" in three or to be precise four dimensions.Is it the chicken and egg problem?Yes and no.You can only calculate something if you can fully understand it or exactly replicate it in reality.Vortex coils are just way to interpret theories and get some sort of results.And those results are the real problem.We can measure magnatic fields in strenght and direction even frequency.However we can neither make them visible in real time not measure mixed or entangled fields properly.We "see" Mars is our "red planet" but in reality it just the atmosphere, the surface is not red at all in most places.NASA has enough problems to calculated missions to outer space with enough accuracy.Just imagine they would have to do it while considering that around every path our planets make is another spinning "distraction"....That is exactly what Vortex math tries to do while eliminating common math bit by bit.You can see and hear in 3 dimensions.Maybe you are also good in drawing something in 3D on your compterscreen or 3D headset.But how many here could predict the path of a baseball in 3D like they do when watching a game?Depending on your viewing angle you might be way off....Try to know or calculate where exactly the ball is at any given monet in time and how fast it spins in which direction.....Our brains are not trained to think like this!Even if we construct things like a dome we prefer to have straight features.Sure manufacturing is one thing that needs to be affordable.But try to just calculate the support structure if all is actually fully round like a sphere should be.We avoid what is considered higher dimensions as much we can.To calculate a distance in 3D it still seems easier to use two 2D models to add up instead of true vectors.Again only through technology like computer we are able to simulate, understand and actually calculate what we need.Where we ventured around the globe and into our solar system our math was left behind.Finding workaround and good enough approximations still seems the way to go.Instead actually evolving our math to our needs we just add more and more complex formulas and calculations.To fully understand vortex math you need to let go and start thinking in 4 dimensions instead of just 2.Oh, sorry, you might be new to this...Number 4 is time of course.

Topic by Downunder35m 


Need a LED circuit to simulate candle

Hey guys, I'm hoping somebody here can help me out. I'm a newbie when it comes to electronics and whatnot. I can read basic electronic schematics (I know symbols for resistors, LEDs, ground, etc). What I'm wanting to do is create some Halloween decorations for my niece and nephew and their friends, which is basically a hand held lantern that has flickering LED's behind frosted glass to give the appearance of a flickering candle. There are several nice instructables I've found here that cover LED flickering, but at most they're dealing with things I'm not really comfortable with (555 timers and other IC's, programmable chips that use hex coding, etc). The effect I'm looking for is a red LED that doesn't flash along with a orange and yellow LED that do flash to give the appearance of a flickering candle flame. I've found a few places that sell these kinds of kits, but I'd only prefer to buy them as a last resort. Since I'm building several of these lanterns by hand, it would really be easier if I could buy several parts (LED's, resistors, caps, etc) and put them all together myself to save money. As I understand it, you can vary the values of the caps and resistors to get not only varying times of flash, but also a fade in/out effect. I think using a 555 timer would probably be easiest to get random flash patterns for the yellow and orange LED's. I'm not opposed to using a 555 timer, it's just I've never used one before and it's been difficult looking at the instructables here that feature 2 LED's that flash or 40 LED's flashing and trying to figure out how I add a solid non-flashing LED into the mix. Would it be simplest to simply buy a flashing orange and yellow LED and then use a cap and resister of varying amounts attached to a battery along with the non-flashing red LED to achieve this affect? Or would it just be simpler to use a 555 timer with two regular LED's to make them flash, and then wire the red LED I don't want flashing outside of the timer's circuit (I guess parallel to it so it still runs off the same battery?). I had considered using 5mm LED, though I'm honestly not sure how bright these would be. I'm not wanting the room to light up like the ceiling light was turned on, but bright enough to definitely be noticeable. I'd also prefer to either run these off of a 9v battery for mobile use or wire up a 12v DC adapter to it for a more permanent solution. I've seen a few sites that offer "single flasher led" schematics, but again, I just don't know how to add another LED to that circuit to have two that flash at different intervals as well as how to add a third LED to it that WON'T flash. I've also seen people use the modified LED tea candles, but again, that is a single LED and I just don't know how to combine that with another (or 2+) LED's in a circuit so they all operate safely off of the same power source. If anybody could lay out the diagram for the three LED's (or if you think it would be brighter to use 2 of each of the 5mm LED's I want to flash for a total of 5 LED's) along with either the r/c circuit or the 555 timer circuit, I'd greatly appreciate it. Like I said before, I've scoured through all of the flashing LED tutorials here, and while they're all really great, there aren't really any that fit my needs and because I'm a novice with this, I don't know how to take the information that's given and apply it to my needs :(. Maybe I need layman's terms for the setup lol. I'm sorry if this is all long winded and a long read, I just wanted to supply as much info as I could to make sure I was (hopefully) understood fully :)

Topic by SmokeGSU   |  last reply


Redesign instructables to make searching easier and more practical!?!?!?

I'm fairly new to instructables. i've only read about 100 or so and not made any myself. for the most part i can rarely find an instructable that is of high enough quality end-product or end-result for me to commit to making it instead of starting from scratch and designing my own thing, or buying something that has already been produced for a more affordable and higher quality end-product. but there is one huge reason i remain committed and interested in instructables as a website and a community! my dad has a garage full of high-potential junk! now if only there were an easy way for me to search instructables for projects based on my plethora of ingredients (inventory) rather than typing finished project titles or end-result names of creations into the search bar. i understand that this may be extremely hard to do since there may literally be an infinite number of names and objects, not to mention the various languages, misspellings, and misnaming of objects and processes that would need to be accounted into the search process as well. the idea would be that instructables users could rack-up all their junk and save it as a list to their own digital library or, "inventory" of all the parts and tools they currently have and manufacturing processes they can do with said items. from there they could click "search by inventory" and include or exclude items from their total inventory to run a search based on that. for example i could select: -super old motherboard (or specific part number) -old motorcycle seat -some bolts (or specific sizes of bolts) search results would turn up projects based on the parts that i have selected, results would mention whether i am missing or have all of the tools or parts i searched for. imaginary examples might be stuff like: -strange computer motorcycle seat -cyborg motorcycle seat -a computer build from an old motorcycle seat -ride fast while computing fast -tune your old motorcycle with an old under-the-seat DIY ECU -etc. though, this sounds like a daunting task, especially with the numerous vague and sometimes seemingly useless projects people can come up with, instructables has already begun to specify categories and sub-categories (channels?) of project styles such as leather-work, CNC, electronics, wearables, etc. etc. and to add tags and specific names for parts, tools, and processes to a library would simply be a more detailed and concentrated addition to these categories. what i'm hoping we could maybe do is add an option to search by ingredients in a similar way to how myfridgefood.com searches for recipies (maybe we could start by adding a similar function to instructables' recipies category?). it's just an idea and i'm not sure how willing the developers of instructables are to allow this community to contribute to the redesign or addition of search options.  aside from searching by ingredients, it would be extra helpful to know if there are other instructable members in our local neighborhood who are willing to collectively use their junk to make a project together! combined inventories could lead to a world of possibilities for creations and networking! maybe one person doesn't have enough junk to make their own forge but a whole neighborhood would be willing to contribute their efforts to make a community forge? i know my dad isn't the only one in our neighborhood with a garage-full of junk, and i think with everyone's junk maybe we could send a project to the moon, or make a super awesome rat-rod, or make a community wind-turbine farm, and get all that legally approved by our local comminity! maybe as a neighborhood we could create something only large companies are currently capable of manufacturing!?!?!? and finally on a side note i think maybe there should be a filter between serious and non serious ("fun") projects. or at least a rating service so that readers can scale how serious they think a project is on a serious to fun scale with fun and serious being in the middle. that way everything stays positive and constructive; no negativity for being too serious or too fun! yeah that last idea is pretty crazy, but maybe we could start with my first small idea of searching by parts/ingredients? let me know your thoughts! thanks!!! (expecting answers along the lines of where to start, whether or not other instructable-type websites exist, i know for a fact this is possible and doable since myfridgefood.com basically has the format set up to do so.) i'm open to (negative) answers that completely tear apart my idea as long as they are educated and provide specific counter-reasons as to why it would not work. i'm fairly certain the first idea is possible, it's just a matter of convincing the developers to get on board and getting everyone to start labeling the parts, tools, and processes in their projects (they are already "tagged" maybe we could start there?)

Question by joombaloomba   |  last reply


McMADSAT make and do, show and tell. Scotland's first Maker Event 2009. Full report

Report of the McMADSAT event 14th March 2009, at the Glasgow Science CentreWe had a fantastic day. Outside it was a grey gale of a day, but inside was a riot of colour and activity. The aim was to enthuse the public with the fun of making things from a variety of technologies. Anyone who wanted to, could join in, make something and take it away with them, and all for free. Hundreds of people of all ages came along and had a great time. A general video of the event can be seen at https://www.instructables.com/community/Mc_MADSAT/ (Thanks to Les Oates for making this excellent film for us).I am happy to discuss further with anyone planning their own event, and you can see more about it and the process by which I got the event going, at http://mcmadsat.blogspot.com/ExhibitorsStar Guest, all the way from London, was Professor Maelstromme (AKA Amanda Scrivener), who brought her beautiful creationsWhat can you make from a dead umbrella? Display of the possibilities for reusing the fabric and structure of dead umbrellas.The Tea Party. 1950s style tea party made from a combination of hand made fabric and edible pieces.Cardboard structures from the students of the department of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde.Greensteam's steampunkery, 101 uses for a dead keyboard and other examples of her work as shown on Instructables.The Offline Mechanical Blog – a very old manual typewriter with continuous paper available for the public to type their messages and thoughts on for all to shareLemonie (another Instructables enthusiast, who travelled up from York especially) brought his amazing conversion of a VHS player-into-toaster that makes toast with VHS imprinted in it. He also brought his nice LEGO USB stick, a lantern made out of a tin-can & glass. and his *untested* wind-turbine, made from VHS player parts.On the Young Makers stand we had a display of virtuoso Lego constructions and an extensive collection of home made Steampunkery.The self-replicating machine from the department of Design Manufacture and Engineering Management at the University of Strathclyde, the Reprap, was on display and moving but sadly not reproducing on the day.ActivitiesThe public were offered a wide range of free hands-on activities, which ran continuously all day, to 'Make and Take'Soldering - make a solar theremin (or a robot). 16 of these were made and all worked first time. Some were taken for a trial run in the sun and a video of this can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzUZMon3vpA The Stemnet ambassadors helped visitors to make their own Musical Straw Oboes.One of the most popular activities – especially with children – the Stemnet ambassadors supervised the making of many handsfull of Gloop.The Stemnet ambassadors used the plastic Polymorph for visitors to make a fingerprint keyring to take away.Fishy things - Busy Bees Art studio provided painting and collage fishes to make, particularly for our very young visitors.The Glasgow Crocheted Coral Reef invited visitors to try their hands at crocheting and contribute to the growing coral reef, all made from wool and even strips of plastic bag. Many total novices not only tried their hands but actually completed a piece of coral to contribute to the reef. This workshop area was very busy throughout, with visitors typically spending 30 minutes or more participating. Many thanks to my civil engineer pal who ran this.House of Cards - visitors could make and take their own set of the design classic 'Eames cards', which slot together to form fantastical structures. Ideal for recycling old greetings cards.Cable necklets, keyboard bracelets and keyboard film wallets. All made from recycled/repurposed materials from dead keyboards. Popular with adults and children alike.Risk assessments were provided to the Glasgow science centre, for all the activities. There were no injuries and the 'emergency first aid bucket of water' was not needed as there were no soldering or gluegun burns.Participant Presenters30 people were involved on the day, either as exhibitors or as workshop facilitators. An essential component of the team was the group of11 Stemnet ambassadors, most of whom were there all day. It would have been impossible to run so many activities without them. Another group in the team was the members of the Glasgow Electron Club who, with some friends and a Stemnet ambassador, ran the soldering workshops continuously all day. We were particularly fortunate to have two exhibitors travel up specially to take part. Several exhibitors were entrepreneurs who gave their time for nothing, even though the venue rules meant they could not sell anything, nor charge for the activities being provided. This was especially generous given the harsh financial climate just now. Everyone said they had lots of fun.PublicOver 1,000 people visited the Glasgow Science Centre on the day. The BSA/NSEW assessment forms collected only represent <10% of the visitors to the McMADSAT area. Stallholders and workshop facilitators estimated a total of about 425 active participants (people who did an activity, or asked questions and generally interacted with the displays) by 1530 (GSC shuts at 1700). However, even these only represent a proportion of the people visiting the event which, although not recorded, probably amount to about double that, since most of the activities were taken up by children accompanied by other family members. The numbers at any given time were variable, depending upon the GSC's own activities/talks etc. I would estimate that the McMADSAT area was visited by at least 700-800 during the day. From the few assessment forms returned, and from chatting to the public, it was clear that most had come simply because they were coming to the GSC anyway, but some (mainly young adults) had come as a result of internet and email information or because of the Metro article. The GSC visitors seem to be mainly families with children of primary school age. The University of Glasgow Steampunk Society had come especially to make contact with the steampunk element, as featured in the Metro article. We also collected some contact details for future events. BudgetThe total budget for the event was the £500 grant provided from NSEW Scotland scheme. This had to cover all the exhibitors' costs and the costs for the free make and take activities, plus all publicity etc.In-Kind Sponsors:The Glasgow Science Centre provided free space, tables, cloths, technical assistance, without which the event would not have been possible at all.The publishers of Make and Craft magazines, O'Reilly's, did not feel able to sponsor us in the same extent as they did for the much larger event in Newcastle on the same day, but did send boxes of back issues of their magazines to give away, which probably amounted to an equivalent of about £300 at UK newsstand prices.Clockworkrobot.com provided more theremin kits than contracted for, which were themselves at cost price.Madlabs provided free batteries for all the kits they supplied at cost.Instructables.com assisted with publicity and allowed the use of their logo.VenueNone of this would have been possible at all, particularly on this minimal budget, without the kindness of the Glasgow Science Centre. The Director agreed immediately to offer us the space free, plus the use of tables and technical help to enable this event to take place. We were able to partially set up the night before which was very helpful in avoiding a scramble on the day. We were able to get the loan of 4 GSC soldering irons which avoided us having to get personal ones PAT tested. This was the ideal venue for us as it meant we really didn’t have to do a great deal of publicity as we could be sure of an audience from the GSC's normal throughput.PublicityThe event was listed in the NSEW diary and in the university of Strathclyde's NSEW information. Posters were distributed around venues in Glasgow and information posted on relevant websites. A blogspace http://mcmadsat.blogspot.com was set up as a temporary web presence to refer people to. The Metro published a small piece which was a wonderful boost.Lessons for the futureNeeded more helpers and more exhibitors. Outdoor displays would have been impossible as the weather was dreadful, but it is still necessary to have some more dramatic displays as well as the hands on activities. Successful soldering for novices really needs 1:1 or 1:2 supervision. The budget only worked because minimal publicity was done at low cost and all the participant presenters were generous with their time and resources. Anything more ambitious than what was done on this occasion would need a larger organising team and significant sponsorship.

Topic by greensteam   |  last reply


Repulsine - the great mystery...

Even before the repulsine saw some attention during WW2 there were sightings of what we know call the classic UFO shape.Be it in Austria, Poland or other places in Europe, people reported weird disk like thing with a dome flying around.What leaked in images and documents after the war shoed that the repulsine looked basically identical to what people saw as a UFO in the sky over big parts of Europe.Then again, the repulsine appearently never made it a usable stage, same for most jet fighters at the time and still they flew around...If we now just take it for granted that actual test flights really happened back then you might wonder why we did not see any after the war anymore.For most critics it is a simple sign of facts and "confirms" that the replusine might have been a nice idea but never anything that really left the ground.As said, I often like to dig deeper and in this case the digging took far more years than what I planned on.I can not provide any solid proof for the following but I am sure even a sceptic will come to similar conclusions after reading it.Try to find some "eye witness" reports from people who saw the so called "Roswell UFO".Yes the one that made Area51 so secret and famous...Reports can be boiled down to some essential features of the hull, for those who saw it proof that it is alien.Three distinct round shpes on the underside, like you add the bottom of an egg to a round disk.Said disc of the bottom was also shaped like a wing, or the flying disk toys our kids like to play with.On the other side the shape grew up like a half shphere with an added cone or round top on it.On these area they claimed to have see engine outlets or similar and appearently the top cone was spinning in another direction than the rest of the UFO.Now I am no expert for Roswell but if I leave area and time out then I could have been fooled to think these people discribed exactly the same thing people saw a few year eariel flying over Europe.The Roswell UFO was not from another world, just stolen from the looser of a really bad war.What was seen was a working Repulsine, be it an original or something the US created from the 5 prototypes that disappeared after the war.Ha, ha, good one, then why don't we saw them flying after this anymore?Well, for starters it was a testflight gone wrong.Presumable it was planned to be limited to Area51 but the pilot lost control.Considering the Nazies appearently did their best to kill everyone involved in the project before the aliies arrived it is no big surprise.What that test flight would have shown is the impossible manouvers people already witnessed over Europe.90° or more turns at full speed instead of making a turn like a plane, sudden changes in alitude as well as accelleration on a level that makes even modern rockets blush.And if it really was the first bigger testflight they did it explains the big secrecy about the Roswell incident and what followed and created Area51 as we knew it.A "weapon" capable of these things would mean total dominance and options to impove planes and more.So why did they not even do that - or did they?The repulsine was created based on what we call today fringe- or pseudo- sience.If there is only one peroson, or a few that can even understand the claimed working principles that it can't be science as we know it.So, lets take a look what things were already heavily used in the repulsine that "we" claim to have developed or discovered decades later.Coanda effect.When air travels over a surface then it will follow the surface.You can try this with paper strips and blowing on them as well as a stream of water and some shaped objects.Long known but never found any real use until the military picked it up.For example air inlets were then developed to utilise the coanda effect.Remember how a lot of them these days look like a ducted fan housing?The round and slightly conical shape of the inlet will actually act like an airfoil and provide lift - of pulls forward in the direction of the air flow direction of the engine.I supercars we use it to create more downforce and better aerodynamics.Venturi effect.Again a very old one but funny enough also a major factor to make a jet engine work.Tesla turbine.In the Repulsine the rotating copper disks acted like a huge Tesla turbine by using a similar effect.The space between the disks got smaller and smaller towards the outer perimiter.Due to the fast rotation the molecules were accelerated and this created a partial vacuum.We use these principles today for specail vacuum pumps but also in military applications.Harmonics.Without harmonics and resonance the Repulsine would have been impossible.And at a first glance it seems we never made any use from that bit of the machine.Then why do we design exhaust systems in such a way than already the extractors ensure a pump like action and controlled backflow?The sound a good exhaust makes is also based on using the harmonics created by the explosions in the cylinders and expanding gasses.We learned that it is far more efficient to use harmonics and resonance in an exhaust system from somehwere ;)Plasma.The repulsine was said to have emitted a bright glow during certain movements or speeds.To create plasma we need a lot of energy, not so much however if the plasma is a by-product anyways.We learned that a high enough voltage differencial in a vacuum can create a nice plasma arc.From there things like analog TV monitors were created.But we never made anything that creates plasma for any use in an atmosphere.Well, unless you start to check supersonic rocket engines and other things.The working principle is very, very close here in some applications like the ramjet.Vortex energy.Today we see all vortex energy stuff as a free energy scam or at best a waste of time.But from the inlet to the outlet the entire Repulsine utilised what we now know as vortex energy, vortex math and so on.The air is twisted and spun around so many times that it is hard to keep track - but it always happened in a harmonic and resonant fashion.In some way this is implepemented in very expensive cars to keep the ventilation system almost silent even at full power.If you ever take an expensive car apart you might wonder why the air system is not as smooth and straight as you would have expected to get this silence ;)There is more but the list would become too long ;)So, if the repulsine was really that great then why was it taken apart to only utilise fractions of it in other things?If you have something really great that combines a lot of things then no one would suspect if you "developed or discovered" some of it in other projects.And to give you a very bad comparison for the other way around:If you know how to combine a petrol engine with some long blades then you could fly!I know, we did that already but you get the point.I can give you a motor and blades but that would not mean you could build a plane or even helicopter!At that time and still today something like a Repulsine would upset the "balance of power".If claims are correct then the engines of the repulsine were only required to provide the enrgy for directional changes or speed but it flew on "free energy" as the main engine system.In lame words like a jumbo jet that only needs a small engine for the hydraulics and electricity...Another big problem is the replication even if you would have a complete and working model to disect.You see most parts were brazed or welded as screw or rivets would have been problematic in certain areas.Other parts like the Kudo horn like intake systems would even today pose a challenge if you want to replicate them 100% correct.And if your understanding of science and physics greatly differs from those who originally created the thing...If your understanding tells you a dice has 6 sides (we all know that) but in my understanding it would have 16 then you would never understand how my dice rolls ;)Bringing true free energy of any form into this world is only allowed if someone can still make good money from it.Just check solar cells and wind generators - we all can have them but our providers make sure they have enough of them as well ;)Will we ever see a fully working Repulsine again?Of course !Some people like old cars, some collect old planes or old machines and tools.A great project for people in the right trades is always to build thier own little steam engine.So to say as a reminder of how it all started.Same will happen with the Repulsine as the first really utilised free energy machine the world had.The war and killings were not what really scared the world.This happened and will happen over and over again to various extends.Really scary was once certain people realised what might happen if over there the war would end with a victory and people would have time to develop for peaceful things instead.Without the war or this idiot Hitler a peaceful war would have taken over the world by storm.Those making sure we know nothing else but paying for our fuel and energy would have lost their monoply.Times change though...We destroyed our world with our needs for fossil fuels and electricity.What is left we destroy by chopping it down, digging it out or just by building new estates on prime farm land.People are now more desperate then ever to find ways to reduce their energy bills or enviromental impact.Otherwise Google wouldn't make billions on all the fake free energy videos out there.But what would it take to recreate the Repulsine?The person able to come up with the understanding of at least attempting to build one again would need to have certain qualifications and titles.He or she would hold a Nodel price for completing some of our known laws of physics or for finding some of the still missing ones.It would be a quite hard to understand and like person too, maybe even highly autistic.The person would also have an addiction like need to complete things, add the missing bits.And of course a totallydifferent understanding on how nature and the universe work.David T. from England is such a person, or at least the closest mankind can offer so far.He can see math in his head as shapes and images.Complex math problems appear to him like developing landscapes in high detail.He even learned to speak icelandic fluently within 7 days!!Imagine such a person would develop an interest in the old pioneers like Schuberger, Newman, Tesla and so on?Where we normal people fail to see any relevance or connection a guy like David would be able to literally see how all these inventions and ideas connect.He would be able to SEE the math behind it!Knowing how something was supposed to work and combining what is known through patents, drawing, videos or reports would enable such a person to make conclusions.For example where we might just see a nice pattern when we throw a stone into an undsturbed lake such a person would also already know and see the corresponding math the created the waves and why they were created exactly like this.Assuming David has no real interest in such things, then is it possible others already try?Sadly yes and even worse they do it with kids.Learning methods that are different can bring great results.For example while we use a calculator for big numbers some kids attend really strict and performance based classes to do this with an ancient abacus!After years of hard and often painful training they are able to it with a small abacus that only has a single row of discs.Shortly after they graduate to a virtual abacus - they only twitch their fingers in the same motions they would use on the real thing, but the disks and rods are all just visualised in their heads.That however is all meant as an improvement and the kids do it because they want to and not because they are forced to.Like learning to be a chess champion before even being old enough to work...In china however we have a very selective education program.Kids are not just trained slightly different to our kids but also closely monitored on their progress.As soon as one stands out for some skill it is subject to examination.Being well above average here means it is an opportunity for the kid and the parents - on paper at least.We in the western world would see it as a viscious circle though.Over the years china developed not only a better understanding of how these special kids brains actuall do their things but also how to create tests for this purpose.What looks like impossible or nonsense to most kids will trigger a scecific response and understand in those that are special.We would create something that allows parents to know early on where the kid has really good skills and what activities should be promoted.In china though the parents receive a nicer flat or some additional income while kids are send to a far away school.Again we would refer to such a school more as a boot camp.Discipline is at least on military levels, same is the punishment system.In most cases families are not reunited for many years, phone or even video calls only happen in the rare times when western TV crews are allowed a sneak peak.I just say: If a kid would see the parents often enough then it would not only know what to talk about but also be happy to talk to them - this however you won't see.It is like they talk to some distant uncle or such.What is really scary though is how these kids are trained to see their purpose and how important it is to be the best in what they do.Imagine you lost your kid at an early age and the only thing you got over the year was letters from the government saying how well it is doing and that you can be proud of it.Then it graduates and you are not even allowed to be there on that day...After that the kid is gone for good, you get a new flat and your proud kid supports you with some nice extra income.You don't get to know where it is working, what it is doing or if it might just be attending some university.By any standards these graduated kids can be seen as a great number of genius young people.Math, music, languages, science, you name it and they will have the experts aged below 20 for it.But what do they do once school is finnished and life starts?So far no reporter or family was able to figure it out.Means they don't appear in some high profile company, they don't start a successful business or teach at any public or private school.I leave it up to your imagination where thausands of kids find secret employment once they graduated....If, at least in theory we could be able to understand all these old technologies then why don't we at least try?Everyone has a goal, some desire a happy family and nice house, other need fame or just money to be happy.With that comes greed.You might have a really nice car but that does not mean you would give to some neighbour for a trip.Even if it just a nice rose garden, you might not want to share the views with anyone.This is true on all levels and we created a term for it "Need to know basis".If you just operate a press in a factory then you don't need to know when or what the next job is that comes for your press.You will know when it arrives and can check the documents attached.You don't need to know that your council is expanding and it is only seen as a courtesy to let you know on some notice board or in the local newspaper.And even our government does the same.What we do from the first days of our new baby we do on all other levels in the same way.What the baby does not need to know we won't tell or show.But we provide all the littly anklebiter needs to develop and be happy.Changing nappies, feeding, proving comfort when sick or having a nightmare.Later we teach language and other skills like walking.It goes on as you know...Humanity as a whole is like a little kid as well.If we would know all the little, dirty secrets then we would riot and go mad.Things that are of no concern are nothing we need to worry about, so we don't get to know them either.Knowing how build the latest fighter jets is seen as a thing that would give a possible enemy an advantage.Makes a lot of sense to everyone as these things might have to protect us one day.The questions that remain are:If humainty is a child, then how old are we now or when do we graduate?If there is a collection of secret and old knowledge then who owns and controls it?What would it take to force the release of all the things people actually created for a better world and not to be locked away?As funny as it might sound but one answer to all these questions would be to do nice orund trip in your Repulsine.Fly over ever single country in this world.Let their guided missle and what not chase you and once enough show then how quickly you can make a 180° turn to get behind them.So called unimportant countries might ignore you and the people only enjoy a nice show.Those powerful enough will fear you and think it was "the other side" showing their superiority.Once done with your round they all will have to realise there is a new power that is at the helm now: Knowledge and understanding.No more secrets, a repulsine for everyone who wants the plans to build one.A new world would start.Ever thought about that when wondering why all these "Aliens" we see in their ships in our skies never land to say hello ? ;)Even if they would be Aliens and not just some human pilot in some experimental craft:Shouldn't this demonstration of absolute power and control without any violence tell us something?The Repulsine need to come back to life to end all this UFO nonsense and Alien theories out there.You hear the sounds, see the ligh show and impossible abilities.And suddenly most if not all UFO sightings would have a common factor again.Just because the Repulsine is claimed to be lost and that it never actually worked despite film evidence showing the opposite does not mean there is no one using the technology.A working Repulsine available to everyone would also kill the doubt on so many other old inventors and "fringe" scientists.Science and physics would need to be redifined as would be able to find a lot of missing links.I know there is not only a lot of people out there trying to get what they can about the Repulsine but also that there are others who try to prevent this.You have a really easy time getting permission examine some old and histrically important artefact from a museum than getting just a hands on approch for what remains of the Repulsine in various places.Not even decent 3D scans will be allowed.Anything like just getting a tiny pipe cam inside is rejected with the excuse it could cause damage.If the thing is a hoax and never worked then why would it be so important to never touch or move it? ;)I recently got word that two of the remaining Repulsine "artefacts" were examined by the same group of "scientists".This happened in the late 80's and said scientists were claimed to have had acces to a collection of spare parts for the original Repulsine that was lost after the war.A private collector was also mentioned who denied all access but what he had in a secure storage facility appearently disappeared shortly after his refusal.Putting all the dots and hints together it would mean that someone in the late 80's was able to get literally everything that is left of the project in his hands.Those who claimed to have seen these scientists working on the Repulsine leftovers claim they used top notch technology to do so, including 3D scanners - and those were basically imossible to get back then for any uni out there...The laptops used were said to use touchscreens and were connected to all sorts of equippment.And they did it in almost total silence, like a group who studied a performance many times and knew exactly what do when and where without the need of many words.Professional in examining something unknown all all possible levels.I was unable to get any information on these scientist or who they worked for.But if you are one of them and readin this then I would love to hear from you!

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


TEDxBaghdad - Iraq - violence, dust storms and open sourced manufacturing

Baghdad Iraq. It was once the jewel of the Muslim empire and epicenter of knowledge in the Eastern world. Now it is best known for corrupt governance, bombings, and dust storms. It was also my parents’ home. After visiting once in 1991 as a child the few memories I have of Iraq seemed to be shouting matches as my parents yelled over the phone making overseas calls. Names of Uncles I had never met were mentioned and a phone was handed to me and I was left to nervously fend for myself with my weak Iraqi slang and an Uncle who apparently knew all about me while I knew nothing of him. The country was an impenetrable black box to me that would spit out another refugee somewhere in the world every few years or so. Sixteen years later the first wall between Iraq and me was broken. In 2007 my nuclear family had traveled to Syria and for the first time I met family members who still lived in Baghdad. I knew them now. My uncles and cousins grew flesh and blood. I could feel their prickly faces as we greeted with the traditional Iraqi 4 sided cheek kiss. They could graciously give me their dishdashas as gifts. Names finally had faces, but those faces were deep, sunken and afraid. 2007 was a bad year of sectarian war in Iraq, which is why the Damascas district of Harasta was flooded with Iraqis. The sound of construction continued through the night to keep up with the massive (ab)use of the "tourist" visas. I saw something in the Iraqis in Syria that I hadn't seen before; something that scared me. I saw hopelessness. It was then I settled on a long-term project to return to the country and share something that I had just discovered around the same time: the future doesn’t come prepared -- we make the future. The do-it-yourself attitude that was growing in America was being combined with the culture of sharing that you find in hackerspaces, at instructables.com and in open source technology. This atmosphere made anything possible. You want to build a vertical generator without any spinning parts? Sure! How about a walking quadraped robot with a sofa? Do you want to quit your job, write zines and sell them in the crafting circle? Sure! Start a business! Write a novel! Organize a benefit concert! Sure - sure - sure! “Make your own future” was the message. It was a message of hope - it was the message that I wanted to share in the Middle East, and especially in Iraq. In 2011 the opportunity to work on sharing this beautiful message in the Middle East presented itself to me, so I quit my robotics job and took it (sorry Andrew). A few friends and I started a tiny organization called GEMSI - The Global Entrepreneurship and Maker Space Initiative. We funded ourselves through Kickstarter and our first project was a Three-Day Maker Space hosted at Makerfaire Africa. We were hoping to let people experience the feeling of the Maker Movement first-hand. We collaborated with Emeka and the team from MFA, Cairo Hackerspace, along with many amazing egyptians from all over the country. We had a successful first attempt at sharing the message of "Yes you can!” It was a great start, but Iraq was still an impenetrable fortress to me. It took till 2012 and a chance encounter with friends in Cambridge, MA for me to find my first avenue back into Iraq. Via my friends, I met someone who’s friend was affiliated with TEDxBaghdad. A few steps removed, sure, but when I heard about TEDxBaghdad I knew I had found my way in. I knew TEDx and the types of programs they hosted; I knew they were hopeful, inspired, and shared a vision for a brighter tomorrow. I started communicating with Emeka from MFA, who also works with TED, and he put me in touch with Yahay. After my first skype call with Yahay I knew I was going. Someone else had done it - someone broke that barrier, did amazing work in the country, and survived. It wasn't the death trap my family was telling me it was. There was a new narrative being woven and I knew what I needed to do. I booked my flights before I even finalized any workshops. I needed to meet the TEDxBaghdad team. Later, I called my parents and told them I was going to Baghdad and they said, "Shinu?! Inta Makhabal?!" That probably means exactly what you think it does. Needless to say, they had their concerns, but I was going regardless. Now that the tickets were bought, we started planning. Yahay put me in touch with Abdal Ghany, one of the Iraqi organizers living in Baghdad. He coordinated everything. It was amazing. These guys kick some serious planning butt! Ghany basically told me, “Show up and give your workshop. We'll take care of the rest.” This was a welcome change from the hours of facebooking, planning, and coordination I usually have to go through to schedule events. It really seemed like this was possible. I was going to give an Arduino and 3D printing workshop in Baghdad and I was really excited! I sent an email to Sparkfun and Makezine asking them for open source electronics donations since I knew bringing my electronics box through the airport wouldn't be a good idea. They sent me a nice goodie-bag of beautifully packaged Maker products. These two organizations have given me a tremendous amount of help throughout the years, for which I am extremely thankful. I packed a suitcase filled with 2 3D printers, 25 Arduinos, an assortment of other open source hardware and sensors and headed out looking a bit like a bomb development lab. Yeesh! Somehow I made it through China, Saudi, and Turkey without any serious interrogation. Mostly just really quizzical looks from my unzipped bag up back to me... "You're a teacher?" they ask. "Yes," I say, "yes I am." Turkey was the stop before Iraq. Turkey was brilliant, sunny, lush, and seemed to be comprised of mostly happy smiling people walking by the sea. Coming from the deserts of Mecca, this was a welcome sight. I let the green of Turkey wash away the dust of Saudi Arabia. The mishmash of cultures, sounds, foods, religions gave me a great feeling of liberation. This was a lively place and the two hackerspaces I met up with there, Base Istanbul and Istanbul Hackerspace were fantastic hosts. Furkan and I spent a lovely day together chatting about Maker culture as it spreads through the Middle East and then in the end we had a potluck BBQ with members from both hackerspaces by the rocks of the sea. It was great to see these two Turkish hackerspaces and to be reminded that this movement is truly global. My dream of hackerspaces empowering people globally is really possible – and it’s great to know that it is a dream that is shared by others. I left them full of enthusiasm and flew directly to Baghdad. Landing in Baghdad was strange and a bit concerning. Looking out of the window all I could see was a brown cloud. We were landing in a dust storm. I had heard about the turab (dust) of Iraq, but this was the first time I saw it in person, and it would be one of the things most often on my mind. Getting a visa for me was surprisingly easy, except for the fact I forgot my passport on the plane and two guards had to escort me one to each side back to the airplane to retrieve it. But once I had my passport, I told them my laqab, which is the full name that includes ancestry. Showed them a copy of my dad’s passport and my Iraqi birth certificate and I was in. I was hoping for a nice stamp, perhaps with some Iraqi relic on it. But they took my passport and wrote in it: "Originally Iraqi", so there it goes, it's official. Ahmed, my cousin, was not at the airport when I took my paper work and headed out to the lobby. The airport was sparsely populated and heavily regulated. I barely managed to snap a picture before a guard came up to me and had me delete them from my phone. In the lobby I met a man just released from a Swiss prison. The Swiss had given him the option to be sent back home to Iraq, or be jailed. He chose to leave and come back to Iraq. This becomes a theme later as I see more and more people, all of whom desire to leave the country to become refugees elsewhere. It seems that when hope runs out for the country you live in, the only option is to find a new one. This story is one of a million various stories of struggling to find a new life. Each varies in its details, but all have survival at their core. Ahmed arrives 30 minutes late, apologizing. He's wearing jeans and a polo. His hair seemed freshly cut and his face was serious. We had never met before. The only thing I knew of him was that he thought I was reckless for coming. He had been spending hours on Skype with me attempting to convince me that coming would be a bad idea: "You have no idea how bad the bugs are. Just wait till you see the dust storms. The heat will kill you... etc" But once I saw him in person it all changed. I didn't think I'd grow to like Ahmed, but I grew to appreciate his ways and he became like a brother to me before I left. He took me to Mansour, a neighborhood in Baghdad, telling me stories about Iraq as we travelled. This is the neighborhood where the house my dad designed and family built stands. On the ride home we had our car checked for bombs at least 4 times by what Iraqi's call Saytarat, which is the equivalent of a checkpoint and, to me, seemed a total nuciance. They were the reason he was late. What would normally be a 20 minute drive can become three hours long because every car is checked for bombs. They are everywhere; throughout the city, on every road. We passed the guard who watches over my family’s neighborhood, and he takes his hand off his machine gun to wave at Ahmed, and I begin to recognize that weapons, car inspections and burned out cars are normal here, so they don't think to comment on it - like an empty lot in Detroit, or the homeless in San Francisco. We got to my family home with no time to rest. I had to leave to meet up with Abdul Ghany and the crew at a Cafe in an hour and then conduct the workshop in two. Ahmed comes with me - he doesn't trust people we'd never met before and won’t let me out of his sight. I trust first till proven otherwise, he has learned to do the opposite. It’s a telling sign of how different our lives are on a day-to-day basis. As soon as I met the TEDxBaghdad crew, I felt at ease. MNA, Abdul Ghany and the entire crew were thoughtful, hardworking, and inspiring people. I was really happy to have intersected with them and they helped me in more ways than I could count. We first met up at Everyday, a local Mansour café. Everyday cafe was hyper airconditioned and everyone seemed to think it was hotter than it was. The crew was awesome, they were really a great first introduction to the excited young people of Baghdad and they certainly have the famed Iraqi hospitality. But here's a tip: do not order a fajita in Baghdad ;D. Mohammed Al-Samarraie pulled out their iPads and started showing me video production work he was doing for TEDx. Abdul Ghany comes a little late and we have head out to the workshop. The workshop was held in a two story office building surrounded by palm trees. Looking out the the tinted back window we could see the muddy river run past, winding and dark. Slowly the TEDx people started trickling in. Then I started to get nervous. The checkpoints didn't bother me, the tanks in the streets were not an issue, but here were these people coming to learn something from me. What could I share that would really matter to them when they had so much to deal with daily? What could I share that could be relevant to people who see bombings as I experience lightning storms? I have been to other places in the world to share this kind of information, and some of those places have had political problems and ongoing revolutions. But Iraq was the first country I had been to that really seemed like a war zone. I decided that first I needed to learn from them! What were their projects? What did they hope for? I hoped they would learn from each other and get excited about their projects and I wanted to be able to share things that were relevant to them. Thus, everyone was encouraged to talk about who they are, how they learned about TEDxBaghdad and to share their project, share with us their mission, or share an inspiring story. I was amazed to hear about all the incredible initiatives the crew was doing. From intercultural exchange programs, to street clean ups, to historical artifact preservation, each of them shared and I started realizing something. They were not as interested in new technology as they were interested in arts and culture and after hearing about a few of their projects I started realizing why. Learning about culture and paying attention to the arts gives people the ability to pay attention to details. They can look at another human being and see all the subtleties that make us who we are. We each fall in love, we struggle, we question, and have doubts. Arts give depth to a black and white world. Sectarianism is difficult when we pay attention to the commonalities that tie us all together. What would the world be like if anyone who wanted a weapons license was required to have visited India, could pass an art history exam and could play stairway to heaven on the guitar? We were in a sort of office building near the river which ran by dark and muddy looking through the tinted windows. One by one, they stood up in front and gave their short presentations. There were doctors, engineers, and designers in the crew. They each stood up and told the story of how they found out about TEDxBaghdad and it was incredible. Each of them had a friend recommend it to them, and it was mostly done through Facebook. Some people's projects were related to health, culture, antiquity preservation, and connecting Iraqis with the rest of the world. While they spoke I made a graph of the things that connected all of their ideas together. It was a beautiful thing to see. The common themes were to help Iraq as a country through the integration of new ideas and how to bring a new face of Iraq and present it to the world. To have the news about Iraq be about amazing things, inspiring things, rather than explosions. Being in that room with that energy made me feel like we were already on our way. I pulled out the boxes of donations given to us by Sparkfun and The Make Shed and now it was my turn. I told them about my story coming into contact with my friend Alex through instructables.com, how being in San Francisco and Cambridge opened my eyes to a new way of entrepreneurship using communities and open source technology. And how they could make anything they could imagine if they got together to do it. We discussed how sharing and collaboration was a common value that held the entire system together. I used the concept of the LED throwie, which is a simple idea by Graffiti Research Labs to connect an LED to a coin battery and a magnet. They used it to throw at ferrous buildings as a form of electronic graffiti but once they uploaded it to instructables the idea was out there and people were inspired to take it and derive many other projects. You can never know what will happen when you share something or when you create a tool and share it. People created outlined throwies, LED floaties in balloons and finally we start seeing LED floaties which are sequenced to act like a light show at a phish concert. Hahaha! We then talked about the Arduino an easy to use microcontroller designed for artists. It's a bit of technology that is a simple and easy to use platform to build interactive projects. We talked about how the open nature of the project people can use the Arduino and then use shields to add features like being able to connect to the internet or play MP3s. Open source tools make building new products a lot like using legos. We were in the middle of using some of the sensors The Maker Shed had sent us to make a DIY heart rate monitor when the power went out and all went dark except for the LED throwies we had made. It suddenly felt very intimate. We put all the LED throwies in the center of the room and huddled around it for story time. The feeling of connection was palpable for me. Sure the lack of power meant that we were not going to be able to 3D print, but being in the dark with TEDxBaghdad was one of my favorite memories of this trip. The lights went on and we had a long question and answer session / photo shoot. Some of the doctors were interested to use the Arduino based heart rate monitors to replace the broken ones in the hospital. I heard about this and was flabbergast that the most basic and cheap tools I had brought with me might have a direct impact and may even save lives. Technology might not solve the political problems of the country but it seems that there was a lot of room for development and that the crew I was with was creative and excited to make use of it. I passed out 20 Arduino kits that day, including the Lillypad which is a version of the Arduino intended to be sewn into clothing. Although there were very few engineers in the audience, everyone seemed to be buzzing with ideas and ways to use the Arduinos. What a great workshop! I was super excited because not only had they understood the message, they seem to have been infected with the feeling of capability! Now to seal the deal, we were all going to go out and eat a classic Iraqi dish Simach Masguf. Ahmed has been calling me hourly making sure that I was OK, but I felt safe enough with my new friends so we all headed out to a fish spot by the river. Hours go by, lots of fish is eaten, and lots of juice is drunk. Some of the crew smoke some sheesha. It was like I was with new old friends. My Iraqi slang was improving hourly and although we had just met I knew me and TEDxBaghdad we're going to be working together again very soon. I would have stayed all night eating and chatting about future projects and the problems to solve in Iraq, but the cerfew was about to set in and we had to jet. Yeah, there is still a curfew. On the ride home my head is filled with contradictions. Hope and confusion mix in my head as my family rings 4 more times. I get home safe and decide that the only way to deal with the complicated situation in Iraq was to act with irrational hope and optimism. That's the way TEDxBaghdad seemed to work. And that's going to be mine as well. The next day there were five explosions in Baghdad so TEDxBaghdad and I decided against going out to the Iraqi National Museum even though we had to request permission to go. We meet instead back at Everyday and there we solidify our commitment to working for a more beautiful Baghdad and a country which will become a producing nation once again. Sharing with the world it's art, science and literature like it once did years ago. +BG

Topic by lamedust   |  last reply