Wireless 24V LED commutator style connection?

I have a run of 24V LED strip lights which a customer would like installed on a sliding gate system. I have seen this style of connection on the lighting systems for Ferris wheels Does anyone know of an off the shelf power supply similar to this for 24VDC strip lights?

Question by jim.collinson.568   |  last reply


What device has 2 disks, one rotating, one not connected by a metal strip on the stationary and held against the other ? Answered

The purpose of which is to transfer DC power to multiple separately powered devices on a wheel from a battery not on the wheel. Is this a commutator? How do I build one?

Question by bwelkin   |  last reply


Dead Sewing Machine or Dremel Tool Motor

A woman asked me to look at her sewing machine. The motor was dead. A new foot control did nothing. A dealer seemed disinterested in looking at it for repairs, but wanted to sell her a new machine for $700+. Attached is a photo of the commutator from her machine's motor after I cleaned it up enough to run again. After 15 years of use there was so much oxidation and contamination from brushes arcing that an Ohmmeter showed infinite resistance (open circuit) across the commutator, unless readings were taken on the brighter copper colored portions of the commutator. (The brushes are still good.) Then I got reasonable readings, indicating there was actually an unbroken circuit across the armature coils. Removing shrouds and getting to the motor was the most difficult part. Then I turned the motor by hand while I held 500 grit sandpaper on the commutator until it was clean and bright. The motor runs like new again. The owner is very happy. (I made this fix as a favor, not to gain income.)I had expected something like I found in a Dremel tool that quit working. With an Ohmmeter I found a break in the circuit between the field coil and a terminal pin. (I was able to bridge the broken connection and the Dremel workes again.) Another sewing machine did not run, and the problem was found to be a bad electronic circuit board no longer available. That machine had to be replaced.But, sometimes somethng so simple as a very dirty commutator is the only problem and is easily cleaned so the machine works perfectly again.

Topic by Phil B   |  last reply


To all Bike riders/cyclists/commuters: What do you ride?

I ride a 2000 MGX DxR [yes, the crappy, chinese, walmart version] to work every day, road commuting. I also ride it off-road, singletrack, streams, washboards, you-name-it-I've-ridden-it, with no issues. thus far, I have put around 19,000 miles on it, all told. totally original [otherthan tubes, tires, chain, cassette, brakes, etc] parts, still weighs 38 pounds. Anybody else ride something as cheap and inappropriate as commuter? What do you ride every day? any bikes you'd LOVE to have? Any funny bike stories? Cheers,    B.E. 'Brick' Montgomery 

Topic by Hazzard2theworld911   |  last reply


High fashion functional commuter wear men, women, or unisex!?

Hi everyone, I am a fourth year design student researching a niche in the cycling market. I am researching womens males or unisex commuter wear that is both high end and functional. I am marketing for the vancouver market. Heres a questionaire I'd love to hear some answers on!! 1) Would you wear high end stylish functional cycling wear? 2) Would you wear it to and from the office? 3) What if it suit your business attire? 4) What if it didn't look like cycling wear, but it fuctioned great on a bike ( mesh areas for breathing, liners for sweat, natural fibers for breathing)? 5) What would you like to see for chic funtional commuter wear? 6) What if it was water proof... or had water proof layers?

Question by byoung13   |  last reply


Need Help With A Mini Spot Welder

I've been trying to gather information to build a welder for a special application. The use is for welding the commutator tabs and magnet wire that passes over them for small DC motors. While there are specialized and often automated welders made for this purpose, they are both large and very expensive and really intended for industrial users. I have been able to get small bits of information as to how others have done this, but it's been difficult to get the whole project laid out (there is apparently some "secrecy" involved here!?). The materials being welded (soldering isn't a preferable way to make this connection...these motors run hot and very fast) are the brass commutator tabs (approximately .030" thick material about .060" wide formed as a "U") and the copper magnet wire used to wind the poles that then passes over each brass tab...from #23 awg to #28awg. From what I've been able to gather, people have done this on a "homebrew" basis using 6V automotive battery chargers/starters that can deliver around 30 amps or more. I have very little knowledge of electronics and none at all about welding and circuit design, but am looking for information on how I might proceed after sourcing the charger/starter. I'm guessing that the "negative" cable would be adapted to use as a clamp at the commutator and would also double as a heat sink to prevent damaging the commutator and that the "positive" cable would somehow be adapted to hold some sort of fine rod that would touch each com tab to complete the welds. -Maybe a footswitch could or should be used to start/stop the weld? -Is the positive cable simply used to hold a rod for the "spot weld"?, or are there other pieces that need to be added? To my mind, it would seem that simply touching the positive to the commutator tab to make the weld and complete the circuit would simply trip a breaker at the panel or any protection device on the charger(dead short!?). -Any other information or thoughts? Thank you in advance -john

Topic by havlicek   |  last reply


Building a unicycle

I have been thinking about making a unicycle from an old bicycle, because I want a unicycle that is better for commuting with a wheel that is larger than my unicycle now, which only has a 20 inch wheel. Any Ideas/suggestions?

Topic by rschack   |  last reply


160,000 pounds of ink...

From Juxtapoz Magazine: All you wanted to do was have a smooth commute this morning but of course it takes you an addition two hours because of an overturned tracker-trailer, what a way to start the day right? Well this morning outside of Boston, we can imagine commuters were rubber-necking more than usual as they got to see one hell of a sight . . . 160,000 pounds of industrial printer ink splattered over a 500 foot stretch of road…   I'm not sure it's actually 160,000 lbs of ink, since that's over 72 tonnes.  Let's call it 16,000 lbs, that works out as over $10,000,000 worth of colourful drain flush. I wonder if the driver still has a job?  

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


magnetic bike pedals DIY? Answered

I'm Brainstorming a better magnetic pedal .   I know Proton and Mavic already make them But I'd like to have a Mag-Pedal that can be used with any shoe .    ... IDEA:  Using recycled neodymium magnets glued recessed into a gel insole  and magnets on pedals I'm hoping to make it easier than cleats on special shoes.  Of course you won't get the locked in power of straps or clippless cleats .This would be ideal for mud,gravel, quick commuting on regular bikes,bmx,mtb,people who what some full leg power on the up stroke but want to put your foot anywhere on the pedal you want.  Question: Might there be extra bearing ware from magnets?  Will there be enough magnetism through an inch of rubber to work??   Please critique my idea . 

Question by BtheBike   |  last reply


Malmo says no to ridiculous car trips

Over at Grist.org Sarah Goodyear writes about an interesting approach to encouraging motorists to leave their cars at home. Malmö says no ridiculous car trips. Watch the video and read the full article here. No ridiculous car trips from Martin Lang on Vimeo.

Topic by Culturespy 


Wifi issues with toshiba, help? Answered

When I first bought this laptop the wifi worked at home- now it only work with other wifi (neighbor's, train station, school, friends, ect.) it hooks on to the network but says its limited with no Internet access. I commute to school and its a pain trying to find wifi to do home work! Help!!

Question by AmandaW13   |  last reply


How could keep my shoes dry when riding my bicycle and it's raining ? Answered

I commute everyday by bicycle and I can't keep my shoes dry when it's raining, I don't have any fenders on my bike though.

Question by lordofthedonuts   |  last reply


How do I stablize a small laptop so I can write while traveling on a cummuter bus?

I have a one-hour commute on the city bus to work. I would like to work on my laptop, but cannot stablize it in my lap during the bumpy ride. How can I build a small portable tray that can hook to the seat in front of me, with vibration suppression (rubber shock absorbers)?

Question by    |  last reply


Cold Weather Bike Wind Deflector

So I've taken an indirect pledge not to commute to school VIA car - by not buying a parking decal... Since school started, I've commuted, by bike, nearly 400 miles. But now it's starting to get cooler. I really don't like riding in cold weather. I typically wake up cold, get ready (still feeling cold) and getting on a bike when it's cold out is pretty uncomfortable.... So, for my next ugly bike abomination accessory.... My first wind deflector fairing prototype. I made a model in SketchUp (this was my "learn to use SketchUp" project), then from that make a development drawing (3D shape to 2D cutout) and cut that out of some scrap cardboard (I've got quite a bit that I rescued). Yes, there are flaws in this design - it's my first attempt :p As of now, I need to figure out how to mount this thing. I currently have some surplus 1/4" threaded rod at my disposal, I'm going to grab some and see where it takes me :p Comments?

Topic by trebuchet03   |  last reply


Old bicycle needed

I am looking for an old bicycle for a project I am working on. Preferably fixed gear, but I would take multi-speed also. I am planning to make a unicycle that would be better for commuting. The one I have now is only a 20 inch wheel and I am looking for anything bigger than that, maybe 24 or 26. Let me know if you are interested in contributing a bicycle to my project. Thanks.

Topic by rschack   |  last reply


How can i pun a real signal blinking handle from a car on a PC steering wheel?

I want to modify a PC steering wheel to be real. I want to put a signal blinker handle, by solder the pins on 2 buttons from the gamepad. Can i do without arduino or any PIC programmer a thing like the signal blinking from the car? I want on a PC steering wheel to put a handle for signal blinking. How? I solder the handle pins to the front panel (the buttons from the PC steering wheel, i suspend 2 buttons, like 2 and 4). Can i do a simple circuit when i commute the handle to right for exemple the signal goes once and when i commute back to none the signal goes none. I dont know how to explain. When the handle is on right position the semnal from him must go once, when the handle is switch, the signal from the handle to transmit the signal again, because i solder the pins to buttons command. Can it be done with something like in the photo? http://i60.tinypic.com/2crnf5j.png And here is something like my handle: http://i60.tinypic.com/sxd6cz.jpg

Question by danyelo   |  last reply


electric motors

I am considering motorizing my bike for my work commute. However I don't have enough knowledge about motor output as in torque / rpms to be able to determine what kind of characteristic I should be looking for. For many of the electric motors I am finding online, it doesn't really say the torque output. Is there a spec such as watts that I can judge a motor by? What specs should I be looking for in a motor that can assist in moving my weight. Or an links to good knowledge sites would be great too. Thanks.

Topic by aeneas shrike   |  last reply


How to remove backups? Answered

I just updated my old computer to service pack 3 and I noticed that when it was going through the update proses that it was backing up my commuter. Once it had finished updating and it had been restarted. I checked to see how much space it had taken from my small 10 gb harddive and found that the update had taken up around 3.5gb of my hardrive. I is the huge amount of space taken up the fault of it backing up my hardrive? If so how can I remove just the backup?

Question by coolpizzadude   |  last reply


What is the best E-bike Kit for me? Answered

I just moved to San Diego, and my primary mode of transportation is my trust P.O.S. bike. it's a rather generic mountain bike, which worked fine in the relatively flat podunk i used to live in, but now in sandiego, most of the roads i need to travel are rather hilly, in fact, my appartment complex can't be reached without riding up a redonkulous hill. I'm looking for an E-bike conversion kit, to help me manage these hills, because it is treacherous at best. Does anyone know of an electric conversion kit with enough torque to haul me up a respectable bit of hill?

Question by cyc4015   |  last reply


So Excited!

Hey Instructabrarians!  Guess what?  After literally asking and asking and asking for so long now, they've finally agreed and I've finally got my summer dream job.  That's right, starting tomorrow  I get to work as an intern at Instructables, the #1 most awesome show and tell on the net!  This is so cool, and if it wasn't that I need to pace myself for DIY PIXAR at Maker Faire 2011, I might spontaneously combust at any second!  I've been a gigantic fan of this website for more than 4 years now and this is quite literally a dream come true for me.  Not only do I get to work at Instructables but I also get to meet the amazing founders of this awesome website!  Not to mention being able to commute to San Francisco on a daily basis!  This is Awesome and I'm so excited! Anyway, I will be keeping a photo diary for anyone who's interested (as well as updating my personal Flickr page) with weekly activities with the company on my new Nintendo 3DS.  So if anyone's got an .mpo viewer you might be able to see what Instructables is like in more than two dimensions! Well, got to go to bed, lots of commuting to be done tomorrow.  Just thank you to all of the great Instructables employees and to anyone who was nice enough to enjoy the random builds I've created on Instructables. -M.E. PS sorry if it sounds like I'm being overly arrongant about this.  It's just that for people who know me know that this sort of thing never happens for me, so I'm just going to enjoy it while I can.

Topic by SHIFT!   |  last reply


UCs, Toyota Team Up

Toyota has donated two Priuses--one to the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley and one to the Advanced Power and Energy Program at UC Irvine--for consumer research and upgraded electric car capabilities. The big news: a plug-in possibility that would allow for pure electric power up to 60 mph, a significant upgrade from the current 30 mph limit (after 30 mph, some gas is needed). A 7 mile commute could be done purely on electric energy, with no gas. Additionally, the universities will do research on people's reactions to charging their car and trying to gauge consumer preferences.This is not particularly new, but it could still be huge for the electric car community. Thanks to Tim Anderson for bringing this to our attention.Link

Topic by joshf   |  last reply


DIYers converting gas powered cars to electric

Yes, you read that right-people at home are converting their regular gas powered cars to electric. They have an average range of 40 miles, which could be doable if you have a short commute or live in town.Of course, since they are charging them by plugging them into a regular outlet, they aren't really being all that green. You'd have to charge it off solar or wind power to do that. But it's still saving all those nasty car emissions-and it's very cool.So when do we see an instructable?http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/ptech/08/14/electric.cars/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

Topic by Lithium Rain   |  last reply


Spring loaded bicycle braking system , Does double duty as a Propulsion aid through gears . Feasible?? Answered

  Basic Idea: When used to help slow(not primary brakes) a strong coil or spring is tightened to aid slowing. When maximum amount of tightness is reached the coil disengages somehow, The coil could be kept in the tight state until released for use for a burst of propulsion through reverse gears . Totally non-electric and light. It would be ideal for stop-and -go bike commuters , up and down hilly areas ,etc.         Same idea could used for smaller cars, motorcycles,etc. Has this been used before ? Feasible ? Any critiquing of the concept is welcomed .

Question by BtheBike   |  last reply


GPS route optimizer

My type-A personality never lets me stop trying to optimize everything in my life. Recently, I’ve started taking data on my commute to work: time of departure and time of arrival versus a number of different routes. This is endlessly amusing to houseguests, and a point of constant annoyance to Christy (who typically records the data while I drive; I record it myself when I bike to work). The result of all this data would be a 2-D color map that could give me an estimate of the shortest route depending on the time I was leaving. However, on further thought, I realized such a chart would only tell me about routes I already knew and would be very sensitive to my route ordering. For example, if there are three ways to get to work, how do I order them? By length? By number of turns? By my perceived annoyance of that particular route? I then got to thinking of taking time measurements between each possible node in a route. Those segments could then be built into routes I’ve never explored before. You can just imagine the look Christy gave me when I suggested this. Clearly, this is best done by a computer. So the question: has anyone seen anything like this, or a GPS unit hackable enough to permit this without carrying a laptop as well (I’d like to do this on bike, too)? Wouldn’t the final version of this be sweet?! You tell it where you’re going, and based on past experience, the time of day, and real-time traffic data it suggests the optimal route. (I’ve seen GPS + real-time traffic, but my guess is that traffic data isn’t nearly as useful as past experience data.) To everyone that can relax while commuting and not worry about 16 versus 17 minutes: I envy you.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply


Re-design messenger bag strap so that it doesn't slide or bunch at the loop

Hi all, I have a Clive messenger bag that is perfect for my carrying and commuting needs, except for the strap. The material of the strap is pretty flimsy, not the tough woven type as found on timbuk2 or Chrome messenger bags. If the bag is too heavy (with books, etc) the strap slides so that it's too long. The strap is sewn into the bag on one side, and on the other side, the strap goes through a small (maybe 5 mm diameter) metal rectangular loop. The strap always bunches and the loop hangs vertically so that the tab connected to the bag and the bag strap are all bunched. Does anyone have any ideas on how to re-sew or replace the strap and/or loop so that the strap doesn't bunch or slide? Thanks

Question by    |  last reply


Machine shop training course.

I am thinking of running machine shop training courses in the UK for those interested in learning how to really use lathes and other big shop equipment. The idea is subject to insurance company permission etc. but I wanted to gauge if there was any potential interest from people here (obviously only those based in the UK, unless you really want to commute) I'd expect costs to be something like 50 GBP per day + materials, and no more than two or three people per session, keeping the ratio of machines to people as 1:1. We'll probably try and do "group projects" as well as bring your own. The idea of group projects is that every ones gets to make more than one of something, to get techniques sorted out, and then we combine everyones work into assemblies - collaboration at its finest. Steve

Topic by steveastrouk 


Kiteman Recommends: Punk IPA

I just came across a beer (bought in Tesco) from a brewery that is new to me, but I'm definitely going to keep an eye on.The beer is Punk IPA: Post Modern Classic Pale Ale, from the BrewDog brewery in Fraserburgh, Scotland. A fresh, clean beer, with an ABV of 6%, it's an easy drinker.According to their website, they have a range of beers, mainly ales and stouts, but with one pilsner as well. They are all modern, pure-ingredient takes on classic brews.I'm not a beer expert, but I am a beer snob. Based on this IPA, and the brewers' Maker attitude, I plan on making BrewDog a regular presence in my beer stocks.Even better news for our resident brewers (Lemonie and moaner70 to name two), they have a vacancy - if you have it in you, and can commute to Scotland, They are looking for a new brewer.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Go Green this weekend

Just a reminder that the Instructables, Popular Science, and TreeHugger Go Green! contest ends on August 19. That's just over a week away! So if you were planning on entering something in the contest, make use of this weekend and put together an Instructable about it.Grand PrizeThe grand prize winner will receive a Breezer Liberty hybrid commuter bicycle with pedal-powered lights, a brief write-up in a future issue of Popular Science, and a 1-year subscription to Popular Science magazine.First Prize5 first prize winners will each receive a Solio Universal Hybrid Solar Charger (TreeHugger review here), an Instructables robot t-shirt, and a 1-year subscription to Popular Science magazine.Second Prize10 second prize winners will each receive an Instructables robot t-shirt and a 1-year subscription to Popular Science Magazine.

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


Building an electric bike, how can I calculate my top speed and battery life?

I'm in the process of building an electric bike to commute back and forth to school, as well to the store. I plan to mount the motor on a rack above my rear wheel, and re-rout the chain from the peddles to the motor above. I've been looking at this (http://www.monsterscooterparts.com/24vo500wamow1.html) motor, and I hope to power it with this (http://www.monsterscooterparts.com/12-volt-yt12b-bs-scooter-motorcycle-battery.html) battery (will be using two of these). How to I calculate the battery life using this motor, and is there any way I can calculate the max speed? The bike is predicted to weigh aprox 50 pounds, i'm about 160 plus 20-30 pounds of books and the like in my pack. Thanks in advance!

Question by Mr. Geek   |  last reply


Giant crane arrives to help build new bay bridge

A 328 foot crane built by ZPMC near Shanghei, China capable of lifting 1800 tons at a time was brought into the Port of Oakland two weeks ago aboard a partially submersible transport ship. It is the largest marine crane to ever work on the west coast.I had been noticing the absolutely massive red white and blue crane on my commute over the bridge to work for a few days, but was unable to find any info on it. Thankfully a project associate from the Public Information Office of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Retrofit Projects was nice enough to email me back about my query with the relevant info. From there, it was easy to pick up the internet news trail.SF Gate Article - One big crane, coming upThe San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge Project

Topic by noahw   |  last reply


how do I boost my LW reception in my car

I hesitate to ask this question in this forum as I might not understand the answer! I live in Ireland and am not a big fan of most of the dross on the radio, since I have to commute about 2.5 hours a day in my car I need something to listen to. I like BBC radio 4, but the nearest transmitter is a very very long way away, its coming from either Northern Ireland or across the irish sea from Walse. So the signal is always 'noisy' and often too 'noisy' to listen to. I can only pick up the Long wave (LW) signal as I am too far for the FM band. So is there a way that I can boost the signal? I have seen some noise reducers (they probably have a real techie name) that you put between the arial and the car, would that help? any ideas ??

Topic by edel   |  last reply


"Within Reach" Movie needs your help!

The Instructables community being what it is, I'm certain you'll find value in this project, and want to lend a hand. The couple making the film are fantastic people I'm pleased to count among my friends, and I'm completely amazed at the level of personal commitment they've demonstrated in making this documentary. Here is a quote from their Kickstarter page.  Within Reach Movie documents a pedal-powered search for a place to call home in a sustainable community. Mandy and Ryan traded in their house and cars for a tent and bicycles to "bike-pack" 6,500 around the USA to visit 100 sustainable communities, looking around as they looked within. This journey and film has answers to the questions many of us are wondering: "Is it possible for all of us to live in a sustainable way?”, “what would the world look like if each of us simply did what we loved?” After circling the country, and talking with over 20,000 people they have found that not only is it possible but this is already underway.  Here is the trailer so you can check it out! 

Topic by Culturespy   |  last reply


Cardboard Bicycle

At the moment, it's just a design student's prototype, but I think this ridable cardboard bike has real legs, er, wheels.Built from a single sheet of industrial-strength hexacomb card, the frame should cost as little as 3GBP ($6), and the tiny proportion of metal parts means the bike has a projected selling price of 15GBP (about $30). For that, you get a bike that will survive about 6 months of daily commuting, or a lifetime of the kind of riding most people do.The designer, 21 year-old Phil Bridge, predicts the design will cut bike crime by simply being too cheap to be worth pinching (currently, a bike is stolen and abandoned every 71 seconds in the UK). It also provides an opportunity for sponsorship:"The idea was that it would be a sponsorship from a company who would produce these and get some advertising it. And once you've used it, you'd return it they'd give you another one, they'd take all the metal components out and put them into a new frame and the old frame would go back to the manufacturer."BBC Manchester articleBBC South Yorkshire article

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Need Tips on Finding an Internship

So, as much as I've enjoyed being a full time student for the last year, the time comes when a man discovers he needs money, that time is when his wife says "Get a Job"! So I'm starting to look for an Mech Eng internship and the internship office at UCF is proving less fruitful than I had anticipated. Of 18 engineering internships listed (and that list has only grown by two in the last 45 days), only 5 are "local" and of that 5, I meet the qualifications of 3. Those 3 being USA/NASA 68 miles away Lockheed 43 miles away and Disney 47 miles away Not that I'm asking for the world to meet my convenience, but the idea of working an internship 12-20 hours a week while commuting 9-12 hours a week, plus carrying a full time class load, thrills me not. So the question becomes, quite simply. How Do I Find An Internship? Post my resume to Monster? Spam my resume to every engineering firm in a 30 mile radius? Help, any reasonable suggestions would be much appreciated. I added that pic because I need your bright ideas.

Topic by Tool Using Animal   |  last reply


Designer seeks collaboration with Electronics/Tech Guru for Installation

Hi,my names Dan and I am a Designer (and current MA Product design student) interested in submitting an entry to this:http://www.onedotzero.com/submissions.php (deadline for the show in september is May 29th)During my MA came up with a concept and design for an interactive installation that I would like to enter into the above event which will be installed at the BFI southbank in London.Basically, the project will involve the use of Electronics (sensors, microcontrollers, maybe some programming) to trigger light and audio, for an experiential installation.I need someone who can help me construct the kit list,and help with the 'how to' part of this project, thus enabling us to submit a Budget. If chosen we would then go on to install the project on-site.A UK/London based collaborator would be preferred for ease of commuting/meeting if this were to happen and our project selected.Someone from the site who knows their away touch sensors/controllers, LED and other electronics wiring, with perhaps a smideling of programming , who likes getting involved in creative and design based projects should contact me in the first instance to find out more:Role is not paid, but opportunities would abound!Heres hoping!danskimanuk(at)yahoo.co.uk

Topic by danskimanuk   |  last reply


Things that make me happy

So every now and then, someone says something like "that won't work."Now, depending on who or s/he is and what it is that "won't work" - I'll accept or try to make it work. Typically, it's the latter - exceptions for cases of heavy machinery and obvious scenarios that may involve sudden and imminent death.So I had a bus driver tell me my bike won't fit on the bike rack... I do ride a recumbent - but it's a high racer. Recumbents have all the same bike parts - just in different locations. High racers happen to have two big wheels (26" in my case) - and they're located in the same spots as any other bike. Well, I'm posting here - so obviously it worked... And that makes me happy :)In other news, I've been riding that 'bent for about a month - and I noticed today that my legs don't burn as much after my commute to/from school while keeping a decent pace :) <---when you convert from an upright to a 'bent, you need to retrain your muscles. This also makes me happy, but I've been purposefully training for a cycling event in a few months...Anyone have a similar story that makes them happy?

Topic by trebuchet03   |  last reply


Biofuel bus-train-road

The Guided Busway Essentially, this is like a railway for buses- a narrow concrete "road" open only to modified buses, following the path of an old railway to link commuter destinations together. Supporters say it's more practical than a rail link (as buses can drive straight off the end into town roads), opponents say the concept is flawed and that building a traditional railway would be cheaper. The buses are apparently "100% biofuel powered", though I'm having a hard time finding out exactly where those biofuels come from. The future of transportation, or greenwashed white elephant? Update 30-03-2010: I thought I should update this in light of bassman's comments, and because of something I wrote last October: "the busway is due to open in a few weeks (so by our bureaucracy time, make that spring 2010)" Well, it's spring 2010 and this morning on the train to work I finally saw a bus on the busway.  It was marked "not in service" and was populated by half a dozen men in high-vis jackets, so I assume it was a test run of some sort, but at least there is life on it.  Maybe I'll be able to post more about it before 2011?

Topic by PKM   |  last reply


so what's everyone riding here?

I think I have close to eleven bikes in my garage right now (sort of unfortunately), though I only really ride three. for road/ commuting, I have a pacific voyager toys-r-us mountain bike that I converted into sort of a timetrialing singlespeed, complete with a shimano 400 crankset, profile aerobars, champion bullhorns, a look carbon fork, alex 700cs with hutchinson tires, and lots of other ridiculous things that don't belong on such a frame. I ride a diamondback venom park bike for bmx which I found at a garage sale for five bucks, not knowing just how good it actually was and my gary fisher bitter has been decommissioned due to a faulty front hub which blew out my axle and almost ruined my fork, so I'm slinging around a specialized rockhopper on the trails whose back wheel I destroyed and as a result, I've replaced it with a wheel off a peice of crap magna my friend left at my house a while back. I've got several others, but these are my ladies. they come and go quite often for me, but that's what happens. so what are you riding?!

Topic by Nkevin90   |  last reply


so what's everyone riding here?

I think I have close to eleven bikes in my garage right now (sort of unfortunately), though I only really ride three. for road/ commuting, I have a pacific voyager toys-r-us mountain bike that I converted into sort of a timetrialing singlespeed, complete with a shimano 400 crankset, profile aerobars, champion bullhorns, a look carbon fork, alex 700cs with hutchinson tires, and lots of other ridiculous things that don't belong on such a frame. I ride a diamondback venom park bike for bmx which I found at a garage sale for five bucks, not knowing just how good it actually was and my gary fisher bitter has been decommissioned due to a faulty front hub which blew out my axle and almost ruined my fork, so I'm slinging around a specialized rockhopper on the trails whose back wheel I destroyed and as a result, I've replaced it with a wheel off a peice of crap magna my friend left at my house a while back. I've got several others, but these are my ladies. they come and go quite often for me, but that's what happens. so what are you riding?!

Topic by Nkevin90   |  last reply


Birds use cigs to kill bugs - Crow week!

ODDBALL birds are surprising British experts by using smouldering cigarette to kill parasites on their wings.The rooks are swooping on to the tracks at a Devon railway station and placing their wings over the smoke to fumigate them.Commuter Jeff Jones said told Britain's The Telegraph: "I noticed the rooks because they are not usually found in towns. They were generally flapping about when a chap flicked a cigarette butt on to the track."It was still all right and one of the rooks swooped down and picked up the butt with its beak. It then flew around and landed on the platform, dancing around with this smoking cigarette in its beak."It looked quite comical. But then it dropped the butt on the platform and pulled its wings over it, collecting the smoke. It seemed as if it were using the smoke to rid itself of perhaps ants or something similar."Five minutes later another rook, or perhaps the same one, swooped in when another cigarette was flicked away and repeated the whole thing."Royal Society for the Protection of Birds spokesman Richard Archer said the birds must have learned cigarettes can be used to kill parasites."You have to be careful attributing behaviour but it would seem fumigation is the most likely conclusion. Rooks are very intelligent," he said.It's crow week on Instructables! Post as many forum topics about crows as you can! Main image from [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rook_(bird) Wikipedia].

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply


Smart Alarm Clock - wake me early or wake me late because of something

Hello, I came up with this idea the other day as I am new to long distance commuting on public transport and the winter season is upon us in the UK.  I hope this is posted in the right section.  I've loitered on instructables for a number of years but have never ventured into the forums. Basically I get up in the morning with enough time for my normal morning routine and then leave the house by car to catch a train that runs every hour from my local train station.  The three main factors that effect me getting on the train to work.  1) Waking up on time, 2) the train actually running (it has been cancelled twice in the past 3 weeks) and 3) getting to the station on time.   As I see it there are three variables to the situation.  The time to get up in order to catch the train if it is running - 1) more or less fixed but this could vary day by day, i.e. some days need to put bins out or perhaps take something extra which requires preparation.  2) The extra time taken in clearing ice from the car and driving more slowly to the station because of ice and snow - perhaps this needs to be variable too.  i.e. frost does not have an impact on driving conditions as much as deep snow.  3) Is the train running or late? If it's not running then get an extra hour in bed - for me I commute up to 5 hours a day so extra rack time is a bonus. Basic Requirements I think the clock should monitor outside temperature at least or get that information from the internet, in which case get more detailed data   The clock should be relatively accurate, again we could use the internet for NTP or use a radio synced signal The clock needs to be aware which train I take The clock needs to know I don't go to work some days The clock should need minimal user intervention to complete it's tasks The clock should be mains powered with battery backup The clock should be able to dim it's display at night but be viewable in bright interior room conditions - i.e. we don't need it readable in bright sunshine. The clock shouldn't be too expensive to make.   Specifically I have been thinking of using a spark.io and 4 8x8 displays as I happen to have these.  Thinking about this for only a short time I guess the clock would be more easily programmed via the web and in fact probably pull it's data from the internet.  Cycling power could be the basis to fetch new configuration so not user buttons should be required. We would need to find services to get train information and very local weather information. A service or server would need to be setup where the unit could check in.  Perhaps it would be simpler if this was the proxy for the train and weather information. That's it for now.  I wanted to get my ideas in writing whilst throwing it out there for someone else to think about.  My thoughts are if you want to keep an idea to yourself then don't tell anyone - please feel free to do what you may with the information in this post. Cheers, Al

Topic by albal21   |  last reply


Portable Party box (A.K.A the toolbox speaker)

Hello all, recently I replaced all 11 speakers in my car since after 15 years or so they all had developed dryrot and stopped working. As many of you are aware however car speakers only come in pairs so I was left with one perfectly good (and expensive) speaker when all was said and done. So not wanting it to go to waste I devised a plan- I would use it to make a portable sound system. I went to amazon and purchased a dayton DTA-1, this little T amplifier runs on AA's and puts out 30 watts. Now all I needed was something awesome to contain this all in. Luckily during my  daily commute to school I stumbled across a rusty old craftsman toolbox left out at the curb to die; well needless to say its been given new life. Look at the pictures I provided to see whats what, but my basic plan is to mount the speaker in the lid by building a cradle for out out of plywood, cut to fit the inner contours of the box. I will then secure the board in place by using adhesives as neccisary. I also plan on painting the wood so it matches the toolkit. In the spirit of keeping things as utilitarian as possible I dont want to deck the thing out too much, but if you guys have any suggestions as to what else I should include in the build id be glad to hear them. (Leds, decoritive touches, ect.) 

Topic by homsar57   |  last reply


How to setup heating element to heat 2 gallons of water?

Hi All, I have a thought on something that I'd love to build, but I'm having some trouble figuring out the best way to do it.  I'm new to everything electricity, so please bare with me on my lack of knowledge on the subject. What I'm building is a coffee maker that you can take with you as you leave the house.  I need to figure out how to create a way to heat up the coffee to roughly 60-80 degrees, then once done you can detach it and take unit with you.   Now, here is the catch.  I don't want to rely on the battery source to heat the water, ideally I'd be able to setup a removable plug that both charges the batteries and heats the element that gets the water up to 60 degrees while plugged in.  Once the water is heated, I'd then like the ability to detach the cord, and you can take the coffee maker with you.  The batteries at this point just need to keep the water warm/hot, not heat it from scratch.   Also, I'd like to figure out how to have a timer on this with an LCD screen.  That way, just like with any coffee maker, you can set the time before you go to sleep and have it ready by the time you go on your commute. Any help on how I should set this up, battery sizes, places that I can find parts I would need would be a gigantic help!  I've been searching the internet for a few hours but cannot find anything. Thanks in advance.

Question by mgallo121   |  last reply


World's smallest (manned) helicopter ready for a spin.

Those of us who've been dreaming of cheap personal air travel in the Buck Rogers, sci-fi jet-pack mode should turn their eyes towards Vinci, Italy on May 25. That's when Gennai Yanagisawa, inventor of the tiny GEN H-4 personal helicopter, will be taking his lightweight 165-pound whirly-gig on a demonstration flight.Why Vinci? According to the 75-year-old Yanagisawa, "Since the concept of our helicopter came from Italy, I always wanted to take a flight in the birthplace of da Vinci." Indeed, Leonardo's famous notebook drawings from 1493 show an "ornithopter" with a screw-like rotor. Like da Vinci's pioneering design, Yanagisawa's GEN H-4 has no tail. Instead, twin counter-rotating propellers cancel out the torque that requires single-rotor helicopters to have a perpendicular tail rotor.The GEN H-4 personal helicopter is actually available for purchase now, though Yanagisawa's company (located in the Japanese city of Matsumoto) has so far sold only six (2 in the USA).The cost for one is a reasonable $58,250 and once airborne, the GEN H-4 can fly at a somewhat sedate speed of 31 mph - slow yes, but probably faster than rush hour traffic. Veni, vidi, volanti!It's the perfect commuter vehicle! Land on the roof of your office block, maybe it folds up, but certainly just push it into the corner to make space for your workmates to land. Sure, it only does 31mph, but it can go in a straight line, over the stationary traffic.Story on InventorSpot

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Challenge: A key defroster for opening bike locks in winter.

Hello all.So I live in Montreal, winter is long here. Every morning opening our bike locks is problematic. We fixed it partially with lube, but this post is not about these solutions.I have been looking for a device that could heat the frozen core of the lock. You can see an image attached of a product not available anymore to get the idea. I guess it was not working very well...I have zero knowledge in electronics/electricity. I thought this question could be interesting/challenging for some of you. So ideally the gadget would be:Small enough to be carried on the key chain or in a commute bag.Able to be inserted in any type of locksBuilt with a safe way to prevent unwanted switch on (to avoid burning bags/pockets/houses...Lol)Able to produce enough heat to defrost the lock Rechargeable would be best (USB best best), capacity of 5mn maybe to operate twice a day...Reasonably quick to unfreeze the lock, so you don t freeze yourself (That s why I abandon using hot pouches around the lock, pouring hot water will fix it quickly but then it will freeze again)As I said, I don t have the skills to even begin to find a solution, but I saw a lot of smart stuff here and I am curious to see what you guys would answer to that. My guess is that it must be very difficult, if not I can t see why a similar product is not widely commercialized. I think a lot of people would buy it.Thanks for the reading, I hope I picked your interest. Have a good day.

Topic by Ericmont   |  last reply


Share Office Space with Instructables at Squid Labs in San Francisco

2010-04-05 Update: We've moved, and all our shared space is occupied!  Do you have a cool small company and are looking for some shared office and/or lab space in a really great environment? Share space at Squid Labs! Squid Labs recently opened a new office in San Francisco and we're looking to fill spaces in our shared work environment. The current tenants are Instructables (community project sharing) and HumCycles (electric motorcycles). Features of the space: - Tons of natural light. Windows on all 4 sides and skylights. - Landlord is awesome and tech/green savvy. - Space is clean/professional yet also stylish/zany. - Cool intra-space neighbors working on hot technologies. Lots of idea/resource sharing. - Close to BART, MUNI, and freeways for your commuting needs. - Parking lot with space for 9 cars. Shared resources: - Large conference room with table/chairs/projector. - Smaller meeting room for phone calls. - Two kitchens with fridges, microwaves, plates, etc. - 75 watt laser cutter - Lounge space for eating, hanging out, brainstorming. - Shop space in the garage with a mill, lathe, welding, and other power tools. - 4 unisex bathrooms. - Internet, wireless, firewall. Static IPs available. - Pizza parties, build nights, and meet-ups. What's available: - A mix of cubicles and large and small private offices. - Month-to-month cubicles, or longer-term larger-area leases are possible. - In the layout below, the blue and pink areas are available, and the green areas will be available in the future. White is open common space, and dark gray is bathrooms, closets, and the elevator. This represents single cubicles to 5000 sqft of the 7500 sqft total. Location: 489 Clementina St. San Francisco, CA (Right next to 6th and Folsom) Contact me if interested! Click on my username in the right-side column for contact info.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply


(newsletter) Plasma Speaker, Steampunk Keyboard, Incredible Costumes...

Nov 6, 2008 Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); } Welcome back! The DIY Halloween Contest is still scaring up awesome projects! We've got tons of great prizes to give away so be sure to enter before the contest closes on Sunday night! Show us your best costumes, treats, gadgets, jack-o-lanterns, and more! It's getting dark outside, and if you ride a bike that means trouble. So find some way to make yourself more visible, and enter the Light Up Your Ride Contest! We're giving away three pairs of totally sweet Bike to Work Pants from Cordarounds, so enter soon!While getting some groceries, Instructables ran into some Yip Yips! They were friendly and furry, but we couldn't quite remember what they said. Help us out in our caption contest and win a cool book to help you make some new crafts!Coming soon... a battery powered contest from Sanyo eneloop and be sure to get your tools ready for a huge Craftsman Workshop of the Future contest! Aliens Powerloader Costume by flaming_pele! Macaroni and Cheese by StumpChunkman Wall Clock from Old Hard Drives by grybaz Turn a Cell Phone into a Supergadget by theseventhsage Tons and tons of spooky and amazing prizes! Win some seriously cool clothes for your bike commute! Build A Plasma Speaker by Plasmana Keyboard Thumbtacks by noahw Mold a Speaker Cabinet for Bicycles by fossilfool Bike Light and Turn Signals by nsaltz94 Steampunk Keyboard by phirzcol Single Wheeled Bike Trailer by samfelis Wolverine Costume w/ Retractable Claws by Bug Make a Nice Cement Patio by bassman76jazz Check out these delicious recipesto make your feast amazing! See which eggs won! Multi-Color LED Fog Spreader by marc92 Full-Featured, Low-Cost Oscilloscope by womai LED Chandelier by Dipankar "Death Becomes Her" Costume by nicemag Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup2","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); }

Topic by fungus amungus 


(newsletter) Magic Mirror, Duct Tape Batman Mask, Necronomicon...

Oct 30, 2008 Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); } Welcome back! It's getting dark outside, and if you ride a bike that means trouble. So find some way to make yourself more visible, and enter the Light Up Your Ride Contest! We're giving away three pairs of Bike to Work Pants from Cordarounds, and they're sweet so enter soon!The DIY Halloween Contest is scaring up awesome projects! We've partnered with some of your favorite websites to bring you the biggest and best Halloween contest ever -- and we've got tons of great prizes to give away. Show us your best costumes, treats, gadgets, jack-o-lanterns, and more! Check out the entries and get inspired for the best Maker holiday ever. Enter the Party Like It's 1929! Contest! With the economy in the toilet we need to find clever ways to save money, live with less, and reuse what we've got. Share your cash-stretching tips and tricks, and win something useful!Need some last-minute Halloween ideas? Be sure to check your inbox tomorrow morning for another special Halloween edition with lots of quick and easy Instructables! Mega Man Costume by craineum Making Faces by blightdesign Coin Slot Detector by semiotech Best way to remove event bracelets by noahw Tons and tons of spooky and amazing prizes! Win some seriously cool clothes for your bike commute! Necronomicon: Book Of The Dead by onespartan The Magic Mirror - Arduino Powered by alinke Rum Bubble Surprise by Mongpoovian Duct Tape Batman Mask by seamster Car Battery Wirefeed Welder by TimAnderson Grow flowers on a military base in Iraq by AndrewPBentley Build an autonomous Wall-E Robot by djsures Animatronic Rat by Falcon_3dee 10 ways to hide your identity andmake an impression Share your best money-saving tips! Rainbow Marzipan Cake by wupme Sugar Glass by ERNesbitt Eco-friendly Turbo-Boost Blender by mrfixits Laser-Cut Laptop Tattoo by nagutron Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup2","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); }

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


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


Walker/Rollator/KneeScooter type of DIY varieties for knee problem

Hi I am totally new here but have used the search so need your help. I have knee problems. But needs something other than a standard Walker/Rollator So I looked on youtube and google for kneescooters or rideons and Balance Bikes. The reason is that I need something to sit on. A KneeScooter is ideal for that kind of thing. Them are like a knew walker or knee rollator but one sit on them instead. So why don't I just buy the best of them and just love it :) Well them are on the wrong continent. I live in and are a native of Sweden which is Northern Europe in case you wonder. We don't know about such high tech over here. Sure we have same "assisted" Scooters like you have. Like sitting on a three or four wheel Motor Scooter but electric instead of Gasoline. Heavy things you can not take inside unless you buy the coolapsable that is rather neatly made. Anyway I don't really need motor assist I do have muscles so I can pedal a bike but bikes are not allowed inside the Mall and get stolen outside the Mall. Bikes are frown upon on the communal transport like Bus or Commuter Train and such. A Rollator or a Wheeled Walker is allowed everywhere so what I need is a KneeScooter that looks and behaves like a standard Wheeled Walker/Rollator but that one can sit on and ride like a Balance bike for kids. I can try to link to or upload drawings later how I have tried to envision what such would look like or function. So to conclude. It should appear to the Guards, Security Persons at the Mall like any standard Rollator. But then outside when them look away you touch a few buttons or something and it transforms into this handy BalanceBike but for grownups that allow me to push and kick myself striding or riding along but without pedals or motors. Dimensions maybe at most a yard = some 3 feet length and width maybe at most 2 feet and height adjustable for individual length of legs. So it should change between two positions or functions. Like a Rollator Wheeled Walker and then change to a Balance Bike or toddlers bike without pedals so it should be caster wheel as a Rollator but steerable front wheel as a Balance Bike.

Topic by kneeproblemguy   |  last reply