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Custom Electronics Project Enclosures

I need to have a custom enclosure made for my senior design project. It has to be placed on the back of a hand and thus have some curve to it to hug around the hand. Also, it can not be much bigger than about the size of a deck of cards. Most places I've found only have rectangular enclosures. Does anybody know of a place that could fabricate the custom design I described? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Topic by Mungerbees    |  last reply


Advice on building a RC projector enclosure

I have a video projector mounted on the underside of a moveable wood panel on my patio ceiling (see pic, the yellow plastic would be removed) that I'd like to build an enclosure for that won't break the bank. Since it is too high to reach, ideally (with some help) I can construct an enclosure for when it is not in use, that I can remotely adjust to use the projector (for example; via linear actuator or screw drive, etc.). The challenge is the projector has fans and cooling vents on the sides which need clearance to be effective, so three sides of the projector must be clear (the third is the front w/ the lens). All told, the vertical distance of movement for this clearance would be about 4-6". While I'm not well versed in this kind of small motor/arduino/circuitry construction, I'm pretty handy and am confident I can figure it out with some help. I have found many examples of RC box openers with hinged lids, but in all these hinged designs there would not be enough side clearance for the vents. I hope my description was not too confusing, I am open to any and all suggestions. Thanks!

Topic by STRobo  


Steps to creating a custom project enclosure

I'm in the process of trying to design a prototype for a custom electronics project. I have a 3d printer at my disposal and I would like to print out my initial prototype and at a later time get the enclosures injection molded. I'm looking for some advice on a starting point. Is there some sort of standard model I can start with? or do people typically always design these from scratch. Does any one have recommendations on a place that could do a short run of injection molded enclosures? any advice or starting points would be helpful 

Topic by ouchthathurt    |  last reply


Extending the port of a ported subwoofer enclosure? Answered

I'm planning to pimp out my car, i was wondering... If i design my own subwoofer enclosure, i want to extend the port, so that the enclosure is vented right inside the car (not the trunk) if i did that, would i have to re-calculate port diameter? thanks!

Question by Sandisk1duo    |  last reply


What are some of the factors to take care of while designing an EMI/RFI shielded Enclosure?

Are there any constraints on material used and wall thickness?

Question by vinod nicholas    |  last reply


Challenge

Since subscribing to Instructables I have found this to be one of the best and most interesting investments I have ever made.  I do offer a challenge to those interested in computer hardware.  I removed a Seagate 4.5 inch SATA hard drive from my old computer.  I would now like to recover some files from this hard drive.  However, I cannot find anywhere I can purchase a suitable hard drive enclosure which can be connected to and accessed by a computer through a USB port.  Seagate cannot help.  Is any subscriber to Instructables able to design and construct such an enclosure?  There must be a large number of people who have a similar problem.  Would anyone like to meet the challenge?

Topic by kalkat78    |  last reply


Multi-function, multi-materials workshops?

I'm on a small rural acreage. My shop situation is that I’ve got two separate, fairly compact spaces for working with wood (or general “handyman” repairs for the home) and for working with metal (cutting, welding, grinding, etc). My metal area is where I also often work with small-engine equipment. These spaces are located inconveniently, separated by nearly 100 feet! I think about how I might like to combine functions under one roof. So I’m posting to try to coax some of you people to show me how you may have done this. Or examples you've found on the internet (give URLs). Obviously, no one wants to get sawdust into an area where torch flames or electric-welding sparks could cause a hazard. And you wouldn’t want to get engine lubricants or solvents mixed up with wood projects. Discussion and description are fine, but I’d really like to see pictures or floor-plan diagrams if possible.  I need examples that represent modest investment, as I could probably only afford to build an enclosure of about 16x24 ft, with a bay door. ( Yes - could probably learn something from shops that are somewhat bigger than this.) In grandfather's day, farm shops were usually multi-purpose. You know, for "bench carpentry", and maintaining or servicing the truck or tractor, welding bailer components back together, etc. Often had a tablesaw, maybe a bandsaw - besides the hoist, welders, socket wrenches. I suppose sometimes a fire did occur in one shop or another, but probably not often.  I'd like to see some more modern versions, rather than just the "version" I have in terms of vague memories. Thanks.

Question by Joel_BC    |  last reply


Need help about making an enclosure design of a Bluetooth speaker?

I want to make a Bluetooth speaker using the components shown in the picture. I can't really think about a good looking enclosed about it. So some design from you guys should help. 1. Building material still not chosen. 2. There have to be 2 passive radiators on front and back. I'll probably using a single 18650 cell or a li-po battery , so needed some internal space to Mount everything. I have a design similar to bose soundlink mini 2 but it's too low profile and well engineered ;-; Need help

Question by Sayan_trex  


Electrolytic Capacitor Horizontal Footprint Eagle

I am designing a very simple but small PCB in Eagle. Size is a constraint and the enclosure is pretty small. I had a 100uF electrolytic capacitor in the schematic which I realized will not fit vertically in the enclosure while making the prototype. So to make it fit, I kept a few mm of leads between PCB and capacitor while soldering and then bent it horizontally on top of a nearby crystal. This was a quick fix but now I want the schematic to have space for it. I have enough free space to put it lying down but can't find any footprint for a horizontal radial polarized cap. I'm sure I saw one such component in some schematic or in the library but can't find it. Even google results mostly gave axial caps. The only thing near to what I wanted was this diagram, but it had no footprint. The last resort will be to design my own footprint. Can anyone please help? -Antzy

Topic by Antzy Carmasaic    |  last reply


Call for pre-made parts!

We're rolling out some new parts for the Kits in 123D Design.  That means you'll soon have some real-world models at your disposal in the Design app, and I wanted to see if there were some specific requests out there for parts that you might use on the regular. I've put in for some tools and hardware - like metric and SAE wrenches and hex bolts - but is there anything that you'd like to see as a part or a template?   M4 screws for an Arduino enclosure? 4" 2-way gate hinges? Eye-Hooks? Light bulbs? Threaded rod? Phone cases?

Topic by andrewt    |  last reply


Job opening at MIT working on wireless sensors

Thought I'd pass this along in case there are electronic hackers looking for a job. Unfortunately, you need at least a master's degree.Post Doctoral Associate or Research ScientistMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MAIndividual will work under the auspices of the House-n Research Group to contribute to the development of a hardware and software system that will measure physical activity type, intensity, and location in very large populations of adults using ordinary mobile phones (see http://web.mit.edu/wockets). Responsibilities will include developing and field testing wireless accelerometer technology that sends data to mobile phones, extending past work at MIT, developing housing for those wireless sensors so they meet a set of design constraints identified by prior research and so they can be easily produced in prototype and larger quantities, writing academic papers on the design and use of the technology for healthcare with colleagues at MIT and Stanford, fostering an open-source community of developers to use and extend the technology, and collaborating with other researchers working on developing technologies for the NIH's Exposure Biology Program. The appointment will be for one-year. Minimum Qualifications:An M.S. or Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering (or closely related subject), with expertise in embedded systems design (hardware) and RF design (e.g. Bluetooth or any other RF protocols used in sensor networks). Microcontroller programming and knowledge of interfacing microcontrollers to analog and digital sensors is required. The candidate must possess 1-2 years of research or development experience designing, prototyping, testing and debugging electronic circuits, and the candidate must have past experience demonstrating the ability to independently develop wireless sensors from conception to manufacturing to enclosure design. Expertise in rapid prototyping of enclosures, pattern classification algorithm development, and/or ubiquitous computing helpful. Interested candidates should send a cover letter indicating why they are interested in the position and a CV/resume to intille@mit.edu. Please indicate earliest date of availability.

Topic by Vsayuni  


Opinions on a new circuit board idea...

I wanted to make a clear enclosure for my latest project and I thought it would be cool to make a clear PCB, but I wanted to get a few opinions on my idea.. I was thinking about using a cnc machine to etch my circuit design in acrylic and then fill the recessed cuts with bare paint, then after drilling it out, using more bare paint to "solder" the components. I'm sure someone else has come up with this same idea, so I was wondering how it worked out for them. Thanks guys!

Topic by emikayee    |  last reply


X-ray Lamps, the perfect light for any radiation loving geeks!

Well, who here doesn't think that x-rays look cool? I personally digg them.So check out these cool designer x-ray lamps! Engadget informs us that, Unfortunately, these lampshade / lights aren't yet available to purchase -- another dream dashed by cruel reality.I however say we will not miss out! so, i think if someone was to get a picture of a bulb, put it through photoshop to make it look like an x-ray, print it out on some paper, stick inside a custom light enclosure, and there you go. A fancy x-ray light.

Topic by gmjhowe    |  last reply


How to convert a mini laptop (Netbook) with a broken screen to a workable instrument

Hi everyoneI have a Gigabyte Q1000C which recently fell and busted the monitor. The machine still works fine, other than the battery no longer charging. I would like to convert it into my "writing" machine (I write short stories as a hobby), almost like a typewriter with a screen.The main idea is to purchase a smaller second-hand LCD PC monitor and gutting it to fit into a custom built enclosure, I also need to be able to convert it to a direct-power sourced instrument, thereby bypassing the battery, which I have no clue how to accomplish, my electrical skills are dangerous at best.If there is anyone who could help me with the above-mentioned ideas, I'd be very grateful.The design ideas are either a retro feel, steampunk or cyberpunk vibe.

Question by FrancoisG2    |  last reply


Switched Mode Variable Power Supply

Curious, Monday or Tuesday of this last week I found an Instructable for a Switched Mode Variable Power Supply I found very interesting. I didn’t print the design out because I wasn’t sure how I was fixed for parts. I went back the next day and the Instructable was gone. All I get is; “404: We're sorry, things break sometimes” I really don’t have any other description other than it was built in a metal enclosure, blue, and used 2 V/A meters. Without the Instructable I can’t even tell you who made the Instructable. Has anyone seen and/or has the plans for this Instructables? The only thing I can add is a picture I've added from the internet.Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Dennis

Question by DennisB36    |  last reply


DIY 4-component Buck converter, no ICs, need help with maths

I'm building a bike light around a Seoul P4 LED and some re-purposed 18650 li-ion cells from a laptop battery. I'll need 700mA constant current and can comfortably fit 8 cells in my enclosure. I've done some reading and I should be able to build a Buck converter relatively easily, but I'm struggling to find any good guides to help me spec the components. I asked on Dave Jones's EEVBlog forums and all the replies recommended either Linear Regulators (wasteful) or something designed using Webbench, which only helps with circuits featuring ICs. As a buck should in theory only need a transistor, a diode, an incuctor and a capacitor I want to build it myself out of through-hole components. Can anyone help with some guides or tutorials on specifying these components please? My degree was Computer Science and I was definitely better at set theory and boolean algebra than anything involving formulae!

Topic by ederfel    |  last reply


Battery run bluetooth class d amp - help me fix the noise problem.

Hello, I am designing a small bluetooth battery powered portable speaker enclosure/boombox. At the core of this design is a cctv li-ion battery that has 12v and 5v USB output ports. Its a great start to a boombox, or at least I thought it was. From that battery, I am powering two things. A parts express Stereo Bluetooth Module, (running on the 5v USB) and a Lepai 2020 tripath amp, running on the 12v Perfect you say. Thats what I said. Plug it all together.... huge huge huge garbage noise, with digital clicks and beeps. All three components work fine on their own. The amp plays cleanly with bluetooth modules that have internal lithium batteries, the bluetooth module sends a clean signal to amps not sharing a power source. I had a proficient audio repair man attempt to filter out the noise with resistors placed in numerous places, but it only slightly lessened the noise. Unfortunately I didn't document what he tried. I have attached a photo of the setup (without the speaker attached) I noted one thing... that if one was to connect the bluetooth using the rca input to the amp, if you only touched the internal rod to the inside of the female rca jack on the amp, keeping the outer shielding free from the amp, it would clearly make the noise, with no change in the noise when you pushed the plug all the way on, touching the outer shielding. That seems of interest. Yes? Let me know if I can clarify any more of this. Any help would be most appreciated! Thanks, Tor

Question by torclausen    |  last reply


Building a liquid monitor box help

Hello. I have little experience with these things so I am seeking help here. I have a prototype design for a liquid drop monitor. There is a tube that drip liquid and be detected by a photodiode hooked up to an Arduino. My question is about how to build an enclosure for it subject to my requirements. If anyone has advice for any of my needs below, the help would be much appreciated. I am not very knowledgeable of these kind of things. The circuit is in in two parts on two small breadboards, the detector on one side and an LED on the other. A tube will go through the box vertically from top to bottom. The box will be made out of acrylic because it's cheap, see-through, and I have access to a laser cutter. First question, how can I mount these breadboards in the acrylic box in such a way that I can remove them when needed or later replace them with a PCB later. Second, what sort of mechanical device can I use to adjust the distance between the LED and the detector? Essentially, I just need to be able to move the LED towards and away from the detector in one dimension. Third, I will need to change out the tube often to adjust the thickness. How could I allow for adjustable sizes? If the tube hole is the same size then I will only be able to fit one. Alternately, I could move the detector and LED horizontally to select different tubes. Is there a mechanical device for this? Fourth, I'm using acrylic because it's cheap and I have access to a laser cutter, but most designs for boxes I've seen are not made to be opened. I will need to be removing and rewiring things often. So is there a common or easy way of making/mounting a hinged acrylic door or a removable top? I apologize for the simplicity of my questions, but I really could use the help. Thanks!

Topic by ballaw    |  last reply


Where can I find an amplifier for this portable sound system?

I am working on creating a waterproof sound system to bring to college. I have already created a 3-d model on Google Sketchup and I have two waterproof full range speakers and one 8 inch woofer. I want it battery powered and would either use a lead acid battery or try to salvage enough Lithium Ion cells from old computer batteries to power it for a long enough period of time. The question though is where to find an inexpensive amplifier that will run on 12 volts, is small, and has decent bass. Does anyone know of some websites on which I could find an amplifier? In the past I have bought desktop systems and converted them to battery power (on the rare occasion that they actually run on 12v dc after the transformer and rectifier), so I know it is possible. Thanks!!! **edit** It seems I forgot to include the specifications of the speakers! Anyway, here they are: 2 - "high fidelity full range speaker", 5" dual cone, "power capacity:30Watts system", 7 oz. ceramic magnet, "4 or. 8 Ohms system" (I measured 3.6 ohms with an inexpensive multimeter), They are on Ebay!! 1 - "Model:  Acoustic Audio MARBASS8 Color:  Black Acoustic Audio 650 Watt 8” Car/Marine Audio High Performance Subwoofer 650 Watts Peak Power Handling / 325 Watts RMS Power Handling Recommended Power:  30 Watts to 650 Watts 2” Parabolic RFL Voice Coil 60 oz. Magnet 4 Ohm Impedance Oversized Butyl Rubber Surround Poly Zirconium Cone Polyimide Voice Coil Former Mid Q Design for Versatility in Enclosure Compatibility Flat Progressive Roll Spider CEA Cooling Technology Vented & Extended Pole Piece Low Carbon Top & Bottom Piece Weather-Resistant Design" This is on Ebay too!

Question by HowToEngineer    |  last reply


Molding Aluminum: With Gravity Die Casting

It's expensive, untested and dangerous.The idea goes like this. Start with a coffee can foundry, possibly powered with Biodiesel or Propane. Then design a mold for what you want to build using Autocad or some variant thereof. After it's finished, send the design to a machine shop to have it built out of steel. When you receive the permanent mold, melt the aluminum and pour into the mold repeatedly and often.The idea seems like a good one to me, I'll be testing it soon enough using common screw clamps to keep the mold tightly secure.Has anyone here done this? The closest I've come to doing it myself is pouring into a muffin tin.The photo below is a picture of the results which was taken from another board found here, you'll need a login, the photos are located in the forum under Machining and Tooling.Give me a shout if you dig the idea.UPDATE 5/24/07It works! Using my Harbor Freight Mini-Mill I cut out pockets in two pieces of 1018 steel, each about an inch deep, and four inches across. I then cut inlets in both pieces and welded some scrap steel U channel on the tops of both mold sections to form a pool enclosure for the excess aluminum to collect inside of and stay safely contained.Then I lit the candle on my foundry and melted the aluminum while at the same time pre-heating the molds, (connected using C-clamps) in the oven. When the aluminum melted, I poured it and it instantly solidified. After about 2 minutes of running around in a panic I cracked the mold open. The detail level is incredible. Impressions made in the mold with a fly-cutter can be seen in the casting. The casting is bright, shiny, and seemingly devoid of any burs usually associated with unfinished aluminum castings.I'll provide photos later of the test mold and casting.

Topic by Inspiracy    |  last reply


Cricket Cage Setup

Hello, i have a creative project that i need some advice on. The idea is based off the old chinese cricket cages. From purely the electronics design perspective i would like the following features. 1. A very small solar panel (think the garden light instructables projects) 2. Rechargeable battery pack (size dependent on power needs) 3. A speaker capable of reproducing the sound of a cricket. No volume control needed, just a realistic replication 4. Something to play the sound (this is where i am lost) 5. A single green led bulb 6. a light sensor that would flip the system to on when it is dark. (I would like it to be able to operate light and sound for maybe 3 hours on a full charge) The hope is that all of this could be fit into a 8"x3"x7" space, with the solar panel mounted externally. The installation i can handle, but some of the electronics are beyond my skill level. The best i have managed is the moon jars made from a mason jar and a garden light. This project is basically like that, only with sounds, and placed in a custom enclosure.   I suspect that sound is much harder than solar LED lights, and that is what i would most like some input on. If i can get the things made i will gladly share any info, though im not sure i have the skills and equipment to actually write a instructable. 

Topic by hyberion    |  last reply


Arduino Media Center interfaces?

I have a new project idea which is generally a mini media center console using a beagleboard single board computer and an arduino.  Essentially, I would like to run windows 7 or maybe a bare linux, as all I really need here is to run iTunes.  I would like the arduino to act as a IR remote receiver for an HP mobile remote that I have from an old laptop. Also, I have a 2 line display like this and want to also connect it to the arduino so that it will display the name of the song playing and the timing (like the duration of the song and how much of it has played...)  The arduino itself is not the problem, rather i am at a loss as to how i can get the necessary data from the computer.  Please help me out there. Also, I am planning to get a wifi adapter so that i can use my iPod Touch as an additional remote for iTunes.  I plan to house everything in an OKW Diatec enclosure and maybe put a few push switches on there also to have "onboard" play/pause and volume up/down functionality.  This case is designed for displays really, so if anyone can recommend a good deal for like a 7 inch display with VGA, DVI, or S Video hookup, that would be pretty cool.  Maybe even a touchscreen. I would love to hear any comments on this project IDEA that i have come up with so far.  Its just something i came across and thought that it would be cool to do this without an actual laptop.  Beagleboard is a single board computer but its small enough to not make that an issue Thanks

Question by raykholo  


What on earth could I use this 'Lectern Commander' for?

I picked this up on ebay for 5 dollars last month, apparently it retails for a couple of thousand, but im yet to think of a novel way to utilise this guy. Here are some specs from the pdf file i found on this lectern site.The Lectern Commander is able to communicate both direct Infra Red and RS232Combines the best features of a dedicated key control panel and a colour touchscreen in a single unit - Fits directly into unmodified industry-standard lectern - Modular design allows integration of microphone sockets, lectern light etc. for special applications - 32 key digital matrix touch overlay - Flexible – can function as a stand-alone controller or in conjunction with any of the CommBox range of processors - Easy to program with standard Joey software, tools and library - Low power consumption allows operation on long low-voltage cablesKeys: 32, including 10 touchscreen keys Panel Type: Colour LCD, CCFL Backlight Panel Size: 4.0” diagonal Resolution: 320 x 240 pixels Brightness: 80cd/m2 (Typical) Contrast Ratio: 17:1 (Typical) Display Colour: 8 Colour Connectivity: IRBus (6.35mm TRS), IR (3.5mm phono), RS-232 (DB9). IR carrier frequency: 38kHz (industry standard) Power Supply: 12volts (Supplied by IR-Bus) Current demand: 100 – 200mA (depends on brightness setting). Standby current: 5mA. Enclosure: Steel, black powder coated Dimensions: 540mm x 80mm x 70mm hmmm any ideas???

Question by daulef    |  last reply


Fridge conversion anyone?

When I see my local scrap dealer I can't overlook the amount of well looked after chest freezers and fridges.I already found out that most either have a failed thermostat or failed heating element for the evaporation of the water during auto defrost cycles.So I started to think about converting a nice and small chest freezer for 12V use.A first check for available 12V compressors showed that they cost an arm and a leg.DIY with a 12 air compressor is out of the question for safety reasons and the fact that these toys are not ment to handle these conditions.My next stop was Youtube and I found some teardown and scrapping of fridge compressors.These things are actually so dead simple in design that without the enclosure we would need ear protection all day long.But durablitly is often really simple, sadly this mean anything to use a frequency generator or similar is not only inefficient but will fail on a condesator motor.However, these motors are quite bulky...In therory it should be possible remove all stator and mains voltage bits to make room around the rotor.And from that we really only need the axle and bearing mounts.Am I thinking too simple?What would stop someone from using a suitable sized brushless DC motor with couplings to the cut orginal axle?Modern, small compressors often use less than 200W, so how hard can it be?Disclaimer:I am aware of the legal side of things and such mods are nothing a tradesman would sign off for.But I do wonder and like to tinker to prove a point or theory ;)

Question by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Field report: Mads Hobye as an Artist-in-residence at Instructables

Mads Hobye was granted an artist-in-residence at Instructables for September 2012. Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share projects they do, and how to do it. Because of the creative nature of the website, Instructables also have lab facilities for their own co-workers and for artist-in-residences. During September, Mads had the honor to use their lab to build and document multiple prototypes to be shared on their website. I choose to put my focus on building interactive noise machines, since this ties into my PhD and my interest in creating non-trivial internal complexity. I have been working long into the night most days and it has been really interesting to have the chance to focus on one thing at the time. Although the primary purpose of the stay was to explore the potentials of designing interactive sound machines, a couple of other side outcomes were also planned. First, to see how Instructables organized their creative workspace and get inspiration for organizing the upcoming Connectivity Lab at Medea. Second, to see if Instructables would be a suitable platform for documenting the creative practices at Medea. Take aways from Instructables as a creative workspace Although Instructables primarily is a company running a website, they have quite extensive lab facilities. This consisted of a small lab at the office (sewing, electronics and woodwork) and two blocks down they had a whole space filled with laser cutters and 3D printers. This is located right beside the Techshop, which is a full-fledged lab for everything from metal to 3D printing. I have picked up the following things that struck me as really good ways of structuring lab work: Documentation table: A documentation table with lamps, camera and a white sheet of paper as background enables people to quickly document their projects with a nice white background. It was interesting to see how this improved the overall quality of the documentation. Suddenly a breadboard and some wires became a piece of art or a pedagogical platform for show and tell instead of an unfinished project. Show-and-tell meetings: Twice a week they meet at two o'clock to do a show and tell. Here they take a round and everyone says what they are working on in one or two sentences. This is a really easy way to get everyone updated and it takes no time at all. If you are not present you can email out one sentence telling everyone what you are doing. Once a week it is about the specific day and once a week it is about the coming week. Have everything in the same lab: The separation between the labs has confirmed to me the importance of having everything in the same space. It takes time to walk two blocks to lasercut which limits the creative process of iterating between e.g. lasercutting and soldering. Instructables as a workspace was one of the most easy going creative loving workspaces I have ever had the chance to be a part of. Although I never got to know the formal rules, you had a clear sense that people had the freedom to prioritise their own work day and combine it with creative side projects (as long as they documented them of course). Instructables as a knowledge sharing platform for the Medea Connectivity lab Instructables works well for sharing individual recipes for others to use, but what came as a surprise to me was the ability to create groups as individually branded websites. This enables a group of people to collect their recipes under a common theme or brand. We will use this as a common platform to share the knowledge created in the Medea Connectivity Lab. This way people can get an overview of the projects done in the lab. This will become a mandatory part of using the lab in the sense that students and co-workers will be encouraged to document their projects and publish them in the group. So far my experience with posting instructables has been quite interesting and overwhelming. Where projects normally ends as interesting portfolio documentation, the detailed documentation of the build process enables others to recreate your designs or their own versions of them. So far this has resulted in multiple people making their own version. One example is the Arduino implementation of the touche shield (https://www.instructables.com/id/Touche-for-Arduino-Advanced-touch-sensing/). This was published in May 2012. As of now, I know of ten people who have recreated the design and just as many has made suggestions for improvement. Another project has been rewritten by an enthusiast in Dubai. It now runs faster and uses less memory. You can find the preliminary group for Medea connectivity lab here. Non-trivial-internal Complexity as facilitator for curiosity = making noise machines As a part of being an artist-in-residence at Instructables, I took it upon myself to build of couple of noise machines / music boxes. My interest was in designing objects that would enable people to explore the world of sound synthesis and for me to get a better understanding of how the different interfaces enables different interactions and sound qualities. This is a part of an ongoing investigation on creating interactions for curiosity. It has been an intense experience. Trying to build as many interfaces as possible within one month. I have tried to make all of them stand-out as finished, while still being hackable pieces. Everything I have done is published on Instructables for others to experiment with. All of the projects consist of a few basic components: An interface and sometimes a screen or a led matrix. The basic sound component is either a Gameduino or a software synth written for the Arduino platform. You can find an overview of the results here and I will introduce them in this article as well. Although arduinos are good for simple action <-> reaction interactivity, there are a limited amount of examples that work with more complex interactions. Here I mean beyond game design’s way of working with narratives, but more in the sense of adding personality to your projects. Personality not as much in the way of looks (e.g. putting an Arduino into a teddy bear), but more in the way of complex interactions that makes you curious about its devices potential possibilities. My interest as an artist-in-residence at Instructables were to design different machines that would spark the user’s curiosity. Here, simply put, curiosity lies between the extremes of chaos and predictability. Where chaos becomes uninteresting (from an interaction design point of view) because of its uncontrollable nature and order becomes so predictable that the interaction itself slides into the background of the end-product of the interaction itself. One such example is the light switch. As an adult you usually do not notice your interaction with it. The core question then became how to make people who are interacting with it drawn by their own curiosity of not being able to decode the interaction pattern, all at the same time having a sense that their actions are the main contributor to the sounds. Most of these machines would have been simpler to make as software programs on a computer or even as multitouch applications on a smartphone, but I wanted to have an aesthetic criteria as a frame for my experiments: I wanted to create simple tangible interfaces that would inspire curiosity. The objects themselves should welcome the user to try out and explore their interfaces. Last, I wanted each experiment to be self-contained. Instead of them becoming interfaces for a laptop, they should be the ones who created the music. The end results are still crude and mostly serves as interaction enclosures with future potentials, although they do hint at different interesting interaction qualities. You can find an overview of the boxes here. The singing plant plays with a classic trick of sparking people’s curiosity by adding unconventional interaction qualities to a familiar object. The Kaosduino serves as a platform to explore the complexity of touch on x-y surfaces. The Matrix machine serves as a platform to explore the potential of emergent sound patterns converted from particle systems. The algorithmic noise machine serves as platform to explore the boundaries between chaos and order through complex bit shifting algorithms. Better ways to debug the internals of the Arduino board As a side project, I decided to improve on the debugging capabilities of the Arduino platform. This was in line with working with internal complexity which can be hard to comprehend as the code grows. The program enables you to visualize realtime data on the Arduino board. You are usually stuck with the standard serial output. As the complexity of your Arduino code grows, this makes it impossible to comprehend what is actually going on inside the board. To solve this I have created a little library that will enable you to create your own custom GUI for your Arduino projects. Watch this video to get a demonstration of a basic hello world with a potmeter and a diode: The following are a few key features of the tool: Custom design your interface from the Arduino board: You define which sliders, graphs and buttons you need for your interface. You do this in your Arduino sketch which means that the GUI program acts as a slave to the sketch. All information is stored in your board. Visualize and manipulate realtime data: Whether you are making an RGB light controller or a robot arm, getting a graphical feedback is crucial to understand what is going on inside the board. This enables you to understand whether it is your hardware or the code that is causing problem. Further, the sliders and buttons enable you to tweak the individual parameters in realtime. This way you can see what effect different thresholds have on the interaction. Use the same app for all your Arduino projects: I have made tons of small apps for different projects. My problem is always to find them again a year later. Because we save everything in the Arduino, I only need to keep one app around the Arduino and it will automatically configure the app for the current project. Prototype the interface before you turn on the soldering iron: Because you can design the GUI as you like it (within reasonable limits), you can prototype the interface before you have made a physical interface. This also enables you to divide the tasks between multiple people, e.g. one person is working on the hardware and another person is working on the code. When you have made the physical interface the Guino will integrate seamlessly. You can find the instructables for the Guino interface here. About the author Mads Hobye (b. 1980) is a PhD student in interaction design at Medea Collaborative Media Initiative, Malmö University, Sweden, and co-founder of the Illutron collaborative interactive art studio. He focuses on how digital material can be used for exploring social transformative play situated in the context of everyday life. He has done several large-scale installations and working prototypes, which he is using as a basis for his PhD research. More information is available on Hobye’s work at www.hobye.dk.

Topic by madshobye  


3D printable Vortex Cooling tube

I am in the finnishing stages of my project now.The main body is now a single part :)My goal to create a vortex tube that works with very little airflow and/or pressure sadly failed so far.It is simply impossible to the required details printed.I might try again one day with a 0.1mm nozlze but calculations tell me I would need 2 days to print the body with it :(So what is the current status on the project?About 5 rolls of filament later I have now a single piece body that prints in one go with very little support structures required - none in really critical areas.Why now fully printed instead using ready to go aluminium tubing?Well...If these things start to work you can't really finetune the design anymore as they fail too quickly and start to leak.I got sick and tired of UV glue and epoxy glue as well...Metal expands differently than palstic when temps change drastically...Still the concept is far from perfect as I found out that printed parts only too often start to sepearte from the temperature changes - they start to leak through the layer even with 5 permimeters printed....Shortly after you break it all apart...Right now I went back to PLA with an outer coating of ABS juice or quick drying varnish.Once the surface gets cracks you know it is time to discontinue the testing and print another one.My best working model is now a conical tube, all up about 15cm long.I am able to reach a temperature drop from what comes out of the compressor to what comes out of the cold end of about 30°.Right now trying to work out the best orifice diameters and angles for the lowest posssible flow rate.Still it won't work for long on a cheap 130 liter per minute compressore from the home depot...Would love to have a much quicker acting thermometer, but I guess I will invest in one one day...As I somehow doubt I will manage to make work continously on a cheap compressor I might try instead to get a bigger temperature drop.Negative 5-7 is nice, negative 20°C would be better.I hope to finnish the testing over the next weekend and will then cnsider to make an Instructable from it.But who can properly test it out?Someone with a beefy compressor might not have a 3D printer or the other way around...Might try one day to etch the vortex generator and use glass tubes from droppers in a resin enclosure.In that size it certainly would even work from a fridge compressor but the cooling capacity would be very low indeed.Still, someone might need a -30°C spot cooler that can spot cool a pin head...

Topic by Downunder35m  


Living salad, makerbot songs, and noodle!

My first day at Instructables, I found myself sitting on a chair fabricated by the guy next to me, listening to plans for a living salad which would grow through your plate, fertilized by worms below the surface and a stained glass window made of dried fruit, trying to focus on absorbing all the information Vanessa and Noah were dishing out. Just beyond loomed the amazing fabrication facilities, with rows of 3D printers, zillion-axis CNC machines, a stocked electronics room, every kind of adhesive you could dream of, and even a test kitchen! It was a makers dream, Pier 9 had the material and equipment resources to allow us to realize nearly any idea we could dream up, and dream we did. It was immediately clear that the one month my collaborator Kyle (https://www.instructables.com/member/kylemcdonald/) and I had planned to spend there was not enough. Sadly, it was all we had, so we got to work immediately on Noodle, a little robot with the I/O of a machine but the thoughts and feelings of a human. I could go on about the shop at Pier 9, but the thing that really made the experience for me was the people. Hosting 10-12 AIRs at a time, the studio was always full with people building crazy things. One day we'd experiment with Nick's instruments fashioned from rocks, sticks, and water jugs while sampling cocktails from Ben's machine and Rima's cricket ganache, the next day we'd admire Aaron's work on hoodies that zipped around your hands while being serenaded by Andreas' makerbot which seemed to be singing the future. We were all so excited and inspired it wasn't unusual to find half the group there all weekend long or into the wee hours of the night. I won't go so far as to say anyone slept the night there, but...  Not only did we get to hang out in the AIRea, but we also got to know all the others working at Pier 9. This was a building full of people willing to chat about anything from caustics to contests, lend you their skateboard so you could learn how, or demo their latest projects. Vanessa and Noah couldn't have been more supportive and helpful, and it was so inspiring to run into them in the shop on weekends hacking away on crazy things of their own. With so much going on, we sometimes had to work hard to tune it out and stay focused on our Noodle. Luckily, Kyle and I had worked together before and we were able to divide and conquer pretty productively. Kyle handled the fabrication aspects, spec'ing all the hardware and designing and lasercutting then 3D printing the physical enclosure for Noodle. I was heads down on the software trying to hook up our raspberry pi to Amazon Mechanical Turk, speakers, a display, a camera, and an interface. Thankfully, the long hack sessions were broken up by Vanessa coming by to peek at my computer over my shoulder and ask, "what's taking so long? how hard can it possibly be!" ;) I will end this post here and get to work finishing up our instructable before Vanessa hunts us down. If the specifics of our project are a bit cryptic still, all will be revealed with the instructable post (see attached pictures for more mystery). And to all of you considering applying to the AIR program, DO IT! If you are a motivated, curious person with energy and ideas you will have a blast. And the weather is ok, too. Thanks Vanessa, Noah and Instructables!

Topic by lmccart    |  last reply


Ultrasonic soldering bath

Making a working ultrasonic soldering iron is not as easy as I though it would be.Finding tanrsducer of suitable design and size is even harder.So I thought I start with something easier and share the thoughts here.If you need to solder impossible to solder things then quite often you could get away by wetting the entire area.For example the end of a wire or a lug where it won't matter that you can solder on the bottom as well as the top.Back in my days flux core solder was a rare and very expensive thing to find.So we had a little soldering pot and flux pot instead for working with lots of wires.Dip, dip, done....The pre-soldered wires where then easy to work with and the ramaining flux on then was enough.Doing this for metals like aluminium, stainless steel or even ceramics seems impossible at first sight.China offers cheap ultrasonic transducers including the required driver electronics for very littel money these days, despite the trade wars.The most obvious solution would then be to get a cheap and big enough soldering bath and to attach the transducer to it....Won't work though and if it does then not for long.Problem is firstly the heat transfered to the ceramic parts of the trandsucer and secondly the fact that most of these soldering baths use quite thick steel for the container.Add the that you deal with quite some grams of molten metal and you know where I am going.Building your own ultrasonic soldering bath to solder the impossible with ease!Project costs:40kHz transducer with driver board : about 50 bucks.Thin walled stainless steel bowl ( about 50 to 100ml but go bigger if you like) : about 2 bucks.Leftovers for an enclosure can be wood, plasic or your favourite 3D printer.Ultrasonic horn: About 500 bucks from your favourite engennering company or you need to make it yourself - I prefer the later.Main design considerations for the horn:We need something to keep the heat away from the transducer that also amplifies the power coming from it.That is why we can use a bowl or container that has a small bottom daimeter as the transducer if need be ;)There is a good reason a commercial horn costs a lot of money.They are preferably made from titanium and they need to perform as advertised right from the start.We substitude by using some aluminium round stock and a lathe.It is advisable to leave the transducer as it is!Do not take it apart to mount your horn directly onto the ceramics!Use a long enough set screw or include the required thread on your horn to mount it onto the transducer.If you prefer to use stainless steel doe to the lower heat conductivity then be my guest.The horn should have the same diameter as the mating part of the transducer for a quarter of the wavelength of the transducers frequency in the given material.Please look up how fast sound travels in your choosen material and calculate it properly.Having the lenght of the thick part right is quite cruicial.The thinner part that amplifies our movements should be about a quarter of the diameter of the transducer.For example: if the mating face of the tansducer is 40mm in diameter then the thin part of the horn should be 10mm.The length again is a quarter of the wavelength or the same as the thick part.Where thick meets thin please allow for a 3 to 5mm radius and make sure this area is nice and smothly finnished.Now, length is quite critical here....As we will mount our finnsihed actuator free hanging under the bath we need a feasable way to comapensate for our tolerances by creating our horn without a simulating software. I found that welding a short stub onto the container works best but with aluminum it is harder.I assume most will opt for welding a 6mm soft steel threaded rod onto the container.Either way the container surface must be kept flat for the mating surface of our actuator rod.So it is best to make the stud yourself or to use a suitable replacement - like using some flux and your stick welder for create a makeshift spot welder ;)If you decided on using steel for the horn then of course you can just mill a 10mm piece with a suitable thread and flat mating surface...What you want to end up with is a screw connection that has a flat mating surface and no empty spaces, fine thread prefered.Tuning the horn....The ensclosure is easy to make as a box, so the only thing to worry about is insulation but nothing to affect performance.So I just assume you have it all ready ;)With the horn at one quarter wavelength either end our thin end will be too long unless a short stud is used for a direct fit.So whatever you had to add for the part on your container or bowl need to be removed from he horns thin end.Try to keep the gad for the threaded part as small as possible as it affects the resonace.As things never turn out perfect the first try I prepare some thin steel washers - 100mm outer diameter in case you wonder and stick with the above example.I use a strong neodymium magnet and belt sander to create washers from very thin to slightly thinner ;)Taking off slightly more from the horns end will then allow toadd these washers if required - but please do a try as it is first when you think you got the measurements all right!For an aluminium horn you will of course use aluminium washers here.To do so fill the container with some water and place a sheet of thin alumiium foil on top of the water.Turn it on and within a few seconds you should see holes appearing in the fiol or even small fractures.If nothing but noise happens it is quite certain your rod will be a bit too long.Unscrew and take about one tenth of a mm off the thin end of the horns mating surface to shorten it.Try again with the foil and if no better remove some more material.Once you see some action try adding a layer of aluminium foil between the mating surfaces - screw it tight!The foil won't last long but if the action on the water is far better until it fails you know you took off too much.The washers come into place if the tuning won't work at all.Sometimes you can cut off a little bit again and again but the piece will remain too short ;)Especially if you have an aluminium horn and needed to use a steel screw on the bowl...So once the shortening of the horn fials you add a washer to get slightly above the original length and start replacing the differently thick washer until you find a sweet spot.The tricky part is over, now to solve the heating poblem...Using some glass seal as used on wood fire ovens not olnyl provides good insulation to our enclosure but also prevents the vibrations from spreading too far.As our hardware store won't just give use the little bit we need the rest can be used to insulate our container.Dending on the size and shape of your container I hope you decided to buy a container tha fits your heating element...I found that replacement coils for lab heaters work fine but some small fan heaters also use round heating elements instead if wire spirals.For a custom shape it is quite easy to use a coil of heatin wire rated for your mains voltage and a glass fibre sleeve for insulation.To keep it all in shape just wrap some steel wire over it - over the insulated coils of course.The temperature control can be as fancy as with a microcontroller or as simple as using a dimmer like I did.Most heating elements will go glowing red hot if the mains voltage is not reduced.It makes sense to limit the dimmer's movements accordingly by testing it.Just do it in the dark afeter exposing a small bit of the heating wire from the insulating sleeve.Once you see a faint glow coming dial it back a bit until you can see any glow - that should be the max setting.For a big bath or to save time you can of course crank it up to what the glass insulation can tolerate but be aware that solder can boil over!I do a temperature check either with a touch free IR thermometer of by checking how quickly some rosin boils off.If you need to dip bigger parts you need a higher temperature, so I think a digital or sensor temp control is not really required.Once you found a sweet spot to hold the solder temp long enough without getting too hot or cold just mark it for reference ;)Using the ultrasonic soldering bath correctly.Cavitation is what the work for us, so we only need to activate the ultrasonic part when we need it with a push button or food pedal switch.We do not use any flux or resin!That means if you used the bath for normal soldering and or resin then clean the remains off the surface first.A shiny and clean surface is best but the oxidisation will happen quickly so don't be too disappointed ;)Start by dipping in a clean copper wire.Some solder might stick but it won't look proper.Now dip it in again and while it is in push the button for about 3 seconds.Like magic, if tuned properly your wire is soldered and properly covered to where it was dripped in.Try the same with some slightly sanded or at least clean aluminium wire, but use the button right away for about 5 seconds.The wire should be coated with solder once more.You can try a glass rod or some stainless wire next but I guess the working principle is clear now ;)Not everything will bond with solder, especially not if it is not clean.A piece of glass with your fingerprint on it might just fail and some ceramics will only let the solder stick without actually bonding.You should always check the mechanical strength of your soldered connection before having to rely on it ;)And why would you need such a machine?Well, most people won't have any use for it.Those who do might not be able to afford a commercial model.And there is always those who just want it all...If you know why you need such a thing than you have an alternative now at a fraction of the cost.You only need a lathe or someone who can machine the horn for you.Another benefit is that for smaller containers it is possible to weld a small "bridge" over the top.Should be placed so the bottom is in the solder while top is above it.In many cases you will then be able to use this plate to heat up whatever you need to solder on.Like a glass plate where you would like to solder a wire to.Once up to temp turn the ultrasonic part on and use a normal soldering iron and flux flree solder.Works quite well for these small solar panel kits...Ok, and how far away is our cheap ultrasonic soldering iron?Not that far :)I already have a topic for this though....

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Extreme water cooling idea for computer chilling plus dust protection

I started to play around with some compressor cooling devices, otherwise known as fridges, freezers or airconditioners ;) As with everything it started with a lot of reading, some doing, more reading, well you get the point... Anyways, I am now running an old and portable split airconditioner on hydrocarbons instead of the already escaped R22 refrigerant. With all this experimenting I got reminded that my computer does not really like to do hard gaming work on these hot days. There are already a lot of infos out there on how to use water and/or heatpipes to cool your system. One thing that they all have in common is that you need a chiller to cool the water. Now, there are really tons of options here - from using an old bar fridge to hold the water up to big direct chillers that can be used 24/7 and cost a small fortune. Here in Victoria the weather might be more forgiving but up north the humidity will be your main enemy if you want to use any decent cooling system. Imagine 90% humitiy and the water condensing on pipes and coolers inside your computer... Some systems compensate here by using a temp of around 12°C at the lowest to minimise the risk of condensation. But I think we can do better for cheaper if we are willing to get dirty and salvage some scrap. If it also a great way to protect your computer in a dusty and hot workshop enviroment! Let me explain the thought: Considering the costs for a decent air cooled system over the expense for just a basic water cooling kit it might be worth spending the extra money otherwise. What makes a normal and not overclocked computer go too hot assuming it is clean and free from dust? Right - the outside temperature and how hard we actually use it. Normal systems are designed to work at a room temp between 18 and 24°C, we are often lucky to have it under 30 in the summer. Getting a CPU to just under 70° if the outside air is already over 30° is hard if not impossible. But what if the computer would be in one of these fancy server rooms that are kept at 16° throughout the year? Problem solved, just win the lottery to get your server room build. Step back a bit and think again ;) If we make an additional and well insulated enclosure to put the computer in we would only need to worry about making it pretty much air tight and keeping the inside always under 20°C. Now follow me to my imaginary shopping trip... First step is getting a decent sized cooler box - you can build your own of course I would go for these oversizes Esky chests. Next step is a visit to the local hard rubbish collection or scrap yard. We look for a bar fridge or water cooling tower that has a condenser that will fit on the side or back of our cooling box. Prefer something old running on R22 instead of R134a if you can. If the system already has one or two service ports for filling even better, otherwise see you get one from a different fridge or freezer. The fun starts back home where we now make a big mess. The cooling system needs to come apart and if not a tower the fridge around it has to go without damaging pipes or condensers. Perfect would be to have a working system and to keep it in this condition to avoid the illegal escape or refrigerant. It also make it easier than having to refill it again. On the other hand getting a system that is already professionally evacuated as most scrap yards now do anyway can make the modding easier - up to your skill set and options to have the system checked and filled. Once we have a naked cooling system we get the cold side into the cooler box. Either by creating a slot to slide it in or by feeding the hoses through holes if you plan to do your own thing in terms of testing and filling. The compressor part and "hot side" are mounted securely to the outside of the box. If you still have the thermostat working and connected you can now check your homebuild fridge. To get the computer inside you have several option, IMHO the easiest is use one big enough hole to get all cables to the outside. You want this hole to end up as airtight as possible, I found candle wax to be a good sealer if you place some painters tape on the box first. So far this was the easy part, the hard part is now to make sure the humidity inside the box stays as low as possible. When the compressor starts cooling the evaporator will go to very low temperatures, even if you set the thermostat to 10° the cold side will condese or even freeze the moisture in the air. Unlike with direct cooling option inside your computer we now have a "cold trap" outside the coputer that we use to our advantage! Easiest option here is to have a catchment under the cold side to collect the condensing water and to let it discharge through a small tube to the outside. Once the system was operating for a few days there should be no moisture left inside our box unless it is not properly sealed. At this point you could be tempted to just set the thermostat to the coldest possible - I advise against it! Imagine the inside of the box is below freezing - the capacitors won't like it to start with and since we now have all surface subcooled the moisture can condense everywhere not warm enough, including your mainboard. A temp of around 10°C should be more than enough for normal gaming and gives the compressor a chance to turn off every now and then so any ice can drop off and exit. If you like the idea use it and make a featured Instructable out of it, my time is too limited at the moment to get serious with this.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Magnetmotor - really impossible or just supressed?

When someone starts talking about a so called magnetmotor than most people judge right away.Laws of physics, perpetuum mobile is impossible, magnets are static....We all know the limitations nature puts on us... That however did not stop quite a few people since the 1950's to build working magnet motors. Or, to be precise: To make the claim, show them and then somehow disappear. A few though seem to have survived and even claim to make good business. Securely closed machine, stellite tracking and 24/7 online monitoring. Either just a bad and long running hoax or a real attempt to keep a secret secret. Even the somewhat famous Yildiz motor showed off around the world only to disappear.Some like them, some don't. Either way all this sounds like the perfect conspirary theory LOL So lets take a look on what is fake and what might be real but missing some vital clues. You can find several good Youtube channels created by people trying to build a working magnet motor. Some of them have no problems to admit failure and still keep trying and updating their projects. Did long enough and you see two outcomes. The first is giving up or "realising" that it will never work. The second often seems like a user is getting some relly good results and is really close to keep the magnetmotor running. Both disappear without and updates or traces. Now of course this is just confirmation that it will never work, but then again: What if it did already quite a few times? Even Tesla had patents for a magnetmotor and so far none of his patents were a hoax. Although none of his patents allow to actually build a working devices without some additional info and knowledge. And that is the key that I am trying to get: The lost knowledge.How can a magnetmotor never work? That one is quite simple from the start. If a linear model won't work no matter where you start then a rotary version will fail as well. And if a linear version works, it has to do so far at least 5 segments and with preferably increasing or at least constant speed. Having said that and assuming you know a little bit about magnetism: Ever wondered about shapes of magnets?? The common types are block, round like a bar and those disk like ones, some even with holes. A less well known version is the ring magnet. You can look them up as well as their corresponding magnetic field geometry - or what is assumed to be the right geometry. To give you a clue: All those floating spinning toys use a ring magnet in the base and onother one in the spinner. In the center is a dead zone for the magnetic field that is far lower than further out on the ring. And the strnger outer fields also reach further - giving the entire spinner a bowl like area to float on, the spinning just stabilises it like a gyroscope. A similar flat disk magnet wouldn't have this indentation in the field but rather a dome like sphere. The ring just kicks a dint into this sphere if you don't mind the simpification. Similar changes in the field structure happen when you combine two or more magnets. One example we all know is stacking identical smaller magnets. And often we are suprised how much stronger two thin disk magnets are compared to a single. Distance however sets a certain limit. And take those hook magnets... Just a small ring magnet in a metal pot with core. Remove the magnet and just by itself it is far weaker. Why? Quite simple.... The same way a transformer core directs the magnetic flow, the metal part of the hook magnet provides a shortcut for the magnetic field - and in return all is much stronger ;) Now you have some more clues, but still there are tons of options for failure... The most common is the sticking effect. No matter how well you planned and designed in most cases you linear or rotary prototype will stall sooner or later. Even if started manually at high speeds some seem to run very long but once they slow down and stop it is obvious they always stop where the magnetic field won't allow the binding effect to be overcome.Wouldn't dare to say that I have a working magnetmotor, but I might have some clues you want to try if you decide to give it a try yourself. So how COULD a magnetmotor actually work? Like in the Perendiv examples all over the web, you could aloow a moving responder to the rotor. Like a piston the responder will be lifted in areas it would otherwise limit or reduce the speed of the system. Well designed only a few mm would b required but it also means wasted energy to move the responder. Then there is the nice way of modifying fields by adding magnets in different angles and polarities. Lets say towards the end of your stages on the linear model it is hard to overcome the binding effect from the end of the previous stage. The perendiv model would now somehow change the distances. But you can also add magnets to lower the binding effect ;) Like a ring or hook magnet you can shape the field and offer a stronger repulsin field or a lower binding force. Last but certainly not least is the option of adding magnetic metals like iron or somehow weirder ones like bismuth. So, do we have any examples of something very common utilising any of this? We sure do :) Take a speaker apart and you end with the cage, the membrane, the actual work coil and the magnet. We don't need anything but the magnet so take a good and very close look. What in the audio world is called a shield to prevent the magnet from messing with things close by is exactly the same as on a hook magnet ;) Only difference is the tiny gap for the coil. The magnetic field is directed into two paths, one by the metal core, the other by the inner enclosure of the magnet or the magnet itself. The coil operates in the area of maximum flux.Last hints... If you take two identical and strong magnets with north or south facing up then it is quite hard to push them very close together. But check what happens if you try the same wen both soth poles (or both north poles) are placed on a magnetic surface - if in doubt your standard fridge door. Suddenly you can move much closer together with the same amout of force (not considering the added friction!). And similar story for opposing configurations. Where in free air or on a table the magnets would just jump together, on a metal plated you can move them much, much closer before this happens. Copper pipe and magnet fun :) Ideally you would have a straight copper pipe and a cylindrical magnet that has a loose fit in the pipe. Aluminium pipe work too or even a roll of aluminium foil if you have nothing else. A magnet in the pipe will travel very slow down the pipe, friction is not an issue here. So what is slowing it down? The magnet creates a field in the pipe and through that the pipe generates electicity. And funny enough this electricity creates an opposing magnetic field in the pipe - the magnet slows down. Even if you glue it onto a wooden stick it won't rush through it. Trying to push it by hand and you feel the created resistance. The faster you push, the harder it is to push! If you made it all the way down here with the reading then I have to assume you fit into one of three of my categories. a) You are a total sceptic and just read it for your amusement. If so, then please don't post a reply with usual negative feedback, instead see it as the same fun you had reading it ;) b) You are at least curious and like to play with magnets. In this case take the above as inspiration to explore more ways to have fun with your magnets! c) You are more or less frustated because you wasted a lot of time and some money to build a magnet motor that just won't work. A and B might go on and enjoy the fun, C however might want to read very attentive now ;) If you take some indicator sheet for magnetic fields, like these funny green ones, and play with moving magnets then you see a very interesting effect on the "screen". The otherwise static field lines change chape and sometimes even seem to disappear or shrink. With a small rotor assembly it almost looks like flashes when the magnets move past each other. This effect is often totally neglected and to be honest I overlooked it for a long time as well. Being able to see how the magnetic field changes gives the thing an whole new dimension so to speak. Creating a magnet with a complex shape is difficult to say the least. Only ferrite or ceramic ones can be used and you would cut of machine them according to your desired shape and with regards to the orginal center of the magnetic field. So most people revert to the classic way of shaping by adding magnets of various types, sizes and amounts. Modern neodymium magnets make this trial and error process easier as there are many sizes and strengths available. Add a detector shield of suitable size and you have hours of fun time ahead of you. But doing so in any rotary assembly is next to impossible. So what did Yildiz differently and what was missed so many times? Yildiz took it a step further and not only provided "shunts" to create very strong magnetic field from the generated electricity but also a second rotor. Since we all start small lets focus on the basics first. Remember the hook magnet and speaker or the copper pipe? Some examples for shape shifting your otherwise static magnetic fields: 1. A magnetic metal "connection" from one (low in the armature) pole to an opposing (high in the amature) pole with cause the field from the "high" pole to "bend" towards the connected magnet. 2. A magnet with an orientation of 90° to the last magnet is the sequence will severely influence the field of this last magnet! This goes for either orientations! 3. Adding a non-magnetic "shield" around a magnet, like a piece of copper pipe, will not affect the static field of the magnet. However it will severely alter the field of the enclosed magnet when another magnet passes it! It will also affect the overal field during the passing as the moving magnet will also induce a field in the copper by affecting the field of the enclosed magnet! Thickness and lenght of the shield influence the strength of these effects. 4. In a simple perendiv motor design the bar that creates the attraction for the spinning part is a magnet too. Either a long bar type or two small ones with an iron or nickel rod between them. There is no need for a piston or something that drives the bar up or out of the way ;) Just use the right magnet at the right spot on your rotor to repell the bar ;) Mount the ar with suitable springs and you suddenly can have multiple stages on your rotor instead of just the usual one! Don't forget the moving magnet on the opposing side of the segment in question though as otherwise you still will get stuck. (Hint: You can place a small but powerful magnet in the center of the opposing bar ;) Just make sure you limit the springs movement so the bar won't be pulled closer)Ok, hold on now! Does a magnet motor actually work or not? I can only give hints and say the laws of physics as we know them apply to magnetmotors the same way as everything else. Unlimeted motion without supplying energy is not possible. Limited motion with adding or using energy however is still possible and real. The same is true for being able to machine, 3D print or otherwise manufacture at very tight tolerence and accuracy levels. This includes bearings or bearing systems with very little friction losses. Just check these floting and rotating magnet toys that look like a spindle. Only a tiny needle like pin makes contact with a glass surface - next to no friction loss. A proper and supposedly working magnet motor should provide more energy than what it uses - one way or the other. No law of physics lets us get around the fact that such a motor could only keep spinning if the produced power or motion energy is at least the same as what is required to make it move. Magnets lose their strenght over time, they are like a very slowly depleting battery. So, isn't it funny that all magnet motors so far that claimed to work also had the requirement to replace the magnets once the things fails to work or start? And if you leave a very strong neodymium magnet shielded from outside fields or magnetic stuff than your grandkids will still find a quite strong magnet. Do a little performance test with your new magnets, like how much force is required is required to lift them off a steel plate. Make the same test with the magnets once you played around extensively with them in your motor. Now take a spare magnet that was never used from the orginal batch and compare both against each other ;) If the motor would not use energy then why are the magnets depleted to a certain degree, realted to runtime and usage time? Wait a minute! Does that now mean it actually works? Lets just say energy is certainly used. We only know similar effects from electromagnetic systems. But did anyone ever really check how much actual energy is in magnetic field generated by a non electric magnet? Get a good sized N52 neodymium magnet and check how much force is required to pull it off a steel surface. Now try to get the smallest sized electromagnet capable of that force and check how much energy it consumes at the level that equals the pulling force of the N52 magnet ;) Makes no sense to even try to compare these you will say now. I just say energy is energy and we were formed to only think in certain ways and don't even try silly things like this ;) To keep the fun up let us imagine we would actually have a similar energy available than what our electro magnet would require. In reality more because we wouldn't have electrical or flux related losses in the metal around the coil. Or is the imagined reality, no clue ;) If true it would mean even a motor with very bad efficiency would be able to create huge amounts of torque. Well, torque is basically acceleration. Which would mean our motor would not just be happy to spin, it would speed up until the bearing fail or the thing is ripped apart. Imagine a dental drill of that size and weight suddenly falling apart at full speed... Every example of motors claimed to be working, that are not fakes, seem to be happy no matter what the load is. It the thing turns a generator than it would have to slow down a bit with the increased load but they don't. With no limited factors otherwise this makes them a fake. Even a perfect motor would have to react to load changes.... Don't we agree that the stronger the magnetic force or field in a conductor the stronger the resulting magnetic and opposing field of the conductor? We use the difference to either drive a motor or take out electricity... But if you take the "open" shielding of a magnet in a changing field than the influence of the shield on the overall field gets stronger with stronger field changes. And properly desinged and orientated they would actually double as a natural limiter for the rotation speed. Once the electrical energy in the shield becomes too strong it will be able to cancel out the field of the enclosed magnet...If we assume a magnet motor is really possible and works with the intended output to keep it spinning or even take energy out: Then what would be possible downfalls that stop this thing happening in everyones garage? We can explore the stars but so far no one bothered to invent anything to visualise magnetic field in a 3 dimensional way other than by simulation. No realtime and true observation like this. The few working technologies that exist rely on sensors, interpretaion and filling in gaps. But imagine something like a detector shield as cloud! And then even better with selctive spacing to get a realtime view of where exactly the field lines go. All we can do is forget our teaching and try it out anyway ;) If by some mistake a magnet motor would really work right away, then chances are high the inventor would wonder why that thing takes off like mad and how to stop it. Unless well prepared it would certainly end in the destrution of the motor. But the inventor would know what to look for in the next prototype. The logical conclusion would be to the couple the energy taken to the speed while physically limittin the free load speed. The other one would be the design the electrical generator around the and within the motor. To even get close to this point you would have to spend endless days and nights working on finding a solution. The closer you get the more disappointment when the final model still fails to keep spinning for more than a few hours. Most people will then accept defeat and move on... Still not saying it actually works but if you made it to this point in time where it could be easier to move on and do other things:Ever wondered what would happen if you "shield" a magnet with a coil? Of course nothing would happen as we know. But try this in some fixed assembly that allows you move another magnet through the field of the shielded one. Perferably witha force gauge or some option to read out the energy required to move it through the various stages of the field. See what happens if you short the coil or add a resistor to it ;) Now if this coild is able to produce electricity then the more we use the more the effects on the required force would change. What do you think would happen if you combine common coil relations of electric motors to a "coil shielded" magnet motor? Right, all these coils would interact with the magnetic fields of the coils they are connected to... And through that with the overall field surrounding the enclosed magnet..... I leave up to you to imagine how these interacting coils could provide "resistance" or "acceleration"/"surplus electricity"...Like they say: You can only find out if you try ;) To keep up the positive thinking: A permanent magnet just sticks to any magnetic surface and does so with the same force. But the real energy loss in terms of getting weaker can almost be neglected. Any electromagnet capable of the same holding force woul require ongoing energy supplies to keep it up. It is using energy the same way the permanent magnet does! The difference is the permanent magnet is not seen as anything that would provide us with energy.... And if it can't provide energy other than passing through coils then why the heck does it keep sticking to the fridge year after year? It does require energy to keep this weight up doesn't it, even if you add a thin teflon disk and oil to reduce friction? ;) No magic, no "free energy" bogus, just plain physics viewed from a slightly different angle than what we learn in school ;) Have a good laugh and a good beer, then read it again and just consider some of the things here that are not mentioned in any literature about magnetism that we commonly use. Now I got you thinking, didn't I ? ;)

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Technology Makes Cheap Drinking Water from Air

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

Topic by RT-101    |  last reply