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Extend optical mouse range

Hi all, I'm wanting to make a jig for a production project requiring a sensitive optical measure of movement with a focal length of 5-10 mm. I thought an optical mouse might be a good start but the lenses in a few I've tried require the device to be too close. It needs to be no bigger than the electronics of a mouse. If anyone has a lens that could be perfect or other ideas I'd love to hear them. Thanks, D

Topic by Qball007    |  last reply

Need Some Advice

Hello everyone, Figured i'd introduce myself in the form of a whiny, nooby topic. Guys, I have to say, I came to this site out of boredom, but having looked over some of the stuff you guys make, some of it is beautiful. I'm only 18, and i've grown up in a very fast-paced modern world.  I have no idea where to even start when it comes to things like this, my expertise is in computers, and Facebook, which blows. I saw some of Steampunkworkshop's work, and I would love to have a go at making a few little things for myself, but I have no idea on what I would need to buy. My level of knowledge in this field is zero, I have a soldering iron, and a VERY basic set of tools (hammers, screwdrivers etc.) If someone could link me to some useful posts, or if someone could drop a few bits of advice for me, in fact, if the mood took you, i'd be quite happy to have some of you guys as a mentor. Anyway, let me know what you think, it's all much appreciated. Glad to be a part of the community, hopefully i'll be getting to know a few of you. Thanks, Lewis

Topic by Lewisrc    |  last reply

Guidance on making a model rocket engine?

First, I've seen both potassium nitrate and ammonium nitrate being used in rocket fuel. What are the differences? Second, how much temperature does a rocket nozzle need to withstand? Would JB Weld work for the nozzle?

Question by mykiscool    |  last reply

Guidance & Info about Quadcopter Project?

Hello everyone, I am working on a collision avoidance protocol for my masters thesis and need guidance and information especially from people who have done the same or similar project.The implementation is in two stages: 1. simulation (a) i want to construct a 6 dof quadcopter model in simulink (b) create the collision avoidance protocol with matlab and it will include: (i) ultrasonic range improvement protocol (ii) Kalman filter(for data fusion of ultrasonic and infrared sensor data) (b) I want to be able to integrate the collision algorithm created in matlab into the model created in simulink and test its functionality using simulink 3D animation. 2. Construction (a) i want to construct a quadcopter to validate all that has been done in the simulation. (b) I want it to be FPV type to record videos on flight. Please need your input as to how you think i should go about it from softwares, hardwares,simulation & construction etc.

Question by emmaotsapa2013    |  last reply

Guidance & Info about Quadcopter Project?

Greetings lads, I'm new in forum and since I made some research the past days I'd like to get some guidance about constructing & programming a Quadcopter from scratch since I'm completely new on a project like that. Quadcopter Frame: Thinking about to construct an aluminum 70cm diameter frame which will weight around 500g. What kind of motors should I get in order the frame with the board,motors etc. will be able to lift? Board: I'm thinking to use Arduino Uno or Raspberry Pi 2.0 ( With a little bit of research I made I conclude that Raspberry could make my life a little bit easier since you can add wifi on it. The quadcopter will be controlled via a pc/laptop through wifi). What can you suggest and why? ESC: As far as I've seen in most of similar projects people using ESCs in order to control the motors throttle. Can you avoid that, with programming PIDs that make the same job in order not to use more hardware? About PIDs and Code in General: Thinking about to simulate the whole project in Simulik, Matlab and somehow (if it's possible) to convert the Matlab Code into C++ and download it on the chip. What do you think about that? About the whole project: I'm trying to minmize the hardware as much as it's possible (use only 4x motors, the board with the chip on it, cables and probably some sensors) in order to minimize the total weight of construction and ofc the price. That's all for a start. I'm gladly waiting for your answers and ideas. Cheers  :)

Question by Gidovoskos    |  last reply

What do you regret the most? Answered

If you could have another go at life, what would you do differently?

Question by november21    |  last reply

Line counting sensor?

I have a group (20) of small robots that need to all end on a certain line in a grid. My question is how can I get each car to count the number of lines it crosses and when it reaches the right number it stops. The problem is I have a budget of $75 dollars to make the guidance for every car. If there was maybe some sort of central controller that would work for each or maybe it is just cheep enough to make a simple set-up for each one. Any comments or questions would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance, Zootsuitman

Question by zootsuitman    |  last reply

Instructables format

I think I have a good instructable to share, but it is quite big, lots of photos, couple videos and lots of work (thousands of solder joints, hundreds of wires). I realize there is a format to Instructables but not sure how to use the format with my own techniques. Eg, I use MS Word a lot, also Excel and Visio. I could make a complete "instructable" with Word and these programs but it wouldn't follow the format.I started an Instructable topic just to see how I can abide by the Instructables format. The first requirement is to upload photos. Does this mean the photos are all put in an album that I can choose later on when I write the text? How do I handle links to my YouTube videos? I have my own website so I know a little bit about page composition.Am I on the right track? Is there a preview available before publishing in case I really screw it up?My plan is to show all the mistakes I made (ie the WRONG way to do things), followed by the RIGHT way.

Question by queenidog    |  last reply

Any guidance to Filming and taking photos in the dark? Answered

Hey everyone ! I have been using my galaxy S3 for my Instructables photos and I keep running into a problem. When I am able to pour some good light on it, I can take some really nice photo's. but as soon as a try to take a picture of any of my Led projects (in the dark) the quality goes out the window! (I assume because it can't focus in the dark?) I included two of the good photos as a comparison the the Disco ball. **I still need to be able to take shots in the dark, to highlight the Led's / project lighting** Any thoughts on how I could Improve both photos and vid? (Preferably with my cell) I've tried with and without flash, different angles and even focused it with the lights on before turning them off to take the photo. Hopefully someone can offer me some guidance; These Pics really don't look nice >.< (Best answer given in about a week !)

Question by Wired_Mist    |  last reply

Rgb matrix, looking for some advice/guidance.?

Hi, its been quite some time since Ive been here. And I still have the same two projects in mind. However, the project im more focused on, is a 32x16 RGB led matrix. Made up of four sections. Im following the project by the two guys over at They arent very active and speak a different language so their english explanations arent as thorough as Im looking for so I figure id ask the people here :) So, the main questions I have: 1. What kind of material can I use to put the leds on? its like they use thick cardboard or wood. they drill all four holes per led so the legs go through. I want one big board instead of two.  2. What spacing would be good to make it look uniform, yet give enough space to solder?  3. How can I make the 4 controller boards to run it? - They sell them, but they arent cheap. And they dont deliver or sell to the US. So Ill have to make them somehow. I can provide images/part list of what they used.  4. What type of solder/soldering iron would I need? Obviously various temp. But what temps would be safe?  5. What power supply can I use? Ok so, any other info: -They used common anode LED's  -They connect the boards together via ethernet cable.  -They connect the led's together in four sections of 8x16, The anode is connected on each of the 8 rows. And the anodes on all the led's are connected on the 16 rows. If that doesnt make sense, the anodes are connected vertically, and all the cathodes are connected horizontally. -They connect the 48 cathode wires to ribbon cable, that goes to the controller board, same with the anode wires.   -They connect the boards to a Usb to UART connector -Lastly, Part list of one controller board:  HEXFET IRF7314 x4 TLC5940NT x 3 28 Pin IC-Socket 300mil x 4 Resistor SMD 0,25W 1% 10K x 10 Resistor SMD 0,25W 1% 2K2 x 8 Resistor SMD 0,25W 1% 2K x 3 Resistor SMD 0,25W 1% 220R x 2 Resisitor SMD 0,25W 1% 1K x 3 AtMega 328P x 1 74HC138 SMD x 1 Ceramic Capacitor 22pF, 20% x 2 Oscillator 16,0 MHz x 1 Pinheader 2x8 Pitch 2.54mm x 4 Jumper x 3 Pinheader 1x2 Pitch 2,54mm x 7 Modular Jack x 2 Ceramic Capacitor 100N, 20% x 5 Electrolytic Capacitor 680uF x 1 LED 5mm blue x 1 LED 5mm green x 1 Screw terminal 5.08mm x 1 If theres ANY more info required please ask. It said to be as detailed as possible.

Question by 'earl    |  last reply

hi all, i need the right advice and guidance ...

I want to build a pressure washer engine from the train engine but it is uncertain whether the pump is in accordance with the engine .. engine gasoline / 1298cc / 75bhp / 6000rpm / 108 torque ..

Question by HafizK4  

solar panel cooler party fun guidance on circuitry..

I am making a "party cooler" i want to add a fm radio and aux port and a usb charge station for atleast 3 devices one multi color time changing led and a removable flashlight white led for the inside (nothting fancy), i have 4 6x6 solar cells rated at .5v 3.5w 6.89a i also want to have the battery bank be able to be plugged in to the wall. i am having problems determining the type of battery to use in the bank (rechargable) i also want it to work for atleast 5 hours(not including device charging), (avg kegger/bonfire/beach fun). if anyone knows what i can add to this thing that would be helpfull. i was thinking of AA batts or possibly a few cell phone batts but if their is a better way. the speakers are 3w each running 5v i havent ben able to determine the fm reciever as of now. or a 3.0 usb charger do the volts and amps have to be specificly 4.7v 5a? or does the +- 25% still apply. if any one has any references to help with simple pcb or freeform wiring are most portable speakers/radios rated 5v? (was in a car accident, lost alot of brain buzz.. be nice (used to build beam bots :P) i would like to try to pick up the basics if anyone has any good refrences. circuit/ electric theory. 38 can cooler bigger rubber wheels will be putting the batt bank on the side under the handle.

Topic by CD_tatro    |  last reply

Newbe + Arduino Mega via codevision + AD9850 = Guidance needed?

Hello,Im very new to 'C' and codevision and have set myself a task to get a AD9850 module working. But there are two things in my way and they are understanding datasheets and writing C code. So first question would anyone help guide me through writing the necessary drivers? or is anyone aware of a web page with the necessary information. I have had the AD9850 working in the Arduino using 3rd party library. I would like to learn how to do this myself (with guidance) but I am a (young) family man with limited time to spend on myself, hence the call for guidance. I was thinking of using the SPI port to send the serial data out, tho this is different to how the arduino boys wire the module up. I know this isn't much information to go on but I am leaving up to you to ask me questions as to not make this intro too long and boring. Last thing is I am planing to post my experience on learning C using the arduino mega on the big bad web so the information might be useful to other newbies or add it to other someone else's site. Many thanks in advance.

Question by DELETED_MakiY2    |  last reply

need a little guidance with an arduino controlled CNC machine. help?

Ok so I am in the process of getting the axes set up, and theyre in a state that would allow me to test them. I am using the laser carriages from CD-ROM drives, so i know i wont get amazing build sizes, but that isnt the matter here. I've searched and searched and searched and have yet to really find definite instructions. The hardest part is going to be coding the arduino. I would like to use an ATmega16, but a 328 will work too. I intend on using L293D's to control my motors. they seem to work fine for on the bench testing, so with cooling in an enclosure i dont see why it wouldnt work. but I have no idea where to start with the coding. Ive seen references to GRBL, some reprap stuff, and a LOT of people being told basically "your method is stupid, buy these motor controllers and use my method", which i guess works well, but I dont have the money to buy the fancy motor controllers and the 293s seem to work fine. so, can someone point me in the right direction, or give me some pointers here please? I'd really appreciate it.

Question by zack247    |  last reply

Help/guidance needed: Seven colour laser spirograph with lens'

So I'm trying to make a seven colored laser Spirograph, with lens' (that turn the beam into a crosshair for example) and I can't for the life of me work out how to make it work properly. I can design it so that I either have the lens or the Spirograph, but I cannot make it so that the Spirograph fits through the barrel of the lens thread. I think my best option might be to have two holes in the front of the device or use concave mirrors, what do you guys think?

Topic by 5225jackiechanman    |  last reply

6th Sense Device (To Sense Magnetic Fields)

I saw a program not too long ago (I believe it was from the UK) about an experiment that was done in which they outfitted a participant with a device that contained a magnetometer, as well as some number of vibrating motors mounted on a belt along his waist. It was designed so that overtime, his brain interpreted this incoming data as a "new sense" which allowed him to literally FEEL the magnetic directionality of the Earth. I'd really like to try this for myself, but am no good doing electronics projects from scratch. (I need guidance)  So is there anyone here who is up to the challenge of attempting this, or can anyone at least show me how it might be possible to create this myself.  I'd love to augment my senses full time and become a super human. haha Thanks in advance for any and all help. -Nick

Topic by foxymcfox    |  last reply

Need guidance to build a lego based wifi controlled camera car

Dear ingenious makers,i forged the plan to make myself a wifi controlled lego car with camera support. the vision is to chase my cats and/or wife when i'm not at home.So far, I got the lego rc car assembled: It comes with a battery back (6xAA) and two motors to power the two tank chains individually.Now I´d like to replace the rc with a wifi module and add a camera. I have found some great inspirations here: --> powered by intel edison --> powered by NodeMCUI used to be a professional programmer, but i haven't touched source code in years. However, I think I'll manage with some guidance. With all the options, the tough part is how to even start...My questions:What platform (Arduino, Pi, Edison) would be the best? (I need to control two motors, stream a video and build a website i can use on a mobile device to view the stream and control the car)What components need to be purchased?Many thanks in advance,kamyrion

Question by kamyrion    |  last reply

Guidance needed - Need idea for elementary school Maker Faire - physical science station

Hi.Last year, I had the students build a scooter, create an obstacle course, run it through for our Maker Faire physical science station. It was fantastic. I'm looking for ideas for this year's activity. Criteria:- students must build something- students must physically do something with the built item- groups of 3-5 students- 30 min including disassembly All ideas are welcome!

Topic by MeganS136    |  last reply

Measuring Current of 24v dc motor

How to measure the max current of 24v dc motor.. please give me step by step guidance. many thanks

Topic by epple    |  last reply

What kinds of machines/tools are used to mass produce BULLETIN BOARDS mostly CORK used.

Want to manufacture BULLETIN BOARDS Mostly using CORK. Any guidance Thanks

Question by abcofficesupply    |  last reply

want to modernise attendance system in my college.

I want to make an instrument which can scan the bar code on student's id card, and put their attendance. Give me some guidance on this topic

Question by GovindS1    |  last reply

Wifi Signal Booster

I was wondering if old cellphone can be used as a wifi signal booster ? If yes what are the instructables. I am curious to know about it if it has not been tried yet i would like to get the guidance.

Topic by SamaritanWonders    |  last reply

Your Own Personal &quot;Bible&quot;

This is the only spiritual-guidance-book I need, and I made it myself! (I am actually serious about this.) Anyone else think they could write their own? L

Topic by lemonie    |  last reply

art welding

I want to get into art welding and don't have any welding experience. Where can I go to get welding instruction and guidance for small projects. I don't know the difference between a TIG, MIG, or Arc welders. Which one is the best to learn on?Not intrested in jewelry. Thanks

Topic by bouche    |  last reply

What is cheapest? Laser cutting, cnc, plasma cutting, or water?

I am in need a service to cut bulk loads of parts, I am just throwing this question on in hope that I can have a little bit of guidance. Thankyou

Question by KyleofAsgard    |  last reply

DIY shoe rack

I am trying to build a DIY shoe rack which can hold 30 pairs of footware. I am looking for building it using cardboard/plywood/metal pipes or all of the above. Any suggestions or guidance is appreciated. Thanks, Varun Raj

Question by rajblain    |  last reply

Found-Fabric suggestions for napkins? Answered

Wanted to make napkins and dish towels for new home.  Probably will try to reuse fabrics from local thrift stores / salvages. Since I haven't invested yet, I can go with guidance- if anyone has fabric suggestions for what works well.

Question by CrLz    |  last reply

see below

I've been trying to find instructions to make acoustical room dividers. I looked in guidelines, explore, and step by step; additionally when I tried to print just to see instruction again, it only did 1st page? Can you give me guidance? Myra

Question by myelor7813    |  last reply

fabric badges and embroidery- how to get started?

I want to make fabric badges, how do I get started? Do I buy a badge press? are they expense? I also want to start embroidering and not sure how to start! any guidance or interesting tips?

Question by nylon muffin    |  last reply

Inrush current limiting resistor size?

I am building an application where LED strip lights will be powered off a 12V DC battery and switched on and off using a magnetic reed switch. I've been finding that the reed switch often fails to turn off when the magnet is removed. Searching on the net suggests this is because the contacts are getting fused by a large inrush current and the suggested fix is to wire a resistor in series to prevent this - so far so good but I cannot find anywhere guidance on the rating of the resistor I should use - at least guidance I can understand - as far as I can tell a resistor as low as 1 ohm may be required but not sure if I have got this correct - anyone know? Thanks

Question by SeaF1    |  last reply

Help with basic relay/switch question.

I know nothing!!!! but I would like to know how to make a simple and cheap, battery operated LED light that has a timed/timer switch. I thought I would check with the experts here at Instructables! I need guidance as to parts, wiring etc. Here is the basic information on the project.... I would like to create a AA/AAA battery operated LED light that has some sort of timed relay or delay switch that will automatically shut the light off after 10 minutes or so. Simple and inexpensive is the goal. Some guidance as to what this type of switch/relay is called and where I might source them is appreciated. Thank you for any help!

Question by Gundog1007    |  last reply

too much damp.....dehumidifier has anyone made one?

I'm thinking of building a dehumidifier to deal with aspace of 120 cubic metres has anyone done one and can you give any guidance...... i searched on here and all i found was an instructable to build a bass fiddle?

Question by trapper23    |  last reply

bike light design help

Im trying to design a new light for night riding im using a 7 led array in the neighborhood of 1500lm with a 30deg wide beam of light but ive hit a bump in the road and would like some guidance in it so far my pictures are only a rough draft per say 

Topic by Pchefin    |  last reply

Simple singel-channel Event Recorder

I am a novice as far as data collection is concerned. I would like to make a PC-based Event Recorder that will simply record the time a switch is closed and then record the duration until the switch opens again. I would greatefully appreciate some guidance and advice.

Question by Humble Handyman    |  last reply

Service to transfer handwritten content to text and send via e-mail.

Hello, I wonder if you have any information or guidance on the following:- Is there a service which transfers content from handwritten letters, or in images, such as in a fax service, to typed text which can then be sent to an e-mail address? Would there be some sort of security / anonymity / privacy involved, as there is with e-mails and post? Many people who require help on benefits, housing (travellers, homeless) do not necessarily have access to a computer, yet most of this information and guidance is available online. This is great for those who have access, but what about for those who have not? I know of PO Boxes which give anonymity, but this only works from one person to another, and only with written material. Any ideas or suggestions of such a service would be much appreciated. Ephemerol9

Topic by Ephemerol9    |  last reply

which language have to use for project on android mobile os which application to choose?

Im in final year of IT engg n i want to do project n Android mopbile os i want some guidance about which lang to use n which app to choose please help me.....

Question by santosh walsetwar    |  last reply

how to build a coil gun

Good day , I would like to build a coil gun but I don't want to use the disposable camera method I want to build my circuit from scratch  , I'm asking for some guidance , can you help me please 

Question by franzakeem    |  last reply

Schematic and PCB layout

I saw a schematic from this is the schematic design and i tried to make a PCB layout and this is what i came up with the design is the layout correct? the blue line will likely be a jumper wire.. thanks in advance for the guidance.. =]

Question by gameshark888    |  last reply

How can I put an electric starter on a pull start Briggs and Stratton engine?

I'm 50 and have a herniated disk in my back. It hurts me to start my chipper/shredder. I'd like to put an electric starter on it, but need guidance as to type of starter motor, how to attach a battery, etc.

Question by njmcvicar    |  last reply

How to return to 'ible in progress?

I started creating an instructable in the new editor, saving as I went. I shut down my computer and went to take pictures to add to it. When I returned and opened up Instructables, I can't seem to find where my instructable in progress is. Any guidance is appreciated. And, yes, I feel a bit stupid.

Question by skistler    |  last reply

Tiger print Polymer clay cane tutorial, does anyone know of one?

I am new to the art of PC and would like to learn how to make a tiger print cane as well as any other animal prints.  Any help and guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Alison

Question by alison528    |  last reply

how to compare two stepper motors with the same torque based on other parameters like current, inductance etc? Answered

I am looking for NM 23, 425 oz-in stepper. I found two in eBay for the same price one from wantai and another from OSM, with different current, inductance, resistance and weight. I need guidance to select.

Question by saaddition    |  last reply

Shaping Cupcakes

Hello all! I need some guidance.   I am trying to bake cupcakes, but I want to bake them in the shape of coffee beans. I was considering using egg shaped pans (that usually sell around Easter), but unfortunately, it is not Easter, so they are not selling... Any advice on how to make baked goods in the shape I need? The image came from here.

Topic by Flintlock    |  last reply

How can i fit a foot operated switch for scrollsaw or bandsaw

I have asewing machine switch control that id like to fit to my scroll saw and bandsaw has anyone done this? can anyone give my any guidance even awiring schematic my saws are clarke items and the foot switch is from a brother sewing machine

Question by trapper23    |  last reply

RF transmitted power Legality / Codes. Answered

I'd like to power some LED devices "remotely" using transmitted power. I've seen there are Instructables related to this I'd like to create a power source that could energize a small LED circuit at a maximum distance of ~3 meters.  Even better, build an adaptive control, ensuring additional circuits are adequately powered, but design-limited to a safety max. My concern is to ensure the power source conforms to applicable United States regulations / codes.  I have a background in physics, but no experience in electrical engineering or contracting.  So I really don't know where to begin translating theory into device.  Can anyone suggest advice / guidance / starting references : What is the legality in the United states? Are there any codes that apply / regulate transmitted power? Pro tips? Muchas gracias for guidance and suggestions! CarLoz

Question by CrLz    |  last reply

Need a short distance range finder (<1m) that is 5v and puts out a 0-5v signal based on distance?

I'm trying to find a range finder that can measure distances less than 1 meter and puts out a 0-5v signal based on the range. It needs to refresh quickly and be accurate to +/- 2 cm. It is measuring distance to the ground which will be pretty flat. Thanks in advance for guidance. 

Question by LosV2    |  last reply

PVC gun?

I'm lookin to make an air powered pvc cannon/gun/bomb. I want an explosion!!! I just need uh... "guidance" (if thats a word) on how to make one. I don't need a 50lb, 10 ft long nuclear warhead. I'm lookin for small, simple, cheap, and all at the same time HIGH POWERED AND well... uh... slightly illegal, or something...

Question by Jacko13    |  last reply

Any One Have Ideal To Creat A Stun gun For Electronics Project.....if u Have Any Data hen Plz Share with Me?

Hi ;me Power Electronics Student.I Want To creat a stun gun For My Master ProjectLike This One (Click Below)Stun GunWant Guidance From All Fr......sIf A know Any Thing Then Plz Help Me Out.....

Question by powerfull    |  last reply