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Heated print beds - are they overrated gimmicks?

For years now I use my old, trusty Mega Prusa with the bare basics in terms of hardware. But basically every new printer out there comes with heated print beds and most users "upgrade" to one to get better quality prints. So I started to to check the reprap forums and other websites to find out why a heated would be a "must have". Quite a simple task you might think, but not so for someone who prints every material on a cold bed with success... What are the official pro statements for a heated bed? 1. Better bed adhesion of course. 2. Less warping of parts. 3. Far less problems with layer seperation. 4. Better print results. And of course there are a few more but not worth listing them. Why do I think most of the four statements are actually unrelated to using a heated bed? Bed adhesion is a matter of print material and surface of the bed / bed preperation, like tape, glue and such. If you filament peels off a cold bed with no adhesion at all it simply means the surface is either unclean or unsuited for the print material. Warping of parts happens because the material shrinks when it cools down, a heated bed is only able to keep a certain height of the print warm. Higher prints won't have any benefit in terms of better layer adhesion with a heated bed. Same goes for seperating layers. Unlike the common believe a heated bed does not fix this problem - it only masks it! Layers seperate because there is not enough bonging between them. This can be due to insuffient extrusion width, too high print layers, wrong print temperature and of course wrong z-axis stepping and wrong extrusion multiplicator. And how good a print comes out of your printer depends on a good calibration and proper print settings - again a heated bed only masks problems ;) Ok, so heated beds are nonsense, right? Well, wrong again ;) They take a lot of worry out of the daily print life to start with. Especially prints with big foot print will benefit, although PLA should never be a problem on a cold bed. If you print long parts in ABS or even Nylon you can have a hard time forcing the plastic to stay on the bed all around the print. A heated bed, with the right settings of course, can make sure your print keeps the shape until it is high enough so the bottom part won't be affected by shrinking anymore. My opinion on how to get the best results... Manage to print on a cold bed first! Smaller parts don't need a heated bed anyway, so use them to improve on your skills of finding the perfect bed material / coating! You will find that once you have really optimised your printer and settings most parts won't need a heated bed anymore. Once you are really happy with the result of smaller prints on a cold bed try something bigger and pay close attention to any problems on the way. For example a big print might start out perfectly but after about 5-10mm of print height you see the part starts to warp and slowly peels of the print bed - especially long parts or thin areas are affected. The infill also affects how a parts reacts during the cooling, so try the same problem print with solid infill as well as only 15% infill to compare - you can stop the print once the problem is identified, don't waste filament. Now comes the magic of the heated bed... You want the temp as low as possible but still high enough to prevent the warping! Why go low if high would help more?? Simply said: If the bed is too hot the part stays soft for a long time, which can badly affect layer bonding and shape. Imagine you squish the plastic on an already "hard" layer - the plastic is pressed flat to be within the set specs. Now if the the layer is still too hot and soft the plastic will push the lower layer in - which of course will expand outwards. So the layer can actually end up to be lower than it should be - layer will still peel ;) Start with around 50° C for ABS and turn the heat down gradually every 10 layers or 25 if you print really thin layers. If the part still prefers to warp go 10 degrees higher. But again: If the stuff would not stick properly on a cold bed work on that first! How do I print on a cold bed and claim it works fine? To be honest, with a lot of time spent on trying, calibrating and finding the right "magic" to put on the glass to make things stick. Nylon, if the part is big, can still be a frustrating task unless cardboard or Bakelite is used but I still prefer the glass bed. I no longer bother with tapes as it can be costly and I hate changing the entire setup just because I use a different material ;) As said, the main key is a proper calibration of hard- and software! If your prints look messy and you spend as much time cleaning your parts as printing them you know what I mean ;) At the moment my "bed magic" is a clear craft glue with methanol as a solvent, mine is from Aldi but similar products can be found in every craft store. The bed is sanded with 600 grid diamond blocks to be as flat as possible and to provide a bigger surface area for the glue. When mostly printing Nylon is first clean the bed with alcohol and put a layer of plastic primer on it before re-applying the glue. With the right temp settings this glue surface can be reused several times with increasing bond to the part. Once the glue start peeling off the bed it cut the area clean and apply another coat just in the spot. A single bottle of craft glue, diluted down by 20%, lasted now about 3 rolls of filament - not too bad for a 2$ investment LOL Seriously though, squeeky clean your glass bed using alcohol and / or acetone and play with different types of craft glue. You want the stuff that is clear and uses either methanol or ethanol as the solvent, don't bother with water based glues! If the glue sticks well to your part but peels off the bed easily try a layer of plastic primer on the bed first - do this outside! However, if your printer is only capable of using PLA anyway you might not want to bother at all and stick to tape ;)

Topic by Downunder35m  


selective room heating?

I just turned on the heat before going into my room to go to bed. My roommate and I are in about one fourth of the whole house (and will be for about six hours), yet every room is being heated. This seems like a huge efficiency problem. Are there commercial systems out there that can heat selective rooms? If not, are there ways of making such a system? Can I just tape cardboard over the vents?

Topic by moisture    |  last reply


Vacuum forming heat source

Hi! I am planning to build a vacuum forming machine that does not use a seperate oven to heat the plastic. For my 3D printing hobby I have come across many heated beds, also some on 230v. Could something like this (https://www.ebay.com/itm/30X30CM-750W-220V-Silicone-Heater-3D-Printer-Heated-Bed-Pad-30cm-Thermistor/401257671771?hash=item5d6cd22c5b:g:iVEAAOSwx6pYrp70) with a heat sink be used for such an application? Thanks!

Topic by ttreurniet    |  last reply


Refrigerated Dog Bed

Ahoy-hoy, My first post on Instructables! Anyhow, we own a 10-month old Great Pyrenees and live in the drought stricken and warm Southern California climate. As summer approaches we have been looking at options to help keep her cool and we haven't had the greatest of luck with cooling beds available on the market, our Coonhound tore up the first one as a 50 lb pup during his first summer. I was thinking about potentially re-purposing an old mini-fridge coolant system into a cooling bed. My very initial thoughts are as follows: 1. Salvage working mini-fridge 2. Disassemble cooling system 3. Create bed surface using sheet metal (our Pyr won't sleep on the any of the multiple plush beds available to her, only concrete or dirt) 4. Create mount base for bed, ideal scenario would have a force sensitive switch that would only turn on refrigeration unit when dog is on the bed. 5. Thermally attach refrigerator expander coils to the underside of the bed, most likely via solder but could bolt together with thermally conductive paste 6. Rig up an enclosure and support structure for the compressor, heat exchange coils, and electronics. I imagine the bed surface resembling the weight scales at the vet but with some provisions to attach a padded fabric cover. Things to be addressed: 1. Ensuring proper temperature regulation...she has a thick durable coat but don't want to over due things. Temperature feedback shouldn't not be too much of a hurdle using an Arduino or using the existing "twisty-turny" nob in the fridge 2. Properly disassembling the salvaged fridge, don't want to unnecessarily release the refrigerant and defeat the whole purpose 3. Make this thing sturdy enough to survive the wear and tear of one and/or probably two 85 lb plus dogs Is this too far fetched (no pun intended, my dogs aren't retrievers)? Any thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Rich 

Topic by richardwdyer    |  last reply


3D printing stand alone heated bed controller with Arduino?

So I saw a video today with the 3D printing nerd and he showcased his gmax 3D printer with and a new heated bed, and it had a seprate heated bed controller. The video here in case you want to view it, http://youtu.be/ohPhMVtxsK4 and gcreates website for the heated bed itself, https://shop.gcreate.com/products/heated-bed-and-digital-controller. So as you may have seen this is a pretty expensive bed and to large for what I need my question is could I duplicate this and have a heated bed being controlled with an Arduino with temp sensors and solid stat relays to heat the bed up faster? Is it really possible I'm fairly new with Arduino don't know how to use it but I do know a lot about it, and I know the 3D printer controller board does this but I think having something as a separate system to heat and monitor the bed just feels like less stress on the printer to work and I feel like I would have more controll overall of the bed. So if anyone could help me with this and even help with writing the code or show me where I could learn this myself I'd be willing to make my own instructable for others wanting to do the same and with due credit where anyone could help.  Probably asking to much but been on my mind to have a better heated bed overall and after seeing this today I have the idea just need help on Arduino side!

Question by ad5000    |  last reply


Solar heating during the winter?

My hose is badly insulated and leaks everyhwere.And being a renal there is only so much I can do to fix certain issues.After looking at some modern designs for heat pumps in homes and how they claim to be able to provide hot water from the sun during the winter I started to wonder...Has anyone in colder climates a solor hot water thingy on their roof?I know hey work really great during the summr to keep the costs for hot water down but how do they perform at temperatures between 0 and 15°C ?How much water can they then still warm up and how quickly?Can you provide some real life numbers from your system, preferaby in above conditions or below thse temps?Why am I thinking about slor hot water systems in the winter ayway you wonder?Well, the Aussie sun still has a decent bite during the sunny winter times.Even on a 5° day the inside of yur car gets cosy warm quickly if you left it in the sun.I start my day in the middle of the night when most people turn arund and go for a few more hours.Means early bed times as well :(You see the problem ?You wake up and he house is freezing cold but it makes no sense to turn the heater on for the 30 inutes until you leave for work.Then you come home to a still freezing home and turn the heater on until you go to bed.Wouldn't it be great to be able get few more degrees inside by utilising a solar hot water system and a radiator in one of the rooms?....And with the entire "excess" of a solar hot water system one could even consider using the storage tank to get heated during the day to be used for a few hours when the sun is gone to give the real heater a break...Any thoughts or user experience with similar?

Question by Downunder35m    |  last reply


how to make a water bed for dog? Answered

I want to build my dog a water bed that is just like a regular water bed. i wanted it to be heated and all. i have a water bed that my dog loves but i am having to get rid of it. the dog is a toy poodle so wont have to be to big. if you have any suggestions please tell me them. i can use my current water bed for parts.

Question by mstudinger    |  last reply


What kind of material can I use to make my wooden canopy bed look more modern?

I have a canopy bed that is made of round wooden poles, varying in diameter from 2 1/2" to 5". I'm really not very fond of the wood grain look and it doesn't match my room at all. I really don't want to paint it because the wood grain will show through and it will look terrible.  (In this case, trust me) My original idea was to cover the poles in white heat shrink tubing (similar to what's used for electrical wiring) This idea was squashed because I couldn't find anyone that sells white shrink wrap tubing big enough to be used over 5" poles, and without selling it in a massive bulk.  My next idea was to slide furniture grade pvc over it, which would give it a strong, glossy finish.  And the wood would basically act as a support for the pvc.  But again, I was unsuccessful.  This time I came to realize that I can't find anyone who makes furniture grade pvc larger than 2" ID. I'm now drawing a blank.  Again, I really don't want to simply paint it, because I don't want the wood grain to show through. I'm sorry, I don't have a picture because the bed is currently disassembled.  It's too hideous for me to assemble in my room right now. 

Question by gossumx    |  last reply


Why do prints on Repetier Host not start, when manual heating and motor controls work?

I am running a RAMPS board Prusa i3 on the newest version of Repetier Host, and everything worked fine on the last computer I had. I set Repetier up on a new computer, and everything functions as it should except that when I try to start a print, it says a print is in progress, but it's not printing. The stop/pause buttons are there as if a print is in progress, the bottom right corner forever says its printing layer 0, and the manual control window does not show a print in progress. Testing has indicated that the motors and heaters respond correctly when using manual controls, so the problem isn't the connection, baud rate, etc. Nothing was changed in terms of the hardware or firmware of the printer itself. The print runs fine using the virtual printer simulation. I also tried deselecting the box for "check extruder and bed temperature". Does anyone know what would cause the print to fail to start?

Question by AmpOwl    |  last reply


Help reducing energy bills in rented house?

Hello! I have lived in the same house for the past two years, and in the winter our energy bills get ridiculous. It is an old house, the main part being built in 1902. We plan on doing the bubble-wrap window insulation on every window in the house and adding some weather stripping, wearing layers ourselves, and I plan on getting an electric blanket in my room to turn on just before I go to bed, and turn off once the bed is heated up. (My room is the only room on the 2nd floor and gets very cold. The previous tenant of this room used a space heater, but I think they are pretty inefficient.) Are there any other cheap ways to lower heating costs? They guy that owns our house is really stingy, and I highly doubt any requests for better insulation or a newer thermostat will be answered. Thanks in advance!

Topic by GraduallyGreener    |  last reply


Stay Warmer At Night

We keep a kind of chilly house in winter . Sweaters and sweatshirts are expected, except for company.  In our area, we heat and cook with natural gas and that is cheaper than electricity. But the cheapest heat is residual from cooking . So a kettle is always on for tea whenever wished. And most nights we bake potatoes unless the daughter bakes brownies or something. And, in addition to that we will stick bricks in the oven. Come bedtime, the bricks get wrapped up in towels and put in the bed. where toes can cling to the brick and other toes. Best strategy for bricks is to bake them at 175 for a couple of hours.  Please spare the obvious comments, but please make other homey suggestions.

Topic by Wilmette    |  last reply


Anyone have ideas for mosquito netting a bed when you can't hang the net from the ceiling?

I'm staying in a room in Southern Mexico with no AC for the next couple months. There is a lot of Dengue and Chagas  transmission here, so I'm worried about the bugs. We leave the windows open at night because of the heat, and do not have screens for them. Even if we did have screens the insects could get in through the substantial cracks in the doors. I think netting the bed is the best idea, but I can't hang the net from the ceiling. It is too high, and the owner of the house wouldn't let me screw any eye hooks into it even if I had access to a ladder to get to it. I have been thinking about building a frame around the bed that I could hang the net from, but I don't have any tools here with me and would prefer a simpler solution if I can find one. Maybe even something like a couple wire arches over the bed to drape the net over, but I'm not sure what material would be best for that.  I'm not super handy, so I'm hoping you guys can help me out with some ideas!

Question by Daphnesilke    |  last reply


Is there a relay that uses a 110v trigger for a 12v output? Answered

I know that this is probably the most backwards way to do things (and yes, I know, probably extremely stupid [but I'm also new to relays..]) , but I am in the process of trying to make a heated platform for my RepRap (I have gen 6, thus the reason for this). I have a PID controller, and I have the board running off an ATX power supply. So, what I would like to know if there is a relay that can use the 110v the PID controller to turn on/off the power from the ATX to the heat bed.  Thanks in advance! 

Question by DoctorWoo    |  last reply


CR-10S 500mm x 500mm printing issues?

I am printing with a CR-10S 500mm x 500mm x 500mm heat bed printing surface. I am printing a 300mm vase. The base of vase looks perfect, smooth and without flaws but the upper portion is printing with gaps, separation between layers and the fill looks thinner and shreaded. How can I adjust the printer settings to print the entire vas as the bottom portion appears. Thank you, Tony.

Question by tonybloomfield  


(dual extruder Nozzle alignment fix

Don't know if anyone actually has similar problems or if it is just me again...Anyway... :I had a bad block in one of my nozzles and no trick was able to free it.Only option left was a full teardown, burning out the nozzle and cleaning it all before assembling.But of course what followed next can also happen if you just took or a nozzle off or replaced it for a different diameter.I did the bed leveling and noticed that suddenly the cleaned nozzle was slightly lower than the other nozzle.And I did not even tighten it up yet as I was waiting for heating up to finnish.Wasn't much of a difference, just enough to be noticable during the leveling.Printed fine until I tried a lower layer height :(Printing with the lower nozzle was fine.Printing with the higher nozzle and the lower one would in some places bump into the printed layer.If you had this happen to you then you know it only gets worse from there.Won't bother you with the long story of failed attempts to get both nozzle really at the same height...I cleaned the outside of bothe nozzles, heated them up and retracted the filament so there won't be any oozing onto the clean nozzles.Once cooled down I used a sheet of fine (1000 grit) sandpaper for the "leveling".With just a tiny bit pof pressure (adjusting the bed screws) I started to sand down the lower nozzle.Once the paper started to touch the higher one I had a look and continued until I had a clean and flat finnish on both nozzles.A it of polishing compound onto a business card and as before I used it to polish the nozzles during a fake bed level operation.Why didn't I do this earlier?The prints come out now with a surface finnish better than ever before.And how would have though that 20 odd kg of filament would take a toll on a nozzle? ;)

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Sydney Opera House on wheels!

I live in a semi-rural area.  We are hours from a decent motorway, but hip-deep in caravan parks. Given the UK law that limits trailers to 50mph, I am generally disapproving of anything towed. However, this trailer tent designed by Axel Enthoven is a thing of beauty and luxury. The Opera trailer tent has features including central heating, teak flooring (and a veranda!), ceramic toilet, electrically adjustable twin beds (which can be joined into a double), kitchen sink (of course), onboard water boiler (which supplies a fountain?), fridge and low-energy LED lighting “from awning to floor” (yes there are uplights!). Unfortunately, beauty has a price - €24,000 puts it in the price-range of campers with engines and no restriction to 50mph... Your Suite in Nature via Notcot.

Topic by Kiteman    |  last reply


"dry box" for drying clothes in humid weather

Hi all,I'm thinking of building something helping me to dry my laundry in the amazingly wet weather that I'm getting in the place I live now.I searched instructables for a while, but did not find anything that really applies. This might be due to the fact that I'm both new to instructables, and not a native English speaker. I might be using the wrong keywords.So I live in a very humid and foggy place, and it's winter now. When I hang my clothes out to dry, the process takes ages. Sometimes I think it might be working backwards: the clothes become wetter. Also, an unpleasant byproduct is that my clothes become smelly, despite they are clean. Sometimes, as a last resort, I hang my clothes inside the house. But my house is very small, and I do not really have a place for the clothes hanger. Plus, the house gets very humid and I am afraid I'm going to get mold. On the other hand, I have a rather large balcony, with a lot of place for the clothes hanger.Of course I could buy a clothes dryer. I actually use a coin-operated one for large items, such as bed sheets and large towels. But I'd rather not use a tumble dryer for my clothes.However I recently learned about heat recovery ventilation for houses, and I started wondering whether the same concept could be used to build a small-ish enclosure (a box) where air is kept warmer and dyer than outside, possibily in a controlled manner. Also, it would be very nice to get energy from the sun. Surely the walls of this box could be transparent, or black, to create some kind of greenhouse effect. Then I need a fan, to have the air circulating. The air could go through a heat recovery unit. This could probably solar-powered. On the other hand, I am not sure that solar panels would be helpful for heating the inside of the box by night (energy should be of course stored, but I do not think that would be enough).I see that something similar to what I'm thinking about is already on sale e.g. on amazon. These are called "portable clothes dryers", but they do not seem really optimized. They look like a combination of a hair dryer, a clothes rack and a tent. I do not think there is a real heat exchanger, or humidity control...Plus, they do not seem really safe, especially if operated outdoors.Can someone give me some advice, e.g. pointing me to projects that use similar ideas possibly for different purposes?Thanks a lotFrancesco

Topic by pieffebi    |  last reply


3D Printers for Peace competition - ideas that benefit humanity

Michigan Tech University has opened a 3D printing contest: Printers for Peace! They are challenging the 3D printing community to design things that advance the cause of peace. This is an open-ended contest, but if you’d like some ideas, ask yourself what Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, or Gandhi would make if they’d had access to 3D printing! Prizes:   1st Prize Fully assembled, open-source Type A Machines Series 1 3D Printer The Series 1 recently won best in class in the Make: Ultimate Guide to 3-D Printing. It has a 9-by-9-by-9-inch build volume, prints at 90mm/sec in PLA, ABS and PVA with 0.1mm resolution. 2nd Prize Michigan Tech’s MOST version of the RepRap Prusa Mendel open-source 3D printer kit The RepRap can be built in a weekend. It has a 7.8–by-7.8-by-6.8-inch build volume on a heated bed, prints comfortably at 80 mm/sec ABS, 45 mm/sec PLA, HDPE and PVA with 0.1 mm resolution. 3rd Prize MatterHackers sampler pack: MatterHackers sampler pack of 3-D printer materials of 3 PRO Series PLA spools, Laywoo-D3, Nylon, and Soft PLA. Anyone in the United States or Canada (excluding judges and their relatives) is welcome to enter. Contest closes September 1, 2013. For more information and to enter visit the Michigan Tech site 

Topic by Ivana_Zelenika  


Road Rash

Alright, folks. It's story time. What sorts of crashes have you (or anyone else you know) been involved in while riding a bike? Has anything ever spectacularly malfunctioned with a motorcycle, scooter, or other two or three-wheeled monstrosity? Seen a big crash? Ever bought a bike that had been wrecked? I've got a couple of stories. Which one to tell first..... Oh, I know! One time our '39 Chief set the garage on fire. This was back in the '60s after my grandpa had bought it for my dad, for a hundred bucks cash. 20 year old collector's motorcycle for that kind of money? What was wrong with it, you ask? A lot of things. It needed restoring, and Gramps ran a hotel at the time, and, in his spare time, an Indian museum. Both of the Native American sort and of the American iron sort. Parts were found, damage was fixed, and the bike given a fresh coat of Indian Red before it was fired up. Ran like a dream. Happy, they shut it off and went to bed. Now at this time, that garage was heated by a gas heater. The cork float in the bike's carb swelled up and got stuck, continuing to let gas fill the float bowl, run out the intake, across the floor, and... you guessed it, over to the pilot light. It was a flash fire, but it destroyed the curtains on the door and put a solid layer of char on that brand new purdy paint. Not much else in the garage was flammable, so the fire died nice and quick. The next morning, grandpa and my dad got up bright and early to get to work on the finishing touches, like air in the tires and a test ride. The found quite a suprise, to say the least.

Topic by Rishnai    |  last reply


My iRobot Create Idea...

My iRobot Create Challenge idea is this: Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and needed to use the restroom or get a glass of water? You don't want to turn on the lights because you don't want to deal with the brightness and waiting for your eyes to adjust. At the same time, you can't see where you're going, and you don't want to run into things, or worse, stub your toes on some harsh corner. The solution? Have a little guide robot. Built on the iCreate platform, the "NightGuide" (as I call it) will be able to record a path from your bedside to the kitchen, the bathroom, or anywhere you might like. When you wake up, you simply press a button on the robot to select a destination. the robot turns on low-level lights towards the ground and guides you quickly to your destination. Once it's reached the destination, it stops and awaits orders. When you're ready to go back to bed, you press a button and it leads you safely back to bed. What happens if it runs into something? Should the robot run into something while it's leading you, it stops, and increases the light it's providing to give you a view of what's in the way. Move it out of the way, and a sensor tells the robot it's a clear path ahead, you continue to your destination unimpeded. The distance and direction are handled by the Create's internal systems. Additionally, starting and stopping points can be defined by a device similar to the virtual walls utilized with iRobot's Roomba vacuum. IDEA #2 I just came up with this one, So I thought I would append it. My second Idea is to use the iRobot Create to make an item finder. Utilizing RFID information, you could place a tag on anything that you might use. Your Keys, your phone, the TV remotes, whatever. When you realize something is missing, you turn the Robot on and off it goes, when it comes near, it beeps to get your attention and give you a better idea of where to look for what it is you're looking for. IDEA #3 These just pop in my Head, so I hope it's okay to continue attaching. I was thinking about my 5 year old niece and ways to keep her occupied. For a 5 year old, what could be more fun than a robot that plays hide and seek with you? Either through use of an IR sensor, or a pyro-electric sensor, the robot would be able to find a person through heat detection. Or in another option, an RFID tag would be put on the person and the Robot could find using that. In order for the robot to Hide, it could use proximity sensors (Sonar or IR) and a photovoltic sensor to find a small dark space where it could hide, and off your 5 year old niece goes off to find it. If that's too difficult, a Marko Polo system could be introduced In which you could call out to the Robot, which it would respond with an audible tone. If that's too difficult, a wireless button press could make the robot respond with a tone. Upon finding the robot, you press a button to reset it, and play again!

Topic by aarone    |  last reply


What is wrong with my girlfriends ear?

Me and her went to go eat lunch/dinner at her dads. On the way there, she said her ear was hurting and it was red (hour: 1). (hour 2) now her ear was throbbing and she was basically crying when I touch it and it was starting to look like a burn. I was thinking that it was from her curling iron, but she said she didn't touch it. (hour 4) after lunch/dinner we go to her moms house to hang out and her ear is still throbbing and has a white burn like mark on her ear cartilage. (hour 4.5) she puts ice on it and still hurts, after about 10 minutes after the ice, it started to ooze out some green pus like discharge, yes from her cartilage. she doesn't have it pierced. it seriously looks like it could had been from a curling iron except for the discharge... so she takes some pain killers and tries to go to bed. (hour 5) me and her mom take her to go to the hospital to see what is going on when she it was hurting so bad she was literally crying.(hour 5.25 - 7) we wait in the lobby to be checked out by the doctor, in that time, she was in so much pain that she barely talked. and if we did, she didn't want to talk about her ear with the discharge still oozing out.(hour 7.5) doctor evaluated that its an infection of some sort but has never seen it, so he prescribes her some antibiotic pills and drops. the drops to be put directly onto the sore.(hour 15) in the morning she shows me her ear and it was kinda dried up, but still pretty liquidy. it looked the same for about the rest of the day. she said that it wasn't hurting as near as bad and i could actually touch it and not have her cry or wince in pain. What could this be? and how and why did it happen in less than 12 hours? could it be from the curling iron but just a weird reaction to heat? I will see if I can get some pictures from her to post. but this is what she said hopefully about the ones on her phone (i took some with her ipod) "I deleted them because they are gross."... understandable because they were... very...

Question by Ekzile    |  last reply


Fighting with Nylon ;)

As some might know I still use an old Gen1 Prusa but love the challenge of basically getting everything done with that oldie. One of my latest challenges of "always" printing on a cold bed includes Nylon. If you ever had troubles because you ABS or PLA filament got too moist you will already know what happens to your print... Nylon is even worse when it comes to moisture as you can't see or really feel it. I was thinking of making a complete Nylon guide as an Instructable but think I will start here to kick off some discussion first. So, we know the Nylon must be really dry for a god print as otherwise we get bubbles, bad adhesion and of course a foamy looking print. Well, not really... Let me explain: A perfectly smooth and shiny finnish is not always required, and with the right settings Nylon still forms strong bonds even with a foamy look. However, the dimensions of parts are affected as well - outside dimensions go bigger and hole diameters smaller. If that is no issue for your print then there is no real need to perfectly dry your filament ;) Speaking of drying: People use all sorts of methods to dry their filament, not just Nylon. One of the most common and most expensive seems to be the use of your oven for several hours to dry it. Another way involves food dyhydrators, bit less on the energy bill but still... Then we have the smart guys using the sun and silaca gel for the drying - good and great but so useless in cold and wet climates... My advise here: Take your time! I mean, sure you want to print right after the filament arrived in your letter box but a bit of preperation will save you filament and frustration. Usually filament comes in a sealed bag with a pack of silica gel and it should be dry and ready to use. But Nylon can become too moist within the time it takes to finnish a long print if you are in a wet climate. This means you start printing and all is good but the next day your new print looks ugly as for no real reason. Make use of these sealed storage containers. Put the filament in there with a good amount of indicating silica gel and only have a hole to feed the filament through - if in doubt use a bowden fitting and a short lenght of teflon tube to prevent friction. A piece of sticky tape over the hole when you don't use the filament and the filament is always ready to use. Reminds me to make an Ible for a suitable storage solution with spool holder... Anyway... When it finally comes to print Nylon you should know cardboard works best as a bed as Nylon sticks really well to it. I glue mine onto a layer of masking tape, this way it won't lift from the bed and I can still replace it very easy. But the most common mistake with Nylon is to print it too fast. The stuff really expands and shrinks a lot from filament to print and high speeds only too often cause the layers to seperate later on. Some people compensate with higher temperatures but I don't like the idea of fitting a filter system with activated carbon filters... Also keep in mind the intense shrinkage when setting the extrusion multiplier! If your ABS prints fine with 0.85 you can expect that the same sized Nylon prints fine somewhere in the range of 55-60! Now you also know why printing with thick layers is not such a great idea if you require all dimensions to fit. Although only outside accuracy can be done by cheating in the settings, getting outside, inside and extrusion widths settings accurate is almost rocket sience ;) Nylon is expensive or not available here in the diameter I require.... I had the same trouble and reverted to trimmer line and a modified, dedicated hotend instead. Why dedicated you wonder? Nylon can be real pain to clean as nothing dissolves and if you heat the parts hot enough to melt it you can not work easy with them. Having a decicated hotend means you won't run into the problem of burnt ABS or PLA clogging the nozzle ;) It also means you can match the hotend to the trimmer line you choice (more on that in a minute). For example, in some areas trimmer line of 2mm or 3.3mm diameter is the most popular and cheapest. Just drill out the hotend to cater for the new diameter, which I did after noticing the filament got stuck in the neck of the cold end ;) Trimmer line - does it matter which one? It does these days! Avoid everything that is not round or labeled with terms like "duracore", "dual core", "multi layer"  -basically all that indicates it is not just a single, solid stand of Nylon. Long lasting, special core line is great for your lawn trimmer but really bad for your hotend! PET, High temp nylon or even fibre re-inforced cores are in use, so in the best case you mix the nylon with overheating PET, in the worst you block your nozzle permanently. If it looks like it has a core or some sort of "mantle" around it, it means not usable.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


3D printing filament recycling guide

If you print a lot then you also have a lot of plastic to waste.Support structures, brims, failed parts....At some stage you start to wonder if it makes sense to invest into a filament extruder.A filament extruder is a simple way to make you own filament.A 25kg bag of granules in ABS cost only a few bucks and it will last like forever.It also the prefered choice for a plastic extruder of any sort - fresh, new and clean material!I do collect a lot of leftover plastic from my projects, is it worth getting a machine to recycle it?Trust the advertisements of the commercially available models you buy one right away - if you can afford it...But there is always a catch!What are the basic requirements when collecting you already used filament?It would be easier to state what you should avoid at all costs, so let me start with the most forgiving filament types - ABS and PLA....Both will require that you keep your filament clean at all costs.You want dust removed before the filament even enters you print head and same for all that you want to recycle.Conatminents are the biggest deal breaker when you recycle filament!!!That means parts of dissimilar materials,like when printing with two heads are just rubbish and go in the recycling bin outside.The difference between ABS and PLS for recycling comes with the material properties.ABS, if not printed too hot does not change too much, PLA on the other side usually ends up to be more brittle than new filament.ABS should not be heated too high, same for PLA when you recycle.But when PLA gets too hot it not only becomes really runny but also deteriotes very quickly.Run a bit of PLA through print head like when changing filament or cleaning the head.Do one run at normal temperatur, one run at 240°C and compare how the extruded and colled string reacts ;)PLA is also prone to oxidisation and burning, espcially the black type is tricky here as you won't be able to see it, so avoid black if possible.If it happens then you end up with rock hard piece, the size depends and can be tiny or bigger than a grain of sand.A total nightmare if you did not spot that black spot in the filament and let the recycled stuff run through your printer.A total block of the nozzle is the result.Nylon I can't really recommend for recycling, too complext to handle it properly.Same for filled filament like the wood or metal types.With them it is really easy to accumulate a lump of filler that does the same block to your nozzle.To wash or not to wash....No matter what you try there will be always some contaminents that end in your collected material.ABS can be washed with water and does not require too much fancy drying.If in doubt you can even try your dishwasher or with a good bag your washing machine - both require proper rinsing several times and the last run with some added alcohol to demineralised or destilled water.I use a box with a flyscreen cover and let it dry outside in the sun for a while.PLA does not go too well with water especially with added soaps or detergents.On the other hand it has no big problems tolerate things like Acetone.Downside such solvents also dissolve a lot of contaminats which mean even though you can recycle your washing Acetone many, many time you always need fresh Acetone for the rinsing.If you can try too keep all as clean as possible to eliminate the need for washing.Can I get better results from my cheap filament maker or the one I build for some online instructions?I find that there is always room to improve on things.Before you even think about extruding your home made filament think about how to get your failed print into the thing ! ;)The most vital part comes before you even heat the machine unless it is a really fancy one with a build in and big enough shredder.That is right you need a shredder of sorts to be able to get your recycled material fine enough for the filament maker.Some models you might quickly find as tutorials to build your own use basically a big wood drill for the mechanical part to simulate a meat grinder for plastic.Even the better ones for real money often use this basic system in one way or another.The problem is that you need to get all air out the material before it ends up to be the outgoing string you roll up.Any bubbles in filament will certainly have consequences if the bubble appears during the printing of visible areas.Imagine printing in vase mode and hitting a bubble during the last 20 minutes of a 3 hour print...Unless it is dirt simple hobby built there will some mechanism to deal with the air.However if what goes in is already very fine material it melts easier and air has it a lot easier to find a way out.A good shredder will produce quite small granules but not strips or blocks.The have their limits for intake size though.The best way to get through bigger builds is a band saw, if have a clean table you can even recycle the "saw dust".I prefer to heat bigger parts in the oven at moderate temps and then to use a hammer or press to flatten it first.No shredder or no money to add one to the list? No problem!If your filament maker does not have a pre-heated feeding area of sorts it makes sense to add one with aheating mantle and external temperature controller.Trust me, if you have odd stuff to push in it is way easier if the material softens already before it enter the extruder drive part.As the extruder will get quite warm anyway it can be as simple as adding a short pipe section with the heating mantle between the extruder inlet and feeding funnel or hopper.the temperature in theis areas should of course be will below melting point and slightly above the temp when the material start to become plyable.Hence the external temp controller here.With this heating in the fedding area you really need to get your recycled material into a suitable size and shape to allow the material to be transported easy into the extruder.Ok, I got it working, sort of...You will need some time to find the prefect temperatures for per-heating, extruder temps and coooling, so take it!If your filament comes out with bubbles or fine (hard and unwanted) particles it makes sense to cheat.Most filament makers include a filter before the melted material enters the nozzle and really hot part.In some cases this filter can be as simple as a steel mesh.If none find ways to add one ;)Said filter screen should be quite fine, preferably even finer that what you find in your faucet that airates thewater for the sink.As a rule of thumb the mesh size should at least 15% finer than the nozzle size you intent to use.Anything that makes it through will only be a problem for your nozzle if a lot of crap comes through and that you should be able to spot right away when the cooled filament comes out.If despite this you still get too many bubbles check first if your temps are not going too high so the plastic start to boil in an area.Too much speed can also cause a failure to expell all air in time, reducing the speed (watch the temps!!) can often resolve this nagging air problem.It it really worth it then?On a hobby level only if you print a lot and know you will keep going like this.Otherwise you really need to be able to source or build your filament maker as cheap as possible.Someone with a little print shop and three machines running 24/7 will certainly have a good benefit over time.Especially if the recycling is part of the overall printing process.Recycled material could be used in a dedicated head and extruder for supports, infills and so on.For example in the printer dedicated to produce the biggest parts as these usually have bigger nozzle sizes anyway.In a commercial sense however it must be considered what the material is worth in terms of normal recycling and the added hours and electricity cost for making your own filament.Unless even the cheapest commercailly available filament still costs much more than what you need to invest to the machines and electricity over the time the man hours are the biggest killer.If you need someone to monitor the filament maker and keep feeding it while making sure the spools wind up correctly then your own spools might end up quite costly.So decide carefully before you invest or use you oven and a mold to make you own recyled plastic bricks for your garden beds and such.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Damaged disc(s) in the lower back - what to do and what not ;)

I got diagnosed with a damaged L5 and L6 disc in my lower back about 8 years ago and I thought writing about my experience might helps others facing the same problems. Keeping your back straight when lifting or moving heavy things was a thing I already learned and followed during my school times and as you might have guessed it helped to keep my back healthy - at the expense of my knees... But the knees are a different story, today I want to help you understand lower back problems caused by damaged or bulging discs and how this will affect your life. For me it began with a little shock. One day I got out of bed, wanted to grab something I dropped and got stuck half way up. Knowing that there are some nerves that can cause the same issue and that a simple injection will fix me I called a cab to be dragged laying down on the back seat to my GP. As you might have guessed his diagnosis was a bit worse than what I wanted to hear... Many painful hours and some scans later it was confirmed that my L5 and L6 disk have collapsed on one side and started to push on the nerves next to it. Funny side not that I never really checked was that my doc said not everyone has a L6 disk... Anyways, as with most first "accidents" involving your lower back the so called recovery was long and painful. Sure the painkillers help to numb the worst, the anti inflammatory stuff covers some pain too but actually I did not want the full pain free package deal. Pain is the bodies way to let you know something is wrong, so I kept the pain medication at a level where I got that information when making a wrong move... The first 6 months I was literally confined to my bed, the shower and the toilet. I tried to keep a position with the least amount of pain for as long as possible and for obvious reasons was not too happy that my body not only required food intake but also the disposal of the waste products - getting out of bed and onto the toilet meant experiencing huge amounts of pain every time. But after those 6 months I started to adjust, to the pain as well as what my limited body was now capable of in terms of movement. Needless to say that all this time of not doing anything really meant my scale started to scream tripple digets at me one day... Luckily around the same time my pain levels went to a level that allowed my to walk around 500-600 at slightly slower speeds than normal before the pain got too much. My doctor also got quite concerned about my blood work and body weight recommending to loose a lot if I every intent to get back to a more normal life. So I started to walk several times a day, no matter how bad the weather was, just a bit up and down the street. The distance got longer, the fitness a bit better and the pain levels a bit lower too. Using my old weight lifting belt to keep the back supported helped me a lot during these times, especially when driving or doing housework. During those times I was still on 6-8 panedine forte tablets (paracetamol and codein) plus 2-4 tablets of 20mg oxicontin and not happy about the last anyway. Despite the added levels of pain I started to reduce the level of oxicontin and started to exercise more. My focus was getting the core muscles stronger and to get better support for my back. Also started riding my bike again, although I had to replace it for a bigger model to allow me a more upright position with less stress on the lower back. The kilos started to tumble very slowly but I was already quite proud when I got bak to 90kg. :( Good thing was that I got motivation to continue as every kg I lost and every little bit more on distance I got out of my walks and rides without getting too painful also meant that my average pain level went down too. Two years after it all happened I got rid of the oxicontin completely and reached the 80kg mark. My doc was happy too, my blood work looking good but of course he still suggested to loose a few more kg. Being able to move around again also meant being able to work again and with that came more food, less exercise and a lot more stress. I did manage to hold my 80kg but after about 6 months or working I noticed my back problems started to limit me again. My back belt covered for me and I was able to keep going a while longer but in the end I got hit by another attack on my back. The diagnosis was not good at all as now on top of the pain goind through the back and leg I also hab numbness and a feeling like ants crawl over the leg and chew on it every few mm. As with most lower back "revenges" this one only needed strong pain killers for a few weeks until I was back to something more normal in terms of pain and movability. Sadly the ongoing side effects did not go away the way they did the first time. This meant especiall finding the right position to sleep with the least amount of pain was becoming a nightmare on it's own. Either you got pins and needles keeping you awake, you lost your feeling in the leg to the point where it becomes useless or the pain in the back is just stabbing you all the time. Starting some projects here on Instructables kept my mind busy and gave me some welcome distraction from the daily routine. Eventually I manged to find a job again that allowed me to have enough different movements with only a bit of lifting so things started get back to normal. My doc put me on some amitriptyline to help with the pain at night and although it took some time to get used to the stuff it really started to help after about two weeks. The job was only for a fixed term but it gave me back some confidence that not all is bad or lost. Life went on and I actually manged to get down to just 75kg and only used some painkillers once or twice a week if it was really bad. Then, a few weeks back I started to notice that the top of my foot and the outside of my leg felt different to touch, especially in the shower with some brush or rough sponge. Not being happy already I agreed to some new scans to check if the discs started to cause problems or if the nerves are just inflamed. You might have guessed already, the scan confirmed that my two discs desintegrated further putting more pressure on the already suffering nerves. With the "help" of some quite strong anti inflammatory stuff, cortisone and other meds my doc managed to get me back to "normal" but he also informed me that this won't last forever. The current outcome (without surgery but more on that later on) I have two choices to keep going: a ) I continue with pain killers and other meds to keep the problems at bay. b ) I limit myself to basically not doing anything involving the movemnt of my lower back, keep to a strict calory intake and hope for the best. The first option won't do me any good in the long run except liver, kidney and digestive problems. The second option will allow me some sort of a normal life at the expense of never finding a job to support me again. So once again we soldier on knowing that it will only make things worse as giving up and relying on social services is no option for me. Hoping that you might just had your first encounter with lower back injuries and pain I will give some advise on the things that helped my most so that you might not have to suffer as much I did and still do. So read on please... Diagnosed with a damaged or bulged disc in the lower back - what does it acutally mean? If you check all the available images of the human skelleton you will quickly notice one thing: Our lower back is not really straight and not designed to carry a lot weight when it is put on the wrong way or direction. Noone with a sane mind would use a support beam shaped like that but the human body adapted to this problem caused by changing from using all four limbs to walking on just two legs. The muscles and tendons in our back work in such a way that they support the fragile construction of discs and bones that keep us upright. Sadly modern life, personal decisions and only too often a busy work shedule prevent us from using our body the wa we should. Be it too much lifting, being far too short for your weight or simply laziness the factors causing our muscle to degrade are too many to count. But once you are in the worst pain you ever felt and your doc tells you that there are damaged discs you suddenly wish you had it all done differently years ago - trust me, I have been there and I have done it ;) Or it might be like in my case that a healthy and fit person just cracks one or more discs for no obvious reason. Either way it means you have to change your life to be able to keep going. Pain killers help to ignore the problem and pretend all is good but they should be used with great care as most are highly addictive and the long term side effects are no fun either. The one thing you must never forget is although being a life sentence it must not mean you will be crippled forever! What can I do once it happened to help the pain and my sanity? Nerve pain is one of the worst pains there is and there are only two more or less working medications to deal with it. The first meds are opiates to literally numb the pain but due to source of the pain very high levels are required until the body adapted to deal with the wrong pain information. The second group of meds that offer help and that are often used together with pain killers are old sty anti depressants like the try-cyclic (was that right?) amitriptyline. Back in the days they were not really good for the advertised job but one of the common side effects was how they worked on the pain centers of the brain. In much lower dosages as used to treat depressions these meds help the brain to deal with the pain caused by the damaged or pinched nerves. As a long term solution they should be prefered over opiates so that the strong pain killers are only taken when really needed. If you are anything like me than not getting enough sleep over weeks on end will take a toll on your mood. So being able to sleep at least a few hours in one go is a real thing to aim for unless you prefer to harm your body with pain killers. What is there to help with the pain so you can sleep? I know that you now already think you tried it all and that nothing good comes out of here but keep reading as you might be surprised... The first thing that jumps into mind when it comes to sleeping is a bed - be it you by yourself or with a partner. And here also is the first point to improve! In many countries a bed for two persons has one bad feature: A single mattress! Any movement from the person next to you is transfered more or less onto your body - you don't want that! So if you own a big bid that you share with someone think about investing into a bed with seperated matresses and support frames. That brings us to the mattress itself. A lot of people think being soft and flexible is a prefered thing, not so much if you have back problems. You want enough support to keep the back straight without everything feeling like you sleep on wooden floorboards. Keep in mind though that when changing from soft matress to something much firmer you will need to adjust. Really the best option is to seek professional advise in a bedding studio or similar. And no, you don't have to go to the most expensive place to buy a mattress, you just try them out, get expert advise and use that new knowledge to find a suitable mattress to fit the budget. With no offence meant: If you are over the normal weight you really want to loose the excess and that means selecting a new matrress on your weight goal and not on your current weight! It is also good to have adjustable supports under the mattress itself, this way you choose a thinner and bit softer mattress but still get the firmness your back requires - again seeking proffessional advise on the right combinations is highly recommended here! Ok, your bed is sorted but still there is that nagging pain in certain positions or the tingling in your leg preventing you to go to sleep. Believe it or not but what you do before you go to bed affects how you feel when you hit the sack. So sitting like a bag full of water in front of your TV until just manage to crawl into bed won't do you any good. Same for having your dinner and hour or two before bedtime... What does help is to move your body and to burn a few kalories! If it helps you use a weight lifting belt but just a walk around the block with a little bit of bending and flexing will get the tension out of muscles. A nice partner giving you a proper massage might help too but I doubt you will get one every night ;) And before you start to complain: Yes, I know there are times where simply can't do any exersise as you will be happy to make it to the toilet or to make some dinner. For those times and especially during times of experiencing higher than normal pain level ther is something you can do to ease the pain. Some doctors will tell you but a lot of them wont: Cold actually helps to numb the pain and the symptoms like tingling, pins and needles or the constant stabbing when you made a slightly wrong move. But you need to apply the cold in the right way to get the benefit! The key here is timing. Using real ice in a suitable wrapper, so no vegetables or meat, you apply the cold where the damage is - not where the pain is! You want to cool down the area around the damaged discs for about 5 to max 10 minutes. Put the icepack back and repeat every hour! Nothing will happen after the first two or three round but then you will notice improvement - how much depends on the individual and extend of the damage of course. When I have bad days I usually start around mid-day and keep going every hour until either the pain is gone or it is time to drag myself to bed. The worst you can do is o apply heat! A warm (not hot!) bath can help to ease some muscular tension but hot packs or heat lamps will make your pain get worse quickly. Just imagine and inflammation somehwere else, the area is already hot and painful so you really don't want to add more heat, do you? ;) What can be done to keep mobile and improve? As said earlier the key is support for the damaged areas and of course a limitation in movements that put additional stress on the damaged dics - this includes weight, be it from your own body in terms of excess fat or simply be lifting things! You will have times of no pain and where you think you are 20 years younger again but never use that as an excuse to think your discs have improved! Once damaged they stay damaged and everything putting more stress on you dsic(s) will make things worse. A friend of mine loves to play golf - if you have back problems you want to find a different hobby! Coming from three digits I can tell you without being offensive in any way that being fat means having problems that you don't want to add to your list caused by a bad back! So like it or not you really need to loose all the excess you can find wobbling around your body! For me every single kg I lost was a step forward to being more fit and being able to more things for longer before my pain got too much. And no, there is no excuse for keeping those kilos if are able to leave the bed for more than a few hours. Turst me, you will feel better, need far less medication and like yourself much better once the benfits of less weight kick in! Exercise is the key to getting your life back to a more or less normal level! If you are a "first offender" than you have a good chance that a change of habbit and maybe job will make sure it stays a single incident and that you can have a pain free life after the initial recovery! Getting a higher core strenght and overall fitness level helps your body to heal but most importantly gives you the option to gain muscles where needed to support your back. You might think there is nothing you can do if you are in pain and can't really move anyway but if you do then you are wrong. I am not a personal trainer but I found a lot of ways to use my muscles without using my back for it... There is enough info on the web for exercise methods without any training gear and if you think "really hard" you might notice you can use a lot of positions to exercise your arms and legs without stressing you back ;) And even for the back you can do good without damage: If you lay flat on your belly you just slightly lift your arms and legs off the ground - this will need the support of the muscles in lower back! No need to actuall lift anything high, just enough to only slightly bend your back up - you might not even notice any bending at all. What you don't want is exercise like running, jogging or even contact sports, really nothing that might force your back to move more than what is possible without stressing your discs... Better fitness and more strenght means you will get better flexibility and movablity but never let that fool you into thinking the damage is gone! I can not stress enough than even if you don't need medication and feel fine a single wrong move can make all null and void! What are the options if despite loosing weight and excercise my pain is not going away or syptoms get worse? Well, we can ignore it, we can hope it all goes away but the sad reality for most is that sooner or later you reach the point where the damage is too much too handle. The first one to tell you that your lower back is now due for a pit stop is your foot. The pain might be more than what you ever experienced the pins and needles might drive you mad but as long as it just that you are fine, really :( For me it was during some light gradening when I got my "first hit" so to say. I brushed it off thinking I tripped over something that got kicked away while I struggled to keep my balance. A few days later I noticed that I had to put some extra efford to prevent my toes from scraping the floor while walking. It was there when I also realised that most of the feeling on top of my foot was gone. Same story for the outside of my calf by the way... For me, thanks to a non working medical system and no private health cover the story ends here... Since you might have more luck: Modern medicine has gone a long way when it comes to minimal invasive operations and they are the key to performing operations that otherwise would be impossible or require months of recovery. For the "treatment" of damaged discs in the lowest part of the spinal area the old conventional treatment was to fuse the bones together using some steel or titanium rods. To give the patient relief the dmaged disc was more or less mutilated to free the damaged nerve(s). Several weeks of bed rest and great loss in movement was the price to pay for less pain. Today we are much further and can use micro instruments to perform operations deemed impossible only a few years ago. One of the operations with the greatest and fastest recovery rates is actually quite smart if you think about it: A small portion of bone is removed to give more room for the nerve and to aid in the healing - without fusing the bones! The next step is remove the part of the disc that is bulging out - without removing the strong support layers around it, only the mashed up bits are taken away. The patient is literally pain free ( from the back pain) right after the operation. Healing takes about 2-3 weeks but by then even the pain from the cut bones will be gone. Some health insurers see these operations as a means to get a person back to work and into a normal life, so they support it. Others use simple math and decide pain killers are cheaper... In any case you should seek professional advice from your doc and health care provider before it is too late! Diagnosed and operated early can mean you get the option to have an almost normal life again, or at least a few years of being able to enjoy life much more than before the operation. There are of course risks involved and an opration might not be an option for every case but knowing your options and what form of treatment might be available for you can be reall life changing... Ok, but what's the worst that can happen to me if a simple operation is no longer an option? One of the first things you will notice after loosing control and feeling for your foot is a more or less contant need to go the toilet. Despite having an empty bladder or just using the toilet minutes ago you can develop the feeling that you really must go the toilet again. Sadly this is only the beginning... If things get worse you can loose control over your bladder and bowel. Simply put it means you no longer control the muscular tension required to keep you vital openings closed when required. Usually at this point your doctor will recommend to operate one way or the other. For you, if affected, this means you have to decide between the risk of an operation that might only last for a few months or years or wearing adult nappies... If you already had one or more operation or the damage to the disc(s) is too severe it can mean that there is no other option but to fuse the bones into place to prevent further damage and allow for some healing. But trust me, for your doc to even consider an operation you need to loose all the weight you can! What are my limitations after having my back bones fused together? Well, as it reads you will be fused together, meaning you level of movement will be severly limited. It also means you beep all the time at the airport security or when entering a court or other place with metal detectors - but that is the least of the worries I guess... The main problem after such operations is getting back to a life as normal as possible. You get a lot of help in rehab and will learn what you can and can't do, plus of course how to keep you fit despite these limits. Some people cope really good with the new limitations but others struggle a lot. This especially true if before the person was really active and doing a lot in terms of sport and outdoor activities. Learning to adapt to the changes allows you have many more years without too much pain or limitations. Sure, Golf is out of the question, playing soccer or riding a normal bike too but life goes on and being a part of it is always better than just looking at it through your bedroom window ;) In any case giving up should not be an option for you! No matter how bad it looks when the pain is too much, there are always more good days than bad days ahead of you! Go ahead, share your experience with back pain, what you do keep going and handle the pain. Share you information about what treatments helped you the most and share how you recovered to where you are now. Be an inspiration for those facing what we already went through! Real back pain based on nerve damage will only be understood by someone who experienced it - what did you do to make the people around you understand it? Whatever helped you might help someone wha just started to learn how to deal with damaged discs and back pain, so sharing is caring! ;)

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


How to replace your cars fuel pump in three easy days

My truck, over the last few months, had developed a lovely little penchant for not wanting to restart once warmed up. This wasn't to bad as long as I didn't plan on being anywhere less than 3 hours, and kept my wife from sending me to the store. But with summer here and wanting to be able to run off and go fishing I decided to fix it. After doing some diagnostics I think the most likely culprit was a fuel pump that was sticking as it heated up, and I thought this info might help anyone needing to replace theirs. Day one, we'll spend this day dropping the fuel tank. Those repair manuals are really helpful, just slide a jack under the tank, unbolt the straps, drop the tank, disconnect the fuel lines and you're done. The reality is just a little different. Firstly the entire time you're working under your car a gently rain of road grime consisting of grease, dirt and decayed road kill will be falling into your eyes, ears and mouth. Second, there's a lot more lines going to the fuel tank than the manuals say, after sweating and swearing over trying to remove the spring clips the best option is just to cut any rubber lines since after 10 years they're all rotten anyways. Now struggle blindly to maneuver the fuel line disconnect tool into position by feel, while pushing the tool into the connection shove the fuel line in the direction of the tool while simultaneously stabilizing the fuel tank with your head. Once all the lines are cut or disconnected lower the tank using a jack, a couple of coffee cans and a bunch of short pieces of 2x4 and drag out from under the vehicle. Unscrew the fuel pump assembly and remove from tank, then detach fuel pump from fuel pump assembly. you are now done for day one since your wife has the other car. Day two, taking a section of each of the lines you cut, along with your old fuel pump, visit an autoparts store, hand the lines to the clerk and ask him for 3 feet of each size, now marvel in wonder as he LOSES the pieces you gave him between you and the back of the store. Smile nicely as he tries to explain what happened and then say "Umm No I don't need anything else" and leave. Go to second auto parts store where they will try to sell you, first, the wrong pump, and then, when they finally admit it won't work, they try to sell you the entire fuel pump assembly, say "Let me think about it". Go to dealer, laugh hysterically and vociferously ejaculate "Oh Heck, No!" when they say the pump is $439.00 and will be in Monday. Lastly drive to the final remaining autoparts store and say "Please tell me you have a fuel pump like this one" and rejoice when the guy say "Sure, you need the Bosch with the adapter socket, I can have it here by three". Weep with joy, go home and wait until three. Day three, the true horror is that we now reverse the steps taken on day one and there is no way to test if everything works until the last bolt is tightened, however day three began with a stuffed up head and severe vertigo caused by allergies, apply medication and go back to bed for several hours until you can stand without puking. When well enough, reverse the steps of day one. Fortuitously the majority of the road grime will have fallen on you already and this time it will be as refreshing as a summer's shower. Add two gallons to clean gasoline and start the vehicle, when the vehicle fails to start remember that you disconnected the battery. Remedy that and marvel when your vehicle starts, but the joy will be short lived when you remember that, oh yeah, it would start before. So now, hold out hope that it won't have the hot start problem anymore, but you'll never know if it will happen again, unless it happens again.

Topic by Tool Using Animal    |  last reply


Advice needed on nearly complete instructable

Sorry this is a bit long, but there is an actual question at the end, honest! Every morning at work I walk past a table at the end of our mailboxes that people put give away items on. Its usually a catalog of some form but for a long time now there's been a stack of empty CD spindles and a sign beside them that reads "free to good home." I could have taken them and sorted the mountain of CDs in my office or used them for small parts bins, but to make it areally Good use of empty CD spindles I had to ask myself "IS there an instructable in this?" There are some good ideas for using CDs and a few for the spindles, but at the moment what interests me is hydroponics. So using CD spindles or more exactly the plastic covers they come with I built the basic part of this excellent instructable: http://alturl.com/oa2qt    and I learned a lot of stuff about water pressure and such and once I had built the 2liter bottle method described above I decided to try sealing one of the CD cases and use it for the water container at the bottom of the stack. That took about 4 sticks of hot glue and a couple of burnt knuckles to get a good seal. Turns out there's holes in the center spindle too but I didn't notice them till I had hot glued the container closed. Also ignore the bit of blue air hose inside the container, I was up way too late and flipped the CD spindle 'right side up' which caused me to attach the air hose to the wrong outlet and basically made it useless. I thought I'd need a lot more water in the system than I do so I chose to use a 100ct CD spindle instead of the 50 ct spindles you see on top. (Thanks to all for the ideas on how I could have done it easier!) So far this part of the project was just overlaying the ideas in the excellent instructable above onto the materials at hand. So what I ended up with is an air pump from a fish tank pumping air into the bottom chamber. (the clear hose in center of picture.) This builds up enough pressure to push water thru the blue hose and up to the top CD spindle. I've cut holes the diameter of the air hose into the base of the spindle and this lets water slowly trickle into the Perlite growth medium. When the water reaches the bottom it goes out similar holes in the clear plastic CD cover and starts to pool up a bit to start the process all over again. There is just enough lip on the lid and the bottom of the next spindle to keep it from spilling down the side before this happens. It helps to use the same brand CD spindle all the way up. The clever part of this instructable is that each CD spindle easily stacks in place and you can remove it or change the order without having to dig up or harm the other plants. The base is very stable with several ounces of water in it and I'd imagine you could put 4 of these in a stack and happily swap plants in and out all summer long. The height of the stack depends on how strong your air pump is. I tested two different ones and both were capable of lifting water over 4 feet  up the air hose. Caveat: I haven't actually grown any plants in this yet, so your mileage may vary. Using the stack of CDs for use as apartment planters or sprouting medium would have satisfied the original curiosity for what to do with all those left over CD cases, but in absence of glowing blue LEDs or CO2 lasers I thought Hydroponics would be a great way to sex up the overall idea. I imagine you could use spanish moss or bedding in place of the Perlite, or even soil if you used a coffee filter to cover the holes till you were ready to stick a seedling thru it. This Instructable isn't quite finished as presented. There's a small problem. As you can see in the photo there's a half height (25ct) CD spindle between the water container and the stack of planting modules. Remember that hole I mentioned in the end of the CD spindle? I closed that with a bit of plastic and hot glue, but it made me wonder, COULD I put some sort of check valve here to allow unused water to trickle back into the holding tank YET not lose the hard fought air pressure that's pushing the water to the top of the column in the first place? Since I'm re-using all this old aquarium tech I thought I'd try one of those tiny check valves that keep water from backwashing into the air pump when its off. I'm not sure if it will work in this application or even how much air pressure it will tolerate. This will require some disassembly of the CD hydroponics tower and I thought I'd ask here for suggestions before heating up the glue gun again. So what do you guys think? This has been a lot of fun to think about and I can't wait to bring the media guy  around into my office to see how I've re-purposed the spindles. Just this one last step away…. cheers, flashj  

Topic by flashj  


Printer disconnecting or USB port disappearing in Windows

First I thought to make an Instructable out of it but realised there are too many different printer models out there, so this time no images. What is this about you might wonder? Well, let me tell you my story first and you might see similarities to your problem. It all started with me getting a new PC as the old one got memory problems (RAM modules failed). After a few successful prints I noticed errors coming up in the log window. Mainly things like communication problems and that some data is sent again. Realised that on my new PC I did not check the speed settings for the COM ports, so I adjusted them to match the printer board and moved on without even bothering to check the logs. Then, half way through a bigger print, it all stopped and I could not even connect to the printer anymore. After a power cycle on the printer all was fine again but the error kept coming back every now and then. At this point I started to read up on the problem and the most common recommendation is to print over SD - too bad if your printer does not support it and too bad it does not address the issue at all! A few more technical answers pointed to the Logitech drivers, especially mouse, keyboard and 3D vision. As I was using the same outer hardware as before and also the same drivers (and same version numbers) I simply ruled this one out too, although it might be a vital clue for others. When starting to get frustrated and after opening a cold blonde I remembered that I had a similar issue a long time ago and that it was related to loose wires on the screw terminals for the power connection. Measured it all but according to my trusty multimeter all was fine. Now comes the fun part: I friend of mine with a HiFi fetisch was here when I testing the connection and he started laughing at my attempts. He explained that ALL his connections, no matter if power or audio signal are oversized! Here I started to wonder if he is up to something and looked up similar circuit board mounted power plugs. To my surprise they are all rated for anything between 1 and 5Amps. Even without a heated bed powered by the printer board I think everyone will agree that a max 5A connections is not enough. My frined then offered to check the plug and connector at his place - what a great thing to have friends :) He used a signal generator and small speaker with the plug as a connector between them. With an oscilloscope connected to both input and speaker you could see, while moving the plug, that the audio signal become somehow unclean - there where spikes and missing bits everywhere depending which way you wobble the plug. After taking the whole thing apart the destructive way we saw the cause: overheated contact areas with discolored surfaces. I replaced the plug now with a 250V/20A one from an old laser printer and had no USB or connection issues ever since. Ok, what's the thing with power and USB problems on a 3D printer? Almost all printer boards have the ground connections bridged to avoid interference on the USB signals. This mean, in case of a faulty power connection or one that is "dirty", the USB port on the computer can receive back EMF signal or even a voltage spike. In return a smart bios either disconnects the port or disables it until the problem is solved, in our case by restarting / reconnecting the printer. But even with no obvious signs of power problems you can get  a so called "dirty" connection. Dirty covers all from corrosion, worn springs for battery compartments, overheating or in the old days burnt relay contacts. For our printer it usually means that either the soldering connection on the board or a screw came loose, in rare cases like mine an undersized connector can burn out due to being unable to handle the currents. The bad thing is that you can not always spot these problems the easy way... Is there an easy way to tell that my USB problem is caused by a faulty power connection? Yes and no. Some boards offer indicating LED's, you connect power and the LED stays on even if the printer is disconnected from the PC. If it is more than just a Power on" indicator" this LED will be off after the printer stops working and in the device manager your serial port for the printer is gone. You might also hear the warning sound from Windows in regards to a device being disconnected. If all the above is true than most likely your power connection has a problem somewhere - if in doubt replace all screw and plug connectors for the power. Sometimes the problem is less obvious. Your print software might show communication problems in the log window or re-send a lot of commands. If the speed selection for the com port is the same as for the firmware of the printer board and as set in the printer software, it could also be a power connection problem. But to be on the save side try a shielded cable with ferrite cores on both ends first for the connection between computer and printer. Can I take any measures to prevent the problem? Sure, you could solder everything and make sure the wires are fixed in place so they won't move. But a simple indicator might be enough: Solder a piece of LED strip to the power connection on the circuit board - if the connection has trouble the LED's will show it in most cases by changing light levels or flickering. On top they act as a nice light to see what's happening during a print.

Topic by Downunder35m  


Hydrogen Peroxide at home and in the Garden

Although the topic is quite old for some of us and mostly because I am too lazy today to make an Instructable: Hydrogen Peroxide ! Back in the day Hydrogen Peroxide was mainly known for the ability to bleech your hair, later it replaced chlorine based products for the preparation of paper and organic fibres. For me it is a good opportunity to go back in time and to pull out some of the remedies my grandparents already used. Who knows, there might be something that helps you or you might know other good uses that I failed to mention here, so feel free to comment. First off: What actually is hydrogen peroxide? We could check Wikipedia but I think it is enough to say that it basically water with an added oxgen mulecule which turn the stuff into a quite powerfull oxidizer. When hydrogen peroxide reacts the added oxygen is released and the normal water remains. Precausions and health risks. In the normal supermarket form hydrogen peroxide comes at a strenght of just 3%. This is just enough for wound treatment or cleaning off a fresh and small stain. The stuff you can buy at your hair dresser comes in concentrations of 5-15%, above that it is of little use to them. Pool grade peroxide however can come as high as 50%. It often requires a permit of at least leaving a copy of your drivers license to buy such high concentration but well worth it price wise. The downside of anything above 5% is a risk for your skin, eyes and airways. So when handling hydrogen peroxide you should waer long sleeve rubber gloves, safety or better swimming goggles and make sure that you don't create vapour by spraying it against the wind direction. Having water at hand to dilute and spillage on your skin is always good. What happens to me if things go wrong? Well, if handled correctly nothing should go wrong but of cause the worst would be eye contact. Getting concentrated hydrogen peroxide in your eyes means extreme pain and even with rinsing it out asap eye damage is more than just possible. Again: wear proper eye protection and if spraying use a filter mask, the paper type is enough!!! Nothing immediate happens on sking contact but a few minutes after contact the skin will turn slightly brown or goes white. This is caused by the oxygen release into your skin cells, if washed off quickly after noticing the discoloration will fade after a few hours. Prolonged exposure of the skin can cause skin cells to fully discolor and living cells might get damaged - a burning sensation is usually the sign that you need to wash the area now ;) Enough bad stuff said, let's see what we can do in the garden.... Fungal infection of your old roses or on your fruit trees? Sometimes the weather does not like our plants and by the time we discover a fungal infestation it is usually pruning time. There are commercial producta available that work quite well but especially the copper based ones tend to do more harm than good in th long run. An alternative is a solution of 10-20% hydrogen peroxide. Spray generously over all affected parts of the plant, leaves, twigs, stem and all. Make sure everything is properly wet! In some cases the fungus can act as a water replellent and it seems impossible to get any of the solution to wet these areas - a drop of dish washing liquid into the bottle will fix this! Watever runs off can be left as it only helps to get oxygen into the soil but of course you should not soak the area... Leave it on for about an hour, around 20 minutes if it quite warm. Rinse all off with clear water and repeat every 2 days for 5 treatments all up. After this time wait 2 or 3 weeks and check if the fungus still gows in some hard to reach areas. If so then repeat the treatment there until satisfied but wait another 2 weeks every 5 single treatments. In some areas of the world certain types of fungus on roses are refered to as "rust". ----- Moved into a new home and the garden beds smell really bad? The last house I moved into had a previous occupant with a big dog but no time to clean after his pet. The garden beds looked dead and I mean so dead that I could not even find weeds in them. And the smell was a distinct mix of old dog poo with lots of fresh cat poo mixed in it - the perfect outdoor pet toilet :( Trying to dig it all under made me recover that the top soil was more §$&*# than soil. I had to get rid of the bacteria of all the poo and somehow neutralize a lot of the unwanted "nutrients". The solution was to first loosen all the soil as deep as I could go. Then I added rice straw (but anything straw like or dry grass will do) to mix it through. At this stage I wished I had a gas mask LOL All up the contaminated garden beds covered about 20square meters. I got a 10 liter canister of pool grade hydrogen peroxide, from this I diluted down with 20 liters of water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to help with the soil wetting. All was applied as evenly as I good with a watering can and then the area was covered with some tarp to try keeping as much oxygen on and in the soil as possible. A day later the tarp was removed and all beds watered with hose to drowning point. This watering was repeated every 3 days for 3 weeks to drive out all the excess and unwanted nutrients from the poo. The smell was already gone except for some cat urine residue which disappeared after some rounds of watering. Three months after the initial treatment I did some soil tests, added nutrients were required and the next season I had vegetables growing :) ----- Planting? Whether from seeds or seedlings, give hydrogen peroxide a try! I use a 5% solution to soak the potting mix I use before putting my seeds in it. Not only does it kill a few of the unwanted things that might still be in there but it adds a lot of oxygen into the soil, which gives the seeds a much better start. For seeds I use a 5% solution as well but only leave them in for about an hour before placing them between some wet paper towels until they start germinating. This way I can be sure all harmful bacteria and fungal spores are dead and I can use a sterile seed to keep going. Might just be my opinion but I think the germination rate is better and seedling in comparison start growing faster and stronger. Home uses.... As we learned before hydrogen peroxide, at least in higher concentrations is a powerful way to remove fungus. In our bathrooms we often have the problem that the ceiling starts to develop black spots as in the colder times water condenses here and takes a long time to dry off. If you now go to your favorite hardware store they will recommend the use of a chlorine based product, basically bleach... And although it does the job it also means your house will stink for days and if you scrub the ceiling you will get it on your sking and stink too. Hydrogen peroxide at 20% or higher concentrations can be sprayed onto the cleiling :) Of course you will need good protection for this and all things color should be removed, like towels or floor mats. By protection I mean a minimum of swimming goggles, a tyvek suit or similar to cover all exposed skin areas and at least a paper dust mask, better a filtered respirator like you use for spray painting or using insecticides. If you have a spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle then a stream is far better than a spray mist!! Not only is your exposure far lower but it much easier to wet the ceiling quickly. Wet all affected areas, then leave and the room, close the door and take off all clothes you used t protect you. The clothes can be left out to dry but double check that you had no soaked spot where your sking might have been in contact - if so rinse the skin with plenty of water! It will take some time to work and then dry, so best to do this in the summer time or if during the colder times you need to make sure the room is porperly heated and aired out to dry! Repeat until all black spots are gone, really bad areas will leave a permanent discoloration looking like a slight brwonish color is the ligh it right otherwise you won't see it. Once fully dry it is best to scrape off all lose paint and then to use a acrylic based sealer before giving the ceiling a fresh coat of white. The sealer will prevent the water to penetrate more than the paint level and if you get the fungus back on the paint it is far easier to clean ;) ----- Carpet cleaning.... When moving into a new rental with carpet on the floor you often are left with areas indicating the carpet might be "clean" but the underlay certainly is not. You can fix the underlay but you certainly can make sure all harmful stuff is gone from the carpet. Carpet cleaning machines can be hired but often much cheaper if you buy the "recommended" cleaning product with it. Rent is usually based on a daily base and price depends on how much cleaner you need. If you only want to desinfect the carpet which otherwise looks mostly fine than go for the smallest pack available and use it to spot clean areas you want cleaner first. For the desinfecting part I recommend to test how high you can go with the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide before using it on a big scale - keep in mind the carpet will never be fully dry and the remaining peroxide will continue to act! Test a 10% solution first before you go higher as you don't want to buy 30 liters or more of pool grade peroxide - just trust me on that one and only try to buy this much you do want to get into trouble a few days later! If 10 percent solution left on the carpet does not cause any bleaching of the fabric (unwanted bleaching that is) you can try higher for spot cleaning in demanding areas. A good spot to try the solution is under the cover or duct outlets, under these joining bars where carpet changes to tiles (if you can lift them off) or in wardrobes if the carpet goes inside. There are two way to treat your carpet once the general cleaning is done. a) use a garden sprayer or similar to wet the carpet This is good for single room treatment like for the baby room but especially on thicker carpets it requires a lot of solution and can become costly. Once wet leave for at least 30 minutes so the peroxide can do its thing, then use the machine with either the solution filled or just to dry off the carpet. I recommend to use the peroxide solution in the machine as it allows for better penetration and it will remove more soiled solution this way. If your catching container starts bubbling like mad it means you have a lot of §$%&#+ in the carpet and it might be best to first clean it all with the normal carpet cleaning agent before using the peroxide again - again tesing on smaller areas can help wasting the peroxide. If you need to store prepared solutions than it is best in a cold place. It will take several hours on an otherwise clean carpet for the peroxide to fully disappear so it best to use shoes and prevent skin contact during that time - especially if a baby crawls around ;) ----- Toilet.... We don't want to talk about it but everyone needs to clean their toilet sooner or later. For most things in there using the toilet brush when it happens will keep things clean and healthy. But what if someone in the house is sick or with a weak immune system? You could use all sorts of commercial cleaners and desinfectants but a wipe with wet towel or cloth soaked in a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide will quickly eliminate all harmfull things on your seat, lid or bowl, including the buttons to press and the door handles ;) Just wipe and leave it wet for a minute or two then wipe again and ry - done! Personal use I always pack a small bottle of supermarket grade peroxide when going off road or camping trips. Although we now have modern desinfectants that won't stink or otherwise harm you I still prefer the old stuff ;) If you are far from civilisation than the last thing you want to need is medical attention for something that started as small as a scratch or graze.... Out in the unkown wilderness you will never know if the rockk you just crash landed on was used as a urinal by a fox the night before... A bit of gravel left in your skin might contain harmful bacteria... A cut with your own knife?? - What did you all cut since the last proper cleaning of the blade? You see where I am going here, a small thing might turn into something really nasty a day or two later. If you clean a freash and minor wound properly and then rinsie it with hydrogen perodixe most if not all harmful leftovers will be killed by the releasing oxygen. Of course this pretty much useless on bleeding wounds or where it is obvious that you won't be able to remove all debris from the wound - here it means you trip is still over in favour for proper medical treatment. The thing is that hydrogen peroxide was basically abandoned for all wound treatment once the modern "cleaning aids" became available as the peroxide will not only attack harmful things but also living tissue. The claims goes as far as causing bad scar tissue, damage to blood vessels and even "burning" of the tissue. One big problem I have with all these claims is that they were never really mentioned until the new meds came out. IMHO exposure time and how you use it it the key - common sense if you ask me. Noone should ever soak a wound in peroxide, if it is that big that you need to soak it you need medical attention anyway. And as said you should rinse the wound, that means all remaining liquid should be allowed to flow off - this will only leave a minor amount of peroxide in the wound and the exposure time will end with once all oxygen is released. For minor wounds I only use a paper tissue or cotton bud soaked in peroxide and wipe the wound.... ----- Smelly feet? Ok, maybe not the best way to start a conversation but we all know what sneakers do to our feet in the summer... Insoles with copper and activated carbon will help a lot and at least "cure" your sneakers while they are off your feet and have time to dry. But the smell is actually cause by bacteria growing from everywherey in your sneaker to your sking, actuall starting at your sking... If you wear your sneakers for long periods of time time or even whenever possible and also suffer from a bad smell hydrogen peroxide might be able to help you. Most sneakers will tolerate a machine wash and should come out germ free, if that is no option pack them in a sealed back and leaven them in the freezer over night - this will kill all bacteria and remove the smell. Now to break the endless cycle you need to remove the bacteria from inside your skin. So daily sock changes, freezing shoes and washing feet is a must! Your feet will really benefit from a foot bath in a 5% solution of hydrogen peroxide. To keep costs at a minimum use a container that is just the right size for your feet and prepare the solution from pool grade peroxide. I an ideal case you should not need more than 2 liters but all used product can be stored cool and re-used the next day, after that you need to make a new batch. Keep your feet submerged for at least 10 minutes. This will allow a deep penetration of the skin but might result in some white spots that will disappear after a few hours. Consenquent foot baths can be reduced to 5 minutes. After about a week you should notice that wearing your sneakes no longer causes and bad smell and you can stop the treatment. Freezing the sneakers over night, dialy (or more) sock changes and daily, proper cleaning of your feet should prevent any further bad smells :) ----- Bleaching your hair Althoug it was done for many years I really can't recommend using hydron peroxide for this purpose! Any concentration strong enough to have a proper effect in a reasonable time will at least cuase skin irritation. Back in the days they said your burning scalp is what you need to endure to get blonde hair :( And as said already you really don't want to get that stuff into your eyes... General uses If you have a fruit based stain then cahnces are hydrogen peroxide will remove it, especially if fresh. Even at supermarket concentration repeated application and proper drying off with a paper towel or similar will remove even red wine or beetroot stains. ------ Blood... On you skin blood is easy removed with cold water, same on other surfaces but washing off is no option a wet cloth or cotton piece will work fine. Hydrogen peroxide is good if things need to go fst or if the surface is porous, here the releasing oxigen will drive out the blood with the bubbles. ----- Fish tanks... If you love your tank then you really hate to medicate or even worse have a bad algea infestion, especially the stuff of the black kind. A change to activated carbon filter material is always recommended after a medical treatment to remove all leftovers from the system. However, certain medication simply won't be affected by a carbon filter and stay in the system until fully used or broken down otherwise. Especially in bigger tanks a partial water change is often out of the question as it would cause too much additional stress to the fish and plants. Hydrogen peroxide can help to break down most if not all remains of the used medication while at the same time adding more oxygen to the water. To be sensitive and safe in all enviroments I recomment to calculate the concentration based on the volume of your tank and to add the required amount of peroxide very slowly into the outgoing water stream from your pump. By slowly I mean in terms of a slow drip if using solutions over 10% to be added to the tank. If in doubt remove a suitable amount of tank water into a bucket and add the concentrated peroxide to reach the final tank limit. I strongly recommend to stay below 2% in favour over additional treatments a few days later if required. That means the diluted solution you add should be entered into the tank slowly if in doubt add a glass full every few minutes. For the treatment of the dreaded black algea you do the same 2% solution but be prepared that it will take several treatment until you see them die off. If you can then it is best relocate the fish for a few days so you can use a stronger solution of 5-8% just with the plants left in the tank. When transporting fish in a bag it can pay off to add a little bit of 3% peroxide to the bag to give additional oxygen for transport. I do this maually for every fish I buy from a store so I can be sure all fungus and bacteris is killed of before I introduce it to my tank. Really helps to prevent loosing a lot of fish just because you added one or two more to your tank ;) For the normal sized transport bags I use a good shot glass full of 3% peroxide in case you wondered. ----- Fridge and freezer Be it after long use or because you bought one second hand - once empty and warm some of our colling gadget just smell bad. A good clean with a hot water and your favourite cleaning agent is a good start, no need for aggressive stuff ;) If clean but still smelly, like after a power failure with fish in it you might want to go one step further. Best option is to use a spray bottle and a peroxide solution of at least 15% here. Use proper protection as mentioned above and spray all surface with the solution until soaked. What you can take out you take you take out, clean properly and then wipe or brush with the same peroxide solution. Bare aluminium should be handled with caution as in some cases it can oxidise badly, leaving a white and not removable crust behind. Here it is best to wipe and then wipe again with a cloth soaked in clear water to limit exposure time. No need to dry out - wipe out and check if it still smells, if so repeat and wiped off all areas as good as you can with a solution soaked cloth. Once the smell is gone dry out and enjoy smell free use from now on :) ----- Fruit and vegetables Unless you know exactly what happened to it you might want to clean your vegies and fruits properly before using them. Pesticides, herbicites, fungicites.... Not mention normal fungus and bacteria on the product.... On a commercial base hydron peroxide baths are often used to clean products for sensible people, hospital use or long term storage. For a personal use this only makes sense if you have free and unlimited access to the peroxide. An alternative are ozone bubblers. Expensive models can eb bought in shops or online, complete with timers or even a gauge showing the concentration in a room. On a hobby level for the kitchen sink we can use an ozone generator, air pump and bubble stone from the aquarium store ;) Let the pump bubble out the ozone for a minute or two, fill the sink with the fruit and veggies and move them around every few minutes. Best of course with an open window to limit you exposure to the ozone! Rule of thumb: If you can smell it is already too much in the air! The ozone in the water does the same as the peroxide: It breaks down harmful things with pure oxygen. The downside is that it is very harmful for your airways and body in general, so against all what youtube can offer I actually prefer to treat my fruit and veggie in a sealed bag. Place them inside, push out as much air as you can and then fill up with the ozone from the generator. Once the bag is full leave for about 30 minutes then wash and use or place the things in the fridge.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


The risks of DIY carpet cleaning and how save a buck or two....

I am writing this partly because of bed experiences with rental angents/landlords and as a general help.Here in Australia as well as other parts of the world it is common pratise that a real estate agent goes through your rented home multiple times a year to check if you keep it clean and undamaged.In most cases these visits go without any hickup until you move out.At this point agents often try to make your life a misery.Some expect you get the house back to the state it was 10 years ago when you moved - an impossible task.Carpet cleaning is usually done with a rented machine.This mean you pay a deposit for the machine and "rent" is made by the highly overpriced cleaning fluid you have to use with the machine.But more and more people see that a $100 machine from the discounter is a "money saver".So lets start with the main differences between a rented, commercial grade machine and those you find at the discounter to buy.The later comes quite small and in plastic, the commercial one is usually all metal and has huge water and waste tank.And lets be honest here, if a good vacuum cleaner sets you back more than twice what your new floor cleaning machine costs.....For me the real difference is in the sucktion.If you start with 10 liters in a commercail machine then you should expect to get over 8 liters back in the waste tank.The added waste often makes it seem much more though ;)The cheap discounter vesion however often struggles to get half of the water back out of your carpet that it drained into it!This is not only due to the weaker vacuum created but also due to the general design and lack of sealing the area that is sucked up.But during a hot summer week this makes no vital difference as it dries off anyway, or does it?Dryness and contamination....If you wash your clothes than you let them fully dry before you wear them.With a freshly cleaned carpet we often don't have that luxury and if the weather won't play nice you might end with a moist carpet for weeks.A proper wash of the carpet would require that water is actually flowing through the fabric.This is achieved by designing water outlets and sucktion areas to be in close proximity.However, most carpets these days are thin and flimsy, the underlay brings the comfort and often the required insulation from the cold floor.Fun fact: Most quality carpets in the EU come with a rubber or foam like backing which prevents that little spills go through and also leave the carpet basically dry after a cleaning.If the amount of water your machine collects does not get very close to what you filled into the tank then you end with a quite wet carpet and underlay.Cold from underneath and with basically no airflow through it.And if you ever removed an old carpet that was cleaned every few years you do know why you wear a protective suit, gloves and a filter mask on your face....It is simply impossible with a handheld machine to prevent water and contaminants from getting into the foam underlay of US and AU style carpet assemblies.Once fully dry there is little chance for anything to grow, but every time you clean the carpet you add the water required...I had it in two rentals that when I cleaned the carpets with a really good machine that stains from within the underlay came back up into the carpet.A job planned for a day then turned into three days of using heater fans and living in a sauna while washing carpets :(The same is true if you end up with fresh dirt or such on the carpet while it is still moist underneat - it gets worked ino the carpet and becomes even harder to clean.Is a commercial cleaning the better option?Sadly I have to say this highly depends on your agent/landlord and how much time and money you have.In some areas agents simply ignore the law and demand from you that the carpet looks at least as good as when you moved in.And if old stains you did not know about come from the filthy underlay a rented machine can come close to the cost of getting a commercail team in to do the job once you vacated.Either way you get an invoice for the service and a statement about the condition of the carpets before and after the cleaning.These guys come with a big van and before it fires up with water only the vacuum is used.Imagine a monster sized vacuum cleaner head on steroids that connects to an industrial sized evacuation fan in the van.It literally lifts your carpet from the underlay and leaves nothing loose behind.The actual cleaning and sanitation works the same way only with the big difference that the water is sprayed with pressure through the carpet and into the underlay.Final round is done dry and with vacuum only, means the carpets are dry enough to walk on them without getting wet feet.A complete dry state is usually reached within 2 days during the summer unlike rented machines that keep the humidity in your house up and high for about 2 weeks until back to normal.Main benefit of a commercail cleaning is that you won't get any issues with your agent/landlord unless you damaged the carpets or made them impossible to clean - ever dropped an ink jet printer refill kit? ;)If I do it myself with a reasonably good machine or a rented one : Do I have options for the cleaning solution used?Trust me, I had to figure that one out quickly when I moved into my first rental down here.4 bedrooms, entire house with carpet except for the kitchen and wet areas.They appeared reasonably clean at a first look but when I used a UV flashlight at night the story was shocking....In what must have a room for a baby the carpet looked like a psychedlic art impression under the UV light.The living room was not much better.As a result the rented machine ran out of cleaning fluid quickly.Bought 2 bottles that were supposed to be suffient for the house size but if you need several rounds per room.I "finnished" the former baby room and was one bottle down already.Called it a day and in the dark the UV light showed a slithly fades art impression but nowhere clean :(The shop had a heavy duty cleaning solution but I did not consider it with a price twice as high.Instead I wondered what would make my carpet different from my clothes in my washing machine....So I got a canister of Oxy-cleaner - sometimes called nappy soaking powder, or similar.Just make sure you get one that does not foam up too much.I used a bucket to dissolve a good amount of the powder before filling it into the machine - at about 40°C.What ended in the waste tank when using this cheap alternative looked digusting to say the least!With that encouragement I decided to make a new bucket with some added washing powder, just a tablespoon worth or just over.Washing powder for front loader does not foam up much, unlike the stuff for top loader, so choose wisely.That was, all counted, the forth cleaning round for the former baby room but after this the UV light showed a clean carpet that also had nice spring fresh smell thanks to the washing powder.Using the same appraoch of lots of oxy cleaner and a bit of washing machine powder in semi hot water made cleaning the rest of the house a breeze!When going slow with the machine it was like mowing the lawn, it left a clean path behind.Not all carpets might tolerate oxy cleaners though, especially if they are quite colorful, so do a spot check first if you never used the stuff to clean up a little spill of red wine before.And please keep some of the commercial cleaning fluid at hand to give the machine a quick wash through with it, otherwise the shop might ask you if you used non approved cleaning stuff with it ;)Tips for adjustable cleaning machines....Some of the rented machines come with several possible adjustments you can make.In the most basic form you can adjust the amount water used and how strong the machine sucks.Keep the sucktion as high as possible unless you actually want to pre soak the carpet.The amount of water should be adjusted to the type of carpet not to how dirty it is!You want just enough water to soak the carpet without going into the underlay too much.A clear sign of using too much water is if you waste tank is only half full when the water tank is empty.A few of the really good machines let you adjust the distance between the water outlet and sucktion area.In most cases there pre-set to what, from experience is the most commonly type of carpet in the area.Your might be different though...A greater distance means more time for the cleaning solution to do its job.This works especially well for thicker carpets with amount of water turned down to below 50%.For thin carpets a short distance is better as the water does not have to go deep into the fabric.Here you can even increase the water flow for very dirty areas without risking to soak the underlay too much.In either case you should check the machine before taking it home and if adjustable have the options explained to you in the store.Anything for really bad areas?The entrance area is often subject to whatever our shoes collected outside, especially if you have kids or playful dogs.A bit of oil from the road, some sticky residue of something, dust, small gravel and sand....Vacuum out what comes out first, then use a suitable, not too stiff brush if your vacuum cleaner does not have a rotating brush in the head.Use a spray bottle and prepare a solution of warm water with a bit of washing machine powder and a shot glass worth of methylated spirit.Slightly wet the soiled area with the spray bottle without saturating it.Use the brush to agitate the carpet fibres - preferably directional and with even strokes.If they are not wet in the deeper areas spray a bit more.Again: you don't want to soak it you want to wet it.Give it about 20 minutes on a warm day a bit longer if the insede temps are below 25°C.Check with your hand if the area is still wet, the alcohol should speed up the evaporation here.Before it dries up repeat the process and check with a paper towel if it picks up the stains already.If so then run over the area with cleaning machine.Best results are achieved if you manage to get the fibres wet all the way down with the brush and won't let the area fully dry off again after the spraying.How can I speed up the drying time?The only way to speed things up is heat and airflow.If outside humidty is quite high then you will struggle.Even in the summer times the humidity levels over night can get well into or even over the 80% region.Opening doors and windows then to get the carpet dry won't really help you.Best time to clean your carpets is actually at night because by the time you are done the sun is out and the humity levels much lower.On a good day below 30%.This is true even for the winter times.Put a few fans up and make sure the temperatures are well above the 20°C mark.If in doubt you have to turn the heater on.Once the humidity inside is sky high you open up all windows and doors to have an exchange of air.A few minutes suffice here unless there is wind at all.If it is a hot summer day you can of course just let it all open until the sun goes down again.During colder times pay special attention to cold areas, like your toilet, bathroom or in general areas that won't warm up properly.Even if the room was not cleaned the moisture can accumulate here and cause mold and mildew.If in doubt make sure the ENTIRE house is warm enough until your carpets are fully dry again.A humidity sensor or gauge certainly helps, two are better so you can check inside and outside at the same time.

Topic by Downunder35m  


Ceiling fan generator mod to the max

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

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