DIY Steering Wheel

Hello, I'm new here. So, lately, I've been thinking about making a steering wheel for my PC, with a simple up-and-down gear box and 2 pedals for acceleration and brake. Steering Wheel. I'm using a polystyrene sheet, to cut out a wheel from it, and in the center, there's space for installing a phone holder. I'm planning to use my phone's gyroscope and simulate it to the PC. Pedals. I've figured by using foams underneath, we can place a nail and a foil separated and when we press the pedal, the foil touches the nail and circuit gets completed. I've a general idea, but I'm stuck on how to give that signal to PC as to simulate as a button (say for acceleration and brakes.) Gearbox. For the gearbox, I figured it might be easier to make an up-down box (as in pulling the level shifts the gear up and vice-versa.) Here too, The part where I'm stuck is giving the signal to the PC. Anyone who can help me, please?

Topic by RohitR78   |  last reply

iphone external backup battery DIY with old nokia batteries as cells? Answered

I wanna charge my iphone via diy backup battery made from old nokia cells or ipad battery or even couple of iphone 4 batteries i have a step up board and a cheap backup 18650 battery board wich one should i use and how should i connect the batteries with the battery board or without

Question by turbiny   |  last reply

Launch a specific iphone app when docking in home made dock? How doable is this?

I'm doing a project to build myself a quality ipad speaker cabinet dock (because the ones to buy are aither not good enough or too costly), and had an idea for a feature that would be cool, but I have no idea how I could implement it. I want to incorporate and old school 80s/90s type LED spectrum analyser in it for display, ie this sort of thing:;=e9kApA2UbBk Now I could buy the one shown in that video for about $130 plus postage but I can't really afford to pay out money like that for a bit of bling. I've got an iphone app called Audio LED which gives the same kind of display based on sound through the mic, and I'm wondering if I added a second dock for the phone (the dock is for the ipad but could easily have room for the phone too. It'd make sense if this project could actually house and charge them both) if there's a way of linking this app to audio output from the dock? Probably sounds confusing sorry, but to clarify, if the ipad and iphone are both in the dock cabinet then playing music from the dock would automatically launch the spectrum analyser app on the phone.  That's what I want but it it probably well beyond my means without a lot of advice. I know that docks can trigger certain behaviour in the phones, so they clearly are sending a message to the phone when it docks (eg with the "iLuv" branded docks you get a message on the phone asking if you want to download their app when you dock the phone). So this certainly seems doable because to do this the phone must 'know' it is attached to a specific brand of dock in order to prompt the download.  That means the dock is sending info to the phone to tell it this, and that's what I want to somehow replicate, but with commands instead that tell it to launch this Audio LED app. Ie logic something along the lines of: if       Phonestatus == Docked &       Musicplaying == Yes then       Telliphonetostartthedisplayapp Probably pie in the sky really, but I'm certain in theory it's doable - it's just whether it's realistically doable for me. There's a much easier alternative that involves the likes of one of these really cool and cheap LCD displays:;=GBP You program them via a parallel cable I think using software like LCDsmartie, and people have used them for exactly what I want, but the problem is that means it being connected to a PC, and that kind of rules these out in this case alas.  Anyone savvy with the sort of stuff that'd be needed to do this please pipe up now, or if it's really dreaming then by all means say so. I've got some basics electronics knowledge and even used to make my own PCBs and stuff when I was a kid but only really know a few basics.  I've got stuff like breadboard and a various components etc and am happy to meddle but I'm guessing this would require programming of some kind of chip to store the commands, and knowledge of how the code distinguishes one app from another to identify the right one. Alternative suggestions welcome on how I could have a pretty looking spectrum analyser without spending tons of cash. If money was no object I'd just buy one of those ones I linked to at the top, but that's far from being the case!!! Cheers!

Topic by Mr Joshua 

Magnetic actuators - anyone here ever made one?

Magnetostrictive alloys like Galfenol are not only quite cheap but also quite possible to produce and machine at home. As it seems that right now I can't finnish anything without being stopped by something else that got my attention I am a bit stuch on all ends now LOL Anyway, I still have a few kg of rare elements like Gallium, Bismuth, Antimony and such that I misused for my testing of home made ferrites. So apart from making some fancy metals that melt at very low temperatures I thought a much better test usage would be to make something that for once has some real world use :) If you look up some of the research papers for Galfenol use or magnetostrictive materials in general you soon learn two things: a) You need a degree or have studied something related to fully understand the technical stuff behind it. b) Finding something that would give you enough info to make something that works as planned is next to impossible. I don't mind wasting some time on melting steel, machining some samples and do some testing but of course this takes a lot of time... So I was wondering if anyone here already experimented with magnetostrictive materials and their possible uses? Apart from micro actuators for minature things I don't have I was thinking of generator use. A lot of things produce wanted and unwanted vibrations, magnetostrictive alloys are capable of transforming them into electrical energy by simply using a coil around the material. For example the recoil of your favourite hunting rifle could in theory charge your dot sight or laser sight/flashlight. Or the otherwise useless vibrations of big machines or rock tumblers can be turned into something to charge your phone. Not to mention impact sensors or flat surface loudspeakers....

Topic by Downunder35m 

What is the melting point of molded plastic epoxy ?

Hello. I would like to know what is the melting point for most integrative circuits epoxy molded plastics ? The kind of plastic I am talking about would be the ones used for BGA chips found in smart phone IC's (integrative circuits). I would think that a decent powerful household kitchen microwave should have enough power to melt this type of epoxy material used for BGA IC's. I would like to de-cap the BGA. PLEASE note that I will be using a cheap throw away kitchen microwave to melt the IC and the BGA is not important even if the heat generated damages the die layers made of silicon. This is strictly for hobby purposes. The same question but does anyone know what kind of metal is the bottom part (the tiny metal circles ie solder balls) of a BGA IC made from ?

Topic by victor43   |  last reply

Looking for a cheap compressor with a high pressure rating or for airbrush use?

Today a friend of mine asked me if I know a way to reduce the noise level of his compressor in the work shed. With the current heat he prefers to work in the evening and nights, which does not make his neighbours too happy. His main use for several airbrush guns and sometimes for mormal airtools or the big spray gun for an undercoat or similar. So his main concern is oil in the airline and the actual flow rate is of second concern as he has an old 25kg propane cyclinder as an additional air tank. For relative low air volumes I would suggest an old fridge compressor. With a thicker pipe at the outlet that is filled with stainless steel wool most of the oil stays in the compressor. That is if this pipe is a) long enough b) upright c) of sufficient diameter so there is enough for the oil to avoid it being pushed up A second, standard oil seperator will be enough for the oil level required for airbrush stuff - and most other things too. If there is no pressure regulator on the airbrush system it is best to add a small air tank and shut off valve for it. In our case however a fridge compressor would be just enough to keep the bigger airbrush gun running but not to fill the tank at the same time. Not to mention the problem of fluctuating pressure levels. Since we already had a tank and pressure shut off connected to the loud compressor it was only a matter of finding something that keeps the neighbours happy. The first thing we did was to check how often the compressor comes on and how long it runs till the tank is back to pressure. With that and the stated air volume on the compressor we guesstimated that something a bit bigger than the compressor of a window airconditioner should be sufficient. The search begins.... If you don't know what to look for I give you a few hints: Older airconditioners often run on R22 or R12 - both use quite high system pressures which is a bonus, but more on that later. As a rule of thumb for these compressors you cans say: the bigger the higher the flow rate. At the local wreckers and scrap yards we found a few units but noticed the bigger ones often used three phases and not just one :( So we opted for the R22 compressor of a 4.5kW unit. Keep in mind the 4.5kW is for the entire system, so the quite massive fans can be removed from the sum. Usually the compressor alone is the 2.5 - 3kW range. Ok, we found the big thing but how does this help us? First things first ;) The oil was removed as the housing stating the original oil amount. This allowed us to use an oil rated for air use that has little to no water absorption qualities - you don't want water in your compressor. With the usual heat the water should be no problem anyway. Next was a pressure test to make sure the thing actually still works, so we added some plumping in the form of standard connectors to the inlet and outlet. We got well above 200PSI and abondoned the test at this stage as it was more than enough already. The air volume seemd to be well more than expected too so let'S move to the next stage. A fridge or aircon compressor always needs to have a certain amount of oil in it as it will otherwise seize and overheat quickly. But they are also designed so that the oil mixes with the refrigerant to cool all moving parts. So the biggest hurdle is to make sure the oil stays where it should stay and won't enter or get lost in the tank. Only real option for this to use something to catch the oil that is capable of releasing it into the compressor once it shuts off. Now there are several options for this so I start with the most basic: A "catch can" will get most of the oil, especially if filled with stainless steel wool or similar. Downside is that you have to find a way to get it back into the compressor. A step better is a thicker pipe filled with stainless steel wool to catch the oil. If placed upright and the outgoing pipe can be bend a bit upwards you have a good chance that most of the oil will sweep through the valves and get back down into the compressor housing. But only too often the cheap or even free compressor is better than expected and the oil won't get back into the housing as the vlaves are just too good. The last and IMHO best option is a pressurised return system. Most compressors for bigger aircons have a seperate filling port or sealed off piece of pipe. In this case you can do a simple check to see if they are usable for our purposes. Open the port of pipe and use a simple bike bump or similar to get some pressure in it. With a dedicated oil filling port you are best off but they are hard to find. The air you pump in should come out of the high pressure side - you might need a little pressure to overcome the valves. If you hear any bubbling in the housing (use a pipe on your ear or a sensitive microphone) it means you are going through the oil inside the compressor - perfect! You might not hear any bubbling but the port or pipe is still usable. Get ready with your fingers and start the compressor. The fill pipe should be sucking air in, same for the service port if there is one. A dedicated oil port should not suck but instead force some oil up if you cover the high pressure outlet. I assume all is good and no oil is splashing out of the open pipe or port. Add a small amount of oil with a syringe or similar into the port/pipe. If you see an oil mist coming out of the high side it is bad news. Clean outlet air is good. To get the oil back from the catch pipe or can we have to add a hose or pipe with a needle valve. It needs to be adjusted so that there is only a very little airflow (or oil mist) coming out. This regulated outlet is now being connect to the port/pipe with a bit of suction that we found earlier. Now every time the compressor runs the collected oil is forced back into the compressor :) Please double check the port/pipe used is not directly connected to the intake port! The last thing you want is a puddle of oil going into the cylinder and damaging it! They are designed to move gas but not liquid! If in doubt use a hardened sttel nail or similar to create a small puncture in the top of the compressor housing if there is nothing else to use. Check first if the material sound very thick, if so it might help to drill with a 5 or 6mm drill first - only about 1mm to make sure you won't enter the housing and conimate it with metal shavings! Once you have a small puncture hole of about 2mm in diameter get some 2 component metal repair glue mix and add a suitable connection for the collecting pipe/can. If you feel up to it you can of course use a blow torch and solder the connection on. Now we have the compressor working with a oil return system that also gives up very little to no oil at all in our system. You might now think you are good to go but you should at least add a decent and fine filter to the air inlet ;) The compressor noise of a bigger system can still be an issue if thicker pipes are used that allow the noise to travel out. Keep in mind they usually run in a fully closed system.... As we only need to match the noise level of the compressor itself a solid steel can like an old fire extinguisher in the 1kg rage is a good way out. Fill it with filter wool and a fine filter pad after adding some hose connectors either end. You can misuse the trigger nozzle and keep it to seal the top if you braze a connector on it. If the intake here is about 5 times larger than the pipe connection to the compressor itself the air flow going into the thing is low enough for a cheap paper air filter can or box if you have a quite dusty enviroment to work with. The real trick is to have a hose or pipe on the inside of the fire extinguisher connected to the compressor pipe connection. A garden hose is great here as is reduces the noise quite good and is dirt cheap. Make a lot of about 2mm sized holes in this pipe and close the other end of it off. Now the compressor will suck it through the small holes and the soft garden hose reduces the noise, the surrounding padding brings it down to basically nothing. The special case of clean air for airbrush.... If you read this for the sole purpose of airbrush use then this chapter is just for you, all other might want to skip it. The two things you don't want to enter your gun is oil or water. Both are a common thing in normal compressors due to lubrication and pressure difference resulting in condensation of the humidity in the intake air. Oil free compressors of good quality can cost quite a few bucks and often require ongoing replacement of membranes or piston seals. A refrigeration compressor with the above modifications already provides clean enough air for most airbrush users if a proper tank is used to store enough of the compressed air. So you might just want to add a basic oil filter or very fine paper filter close to the regulator. For very detailed work with very sensitive paints you might want to build a filter box containing of several layers of oil absorbent paper. This stuff is often used in the industry to clean up minor oil spills and bind oil very well. A PVC pipe (pressure rated please) with 5-8 layers of filter screens should last about a lifetime before the filters need changing if the diameter is in the 10-15cm range. That leaves us with the dreaded problem of condensation and water contamination. Depending on the type of paint and gun used a small amount of water vapour is usually no problem. Solvent based paints usally show their disliking by unwanted drops or run offs caused by water droplets. Of course you just go and buy a professional dehumidifier and accept the ongoing replacement costs for the cartridges... But if you are in a climated that has above 30% humidity for most of the year than you will have to remove the water one way or the other. A big enough storage tank for the air that is upright usually helps to release any condensated water prior to usage. But if you use a homemade tank you might want to avoid this problem completely and forget about water in the system altogehter. Silaca gel is the answer here, specifically the indicating variety that changes color once "full". A spaghetti glas or similar should be big enough unless you are in a very humid climate - is so just use multiple in a row. The air intake side for the compressor has to go through the silica gel to be effictive. This mean we need two holes in the lid. One with a pipe or hose going all the way to the botom - that is the air intake side. The other right on the lid - this is the air outlet side which continues to the compressor intake. With the color change in the silica gel we can estimate how much usage we have left until we have to heat it up to remove the water. If this color change happens quite fast from the bottom to the top, let's say within three days or less than you really need to use more jars with silica gel in a row or a longer one - like using a long and clear acrylic pipe instead. Of course you can always just cut holes and "viewing glasses" along the length to a PVC pipe.... No matter how wet your climate is you want to get at least 100 hours of compressor run time before you need to recharge the silica gel. This brings us to the recharging.... Once the color changes and you only have about one quarter left to the top you want to get the water out of the gel and re-use it. To do this you simply heat it up in your oven to around 120-150°C - the supplier should state the max temp for this. If you use a gas oven or one with limited accuracy here it is best to stay within the 120° range. You need to stir and mix the gel or use something big enough like an oven tray. But be aware that these little balls are like glass! The roll and bounce like no tomorrow! IMHO it best to use an old cooking pot that has no plastic handles for this and not to overfill it. This allows for easy mixing without making a mess that might cause a bad trpping hazard on your kitchen floor tiles! Once the gel is back to original colr it is time to let it cool of to a safe temperature and to fill it back into our canister or pipe. Tanks and shut off systems.... We have a refrigeration compressor working for us, and since it was for R22 we can use much higher pressures as a simple compressor from the hardware store. The low pressure side is used to 70PSI or around 5Bar of pressure in normal working conditions. The high side often works at pressure in the range of 200-300PSI or 14-20Bar! The tank we used is a big propane tank that was restamped at some stage in his life for the use of LPG - so it was tested to quite high pressures. The lower pressure limit is what keeps the stored gas liquid at the given temperature. For Propane at an imaginary 30°C this would around 155PSI or 10Bar. The stamped test pressure, although outdated, showed 600PSI or around 40Bar of pressure with no problems - and the thing was thick in the walls... The old shut off switch from an old air compressor was adjustable after removing the safety cap with a bit of force and the help of few cold beer. With a little tank attached we adjusted it to turn the compressor off at 250PSI or around 17Bar of pressure. If your tank is old or has no test pressure stamped on do your own test in a safe location. Make sure the area is secured so there is no chance of debris from a brusting tank can go anywhere - this includes to chain down the tank itself ;) Use the aircon compressor to fill it up to 300PSI or 20Bar of pressure - this should be tolerated with ease by any propane or LPG tank. Shut the valves and let it rest for a day or so. It is best to do this in the early morning so the heat from the day will slightly increase the pressure. At the end you still want to have a working tank and no major pressure losses. All of our mods on this tank were done without actually harming the tank. This was possible as the original valve had a release port for filling purposes - as it standard on most refillable ones. Here we removed the valve and added a pressure guage instead - better to know what is happening than to assume things. As this "port" had a seperate connection to the bottom of the brass valve we added as T-connection to allow for the connection to the compressor. Just be be really sure a thin piece of copper tubing was brazed to the exit hole of this port so all incoming air will be going down and away from the outlet connection with the big shut off valve on top - which we use to actually isolate and close the tank when not it use. Last thing required was something to connect the pressure shut off switch and regulator to. That was the only major expense on this project as we had no old BBQ hose or similar to get a suitable connector to the tank. We bought a simple adapter for the use of smaller hoses and cut the unwanted bits off we there was only the bottle conntector with the nut left. After removing the rubber ring we brazed piece of copper pipe onto it. Here we drilled holes and fitted severy connectors. First for the pressure switch, then for the connection to the pressure regulator and two standard ones with a ball valve for air hose connections. One air hose connection female, the other male so a standard compressor can be connected as well or "backfilled" for additional and mobile storage use. As we wanted to avoid any reduction in the safety and burst pressure no release valve was added at the bottom on the tank. The added silica gel filter stage was used instead so no water will get into the system to begin with. Additionally, and painfully for me and me friend, the inside of the tank was coated with a layer of acrylic paint to prevent and rust as it was free from it when we checked it at the beginning. This involved filling a suitable amount of paint into it, closing the top while keeping the thread clean and then to move the tank around to cover the inside evenly. If you do this be prepared for some weird movements with your friends LOL Once we were sure all ust be covered by paint at least three times we released the exxess paint and allowed the inside to dry with the assistance of some air forced to go in with a length of pipe. This was repeated 3 times... Then another two just for the bottom third of it where there might be some moisture after all... Now you don't want to remove the brass valve with everything connected to it just to turn the tank over to releae the collected water. Instead we made sure the added pipe on the former relese port would go all the way to the bottom of the tank. If any water collection is suspected only the connection to the compressor needs an additional valve for the disconnection so the water will be force back out here. To make this easy and fast we used standard quick connectors and a piece of flexible airhose rated to 20bar of pressure for the connection to the compressor. We checked the performance of the moisture removal and oil removal only for a few hours of running time while priming some surface for later use. The compressor oil used was very smelly to say it nice but nothing coul be smelled in the first paper filter after the pressure regulator. To check for remaining moisture levels (65% humidity in the house) we used a 10m length of clear PVC tubing going through an ice bath. After 30 minutes of moderate air release there was no condensation on the inside of the tubing visible. Of course if you only need it for air supply and don't care about a bit of moisture and oil you can keep it simple ;) Benefits of doing such a stupid thing: For starters noise and the peace of mind that you can do a lot of airbrushing until the compressor needs to kick in again. Then of course the benefit of an almost silent system compared to a standard compressor - something you can actually tolerate while doing art. But the real deal is knowing YOU did it and you did it for cheap. Warnings and some advise... I know, it should be at the very beginning but I just hope you read till the end ;) If the compressor fails from overheating you are up for a new one. This means the tan size should be within the limits of what the compressor can handle - same for what you actually use on air. You want an empty tank to be filled before the compressor feels hot to touch - quite warm is fine but if you can't leave your hand on it then it is too hot. Same story for the usage. There is no point in using a tiny 10 liter storage tank if you need that capacity every few minutes. The compressor would only have little pauses and overheat quickly. You want a good balance of usage time before the tank goes below supply pressure and running time of the compressor to get it to full pressure again. This brings us to the safety of high pressures. Where possible only copper tubing or sufficiently rate hoses should be used, the later as short as possible to avoid them acting like a whip if something goes wrong. When it comes to the safety of the tank you want to make sure to stay withing it's rated limits. All benefits of a compressor capable of producing over 500PSI otr close to 35Bar is wasted if your tank and pressure regulator can't handle it. This must not mean that you try to use a gas cylinder of unknow age and pressure rating and assume it will work! If in doubt use a lower shut off pressure and stay within the limits of normal air compressors - which is around 120PSI or 8Bar. Never, ever use a tank that is compromised by inside rust or bad corrosion on the outside! If you don't know how to braze copper tubing, pipes and connectors then check out some of the great Instructables about it! Whenever you know you won't use any compressed air for more than a few hours close all valves especially the ones going back to the compressor on the high pressure side! Some compressors really don't like a huge pressure difference constantly pushing on the reed valves. If your tank is big enough to allow for more than one hour of operation before the compressor has to top it up you might want to consider a one way valve right on the compressor outlet. This will prevent any massive pressures going onto the valves - especially helpful for modern compressors that only rely on the sealing capabilities of the clyinders or rotary system used. One thing you should always consider is a pressure relief valve rated for about 50PSI more than your tank pressure - it can be added to the pipe ;) If the shut off valve ever fails the relief valve gives you the ease of mind that it will blow before your tank does. Maintenance... If modded correctly the compressor should stay in the compressor and the compressor itself should not overheat from use. Having said that your compressor might force out a little more than your best catch system can handle. If that becomes a problem it might help to use an oil with a lower viscosity. If all fails it just means you need to top up oil once the last last paper filter is filthy or use slightly more to begin with so the intervals are longer. The silica gel, if used should be recharged before all of it is wasted - no point in adding it if you use it once full of water. If no gel is used there will be water in the storage tank. Even with the added paint and a good air filter it is possible that nasty things grow in there. Making sure the tank is emptied of any water after long uses and again before the next use is good practise. If no pressure gauge is used on the tank you must make sure the shut off valve is always working fine and within set parameters. I strongly recommend using a gauge and if not to perform a pressure check of the system every now and then to confirm all is within parameters of normal operation. A compressor constantly running means you either use far too much air or you have a leak - same story if the compressos kicks in after some of forgetting to shut it off and close the valves. If you keep the above in mind the salvaged compressor should work just fine for many years to come. Troubleshooting and alternatives.... You put everything together the right way, double checked and something is till not right? Maybe my crystal ball helps me to find something... 1. Always oil coming through the catch system. It usually means you use too much of it. A salvaged compressor, if the refrigent was removed legally from the system should still have a "correct" level of oil inside. Too much oil would mean is being pumped through the system at an excessive rate. Very thin compressor oils tend to do that in the compressor is misude like we do. Changing to standard mineral oil can help here. As a last resort you can use a pressure gauge or good judgement to allow more flow through the needle valve from the catch system back to the compressor. Too much backflow here would mean we loose system pressure to the set level of this needle valve! 2. The R22 rated compressor seems to be unable to produce enough pressure. First do a leak test using soapy water to rule out any leaks. Do a back pressure test on the ports. If you can push air through them in the reverse way with ease it means the valves are damaged making the compressor useless. You need to replace it. A regular cause with our type of usage is a constand back pressure from the storage tank to the compressor. To prevent this it might help to mount an electric solenoid between the compressor and storage tank. Such valve should be off when the pressure switch is engaged and on when the pressure switch is disengaged. This prevents the coil from overheating but requires a "normally off" type of valve. A good source at the wreckers are cars with LPG systems installed, they usually have suitable 12V valves somewhere on or near the tank and filler cap. 3. I am using several kg of silica gel but still get a lot of water in my storage tank. Going overboard in a humid climate can be a good thing here but if moisture makes it into the tank even with great amounts of silica gel there are only two causes: a) the tube or cylinder used is not long enough or not wide enough to allow the absorption of all the moisture going through. b) the flow rate is too high and the temperatures are too. For the first the solution is obvious enough. The second is related to the first for the diameter and lenght but temperatures constantly above the 30°C while operating somehow limits what the gel can do. Using a cooling coil on the intake side or simply putting the gel containers in icy water will help to a great deal here. If that is not an option than I suggest to layer the gel and to seperate it with fine paper filter screens. This will slow and even out the airflow allowing for more contact time with the gel. 4. The compressor gets very noisy after some time. If "some time" means more than 30-45 minutes you simply have it running too much and it overheats. If the noise increases too much when reaching the shut off pressure it can mean the pressure is too high for it. 5. Can I use multiple compressors from smaller units or refrigerators to get enough air volume? Of course you can but it might mean you have to lower your pressure expectations. Consider that each individual compressor would get the back pressure from all other compressors running while it's outlet valve is closed. To avoid premature failure you want to make sure the compressors are shut off at a lowver pressure. 6. I don't want to use a big tank but require a good airflow for airbrush. Two or three fridge compressors working one after the other with a small tank to keep the output pressure even can allow for about 30 minutes runtime per compressor. With three it gives one hour for the the first to cool off and should be enough for ongoing work. Downside is you need to make some sort of automatic switch to "rotate" to compressor working. Last words.... Is you find any spelling mistakes you can keep them. However, if you use them in any way to make a profit with them I kindly ask for 10% of your earning from it ;) Why did I not make an Instructable out of all this? Well the day was very hot, the beer very cold and my mobile phone at home, so I did not take any pics. To top it up the whole thing is now in a seperate box for additional noise reduction so it can be used in the same room where the guy is working. Of course he just used a nailgun for the job without any regard of access or at least easy view of the two pressure gauges. Typical if you have a great idea and the cold beer tells you to forget all about screws or hinges ROFL Only comment was: You created it and it works fine, why would need more than the pipe connections for the gel and regulator? Maybe he will reconsider when the service is due....

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply

Small variable power supply from car charger?

A friend of mine gave me a bunch or car USB charger used in his company to charge the tablets and phones the delivery drivers use. His problem was that they ordered 10 exclusive for Apple products and 15 generic ones that have the standard 1amp/2.1amp USB outlets. I was asked to take a look and see if the problem is easy to fix. Long story short it was as apart from 2 blown fuses they all suffered from bad solder connections for the cigarette  lighter contacts that failed. Anyway I looked the chips up used to regulate it all and to my surprise the datasheet said they are "variable" from about 0.3V to the max supply voltage of 32V or even 40V. Checked two of mine and same story for one, the other is dirt cheap unregulated and only used to charge a flashlight. But it made me wonder... Since the output voltage is created with a simple resistor divider giving the right feedback voltage it is very easy to adjust them to whatever might be required. Could be a far better option than our standard adjustable voltage regulators and easier plus cheaper than building your own circuit. All the benefits of short circuit protection, under voltage shut off and self regulated max power to prevent overheating for 5 bucks from the next china shop. Give it a go one day before you power wasting old school regulators ;)

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply

How I turned my Huffy BMX into a great stunt machine- and a question about decals

An ongoing project- the lost Huffy.chapter 1- Why people will think this is funnychapter 2- How I got itchapter 3- How I did itchapter 4- a questionChpt 1- Why people will think this is funny-Huffy is known(alledged) to be a cheap crummy Wal-Mart bicycle. I have a limited budget. I turn cheap crummy Wal-Mart bicycles(alledged) into great stunt bicycles.Chpt 2- How I got it-I was riding my bike, a six speed automatic, to school, and saw something reflect as I went by the weeds. I stopped, because I go the route almost every day and never saw anything reflect, and what should it be, but the most destroyed Huffy Rock-It I have ever seen in my entire life. I went on to school, as I was runnimg late and don't have a cell phone(I don't want a tumor). At lunch, I came back. I went into the Snak-Shak, and called the sheriff using a pay phone. Well, I waited. And waited. Lunch ended, so I left a note with my contact info at the scene, and left. At three, I came back. It was still there, note and all. I went home. Waited. No phone call from police saying they found the owner, nothing. Seven o'clock. I hitched a ride with my neighbors, over to the scene, and I got the bike.Chpt 3- How I did it- The handlebars were bent back at the stem in a 90 degree angle. I took them off, easily, because they were so busted that all I had to do was jiggle them a little, and they came off. After several attempts at riding without a handlebar, I got one off another frame I have. They wouldn't work. So I got the handlebars off another project(that failed)- an older Next Wipe Out that had been run over, bent frame. I put them on, and they worked great, apart from some adjustment issues- the rusted bolt needs replaced. I aired up the tires, and sat down. Painfully. Old Huffy seat, narrow as heck. I left it on there for for a while. Then, I thought, and thought, and finally asked what I should name it. So, Phoenix, arisen from the ashes of destruction, was about to be made into a really good bike. I recently replaced the seat with a plush, comfortable seat from a brand new (yet busted, due to cheap manufacture) Mongoose Rebel, but for the sake of the budget, the Bell "Little Rider" seat is as good or better than the seat I used. I only used that seat because our Wal-Mart sold out. I rode around, and it worked out great with the parts I had so carefully picked out. Things still need to be replaced, like my front tire, shaped about like this- ), and the pedals, I'll use the Wal-Mart kind. Pegs, also from the Wal-Mart, but I personally don't want pegs, as people tend to jump on the back of my bikes as they are, with no pegs, and I don't do those kinds of stunts. It rides great, except some things need a bit of oil, and just yesterday I adjusted the chain incorrectly, and now I'm in lots of pain from it locking up and throwing me off. But I fixed that, and am thinking about stenciling her name onto the frame.Chpt 4- A question-How do you get the decals off the frame? I sat there with a hair drier for about an hour and got a quarter of one off, but that's to slow, and is very uncomfortable. I want to stencil her name onto her.

Topic by extremegtafan   |  last reply

What could go wrong in a standard garage door opener?

Hello there, I have been asked to try to repair a malfunctioning garage door opener. The man who handed them to me said all of the modules work for a few weeks, then suddenly stop working. I opened them, looking for any burnt component, dry solder joints, tested relays in search of a stuck one, but could find nothing. I tested them at home, and they all reliably clicked their relay on and off, as expected. So the question is, what would cause ordinary garage door openers to fail? I thought about a bad powerline (circuits are 50's era in his building, and have never been redone), but have no means to check it. In the same direction, I was looking for a different model garage door opener, and only found two alternatives: one is the run-of-the-mill SkyLink stuff, expensive, reasonably secure, the other is the dirt cheap Chinese-made remotes with no hint about security. Since this is Instructables, I looked for garage door opener projects, but most are so-called "smart" and need a reliable Internet access, both on the smartphone and on the receiver module. Since this is a multi-tenant building and my country is known to be among the most expensive for internet access 1. there's no easily accessible Internet in the garage 2. drivers can't be assumed to have a smartphone and even if they do, 3. Internet access on a cell phone is extremely expensive. The other question would then be: have any of the community members here saw a garage door opener that would: 1- only need easy-to-make RF remotes? 2- be at least as secure as the original SkyLink? 3- require no Internet access?

Topic by Cubytus   |  last reply

Power banks and solar cells -could be great Instructable for you to make!

I was lucky to score a nice and real 8000mAh power pack with a solar cell from my local discounter.Realising the solar cell is more a gimmick than of real use I started to wonder....We all love our mobile devices and really hate that they need to be constantly charged up again.On long outdoor trips people used to carry a lot of gear and vital supplies.In todays times it almost seems that solar and battery power start to replace food and water.No trip is complete without pics, selfies and videos, some even take a drone with them.So: are there ways to increase your luggage weight by thinking smarter?Modern technology has come a long way and moves faster ever year.Solar cells are no exception here.Be it foldable setups or now even roll ups of flexible cell systems, you have the total freedom of coice.But then again: You are going on a week long camping trip in the middle of nowhere...Going on foot or using a bike means you need to keep the extras down or hire someone to carry them.Here are some of my yet to be finnished ideas:As long as you don't use them commercially feel free to make an Instructable or just use the ideas!1. Pop up amd normal tents.They seem to be the new standard now.Big with no poles on the inside and even someone who never used a tent can set them up.With the design comes a certain way of folding everything to pack it.Flexible solar cell designs won't break and can often be arranged so they would actually be able to replace parts of the outer tent material.And if it could mean they would get kinked too much and too often they are still perfect to create some "strap on panels" that can be rolled up and included with your foam underlay or mattress.A 200 or even 400W system can be transported easy and has less weight than a 80W fold up solution that you struggle to secure on your backpack or bike.2. Trackers!What is now almost a standard for fixed installations is still not seen in mobile setups.You pop up your panels, connect the power packs or batteries and go fishing, hiking or whatever.The sun moves on, the efficiency of the panels suffer.There are a lot of great Ibles for these solar trackers, from simple to 3 dimensional.Kites loves to use carbon fibre rods to reduce the weight.A tracking frame to hold a good sized flexible panel would count at less than 300 grams....In return you get up to 40% higher effiency and overall output compared to a fixed panel!Roll the panel up, fold the frame and you end up with a quite small roll that is easy to transport and very low in weight.3. Battery backups.No matter how long and well you planned, the weather might let you down shortly after your trip started.For a lot of comitted people that is no problem.The lack of power though can cause some to struggle to keep their video logs running.Your small drone might be great but it only lasts for less then 30 minutes until you need fresh batteries.Similar story if you use stabilizers, automatic tilt and pan gadgets or just a 360° camera.Just your cell phone alone can be a hassle if you use it as the main thing for GPS, pics and videos.At least one set of spare batteries seems to be a must have these days.For a lot of things it does make sense, for others not so much.Unless you really need ongoing power it might be enough to just charge you empty battery at the end of the day.But then the sun is down and options are gone for solar energy.In the RC area we can find a lot of powerful battery packs.Usually around 14V but 40 or more are no problem.And if you check the E-bike and scooter sections you will find some quite powerful and light weight battery packs.If you go outdoors a lot and for longer periods of time then it makes sense to replace the multiple battery options with just a single one.Use a high power backup battery with your solar system.DC-DC converters make it possible to literally combine everything with everything.Select the battery size so it will suit your charging needs and capabiliteis of the solar setup.Once time to close the tent you enjoy electricity to finnish your logs while your batteries are being charged during the night from the backup.4. Emergency generator.We all know these cheap gadgets like crank up torches or cranking mobile phone chargers.Nice to play with, utterly useless if you actually have to rely on them.A full charge for your modern phone might mean you crank for at least half the day - good luck!If you already carry a supply of gas for your cooking needs then these new fuel cells running on butane might be nice.Some of the Kickstarter projects actually made it into production!Prices though are more for real fans or those with enough money...But a small RC engine can drive some nice DC motor with very little fuel....In return you get a pocket sized generator that can charger your phone fully in the same amount of time a wall charger would...

Topic by Downunder35m 

Only read this if you are a kind person. Thank you.

Thank you for taking time to read this post. I realize it is rather long. If you are not a patient person, you may wish to simply skip reading this.I live in Washington DC and am looking to purchase something very specific, preferably from a reputable online retailer. I am a simple person, without any formal education. I know nothing about electronics or engineering. I hope you can be patient with those facts. I have no tools, no skills, no money, no knowledge.I'm searching for something that has been surprisingly difficult to find. Please, if you haven't got anything constructive to comment about this post, would you please just not say anything? Life is already difficult enough without negative words or sarcasm. Perhaps you might know of other internet consumer bulletin boards/forums that might be better places to ask this question? There don't seem to be very many at all.I am well aware that most modern cell phones easily fill the requirements that I am about to describe. Unfortunately, this item is needed for elderly people who are very suspicious of and dislike all things new. They violently refuse to accept a cell phone.Even if perfect, it's going to be a battle to get them to try it or use what I am searching for.So. Here we go. Maybe I can't find ALL the features, but here is what I am hoping to find:This needs to be a digital timer that can be set to go off at a minimum of six different times in one twenty four hour period, regularly.It has to have both an audible alarm and a strong vibration, and it has to be switchable between these two. Even better if it also flashes or lights up when the alarm goes off, and that also has to be optional, switchable. Very good if the strength of the sound or vibration can be adjusted easily.Should have a belt clip, preferably made out of metal, not cheap plastic.Should have a place where a neck rope could be easily attached and detached.Should have buttons that can be locked, so that no accidental changes by accidental bumping will occur.Should be water resistant. I'm talking about it being able to take a splash from a sink, not something to withstand being taken in the shower.Should also function as a typical normal digital watch with calendar feature. should be SWITCHABLE between calendar and clock view, so that all letters and numbers are as LARGE as physically possible,not all crammed on one tiny screen.Display should be larger than a normal watch, but the overall device must be small enough that a senior would not be upset to wear it around the neck or put it in a pocket, such as a normal shirt pocket.Great if it includes a strong LED flashlight feature, something with an on/off button, NOT a button that you have to hold the button down every second that you want the light to beam.Display should either be always back lit or at least have a button that will make the display light up without having to hold that button down the entire time you want it back litGreat if it came with a DVD of instructions with video, not a flimsy booklet with tiny letters written by someone who can't correctly speak English.It must run on batteries that can be purchased at any national retail chain, such as WalMart or Target. Fine if it has a very long life rechargeable battery built in, but not so fine if that battery is welded in so that it deliberately cannot ever be replaced.Good if it is able to run on the type of rechargeable replaceable batteries such as Nickle Metal Hydride or one of the others, without damage to the device.If it MUST be a plug into the wall rechargeable type, the cable cannot be a tiny pain in backside USB cable, it should be very simple and EASY for someone with arthritis and bad eyesight to plug in, perhaps with a charging cradle dedicated for the purpose, which can just be left plugged in somewhere.The charging device should have bright clear LED lights showing both that the device is currently charging as it should be, and another light that will FLASH to indicate it is now fully charged.Should sell for a price that a person that worked a lower middle class life and now barely gets by on Social Security could afford to buy. This device is not for me, if that matters at all. It is for people I care about.

Question by bearcat2222 

Top 50 Instructables of 2007 Ranked by Pageviews

This is the first in a series of data-analysis posts I'm going to make over the next few days (or hours if I can't stop myself). I love statistics, analysis, and raw data and so thought I'd share some of the really cool stuff with you. Thanks to trebuchet03 for helping with this and actually crafting the queries. Here are the top Instructables published in 2007 ranked by pageviews (I know the year isn't over yet, but we're close enough):Instructable - Number of Pageviews1. Invisible Book Shelf - 399,6472. Laser Flashlight Hack!! - 374,0233. Mouse Mouse! - 348,8804. Opening up a coke machine - 199,5255. Wallet made from a computer keyboard - 177,1766. Creating a 3D effect with image editing software (GIMP or Photoshop) - 158,4367. [!-You_ll-be-Surprised... 12 Volt Battery Hack! You'll be Surprised...] - 142,6318. How to Kiss - 132,0659. Zippo Trick: The Twilight Zone - 128,89410. Cracking/Hacking Windows Passwords - 126,39211. Lock Someone To A Tree Without Ropes, Chains, Or Any Other Ties (updated 25/07/07) - 124,42012. Wifi Signal Strainer (WokFi) Long Distance - 122,18913. Han Solo in carbonite chocolate bar! - 119,67014. Hidden Door Bookshelf - 117,38015. Homemade Infrared Goggles! For Under $10 - 117,34816. How to Make a Three Axis CNC Machine (Cheaply and Easily) - 113,82217. Trigger GREEN Traffic Lights - 111,99218. 25MM Pneumatic Sniper Rifle - 104,88019. Take Infrared Pictures With Your Digital Camera - 104,37620. Shutdown Your School! - 101,28821. Build a Nintendo NES PC - 98,75622. Interactive Multitouch Display - 96,52623. How to date a girl who is way out of your league. - 95,86124. make crystal clear ice! - 94,76425. Build a Tetris DVD (or book) shelf - 94,16226. Easy to Build Desk Top 3 Axis CNC Milling Machine - 93,14227. Solar Thermal Water Heater For Less Than Five Dollars - 90,62228. How to perform your own Tongue Bifurcation - 88,90929. EMP shopping cart locker - 87,82330. How to "Fly" a Human Powered Hydrofoil - the "Aquaskipper" - 85,77931. Barbie Doll Electric Chair Science Fair Project! - 85,48932. Use an LCD Monitor as a TV without a Computer - 82,44133. How To Make A "Secret Container" Out Of A LIGHTER - 81,40334. $60 Laser Engraver / Cutter - 79,76035. Turn Your Old CRT Computer Monitor Into A Fish Tank ! ! ! - 78,59636. Make a cool hologram illusion! - 75,99137. $100 Super Bright Flashlight for under $10! - 75,78638. The Ice Bulb - 74,84839. Solar Heater - 73,96140. Laptop Converted to 2nd Monitor - 73,26641. Tetris Ice Cubes - 72,22042. Get Money from Jammed Vending Machines, Pay Phones, etc. - 71,46143. How to Make Your Own Prototypes : How to make your own Plastic Vacuum Former - 70,30944. Laser Cutter Contest Update: Fewer Rules, More Time! - 70,09245. Portable 12V Air Conditioner --Cheap and easy! - 69,88546. Homemade Laundry Detergent - 68,42647. The Spiral Data Tato -- A Curiously Complex Origami CD Case - 68,42048. String Tripod - 68,20749. [ How to softmod your xbox...for FREE] - 66,58850. How to make a Green Lantern ring- including a glowing version! - 65,802

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply

Funny Labels

These are hilarious!!! There all REAL funny product lables that people have found. Here's the link to where I got them: Product Warnings: • "Do not use if you cannot see clearly to read the information in the information booklet." -- In the information booklet. • "Caution: The contents of this bottle should not be fed to fish." -- On a bottle of shampoo for dogs. • "For external use only!" -- On a curling iron. • "Warning: This product can burn eyes." -- On a curling iron. • "Do not use in shower." -- On a hair dryer. • "Do not use while sleeping." -- On a hair dryer. • "Do not use while sleeping or unconscious." -- On a hand-held massaging device. • "Do not place this product into any electronic equipment." -- On the case of a chocolate CD in a gift basket. • "Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking." -- On a toilet at a public sports facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. • "Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover." -- On a pair of shin guards made for bicyclists. • "This product not intended for use as a dental drill." -- On an electric rotary tool. • "Caution: Do not spray in eyes." -- On a container of underarm deodorant. • "Do not drive with sunshield in place." -- On a cardboard sunshield that keeps the sun off the dashboard. • "Caution: This is not a safety protective device." -- On a plastic toy helmet used as a container for popcorn. • "Do not use near fire, flame, or sparks." -- On an "Aim-n-Flame" fireplace lighter. • "Battery may explore or leak." -- On a battery. See a scanned image. • "Do not eat toner." -- On a toner cartridge for a laser printer. • "Not intended for highway use." -- On a 13-inch wheel on a wheelbarrow. • "This product is not to be used in bathrooms." -- On a Holmes bathroom heater. • "May irritate eyes." -- On a can of self-defense pepper spray. • "Eating rocks may lead to broken teeth." -- On a novelty rock garden set called "Popcorn Rock." • "Caution! Contents hot!" -- On a Domino's Pizza box. • "Caution: Hot beverages are hot!" -- On a coffee cup. • "Caution: Shoots rubber bands." -- On a product called "Rubber Band Shooter." • "Warning: May contain small parts." -- On a frisbee. • "Do not use orally." -- On a toilet bowl cleaning brush. • "Please keep out of children." -- On a butcher knife. • "Not suitable for children aged 36 months or less." -- On a birthday card for a 1 year old. • "Do not recharge, put in backwards, or use." -- On a battery. • "Warning: Do not use on eyes." -- In the manual for a heated seat cushion. • "Do not look into laser with remaining eye." -- On a laser pointer. • "Do not use for drying pets." -- In the manual for a microwave oven. • "For use on animals only." -- On an electric cattle prod. • "For use by trained personnel only." -- On a can of air freshener. • "Keep out of reach of children and teenagers." -- On a can of air freshener. • "Remember, objects in the mirror are actually behind you." -- On a motorcycle helmet-mounted rear-view mirror. • "Warning: Riders of personal watercraft may suffer injury due to the forceful injection of water into body cavities either by falling into the water or while mounting the craft." -- In the manual for a jetski. • "Warning: Do not climb inside this bag and zip it up. Doing so will cause injury and death." -- A label inside a protective bag (for fragile objects), which measures 15cm by 15cm by 12cm. • "Do not use as ear plugs." -- On a package of silly putty. • "Please store in the cold section of the refrigerator." -- On a bag of fresh grapes in Australia. • "Warning: knives are sharp!" -- On the packaging of a sharpening stone. • "Not for weight control." -- On a pack of Breath Savers. • "Twist top off with hands. Throw top away. Do not put top in mouth." -- On the label of a bottled drink. • "Theft of this container is a crime." -- On a milk crate. • "Do not use intimately." -- On a tube of deodorant. • "Warning: has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice." -- On a box of rat poison. • "Fragile. Do not drop." -- Posted on a Boeing 757. • "Cannot be made non-poisonous." -- On the back of a can of de-icing windshield fluid. • "Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage." -- On a portable stroller. • "Excessive dust may be irritating to shin and eyes." -- On a tube of agarose powder, used to make gels. • "Look before driving." -- On the dash board of a mail truck. • "Do not iron clothes on body." -- On packaging for a Rowenta iron. • "Do not drive car or operate machinery." -- On Boot's children's cough medicine. • "For indoor or outdoor use only." -- On a string of Christmas lights. • "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly." -- On a child sized Superman costume. • "This door is alarmed from 7:00pm - 7:00am." -- On a hospital's outside access door. • "Beware! To touch these wires is instant death. Anyone found doing so will be prosecuted." -- On a sign at a railroad station. • "Warning: do not use if you have prostate problems." -- On a box of Midol PMS relief tablets. • "Product will be hot after heating." -- On a supermarket dessert box. • "Do not turn upside down." -- On the bottom of a supermarket dessert box. • "Do not light in face. Do not expose to flame." -- On a lighter. • "Choking hazard: This toy is a small ball." -- On the label for a cheap rubber ball toy. • "Not for human consumption." -- On a package of dice. • "May be harmful if swallowed." -- On a shipment of hammers. • "Using Ingenio cookware to destroy your old pots may void your warranty." -- A printed message that appears in a television advertisement when the presenter demonstrates how strong the cookware is by using it to beat up and destroy a regular frying pan. • "Do not attempt to stop the blade with your hand." -- In the manual for a Swedish chainsaw. • "Do not dangle the mouse by its cable or throw the mouse at co-workers." -- From a manual for an SGI computer. • "Warning: May contain nuts." -- On a package of peanuts. • "Do not eat." -- On a slip of paper in a stereo box, referring to the styrofoam packing. • "Do not eat if seal is missing." -- On said seal. • "Remove occupants from the stroller before folding it." • "Access hole only -- not intended for use in lifting box." -- On the sides of a shipping carton, just above cut-out openings which one would assume were handholds. • "Warning: May cause drowsiness." -- On a bottle of Nytol, a brand of sleeping pills. • "Warning: Misuse may cause injury or death." -- Stamped on the metal barrel of a .22 calibre rifle. • "Do not use orally after using rectally." -- In the instructions for an electric thermometer. • "Turn off motor before using this product." -- On the packaging for a chain saw file, used to sharpen the cutting teeth on the chain. • "Not to be used as a personal flotation device." -- On a 6x10 inch inflatable picture frame. • "Do not put in mouth." -- On a box of bottle rockets. • "Remove plastic before eating." -- On the wrapper of a Fruit Roll-Up snack. • "Not dishwasher safe." -- On a remote control for a TV. • "For lifting purposes only." -- On the box for a car jack. • "Do not put lit candles on phone." -- On the instructions for a cordless phone. • "Warning! This is not underwear! Do not attempt to put in pants." -- On the packaging for a wristwatch. • "Do not wear for sumo wrestling." -- From a set of washing instructions. See a scanned image. ________________________________________ Assurances: • "Safe for use around pets." -- On a box of Arm & Hammer Cat Litter. ________________________________________ Small Print From Commercials: • "Do not use house paint on face." -- In a Visa commercial that depicts an expecting couple looking for paint at a hardware store. • "Do not drive cars in ocean." -- In a car commercial which shows a car in the ocean. • "Always drive on roads. Not on people." -- From a car commercial which shows a vehicle "body-surfing" at a concert. • "For a limited time only." -- From a Rally's commercial that described how their burgers were fresh. ________________________________________ Signs and Notices: • "No stopping or standing." -- A sign at bus stops everywhere. • "Do not sit under coconut trees." -- A sign on a coconut palm in a West Palm Beach park circa 1950. • "These rows reserved for parents with children." -- A sign in a church. • "All cups leaving this store, rather full or empty, must be paid for." -- A sign in a Cumberland Farms in Hillsboro, New Hampshire. • "Malfunction: Too less water." -- A notice left on a coffee machine. • "Prescriptions cannot be filled by phone." -- On a form in a clinic. • "You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside." -- On a bag of Fritos. • "Fits one head." -- On a hotel-provided shower cap box. • "Payment is due by the due date." -- On a credit card statement. • "No small children." -- On a laundromat triple washer. • "Warning: Ramp Ends In Stairs." -- A sign, correctly describing the end of a concrete ramp intended for handicap access to a bridge. ________________________________________ Safety Procedures: • "Take care: new non-slip surface." -- On a sign in front of a newly renovated ramp that led to the entrance of a building. • "In case of flood, proceed uphill. In case of flash flood, proceed uphill quickly." -- One of the emergency safety procedures at a summer camp. ________________________________________ Ingredients: • "Ingredients: Artificially bleached flour, sugar, vegetable fat, yeast, salt, gluten, soya flour, emulsifier 472 (E) & 481, flour treatment agents, enzymes, water. May contain: fruit." -- The ingredients list on a package of fruit buns. • "100% pure yarn." -- On a sweater. • "Some materials may irritate sensitive skin. Please look at the materials if you believe this may be the case. Materials: Covering: 100% Unknown. Stuffing: 100% Unknown." -- On a pillow. • "Cleans and refreshes without soap or water. Contains: Water, fragrance & soap." -- On the packet for a moist towelette. See a scanned image. ________________________________________ Instructions: • "Remove the plastic wrapper." -- The first instruction on a bag of microwave popcorn; to see the instructions, one first has to remove the plastic wrapper and unfold the pouch. • "Take one capsule by mouth three times daily until gone." -- On a box of pills. • "Open packet. Eat contents." -- Instructions on a packet of airline peanuts. • "Remove wrapper, open mouth, insert muffin, eat." -- Instructions on the packaging for a muffin at a 7-11. • "Use like regular soap." -- On a bar of Dial soap. • "Instructions: usage known." -- Instructions on a can of black pepper. • "Serving suggestion: Defrost." -- On a Swann frozen dinner. • "Simply pour the biscuits into a bowl and allow the cat to eat when it wants." -- On a bag of cat biscuits. • "In order to get out of car, open door, get out, lock doors, and then close doors." -- In a car manual. • "Please include the proper portion of your bill." -- On the envelope for an auto insurance bill. • "The appliance is switched on by setting the on/off switch to the 'on' position." -- Instructions for an espresso kettle. • "For heat-retaining corrugated cardboard technology to function properly, close lid." -- On a Domino's sandwich box. ________________________________________ Requirements: • "Optional modem required." -- On a computer software package.

Topic by LoneWolf   |  last reply

A central non-electric grid electricity storage system for solar and wind energy with future expandibility

I have been thinking and reading about building a system so that I could surf using a laptop, charge lights, charge mp3 players, mobile phones, rechargeable batteries so that if possible they would not need electricity from the grid, rather that would be optional when there would not be enough power that was found otherwise. I had first thought to work this out in a group as a kind of project, as there are others but I don't really know that many people with those skills. The idea is that you start very basic, with say one solarcell and the electronics. The electronics should allow plug to when you wnat to have the money you can add another, in serie or parallels so they give more power. This can then be plugged in to a system that stores that electricity in batteries. The system should also be so that it allows to connect for example one or more small selfbuild wind turbines, like the ones found here, so that in the best case you get electricity from both, or one of both but with the possible option to get electricity from the grid so that if necessary you can charge something from there. That would mean it would include an electricity meter, and maybe the possibillity to add that self powering powerplant as well.So basically you have two projects. Or maybe three. The casing to add small solarcells in, and then be able to add several casing together. The electronics to put them in serie and then a central electronic system, which allows to connect solar casings, self build windmills, batteries, the self powering power plant, possibly the possibility to add it do the grid, and last but not least the possibbility to charge things. That could be a seperate part of electonics. As one of the things I had been thinking about is to allow to connect fuel cells to it. I prefer us in what already exist, so I would suggest using the following instructabels projects or learning from them:a Savonius Wind Turbine,Ted Baer's Bicycle Wheel Windmill, savonius windmill alternator,introPringles Wind Turbine,DIY 1000 watt wind turbine,A remote controlled power RGB LED mood light,Power LED's - simplest light with constant-current circuit,Circuits for using High Power LED's,personal powerPlant, ... others may follow laterLike for example the Charge Any USB Device by Riding Your Bike but then connected to the portable usb batteries, so they could be also connected to the central charge unit. The connectors could be usb connectors. I saw some time back a connector which had a 4 port usb block attached to it, but other connector types would be usable as well. In adition, it should be able to switch on automitcally when the sun goes down, but allow a control a button or remote control to trun them manually off, so that no needless electricity is wasted. I know this is a lott at once, but its more my kind of thing to work on more complete/complex systems. The lights that would be used with this would be led lights, powered a la sunjar, using the same technique. So that them turning off and on, is mostly controlled by the sun going up and down. My idea was that with such a system, I could add piece by piece, and still have light, and electricity indepency from the grid, and I would know the cost, so that once I would have bought the pieces it would generate electricty whitout to much further cost.Solarcells would typically provide 8V or 12 V, this could be smaller ones, the casing would be is supose made of plexiglas, with pieces that standup to keep them appart, and holes for the cables, and a backside, that stays dry as well. This is what is on the drawing: the solarcells feed into the sersol which puts them in not parallel and then transport the current to the cen1 which directs it to the batteries to store it. The same for the windmills. But they go to the windmills, which puts there current in not parallel. The powerreg, regulates the power of the personal power plant, it can discharge, but also just regulate. There is connector to the grid, so if there is no electricity or not enough electricity it can be taken from the grid. There is the possibillity of a remote, which would work in connection with the cen1. The batteries might need extra electronics to see which one is full and to divert the current to another battery, and to get current back to the powersockets which could be regular oens, but also preferably usb ones. The other two connections could be for for example fuel cells, or something else. The control solar cells is simply to turn the connected sunjars which may still each have there own solarcell, on or off by the rising or going down of the sunn. The remote, is to turn them off manually.The casing should be sturdy but not to expensive, it may have to include somethings to keep it right, but the idea is to be able to put them after glass as well. The idea is that the electronics design would be free, or very cheap, so that people can build this themselves, the casing shouldn't be to expensive but that can differ on taste, most parts or thing likes windmills would be the DIY type or possibly ones you can buy as well, and most parts would have to be, off the shelf. I'll try to add a basic drawing, and some sketches, to give you a better idea. I'm not that good at that, i'd admit.

Topic by Floris Vermeir   |  last reply

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

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

Topic by lamedust   |  last reply

The little guide to buying on Ebay

Like or not Ebay is now the number one online market place.Since they do their best to keep it that way a few tips might be of use to someone.Unlike some other guides this one is not about how to find the best bargain.It is about showing some things you should be aware of, especially if you are new Ebay.1. New, unused, refurbished....These three can literally mean anything if you find them in a listing title.Unless you read the full description you simply don't know.Assuming the listing goes along with the title.New should mean exacty that: Same condition as you would find in any retail store.Unused can be the same but could also mean it was opened, like to check it or take the pictures.Refurbished is something to take with caution.Unless it clearly states Manufacturer refurbished you just don't know if the refurbishing is done to specs.For a phone it could mean a badly glued screen, a no name battery, non matching serial numbers...Unless an item is factory sealed you should expect detailed pictures.In a lot of categories you will only find generic pictures though - buyer beware!2. Warranties....Ebay does have a buyer protection but Ebay does not deal with Manufacturer warranties in any way!In some countries a seller is legally required to provide a warranty and return statement.Sadly that is not the case in all countries Ebay serves.When it comes to brand new devices you might experience problems with your warranty.As more and more companies go against online selling platforms they do not support they simply exclude them from a warranty.Let me give you an example for this one:You see your favourite smartphone at your local retailer for the bargain of just under $1600, while on Ebay you find the exact same model for $1200.Easy choice? Depends...If the manufacturer does not support this then only the seller can provide you with some sort or warranty.The good one claim to do so but don't expcet this from someone only selling a handful of items per year.In the worst case it could mean your new gadget develops a fault over time that would be fully covered by a manufacturer warranty but you would totally miss out.The money is gone and you have to fix it at your own cost.If the item in question is also of value then please check the warraty and return conditions the manufacturer allows before buying.4. Pricing....Especially when it comes to things that somehow could be bundled or used with something else you can get screwed.The culprit i question is the multi-item-listing.You might look for a battery pack to keep your phone charged when on long hiking trips.But the first 50 or so listings are all in the lowest imaginable price range.The listing title shows what you are looking for, the image does too....Then you dare to check and it is a listing where you can select multipl items.The price shown in the search result is only for the lowest crap listed there, like a "waterproof usb plug"....The actual thing you need is usually overpriced.You are forced to either ignore suspiciously low priced listings or check them all to compare prices.5. Postage costs....A lot of things these days come with free shipping, all good.If they don't then again: Buyer beware!Sometimes there are exclusions, like certain post code areas.Or the free shipping is not for international customers.If it is clear you have to pay shipping and you buy only a single item then again the case is quite obvious.Combined shipping however does not always mean single costs!Check the psotage options for multi items carefully!Often additionalitems are free if they are small.But if a seller already charges you a high postage fee than chance are you pay the exact same price again for the second - even if the arrive in a single $2 prepaid envelope.6. Faked locations....It seems to be common with Chinese sellers to avoid import taxes by faking a local item a selling address.In some cases (often after Ebay got too many buyer complaints) they list the real shipping time of 2-3 weeks.More often however they don't.Once you have the problem the best option is to open a "item not received" claim 3 days after it was due.On the due date contact the seller and ask when to expect it.There is a way to spot these fakes and tax frauds:If a local seller, with a locally listed item gives you a Chinese Paypal account with an address in China than you got a fraudster.Problem is that once you committed to buying and can see the sellers account details it is already too late.To cancel such a transaction you need to do it the official way and if the seller won't agree then don't expect Ebay to accept that you don't want to suppport tax evasion and fraud.Either way, I report each and every single one seller showing a local item with a local selling addrees but using a Chinese Paypal account.7. Fraudulent listings and sellers....Let me give you a slightly overstated example on what I mean:Seller has only sold a very few items, usually of low value.Suddenly you spot y nice and this years model laptop at a bargain price.You check the listing closer and find just 2 or 3 pics.Further down you read something along the lines "Unwanted gift, comes with car charger only."If it is this years model then it is still under warranty and no one would lose all the additional hardware like the wall charger. ;)Again it is up to the buyer to decide....Ebay does not check where an item comes from or if the seller is the legitimate owner of it.8. Exclusions to make...Be it price, auction only, distance and so on.You can make certain limitation and selections to narrow your search results.Some make sense and work, like just showing items to auction.Distance no longer really works as sellers are no longer required to state a town or post(zip) code anymore.Price is relative too.If you know the ting you need definately costs between $100 and $130 then the search still won't filer anything out that is a multi item listing and within the price range.And in some cases it just totally fails.A very vital exclusion was removed around 2014: by country.Now all that is left is to limit to all within your home country.You can't select for example Japan only if you are located in Europe and would like to avoid the rediculous postage costs from the US.And you could not exclude China either...All or local is what you can play with.For the rest that is available: use it whenever it make sense and is possible.9. You buy it - your problem!No I don't mean faulty items or wrong ones.I mean simple things that can happen to anyone distracted, unconcentrated or too full of exitement.You buy something and think you are the happiest guy in the world until you double check the listing to confirm your luck.Missed the over $300 in postage ocsts?Did not see further down that it states "replica" or "scale model"?Or hints that the massive sized Opal in fact is just a resin with a thin and cheap layer of Opal flakes on a black background?As said, your problem alone.I know a lot of people who started having fun on Ebay until they got their gib bargain surprice - one way or the other.Don't become one of them and read and check listing you might want to buy with great care!10. Feedback...You might have noticed that it is next to impossible to find a seller with a feedback rating below 90%.The reason is quite simple: The lower your ratings as a seller the further down the search results you appear.And of course you don't make any business anymore once so low...But feedback you leave is as important as feedback you get!So if you spot a deal where the seller has a rating below the magic 99.5% positive rating you should check his feedback.Quite often it is clear that some angry customer left it.Most obvious if the seller left a reply stating otherwise.But in some case you more than one buyer left a negative feedback for the same reason as other buyers - this is where you should be careful.The reason to actually check the feedback is quite simple: It is heavily manipulated by Ebay.A seller won't get and negative feedback if he agreed to replace the item in question or if he offers a refund.Same for simply stating that a negative feedback was not justified.The later can be anything from the words used to just wanting a clean sleeve.And if a seller is highly active than business rules and the feedback is corrected by Ebay.You might have noticed that for some sellers now now new negative feedback show up that would be of any real concern for a potential buyer...11. Retractions :(Be it a seller not wanting to sell something that auctioned off below his expectations or a buyer who simply failed to pay attention to the price and all details : A retraction is possible.If you try a lot of auctions you might have had the "second chance offer".After you lost an auction you might get notified that the winning bid was retracted and that you are next in line.In almost all cases your last bid will be accepted but some sellers offer you the item for what the rectracted bid was - so pay attention to details!Now you might think that if happens so often you could make good use of it.Like for example participating in several autions to try to win the device one way or the other.Set some sutomatic bids and go to bed.If lucky you got one, if too lucky you won all auctions.Retracting your bid on those you now no longer need is possible but I strongly advise against it!Firstly you can negative feedback from the seller for it and secondly Ebay will keep you under watch if it happens too often.An honest mistake and all is fine but ask for a retraction a few times a month and you will have a hard time on Ebay.In the worst case Ebay can even suspend your account or exclude you from auctions.So, is it still worth signing up and trying to find a bargain?IMHO it all depends on WHAT you are looking for.Someone in a remote area of Brazil will certainly value it differently than someone living downtown L.A. with access to all sorts of shops, retailers and outlets onevery corner.Same for spare parts, electronic parts or stuff that is made in China anyways.But times have changed for sure.What started free for everyone became a paid platform for those who sell.Later those buying also had to pay extra as still all transactions come with fees on the side of Paypal.Not much to be fair but still...And from a platform with a few scammers and frudsters that always got and kept your money we came to something flooded by sellers that should not even be allowed to have a Paypal account.The buyer protection helps in some way but it can take weeks to get your money back and if it something expensive than this money makes interest for someone else while you don't have to buy what you wanted to buy.While, in a real shop you just go back and return your item to get your money back - plus you get a real warranty.Do your homework and be aware of what could go wrong.If it looks like it could go wrong somewhere than you might want to consider a deffierent option for this item.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply

Cfmoto 650 - possible options to derestrict the Australian model

When it comes to motorcycles with restrictions then Australia seems to be pretty much alone in the world.Despite an abundance of bike to choose from that would fit weight/power limitations it seems to be common to go overboard here.As a result basically all popular motorbikes up the 650ccm hit the AU market in a restricted form if they don't match the limitations by default.For someone in the US just reading this might sounds like a useless concept to get people to learn how to ride a motorcycle.As a fully licensed rider and being on a budget a bike for just over half the price of a Japanase model is still tempting.And for general touring use the MT is actually quite a comfortable bike.Big downside is the impossiblity to get certain bikes in an unrestricted form.For the Cfmoto's of the older type, running the Ducati ECU it is as simple as adding a suitable fuel/ignition tuner module and removing the physical restrictions.The newer models from 2017 onwards use a more reliable Bosch ECU though.With them it is appearently possible to use BWM tuning module but with the requirement to do a full remap on a Dyno.The 2018 MT is my bike, so I will focus on this, but the gerneral things are identical on all the Cfmoto 650 models.A word on the legal things first....Outside AU none of this concerns you as your Cfmoto will come unrestricted anyways.Within AU however we are subject to several laws that make the legal modification of a so called LAMS motorcycle virtually impossible.You can even put a different exhaust or airfilter on them without risking to loose your license and get some hefty fines.As a fully licensed rider however the law often turns a blind eye on these things as they don't really matter as long as they won't affect the safety of the bike, rider or other road users.With the plated riders out for now, let's focus on the options for a fully licensed rider, shall we?There is no need for a RWC or anything if you already owned the bike in the LAMS version.But if you try, for example, to go to Vicroads and have the registration details changed to reflect that the bike is now running with it's full factory default power, or a bit more you are lost.Two reasons for this.Firstly Cfmoto did not bother to import and register for road use any unrestricted version of the 650's.Secondly the VIN number and engine number are fixed in a database for LAMS only bikes.You would need a full engeneering certificate to register the bike in any modified version that affects the power output or reduces the weight of the bike.Sets you back about 10.000 dollars and still won't garantee that Vicroads actually transform it into a legal, unrestricted bike.The police has little to no interest in what a fully licensed rider does to a bike - within the usual limits of course.And since you would not sell the bike without fully reverting it back to the LAMS state the risk of prosecution can be fully minimised:If your insurer agrees to provide full comprehensive cover once the bike is (properly) reverted to what the international models are it is down to serious accidents that might still cause trouble.For example when you cause severe injuries to someone else the bike would be checked for modifications that could have had an influence on the accident.My insurer explained it like this:If the bike is checked roadworthyness after an accident it would fail because it is no longer LAMS compliant.That would automatically default the rider to be responsible for the accident even if not at fault at all.With that it is mandatory to have all the details about the modifications listed and validated in the insurance policy!Adding a tuning module for example would mean providing a fully Dyno chart with a safety confirmation from a licensed vehicle tester.For example the confirmation would state that a power Commander with Auto Tune module was installed together with a slip on exhaust system.Bike specifications allow for the save use with said modifications based on the results of the Dyno runs.With that the rider is put back into legal territory as the insurer stands for the roadworthyness of the modifications.It certainly helps to just stick with the default options and to provide the Cfmoto cert copy from the same international version of the bike.A plated rider should never attempt any of this as it still means there is no way to get away - legally and financially!Possible tuning options for the LAMS versions:Adding one the usualy tuning modules is not only pain but also costly if done properly.Being a LAMS bike you will have a hard finding a reputable shop to install a tuning module for you.Doing it yourself can be tricky, especially if you consider that the default wire colors are often different on the bike.Takes a few hours to check the wiring diagram, follow and measure connections and then to finally risk starting the bike....It works though if you know what you doing.Biggest downside is that you won't find any ready to go maps that you can use.And trust me trying to modify fuel or ignition maps yourself is not for the faint of heart and only an option if you a) know what you are doing and b) have the tools for it.There is a good chance the bike actually runs worse than without the module.Now the obvious solution would be to go for some Dyno runs and to have it all setup properly.Again, with a LAMS bike you will have a hard time finding a licensed and reputable shop to take your bike in.If you find one that does it anyway than it really is best to go for the full package and to suck the costs up.Let them supply the required modules, sensors and all, deal with the airbox and throttle limiter.Then have the usual 3-4 Dyno runs to get the mapping done properly.This approached worked perfectly fine for the older bikes using the Ducati ECU.The new models with the Bosch ECU might still struggle to accept the tuning changes.Reason for this is the checking of literally all sensor informations.Means the tuning module must cater for this and not just fool the O2 and TPS sensor readings.Just removing the throttle limiter and airbox restrictions will cause the bike to run too hot very quickly and also puts your ECU into a lean default mode once you see ECU errors flashing on the dash.Real tuning options that won't have a chance to harm the engine:With all models available internationally and without any restrictions it is relatively easy to find a wrecker in the US, EU or even Asia to supply parts from crashed bikes or those confiscated for destruction by dismantling them.If you are a fully licensed rider and after a bargain or love your first bike so much that you want to keep it once the plates are gone:Organise the ECU, airbox and throttle body from any part of the world except Australia.Sometimes you even find them on Ebay so pay attention to the sellers home country (some AU sellers go international and would then just get the same what is already in your bike ;) )!!Why not just the ECU you ask?Our airbox has added restrictors, just removing is not the best option as they are also responsible for causing required turbulences in the airflow.A straight through or even pot filter option would again require ECU tuning.As said, talking stock here...The throttle body might not be required to get the full power the bike is intended for but you never know for sure.If in doubt pay a few bucks more and have the injectors and sensors included as well ;)But why would I want to pay for a throttle body if it is not 100% certain I would require it?It would'n t have the screw hole for the throttle limiter ;)This tiny detail can be of importance if you go the full lenght, more on that later.With those three components (or two if you want to go without the throttle body) you have a stock international version of the 650.Makes it relatively easy to convince your insurer that the bike is safe to use in this configuration.Adding just a slip on is no problem either as the normal ECU runs quite rich in the higher RPM's anyway and the new exhaust would not make too much mess here.But adding a less restrictive airfilter will need Dyno tuning.Going the full length, especially interesting if you buy a second hand Cfmoto.It will take you a lot of Emails and some overseas phone calls but it is possible to find a wrecker that can sell you the registration plates for the frame of the bike - legally if said wrecker is allowed to sell frame number for rebuilds.Adding this plate to your order means your second hand bike can be deregistered, sadly this means unless you pay extra you need to hand in the numberplates as well.No big deal however if the bike comes without numberplates anyway.Once you installed all parts and replaced the frame ID plate you take the bike for normal RWC check and get your green slip.With that you go and ask to register your bike with new (or your old) numberplates.The Vin will not show up in their database and a red flag comes up, prompting some questions from the offcial behind the counter.The bike you know have is an imported model you got for cheap when you saw it for sale in some carpark with a blown engine.As the actual engines are identical you replaced the blown engine with one from an AU bike that crashed and was written off.In return you now pay a slightly higher than usual transfer fee but get the bike registered as he international model without LAMS restrictions.Even the engine showing up as a LAMS engine is of no concers here as there is no legal reason to not allow the use of a lower powered engine in a motorcycle.You insurance polcy will also go up a few bucks but that is not really worth crying about now anymore.Once you go out with your numberplates you can enjoy a legally derestricted (imported) Cfmoto.Ok, I got it an I say I am a fully licences rider that does not care too much and wants to go as cheap as possible...A brand new ECU from China sets you back about $400AU.Downside is that you are never 100% certain the mapping will fit what is installed on your bike.There might be differences for the US or EU market, not so much though for Asia - so ask for what market region the ECU is intendet and prefer the Asia market here.The airbox limiters should be safe to remove but you might have to make simple plates up to install so the air turbulences are within specs - you will notice if the bike runs really crappy in the high revs and struggles to provide power to the wheel...Unless Cfmoto actually include more limitations in or around the throttle body going with stock should be fine - flashing ECU error will tell you if not.Postage from China can be a pain, not so much for time it takes but for the money charged to use proper and trusted courier services.Up to $100 just for postage is not uncommon but also means the parts are your within a week or 10 days most.Some provide cheap flat rates but both have the risk of being asked to pay import duties if held by AU costoms.Going second hand from some wrecker outside AU can be slightly cheaper for the ECU but again postage can a pain on the pocket.The obvious downside is that the bike with such a simple and direct mod would be still a LAMS bike and if checked make it illegal to use with all the corresponding consequences for the rider - even if fully licensed, please check the above insurance part again if you must.If done properly and maybe even with a slip on: what gains are we talking about in actual figures on the wheel?To be honest not really that much at all, the bike is just too heavy.But the response will improve noticable!The bike pulls out of corners with ease now and no longer requires you shift through the gears with a screaming engine.Imagine you have a small, 4-cylinder car and went on a long holiday trip with your heavy camping trailer always attached.Holidays are over, you unhook the camper and go for a quick run to the shops for supplies.It is that wow feeling that you get when you take off with the weight gone...The gears run higher with a more evenly distributed power instead of just a narrow window of RPM's with enough power to pull away.The KW and RPM values are available on the Cfmoto homepages.What about top speed?I managed to get to a full 110km/h !! ;)For anything above that ask your local Dyno please or pay for a day on the track.What if the police gets me and makes trouble because of the modifications?A well trained officer in a bad mood will always be your nightmare.So I won't go into the troubles if you still need plates or just got your full license a few days ago...You are allowed to ride any road legal motorcycle, no matter the power ratings.However, a really pesky cop wanting to go by the full book on you will use the computer to check your bike and registration details.And if he knows the most obvious non-legal mods to LAMS bikes, like the shiny exhaust you will need a lift home.Chances are though that a clean driving record and having your full license for a few years indicates that you actually know how to handle your bike properly.That is the point where your honesty and details with the insurance company matter.Preferably with you having a copy of your policy with you when riding the bike.With that you can always argue the modifications are documented and approved by your insurer and corresponding vehicle tester.Makes it then only a minor offence for not being LAMS conform.The paperwork to fight you on what your insurer singed off for is just not worth it with a possible drunk driver getting past while you argue....Legally they can still book you or even take the bike but do they ever bother to take those Harleys or street racers with screaming exhausts you hear from miles away before you even see the bike? ;)As said, it comes down to a LAMS offense that is fully covered by your insurer and with that not really worth making a big fuzz about.If you got pulled over for speeding or other offenses the story will be different though as it then could be argued you made these modifications with the INTENT of illegal activities - like speeding or pulling stunts that are not allowed on public roads.Here you insurer can refuse the cover the same way they would for the same offences on a fully legally unrestricted bike.Is it worth taking the risk?No, it is not!If you are after a bike with good handling and power you would not ride a Cfmoto...As a true LAMS bike the resale value is actually quite good if the bike is kept in good condition.Modified you will have a hard time selling it as no learner would take the risk - a working brain assumed here.For a keeper once fully licensed or someone on a budget it can be quite tempting.After all, it leaves a nagging feeling if have a full license and sit on a restricted bike....You always have to explain what you ride and why anyway every time you pull over where chatty bikers are around.Selling the bike in good condition and maybe together with the extras you got over the years might be enough to justify the extra for a second hand bike from Asia, Italy or Austria and give you more leasure and pleasure in the long run.Doing it properly and in the most legal way costs quite a few bucks.If you add this to the current asking price of around 7500 ride away will add at least another $1500.Depending on the exhaust system even more.If you require proper identification and tracing of things like VIN plates it can be clse to $2000.At this point you already see really only makes sense it is a cheap second hand bike, whicj makes the entire approach a bit questionable anyway.With now close to $10.000 for a new bike the difference to a well known brand with maybe a better reputation is not that big anymore.The bike would already be unrestricted and making road legal modification wouldn't interest anyone.Not to mention of course the warranty issues as Cfmoto won't honor any of it if you modify new LAMS bike!Now add the possible costs for repairs or parts that would otherwise be free and free of labour costs and the bargain becomes very expensive before the warranty period is over.There will be the point where you ask yourself why did you bother in the first place....Warranty....Once modded the factory warranty is void so to say.Problem here is that the law is intentionally unclear on the reasons and options applicable here.As the bike would (without exhaust mod) be just like any international model the law states the warranty must be granted.However, Cfmoto has the right to refuse it anyway based on the exclusions required by law to prevent non-LAMS conform bikes from getting back on the road.A blown engine with a proper service history would be no big deal without this.The right to refuse a free warranty replacement for covered parts if the bike was not serviced by a licensed dealer is something car manufacturers already failed with.Cfmoto however will argue that their terms and conditions always superseed any Australian laws or regulations unless it was legally shown that one or more sections are actually invalid in Australia.This includes any evident or suspected tampering with the LAMS restrictions.If in doubt an ECU reading would indicate the impossible throttle positions used and the different ECU.Means even once the warranty is over you can't really take your bike to your dealer for a service or just a check without risking troubles.Some say this is still not enough to deter restricted drivers, I say that any fully licensed rider should have the right to enjoy his bike without LAMS restrictions.But if in doubt Cfmoto is always right, no matter how they argue.Last words from the wise camel....If you are fully licensed it is entirely your choice what you do with your bike and how you deal with - or interprete possible legal issues.Anyone required to display plates should just not think about modding the bike, it is not worth the risk.Although not really a big deal for an experienced rider, the added power and better response can cause a bad judgement.You might have been happy to open her up fully around your favourite hiarpin bend but now it could mean you loose traction even if don't try to break your LAMS approved speed record.Especially when things get a bit slippery and unexpected it can be difficult to prevent the heavy beast from going down.Never underestimate what you can't see and react to in time!Never overestimate your skills or the bikes real capabilities in terms of handling and grip!Once you are fully used to the different response you are fine, until then it is better to play it safe instead of ending up to be very, very sorry....

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply