large magnifying glasses to heat swimming pool?

Why cant you use the large magnifying glasses if seen used to melt metal etc. to heat a pool by pointing them at the water instead of all the solar panels and black pipe?

Question by djlayman   |  last reply


Magnifying Lens and Solar Panels! Answered

 Would a magnifying glass/lens increase the amount of solar energy to a solar panel/cell? or would it just block the rays? i'm a bit confused because people haven't done it before and because people put glass (and silicon) in front of solar cells all the time.

Question by Houdinipeter   |  last reply



How to limit light thru magnifying glass

I'll try to make this short and to the point - Does anyone know a way (or could think of a way) to make a device that would fit onto a magnifying glass or similar, so when the magnifying glass is used to burn wood/start fires, the burn mark is not as thick? Thanks.

Topic by Bran   |  last reply



how hot is a laser cutter beam? Answered

How hot is a laser cutter beam? I was thinking of using a magnifying glass and the sun to burn into metal or stone.  And when I say magnifying glass I meant using a giant frens lense Overall my goal is to carve into metal, stone or brick.

Question by Houdinipeter   |  last reply


Bacteria-like projections when shining a laser through a magnifying glass.?

          I was recently shining my new green laser pointer through a magnifying glass, and the beam went through the little circle near the bottom of the lens that magnifies things more than the rest of the lens. The laser dot got very much larger, and there were odd little dark circles surrounded by larger, transparent circles. I also noticed the same thing, but with longer, oval-like projections instead of circles. What are these projections of? I'm guessing dirt, hair, bacteria, etc. Can anyone tell me? I want to know because it's a pretty cool effect and it would be cool to know if I'm looking at bacteria or something like that.

Question by ALogan97   |  last reply



Could I build a giant magnifying glass? (And maybe incorporate it into a steam engine?)

Optics are fun, and so following that logic, scaled up optics should be even more fun. And so this leads us to: How do I build a giant magnifying glass?The sun has a lot of power, and I want to harness that energy, and try out a few things, including the interesting prospect of using it to power a steam engine. (Heat up something, run water over it, and run the steam through a turbine).Several methods have come to mind, including: acrylic, freezing some water in specially-shaped bowls, and sandwiching water (which has a slightly higher refractive index than ice) between two parabolic pieces of plastic. I'm personally concentrating on the last one, as it would be more permanent than the ice.Just thought this up: freezing a lens, and then coating it with something immediately so that it will stay once it melts. What do we have that is clear, dries quickly, and readily available?Does anybody else have experience with this?UPDATE: Some relevant links...An ideal result.Parabolic mirrors are another possibility, but I'm still more interested in a lens.Where a lot of this sprang from.Indices of refraction. Is it Indices or Indexes?Hmmm....

Topic by carbon   |  last reply


digital soldering glasses... i need inSIGHT.

I have a idea, to create digital soldering glasses but don't have any inclinations on what direction to go or what mats. to use. I have entertained microscope lenses, ben franklin-esk, lenses (not digital),surveillance pens( not sure how to zoom them),phone cameras( no idea how they zoom either (not in a diy fasion)) a small screen to a hacked digital camera scope, I am a experienced circuit developer with limited understanding of optics. so here is the question if not "think tank" disclosure. if you were to make "zoom glasses" what you use and why.  other low tech to turn digital to be jewelry quality scopes. magnifying lenses for eyeglass repair, etc.     thanks for your time and consideration.

Topic by CD_tatro   |  last reply


How does light react to one way glass?

I hope this is the right forum for my question. Earlier today I was watching a show on Netflix (Mythbusters) and they were using some one way glass. I was just wondering how light behaves towards this. For example if I used some one way glass in the side of a computer would I be able to see the light from LED's? The LED's would reflect on the mirrored side, wouldn't they? So would the light be magnified when I look through the clear side? I hope what I was trying to say was understandable.

Topic by Triblade101   |  last reply


My fifth-grade daughter is asking for help in putting together a "Detective's Kit".....any input? Answered

Ideally, this would be a carry-around detective's kit, with a pen, a notebook, a magnifying glass etc. etc. Photo-related ideas would be superb!!

Question by chipper35   |  last reply


Making a bug collectors helm.

Does anyone know of some instructions to make a leather type cap with magnification glass or strange levers protruding out of it? I'd like to make something "weird-scientist"-like for my entomologist friend, Thanks! edited to spell "bug guy" correctly

Topic by Oakherder   |  last reply


Turn your monitor into a lamp. (no modding)

Here I have made a PPT presentation for making lamps, moodlights or whatever out of your monitors. I got the idea by seeing that holding a magnifying glass in front of my monitor gave a clean but tiny image on my wall, but the rest was bright and blurry like a moodlight. The file is given below. Save it, open it and use it.

Topic by Derin   |  last reply


VGA Video goggles/glasses on the cheap. i know its possible.

Ok,        i have been looking over the internet for a while now trying to get some sweet video goggles or a video headset like ipod video goggles but for my computer screen. the best i can come up with are in the range of $299.99 to $1K+. i was looking at the lady gaga video glasses tutorial and thought that i could hack the input on those tiny screens and slap a vga cable on it, glue it up with a set of gem magnifier glasses and be watching a video in no time. this is not easy, i don't know how to splice up the wires and connect them up, i don't know how bad this would be for your eyes and most importantly i don't know how to make my computer see this new VGA cable as a monitor. Anybody with the brains feel like mocking this up? i think it would be amazing if we could get this in. Id even be willing to guess a fast track to getting it working right would be with something like the usb desktop extender seen in the link below. http://www.walmart.com/ip/StarTech.com-USB2VGAE2-USB-VGA-External-Monitor-Video-Adapter/13215071?wmlspartner=GPA&sourceid;=44444444440261298289 Thanks!

Topic by Exhumer   |  last reply


Mystery of the CO2 Balloons!

Filled some balloons w  co2  from dry ice in a soda bottle.   As expected, they act like a lens, a magnifier of sound. No mystery there. Just as a dense glass refracts light, the denser gas refracts sound. The mystery is why balloons filled with co2  leak down faster than identical balloons filled by mouth. Yes, there is some co2 in my exhaled breath, but it is mostly  n2,  and  o2.  I would hav expected the n2 and o2 to leak out more quickly, being smaller molecules. So whatzup wit dat?

Topic by Toga_Dan   |  last reply


I'm getting seriously frustrated with this DIY iPod projector.

I am trying to make a video projector for my iPod touch using a cardboard box, mirror and a magnifying glass lens. When I put my iPod over the mirror, it projects onto the wall but I can JUST vaguely see the picture. It's not clear at all. What do you guys suggest? Smaller mirror? Moving something closer or farther to the lens? Smaller lens? It's really starting to p*ss me off. I want to know what some of you might recommend. Below are the blueprints I roughly sketched up on MSPaint.

Topic by Zachintosh   |  last reply


New Site Search Doesn't Work on Chrome on Mac

I'm running Chrome 27.0.1453.47 beta on a MacBook Pro running OS 10.8.3 and I can type in the new search box on the main homepage but it doesn't search when I hit return or when I click on the magnifying glass. It worked in Firefox though.  I've disabled adblock to see if that was the cause of the issue and that didn't help either.  Anyone else have this issue?  I've had a lot of issues with Chrome on the Mac with this site, including when editing instructables.  I couldn't even submit this bug report on Chrome because the "Preview Topic" button would not do anything when clicked.

Topic by johnfixesstuff   |  last reply


LED to laser beam?

I have just started the optics section of my physics class and I was amazed to learn that one can use a simple magnifying glass to form a beam from an LED.  Could this be used with a high power LED such as a 100 watt one, and then a beam expander (backwards to compress it) to form a laser beam of sorts.  Obviously it wouldn't have a common frequency, but could one theoretically make a very high power, burning beam with this quite easily. I know from experience that holding your finger in front of a mere 10w led can get quite hot, so couldn't using a 100 watt led yield some awesome ant killing hotdog frying results?  If not, how many beam combiners would you need to make it work

Question by seedorfj   |  last reply


The search bar does not work!

From the explore page (https://www.instructables.com/tag/type-id/) I tried to use the search bubble at the top right. I typed USB charger for example, and it takes me to a search page (https://www.instructables.com/tag/type-id/?sort=none&q;=usb+charger) but that page only has a grey bar with the words "Let's make 'USB charger' with an option to choose different categories, e.g. everything, technology, etc... That page doesn't show any search results. It appears to be the main search page, because it has a little magnifying glass button after the text, but when I click it, it just returns me back to the "Explore" page cited above. I can't figure out how to search the site.  Also I tried to attach a screenshot but neither the new uploader nor the "old" uploader are responding to my clicks.

Topic by waslater   |  last reply


Making a solar compass

I realized a while ago that if you put something on a rotating  mount inclined to your latitude and adjust up or down for the inclination of the sun (up or down from its equinox path) for that day of the year, you have a compass. For instance, today the sun is just over 23 degrees off its equatorial path. So you have a stick pointing straight out from the mount at a right angle and you just angle it down by 23 and a half degrees. So you tighten it in place at that angle.   Next you combine rotating the entire thing on the ground (keeping your latitude angle correct) and you rotate the mount itself until the stick points straight at the sun.  At this point, no matter where you are on earth, your mount is inclined in line with north/south.  I have 2 little test compasses to try this but it was fully cloudy all day  so I cannot try it out. One uses a Fresnel lens and the other uses a magnifying glass to line up the sun. Just wondering if anyone else has done something like this?  Solar compasses did exist and I had a look today.  They do not look like my thing at all.  They look really complicated! I will post a year of inclination data shortly. Thanks Brian

Topic by gaiatechnician   |  last reply


Reuse Fingerprint Scanner from Lenovo W510 Laptop

I have a Fingerprint reader from a Lenovo W510.  The model number of the circuit board is 48.4CU13.011, which seems to be shared by both my Lenovo and another Fujitsu laptop.  The fingerprint reader is a spare part, and I thought it could be cool if I could hook it up to a PC by USB.  When connected to the laptop in question, it shows up as a USB device: UPEK Touchstrip TCRD4C - USB ID 147e:2016 The chip is connected by an 8 pin ribbon cable to a larger ribbon cable which also connects to the touchpad.  Looking at the board under a magnifying glass, it looks like there may only be 4 of 8 pins connected to the ribbon cable connector.  The chip on the circuit board appears to be a TCD50 fingerprint reader controller, made by UPEK or possibly Authentec (did Authentic take over UPEK?) I was hoping someone might have some experience wiring this board up to USB, or could point me in the right direction to figure out what pins go where.  I looked for datasheets, schematics, and pinouts without success, but I don't have much experience searching for this type of stuff.  I'm pretty handy with a soldering iron, so I feel confident that if I knew which pins went where, I could get a cable hooked up. 

Topic by Jozer99   |  last reply


curtis air compressor?

I have a 1925 Curtis Air Compressor and we are rebuilding it to be a working show piece. The General Electric Motor is  running the Curtis Compressor, and we need the manual of the motor/compressor/tank or all of the Information about it that we can get ahold of so it can be rebuilt  to the exact color, wiring , ect, so we can put it back to its' original  origin. Here is the information from the plate that was barely  readable. We had to remove to plate and put it under a lighted magnifying glass and this is what we managed to get from the plate. >> >> GENERAL ELECTRIC MOTOR  1.50 - HP >> GENERAL                                 ELECTRIC >> REPULSION - INDUCTION - MOTOR >> MODEL: 5SCR224 C 53     FRAME - 224 TYPE - SCR >> CYG-60   SINGLE PHASE                     SPEED EJ 1760 >> VOLTS 110@15.0 AMPS       VOLTS 220 @ 7.5 AMPS >> SERVICE FACTOR >> 1.50 HP CONTINOUS                    LN 5890 >> THE CURTIS COMPRESSOR   Size:   3X3.50 No:   LB428A PAT. AUG. 31-1915   NOV. 30-1915  NOV. 14-1916 NOV. 8-1921    KEEP BASE FILLED BETWEEN HIGH AND LOW LEVEL OF OIL WITH GOOD AUTOMOBILE CYLINDER OIL. CLEAN OUT BASE ONCE A YEAR. RUN AT LEAST 250 REV: PER MIN. MANUFACTURED BY CURTIS PNEUMATIC MACHINERY COMPANY ST. LOUIS USA    Q-82  Any thing about this compressor would be helpful. you can e-mail me at:  mar5jer@msn.com

Question by eljero   |  last reply


Are Science and Engineering skills are required?

First of all, hi everyone, I'm new to the forums and this is my first post so bear with me if my questions are strange! I've been taking glances at the projects in Instructables, and I am really happy to find a site that shared my passion in home science/technology/DIY projects! I am studying Physics (first year) at my city's University (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece) and I was always fascinated by science, technology and especially computers-electronics. Instructables' projects 'pushed' me to get some basic tools (A 25 W soldering iron, a soldering pump, a pair of 'helping hands' with a magnifying glass, screwdrivers, wire cutters, wire strippers, some other basic tools and recently a Dremel 300) and frequently, I've been trying some of the simpler projects. But, since science will be my future profession, I'm not content by just reading instructions and following through...I want to understand the principles behind the instructables (for example, electronics) and even make my own small projects at home. As I said, electronics/electrical engineering projects are kind of my favorite, and I often get frustrated by just blindly following through the instructable, and I ask myself 'how did he think about that' or 'how did he know how to build this circuit' or 'how did he choose his materials'. So, do you really have to be an engineer to plan the more advanced -electronics or not- projects or can anybody get a book/website and learn about those skills? I often get ideas about projects of my own, but I don't know how to choose materials for them...does this skill come from experience or gained by an engineering degree? Is Physics a good enough degree to help me with my projects? And another question that has been around my head for a while: do you actually get pen and paper, lay down designs and scientific formulas-calculations to build a more advanced project? Thank you!

Topic by loxagos_snake   |  last reply


USB charging and data transfer problems

I recently got some mobile phones given to repair the USB ports. You might know the problems claimed on faulty USB problems first hand: charging takes forever, device is not always recognised in Windows, data transfers are interrupted or the device disappears suddenly and without any reason from your explorer. Although a lot of devices can suffer from from those symptoms and will work fina after paying money for a new USB port I also discovered a totally different source for the problem. In my case the cables itself. It is obvious that you should try a different USB cable before going through the lengths of replacing a USB port, but: a) not all cables are the same even if they have the same connectors! Some cables contain resistors to regulate the max charging current, others simply have flimsy and hair thin wires inside, prone to breaking. b) not all chargers are the same either! For example Apple chargers provide a voltage on the data lines that in return tells the device how fast it can charge - totally against the USB standards but Apple claims it is fine because they don't use a USB connector on the device side... Why does my device get problems with the USB? Well, to be honest, I don't know as it is not my device ;) Joking aside I will narrow it down to wear and tear. Both the connection on the phone and inside the USB connector can and will wear down over time. With daily charges for power users it is obvious that at some stage one part has to fail. Having a spare, quality replacement cable at hand often helps to find the source of the problem. In my case I had the cables for the phones but also a brand new and with 5$ quite expensive cable to spare. Guess what? None of the supplied cables worked while my new cable performed perfectly with all "broken" phones. After checking the USB ports with good light and a magnifying glass I could see dust, dirt and worn contacts. For 3 of the 5 devices a decent cleaning with methylated spirit and a small brush fixed that issue, the other two will either need a proper new cable or a port replacement. What to do if I have USB problems? 1. Check on a different PC or for the charging use a different charger. 2. Try a different, if possible new cable. 3. Check and clean the USB port. Only if the above won't help at all you should consider that the port itself might be faulty! Is there something to prevent the repair? Yes: don't use your USB port too often ;) This means, you can use a QI charger (wireless) and for the data transfer WiFi, on Android Airdroid is a really good choice. Keep your device clean! This does not mean you are a filthy pig, but more that a phone with an uncovered port tends to collect dust and dirt over time. In your hand bag, pocket or car, it does not matter time will get unwanted stuff in there. If you want to keep your device happy use a cover that also covers the USB port. I checked all the above and think I need a new port - what are my options? If in warranty go the offical way. Out of warranty a repair shop will fix it fast, but not always at reasonable costs, depending on the device and labour involved. Some devices are easy, others require the display to be removed to acces the port electronics. Online tutorials on how to dismantle your device should be available and if you are good with sensitive stuff you can do the repair yourself. Some sellers of replacement ports not only include all the tools you need (watch out for this if you don't already have them) but also videos on how to do it. I hope this little info helps people to avoid high repair costs for no good reason.

Topic by Downunder35m 


PVC pipes and winding Tesla coils....

There are still people out there playing with high voltage.And one big problem when it comes to Tesla coils is winding the secondary coil.Now, I won't go into the details and options of the actual winding part, instead I would like to share some tricks that might make things easier for your project.Whether you wind fully by hand or make use of some mechanical winder, magnet wire is a very slippery thing on PVC.For that reason and some others we usually wind as tight and close as possible.Any leftover spaces that you find after the winding is finnished will severly compromise the overall tension of the wire in this region if fixed.Next problem is what many call aging.No matter how good you coat your coil with varnish or paint it will start to degrade over time.I found a simple fix for these problems :)Well, not really that simple but I am too lazy today to make a full Instructable for just an addition that everyone can make in a few minutes....Let me start with idea behind it all:I noticed that no matter how thick the pipe or wire is that there is little to no chance at all to get any of the coating material through the wire and all the way down to the PVC.One coil failed after I abused it so I did some cuts and had a close look with a magnifying glass.The coil itself was really good covered but it was like a sleeve that sits on the PVC with nothing on the underside of the wire except for a few single spots.Some people will now say to just a much thinner mix for the coating to allow the stuff to sweep through but that does not always work.One big issue I noticed is that not all paints or varnishes actually stick to PVC.Especially those non smelling eco friendly ones most places now sell.This means when the coil expands due to the vibrations and heat the wire can simply rattle off the varnish or the coating itself can crack under the stress.So I thought there must be a way to fix this right at the winding stage....PVC is a good insulator too!So why not use PVC instead of messing with other things?My first attempt here works quite well with thin wire and goes like this:Go outside with your winding rig and have a bottle of PVC primer and a little brush or sponge ready as well as some gloves.If you have use a friend, if you have none make a small rig to hold the sponge right in front of your winding area.The key is to keep the sponge wet with the primer so it will wet the pipe properly.Best is to have the speed and distance set so the surface just starts to dry off under the wire.The primer will cause the PVC to soften, so the wire slightly sinks into the surface.An automatic winding rig is best here as it allows for consistency.There is no too much or too little here is nothing drips terribly and your wire sticks without fully sinking in.Once done you can cover the winding with your prefered coating.For thicker wire, lets say 0.3mm or thicker, I now use a similar way but with more preperations:Using some very rough sandpaper on a belt or vibrating sander I create a small pile of PVC dust.If you prefer some fancy color you can use ABS plasic here too and it dissolves in a similar way.The resulting mix should be free of lumps and of even color, if in doubt use more primer.Consistency should be a bit thinner than honey, if yours is too thin you can add more ABS/PVC or let the primer evaporate off while stirring it every now and then.To get a good start I do a few turns dry first with quite a big spacing.When approaching the actual start of the winding area I use some stick tape to make the last alignment and start to apply the mix onto the first bit of the winding area.Some lint free cloth with a bit of primer is used to wipe off any excess towards the still uncovered part of the pipe.Every time the mix on the pipe dries out too fast a brush with some primer is use to wet it.Every time the excess runs out a bit more mix is applied onto the wound area.The key is to only have a small area in front of the winding covered with mix with the most is on the winding and "cleaned" off towards the empty area.This way the entire wire is covered by PVC all around.To finnish off you simply use a brush and paint the mix onto the rotating coil until you have an even finnish.What are the downsides?The primer stinks and is certainly not healthy to breathe in. So good ventilation is a must have and it works better in colder temeratures as it gives you more time.It might require some test runs with braided fishing line or similar to get a feeling for how much mix or primer you need to apply and how much max tesion you can use to preven the wire from sinking in.Any benefits?IMHO using this method makes it possible to get a proper bond between the PVC pipe and the wire.And by using PVC or ABS as the coating there is little to no change material properties.This in return gives far less chances for vibrations or wire expansions that result in failing insulations.The whole thing just is one piece of PVC with the wire embedded in it instead of having a wire on top of the PVC with some coating above. ;)Are there alternatives to the PVC primer?If Acetone is much cheaper than you can use it but the same safety measures apply and the mix might dry a bit quicker.What if I need a break or stop the winding for one reason or another?Simply wipe off all access and stop with just enough tension on the wire so you can star again with no problems.Then start by wetting and applying the mix and continue winding as before.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply