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Alternative Clock-Mechanical

I need to build a device for a competition that can measure time acurate to the tenth of a second, but from its starting position it must be no more than 30cm in dimension, but can exceed that once it begins.  Even if you know of something that can do seconds that would be fantastic.  If you have any ideas or places to find plans please do tell.  IT CANNOT USE ELECTRICITY

Topic by danielsb7676    |  last reply


Alternative clock-Mechanical

I need to build a device for a competition that can measure time acurate to the tenth of a second, but from its starting position it must be no more than 30cm in dimension, but can exceed that once it begins.  Even if you know of something that can do seconds that would be fantastic.  If you have any ideas or places to find plans please do tell.  IT CANNOT USE ELECTRICITY

Topic by danielsb7676  


plans for a gallon paint can lid sealer? Answered

The kind you see at a paint store, a hand cranked thing that gives even pressure to close lid. I called the place where the paint store bought theirs and it costs $485.00

Question    |  last reply


Need help

Looking for help with my new project. I want to power my mechanical arm using hydraulics.  I would prefer to use a joystick controller.  I want this arm to be able to hold a hedge cutting machine. The arm will have the same freedom of movement as a human arm. Eventually I want to use this arm on a machine such as a bobcat or similar device. For now I just need to be able to power this arm and then I can go from there. Anyone up for a challenge???? Dave Sender my E-mail  mrdavesender@gmail.com Please see the photo of the size of the arm I'm looking to power.

Topic by davesender    |  last reply


12v device to switch on a 9v device (signal to switch on only)

I have a device that is switched on by a sensor, powered by 12v, 1.3amp battery. I have another device that is switched on by a mechanical push button switch, this is powered by a 9v battery. I want to piggy back on the wires that switch on the 12v device and take the signal (to turn on only) to the device that is already powered by a 9v battery and normally turned on by a push button switch. ( I want to replace this mechanical push button switch with an "electronic switch" turned on and off the the presence and absence of the 12v signal) I want the 9v device to switch on only when the 12v device switches on and switch off when the 12v device switches off. Also I want the 9v device to only run on the original 9v battery (not accepting power from the 12v device and not returning any power from the 9v device to the 12v device. Is there a switch device/relay that can do this? A device that I can just connect between the wires going from the 12v device to the 9v device? I am a novice to electronics please be kind. I an open to using part from another device, and basic mods. Thank you

Topic by Jvos    |  last reply


Does anyone have instructions for making a zooetrope? Answered

Looking for ideas to make the mechanics of a zooetrope or other mechanical devices that could be used to play with sequence. Thanks for any suggestions.

Question    |  last reply


Creating a handheld Emp device

Has anyone been able to create medium sized nonexplosive EMP generator? i recently purchased 4 oil capacitors each rated around 5.5KVDC and 32uF, from what i have learned, in order to create an EMP generator, you would need a to feed it a large amount of power in to  a heavy gauge magnetic coil. I believe my caps could do the trick. I will be charging them with a  ZVS driver coupled to a self wound ferrite transformer, then rectified. As for discharging i' will probably use a mechanical spark gap. I am hoping to create something like the shock pulse generators in amazing1.com, does my setup look feasible ?

Topic by tazerboy  


Building a liquid monitor box help

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

Topic by ballaw    |  last reply


I wan't to know about the speed regulating device known as a governor.

It's also known as the centrifugal governor.It is used in vehicle engines.It's function is to limit the speed of a mechanically driven device.

Question by ammarasheed    |  last reply


More efficient bike charger for USB devices?

I' been inspired by these bike lights from reelight.com. I have a set of these for my bicycle for reliable and very effective lighting. It's stated they are powered by "pure induction". There's got to be a way to harness the energy from both wheels to charge a USB device (5 volt) in the same manner. Instead of using a friction generation mechanism bike charger or bike generator.Any thoughts?

Question by rhow    |  last reply


Need Advice: Push a Button Get an Alert on Mobile Phone

Hi all, I'm attempting something "techy" for the first time and need a bit of help getting started, or deciding if this is possible. I'm trying to create something that will send an alert to a mobile phone if a button on another device is pushed. I'm fairly confident this is possible, but not sure what technology I could use to achieve this. I bought an Amazon Dash button to play with but not sure if that makes sense.  A rough idea of what I'm trying to achieve: If the Amazon Dash button is pushed and HELD for more than 5 seconds, the phone it's linked to would display an alert message or sound (preferably until the button is released). The button and the phone would be located in the same room. Does that sound feasible? What are some components/skills I would need to gather/learn for this project? Massive thanks for the help!

Topic by CoughCough    |  last reply


Using an inkjet print head on a CnC device.

Ive had a bright idea that in short requires me to mount an inkject on a 3d printer of sorts for printing on a complex shape. Ive only done some cursory searching, but not found a "here is how to drive the inkjet" or "We recommend this model" for my purposes. Im toying with the idea of just ripping up a standard printer and seeing how well I can reconfigure that to my purposes, but I don't think it will do quite what I am looking for (in addition to the X and Y axis, there will need to be a Z, and in the eventual build probably a sensing mechanism to detect the shape it is printing on (im imagining a projected grid, but that is a ways down the line)). I'm going to have to learn a good bit of methodology to write the needed code, which is going to be a blast. But the starting point will be just the x & y coordinates and a DIY mounting of the print head.Any advice out there?I may build it out eventually on a raspberry pi but I haven't gotten that far as getting the mechanics working by feeding input to an Arduino for an almost etch a sketch mode will be my starting point.

Question by anguscormack  



device that applies braking force proportional to speed?

Hi, I'm helping a team of students make a brake-assist device for a two-wheeled walker.  We were wondering if there are mechanical brakes out there that apply a force proportional to the speed.  A circular damper, is how we would describe it, I think.  Or something like a gas shock (the things on screen doors and car trunks) but with a circular motion rather than a linear stroke.  Anyone have any ideas?  Anything that's commercially available, small, and somewhat inexpensive is fair game.  Bonus points for things that can be made by hand..  Thanks!

Topic by _mattb    |  last reply


Bio-mechanical electricity - 13W per knee.

A stroll around the park may soon be enough to charge the raft of batteries needed in today's power-hungry gadgets.US and Canadian scientists have built a novel device that effortlessly harvests energy from human movements.The adapted knee brace, outlined in the journal Science, can generate enough energy to power a mobile phone for 30 minutes from one minute of walking.A slow walk can generate an average of 5W of electricity, but they have models that will produce 13W - enough power for a one-minute stroll to provide half an hour of talk-time.The prototype makes you sound like an extra in Terminator, but the inventors are predicting saleable products within 18 months, probably powering (in the first instance) modern prosthetic limbs.Soldiers may also benefit from wearing the knee brace to power the multitude of devices they now carry ,such as night vision goggles and GPS."They treat batteries like they treat food and water - they are so essential to what they do," he said.Link to BBC articleLink to BBC VideoLink to Science Magazine articleThis whole idea seems like a "Good Thing" to me - even without the computer-control, I don't see why a pedestrian or jogger couldn't wear a pair of generators similar to those in wind-up torches, charging phone and PDA as you stroll around doing the shopping or jogging across the park. Get them with a Nike or Motorola logo, and we'd see hundreds of people wearing batman-style utility belts, stacked with all the gadgets the modern human "needs". It could really help wearable computing take off as well.

Topic by Kiteman    |  last reply


Faraday induction ('those shake-to-charge flash lights') mobile phone/device charger

Need help using charging mechanism of shake flashlight (faradays law of induction) to charge mobile or usb devices.

Topic by mulan2015    |  last reply


Wood burning stoves

Can anyone help me find a place or outlet for a mechanical  device that will open and close a flap on a wood burning stove for letting in  solid fuel into the burner ,this to be operated by a electrical or clockwork timer.Or a idea to make myself,

Topic by Stanwebb10    |  last reply


Timer to flip light switch?

I need a timer that will mechanically operate a wall switch for a light. I've seen a device years ago for sale in the various "gadget" catalogs that did exactly this. It attached to the trim plate around the light switch using the 2 trim plate screws. A battery powered digital timer operated a mechanical slide to operate the wall switch. I can't find this device anywhere now. I know there are many electronic timers that replace the wall switch and have timer capability, most do not work with compact flourescent lights. I'd really like to find a timer for sale or get some ideas on a simple way to make such a device. Thanks for any help. Scott

Topic by tscottme    |  last reply


Power genration by Foot steps

The main purpose of this Project is that to design a system that convert the mechanical energy harvested from human motion into electrical energy.This project report contains the complete literature review and implementation of an alternative to electrical power supplied by batteries for portable electronic devices and for computerized and motorized prosthetics. The report presents the idea to generate power harvesting from human motion. Electrical devices have been liberated from the wall socket. Battery powered computers, phones and music devices come along everywhere we go. The limiting factor is electricity. In the end the battery always goes dead. Ironically, when we move around with our portable devices we produce a lot of energy. But a lot of this energy is lost as heat. If that mechanical energy could be converted into electricity, our very mobility could charge our mobile devices. Using the working principal of dynamo, we intend to generate a small power which then can be used to charge the portable devices. We are charging mobile battery for testing purpose.

Topic by engr.zainshah    |  last reply


unfinished,5 DOF Robotic Mechanical ARM

5 DOF Robotic Mechanical ARM Required Material of project:- 1. Basic Servo Tower pro 9g*4 2. Header pins Male female*2 3. Arduino Nano*1 4.10kΩ Resistor resistance*2 5. Trimmer Potentiometer track Linear; maximum resistance 10kΩ*4 6. Tactile push button*2 7. Blank circuit board*1 8. Acrylic strips for Robot & potentiometer body*2 9. Wires, Button, Switch 10.Balsa wood, Metal, Plastic Procedure:- Arrange all necessary items.. Please go through the attached images  for better understanding.. I divide whole project in two parts 1) Servo Motor assembly 2) Potentiometer assembly 1) Servo motor assembly: – Servo motor as J1, J2, J3, J4 fix the servo motors as shown in image use 3M tape to glue servo, use thin flexible plastic strip to make griper, make hole in center of each finger tie thread in that hole pass this thread from center hole and tie knot at the other end of thread with 4th servo motor’s knob, as you stretch thread finger get close vise versa. Fix whole arrangement on strong rigid base. 2) Potentiometer assembly: – Fix potentiometer as shown in figure name potentiometer as do previous R3, R4, R5, R6 this time place R6 separately for easy access this potentiometer control gripper to pick and place. Potentiometer arrangement symmetry must be same as servo arm. Fix whole arrangement on strong rigid base. Moving a little bolt from one side to the other side:- 1. Actuators / output devices: 4 micro servos 2. Control method: controlled by a PIC16F690       assembler firmware 3. CPU: PIC16f690 micro controller 4. Operating system: self made assembler code 5. Power source: 4.8V to 6V from 4 battery cells 6. Programming language: PIC Assembler 7. Sensors / input devices: teach in system with                         4 potentiometers       Making Processer:- The Potis are standard types and are screwed to the white plastic parts with their nuts. The axles are pressed into the transparent plastic part. The handle to move the teach-in-arm is a M3-Spacer and the socket is a plastic part with is normally used to fix balloons on a stick to hold it.                     move the motor itself by hand a little force is needed due to its permanent magnets, which create a small holding force. But inside the servo a lot of gears increase the force which you have to apply. If you move the servo by hand, you have to apply a much higher force. If you overcome the motors holding force, it starts to rotate an acts as a flywheel. So moving a servo by hand needs a high torque and its not easy to turn it to the position where you want it. ( Fan control modules for engine cooling of real cars have some extra parts to clamp the voltage which is generated, when you drive at higher speeds. In that case the fan works like a windmill and creates higher voltages than normal inside the power stage of the module.) And there were also a lot of other "problems" which had to be solved using my PIC Controllers. i.e. self made electronics for a RC-Excavator which works similar to the digital system used in slot cars. To replace a lot of wires between the rotating part of the excavator and the track unit, a small PIC 12F629 reads the pulses from up to 5 channels of a RC-Receiver and leads their information via a 2 wire connection to a second PIC12F629. At the second board the power is separated from the data. The PIC is reading the data, and generates the PWM output for the 5 Servo output connector. the 2 wire connection is made with a cheap 6,3mm mono microphone plug which is also used as the axle for the rotating part. The arm of the excavator is also powered by standard servos and so it was necessary to change the control behavior from proportional to integral so that the servos move like real hydraulic cylinders which are controlled by valves. I used the same 12F629 type for that job and added some features like adjustable limit positions and starting point programmable by one jumper, and automatic return to park position when missing the pulses for some seconds. The Software is simple:- Its working like a servotester for four axis. That means, every poti is connected to an analog in of the controller and all servos are connected to GPIOs. The controller reads each poti, does some scaling, so that the angle of the poti equals to the angle of the axis and finally he creates the PWM output 1-2ms pulse every 20ms for all servos. Teach mode:- After a reset the robot arm follows the teach in arm while simple mapping the analog inputs every 25ms to the servo motors. Pressing the button stores each servo position in a array. Play mode: The sketch reads the array step by step and moves the robot arm. For cool looking movements I added a routine calculates different micro steps for each servo to have moving start and end sync on all axis. Also added a ramp for soft increase/decrease velocity. Shorter travel distances the robot does slow, longer distances with faster speed.           The program moves the servos at full speed to the next position and a short delay time after each command allows all of the servos to reach their final position. That means that it is possible to increase the speed a little bit more by doing some fine tuning of the delay times after each command. The final thing which is still not implemented is the routine which saves the "Teach In" data 5 or 10 times per second, so that the controller is able to replay it in a loop with the original speed or with a lower or higher speed. Electrical Connection:- Provide separate power supply (5V DC 1amps) to the Servo motors . Don’t forget to short ground of both power source ( arduino + servo) 5 DOF Robotic Mechanical ARM :- 1. Use of Fiber on upper side 2. wooden spoon is a part of side body 3. cable tie *12 pieces use the robotic. 4. Some pices of wires 5. use scraw*4 6. Glue 7. some small clips Because to attached body 8. small size of plastic box 9. One pieces of  square fiber stand and one pieces small & medium  circular fiber  10.  L293D Motor Driver IC+IC Base KG143 11. Generic Elementz High Quality Nickel Plated 24*18 Points Bread Board*(2 pieces) and one plastic 12. Push Button Switch. Play Mode version 1.1 The gripper input is used to set the delay (0,1,3,15,60,300 seconds) after a loop is done. The switch (it was left from the project start) pauses the robot.        Thanks you:

Topic by aarif1234  


How can i make a mechanism base for Cradle to jerk, those should have a timer too to control. how?

I just thought in my mind about this.   as i seen hanging cradles, thought that how can i make, customize this with an electronic device, if then, can put timer to on/of at night,to jerk self. then, the baby can  get a good feeling as he/she is with her mother. i am sure that, this will give her(mother) happy too.   pls, guide me to get an hands on this, that how can i make a device to jerk, with battery or with power?? if then, i can add this to the cradle. pls guide me in this regarding

Question by shinojmahe    |  last reply


Is there a circuit board or FX module that mimics a Fender tremolo system that can be installed on the guitar itself?

I'm not referring to the amplifier-type Tremolo's as in Fender Amps, but a device that takes the mechanics out of a traditional tremolo set-up and digitizes the signal to do exactly what a Fender-Style Tremolo on the guitar does. In other word's, I would like to design a module or device that act's and performs by using the Tremolo Arm, as in slang term's, DiveBombs, Diving Harmonics or just about anything you can do with the mechanical Tremolo Arm itself. I've really been researching this, but so far no luck. Any info will be deeply appreciated...Thanks..Wayne6412

Question by wayne6412    |  last reply


push switch to live multiple devices using relays

Hi all,            Im at a bit of a loss when it comes to electronics, im ok with the simple stuff but im better with mechanical engineering. Anyway if anyone can help me with my problem that would be great. Im attempting to install a push button ignition in my car, but with a difference, I know you can buy these kits online but its more fun doing it yourself. O.k so to my problem, as i said im attempting to install a push ignition, (so far all i have is the push to make momentary button) I need the button to: 1) push and hold the button until the car starts then let go, but when i push it, it will need to live ignition 2 (2nd click on the key) then pause for lets say 2 seconds then live the starter, when i let go of the button the starter will stop (the car will be started) and the ignition 2 will still be live 2) push the button again and the ignition 2 wire will stop having 12v and stopping the engine. I would also just like to do this with relays and not programming chips if possible. I have found a useful link but I cant get my head round the process of it. http://www.the12volt.com/relays/page5.asp so in summary I would need the relays to: 1)1st button press - give me 1 live output then 2 seconds later a 2nd live output, then when released the 2nd live will go and the 1st live will remain until I push the button again 2) 2nd button press - the second live will go thanks in advance

Topic by newbie308    |  last reply


How would one create a mechanism to increase humidity in an aquarium for a reptile?

I have a large (55gal) tank with a tortoise & a large water bowl for the creature.  The substrate is soil which is kept very moist but yet the humidity in the cage is not as high as I need it to be.  I was looking at buying a contraption to help with this problem & read a review of one product.  The person who wrote the review seems to think this same product can be made with simple, every day items, however, the description regarding how to do this is not so enlightening for me.  I will post this below & am interested in someone 'filling in the blanks' so to speak & elaborating AND/OR presenting new ideas/contraptions.  Thank you!!!!!   This humid air exchanger is a simple design that consists of a plastic canister, a sponge that hangs vertically from the lid, a nipple on the underside of the lid, and two nipples on top of the lid to connect the air hoses (one connects to the air pump and the other obviously would be the humid air output). Had I done some research into the design beforehand, I would have just made one of these myself out of a two liter bottle, old plastic peanut butter jar, etc... A person who has the requisite knowledge and common sense needed to properly take care of a reptile has all of the ability needed to construct one of these according to one's own ingenium. In about 15 minutes or less you could make your own device and save yourself $12 plus shipping in the meantime. Might even be a quick and fun little project to involve the kids with. In the end, yes, this an effective device which could easily be built out of readily available household items.

Question by kbaleigh    |  last reply


How to build a clockwork robot?

Http://www.dailykos.com/stories/1632015#comment_65467648 To enter the Fukashima U2 with radiation at 1000 SVR plus can a clockwork autonomous robot gathering data with sonar be designed to go where no autonomous robot has gone before. The reason is all electronic devices would cease to function at about half that  SVR level. The clockwork mechanism would need to be designed to provide autonomous movement  so all sensors would have to be non electronic devices. Might mechanical sound, pressure, temperature or other forces be used for controls? Is it possible to provide a mechanical power storage source Compressed air energy storage (CAES) Fireless locomotive Flywheel energy storage Gravitational potential energy (device) Hydraulic accumulator Liquid nitrogen Thermal Brick storage heater Cryogenic liquid air or nitrogen Eutectic system Ice storage air conditioning Molten salt Phase Change Material Seasonal thermal energy storage Solar pond Steam accumulator Thermal energy storage (general) Chemical Biofuels Hydrated salts Hydrogen Hydrogen peroxide Power to gas Vanadium pentoxide What sort of time/energy is achievable?

Question by Rowland Whittet    |  last reply


Accurate adjustable resistor?

I need a simple, low cost, small device capable of 10 different resistance settings, and must be capable of mechanically reproducing them exactly, on command.  It cannot be a potentiometer, as it is innacurate without some sort of  measurement device (which I cannot use), nor a rotart switch or encoder (too big and expensive, cannot use digital).  Basically, is there some alternative <$2 that will do this.  Again, no digital stuff or measuring position, only going between several set resistance settings (but any incrament thereof is okay).   

Question by jduffy54    |  last reply


Pressure Sensor Feedback loop

I'm trying to build something that will more or less maintain a constant, but adjustable level of pressure, probably driven by an electric motor. I've seen pressure-sensors on this site that increase conductivity with more pressure applied to the sensor, but mechanically I can't think of any way to get my device to work without a pressure sensor to decrease in conductivity with added pressure. Sadly I don't know enough about electrical components or circuitry to make it work with the former. If anyone here would happen to know how I could create such circuit, or can suggest of a purely mechanical alternative I would appreciate it.

Topic by Charlie_Szasz    |  last reply


Fun uses for Reed Switches?

Reed switches are electro-mechanical devices that opens or closes a circuit when a megnetic field is present. They come in normally open and normally closed designs and range from the size of a grain of rice all the way up to several inches long. A relay, another electro-mechanical device, is comprised of a reed switch and an electromagnet trigger built into one housing. Common uses for reed switches (not counting relays which are used in virtually all electronic devices) include the 'pick ups' on bicycle computers and the sensors on window and door alarms. I just ordered a bunch of reed switches and I need your help in coming up with ideas for what to do with them. Post up your ideas for some things that could be made or modified to be triggered by a magnet coming in close proximity to a reed switch. Remember- the magnet does not have to touch the switch, just get close enough that the magnetic force trips the switch. The stranger and sillier your ideas are the better. Note: this is not a contest and there are no prizes. by posting an idea you are giving your consent for anyone who reads it to use your idea. Posts about integrating reed switches into knex firearms will be ignored (no offence, it's just not my cup of tea).

Topic by Handsome-Ryan    |  last reply


semi-steampunk garden?

HeyCan any of you think of a way you can replace (electrical)machines in a garden with its mechanical equivalence, while at the same time making its replacement low maintainance?It can also be decorations. Basically create mechanical stuff that looks good in a garden.Some devices that may be workable:+ A water timer that uses a mechanical clock that powers a mechanical valve, and its mainspring is recharged every time the water rushes though it.+ A passive water pump that is made of a black plastic water bottle and two valves. When hot, the air inside pushes water out. When cool, new water is pulled in by the cooling air. It can be used to pump water slowly to a 'not' so high location.+ A sterling engine can be used as a more active solar pump to pump water to a higher location, however its use of moving parts means it more likely to break down than the 'passive pump'. If it requires a kick start to run, then place a mini turbine to provide the starting force.+ Use the above pump to create a fountain+ Perhaps as a replacement of solar powered markers, get some crystal that emits light when shaken("which quartz i forgot..."), and get it to shake around automatically.+ Mechanical garden music box would be a nice addition(wind powered music box). Double points if its either reprogrammable, or plays a different instrument such as drums.

Topic by akimbo m    |  last reply


Working Wind-Up

I'd like to build a manually operated wind up key( the kind where the key turns slowly) for my costume. One problem; I don't understand the mechanism too well. If you could break down how it works as well as the parts that I would need to create such a device would be greatly appreciated.(P.S. I'm pretty new to this so if you could take that into consideration that would be great too).

Topic by LuckyLanna    |  last reply


Three Sided Truth

Global Consciousness Project – Long Term ExperimentI've been watching the GCP for over 4 years. I would like to create a permanent visual installation based on acquired data from the EGG database. The installation will be a tetrahedron, displaying past, present, and the "so-called" probable data. No explanation of what the display portrays. Mysterious as it will be, time and historical data will stir subconscious minds to recognize patterns. I believe this is the perfect device that will develop questions within closed minds and thus in time, answers.Read up on GCP here: Princeton GCPI have a physical design in mind for the installation. I would like to lead the creative task force for creating such a device. I'm wondering if I can find people here that would be interested in helping with the internal electrical and mechanical engineering that will be needed to operate the device. Serious minds needed only. This is a long-term project possibly taking several months to a year to complete. Funding will be provided once the preliminary concept is thoroughly defined. I would like to see that these devices are scattered across the globe and placed in highly visible areas.The domain name ThreeSidedTruth.com has been registered for this project. I hope to find some interested minds.threesidedtruth@gmail.com~ Demannu

Topic by Demannu  


I have an above ground pool. I want to buld a saltwater chlorine generator. Does anyone have plans for such a device??

I want to build a salt water chlorine generator for a 16 x 24 above ground pool. I am reasonably mechanical inclined and would appreciate any input from someone who has designed and successfully used such a generator. I currently have a sand filter system cleaning my pool and use large amounts of chemicals. I am a recycler and a green person who does not like to pollute or swim in chemicals. This salt water system sounds like a good idea. lets collaborate.

Question    |  last reply


kick out lamps with emp

Hid lamps (sodium and halide) are used for outdoor lighting they are sensitive to momentary power interruptions (even the smallest ones that dont make computers reboot) and mechanical stress (like beating the electrical pole with the lamp). they extinguish and need some minutes to cool down before they strike again i thnk it should be possible to kick out the lamps with emp (electro magntic pulse) as well. how strong pulse is needed to affect this kind of lamp ? is it possible to pack such energy in a portable device ?

Topic by 11010010110    |  last reply


How to change the default music in a baby music mobile?

I want to change the default music loaded generally in a baby music mobile like the one shown in the picture. Does any one have an idea on how to do this? I remember from my childhood the barbie dolls which used to cry when the soother was removed from the mouth of the doll, That doll used a  gramophones like technology to play the sound. I am not sure what type of music recording and playing mechanism is used in these devices. thanks for all your answers in advance.

Question by muhammajunaid    |  last reply


How would you go about building a CHEAP remote linear actuator to release a spring loaded trigger?

I would like to build a remote bird launcher (does not hurt the animal) from cheap or used parts, but my electronics skills have been found wanting! The mechanism is spring loaded so I just need to release a trigger mechanism sothat the springs can do their job and launch the bird. We are currently using a string, but is not effective! I have come across a few other instructables/diys for this, but they tend to be made from more expensive parts. I have heard ideas like using a doorbell remote and receiver, but how do you get the receiver to give a pulse to an actuator in order to push/pull the trigger? The suggested actuator is a car central locking device. ANY advice would be greatly appreciated and i am open for any fresh ideas.

Question by Gundog    |  last reply


Will a torsion spring work with this broom/mop holder? Answered

I am in the late stages of working on a broom/mop holder.  The engineering is not original, however, I may be able to show how to make it fast and cheap!  The function of the device centers on a Cam which rotates up or down and then automatically returns to a "home position". As you slide a broom handle into the cam, the cam gently opens up and accomodates the handle.  But when you pull down or let the broom go, the cam rotates downward and holds the broom very steady.  To remove broom, just push it upward a bit... The design I currently have is using elastic - but I believe we could employ a torsion spring instead. Would using a torsion spring work? How would it work or be positioned on the device? Can I make a torsion spring?  (i'd really like to do this) Can I buy them at reasonable prices anywhere? I have included a few pictures to illustrate the question... Note:  I did later figure out how to properly spell "TORSION" Included is a shot of some example springs. Also in one of the shots, I attached the mechanism to a clear plastic OJ bottle. (thought it might be easier to see the mechanics this way) Thank you for any input you may have!

Question by bobzjr    |  last reply


Need Project Ideas for 4-H SET

Hi, I am a third year project volunteer with 4-H and looking for ideas on what our next years project theme should be, So far in year one we did robotics (vibrating bots, BEAM, Legos, and underwater ROVs). In year two we did mechanical devices (solar cars, catapults and compressed air rockets). Any unique ideas for our 7-12 year old age group is encouraged. Info on our activities are here.

Topic by phatguppy    |  last reply


how do you make a pressure sensor that the harder you press the faster a motor turns?

I am looking for some help with creating something that the harder you press on an object the faster a motor turns. i am very new to electric stuff but i am a mechanical engineer. my application is kinda like a pressure sensor basically im trying to design a device that the harder some one presses on the "pressure sensor" the faster an array of dc vibrators rotate. so its transfering pressure into vibrations by increasing energy to the motors. any ideas?

Question by mwaits    |  last reply


Does someone have engineering drawings for a gas-spring lift-assist assembly (horizontal platform)? Answered

I have a long-dormant project for a "powered" tricycle carrier for a car trailer-hitch. It occurred to me today that a piston "lift-assist" device could do the job. I wonder if anyone here has a technical design for a lift-assist assembly that I could use to understand the mechanism better. I need something that provides lift assistance both raising and lowering (maximum 10 lbs user force either way, for a ~50 lb load).

Question by kelseymh    |  last reply


BLE Beacon finder, how to ?

Hi everyone,I am mechanical engineering student and haven't expertise in difficult circuits, so I am here to ask for your helps guys!I am working on a personal project in which i want to create the smallest BLE Bluetooth device possible which could be charged by induction. What i want is just to connect this device to my smartphone.I did some research and i came up with the following components : Qunqi-HM-11-Bluetooth BLE (1.7 V to 3.6 V) Rechargeable Lithium Battery (3V or 3.7 V ) TP4056 Lithium Battery Charger (5V, With micro USB) Wireless Charging Module 5V/300mA (SKU:DFR0363 Brand:DFRobot)So my questions are : Is the TP4056 required to charge with the wirless charging module ? Are those compnents can work together ? Is it possible to make all those components in one PCB by designing it ?Thank you very much,Nabil

Question by dzproject24  


How do you make an escapement with a balance spring?

I have a problem My cat has a weak stomache so he needs to have a lot of small meals during the day, but there's not always somebody at home, so I wanted to make a cat feeder device for this. I want to make a disc that rotates slowly, during the day, leaving open another segment of a cilinder after every period of time. In every segment of the cilinder is cat food(which is poured into it that morning) Under the cilinder I want a clock mechanism, with a balance spring. I want to make it with a balance spring because it shouldn't be too high, my cat needs to be able to reach it's food normally. I've made a mechanism with a pendulum before, but it was one meter in height, while now i want the mechanism about one inch in height. I thought only a balance spring would fit right in the cilinder under the feeder, but I never worked with one, I don't have one either. How does a clock escapement with a balance spring work? And how can I get a balance spring? Can I just roll a long metal strip intro a spring? My cat feeder doesn't need a complicated gear train, because whether it makes one revolution in 10 hours, or in 14 hours, that doesn't matter. thanks

Topic by merijnvw    |  last reply


So... What's a robot?

This question seems to keep coming up and is worthy of some discussion.It seems there are a bunch of 'official' definitions for the thing. Here's a few, with examples.A programmable, autonomous machine with sensors that allow it to do complex stuff. So, Roomba: yes. Factory robot: yes. UAV: sometimes. Battle-bots: no. Vibrobots: no. Mechanical man sculpture: no.A machine in the shape of a person. Mechanical man sculpture: yes, Battle-bots, vibrobots: sometimes. Roomba, factory robots, UAV: no.An electronic device in a configuration without an existing name. Sculpture: No. Everything else: yes.Any chance of consensus? Thoughts?Personally I feel a word's meaning comes from its use. If you call it a robot and you can get people to agree with you, it's a robot. That's pretty much how language works and is why I called my little project a robot. I'm no where near the first person to call a pager motor+battery a robot. But I was an English major, you Engineers out there are likely to get twitchy when things aren't up to published spec.

Topic by Grathio    |  last reply


your opinions on HEENA &Acirc;&copy;

Hello, My name is Arylic and i am electronics engineer and a mechanical specialist. For the past couple of months (14 months exactly) i have been in development of one of my greatest creations called HEENA © which is a home artificial computer being. It was designed and made by me and two of my best friends assisted by a sponsor who supplied us with free materials. Well you may be wondering what the hell is a HEENA ? . Well you see i saw some movies where there is a computer which runs the house and stuff that could talk and accepts owners commands with out any input device. Which could also run a couple of electronic devices and so but currently i am lacking of ideas to enable the computer to do. Here is a couple of things it could do and also its features. - No input device required - Output devices which follows : Printer, projector, laser light show, Visual display, etc - Accepts voice input from owner or chosen candidates - Controls on and off of lights in the house ( currently my room only) by voice commands and motion detection - kitchen appliances operation using voice commands - laser alarm system which also sends a text message to the owners cellphone if not at home. - 2 huge cpus - lcd display in all bedrooms and sitting rooms (currently in my room only because of high cost) - Small widgets which include: - digital calender - eye toy games - Heencam chat with another HEENA owner - clock - automatic reminders - Auto chatbot And many other features Now i need your ideas to improve my HEENA ©

Topic by arylic    |  last reply


Ideas for live sound effects mixer-player?

Hi, I'm trying to build a remote device whereby I can play multiple recorded sounds over my stereo speaker system, sometimes simultaneously. Imagine as a Halloween project, for example, I would want the sound of a wind storm going continuously, and then occasionally hit a button or slider with another sound, like wolves howling, footsteps, a creaky gate, etc. Ideally I could play as many sounds as I wanted at a time on discrete channels, and each would be mixable... all that in as small a mechanism as possible. Any thoughts/ideas/referrals?  Does this sound like a job for an arduino? Thanks for reading!

Topic by kennan    |  last reply


Looking for small run manufacturers

We are interested in finding some good options for small (100s-10000s) runs of HID devices that would most likely have a few fairly simple electronics components and mechanical components Anyone out there have any suggestions? We would like to find places that are cost effective, could work well with newbies to the process, and might be interested in building an ongoing relationship for multiple projects. Cheers, Heather and Joe PS The mfg need is related to this: https://www.instructables.com/community/Make-HID-beautiful-1/ which leaves the door fairly wide open for wide variety of HID designs and possible related projects. B-)

Topic by parrleu  


Help me diagnose a check engine light for a patch and my eternal esteem! Answered

Check Engine Light/ Catalytic Converter: A while ago my 97 V6 XLE Camry's check engine light went on and the guys at the dealership who ripped me off to diagnose it ($100) explained that it was a bad catcon. I replaced the part (with much sweat blood and tears) and it solved the problem (light went off) and the vehicle passed emissions testing. Whohoo! Only now the light is back on and I am not savvy enough to just figure it out and not rich enough to buy the diagnostic testing device or to take it back to the dealer. Anyone know of a good way to diagnose for cheap?! 

Question by Kaelessin    |  last reply


School course of study?

Hello everyone, I am not sure if this is the right place to post this or not, but I am looking into going back to school. I would like to be in an industry where I can learn how to make things like robots, and electric cars etc.. I am sure these things will require more then just a basic degree but I would like to get started in the right path. The problem I have is, would these fall under mechanical engineering or would if be electrical engineering? I like the idea of building something from concept to final design where I learn the hardware as well as the programming skills to make the device do what I want it to do. So can someone tell me what course of study would be best? Thanks, Jester

Topic by Jester_boy2    |  last reply


Coilgun? Induction? Or something else? Answered

Hi, There video above shows a simple coilgun like device that shoot coins. In my understanding, it looks like a simple induction Coilgun design, since it repel coin away from the coil instead shoot the coin through the middle. However I have a hard time replicate the result. I use the same camera with the same capacitor (350V), and also use penny for the non magnetic projectile. Its the coil part I'm not sure about. In the video, it looks like a relevantly messy and small coil. Can anyone suggest me on the coil design for the same result? Most resources I found are either on reduction design or base on coilgun design instead this simple shooting mechanism. Thanks   

Question by ljfa321    |  last reply


Heat powered cooler?

It's rather warm around here. And by "rather warm," I mean it's 105 in the shade, and it's 89 in the house with the swamp at full blast. Does anyone have an idea for powering a cooler with pure heat? Perhaps similar to those lightbulb-looking devices that have an inner bit that spins around when placed in direct sunlight, except that is running a little generator that is then running a computer fan, like the ice box air conditioner spotted on this site. The main thing is I'd like the device to actually be powered by heat. Just for the heck of it. Even if it's just heat mechanically powering something to power a fan that I could have just plugged into the wall. So no solar cells making electricity. I can make parabolic reflectors easily if needed, so don't be afraid to use them. What's the best way you can think of to cool off using heat? "Best" can include inefficient but really awesome, like a fresnel lens pointed at a boiler that is providing steam to run a gigantic fan. I'll go get my goggles, ray gun, and keys to the airship.

Topic by Rishnai    |  last reply


Nanotube Radio

Nanotube Radio: Supplementary materialsK. Jensen, J. Weldon, H. Garcia, and A. ZettlDepartment of Physics, University of California at BerkeleyCenter of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems, University of California at BerkeleyMaterials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeley, CA 94720, U.S.A.We have constructed a fully functional, fully integrated radio receiver, orders-of-magnitude smaller than any previous radio, from a single carbon nanotube. The single nanotube serves, at once, as all major components of a radio: antenna, tuner, amplifier, and demodulator. Moreover, the antenna and tuner are implemented in a radically different manner than traditional radios, receiving signals via high frequency mechanical vibrations of the nanotube rather than through traditional electrical means. We have already used the nanotube radio to receive and play music from FM radio transmissions such as Layla by Eric Clapton (Derek and the Dominos) and the Beach Boy's Good Vibrations. The nanotube radio's extremely small size could enable radical new applications such as radio controlled devices small enough to exist in the human bloodstream, or simply smaller, cheaper, and more efficient wireless devices such as cellular phones....This is the site of the original article

Topic by Goodhart    |  last reply