Propagating a spruce tree

I have a Norway Spruce tree about 20 years old, but too young to bear seed cones. what is the best way to propagate from cuttings?

Topic by 10joey   |  last reply

Can you grow plant cuttings in clay balls?

I'm going to be taking some cuttings from orange trees and veggies. Will I be able to put them straight into expanded clay pellets, or do I need to start with something like potting soil? Thanks!

Question by Weissensteinburg   |  last reply

When life gives you lemon pips...

A friend just brought us back a lemon she picked (with permission) from a grove in a convent garden in Rome. It was very tasty, and had five pips in it.What is the best way to grow these pips on into a new bush or tree?I don't have a greenhouse, but I do have windowsills. I eventually plan for the bush / tree to end up in a large pot.(I know I could google it, but do you happen to know whether lemon trees have gender? In other words, would I need two trees to get fruit?)

Question by Kiteman   |  last reply

Quirky tip on how to propagate roses?

Recently I found this little quirky tip on how to propagate roses/ bushes and I was wondering if it was true? In the little tidbit, they tell you to use a cutting of a rose of course and then put a little cinnamon on one of the ends that you intend to grow roots. Then poke that end in to a potato. Then bury that part with the potato into the ground. After I guess eventually you get a new rose bush. I was wondering can this actually work? Or is this just bait to get you to read more of their articles?

Topic by Treasure Tabby   |  last reply

How can I make my own deep propagator top, please? Answered

Essentially I can't afford those big, deep propagators - and if I could I wouldn't pay the extortionate prices. I can get a deep bucket to house the hydroponics 'ible found on this site, but I can't find tall, clear propagator tops to protect/house the tender cuttings I want to take (basically of foodstuffs). If you can think of a Rubbermaid style storage box/bucket, I would ideally like to make a clear top about 12 inches high that also fits tightly against the Rubbermaid box. My thoughts initially are making a plexi-glass/perspex box top - any further thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thanks for stopping by.

Question by kevinhannan   |  last reply

Check Out my New Instructable

Check out my how to instucutable on growing peppers, its not quite guerilla gardening, but its awesome! Propagating PeppersThanks!thenear1send

Topic by thenear1send   |  last reply

How to root woody viburnum.

I have a favorite viburnum that I'd like to root. I've used rooting powder and loose soil but I haven't succeded. Can this plant be rooted from a cutting?Thanks,Tim?

Question by x7c00   |  last reply

What is the typical lag between publishing and visibility in "subscribed"?

One of my subscribees published an Instructable overnight (I know, because (a) I'm a collaborator on it, and (b) he e-mailed me).As of this morning, the I'ble still doesn't appear in the "Subscription Activity" section of my profile (.../you/). How long does it normally take for the database to propagate that information?

Topic by kelseymh   |  last reply

Contact microphone to listen to finger-taps

My idea is to attach a contact microphone to the wrist to listen to finger-taps and determine which fingers produce the taps. Assumptions: - The tap sound propagates along the bones like in tubes,  - Each finger produces a characteristic sound signal. - Pattern recognition of sound signals identifies the sound and the finger that produces it. Any help? Thanks

Question by brian.s   |  last reply

Need some answers on oranges... Answered

This summer (I think, I really cannot remember) I set up a propagator to grow some bamboo seeds I bought off eBay- Instructable coming soon on this topic- and then off the success of my bamboo seeds, I stuck a few orange seeds in as well. They grew alright, they're pretty huge now and I just re-potted them today into new, higher quality soil etc. Whilst doing this I discovered that each seed (I only had to successfully grown seeds) had spouted two saplings. So when re-potting I found out I didn't actual have 2 strange orange saplings but 4 of them with totally independent root systems. Albeit Two out of the four had not been receiving as much light as the others so there are two huge dominant saplings and the two smaller ones that grew in their shadow.  Is it normal for orange trees to grow two sprouts from one seed? I haven't tried growing them before so I don't know. Or have I got magical seeds, or a divine calling to grow plants? ;) Any help would be great,   Tom

Question by thomas9666   |  last reply

UTF-8 Bugs

Adding extended UTF-8 characters to Instructables works the first time, but if I edit the page, the editor replaces them all with broken characters instead. I have to manually edit all the characters back before hitting save, or the broken characters are propagated to the web. The characters that I have tried are capital omega (Ω) and the degree sign (°), and I plan to use lower-case mu (μ) in the future. Also, the bug posting form seems to be much more broken in this regard.

Topic by CaladanJen   |  last reply

Is Arduino can do FM modulation? Answered

Is Arduino can do FM modulation without any additional peripherals.Simply an Higher AC frequency signal with antenna can propagate in air. My question is,can we do FM modulation in Arduino only by coding it,without using any additional peripherals.Generating the carrier frequency in Arduino by coding it and then by performing FM modulation by coding it,getting the external audio signal through Analog input pins and after all the modulation process, connecting a long wire on the digital pin of arduino because the square wave is going to be used as carrier signal.A simple wire can act as a Antenna.Is the above explained process is possible in Arduino only by programming it.

Question by Rajkumar2506   |  last reply

Substantial lag in "last post by" for the four Help fora?

I've noticed that there seems to be a substantial lag in posting times propagating out from the four Help fora (Authors, Bugs, FAQs, and Feedback) to the top-level Forum summary page.For example, I recently posted two replies to bug reports, at 1:22 and 1:23 pm, 22 Dec 2008. Within the Bugs Forum my two comments are appropriately referenced as "last post by kelseymh 10 minutes ago", and the two topics are first and second in the list.However, on the top-level page, the Bugs Forum still shows that the last post was from Wingmaster700 more than 6 hours ago. I'll also note that other comments between 6 hours and now were also never reported at the top-level summary.

Topic by kelseymh   |  last reply

Get growing - the Gardening Contest starts Monday, 5/6!

Green-thumbs unite! is happy to announce that we're hosting a Gardening Contest! We are looking forward to seeing a a cornucopia of seeding-skills, planters, gardens, ANYTHING that has to do with cultivating plants! Enter the Gardening Contest to show us what the plants in your garden are up to this year. Are they sprouting in fancy planters made from railroad ties and unicorn horns? Will they be cultivated via Twitter? Have you discovered a way to creatively display what you propagate? Make them yield more fruits or veggies? Or have you hit upon a way to keep them alive with minimal effort on your part? Show us what you’ve done with your garden to win an AeroGarden, watering cans, trowels and more!

Topic by jessyratfink 

Cadsoft EAGLE Schematic and PCB editor

Cadsoft is a German company that is a veritable mecca of software distribution enlightenment. In addition to the reasonably-priced professional PCB design packages ($1200), they have freeware, lite, non-profit, and other intermediate licenses. Their software runs under windows, linux, and MacOSX. It's slightly quirky, with a steep (but not too high) learning curve on the front end, but from most reports it is not any more so than other professional CAD packages. They have online support forums that are active from both the company and other users, the package is under current development and gets better with each release. A number of PCB fabricators will accept their CAD files directly. It's good stuff.Use it. Propagate it. Buy it when you "go pro."There are several EAGLE related instructables now:Schematic EntryCreate PCB from SchematicMaking PCBs for HobbyistsCreating Library PartsIn theory, this forum is a place for all the little questions that don't rate an instructable on their own, or a gathering place for info destined to future instructables, and stuff like that.

Topic by westfw   |  last reply

sand, gravel, & rocks? LAVA mmmm....

Hello boys & girls, We're a little over-stocked on crushed lava rock and thought the fine members at INSTRUCTABLES might like to take advantage of a special offer. Use coupon code "INSTRUCT" to get 5% off your order (can be combined with current free shipping promo). It takes a few hours for new promo codes to propagate the Amazon robot so if it doesn't work right away, try again in a little bit. The current listings are for 20lb dry lava rock (red or black). Screened. Rinsed. Kiln-dried.;=1055398&field-brandtextbin;=substratesource Think of all the DIY Earth Boxes... terrariums... aquarium backgrounds... and more you'll be able to create. If you have any questions, feel free to post in this thread, shoot us a PM, or visit our site. Thanks! Have a great holiday season. P.S. If this is too spammy, please don't kill me! Friends?

Topic by substratesource   |  last reply

Solar Filter for Telescopes

Having seen some predictions of increased solar activity over the next two years, I decided to make a filter so I can check it out with my trusty telescope. To start out, I constructed the rig shown in photo A, and practiced with it by cutting disks of plain glass. Make a table like that in photo C so you can make a continuous score on the glass, without stopping. Put oil on the wheel of the grass cutter. Be sure that the surface you work on is flat. You can skip this if you want a square filter. After scoring, your glass should look like that in photo B, with a uniform and even cut. Next, put the scored glass on a soft surface like a mouse pad, with the scored surface wetted with water and face down. Press on the back of the score with a dull nail to start a crack. By continual pressing you can watch the crack propagate all the way around. Then, make 8 radial scores from the circle to the edge of the glass and propagate those cracks in the same manner as the disk. When you do it right, you get a result like photo D, where the pieces were separated for illustration. When you get good at this with regular glass, you can cut the mirror into a disk. With the mirror, you score the glass on the side that has the metal coating. Or, you can just cut the mirror in a square instead of a circle. Photo E shows an uncut and a finished cut mirror. The mirror came out of the back of a discarded projection TV. Some of the mirrors are plastic films, some are second surface, some are first surface glass but the metal coating is too thin. There are many variations, but you need to find a first surface glass mirror that reduces the light level by 12 stops (as measured by a LunaPro SBC light meter). Photographically, this is like reducing the light level from F1.4 to F64. This level of light reduction will be hard to find. WARNING: Use of a mirror with a thin reflective coating can result in eye damage if used to view the sun through a telescope. I have access to a smaller commercial filter to use as a guide. This filter produced a bright blue image of the sun, so I added a red filter at the eyepiece. This combination produced a normal yellow image of the sun. There were no significant sunspots visible, so I didn’t bother taking any pictures. The Filter is mounted to a screw-in lens cap.

Topic by ShutterBugger   |  last reply

Moss Wall Hangings?

There are patches of that verdant velvet known as moss all around my neighborhood and I'd like to propagate some of it indoors. I was wondering if I could make some kind of wall hanging on which to grow moss. Here are some of the ideas I've brainstormed without a lot of details because I haven't got them. That's what I need you for. Please respond with your suggestions. 1. Cover a frame (I have one that I took a canvas off of) with pond liner (or waterproof roofing paper if I don't have to buy a lot of it), laying channels of organic peat or coir fiber (coconut peat) on top of it and laying a mixture of cheap driveway sealant and the same peat on top of that (with just enough sealant to hold it together, with one end of the channels exposed for watering. 2. Some kind of hypertufa wall hanging that is waterproof on the back with hollow channels inside for watering. I'm not too keen on this idea as making hypertufa seems like a long and difficult process, what with all the drying and curing. Also cement isn't very environmentally-friendly. 3. Some rocks, peat, coir, mulch or some combination thereof sandwiched between a layer of wire mesh and some kind of hard waterproof (or waterproofed) backing. I could start this out horizontally if need be so the moss would help to hold it in.

Topic by vegagitator   |  last reply

[newsletter] Racing Lawnmower, Electronic Candles, Willow Whistle...

July 17, 2008 Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; }"/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); } Welcome back! The next round ofBurning Questions has begun! If you've been struggling tothink of an Instructable to do, we've taken care of the topics for you. Wina t-shirt and a bumper sticker!The winners from the Lonely Planet Travel Tips Contest havebeen announced. Seewho won!Be sure to enter theInstructables Book Contest to get published or theHorny Toad Invent-a-Sport Contest to win some sweet clothesfrom Horny Toad! How to design and build a combatrobot by gneedel Super Summer BBQ Supper Deluxe! by supersaddy How to make a racing lawnmower by mowerracer Digital Picture Frame by micahdear Full Color Stencil Art withHalftoning by kylemcdonald SOCBOT - the next generationvibrobot by biochemtronics Willow Whistle by shoemaker Make a CNC Hot Wire Foam Cutter by tbarnea How to Make a Kubb Set by fungus amungus Steampunk tennis rackets by KaptinScarlet iPhone Retractable Headphones by engineerable How to build the one motor walker! by robomaniac See who won! Six Instructables for theiPhone Get published in the Instructables book! Electronic Birthday BlowoutCandles by cedtlab Easy Cutting Propagator by shellberry Cadence Meter For Your Bike<$12 by Sailor Bob Fingernails portraits (laser etch) by lamedust Now go make somethingawesome, and I'll see you next week! -Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; }"/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup2","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); }

Topic by fungus amungus 


I am looking for a robust and reliable digital telemetry link between a solar car (which may be up to a mile away, on track) and not necessarily line-of-sight. Requirements listed below: * >1000 baud preferred (100 baud minimum) * Simple to implement (we don't have lots of development time left for the project) * 1 mile distance with obstructions * Legal (I don't want to piss off the FCC :P) * efficient (let's impose a... oh, IDK... 5W transmit power for the car? Ok? Ok.) What I have considered / am considering: * Other teams have used the popular 900MHz Xbee pro UART radio modules for this purpose, but the distance seems to be quite short / limited. The advantages include eese of use, as it acts as a nearly-transparent UART bridge, but it appears they may not be good enough for this application. * 433MHz? I know lower frequencies tend to propagate further for a given power, would 433MHz be preferable over 900MHz? I can't seem to find many devices beyond small keyfobs and stuff using this band. * 72MHz? I know this band was used for old-school RC transmitters, can I repurpose it for telemetry? Have not looked into it too much. Doesn't appear to do any sort of frequency hopping or other fancy stuff either. * amatuer HAM / CB / radio frequencies? I think this is the most robust solution but probably requires the most effort too. I and the rest of the team would need to get licenced (although honestly I want get licenced to mess around with this stuff anyway) and we would probably need to design a system around some form of digital encoding. There appear to be a lot of different methods, but are there any that meet the throughput requirements?

Question by -max-   |  last reply

(newsletter) Auto-Aiming Missile Turret, Batman Light, Pirate Raid...

Aug 14, 2008 Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; }"/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); } Welcome back! The Horny Toad Invent-a-Sport Contest has closed for entries, and is now in the judging phase. Vote for your favorites now!Everyone loves pie! Enter our Pie Contest, share your favorite recipe by August 17, and win an excellent pie cookbook to help you get your just desserts.Upcoming...Two cool new contests will be coming soon: a Faberge egg contest to show off your decorating talents and a craft skills contest to further the knowledge of the crafting ways! Start planning now, and we'll give you the full details next week. USB Auto-aiming autoturret by toelle Tennis Ball Chair by wholman How to Start a Business by ewilhelm Fabric bend sensor by Plusea Worm bin bag for indoor composting by amyoungs Floppy Disk Bag: Install Disk 2 by imanalchemist Banana Chocolate Pudding Pie by joshf Pirate Plunder! Plan a Costumed Raid by lamedust Nintendo Lunchbox by fluctifragus Glamorous Fallen Angel Wings by fairywingsandthings Grow Propagating Peppers! by thenear1send Tube Screamer clone by jonboytang Vote now! 10 great Instructables for the home Coming soon DIY USB "Hard Drive" by gmgfarrand Techno-geek Roulette by AndyGadget Stovetop Apple Pie by trebuchet03 USB Batman Spotlight by KaptinScarlet Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; }"/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup2","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); }

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply

Olopede - Functucational Electronics Kits

Hey Instructabalonians! Zachninme and I have been working on starting a company for makers who want to get more out of building awesome things - a kit company for makers who want to learn. We bring you: olopede! "We're the family of insects bringing education back to DIY Electronics. olopede kits are specifically designed to make the oh-so-familiar "black box" kits, parts, and widgets "transparent" to the inquisitive mind. Not only do our kits deeply encourage an understanding of fundamental electrical engineering concepts, but they also challenge the hacker to design circuits that suit his or her needs using a combination of the kits and concepts that we supply. Our kits are designed to demonstrate interesting applications of electronics AND serve to be readily understood by those dabbling in the field. By making our kits interesting and didactic, we hope to engender interest and understanding in not only electronics, but also technology and engineering in general. " We want to make open-source kits that encourage learning the fundamentals in both analog and digital electroncs, as opposed to kits that encourage quick soldering in exchange for a finished black box.  As a maker, you'll be given a PCB with an easy-to-read layout, non-magical components that we can quickly teach you to understand wholly, and several sources of support including full documentation and learner's manual. We've got four awesome kits ready for PCB prototyping including a Turing Machine, The 'oloduino', 'Fungen' - an analog function generator, and 'The Ampliflier' - an analog amplifier, but we need some help with funding!  We set up a project on Kickstarter, where you can trade donations for various rewards depending on how much you donate.  The rewards include free stickers, thank you's, kits, access to our GITHUB repository where we keep all of our files, lessons, a day with us, and a metal sculpture of your favorite arthropod!  The most awesome reward by far, though, is the birth of olopede - a company interested in propagating maker culture by educating the next generation of makers. If you're interested in learning more about olopede - or helping us get the ball rolling - you can check out our Kickstarter page here, or our website @ Keep the awesome coming! - Josh and Zach edit:  You can really help us out by spreading the word.  Join our facebook page or follow us on twitter!

Topic by T3h_Muffinator   |  last reply

Sci-Fi Gardening

I read an article on Dave's Garden a year ago on plants with Star Trek names, and I just adore the idea of having a science fiction themed garden.  Looking through some more plants, I've come across even more plants that would fit within a sci-fi/outer space theme. Coleus: Darth Vader Saturn Saturn's Rings Solar Flare Solar Shadow Solar Sunrise Vulcan Daylily: Alien Alien Contact Alien Encounter Alien Escape Pod Alien Invader Alien Landing Alien Skin Alien's Eye Android Android Dreams Andromeda Asteroid Astral Voyager Beam Me Up Beam Me Up, Scotty Ben Kirk Big Dipper Black Hole Borg Technology Cloaking Device First Officer's Log Galaxy Quest Klatuu Barata Nictu Life on Bajor Notify Ground Crew Photon Torpedo Romulan Deflector Spock's Ears Vulcan Logic Hosta:   Captain Kirk Enterprise Foxfire X Philes (just for fun) Galaxy Galaxy Light Gamma Ray Kiwi Milky Way Little Dipper Lunar Eclipse Lunar Orbit Lunar Sea Outer Space Saturn Starship Striker Super Nova Venus Voyager Vulcan These lists are not complete.  I looked through 5,320 daylily names out of 38,449 on Dave's Garden and then filled in with some names from the article, and I'm sure there are more genuses with sci-fi plants.  The reason why there are so many hostas, daylilies, and coleuses is because they're relatively easy to hybridize and propagate.  I started looking through African violets, but half-way through I was pretty sure I wouldn't find any.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were some more in the Liliaceae family such as with tulips, but phew, that's a lot of plants. Looking through some of the names, it would be relatively easy to do a Lord of the Rings or fantasy-themed garden.  I even found hostas called "Dot Com" and "Website".  Hybridizers certainly get creative when it comes to names.  I think I'll send my brother-in-law a hosta called "Twisted Sister". The image is of a basket plant I have.  No neat name, but it looks kinda sci-fi in the picture.

Topic by AngryRedhead   |  last reply

Grow Our Own!- the big idea

Hey there Makers and Instructors! It's me, Maxwell and I have an idea to help feed people collaboratively, and I would like some advice on how to establish a collaborative barter network of people who want to or do grow food(mostly vegetables,herbs, and fruit,or even canned varieties for those who preserve) I call it Grow Our Own, or Let's Live! Participants would barter fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds, plants, etc, and a climate of information,instruction,and encouragement. This might take place at either gatherings on weekends in specific places, personal meetings, or through a distribution system I haven't figured out yet.(advice?) There would be a system to enhance diversity, as well,so you wouldn't just end up with an enormous beefsteak tomato glut,( kind of a grow what you want, but please if there's space a little of this?) Ideally, this would increase nutrition, oxygen, biodiversity, provide useful growing information to a hungry somewhat ignorant populace , promote responsible water and waste use ,and bypass at least some economic cycle problems. I want to establish a network of smaller more local groups to also encourage people to propagate fruit, herbs, and vegetables,(especially heirloom varieties) and to instruct and engender a system of distribution and instruction. I definitely think composting is a strong part of this. I also think that trying to find unused spaces and getting permission to grow on them might help grow abundance, as long as vandalism can be avoided.Admittedly over my head. I would also like to encourage this for partial-subsistence growing in urban areas. I feel each apartment building roof, balcony and courtyard that can hold even transient plant life should be split between solar power, raingathering, and semisubsistance food growing. If this is done collaboratively, it will begin to snowball and will become more common.This would effectively improve life for some poorer people with less nutritional access due to economic factors. (If the fast food industry served actually nutritious food at it's locations at the prices it has gummed up America's vascular systems and organs, it would be one of the most effective nutritive food distribution systems in the world, instead of the casually despotic mutilator of bodies it is.(bovine AND primate) That may have sounded harsh, and I apologize if your love of a Double Supersize Mc Twinky Burger supersedes your desire to survive, that's your choice and I respect it, I was making an example, not inviting the hate. Houses with arable land now foolishly wasting water on lawns should be growing food. This not only could increase air quality and continue to localize moisture, but could reduce economic burden on many families, and therefore incrementally reduce municipal strain. This also can help mitigate graywater and reduce system load and waste. We have gotten too used to the system of aloof receivership in our modern societies. We must relearn to grow our own food, make our own things, understand the processes that keep us alive on Earth. I know you understand. Linear systems are unrealistic in a universe of cycles, let alone a world of cycles. We can live better by working together, because that's how the planet works. Sympathetic and Symbiotic processes naturally facilitate unity and if we work with what of the Earth we haven't paved over, or create more space to grow food in, we may counteract some of the damage we have done and stop so much waste. We may even teach people to eat more nutritiously, I'll bet. We must reteach ourselves to seek knowledge and wisdom rather than solace and escape, teach our children the ways of responsible stewardship of sustenance and comfort. I am going to put together what I can of the idea into a simple website soon. I want to reach people with that message, though I don't know if I am much of a frontman.So let's do it together. If we work together we can help each other survive better. Isn't that what's really important? Thank you for any advice, oh yes, and please don't assume I am Omniscient Superfarmer, I'm trying to learn too, any useful information will be appreciated! Let's Live! Cheers and Hope, have a great day! Maxwell (btw,I've already sent this, somewhat paraphrased in email form to: The Buckminster Fuller,, The We Campaign, The Theodor Payne Foundation and many others, but any suggestions? You also may send it to whoever you think may help.) I admit I'm excited!

Topic by Subconscionaut   |  last reply

Scholarship robot idea: sound explorer/collector

I'm a wildlife biologist currently between jobs, so my budget for new cool gear like the iRobot Create is pretty much nil. But I have an idea for using the Create as a prototype platform for a field-usable device. Previous work has established the utility of robotics in obtaining data concerning wildlife behavior (e.g., Patricelli, G. L., J. A. C. Uy, et al. (2006). "Interactive signaling during mate choice in the Satin Bowerbird: an experimental test using robotic females." Journal of Ornithology 147(5): 12-12.) My background has included electrical engineering, computer programming, and bioacoustics. What I would be interested in trying my hand at is using the iRobot Create to set up an autonomous robot to localize sound, orient toward it, approach, and obtain sound recordings. I believe that this an achievable project in the contest timeframe. I already have microphones and amplifiers suitable for the project. I can either use three or more in a planar array to use time-of-arrival for sound localization, or use material to make each sensor directional and calculate heading from amplitude differences. In any case, the sound sensors would be used to obtain heading information for the robot. Acoustics boils down to a simple dictum: get a good microphone close to your subject. In this case, a robotic platform stands a much better chance of approaching wildlife without causing the sort of disturbance the presence of a human observer usually makes. While the Create platform itself may not be suitable for field deployment, I think that it would make a good prototype for lab testing of the concept. In that light, I will probably use a voice recorder as a lightweight recording system that will only require two actuators to have the robot operate it. There are some additional considerations that I will need to explore, such as figuring out how to determine closeness of approach. This would eventually need to be based upon calculations of whether the robot is at the boundary of far and near-fields of an acoustic source at the highest frequency of interest. That would maximize the sound amplitude at the recorder without the interference that is the defining characteristic of the near-field regime. If the prototype works well, there are further ideas that could go into a field robot system. One would be to have the robot localize a source and conduct a survey, carrying a GPS mapping system while taking sound recordings with a calibrated sound recording system. This would be useful to characterize sound propagation properties of the animal's emitted sound. As in Patricelli's work, the field system could be disguised as a conspecific, or at least a species that is likely to be considered "harmless" by the subject.

Topic by Diane Blackwood   |  last reply

The Middle East and the Global Hackerspace Movement

Please follow me and imagine this. You're in a city and are taking a rattling train somewhere to the edge of town. The buildings get shorter as they get wider. You are entering the industrial area where the jobs dried up long ago. Where there are more broken windows than whole ones in each building. You pass the streets your parents warned you about and a street covered in "DO NOT CROSS" tape. Two stops later you get off at the stop your friends told you about questioning your sanity and wondering why your friends brought you out there. The graffiti is beautiful though, and somewhere in the distance you can hear the thump of heavy bass. The address your friend gave you can't be right, you look up and see a massive complex thankfully this one seemed to have more of it's windows intact. You push the rusting door noticing the rough texture and surprising heft. You walk in and see a roughly refinished hallway. The drywall isn't yet painted but it appears that this massive factory has been transformed on the inside. You pass a few drywalled off artists studios on the first floor and they smile at you with plaster in their hair. It smells like lavender and you notice you just passed an artist making candles. The "hackerspace" your friend told you about is on the second floor. So you walk to the cargo elevator and push the call button. It makes a horrifying rattling sound as it descends to meet you, instead of a door it has a grate. You take it up and as it slowly moves you can see concrete, then wood and suddenly the thumping bass get's louder - Hello Skrillex. It's too much to take in at first, you only notice the chaos. There are tools everywhere and in every state of operation. A wall of computer monitors lines the back wall. There's someone binding books in the corner, and what appears to be a viking with knitting needles sitting in what appears to be a lounge, he looks up and smiles at you and says "welcome to Scrumspace*!" you've arrived at your first hackerspace. Notice an open basket of dollar bills and place a 2 dollar donation in the basket near the fridge and grab yourself a drink from the fridge in the kitchen. You walk into a common area painted like a scene from Super Mario with what appear to be server racks painted as the tubes. Finally you see your friend. He walks in with a scorched shirt and you see his eyes twinkling through the welding goggles. "Told you this place is awesome!" he says. Hackerspace Values and Culture Hackerspaces like this exist almost all over the world. These places collect (and perhaps helps inspire) people who are passionate initiators. Walking into one you might find someone who wants to share a new iPad application which monitors the GPS on the weather balloon they've released -"It's over //CHINA// right now!!". People in hackerspaces are happy to share, it's a part of the culture! Interacting with them is often uplifting and inspiring. They are building and creating things they think is amazing. They may be playing with technology or science or art without concern for the categories. The only apparent question they ask themselves is how AWESOME is this!? It's a contagious atmosphere of capability where people learn from each other constantly. They can't help it! People are so passionate about what they are doing, they inadvertently teach. The other feature of a hackerspace which is more important is that they give people a venue. It's an open space that is owned by the members. Need a place to host a workshop on hat felting, it's yours! Need a place to build the first prototype of your product? Just make sure you pack it in the lockers when you're done working on it! The atmosphere is fundamentally collaborative. It can't be anything except participatory because of the way the spaces are most often organized and run. There is no single owner. Everyone pays for a portion of the rent, and more importantly everyone brings something new to the table. They might bring with them a new tool, their coffee machine, a desire to set up a program to run a STEM program for children. The spaces become a snapshot the local community of amazing people and their projects. Many of these people started developing their projects during their final years in university. But their is a gap between a school project and feeling capable to take it and turn it into something yourself. I'd love to start here. With these fresh graduates. These young people who (perhaps not coincidentally) are also the driving force behind the revolutions of the middle east. This is a great place to start. These are the young people changing their countries today. They feel empowered to change long standing traditions and the culture of oppression in their governments. Perhaps it's also time to give them the tools to do the same for their local communities. Where they have the ability to have a more direct impact. Who the heck cares about the government if you are free to repave your roads, create alternative energy from solar power, clean your own water and start your own online webstore distributing products that are rapidly prototyped and drop shipped to other places around the world. Sure you might call this line of reasoning anarchistic. But when the systems around you are falling apart, banding together to pick up the pieces is the admirable thing to do. Social entrepreneurship in the states often focuses on countries outside the states. They basically act as for profit NGOs. Non profit organizations as they operate in America don't exist in the middle east. Thus I'm beginning to think that the concept of social entrepreneurship might just be a great way forward for these countries. Doing well by doing good! This concept is a development hack, and one that could possibly have it's roots in the Hackerspace scene. There are features of hackerspaces that I see can give rise to more DIY social entrepreneurship in the middle east. They are: 1) The culture of good. Make something wonderful. Share it with others online and off. Be inspired and inspiring. 2) The availability of tools along with the docracy culture. If you want to see it, do it. 3) A supportive global and local community which has within it stories of other successes to emulate. Where does this culture come from? It appears to be derived from the open source movement. Open source technology is often spearheaded by a few individuals but is maintained, built and supported by a global community of makers who want the tech for themselves as well. Do you want to see that feature? Write it? But don't edit the program and keep it to yourself! Share! That's a doocracy combined with the culture of sharing that the internet helps so much to support. All of this seems to be directed by the common value for people of all ideologies. The golden rule. Do for others as you wish to have done for yourself. Do you want free tools. Freedom. Access to clean water? A cheap space to build projects? Free vector drawing software? Be a doer. Be a part of the change. And then share with others. Your vision is what makes the future. These are some of the amazing features of these spaces. This is why I am in love with hackerspaces, open source technology and makers of all types. They are beautiful people who come from all types of backgrounds who get together to create a culture of sharing and collaboration that enhances their local communities and connects them globally. If you have not visited your local hackerspace yet, visit it. If you live in a place without a space, put your name up on, I'm sure you will find like minded people who crave this type of community. Hackerspaces in the Middle East Now that we have described hacker culture and hackerspaces can a space like this become a the hub and home of amazing people in the Middle East? Does the west have a monopoly on awesome. Absolutely not. Are middle easterners creative Heck yes! Are they inspired to work collaboratively? Heck yes! Are they educated? Heck yes! Do they want to fix the problems they see around them? Heck YES! Are they powerful? Heck YES! Again and again I've seen example after example of the young people in the middle east (yes, those that are 30% unemployed) showcasing example after example of incredible projects. And talking to them a message I hear over and over is that they want to show the world that in Beirut, Baghdad, or Cairo things other than violence is created. They want to create positive news that goes out to the world. They want to reach out to the world and participate in sharing! Here's a short list of incredible people I've met personally in my two short trips to the middle east: Bassam Jalgha Tarek Ahmed Ahmed Tohamy Salma Adel Rami Ali's Smart Breadboard Marc Farra Maya Kreidieh Cairo Hackerspace Book Scanner Project An awesome home automation system in Baghdad Iraq Mustafa Elnagar Furkan Alp Pehlivan Hind Hobeika's Butterfleye Project Jad Berro's Tank Robot Mounir Zoorob Octocopter! Here's a video of Munir's octocopter: Beirut is beautiful:   One incredible graduation project by Cairo Hackerspace organizer Salma Adel is one that focuses on the very heart of the maker movement and looks at the artisan as the creator of value. How do you take new design, match it with old technology and create amazing new products. I'm proud to know she's an active memeber at Cairo Hackerspace:  I hope I have shown you that there are already "hackers", makers and entrepreneurs there in the middle east. People with the open source attitude Arabs with the culture of sharing and collaboration. There are many here that work with the Google Technology User Groups or other open source initiatives. Linux user groups. Tons of coworking spaces. And some incredible incubators and entrepreneurship cultural development projects. Android phones are more popular in Egypt than the iPhone from my own small survey. It might have initially started as a cost issue has turned into a passion with Ubuntu, firefox, Android and other open source technologies really taking off. A few things were missing though. If you read hacker news you will begin to think that anyone with a desire to make foursquare mashups is an entrepreneur. In the middle east we have incredibly skilled people languishing after college while their counter parts in the west are out attempting to recreate Facebook. Why?! I think it has to do with the lack of proper story telling about entrepreneurship in the Middle East. Wamda seems to be helping greatly in that regard, but we need more publications talking about this issue! This also comes in concert with an inability to find cofounders. Why? A lack of collaboration? Why? A lack of self initiated projects? Solution? Do stuff. Just do it. Where? Here. At your local hackerspace. Do you have an interesting idea you want to try? A drone to take ariel pictures of the pyramids? Or a service like Utlub which delivers soap to bathers who are wet and realize they ran out of soap. Well in a space like a hackerspace you can do it! The tools are there. But more importantly you will find collaborators! People who are willing to jump on board to help!al Patterns of Propagation The Arab world is not just ready for Hacker culture, hacker culture is already there. My work with GEMSI is simply to connect the right people together and showcase the awesome possibilities hackerspace afford their communities and attempt to create the right environment to allow these amazing people to take their own future into their hands like they already are, but to do it not only politically, but financially, and with direct community education and organizing. Before I went to the middle east I was privileged to participate in the rise of the hackerspace movement in the United States. In 2007 there were very few (if any self identified) hackerspaces in the United States. That same year Mitch Altman, Bre Pettis, and Nick Farr went on a trip to Germany visiting the hackerspaces that were there. Being filled with inspiration and the realization that these spaces were created by PEOPLE who wanted to set them up. They came back to the states and started Noisebridge, NYCResistor and HacDC respectively. Due to the culture of sharing, they started putting up projects online. They shared the process of creating these spaces. And slowly at first people started noticing that they too could start their own local community spaces for creation and we started seeing them grow rapidly. The mathematical name of the function that describes this type of growth is exponential. The more spaces that existed that have this culture of sharing the more people heard about them and wanted them in their own cities. Then something wonderful happened. The economy collapsed in 2008 which had two very positive effects on the development of hackerspaces:  People were freed from their jobs  Space was becoming cheap as tons of manufacturing facilities were abandoned. Check out this chart which shows the rapid growth of hackerspaces and the acceleration around 2008/9. Hacker culture is an attitude that anything can be done by any resource available. MacGyver will make you a mouse trap from your sunglasses and your underpants. A hacker would use it to make a one way privacy screen for your cellphone. But how do you transmit a culture? This is why a space is so important. Having a place where people can sit with others and recognize the possibilities. To see the value in the stuff they know, to share it with others and to build together. The first few hackerspaces that are being set up in the middle east have the same property of viral transmission as we saw in America. Istanbul Hackerspace and Base Istanbul are both hackerspaces in Turkey. Istanbul Hackerspace being in the European part and Base Istanbul in asian section. As widely spread apart as they are, they both have something in common. Both founders had visited a hackerspace, one in Japan and the other in Germany before coming home and deciding they wanted to start one there. It's kind of incredible to see the same pattern repeat in the middle east. This appears to be a universal need, the need for community, creativity and having a open space to build your future. The pattern has been proven in Egypt as well. Alexandria's hackerspace initiative was galvanized after a delegation of students visited  Cairo Hackerspace two hours to the south. It's exciting to see the very same forces at work that took the hackerspaces from being a concept barely known to having a large impact on the American Entrepreneurial and cultural landscape in five short years years at work in Egypt. Cairo Hackerspace currently is without their space but is actively seeking a new one and it's one of my current goals to help in any way I can. Let's conclude with the list of hackerspaces just starting up in Egypt and Beirut. This is just the start. Keep an eye on these guys and know that there will be many many more to come: Egypt: Cairo Hackerspace El Minya Hackerspace Alexandria Hackerspace Mansoura Hackerspace Egypt Fablab (Same idea ;) Lebanon: Beirut Hackerspace (link coming soon) If you'd like to talk more about the global development of hackerspaces. Let's continue talking online at GEMSI's facbebook group. *Scrumspace does not exist as a hackerspace. If you like the name take it!

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