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Adjusting pH levels?

So, I am doing a science fair project about what  pH level is best for sea monkeys and what happens with the other levels.  Dies anyone know how to  adjust the pH levels easily in such a small amount of water??

Question by kyluddy    |  last reply

PH reading of colored stuff. Paint, Blood, etc.

PH is a color change indicator. So how're ya spposed to take the pH of blood, or color rich food, etc?

Question by Toga_Dan    |  last reply

Sciences PI Plate

Hi every ones, I'm a young engenner in plant biotechnology. On my free time i try to create an open source plate for the Raspberry pi which has lots of functionality very usefull for science project (Plant growing, Invitro cell, hydroponic control, compotemental study...) I'm really a beginer in electronics, but i read a lot electronic book, looking schematic and see video. This plate have : -8x relay 220V 5A control by a Darlington Array -8x Analog input -4x BNC connector connect to 4 Atlas Scientific Stamp (Ph, EC, DO...) -RTC clock (to be sure of time when data are store on database) -LCD screen 16x2 to facilite the reading without computer -This project will come with backend/frontend distribution Before i order all parts and PCB, i wondering if you be able to check my schematic to validate it and maybe improve it  :P Schematic Image files (2Mo) Fritzing file FZZ I have few question too  : 1/ Can i connect all my ICs and LCD to my external power supply, i read on internet this is better than connect on the 5V from the Raspberry PI? 2/ If i connect all 5V on my external supply how many amps i have to provide (the sum of all amps require by parts)? 3/ Do you know an I2C IC can replace the 74HC4052 to make all the plate in I2C and made it usable by more than a Raspberry PI ? (if it interesting) 4/ Which width is recommand for the wire on my pcb 24 mil (or smaller), and for the 220V Relay the biggest ?? Thanks you for your help, and your website ! Regards Erwan

Topic by wanoo  

lets trade kits

I will trade for your random parts i mostly very big LED's or LED displays or any electronics you dont need that are in OK or acceptable condition for upcoming school science fair (don't live near radio shack) i will trade my electronics kit to you it includes.2-POSITION ROTARY SWITCH condition=mint about the size=of the tip of your thumb to the middle joint.3 pin stereo jack 2 peices condition=mintsize= of a nickel.mono and disk capacitor condition=OK (sightly scratched leads)1 film capacitor condition=mint1 resistor 260 Ohms condition=good1 toroid with copper wire 1 without condition=mintsize= 2cm in circumferencesize=a dimeIR RECEIVER FOR REMOTE CONTROL condition=okand 5 other unknown peices (sensors and capacitors)

Topic by albylovesscience    |  last reply

Test Strips for Sale! (pH, Medical control, blue litmus and unknown)

Various testing materials for sale. I found them under my bed, in a bag with some safety goggles(let me know if you want some of them, i have like 8) I have no clue how much this stuff is worth so just shoot me a price and we will work from there.

Topic by ledzep567    |  last reply

2 transistor Crystal radio amplifier kit - shortwave science fair

This kit is 5.00 dollars . To order send email. Then send check.  The amplifier  has the parts soldered on top of homemade circuit board. It is tested . I listen for KCBS, KGO,kSCO and several other stations with only a small ferrite on a crystal radio..  Only the circuit board is included.  The coil and tuning capacitor are not included. Many coil and variable capacitor combinations will work up to about  13 Mhz.  There is a small wire near the output which provides feedback when it is moved towards the input.  Each station is tuned individually as the feedback is different. Wrap several turns around the input coil (not included).  The variable capacitor is in parallel with the coil. The shortwave coil can be a 1 inch diameter with 13 turns of narrow wire. Stations I pick up are Radio Havana Cuba,  Radio New Zealand , Church and amateur. There are some cautions. It could include cutting tape for your circuit design.  The shortwave requires an external antenna. Schematic included. Crystal earphone is not included. Another transistor can be added for speaker  or 8 ohm type earphone.

Topic by halamka  

Robotics Idea for 4-H National Youth Science Day - Send Us Your Ideas!

Our group is looking for ideas for the 2012 4-H National Youth Science Day, a nation-wide event in October promoting science, engineering and technology. This year, the theme is robotics! * Age group is anywhere 7-14 years old * The event is based around an idea (i.e. make a solar robot that moves) and a materials kit * The materials kits should be low cost (<$50), easy to assemble in 1/2 hour or less (number of kits needed may be in the thousands) * Connection to the environment a big plus * Connection to other robotics initiatives a big plus (i.e. Jr. First Lego League) Please send me your thoughts, ideas, links or whatever on this subject.

Topic by phatguppy    |  last reply

I desperately need empty tins and cigar boxes to use for science kits. Can anyone help me?

I'm a retired educator - I run workshops entitled I'm a scientist - for parents AND their children.

Question by Vintage1942    |  last reply

A BALONY detection kit....I have never seen this before.

I thought this was REALLY useful. Check it out and lt me know what you all think: Some thing real to grasp hold of, from the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

Topic by Goodhart    |  last reply

What are some good alkaline flavors?

What are some easily-obtainable flavors that have a pleasant taste when in an alkaline solution? Are there any suitable for flavoring a sweet beverage with an overall pH of 7 or above? (By alkaline, I mean actually has pH greater than 7 in your mouth. I'm not referring to those lists of foods floating around alternative medicine sites that are claimed to raise your urine pH.)

Question by NobodyInParticular    |  last reply

National Science Bowl teams used my Trebuchet for a competition

I received an awesome comment. A high school teacher used the plans for my Quick'n'Dirty Trebuchet as a lunchtime competition project for teams competing in the National Science Bowl. The teacher made up kits of the parts: masking tape, dowels (I used chopsticks), paperclips, toothpicks, string, a binder clip and a weight. The teams then had to assemble it and held a throwing competition. The winner averaged over 20'.This is why I make Instructables, and most specifically why I made this one. I wanted it to be easy and cheap, no special hard to find parts, work well, while still being a real Trebuchet. I loved the comment.Here it is:My school hosts a regional competition for the National Science Bowl for high school students every year with the winner going on to the national competition in Washington, DC. This year I was in charge of finding some sort of competitive project for the teams to build and compete with during the lunch break. I chose your quick and dirty trebuchet and made a kit for each team. I made a few changes to your plans. I used 12" long 1/4" cut dowels instead of chopsticks since I didn't have a cheap source of chopsticks. I did not give them rubber bands and instead they were to tape the paperclips on for the axle. They were given a 200 g weight with a loop of string taped to it for the weight. The projectile was a mini binder clip with a loop of string tied to it. The complete kit contained the 9 dowels, a roll of masking tape, 4 paper clips, the 200g weight with loop of string attached, mini binder clip with loop of string attached, your printed instructions as a guide and a sheet explaining the rules of the competition.It worked out quite well. The teams were given a copy of your plans as a guide and 20 minutes to build their device. The competition was they were to launch the projectile three times and it had to land inside a track 4 foot wide each time. The distances of the two best of the three throws were added together for their score with a foul (outside the lines) counting as zero distance. We had 12 teams participate and the winner had a score of about 44.5 feet. They all had fun and I think learned something too.

Topic by SFHandyman  

Best Platform Choice For Computer Science/Robotics Class?

The teacher of my computer science class (which has focused mostly on programming) wants to completely redo the curriculum to be more robotics centered, and he wants me to help. So, I need to try and find the best kit/components to start building and programming robots. If anyone here knows where we should start, I would really appreciate some help. I was looking at Nerdkits, and since my teacher wants the projects to be expandable into anything we want to do, this seems like a good solution. I have one, I haven't used it much, but one of the things I noticed is that it might be a little intimidating for students just starting out in the class.     Another choice that I want to look into is Arduino. I really haven't looked into this at all, but I've heard of many projects that use it, and it sounds like an easier platform to learn, but still flexible to any project.     The third choice I was looking at was Lego NXT. I know this is completely different from the other two mentioned so far, but I'm thinking this may be a better way for students to start out and then move onto the Arduino or Nerdkits. There is also a firmware that will let you upload Java code onto it, which would work out well since my teacher already knows Java. Since I have one of these, I could also donate/sell it to the school, which would reduce the cost for the school.     I will keep researching these and looking for better options, but I would also appreciate input from you guys! So if you know anything about this, or of a forum where I should ask for help, please let me know. Thank you for any help!

Topic by mcguinnessdr    |  last reply

Building a robotic arm?

In Science next term, we've been told that we'll need to build a robotic gripper. All it has to do is pick up a cup. I've been having a look around, and the balloon idea isn't practical because if the cup was full it wouldn't work. And I'm okay with spending a little money, but I'd rather not spend $100 or anything on a kit. So what's a good idea for me?

Question by im_caius    |  last reply

Provide 1000 cheap, wireless climate data loggers - Citizen Science Contest

The SciStarter Citizen Science Contest is live! This is your opportunity to help millions of citizen scientists contribute to real scientific discovery. Make their experiences better by coming up with solutions to some real annoyances that hinder their participation. To get you started, here is a specific--and very real--challenge sent to us by project organizers. PROVIDE 1000 CHEAP WIRELESS CLIMATE DATA LOGGERS Background: Wildlife of Our Homes provides an opportunity for citizen scientists to help researchers study the species that live alongside us everyday - bacteria, fungi, and insects. By using a sampling kit and answering a few questions, volunteers help researchers create an atlas of microbial diversity in homes across the country. The Problem: Project organizers would love to collect climate data in each of the 1000 homes where volunteers are sampling microbes from 4 common surfaces. Unfortunately, climate sensors are expensive, and more importantly, project organizers don't have an easy way to transfer data from those home sensors (temperature, humidity, etc) to an online database. Currently, they must physically retrieve and download the data. The Challenge: Find a way to log climate data and wirelessly transmit the data to the project organizers. Enter now! Contest closes January 21, 2013

Topic by scistarter    |  last reply

Can you help me with my Velleman K8066 Amplifier Chip Answered

Im new to the audio hobby but i had put together a velleman k8066 amplifier chip everything is soldered properly but the sound coming from my speaker is sounding distorted. I have a 9volt battery hooked up to it as the power supply. In the book its says power supply between 6 and 15vdc. One last question is there any way to build like a tube or something so that my speaker will sound louder. Also it says speakers 4-8 can be connected

Question by tramont    |  last reply

How to download data into the PICAXE 18m2 ?

How to download date into the PICAXE 18m2 ? im really confused over this. the products i have :  picaxe 18m2, uln2803a( not sure if this is necessary), chi030 project board, AXE027 cable, and 3 AA batter power supply. i basically have the demo kit. i was wondering if you could use this kit to download the date from the PICAXE programming editor to the picaxe18m2 or do you have to build a separate download circuit to accomplish this ? if someone can clear my confusion. im also confused about the USB Download Circuit and Serial Download Circuit and their difference. if someone can make a small guide using pictures or video  and maybe even do the demo led test off the picaxe manual, ( i would greatly appreciate it. thank you

Question by dudeitskumar    |  last reply

A SIMPLE instruction guide on statistics and chemistry?

Statistics and chemistry equations are some of the most complex calculations for people who did not grow up in a science background but are essential for students looking to further their degrees in fields that require bio chemistry while students excel in practicals its the calculations that cause problems like log, ph calculations, various option in statistics when to use which rule. A better tutorial for college level statistics and from basic chemistry to college level would be appreciated by various students the world over. Thank you in advance all areas of these two fields would be appreciated.

Question by Rainmakker84    |  last reply

15 steps to starting your own electronic-kit business - ladyada's tips for success

Voices: 15 steps to starting your own electronic-kit businessLadyada, of MintyBoost! fame among others, gives EDN the step-by-step process for building a successful kit-building business. I've seen her operation, and she's a total pro. If you're interested in doing this yourself, this information is gold.After Limor Fried received her master's degree in computer science and electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004, she started her own business designing and selling electronic kits, targeting customers who want to explore embedded-microcontroller-based designs or create their own GPS (global-positioning-system)-based systems, among others. She has made Adafruit Industries into a successful electronics-kit business, and, based on her own experience, offers these 15 practical steps for engineers who dream of starting their own kit business. Plus Step 7:Put basic documentation of your project online. You can use the or the site. Put the picture at the top of the project page. Below that, place a one-paragraph description of the project with specifications. For example, if you built a DMX-controlled RGB LED light, your paragraph should describe how bright it is, the DMX-control functions, how many LEDs it has, and why it's innovative. People who will give you publicity are busy, and you should make it as easy as possible for them to copy and paste your photo and description to their blog posts. Repeat this step for each project.Check out her site at

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply

DIY Halloween 2007 Winners Announced

Instructables, MAKE Magazine, and PopSci are happy to announce the winners of the DIY Halloween 2007 Contest! We saw some amazing entries this year. There were over 150 Instructables entered into the contest group and almost 1,000 photos submitted to the DIY Halloween Flickr pool. The competition was pretty intense and the judging was difficult, but we're very happy with all of the winners and once again wish we had more prizes to give out to all of the people that deserved them. A big thank you to everyone who entered and showed us that Halloween is truly the best holiday of the year.If you didn't have the chance to enter, don't worry! We'll be having another contest next year.Winners will be contacted via PM with prize-claiming instructions.Without further ado, let's check out the winners, category by category. Hack-o-LanternFirst Prize - Makita drill or Wusthof knives or EL wire kit + $50 gift certificate from American Science & Surplus + limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt + a MAKE warranty voider or MAKE bomb defuser leatherman tool + a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition Life-size Skeleton Pumpkin Carving Second Prize - A $50 gift certificate from American Science & Surplus + a limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + a MAKE warranty voider or MAKE bomb defuser leatherman tool + a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition Super Mario Bros. LED Mushroom Halloween Pumpkin! Animated Jack-O-Lantern Third Prize - A limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition.Beware of the horrible pumpkin bots .... dry ice pumpkin for Halloween Laser PumpkinPhoto/Video - A limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + a MAKE warranty voider or MAKE bomb defuser leatherman tool + and a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition.My 178pound friend / bigskull Crime Scene Pumpkin CostumesFirst Prize - Makita drill or Wusthof knives or EL wire kit + $50 gift certificate from American Science & Surplus + limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt + DIY Laptop bag by Skooba + year one or year two of MAKE + a copy of MAKE's Halloween editionMystic Lord costume: horns, armor,silk painting + more (oh my) Second Prize - A $50 gift certificate from American Science & Surplus + a limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + DIY Laptop bag by Skooba + year one or year two of MAKE + a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition Six-armed Hindu goddess Kali Costume Toddler Flintstone car Third Prize - A limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition.How to make a pair of Angel Wings The SOLO CUP Lobster! Halloween 2007 - "Who Ya Gonna Call?"Photo/Video - A limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + DIY Laptop bag by Skooba + year one or year two of MAKE + a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition.Toy soldiers Price is right family Decorations, Gadgets, and MoreFirst Prize - Makita drill or Wusthof knives or EL wire kit + $50 gift certificate from American Science & Surplus + limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt + MAKE controller kit + a copy of MAKE's Halloween editionHow to Build a Spooky Working Drawbridgewith Sounds and LightSecond Prize - A $50 gift certificate from American Science & Surplus + a limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + MAKE controller kit + a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition Tesla CD Turbine With Scary Steampunk Laser PumpkinCutter Attachment Mac-O-Lanterns Third Prize - A limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition.Life Size Operation Game Halloween Animatronics Spooky Backwards Spinning Clock Made from Cassette Player MotorPhoto/Video - A limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + a MAKE t-shirt + a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition.Huge Spider Corpse Tray FoodFirst Prize - Makita drill or Wusthof knives or EL wire kit + $50 gift certificate from American Science & Surplus + limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt + a year of Craft + a sushi wallet kit + a copy of MAKE's Halloween editionAnimated Halloween Cake Second Prize - A $50 gift certificate from American Science & Surplus + a limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + a year of Craft + a sushi wallet kit + a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition Smoked Salmon Skull Blood Splattered Extra SatanicDeviled Eggs Third Prize - A limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition.Frankenstein Finger Cookies Halloween Graveyard Cake Frog Spawn and Swamp Water TeaPhoto/Video - A limited-edition Instructables Halloween t-shirt and stickers + a year of Craft + a sushi wallet kit + and a copy of MAKE's Halloween edition.Thorax Kang Kodos Halloween cupcakes Grand Prize! A trip to next year's Maker Faire in San Mateo, including airfare, hotel, and event ticket + Makita drill or Wusthof knives or EL wire kit+$50 gift certificate from American Science & Surplus Realistic Werewolf Costume Judging was done by staff at Instructables, MAKE: Magazine, and

Topic by fungus amungus    |  last reply

Do people make requests for instructables too? + growing glowing geodes + making your own slime

Hey, I saw a instructible or two featured on here that reminded me of something that has prompted a question in my mind. Is there a typical way that people make requests for instructibles, aside from comments on existing instructables, or here in the forum? Or is this forum the typical place (I haven't scanned through to find out on my own)? Anyway, I have a request that I'll try to lay out here... In a badass local toy/education/science shop, they sell these kits of weird or "gross" science experiments. Like growing glowing geodes, making volcanoes, making glowing slime...stuff like that. The problem is, these kits are a bit pricey, but they DO have an ingredients list on the outside of the box. I took photos of the kits/lists in the store, with the idea that I could probably find info online to be able to replicate the "experiments" more cheaply by picking up the components elsewhere. I haven't gotten around to it, and so I thought Instructables would be the perfect place for people that would do the same thing and share the info to all of us. Specifically, I really want to do that glowing geode thing. Some of the other kits were pretty spiffy too, but I don't have the info in front of me to give you further details. (I'm sure I could google around, and eventually I'm sure I will).

Topic by Subvert    |  last reply

Solar USB, iPhone, Arduino Chargers

I write up a lot of guides on Instructables for various solar gadgets.  Most of the Solar USB/ iPhone/ Arduino chargers.  If anyone is interested in such things I sell them off my website, which I then use to make more projects or fund activities in my science classroom.  I have several versions of my kits available as well as all the parts to make those kits, and even premade chargers for those who don't feel the urge to make one on their own. Solar USB Charger and Kit A basic USB charger that uses rechargeable 2 AA batteries, a DC to DC boosting circuit, and a 4V solar cell.  Take the batteries out to charge, or leave it in the sun for a few days.  Then charge up your gadget when need be.  Works with most USB devices including Apple products (iPods, iPhones, iPads) as well as Arduinos.  Fits nicely into an Altoids tin. Solar iPhone Charger and Kit More or less the same as the USB charger, but instead of having a generic USB port it has a dedicated iPhone/ iPod/ iPad cable.  Which means it only works with Apple stuff.  Features 2 rechargeable AA batteries, boosting circuit, Apple Connecting Cable, and 4V solar cell.   Heavy Duty Solar USB Charger and Kit While the 4V solar cell in the other kits/ chargers fits nicely inside an Altoids in it is also quite wimpy.  I took the basic design of the Solar USB Charger and replaced the 4V solar cell with either a powerful 6V 230mA or a 5.5v 320mA solar cell.  In order to make things easier the solar cells plug into a 2.5mm jack on the side of the tin.  Meaning you can leave the solar cell at home.  The solar cells are also powerful enough to charge up a lot of gadgets directly from the sun if you have good weather.  Works with most USB gadgets, Arduinos, and Apple products. Lithium Heavy Duty Solar USB Charger and Kit Due to the fact that big gadgets (like iPads) have insanely big internal batteries I had to modify my design a bit.  The AAs in the other chargers were not powerful enough (unless you used 4 or 6 of them) to reliably charge up bigger items.  I modified the design of the Heavy Duty Kit to replace the AAs with a Lithium battery and Charge Controller.  With several battery options available, including a massive 6,600mAh one, these chargers have no problem handling the larger power needs.  On a recent plane flight a charger with a 2,000mAh Lithium battery charged up my iPhone over 80% (on airplane mode while listening to music).  Imagine what a 4400mAh or 6600mAh battery could do.  The charger/ kit can fit inside an Altoids in with the smaller batteries.  It features a powerful 5.5V 320mA solar cell and a 2.5mm jack and plug system so you can easily remove the panel.  A nice addition is the Lithium Charge Controller which has status LEDs showing when the battery is charging and when it's full.  It works with most USB gadgets, including Arduinos and Apple gear. I've used these kits with kids at my middle school, and have sold many kits to summer camps and scout groups.  They take between 20 and 45 minutes to make, and only require basic soldering skills to put together.  They all fit inside Altoids tin for cuteness factor, but can easily be put into something else.  Modifications are endless. So there you have it.  More Altoids solar thingys than you can shake a stick at.

Topic by BrownDogGadgets    |  last reply

Maker Fair, March 2009, Glasgow Scotland

I am hereby launching what I believe will be the UK's first ever maker fair. National Science and Emgineering Week is in March and the Glasgow Science centre has agreed to give space to the event over a weekend then. I now need to recruit makers to come along. I am looking for people who will convey the spirit of the Instructables community to a public who have never heard of it. Are you willing to share your skills and sense of fun? I would ideally like a few big things for the outdoor area (between the Glasgow Science Centre and BBC Glasgow building, beside the River Clyde). Messy, big and/or mobile are ideal for this space. There is indoor space for about 10-15 table based activities and there are two shallow pools for anything that needs to float. we cant use the river. We should aim for a variety from wood technology, electronics, mechanicals, aero, watery, construction kits (lego, knex etc), structural and just sheer mad engineering loopiness. If you, or someone you know of, would be good for this, please contact me, so plans can start.

Topic by greensteam    |  last reply


It's crazy that there isn't a "How to make Biodiesel" Instructable on the site, yet. I just created this group, but I'm inviting people to share info and links, here.Luckily, there are plenty resources online on how to brew your own biodiesel. The stub for the Make article on the subject doesn't include the full text, but it does include a number of great links:The Energy Self-Sufficiency Newsletter - This article is partly based on a series of articles by Maria "Mark" Alovert that first appeared here.Gly-Tek - To test for the presence of glycerin, you can use the Gly-Teck test kit, which detects leaked anti-freeze in motor oil. Recycling Sciences - High-volume operations can buy a $31,000 glycerin-purification distiller here, which will convert dirty biodiesel glycerin into nice, clear, commercially valuable glycerin. Mark Alovert's - Homebrewing - Another homebrewing - Biodiesel policy and activism - Biodiesel processor designs and other - Biodiesel stations and industry - VW diesel - Setting up a commercial biodiesel pump in your town.Alternative Energy Videos - Videos about alternative energy, including biodiesel, available for rent from

Topic by nagutron    |  last reply

i want 2 build my own weather house, those twee lil things with the lil man that comes out when it rains, any thorts?

i've loved those twee little weather houses since i was a child and am desperate to have one for my own child. however looking at them again i find them not as attractive as my little girl eyes did and have found only 1 slightly retro mushroom version to buy,in which i feel the figures are not particularly well crafted. being quite creative i thought i'd have a go at making my own but,having no clue how, looked up kits. i found 1, quite sweet, sunny camel comes out rainy - gorilla. great for my son's room but i want to watch the magic myself and not sure that would sit well on my kitchen windowsill. any idea's on what to use, will guitar string work for the gut string? and do i need the right tension/balance/measurements? any help or direction would be greatly appreciated. thanks all.

Question by alex de    |  last reply

re NASA's Anti Nausea glasses DIYable? I need help because I can't ride in cars without being sick.

I saw a show on the science channel about how NASA is using stroboscopic glasses to reduce the incredible nausea that astronauts get. This is really interesting to me because I have Graves Disease, and the worst symptom is chronic nausea. Right now, it hits randomly when I am in vehicles. Yesterday I had to take a three hour car drive, and white knuckled it the whole way home, trying not to be sick. I have a few links to a paper about the glasses, and to the patent that explains how they work. I follow directions really well, and could put it together if someone could tell me what I needed, and how. My electronics experience is limited to a few LED throwies. (I've got a Make: electronics kit I keep meaning to play with, but haven't yet.) I'm not scared of soldering circuits. I'm just not sure how to put them in order, or read the schematics. I wouldn't even consider this if I wasn't just desperate to be able to be in a motor vehicle without tossing my cookies after an hour. Long trips are agonizing with the nausea, and if this helps, I'd wear it no matter what it looks like in every vehicle I have to be on. I really want to do this with my own two hands because then if it breaks I can fix it, or adjust it as needed. Plus, it would be just damn cool to build it. I don't know if that's possible, though, because I'm not sure what I am looking at needing to do to make this. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Topic by HeresyOfTruth    |  last reply

Chemistry equipment list?

Hello Fellow Instructablers!       Its been a while since I have made a post but I am back with a burning question!  I have a great interest in science and chemistry and always wanted to preform experiments seen on page of authors like Nurdrage for example. But I have never had the required equipment or chemicals to do these. I have taken a high school chemistry class and gotten my stuff down and now am prepared to take on the challenge of the lab. I have a birthday coming on on the 24th and my parents said if I wanted to get into chemistry I should ask for equipment and chemicals or what I need for my birthday.      So I will, but I need help. From an experienced chemist or someone who has done this before. Can anyone give me a list of basic-intermediate lab equipment that is needed for most experiments? I don't want to get one of those chemistry kits for kids since those are so restricted and only let you do the experiments given to you, not very fun So I want to get free use equipment and chemicals for any procedure. But I have no idea what is needed most or least and would really appreciate it if someone were able to do this for me. Just in the comments or PM, have a list of stuff I should ask for if I wanted to kick start my chemistry, what that item is used for, the price and its frequency of use to determine what I should decide on if there were to be a conflict. I would really appreciate any help I can get from you guys cause my birthday is coming up soon! Thanks everyone! ~Ostomesto

Topic by ostomesto    |  last reply

McMADSAT make and do, show and tell. Scotland's first Maker Event 2009. Full report

Report of the McMADSAT event 14th March 2009, at the Glasgow Science CentreWe had a fantastic day. Outside it was a grey gale of a day, but inside was a riot of colour and activity. The aim was to enthuse the public with the fun of making things from a variety of technologies. Anyone who wanted to, could join in, make something and take it away with them, and all for free. Hundreds of people of all ages came along and had a great time. A general video of the event can be seen at (Thanks to Les Oates for making this excellent film for us).I am happy to discuss further with anyone planning their own event, and you can see more about it and the process by which I got the event going, at Guest, all the way from London, was Professor Maelstromme (AKA Amanda Scrivener), who brought her beautiful creationsWhat can you make from a dead umbrella? Display of the possibilities for reusing the fabric and structure of dead umbrellas.The Tea Party. 1950s style tea party made from a combination of hand made fabric and edible pieces.Cardboard structures from the students of the department of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde.Greensteam's steampunkery, 101 uses for a dead keyboard and other examples of her work as shown on Instructables.The Offline Mechanical Blog – a very old manual typewriter with continuous paper available for the public to type their messages and thoughts on for all to shareLemonie (another Instructables enthusiast, who travelled up from York especially) brought his amazing conversion of a VHS player-into-toaster that makes toast with VHS imprinted in it. He also brought his nice LEGO USB stick, a lantern made out of a tin-can & glass. and his *untested* wind-turbine, made from VHS player parts.On the Young Makers stand we had a display of virtuoso Lego constructions and an extensive collection of home made Steampunkery.The self-replicating machine from the department of Design Manufacture and Engineering Management at the University of Strathclyde, the Reprap, was on display and moving but sadly not reproducing on the day.ActivitiesThe public were offered a wide range of free hands-on activities, which ran continuously all day, to 'Make and Take'Soldering - make a solar theremin (or a robot). 16 of these were made and all worked first time. Some were taken for a trial run in the sun and a video of this can be seen at The Stemnet ambassadors helped visitors to make their own Musical Straw Oboes.One of the most popular activities – especially with children – the Stemnet ambassadors supervised the making of many handsfull of Gloop.The Stemnet ambassadors used the plastic Polymorph for visitors to make a fingerprint keyring to take away.Fishy things - Busy Bees Art studio provided painting and collage fishes to make, particularly for our very young visitors.The Glasgow Crocheted Coral Reef invited visitors to try their hands at crocheting and contribute to the growing coral reef, all made from wool and even strips of plastic bag. Many total novices not only tried their hands but actually completed a piece of coral to contribute to the reef. This workshop area was very busy throughout, with visitors typically spending 30 minutes or more participating. Many thanks to my civil engineer pal who ran this.House of Cards - visitors could make and take their own set of the design classic 'Eames cards', which slot together to form fantastical structures. Ideal for recycling old greetings cards.Cable necklets, keyboard bracelets and keyboard film wallets. All made from recycled/repurposed materials from dead keyboards. Popular with adults and children alike.Risk assessments were provided to the Glasgow science centre, for all the activities. There were no injuries and the 'emergency first aid bucket of water' was not needed as there were no soldering or gluegun burns.Participant Presenters30 people were involved on the day, either as exhibitors or as workshop facilitators. An essential component of the team was the group of11 Stemnet ambassadors, most of whom were there all day. It would have been impossible to run so many activities without them. Another group in the team was the members of the Glasgow Electron Club who, with some friends and a Stemnet ambassador, ran the soldering workshops continuously all day. We were particularly fortunate to have two exhibitors travel up specially to take part. Several exhibitors were entrepreneurs who gave their time for nothing, even though the venue rules meant they could not sell anything, nor charge for the activities being provided. This was especially generous given the harsh financial climate just now. Everyone said they had lots of fun.PublicOver 1,000 people visited the Glasgow Science Centre on the day. The BSA/NSEW assessment forms collected only represent <10% of the visitors to the McMADSAT area. Stallholders and workshop facilitators estimated a total of about 425 active participants (people who did an activity, or asked questions and generally interacted with the displays) by 1530 (GSC shuts at 1700). However, even these only represent a proportion of the people visiting the event which, although not recorded, probably amount to about double that, since most of the activities were taken up by children accompanied by other family members. The numbers at any given time were variable, depending upon the GSC's own activities/talks etc. I would estimate that the McMADSAT area was visited by at least 700-800 during the day. From the few assessment forms returned, and from chatting to the public, it was clear that most had come simply because they were coming to the GSC anyway, but some (mainly young adults) had come as a result of internet and email information or because of the Metro article. The GSC visitors seem to be mainly families with children of primary school age. The University of Glasgow Steampunk Society had come especially to make contact with the steampunk element, as featured in the Metro article. We also collected some contact details for future events. BudgetThe total budget for the event was the £500 grant provided from NSEW Scotland scheme. This had to cover all the exhibitors' costs and the costs for the free make and take activities, plus all publicity etc.In-Kind Sponsors:The Glasgow Science Centre provided free space, tables, cloths, technical assistance, without which the event would not have been possible at all.The publishers of Make and Craft magazines, O'Reilly's, did not feel able to sponsor us in the same extent as they did for the much larger event in Newcastle on the same day, but did send boxes of back issues of their magazines to give away, which probably amounted to an equivalent of about £300 at UK newsstand provided more theremin kits than contracted for, which were themselves at cost price.Madlabs provided free batteries for all the kits they supplied at assisted with publicity and allowed the use of their logo.VenueNone of this would have been possible at all, particularly on this minimal budget, without the kindness of the Glasgow Science Centre. The Director agreed immediately to offer us the space free, plus the use of tables and technical help to enable this event to take place. We were able to partially set up the night before which was very helpful in avoiding a scramble on the day. We were able to get the loan of 4 GSC soldering irons which avoided us having to get personal ones PAT tested. This was the ideal venue for us as it meant we really didn’t have to do a great deal of publicity as we could be sure of an audience from the GSC's normal throughput.PublicityThe event was listed in the NSEW diary and in the university of Strathclyde's NSEW information. Posters were distributed around venues in Glasgow and information posted on relevant websites. A blogspace was set up as a temporary web presence to refer people to. The Metro published a small piece which was a wonderful boost.Lessons for the futureNeeded more helpers and more exhibitors. Outdoor displays would have been impossible as the weather was dreadful, but it is still necessary to have some more dramatic displays as well as the hands on activities. Successful soldering for novices really needs 1:1 or 1:2 supervision. The budget only worked because minimal publicity was done at low cost and all the participant presenters were generous with their time and resources. Anything more ambitious than what was done on this occasion would need a larger organising team and significant sponsorship.

Topic by greensteam    |  last reply

Ancient technologies revisited - 2000 year old battery

This is the first part of a series (if you are interested in more) about technologies that are confirmed by scientists by rejected by archeologists and historians alike.Without abtteries we would struggle to have what we have today.No one would have needed a laptop or mobile phone if it has to be plugged in all the time...And depending on where you read it is said that our batteries are about 200 years old.First we needed to "discover" electricity to get the idea that we might need something to store electrical power with.Building a rudimentary battery is not hard.Every kid can create these lemon or potato clocks and light with a cheap kit off the internet.Creating something with at least enough storage capaicty to run a small motor for while or to power a flashlight is a different thing.We often speak of power density - a formula to define how much energy per volume a battery can store and what the max amps delivered are.KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid!Means we imagine that we want to build battery with the most basic tools and ingredient you can come up with.My imaginary shopping list:A good amount of clay and plenty of water for it ;)Some malleable metal like bronze or coopper, maybe even gold.Some basic salts.Some basic acid.A small pot of bitumen.Making it - of course only theory...Use the clay to create good sice, vase shaped vessel that can hold about 10 liters when finnished.Create a suitable and tight fitting lid with the leftovers.Bake in your fire until ready.As an alternative and for a bit of asian touch you can of course substitute the clay with ceramic here - be creative.Finnish it off by applying a nice bitumen coat to really seal the surfaces of lid and vase.Time to grab a cold beer and get it to your mate with the big anvil and blast furnace.Ask him to create a thin walled metal tube that is about 20cm in diameter and one with a diameter of about 8cm.Once you made him agree offer the beer and ask to also make some sort of wire - like thin metal strips to be connected to one end of the tubes.Since you took way too much beer over to your friend I suggest that you continue when you are sober again ;)Wrap some cloth around the smaller tube until it fits tightly into the bigger one.Soak this stuffed cloth now with the brine you made from your first selected salt - you figure out which ones work.Let it dry or do it faster with some applied moderate heat.Repeat until it won't soak in any more brine and turned into a solid salt filling.Fill the smaller tube with your second salt, compress it hard and seal the ends with something the keeps the stuff insde but allows liquid to penetrate the salt.Place in your clay vase and secure with some filler material - be creative and consider things crushed volcanic rock, "inert" stuff like hair or cotton, maybe even wood splinters....If the filler material could float fill the top with something that keeps it down, if in doubt just use sand.Check that all is fine and that the wires come out on either side of the rim.Slowly fill with your acid of choice until all air is out and the vase is full to the brim.Seal the lid in place with some bitumen.If you did it right and used the right ingredients you have now a 2V (+-0.2V) battery with a capacity between about 3 and 10Ah.Will take you a bit of time and experimenting to get it right with the ingredients but it does work.What does not work according to official science is that you would have had any use for such a battery over 2000 years ago.A bit like the bumblebee...Science tells it is impossible that such a heavy insect with such tiny wings and such a great mass can fly.Earonautical engenners confirmed this many times.Our humble bee though has clue about science, aerodynamics or a perfect weight distribution, let alone things like lift.And so it just flies anyway.....The batteries exist, they were confirmed many times to be batteries with rather high capacities.But since in ancient Aegypt, China, India or soth America no one knew anything about batteries according to our archeologists and historians the only possible explanation is that they are not batteries at all....The question should not be whether or not they had batteris as this is already answered.The question must be: Why did they need batteries???And they had tons of them....Some types according to chemical analysis even rechargable.You only need batteries if you need electricity and you can only charge batteries if you have electricity....Start experimenting and try to figure out how many different types of batteries you can make from most basic ingredients...I will continue with another post about the purely theoretical existence of solar cells during ancient times.

Topic by Downunder35m  

Maker Faire, Queens, NY - circa 2010 (or why on earth did I keep forgetting I had a camera...)

Well, I finally got to a Maker Faire  (I really was afraid I was going to get old before it happened and I wouldn't be able to make it -  ( :-P  Kiteman). I am still a bit dizzy, some from malnutrition (food vendors did not know what a credit nor debit card was, and I rarely carry much cash anymore), some from all the STUFF that was there to see.  I declined an invitation to ride on the JET powered merry go round (or whatever it was called) that occasionally would make talking at the Instructable's booth IMPOSSIBLE.  Of course, one of my favorite booths (no, I didn't get a picture of it) was a fellow that had like 20-30 old (very old) assembled Heath kits (mostly radio receiver/x-mitters) and of course the Maker tent. I don't think it is visible in any of the pictures, but I nearly seared my head off from sunlight exposure, dispite having a UV sensor on me to tell me when to get OUT of the sunlight. The most fun I had, however; honestly was meeting different members of the "gang" :-) Eric, and Cristy, Tetranitrite, Muffinator, Randy, CaitinsDad and a few others whose names escape me at the moment (hey, I am lucky I could remember those four, not because they aren't memorable, but because I have such a hard time remembering names). I even unofficially sat in at the booth for a bit, while Randy went "exploring"  (I think he went into the Science Center)......oddly enough, I got about 28 people interested enough in his book to take a sticker with the URL on it :-)    A real breakthrough for someone that has difficulties talking to strangers. I only got about 6 hours of sleep last night....mostly because I was still vibrating a bit when I got home.   My wife was upset with me when I got home because I had yelled at her on the phone when she called while I was in the middle of  he.....I mean Queens, trying to dodge taxi drivers.  I had told here I would call when I arrived......and getting back safely didn't seem to make up for that little indiscretion....oh well. Anyways, here are the pictures I took....sorry they aren't more in number.    Also, I smudged the faces of those I did not know......mostly because I am paranoid.  :-)

Topic by Goodhart    |  last reply

Solar "Generator"

Since I've always wanted to do something like this and I found this site, it's about to happen! I found a smaller version with what I wanted to do at Popular Science but I want to do something on a larger scale. I do have some questions though that I'm hoping someone can answer or point me in the correct direction.I'm going to describe what I'm doing with what and what I have questions with.I'm going to be buying this solar panel and charge controller kit. Sunforce Solar Panel With Charge ControllerA deep cycle 115 AMP Hour 12 V marine battery from Wal-Mart with Plastic Battery caseSalvaged wood Toy BoxMeter Question: How to meter how many amp hours I have left or how charged the battery is? What kind of meter to buy? Where? (not too expensive <20 bucks or so) how to hook it up.A 12 V accessory outlet with on off switch Question: I'm putting an inline fuse before the switch, 15A the line fuse goes on the + (positive) side correct?A 700 Watt 6.25 AMP DC to AC converter with 4 outlets connected to it. Question: can I put a breaker or fuse between the 4 outlets I'm going to be plugging into on the outside and the plug being plugged into the DC to AC converter? If so how?USB ports for charging with on off switch. Question: how do I convert the 12V to 5V in an easy way? I've seen some creative ideas on here for charging VIA salvaged USB ports but I don't want to have to hook it up to my power inverter if I don't have to. Cooling/ventilation for the entire thing. Any ideas how I might cool/vent it? Currently I'm thinking of using old computer fans and put them on both sides of the toy box and have 2 blowing and 2 blowing out. Having the fans run off of the solar panel during the day and either have a switch to change it to battery at night (if it's too warm in the house) or maybe photo sense it? Temp sensor to turn it on and off? Or a switch to turn it off completely. I'm just looking for idea's to keep the battery (and to expand to be more than one battery) cool/ventilated. If you have examples or detailed description on how to do it that'd be great. I'm not one to steal ideas so I'll credit the idea's I'm given if I use them =)I'm going to see how much I can run off of this and how long. Hopefully save some big time energy also!Thanks all!

Topic by oddie1212    |  last reply

Top 50 Instructables of 2007 Ranked by Number of Comments

This is the second in a series of data-analysis posts. Check out the first here. I love statistics, analysis, and raw data and so thought I'd share some of the really cool stuff with you. Thanks to trebuchet03 for helping with this and actually crafting the queries. Here are the Instructables published in 2007 with the greatest number of comments (I know the year isn't over yet, but we're close enough):1. Laser Flashlight Hack!! - 1,2292. Shutdown Your School! - 5003. morretti SR-4 knex recon kit - 4994. GORKEM'S KNEX SNIPER RIFLE - 3925. XW30K 8-1/2 cm shot Shifle - 3586. Easy to Build Desk Top 3 Axis CNC Milling Machine - 3497. Knex Sniper Rifle - 3398. K'nex pump action rifle code:OSNJCKMA2 - 3149. 25MM Pneumatic Sniper Rifle - 31210. mepain's sniper rifle - 30911. Invisible Book Shelf - 28612. Barbie Doll Electric Chair Science Fair Project! - 28213. knex rifle - 27914. Make an awesome Harry Potter wand from a sheet of paper and glue gun glue - 27015. Mouse Mouse! - 25616. The VORTEX - 23317. FREE Hidden Electricity! - 22518. Mykhailo's L96 - 22519. Gorkems K'nex Sniper Gun (The same gun as the origional, just easiyer to follow instructions) - 22120. Match Rocket - 21421. [ How to softmod your xbox...for FREE] - 21422. The Ice Bulb - 21323. Opening up a coke machine - 21024. How to Make a Three Axis CNC Machine (Cheaply and Easily) - 20725. How to perform your own Tongue Bifurcation - 20726. $5 Mini USB Fridge! - 20227. How to make a great Knex weapon Instructable - 20128. Laser Cutter Contest Update: Fewer Rules, More Time! - 19629. The K'nexecutioner 1.02 - 19430. How to get some revenge on the credit companies - 19431. Homemade Infrared Goggles! For Under $10 - 19332. Fake Virus!!! - 19233. semi automatic knex pistol - 19034. Creating a 3D effect with image editing software (GIMP or Photoshop) - 18935. Exploding Salt Explosives from Salt - 18936. Polyphasic Sleep - 18837. huge knex crossbow - 18538. Blu-Ray Laser Phaser! - 18239. How to Build a Robot - The BeetleBot - 18240. How to Clean Your Sinuses - 18141. Instructable: Keyboard System - 18042. How to roll a Joint ! (if you dont like it don't read it !!) - 17843. Red Impact - Perfect Duck's K'nex gun. - 17844. K'nex FN2000 - 17545. Knex Switchblade (Now Improved) - 17046. Ultimate Guide to Making a Cheap but Effective Aluminium Forge. - 16847. Be an Aeronautical Scientist: Make your Own Jet Engine for a few Pennies. - 16748. the desert buzzard knex gun - 16549. Danny's knex m4 carbine working modle - 16550. Using Paper, Resin, and Fiberglass to be the Master Chief! - 164

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply

[newsletter] Ultrasonic Batgoggles, Miracle Fruit, Giant Lite Brite...

Sign-up for our newsletter here. May 29, 2008 Welcome back! Have a cool signature for your user name? Share it with the community at this signature collection post. Lots of people have been ordering shirts from our new store. The free shipping only lasts through tomorrow so order now!Want to win some magnetic photo rope to display your pictures? Enter our caption contest!Coming soon... a new contest based on travel tips. Check out these cool Instructables! Go Online without Getting Snooped: Tor (The Onion Router) Want to get online on a network that likes to snoop? Try using TOR. posted by w1n5t0n on May 27, 2008 Ultrasonic Batgoggles Experience echolocation and learn to "see" with your ears. posted by suneth on May 27, 2008 Cheap, easy, low-waste platform bed Build a queen size platform bed with storage space underneath for less than $30, in about an hour, and learn some basic carpentry skills in the process. posted by aeray on May 19, 2008 Make a $5.00 "Space Pen" for your wallet Put handy space pen in your wallet so that you can write upside down whenever you want. posted by doctor_wu on May 25, 2008 How to Build a Hank Drum Build your own unique drum from a propane tank with just a few basic tools. posted by Hermes on May 20, 2008 Make you own wearable arc reactor and be cooler than Tony Stark! Want your own arc reactor like the one in Iron Man? Here's how to do it. posted by mspark400 on May 26, 2008 Giant Lite Brite The original Lite Brite was cool, but a 4' x 4' version is better and allows for multiple kids of all ages to play at once! posted by noahw on May 22, 2008 Make Biodiesel! The biodiesel story continues with the method of making the biodiesel itself. posted by drinkmorecoffee on May 22, 2008 Win amazing LED POV kits! Closes for entries on Sunday! Green Science Fair! Lightbulb "green"house The humble light bulb may be on its way out, but instead of trashing them you can give them new lives as tiny greenhouses. posted by LinuxH4x0r on May 26, 2008 Growing Your Own Miracle Fruit A guide to help anyone willing to grow the exotic and highly rewarding Miracle Fruit. posted by Putzer on Jun 27, 2007 Shoot the Rainbow: Skittles Vodka Loved Skittles as a kid and want to enjoy the flavors in a new way now that you're an adult? Skittles vodka may be just the thing for you. posted by applesticker on May 27, 2008 Dell Laptop into Digital Photo Frame That outdated laptop may be too slow for your new applications, but it can still serve as a sweet photo frame. posted by vorin on May 24, 2008 Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric

Topic by fungus amungus    |  last reply

Instructables Build Night: littleBits

We down at the TechShop in Chandler, AZ have been eyeing littleBits since they first showed up on Kickstarter a couple of years ago... and boy did we ever luck out!!!  Thanks to Instructables & littleBits, we are now proud owners of FOUR Deluxe Kits and several of littleBits' brand new At Heart modules.  How? You might ask... Well Instructables runs a wonderful program referred to as Instructables Build Nights, where they and a sponsor send maker spaces, schools, libraries or other learning institutions a box of goodies (like littleBits) in return for hosting a build night.  The build night is sort of a free for all to make stuff with whatever they send you, and in our case - it was open to everyone, especially kids.  At the end of the build night, you submit three or more instructables for what you came up with during the allotted time.  Fantastic, right?! So, what was our Build Night experience like?  Well, when I got the box - I jumped up and down like a kid who just found out they were going to Disney World... and shouted "hooray Instructables! hooray littleBits!!!" and ran around telling everyone in the shop that they had arrived! I pulled them out and demonstrated how they worked to curious members who passed by, and the interest started to snowball from there. I went to the local thrift stores and found a bag of K'nex (awesome!), craft supplies, odds n ends, and pulled out the small shop supply of Legos.  I spread everything out and hung a sign above, telling people to PLAY!  Everyone was very excited for the event.  Our members with families appreciate anything that can help them involve their kids in making early on. The evening of Build Night, I commandeered two of our shop tables.  I set up one with a few laptops (for Arduino programming), and on the other I dumped out all of the littleBits.   To the side I made a utility cart FULL of the aforementioned thrifted accoutrements. We had parents with kids from 5-16 come in, as well as curious members coming by to get a little break from their projects by playing!  It was fantastic.  One of our guests made an animated scene, that looked like a mini backdrop for a play or puppet show.  One kid was completely taken by the buzzer, which was hilarious. We made a toy ferris wheel turn, a little roadster go, and lots of stuff light up... like el-wire fairy crowns!  We came up with a few instructables as well, like this animated guy and this little dune buggy. I am still working on the last one, a game show buzz-in system involving arduino - that is a little more complicated than the other two... but it is coming soon. ;) Build Night was a hit.  We've already had numerous requests to run a littleBits party once a month!  We're developing specific programming for kids using littleBits, focusing more on how electronics work and the science behind the Bits!  I can't wait to get more sets and watch our members continue to experiment with them! We feel so fortunate to have been given these sets, what an incredible gift!  Thanks so much Instructables and littleBits! From all of us at TechShop Chandler, YOU ROCK!  <3

Topic by coercionette  

[newsletter] Flux Capacitor, Bike Blender, Grow a Pineapple...

Sign-up for our newsletter here. June 5, 2008 Welcome back! We launched our Lonely Planet Travel Tips Contest. Share a great travel tip and win some fantastic photo books as well as guidebooks, phrasebooks, and t-shirts! The Discover Green Science Fair for a Better Planet Contest closes for entries this weekend! Submit your Instructable soon to win the Celestron SkyScout. The voting has closed for Park Tool Bike Month. Check back later today to see who won! Check out these cool Instructables! DIY Flux Capacitor Get ready to go back... to the future! 1.21 gigawatts not required. posted by sponges on Jun 3, 2008 How to create a bike blender for less than $25 When the love of biking and the love of smoothies come together it can be a beautiful, and tasty, thing to behold. posted by I_bike on Jun 1, 2008 The Conetenna - a wi-fi antenna The quest for improved wi-fi continues with this massive cone variation of the cantenna. posted by Shadetree Engineer on Jun 1, 2008 How to Grow Pineapples Pineapples are easier to grow than you think. Get a pineapple and some dirt and you're most of the way there! posted by woofboy111 on May 30, 2008 Japanese lamp from recycled materials A cheap but attractive paper "shoji" style lamp that uses mostly recycled parts and is easy to put together. posted by PKM on May 29, 2008 How to make an Iron Man Mask Whether you're stuck in a cave or have some time at home to build, these instructions will help you get that superhero look. posted by msraynsford on May 30, 2008 Repainting an Old Bicycle Want to keep your old frame looking good as times and styles move on? A new paint job is likely in your future. posted by Dr.Paj on Jun 1, 2008 Etching brass plates Adding some brass adds a bit of class to your project. Learn to etch and you can include a sweet custom finishing touch. posted by gotang on May 27, 2008 Win amazing LED POV kits! What have you done for robots lately? Closes for entries this weekend! Handy Bike Mods and Projects This collection of things to do to and with bicycles will provide plenty of ideas for your next two-wheel project. posted by TimAnderson on May 30, 2008 Illuminated Keyboard Hack Turn your ordinary keyboard into an illuminated one for under $5. This is an easy keyboard mod that takes about a half hour to do. posted by Kipkay on May 30, 2008 Bike Generator Attach a generator to the rear wheel and power up both the front and back lights. Never worry about the batteries dying again. posted by dbc1218 on Jun 1, 2008 Zigzag Pop-Up Here's a quick pop-up that only takes a few minutes and has a nice effect. All you need is a printer (preferably color), paper, and something to cut with. posted by fungus amungus on May 30, 2008 Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric

Topic by fungus amungus  

Hydrophobic music, dubstep windchimes, Smash Smash Revolution and etc @ Knox Makers Build Night w/ MaKey MaKey!

Wow, what a month at Knox Makers! We were absolutely invaded by MaKey MaKeys at our hackerspace all throughout January. To start us off, we released a freebie project a little early to help out members and guests get some ideas, to drum up local support for our events, and to offer a fun + easy starter project for the other spaces participating: Oversized Music Chest This ended up getting featured in Electronics! It leaves a lot of room to add extra components and tote the MaKey MaKey around, and we turned ours into a musical advertisement for our first Build Night, a mystery hack night about music. Mystery Hack Night: Music! What a blast! Talk about a weird time.. One family brought a theremin and a circuit bending kit for kids; another group brought an amp and speakers, a suitcase of effect pedals and circuit bent instruments, and a 4 channel mixer; we had a random component table for open hacking; an acoustic and broken ukulele was converted into an electronic instrument; we had painters painting music instrument for the MaKey MaKey with conductive paint; there was a table with our hydrophobic drum pad, bananas, an eggplant, flowers, and a grappling hook all controlling a set of browser based drums through the MaKey MaKey; we had members hooking up tactile buttons and levers to MaKey MaKeys; and we closed with the weirdest jam session this side of Alpha Centauri with all the things playing all the sounds at the same time. Mystery Hack Night: Video Game Controllers! This was a fun night, and we had a few new people show up. We tinkered with a platformer adventure game called Fancy Pants Adventure, where we assigned each person one button. At one point, the whole table was controlling the game's protagonist. Somehow, we made it pretty far into the game, considering. A few people commented that this type of exercise seemed like a really useful team building exercise, so we might look at creating some tutorials with this in mind. We also had individuals and small groups testing out their own inventions and games, again revisiting concepts like conductive ink or simple conductive objects. A two person team tinkered around with some simple fighting games that only use one button for each player, there were people playing Tetris and other games with their inventions, and we again offered a random hack table with an assortment of items and components to rummage through. MaKey MaKey Build Night I: When MaKeys Attack.. We had a nice turnout for this event. This was an introduction to the basic concept behind MaKey MaKey, how to remap the beta v1.2 boards using the web remapper, different applications that make a MaKey MaKey naturally awesome to use, and a few sample projects. We opened up the floor to open hacking, and that day our Adafruit group buy had just come in. We were able to add to the random hack table some awesome components, such as: male/male and female/female jumper wires, various diffused LEDs, slow and fast cycling LEDs, conductive thread, flat LED panels, sewable LEDs, tactile buttons, and other items. We wrapped up and one of our newest members stayed late to craft a thin copper wire into a flat copper instrument using a mallet. He ended up using a breadboard with the MaKey MaKey and Wolfram software to write his own music program. As with our other Build Night events this month, we also had people working on side projects in the background which added to the creative energy of the room. For this event, one of our members tested out a Gocupi that managed to draw Rear Admiral Grace Hopper and Albert Einstein on the whiteboard in dry erase marker using continuous lines. MaKey MaKey Build Night II: Big Projects! We had a decent turnout for this event, but mostly the attendees were there for their own big projects unrelated to MaKey MaKey. We got a few MaKey MaKey projects in around good company, though. We had members working on a large geodesic Airolite boat, someone showed up to work on their 3D printer and print out their first scale model of a scanned person, our Facilities Director was able to get some critical inventory done, a couple members mounted new shelves that had been donated that day, and one member's daughter wanted to play around with hydrophobics. We also were able to get electronic musical wind chimes made that work very nicely with the MaKey MaKey, and the same member who tinkered with Wolfram software at the prior event made more progress on some of his own MaKey MaKey ideas. MaKey MaKey Build Night III: Advanced Reprogramming! This was one of the build nights I was most excited about, and we had a nice turnout. We walked members through reprogramming the older MaKey MaKeys using the MaKey MaKey sketch for Arduino IDE. We bested Windows and its infernal resistance to unsigned 3rd party drivers, and we advanced onward. We looked at basic reprogramming of the settings.h key bindings, and we also looked at other Arduino programming such as delay, Keyboard.print,, Keyboard.release, and some other concepts. A father team duo that are also involved in a local high school robotics club showed up and schooled us a little on Arduino with some tricks they had up their sleeves, another father son duo showed up to experience the MaKey MaKey for the first time together and it seemed to blow their minds, and we talked about the new web remapping tool for the beta v1.2 boards. Mad Science Bingo For one of our educational outreach events, we attended hijacked bingo night at a local senior citizen community center. We let everyone have their bingo fun without interruption, but as bingo concluded we invaded with a MaKey MaKey, our hydrophobic drum pad, fruits and veggies, and some flowers. The senior citizens loved it and have invited us back. At one point, we had three participants record themselves singing into a Scratch program that we mapped to the flowers. The room erupted with laughter when the community center manager went to touch the flowers and they sang at her in her patrons' voices. She even lent her voice to be recorded, which sent the room into mad howls. We also made a chain of about dozen people between ground and the triggers. We didn't really invent anything unique here, but it was a fun bonus event for the community center patrons. We ended up tinkering around a little with hydrophobics and electronics. So far after all our events, we ended up with a few more Build Night projects: Hydrophobic Drum Pad (featured in Science and then Homepaged!) annoy friends with this party game: Wonky Pong Smash Smash Revolution ... black acrylic, conductive paint, and conductive thread Electronic Windchimes sewable Cardboard Feet DDR (featured in Video Games!) We've also set out our MaKey MaKey kits for space use now that our January Build Nights are over with. We have a few members with projects they are still working on at the space, a few projects that are still being documented to upload to Instructables, and a few people batting around their own ideas. If we come up with anything else, we'll be sure and update. A couple "lessons learned" here: Random hack tables are awesome. But.. if they are too chaotic and without the right presentation, these can be intimidating to beginners that may want more direction. Multiple Build Nights rule! But.. it is probably best not to hijack every Saturday of a shared workspace like a hackerspace. This could have been orchestrated a little better (my fault). Overall, this was a blast to participate in. Thanks to Joylabz and Instructables! PS.. with two features and one homepage, that gave us 1 and a half years of Pro. One got used, but we're giving away the remaining year of Pro and 3 months of Pro. The bounty: quick connect projects for MaKey MaKey. Ends 3/1 EST. You know what to do..

Topic by smalltortoise  

Instructables Book Contest Winners

Instructables is happy to announce the winners of the Book Contest. All of these Instructables will receive a mention in the Best of Instructables Volume 1 and the authors will receive a copy of the book when it comes out this fall.Some of the Instructables here have also been selected by O'Reilly editors to be fully reproduced in the book as well.Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you for making great Instructables that inspire everyone else.InstructableAuthorLED ThrowiesQ-BranchInvisible Book ShelfdorxincandelandLaser Flashlight Hack!!KipkayMintyBoost! - Small battery-powered USB chargerladyadaDIY Compact Survival KitledzeppieHow to make a cardboard costume helmetHonusturn signal biking jacketleahbuechleyAudio Visual Art....FOTC Stylescooter76Wall-E Robot4mem8Paper WallettheRIAAScreen Printing: Cheap, Dirty, and At Hometracy_the_astonishingMunny Speakersfungus amungusKnex Heavy CannonI_am_CanadianHow to Make Playdough (Play-doh)canidaLED Chess SetTetranitrateSew your own Instructables Robot Plushie!jessyratfinkDIY Vinyl Wall ArtbritsteinerBluetooth Handgun Handset for your iPhone: iGiveUpManaEnergyPotionEasy to Build Desk Top 3 Axis CNC Milling MachineTom McWireBuild Your Own Butler Robot!!! - Tutorial,Photos, and VideoErobotsHow to build a 96-Volt Electric MotorcycleKentucky-bumHow To: Make Bath BombsSoapyHollowSteampunk Dystopian Sniper Rifle (Mercury Bow)gmjhoweSave $200 in 2 minutes and have the worlds best writing penkingantConcrete Lightbulb Wall HookwhamodyneLight Bulb LampbumpusLightbulb "green"houseLinuxH4x0rInstructables Robot -- Paper Model=SMART=How to Build a Robot - The BeetleBot v2 ( Revisited )robomaniacWallet made from a computer keyboardzieakhow to add EL wire to a coat or other garmentenlightedGandhi: 17' Tall Cardboard AvatardelappeTure Trigger, 10 Round, Auto-Loading, Knex Concept Rifle, by bannana inventorbannana inventorHow to build your own Jet EnginerusswmooreShake it like a Tic-Tac!MrMunkiCyber/Steampunk Futuresque Sci-Fi Hand GungmjhoweHow to Make a Marshmallow Gun or Marshmallow ShooterewilhelmHow to build a 72Volt electric motorcycleStrykerFriends Are Easy To MakecuteaznprincesssBuilding Small Robots: Making One Cubic Inch Micro-Sumo Robots and Smallermikey77Portable 12V Air Conditioner --Cheap and easy!CameronSSHow to Make a TRON Style Lamp: The MADYLIGHTGreg MadisonGiant MatchTetranitrateMagnetic Rubik's Dice CubeburzvingionHow to build a wood fired hot tubveloboyIron Man HelmetpmaggotHome-made Sun Jarcre8torGrow Your Own Bioluminescent Algae ScaryBunnyManConstruction of Two Portuguese Style Dinghies (Small Boats)rook999Uni-Directional WIFI Range Extendertm36usa"1UP Mushroom" Mushroom Burger!momo!Open Any PadlockTetranitrateCoilgun Handgunrwilsford07Electroforming an Iris Seed PodMaggieJs100 Ways to Reduce Your ImpactBrennn10Lego USB StickianhamptonSolar Powered Trikedpearce1How to Make a Three Axis CNC Machine (Cheaply and Easily)Stuart.McfarlanAirgun with eXplosive air-Release ValvechluaidChapStick LED FlashlightBCatAwesome led cubeAlexTheGreatBarbie Doll Electric Chair Science Fair Project!jessyratfinkDIY 3D ControllerkylemcdonaldThe Stirling Engine, absorb energy from candles, coffee, and more!thecheatscalcBuild a World's Smallest Electronic Shocker!PlasmanaSimulated woodgrain for metal boxesamz-fxHow to Grow Pineappleswoofboy111Creating a 3D effect with image editing software (GIMP or Photoshop)Andrew546S.P.R.E.E. (Solar Photovoltaic Renewable Electron Encapsulator), a Compact, Durable, and Portable Solar Energy GeneratorcharlitronHow to get a Tshirt for GoodHartRocketScientist2015Grow a square watermelonwatermelonBuild a 4 Color T-Shirt Printing PressProgfellowElectromagnetic FloaterJ_HodgieThe accidental pocket jet engine...killerjackalopeDigital Picture Framemicahdear

Topic by fungus amungus    |  last reply

Tesla's earthquake machine - was it just a practical joke?

Nicola tesla, in his early years, was not shy when it came to use science through direct contact.Most of it we would call today playing practical jokes on students and friends alike.His harmonic balancer got the nick name earthquake machine.I won't go into the story how all came together, you can read the story on Wikipedia or other sites to the fullest of your imagination.Howver, I would like to go into some details of this invention.Or better: I will try to explain my view on why this machine might have actually worked close to what the story tells....Studying old paents and other documents is no fun and not always you can reach any valid conclusions from any of it.I mean, if you coud then you wouldn't need a patent for it.Some things however are so good, so special that they never get a patent, the company keeps it as an iternal secret.Same way a brewery won't tell you the exact recipe for the beer they make ;)The harmonic balancer has very little to go with except stories and some comments Tesla scattered here and there.So let's start by some claims Tesla made about this machine:1. It has a free swinging mass.2. The mass is balanced using "air springs".3. It usues very little energy.4. It finds the harmonic frequency of the object attached to automatically.If you think about the above you could say right away it is bogus.But think about the terms and language of the old days ;)Add the fact that Tesla never really gave any direct answers to how his inventions actually work and you see where I am going here.Point 1 and 3 are easy to imagine in many ways.Number 2 on the other hand contradicts itself at a first glance.But, if you place a piston with a good mass and good seal into a cylinder nd close both ends while the piston is in the center....A bit like these to shake emergency torches and flashlights.With that idea in the back of a head one can imagine shock absorbers and more.And a "mass" "swinging" in such a sealed tube would certainly be subject to the "spring" force of the air being compressed in front and the forming low pressure on the other end.The last one however had me stumped for almost two years with me getting nowhere.A mechanical system can't adjust itself to the harmonic frequency of anything....Then I saw a collection of funny videos.One of the clips had about 100 metronomes standing on a board.The board was place on two rollers so it cold move freely from side to side.All the metronomes wre set to about the same timing.But of course you just can't start them all at once or even so they swing in sync.After just a short while though, one by one found a matching partner on the board.Faster ones slowed down, ones totally out of sync seemed to miss a beat here and there.And then it hit me!Hundret swinging masses on a board and the board moves together with them!Once all were in sync and harmony the board moved basically exactly the same way sidewas as the single pendulums above.Number four finally solved :)How though could one try to replicate this impossible invention these days and without knowing any exact details anyway?We know it used one or two electromagnets.These moved the mass back and forth horizontally in the machine.However, it was more formed like a T wih a fat base.Tesla needed a dead simple way of doing with electricity what the metronome does just mechanically.If you have a little mass on a spring and one contact on the spring plus another on a tube that is around the mass - what do you get?No, not the trigger for something really nasty when you pick it up...Right! You get a motion detecting switch.A bit like our gyroscopic sensors do now in our phones....And if you cut the tube lenghtwise you end with two opposing contact to switch two magnets on depending on what side of the tube is hit by the mass (contact) swining on the spring.Try it out with a spring from old pen and a screw inside as a weight - quite sensitive if you get the weight right.Some drawing suggest he height was about the same as the width of the machine.This would suggest the contact was actually hanging upside down, so it could swing in the wider base.A bit of fine and very flexible opper braid with a weight would make a nice pendulum here....Do a little experiment first though ;)Make a sturdy frame or if you have none try a truck. ;)If you place the frame on wheels and a pendulum with just a string and some sinker at the end - what would happen if you move th frame sideways instead of swinging the weight?Inertia keeps the weight in place while the top mount of the string moves away.And if the weight stays in place for just a fraction of a second before starting to move with the frame?Correct! since the angle of the string changes, the ball appeas to move up.Not really by much but enough for an electrical contact to open....We have some ideas now on how those electromagnets might have been triggered by Tesla, what about the mechanics of the moving mass that claimed to have created earthquake like results?Precision is no problem these days, just check these toy kits to build your own Stirling engine or you trusty old Swiss Army Knife.And even a second hand air cyclinder and piston can be modded to act like a free swinging air pump.Only question that really remains would be how to match the mechanical system with the electircal?We have two seemingly independent masses, one to make things move violently, the other to energise the part that make the first mass move - or to be precise to give it a tiny push in the right direction.What does mean you wonder...Let me try to simplify it down a bit.....If you push someone on a swing you can have a very hard time by working against the mass of the person sitting and enjoying the ride.Or you could give the person just a tiny push - right when the swing starts from the highest point to go back.Could that mean it is really as simple to build as Tesla claimed?If the top mass is limited by how far it can swing FREELY before the air pressure works against this movement then we would only have to set the length of the pendulum so the contact happens right at that point on the x-axis of the top mass.Ok, and how would that make anything swing at all?If the top mass is first energised there is nothing to stop or influence the movement, except the "air springs".So it totally overshoots like those metronomes on the board.It swings back and closes the contact on the other side of the movement way early as well.Now the electromagnetic impulse from the second movement actually works against the moving top mass.And this swinging of total non-control continues while whatever the thing is mounted to also starts to move, even if it is just fractional.Over time both swings, from the machine and the object, will get to point where they influence each other in a "positive" way.For Tesla's experiment one would say negative though as it was quite violent in the end.Little by little both swing will get closer to being in sync and with that in resonance.The electromagnetic push however continues....Only that now the top mass of the machine is in sync with the thing it is mounted to.The machine became you standing behind a big swing and trying push someone higher and higher....It is all just a theory though and any minor earthquakes that might register around my area are pure coincidence ;)

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Hi there! I'm Keith-Kid, a regular member of, and just a kid that enjoys making stuff. This place is extremely friendly and welcoming, so feel free to jump into a conversation anytime!I noticed a lot of Frequently Asked Questions around the forums from new members, so I decided to do something about it. Be sure to check back here if you ever have a question. Or, just ask any member to help!So go out there, and Start Making!Instructrables has recently been upgraded, and changed. Please wait while I update this FAQ to the aforementioned changesTable Of Contents1. Getting Started 1.1.......................What is Instructables? 1.2.......................How does the Site make money? Is it profitable? 1.3.......................What is the Instructables Robot? 1.4...................... How can I get started here? 1.5...................... Who can Help me get started here? 1.6.......................What does DIY mean? 1.7.......................What can I write an Instructable about? 1.8.......................What's the difference between an Instructable and a slideshow? 1.9 ......................What is a video on Instructables 1.10....................How can I unpublish my Instructable?2. The Community 2.1.............................How can I make text effects like bold, italic , small text and upper small text? 2.2............................ Why doesn't my Instructable show up on the search page when I type the name? 2.3 ............................What kind of material is considered offensive? What kind of material should be avoided? 2.4.............................Why am I asked to give a number when I send a Private message to someone? 2.5.............................Can I ask for homework help on the forums? 2.6.............................How can I improve the community? 2.7.............................I've spotted an offensive ad! What can I do? 2.8.............................Can i post Instructables in other languages? 3. Other Instructables Features 3.1.............................How do contests work? 3.2.............................Are contests decided by the staff or the community? 3.3.............................What is Burning Questions? 3.4.............................Why is Burning Questions Held? 3.5..............................If Burning Questions is chosen by the staff, then why does it have a voting option for the Instructables? 3.6.................................If I submit 2 answers to Burning Questions, and they both win, do I get 2 Prize Packs? 3.7.................................What regions are eligible to participate in contests? 3.8 ................................How can my Instructable get more views? 3.9.................................How are Instructables featured? 3.10...............................What does an Instructable need to be featured? 3.11...............................How can I be selected to be able to feature? 4. Miscellaneous 4.1..............................Is it possible to intern at Instructables? 4.2 ..............................What is the Community Section? 4.3...............................What is the Marketplace? 4.4...............................I just saw a comment that says it was posted -xx minutes ago! What should I do?5. Current Events and Glitches5.1............................... I just rated an Instructable, but it says that it hasn't been rated yet!5.2 ...............................5.2 I just saw a comment that says it was posted -xx minutes ago! What should I do?1. Getting Started 1.1 What is Instructables?In a sentence: Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others. A bit more in depth: It was created by Eric Wilhelm, a mechanical engineer, and launched in August 2005. Instructables is dedicated to step-by-step collaboration among members to build a variety of projects. Users post instructions to their projects, usually accompanied by visual aids, and then interact through comment sections below each Instructable step as well in topic forumsWhile a member of the Media Lab at MIT, Wilhelm co-founded Squid Labs, an engineering and technology company specializing in design and consulting. Instructables started as an internal Squid Labs project, which Wilhelm has since spun out as an independent company and acts as CEO.The original content focused mostly on such projects as building electronic or mechanical devices to solve common problems around the home. The scope of the project has expanded to include a larger array of categories, including arts and crafts, food, home, life, offbeat (first known as "not liable") and recently knex, transportation and tech. The site allows uploading of photos, diagrams, video and animation to help explain complex terminology and mechanisms in clear and understandable termsRead more about the history...Also, Read our About to see who works here1.2 How does the Site make money? Is it profitable?The site is mainly supported by ads, which you see in the sidebars and sometimes at the top of the page. Here is the full explanationIs Instructables profitable? - Almost. According to ewilhelm , the site generates enough money, that it usually covers its running costs, but not quite enough yet to be constantly profitable. 1.3 What is the Instructables Robot?The Instructables Robot is Instructable's mascot. His main function is to greet new members and alert members when they receive comments or messages. The robot is friendly and welcoming. You can easily find him around Instructables.You can tell the robot to alert you if you receive a comment in your personal settings. Likewise, you can tell him to stop doing so anytime at your personal settings.Nobody knows how exactly the robot came to Instructables.....time may tell......1.4 How can I get started here?You probably want to upload an image to your profile. You can do that here , as well as change some of your other account settings, like making View all Steps in one page your default.After that, check out How to make a great Instructable , The Guided Tour of Instructables, and the Help Group if you have any questions.1.5 Who can Help me get started here? ANYONE! all users are helpful. If you are confused, or have a question, don't be afraid to ask in the forum of a member of the community. Our members are happy to help newcomers get comfortable. You are more likely to get lots of help through an open thread, but you can ask questions privately (say, for a project in development) through the "Private Message" system.Have a look at other FAQs in the FAQ Section1.6 What does DIY mean?DIY means Do-It-Yourself. It means that instead of buying expensive stuff, make it yourself and save some money. The main idea of Instructables is to make things and share them with others. You will be surprised about how much money you could save if you do things yourself, and we are here to help you.1.7 What can I write an Instructable about?Bearing in mind our family nature, anything at all. If you're passionate about it, and want to tell others how you do it, then write an Instructable. If you're looking for inspiration, check out the Burning Questions to get you started. When you're a bit more familiarized try entering our Contests1.8 What's the difference between an Instructable and a slideshow?In an Instructable, you show detailed step-by step details on how to make or do something. A slideshow is used when you do not have enough documentation or material for a full Instructable. In a slideshow, you can show off projects or things that you have made. If you want to show something, but its not enough to fill an instructable, you can show pictures of it in a slideshow and write a short summary of the project.1.9 What is a video on Instructables? If you do not want to write a full instructable, but you want to present something that can't be fit into a slideshow, you can embed a video as an individual section.1.10 How can I unpublish my Instructable?It's a slightly-roundabout route, but if you click the edit function, then the publish, and unpublish options appears lower down the screen.2. The Community2.1 How can I make text effects like bold, italic , small text and upper small text?Read this helpful Section by Instructables member NachoMahma2.2 Why doesn't my Instructable show up on the search page when I type the name? Instructables are reviewed by the Robot and his human minions before being added to the public pages. Be patient, it may not have gone through the filter yet. Is your instructable lacking images? Sometimes instructables without images fail to go through the filter.On weekends and Holidays, where there is an influx of people posting projects, it may take longer than normal for it to show up in the Most Recents. If there is a problem with your work, someone on staff will PM you.Your instructable may have been caught by the spam filter. If it has, contact anyone in the Instructable team, and they will check it out for you. Just Be Patient.2.3 What kind of material is considered offensive? What kind of material should be avoided?Pornography - Any and all pornographic material is considered offensive. Posting images or links that include pornography is strictly prohibited. This is a family friendly site, children often browse this site.Language - If you wouldn't show it or say it to your headteacher at school, don't show or say it here.Insults and flaming - We have a "be nice" policy here. Please be positive and constructive with your comments or risk being banned from our site.Spam - Spamming, misleading links and site advertising on the forums, orangeboards, instructables, and Private Messaging are strictly prohibited. However, offers and advertising are allowed in the For Sale Section2.4 Why am I asked to give a number when I send a Private message to someone?This is called a Captcha. A captcha is when you are asked a number or word that appears as an image or sound. The purpose of this is to stop automated spam robots from spamming our Community.2.5 Can I ask for homework help on the forums?Of course! Our community is more than happy to help any way possible! Be sure to post in in the right category, because you wont get much science help in our craft section!2.6 How can I improve the community?You can help our community in many different ways:Be positive and constructive in your comments. We are a friendly and welcoming community, feel free to comment and incorporate yourself into forum topics and discussions. Our members are happy to help and guide newcomers in any way they can.Report offensive material. If you spot material that might be considered offensive or SPAM, click the "flag" button next to the comment or instructable. The Staff will review and take action if necessary.2.7 I've spotted an offensive ad! What can I do?If you spot an ad that qualifies as offensive, right click (not left click!) on it and choose properties. In Firefox, you can right-click and select "Copy Link Location". Copy the URL and report it to a staff member so they can take immediate action. If possible, it is also good to take snapshots of the page (On your keyboard, press Prt Scrn and paste it on MS paint or another image editing program) then present it to a staff member.2.8 Can I post Instructables in other languages?Of Course! We would be extremely happy to add instructables with languages other than english. If you need help with some words or terms, feel free to ask around on our community! Proper grammar and spelling are compulsory in any language. We have a lot of users who are fluent in many languages including Spanish, German and French.3. Other Instructables Features3.1 How do contests work?There is no complete answer to that question, as different contests have different rules. Usually, a contest follows these steps:1) A staff member usually announces that a new contest is coming, and what the theme will be, so members will start getting ideas2) The Contest is announced in the front page3) A staff member will post an instructable on how to enter the contest, and will show full details about it.4) The Contest is then opened for entries.5) After a specific time, the entry deadline closes and the winners are chosen either by the staff of by community votes (Depends on the contests specific rules) and are announced.There are two kinds of contests:- Regular contests are the ones that last a month. These contests also set the month's specific theme. These contests are usually sponsored by a company that is related to the theme. For this reason, prizes almost always come from the companies themselves. Regular contest feature more expensive prizes.- Speed contests are those that only last a predefined time. They are called speed contests, because users have to submit their entries before a close deadline. Since they last such a short time, there are usually more than one speed contest can be held in one same month. In some rare occasions, there can be more than one active Speed Contest at a time. Speed contests usually have more and less expensive prizes than regular contests.3.2 Are contests decided by the staff or the community?It depends on the Contest's specific rules. When an Instructable is chosen by the community, the winners may have multiple categories, such as best rated, most viewed, most votes and others.When the staff decides the winners, they usually take the community's reaction to it as a factor in choosing the winners.3.3 What is Burning Questions?Burning Questions is a regular event in Instructables, where the staff (usually Noahw since he manages it) posts a list of Wanted Instructables that haven't been made.Users submit their entries and the best instructable that answers a question on the list wins a prize. Since there are so many prizes (One for each question), Burning Question Prizes are less expensive, so there can be more prizes.(Originally, the prize was an Instructables Shirt, but as the community grew, more instructables were requested, and the prizes were getting more expensive, so now, the prize is usually a Prize Pack consisting of various Instructables Merchandise)When a winner is chosen, the staff will send him/her a Private Message telling them how to claim their prize.The staff publishes a new round every now and then (currently, we should be expecting Round 5.)Rules:Although the rules are posted in the same posts that the questions are announced, these rules are important, and if not followed, an entry wont qualify: - The Instructable must have pictures in every step. These pictures must be related to the instructable. - The Instructable must be of good quality. It must have proper grammar and steps must be clearly understandable and detailed - The title must be the same as the question, or else it wont be accepted. If the question is how to fold a shirt, the Instructable's title must be exactly that.3.4 Why is Burning Questions Held?Burning Questions has 2 purposes:Getting people to create Instructables wanted amongst the communityImproving the site's "googleabilty". Since many questions start with How to...., it helps the site appear more prominently amongst search engines like Google.3.5 If Burning Questions is chosen by the staff, then why does it have a voting option for the Instructables?Burning Questions winners are chosen by the staff. The voting option is available because Burning Questions has been implemented into the new Contest Section, because of various reasons.Although it is the staff who choose the winners, the community's response to the instructables is also a factor in the decision. 3.6 If I submit 2 answers to Burning Questions, and they both win, do I get 2 Prize Packs?No, if you answer 2 questions in one Burning Questions Contest, the staff will send you a surprise extra gift along with your Prize Pack.3.7 What regions are eligible to participate in contests?Some contest are open to any country, while sadly others are not available for some countries. Take your time and carefully read the rules and details of contests so you can save time or make arrangements.3.8 How can my Instructable get more views?The main thing you can do to get more views is to make something interesting and likable.If you want more views, try posting a forum topic so people can learn about it. Instructables with good and clear steps might even be featured on the Front page- the most trafficked part of Instructables.com3.9 How are Instructables featured? Members who have shown to be very helpful inside our community are handpicked by the Instructables staff and are given the ability to feature an instructable is they consider it meets the criteria for Featuring. As Instructables are featured they appear on the homepage, the most trafficked part of the site. 3.10 What does an Instructable need to be featured?It needs to be good - clear, easily-read Instructions, plenty of useful photos, in focus and probably using your camera's Macro Function (Click here for additional info on using the macro setting) , and additional notes on the images to explain extra points.You should use full and proper language - capitalize sentences, check your spellings and don't use sms-speak. (cuz-because). English isn't compulsory, but correct grammar and spelling are.If it is original idea, a novel approach or an enjoyable read, with carefully-arranged images, then it is more likely to be featured.3.11 How can I be selected to be able to feature?If you produce consistently-good Instructables, and especially if you take an active, useful part in the community, you may be approached by Eric ( ewilhelm ) to join the team. There is no set number of members of the team, but new members are not often invited.4. Miscellaneous4.1 Is it possible to intern at Instructables?-Check regularly at our We're hiring page for more info. Instructables member TimAnderson is also running an internship program documenting Heirloom Technologies 4.2 What is the Community Section?The Community Section contains the Forums:You can choose to either view topics by category or View All in an option at the top of the pageGeneral Forums - General Discussions of DIY. 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Topic by Keith-Kid    |  last reply

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

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

Topic by lamedust    |  last reply