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Shorten the lead on a light fitting.

I bought this ceiling light: As you can see from the picture, it seems to fit fairly snug to the ceiling. However, when I got it home I found that the cable length was slightly more than a metre! I mean, who has ceilings that high? Anyway, I thought it would be no problem just to cut the cable down and refit it into the ceiling rose. My wife pointed out that the instructions say, "Caution! The length of the cable cannot be altered." The fitting has 4 x led bulbs. Can anyone tell me if there could be a problem if I shorten the lead? Frankly, otherwise I will take it back for a refund.

Topic by Pateesh    |  last reply

How do I shorten this tricky skirt?

I love the waist band and the ruffled bottom but It needs to be a good four inches shorter. Should I cut below the waistband and again about an inch above the ruffles, then use the extra fabric to sew it back together, or is there a better way?

Question by nyru    |  last reply

Does need a URL Shortener?

Hi everyone! Do you think needs a URL shortener that works like Just like YouTube has their shortener,, Instructables could have That way, instead of a URL like this... You could have this... Very handy for sharing your stuff on Twitter, Buzz, Bebo and Orkut. Cast your vote here.

Topic by Marsh    |  last reply

How to shorten an AC power cable?

I would like to shorten an AC power cable but want to make sure I do it the safest way possible. What is the best safe and easy method for doing this?It's a cord that looks like this:'s 12' long and i only need 3'Please help!Thanks :)

Question by superjames    |  last reply

Shortening a scalloped hem lace dress.

Hi, I am shortening a dress that has a scalloped lace hem. I do not want to ruin the hem as it looks lovely. But the dress is too long. I have hemmed the lining with no problem, but now I am trying to pin the lace up at the waist and then sew (hand or machine?) it so it lies as a fold under the waist. I do not want to take the waistline off this dress as it is not mine. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have been trying to pin up the wrong side of the lace fabric by the waistline. It is so slippery and soft I feel like I am getting nowhere!  Thank you so much for your time!

Question by suzi.carpenter1    |  last reply

Dirt bike handlebars

Hey everyone, i have a 2003 XR100 four stroke Honda dirt bike and I am on a quest to transform it into a beast hair scrambler trail bike. So far I have decided to add bark busters, one of those bendable hinge shifters, a back sprocket with one less tooth (will be 49), a new front sprocket because the teeth are bent, I need to sharpen the foot pegs and brake peg, a new back tire because the one it has now is bald, and shorten the handlebars. The reason i posted this forum is because i am wondering if anyone can tell me what the best way to shorten the handlebars is. I figure i am going to loosen everything, take it off, measure 4 or 5 inches with a permanent marker, then grind it off, but i dont know how to get the grips off. will i need to buy new ones? any way, if anybody can tell me how to shorten the handlebars, i would be very thankful. also, if anyone thinks i need anything else, could you please mention that too? thanks!

Topic by A.C.E.  

can a drive belt from a printer be shortened? Answered

I am trying to find a small belt capable of turning gears in my home built rc car, but all of the belts i can use are too long, does anyone know if there is a way that i can make the belt shorter so it wont be too long? i need it to still be in a loop. i only have one right now, so if someone could tell me a way of getting this to work that would be great.  so can someone help? and if it is possible, when explaining how to reconnect it, pictures could help a lot in explaining this

Question by zack247    |  last reply

Should I shorten my name to Blivit? Answered

I just realized that Oblivitus is kind of an odd name. I might change it. Any ideas?

Question by Oblivitus    |  last reply

Link shortening prevents them from working

When I was answering a question someone had, I attempted to add a link. However, I found that it was being automatically shortened, preventing it from operating as a link. I was able to add the link by not clicking enter, but then it was seen as regular text, not a link. I am currently using Windows 7, and browsing using Chrome.

Topic by assemblyrequired  

Will this battery explode??

Silly question, but I really wanna be on the safe side.  I just received this battery charger for my phone, but wanted to change the case, so i removed the original case.  Then I looked at the battery, and saw that the (-) of the battery is not soldered to the PCB at all, only the (+).  I know that lithium batteries are dangerous, so I just wanted to ask if it's safe to use. It was like that, I didn't accidentally rip it of. There are even no marks on the (-) connector sticking out from the battery. Can someone please let me know if it's safe to use?  I added some images pointing out the place and the board.  Thanks a lot for your help. George 

Question by grancharov    |  last reply

How do you shorten your USB cable?

I have a 50 foot "Enthernet cable" I need to make it, 30 feet can you explain how to do this.

Question by ttony329    |  last reply

Strange shortening of pages - I only get the bottom section.

If I try to go to either my Comments page or the Forums page via my shortcut links, I only get the bottom part of the page available (see screenshot, and note position of slider bar to the right.  The cropping of the Forums also happens when I use the standard (grey) tabbed link. To make this bug report, I had to go via the submit link on the front page. The Recent, Contests and Answers pages do not appear to be affected. FF4, XP. UPDATE: it was an idiot hacker* who thinks that vandalism is the best way to prove a point. * The tabloid-headline version of a hacker, not the proper version.

Topic by Kiteman    |  last reply

What size resistor should I use to shorten a string of Christmas lights?

I need to shorten a string of christmas lights from 20 lights to 3 lights. The unaltered string ratings are  120volt,  .08 amps. The bulbs/lamps are 6volt and .48 watts each.   It is interesting to me that 20 lights x 6volts = 120volts. I'm sure that is not by coincidence but I'm not an engineer so I don't know how to use that information. I need to know what size resistor I need to use.  This is way to confusing for me to follow. If someone can help me out with a simple formula I would appreciate it as I need to work with lights strings of many different lengths.  Please try and put your answer into laymens terms. Thanks

Question by nobill11    |  last reply

How do I shorten a cable meant to give me more range for a USB device such as a wireless mouse?

I have a 3 foot cord that I can use to extend the placement of a USB device such as a Flash drive. It's in a tape pouch, taped to the lid of my computer. I want to know how I can shorten the length of the cord so I can just leave the flashdrive on the computer, and decrease the risk of losing my flashdrive. without shortening it, it will be far too long and bulky. Thanks

Question by Mr. Thirty6    |  last reply

deconstructing HEMMA light socket end

Does anyone know how to take apart the socket end of IKEA's HEMMA light "fixture". I'm sure it's easy, but so far it has me stumped. I'm trying to shorten the cord's length.

Topic by iankhammond    |  last reply

LED/PCB mods. I adapt cheap led lights. Will gooping the pcb to weatherproof it shorten life? Answered

I'm an old electrician obsessed with LEDs and selling them to my old customers. I build custom landscape fixtures and have been purchasing cheap led lights and bastardizing them for parts. I've had several that moisture got to the pcb and it died of various causes. I've been gooping the supply wire solder points among other things to increase durability. If I goop the entire back of the board the smd is on, will it cook itself?  Any other ideas to increase durability without shortening life expectancy drastically will be greatly appreciated. Zappenfusen 

Question by zappenfusen    |  last reply

Flashing LEDs - Quick Question

Just Curious - does programming led lights to flash cause their lifespan do be shortened?

Topic by Joe426    |  last reply

Where is the open source code for

Last year, a URL shortener similar to and announced that it was going open source and giving its code to the world. Does anyone know where to actually get it?

Question by Marsh    |  last reply

When developing circuits with LEDs in them, pay attention to what is near them in the circuit....

Any heat generated can significantly shorten the life of the LED(s):  In the following blog, this is known as a Weak Link.

Topic by Goodhart  

I put 60 white LEDs (from 3 units on 3 AA batteries) on a 5V phone charger. Very bright! But will it last?

Would the life span of the LEDs be shortened too much with this setup?

Question by BobS    |  last reply

Wrong Member Date! help??

So, i just got this member account last month.. which was January of 2010. it says that i have been a member as of June 9th 2009. will this shorten my time as a member?  i just got this account last month.

Topic by ploky123    |  last reply

I am working on a ball machine and when the ball dumps off onto the changer it doesn't tilt so the ball doesn't roll...

... off the changer. what can i do to fix this? P.S. I tried shortening it already.

Question by maxitola99    |  last reply

Hacking the snooze button of my alarm clock?

HI, I own a standard alarm clock (with radio and a beeper). For the moment the snooze duration is 9 minutes but I like to shorten it to 5 min. Does anybody know how to do this? Thanks!!! Dries

Topic by dmoonen    |  last reply

I can't name my links? Answered

When I try to include a link in a comment, it will only insert the link itself (full url) and will not let me name it (shortened). I'm using the most recent version of firefox. haha, kind of a noob question, but I haven't been here for a while

Question by TheCheese9921    |  last reply

How to make an old opaque projector focus at a closer distance? ?

I recently pulled a fully functional Seerite 10x10 opaque projector from a dumpster, but it only focuses at ~ 15-18 feet from the surface that I am projecting on; any way to shorten the focal distance?

Question by A.J.B.    |  last reply

Sign up for the Ultimate Mods contest

Ok. I need people to sign up for the contest. However, It has been moderated to shorten judging time.the categories:Computer modsMP3 player modsflash drive modselectronic modsPortable modsother modsplease specify which instructable will go in what category also...

Topic by DJ Radio    |  last reply

NachoMahma Effect has Reached TPTB

There's this new (to me at least) webapp called that you can use to shorten Google search URLs. do a Google search for instructables. To search for multiple terms, add a + Lifehacker

Topic by Labot2001    |  last reply

Cutting okra & tomatoe plants back Answered

What is the correct way to shorten or cut back Okra plant to get fuller more productive crop? Thanks.  Also, if you know the same thing for tomatoe plants?  Both seem to be taking off to the skies!! This has happened 2 years in a row. I know I can get more crop if kept cut back. But don't know the proper way.  : (

Question by shern    |  last reply

Height-adjustable tables: how best to motorize the lift? Answered

Seeking a DIY solution for building a height-adjustable table. How best to motorize/mechanize/hydraulicize the lift apparatus? I'd like to do this with a 2'x4' (or larger) writing/work surface. I'd also like to do it with a folding triangular IKEA "Lokka" table.  I.e., shorten the legs to make it coffee table size, but lift it back up to regular height.

Question by john.pull    |  last reply



Question by robinreise    |  last reply

I need to change my instructable URL urgently

URGENT: How can I get the URL of my instructable changed? It got shortened to first I thought the ending was just annoyingly funny. But ironically I am a teacher, and the school server blocks it, because it says "Meth"! Hilarious and not at all funny. : <I've tried changing the instructable name, but the URL is apparently already set and indexed, so it requires someone official to change it. Pleeeze!

Topic by mobilerik    |  last reply

Instructable Robot etched onto ASUS EeePC

These are the files I used to etch my laptop.My first design was intended to take up the entire cover of my laptop.The second design was shortened a bit so it could take up more space (the laptop is only ten inches)The third and final design is my final draft and what went only my laptop.I really like the design, and I'm grateful to ASUS for letting us borrow a EeePC to play around with.A slideshow with more information can be found here.

Topic by StumpChunkman    |  last reply

How to generate a fixed differential voltage dependant on a voltage relative to ground?

What methods can I use to generate an accurate & precise variable differential voltage that's dependant on the output of a +-10V DAC? I tried to use a resistor with a small variable current sink using the classic opamp+NPN design, but no design I made would sink current below 1V. I need it to continue sinking current down to 0V, I do have a negative supply rail avalible. (I think my last question was a bit TL;DR for some, so this is a shortened version of that.)

Question by -max-    |  last reply

hammer survey

Hi! we are students in an pre-engineering program called Project Lead The Way (PLTW) at Stratford High School in Connecticut. We are currently working on a open ended design project. For our project we must identify a problem in the world and try to solve it. Our problem is that hammers cause over 36,000 injuries per year, and we would like to solve this as best as possible. Can you please fill out this survey? We'd greatly appreciate it. This is the link to the survey( we personally added a tinyurl to shorten the web address here) If you have any questions we'd be glad to answer them!

Topic by romanyacik    |  last reply

Mauser C96

Greetings, So, ever since I saw Chuunibyou, I've wanted to try my hand on a Mauser C96. Once again, it's a model, based heavily on Aug5om3's version. I built his one, then changed the handle, trigger and shortened the barrel a bit. The handle is a bit less sturdy than I like, but it looks pretty IMO, though the front of it could use some more curving. It features: - a comfortable handle - charging handle - moving hammer - pretty good looks I'm not entirely happy with it, but as I have plans for other builds, I decided to take some photos to share, and then take it apart. Posted it as a forum topic, as it isn't original enough to warrant a full slideshow. Tell me what you think in the comments!

Topic by dr. richtofen    |  last reply

The m2 carbine...

The m1 carbine was good... but it was not nearly as much as I could give... cons of the v1: 1: friction 2:slow loading 3:3 layer flimsy 4:inaccurate pros of the m2: 1:5 layer thick crosshairing body for max str 2:new bullet for extreme accuracy and shortened loading time 3:new realistic stock 4:mag holds 2 extra. has a realese you pull to get a bullet 5:slightly modeed trigger mec 6: trigger gaurd 7:better looks that the m1 carbine v1 8:better handle than the old one cons of the m2: 1:uses way more pieces than the m1 carbine v1. tell me if you want my third rifle on this site!

Topic by benfoxg    |  last reply

How to over- power an led with arduino ? Answered

Is there a way to draw max (or even more than max) current to a LED with arduino as the controller ?  The LED is a high power LED that use a 12V source. I used a power MOSFET IRF620 as the driver. My application is that I flash the LED on and off in a very short amount of time (strobe light). (the on time for the LED estimate is about 20-50ms). So without modify anything, the light give out is quite dim. I want the LED to draw out much more current in that short amount of time to enhance the brightness.  IS it possible to do that ? Yes, I am aware that doing so might shorten the lifespan of the LED and I will add a transistor in between the arduino and the power MOSFET just for an extra layer of protection.  EDIT: This is the spec sheet that they sent me. Most of them i think are pretty bs.

Question by Jack Vu    |  last reply

Car wouldn’t start

I have Ford Focus 1.6 diesel. I left it for a week in airpark and when I came back trouble happened! Once I started the engine the battery light turned on then after driving for half hour ice light came on, soon after the airbag light and steering wheel light turned on too! After this the stereo turned of lost power and the light were getting shortened. The steering wheel got stiff and could only steer very little, I was in big trouble so I went on to low speed lane and had to drive for another 10 km in dark and in danger because whippers stopped working while was raining a little! I managed to bring the car home due to a luck of time and no cars because it was 2-3 am. Later on the car started but switched of in 2 min and doesn’t start after that! Can someone help what is going on with it please thanks.

Topic by Mir D    |  last reply

K'NEX Riot Shield

I've had this idea for a while, and I am kinda assuming that it is a pretty bad one, but do any of you think that a K'NEX riot shield would be of any use? At least, in an out door K'NEX war? If it could withstand a 5 rubber banded oodammo from a TR8, would it even have a chance of being used? And, keep in mind, I'm not talking about making a cheaply done K'NEX shield like the ones we've all seen here on instructables, I'm talking about a good quality, sturdily built, K'NEX riot shield. What do you guys think? (this forum topic was written in haste, grammar and punctuation are not of the best) -The Red Book of Westmarch (which, when shortened, comes to TRBoW, which probably means that I should build a turreted bow)

Topic by The Red Book of Westmarch    |  last reply

Need help installing dixie horn on Opel Corsa C

Hi everyone, I've bought this dixie horn set off ebay because I'm a fan of the dukes of hazzard show and I thought it be hilarious to catch my friends off guard with my cars new melody :) . this is the link to the ebay product page, I've just shortened it. I understand how all the tubing needs to be assembled, but I'm abit lost when it comes to wiring it safely. I know I need to purchase my own switch, fuse and wire but I'm not sure on what type of fuse or how to go about wiring it. I'm also abit lost on where to exactly mount all the horns plus air pump. I'm looking to install this as a secondary horn with its own switch. Any guidance will be much appreciated!

Question by JoshuaE76  

my nichrome wire won't heat up!!!

I was trying to make a foam cutter so I connected a 4 inch long piece of nichrome wire in series with 4 D batteries and the wire got very hot.  My batteries became worn out and I replaced them with a 9 volt eveready battery but it didn't heat up. I tried shortening the wire up to just a centimeter but still nothing happened. I was wondering if current is even passing through the wire so i wired an electric motor in series with the nichrome wire and the battery, and the motor was spinning. I also tried using two 9 volt batteries in series and in parallel but still nothing happened. I am really confused.. why can't 9 volts and 18 volts heat up the wire while 6 volts(4 d batteries) can??I connected the two 9 volt batteries in parallel too but why didn't it work?

Topic by crazyivanux    |  last reply

TNKIT entry and FN SCAR H (Now with pictures)

This is my TNKIT entry, an F1 based car. It has built-in suspension (not independent, but on the axle), and realistic features. The last pictures are of my new assault rifle, an FN SCAR replica. The stock is different because of the internal ram mechanism, and it has Ironman rails top and bottom, with strange new rails on the sides, which hold a bipod at the moment. An ironman mag adaption allows for extremely quick mag changing, with the release lever an inch from the trigger at the front of the trigger guard. The flip-up iron sights have been modified since these pictures, and the barrel (area with the bottom rail, not the false barrel at the end) has been shortened by 2 units, making the weapon more realistic and easier to use. Uses lots and lots of y clips and hinges, and requires about 6 cut white rods (can get away with 5). The EGLM fires a large projectlie using a push trigger behind the mag (in front of and below the handle). Also for your enjoyment; my MP5 from May.

Topic by knexguy    |  last reply

Convert an old canister vac to a harness/backpack vac?

Greetings Instructables Brethren! I've been getting along with all hardwood and no vacuum cleaner for 7 years now, and now with kids, I am admitting defeat, but still can't take that dreaded step into the spiral of ever-shortening planned obsolescence cycles for ever-more-expensive and flimsy junk. I'm looking for a way to turn an old Electrolux or other simple, repairable, and reliable antique canister vac, into a backpack vac. I wanted to do this Instructable myself, but between the 3 kids and being only armed with a dustmop and broom, I haven't got the time to do all the project development! Can someone out there with a few tools and a Monster Hacker / steampunk mentality, convert an old canister vac to a trusty Ghostbuster-style Backpack Duster? It will need a superlong cord, though most of those oldies-but-goodies did come with that.  And if you do this successfully, and can see fit to sell it on the Instructables Store, you probably have your first customer, right here!

Topic by megmaine    |  last reply

2x Feature request: Concerning the Slideshow feature

Two things about slideshows that I think could use some improvement. 1. When I put my mouse cursor over one of those tagged areas (yellow rectangle outlines), I'm probably doing that so that I can read the comment that shows up. It would make sense to automatically pause the slideshow until I pull the cursor out of the rectangle, so that it doesn't switch pictures while I'm reading. 2. I'm not sure about this, but it appears to me that the slideshow first decides that it's time for the next picture, and then loads it. This means that on a slow connection, the time it takes to load the picture can significantly shorten the time that you get to see the picture. Then, after an all too short viewing period, the picture goes away, and the slideshow shows only a big white area while loading the next pic. It would make sense to try and switch pictures every T seconds, and load all pics as quickly as possible. If the next pic is not availible yet, don't hide the current one just yet. =) /Gibson

Topic by gibson_se    |  last reply

Need Help with embellishing ideas. Awesome sheer fabric, no idea how or where to use it?

I have this great sheer fabric that is gray with these really neat flowers.  I have been trying to find a way to use it.  Ideallt I have to add it to a tube and make a it a sleeveless shirt.  But I have no clue how to do that.  i really dont want to have it ruffled or anything that would hide the great design on the fabric.  Its not completely sheer so if it pretty mcu has to be on top of white or light fabric.  Or on top of your skin.  Any ideas?  Or if I could turn a misfitted pencil skirt (a little too big and not fitted through the knee enough), shorten it and add the fabric to the bottom to make it a mini skirt with the sheer fabric fitting from the thight to the knee, like a pencil skirt.  I do not know how to use a pattern, and I dont have a dress form, so I have to do it by measuring and by eye.  Thanks so much! PS...Its a really sofisticated fabric, so some of the ideas Ihave seen for embellishing are too unfinished or "funky". Could not find pic of axactly what I want But Megan fox is wearing a dress with the stype of sheer style I like.  possibly making it V neck would be good.  Remember, mine has detailing.

Question by Bansteatt84    |  last reply

Patagonia's Footprint Chronicles

Patagonia has expanded its Footprint Chronicles website to include five more items. There are now 10 items that you can check to see how far it traveled, how much CO2 it put out, how much waste was generated, and how much energy was used for the entire process of manufacture and shipping.These numbers don't include all of the processing and the shipping to the consumer in the end can't be factored in, but it's a strikingly open way of showing what goes into the making of a product. And for those who are concerned about cargo ships spewing CO2, that's one of the smallest problems."The Chronicles revealed that transportation makes up only about 1 percent of our overall energy use," said Dumain. "Had we listened to the current media buzz touting transportation as the largest factor in energy consumption, we might have greatly misplaced our efforts by making strides to geographically shorten our supply chain -œ which would have massively impacted our business financially, logistically and perhaps even effected product quality Ã-œ and we would only have reduced our energy savings by 1 percent. Instead, we are focusing our energy on areas where we can truly make a difference -œ right in the heart of the manufacturing process." Linkvia Treehugger

Topic by fungus amungus    |  last reply

How to make bells light-chime for Cathedral art exhibition?

Hello, My girlfreind is making some bell shaped sculptures out of string (seven in total) that are to be hung in the local cathedral, and she would like to make them 'Chime' by lighting up. I say she would like to make them do this, but as I'm slightly more practical (though not a great deal) I've been charged with the job. I've done some reaserch into variouse methods but these either seem unapropriate or are too technically demanding. I've looked at DMX style theater light controllers- too expensive and bulky, and using a programable circuit board controller- over my head. Ideally, she would like a bell to light up for a second or so before dimming, and then have a different bell do likewise and so on. The pattern can be comlpetely random and does not need to represent a piece of music. I thought I may be able to do this with pendant lights and timer plugs, but the timer fragments on these represent fifteen minutes- too long for the lights to be on to read as being struck and chiming. Is there anyway to shorten these time fragments? Would consider using lower voltage lights a transformer and some clever electronics, as I can solder. I just need some idiot-proof advice. I can PAT test it too before using so dont worry, I promise not to sue if I blow myself up. Help! Best wishes, Chris

Question by Chriscarter    |  last reply

Repeating Shotpistol

So it's been forever since I've posted anything. Here's something I was working on. At first I was just trying to remake my DERP pistol into something actually post-worthy, but the magazines were being finicky without a decent mag lock. I figure I like my Oodassault 3 better, I'll probably remake the 9 and make that post-worthy instead (getting people interested in K'nex guns elsewhere, but I don't have decent instructions for the 3.7 or 3.8). However, I really liked the base of the gun with the body and trigger so I decided to give this concept I had going for a while on compacting my shotgun a go. I'm sure people have had a similar idea, but I haven't seen one posted yet, so here's mine. So the idea is that I have a part similar to the pin on my last shotgun, except I've shortened it an turned it into an energy transfer for a normal firing pin. That way you can still disperse the energy across three separate bullets but now the design can be much stronger in a smaller package. Other than that, the only real features are the sliding trigger adapted for this body and a pin lock that's incredibly simple again for this body. I liked those two things, so I'll probably try to find a use for them elsewhere as it allows for a compact weapon. The only problem with this gun is that, well first the internal barrel is kinda crude because I changed only the front but couldn't be bothered to fix the middle after. Then I couldn't be bothered to make a good front magazine wall, so it's too low and the ammo shoots at a downward angle. So, if someone wants to take the concept and improve it, go for it. Else, just let it be known that I'm still alive.

Topic by TheDunkis    |  last reply

The classic IRFP250N vs FDP33N25? Which one is best for high power SMPS? Answered

I have an idea to start selling some powermax singing arc kits. In the kit I plan to include all the parts including a printed PCB to create an audio modulated flyback driver. I figure to start off with, since I have no clue what demand would be, I want to play it safe and only get enough parts for 10 - 25 quantity, which works out to be about $40, or about $4 a piece, not including custom PCBs. However, at >$2, the IRFP250 is not cheap even in 10's of quantities on Digikey. Looking to shave off pennies, I found the FDP33N25 for about half the cost of the classic IRFP250N and best part is that it appears to have simalar specs, and in some ways it looks like the FDP33N25 is even better! Bolded parameters are the (I think) prefered values. I do not know much about selecting the best transistor for the job, but I did compare the specs below: IRFP250N: 85mΩ Rds ON, 30A, 200Vds, 2800pf gate capacitance, TO-247, 0.65 *C/W FDP33N25: 94mΩ Rds ON, 33A, 250Vds, 2135pf gate capacitance, TO-220, 0.80 *C/W One thing I am concerned about power loss and therefore switching speed, so the MOSFET must be driven with a 15KHz to 40KHz square wave with very sharp rise and fall speeds. I was able to reduce power dissipation in my last circuit by simply shortening the wire carrying the signal to the gate, as well as adding a complementary pair of NPN and PNP transistors to the output of the 555 timer. That seemed to lower the drive impedance and switch the mosfet more rapidly, but considering that I still need to use active cooling and a brick sized heatsink, I think I can do better. Any suggestions?

Question by -max-    |  last reply

should I give up on entering contests/posting detailed unique ideas?

Disheartened by contest results, I really feel like pulling some of my instructables and not publishing any further ones (I am taking some time right now to work on another project I was documenting for instructables but I feel like there isn't a point to the extra time involved in pausing to take pictures of every little thing).  It probably seems silly, but I did end up shoving a whole bunch of my priorities aside to make sure it was in before the deadline. My original idea was not among the top 5%, some of which were things I could buy derivatives of in a store or have definitely seen before.  I guess I am just looking for affirmation that this is a pretty commonplace occurrence, and as a first time contest entrant that eventually something will pan out and I'll wind up with a tshirt (I mean that's pretty much all I want out of the deal, the prizes are nice but the tshirts are cooler. not that anyone would really ask about them, but maybe when I visit geek-saturated areas...) if I keep trying.   Perhaps I was too confident and it takes way more than 50 hours to make a winning instructable (through all my trials and errors, it might have been more than 50) You could tell me that my pictures or use of language were not as good as the others, but I am pretty sure I have a decent command of the English language and most of my photos were ok, with the exception of having a few from a cellphone, in the dimly lit space I had to work in.  Granted, those steps were so self-explanatory others would've just added them as a sentence i.e. "Cut the chain".  I also went through the other entries, also from last year, and was pretty certain I'd place. Could ascribing it as "NoDerivs" possibly have anything to do with how the sponsor judged it?  I just don't want someone using their modified idea for an NGO without considering consulting me, I am only partially employed and am looking for that kind of employment, even being consulted without pay would be a CV boost at this point.  I could care less how many people make it for themselves or other groups in their backyards, as long as they aren't selling the idea or trying to one-up me.  Perhaps I should consider a different license attribute and just write in plain text what I mean by it? How does everyone else network to get people to vote for their entries? When your instructable is complicated, how do you shorten it enough to make sure people of all levels can understand?   Do a few cellphone pictures in an instructable of many photos ruin it (I don't always have a camera on hand and until super recently I didn't have an SLR as mine was stolen in Peru - I had to borrow one for some of my photos)?  Not as many people seem to like my most complicated instructable, so I wonder if length or complexity factors in... Do you think length factors into contest decisions?  Because my next project is also long, as unique ideas often are.  And I don't want to skip describing details and just say "put the capacitor in" or "build a rectifier circuit" when, since I started building circuits this Fall (partially thanks to instructables), I would have wanted to know details like to bend legs of a capacitor if I was following an instructable, and I was super confused by an instructable (a featured one at that) that said simply "build a rectifier circuit".   Sigh, I guess I am just bitter that I won't get one of those awesome tshirts. should I post the next idea on instructables once it is completed or not?  Or are ideas like that generally not appreciated in this community?  (hint: it is similar to the light up swing powered by a bicycle dynamo I posted, but implements another piece of playground equipment instead).  Perhaps I should just keep them to myself until I've built them beyond working prototypes?   Sorry for all the questions and being a Debbie Downer, I am just reflecting on what could have factored into my entry not having been selected as one of the top 25.  I was pretty sure it was at least in the top 10 or so.  If I am going to improve on future projects, I want to know what I should consider focusing on, and if complex projects don't really belong here (or if others have good ideas on how to shorten them).  Thanks all.

Topic by danja.mewes    |  last reply