Search for skin effects in Topics


Fake Human Skin

Hi, Can anyone tell me how to affordably make realistic looking human skin from leather? I'm looking to bind a book with it and, if the method works out, adapt it later into making the outer layer for a peeled man "greys anatomy" book cover type body suit for halloween.

Topic by Eirias    |  last reply


Does the skin effect apply to pulsed DC? Answered

I am building a DC Tesla coil and I want to know if my primary coil will still need to have thick wires or tubing if the skin effect doesn't apply to DC electricity?

Question by The MadScientist    |  last reply


I need a skin-safe body paint that cracks. Any ideas?

I have an idea for a cool makeup effect (for Halloween, movie, etc.) but I can't find out what exactly I need.  I need some kind of body paint that tends to crack (not fall off, just crack), that I can pain on my face and move around to crack it up a bit.  I haven't a clue what kind of paint that would be.  Any ideas?  Thank you for any help!

Question by choward7    |  last reply


How do I make a cool Halloween effect, where it looks like wires or electrical cords are coming out of my skin?

I'm working on a costume that makes me look like I'm a robot that detached itself from a wall of wires or electrical cords. What materials could I use to attach these items to bare skin (primarily my back)? Any tips? I've scouring the internet for some advice but I've come up empty handed.

Question by brenda_s    |  last reply


Hello people! are there any effective home remedies to get rid of acne? I really need to know as soon as possible. Answered

I'm having serious acne problems for the last few months. I have no idea how it started, my skin was acne free & sooo fresh last year! but now, acne just pop up suddenly & sometimes it hurts :( ..... many have suggested me with a bunch of home remedies, but how do I know if they're effective & safe? I want my acne free & fresh skin back. PLEASE HELP ME......

Question by Muhaiminah Faiz    |  last reply


Poison Oak Treatment?

I contracted a case of poison oak about a week ago and it's really got me itching today. I need some relief and I was wondering if the community had any ideas for home remedies and or effective treatments. I've been through the whole course of oral steroids (prednisone), and topical creams (hydrocortisone) with previous outbreaks, but they never seem to work all that well. I'm open to any and all of your suggestions, so let's hear them. Look at the pictures. Feel my itch. Answer my question, and help me return my skin back to its normal, smooth state.

Question by noahw    |  last reply


Decapitation Effect, Pong Hat, LED Blaster,...

Sign-up for our newsletter here. Feb. 7, 2008 Welcome back! The Get the LED Out! Speed Challenge has been updated - now you can win $75 in LEDs in addition to the TV-B-Gone kit! Contest closes this weekend so enter now! Graffiti artists win the $15,000 VersaLaser. Read all about it here! Two new contests launched this week: Share the Love: The Valentine's Day Speed Contest is the place for those romantic Instructables, and Tool Tips Month collects practical advice for using tools of all sorts! Check out these cool instructables! LED Light Drawing Pens: Tools for drawing light doodles Light painting is fun, but getting the perfect lights for it can be tricky. Make your own and build exactly what you need. posted by unklstuart on Feb 3, 2008 LED Hat Display with Pong Pong + 5x7 LED display + hard hat = a hat that is somewhat safe and very distracting. Earn some serious geek points with this one. posted by J_Hodgie on Feb 7, 2008 How to Make "Oven" Caramel Corn There are various ways to make caramel corn, but this method is easy and the results are addictively tasty! posted by MedMisfit on Feb 3, 2008 Under $30 Light Table How to build a light table for under $30 for all your light table-ing needs. posted by Dr.GraffitiBatman on Feb 3, 2008 Make an LED Blaster Don't drop loads of cash for an official laser blaster replica. Make your own with custom sound and lighting effects! posted by finkbuilt on Feb 2, 2008 Closes this weekend! Valentine's Day contest! Spread the knowledge! Paracord Bracelet with Monkey Fist Button Make a sturdy bracelet out of paracord and a funky bead. You'll learn a cool knot and can make variations for friends. posted by Tommi Potx on Feb 5, 2008 Decapitation Effect There comes a time in every filmmaker's life when he needs to lop off a head and let some blood spurt all over. Here's how to do it cheaply. posted by indymogul on Feb 3, 2007 Get the LED out: The Invisible Costume If you want your costume to have the element of surprise, use this trick to make designs on your skin pop out from nowhere. posted by kiteman on Feb 3, 2008 Windbelt Redux 21st Century Micro Power Generation Get power from cross ventilation in your house. posted by Tool Using Animal on Feb 5, 2008 10$ WiFi 16dBi Super Antenna With some simple parts and packaging material, you can give your WiFi a serious boost. posted by hanzablast on Feb 2, 2008 Show us your yarn! There's still time to enter pictures of your yarn projects in the Lion Brand Yarn Challenge!! Here are some more of the 315 projects already entered - check them out, talk to the crafters, and get inspired! Mouse Purses Kebaya Afghan Sweater   Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric

Topic by fungus amungus  


Tesla Coil Safety?

My high school recently had an engineering fair, and my friend had built a tesla coil. Its has multiple spark gaps, an RF filter (I think thats what its called), a 120 to 20000v transformer, and toroid top-load, if any of that matters. We/I would entertain ourselves by standing away from the coil and holding a fluorescent tube (by the glass with bare hands, not by the contacts) near the top-load and watching it light up. Even though I was well away from the coil, my forearm muscles would twitch, especially it the coil spark hit the contact on the other side of the tube. Then if anybody touched me, both of us would feel a shock and the same slight twitching (the same kind of twitching you feel from those electric muscle stimulators with the pads you put on sore muscles). We even set up a chain of about 5 people holding hands, and all of us would feel a shock, even though only the first person in the line (aka me)  was holding the fluorescent tube near the coil, with my hand on glass, no where within range of the streamers coming from the top-load. Now for my question: is this dangerous? (I know its non-lethal, im talking about my nerves) And what exactly was happening? because it was not an incredibly large coil, and i know that the field of a coil is much larger than the actual streamers. I also read somewhere that insulators dont work the same at incredibly high voltages. I think what I was feeling was the skin effect, and the charge came from the excited electrons in the tube. If my ideas are correct, then wouldn't me holding the tube be just the same as if i had just put my hand near the top-load and let the streamers hit me?

Question by masterbuilder    |  last reply


Homemade Cryolipolysis revisited - is cool plate and vaccum technology instead of ice packs more reliable?

Http://home.howstuffworks.com/refrigerator6.htm Using the Peltier effect via an aluminum plate, would it be possible to create a homemade cryolipolysis machine? The method cryolipolysis uses to kill fat cells is this: The vacuum pulls the adipose tissue away from the body's core along with the surrounding skin folds to prevent the tissue from being warmed by body temperature. The temperature of the fat cells drops to between -1 degree Celsius and -10 degrees Celsius, triggering pre-programmed cell death. After one hour of application all of the susceptible cells in the area have been triggered and will die off between two weeks and 3 months later. I don't want to use something as inaccurate as ice packs, I would like to buy an aluminum plate, attach wiring to one side to utilize the Peltier effect, apply a light vacuum to keep contact, and insert some kind of temperature control per Peltier junction to keep the temperature in the optimum zone. As far as the back of the connections that gets hot, cooling that with circulated anti-freeze or water should be sufficient, but I'm not sure of the best configuration on the plate/vacuum setup. The way the current Zeltiq technology pulls the skin so far away from the body leads me to believe it's not great for any area that doesn't have a lot of excess skin to pull on and I would like to create a shallower cavity that can fit in harder to reach places like the side of the chest under the arm.

Question by DIY_Novice    |  last reply


I have an allergy to the silicone in my CPAP mask liner. I seek an alternative "skin safe" material to mold a new liner?

I am seeking a skin safe or hypoallergenic moldable & (pliable after molding) gel-like material (firmness medium) that I can use to mold a replacement for my silicone CPAP mask "liner." CPAP masks are worn nightly by people with the medical condition - Obstructive Sleep Apnea - the mask is connected by hose to a small medical machine that forces air down your throat to keep those with Sleep Apnea from ceasing to breath while sleeping.  The "liner" is the replaceable soft part of the CPAP mask that goes against your face (skin) to assure a good seal and no air leakage) I personally have the capability of making a mold of my original silicone mask liner then reproducing it (for my personal, not commercial purposes) - I just need to identify a moldable material (with similar characteristics to silicone), but that does not cause rashes and skin outbreaks and the allergic reaction to silicone. Hundreds of people have an allergic reaction to silicone. Multiple dermatologists have been unable to provide a solution or effective treatment. Any "skin safe" (might be hypoallergenic or not but probably would be?) moldable material that may be currently used in the production of various medical devices or medical devices that are inserted into the body (cosmetic surgery) or devices that are by necessity held against the skin would likely be a candidate for me to produce an alternative to a silicone mask liner. Or it might be a material with other uses or a totally new material on the market? I note that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of CPAP mask users who suffer from this very same allergic reaction to silicone but unfortunately, to date, the CPAP manufacturing industry has chosen to continues to produce 100% of CPAP mask liners from silicone alone. There is no alternative on the market. One can easily find hundreds of posts on CPAP forums complaining of this same silicone allergy problem with no solution currently available or even on the horizon. For legal reasons, I unequivocally state that this post should not be construed in any way as a "negative critique" of the CPAP manufacturing industry or any of their products or the materials used in those products, but it is simply a genuine request by an individual in need, for help and assistance from a very highly knowledgable base of Instructable readers. I further note that the various types of cloth covers that are sold by some small niche companies, to cover the silicone CPAP liners are (in my personal view) only partially effective for some, and fully ineffective for many (myself included) in addressing this silicone allergy problem. This (in my personal case) is NOT the needed solution It is a band-aid at best. The solution is a hypoallergenic moldable alternative to silicone that has the same pliable sealing properties as silicone but without the allergic skin reaction. Additionally,  I have an allergic reaction to the "neoprene" material that is used in the production of virtually 100% of CPAP mask harnesses (the strap that goes around and behind your head to hold the CPAP mask in place). So I am also seeking an alternative material that I can use to construct a (non-neoprene) harness. A slightly stretchable hypoallergenic material would be ideal but frankly it could be made of any (skin safe) material even if non-stretchable. I am open to any suggestions. If you wish to view an example (image) of a full CPAP mask you can see it here: http://www.cpap.com/productpage/resmed-mirage-quattro-fx-full-face-mask-headgear.html If you wish to view an example (image) of a CPAP mask silicone liner (replaceable) you can see it here: http://www.cpap.com/productpage/resmed-full-face-mask-cushion-mirage-Quattro-FX.html If you wish to view an example (image) of a CPAP mask harness (made of neoprene) you can see it here: http://www.cpap.com/productpage/resmed-mirage-quattro-fx-full%20face-headgear.html?source=igodigital I am very grateful for your kind assistance with this rather challenging problem...despite considerable ongoing research on my part I have been unable to identify an appropriate alternative (to silicone) material for my CPAP mask liner nor have multiple individuals suffering with the same silicone allergy been able to identify an alternative. I have frequently trolled all of the major CPAP forums and there simply has been no effective solution identified to properly address this silicone allergy problem. 

Question by kick991    |  last reply


Tattoo madness at Maker Faire

Canida and I were at the Maker Faire this weekend in Austin meeting fans of the site and introducing it to folks who have never heard of us before. It was a blast and we had a great time showing off the Mouse Mouse, Bacon Soap, and other projects that we've made instructables about.On Sunday a guy stopped by the booth and showed off his tattoo of a Space Invader alien. He said that he used an Instructable to do the design and that he wanted to thank us for it. The crazy things is, that Instructable happened to be the very first Instructable I did! It's my 3D Effect Stencil Instructable and he used Sketchup with an isometric view to get he design he wanted. I've seen people use my Instructables before, but this takes the cake. That was easily my favorite moment from the Maker Faire. I helped a guy get ink on his skin. Damn.

Topic by fungus amungus    |  last reply


Mozzies and how to keep them outside....

Down here the winter was too short and not cold enough, meaning insect life is literally exploding in numbers already. The house I moved in has badly installed flyscreens on the doors and windows, most likely due to the fact that the house is moving up and down in several points... Anyway, due to the gaps everywhere I found myself with the problem that the mozzies covered my entire front and back door areas. With an unsupporting landlord not even allowing me to replace the bad flysreens with proper ones at my cost I was left with less invasive options to tackle the problem. Before you ask: No I am not even allowed to fix holes in the flyscreens covering the windows :( My next step was to check the local garden center for some natural solutions. Lemon grass seems to do the trick for the inside, the smell also keeps flies away really good. But I had to put the pots in the garden as the ongoing smell gives me headaches. It also did very little to prevent the mozzies from coming inside when I opened any outside door for a few moments. Only way out was to get rid of the mozzie population having daily meeting around my doors. At the local hardware store I found several "surface sprays" and they all stated to be very effective against cockroaches, spiders and other crawling insects - too bad I don't have a problem with them LOL After asking I was informed that those sprays do little to nothing for flying insects, including mozzies and that I would waste my money. During my next shopping trip I got desperate and grabbed a can of surface spray from Aldi. Was under 3 bucks, so I had nothing to loose compared to the 40-80 bucks for a canister of "the good stuff" from the hardware store. At the checkout an old lady asked if I moved into a new house with cockroaches when she saw the spray and I said that I only have a problem with mozzies. She recommended to eat more bananas ROFL Back home it was already too sunny at the front door for the mozzies to show up so I waited till the late afternoon and sure enough I found the area covered with them again. The spray annoyed them badly but I kept spraying all cracks, surfaces and also the gaps at the roof line. Kept checking for a while but could not see any real effect on the mozzies other than swarming around me and trying to suck my blood. Next morning I found the floor at the door covered by a carpet of dead mozzies! I don't mean a few, I am talking enough to take the brrom to clear them up :) Now for the past 5 days the body count is going down quite fast while my door stays free of mozzies. Still have them flying around in "normal" numbers but I can get in and out without a swarm of them following me. Since the product is plant based and considered to be without any side effects on humans or pets I will see how long it lasts and then just spray again - this three dollar can should last throughout the summer... You might wonder why I go through all these troubles... Long story short, I am quite allergic to the bites. Happened as a kid when during a warm summer night at a friends place I got so many bites that the doc gave up counting. He reached over 200 just by counting my head and face to the shoulders... Now I am allergic to the bites, the itch lasts over a week and thebite area swells up to the size of a 50 cent coin with blisters forming after 2 days. You might not get it hat bad but if you do suffer from the bites I found two remedies that help with the itch and reaction: a)  BBQ igniter (the manual push type without batteries)! They work like the expensive clickers you get at the pharmacy but last much longer - plus they require more force. The rounded tip is placed directly onto the bite and when you push the button in to "get shocked" two things happen. First the pressure forces the soliver that causes the reaction into deeper skin layers where there are less receptors for the itch. Secondly the high voltage breaks down certain parts of the soliver making it far less effective to cause harm. Downside is that you might like the shock in certain areas and that you should shock at least 10 to 15 times to get a real benefit from it. b)  Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) You put a drop of H2O2 directly onto the bite or for difficult areas use a soaked cotton bud. Rubbing it in with a cotton bud for a minute or two works best IMHO. You might see your skin turn white or feel a slight burn right where the bite is - that is normal and harmless. The hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen into the skin - this turns the skin white for short period of time. But the oxygen also breaks down the soliver and the byproducts of the body reaction to it. Works great for horse fly bites too. Downside here is that you should not overdo things and that you should test first how sensitive you are to the reaction. A good test is to apply it onto a small cut or scratch to clean it. If you tolerate that then won't even feel it on a mozzie bite. I hope some of this will help you through the summer ;)

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


I'm willing to create a zvs induction heater but I have some questions Answered

Hello there! I want to create a ZVS induction heater but I don't fully understand yet how the coils need to be driven. I haven't started yet with building it, but I already wanted to check if the induction heating effect was working, so I connected a coil onto my high current DC blockwave generator and nothing really happens. it's a PWM controller which switches between 0V and the applied voltage. Is it because it sends DC signals to the coil, and the magnetic field goes into saturation? If so, I added a capacitor in series with the coil, to filter out the DC component but now nothing happens. There is nearly no current flowing trough the circuit. I'd also need some information on what influences the intensity of the heating? Is it the Amp*Turns that matters? because we're using high frequency here to lower the required current; but if it's amp*turns then we need the current to be as high as possible. So something's wrong there in the way I thought this works :/ I do know how the material gets heated. (by eddy currents that increase if the flux alternates at higher amplitudes) also, at what voltage should the coil be switched? does the voltage matter? Should I use something like 12v? 40v? or even 2v of I only need high current? I do know that the use of the high frequency is to increase skin effect in the material to be heated, but what other reasons are there for using such high frequency? Is it also because eddy currents will increase at higher frequency? If so, why would this happen? A lot of questions indeed :) but I'm not going to start copy-pasting the circuit, and then just being happy that it's working. I also need to know Why it works, and how! Thanks in advance, Electorials

Question by DELETED_Electorials    |  last reply


Laser or LED go go dancing Cage

Hi There, Im tryin to build a laser go go dancing cage for a big theatre production. Iv done basic wiring of LED's but never worked with lasers before. After  lot of scanning the net it seems it might be easiest to just buy a bulk load of laser pointers off aliexpress (or somewhere else?) and try to wire them into a circuit so i can turn them all on at the same time. I want the effect of the bars of light as seen in the pics below. I have been asking around with electricians and they don't seem to either want or know how to help me.... I would LOVE any help or direction anyone can give me!!! if anyone can help answer any of the following questions id GREATLY appreciate it! 1. from what iv read it seems 5mW might be best for this purpose as more powerful lasers may burn the skin (i definitely don't want to be responsible for burning the building down!) Does anyone have any thoughts on what mW i should be using for this? 2. Ideally i would like the laser cage to be able to be seen without the use of a fog machine (i will use this for effect in certain parts of the show- but would like it to still be visible when its not there) Is this possible, or would i need a stronger laser that would be too dangerous? 3. i don't really know anything about calculating the voltage or what power battery i would need once i had say 50 lasers together in a circuit. Does anyone have any links for working this out? I'm not sure if it is specific or different for lasers? 4. I read that i would need a driver, is that true? any links for that would be great! 5. are there insanely high powered LED's that could have a strong focussed beam that would be better/easier to use and i should forget about lasers all together? 6. do you have a totally different idea of how i should go about this that would be a lot easier?? Thanks!!! Andea Darling ****it won't seem to upload the reference pics so heres a couple of links to give you the idea -  http://www.qratio.com/2013/10/gotta-dance-just-find-your-rythym.html http://www.telovation.com/articles/ipod-laser-dance-cage.html

Topic by dieselkannon    |  last reply


The animatronic project Is finished

Here my instructableMy Animatronic Mod ProjectIn 2003 I made a casemod MONSTERMOD ( picture 1), Just a creature sculpture tearing out of a PC case.And It Didnt Move . So , I want the next MONSTERMOD to MOVE.Maybe to tell me that I have email.... Picture people's PCs having Heads .There favorite movie star or rock star maybe a animal. Maybe like Hal from 2001Space Odyssey .But, My animatronic Mod Has no A.I. But maybe one day. Im programmingthe 16 servo movements into the PC and press the play to play the movements a lipsync routine.Well, For Over 2 years now I have been working My Animatronic Mod.My Animatronic Mod is a floating creature head over a desktop case.( picture 2 IMG_1383.jpg)It controlled my a 2 Mini SSC II (http://www.seetron.com) this allow the computer to control 16 RC servos.16 RC servos = 16 Movements .I made the teeth out of dental acrylic, The samething denture are made of.Teeth and fangs are made 1st in tooth color dental acrylic and shaped.Then are placed in dental wax .,the mold is a silicone putty is place on the teeth allow to setup overnight.To demold the wax is melted away with boiling water leaving the teeth in the silicone putty sockets.This is called the lost wax process.( picture 3,4,)After I made the eyes out of dental acrylic ,Which is a molded ping pong ball is 40 mm .In half 20 mm sandwhich in between the 2 halves is a metal small metal ball 10mm give me a ball joint and socket.The iris is a painted metal washer. The veins are silk yarn And is cover with clear dental acrylic .The white of the eyes was changed to black color ,To give more of a alien look. ( picture 6,7)I molding the finished eyes alginate and casting them in ultracal 30, ( picture 8) Ultracal 30 is the hardest plaster made.And place them in the sculpture.This will be for Proper registration for the eyes in the skull.( picture 9 )I had to sculpt face in Roma Plastilina Clay ( picture 10)and mold it in silicone( picture 11a,11b, 11 ) This molding process called a matrix mold . A layer of water clay cover theentire clay sculpture and Ultracal 30 is place on top of the water clay .After setup ,Its demolded and water clay removed .This water clay has made a space for the silicone.Matrix molda thin layer of water clay is place ( picture 12 ) and made the core A .This gave me the thickest for the skin .Molded core A in silicone and a thin layer of water clay is place in this mold also this made core B.And this gave the thickest of the Skull. Now I have 2 molds.( picture 13,14 )Mold 1 is the Skin moldMold 2 is the skull moldI casted foam rubber in mold 1 ( picture 15,)http://www.monstermakers.com/foam.htmlTo make the foam rubber skin337 gms. base67 grams foaming agent33 grams curing agent15 flow enhancer24 grams gelling agent4 grams ammoniaThe room temp73 degrees 40%Using a Sunbeam MixMaster Mixer1. Speed #1 - 1 minute (to blend all components)2. Speed #10 - 3 minutes : blend all3. Speed #3 - 4 minutes : refine4. Speed #1 - 30 seconds :refine5. Speed #1 - 30 seconds : ADD GELLING AGENT ( picture 16 )6. Speed #1 - 30 seconds : Backturn the bowlFoam rubber can be tricky.Mold 1 was place in a Hot box oven for 11 hours at 125 degrees .= A very soft and flexable skin ( picture 15,16 )Hot box oven 3'x 3'x 3 " plywood box with foil insulation with a single burner. This must be watched.( picture 17,18,19)I casted urethane Plastic from smoothon.com in mold 2.This gave me the Skull,The skull was trimed and dental acrylic teeth and eyes were place inside the skull .The mechanics were place using R/C servos.The skin was painted with PAX ( is a flexible paint). The skin was glue on rubber cement to the skull .And the hair was glued rubber cement also and placed.Hair is from National Fiber Technology ,Hair 1 was Blended Black and Brown modacrylic with White and Brown Mohair and Natural Goat hair.And hair 2 Black with gray texturized modacrylic with Yak and Horse hair.The PCMy motherboard (MSI KT6) and AMD 2500xp video card (MSI 6600)The case is LIAN LI PC-V800B .To make the lip sync move ,I used VSA , Visual Show Automation , http://www.brookshiresoftware.comThis aloud me to make a lip sync animation routine. Synchronize with graphical audio MP3 file.Not only that My Animatronic Mod looks Wicked ,It Talks Back.(Picture 1st floor) ( Picture 2nd floor)I designed the animatronic so I could repair it if needed, And the support pipe is like a swing arm so I can work on the PC too. By removing the back of the skull. Inside there are 2 floors the bottom floor has 6 servos :1 Head Up + Down2 Eyes Up + Down and left + right2 Eyelids1 Jaw2nd floor 7 servos3 right,left and center Brows1 Nose3 upper lip wireAnd also 2 servos are in the Jaw for lower lip wireand 1 left + right servo gimbal= 16 servosWhen uncovered ,Here is 32 feet of servo cable.(picture32 feet )The only thing connecting to the PC and the Animatronic is a modular cable (Lookslike a phone cable). Which is plug into a modular adapter that plug into the PC's serial port . The end of the modular cable plug in Mini SSCII Serial Servo Controller.you would be surprise how many people are into making monsters. Ive beenmaking monsters , masks and makeup fx for 30 years now.I put my 2 hobbies that Ienjoy together.Computers and making monsters.Im a dental lab tech. for 20 years now .I make dentures for a living.Thank You so muchGary WillettTo see Video Demos http://www.youtube.com/willettfxhttp://www.servocity.com..................For Servoshttp://www.nftech.com/ ...................For Hairhttp://www.smooth-on.com/ ............ Silicone,Urethane PlasticbooksTechniques of Three-Dimensional Makeup by Lee Baygan Special Make-Up Effects (Paperback)by Vincent Kehoe Men, Makeup & Monsters: Hollywood's Masters of Illusion and FX (Paperback)by Anthony TimponeStop-Motion Puppet Sculpting: A Manual of Foam Injection, Build-Up and Finishing Techniques (Paperback)by Tom Brierton Stop-Motion Armature Machining: A Construction Manual (Paperback)by Tom Brierton MagazineCinefex

Topic by willettfx    |  last reply


Fixing a mosquito bite quickly!

You suffer for days after one of these tiny vampires got you?The itching drives you mad?And unlike some people your bites always get worse from day two onwards?If so, then you might have the same problem as I have...No matter how much hate and disgust you show, these mozzies just love you.And as this wouldn't be bad enough your body totally overreacts every time.A bite for me meant numbing cremes or sprays, anti-histamines and if doubt putting a heavy duty bandaid over it so if I forget the scratching won't do too much harm.Despite all this 5 to 6 days until the itch, swelling and irritation stop...A few weeks ago while fishing I had a nice chat with a man way into his 80's already.He laughed when I started to spray all uncovered parts of my body with tropical strenght insect repellent.Told him my reasons and then he said I should try something he used during his army times for bites of unknown critters.In the jungle they often relied on local guides and they provided a solution that seems to be totally forgotten these day - even I did not know it LOLTheory behind it...If you know these "insect bite clicker" then you already know how it is put into comercial use - without ringing much relief.Whenever something bad enters the body there is a reaction to fight it off or dispose of it.Problem with insect bites, be it mozzies or sand flies, is that all this bad stuff is concentrated in a very tiny area.And being mostly skin tissue makes it hard to deal with it.By applying pressure and massage like motion to the bite the contaminent are spread through the tissue.If you leave a small dint with little to no color left after 2 or so minutes you doing it good.Try to use something hard here, like a spoon, bottle cap, end of a screwdriver - whatever is slightly rounded and solid.You will notice that the itch gets quite bad once the bloodflow starts again and within minutes the bite area will swell up and form a more or less evenly formed hump.The hump will be pale in color while around it the skin is slightly red from the added bloodflow.Don't scratch! Just wait until a nice hump has formed where you can clearly make out the rim.Now use the same pressure method as before and spread out the hump while constaly pushing it in and "wobbling" around to massage the area a bit.Do this as before for about 2 minutes and if you still see a destinct difference between bite aea and surrounding tissue continue for a bit longer.Should not take more than 5 minutes to have the area nice and even again.Wait again and check for new singns of swelling up - there should not be any.If there is simply repeat one last time.The remaining itch will go away within about an hour instead of days and there won't be any severe after effects from day 2 onwards either anymore.It can help to use heat as well.For example by heating up the spoon in some hot water before using it.But keep the heat at a level you can tolerate!!! Do not heat the spoon to the point where you feel pain from the heat.Try it out and report back! :)

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Collaboration: Underbody and wheel Fairings WITH Boat Tail for a MkIV Volkswagen Jetta (and possibly Golf)

The underside of your typical car will not have any skin/covering -- the outer skin of your car is known as a fairing and that is how I'll refer to it from this point forward ;) These open crevasses etc. create a great deal of drag force and turbulence to high speed air. This added drag is significant enough to warrant some manufacturers to install aluminum plates covering the entire undercarriage (which add weight).My big project over the next few months will be prototyping a partial fairing for the underside of my car. Additionally, I will be constructing wheel fairings for all four wheels an begin construction of a boat tail (likely in a Kammback Style. I am open to feedback, suggestions and comments of any type - that is why I'm posting here and will be updating my progress.This is a tentative list of things that need to be done - feel free to add.1. Acquire and install material for rear wheel fairing (Prototype has been Completed)2. Front Wheel Fairing3. Start Patchwork Under Tray (This is a huge project)4. Relocate External Mirrors5. Cover Front Grille as much as possible6. Buy ScanGaugeII (I promised myself for my birthday)Constraints1. No Permanent "Stock" body changes (no visible holes etc.)2. Must Be Removable Within 30 Minutes or so without special tools or lifting vehicle3. Must Collapse and Fit in Trunk4. Would like the deadline to be BEFORE a cross country trip (South Florida to San Francisco)MaterialsHere's what's on the table:1. Corrugated Plastic2. Possibly Fiberglass3. Flashing (as suggested)4. Clear Plastic Sheeting (similar to what is use for convertible rear windshields)FastenersI'm current exploring non permanent adhesives and methods of application/removal. This adhesive would be used in tandem with two part snaps. I have also decided on using fold over nuts where applicable.Why a Partial FairingI discovered that some of my exhaust components are the lowest points of my car. Considering the temperatures of these components, extra cost of materials AND the necessary curves to fit these components - I have decided to make this first prototype simple (hopefully all 2-d shapes).CostHonestly, I'm in college - a lot of my money goes to tuition and books (and engineering books typically come with a killer price tag). My goal is to make this cost effective so that someone else can mimic my efforts on their car/truck/etc. OR apply this to their MkIV directly. I will supply dimensions of the vehicle AND dimensions of my overall product as completed.CollaborationOne day, this will become an instructable. If a particular step warrants its own instructable -- I will post it ;) If someone has a MkIV Jetta and wishes to collaborate, please contact me. Having more brain power to come up with robust and unique solutions is a great asset.InspirationThe Probe V - Cd= .13770+mpg Civic Hatch Modifications (Cd estimated around .16)This photo below is a skid plate available for Mark IV Jettas and Golfs -- cost: $300+. It is made from 3/16" plate aluminum and notice that there are no undercarriage vents. This is good news for me as heat management is a major concern. This plate is available hereAs always, I'm open to suggestions etc. It's somewhat of a big project, so I'm taking it slow and steady so I don't burn out with everything else going on :POther Updates as of 3/30/07-Scratched previous task list - replaced with modification task list-Added boat tail and wheel fairing to overall project-Added Inspiration Links-added constraints category-updated fastener category-updated materials category

Topic by trebuchet03    |  last reply


Hydrogen Peroxide at home and in the Garden

Although the topic is quite old for some of us and mostly because I am too lazy today to make an Instructable: Hydrogen Peroxide ! Back in the day Hydrogen Peroxide was mainly known for the ability to bleech your hair, later it replaced chlorine based products for the preparation of paper and organic fibres. For me it is a good opportunity to go back in time and to pull out some of the remedies my grandparents already used. Who knows, there might be something that helps you or you might know other good uses that I failed to mention here, so feel free to comment. First off: What actually is hydrogen peroxide? We could check Wikipedia but I think it is enough to say that it basically water with an added oxgen mulecule which turn the stuff into a quite powerfull oxidizer. When hydrogen peroxide reacts the added oxygen is released and the normal water remains. Precausions and health risks. In the normal supermarket form hydrogen peroxide comes at a strenght of just 3%. This is just enough for wound treatment or cleaning off a fresh and small stain. The stuff you can buy at your hair dresser comes in concentrations of 5-15%, above that it is of little use to them. Pool grade peroxide however can come as high as 50%. It often requires a permit of at least leaving a copy of your drivers license to buy such high concentration but well worth it price wise. The downside of anything above 5% is a risk for your skin, eyes and airways. So when handling hydrogen peroxide you should waer long sleeve rubber gloves, safety or better swimming goggles and make sure that you don't create vapour by spraying it against the wind direction. Having water at hand to dilute and spillage on your skin is always good. What happens to me if things go wrong? Well, if handled correctly nothing should go wrong but of cause the worst would be eye contact. Getting concentrated hydrogen peroxide in your eyes means extreme pain and even with rinsing it out asap eye damage is more than just possible. Again: wear proper eye protection and if spraying use a filter mask, the paper type is enough!!! Nothing immediate happens on sking contact but a few minutes after contact the skin will turn slightly brown or goes white. This is caused by the oxygen release into your skin cells, if washed off quickly after noticing the discoloration will fade after a few hours. Prolonged exposure of the skin can cause skin cells to fully discolor and living cells might get damaged - a burning sensation is usually the sign that you need to wash the area now ;) Enough bad stuff said, let's see what we can do in the garden.... Fungal infection of your old roses or on your fruit trees? Sometimes the weather does not like our plants and by the time we discover a fungal infestation it is usually pruning time. There are commercial producta available that work quite well but especially the copper based ones tend to do more harm than good in th long run. An alternative is a solution of 10-20% hydrogen peroxide. Spray generously over all affected parts of the plant, leaves, twigs, stem and all. Make sure everything is properly wet! In some cases the fungus can act as a water replellent and it seems impossible to get any of the solution to wet these areas - a drop of dish washing liquid into the bottle will fix this! Watever runs off can be left as it only helps to get oxygen into the soil but of course you should not soak the area... Leave it on for about an hour, around 20 minutes if it quite warm. Rinse all off with clear water and repeat every 2 days for 5 treatments all up. After this time wait 2 or 3 weeks and check if the fungus still gows in some hard to reach areas. If so then repeat the treatment there until satisfied but wait another 2 weeks every 5 single treatments. In some areas of the world certain types of fungus on roses are refered to as "rust". ----- Moved into a new home and the garden beds smell really bad? The last house I moved into had a previous occupant with a big dog but no time to clean after his pet. The garden beds looked dead and I mean so dead that I could not even find weeds in them. And the smell was a distinct mix of old dog poo with lots of fresh cat poo mixed in it - the perfect outdoor pet toilet :( Trying to dig it all under made me recover that the top soil was more §$&*# than soil. I had to get rid of the bacteria of all the poo and somehow neutralize a lot of the unwanted "nutrients". The solution was to first loosen all the soil as deep as I could go. Then I added rice straw (but anything straw like or dry grass will do) to mix it through. At this stage I wished I had a gas mask LOL All up the contaminated garden beds covered about 20square meters. I got a 10 liter canister of pool grade hydrogen peroxide, from this I diluted down with 20 liters of water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to help with the soil wetting. All was applied as evenly as I good with a watering can and then the area was covered with some tarp to try keeping as much oxygen on and in the soil as possible. A day later the tarp was removed and all beds watered with hose to drowning point. This watering was repeated every 3 days for 3 weeks to drive out all the excess and unwanted nutrients from the poo. The smell was already gone except for some cat urine residue which disappeared after some rounds of watering. Three months after the initial treatment I did some soil tests, added nutrients were required and the next season I had vegetables growing :) ----- Planting? Whether from seeds or seedlings, give hydrogen peroxide a try! I use a 5% solution to soak the potting mix I use before putting my seeds in it. Not only does it kill a few of the unwanted things that might still be in there but it adds a lot of oxygen into the soil, which gives the seeds a much better start. For seeds I use a 5% solution as well but only leave them in for about an hour before placing them between some wet paper towels until they start germinating. This way I can be sure all harmful bacteria and fungal spores are dead and I can use a sterile seed to keep going. Might just be my opinion but I think the germination rate is better and seedling in comparison start growing faster and stronger. Home uses.... As we learned before hydrogen peroxide, at least in higher concentrations is a powerful way to remove fungus. In our bathrooms we often have the problem that the ceiling starts to develop black spots as in the colder times water condenses here and takes a long time to dry off. If you now go to your favorite hardware store they will recommend the use of a chlorine based product, basically bleach... And although it does the job it also means your house will stink for days and if you scrub the ceiling you will get it on your sking and stink too. Hydrogen peroxide at 20% or higher concentrations can be sprayed onto the cleiling :) Of course you will need good protection for this and all things color should be removed, like towels or floor mats. By protection I mean a minimum of swimming goggles, a tyvek suit or similar to cover all exposed skin areas and at least a paper dust mask, better a filtered respirator like you use for spray painting or using insecticides. If you have a spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle then a stream is far better than a spray mist!! Not only is your exposure far lower but it much easier to wet the ceiling quickly. Wet all affected areas, then leave and the room, close the door and take off all clothes you used t protect you. The clothes can be left out to dry but double check that you had no soaked spot where your sking might have been in contact - if so rinse the skin with plenty of water! It will take some time to work and then dry, so best to do this in the summer time or if during the colder times you need to make sure the room is porperly heated and aired out to dry! Repeat until all black spots are gone, really bad areas will leave a permanent discoloration looking like a slight brwonish color is the ligh it right otherwise you won't see it. Once fully dry it is best to scrape off all lose paint and then to use a acrylic based sealer before giving the ceiling a fresh coat of white. The sealer will prevent the water to penetrate more than the paint level and if you get the fungus back on the paint it is far easier to clean ;) ----- Carpet cleaning.... When moving into a new rental with carpet on the floor you often are left with areas indicating the carpet might be "clean" but the underlay certainly is not. You can fix the underlay but you certainly can make sure all harmful stuff is gone from the carpet. Carpet cleaning machines can be hired but often much cheaper if you buy the "recommended" cleaning product with it. Rent is usually based on a daily base and price depends on how much cleaner you need. If you only want to desinfect the carpet which otherwise looks mostly fine than go for the smallest pack available and use it to spot clean areas you want cleaner first. For the desinfecting part I recommend to test how high you can go with the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide before using it on a big scale - keep in mind the carpet will never be fully dry and the remaining peroxide will continue to act! Test a 10% solution first before you go higher as you don't want to buy 30 liters or more of pool grade peroxide - just trust me on that one and only try to buy this much you do want to get into trouble a few days later! If 10 percent solution left on the carpet does not cause any bleaching of the fabric (unwanted bleaching that is) you can try higher for spot cleaning in demanding areas. A good spot to try the solution is under the cover or duct outlets, under these joining bars where carpet changes to tiles (if you can lift them off) or in wardrobes if the carpet goes inside. There are two way to treat your carpet once the general cleaning is done. a) use a garden sprayer or similar to wet the carpet This is good for single room treatment like for the baby room but especially on thicker carpets it requires a lot of solution and can become costly. Once wet leave for at least 30 minutes so the peroxide can do its thing, then use the machine with either the solution filled or just to dry off the carpet. I recommend to use the peroxide solution in the machine as it allows for better penetration and it will remove more soiled solution this way. If your catching container starts bubbling like mad it means you have a lot of §$%&#+ in the carpet and it might be best to first clean it all with the normal carpet cleaning agent before using the peroxide again - again tesing on smaller areas can help wasting the peroxide. If you need to store prepared solutions than it is best in a cold place. It will take several hours on an otherwise clean carpet for the peroxide to fully disappear so it best to use shoes and prevent skin contact during that time - especially if a baby crawls around ;) ----- Toilet.... We don't want to talk about it but everyone needs to clean their toilet sooner or later. For most things in there using the toilet brush when it happens will keep things clean and healthy. But what if someone in the house is sick or with a weak immune system? You could use all sorts of commercial cleaners and desinfectants but a wipe with wet towel or cloth soaked in a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide will quickly eliminate all harmfull things on your seat, lid or bowl, including the buttons to press and the door handles ;) Just wipe and leave it wet for a minute or two then wipe again and ry - done! Personal use I always pack a small bottle of supermarket grade peroxide when going off road or camping trips. Although we now have modern desinfectants that won't stink or otherwise harm you I still prefer the old stuff ;) If you are far from civilisation than the last thing you want to need is medical attention for something that started as small as a scratch or graze.... Out in the unkown wilderness you will never know if the rockk you just crash landed on was used as a urinal by a fox the night before... A bit of gravel left in your skin might contain harmful bacteria... A cut with your own knife?? - What did you all cut since the last proper cleaning of the blade? You see where I am going here, a small thing might turn into something really nasty a day or two later. If you clean a freash and minor wound properly and then rinsie it with hydrogen perodixe most if not all harmful leftovers will be killed by the releasing oxygen. Of course this pretty much useless on bleeding wounds or where it is obvious that you won't be able to remove all debris from the wound - here it means you trip is still over in favour for proper medical treatment. The thing is that hydrogen peroxide was basically abandoned for all wound treatment once the modern "cleaning aids" became available as the peroxide will not only attack harmful things but also living tissue. The claims goes as far as causing bad scar tissue, damage to blood vessels and even "burning" of the tissue. One big problem I have with all these claims is that they were never really mentioned until the new meds came out. IMHO exposure time and how you use it it the key - common sense if you ask me. Noone should ever soak a wound in peroxide, if it is that big that you need to soak it you need medical attention anyway. And as said you should rinse the wound, that means all remaining liquid should be allowed to flow off - this will only leave a minor amount of peroxide in the wound and the exposure time will end with once all oxygen is released. For minor wounds I only use a paper tissue or cotton bud soaked in peroxide and wipe the wound.... ----- Smelly feet? Ok, maybe not the best way to start a conversation but we all know what sneakers do to our feet in the summer... Insoles with copper and activated carbon will help a lot and at least "cure" your sneakers while they are off your feet and have time to dry. But the smell is actually cause by bacteria growing from everywherey in your sneaker to your sking, actuall starting at your sking... If you wear your sneakers for long periods of time time or even whenever possible and also suffer from a bad smell hydrogen peroxide might be able to help you. Most sneakers will tolerate a machine wash and should come out germ free, if that is no option pack them in a sealed back and leaven them in the freezer over night - this will kill all bacteria and remove the smell. Now to break the endless cycle you need to remove the bacteria from inside your skin. So daily sock changes, freezing shoes and washing feet is a must! Your feet will really benefit from a foot bath in a 5% solution of hydrogen peroxide. To keep costs at a minimum use a container that is just the right size for your feet and prepare the solution from pool grade peroxide. I an ideal case you should not need more than 2 liters but all used product can be stored cool and re-used the next day, after that you need to make a new batch. Keep your feet submerged for at least 10 minutes. This will allow a deep penetration of the skin but might result in some white spots that will disappear after a few hours. Consenquent foot baths can be reduced to 5 minutes. After about a week you should notice that wearing your sneakes no longer causes and bad smell and you can stop the treatment. Freezing the sneakers over night, dialy (or more) sock changes and daily, proper cleaning of your feet should prevent any further bad smells :) ----- Bleaching your hair Althoug it was done for many years I really can't recommend using hydron peroxide for this purpose! Any concentration strong enough to have a proper effect in a reasonable time will at least cuase skin irritation. Back in the days they said your burning scalp is what you need to endure to get blonde hair :( And as said already you really don't want to get that stuff into your eyes... General uses If you have a fruit based stain then cahnces are hydrogen peroxide will remove it, especially if fresh. Even at supermarket concentration repeated application and proper drying off with a paper towel or similar will remove even red wine or beetroot stains. ------ Blood... On you skin blood is easy removed with cold water, same on other surfaces but washing off is no option a wet cloth or cotton piece will work fine. Hydrogen peroxide is good if things need to go fst or if the surface is porous, here the releasing oxigen will drive out the blood with the bubbles. ----- Fish tanks... If you love your tank then you really hate to medicate or even worse have a bad algea infestion, especially the stuff of the black kind. A change to activated carbon filter material is always recommended after a medical treatment to remove all leftovers from the system. However, certain medication simply won't be affected by a carbon filter and stay in the system until fully used or broken down otherwise. Especially in bigger tanks a partial water change is often out of the question as it would cause too much additional stress to the fish and plants. Hydrogen peroxide can help to break down most if not all remains of the used medication while at the same time adding more oxygen to the water. To be sensitive and safe in all enviroments I recomment to calculate the concentration based on the volume of your tank and to add the required amount of peroxide very slowly into the outgoing water stream from your pump. By slowly I mean in terms of a slow drip if using solutions over 10% to be added to the tank. If in doubt remove a suitable amount of tank water into a bucket and add the concentrated peroxide to reach the final tank limit. I strongly recommend to stay below 2% in favour over additional treatments a few days later if required. That means the diluted solution you add should be entered into the tank slowly if in doubt add a glass full every few minutes. For the treatment of the dreaded black algea you do the same 2% solution but be prepared that it will take several treatment until you see them die off. If you can then it is best relocate the fish for a few days so you can use a stronger solution of 5-8% just with the plants left in the tank. When transporting fish in a bag it can pay off to add a little bit of 3% peroxide to the bag to give additional oxygen for transport. I do this maually for every fish I buy from a store so I can be sure all fungus and bacteris is killed of before I introduce it to my tank. Really helps to prevent loosing a lot of fish just because you added one or two more to your tank ;) For the normal sized transport bags I use a good shot glass full of 3% peroxide in case you wondered. ----- Fridge and freezer Be it after long use or because you bought one second hand - once empty and warm some of our colling gadget just smell bad. A good clean with a hot water and your favourite cleaning agent is a good start, no need for aggressive stuff ;) If clean but still smelly, like after a power failure with fish in it you might want to go one step further. Best option is to use a spray bottle and a peroxide solution of at least 15% here. Use proper protection as mentioned above and spray all surface with the solution until soaked. What you can take out you take you take out, clean properly and then wipe or brush with the same peroxide solution. Bare aluminium should be handled with caution as in some cases it can oxidise badly, leaving a white and not removable crust behind. Here it is best to wipe and then wipe again with a cloth soaked in clear water to limit exposure time. No need to dry out - wipe out and check if it still smells, if so repeat and wiped off all areas as good as you can with a solution soaked cloth. Once the smell is gone dry out and enjoy smell free use from now on :) ----- Fruit and vegetables Unless you know exactly what happened to it you might want to clean your vegies and fruits properly before using them. Pesticides, herbicites, fungicites.... Not mention normal fungus and bacteria on the product.... On a commercial base hydron peroxide baths are often used to clean products for sensible people, hospital use or long term storage. For a personal use this only makes sense if you have free and unlimited access to the peroxide. An alternative are ozone bubblers. Expensive models can eb bought in shops or online, complete with timers or even a gauge showing the concentration in a room. On a hobby level for the kitchen sink we can use an ozone generator, air pump and bubble stone from the aquarium store ;) Let the pump bubble out the ozone for a minute or two, fill the sink with the fruit and veggies and move them around every few minutes. Best of course with an open window to limit you exposure to the ozone! Rule of thumb: If you can smell it is already too much in the air! The ozone in the water does the same as the peroxide: It breaks down harmful things with pure oxygen. The downside is that it is very harmful for your airways and body in general, so against all what youtube can offer I actually prefer to treat my fruit and veggie in a sealed bag. Place them inside, push out as much air as you can and then fill up with the ozone from the generator. Once the bag is full leave for about 30 minutes then wash and use or place the things in the fridge.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


electric shocker resistance and housing problem, i only have a week or two until the secret santa party

In an attempt to provide a rather "interesting" christmas present as a joke for a colleague i have assembled an remote controlled electronic shocker device ( perfectly safe almost no current at all) by wiring an electric shocker of a design i am familiar with making so that it's power is provided by wires which previously went to the motor of an RC car( i intend to do an instructable on how it was built, if i get it to work!). the arrangement is constructed from the charging circuit of a disposable camera with the capacitor chopped off and replaced by the electrodes that will connect to my receiver's( my colleague) hand,  the AA battery has been replaced with a remote controlled power supply ( same voltage and ampage as an AA battery)system. Enough on what i have built( unless you need more details to help me), here is my problem. I had originally intended to place the shocker in a small box and attach each output high voltage wire to a tin foil half wrapped over half of the box( i would cover the join with a ribbon) the plan was that when someone picked up the box their hand would form a connection across the tin foil halves and therefore their hand would be acting as a resistor in a high voltage circuit so a (very tiny less than 0.25 milliamps) current would pass through it( whether the voltage is applied across the two halves can be controlled by a remote hidden in my pocket so when other people pick up the parcel they get no shock). but i have found that ,although the output wires are at a high enough voltage to shock someone, the resistance of the tin foil means that the remaining voltage to go across the person's hand is not enough to shock them. ALSO the shocker will work across about a centimetre of skin ( like touching both wires with the tip of the same finger) but when the contact points are as far apart as a whole hand( like thumb to last finger) the increased resistance of the hand means that the current is so small that i cannot even feel a tingling when i test it( i had a few (willing volunteer)friends who are working on this with me also test but it could not shock them either). so my problem is that i must either find a much lower resistance form of contacts to coat the halves of the box( i have no means of using expensive materials or ones that need to be heavily worked on before attaching( like metal plates that must be attached to each face of the box)) or a ( very quick and simple, i only have about a half an hour slot of time to do any soldering before the party ) way to boost the voltage ( i was thinking of attaching extra batteries but suspect this would not work and also am unlikely to get an opportunity to do much electronic alteration) or ( most promisingly) must find a way to house some very bulky parts in a housing where i can guarantee that my colleague will touch both electrodes with one finger without suspecting anything until he gets shocked( this needs to be something like the switch on a torch rewired so that the electrodes are on the switch or whatever, or any other gift where the "obvious" thing to do is put a finger on a certain metal point for some reason( preferably when picking the present up)).  I have already addressed any safety concerns so please do not criticise me for this as electric shocks are harmless provided the current is low enough and does not cross the heart.( i have a very low current with both electrodes on the same hand on top of which it only shocks when i press a button on the remote). ALSO please do not suggest i rebuild the whole circuit as i know that the circuit works fine and i do not have time to build it all again or do any serious modifications, THANKS  any answers would be appreciated, THANKS i think i have found  solution,it is really awesome and involves placing a battery in parrallel with the power lead into the shocker from the remote control system. i am not sure why it is working but i suspect some effects similar to capacitors are involved, the really weird thing is it does not shock you when you grab the box but rather when you pull your hand away. incase i find any other problems this thread is still open to suggestions and ideas for other solutions, assuming the system works perfectly after i have soldered my modifications in place( a few days time before i get a chance to use a soldering iron) then i will no longer need any help( providing nothing else goes wrong). thanks for reading all of this.

Question by resistanceisfutileiflessthan1ohm    |  last reply


Flea treatment for our pets....

I recently had to move house and within two weeks of settling in my cats got attacked by fleas while outside. All the years they had not a single tick or flea so I did not pay too much attention until I spotted the first flea. Needless to say that once you spot one there are many hiding already... From past experience with my dog I did not trust the over the counter flea collars and decided to go to my vet. They recommended Frontline for the treatment, plus a flea bomb to treat the house and washing everything the cats like to sleep on. Came to just under $100AU - ouch... Mind you I have hardwood floors here, so I was quite confident the bomb would could kill all what might remain inside. The cats were kept indoors too to prevent new fleas finding them outside. Well, after two weeks of daily combing for fleas the problem did not get better - it got worse! Seemed they were having parties on my cats. Back to the vet to complain I was told it might take a bit longer to show the desired results. Hmmm, treatment every 4 weeks and after 2 weeks nothing happened?? On the way out an old couple with their two maltesers stopped me and said that they already gave up on Frontline and most other products as the fleas around here are resistant to the meds. They now only use Neem oil that is massaged into the skin and fur of their dogs. Sadly my cats would rather scratch me into meat strips then to let get near them with the oil. So I did some asking around with my friend Google and the story of the old folks seems to be confirmed for most parts of Australia anyway. Most flea collars and over the counter meds might still work to keep fleas away but not anymore to actually treat your pet once infected with more than a handful of fleas. And yes, I am aware of those sprays claiming to kill all fleas instantly but I also know cats like to clean themself and don't like the idea of them liking the spray off the fur. After some more digging I found out that Selamectin is still working and that works in several ways to control fleas and other parasites like heartworm and such. You can look it up on Wiki if you like. What I like about this med is the fact that fleas are really filthy things eating their own excremts. Since the poo is usually everywhere in the fur and hard to remove it makes the killing even easier. Plus in all spots where fles might be hiding but have noone to feed on they still eat their own ..... and die off. My vet only had Revolution available at a price of almost 25 bucks per single dose - no thank you... Instead I decided to bite the bullet and try one of the many online pharmacies for pet supplies. Here I found "Stronghold" containing the above Selamectin similar to Revolution in concetration (bit higher though)... The website stated to expect about 4 weeks for the delivery being xmas season and so on. For me that meant cleaning everything again, using a normal insect bomb again and a last round of washing the cats caves and other items of interest. To my surprise the parcal arrived ten days later, bit banged up but contents still fine. All up the time for the Frontline was over anyway and instead of paying again for a useless treatment I gave the new stuff a try. This was now two weeks ago and here is my summary: Unlike treating with Frontline my cats actually tolerated the application without going mad, the smell is much more pleasant. Did not expect anything to happen the first day and it takes a while to dry off the furr anyway so they got a day free of the dreaded flea comb. During the first week there was little to no indication of anything good happening but it was to be expected as it takes up to 10 days to build up in the blood as well. On day eight I had my first dead fleas in the comb and from here it got more every day. Mostly the adults while the smaller ones still seemd to be active. To the end of the second week I also got dead young ones in the comb indicating the promised break preventing them to grow up actually works. I will still monitor the process and keep up with monthly treatments during the summer. So you might see an update or two later on. How to properly treat your pet and enviroment once you noticed a flea problem. First: Don't panic! If you have carpet or your pets literally go everyhwere like your bed, sofa and so on you want to combine your effords to avoid a fresh infestation from hatching eggs. Ask around or check online if standard meds still have the desired effect in your local area, if not go for a product that does instead of wasting time and money! Spray treatments or insect bombs can work quite well to control what's left behind by your pet but you need to be aware of the life cycle of the pest in question. For most, including fleas, this means a single treatment might not do the trick. See it that way: You treat the animal, clean everything you can and also kill whatever crawls around. But there is still unhatched eggs and living fleas on your pet. So you need or better should repeat the house treatment 8 to 14 days later to get rid of whatever hatched. Garden beds or just your lawn can be a source of problem too, here Neem oil seems to do the trick quite well but you can use other products from your local garden center as well. What kills most harmful insects out there on your plant will do similar on fleas. To get the timing of all treatments right you might want to start on your pet and use a good, normal clean for the house and fabrics. Once you see the fleas go dead on your pet treat the rest. This way you can be sure all fles that make it onto your pet won't survive or produce more viable eggs. Now use whatever suits you to remove or kill the eggs, larvea and crawling fleas around you. If done right and the meds take care of eggs too you won't have any further problems. Regular checks should be done anyway and if you already know fleas are a problem in your area then please continue the treatment on your pet until the season is over. Things you might want to know to calm down a bit and prevent panic: Fleas on your pet are usually only biting them but not you. This does not mean they won't try if you have hundreds of them crawling in your bed. But they won't stay on you and it takes a good amount of bad luck to get bitten instead of just noticing something crawls on you. So the risk of getting some weird desease from an accidental flea bit is slim. When to be careful with a flea infestation? If you are allergic to their excrements or have an otherwise compromised immune system the dust containing flea excrements can cause reactions. So if your pets got you a lot of fleas and you notice breathing problems, red skin areas or itching you should contact your GP to discuss the problem and possible options. Short term a normal paper face mask like used for dust will help, same for anti-histamines if it is an allergic reaction. The best cause of action is to use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter on everything that might get into contact with your pets. A standard vacuum cleaner will pick up the extremets too but just blows it out the other end making things far worse.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Walking with Dinosaurs

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS the Live Experience is no longer produced or presented by Immersion Edutainment -- please revise your copy appropriately. For 200 million years the Dinosaurs ruled the earth Now, they’re back roaming the arenas of America in an extraordinary new theatrical production WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience Based on the award-winning BBC Television Series Now on a two-year North American tour June 10, 2008--- Dinosaurs once again roam the earth in a spectacular theatrical arena show, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience, based on the award-winning BBC Television Series. WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience is now on tour in North America. Over one and a half million Americans have already seen the production since it opened in July 2007. The show originated in Australia, where after years of planning, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS came to life at Sydney’s Acer Arena in January 2007. The show proved itself such a sensation, that this North American tour was fast-tracked. It began a short three months after completing its sold out engagements in Australia. WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience is brought to North America by The Creature Production Company, headed by CEO Carmen Pavlovic. Pavlovic said, “The BBC Series was a brilliant blend of special effects, escapism, excitement and information. Our show brings together all of that, plus something extra - it’s live! In this production, fifteen roaring, snarling “live” dinosaurs mesmerize the audience – and are as awe-inspiring as when they first walked on earth.” Pavlovic continued, “The dinosaurs are life-size, making the show so immense, it could only fit in arenas. It’s a $20 million arena spectacle of unprecedented size and quality, which captivates young and old alike. With Walking with Dinosaurs, we really believe we have created a new genre in entertainment and we hope to continue to bring new product to arenas for years to come ” WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience has sold out performances and broken records in arenas all over the America – generating more than $50 million in ticket sales to date. It has been seen on "The Today Show," Good Morning America," "Live with Regis and Kelly," and has been written about in Newsweek, The New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor and the Wall Street Journal. It was the subject of a Discovery Channel Really Big Things episode and a video clue category on Jeopardy. more WALKING WITH DINOSAURS - Page 2 The production has won the 2007 THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Touring Event. The THEAs recognize excellence in the creation of compelling educational, historical, and entertainment projects. Artistic Director William May developed the creative vision of the show based on an original idea by entrepreneur Bruce Mactaggart to create an arena version of the Walking with Dinosaurs television series. A talented and experienced team of creative artists came together to produce WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience. The show is directed by Scott Faris, a Broadway veteran who has worked side by side with Harold Prince, Trevor Nunn, Michael Blakemore, Gene Saks, John Caird, Tommy Tune and Jerry Zaks. The creatures are designed and built by Sonny Tilders; the set and projected image design are by Peter England; the show’s lighting is by John Rayment, our score was composed by James Brett; and Warner Brown wrote the script. Tim Haines, creator and producer of the original BBC series, which was seen by a worldwide audience of 700 million, serves as Project Consultant to WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience. The series won six Emmy and three BAFTA Awards. Ten species are represented from the entire 200 million year reign of the dinosaurs. The show includes the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the terror of the ancient terrain, as well as the Plateosaurus and Liliensternus from the Triassic period, the Stegosaurus and Allosaurus from the Jurassic period and Torosaurus and Utahraptor from the awesome Cretaceous. The largest of them, the Brachiosaurus is 36 feet tall, and 56 feet from nose to tail. It took a team of 50 – including engineers, fabricators, skin makers, artists and painters, and animatronic experts – a year to build the original production. The show depicts the dinosaurs’ evolution, complete with the climatic and tectonic changes that took place, which led to the demise of many species. With almost cinematic realism, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS has scenes of the interactions between dinosaurs, and the audience sees how carnivorous dinosaurs evolved to walk on two legs, and how the herbivores fended off their more agile predators. The history of the world is played out with the splitting of the earth’s continents, and the transition from the arid desert of the Triassic period is given over to the lush green prairies and forces of the later Jurassic. Oceans form, volcanoes erupt, a forest catches fire -- all leading to the impact of the massive comet, which struck the earth, and forced the extinction of the dinosaurs. Variety said, “The dinosaurs are stunning, life-size and faultlessly nimble. In act one, the beasts parade into the arena gnashing and cavorting as a safari-suited paleontologist describes their attributes … in the second half, the action cranks up, culminating in a spectacular clash as a T-Rex mom defends her baby from predators. Sonny Tilders' triumphant creature design ensures ‘Walking With Dinosaurs’ is a truly spectacular spectacular. It is everything a dino-phile could want.” The New York Times said that in this show dinosaurs make "a thundering comeback after 65 million years." Gloria Goodale of the Christian Science Monitor said, “When the dinosaurs start pouring out onto the stage, if you don’t have to stifle the natural flight response of any living breathing being, then it’s your pulse that needs checking.” Newsweek called the show, "that rare entertainment beast that parents and kids can enjoy together." More WALKING WITH DINOSAURS - Page 3 It took artists and technicians one year to build the show. The 15 dinosaurs were originally “hatched” by Tilders, the head of creature design, in a Melbourne Docklands workshop big enough to park a 747. For the North American tour, the only building large enough to house rehearsals for the dinosaurs – some as large as 36 ft tall by 56 ft long, was the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center! Artistic Director William May is known around the globe for co-producing shows with Malcolm Cooke for the past 30 years, including The Hobbit and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. He produced Marilyn An American Fable on Broadway and co-composed and wrote the musical Always for the West End. Director Scott Faris directed Michael Crawford in EFX at MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, which at the time was the biggest stage production ever conceived, and was on the production team that created Siegfried & Roy at the Mirage Hotel. Faris has directed Chicago the Musical in 16 countries around the world in over a dozen languages. Most recently he directed Bette Midler in her new Las Vegas show, The Showgirl Must Go On at Caesars Palace. Faris said, "We take the audience on a journey back in time and show them how the dinosaurs might have actually looked in their prime - huge, sometimes frightening, sometimes comical monsters - that fought for survival every day of their lives. Our dinosaurs move exactly like they are real -- with all the roars, snorts and excitement that go with it. The realism is mind-blowing!" Sonny Tilders, who designed and built the creatures has been, for the past decade, one of the major creative forces of the high-tech world of animatronic puppetry for film and television. He was one of the lead animatronic engineers for Jim Henson’s Creature workshop on the Farscape series, followed by work on Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Peter Pan, Ghost Rider and The Chronicles of Narnia. Tilders said, “Many of the technologies we are using on WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience are borrowed from film. The computer software and hardware we have developed is based on the systems used to control animatronic creatures in feature films.” “To make it appear that these creatures are flesh and blood weighing six, eight or even 20 tons, we use a system called ‘muscle bags,’ made from stretch mesh fabric and filled with polystyrene balls, stretched across moving points on the body. These contract and stretch in the same manner that muscle, fat, and skin does on real creatures.” “The puppeteers use ‘voodoo rigs’ to make many of the dinosaurs move. They are miniature versions of the dinosaurs with the same joints and range of movement as their life-sized counterparts. The puppeteer manipulates the voodoo rig and these actions are interpreted by computer and transmitted by radio waves to make the hydraulic cylinders in the actual dinosaur replicate the action, with a driver hidden below the animal, helping to maneuver it around the arena.” Suited puppeteer specialists, who are inside the creatures, operate five of the smaller dinosaurs. More WALKING WITH DINOSAURS - Page 4 Warner Brown wrote the script of WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience. He is an accomplished writer whose works include the book of the musical Flickers on Broadway, the screenplay of Nijinsky for Regent Entertainment, the musical The Black and White Ball, which features music by Cole Porter and The Truth About Light, written with composer Jimmy Roberts. Other credits include a new version of Half A Sixpence for the West End in 2008, Garbo – The Musical with music by Jim Steinman and Michael Reed, playing in Europe, and the plays and musicals Scandal, The Biograph Girl, Six for Gold, Cinderella, Talullah for a Day and Dance for Life. The score of WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience is by James Brett whose work can be heard on soundtracks including 10,000 BC, Alien vs Predator, Miramax's Ella Enchanted and the forthcoming UK feature Outpost. He also helped create the groundbreaking collaboration between Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony. The album S&M has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. The sets and projections are by the multi-award winning designer Peter England whose work has toured the world extensively. A frequent collaborator at Opera Australia, the Australian Ballet and Bangarra Dance Theatre, he also designed sections of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, three City of Sydney New Year's Eve Celebrations and in 2002 was a finalist in the international design competition for the Pentagon Memorial in Washington DC. Lighting Designer John Rayment lit the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games; Hong Kong’s original A Symphony of Light, a massive cityscape permanent lighting display involving over 18 buildings; Singapore’s 2002 National Day Parade stadium event; and Singapore’s Marina Bay annual New Year’s Eve Countdown display. Rayment also works frequently at Opera Australia and has lit 30 productions for Sydney Dance Company. WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience was originally produced in Australia by Gerry Ryan, Malcolm Cooke and Jill Bryant and is brought to North America by The Creature Production Company. For more information, please visit www.dinosaurlive.com. Video of the show is available on our site under “The Dinosaurs” tab in the middle of the front page. # # # For more information about WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – The Live Experience, or to set up coverage about the show, please contact: David Barber, Davidson & Choy Publicity 323-954-7510 ex 19; d.barber@dcpublicity.com Walking with Dinosaurs word mark & logo TM & © BBC 1998

Topic by David BPR  


UV filtration in your fish tank or small fish pond

Year after year the topic "I have a fish tank" seems to go more out of control. What was once a hobby just to have some fish can now be a design feature both in your home and inside the tank. Realistic looking lasdscapes, optical illusions that make you think the tank is much bigger and the list goes on. But one thing that now always pops up is the must have thing of UV filtration. Or to be precise: UV-C sterilisation! Now, if we trust Wiki and our big water suppliers then UV-C will literally kill anything alive that comes into contact with. So of course it would be a good thing to have for your tank - or not? UV-C is very dangerous for your eyesight and quite harmful for your skin! Looking into a proper UV-C lamp without protection means you can go blind! Even good sunglasses might not have enough protection in the UV-C range, so only use them for additional protection but never without and glass between you and the lamp! Don't be a fool! Treat UV-C seriously! You would not look into the full sun with your sunglasses and would not expose your eyes or skin to a powerful laser, UV-C is to be treated the same way! Let's start by using some boring text to explain the concept a little bit. On a large scale special and quite powerful systems are used to treat our drinking or pool water. Here special UV-C lights with a wavelenghts of 260nm or below are used to shine through the water passing by. There are two key factors here. a) the wavelenght b) the water flow rate and the corresponding time the water is in contact with the UV light To ensure all bacteria, viruses, algae and other harmful organics are dead the water must circulate for long enough so even the last water molecule had a few seconds of exposure. All this only works good with "crystal clear" water for obvious reasons as otherwise the UV has to be even more powerful to pass through. Single cell organisms literally crack into pieces similar to being exposed to gamma rays, more complex cells like algae have their cell membranes damages and the DNA suffers as well causing reproduction loss and early death. Even some chemicals break down, most importantly here chlorine based substances. Differences within the UV-C range! If you bothered to check Wiki about the topic of UV-C you will already know that only certain wavelengths within this spectrum will actuall be powerful enough to do what we want it to do. And here is the first problem for us hobby users. Most cheaply advertised "sterlisation lamps" you find in places like Ebay are actually totally useless. Stating to be selling a UV-C light to sterilze your water in such a case is still not considered to be fraud though. Simply because it still does what it supposed to do, just very slow and with very little effect. Only the so called "short wave" UV-C range is powerful enough! To avoid loosing business during the times of the biggest hype in 20 years no seller will actuall state the available wavelengths. That means without this info anywhere you can be certain the advertised lamp is of little to no use. Even those advertised to be short wave UV-C might not be the real deal. However, if a decent manufacturer is behind the actual lamp used it is possible to check the datasheet for these performance figures - but again most cheap systems come with no-name lamps inside. Check the prices for a reputable UV-C light with the same lamp fitting, e.g. G23 and you will see it might cost more than your entire system. Ok, you have a poper short wave UV-C lamp or consider getting a canister filter with one in it.... Never, ever test your lamp without proper protection!!!!! UV-C will damage your eye within seconds! If you system or lamp does not provide a viewing port or shine through area then you have to place a piece of glass between you and the light! UV-C won't be able to penetrate normal window glass but will pass through quartz glass. Place the lamp in a box and cover with the glass. How make proper use of UV-C sterilisation... The replacement lights are quite expensive, so let's see how to get the most out of them. As said before exposure is the key factor so the flow rate of the UV system must match tank size and flow rate of your filter system. Canister filters with a build in lamp should be designed to match but I will tell you later what to look for ;) Most of us will prefer to have a in-line system if there is already a good canister filter at work, so I will focus on those and rop in solutions. If you compare in-line system you might notice that some quite small and low power units claim to allow for the same flow rates as for example 40W units. Some are fraud and just want to sell while others use simple physics to make the claim true. A good system will utilise an auger like "ramp" that forces the water to circulate around the tube many times - causing up to ten times longer exposure rates. Others create this sprial effect more like a vortex with some diverters and modified inlets. The later seems to be less efficient though with low power lamps. An in-line system should be on the outlet side of your canister filter so the best quality water will pass through it. A drop in solution should be used alone and without the existing normal filter pump you might have in there. Ok, got it, but how do I actually use it now? Despite common thinking a UV-C system should not run 24/7 like your normal filter. You really only need it to solve problems you should not have in a healthy tank! It is not a magical solution to make your underlaying problems go away ;) Let's start with the most common reason someone buys a UV-C system: An algae or bacterial outbreak causing greenish or milky water. If that developed slowly over a period of weeks then you would be better off to do a good clean of the tank and filter plus a decent water exchange. A few drops of meds will do the rest. And if you constantly get algae growing on your glass, ornaments and plants then your nutrient levels and water quality is not right anyway and needs a good check. But of course there is also the problem of light - too much for too long and unwanted gree appears everywhere. If in doubt reduce the light power, shade out natural light or reduce the on time for your lights. Having said that we now face the problem of a sudden outbreak after introducing new fish or plants. If you don't have a quarantaine tank chances are that sooner or later you get unwanted or even harmful guest into your tank. Here the UV-C will be beneficial, which is why a canister filter with build in light should have a seperate switch or power supply for the light. After an outbreak or while introducing new life into your tank the UV-C will remove a lot of the things that we don't want to bring along. For new life I leave the light on non stop for a week, that is for a small 4ft tank with 200 liters. To control an outbreak it depends on how bad it is. I assume here you can still see the back of your tank  but that the water either appears greenish or slightly milky from bacteria. As a personal thing I prefer to to remove and clean my filter material before treating a severe outbreak. Once done I fill the filter with a mix of activate carbon material and fine filter wool. Reason for this quite simple: The outbreak causing stuff is already in your filter material and will be a constant source of re-infection. And since breaking down all this bad stuff causes even more bad stuff to be produced as biological waste we want to discard it properly once done. Using just fine filter wool and activated carbon also reduces the flow rate bit if compacted ;) Now we can turn on the light and pump and forget about it for a while. It is not recommended to run UV lights on a timer as you want them on all time to prevent short lifespan and have ongoing treatment of the water. Good idea to take a picture at the same of a day from now on to compare and check results. After 3 days the water should definately be clearer, if not then either your filter material is packed too losse or the lamp is no good. Once the water appears to be clear do a readin test - take a newspaper behind the tank and check if the text is clear - blurry means the water is still not clean. You will reach a point where the water quality will not further improve as much as in the days before. This is the time where you discard or clean out to dry your filter material and put the original stuff back in. The activated carbon should be discarded of course. You cleaned filter material will now need a certain time to grow enough good bacteria to go back to the old performance. During this time you should still leave the light on. In most cases with enough fish and plants in the tank a week should be sufficient. After that you can leave the light off and keep the tank fit and healthy. Special case: Algae everywhere! Especially after getting a new plant you can end up with quite pesty algae growth. Be it these long ghost hair types or in a bad case the black stuff growing on plants, ornaments and the glass. I have even seen tanks with algae covering the entire bottom of the tank causing the gravel to look like carpet. Here I can only advise to set up a quarantaine tank for your fish. Then remove all infested material for manual removal and cleaning. Infested plants should be cut clean and what can be boiled should be boiled in water for a few minutes. Now start scrubbing in the tank with ongoing water replacements. I prefer to let everything settle over night without any bubbler or pump running. This way I can suck up a lot of sediment the next day. If you can remove all plants and fish you can now use hydrogen peroxide and add it to your tank water. But this is only feasable for small desktop tanks. Before using the UV as above to cure an outbreak you should consider all water one last time. Allow at least 2 weeks with ongoing water checks before adding plants back in and another week before placing your fish back in the tank. The week before adding fish should be used to monitor the plats for any signs of algae you might have missed - if you find any remove it! A week after the fish is back in you can turn off the UV light. Underwater UV-C light!? In most online stores you will find quite cheap UV lights to be advertised as underwater or in tank use. Although it might sound tempting you should be well aware of the dangers of using them. The glass of your tank will block the harmfull UV rays but the water surface won't, so either don't ever look at it or use proper sunglasses with real UV protection. Apart from the dangers to you these lamps are not just cheap in price but also cheaply produced. That means there is no way of telling how much or how little UV-C is produced. If they are good then you still need to know in what type of tank setup you can use them. As plants can tolerate a bit of UV a placement as far away from the nearest plant should do, especially if you can place a bubble wall betwenn light and plants. The fish is another thing as some seem to be unaware of the danger in their tank. This means they can get too close to the light but I have not found any articles explaining how harmful UV-C is to fish or their eyesight. I guess once your fish starts to bounce into everything you know... ;) My advise is to stay away from the idea of hanging a UV-C lamp in your tank, the risk for you and your tank is just not justified. If you need to go cheap then get two or thre of these lamps so you have spares. But use them externally ;) Meaning: Take a UV proof plastic container of small size and place the light in there. To be really safe tape the lid and all holes for the hoses with black tape. Place the container above the water level of your tank and if you only have an internal filter pump push a suitable sized hose into the outlet to feed into you canister. Check how high you pump can make it and place the outlet or overflow slightly below this level. When to change the light? If you made it all the way down here then you might already had the benefit of using light to "cure" your tank. Now we are faced with the high replacement cost for the lamp itself. Ususally only flouroscent tubes are used. It is always good to check after purchase what type of lamp and manufacturer (if there is one) was used. In some cases the system itself is like an inkjet printer: Just a cheap way to make you buy the consumables. Let's say you new in-line filter was priced at $100 to have a nice round number, some are cheaper some much more expensive. The lamp used might be an exotic type and not even be available easy, so before you buy your system check where you can get spares, not just the lamp of course. A replacement lamp can be as ceap as 20 bucks or cost even more than your system if you need to order it elsewhere. The quartz glass sleeve can break too meaning you then need a lamp and cylinder. Going with a reputable brand and paying a bit more certainly helps to get spares in the future. Let's just assume you either got your system in bulk due to the price of replacement lamps or can get them at a reasonable price. UV-C lamps are not like your normal flouroscent light tubes you have around or maybe even on top of your tank. Consider them like the tubes used in the now unhealthy tanning beds. After a certain amount of time they no longer produce enough of the short wave UV light that we need. As you can't see it and most of us won't have the means to specifically measure it we have to trust manufacturers recommendations. For most good brands the numbers are the same: 8000 hours max. Considering the costs it does make sense to keep written track of the usage. Not too hard since we won't use them like normal lights but instead have them on for a week or more without turning them off. I recommend to have a replacement at hand long before you need it. A lamp can fail premature, crack or simply burn out. The 8000 hours are based on 24 hour usage, so one day on, one day off. This could mean for us the lifetime can be slightly longer but I would not go over 9000 hours. As a rule of thumb: If the water does not show good signs of getting clear on day thre the lamp is due.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Pure cacsaicin from chilli peppers

I already had a quite long Ible in the making when it downed on me that not too many people should actually create such a dangerous substance at home.So instead I decided to just write a bit about the history, general procedures and what is possible or not.If you already made your own chilli exptract for a special hot sauce or your home made pepper spray then you feel right at home.Those who never done anything like it or at least some essential oil extractions might just find some other interesting stuff to read.I won't go into all details here as those with the basic knowledge will already know the precautions and most things.Capsaicin...The stuff that makes your exes run, clear you nose and makes you sweat like you on fire.At least if it comes within you favourite dish.In the pure form it is a severe irritant and should be handled like explosives or concentrated acids.You just won't make a mistake with this stuff twice - trust me!What really harms you is not the capsaicin itself, it is your bodies reaction to it!It stimulates the same nerves responsible to feel heat and pain, sometimes those for a severe itch as well.And unlike a normal reaction you would get from hot water, it won't stop until it is fully removed.Even after this the body keeps reacting for bit longer.On the skin you can end up with blisters like from a real burn, in your airways it can make breathing impossible!And lets just say that swimming goggles won't look as dumb and funny on your face once you realise you got some fine crystals on your face....If you dare to continue then I assume you are well aware of the risks, dangers and PPE requirements!Pure or extract?I checked tons of so called instructions on how to make pure or 99% pure capsaicin from chilli peppers.They all just produce a really crude mix of goo that happens to have a lot of capsaicin in it.If it is red or even darker it is nowhere near pure.If it has a weird smell that has really nothing in common with chilli than it is even worse.If it is more or less colorless, with a very strong scent that your nose does not like at all then we are getting somewhere.So why is it that we always end up with this color that is impossible to remove?Extracting chilli peppers....A thing most people ignore a bit when in a hurry is that an alcohol extraction requires DRY alcohol.You just won't tolerate water in it, which is why often methanol comes easier and cheaper than ethanol.Some people even think just because the alcohol is either evaporated or distilled off that all is good when using things like methylated spirit.Ever had the problem that you used that stuff and your hot sauce made you vomit after realising that it comes with a bad and extremely bitter after taste?That is the stuff that makes your home depot ethanol unuasable ;)If you use homegrown or otherwise fresh chilli you need to fully dry it first!Don't be fooled by people stating they did it with fresh peppers.What you get this way is some of the worst extractions you can get.Don't be fooled to think you need some Carolina Reaper either.A big bag of chilli powder from your grocery store will do just fine.So what is all in our extract?Alcohol or any other solvent usable for a capsaicin extraction also dissolves a lot of other things.Like the beta carotenes that give the extract the organge to red color.The skin and the entire fruit also contains oils, plus the shiny outside is mostly due to wax...All of this ends in your extract....You not only get what you want and might not mind but also everything else you don't want.Making the difference....The impossible we do right away, for miricles or wonder allow a day or two of processing ;)Assuming you end with a rather large qauntity of alcohol the concentration of everything is relatively low.If you used something like a Soxhlet extraction you already degraded a lot of the capsaicin due to the heat.And even after the best filtering you might have a clear solution but whatever is not a solid is still in there.Imagine you would put it all into a freezer....Surprisingly a lot of stuff won't stay in solution once cooled down enough.Especially if you give it a few days.Depending on what you started with you either get a slimy looking sludge or some crystals showing.Either way it needs to be filtered out and washed.For the washing use the same pure alcohol as before but make sure it is well cooled.If any cacsaicin was already forming crystals then they will be washed into your solution again now to a little extend.But you removed an awful lot of the wax if it was not capsaicin already. ;)Testing the slurry we collected.When using chilli powder from the shops I noticed that there is often no wax to be found at all.While for fresh produce the content is significant.Once dry you make a simple test with water.Capsaicin basically does not dissolve in water, so it would sink to the bottom while wax floats ;)I assume you ended with little to no wax but fine capsaicin instead.From the natural form it is very hard to get crystals bigger than a dust particle.This only happens if the temperature is cold enough and the concentration high enough.As my entire setup is quite small I usually prepare several 500ml plastic bottles that I fill to one quarter by height with chilli powder and then fill up to half with methanol.In the end I use a full 1kg bad of chilli powder but only a may of 5 to ten bottles.Making the most of it.When using alcohol extraction you want to use a little of the solvent as possible.Use means here wasting it instead of recycling it.Once I filtered my white slurry out I destill the remaining solution to reduce it by 50-75%.An almost dark red color is usually when it is time to stop.After this I place it back in the freezer for a day to check if more crystals or slurry forms.If so then I filter it off again.What is left is then mixed with recycled and fresh methanol to soak more chilli powder in my bottles.Means I discard the filtered of chilli poweder once washed, recycle what I can from the methanol and keep whatever the slurry produces that is not wax or dissolves in water.Depending with how much chilli you start you will get to the point where your filtered solution is already dark red.Since the final capsaicin won't dissolve in water you can destill with some added (destilled) water.This way you recover the alcohol without risking to get a sticky goo everyhwere that you need to clean off.It is quite possible to get some more capsaicin this way as with the alcohol leaving it will participate out.Simply filter the solution once the alcohol is recovered.As the beta carotenes won't dissolve well in water either it is best to perfom this destillation while all is mixed.If you can't do this then don't worry to much, it just means a few more minutes of cleaning later ;)Testing the final product....What you have left once the slurry is dried should be almost colorless with maybe a pale yellow in it.Fully dried it should appear as basically white.There should be no smell to it, nothing to tickkle you nose.Colorless and odorless.For whatever reason I still sometimes end up with a very faint smell.Not really chilli though...Depending on the temperature the products is either quite hard to almost britlle (when frozen) to almost wax like at room temp and above.I highly recommend against testing whatever you have on your skin or to ingest it!!!Waste some sauce base like ketchup (you can add it later to your sauce again) or some butter - I prefer the later.Butter become liquid well below the 65°C celsius decomposition temp for capsaicin, so it should dissolve very easy in it.Take a shot glass with just enough butter for a sandwich and dip a toothpick into your product.Make sure there it a tiny bit on it and not that the toothpick has a thick coating!Once cooled down while mixing every now then spread it on some sandwich and take a bite.After a minute or two you should definitately feel a difference to just butter - hopefully not too hot.If nothing happens repeat with a bit more on the toothpick.Still nothing at all usually means you filtered out only by-products and for some reasons managed to make the capsaicin disappear.Hints and tips that might safe your bacon....Methanol boils at about 64°C, ethanol at about 77°C.Capsaicin starts to decompose at 65°C.Not a big deal but if you get to the 80° mark, which is easy which ethanol you might have to use evaporation instead of destillation and waste the alcohol to your surrounding air...Water...For the final product it is not a problem but during the extraction process it is.Despite some people claiming otherwise both the quality and amount of what you end up with are lower.It seems some of the capsaicin binds to the water molecules with the help of some other stuff that the plant material provides.And when you try to destill a solution that was contaminated with water from the chilli it tends to foam up quite badly.While with pure alcohol and fully dried product there is no foaming.What to expect when collecting the end product...At room temperature you can dissolve what you get in product from one kg of dried chilli powder in under 10ml of pure alcohol.However at -20°C next to nothing dissolves in the alcohol.That means as long as you have still over lets say 1000ml alcohol extract then very little will participate out.Just one reason why I prefer to work with small batches - keeps the concentration higher from the start.The more you destill off and re-use the higher the capsaicin concentration in the alcohol will be.So before you start to add any water for the destillation you need to be aware of the consequences.I found out that first destilling most of the alcohol off the single rounds that got too dark in color helps.I just collect this conentrate for the final destillation process.Key is to destill this off to the point where it just starts to thicken up a bit.It should still be liquid but act almost like a thin oil.You don't want it so thick that is crates a coating on the walls when you move the liquid around.In case it did happen just add a tiny amount of alcohol again.Put in the freezer for a few days....Empty into your filter and let as much as possible drip out.Rinse with as little alcohol as possible - have the rinsing alcohol at -20C as well .Do not wash the filter with water but with the frozen cold rinsing alcohol.Cover the filter up and leave in a cool place for the next run - have something under it as it might still let a drip or two off.The remaining liquid leave to evaporate off until it just starts to thick up again a tiny bit - back in the freezer for a day or two.Filter out again then while still a bit wet turn the filter over to remove most what is in it.I prefer to empty onto a teflon sheet and to wear full PPE here....While still wet you try to remove more from the filter with a fine but short brush, knife or whatever you find suitable.Do not continue any action once the stuff starts to dry!Place the filter into a sealed bag and leave in your freezer for when you do anthoer extraction - this way you loose far less product ;)When doing a final destillation with added water to cover all the alcohol you are left with the remains of the original product, minus all solids.Beta carotene is quite beneficial, so it would make sense to include it into your hot sauce.Plus there will always be some leftover capsaicin in it.If you want to use this part of the extract as well to really get what is possible then IMHO slow is better.You can't just destill off or boil off the water to get a nice "sauce" base.The capsaicin that is left would be mostly decomposed and with no effect anymore.A clear sign of too much temperature is bad smell that really turns you off.Hard to define in words but trust me, if you smell it you know what I means as you woul refuse to have this smell coming from your final hotsauce.During the summer it no problem to just leave it out to evaporate in the shade !You can do it in full sun but must make sure no sunlight gets into the liquid.UV decomposes at least a lot of the karotenes....Special equippment at hand? If you happen to have a vacuum pump or at least a salvaged fridge compressor you can safe a lot of time.A buchner filter for 500ml in the top is quite cheap but you can build something similar with a normal funnel.Look it up it you want...A proper buchner filter however already comes with a very fine glass filter built in.Means you don't really need any filter paper - I still add it as it makes the cleaning easier.Instead of waiting several hours for gravity to do its work on a coffe filter you are done in a few minutes.Well worth trying out!For the water destillation of the remaining end product, or by-product if you like, vacuum also helps.CVD or Closed Vacuum Destillation sound complicated but is really simple.One pressure vessel is filled with the solution to be conectrated, the other is kept empty.Connected with a suitable pipe or hose and fully sealed.The extract is heated to about 40°C while the empty vessel is placed into an ice bath.With the pump and the help of a valve create just enough vacuum so create small bubbles in the heated vessel.Close the valve and a few hours later there should be far less water in the hot one while the frozen one builds up ice.Every now and then check the vacuum gauge and if require start the pump again.You can do with just the pump and one vessel....Problem is that the oil in your pump will quickly get far too contaminated with water.You could add a conatainer with something like an absorbent but it would have to be sufficient for all the water you need to remove.Most of all it must be able to absorb it fully before the airstream enters the compressor.The benefit is that the capsaicin can't decompose at all.In a vacuum or close to it anyways, a lot of the things that procude smell also disappear through the compressor.Won't help it was already a stinky mess but will certainly reduce the smell of the concentrate.If you prefer to keep this aroma for your final sauce then do not use a vacuum.Why not a Soxhlet or similar device as used for essential oil extraction?The benefit seems to be clear:You have a relatively large vessel to hold a lot of chille powder and can let the alcohol cycle and wash it out completly...Theory is not always reality.....Firstly the alcohol runs through it many times while it dissolves what it can from the powder.That means each round you actually wash with a higher concentration until there is equal amounts in the alcohol and the powder.You waste about 50% of the end product unless you repeat it all several times with fresh alcohol.Worst of all however is the temperature, even if you use methanol.To make the alcohol evaporate enough to make the process work properly and in a timely fashion it must be heated to above 65°C, in most cases even with a proper heating mantle you won't have the temperature control tight enough.It is quite possible to destroy 70% of the capsaicin this way....The condesers used are also not really suitable for these low temperatures.Means you should use ice water to cool.Either way you will loose a lot of what could otherwise be product.Funny things that might stumble you along the way.In the freezer the solution will participate out a bit.However, when back to room temperature most if it will still be there, only a fraction goes back into solution.I could not figure out why this happens but once heated to about 40°C it all dissolves again.Filter fully blocked by the product?The fine sludge can be a problem even with a proper vacuum filtration unit.Especially if the product is still not really a solid once fully dried.A paper filter can be re-used many times but whatever makes it past and into the glass filter is tricky.You should not get much here if the paper filter was fine enough but if it builds up to the point where it makes the filtration long and slow:Remove the paper filter and add a small amount of luke warm alcohol.If it does not start to trickle through already give it a minute or two before turning the vacuum on.Starts a bit slow but should clear up quickly, if in doub repaet with a large volume of alcohol.I prefer to do this cleaning before I start a new bag of powder or whever I need to restock.Means I can use the same alcohol I had to clean the filter to add to the bottles with powder ;)Nothing gets wasted if you are prepared....If you find any typos in the above then feel free to keep them.However if you decide to use the typos for monetary gain I would kindly ask for 5% of the net profit made from my typos.;)

Topic by Downunder35m  


Soldering tips and tricks for complicated metals

Whether you are just a hobby builder or do your own electronics projects, you know how to solder...Then one day you find yourself in the position that your solder just does not want to stick...My first moment of total defeat happened when I was a teenager.Was building some simple motor with instructions from a book but substituted what I could...Ended up with some stainless steel contacts and being unable to solder my wires to them...If you ever had problems like this then read on ;)What are easy to solder metals?Basically everything that does not form an oxide layer on the surface and is able to bind with tin, lead or silver.Copper is one of the easiest metals to solder on but every plumber certainly knows how important a clean and corrosion free surface is.Any coating or alloy that prevents oxidisation or provides a harder surface usually means with normal, electornics solder we might be lost.Nickel for example can be a true pain and same for chrome.So lets start with the hard metals first.Steel, nickel, stainless...If the part size does not already mean trouble to get it hot enough, then we face the problem of how to "wet" it with our solder.Normal steel is usually fine if you give it a fine sanding right before the soldering, however getting the heat onto the part is crucial.Even something simple like a 5mm thick steel rod can be a pain with a normal soldering iron.I good way to cheat is to preheat the part or area with a blow torach on a soft flame - not a hot, blue flame.Try to do this away from the area you need to solder as the temperature difference usually causes some initial condensation on the surface.Most steels that play a vital role don't like to be overheated as it can affect the hardness an other things, so be careful here.Rosin core solder works fine on steel and it also indicates when the temperature gets too hot by boiling and smoking badly.If you still struggle to wet the surface try to scratch it with your solder - if it does not melt the surface is not hot enough.Nickel coatings are usually very thin and a slight sanding quickly reveals the layer underneath.If the metal used is not copper already then a copper layer will be electroplated on before the nickel coating.Either way the key is to get through the nickel without going through the copper, for example if steel contacts were used for durability reasons.After that soldering is as easy as directly onto copper.Steinless steel however can be a true pain, same by the way if you need to preserve the nickel coating as best as possible and can sand it off.Without using chemistry the only way I found is to use a stainless steel tip in the soldering iron.But as the preperation of one requires chemicals anyway we might start with them first.The passivating layer of layer or stainless steel can of course be pre-treated by sanding.Especially very shiny surface benefit from it.After this I prefer to wet the surface with Phosphoric Acid - you can find it in the harware store as "Rust remover".It is a food grade acid used in many of your favourite fizzy drinks, so skin contact is not a big deal - just wash it off.The phosphoric acid is not strong enough to break the oxide layer but it keeps air away.And once you start scratching the hot metal with your stainless steel soldering tip it will prevent a new oxide layer from forming.This method however requires a low temperature solder and quick work as the acid boils off quickly.In the plumbing section of your hardware store your find various fluxes for soldering.Look for something containing both Ammonium Chloride and Tink Chloride.Around here a common brand name is Bakers Fluid.Usually if it has a red danger label on it you will find the above ingredients on the lable somewhere.Be careful with it as it is very corrosive and harmful to your health!Good thing is that all remains can be washed off with just running water.What does it do though?Unlike the phosphoric acid, the chlrodies directly attack the metal.Especially once getting hot, so if in doubt wear proper protection as advised on the label!The oxide layer is not only being eaten away, there is also an ion exchange happening, so a product with more than 30% of zink chloride is prefered here.The zink binds with the stainless steel or nickel and provides an easier way to bond for the solder.Key is to work quickly and with precision!Flux paste is good for brazing but not so good for soldering.The flux liquid, unlike the paste will start to boil right when the metal get to soldering temperatures.That is if you use standard lead based solder, most lead free types should be ready a bit sooner.Start to scratch the metal with the solder and use a soft flame from the other side or close to the soldering area - do not apply the flame directly onto the flux covered area.Why? Well, the flux isolates the metal from the heat of the flame and it will boil off way before the metal gets hot enough ;)On smaller parts and when using the soldering iron create a small bubble of solder and keep scratching the surface while it heats up.In case the flux dries off apply a bit more before this happens!Once the solder starts to wet the metal a tiny bit it is usually very easy to spread it out to the desired size and shape.With the heat applied from the underside the solder will always flow to the area of most heat!Once done it is best to let the part cool down then to give it a good wash under running water to remove all remains of the flux.Failing to to do so will result in quick and ongoing corrosion, so do it properly...Aluminium, the bad metal...I encountered it first when I could not welding or brazing on a quite small part.Plus, of course, the problem of having to add a copper wire as well.Then again when I had to solder some aluminium wire.Acid won't work, chlorides only make it worse, so don't bother with either for aluminium.Standard rosin core solder also fails.But there is a suprisingly simple solution to the oxide problem on aluminium.Mechanical work...There are quite few videos out there showing how someone solders onto some aluminium foil.It is so simple because the foil is thin - use it to test your new skills.A thing though that is often done wrong is the surface preperation.It usually starts with a fine sanding - to remove the oxide layer.....The some oil is applied and soldering starts under the oil cover.And if pay attention then it is often a painful process of scratching with the soldering iron while trying to make the solder bubble wet the aluminium.That's why foil is so simple here....What happened in those videos?Quite simple: Aluminium oxidises right away while you sand it.Even if you are quick with the oil it already happened.So why not do the sanding after the oil was applied?A fibreglass pen or a stainless steel wire brush (usused on other things!) work quite well here.The oil prevents the air from attacking the aluminum.If in doubt use some clay and form a little dam around the soldering area to prevent the oil from running off.Petroleum jelly, vaseline and all other identical things work fine here same for clean engine oil.But you have to use rosin free solder, no flux core, just plain solder.If you don't have it simply melt some normal rosin core solder to a nice drop and clean the rosin off ;)Since there is no real oxide layer with this way of pre-treating the soldering and wetting happens right once the aluminium get hot enough to melt the solder.You might find it sticking nice right away but don't be fooled!You need to heat the aluminium until you actually see the solder forming a nice puddle.With careful sanding you create very clean boundaries.Other soldering tricks...Getting cholired based flux for a single job might be overkill.If you happen to have one of these tip cleaning stones for your soldering iron then you have what you need ;)Simply scrape some of it off and dissolve it is a tiny amount of water.Will only be ammonium chloride and requires more scratching on stainless steel but works...Preparing a stainless steel soldering tip sunds as easy as finding a suitable piece of wire and grindinga tip onto it.If you every changed the tip on a soldering iron them you know there is two types.The simple one for the cheaper irons uses a set screw or similar to hold the tip.The better ones are hold in place by a collar or other type of screw fitting.And well, those have a thicker part in their body.If you need to solder stainless steel more than once or twice it makes sense to buy a cheap but powerful soldering iron and to make sure it uses a straight piece of metal with no thicker parts to hold it in place.If you can't find some stainless steel wire or round bar of suitable thickness you can go slightly below or much thinner if you require a thin tip.Just make a copper or aluminium collar for the tip to hold it in place, like a sleeve to go around.Grind the tip to your desired shape before fitting it in....You won't need a mirror finnish and it can be helpful if the the surface is quite rough.After all, you want to scratch around on stainless steel with it and you can't harm it this way.To get a nice and clean cover of solder onto the tip you need the mentioned flux from above.Use a small cup and fill some of the flux in it so you can dip the tip of the soldering iron into it.If there is no temperature control start with a cold iron and the tip sanded off a last time right before dipping it into the flux.Use some clamps or whatever you feel like to help keeping the tip in place.If you get flux onto bits you don't want to cover with solder then wash off and try again.Turn the iron on observe the tip.As soon as you see tiny bubble forming take it out and quickly start rubbing your solder onto the tip.It helps to have a thick enough solder so you can apply some pressure here.And of course the solder should be nice and shiny and not covered by oxides...Special cases like titanium or othe metals that usually fail to bond with solder....Let's face it: whenever soldering is not feasable we are happy to revert back to crimping or screwing.Nothing wrong with it either and often the better option when it comes to being able to do a quick repair at a later stage.Most of thes special metals, including your favourite heating wire can still be solder using the right surface prep and flux but it really should be avoided if you can.And real bond like you get when soldering copper would only be on a surface level and mechanical strenght questionable.On a professional level ultrasonic soldering is used to make the impossible possible.The cavitation effect breaks through the surface oxides or passivating layers and the solder just wets the surface like it would be copper.On a hobby level things look different though.Unless you decide to build your own solar panels from scratch the investment into some low end ultrasonic soldering machine already set you back a few grand....There is a way to cheat on the cheap though if you are into experimenting and building things....More on that in my other topic about making an ultrasonic soldering tank. ;)

Topic by Downunder35m