Search for small factor in Topics


Extremely small arduino using dip16 form factor?

I am looking for a extremely small arduino board close to this one that I have.-> www.anatools.com/anarduino-kit/ I want a smaller form factor and I dont need need the serial headers, or even the extended sides as I can solder strait to the headers. I tried making my own board using eagle, and diptrace but I am running into alot of issues making it so compact. I was wondering if anyone has already made a board and have to eagle files, or know of any eagle files that I can have so I can etch my own board. Any help would be great! Thanks!

Question by newrev426    |  last reply


Where to find a small form factor 12v Battery?

I am looking to build an LED light that can be powered directly by a 12v source or use an internal battery. I expect that the fixture form factor will be about 4" in length by 2" to 2.5" in width and no more than 3/4" in depth. Internally, it needs to fit two LED units (each draws 0.1-0.2amps and only one would be on at a time) that are 1"x1"x5/8" each, the inside component of a single pole double throw waterproof switch and the remaining space for batteries. I would like to fit the maximum amount of available capacity as possible in as small a space as possible. I am looking for battery suggestions - small form factor, 12v, preferably available via a regular source (i.e. don't have to be special ordered from China), low self-discharge rate, ability to withstand temperature extremes (specifically 120F-140F degree heat). I'll consider wiring up batteries in parallel and serial to get the charge depth and the proper voltage. Any thoughts? I looked at A23 12v batteries and 2CR-1/3N 6v batteries (wire in serial) but I'd like to find something with more available capacity. Also, I'd prefer a non-toxic battery, but will consider lithium, and the ability to be recharged would be a big bonus. I'm guessing there's nothing out there that would give me enough life to be happy, but I thought I'd ask. Thanks!

Question by kcls    |  last reply


Hard drive price confusion

Looking to create a small form factor PC to fit on the back of a monitor and while searching for a hard drive on Newegg noticed that the lowest price 2.5" internal desktop hard drive was $120 and not even 150GB ( http://tiny.cc/01012 ) while a 2.5" USB powered portable hard drive that is 1TB is $90 ( http://tiny.cc/01024 ), these numbers just are not adding up, couldn't I just disassemble the portable hard drive. Not sure if I am missing something important, Help is greatly appreciated!

Question by Algag    |  last reply


how effective is this airflow design? Answered

I am working on a very small build pc, and i was thinking that the best way to reduce overall height would be to design a cover piece that directs the airflow from the intake fanover the CPU and northbridge heatsinks and out the back of the unit via an exhaust fan. this method was chosen because the fan cannot be on top of the cpu heatsink because the unit would be too bulky if it was. I have attached a crude image of the planned cover and the layout of the board's heatsinks, and i would like to know if this is a effective method for cooling, in such a small form factor. if it isn't, what is?

Question by zack247    |  last reply


Capacitor quick question: (Dissipation factor vs ESR?)

I want a decent small capacitor that is suitable for "high power resonant circuits." On the osciloscope, the waveform looks like 2 well rounded humps, one that is skinny and tall and one shortly following that is shorter but longer, and this is periodic at 30KHz. UPDATE: looking at the waveform closer, it is clearly a damped ringing that is a bit trimmed. The screenshot is uploaded. The maximum measured slew rate was about 25.5MV/S, (which is 25.5V/uS, right?) for a "perfect" 1uF capacitor, that is a peak current of 25.5A! I am unsure of the RMS current due to the non-sinusoidal nature of this waveform. But it must be pretty high as well, explaining why my 3, 1cm diameter 3cm long 0.47uF MMC film capacitors get pretty warm.   . Why do some film capacitor datasheets only give dissipation factor ratings at a few test frequencies (like 10KHz and 100KHz) and others give ESR ratings as well? . Based on what I googled, I figured out dissipation factor is the ratio of ESR to the capacitive reactance. And since the frequency and capacitance is given it is not hard to calculate the ESR. So then why is this not conveniently already listed on the datasheet? Is it because the dissipation factor is what is directly measured? (like the total measured impedance of the capacitor at a certain test frequency)

Question by -max-    |  last reply


I need a small FM radio tuner that can be set up for presets?

I need a small form factor FM frequency radio with tuner that can be set up for presets and to a plug in power supply To be used on a exercise machine. It also needs a headphone jack.

Question by fiteqprpr  


Electromagnet Help! How to Make a Small but very Strong Electromagnet???

I need you help smart people of Instructables!I need to make a small Electromagnet, that uses minimum power (by that I mean the battery), but still has to be very powerful. I have a couple of questions that I need you to help me answer:Does the number of coils that is wound to the metal bar effect the strenght of the electromagnet?Does the wire gauge (20,24,28,30,34,36 wire gauge) make a difference is the strenght of the magnet?Does the voltage I supply to the coil effect the Electromagnet?What type of battery is best for an Electromagnet (AA, AAA, C, D), and what voltage (1,5V, 3V, 4,5V, 6V, 9V) ???Here is the thing, I need to make the Electromagnet super strong but taking up the minimum of energy, for example, just 1,5V. The things that are not important to me (doesn't play a factor in my device) is the number of wire winds to the metal rod and the wire gauge! So is it better to just make 1 or more (3,4,5,6...) layers of wire winds???Is it better to use thinner (36 gauge) or thicker wire (24 gauge)???Thank you a lot!Stanislav

Question by comodore    |  last reply


How to take a PC DVD Drive and make it a stand alone DVD player?

Yes, I know I can use one of the many small form factor PC's out there...but what other ways can I use to achieve the goal of taking a pc based internal DVD Rom and getting it to work as a standalone dvd player.....

Question by IdeaVault    |  last reply


Is it feasable for an eighth grader to build a small (4 computer) cluster running linux?

I am going into eighth grade and for my science project i want to build a computer cluster running linux. for my project  i want to test if the time it takes to process something would be cut in half, thirds and fourths when doubling , tripling and quadrupling the number of computers, or slightly less than half, thirds and fourths because of various factors slowing down processing speeds the more computers are added. Is that extremely impractical or is it possible? if so would i use software types such as pvm or mpi? Finally, are there any suggestions as to what program i should process. i need something that will stay constant ( if i did two tests with the same computer the processing time would generally stay the same) but also take long enough that slight time differences would be noticeable (1 computer takes 2 hours, 2 computers take 1 hour and 1 minute, 3 computers would take 41.5 minutes and so on and so forth).

Question by danielemur    |  last reply


Any ideas for a PC case mod?

I've decided to clear out my assorted computer detritus (Love that word) and have decided to build myself a teamspeak/ventrillo server from the various pieces. Thing is, i have many small form factor components and no case in which to put them. I previously tried putting the PC into a Frosties (Cereal) box , with success, although the case was too flimsy. This leaves me with the following question:What can I put a small PC in (besides buying a case) that is around the size of a 1kg cereal box or larger?Pictures of Frosties mod

Topic by whatsisface    |  last reply


Dual HDMI Processing

I have an idea for a project that needs to process 2 hdmi inputs in real time, and 1 hdmi output. What kind of processing power would I need for this? I don't think an arduino would be able to handle it, but would a raspberry pi? Or should I be looking at like a mobile dual-core or something? I'm trying to keep it in a small form factor and have it the least amount of lag possible. Thanks, -Nikon

Topic by evillordnikon    |  last reply


Looking for the smallest wide angle lens I can find

Premise: I have a droid incredible and I love taking pictures with its awesome 8MP camera.  I don't like its depth of field however.  I'm sitting here right now, looking at the camera enclosure, and I'm wondering if I might be able to pop open the red dome of the camera and slide in a tiny wide angle lens.  I've seen the cellphone wide angle lens kits you can buy for things like your iphone, and I actually did buy one for my Zi6.  Worked amazingly well, but even in that small form factor, it sticks out too far for me if i were to use this on my droid inc. Objective: I'm looking for an elegant solution that keeps the wide angle in the enclosure, and can't be knocked off or removed while in the pocket. How feasible would this be?  Would it be possible to find a small enough piece of glass that would give a wide angle view in such a small form factor?  I'm just guessing here, but I'd say the diameter would be 8mm and probably 2 or 3 mm in depth.  Thats pretty tiny... Anyway, I just wanted to get some suggestions from the DIY crowd.  I'll include some pictures of the camera's enclosure to take a look at. Thanks.

Topic by Dotcommer    |  last reply


How to make Arduino triggered still camera?

I'm looking for a simple way to make a camera using Arduino with the following properties and behavior: -when a certain signal from a sensor or switch gets to the Arduino it takes a single picture and sends it to some kind of memory, preferably a large one that can hold a lot but is small in form factor like an SD card or USB stick. -the camera is always on and waiting for input, allowing the image to trigger immediately upon sensor trigger -the whole thing would work with a fairly small form factor Arduino board, shield, and camera module -obviously camera quality is important, something that would give a reasonably clear image within a fifteen foot distance and in a variety of lighting conditions without a long time taken to focus would be ideal. It seems like most guides I've seen are for video cameras with a ton of options or other inputs. I just want a stupid simple camera that only returns one picture for one input, with an on off switch. Looking for product suggestions or pointers to guides to do this. I'm pretty inexperienced with Arduino. thanks so much!

Question by ilpug  


Why is it so bad that the small bakeries disappear more and more...

Everyone loves a good bread roll, a nice and freshly baked bread...But where does it come from and what is really in it?When it comes to bread and bread rolls we tend to think all is fresh, especially when you see that your favourite supermarket has a bakery with a real oven.Our local baker that took over the business from his father not only sees a thread but also is unable to compete with the price.The consumer only too often selects by price only if look and taste seem to be good.A bread roll for under 20 cents, a whole bread for just over $2 and I am not talking toast here...So how is such a price possible or how can a "bakery" provide 30 or more different types of rolls and bread with just one or two small ovens and a tiny kitchen area?The trick on a small scale is to use ready to go mixes, just add yeast and water and you are set to go.On a big scale we talk about dough that is frozen, sometimes pre-baked but alsways already in the shape of the finnished product.Since there is just flour, salt and yeast in it what could the harm?Like with soft drinks and alcohol not all ingredients are legally required to be listed.Enzymes, antioxidants, modifiers and more.The claim is that ingredients that disappear during the baking need not mentioning at all.If we check how these helping substances are made we get everything from bacteria and fungi over chemical compositions that are lab created and even things that are totally engeneered.Why use nature if you can made the substance in a lab...Most countries have authorities that deal with just these things and their use.So as long as every single ingredient is legal and does not require to be listed it is fair game.The problem here is that no one really knows what goes into the dough for these ready to bake frozen products.As we know from our chemistry lessons in school even totally harmless components can combine to a harmful endproduct.Especially enzymes are used to to modify everything from DNA over meat products to modifying the appearence and shelf life of a product.For most if not all the secret ingredients used we are assured they are conform with the local law and food regulations but we will never know where they came from or how they could interact with each other.Every dentist will tell you that cheap, white (so called) bread is pretty much the worst for your teeth.The usual claim here is that it is too soft, might contain too much sugar but in general the carbohydrates convert to harmful sugars and food for bacteria.These bacteria then harm your teeth...This alone however has shown to be a bit of a misjudgement.If you take the official ingredients on their own then their harm on the teeth is basically non existing.It is again the enzymes and their remains that do the hard work by providing the base to convert a lot of contents directly to sugars through these bacteria.If we now go a step further and consider that bacteria do a pretty good in our body to keep a healthy balance and convert nutrients for us we have to wonder...A thing of our modern time is alleries, same for intolerance to certain foods.The sources for these are plentyful but apart from shielding ourselfs agains all bacteria, viruses and germs in general food is a common factor.Regions with limited or no access to processed foods or drinks show little to no signs of our common allergies or common helth conerns like heart disease or obesity.When it comes to our bread products it is obvious that we consume a lot of it and simply trust the claims on the pack.Rich in omega 3 added fibres, wholemeal...A real baker starting shortly after midnight to produce fresh products for his customer will just shake his head.There are many studies that show us the quality of certain foods, also a lot that show how fast food is bad for you.But when it comes to investigating the bread we eat every day we only find meaningless informations.The long term effect of some of the "secret" ingredients in bread are however well studied in animal tests.Digestive problems, failing to make use of certain basic amino acids, an affected central nervous system and even behaviour abnomalities have been observed.Of course we can't really compare a rat or pig on totally overdosed tests with what we eat on a daily base.But if certain enzymes and other ingredients in our frozen bread mixes and also dry mixes can do this then it is safe to asume that some sife effects from long term exposure will happen too.An enzyme that might just cause a less sticky dough might also affect meat.Another ingredient that should keep the dough firm enough for production machines could cause your stomach lining to produce far less liquids that help digestion.And other ingredients that might just try to produce a more uniform expansion of the dough might break down other food products in your intestines so the body can not convert them into as many other building blocks as before.Sure, we trust the claim that the baking will totall remove all traces of all the things that are not required to be listed.But lab test will show quite opposite, especially when it comes to soft, fluffy "bread" in sliced form.Bread is one of the basic food items everyone needs, so if being able to provide it at an "affordable" price is possible than not too many will actually check the product as a whole.Imagine you buy a premium looking steak and on the pack it states it was made with meat glue - another enzyme.You would not buy it...Thankfully most countries banned the use of meat glues after to many cases of related food poisoning happened.Should have been obvious that cut meat will have more bacteria and that gluing such pieces will result in bacteria to grow inside the meat at fast rates.So if you now wonder why such things are not fully regulated and checked ask yourself: why do you buy the cheap bread from your supermarket instead going to support your local baker?Money...Don't trust my words here!Grab a bread from your supermarket and some bread rolls, then do the same at a real bakery and compare the products.After that check for the best time and grab a few cold beer to have a nice chat about factory made bread products with the guy who kowns how to make it.You might be suprised what he will tell you ;)

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


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


Very simple proximity activated switch (several inches range)?

Hello Instructables! I am looking for a simple electronic switch that will instantly turn on when it comes within a few inches (5-8) of a little beacon or antenna of some sort. I would like to be able to have the beacon be small, and preferably flat in form factor, with the receiver/switch system being no larger than an inch square. For size constraints, watch batteries would be the most preferred power source.  Would RFID be a good option for this?  Preferably I don't want this to have to be hooked to a phone, and it would need to be something that I could conceivably make a PCB foror use a very small existing board like a TEENSY. 

Question by ilpug    |  last reply


I need to charge my laptop while on a tour through the americas. Is there any way i can hit 40 watts using my bike? Answered

 I don't have a massive budget for a sweet solar panel. So i am curious to see if there is any way i can get the kinetic energy of my tires to capture enough power to at least charge my batter while i ride. Small, lite simple & robust are all important factors. Any ideas?

Question by okiave    |  last reply


Is it possible to use a DVD player hardware / peripherals and convert it into a small "net book" style computer?

I have a "older" (maybe 2 years tops) DVD player made by Haier with a 7" screen. (Total width is about 8 inches.) My questions are numerous but can be sumeerized with this: Can I use the case, psu(battery), and LCD and rip the rest of the guts ot to make a small computer. Now granted, I know it won't be any kind of speed demon. I have built many desktop systems before. But insofar as laptop hardware is concerned I might as well call myself a complete beginner. My plan is thus (and if you would like pictures of the existing hardware and connectors I would be able to supply them): I would take out the mobo and the drive which is broken (my daughter burned the motor out when she was younger by manually moving it) and try to replace it with a smaller form factor motherboard. I would need this mobo to be able to boot from a usb drive so that I could use a bootable linux, possibly ubuntu, and maybe another usb drive for an input device. (Mouse most likely, use an on screen keyboard.) Another question would be are the connectors for the i/o in small devices standard or are they mostly proprietary? Would I be able to use the existing cables with a motherboard? If not are there converters? And the next thing would be that I would need a network card to work with it.... In the end, I would like it to be able to use a tiny linux, have some sort of i86 architechture (becuase flash 9 or 10 wont work with a powerpc arch.), and be able to use firefox to view youtube. It's kind of a gift for my daughter. Is it possible?

Question by Asmodean_7    |  last reply


Wifi Voip Phone

The call control protocol of the WF01 is based on SIP V2 (Session Initiation Protocol version 2, RFC 3261) open standard, which is interoperable with major SIP-based call servers, IP-PBXs, and other standard SIP-based client devices. The WF01_V2 is compliant with the IEEE 802.11b standard and interoperates with any existing 802.11b or 802.11g wireless AP and gateway. It may be used as a cordless handset for residential users or for business users in an office environment. The small form factor of the handset is easy to transport and allows users to place VoIP phone calls in public 802.11-based environment.

Topic by chinakorinna2008    |  last reply


Looking for an Electrical Engineer to partner with

Hi - I've got a business idea that requires hardware and I can't build the thing myself.  I'll write the software for it, but I need assistance building the circuitry. The circuitry involved would include a temp sensor, R/F communications module, photodiode, memory (possibly micro SD), controller,  and a timer in a very small form factor (about the size of a cigar tube). I'll split any profits from selling the device 50/50 with the HW designer.  I'll ask you to sign an NDA before we get going. Please contact me here or at bret at thelastmilellc dot com. Rgds, Bret

Topic by bschuhma    |  last reply


Chasing circle of LEDS...?

I'm in the process of making a UFO model for the local Railroad museum's model trainset.  What I want to do is have the standard disc shaped UFO with embedded LEDs on the edge.  I would like the LEDs to chase around the edge repeatedly while the display is on.  I've looked into using Arduino, but size is a factor.  The UFO is going to be about 6" across.  As far as I can tell, I can use a 555 and 4017 to work it out, as but that limits me to 10 leds, right?   If it can be worked out, having counter rotating circles would be great... But that would be duplicating the circuit and reversing the 4017 pin outs... AND...where is a good place to buy small quantities of LEDs and ICs?  My local Radio Shack has nothing in stock

Question by athos76    |  last reply


Hall sensor question

Hey all.I want to be able to measure the current draw through an AC wire in a confined space. I'm thinking hall sensors would be ideal for this due to small size and less chance of frying things (as opposed to a split-core transformer).Unfortunately all of the hall current sensor projects I've found here on instructables are for the pre-made ACS712 board. This is a no-go for me because of size, the need for cutting the wire to make the connection, and also cost is a factor too.Are there other options? I see a lot of three-wire sensors in through-hole transistor packages out there which would be ideal, but can you get the sensor voltage out of any of these, or is it strictly on/off?Any hints welcome.

Question by PS118    |  last reply


What would happen if we combined current pellet stove technology with a Stirling engine through an outside wall?

In Theory, A Stirling engine works on a difference of temperature. For many rural homes there is great expense in developing and sustaining power lines. These homes are already heating from an inside source, and create a difference of temperature, depending on the proximity to the firebox of at least 2X. If developed as a mobile stove, you could glean a mobile power source only dependant on supplying a small chamber with fuel. Such an engine would be able to sustain on green fuels as well if heating an area wasn't a factor. It might even pay for itself in an AC situation where the thermal difference is reversed. Why haven't we put a power source in every appartment using electric fuel?

Question by willcchase    |  last reply


Portable Drawing Easel

I designed a portable easel out of two pieces of luan (1/8" to 1/4" plywood).  I originally intended to sell them, but decided I didn't really enjoy making them in production levels.  The time vs. cost factor didn't really pan out. Either way, this is a design that might make an artist loved one happy.  It is fairly quick and easy and has a bit of style to it, I think. I added some molding at the bottom to act as a sort of pencil or brush holder.  Just some metal rings to hold the two pieces of wood together and a SWEEEEET woodburning on the front with my name--feel free to put someone else's name on yours! What you don't see in the photos is a leather strap with a small dowel at the end that fits into two notches--one for holding the two sides of the wood from splaying apart when it's in easel mode, and another for when you want to keep it closed for carrying it.

Topic by MakeItWithJason    |  last reply


Help with an Electronic Sabacc deck

I think an electronic sabacc deck would be epic but so far have not found any that exsist. I understand this as LCD tech is still fairly expensive and there are complications of networking the screens but I think its doable. What is really needed is "cards" that are networked with a small randomization program running that displays pictures. The hardest part would be figuring out how to network the devices so that no two cards can display the same face value at one time.  I think it could be possible to use old cell phones to do this. A semi-modded razor form factor would work really well if we could find some for about 2-5$ each. I am good with graphics and have some programming knowledge but I don't have enough to figure out how to run the program on the device or how to get them to talk to each other. I think that people in this community would have the know how if this is possible and it would be rock star if we could figure it out.

Topic by legendary42  


Advice required for audio playback from an IC

Hi All, I'm new here so go easy on me :) I need to throw together a circuit to play an MP3 when a switch is closed (Think musical greeting card rather than iPod).  The fundamental issue is a lack of knowledge re: mp3 playback on ICs. Is there a handy light-weight MP3 playback chip kicking around? Presumably I'll need to provide memory, an amp and various other bits. Does anyone know of an SoC that does something this already? I've seen the SOMO-14D (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9534) but it seems to be very low quality and temperamental. Does anyone have any experience with this? If so, any recommendations? > Quality is important-ish - I know it's never going to sound like my Technics sound system but I'd like it good enough that a non-audiophile wouldn't complain. I'm guessing I'll need at least 128Kb/s for semi-decent audio. > Format doesn't have to be MP3 as long as the quality isn't _too_ low and there's an easy way to convert. > Small size (form factor) would be nice but isn't required. > If needs be, I can get PCBs etched _relatively_ inexpensively so that's not a major consideration. > Any suggestions for a good quality, small speaker would also be appreciated. Skills: I've got a degree in Electrical & Electronic engineering (but haven't touched a circuit since Uni) Budget: ~£300 tops (I'm hoping for considerably less) Time: Within a month or so. Many thanks in advance Basic

Topic by Basiclife    |  last reply


Project in mind. Need ideas for simplicity.

I have a project in mind. I have children with a pet cat. I intend to build a charcoal filtering for a catbox/cat tree I am building. I want to use an alarm clock (easy to adjust time if needed) to activate maybe a buzzer and flashing light daily for box cleaning. The fan runs at a low speed constantly at the top of a vent tube to keep the smell controlled.  I want an input to reset the buzzer/flashing light when the drawer with the litter box is opened. I have no idea how to build the circuit. I tested the filter system on a mockup box. It works fine cat doesn't notice the fan. (its 3ft up a 3" piece of PVC). The lack of smell is the reason I'll need a reminder. I could purchase an industrial programmable relay but cost is a huge factor and buying an added power supply etc for control voltage adds up. I have an industrial electrical background and no problem working with small circuitry but have never designed anything so hints and help will be appreciated.

Topic by alienmemebr    |  last reply


Robotic Biomimicry

Reading up a bit, I came across www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2577277.htm this, and thought I would like to try do something like that, but a spider. It's a "robo roach", a RObotic Autonomous Crawling Hexapod, or ROACH. Bio mimicry is starting to become a leading factor in robots for use in the field. Biomimicry itself is quite amazing the way it uses what works in nature to, well, work! Although there's something interesting about this cockroach, by the way it's made. It uses a simple bi-axial movement principal to keep things simple and cheap. They have a download link for the episode, just go to mpegmedia.abc.net.au/tv/geo/catalyst/catalyst_2009_ep14.wmv and zoom forward to 12:25 and watch it. I'd recommend it, it's quite interesting. Would any one have any information about this? I'd love to try make a robot that's based on an animal, preferably small, but there aren't many details any where. I'd like to hear your ideas about this biomimicry, what would you make and what would you use it for?

Topic by Kryptonite    |  last reply


Power genration by Foot steps

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

Topic by engr.zainshah    |  last reply


electronic numeric display board for volleyball

I have searched the Internet hard for a reasonably priced electronic numeric display board to no avail.  I am interested in constructing a remote control scoreboard for volleyball similar to basketball scoreboards deployed in high schools.  For many years I have played and continue to play a LOT of drop in volleyball at various local Rec Centers.  It would be great to be able to keep track of the score with a remote control device in your pocket while playing the game. Alternatively please let me know of any high schools being torn down which could be an opportunity to save a basketball scoreboard that would otherwise be relegated to a land fill site. When you think about the utility of such a device, why hasn't this project been done before?  Maybe it has and if you have any info then PLEASE forward.   I would seriously entertain any posted price for such a completed device if it exists as the hero factor is huge.  The advantage of building it yourself is that you are in a position to manufacture duplicates for others and you become the repair man. The bigger the display board, the better.  I know they exist but are mostly cost prohibitive.  At this point I am prepared to start with a small display for the prototype in order to get this project started since I am very enthused.

Question by rjwiles    |  last reply


Speak Visual Contest - for computer modders and visual artists

MAKE has just announce a new contest it's running with NVIDIA called the Speak Visual Contest. This is perfect for computer modders since you can enter a PC mod, gamer station or PC hardware creation. Interestingly enough, it's also open to motion graphics and data visualization that uses a graphics card as well.Top prize is a Digital Storm PC with some killer specs that's worth over two grand. Five runners up will win the BFG GeForce GTX 260 OC MAXCORE. Others will win copies of Building The Perfect PC 2nd Edition or Make Projects: Small Form Factor PCs from MAKE.Even cooler, one of the ways to enter is to submit an Instructable with "modificationstation" as a tag. Below is the full list of ways to enter.Flickr: tag your photos with "modificationstation" and also add it to the Make: Flickr photo pool.YouTube, Vimeo, blip.tv: tag your videos with "modificationstation".Submit your project link via the Make: Submit form.Instructables, tag your project with "modificationstation".You can also send links to your videos, photos or more to us via email. Speak Visual Contest

Topic by fungus amungus    |  last reply


Looking for a Gear Set for 3D printing

A little over a decade ago I spent a large amount of time playing with lego technics. These mechanical legos had a set of gears with them that you could arrange in infinite variations and I loved them (still do.) What I would really like is file with a standard set of small gears that I could easily place into a 3D model and design around just like building something out of technics. The difference being that I get to design the parts connecting the gears instead of using lego bricks. These gears would ideally range in size from 5mm to 30mm diameter and would ultimately be used to make 8 inch or smaller robot things. Now, the obvious solution is to just make them, Inventor has a generator and they can be drawn in almost any program. The thing is that, well, it is over my head. I've used a lot of Sketchup, but am just getting into Inventor and 123D. Also, it turns out gears are incredibly complicated. I've looked at the diagrams and between the pitch diameters and diameter pitches and pressure angles I get lost, I'm not even sure where to start. On top of that, in my research I haven't found any kind of standard like there are with screws and electrical components; one can't just call the robot store and say "gimme some A5 gears good sir." So my questions are: 1. Is there a simple standard for gears? Specifically small plastic gears like those found in toys and clocks. 2. Do you have any advice on how I could go about creating my own "standard" set of small gears, like most important factors or common pitfalls, a magic button? 3. Am I going about this in a weird, round-about, wrong way? I'm learning as I go with 3D modeling/printing and I often fall down rabbit holes, this may be one. How would a professional engineer who is designing a toy go about choosing or creating his gears? Thanks in advance for any insight you can lend. These are the lego technic gears that are so dear to my heart

Topic by Tomdf    |  last reply


Tools to get when learning/playing around with electronics???

Hi.   I've recently started making small electronic projects, first starting with a pack I bought from an electronics store that pretty much comes with all I need (resistors, transistors, springs, wires, batteries etc) it's fairly amateurish and for a beginner. But I have some more involved things i would like to start.. and a few little things lying around I would like to play with, take apart and salvage for working parts etc.. So I am at the stage now of wanting/needing tools for jobs. I was wondering if anyone could provide me with a list of things I would need? The electronics repair kits I have found on the internet usually cover computer repair/electronic repair tools for around $80 including screwdrivers, pliers, alligator clips, torch, and soldering iron kit etc... and I have considered buying an all in one kit liked his but if I was too just buy a few things at a time what would be the things I should get first? I'm hoping to over time build up a large collection of quality tools for future long term list so I don't really want anything cheap. And safety is definitely a factor.  If anyone had any idea's or could help that would be great, Thanks. Vulnic

Topic by Vulnic    |  last reply


Unofficial Patch Contest - Macro Photography AND THE WINNERS ARE...

DoNoTincinerate and myself have decided to trial Eric's idea of awarding patches as prizes in informal contests.We have decided to run a quick contest for members (pro or not) to show off their photography skills.So the contest is... "Best macro shot of an electronic device, component or components"Entries will be judged on clarity, composition and UCF (undefinable coolness factor).Deadline midnight (UK time!), Saturday 20th June.Post entries to this topic and we will judge them on Sunday.Prize: a rosette patch created especially for small contests, awarded entirely at the discretion of DoNoTincinerate and myself.>KK<IT'S BACK ON!Things are resolved, and I have had other good news.Judging will happen at the weekend, new entries will be accepted until Midnight Friday 10th July (based on site time-markers).FINAL UPDATEIt was hard to choose, so I chose three. In no particular order... the winners are...Gmjhowe's chocolate.Munchman's HDD circuitboardBumpus' cell-phone buttonWith a special mention to Kryptonite for managing to photograph sparks.Well done, all four - patches are arriving soon.

Topic by Kiteman    |  last reply


Do you think this FM Transmitter will work?

Heya, I've seen many ideas on how to build FM Transmitters on the web and successfully copied a couple of them. They are generally 2 or 3 transistor circuits which aren't very powerful when used with a small aerial. I've just designed a circuit with 4 transistors (2 of them being a darlington pair). So it's pretty similar to the two I've made just hopefully more powerful! The transistors i intend to use are BC548(b)'s because they're cheap and usable for high frequencies. Due to my really bad paint skills I'll annotate a few things on the schematic. On the left i just meant to show that the mp3 player plugs straight into the 3.5mm jack connected to the 330nf cap (all of the caps in the circuit are ceramic) and on the far right the triangle is the aerial which is connected to the 33nf cap. Thanks very much for reading this. I know that the aerial will be a BIG limiting factor to the range of it, but i wanted to design a more powerful circuit before i bought a new aerial anyway! So please can you leave any feedback. Best regards Sorry, but it's impossible to see the values of the components unless it's viewed in the original size, the only way i can see how to do that is by clicking on the little "i" in the top left of the picture.

Question by craig c    |  last reply


Battery Powered Water Heater

I need some help. Well, I'll be honest, I need a lot of help.  I am trying to heat 1 liter of water running through a small tube that holds 8ml of fluid up by 12C, with a maximum temperature of the heater reaching 60C, and the entire liter needs to be heated within 30 minutes.  In my experiments, the tube holds 8ml of fluid while passing along the 'heater' core, and will pass by the core in a total of 10 seconds. So 8ml heated by 12C in 10 seconds is the limiting factor and multiply that out to cover 30 minutes.  The good news, I have managed to accomplish this feat by wrapping the tube around a curling iron rated at 80W x 110V. End result is 12C rise in output fluid, so I know the theory is completely possible.  However, here's the kicker, the entire system needs to run off of battery power.  So the 2 big questions are: what material should I use as the 'heater core' since I can not use a standard curling iron, and what battery system/configuration should I use (needs to be universal purchase ie, AA, AAA, D, C, 123, 9V, etc) Any help would be greatly appreciated both to my personal safety as I tinker in the garage, and to my wife's sanity as she watches me play with water around plugged in curling irons. :) Thanks in advance. WS. 

Topic by whiskeysausage    |  last reply


Can I use this CRT as a monitor? Answered

I saw this hack on the MAKE blog yesterday, and it reminded me of a project I wanted to try a few years ago: a computer monitor like the one in the  movie Brazil (pictured below). This device appears to be a small CRT screen behind a large Fresnel lens. The lens is easy enough to find in the form of a reading-magnifier, but it was the screen that puzzled me. I couldn't figure out what I could use that I could hook up to a computer. I thought about hacking digital picture frames, but they wouldn't have the cool curved look of an exposed CRT. When the post on MAKE came out, I thought that maybe the screen he used from a Coleman Lantern/TV (which are pretty easy to find on eBay) would work, but I'm not sure. So my questions are these: 1.Could I use this as a computer monitor using similar methods as in the blog post or a different way? 2.Would it be a problem that the TV is black and white? 3.If it's possible, is it likely that an electronics amateur like me could do it? I have experience in circuit bending and blinking LEDs with Arduinos, but little else. This is the deciding factor for me if it is truly possible, I don't want to take on something well out of my skill range. I realize that even if I did succeed, it wouldn't be very useful, but I'm still interested. Is it possible? Thanks, Noah

Question by noahh    |  last reply


Can someone look over my Schematic?

Hello All! I have recently started using Eagle, so please forgive the messy schematic as well as the lack of labeling-I am still trying to learn the ins and outs of the software. So I recently received my raspberry pi zeros after months and months of waiting and have been incredibly satisfied with the size and compatibility. However, the biggest issue is the lack of USB ports, which of course were eliminated on purpose to decrease the weight, size, power consumption, ect. I thought it might be useful to design and fabricate a usb hub shield that follows the form factor of the pi zero. I was searching for information and came across this IC that can serve as a 3-port hub, the TUSB2036. However, it only operates at the USB 1.0 spec. Upon further research, I found that the newer model of this IC is the TUSB2046. I made an attempt to design a schematic off known references as well as the data sheets to form a small hub for the pi zero. Can someone with electrical engineering or circuit design experience please let me know if this would work? I used this schematic as a reference and [attempted] to modify it to accommodate the four port USB 2.0 TUSB2046. One important note, the pin labeling on the schematic follows that of the TUSB2036, as I could not find a way to modify it...Please reference the pinouts in the data sheet for the correct labeling on the TUSB2046. Thank you for all the help! 

Question by JoeW79    |  last reply


Wireless Battery Operated Water Tank Overflow Alarm or Transmitter

In India and worldwide water, availability is a huge issue so saving water is most important work these days for the environment. As like most of the Indian families using water tank to store water and use them later. The main issue is that wastage of water once water tank got filled and most of the water tank fixed on the rooftop. There are lots of devices available in the market to warn overflow tank but most of comes with bulky wires and connection to show the water level or water overflow warning. But I want to make a simple battery operate design/circuit for a water tank that transmits water overflow signal every 8 or 10 seconds to the receiver. For the signal receiver, there is no issue of power but for transmitter power, an important factor and this is must that transmitter circuit works on battery for a long time. So Here I want to design a circuit works on battery (3v to 5v). A circuit with two wire fix at the top of the water tank or on the sidewall and circuit check wires connection for water touch them every 8 to 10 sec. If water touched the wire transmitter release a signal (go to sleep mode again for next 10 sec) to the receiver and receiver worn by a small buzzer for 10 sec. Again after 10 sec transmitter check the water level and release a signal to the receiver. Similar water tank alarms comes costly around 90$ to 150$. I want to use AtTiny85 or min Arduino, Wireless module 433mhz to save money. So please help me start this project by programming or another way to finalize this project and help me save water.

Question by sandeeprhce5    |  last reply


A LUSHcious Door Stopper- Simple/rustic FREE doorstopper for Oenophiles/Winos

I have a ton of these little "redneck thrift" tips- nothing "earth-shattering"- but there's an avalanche of these type d.i.y. tidbits in my new indie-small housing/redneck thrift book which you can check here (for any interested).....the entire first run of the book was paid for by recycled trash too!   http://www.relaxshacks.com   THE "LUSH"cious Door Stop by Derek Diedricksen I'll try to add a photo of one of these suckers soon, but its so simple, you prob don't need one. Materials: One single wine cork, a 3 1/2 black dry wall screew (or something equivalent), and some polyurethane (although not necessary). You could also stain the corks to match your molding or woodwork if need be. Construction Time: 1-2 min- seriously. The origin: I've never seen someone make one of these before, as unprofound as they are, but when I was self-finishing my basement, I really couldn't find any doorstoppers that I liked the look of, and that would fit the rustic look of my d.i.y. cave. shortly after, while suckin' down some cheap red vino one night and tossin' the cork into a giant container I have (I save them all for some future/eventual art project), it came to me. HOW: Just slowly center a drywall screw on the end of a cork, drill it in until the head "puckers" into the end of the cork (or you could pre drill and countersink), and that's it.  Not rocket science, but it makes for a cool, different, subtle conversation piece for those who notice. You could even go so far as to save a special occasion cork (say, the champagne cork from your wedding- or divorce-papers party- lol) and utilize it as a more meaningful doorstop- one with a great story behind it. They look pretty decent. And the cost is almost ZERO (one single screw!). Not that other door stoppers cost much, but when you factor in the time, cash, and trip to go buy the other plastic/metal ones at a box store, it is a time saver- and gives a unique, earthy look. Warning: You just may get a rep as a drunk if you use too many of these throughout the house!  I have one in my home, and plan to use them in a few of the cabins I've built and am building. -Derek

Topic by Deek D    |  last reply


Matching 700mA constant current driver to 20mA LEDs? Answered

Hello all: Ultimately I'm trying to drive upwards of 100 3mm white LEDs in an art project with dimming and a connection to 120v AC power (this is for a chandelier). I've been playing around with some constant current IC driver like the Supertex CL2 as well as 5 and 12v power supplies but I've been looking for a dimmable solution with a small form factor. I picked up a Robertson constant current LED driver but it outputs at 700mA, I assume because it's intended for 1W or 3W LEDs needing the higher current. Is there a circuit design that I can use like a current divider to drive smaller loads with this supply? My current thinking is as follows: 1) I could simply load 35 parallel strings of LEDs since 700/20 = 35 (of an appropriate voltage drop probably between 9v-15v) and rely on the equivalent resistance of each string to act as a defacto current divider. 2) I could do the same thing but with an in series resistor of some value for each string, the constraint being that increasing the resistor will reduce the number of parallel strings and I may need relatively high wattage resistors if I'm driving 9+volts of LEDs on each string. 3) I could do a smaller parallel current divider, but I'm not confident in my math analyzing the ratios of the resistors to achieve this (for instance if I had only two parallel loads and one was drawing 20mA and the other the balance of 680mA the resistors would have to have the same (inverted) relationship i.e. 34:1...to say nothing of the wattage through the 680mA line, which might be as high as 6-8 watts depending on voltage. Is that right? Are there any other clever solutions I'm not thinking of? Obviously I could buy a lower current driver (and I may ultimately)  but even the lower current options are at 350mA, so the same problem will exist at a smaller scale. Thanks everybody for thinking about this, I look forward to seeing your thoughts!

Question by michael.pokorny.54    |  last reply


Tesla coil anyone with new design ideas?

I am in the early stages of building a new Tesla coil. After over 10 years without one I think it is time to add one to my collection again ;) As always I want to stick to to the classic design, meaning except for the HV supply all will be home made, including the capacitor. No no fancy electronics, just high voltage, a cap and a spark gap... However, classic must not always mean there is no room for improvement. Of course you can measure or calculate the frequencies for your primary and secondary coil before even starting to power it up - but where is the fun in that?? My last Tesla coil was driven by a 2KW transformer delivering 25.000 Volts. This time I go smaller for indoor use and will aim for a simple neon sign transformer with around 3000 volts and 20-30mA output. Reason for this that I plan to make an Instructable out of it if I find the time and would prefer to use power supplies that can be obtained in most countries without totally blowing the budget. I did some research on the net to see if there are any significant developments but the only things I could find are in relation to the spark gap or to use a conical primary coil. For the conical coil I could not even find any comparison to standard flat coil in the same system or a decent explanation why it is claimed to be so much better. My aim is to go a different way for the primary completely. Instead of using copper pipe in a standard winding pattern I want to try a quadfilar coil instead. My early tests on a small scale confirmed that a bifilar coil is better than a standard coil. For some weird reson the magnetic field reaches further and is stronger while at the same time there is less loss. So far bilifar coils are only used on some charging pads and "wireless power supplies" for TV sets. In most induction cooktops, where the benefits would be extra obvious, they are not used due to the higher cost factor of producing them. Big question here is: Has anyone experimented with bifilar or quadfilar coils in high voltage applications and is willing share some insight?

Question by Downunder35m  


Pager motors: Removing weight and driving wheels

Hello fellow life forms, I am currently working volunteerily at a local school, teaching young kids a bit about telescopes and astronomy. One topic I am currently planning is the mars rover(s) and I am planning on building a simple line follower as activity. As the budget is very low but I still want the kids to be able to build something to take home I am trying to keep it as simple as possible. After I ordered a pager/iphone motor a year back or so, I now ordered 100 vibration motors for $28.50 at aliexpress. http://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/6020160679.html They work fine but are smaller then the one I had before, a rubbery encasing makes them the same form factor. http://www.ringohr.de/tmp6//motorbadpic001.jpg  http://www.ringohr.de/tmp6//motorbadpic002.jpg  (excuse the horrible pictures, I just have a older android phone) 1) The first problem is removing the weight. I have searched and found several tutorials (for example http://www.robotroom.com/TinyMotor.html) and aproaces, heat and regular pliers failed, for everything else I lack smaller tools.   I consider ordering those grip pliers here in germany, which one would be better? http://www.ebay.de/itm/Gripzange-extra-kurze-Baulange-100-mm-Neu-nur-3-95-505-incl-Versand-/151165386645?pt=DE_Baby_Kind_Baby_T%C3%BCr_Treppenschutz&hash;=item233228bf95 or http://www.ebay.de/itm/Mini-Schweisser-Gripzange-125-mm-mit-Feststellzange-Klemmzange-NEU-OVP-/261407967637?pt=DE_Baby_Kind_Baby_T%C3%BCr_Treppenschutz&hash;=item3cdd210995 I also considered a watch wrist band tool as I have only a limited set of tools,  http://www.ebay.de/itm/Stiftausdrucker-Armbandkurzer-Stiftentferner-Uhr-Federsteg-Uhrenstift-Entferner-/370981549407?pt=DE_Elektronik_Computer_Haushaltsger%C3%A4te_Staubsaugerbeutel_PM&hash;=item566039355f or http://www.ebay.de/itm/Armbandkurzen-Stiftaustreiber-Stiftausdrucker-Werkzeug-/131084177829?pt=Uhrmacherwerkzeug&hash;=item1e8539d1a5 or http://www.ebay.de/itm/1x-Stiftaustreiber-Stiftausdrucker-Zange-Uhrenwerkzeug-Uhrmacherwerkzeug-/310765191716?pt=Uhrmacherwerkzeug&hash;=item485b0c8224 But I don't think I can adapt them to hold the motors. Any other tricks? 2) The second problem is to drive small wheels with those motors. With the vibration weight attached I can't drive a small foam or cardboard wheel, neither via friction nor a rubber band/belt. I hope it will work once the weight is off. I hope I can solve this issue, else I am stuck with 100 motors that are only suitable for bristle bots ;-) The vibration is strong enoug to move something, also attaching the motors to a cardboard square and directly touch the ground seems to have enough power. I could use a 3d printer to print a gear, but I would like to keep it as simple as possible. Also the groove bearing + shrink tube drive I have seen on another project would not be ideal to build with younger children. I initially was thinking of using bottle caps as wheels and wrap the motor axis with shrink tubing or isolation tape to drive the bottle cap by friction. Thanks for any ideas, advice or suggestions! -Marcus

Topic by schorhr    |  last reply


Came a across a "Group" bug and I have a couple humble "Group" suggestions while I'm here.

I was recently checking up on a group I started a little while back and found that I couldn't see any of the popular Instructables in the group, and when clicking "view all" the "No Instructables yet!" message came up when there are plenty Ibles added (they are still available in the Recent Entries panel). I've attached pictures of both situations for clarification. I did try IE and Firefox to see if it was a browser issue, unfortunately it was the same in both. I tried refreshing the browsers a few times too. Should I wait a couple days to see if it'll clear up or is this a legit issue? In passing, a few suggestions that I had in regards to groups are: In the future, will we be able to see some more group functionality, like messaging all members as an example? Is there any way we could get updates on the group like: new members added, ibles added, and discussions posted? Would we be able to access the group(s) that we create from our ibles profiles [a quick link with a photo, mebe under the You or Instructables tab]? I was also wondering if when you click the "Groups" shortcut the search category could be defaulted to groups as well? The reason why I have made these suggestions is that whenever I want to check on what's happening with my group I always seem to have to go the long way around to get to it. The path I take is as follows: select group on my shorcuts-> write my group name in the search bar -> select groups from the search category and then hit enter to find the group. I can also go to You from the shortcuts -> hit the settings tab -> select groups -> then click on the group but there doesn't seem to be a faster way in. I hope no one takes my comments/suggestions the wrong way because I'm definitely a huge fan of Instructables and am extremely thankful for the entire concept. Instructables is a great site and I may be me overlooking a faster way and a few simple solutions to my other suggestions, so I'm hoping someone can correct me/point me in the right direction, or let me in on the future of "Group" improvements. Oh yes and here's a PS: I'm not going to lie, If these suggestions sound facebookish...well....they are...plus a few added ideas to make these groups better than Facebook's :)

Topic by Skater_j10    |  last reply


HELP - Energy production idea needing some tips and tricks

Good day to allI'm not quite sure this is the right forum for this so bear with me if it's not :PI'm looking for some info and ideas regarding a project that has been brewing in my head, but since i am no more than an initiate in all this mech and tech stuff i figured this would be a good place to find some help.I'm trying to create a low budget way to feed a 12v battery without having to use solar, hydric or wind power. Basically i want not to be dependant on atmosferic conditions so i wanted to use human generated mechanical thrust to generate enough electricity for some basic stuff. This project is to be put inside a yurt in the middle of a forest so one can have a few hours of light and maybe even enough power to charge a small laptop or a cell phone.This is my idea:I thought of using one of these old sewing tables connected to a small motor(instead of a sewing machine) in order to generate electricity which would then be stored in a battery , more or less the same process by wich a dynamo powers a bike's lamp but in a different scale.But to achieve this i still have many questions and doubts that i'm going to share with you all in the hope that some bright ideas might help me bring the project to life.-Question 1 I'm thinking the system should be composed of: Sewing table (Mechanical thrust) Motor (Generator) Some sort of electric rectifier (same function as the ones used with solar systems) 12v Battery Is this looking logical or have i missed something??-Question 2.a What kind of motor is suitable for energy production? I've been reading about this and if i understood right there are 2 kinds of motors. One kind that uses pre generated electric current to magnetize a coil wich in turn produces motion and another kind wich is built with permanent magnets. This later one would be the one i'm looking for, am i right?? Or could it be that not all PM motors can be used to produce energy from motion??-Question 2.b What kind of apliances use this kind of motors? I've just openned a broken vacuum cleaner to check it's motor but it has 2 sets of coils and no magnets, so i'm guessing it is the kind that needs electricity to magnetize one of the coils... LOW BUDGET is a key factor of this project and recycling the motor would be perfect.-Question 3 What about the rectifier... I'm guessing i should have some kind of apparatus which would normalize the energy that is going into the battery and also that prevents me from emptying the battery in order to preserve it. I'm wondering if a regular box like the ones used on solar systems would do the trick...-Question 4 I realized that these table's wheels can spin in both directions, and i'm guessing that this will have some kind of influence on the polarity of the energy produced by the engine and that this might pose some problems. Is this true?? And in case it is, any chance that the rectifier takes care of this or do i need to find a way to force the wheel to spin in only one direction?I still have many other questions but these are probably the bigger ones.I hope someone might help me with all this.Thank you very much in advance.

Topic by dameluz    |  last reply


Raspberry pi 2 processing capability?

Hearing the announcement of the new latest and greatest Raspberry Pi 2, now a backwards compatible computer with a 0.9GHz ARM Cortex-A7 quad core processor and 1GB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, I was wondering of the feasibility of using it as a very cheap and basic solution for a simple computer for my lab. Currently, I am using a compaq presario C700 Pentium Dual-Core laptop, that has been maxed out with 2GB 800MHz kingston RAM, and is running Kubuntu. I should also not the HDD has been replaced with a 120GB one from an old and broken Xbox. I do not like it much anymore, because although the performance of it is acceptable, the screen is a bit low res, at 1280x800, it's pretty dark (or at least until it 'warms up' to full brightness), it had a major scratch on the screen, (no idea how it got there) and after buffing it out with many methods, including with an eraser, the area has became discolored, like a portion of the screen has higher gamut and brightness, and lower black levels. :( Oh well. The main killer for it is that it's form factor. It is too big, heavy, the screen is too small, and it is very cumbersome to use far away in the corner of my workbench. Of course being a laptop, the 'base' of it is fixed to the screen, and to move it closer to me takes away lots of valuable space on my really messy bench. I mostly use it to research part numbers, get schematics off of google, watch YT videos, log data from serial ports (including my UNI-T multimeter with basic data-logging capabilities), and stuff like that. I may have as many as 20 tabs open at a time, which did tax my old compaq C700 when it had 1GB of RAM, but that was likely due to a memory leak issue with chrome, since I have the SAME issue with my main desktop, with 8GB of DDR3 RAM. If the video by MAKE is anything to judge, it looks just as powerful, as this embedded video is large! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZz8MW3DSqA My hope is to replace it with a raspberry pi, and be able to use it for these basic operations w/ a old LCD monitor which can be picked up off of craigslist for cheap. Maybe I can even find one in the dump :P. Maybe I can configure the GPIO pins to be COM and parallel ports, w/ clock, Tx, Rx, and everything else! That way an external FTDI chip and using the limited number of USBs is not an issue. Is that possible?

Question by -max-    |  last reply


Raspberry pi 2 processing capability?

Hearing the announcement of the new latest and greatest Raspberry Pi 2, now a backwards compatible computer with a 0.9GHz ARM Cortex-A7 quad core processor and 1GB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, I was wondering of the feasibility of using it as a very cheap and basic solution for a simple computer for my lab. Currently, I am using a compaq presario C700 Pentium Dual-Core laptop, that has been maxed out with 2GB 800MHz kingston RAM, and is running Kubuntu. I should also not the HDD has been replaced with a 120GB one from an old and broken Xbox. I do not like it much anymore, because although the performance of it is acceptable, the screen is a bit low res, at 1280x800, it's pretty dark (or at least until it 'warms up' to full brightness), it had a major scratch on the screen, (no idea how it got there) and after buffing it out with many methods, including with an eraser, the area has became discolored, like a portion of the screen has higher gamut and brightness, and lower black levels. :( Oh well. The main killer for it is that it's form factor. It is too big, heavy, the screen is too small, and it is very cumbersome to use far away in the corner of my workbench. Of course being a laptop, the 'base' of it is fixed to the screen, and to move it closer to me takes away lots of valuable space on my really messy bench. I mostly use it to research part numbers, get schematics off of google, watch YT videos, log data from serial ports (including my UNI-T multimeter with basic data-logging capabilities), and stuff like that. I may have as many as 20 tabs open at a time, which did tax my old compaq C700 when it had 1GB of RAM, but that was likely due to a memory leak issue with chrome, since I have the SAME issue with my main desktop, with 8GB of DDR3 RAM. If the video by MAKE is anything to judge, it looks just as powerful, as this embedded video is large! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZz8MW3DSqA My hope is to replace it with a raspberry pi, and be able to use it for these basic operations w/ a old cheap LCD monitor which can be picked up off of craigslist for cheap. Generally old 4:3 monitors go for next to nothing. Maybe I can even find one in the dump :P. Maybe I can configure the GPIO pins to be COM ports, w/ clock and everything else! That way an external FTDI chip and using the limited number of USBs is not an issue. Is that possible?

Question by -max-    |  last reply


Choosing drive motors for kids riding toy

I'm building  "robot horse" for my daughter, and have the metal frame mostly complete.  The plan for locomotion is to mount reversible powered 6" wheels to the outside of each hoof, and steer tank-style. My biggest challenge is finding reasonably priced, reasonably powerful drive motors for each wheel.  My issues are  1)  I'm inexperienced at specing dc motors.       A) I'm not real sure how to translate published specs into real world motion.  I don't know exactly how much power it takes to get this reliably moving over rough ground to a top speed of around 1 mph.  I also don't have a good sense of much voltage you can pump into a DC motors.  (IOW, should I be able to push 2 x the rated voltage for a quarter second to get it moving? Will the motors naturally increase their amperage at a constant voltage (and thus power) as they are resisted by torque?)  How much power will starting from a stop take?  What about a slight uphill slope?     B)  I'm not sure what form-factor is best:  Gear motor?  Gear motor with final drive belt?  I would like to use worm-gear motors, as I think it would be safest if the wheels didn't move when unpowered. 2)  Hunting around supplier web-sites, I see lots of $20ish gear motors that use 5-20W of power.  Great price, but would 4 of them make enough power?  (See #1A above)  Also, I see lots of fractional HP motors for >$100 that would unquestionably be strong enough, but would cost more than the project justifies.  I found very little in between.  Are there motors and gear boxes that could power this at a reasonable price?   Relevant clarifications and details: 1)  The horse is about 40" high at it's withers (shoulder) 2)  Frame is made of 1/2" square tube steel. 3)  Normal rider + vehicle will be about 150 lbs.  However, unquestionably, larger kids (or multiple small kids) will at some point hop on it and try to ride it.  At 250 lbs. rider+vehicle weight it doesn't have to go fast, but shouldn't burn up the motors. 4)  It'll be powered by a lipo battery pack that shouldn't have any issues with 20A+ max currents and can be sized as needed for voltage. 5)  I'd like to keep the motors and gears <$200 total, if possible. 6)  "Rough ground" = flat grassy turf or reasonably smooth gravel. 7)  Motors need to be reversible. Can anyone lend some perspective on what type of motors to buy for this?  How much power/torque should I look for?  Any advantages/disadvantages of any particular gearing style for this application? I am assuming that motors on each wheel are the way to go, but if there are any other power transmission schemes that would work better, I'm all ears.

Topic by SvdSinner    |  last reply


Power Supply Question? Answered

I want to build a switching Power Supply, without the use of IC's with everything already inside. I only want to use op amps and passive components. Below are my goals on what to achieve. I would like to make this PSU current limited, or at least shut off when the current goes too high. I basically took the concept of the linear voltage regulator and expanded on it, turning it into a 'proof of concept' switchmode supply. Input Voltage range: . . . .7-24 Volts Voltage: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-24 Volts Max Current: . . . . . . . . . .10 Amps Price: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5 -- $10         Instead of feeding a voltage reference into an op amp, I modulated it with a few components. (A triangle wave generator, and a array of resistors to lower the amplitude and introduce a DC bias.) The DC bias is controlled by the current protection module, which is simply an op-amp that reads the voltage on a small resistor and multiplies it by 5. This finalized current controlled, DC reference biased triangle wave is fed into a comparator, which will then switch a rather large MOSFET on and off at about 200 Hz, with varying PWM, depending on how much 'droop' there is on the output. Here is a rundown of what the components will do: OK, I refined my plan to this general specs: Input Voltage range: . . . .7-24 Volts Voltage: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-12 Volts Max Current: . . . . . . . . . .10 Amps Price: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5 -- $10        I basically took the concept of the linear voltage regulator and expanded on it, turning it into a 'proof of concept' switchmode supply. I don't want to use any prebuilt chips where you have a magic black box with inductors, capacitors and resistors connected to it. I want this to be entirely raw, basic, cheap parts. Maybe later, I will replace many of the op amps with a single programmable chip (like an Atmega328P)         Instead of feeding a voltage reference into an op amp, I modulated it with a few components. (A triangle wave generator, and a array of resistors to lower the amplitude and introduce a DC bias.) The DC bias is controlled by the current protection module, which is simply an op-amp that reads the voltage on a small resistor and multiplies it by 5. This finalized current controlled, DC reference biased triangle wave is fed into a comparator, which will then switch a rather large MOSFET on and off at about 200 Hz, with varying PWM, depending on how much 'droop' there is on the output. Here is a rundown of what the components will do: Green field: This contains a voltage regulator which acts as both a 5V power source and a voltage reference. Not only will this module produce a 5V output, but also produce a triangle wave. Blue field: This module will be fed the triangle wave, decrease it's amplitude, and inject it with a bias voltage, controled by the current limiter (red field). Red field: This basic module simply measures current flowing through a 0.1 Ω resistor, and multiply that reading by a factor of 10, and inert it (the circuitry is probably wrong, and I am not sure how this will work, if it even will do what I want it to Will this work?) Yellow field: The final modulated triangle wave is then fed into the last comparator, which will switch a MOSFET on and off at a fixed frequency of 200Hz. The output of this last comparator is now PWM. As the output voltage sags, the pulse width will increase, and cause the final voltage to stabilize at either the peak value of the triangle wave (with little to no load), or near the bottom end of the wave (with a heavy load) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ My questions:  I try to run this in LTspice simulator but some reason the output of the last comparator is a distorted triangle wave. I think this has to do with my filtering capacitor and MOSFET gate capacitance. Can anyone give suggestions about this design?  I'm sure the current limiting function is not going to work as intended until I finalize it's design (I hope I don't need more than 4 op amps altogether, It would be nice to use a single chip I already have) Any suggestions? I might just omit this part entirely, as it is not necessary.

Question by -max-    |  last reply


Ch. 1 In which SHIFT! comes to Instructables and is very excited to begin

Hey Instructabrarians, So here I am.  Headquarters of Instructables.  In 82cd Second St, San Francisco.   AND IT'S FREAKING AWESOME! Seriously, I still can't believe I get to come here every day!  While the outside may appear small, the entire facility is huge.  Immediately upon entering the building you are greeted by a long  ascending brick encased stairwell, which gives a very good impression of a classic London bookstore, which lead up to about a 15 foot high rise above the SF Streets.  Then, at the top of the stairs the whole building unfolds to reveal the entire HQ of Instructables, a place where you can instantly tell there's always something new going on.  It's quite filled with different projects, and various workshops that decorate the interim of the facility.  Exactly like an oversized engineering student's dorm room might look.   This place is amazing!  As soon as you enter you can immediately tell this is a place where DIY and homebrew are the norm.  Each room is actually organized like the Category section on their site- they've got a Kitchen for Food and Cooking, an awesome Workshop (complete with Laser Cutting Printer), Electronics and homebuilt ardruino Robot table, shelves filled with Arts and Crafts.   As a huge fan of the site I couldn't help but point out how many classic 'ibles I recognized.  Another awesome fact about instructables. While most companies would provide the usual simple shed or bike rack to employees, Instructables is smarter and more creative.  They hang their bikes on the wall. WOW.  I can say I never would've thought of that. Even their bathrooms are awesome- they decorated one of their doors with a Portal Cake sign! Honestly that alone is worth several points on the TV Tropes "So Cool It's Awesome" factor.    And I haven't even come CLOSE to describing the rest of the facility!   However, most important to me, is that the people are so friendly.  I was really worried about my first day job, but everyone was extremely nice and welcoming to me and I can't wait to begin work!   But the truly best part is that they're not just awesome Instructabrarian Employers, they themselves are also huge fans of the site and have their own personal instructables.  Tuesday is show and tell day where everyone presents something new they're working on and I can't wait to see it!  They're also completely understanding and are even giving me some time to work on my DIY PIXAR booth for the Maker Faire!   Thanks!  Anyway, today is Wednesday so not a ton of people are in today.  Luckily I got a chance to talk with Instructables gurus such as Sarah, Christy and Eric Wilhelm (yes, THE Eric Wilhelm!).  Right now a NBC new crew, or is it CBS?, is filming a special report on Fenix on their latest project- a portable power generator for the Middle East!  Overall, this is such an amazing introduction for me.  I'm still totally geeking out about all of this and I hope this dream doesn't end soon! -ME PS I'm sorry if I forgot to mention anyone.  Also, 3-DMO (my N3DS) pictures will be uploaded on my flickr site soon.

Topic by SHIFT!    |  last reply