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Is it possible to modify a soft-power button?

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this (apologies if its not).... I have a small stereo receiver (Lepai S-60) that I use to power speakers in my kitchen and it works well, but the stereo requires that I press the power button on it or the remote every time I want to turn it on.  I was hoping to hook it up to a WeMo switch so that I could turn it on/off via Google Home, but the fact that its a soft power button means that even if the switch turns on or off, the radio doesn't remember what state it was in last. Is there a way to modify the circuit board so that the receiver is always on and thus, I could control it via the WeMo switch? Thanks in advance, Tim

Topic by tbelcher98    |  last reply


Soft circuit trouble? Answered

I am having trouble with a project that I am working on.  I have 12 leds in parallel spiraling out from a centre connected by conductive thread, the Led's are yellow and where stripped from a battery powered led xmas light set.  I intend to use the battery holder and on/off switch unit that came with it (2X1.5v batteries and has a 6.8ohm resister) to power the lights.  Unfortunately when I connect the power supply to the lights the first led is bright and it each led following is progressively less bright, the leds at the end are pretty dim.  So this is basically the same circuit that the xmas lights had but with conductive thread instead of wire.  I double checked that there were no loose or crossed threads.  After discovering the problem I checked the details about the conductive thread and it has a resistance of 30ohms/foot.  The length of the thread connecting all of the leds is roughly 1ft.  So I'm guessing the problem is that there is too much resistance in the circuit? Or is there something else I'm doing wrong? Is there any way that I can change this circuit so that it can still run on 3v batteries (2x1.5v)? 

Question by ChrysN    |  last reply


Solar powered outdoor outlet???

Hello, we are trying to figure out how to install some solar powered lighting for the outdoor porch overhang, something with soft pleasant lighting for enjoying our back yard at night. There are no outlets available and we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do something green. For this application we are considering mounting 18 ft of rope lighting in the eves of the poorch and were wondering if there is an inexpensive way to solar power this type of lighting to charge during the day and come on at night that would provide enough energy to power it throughout the night, possibly in a mountable outlet form. This must be an outdoor application that is fairly easy to contain and may be mounted on the outside end of the porch where it can recieve the most sun exposure. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, especially if there is a product already on the market for this application.?

Question by qman672003    |  last reply


Switch To Battery Power When Mains Power Is Lost ?

Go-to-War Gear--such catchy hypothetical stuff writes well, but it can turn real all too fast. I have acquaintances in Houston who had less than an hour to leave their homes before the floodwaters overtook them. They had just enough time to throw their important papers into the dishwasher (a handy dry spot for important stuff in a flood), grab their kids, and head for high ground. The recent CaliforniaThe Hunting Shack offers both .45 Colt and .45 Schofield loads (left). Ramshorn gripped STI Texican and Texas Longhorn Arms No. 5 were used for testing both the .45 Colt and the shorter .45 Schofield ammunition. wildfires typically covered 100 meters in 3 seconds. Do you really have what you need to grab and go? Even in America, you can go from full stop to life-threatening crisis in moments.A Proper Foundation: You can measure a man by his boots. I burned through several sets during my time in uniform. My favorite pair of combat boots is more comfortable than house slippers. Combat-proven features make them rugged. Speed laces keep them fast.I wear boots every time I fly. The speed laces let me get into and out of them easily for the obligatory TSA assessment. Keeping the best insoles for standing all day maintained and the drainage vents clear ensure they're comfortable.Air travel is not as much fun as it was once, but an airplane cabin is comfortable enough. Now imagine that same space upside down, dark, and populated with jagged metal, screaming hysterical passengers, fire, and worse. Never remove your footwear in an airplane.Whether the threat is a wildfire, hurricane, tornado, or civil unrest, you will always need proper footwear. Keep your favorite pair of broken-in boots right next to your bugout bag. Think it through and have something similar for each member of your family. Anything built on a faulty foundation can ultimately fail. If you have to move in a hurry that foundation is a good pair of boots.A Proper Bag: A Bugout Bag is pretty stupid without a decent bag. I have a nice utility pack I picked up at our local Walmart for next to nothing. It is lightweight and serviceable enough. However, mygo-to-warbag is a Brazos concealed carry pack from Flying Circle Gear. It's the best I've ever seen.For starters, everything about the Brazos bag is just a little bit heavier than everybody else's. The stitching is more rugged, the material is more substantial, and the zippers are of the big beefy sort. Additionally, the bag is exceptionally well imagined.There are two spacious center compartments large enough to manage a laptop. A small top pocket packs your wallet and incidentals and includes a hidden ID card holder. There is an integral hydration pouch along with four zippered pouches on the sides and a larger version on the front.The outside of the bag is festooned with MOLLE webbing. Thread a pair of ammo pouches in place for your shades or spare reading glasses. They can even carry ammo in a pinch. I can and have lived out of mine for extended periods while travelling, camping, or hiking.The handiest feature on my Brazos bag is the hidden "pass-through" pocket on the back. This discreet compartment is zipper-accessible from either side and is the perfect size to manage a decent gun. Open both sides and you can slide the pack over the handle of a rolling suitcase. Drop in a soft body armor panel and wear the pack backwards and you have an improvised tactical vest.

Question by kingandsoraka    |  last reply


Arcade Single button power everything?

So here's my issue, I have a really nice button for powering on my MAME arcade. The button has 4 wires 2 for LED and 2 for the switch. I currently have that button wired to a USB cable and the soft start of the computer so that when I press the momentary switch it turns the computer on and then it also lights up the power LED of the button. I have the -ve of the switch and the LED wired together so i have 3 wires vs. 4, and then i have that wired to the -ve of the usb. The other 2 wires are +ve of the usb and to the +ve of the cpu power switch. Now I was wondering if anyone has an idea of how to wire up the Monitor to power on. It has a soft momentary switch for turning it on. I attached a headphone cable to the terminals of the button so I can easily unplug it when needed. I tried wiring this in parallel to the power button but that causes weird issues with the computer power. SO my question is, is there a solution to get this to work? 

Question by mrandle    |  last reply


Soft Pretzels, Modify a Rubik's Cube, Steampunk Keyboard

  Soft Pretzels Modify a Rubik's Cube Steampunk Keyboard The Evil Geocache Coffee Cup Cake Milk Crate Garden Cheap Screen Printing Adjustable Paracord Chair Knex Piano Playing Robot Baking Bread Chest Camera Rest Easy Solar Oven High-Power LED Bike Light Coffee Cup Ceiling Aid Auto-Watering Plant Nursery

Topic by randofo  


Wires near a desk

I have a desk near my bed with the power strip on the other side of the desk. There's also my keyboard on the desk, so I have no problems in making the wires of my PC, phone, MP3 and 3DS chargers pass behind it so that they are hidden from view. I generally place my PC on the back of the keyboard and charge it, then everything else on top of either it or the keyboard. However, the things on the keyboard are quite ugly to the eye, while on the PC they clog. Also, it's always a pain to take the wire of the right charger (expecially in the dark), given that they are longer than the length of the desk, and if I roll them up they take up too much space. I was thinking of doing something to place those things on the side of the desk and fix the cables there. The problem is, I don't want to drill holes or anything like that, so I'm gonna stick with physics-fixed stuff or tape. What could I do that wouldn't be too bad to the eye?

Topic by Leodip    |  last reply


How to make smart Distribution power box? Answered

Hello folks i am student of final year . I am doing a project in final year named as "Smart Distribution Power Box" . Its electronics and IOT based project . i just have an idea about it . but don't know how to start it what steps i follow to take it forward . Actutall i 'm trying to make the device something like TED Spyder here is the link of this device you can get idea from this link what i m trying to say .. (       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKCsDD4is_Y      )    Its a smart home energy monitor .  first o have to measure phase voltages and currents , then have to calculate real ,reactive and apparent powers power factor,current voltages at rated load ,load varriations,  then i have to make a soft interface to show it in graphical and well as numerical forms on a smart device .  Please like to suggest something how i can move on and how i can make it. I will be very thankful to you if you help me :-)  Thanks 

Question by MubeenS1    |  last reply


Digital noise in battery powered system Answered

Hello, while building a Bluetooth speaker based on this instructable, I ran into some problems regarding noise. There already exists a question regarding this problem here, but it is a few years old, and it gave me no solution. The power source for this project is a self constructed battery pack consisting of 4 18650 battery's soldered to a battery protection circuit (just like in the instructable). The PAM8610 (black version) amplifier board, however, can't take 16.8 volts so a voltage regulator is placed in between set to 12 volts. Same story for the Bluetooth receiver board (KRC-86B V4.0), but with a voltage of 5 volts. All fine and dandy till there. The KRC-86B has an input for a 3.5mm jack connection and an output. The output is a pass-trough of the 3.5mm input unless a Bluetooth connection is present, then the Bluetooth signal will overwrite. Here's the problem: whilst the connection using the 3.5mm jack works fine, creating a Bluetooth connection results in a very annoying digital noise. This noise is there instantaneously and is the same on all volumes of the host/transmitter. If no music is being played by the host for around 15-20 seconds the device seems to enter a power saving mode and the noise changes to a regular beep. This is way less bad, but of no use because it is replaced again by the bad noise when the music starts again. I have tried a diversity of things, listed here with their effects: Action: wrap the Bluetooth receiver in electrical tape and aluminium foil. Result: nothing much, it didn't even block the music. Signal was only blocked by three layers, a few meters distance and my body in between my phone and the receiver. Action: lift ground in signal between Bluetooth receiver and amplifier. Result: noise gets slightly worse, no change in tone, only amplitude. Action: moved away from my computer, as to avoid interference. Result: nothing at all. Action: tried another Bluetooth transmitter, PC instead of phone. Result: - Action: broke the previous board at the start of this project by heating it too much in the attempt to change a wire. Result: noise was also present at the first board which I did test by hooking it up to the line-in of my computer. Though that could also have been by the ghetto set up I used. The 3.5mm cable was poorly connected, trough a breadboard. Taking my multimeter and measuring the difference between negative of the battery and GND of the voltage regulator for the amp gave a 6.0 mV reading. The same result is achieved when measuring between battery and GND of the regulator for the KRC-86B. The potential between GND of the signal and the GND of one of the regulators was 0.1 mV. I understand that you might want to hear the noise, so I recorded it: link. It is very soft, but audacity doesn't read .m4a files, and turning up the volume works just as well. Please let me know if you have any idea's on what could solve it and/or if you need more info. Thanks in advance.

Question by arduinefier    |  last reply


Can I power a 5v LED Strip with a USB cable?

I have an old USB cable from a phone charger and a 1,50 m long 5v LED strip. I've been doing some research and I figured out that the USB cable contains 4 little cables inside: 2 for data exchange and 2 for power.  What I want to achieve is a nice and soft backlight for my TV and I don't want to waste one socket of the power supply just for that. Connecting those 2 power cables to the LED strip and plugging the USB in the TV USB port would be enough to light the strip up? If not, is it possible to achieve this with those two things? As you may have already noticed, I have 0 knowlegde and absolutely none experience about this kind of things. Thanks in advance.

Question by MarcosR38    |  last reply


Airsoft minigun

Here is an awesome easy airsoft gun I built from Nighthawkinlight. link:http:// https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Full-Auto-Airsoft-Minigun-Halo-Insp/ Highly recomended!!!! I built it for about 30$. My plan i am working on right now is to use the same compressed air method to build a paintball pistol with a 8 cap mag, its working out great so far. Here are the stats for the gun pictured. PROS Compressed air powered!!! (to me this is awesome so i dont have to spend $ on Co2, or a battery that you need to charge) great range 250ft! lighter than it looks high rate of fire 50/ sec sturdy design very accurate CONS uses ammo up quickly kinda large takes a while to pump PLZ RATE AND COMMENT PLZ

Topic by Football viking boy    |  last reply


How would I solder a Soft Push button switch to an LED circuit board from a Solar yard light?

I'm currently working on a project similar to slchorne's "handheld solar power supply" instructable and have run into a little trouble. The device will use a circuit board/LED light from a solar yard light and an SPST Soft Push button switch (with some new wires of course) as a flashlight and I'm not sure how I would connect the switch with the circuit board and the battery pack so that it functions correctly. Would I solder both ends of the switch wires to the circuit board or would I solder one end of the circuit board and one end of the switch wires to the battery pack?

Question by BucketBasher    |  last reply


How do I create a 5 second soft-start with an LM334Z current regulator?

Hey all, A bit of a newbie to creating circuits I have a 12V battery regulated to 2mA with an LM334Z current regulator. Here are the docs for the current regulator: http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/lm134.pdf I would like to create a soft start, so that when I turn the device on there is not a rush of current.  I’d like it to ramp up over 5 seconds. I’ve breadboarded a few schematics I found online but I can’t get them working. Even if the battery power is slowly ramped up, the LM334 rams the voltage to get the current at exactly 2mA. (my Rset w/ a 33ohm resistor) Here’s a couple I’ve tried unsuccessfully. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5822/softstart1.gif (might be b/c the 317 is different?) I even tried this schematic to no avail: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5822/Screen%20Shot%202012-04-29%20at%209.16.57%20AM.png But I was using different transistors, didn’t think that mattered- let me know if it does Can anyone help me figure this out? I’ve been stumped for days. Starting to pull my hair out :) Thanks Nick

Question by tontoa4    |  last reply


How to download data into the PICAXE 18m2 ?

How to download date into the PICAXE 18m2 ? im really confused over this. the products i have :  picaxe 18m2, uln2803a( not sure if this is necessary), chi030 project board, AXE027 cable, and 3 AA batter power supply. i basically have the demo kit. i was wondering if you could use this kit to download the date from the PICAXE programming editor to the picaxe18m2 or do you have to build a separate download circuit to accomplish this ? if someone can clear my confusion. im also confused about the USB Download Circuit and Serial Download Circuit and their difference. if someone can make a small guide using pictures or video  and maybe even do the demo led test off the picaxe manual, (http://www.picaxe.com/docs/picaxe_manual1.pdf) i would greatly appreciate it. thank you

Question by dudeitskumar    |  last reply


making a drill?

I need some sort of drill, but i have to make it. it can be powered by anything, air, electricity,etc. just, not hand crank. it doesn't have to be very heavy-duty, i only drill soft plastic mostly. thanks! -toogers

Question by toogers    |  last reply


Timer gadget to press a button (on a dishwasher)?

Back in the days when appliances had real dials and switches on them, you could set the program and then put it on a timer switch so that it would run on off-peak electric. Now that they're all software controlled with soft switches you can't do that unless you either pay a premium for one with a timer or if they have memory to resume the program from a power cut. What I'm looking for is a simple little thing with a timer on it that you stick over the top of the soft power button, and it will press it (unless you can trigger a soft switch like a capacitive switch by sticking a voltage in front of it?) when the timer runs down. Is there a little gadget to do this? or does anyone have plans to build something? I know I could hack a timer into it fairly easily but that would mean voiding the warranty. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Question by bruffterman    |  last reply


Fashioning Technology Giveaway!

We're giving away 5 copies of the book Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting!  It's a fun book with tons of ideas about how to incorporate technology into your projects.  It explains everything you need to know to get going with LEDs, soft circuits, solar power, sensors, and much more! I'll be sending these books to the next 5 people that post Instructables meeting the following criteria: - Posted on or after July 3, 2012 - Involves both crafting and electronics- soft circuits, phone/gadget accessories, light fixtures.... be creative! - 4 or more steps - Full original written and photo documentation Post a link to your Instructable on this forum post to enter!

Topic by amandaghassaei    |  last reply


[IDEA] Would this work? Answered

Hello, this is a theoretical question, as i have neither the time nor the money to do it. Assuming that your electromagnet would not melt with the power of the lightning and is made of suitable electromagnet material (copper wire and soft iron?). What would happen if somebody connected a large electromagnet to a lightning rod and to the ground? I do not know much about this field of physics, so please explain your answers! thanks in advance, jonathan

Question by jonrb    |  last reply


inrush current make mcb trip

Hi all, i have a problem with my miter saw, it run at 220v and have power 1.8Kw or 1800w my house power can provide 2200Va, the problem is, when i start the miter saw the MCB will trip,  so i must turn off all my electrical home aquipment , than i can use my miter saw. i try to search on g**gle and find that it need some slow start, or soft start so the mcb will not trip again. it cause from inrush current, when the motor start. but the slow start  some forum in indonesia say it can be done by using capacitor bank. to repair the power factor but there is no explanation what size of capacitor bank we can use for any diffrent load...especially a big load like mitter saw for sure, how can i reduce inrush current from the miter saw? what should i do?

Topic by beatobe    |  last reply


Making an entire home portrait studio from scratch.

Ok I have decided today.... I am going to buld an entire home portrait studio From start to finish to take pictures of my little girls. Im going to build everything except the camera and tripod, and make it as cheap as possible while still keeping to the motto "simple stupid". Here is the list i have so far. soft box, reflector umbrella, back drop, backdrop stand,sitting box,power supply with switch (or switches havent decided yet), adjustable lights, light stands, and back drop holders. I will be posting the instructables as I go along. If anyone can think of anything else I may need please let me know.

Topic by scion6tc    |  last reply


I am looking for ideas on the best way to make a Solar Garden Light replicate a 4ft lightouse light.

I bought a cheap 4 ft wooden lighthouse and want to add a solar powered light in it. It doesn't have to be bright, infact I don't want it to keep the neighbors awake. I just want to buy a cheap solar garden light, and make it flash for say 5 seconds on and off. or if possible, make it appear to be rotating by having it repeat the pattern(soft, bright, soft, off, off) I saw a nice schematic for that somewhere, but it has been a while since I messed with building circuits and I'd rather try and keep it simple. Any ideas, also is the solar garden light the way to go, or do you have something better. Looking to do it all for $15 max. Also, I would like to add 2 switches, one to bypass the photo cell and showcase it during the day. and the other to turn the whole thing off.

Question by RumRunnerXT    |  last reply


is there any good sites to get airsoft guns from? Answered

so i was going to look at air-splat.com but i heard that the company sucks so, yeah. Right now i'm looking for some spring powered shotguns and pistols. if you know a good site that you get your guns from please let me know!

Question by Everett_McKinley    |  last reply


What laser do I need for laser etching?

The questions says it all; I am planning to build a custom 2-axis computer controller etching machine out of a modified ink-jet printer. The motorisation and computation part it not a problem yet, however I have no clue where to start from about looking for a laser. I am looking foward engraving/etching wood, metal, plastic and some other soft materials. I do not plan to CUT these however. I do not know what kind of laser I am exactly looking for, nor it's power or anything else I should be aware of, including where to order it from. Even, will a DVD burner diode do the job? If you have any past experience with laser etching, or laser technology, please contribute as I would be very grateful. Thank you.

Question by matroska    |  last reply


What do I have2do2a wire2let me power a9v thing from a outlet? Can a9v battery clip only carry 9v? Screw terminal uses?

I'm trying to invent something. I'm realistic enough to know it probably won't work as planned and definitely won't make me rich, but I'll always regret it if I don't try. I need to power 6 electromagnets and I want to use one cord to power them. The electromagnets are wire wrapped around a soft iron core. They don’t need to be strong, just strong enough to activate a reed switch. (The pictures are labelled with #s to show which question they are for.) 1. How do I connect them all into an electrical extension cord? Do I have to use a screw terminal? 2. Can a 9 volt battery clip carry more than 9 volts, or will it fry? If I properly joined a power cord and 9 volt battery clip and plugged it in, what would happen? Would there have to be resistors? What kind? 3. Would this configuration with two screw terminals work? Did I misunderstand the function of the screw terminal? Is there something better I could use? (From bottom to top) ~The electrical cord powers the whole thing. It distributes the current to all the wires. ~The reed switches prevent the all wires from sending all the currents to the light bulb. ~If I put a magnet over the AQUA wire reed switch, the circuit would be completed and current would reach the light bulb and cause it to light. I tried to figure out how to do it on my own but when you don't know any electric components, terms, phrases, and definitions - like me - it's next to impossible to look things up.  

Question by gatorgirl7563    |  last reply


CNC mill stepper motor controller

Hi y'all from France! I've been aching to get my hands on a CNC machine from quite some time now, unfortunately I'm quite a noob when it comes to electronics and such. I'd found that while the machine itself is not that hard to build (see all the ables), however the electronics involved are just too complicated for me to build a controller from scratch. I've found the other day some seller on french ebay selling a complete controller without the power supply, so I've been wondering about it but am not in the position to fully understand that piece of equipment. So my question is: what do you think about it guys? Does it seems to be ok (BTW I've also found 3 NEMA23 stepper motors, precisely the same model as described in the specifications for the controller board on its seller's page)? For now I just want a three axis CNC machine capable of cutting polymer foam and soft wood, so I don't really need expensive and powerful stepper motors. Thx for any kind of input!

Topic by pepelepew  


Need help to make a project Answered

I need to build a project where a proximity sensor of a person (1 - 3 ft) would cause a very small motor to press a plastic bottle once per cycle. The cycle should only be able to be activated once between 10 - 15 minutes.  The soft plastic bottle would be no more that 2 - 4 cm diameter 7 - 8 cm long with a tube connected to it's tip and the bottle would be inverted to allow gravity to allow the liquid to move down the tube. The idea is to get just 1 drop to drip from the tube. I would want the power source to be a rechargeable  AA 1.4v up to 8 - 9v rechargeable battery.  This will be my first electronics project so please keep it as simple as possible.

Question by fred.salivia    |  last reply


reverse connected guitar pickups make strings resonate - how to make it stronger?

Hey all ,  im having a problem ,  i connected some guitar pickups to send frequencys instead of receiving , when close to a certain section of a piano , it makes the strings resonate , and i can play music thru the strings (i even get voice timbres) now , my problem is like that - the vibrations are extremely soft ,and i need to somehow make them stronger ,  i think one of the ways would be to magnetify the strings , but i would really like to know if there is a way to strengthen the pickup signal without blowing anything up , anyone has an idea? i think it has to do with electro-magnet power , so amplifing it should work , but adding a 5 watt small amp didn't make any diference...

Topic by dogme    |  last reply


Removing a teeny/tiny iPod/iPhone drilled screw

Hello, I have been doing some repair work on an iPod Touch 3G. One repair I'm having to perform is the power button which is totally unresponsive. This required removing some very soft tiny screws at the bottom of the device. Unfortunately, one didn't survive the screwdriver and quickly chewed up, which means I've had to drill it using a drill bit, which took a surprising amount of effort. The problem now I have is extracting the final stem which is still screwed in. The stem isn't flush with the metal but it's not far off, making it hard to grab using pliers. I'm looking for some suggestions how to remove it. I've read that cutting a thin screwdriver in half and gluing it using super glue is a way. Another way seems to buying an extraction set but the only one I can find in the area looks far too big (despite having a precision piece). Thoughts? All suggestions welcome.

Topic by skezza    |  last reply


why is my solar garden light flashing? Answered

Hey guys i brought a solar garden light the other day so i would have soft light on my table when playing video games in the dark mostly so i can see my drink and food an not have to get up turn the light on or fumble around potentially making a mess. it worked fine then i had an idea to boost the "cool" factor change the LED out for a red one so i did and now it lasts a hour actually 45 minutes to an hour then it starts to flash five seconds on 5 seconds after another hour it'll be 5 seconds on 180 seconds off  i think roughly an ad break on New Zealand television. is it the 1.2v nicd 600mAh battery? i thought it should just be brighter seeing as the white one should be rated at 3.5v 20mA? and the red at 2.0v or less? also can i replace the battery with a more powerful one without having to modify the actual electronics? thank you

Question by Scotty3000    |  last reply


(newsletter) Kilo-Lumen Bike Light, Sparkleball, Amazing Pumpkin Pie...

Nov 26, 2008 Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); } Welcome back! Making something sweet for the holidays? Then enter it in the Holiday Treats Contest and win a custom laser-etched rolling pin! Show us your best creation powered by AA, AAA, C, or D batteries and win a full set of eneloop rechargeable batteries in the SANYO eneloop Battery Powered Contest! Color a robot and send it in to help us decorate Eric's office!Coming very soon... our biggest contest yet! Any project using tools will be eligible, so start tinkering now! (no-melt) Sparkleball by sparkleball_lady Perfect Oven Sweet Potato Fries by jessyratfink Cook a Huge Dinner w/ Spreadsheets by canida Kilo-Lumen bike headlight by kc6qhp Win a sweet set of rechargeable batteries! Win a custom laser-engravedrolling pin! Homemade Flavored Marshmallows by cainunable Build a Greenhouse for under $25 by PondPlantGirl Turn a Photo into a Stencil! by Weissensteinburg Amazingly Smooth Pumpkin Pie by ewilhelm "Dead" Battery Lamp by zjharva Arduino Controlled Servo Robot by Stuart.Mcfarlan Modular Pie-cosahedron by turkey tek Bicycle Oil Lantern by alpacalypse Make a gift special with these customizable Instructables Vote for your favorites! How to make Soft Drinks by SFHandyman Bench Saw Table for a Wood Lathe by Phil B Cranberry Relish by LasVegas Hard Drive Persistence of Vision by vishnubob Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup2","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); }

Topic by fungus amungus  


How might I go about building something like this? Ideas?

I found this on a website but it's a bit pricey for me. I'd love to make one for my girlfriend but I have no idea where to start. The design seems simple enough but there are parts that puzzle me, like the charging and wiring. Any help would be greatly appreciated.Rei HuggableFrom the site:We have wrote about this glowing pillow a loooong time ago, but now it's finally out of production and in the market and we are so happy to present it to you. What it is? Well for starters it's a soft and fuzzy pillow filled with 'silicone bean bags' that contain high intensity LED lights.These LED lights in the silicone beads make the entire pillow glow in an extremely calming and soothing way. Powered by 4 AA batteries – or if you prefer to hook it up to the adaptor, that's possible as well – the pillow glows strongly for about 4 hours and then the lights ever so softly fade over the next couple hours.

Topic by Avarice    |  last reply


With an electromagnet, if there's a open reed switch betwen 1 end of the coil's wire & powersource, will e-mag get hot?

I'm building an electromagnet. The core is soft iron: 0.5" diameter and 1" long.  AWG 12 wire OR enameled copper magnet wire 32 gauge So the wire is wrapped around the core. One wire end leads to a reed switch which connects to one of the two wires of the 9 volt snap-on battery clip. The other wire end connects straight to the 9 volt snap-on battery clip with nothing in between. Will the wire end that connects directly to the 9 volt snap-on battery clip: A.) use powers and drain the battery B.) heat up the electromagnet (wire & core) If the electromagnet heats up, then how hot does it get? Just warm or really warm? Could it reach hot or HOT levels - hot enough to burn skin, damage any part of the electromagnet, or ignite/melt the carpet (if it was on it)?   P.S.  The final device would have no exposed wires. Thanks.

Question by gatorgirl7563    |  last reply


Anyone know what this is?

I just got hooked up with digital tv today, and www.wegener.com/PRODUCTS/STREAMING_MEDIA_DECODERS/SMD_515.php these are what they gave me for set top boxes. Little IPTV streaming boxes. I noticed there was a spare led labeled HD on the front, and upon further inspection, I found a ide connector and a power connector for a 3.5 inch hard disk. Normally my isp would want me to rent a different receiver for PVR functions, and additionally a lot more per reciever. This box can use a hard drive, but when I put one in, nothing happens when I plug it back in. Now apparently, from what I've read, my isp might have installed their own firmware onto the boxes, but I do not think that is the case, the menus look like the one's I've seen online. I expected for there to be an extra option pop up in the menu when I powered it on with a hard drive installed, but that was not the case... is it the format? I have a 40 gig in there (for a tester) formatted as fat32. What am I doing wrong here?? Oh yeah, and theres a screenshot I got off my tuner card, it only shows this "boot" screen when you unplug the power and plug it back in, otherwise when you switch it off, it seems to go into a "Soft-off" mode, and the hard disk I noticed also continues to spin after it's been turned off... I don't like that :S Anyways, I can't find anything online, so much as a quick reference manual on wegener's website, but it didn't provide anything useful, it vaguely mentioned the recording function, but nothing of installing a hard disk or setting it up. I assume there should be SOME kind of menu/setup I can get into to setup the hard drive/view more options other than the audio format and some other minor options I can currently see like menu appearance. I'm super fascinated to see if I can get a hard drive actually functioning on here, like the remote even has a record button on it, so obviously it was meant to be a pvr, just they expect you to pay them out the nose for them to put one in for you.

Topic by Punkguyta    |  last reply


adaptive making

Alright, fellow Instructablers, I need help. I'm not usually a forum-poster; I like lurking. But I'm getting a little desperate. About a month ago, I was in a bit of a car accident. The airbags went off as I was trying to turn away from the telephone pole, and so my right wrist was in front of the steering wheel when the bags went off. This means that my right wrist (yes, I'm right handed) is still recovering, with the current diagnosis of "soft tissue injury with a sprain on top." I'm going to see a hand specialist, but in the mean time, it's quite the wrist brace. Though I can use my fingers, I can't do much without pain/stiffness/etc. So here's the problem that I'm posing to you: what can I make? I'm going stir-crazy. I knit, I woodwork, I play with wire and jewelry making, I draw, I take things apart... I'm willing to learn any new medium and play with any new toys. But I can't use my wrist. So, what adaptive techniques or simple projects or mediums do you suggest until I'm back to full powers? TL;DR: Can't use my wrist, but want to keep making things. Ideas?

Topic by lastchancetuesday    |  last reply


Some doubts: Lilypad Arduino, Accelerometers and E-textiles

Hello all! First of all, I'm a brazilian undergraduate Design student, and I'm very new at developing electronic projects (specially with e-textiles). I'm currently working on a malleable hand-held interface for my graduation project, and have been posting its development at this website: http://theinstrumentproject.tumblr.com/ Well, I've come up with the attached simplified schematics (just to communicate my needs and current intentions), and some questions raised from it: About Arduino and the schematic: - Will the raw data of the whole schematic (5 accelerometers to lilypad to bluetooth) be fast enough generated? - a frequency of 10 "readings" per second should be enough for what I intend to do with them. * - How much power will the schematic consume? Are three 20mm coin cell batteries going to do the job? In how much time would they be drown out? * About soft circuits and e-textiles: - What is best to transport data and power through this interface: conductive fabric, conductive thread or even a really thin wire? - It is important that it could be folded, twisted and very resistant through time. - Could you indicate any kind of textile more suitable for this application? - It should be just a little stretchy, and very resistant. - Any ideas of how should I protect the components from damage by rough hand manipulation? - Any advice about sewing the whole application? (*) The main components: - Arduino Main Board: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9266 - Lilypad Accelerometer ADXL335: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9267 - Bluetooth Mate Silver: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10393 Hope someone here can bring me some light to these problems, but any kind of help, opinion or critic is welcome! Thanks!

Topic by lgguts    |  last reply


Suggestions for a cheap, simple robot unicorn build

My 5yo daughter has figured out that her mad-Scientist daddy can make crazy things come true.  For her birthday, she got a real unicorn and a princess crown (see picture attached).  Now for Christmas, she has her heart set on a ROBOT unicorn, and I think I'm going to try to tackle this, but I need to keep the scope tight so that when Christmas arrives, I'll have a deliverable for her. (My instinct always leap to grandiose ideas like actual quadrupedalism that would balloon the time/effort/money inputs into the stratosphere.   My biggest obstacle to make this work for Christmas is to stick with K.I.S.S. principles.  I can do basic welding, woodworking, fabricating, stitching, etc.  I'm reasonably good at electronics, and am a professional programmer with a degree in Aerospace Engineering.) Here is my rough  build plan:  (Completely open to improvement suggestions) 1)  Build frame out of 1/2" square steel tubing and weld together.  Leave large torso cavity for electronics and batteries.  Feet will have wheels concealed by a hoof shroud.  Feet will be upgradable (see tech features below) 2)  Use blue foam to rough out body shape.  3)  Cover with about 1/2" of soft foam covered with felt.  Use yarn for mane and tail.  Cover should be removable and washable. I'm trying to figure out tiers of work so that as long as I get the basic frame and covering down, I'll be able to increase/decrease the scope to ensure I'll have a deliverable for Christmas.  Here are the tiered robotic features I am envisioning: Tier 1: Make the saddle bounce at about .5Hz with an amplitude of roughly 1/2".  Possibly make head/neck bob up/down in sync. Tier 2:  Add horse sound effects Tier 3:  Build sensors for the reigns and stirrups.  Monitor if stirrups get pushed inward in a basic kick the horse motion.  Monitor if one reign or both are being pulled.  Make sounds effects based on inputs.  (E.G.  Clop, clop of hooves begins when stirrups are pushed in, and stop when reigns are pulled.)  NOTE:  Since they have access to real horses, keeping the controls reasonably close to riding a real horse will make this double as a trainer/simulator for her and her friends. Tier 4:  Upgrade wheels to powered.  Move based on reign and stirrup inputs.   Max speed will be very slow (40fps or so), so that it can be used inside safely.  Movement is mostly just to augment her imagination, not to move like a real horse. Tier 5:  (Not much chance I'll get this far prior to Christmas)  Upgrade software, sound effects, etc. Current back of napkin ideas: Frame will probably have 3 pieces: legs/torso, neck/head, Saddle/back  Saddle/back removable for electronics access. Neck/head will be joined to torso in 3 spots:  the top point will be anchored with a chain link between two eye-bolts, the other two points would be on the sides of the bottom, with compression springs pushing the neck and torso away from each other, limited by a mechanical linkage.  This should give reasonable motion ability, and allow the two base points to become the sensors for the reigns being pulled. I'm thinking a small 12V deep cycle battery, and 12v salvage DC motors powering the wheels.  Depending on the motor torque, I'll either power the back two feet and keep the front feet as swivel casters, or power all four and turn tank-style. The budget needs to stay reasonable, say $100ish.  This is a kids toy, and I've got lots of other mad-scientist projects to pump money towards. Outstanding questions: Motor selection, cheapest with high enough torque Good, cheap way to make seat and possibly head oscillate.  Mechanism needs to not break even if a 200lbs rider sits on it.  (Doesn't need to work when overloaded, just can't be permanently damaged when overloaded.) Locate inexpensive 12v charger that won't overcharge if left connected, but will charge a 3ah battery reasonably quickly.  (Or schematics to build one)  Essentially, looking for a best bang-for-buck charger. Least expensive way to play audio clips?  I've got plenty of horse-sound clips located, but I need a way to play them economically. Not sure how much force will be needed for movement.  I'm assuming a 70lbs rider/robot max and that it will primarily operate on flat surfaces, potentially on carpet.  Can't burn out if overloaded.  Suggestions on simplifying this?  Suggestions on simple improvements?  Ways to keep the costs down?  Sources for economical parts?

Topic by SvdSinner    |  last reply


unfinished,5 DOF Robotic Mechanical ARM

5 DOF Robotic Mechanical ARM Required Material of project:- 1. Basic Servo Tower pro 9g*4 2. Header pins Male female*2 3. Arduino Nano*1 4.10kΩ Resistor resistance*2 5. Trimmer Potentiometer track Linear; maximum resistance 10kΩ*4 6. Tactile push button*2 7. Blank circuit board*1 8. Acrylic strips for Robot & potentiometer body*2 9. Wires, Button, Switch 10.Balsa wood, Metal, Plastic Procedure:- Arrange all necessary items.. Please go through the attached images  for better understanding.. I divide whole project in two parts 1) Servo Motor assembly 2) Potentiometer assembly 1) Servo motor assembly: – Servo motor as J1, J2, J3, J4 fix the servo motors as shown in image use 3M tape to glue servo, use thin flexible plastic strip to make griper, make hole in center of each finger tie thread in that hole pass this thread from center hole and tie knot at the other end of thread with 4th servo motor’s knob, as you stretch thread finger get close vise versa. Fix whole arrangement on strong rigid base. 2) Potentiometer assembly: – Fix potentiometer as shown in figure name potentiometer as do previous R3, R4, R5, R6 this time place R6 separately for easy access this potentiometer control gripper to pick and place. Potentiometer arrangement symmetry must be same as servo arm. Fix whole arrangement on strong rigid base. Moving a little bolt from one side to the other side:- 1. Actuators / output devices: 4 micro servos 2. Control method: controlled by a PIC16F690       assembler firmware 3. CPU: PIC16f690 micro controller 4. Operating system: self made assembler code 5. Power source: 4.8V to 6V from 4 battery cells 6. Programming language: PIC Assembler 7. Sensors / input devices: teach in system with                         4 potentiometers       Making Processer:- The Potis are standard types and are screwed to the white plastic parts with their nuts. The axles are pressed into the transparent plastic part. The handle to move the teach-in-arm is a M3-Spacer and the socket is a plastic part with is normally used to fix balloons on a stick to hold it.                     move the motor itself by hand a little force is needed due to its permanent magnets, which create a small holding force. But inside the servo a lot of gears increase the force which you have to apply. If you move the servo by hand, you have to apply a much higher force. If you overcome the motors holding force, it starts to rotate an acts as a flywheel. So moving a servo by hand needs a high torque and its not easy to turn it to the position where you want it. ( Fan control modules for engine cooling of real cars have some extra parts to clamp the voltage which is generated, when you drive at higher speeds. In that case the fan works like a windmill and creates higher voltages than normal inside the power stage of the module.) And there were also a lot of other "problems" which had to be solved using my PIC Controllers. i.e. self made electronics for a RC-Excavator which works similar to the digital system used in slot cars. To replace a lot of wires between the rotating part of the excavator and the track unit, a small PIC 12F629 reads the pulses from up to 5 channels of a RC-Receiver and leads their information via a 2 wire connection to a second PIC12F629. At the second board the power is separated from the data. The PIC is reading the data, and generates the PWM output for the 5 Servo output connector. the 2 wire connection is made with a cheap 6,3mm mono microphone plug which is also used as the axle for the rotating part. The arm of the excavator is also powered by standard servos and so it was necessary to change the control behavior from proportional to integral so that the servos move like real hydraulic cylinders which are controlled by valves. I used the same 12F629 type for that job and added some features like adjustable limit positions and starting point programmable by one jumper, and automatic return to park position when missing the pulses for some seconds. The Software is simple:- Its working like a servotester for four axis. That means, every poti is connected to an analog in of the controller and all servos are connected to GPIOs. The controller reads each poti, does some scaling, so that the angle of the poti equals to the angle of the axis and finally he creates the PWM output 1-2ms pulse every 20ms for all servos. Teach mode:- After a reset the robot arm follows the teach in arm while simple mapping the analog inputs every 25ms to the servo motors. Pressing the button stores each servo position in a array. Play mode: The sketch reads the array step by step and moves the robot arm. For cool looking movements I added a routine calculates different micro steps for each servo to have moving start and end sync on all axis. Also added a ramp for soft increase/decrease velocity. Shorter travel distances the robot does slow, longer distances with faster speed.           The program moves the servos at full speed to the next position and a short delay time after each command allows all of the servos to reach their final position. That means that it is possible to increase the speed a little bit more by doing some fine tuning of the delay times after each command. The final thing which is still not implemented is the routine which saves the "Teach In" data 5 or 10 times per second, so that the controller is able to replay it in a loop with the original speed or with a lower or higher speed. Electrical Connection:- Provide separate power supply (5V DC 1amps) to the Servo motors . Don’t forget to short ground of both power source ( arduino + servo) 5 DOF Robotic Mechanical ARM :- 1. Use of Fiber on upper side 2. wooden spoon is a part of side body 3. cable tie *12 pieces use the robotic. 4. Some pices of wires 5. use scraw*4 6. Glue 7. some small clips Because to attached body 8. small size of plastic box 9. One pieces of  square fiber stand and one pieces small & medium  circular fiber  10.  L293D Motor Driver IC+IC Base KG143 11. Generic Elementz High Quality Nickel Plated 24*18 Points Bread Board*(2 pieces) and one plastic 12. Push Button Switch. Play Mode version 1.1 The gripper input is used to set the delay (0,1,3,15,60,300 seconds) after a loop is done. The switch (it was left from the project start) pauses the robot.        Thanks you:

Topic by aarif1234  


Make Fireworks, RFID Pet Feeder, LED Jellyfish Costume...

Sign-up for our newsletter here. Sept. 13, 2007 Welcome back! The iRobot Create Challenge has just finished up with over a dozen cool and we're still seeing some cool Launch It! Challenge entries come in on top of the usual cool projects. Check them out! Halloween LED Jellyfish Costume Using LED rope lights and a plastic washing basin to create a deep sea bioluminescent jellyfish thing.posted by deadinsect on Sep 11, 2007 How to Make a RFID Pet Food Feeder Make sure dogs aren't stealing food with an RFID alarm.posted by mlarsen on Sep 5, 2007 Creative Discontent: Squalk (Squirt Chalk) Non-destructive communication tool for mass public discourse. Erasable graffiti at its finest.posted by pdip_stiffi on Sep 9, 2007 How to Make Monkey Bread The ultimate finger-licking, finger-picking dessert of all time. Soft balls of dough, coated in a cinnamon sugar crust of sweet goodness.posted by trebuchet03 on Sep 9, 2007 Colossal Cannon: Building a Behemoth Piston-Valved Pneumatic Launcher Sometimes you think to yourself, "Hmm...I wonder just how far I can hurl stuff, maybe even into the next county." posted by DeusXMachina on Sep 9, 2007 Contest ends on Sunday! Answer our burning questions! Get a free shirt! See who won the $1,500 top prize! How to Make Fireworks Learn how to make your own aerial shell and wow the neighbors.posted by pudi.dk on Sep 7, 2007 eyeRobot - The Robotic White Cane How to hack an iRobot to guide blind and visually impaired users through cluttered and populated environments.posted by shrimpy on Sep 8, 2007 Piano-wire Slingshot A small but powerful slingshot made using 1mm gauge piano-wire and ordinary rubber bands.posted by chluaid on Sep 9, 2007 Gliding/Floating Laptop Dock A floating laptop dock that moves back and forth, eliminating the need to station the laptop on your lap. posted by Romado12187 on Sep 8, 2007 How To Build A Pit Oven (And Cook A Salmon) Learn to do a little backwoods cooking with a pit oven. posted by Mr. Nova on Sep 11, 2007 Now go build something awesome, and I'll see you next week! -Eric

Topic by lebowski  


Die cutter (plotter) vs laser? Buy used vs DIY? Answered

Hi, I've already asked the same on reddit to no great result, figured folks here might know better. :) I'm looking into cutting machines and have some questions regarding them. But first about the various needs/expectations and why I can't decide in the first place. I want to be able to cut most of the common thin materials, primarily: vinyl, paper, cardstock (up to 300gsm or so), fabric, soft rubber, optionally thin leather and felt. It seems, like it's not completely unrealistic to hope this can be done with a cutter using a knife, given that something like KNK Zing can do it. I'd buy it if it was within my budget. Something like wood veneer (single layer, probably paper backed to hold together) is probably not realistic, but would be amazing extra. I'd actually buy it if it was within my budget. Budget is the second problem I have. I want this piece of machinery to cost me up to 200 euro (~220$). My current research involved searching for used machinery locally online and then looking at what would it cost to get some of those consumer centered machines from Silhouette and such. My budget could get me a used Chinese cutter locally given there is one for sale (EH721, LiYu SC631 and the likes) or a new Silhouette Portrait which I can't really rationalize paying so much for - if I was in US, I'd just get one of those and work from there because of the low price. It would cost me around 200$ to get one here, and that's without their software so I can cut my own vector files. All of this leads me to yet another alternative - making one myself. I saw a guide for printer to cutter conversion on instructables and am not exactly new to microcontrollers either, so it probably wouldn't end up in a suicide out of frustration or something. Then again, if making something like that anyway, maybe it makes more sense to go for a laser on a flatbed instead of knife? Not sure if I can get one powerful enough on the current budget. Thanks for reading this far. I will be even more thankful for any directions and considerations, advice from current users and of course people who have made such machines themselves.

Question by Raitis    |  last reply


Acer laptop, what mother board does it use?

 I have a acer aspire 5542, And would like to know the mother broad it uses Thanks for your help Brand Acer Model Aspire 5542 Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit Processor / Graphics AMD Athlon II Dual-Core M300 2.00 GHz ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200 Series Memory 4 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 SDRAM 667 MHz Hard drive SATA 500 GB HDD 5400 rpm Display / Resolution 15.6-inch HD 1366×76 resolution high brightness Acer CineCrystal TFT LCD, 16:9 aspect ratio, 8 ms response time, 60% color gamut Removable Storage 8X DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive Wireless Support Atheros AR5B93 Wireless Network Adapter 802.11 n, b, g Communications Broadcom NetLink Gigabit Ethernet, HDAUDIO Soft Fax Modem with SmartCP, Acer Video Conferencing with Integrated Acer Crystal Eye Webcamer featuring 640×480 resolution, Bluetooth 2.1 Input Devices Full-size keyboard including number pad, Synaptics touchpad with Multi-Gesture support Power 6-cell Li-ion with up to 3 hours of battery life Accessories Extra battery, external USB floppy, extra AC adapter Security software/features Acer Backup Manager1, Acer Bio-Protection1, Acer eRecovery Management, McAfee® Internet Security Suite 2009 Trial, MyWinLocker®, Nortonâ„¢ Online Backup Other Software Acer Arcadeâ„¢ Deluxe featuring Acer CinemaVisionâ„¢ and Acer ClearVisionâ„¢ technologies, Acer Crystal Eye, Acer GridVistaâ„¢, Acer Launch Manager, Adobe® Flash® Player, Adobe® Reader®, EarthLink®1, eSobiâ„¢, Google Toolbarâ„¢, Microsoft® Works with Office Home and Student 2007 Trial, NetZero®, NTI Media Makerâ„¢, Oberon GameZone, WildTangent® Memory card reader Media Card Reader supporting SD, MMC, RS-MMC, MS, MS Pro, xD Accessible memory slots 2 slots Maximum Memory Expansion Up to 4 GB Ports Headphone/speaker/line-out jack with S/PDIF support, Microphone-in jack, Line-In jack, Ethernet (RJ-45) port, Modem (RJ-11) port, DC-in jack for AC adapter Additional Ports None Audio Dolby®-optimized surround sound system with two built-in stereo speakers, Optimized 3rd Generation Dolby Home Theater® audio enhancement, featuring Dolby® Digital Live, Dolby® Pro Logic® IIx, Dolby® Headphone, Dolby® Natural Bass, Dolby® Sound Space Expander, Dolby® Audio Optimization, Dolby® High Frequency Enhancer technologies10, True 5.1-channel surround sound output High-definition audio support S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface)11 support for digital speakers, MS-Sound compatible Built-in microphone ENERGY STAR Qualified Energy Star 5.0 Weight 6.16 lbs (2.8 kg) with battery Dimension 15.1 x 9.9 x 1.03 to 1.5 inches, 383 x 250 x 26 to 37 mm Thinness 1.03 to 15 inches, 26 to 37 mm Network Card Broadcom NetLink Gigabit Ethernet, HDAUDIO Soft Fax Modem with SmartCP PC Card Slot None Webcam Acer Crystal Eye Webcamera featuring 640×480 resolution Multimedia and Entertainment Acer Arcadeâ„¢ Deluxe featuring Acer CinemaVisionâ„¢ and Acer ClearVisionâ„¢ technologies, Acer Crystal Eye, Adobe® Flash® Player, NTI Media Makerâ„¢, Oberon GameZone, WildTangent® Warranty Limited 1-year and 90 day warranty options available depending on country, 1-year limited warranty on primary battery. Optional HP Care Pack Services extended warranty

Question by andreblue  


Do I have a major hardware problem or is it something much less?

Gateway Windows XP Home Edition Model # MF ATXSTL KTH 300SE LTD Ship Date- 4/8/02 Hard drive- Western Digital 20GB 5400RPM 128MB 133/100/66 - MHz 64Bit 4-Clock 16X8SDRAM DIMM Modems- Gateway V.92 PCI Soft Modem R1 Motherboard- INTEL (Kitty Hawk 1.5) 1.2GHz Celeron R1 My problem is that when I plug it in it automaticly powers up but it will not boot up.My first brain buster was that it was the video card, no such luck that I know of I have no way of checking it, but it did not change anything.So I left it out and then pulled the RAMM out and still it will not send anything to the monitor. So from there I check the #'s on the RAMM through Gateway and the last number on the stick was of by 1 number, I don't know if that makes a differance or not, I still need to find that out too. Gateway will not help in any way because it has no warrenty on it.That is as far as I got as far as the haRDWARE. As Soon as I plug it in it beeps three times and thats it.The fan on the CPU and the PSU both run from the time I plug it in. I did try pressing and holding the start button for about 10 to 15 seconds and it went out for about a 1/2 second and came back on but did not stop the pc. At this point I am at a lost. I don't know what else to try except the PSU maybe out or something. If the pc was not broke would it boot up with no RAMM or video card in it. It calls for 128MB so do I need to get two 128's and put in it to take it to 256 or can I two 256's in it to take it to 512 or is that to much? Is there a way I can test the video card to see if it is any good? Is it true that 3 beeps is code for RAMM problems? I don't know what else to try so can anyone please help me with as much as you can. I cannot afford to dump a bunch of money into it. I do have a lot of extra parts from IBM's. Would any of those parts work in a differant brand of computers? I have box's of brand new RAMM's,CPU's,CD-DVDs, Drives,Heat sinks,PSU's,all differant sizes of fans,just many many parts from IBM's. Will any of these parts work in anything other than IBM's.I hope this is enough information because its all I can think of. I think you for any help you can give me.

Question by madrasi    |  last reply


Hard drive won't mount?

So, I've had a toshiba 2.5" SATA 250 GB internal HD for a while now. I got it from an old toshiba laptop. I finally got an enclosure for it, and I plugged it in. windows made the sound it makes when you plug something in, and in device manager the usb port said a usb mass storage device was plugged in, but it didn't show up in my computer, nor did it show up in disk management. I searched the net for hours trying to find the problem, reading about how you might need to assign it a letter in disk management, and other more "grim" outlooks on how it might be dead. I listened to it closely, and heard it making very VERY soft ticking noises at a regular rate. I immediately thought the worst, and came to the conclusion that it was dead. The next day, I decided to take it into school with me, as my teacher was pretty smart when it came to computers, and maybe she could provide the tiniest shred of hope. She asked me to plug it into one of the school's desktops. I plugged it in and...it began running like normal. It showed up  on my computer, and showed the correct disk size, as well as a document I'd put on there long ago. I couldn't believe it!  When I got home, I plugged it into my computer, but surprisingly encountered the same problem. I decided to do a bit of experimenting, and I started plugging it into various computers we had around the house, and lined up all the facts I had: It didn't work on my laptop. (runs windows 7 home premium) It DID work on my mom's laptop. (also runs windows 7 home premium) It didn't work on my old desktop. (runs windows xp home edition, but I don't trust it. It's been acting very weird lately) It DID work on my school's desktop. (runs windows 7 enterprise) It DID work on my sister's laptop. (runs windows 7 home premium) I was stumped, to say the least. Can any of you tell me WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?!?!?! The strongest lead I have is that it might not be working correctly on my computer because the usb ports can't provide enough power to mount it. But if my laptop can't mount it, why should my mom's or my sisters be able to? Please provide any other theories you may think are plausible too! 

Question by tylervitale    |  last reply


Direction microphone questions Answered

A few days ago a friend gave me a directional mic he used with his camera.Of course I don't get these things as a working present but to repair them :(Anyway...Taking it apart to expose the inside was the first nightmare as for some reason my friend decided to use a splash proof mic on a totally unprotected cam.If you ever tried to take one of these aquarium tube heaters apart you know what I mean...To my surprise this formerly expensive toy failed due to a bad solder connection, easy to fix.And lucky as well because the actual microphone capsule was glued in place pretty good.A quick test on the computer with the supplied microphone amp showed it worked fine again so I wanted to find out how it actually works.They toy ones use a half sphere or mini dish to reflect the soundwaves onto the mic.My friends however was an aluminium tube of about 20cm lenght.15mm in diameter with the mic being just 5mm and sitting in what seemed to be the end of a little funnel inside the tube - right at the end.So in theory I would now just say the thing gets what comes in from the front, but well that would be far too easy...When I pulled that fluffy sock off the mic I realised two weird things:6 small holes going straight through the mic funnel and outer tube.A glued in relatively soft plastic sleeve with a wave pattern.It seemed this pattern changed on the way down but I could not really see inside properly.Closing the front hole and the mic had no problems getting all sorts of noise from all directions, quite lower in volume compared to a direct hit from the front though.Closing the small side holes with some tape and the mic is still very directional but also really noisy.It seems some acoustic magic is happening in the tube.No real clue though but I guess the sleeve acts like the sound dampening in a test room.Without it all sound entering the tube would reach the mic, while with it really only a very tiny, front facing angle is able to reach the mic.The aluminium certainly transmits some sound onto the mic and the glue appeared to be rock hard as well.So I have to assume that the sound entering through the tiny holes somehow cancels out the noise transmitted by the tube itself.With just 15mm in diameter however I can calculate what I want but am unable to get any true 180° phase shift happening.Looking up how other types of directional microphones work was a bit helpful here but not so much in understanding the holes and liner.My friend said it is well over 30 years old and that he got dirt cheap at a garage sale.No markings anywhere and the small amp only has the connectors for mic, power and output.Did not check the circuit board inside as the housing was glued together.So:Why holes in the side right at the height of the mic?Why does it "hear" all surrounding sound when the front is closed but only directional with the front open?And I mean directional even with some music playing close the mic :(By the way: Battery pack for the mic was the classic four pack at 6 Volt.

Question by Downunder35m    |  last reply


External aquarium heater with digital control

I lost about 300 fish just a few days ago when my tank heater decided to stay on when it failed.(examination showed the theromstat contacts were fused together)So far I never worried about failing heaters as so far they just wouldn't heat anymore once the failed.This time I lost about $400 in living creatures and 2 years of breeding.Guess that is the punishment for being away for a few days - a bit over 50°C in your tank...Normal tank heater come in the submersible form or with the clear instruction NOT to submerge them abvoe a certain line - usually under the rubber capEither way they all love to fail within a few years if you are lucky, otherwise sooner.The one thing I always hated is that you need to find ways to hide them in your tank, in some cases you even need to a heat shield to protect sensitve critters in your tank.I though that there should be a cheap and easy way to eliminate most of the annoying factors....Simple, digital temperature controller....You find digital thermostats for your fridge and freezer for around $30-100 bucks, depending on the brand and features.Downside is they all activate the output once the temperature gets too hot.For under $10 you can get universal thermostat controllers- just a tiny white box with the display, two buttons and a few wires...Won't place a link but with the above you should find them on Ebay and Amazon for as said under $10.These can be set with the min temp being above the max temp - this effectively reverts the output state ;)Looks a bit weird when setting the temps this way but after that the power on the output is alive once the temp is BELOW of the set temp.And you can set the differential as low as 0.1°C if you like, but 2-3°C are fine for most tanks.Abandoning the internal heater thermostat....As the number one cause of failure apart from water getting inside we should not use the internal thermostat anymore now.To do this without messing around the temp is simply dialed way above what you will need for your tank.E.G.: If you want 24°C in your tank over the digital controller than the heater thermostat is cranked to 27° or higher.The on-off will be handled through the power our new digital controller provides.Sealing a heater....You should not have to do this but an awful lot of heaters simply fail because water makes it inside somehow.I use a bead of UV curing resin or UV curing epoxy glue for the first stage.The glass won't really expand, so the rubber from the cap won't expand much either.All we do is to add another layer of sealing protection.That stuff however is not always fully qualified for being suberged or just in contact with water a lot.So we add another bead of aquarium grade silicone on top.This also protects our tank from any harful chemicals the UV glue might otherwise release over time.Going external...With an external filter pump it just does not seem to make much sense to have a heater insde the tank.For some reason those filter manufactureres though about almost anything, including build in UV sterilisation - but not a heater...Using a bit of 5mm PVC drain pipe, two end caps and some hose fittings for your aquarium hoses we are set again.A bit of stainless steel wire from the gardeing section of hardware store helps too - the soft, flexible kind, not the really stiff and hard wire please!Design of the external heater:In one end cap you want to drill a hole of the same diameter as your heater tube, a mm bigger won't hurt too much but don't make so small that you need brute force to get the heater through the hole.Seal the inside and outside of the cap with silicone.If you want the heater to be replaced easily in case it does fail again (which it should not!), then you a pipe with a screw fitting and a screw on cap.Keep the assembly steady and secured while the (aquarium grade!) silicone cures - if in doubt let it cure for few more days.The lenght of the pipe should be so that there is enough space left in the bottom so the heater will have about 6cm until it would touch the other end cap.The pipe connections can be for one on the other end cap if you mount the pipe somehwere, otherwise both connectors should on the side of the pump and as close to the caps as feasable.Again, seal the inside and outside of these connections with silicone and let it cure.It helps if the fittings are of the screw in type with a backing nut.Downsides of having an external heater...You need to clean it out when you clean your filter, an added few minutes.If the heater thermostat is set too high and your pump is not running the water in the pipe and hoses will rise to the set temperature of the heater.For a medium sized tank that is no problem, for really small tanks it should be considered though - set the thermostat of the the heater not to the max if you think you might forget the water circulation one day ;)Upsides of having an external heater...The biggest benefit of having and external heater with a digital temperature controller is the lifespan.I used a dirst cheap 400W tube heater like this for over 6 years until finally the actually heating element failed.With the nicely illuminated temp display the times of checking the sticker on the tank or trying to read this tiny floating thermomoter are over as well.Possible upgrade options if you know how to solder or at least know how to correctly wire a relay...With an external tube comes the option to include a UV sterlisation lamp on the other end.The tube will be accordingly longer but a submersible lamp only costs a fraction of these ready made solutions that you still need to attach your your hoses somehow - and they are often quite big...Apart from that there is the option to modify a digital fridge thermostat (about $20-100 bucks) like the STL-1000.As most of them can't be re-programmed for other than cooling use and only have a single output for the compressor the internal relay needs to be replaced.Just select one that somehow fits inside once the original is removed and wire the NC and common output for your heater.Not in mood to fiddle with a controller and solder? No problem either!Just wire another relay to the output.Means the power that the controller switches on it will then switch your additional relay on.This gives you the option to use the proper contacts again to turn your heater on.Using a normal fridge controller this way however requires thinking the wrong way around for the temps.Remember!! : The frige controller "turns on" when the temp goes ABOVE a set temperature!!If you use it like this and connect your heater directly it means it will only turn off once the temp is BELOW the set temp and it will never again go below, only up and up and up....The added or exchanged relay however gives us the option to reverse this to some extent.You set the controller to the MAX temp that you want in your tank.Let's say 24°C , by default this gives a 3°C hystersis, meaning depening on the programming of the controller it will turn on at 27° or close to it - keep that in mind add realise that it means your 24° might need to be set to 21° so the temp won't go over 24° in your tank.Ok, got it, but what exactly happens now and why does it work?When the controller reads below the set temp, like when setting up a new tank with cold water from the tap, it won't provide mains power on the compressor output.It knows the "fridge" is fine right now.Our added relay will be off for the same reason, however we connected our mians power to the common contact of the new relay, the heater on the NC (normally closed contact) and from there back to neutral.Means our heater will get power when the temp controller in the OFF-state.Now the temp start to go up in your tank and sooner or later it will reach the set temp you adjusted the controller to.Suddelny the controller sees a risk for your food in the fridge to go bad and decides to turn the compressor back on to cool it down.As we added our relay it means it will turn on as well.Our NC, normally closed contact, opens and the heater turns off.From ther is just continues within the range of about 3°C....You added digital temp display to your nice fish tank, don't have to worry anymore about your heater prematurely failing and if you like:Some controller offer an alarm output.This can be used with an added relay the same way as before and would then warm you if you heater burnt out and the temp in your tank goes too low.Why so "complicated" if there is microcontrollers?Anyone can use some Arduino and do the same with ease - if anyone can program what it is required.However, even our average Joe with no electronic skills can to the above mods within a few hours excluding the curing time for the silicone.Back to the basics, and after all we already have a microcontroller inside out firdge controller ;)And as said, if in doubt then even a $10 one will do the trick without any mods to it.What about that stainless steel wire?? Don't tell me I wasted 5 bucks for nothing!You did not...Long heaters or UV lamps certainly benefit from it.But even a smaller one is much more stable inside the pipe if you create a simple wire cage for it.The stuff usually comes in a rolled up form of a 10 or 20 meters.With that it is easy to make some loop with the heater ube in the center.Just make a wrap around the pipe with enough left either end to form a ring or spiral that fits inside the pipe.There is not much spring action happening with this wire, so the loops can be quite big and you just push them inside inside while decreasing the diameter until they slide in.If you have a 3D priter you also just print a ring with a hole for the heater and some spokes to cneter it in the pipe.What about heat transfer and even temps in my tank?With the usual in tank setup you have to ensure anyway that the heater is in the waterflow.Otherwise one side of the tank warms up more than the other.With the heater being in the flow of the external pump directly we pump in warmer water and suck out the colder water the other end.Results in a more stable and even overall temperature especially on long tanks.Enjoy!

Topic by Downunder35m  


An idea for highly directional and loud loudspeakers

I am currently playing around with vibration experiments.Mainly in the ultrasonic range though.But when messing around with some vibration speakers I found a not so well documented misuse for themEveryone wants a big TV these days but once you have it the sound often turns out to come from a tin can.Those with a good entertainment or at least stereo system won't mind hooking the to it.The rest usually opts for a sound bar or how I like to call them shredderbox.Sooner or later they just fail to produce the sound you had on the first day - or they cost a small fortune.What is the secret to a powerful speaker?Firstly efficiency.Secondly the design.You need the right material to produce a more or less even reaction at all intendet frequencies.The design makes sure those frequencies that need extra attention get more volume output, like by using a little pipe for the low frequencies.Some even include a dedicate speaker for these low volumes.What if you could just build you own soundbar on a budget?If you have a failing soundbar with the actual speakers as the problem you could salvage the electronics.In case you can make do with headphone input or RCA connections than any cheap amplifier will do.Leaves the speakers...Vibration speakers are still underestimated for their uses...I tried the the usual approach of using a glue on vibro speaker:Place it on surface tha gives a re more or less decent sound.The thing is though that there is no ideal surface for them.A table can sound like the highs are missing, a hardwood desk might not produce any low frequencies while a window or plaster board wall bring the problem of wiring and vibrations.To check the reactions of sound on different media I, one day, mounted one speaker under a big tin can.Right in the center.The fun hit me when my tests with water were over and tried to play a song with the empty can.Of course there was some degree of tin can sound but the directional qualities together with the wide frequency spectrum made me experiment.The key is to find the right material and shape!You want something that is hard enough to vibrate properly but soft enough to allow for lower frequencies.I tried pipes, boxes, old plastic containers....But nothing seemed to provide a broad and even sound spectrum without distortions.If you vibrate a surface then only at certain, resonant frequencies destinct patterns will form if some dust or similar is place on the surface.In all other cases there is only chaos.Preventing the harmonics to form prevents harmonic vibrations to build up to distortion levels.Like it or not but waste seems to work just fine as a speaker ;)I made a plug to fit reall tight into a 2 liter juice bottle neck.The original plastic cap is just too soft.A vibro speaker glued onto the plug and the bottom of the bottle cut out and the soun was quite impressive.Proper use is however limited as the speaker would need to be mounted upright.Next thought was to utilise the bottom of the bottle too.By cutting a round hole in the side of the bottle I got an even more directional speaker with a better response to low frequencies.Placement of said hole of course affect how certain frequencies travel and where nodes can form.The size might also matter as the hoe itself, or better the material around it can get resonant at certain frequencies.You can cheat at bit though by using sticky tape, duct tape and so on as dampening meterial in badly affected areas.Especially with a wall mount for the speaker and the bottle hanging down behind the TV the effect is good compared to a standard shredderbox. The above design is certainly not for everyone although I think it has a wow factor to it if you show a decent sound coming out of a juice bottle ;)My next step was trying to find out how more fancy designs could work.So just stop reading here unless you like the idea of creating speakers that should not even work.Back in the old days we had more than just the speakers with magnets and cones.Anything that can vibrate can produce sound.It all depends on how much of it we can actually hear.My first exotic idea to really misuse a vibro speaker is a vibrating harp.Does not need to be in the classic shape though.A string in a resonance box, like a harp, guitar, violine and so on will start to vibrate at the set note.This is true even if the force for the vibration is external.You might remember the old school experiment with the two pitch forks on their boxes?Hit one and the other starts to swing too.If you make a resonance box for a vibro speaker with internal or external wire strings at different tensions or lengths you can amplify the sound for the notes that correspond to the strings.Make a relatively large box with some sturdy wires for the frequencies between 60 and 100Hz and you have a really powerful subwoofer from just 20W of input power...I think you get the idea on how to use amplifying strings now ;)My second and total misuse is the xmas tree.If you are a sparky by old trades then you might remember the mechanical frequency meters for generators or other things that required a stable supply.Well, if not than you should know the little wind up toys that play a melody with a drum and tiny forks.Imagine you would replace the glue plate with a rod.Depending on material and length harmonic nodes will form at various places and frequencies.Between those nodes the swing is maximised while the node itself appear to be stationary and without and vibrations at all.For example a steel rod of 1.2m would have a single standing wave at about 1kHz while a copper rod of the same lenght will be much lower in the frequency for a single standing wave.The xmas tree assumes that the rod is of such material that no single standing wave can form below 200Hz and that it won't swing too much at other resonant frequencies.Since aluminium is easy to work with and available in flat and thin bars already it would be my first choice for the branches of the tree.The required length is calculate based on the speed of sound in aluminium - you find online calculators for that.You want the lenght so that you end up with an even fraction of the wavelength you want to "play" with that strip.This allows for the rod to be placed right in the center of the strip where the standing wave movement is zero in the node.Make a lot of thin strips to get a broad frequency response.Placement on the rod can now be crucial.The best option I found so far is using a threaded rod and tapping the holes in the strips.The strips swing quite violently if long and at certain frequencies.And those not in resonance will still transfer their momentum to other strips.This can cause unwanted harmonics.Most evident when a single strips swigns violently at a certain frequencies.Adjusting the angle by turning it is often enough to get out of the overlapping harmonics.With enough strips it then really looks like a tree with flat branches.The sound might not be as loud and impressive as a plastic bottle as the virations are going up and down.But if placed in the right spot it not just looks nice but also makes people wonder where the sound is coming from.Last but not least my yet to be tested hidden speaker system - due to renting restrictions :(If you own a house of the standard frame design then you have plasterboard walls and ceilings.With a large enough surface of the right material, one or two vibro speakers can cover a really wide frequency range at good volume levels.So far I could only do tests in an old wooden window frame but the priciple works the same way between the wooden frames of a wall or ceiling.In my experiments a standard plasterboard sheet needs to be 100 x 100cm to get a more or less decent response for the lower frequencies.Before you rip your walls down use a stud finder and place your vibro speaker on the plasterboard between two studs or beams.I found that two speakers for the lower frequencies and three or four for the higher ones make a good sound.That is per channel and if you have the right size plasterboard sheet in the right place.No point if your left side is further away from the TV than your right.Ideally you replace the entire sheet with the speaker in the right spot on the new sheet but on the back.For obvious reasons this is far from being a perfect solution.But if you plan a full renovation anyway...A way out for older houses is the wooden floorboards.They make excellent resonators for low frequencies.The directional speakers could then still be hidden in picture frames of the right thickness and design.Anyways, I hope I gave you some ideas here ;)

Topic by Downunder35m  


Mono pole / single pole magnets!?

I made a quite intersting discovery today.The use of mixed orientations for a stronger or more directed field on one side and a much weaker on the other side of a magnet is nothing new. But if you check modern wind turbines or even just any old hard drive you find "chokes". I talked about shielding before but combining shielding a choking provides again another level of manipulation.If you ask anyone who claims to know magentic field or sience in general then you right away hear: There is no such thing as magnet with just a single pole!Like a battery one pole can't exist without the other!Keep going and your conversation parten either get angry or declares you a nut case.Also said before: The laws of nature and physics are not set in stone or complete for that matter!We only use what we know, or to be precise what we told to take as facts.A magnet with just one pole is impossible to manufacture, if you only think like making the magnet like any other magnet.Even cutting it in half will only give you two normal magnets again.Why is that so?How are magnets made is what you need to know.No matter the material they start as a blank and during the final processing an intense electromagnetic field is used to "prime" them.Like you would do on a screwdriver the material then keeps the "charge" and becomes magnetic.And this process requires a certain orientation.Imagine a big hydraulic press to make the magnet with some super strong electromagnets right beside the forms.Explains why you won't find a block magnet with the poles on opposing corners - the form is not designed to be rotated ;)Ferrite magnets can often be machined.If you mark the field direction of a block then you could just cut it into the shape you need.Like a half moon, triangle, pyramid...The orientation does not change, so you need to create the cuts so your required orientation matches the orignal block.Creates a lot of waste, is messy and often the magnets shatter.Still not possible to create a mono pole ;)But it allows for a great deal of field manipulations.For example a thick north and a thin south pole would show very different field strengths at the poles.How to create a mono or single pole magnet then??If you think outside modern science restraints it is suprisingly easy!You see, unlike a battery the magnet does not care if the "current" flows back to its own pole or a pole from a different magnet.In a hard drive the choked magnets have a field strength between them that is not just twice as much as th one from a single magnet.The field between the magnets is very stable too!No matter where you measure it is the same.Place two magnets in the same configuration with the choke and all you get between them is a mess.To understand the reality with magnets I need to explain a bit more though:If it does not matter from where to where the field lines go the it becomes obvious that you can guide them.Horse shoe magnets of the old kind where just two steel bars with a block magnet between them!Take a compass and check from what distance your magnet will start to affect the orientation.Now take two iron bars, rods, block or similar of about twice that length.Place the compass between one end and the magnet between the other end.Even with a little gap your compass will still move!You just extended the length of the field lines and directed them somewhere else as it also works with odd shapes.We know know and confirmed how choking works and as shielding is basically the same thing but for a different purpose you might get an idea where I am heading already.A "potted" magnet, like what you find in a speaker or as a hook magnet utilises two destinct features.a) A ring magnet is used.b) The field lines are directed to a specific area.One has them directed into a gap for a coil like in a wind turbine, the other to the surface to massively increase the field strenght in that area.If you take either apart you will notice the magnet just by itself is considerably weaker.Removing a pole from a magnet...If you paid attention so far and have a few magnets around then you already developed a feeling for the difference.Lets crank it up a notch, shall we?Make this experiment:Take two identical magnets and a soft steel bar or similar of lesser thickness than the magnets.Usually around 2-3mm for smaller N52 Neodymiums will do.If you dare make the steel the same size as the magnets.Now place one magnet on the steel and use the other to observe the difference in feel.There won't be much and both poles should still fell like before only that the field is now slightly longer.Trying to get two magnets to touch at the same pole is really hard, but see what happens if you add the other magnet on the other side of the steel...Despite having the same pole on the steel they won't repel and stick to the steel.Checking the field now with a magnet provides a very different feel!It is like having a magnet with a split pole where the opposing pole now is in the center.Impossible I know but you have it in your hand, so deal with the explanation yourself ;)And if that is so damn easy then how hard can it be to actually remove one pole fully?Design of the impossible magnet...If you want the south pole only then it would be the entire surface of your impossible magnet.That means you either need to make sacrifices or get creative for the next steps.Easiest from my experiments is to sacrifice like all scientists do and allow for some minor gaps.I won't give any dimension or step by step instructions.Think 3D and use your imagination.Our impossible magnet starts from the center.All magnets used should provide the same field strenght!To be precise it means no matter their grade, the the "force" of the magnets should be as close to identical as possible even if the size is different.You can use stacks or different types/grades...The center is a square block of soft steel, or iron as pure as possible - it needs to have a low "resistance" if you compare them to batteries and to avoid confusing terms.On this "dice" you place one magnet on each face, preferably of identical size to the block.So, for a 10x10mm block you use 10x10mm magnets -simple isn't it.All magnets are place with the same pole onto the block!In out example to get the south pole outside you would use the north pole.Now use six bigger magnet blocks for another layer.This time they are placed in attraction mode, meaning you let them stick together naturally.The resulting magnet will be far from perfect but you will have a hard time finding a strong attraction to the soth pole of a magnet if you move it around your cube.If you check the geometry you will now see how 45° degree angles and matching sizes for the blocks would be beneficial.Using ferrite magnets you can machine them to the desired size and use a thin aluminium or breass frame to hold the outside properly together, like edging on a fancy tranport box or chest.Check the magnet now and try to find anything else but a destict south pole on all faces and corners.No more nother pole....Does that mean it really is a mono or single pole magnet?Since modern science does not even consider a construction like this to be worth testing you already know the anser.For those working on a different level with magnets it will be a true single pole magnet.For the rest it will just be another fake.As by science a permanent magnet is defined to have two poles and to have field lines going from one pole to the other.All modern machines using them operate on this principle and "fact".But if I would give you a block of steel that has a core of lets say brass and a suffien wall thickness...Then this block would appear to be a steel block and nothing else.Modern science fails to see a magnet any other than a battery!If the "current" does not need to go back to same pole and there is no need for the field lines to go back to the outside pole then it is a single ple magnet like the faked box is a steel box.The physical outcome or in our case magnetic field is what defines it!The contra...All good has some bad, magnets are no different.Purely scientific viewed it would be impossible to create a gap free magnet like I described.And because never all field lines will take the shortcut there will still be a small amount of "north pole" to be found on the outside.But if that is in the range of about 1% of the field strength of the magnet then I say it can be neglected for almost all real life uses of such a magnet.Like the Halbach Array it is just a neat way of manipulating and if you like bending the known interpretation of our scientific understanding.Possible uses for these magnets exclude convention designs and for this reason alone anything you create with them will be the target of scepticism to say it nice.Ok then, what real life uses could there be for something we never needed?The question is the answer, as the impossible magnet is the solution.Ever watched these shopping shows in the night program?"It solves problems you didn't even know you might get..."Means that if you ever get the ide that your project requires a single pole magnet then you know how to make one ;)All I can up with would go against common scientific understanding and teachings, so I will spare you with my use cases ;)And what is missing here to actually make it work?Quite a lot as you might have noticed in your experiments if you use really good test equippment.Not so much however if you consider what I said about shielding and choking ;)Provide a path of far less resistance and shield the rest that still bothers you.I am not providing a ready to go model here that you can buy, someone else will do that if they see a financial gain it.My gain is provide a new understanding of things we forgot by giving your brain things to work with and develop.You might still say in the end that my way (or your results) are not good enough in some way.But then please also consider how many other people or documents you might be able to find that would have provided you with this information.Free energy is only a myth for as along as we allow ourselfs to only trust what modern science allows us to have.Allow the old knowledge in and every now and then simple ignore what you know and things become possible sooner than you might think.Wind and water were used as a source of free energy since the dawn of mankind.Our first motorised boats used the same "wheels" we already trusted to be driven by water to power a mill, saw or similar.And after we learned about motors we also found a way to make wind - by reversing our trusted wind mills into a fan.Instead of using the free energy to generate power for us we evolved to use create wind and propulsion by providing power to drive the same thin in reverse.Using the sun for power other by using a mirror was seen as witchcraft throughout history, then we got solar cells...Same for heat in the form of peltier elements and other things...Why then should magnets be any different??Just "Because it is so!" did not work for wind, water and solar, not even for heat....All it takes is a little notch in the right direction to change the way we think about magnets.We have no problem using electromagnets to make a motor spin.We have no problem using magnetic field of any kind to drive motors or generate electricity.We even fail to have a problem by manipulation electromagnetic fields for that purpose.But we struggle like an ant in sand hole to reach the surface again to see what is outside our trap before something grabs us from behind when it comes to permanent magnets.Even worse if you dare to claim your magnetic machine delivers a higher output energy than what you use to make it run.And wasn't it exactly the same ignorance and manifested "knowledge" that got revised so many times throughout history already?Again: Why should magnets or their understanding of interaction be any different?If you follow the above with just matching magnets and the core cube then the result will be at least very surprising to you.Allow this surprise to be an inspiration to improve instead of seeing as a proof of failure ;)And if you made it then please post about it here.Let me know what disappointed you with the outcome.Let me know what really got you wondering.Let me know if you found a suffiently strong north pole to rival the impossible southpole! ;)Start sharing, make other people wonder and make them share it to, let us go viral!The first to post a conclusive Youtube video with results is certain to get a lot, lot, lot attention....

Topic by Downunder35m  


Ancient technologies revisited - drilling and machining

In the ruins of our ancient world we often see exceptional accuracy for surfaces but also clear indications of machining work that should have been impossible back then,For quite a few of these impossibilities modern scientists, inventors and people that just like to experiment came up with plausible conclusions.So let's start with a few of them...Core drilling...It is a process were a rather large hole is not actually drilled but cut out.Imagine a piece of pipe you press into some clay - that's what you end up with.A circular, deep hole with a standing core inside, break the core off and you are good to go.Doing this with copper or brass tools as the only available metal tools seems feasable.If it is something soft like sand stone but for things like granite???Ancient texts provided some clues, like that slow spinning tubes were used or that drilling a 2m deep hole did only take a few hours.Appearently it was done in less than half a day - a day being daylight.Modern diamond drilling tools would still struggle to create such a deep hole in that time unless you pay a fortune for a custom made drill bit.One clue that was nagging these people for a long times was how it was possible to reach these high penetration speeds.The marks on core samplesand holes clearly show and almost spiral pattern, indicating the "drill" went deeper by a few mm with just a few rotations of the drill.The calculated pressure required to do this is about equal to having a tank parked on top of your drill....Impossible I know...Hammer drill differences give us another clue here.Take you homedepot drill that can drill in metal and stone - it runs fast and although it does the job the tradesmen tool does it better.Not because it is way more expensive but because it is purpose made by running slower but with a much more powerfull impact for the drill bit.How do you create a massive impact with copper or brass?Those who tried a copper drill will tell you they are no good for anything.Those who tried a copper core drill will tell you the same.Too soft, deforms too quickly, no "teeth" that last for more than a few seconds.But is that really true???These soft metals seem to have a feature that makes them special: They can be "work hardened".Like the top end of your cold chisel "peeling"...Of course the harness levels you can achieve are still very short of being even like soft steel.Every material has a resonant frequency, even hard rock like granite.A technique called sonic drilling utilises this as an advantage.The drill is subjected to an audio signal that is very close or matching a harmonic frequency of the rock in question.There is even nice Youtube videos showing how two stones are flattened against each other just with loudspeakers and some wire to hold them together.The same guy posted videos showing that core drilling is possible this way too.The science behind it is still not a 100% understood though.Several universities did their own experiments here and here are some of the more modern explanations why it works despite being impossible:The vibrations cause surface fractures on contact, a bit like when your dentist cleans your teeth with this screaming thing...The contact surface of the drill actually does not do any impact damage, it simply acts as a transducer horn for the vibrations.In their tests it was even confirmed that steel tools are no good here as the material would mean you need very long tools due to the resonant nodes forming differently in denser material.Most interesting was that these aido drills can be literally of any shape you like.Not hard to create a fancy symbol shape from copper pipe - and then to vibrate it into the surface to create writing....Several ancient cultures show clear tooling marks in their carved symbol creations while others seemed to have "melted" the symbol into the rock - audio only ;)Extreme accuracy for planar faces....Be it the walls of an ancient "coffin", box or chamber, we can find a lot of them with an accuracy that even today we would fail to achieve.A solid granit like block with a perfectly square box cut out of it.Several examples exist where the accuracy couldn't be done with modern tools at all.Less than 0.5% divergence from true parallel walls and corners with a rounded inner edge with a radius of less than 2mm....Audio machining is not feasable for this one.And with literally no surface marks scientists were baffled for decades.Due to the size it would mean that for a tiny error you would have to re-do the entire surface of the affected wall.And with a surface so highly polished that even after a few tausand years it still reflects light....Samples taken showed another conundrum - glacing...Almost as if the stone was melted, pressed flat and then repeated until the entire surface was done.The temperautres required for this however are said to be impossible in ancient times, same for any tools capable of tolerating such heat without melting.So this theory was discarded for a very long time and deemed to be interpretation error - after all they had no chance to do this thausands of years ago.Later it was discovered that you actually can use two identically hard stone surfaces to grind them perfectly flat against each other.And well, using the right, mild abbresives it is even possible to give the surface a nice shine.Yes, the theory is sound but can't explain how one would machine the corners like this....The inside of a square or rectangular box can't be produced like this.Plus the problem of actually removing all the unwanted material first.In recent years the old samples taken were subject to new studies, this time in regards to the possibility that the surface was polished using heat.Surprisingly a mix of high temps and cold water allows for quite accurated destruction of the surface.Relatively easy to remove some bumps by just heating the bump and spraying a mist of cold water over it.Still not possible to create perfect corners but a start.It failed to reproduce the shine and polished surface too.Then, as a last resort you might say, lasers were used on rocks of similar or identical composition.The classic CO2 laser is a brute force tool and although accuracy would be possible you wouldn't get a good surface as it does not melt, it just cracks like glass.Femto second lasers were great here but could not provide any glacing effect either.Problem was always that the stone could not soak up any of the laser energy.It would not heat up evenly, only very locally where the laser was hitting the surface and no depth either.Then they finally got the idea to use tiny samples in a wide laser beam.A wavelength more suited to heat rather than vaporise and energy levels per mm² much, much lower than in a focussed beam.No problem to actually fully melt the sample without create any cracks or to adjust the parameters so the core still remains solid for a true glazing effect.Funny side effect of fully molten samples were their extreme surface hardness - very similar to what we find in ancient leftovers we can't explain.On bigger samples two effects were observed.Firstly that of a flat surface with the sample being rather thick, a too fast cooling down would result in the entire surface that was heated to split off.Secondly that the resulting surface was still extremely flat and even.Sadly we can not find any real evidence that ancient cultures knew about how to use high energy lasers with adjustable focus....And so far no one was able to come up with any theory that explains ALL the features of a perfect stone box with polished surfaced, especially if the surfaced is glaced.The ancient lathe....We can see the evidence of large boulders machined on some gigantic lathe through the ancient world, especially in greece and the middle east.And so far the best archeologists could come up with was that some guy sat there for days hammering the surface until a template provided a perfect fit.What they failed to explain was how this guy did this in a true rotary fashion.But the beauty of archeology is that these guys can claim what they like without being required to provide backing of their claims - not their territory OLIn several places we found leftovers of contraptions deemed to be the remains of some grinding mechanism to make flour or maby fine powder from rocks for mortar.But every mill needs a mlling stone - they were never found anywhere.And if the "mount" that remains clearly indicates it was able to be moved in the X and Y direction it would have been a very strange flour mill indeed.In the real world you would only have to move the grinding stone up and even that is mostly optional.The real clue however is how complicated it would have been to collect the flour.No one wants to use a broom to get it off the floor in a desert environment....With the wearmarks on the bottom stone it would have been impossible to produce flour, so why would it have been used for decades more if the flour was no good anyway?Again, outsiders provided vital clues by creating small models of these ancient "flour mills".The ground around them shows wear marks identical to someone running in a circle since the dawn of time.At quite a distance to the center I might add.If horses or cows were used to go in said circle with a harness you could spin quite some weight - like a round piller stone.And the bottom "pan" could be filled with fine sand or similar to act as a rudimentary bearing.The rounded bottom and indentation on the top of ancient piller stones seems suddenly more plausible to be the result of these "flour mills" - they self centered the block for machining.Push your tool(s) against the surface and make sure they keep the tension, then sit back and watch the animals do the hard work for you.Nothing fancy about it, just a vertical lathe driven by animals instead of a big motor and gear box...Won't explain though how some cultures were able to create perfectly round pillars of 20 or more meters in length in one piece....In many places we can observe impossible fitments, like a lid on a stone box that won't even require a sealant to be perfectly air tight.Or in India and other parts of the east intricate stone figurines that are hollowed out - with carved details on the inside.So not just some holes and simple cavities, more like 3D printed.Several experts of their fields, from artists over stone masons to jewlery makers tried to re-create some of these features using modern tools - they all failed badly.You simply can't use a rotating tool if you need to get around several corners to reach the surface to be machined.So how were the ancient builders and artists able to do the impossible?Some say that ancient texts and images tell us that the stone was melted away, like bee's wax.The glacing effect on these surfaces seems to confirm this but we all know you can't melt rock, especially not in a controlled way to create artwork.Rock is not ice - or is it?High frequency ultrasonic machining allows us to work with very hard rock, like cutting through butter with a hot knife.No sharp tools required either.The only problem is that you need very hard tools with a high tensile strenght and "good acoustics" - like titanium as the prefered option in the industry for ultrasonic horns and amplifiers.They did not have titanium in the ancient world and they certainly did not have power outlet to drive some ultrasonic tools.But they did know their acoustics as the "musical temple" in India shows.Hit a pillar, some plate or even statue and they all produce a very accurate frequency, despite the entire temple being carved out of one solid mountain piece...You can not create this today even if you had a clue how to carve it out of the mountain!!No way to create delicated designs that all have individual but extreme accurate musical notes when hit...Means the ancient builder must have known about the way sound travels through solid materials and how it is reflected inside them - otherwise hitting a statue would also make other things in the temple swing....Imagine that it was known how to produce the required frequencies to basically weaken the crystal structure of a rock exactly where you want it to weaken.You would have a rock-shaver of sorts.You could not use it though as it would be a huge thing.Theory is the ancient builder worked the opposite way instead.Making the entire rock or even mountain swing at a perfectly matched resonant frequency that produces a peak right where you need to work.A bit like going a dentist that no longer uses a rotating and screaming drill on your bad tooth, instead you sit in a fast rotating chair ;)Lab experiments clearly showed it is possible on a small scale with our modern technology.Tungsten-Carbide already in the ancient world?Electron microscopy claims to have found evidence of substances embedded in the machined surface that have similar properties to our modern carbides.Of course every alien theorists jumped right on it and claimed that had help from extra terrestrials.But is it really as simple as someone coming down from the stars to give some ancient builder a more than modern tool?He wouldn't have a clue how to use it, how to power it, he would need a teacher and power source.What some of these alien nut crackers missed is the simple fact that a lot of really hard materials can be created by the most basic means.Thermite is still widely used and produces quite good steel, all you need is iron oxide and aluminium powder.With sand you can even make your own silicium metal is you like on the beach....Where the knowelde for such things and more originated might remain a mystery but we have evidence the ancient guys knew quite a bit about ores and oxides, so why is it so hard to think they accidentially or intentionally tried to melt them into tools or art pieces?And then suddenly something goes up up in flames and some shiny and really metal appears when cooled down....We also know the ancient people knew about several acids and how to make them from scratch, even how to concentrate them.Not soo hard anymore to create some waste products that are of no other use to you than to be used as grinding materials and abbresives....As said, it is unclear where the knowledge or idea come from, all we know they had the know how.Where did the ancient tools go?We can still find tools in the pyramids in tiny and no longer accessible areas - at least no human fits in there anymore.We also found clear indications of iron oxides embedded in stone surfaces, predominantly in holes and such.So they might have had iron or even steel around the same time we though they only had copper and brass, big deal...Well, it kinda is...Especially Japan showed us how metallurgy is carried on as a vital tradion into todays times.From selecting the raw material for the melting, over the entire melting process, down to discarding most of the results by just looking at them - an understanding we modern people no longer have.And the swordsmith again only takes those sample where he can see already how they work together when he heats them up and hammers them.Especially the secret knowledge how to iclude impurities, remove them and what natural and most basic additions need to be added is something even modern science fails at.A bit of leafs from this plant, some dirt from that region, some burnt wood and suddenly the resulting steel won't rust anymore, is more ductile and hard at the same time...But you would need this kind of attention when you create tools.For steel you want a certain hardness, flexibility or ability to flex without breaking quickly to avoid fatigue.In most cases these steels are anything except resistant to corrosion.Most tool steels of the older days needed to be kept well oiled or they would rust away quickly.Chrome and other hard to come by elements gave our modern steel the stainless effect.From the ancinet world we know of iron statues and pillars that produce a protective rust layer of just a few microns but no further rust damage.You wouldn't be able to create this without generations of experts refining the process and observing how well or badly it works out.Would you take your expensive tools that might taken weeks to manufacture at a job site with thausands of slaves? Certainly not, you taken them home with them and slep with them under your pillow....No surprise then that we could never find any "good" tools around ancient ruins.Once a town is build today you won't find the tools of the tradies still sitting around either...Is this evidence?Nope, the failure to find high quality tools from builders does not mean they existed.Finding evidence of modern alloys or steels just in abbrasesion or tool marks is no good either.It could be from someone at a later time simply following these marks with a more modern metal tools, like a steel needle.For every evidence here there is also evidence of where the evidence can't come from.Again science clashes with archeology and history without being able to agree or compromise to provide a conclusion that is acceptable by both sides.Only materials designed and created to last throughout history will survive thausands of years of exposure to the elements.We might find real and undeniable evidence one day in lost cities on the ocean's floors, till then though....

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  


Ancient technologies revisited - being one with nature

Talking about aliens, gods, higher beings and such is almost unavoidable when it come to examples of technology from a time when did not even have the brains to think in the regions required.But we need to find some substitute for the word god and gods.The ancient text provide us with "people from the sky" or "people from the stars".With our modern brains and understanding of advanced technologies we have to think about astronauts and visitors from other planets.It is just the way our brains are wired now.Ancient technology however also includes the most basic technologies and techniques that we either don't know or that got lost through time.I would like to give some examples that show that with a bit of research outside "aliens" people can come up with amasing discoveries.You can find ancient stone walls that look like their individual blocks were cut with a gigantic laser scalpel and then finished with a nice soft rounding.And those "bumps" found on only some of these blocks are said by our archeologists to have been used to place them - but of course they can't provide and answer how they were placed.Experts in their fields analysed the rock and found no evidence of the heat a laser would create.Although they did not consider fempto second lasers...And they also discarded the theory the ancient people used some big bags and "cement" that turned into rock - it is natural rock...However they found several and quick quick ways to dissolve and soften the rock.All with "ingredients" naturally occuring in the area.Like an acedic mud mix that would dissolve the calcium in the rock and even some more aggressive solutions working much quicker.Tests performed indicate it would only take about two weeks to make blocks covered in this slurry to move together with an airtight fit.Once in contact there is no slurry left on the surface and once the fit and surface fiish is satisfactory you just wash the remains off with water...A lot of ancient ruins or even the pyramids show extreme accuracy.Archeologists came with up with a lot of horse manure but never with anything explaining how the ancient builder were able to plan these structures.After all you can just made a crude drawing and get in some case millimeter precision.Especially measuring the height of a big structure was said to be impossible for these simple folks, so they must have had gods or aliens to guide them.Maybe they really provided some home schooling but in reality the task is not that hard.Imagine you would the big pyrmids in Aegypt.You would be god like and only the pharao would be above you.No wonder then that you knew once finished you would find your final resting place inside...Being the smart kid you are you of course properly marked where the center would be and in which direction the sides would face....And you would not just "know" that, you would have a detailed plan to construct it and the required more or less permanent markers on the ground.Like in todays times you would start with the right foundations.So, no matter what you would always have very accurate refence points on the ground through the build process.Means you can quite easy measure the distance from any given point on the ground to where the center of your foundations would be.If you then place someone on the top and center of your current progress you can also measure the distance to that point with the same accuracy.Wives you triangle with a 90° angle....I know you know say I would still need a half decent calculator to use thelengths and angle to come with the height - but do I?a² + b² = c² Sounds familiar from your ancient days in school? ;)You have c and one of the other two, so for example c² - b² would give you a²And my grandfather told me stories about his apprenticship where he used tables ans slide rulers to do math like this.So why wouldn't these ancient builders know these things that are just based on properly understand a circle? ;)Advanced machining skills....Many example on how people in ancient times might have cut through several meters granite exist.Be it ropes with a sand slurry or using discardable wooden slates with heavy weights on them with such a slurry.But when it comes to drilling long and perfect holes the best thing people seem to come up with is again aliens and their advanced tech.You could drill through granite by other means though and still get really nice drill marks....For example by acoustic vibration - a thing te ancient aegypts were good at.Some people liked to demonstrate how acoustic frequency can do impossible things.The measured the resonant frequency of a granit block.In a way that they could create node where the hole was supposed to start.Means you experiment with the transducer until you get a max response at the desired location.Like magic a copper pipe with a supporting slurry and slow rotation started to "drill" into the block.At some point and due to the change of shape and loss of material the node was no longer strong enough for the effect and the frequency had to be adjusted, then the pipe kept drilling a bit further.The resulting marks on the walls of that hole almost perfectly matched the marks of ancient holes, including those on the leftover core bits.If you now say the ancient eagypts had no means to create powerful enough transducer then please check the collecting of oversized "tuning forks" several of our museums have.Some even with strings still attached between the two short ends, some models where several forks are tied together with these very strong cords.Strong after hundreds of years...Many were tested and all had very specific and accurace frequencies with the long end of the pitch fork being at the perfect length for a mac amplitude.Check how ultrasonic horn work for inducers ;)I could continue with many more examples but I think you got the idea here.Not everything we can't explain has to be alien of some highly advanced technology, often it is so dead simple that we just would never consider to look in this direction.A trout appears to be able to be basically motionless in a very fast flowing river.You can see they are able to "rest" as well as their breathing is very slow - no signs of movement, no energy use, how do they do this?A trout does not swim through the water, the water pulls it.Only if the water is not moving or is not moving right towards the trout it has to swim.Clearly indicated when you check show fast they have move to swim down the fast river.They should be able to just float down and only move to keep their heading....In reality however the water constantly tries to turn them around - like this nice directional arrow on your weather station on the roof...A resting fish in a river will always directly face the current and you will never really see them seeking a calm region behind some big rock or such.Put a trout in a tank with no current you will have a hard time seeing it standing still in it....Vortexes, harmonics and geometry are nature.Nature does not like straight lines or shortcuts and certainly has no clue about higher math.Still it is only higher math and computer simulations that allow us to understand a lot of things nature does by design.Maybe our ancient cousins did not get any technological help at all from higher beings.Maybe they were just shown how to use nature and the energies it provides.We are bound to science and math.With that we try to explore and understand things we can only theorise about.If in doubt with particle accelerators....Is there a difference to what we call science and math today to what was the purpose or religion only a few hundred years ago?We try to explain and utilise things for integration that we actually have no real clue about ;)What if the approach is the wrong one?Try to calculat how the next layer of a shell from a snail would look like, how thick it needs to be.You evening would be filled while the snail does not even have enough brain cells to comprehend your problem with it.If math would be based on a true and unbisaed observation of nature and the universe we would have the universal language the bible states we once had ....Our math has fundamental flaws otherwise we would have no problem at all to calculate the vortex structure and behavior of a tornado or water vortex.And of course we would not need a claculator to get from the radius of a circle to its circumfence - we would know as naturally as we know know that 2 times 3 equals 6.It will be subject of another part of this series ;)

Topic by Downunder35m  


Ultrasonic soldering bath

Making a working ultrasonic soldering iron is not as easy as I though it would be.Finding tanrsducer of suitable design and size is even harder.So I thought I start with something easier and share the thoughts here.If you need to solder impossible to solder things then quite often you could get away by wetting the entire area.For example the end of a wire or a lug where it won't matter that you can solder on the bottom as well as the top.Back in my days flux core solder was a rare and very expensive thing to find.So we had a little soldering pot and flux pot instead for working with lots of wires.Dip, dip, done....The pre-soldered wires where then easy to work with and the ramaining flux on then was enough.Doing this for metals like aluminium, stainless steel or even ceramics seems impossible at first sight.China offers cheap ultrasonic transducers including the required driver electronics for very littel money these days, despite the trade wars.The most obvious solution would then be to get a cheap and big enough soldering bath and to attach the transducer to it....Won't work though and if it does then not for long.Problem is firstly the heat transfered to the ceramic parts of the trandsucer and secondly the fact that most of these soldering baths use quite thick steel for the container.Add the that you deal with quite some grams of molten metal and you know where I am going.Building your own ultrasonic soldering bath to solder the impossible with ease!Project costs:40kHz transducer with driver board : about 50 bucks.Thin walled stainless steel bowl ( about 50 to 100ml but go bigger if you like) : about 2 bucks.Leftovers for an enclosure can be wood, plasic or your favourite 3D printer.Ultrasonic horn: About 500 bucks from your favourite engennering company or you need to make it yourself - I prefer the later.Main design considerations for the horn:We need something to keep the heat away from the transducer that also amplifies the power coming from it.That is why we can use a bowl or container that has a small bottom daimeter as the transducer if need be ;)There is a good reason a commercial horn costs a lot of money.They are preferably made from titanium and they need to perform as advertised right from the start.We substitude by using some aluminium round stock and a lathe.It is advisable to leave the transducer as it is!Do not take it apart to mount your horn directly onto the ceramics!Use a long enough set screw or include the required thread on your horn to mount it onto the transducer.If you prefer to use stainless steel doe to the lower heat conductivity then be my guest.The horn should have the same diameter as the mating part of the transducer for a quarter of the wavelength of the transducers frequency in the given material.Please look up how fast sound travels in your choosen material and calculate it properly.Having the lenght of the thick part right is quite cruicial.The thinner part that amplifies our movements should be about a quarter of the diameter of the transducer.For example: if the mating face of the tansducer is 40mm in diameter then the thin part of the horn should be 10mm.The length again is a quarter of the wavelength or the same as the thick part.Where thick meets thin please allow for a 3 to 5mm radius and make sure this area is nice and smothly finnished.Now, length is quite critical here....As we will mount our finnsihed actuator free hanging under the bath we need a feasable way to comapensate for our tolerances by creating our horn without a simulating software. I found that welding a short stub onto the container works best but with aluminum it is harder.I assume most will opt for welding a 6mm soft steel threaded rod onto the container.Either way the container surface must be kept flat for the mating surface of our actuator rod.So it is best to make the stud yourself or to use a suitable replacement - like using some flux and your stick welder for create a makeshift spot welder ;)If you decided on using steel for the horn then of course you can just mill a 10mm piece with a suitable thread and flat mating surface...What you want to end up with is a screw connection that has a flat mating surface and no empty spaces, fine thread prefered.Tuning the horn....The ensclosure is easy to make as a box, so the only thing to worry about is insulation but nothing to affect performance.So I just assume you have it all ready ;)With the horn at one quarter wavelength either end our thin end will be too long unless a short stud is used for a direct fit.So whatever you had to add for the part on your container or bowl need to be removed from he horns thin end.Try to keep the gad for the threaded part as small as possible as it affects the resonace.As things never turn out perfect the first try I prepare some thin steel washers - 100mm outer diameter in case you wonder and stick with the above example.I use a strong neodymium magnet and belt sander to create washers from very thin to slightly thinner ;)Taking off slightly more from the horns end will then allow toadd these washers if required - but please do a try as it is first when you think you got the measurements all right!For an aluminium horn you will of course use aluminium washers here.To do so fill the container with some water and place a sheet of thin alumiium foil on top of the water.Turn it on and within a few seconds you should see holes appearing in the fiol or even small fractures.If nothing but noise happens it is quite certain your rod will be a bit too long.Unscrew and take about one tenth of a mm off the thin end of the horns mating surface to shorten it.Try again with the foil and if no better remove some more material.Once you see some action try adding a layer of aluminium foil between the mating surfaces - screw it tight!The foil won't last long but if the action on the water is far better until it fails you know you took off too much.The washers come into place if the tuning won't work at all.Sometimes you can cut off a little bit again and again but the piece will remain too short ;)Especially if you have an aluminium horn and needed to use a steel screw on the bowl...So once the shortening of the horn fials you add a washer to get slightly above the original length and start replacing the differently thick washer until you find a sweet spot.The tricky part is over, now to solve the heating poblem...Using some glass seal as used on wood fire ovens not olnyl provides good insulation to our enclosure but also prevents the vibrations from spreading too far.As our hardware store won't just give use the little bit we need the rest can be used to insulate our container.Dending on the size and shape of your container I hope you decided to buy a container tha fits your heating element...I found that replacement coils for lab heaters work fine but some small fan heaters also use round heating elements instead if wire spirals.For a custom shape it is quite easy to use a coil of heatin wire rated for your mains voltage and a glass fibre sleeve for insulation.To keep it all in shape just wrap some steel wire over it - over the insulated coils of course.The temperature control can be as fancy as with a microcontroller or as simple as using a dimmer like I did.Most heating elements will go glowing red hot if the mains voltage is not reduced.It makes sense to limit the dimmer's movements accordingly by testing it.Just do it in the dark afeter exposing a small bit of the heating wire from the insulating sleeve.Once you see a faint glow coming dial it back a bit until you can see any glow - that should be the max setting.For a big bath or to save time you can of course crank it up to what the glass insulation can tolerate but be aware that solder can boil over!I do a temperature check either with a touch free IR thermometer of by checking how quickly some rosin boils off.If you need to dip bigger parts you need a higher temperature, so I think a digital or sensor temp control is not really required.Once you found a sweet spot to hold the solder temp long enough without getting too hot or cold just mark it for reference ;)Using the ultrasonic soldering bath correctly.Cavitation is what the work for us, so we only need to activate the ultrasonic part when we need it with a push button or food pedal switch.We do not use any flux or resin!That means if you used the bath for normal soldering and or resin then clean the remains off the surface first.A shiny and clean surface is best but the oxidisation will happen quickly so don't be too disappointed ;)Start by dipping in a clean copper wire.Some solder might stick but it won't look proper.Now dip it in again and while it is in push the button for about 3 seconds.Like magic, if tuned properly your wire is soldered and properly covered to where it was dripped in.Try the same with some slightly sanded or at least clean aluminium wire, but use the button right away for about 5 seconds.The wire should be coated with solder once more.You can try a glass rod or some stainless wire next but I guess the working principle is clear now ;)Not everything will bond with solder, especially not if it is not clean.A piece of glass with your fingerprint on it might just fail and some ceramics will only let the solder stick without actually bonding.You should always check the mechanical strength of your soldered connection before having to rely on it ;)And why would you need such a machine?Well, most people won't have any use for it.Those who do might not be able to afford a commercial model.And there is always those who just want it all...If you know why you need such a thing than you have an alternative now at a fraction of the cost.You only need a lathe or someone who can machine the horn for you.Another benefit is that for smaller containers it is possible to weld a small "bridge" over the top.Should be placed so the bottom is in the solder while top is above it.In many cases you will then be able to use this plate to heat up whatever you need to solder on.Like a glass plate where you would like to solder a wire to.Once up to temp turn the ultrasonic part on and use a normal soldering iron and flux flree solder.Works quite well for these small solar panel kits...Ok, and how far away is our cheap ultrasonic soldering iron?Not that far :)I already have a topic for this though....

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply