BIKE GENERATOR?!

Hey, I'm much more of a mechanical guy than an electrical one, and yeah, I'm trying to be won over, but I think this project might help me bridge the gap if I can get it rolling. what do you guys think about buying maybe six or so friction light generators and disconnecting the lights, putting two on the front wheel, four on the rear, (they rub on the side of the tire) and wiring them all together to produce a power source? like I said, I'm horrible with electrical stuff- maybe you could even build a larger generator like I saw in another instructable, but do you think it'd be possible to either create a car-adaptor-style outlet, or even a functioning regular power outlet with that idea? what about an electric bike that charges itself while pedal in that sense? talk to me people!

Topic by Nkevin90 10 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


map holder for bike

Hello all, Im looking to make a map holder for my husbands mountain and road bike, I have access to a fab lab. Any help much appreciated Thanks

Topic by silvercarmel 5 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


2 x Sports bike Motocycles & v4 engine

Here is 2  Sports bikes and a v4 engine i made.

Topic by mr-maker 8 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Preventing Kicked-in Bike Wheels?

After purchasing the toughest bike lock I could find, I got the wheels kicked in by a frustrated would-be thief who could only get through the plastic coating with whatever tool he was using. (he incidentally got all of the other bikes locked up outside my dorm.) The closest lockers are a 30 min walk away, and they only allow for a small, easily cut padlock. I have an uncharacteristically small dorm room, so racking it in my room isn't really plausible. Any ideas? Maybe a couple of spokes reinforced with steel bar, or a cheap homemade bike shed?

Topic by langleyLGLF 11 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Is it feasible to add a kick start to my sport bike? Answered

I have a 200cc dual sport that has dual electric and kick start which i love for when i'm having charge/ battery issues or it's just reluctant to start on cold days. My sport bike is a zx7r with electric starter exclusively. Is there a practical way to add a kick start to this bike or (as i'm guessing) would it be way more time/ trouble/ money than it's worth?

Question by garretttm 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Bent Bike Frame

Yeah, so, my brother bought a mid-80s Schwinn World Sport. It's a nice bike. I spent about 10 hours overhauling every piece of that bike. Unfortunately, when I got it all put back together and test rode it, the bike had a nasty pull to the right. Bent Frame. He didn't check that when he bought it (didn't know anything about it, I daresay).  Anybody know anything about repairing a bent frame? The frame's tubes don't seem to be damaged or crimped or dented.  I'm thinking of using a car jack and some straps to straighten it out. Any thoughts?

Topic by marcward86 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


HELP making a 3 speed bike

How can i make a 3 speed gear change bike, instead of 18 gears i just want three

Topic by maccaorgordon 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


Multiple gears on the crankset only to make a 3 speed bike. Possible? How?

I have a bike with an electric motor on the back wheel. My bike is fixed gear, so it's hard for me to help the motor when pedaling at medium speeds (>20km/h). On the other hand, once I'm out of batteries and I have a hard time going uphill. I would like make my bike a 3 speed bike without messing with the back wheel. Is it possible to have 1 gear at the back and 3 gears at the crankset to make my bike a 3 speed? My idea would be something like a hub gear, but that stays on the crankset instead of the back wheel.

Topic by dkersting 6 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Fixing a leak in a bike pump

Hi All,  I have a floor bicycle pump like this (http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bike-maintenance/bike-pumps/topeak-joe-blow-sport-ii-bike-pump) which lately developed a leak in the center tube at the bottom. It is apparently caused by bad positioning while pumping air. I have located the hole which is beneath the pump and the material is plastic. It is small 1mm or smaller hole. Is there any recommendation on what type of glue should I use to fix it ? I was thinking of epoxy, but would like to know what you guys think. Thanks

Question by YousufS2 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


re-upholster a motorcycle seat?

I need to redo the covering on my motorcycle seat.  The bike is an old school bike not one of the newer "cruiser" or sport bike type. there have been a couple of prior attempts and the original cover is gone.

Question by 3.142rat 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Well guys I finally ran out of luck

On my way to work today I came off my bike at somewhere around 20-25mph, on a long sweeping corner I was turning with a steady lean and just lost all grip, both tyres slid, my left elbow hit the ground, shredded most of the skin on it and I actually brunt a hole in the jumper I was wearing with friction, I flipped over and smashed my wrist in to the ground so hard that that doctor wasn't sure if it was a sprain or break due to swelling, at some point my left hip hit the tarmac and they Xrayed that aswell in case I had chipped it, there's a nice swelling forming there... I also scuppered both my knees, the bad one is now just popping out from under me at any oppurtunity while the other can barely be moved. I've also just noticed that theres a bit of wood or stick stuff in my arm. This means that I can't go cycling for two weeks by docs. rules, can't play guitar hero, can't lift anything, might not even be able to drive, which would suck nuts as I just started formal lessons, finally afford them and I'm put outta work for a week and can't use my time to do the stuff I want/need to do. On the upside I can get to the hardware store and get my pulse jet parts and be doing something with my time, but I wont be able to build both because I've to save extra wages for next month as I wont get my days off back. The bike stood up to the crash much better than me, scraped paint on handlebar bell and I somehow knocked the reflectors of one of the pedals, I'm guessing thats the big gash on my shin explained... It's wierd I've been hit by trucks and got up straightened the handlebars, cycled off happy enough, I had the same type of crash except the front wheel fell down a curb I clipped a car and hit a wall with enough force to damage it and was fine apart from minor bruises, this simple crash screwed me completely, I fell perfectly and rolled well after flipping and smashing my right wrist, the bike somehow got a good distance away from the crash, as did I... Also three instructables I was planning will have to wait for at least a week, depending on what tools I can manage by then, it's a shame I just made three great projects and I have to wait until I'm better to finish them and publish... it also took me about 25minutes to write this...

Topic by killerjackalope 11 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


so what's everyone riding here?

I think I have close to eleven bikes in my garage right now (sort of unfortunately), though I only really ride three. for road/ commuting, I have a pacific voyager toys-r-us mountain bike that I converted into sort of a timetrialing singlespeed, complete with a shimano 400 crankset, profile aerobars, champion bullhorns, a look carbon fork, alex 700cs with hutchinson tires, and lots of other ridiculous things that don't belong on such a frame. I ride a diamondback venom park bike for bmx which I found at a garage sale for five bucks, not knowing just how good it actually was and my gary fisher bitter has been decommissioned due to a faulty front hub which blew out my axle and almost ruined my fork, so I'm slinging around a specialized rockhopper on the trails whose back wheel I destroyed and as a result, I've replaced it with a wheel off a peice of crap magna my friend left at my house a while back. I've got several others, but these are my ladies. they come and go quite often for me, but that's what happens. so what are you riding?!

Topic by Nkevin90 10 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


so what's everyone riding here?

I think I have close to eleven bikes in my garage right now (sort of unfortunately), though I only really ride three. for road/ commuting, I have a pacific voyager toys-r-us mountain bike that I converted into sort of a timetrialing singlespeed, complete with a shimano 400 crankset, profile aerobars, champion bullhorns, a look carbon fork, alex 700cs with hutchinson tires, and lots of other ridiculous things that don't belong on such a frame. I ride a diamondback venom park bike for bmx which I found at a garage sale for five bucks, not knowing just how good it actually was and my gary fisher bitter has been decommissioned due to a faulty front hub which blew out my axle and almost ruined my fork, so I'm slinging around a specialized rockhopper on the trails whose back wheel I destroyed and as a result, I've replaced it with a wheel off a peice of crap magna my friend left at my house a while back. I've got several others, but these are my ladies. they come and go quite often for me, but that's what happens. so what are you riding?!

Topic by Nkevin90 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


should I post ramp and grind rail?

Should I make an instructable for a nice DIY bike ,skateboard, roller blades, ect. ramp and a simple sturdy skate board or roller blade grind rail? 1-3 are of the ramp obviously that i made quite recently.4 is of the grind rail its like a year and a half old so its really beat up it was a lot better new ,and i figured out a better way to build it.here is the ible so far tell me what ya think https://www.instructables.com/id/EHRS1JAFGB0X664/

Topic by the_burrito_master 11 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Rear and front bikelights and road safety

A good bike rider learns from good and bad experiences during the initial rides. I pedal a bike on busy roads of my city. I realized that bikelights, especially the rear ones, are crucial for safety purpose. I got a backpack with solar panels and it has got a LED light as a rear bikelight, but it’s too dim, and the tail light sounds nothing like a good indicator for motorists. Either I would need suggestion on a bikelight safety kit or something else. I could do with my self-powered backpack. Is there is any DIY idea to replace it with a more bright option?

Topic by bikelightsuk 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Recumbent Riders?

Just curious if anyone else here rides a 'bent. I've just been getting more and more excited as I continue looking for my own :) I'm currently in the market and have test rode a Bacchetta Strada, Volae (something or other), Rans Rocket and a no name unknown import SWB. I'm also waiting to hear back about a partially built M5 frame (think "sports car" class of 'bents). And don't forget my homebuilt abomination :D Today I rode a no name something or other found on Craigs List... In my home town too! It's not exactly what I'm looking for (it's too recreational for me), but almost exactly perfect for my father. It's got absolutely garbage components, but I see potential in it. It is, however, a dog on weight - ~40 pounds. But that's not an issue because there's no hills :D The seat is also a POS, so never mind the makeshift seat back made from bike inner tubes. <--- totally awesome by the way. But I think with a new seat, some cable management, better handlebar/stem and at the very least - new shifters -- it will be fun, reliable and a more road worthy 'bent. The price was right for this thing too :p Cheaper than an upright from walmart :D

Topic by trebuchet03 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


what did you get for christmas?

Title says it...what did you get for christmas? i got a new mountain bike-specialized hardrock sport disc 2006

Topic by bedbugg2 11 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


half pipe

Do you want to build a half pipe because your local skate pipe has trashy influences then you came to the right place I'm working on posting this at the moment. I want to know about how many will use the instructions.

Topic by the_burrito_master 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Suggestions requested on attaching Creative Travelsound to bicycle

Hello. As someone who's moved to a bike friendly city, sold his car, learned the intricacies of mass transit... the thing that I miss most about my car is the sound system. Mind you, it was stock, but it was still good enough for me. Well that, and not getting wet when it rains and when the road is still wet. I'm not interested in being the obnoxious jerk at the stop light forcing a 1/4 block to listen all the bass I can afford, I'd like to put together a non-headphone sound system for my bike. I have pictures below of the the three components I have at hand. Jamis coda sport, creative travelsound battery powered speakers (which eats batteries like they are going out of style), and Zen V touch mp3 player. my goal is to have a personal stereo that is quickly detachable, yet secure, and potentially offering improved FM reception by 'hardwiring' an antenna to the frame. upon initial inspection, i suspect the easiest way would be to have a granny basket off the handlebars and just throw it into there. So that's my fallback plan. But there are some geniuses that peruse this site and I'm interested in how they'd attack this. two things to note- while my handlebars are flat, i've rotated the bar that holds them to a 45 degree angle. Also, the travelsound speakers are attached at the base that hinges with the battery pack. It's not that obvious in the picture. Thanks for the help with this.

Topic by flove101 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


First Motorcycle, budget

Hi. I've recently been hooked on motorcycles. I'd love to get one and start riding and working on one. There are a few problems. First off, I'm only 13 years old, but I'm 5'11" and 160 lbs. I know that it's illegal for me to ride a motorcycle, and I'm not even sure if I can take a mfs course at this age. I wouldn't be riding on any big roads, and would barely even ride it, besides riding it to my best friends house (he'd help me work on it, his dad is into bikes, and he only lives a few miles away), and around a few back roads in my neighborhood. My dad has been riding motorcycles for before I was born, and has multiple types and sizes of bikes (he has a touring Harvey, I believe it's a VRSC, a ninja 600, and a dirt bike which I don't know the model of). He could teach me and show me how to properly ride a motorcycle. Also, I don't know what kind of bike to get. I've heard dual purpose bikes are good for starters, but I really have no idea where to start. I'd appreciate input. Preferably it'd be a bike that I could work on and modify/upgrade as I go along. Thirdly, is price. I don't really know my exact budget, but it'd be around $600-$700. I know it's barely anything, but I'd have to pay for the bike myself, and that's all I have. If it's even possible to purchase a bike at this price point, it doesn't even have to run, I'd love your input. Ideally I'd like to keep everything to the absolute bare minimum, as cheap as possible. My dad already has safety gear, and I could borrow it if I rode my bike.  Again, thanks for your input, and any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. 

Topic by IvanT3 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Tidbits of Olympic Proportions

Tetranitrate's Japanese adventures are not the only exciting happenings in the region: on Friday (08/08/08), the 2008 Summer Olympics began in Beijing, China.Despite concerns about air quality for the games and preparations, these games showcase some very cool designs, cultural aspects, and other miscellany that we would otherwise not have seen. The two featured buildings to check out are the National Aquatics Center and the National Stadium, more commonly referred to as the Water Cube and the Bird's Nest. They are very interesting buildings, and architecturally stunning as well.For the bike enthusiasts out there, Make Magazine posted this album of bicycles in Beijing.And some digital enhancement: China apparently wasn't happy with the fireworks display, so they added some CGI fireworks for television viewers. Link via Boing Boing Gadgets.If you find more cool things related to the Olympics, please share!

Topic by joshf 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Kite-Biking? Street Luge Meets Kite Boarding Meets Tricycles

(WARNING: If I or anyone else should try this or try to recreate the idea in any way, please be safe, wear full body racing gear Like for motorcycles and such. If I do this I will definitely try to be as safe as possible.)Okay so I was fooling around on the net and ran into Turbo Pro Tricycles. http://www.primepedalkarts.com/resources/2007picturboyellowbig.jpghttp://www.primepedalkarts.com/turboproyellow.html They have a Demo Video that's about 20mb if you'd like to see some action with it. Anyway, as soon as I SAW the Trikes, I was thinking EXTREME. Basically the bikes steer like Luge boards, except you pedal them to make them go, not gravity. Well The bikes have a 'Free' gear which is used for coasting, and I was thinking with some modding, This could be an ATV or street beast (Permitted that these would be allowed in your area). Just add a Kite and steering system with the mandatory trike mods to follow (A list at the bottom) and you'd have a new (I hope) extreme sport 'KiteTriking'. I'd keep the pedals functional if possible so that when not skirting around on Kite-power you can pedal around. Although a completely other idea might be to try to motorize it electrically. (someone come up with a concept?)The mod list would most likely have to include:Some appropriately sized metal alloy wheels with racing or All-terrain tires to match.A reinforced chain or complete replacement.Brake replacements or modding to make them more efficient.Adding an Emergency Break.Reinforcing the frame.Changing the seat to a more sturdy, ergonomic one.And changing the pedals to aluminum ones.Kite mounting and emergency release mechanism.Some sort of rear storage space.

Topic by kojimagtr 11 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Mountain Boarding?

I recently saw a show about extreme sports. This included mountain biking, street luge, and long-boarding (all of which I do) and it also showed mountain boarding. I had heard of it before, and I think that it would be very fun. But how much do they cost, and are they easy to use? I am willing to learn, but I cannot go out and spend $500 on one. Any info would be helpful, so please post! Thanks

Question by freeza36 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Born to Run the Oakland Marathon

On Sunday, I ran the Oakland Marathon, finishing in 3:54:29, and placing 215th out of 945 runners.  I know it's cliche, but I read Born to Run and got inspired me to run a marathon.  It's the best book I've read in years:  the characters (all real people!) are fascinating, the setting and story are fantastic, and it just made me want to get out and go.  Halfway through the book, I decided to run a few miles to the grocery store in the rain just to run out back, not because I needed anything. Prior to reading Born to Run, I had been running a 2-3 miles twice a week to vary my preferred morning exercise routine of biking or swimming (the kitesurfing season hasn't really started yet).  Running was something I did if I couldn't get to a pool or didn't have the time for a long enough bike ride; it was exercise I did while traveling and when there were no better options.  Born to Run made me question that assumption, and I decided to see how longer runs would feel. Over a year ago I read "You Walk Wrong", a New York Magazine article on going barefoot.  It convinced me that I should be able to go unshod, or at least with minimally foot coverings.  Why would 30 years of running shoe development be able to produce better results than millions of years of foot evolution?  So I bought some Vibram Five Fingers  to protect my delicate soles, and had been doing lots of hiking and a bit of running.  The difference between running in running shoes and Vibram Five Fingers was profound for me.  In running shoes, I typically stopped running because my knees and hips hurt, not because I was exhausted.  The Vibrams forced me to take smaller, faster strides without heel strikes, and suddenly I was getting closer and closer to being able to run long enough to catch exhaustion without any joint pain.  The concept of going barefoot was initially tough because of my flat feet and overpronation, and the possibility of re-dislocating a kneecap. I never went anywhere barefoot, and after I initially dislocated my kneecap in 2000, I was told by a sports medicine doctor that I should never walk without the aid of custom orthotics in my shoes.  However, barefoot websites and forums are full of stories about people's arches coming back, and how kids raised without shoes never have flat feet.  Amazingly, it's all worked perfectly for me.  I now run without my orthotics without any knee pain, and my arches appear to have (re?)formed.  After hopping out of the pool, I always inspect my wet footprints, and they now have distinct arches.  I wish I had taken photographs every day to plot progress. With the characters and race in Born to Run still fresh in my mind, I looked for nearby races to give myself some motivation and something to train for.  When I discovered that Oakland was holding its first marathon in 25 years, and that the route literally went through my neighborhood, I immediately signed up for the half-marathon and convinced Christy to do the same.  I researched training regiments online, and discovered many were 4 and 5 month plans; since I had 50 days before the race, I decided simply to run longer and longer distances at a comfortable pace, and not worry about a rigid structure.  I ran most of my miles on trails in the Oakland hills, and some on the streets, but all of them in my Vibrams.  During a practice run on the half-marathon course three weeks before the race, I completed the half in less than my target time for two hours and felt so good that I opted to do the full marathon. In the marathon, I ran with GEICO-sponsored pacers aiming for a 3:50:00 time (8:46 miles on the flats, and slower miles in the hills; course elevation PDF here).  Of the three pacers, one was running his 34th marathon, and the other two were ultra-marathoners training for a 200 mile race from Calistoga to Santa Cruz; their normal weekend run was 50 miles, so a marathon was like taking a break.  Running in a group is awesome and way better than running by myself listening to audio books.  On multiple occasions, I imagined that we were the hunters of a tribe out running down game -- water stations every couple of miles broke the illusion, but I still eagerly grabbed cups, and the community support was tremendous.  There were bands, drummers, DJs, and gospel choirs making music along the route; families with full brunch buffets setup in their front yards offering all the runners fresh fruit and homemade baked goods; and many people just thanking us for running in Oakland.  The second image shows all my runs in the 50 days leading up to the marathon.  The first 5-mile run on the chart was the longest I had ever run at that point.  While I was coming from something of a limited endurance background (I've biked 135 miles on a tandem from Boston to Provincetown in a single day), I didn't really know my limit.  At mile 23 of the marathon, I finally caught up to exhaustion, and fell behind the pace group.  The last three miles were painful, but in the last quarter mile, I couldn't stop grinning and felt like I might laugh and cry at the same time.  When it was over, I just wanted to sit down. I was aiming for a sub-4-hour marathon, and I'm really proud to have done that on my first try.  Everyone made fun of me for walking like a zombie the next day at work, and I have some pretty large blood blisters on my feet, but nothing that won't disappear in under a week.  Go and read Born to Run, it might inspire you, too. Christy says: I'd always had to run as cross-training for other sports (I swam competitively for 13 years) and ran when I needed quick exercise, but hated it - my joints hurt, and it just wasn't fun.  I was a distance swimmer and can hike nearly forever, but could literally swim farther than I could (or would) run.  The most I'd ever run before was about 4 miles.   I got my Vibrams with Eric, and really enjoyed hiking with them on my feet.  I hadn't run in nearly a year and a half (pregnancy loosens the joints, which made running feel even worse) so when Eric announced he was signing up to run 13 miles I was dubious.  However, I read Born to Run and was suitably inspired - I was in good cardio shape from swimming and stationary biking, and would happily hike 13 miles, so why couldn't I run that far?  I decided to go out for a 5k jog to see what running felt like in my Vibrams. Long story short, I accidentally ran 6 miles, stopping not due to fatigue or joint injury but because of a blister from a poorly-adjusted shoe strap.  I signed up for the half marathon that evening, and started taking increasingly pleasant runs through the parks and across the city.  I ran the half-marathon course with Corvidae in her jog stroller, stopping to feed her periodically.  Eric finished while I was on mile 8, so he backtracked along the course and met us at mile 10, by which time she was thoroughly done with this stroller nonsense and had migrated to the sling.  I left the two of them to their own devices and jogged the rest of the way to the finish, about 3:25 after I started in the morning.  Not terribly speedy, even given the breaks!  The next day the bottoms of my feet were sore, and one of my Achilles tendons was a bit inflamed - I'd describe it as having overused my springs - but even though I was limping, my muscles were still in good shape. My pace is still quite slow (I ran the half-marathon in 2:42, for roughly 12:26 mile splits) but it's frighteningly consistent - I negative split most of the race, and at the end discovered I still had plenty of energy to sprint past a dozen exhausted runners.  Clearly I didn't run fast enough or far enough, but I was specifically setting a pace I felt able to maintain indefinitely.  The weak link is still my feet!  While I had plenty of muscle and energy left at the end of the race, the bottoms of my feet were tired from use - more practice is necessary to balance out years of shoe-wearing.  However, I recovered much more quickly this time, and was able to run again by Tuesday morning.  No zombie shuffle for me!  Of course, this means next time I'll be running the marathon, and at a faster pace!

Topic by ewilhelm 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Instructacon: The Robot Says Goodbye

Saturday the 26th was the official end of Instructacon, Instructables first conference hosted by the Robot itself!This year, we had a whopping two attendees: The elusive Jessyratfink, and the unpronounceable Zachninme.There was free lunch, build sessions, BBQ's, novel sports, bike rides, random interviews, and plain (muffin) wholesome fun! Unfortunately, as all good things must come to an end, the Robot eventually had to part with its guests, and forcefully took them to the nearest human shipping facility, as soon as it had the spare time. Jessyratfink was politely escorted back Sunday morning, and Zachninme was shipped off Tuesday morning.We do miss our attendees dearly, and hope to see more of you at the next Instructacon!Documentation below

Topic by T3h_Muffinator 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


newsletter Steampunk Rifle, Printing Press, Drainage Luge...

Aug 7, 2008 Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); } Welcome back! The Horny Toad Invent-a-Sport Contest closes this weekend! Submit your crazy new sport now to win hundreds of dollars of clothes from Horny Toad.Also closing this weekend: voting for the Instructables Book Contest. Help choose what Instructables get mentioned in the book!Everyone loves pie! Enter our Pie Contest, share your favorite recipe, and win an excellent pie cookbook to help you get your just desserts Build a 4 Color T-Shirt Printing Press by Progfellow Drainage Luge by pbshoe Quickly Multiply, Wooden Style by joshf Steampunk Dystopian Sniper Rifle by gmjhowe 4 Uses for a CD Spindle by msolek Magnetic stripe card spoofer by powerpants Skateboard Frame by ryry Self Watering Mini Garden by RomanH Make an Instructables Robot Plushie! by jessyratfink DIY Bike Panniers by trebuchet03 Portable Solar Energy Generator by charlitron Perfect Peach Pie by linuxmom Voting closes this weekend! Top 10 new uses for LEDs Mmm... pie The ultimate workbench top! by poptones How to Make a Pie... That Turns into a Cake by locodiego Homemade Spot Welder by jds1969 Breathalyzer Microphone by randofo Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ 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 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


[newsletter] Racing Lawnmower, Electronic Candles, Willow Whistle...

July 17, 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! The next round ofBurning Questions has begun! If you've been struggling tothink of an Instructable to do, we've taken care of the topics for you. Wina t-shirt and a bumper sticker!The winners from the Lonely Planet Travel Tips Contest havebeen announced. Seewho won!Be sure to enter theInstructables Book Contest to get published or theHorny Toad Invent-a-Sport Contest to win some sweet clothesfrom Horny Toad! How to design and build a combatrobot by gneedel Super Summer BBQ Supper Deluxe! by supersaddy How to make a racing lawnmower by mowerracer Digital Picture Frame by micahdear Full Color Stencil Art withHalftoning by kylemcdonald SOCBOT - the next generationvibrobot by biochemtronics Willow Whistle by shoemaker Make a CNC Hot Wire Foam Cutter by tbarnea How to Make a Kubb Set by fungus amungus Steampunk tennis rackets by KaptinScarlet iPhone Retractable Headphones by engineerable How to build the one motor walker! by robomaniac See who won! Six Instructables for theiPhone Get published in the Instructables book! Electronic Birthday BlowoutCandles by cedtlab Easy Cutting Propagator by shellberry Cadence Meter For Your Bike<$12 by Sailor Bob Fingernails portraits (laser etch) by lamedust Now go make somethingawesome, and I'll see you next week! -Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ 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 10 years ago


(newsletter) Live in a Bus, Auto Fish Feeder, Zippo Tricks...

Sep 4, 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! The winners of the Horny Toad Invent-a-Sport Contest are posted! Try out some of these awesome new sports! Live near San Francisco or planning a trip? Stop by for one of our build nights and make something cool in our office! September 11: Mouse mouse; October 2: Intro to Chainmail. RSVP required.Upcoming... Get ready for the biggest and best Halloween contest ever! October will be here soon, so start working on an elaborate costume and creepy decorations! Anything posted since the close of last year's contest is eligible. You can also get a head start on our Faberge Egg Contest (almost here!), where you could win a sound system and have your egg displayed in New York City! HDTV Antenna on a Direct TV mount by arte.sano Build a digital pin-hole camera by richard2nd Screen print your pancakes by lamedust Make a Short Film for $80 by Hermes   Get out and play! Turn 3D Motions Into Sculpture by jftesser Basic Zippo tricks by killerjackalope Make a fossilized Dinosaur Egg by KaptinScarlet Make a pizza oven in your backyard by fritz.bogott Make a Tunnel Book by Doldrum Automatic Aquarium Feeder by paulrobinson Sign Chair by wholman World's Smallest Electronic Shocker! by Plasmana   10 More Instructables to help get ready for class Prescription Goggles for $12 by engineerable Re-use a Schoolbus for Cheap Housing by zim Chuck's No Weld Recumbent Bike by chuckdiesel Dot Matrix Business Card by tomward Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ 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 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Cold Cathode Tube Voltage and Speaker Questions

My brother has some cold cathode tubes, some about 6" long, some about 12" or more. I was thinking of hooking them up to my bike, as shown in one of the great Instructables here, but I wasn't sure of the voltage. I don't want to over-power the tube, and bust it. Plus, the two wires coming out of it are in this black connector, so I don't know which is positive or negative. The tubes put out blue light, if that makes any difference.I have an old sports radio, which works pretty good and could be turned up really loud. I desoldered the speaker, and hooked it up to a pair of wires coming from a head phone jack. I plugged it into my iPod, expecting loudness, but no - I had to hold it up to my ear, on full volume, to hear it. Is it because the iPod isn't outputting as much voltage or current to the speaker as my radio was? The radio used 3 AA. I really wanted a portable speaker that actually put out big sound, so I didn't have to have those buds stuck in my ear.Thanks y'all!

Topic by Bran 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


[newsletter] Internet on TV, Survival Kit, Rock Band Mod...

July 24, 2008 Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; } window.open("/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); } Welcome back! Get published in the upcoming Instructables book by entering the Instructables Book Contest. Any Instructable, new or old, can be entered! You can also enter the Horny Toad Invent-a-Sport Contest to win some sweet clothes from Horny Toad! Hide a projection screen with style by Fylke DIY 3D Controller by kylemcdonald Freestyle Snowshoe Boulder Jumping by joe Build a Softbox from an umbrella by sdhigbee Put the internet on your TV! by bradpowers Grow your own wheatgrass by itschrys Mod Your Rock Band Guitar by Sp4m Get A Free Haircut - Fashion Styling 2.0 by lamedust Take Cube Roots of 6-Digit Numbers by purduecer Build a kid's long- wheelbase low racer by homba DIY Compact Survival Kit by ledzeppie The Raven, high-pitched torture by Hungry_Myst Six ways to avoid the gas station Get published in the Instructables book! Answer our Burning Questions! How to Ride Your Bike in Style by caseyscieszka Stick it Up with a Poster Magnet Board by laboratory424 Embroidery 101! by jessyratfink Put Keys in Your Leatherman by pyro222 Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ 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 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Virtual Patch List

We've recently started to give out virtual patches to reward users for the cool things you all do. The list is short for now, but it will grow. Check out the patches that exist so far and feel free to give us suggestions for new ones! Holiday Treats Contest Winner DIY Halloween Contest Winner Light Up your Ride Contest Winner Caption Contest Winner Newsletter - Authors whose Instructables have been featured in the newsletter. Hungry Scientist Contest Winner Party Like It's 1929! Contest Winner Instructables Book - Instructables users who have bought or won a copy of The Best of Instructables, Vol. 1. To get this patch, post a picture of yourself with the book here. Forbes Fabergé-Style Egg Contest Winner Craft Skills Contest Winner Pie Contest Winner Horny Toad Invent-a-Sport Contest Winner BBQ PDQ Contest Winner Lonely Planet Travel Tips Contest Winner RoboGames Robot Contest Winner Park Tool Bike Month Contest Winner Toss It! Contest Winner Tool Tips Month Contest Winner T-Shirt Hacks Contest Winner Pocket_Sized Contest Winner Photojojo Photo Month Contest Winner Pets Month Contest Winner Share the Love Contest Winner Discover Green Science Fair for a Better Planet Contest Winner Get the LED Out! Contest Winner Flower Contest Winner Cake Contest Winner

Topic by fungus amungus 10 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


(newsletter) Soda Can Chain Mail, One-Ingredient Ice Cream, Cardboard Kayak...

Sign-up for this newsletter: Welcome back! NEW CONTEST: Digital Days Photo Contest - Show us your best photo trick, tip, or homemade gadget to win a new Sony digital camera! Converse Back to School in Style Contest - Make or customize anything school-related and win a gift card so you can make your own custom Converse shoes! SINGER Kids Crafts Contest - Create something crafty with or for a kid and win a sweet new serger or sewing machine from SINGER! Forbes Teach Me Fast Contest - Make a 30-second how-to video and win one of six awesome Flip MinoHD video cameras! Winning videos will be featured on Forbes.com. VOTE NOW: Help pick the finalists in the Gorilla Glue Cardboard Contest! Want faster updates and inside info? Follow Instructables on Twitter and Facebook! Genuine Chainmaille from Pop Tabs Beyond Belief and Back - Optical Illusion One-ingredient Ice Cream Build a Cardboard Kayak for Under $40 Win a digital camera! Get crafty! Make Your Own Sports Drink Build a Photographer’s Zoom Spot Ready, Set, Go! Light How to Get a Great Old Sewing Machine Fuse Plastic Bags into a Laptop Case Bike Panniers from Military Surplus Bags Make Your Own Bra Make a Pencil's Lead Potentiometer Share something cool quickly! Win a pair of custom Converse shoes! Motorized Marble Roller Coaster Rework a UPS with Massive Capacity Table Top Aquarium Living Wall Sign-up for this newsletter:

Topic by fungus amungus 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Arduino bluetooth HC-05 game controller to control Android games

I got a new project to make a pretty unconventional (fitness) game controller using Arduino to control Android games. The ideea is the following: using the Android VR technology (Cardboard or Dive) it was pretty simple to create a basic game (3d world to walk around) using Unity3D and Dive SDK. If you put on the Google Cardboard, the VR experience begins. But still so few devices are on the market, which give you back the control over your smartphone, which now is fixed in front of your eyes. I want to use this and make a fitness app which will be controlled by running on a treadmill (or using a workout bike). Something like the old Nintendo Wii and the running game from Sports. Or a game like Temple Run, in which running the treadmill faster, gets you faster in the game. For this I would like to create a game controller which records the leg movements, direction, body position, etc. which would then influence the actions in the game. A lot of details I still need to work out. So the question is, does anybody know of a guide or tutorial on how to create a game controller like this, using an Arduino a bluetooth module like HC-05. The controller should not be bound to a specific game or 3rd party app, should work like a usual game controller for android (connecting to some bluetooth android game profile?). There are many android game controllers out there which dont need a special android driver/3rd app to control any game. So this has to work somehow. So how can I programm an Arduino to send (once paired) the same events a bluetooth gamecontroller (or bt keyboard or mouse) sends, which doesn't need any 3'rd party Android app to be able to send basic key pressed events to a random game. Best regards, F

Topic by fcfelix 4 years ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


What can be considered plagiarism?

Hey guys, It's been a long time since I posted anything on instructables (school is really time consuming lately) But I got some projects which I'll be working on soon since I have a lot of free time in the upcoming summer vacation. But while I was checking in here I noticed my video for my rubberband shotgun didn't work anymore. The problem is already fixed but it said at first that "OGG Craft" filed a plagiarism complaint on my video and it couldn't be shown. Some of you may now OGG Craft on youtube. He is a japanese man who makes some excellent rubber band guns (I got referred to him by some comments on the same shotgun ible) and I have to admit one of his guns has a similar firing mechanism then mine but that's where the comparrison ends, the gun doesn't look the same, it doesn't even have the same ammo capacity. And I can honestly say I didn't know about it's excistence before building mine. Now I decided to research these OGG Craft designs and I also came across some other Japanese people making rubber band guns, apperantly it's a sport there with it's own sportclub and everything! I gained a lot of inspiration from seeing those guns and their firing mechanisms. I perhaps want to use some as inspiration for my own designs. I have no plans to copy someone's gun and mine will be my own design and everything. But what I wanted to ask is, can using someone else's rubber band gun as inspiration be considered plagiarism? Even when yours is completely different and only uses a similar firing mechanism. There are just a few ways of firing a rubber band and I've seen a lot of people use the same technique's for it so I personally don't see anything wrong with it. All the bikes work in the same way and I don't hear anyone complain about that either. So what do you guys think? If you see me posting a gun here that has a similar firing mechanism as for example ogg craft but other then that is completely different. Would you call it plagiarism or not? It's rather bugging me to be honest because I'm very proud of my rubber band guns and I'd hate to be called a stealer... P.S.: Youtube investigated it and came to the conclusion that nothing was plagiarised and my video is still online.

Question by MichelMoermans 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Two Hands Two Legs and lots of walking in SF

And we're off! The documentary tour of hacker spaces in America starts off in Boston with an early breakfast:At 3:30 on September 8 I began making the WOD's [waffles of departure] and gathered my friends. This was it, I was having my goodbye breakfast. We sat around a giant LED display that was playing tetris on autopilot like we were at a sports bar and called the AI engine out on it's bad plays. Choice is the name of the game in AI, how do you make the optimal choices with limited knowledge about the present and doubt about the future?I drank my cocoa considering the choices I've made to hit the skies and shoot a documentary on hackerspaces, and it filled me with exhilaration. What could be more critical than doing something that gives you the energy to do the thing you want to be doing? There has to be this ignition point to push the chooser into action, creating this snowball of awesome gathering steam as it goes downhill. Rather than chilling with Sysiphus on his uphill downhill journey. Feeling energized, feeling pumped, I called my friends around me and we ate to good health and poured generous libations of yogurt smoothie [Spilled the contents of the blender on the floor]. **************Later that very evening I found myself SSFed :: Suddenly in San Francisco:Walking down 17th street passing bodega after fruit market after bodega and suddenly we intersected. The assembly of the Two Hands Project was complete as we fortuitously intersected directly at the gates to NoiseBridge nouveau. An odd bunch from Chicago/Alaska, Michigan/Boston, and Florida/notsureyet we were meeting for the first time since the inception of the project, and we were ready to rock. Having almost no equipment after meeting up with Mitch and experiencing excellence and consensus in action we go to Sadies house (what a great lady), stay up late, and work all night. Starting the tradition that will continue to this day. Hopping on Paul's tiny folding bike I run across town gathering Mic's, video cameras and miracle fruit. Meeting up with the crew dazed and confused walking around town with tons of gear on their back we were glad to have a brief breakfast with SkyT, Mitch and FBZ before checking out the reMakeLounge.At the reMakeLounge we met up with Inna who saved our lives, 300 times. With her help we were able to talk with the folks at the Internet Archive where we met up with Mang. She drove us over to Oakland, back to SF, and finally back to the Airport. If there's one lady that made the SF leg of this trip possible it was Inna.Mang and his roommate Mike have an awesome Hacker Space appended to their home. We were given a rare peek into Radish Research which they opened up to us. It's been amazing how much people have opened up to us this trip! I'd like to take this moment to thank you all for your kindness, generosity and ability to withstand the rush that is The Two Hands Project. Hee!Posting would happen more frequently if it weren't for the emergency nature of this trip. But keep an eye out, I'll be posting shorter things more regularly I hope._Bilal GhalibAnd now, a brief video of the first leg of our trip:

Topic by lamedust 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Damaged disc(s) in the lower back - what to do and what not ;)

I got diagnosed with a damaged L5 and L6 disc in my lower back about 8 years ago and I thought writing about my experience might helps others facing the same problems. Keeping your back straight when lifting or moving heavy things was a thing I already learned and followed during my school times and as you might have guessed it helped to keep my back healthy - at the expense of my knees... But the knees are a different story, today I want to help you understand lower back problems caused by damaged or bulging discs and how this will affect your life. For me it began with a little shock. One day I got out of bed, wanted to grab something I dropped and got stuck half way up. Knowing that there are some nerves that can cause the same issue and that a simple injection will fix me I called a cab to be dragged laying down on the back seat to my GP. As you might have guessed his diagnosis was a bit worse than what I wanted to hear... Many painful hours and some scans later it was confirmed that my L5 and L6 disk have collapsed on one side and started to push on the nerves next to it. Funny side not that I never really checked was that my doc said not everyone has a L6 disk... Anyways, as with most first "accidents" involving your lower back the so called recovery was long and painful. Sure the painkillers help to numb the worst, the anti inflammatory stuff covers some pain too but actually I did not want the full pain free package deal. Pain is the bodies way to let you know something is wrong, so I kept the pain medication at a level where I got that information when making a wrong move... The first 6 months I was literally confined to my bed, the shower and the toilet. I tried to keep a position with the least amount of pain for as long as possible and for obvious reasons was not too happy that my body not only required food intake but also the disposal of the waste products - getting out of bed and onto the toilet meant experiencing huge amounts of pain every time. But after those 6 months I started to adjust, to the pain as well as what my limited body was now capable of in terms of movement. Needless to say that all this time of not doing anything really meant my scale started to scream tripple digets at me one day... Luckily around the same time my pain levels went to a level that allowed my to walk around 500-600 at slightly slower speeds than normal before the pain got too much. My doctor also got quite concerned about my blood work and body weight recommending to loose a lot if I every intent to get back to a more normal life. So I started to walk several times a day, no matter how bad the weather was, just a bit up and down the street. The distance got longer, the fitness a bit better and the pain levels a bit lower too. Using my old weight lifting belt to keep the back supported helped me a lot during these times, especially when driving or doing housework. During those times I was still on 6-8 panedine forte tablets (paracetamol and codein) plus 2-4 tablets of 20mg oxicontin and not happy about the last anyway. Despite the added levels of pain I started to reduce the level of oxicontin and started to exercise more. My focus was getting the core muscles stronger and to get better support for my back. Also started riding my bike again, although I had to replace it for a bigger model to allow me a more upright position with less stress on the lower back. The kilos started to tumble very slowly but I was already quite proud when I got bak to 90kg. :( Good thing was that I got motivation to continue as every kg I lost and every little bit more on distance I got out of my walks and rides without getting too painful also meant that my average pain level went down too. Two years after it all happened I got rid of the oxicontin completely and reached the 80kg mark. My doc was happy too, my blood work looking good but of course he still suggested to loose a few more kg. Being able to move around again also meant being able to work again and with that came more food, less exercise and a lot more stress. I did manage to hold my 80kg but after about 6 months or working I noticed my back problems started to limit me again. My back belt covered for me and I was able to keep going a while longer but in the end I got hit by another attack on my back. The diagnosis was not good at all as now on top of the pain goind through the back and leg I also hab numbness and a feeling like ants crawl over the leg and chew on it every few mm. As with most lower back "revenges" this one only needed strong pain killers for a few weeks until I was back to something more normal in terms of pain and movability. Sadly the ongoing side effects did not go away the way they did the first time. This meant especiall finding the right position to sleep with the least amount of pain was becoming a nightmare on it's own. Either you got pins and needles keeping you awake, you lost your feeling in the leg to the point where it becomes useless or the pain in the back is just stabbing you all the time. Starting some projects here on Instructables kept my mind busy and gave me some welcome distraction from the daily routine. Eventually I manged to find a job again that allowed me to have enough different movements with only a bit of lifting so things started get back to normal. My doc put me on some amitriptyline to help with the pain at night and although it took some time to get used to the stuff it really started to help after about two weeks. The job was only for a fixed term but it gave me back some confidence that not all is bad or lost. Life went on and I actually manged to get down to just 75kg and only used some painkillers once or twice a week if it was really bad. Then, a few weeks back I started to notice that the top of my foot and the outside of my leg felt different to touch, especially in the shower with some brush or rough sponge. Not being happy already I agreed to some new scans to check if the discs started to cause problems or if the nerves are just inflamed. You might have guessed already, the scan confirmed that my two discs desintegrated further putting more pressure on the already suffering nerves. With the "help" of some quite strong anti inflammatory stuff, cortisone and other meds my doc managed to get me back to "normal" but he also informed me that this won't last forever. The current outcome (without surgery but more on that later on) I have two choices to keep going: a ) I continue with pain killers and other meds to keep the problems at bay. b ) I limit myself to basically not doing anything involving the movemnt of my lower back, keep to a strict calory intake and hope for the best. The first option won't do me any good in the long run except liver, kidney and digestive problems. The second option will allow me some sort of a normal life at the expense of never finding a job to support me again. So once again we soldier on knowing that it will only make things worse as giving up and relying on social services is no option for me. Hoping that you might just had your first encounter with lower back injuries and pain I will give some advise on the things that helped my most so that you might not have to suffer as much I did and still do. So read on please... Diagnosed with a damaged or bulged disc in the lower back - what does it acutally mean? If you check all the available images of the human skelleton you will quickly notice one thing: Our lower back is not really straight and not designed to carry a lot weight when it is put on the wrong way or direction. Noone with a sane mind would use a support beam shaped like that but the human body adapted to this problem caused by changing from using all four limbs to walking on just two legs. The muscles and tendons in our back work in such a way that they support the fragile construction of discs and bones that keep us upright. Sadly modern life, personal decisions and only too often a busy work shedule prevent us from using our body the wa we should. Be it too much lifting, being far too short for your weight or simply laziness the factors causing our muscle to degrade are too many to count. But once you are in the worst pain you ever felt and your doc tells you that there are damaged discs you suddenly wish you had it all done differently years ago - trust me, I have been there and I have done it ;) Or it might be like in my case that a healthy and fit person just cracks one or more discs for no obvious reason. Either way it means you have to change your life to be able to keep going. Pain killers help to ignore the problem and pretend all is good but they should be used with great care as most are highly addictive and the long term side effects are no fun either. The one thing you must never forget is although being a life sentence it must not mean you will be crippled forever! What can I do once it happened to help the pain and my sanity? Nerve pain is one of the worst pains there is and there are only two more or less working medications to deal with it. The first meds are opiates to literally numb the pain but due to source of the pain very high levels are required until the body adapted to deal with the wrong pain information. The second group of meds that offer help and that are often used together with pain killers are old sty anti depressants like the try-cyclic (was that right?) amitriptyline. Back in the days they were not really good for the advertised job but one of the common side effects was how they worked on the pain centers of the brain. In much lower dosages as used to treat depressions these meds help the brain to deal with the pain caused by the damaged or pinched nerves. As a long term solution they should be prefered over opiates so that the strong pain killers are only taken when really needed. If you are anything like me than not getting enough sleep over weeks on end will take a toll on your mood. So being able to sleep at least a few hours in one go is a real thing to aim for unless you prefer to harm your body with pain killers. What is there to help with the pain so you can sleep? I know that you now already think you tried it all and that nothing good comes out of here but keep reading as you might be surprised... The first thing that jumps into mind when it comes to sleeping is a bed - be it you by yourself or with a partner. And here also is the first point to improve! In many countries a bed for two persons has one bad feature: A single mattress! Any movement from the person next to you is transfered more or less onto your body - you don't want that! So if you own a big bid that you share with someone think about investing into a bed with seperated matresses and support frames. That brings us to the mattress itself. A lot of people think being soft and flexible is a prefered thing, not so much if you have back problems. You want enough support to keep the back straight without everything feeling like you sleep on wooden floorboards. Keep in mind though that when changing from soft matress to something much firmer you will need to adjust. Really the best option is to seek professional advise in a bedding studio or similar. And no, you don't have to go to the most expensive place to buy a mattress, you just try them out, get expert advise and use that new knowledge to find a suitable mattress to fit the budget. With no offence meant: If you are over the normal weight you really want to loose the excess and that means selecting a new matrress on your weight goal and not on your current weight! It is also good to have adjustable supports under the mattress itself, this way you choose a thinner and bit softer mattress but still get the firmness your back requires - again seeking proffessional advise on the right combinations is highly recommended here! Ok, your bed is sorted but still there is that nagging pain in certain positions or the tingling in your leg preventing you to go to sleep. Believe it or not but what you do before you go to bed affects how you feel when you hit the sack. So sitting like a bag full of water in front of your TV until just manage to crawl into bed won't do you any good. Same for having your dinner and hour or two before bedtime... What does help is to move your body and to burn a few kalories! If it helps you use a weight lifting belt but just a walk around the block with a little bit of bending and flexing will get the tension out of muscles. A nice partner giving you a proper massage might help too but I doubt you will get one every night ;) And before you start to complain: Yes, I know there are times where simply can't do any exersise as you will be happy to make it to the toilet or to make some dinner. For those times and especially during times of experiencing higher than normal pain level ther is something you can do to ease the pain. Some doctors will tell you but a lot of them wont: Cold actually helps to numb the pain and the symptoms like tingling, pins and needles or the constant stabbing when you made a slightly wrong move. But you need to apply the cold in the right way to get the benefit! The key here is timing. Using real ice in a suitable wrapper, so no vegetables or meat, you apply the cold where the damage is - not where the pain is! You want to cool down the area around the damaged discs for about 5 to max 10 minutes. Put the icepack back and repeat every hour! Nothing will happen after the first two or three round but then you will notice improvement - how much depends on the individual and extend of the damage of course. When I have bad days I usually start around mid-day and keep going every hour until either the pain is gone or it is time to drag myself to bed. The worst you can do is o apply heat! A warm (not hot!) bath can help to ease some muscular tension but hot packs or heat lamps will make your pain get worse quickly. Just imagine and inflammation somehwere else, the area is already hot and painful so you really don't want to add more heat, do you? ;) What can be done to keep mobile and improve? As said earlier the key is support for the damaged areas and of course a limitation in movements that put additional stress on the damaged dics - this includes weight, be it from your own body in terms of excess fat or simply be lifting things! You will have times of no pain and where you think you are 20 years younger again but never use that as an excuse to think your discs have improved! Once damaged they stay damaged and everything putting more stress on you dsic(s) will make things worse. A friend of mine loves to play golf - if you have back problems you want to find a different hobby! Coming from three digits I can tell you without being offensive in any way that being fat means having problems that you don't want to add to your list caused by a bad back! So like it or not you really need to loose all the excess you can find wobbling around your body! For me every single kg I lost was a step forward to being more fit and being able to more things for longer before my pain got too much. And no, there is no excuse for keeping those kilos if are able to leave the bed for more than a few hours. Turst me, you will feel better, need far less medication and like yourself much better once the benfits of less weight kick in! Exercise is the key to getting your life back to a more or less normal level! If you are a "first offender" than you have a good chance that a change of habbit and maybe job will make sure it stays a single incident and that you can have a pain free life after the initial recovery! Getting a higher core strenght and overall fitness level helps your body to heal but most importantly gives you the option to gain muscles where needed to support your back. You might think there is nothing you can do if you are in pain and can't really move anyway but if you do then you are wrong. I am not a personal trainer but I found a lot of ways to use my muscles without using my back for it... There is enough info on the web for exercise methods without any training gear and if you think "really hard" you might notice you can use a lot of positions to exercise your arms and legs without stressing you back ;) And even for the back you can do good without damage: If you lay flat on your belly you just slightly lift your arms and legs off the ground - this will need the support of the muscles in lower back! No need to actuall lift anything high, just enough to only slightly bend your back up - you might not even notice any bending at all. What you don't want is exercise like running, jogging or even contact sports, really nothing that might force your back to move more than what is possible without stressing your discs... Better fitness and more strenght means you will get better flexibility and movablity but never let that fool you into thinking the damage is gone! I can not stress enough than even if you don't need medication and feel fine a single wrong move can make all null and void! What are the options if despite loosing weight and excercise my pain is not going away or syptoms get worse? Well, we can ignore it, we can hope it all goes away but the sad reality for most is that sooner or later you reach the point where the damage is too much too handle. The first one to tell you that your lower back is now due for a pit stop is your foot. The pain might be more than what you ever experienced the pins and needles might drive you mad but as long as it just that you are fine, really :( For me it was during some light gradening when I got my "first hit" so to say. I brushed it off thinking I tripped over something that got kicked away while I struggled to keep my balance. A few days later I noticed that I had to put some extra efford to prevent my toes from scraping the floor while walking. It was there when I also realised that most of the feeling on top of my foot was gone. Same story for the outside of my calf by the way... For me, thanks to a non working medical system and no private health cover the story ends here... Since you might have more luck: Modern medicine has gone a long way when it comes to minimal invasive operations and they are the key to performing operations that otherwise would be impossible or require months of recovery. For the "treatment" of damaged discs in the lowest part of the spinal area the old conventional treatment was to fuse the bones together using some steel or titanium rods. To give the patient relief the dmaged disc was more or less mutilated to free the damaged nerve(s). Several weeks of bed rest and great loss in movement was the price to pay for less pain. Today we are much further and can use micro instruments to perform operations deemed impossible only a few years ago. One of the operations with the greatest and fastest recovery rates is actually quite smart if you think about it: A small portion of bone is removed to give more room for the nerve and to aid in the healing - without fusing the bones! The next step is remove the part of the disc that is bulging out - without removing the strong support layers around it, only the mashed up bits are taken away. The patient is literally pain free ( from the back pain) right after the operation. Healing takes about 2-3 weeks but by then even the pain from the cut bones will be gone. Some health insurers see these operations as a means to get a person back to work and into a normal life, so they support it. Others use simple math and decide pain killers are cheaper... In any case you should seek professional advice from your doc and health care provider before it is too late! Diagnosed and operated early can mean you get the option to have an almost normal life again, or at least a few years of being able to enjoy life much more than before the operation. There are of course risks involved and an opration might not be an option for every case but knowing your options and what form of treatment might be available for you can be reall life changing... Ok, but what's the worst that can happen to me if a simple operation is no longer an option? One of the first things you will notice after loosing control and feeling for your foot is a more or less contant need to go the toilet. Despite having an empty bladder or just using the toilet minutes ago you can develop the feeling that you really must go the toilet again. Sadly this is only the beginning... If things get worse you can loose control over your bladder and bowel. Simply put it means you no longer control the muscular tension required to keep you vital openings closed when required. Usually at this point your doctor will recommend to operate one way or the other. For you, if affected, this means you have to decide between the risk of an operation that might only last for a few months or years or wearing adult nappies... If you already had one or more operation or the damage to the disc(s) is too severe it can mean that there is no other option but to fuse the bones into place to prevent further damage and allow for some healing. But trust me, for your doc to even consider an operation you need to loose all the weight you can! What are my limitations after having my back bones fused together? Well, as it reads you will be fused together, meaning you level of movement will be severly limited. It also means you beep all the time at the airport security or when entering a court or other place with metal detectors - but that is the least of the worries I guess... The main problem after such operations is getting back to a life as normal as possible. You get a lot of help in rehab and will learn what you can and can't do, plus of course how to keep you fit despite these limits. Some people cope really good with the new limitations but others struggle a lot. This especially true if before the person was really active and doing a lot in terms of sport and outdoor activities. Learning to adapt to the changes allows you have many more years without too much pain or limitations. Sure, Golf is out of the question, playing soccer or riding a normal bike too but life goes on and being a part of it is always better than just looking at it through your bedroom window ;) In any case giving up should not be an option for you! No matter how bad it looks when the pain is too much, there are always more good days than bad days ahead of you! Go ahead, share your experience with back pain, what you do keep going and handle the pain. Share you information about what treatments helped you the most and share how you recovered to where you are now. Be an inspiration for those facing what we already went through! Real back pain based on nerve damage will only be understood by someone who experienced it - what did you do to make the people around you understand it? Whatever helped you might help someone wha just started to learn how to deal with damaged discs and back pain, so sharing is caring! ;)

Topic by Downunder35m 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago