car to home speakers--how to?

Have 4 seakers from my car--would like to turn them into home speakers (within 2 boxes only having 2 speakers each). What needs to be done and what should I know about thisThanksMich

Question by pintree3 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Speaker switch box (2 x 2 or 4) with automatic ohm balance / adjustment, has anyone got a design for it please?

Hi, I have a cheap speaker switch box connected to my stereo amplifier as it only had one set of speaker outputs. When the smaller higher power demanding speakers are switched the box causes the more efficient floor standing units to shadow the sound which is annoying. The reverse does not happen, but when all 4 speakers are switched on the sound quality drops noticeably, as it would since the ohm matching is not right. I could buy an expensive Niles box but I don't exactly know the ohms for the smaller speakers since they have had the main drivers replaced (the original foam cone supports hardened and cracked in the dry heat of a few Australian summers). I suspect one set on, and one set off is a simple enough device even I as a novice could design it, yes i can, but would just building a better switch box using higher quality switches solve the shadow effect? and I have no idea about the 2 sets on so any ideas - a internet search didn't help much but maybe you call these things differently in the USA?

Question by dgeer 9 years ago


can u take and adapt regular car stereo wires to A/v wires and connect them to an amp without any problems??? Answered

Can u take and adapt regular car stereo wires to A/v wires and connect them to an amp without any problems??? my stereo that i have just has 2 A/V outputs and my factory amp needs 4 for all the speakers 

Question by gunrunner 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Help me understand car radio and speakers? Answered

Okay so I bought a Scosche radio that is capable of 120W Peak (No clue what that means) Says 30W x4 which means each speaker can be 30W Correct? Well I did not know this and there are also (2) 5.25" 200W Scosche Speakers in the front and (2) 6"x9" 300W Schosche Speakers in the back. So my questions are: 1. Why does my car stereo work fine when the car is just in accessory mode? 2. Why does the car crackle and lose sound when it is on and I am driving? 3. Would I be able to use an AMP to gain more access to power for the speakers? 4. Do I need a different stereo? 5. If I can use an AMP, do I get a 1000W 4-Channel AMP? Here are the links for my speakers: http://www.scosche.com/hd-speakers-5-25-set http://www.scosche.com/hd-speakers-6-x-9-set-1

Question by profitablemlg 1 year ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


Speaker and Amplifier Wiring Please Help!

As you can see I have a car amp and some speakers, can anyone with speaker or amp knowledge please tell me (or even better draw a diagram :D) of the best (most efficient / loudest) way to wire all these up, the specs are as follows… AMP 2/1 channel amplifier Max power – 400 watt 4 ohm stereo – 2 x 75 watts RMS 2 ohm stereo – 2 x 100 watts RMS ROUND SPEAKERS (midwoofers) 4 ohm 25 watt RECTANGE SPEAKERS (tweeters) 4 ohm 4 watt Thanks for your help! (P.S my plan is to build a portable sound system powered by a car battery)

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


Cable tester? xlr, jack, phono etc

It looks pretty simple: http://www.studiospares.com/test-gear/studiospares-ultimate-cable-tester/invt/458260/ i was wondering whether anyone could help me with how i would go about building one of these from scratch within a hobby box? i have components (sockets and plugs, veriboard etc) but i've never designed a circuit before so any idea would be great! im thinking two rows of LEDs that match pins 1 to 1, 2 to 2, and 3 to 3 at each end of the cable being tested (maybe 4 and 5 too) refering to tip, ring sleeve on jacks, centre pin and ground sheath on phono, and pins 1, 2, 3 on xlrs. any schematics/idea please! take a look at the link for a better idea. LEDs to indicate shorts and phase switch would be cool too.

Question by jamesjamesjames 8 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Troubleshooting help for connecting stereo components? Answered

Edited:  I'm having trouble getting all my stereo/TV components hooked up in the correct sequence so that each component functions as needed. All my components are Sony the cable box is Motorola (DCT700). TV (Sony KV-27FS13) with 4 input lines (Video 1, 3 & 4 from the back. Video 2 through the front panel.) Everything was rewired today to include a new cable box (due to the digital conversion) and I can see TV channels okay.  VCR (Sony SLV-798HF): On Video 1, I can view channels (when VCR is on CH3), and the cable box controls the channel, but I cannot record any other channel but the one controlled by the cable box. I can also view VHS tapes. DVD Recorder (Sony RDR-HX780): On Video 3, I can view channels controlled by the cable box, but I cannot record any other channel but the one controlled by the cable box. I can also view DVD's. I have a Sony Multi Channel AV Receiver (Model # STR-DG510). I don't know if that helps with getting this to work or not. I've included a detailed diagram. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, canucksgirl Currently the coax goes to the cable box, to the DVD, then to the VCR and then to the TV. RCA-DVD: from the cable box goes to the DVD player (in). From the RCA out goes to TV RCA in. RCA-VCR: RCA out on VCR goes to RCA in on TV.

Question by canucksgirl 7 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Quick question regarding car stereos and speakers? Answered

Hi, so I was thinking of buying a new stereo (receiver) for my '97 Mitsubishi Mirage DE, along with some speakers (mine are crap). When I go online (such as autozone.com), I run into some confusing descriptions. The receivers are usually rated as 200W for four channels (it'll then say like 50W x 4), whereas some of the speakers say "100 Watts Peak 50". I think I only have two speakers on the interior of the car (driver and passenger). Does this mean I can buy speakers with a higher wattage? I'm guessing the 50W x 4/ 200W over four channels means that it's 200W of power/audio for four interior speakers. Does having less speakers give me a greater allowance for speaker power, or will less speakers put more strain on the ones that I install (200W getting split over two channels instead of four)? For reference, here is the receiver I'm looking at, along with a pair of speakers I found that fits the "Peak 50": http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Dual-Electronics-Corp-200-Watts-AM-FM-CD-MP3-WMA-receiver/_/N-2628?counter=6&itemIdentifier;=219598_0_0_ http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Dual-Electronics-Corp-6-1-2-in-100-Watts-Peak-50-Watts-RMS-2-way-speaker/_/N-2626Z1z114tr?counter=3&itemIdentifier;=219603_0_0_&viewAll;=true

Question by Hadokendude 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 weeks ago


Pros and cons car for camping. Suburban, truck, or wagon

I have a 3 door 1971 suburban Custom. 350 small block i think Edelbrock headers (if anyone knows where to get a gasket that drops in, let me know. (-;) Edelbrock 4 barrel carb Posi rear end detroit lockers LSD front Barn door rear doors. And my brothers 91 ford ranger 4 cyl. 4 speed with overdrive RWD 2 1/2 seater no canopy An 87 camry wagon. FWD 4 cyl knocking engine. new clutch All of them have custom LOUD stereo's. There are 3 or 4 people going. Don't turn this into a ford vs chevy vs Toyota debate

Question by Yerboogieman 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Transmit & receive 4ch audio

I am looking for a cheap solution to transmit and receive 4 channels of audio.Transmitter may be bulky, but the receiver must be small. (it is for an interactive installation)Audio The 4 channels will be converted to 2 channels stereo, so in total 2 stereo signals of audio need to be transmitted and received (within ~10 meters). Note that achieving the best audio quality is not of top priority.Technique Should I be looking at FM / AM of Bluetooth methods? I've looked at: https://www.adafruit.com/product/1958, but it would be nice if there is also a paired receiver board.It would be nice if the proposed solution is scalable to 6 channels (3 channels stereo).

Question by LudoP4 6 months ago


how do I bridge a stereo car amplifier?

Http://www.drdetailshop.com/d2150.htm this source say that my amp is bridgeable and that it can run stereo and mono simultaniously. It is a 2 channel amp, however I only have one speaker.. I need both left and right channels running into the speaker. How can this be done? What would be the impeadance if the amp is running at 4ohms and the bridged subwoofer speaker is 4 ohms? what would be the overall wattage? how do i do this without causing damage toi my sub,amp, or radio? does this put excess strain and/or heat on the amp? if so how do I fix this? is there any wiring gauge problems that i should be concerned about? (18 gauge for input power, 18 gauge for speaker output, plan to lower the gauge of the speaker to somewhere around 12 or 14)

Question by fastcar123 7 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


How can I speakers in such a way that i get the best outcome in terms of power?

Ok i have 4 speaker which can handle 80W continuous power and having an impedence of 4 ohm each. I also have a 4 channel amplifier. The amplifier outputs are as follow: 60W RMS x 4 @ 4 ohms  80W RMS x 4 @ 2 ohms 160W RMS x 2 @ 4 ohms bridged How can i wire the speakers in such a way that i get the best outcome in terms of power? I've been thinking of wiring 2  sets of 2 speakers in parallel  and connecting them to the amp as bridge stereo. But the problem is that i don't know if it will cause problem to the amp. because the amp is 2ohm stable but i don't know if it is 2ohm stable when bridged 

Question by ARJOON 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Residential wiring problem. Power in both positive and negative outlet. Answered

Helping Pops out on this one... He's got a spare room with a small adjoining bathroom. The wiring breakdown on the fusebox indicates that these two rooms are wired as part of the same circuit on the main breaker. In the two rooms there are: 2 outlets, 1 GFI outlet, and 4 switches controlling 2 lights and 1 bathroom ceiling fan. In the last few months this room has been experiences some abnormalities in power: flickering lights, occasional outage, GFI tripped. The outages usually lasted less than an hour and would occur with or without any load and any time. GFI trips sometimes, but other lights will work on the circuit when it's just the GFI. Recently all power to this room has stopped. The main breaker never trips. With everything unplugged (including the ceiling fan) I checked the outlets in the room. Screwdriver voltage tester was used. The probe registers a 'charge' in the outlet and 'no power' on the return. Normal. However when any load (light, clock, tv) is applied all outlets instantly register a charge in both the positive and the return. Not normal. The breaker doesn't trip, resetting breaker or GFI doesn't work, and the positive and negative terminals of the outlets are both registering as charged. House is 10 years old with no previous wiring issues, in Canada. Can anyone tell me what's wrong? edit: January 24, 2011 Problem has been located and fixed. Closer inspection of the breaker panel revealed that the neutral was loose, and had started to melt the casing of the wire. The wire was clipped and spliced, and now things are back to normal. Thanks for everyone's input, best answer awarded!

Question by mikeasaurus 8 years ago  |  last reply 4 weeks ago


Generatore to Home hookup

(Tried commenting on the "Easy Generator ...." article. Error?? Perhaps this can be re-directed? See no Electrical forum) ​Pulling my hairs out (and very few left ) Contrary information on wire size for 50 amps. I'd like to use some leftiver #8 cable for the run from Mains to outside outlet, for a generator. Here it states #8; 1)  I had already resigned to needing #6, because I've seen that more often than #8 in my exhaustive reading. I can't speak to the codes/locations question. 2) just because the generator outlet is 4- wires, 50 amps, 120/ 240V. Does the connecting cable, and plugs+outlets, ALL need to have the separate Ground and Neutral? There are so many 4 - 3 wire conversion examples out there- text and video/pictures. For RVs, welders, etc.

Topic by mrlewp87 1 year ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


Will this water pump work? 2.0

I have updated my design for a simple water pump with the comments on my last one (https://www.instructables.com/answers/Will-this-water-pump-work/) in mind. It's thought to be hand- or windpowered and lift water 30-50 cm (1-2 feet i suppose). The cylinder will be about 10 cm (4 inch) across and the piston head 2 cm (1 inch) thick. The outlet is far too small in the picture.

Question by EdSe1991 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Audio - headphones

My daughter runs a Pre-school and uses a small cd stereo setup. The output is a pair of mono jacks (R/L) for speakers. I am looking to build a distribution box for up to 6 headphones. Thinking of one input (from the speaker jacks using a 2 to 1 plug) The headphones are mono 1/4 so those jacks are readily available. I do not know what the output is of the stereo system is but I doubt it is much over 5 watts (if that). Will I need some sort of amplifier? any thoughts on switches/switching jacks if not all are being used. Thanks for listening. guitar 52

Topic by guitar 52 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


[Answered] Balance Control Not Working Properly?

Okay, I bought an older karaoke system, which I am using as a speaker for my iPod and an amp for my guitar.  As you have probably deducted from that, it has RCA stereo auxiliary inputs and 2 mic inputs.  I plug my iPod into the RCA aux in jacks, and it is sending out a stereo signal.  The cable I use is a special cable originally intended for an audio/video cable for my camera.  It's wiring scheme allows me to use it as a 3.5 mm (1/8 in) male audio plug to the two stereo, RCA male plugs.  I press play on my iPod, and of course music comes out.  The "amp" has a balance pot on it (pot meaning knob).  When the balance pot is centered, the left channel is full volume, but the right channel is weak.  To get the full right channel, I have to turn the pot all the way right, which of course blocks the left channel out.  There is a "sweet spot" around the 4 o clock position that evens out the channels, but they aren't as strong.

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


Ohms on a Speaker VS Ohms on an Amp? Answered

I am looking fixing up my cars stereo and I am not sure about how to pair a sub with an amp.  I am using crutchfield.com.  I found some speaker I subs I would like to get, they are 12" kickers and there is an 8 ohm version and a 4 ohm version.  They are rated for 50 - 150 watts.  Now my guess was to buy a 2 channel amp (I wan't two subs) and use it.  The one I am looking at is 125 watts @ 4 ohms X 2 speakers.  I read that you may want to buy an over-rated amp so you don't blow it by trying to drive excessive speakers.  Is this an acceptable combination. 

Question by jj.inc 7 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


How do you build a fluorescent light from scratch and have it plug into the classic American outlet?

I am not asking how to build the bulb. Just attach the bulb+ballasts+plug it in. I want to build several letters out of fluorescent light bulbs, for example one letter is O but it will look more like []. I want to use bulbs that are 2-4 feet long or what ever is easiest... from scratch (without buying light fixtures and taking them apart). Each letter will be constructed of 4 lights. I know that I will need to solder parts together, I will need to buy ballasts, and bulbs... But construction wise I am semi lost. Also I would like recommendations as to how many ballasts for the bulbs, I don't mind if some of the bulbs flicker. Lastly I want the bulbs to make that humming noise so if you have any idea how I can induce that other then leaving the ballasts running for a while please tell me. Thanks, -Oliver

Question by Art-ist 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Power Strip USB Charger Combo

I'm currently building a bedside table, which will include a charging station for 2 laptops, 2 DS lites, 2 Iphones/pods, a palm phone, and rechargeable batteries. This means that there will be a need for at least 5 usb ports, and 4 mains outlets. I was wondering what peoples ideas were for generating these sources of power.  I know I could use a power strip and a usb hub with a wall adapter, but I was wondering what other more sleek ideas people had.  I have everything necessary to build my own systems, including a 5v power source; but I posted in the hope someone might have some really sleek and elegant solution for me. Winning prize goes to the person with the sub $10 solution!

Topic by Cold Shoulder Media 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Bluetooth speaker running on batterys?

Well today i managed to hook up 2 9v batterys to a bluetooth speaker i had laying unused. Basically now its portable and it works. But as some people probably already guessed, the batterys dont last very long at all. About 30 minutes continuous playback so far and ive had to reduce the volume significantly. Basically, can anyone suggest a better source of power? The speaker accepts 9v 2a DC which is normally supplied by mains. My batterys give 9v 1.5(ish)A DC,  Connected in parallel Link to speaker http://www.play.com/Electronics/Electronics/4-/3383673/Intempo-Stereo-Wireless-Bluetooth-Speaker/Product.html

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


adjustable light switch?

​i really have no idea what im doing but you might be able to help. Im working on a model train layout. the Model train transformers or really any three prong electrical device would plug into this. what i want is for a kid to press a button the train goes for 2 min then stops. the child does this 4 more times. after the train stops  for the 5th time it activates a cool down clock for 10 min. it would have to work with electricity from an out lit. Any ideas? other details would be a visable countdown clock.  it would be helpful if the run times and the delay times could be manual adjusted.

Question by andrew.l.arth 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


adding aux line in directly to boombox ampli

Hi guys i am Ramanta from Indonesia i have an old boombox, Sony CFS-1110s (similar mechanism with CFS-1100s) what i want to do is add an aux input to them. I have seen a lot of instrucrables about it, but nothing about this model. I find a similar unit here https://cocodrilabs.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/installing-an-auxiliary-input-on-a-stereo/ the aux in is conected directly to the IC Amps pin. I have the IC diagram, what i dont understand is this model have a dual IC8207k. One for each channel. TA8207K is a stereo IC, so how do i do the wiring? For single IC its just INPUT1-INPUT2-GND. In dual setting they have 4 input and 2 ground. I dont want to use any tape adapter since its sound terrible here i attach the complete diagram and schematic in PDF please give some tutorial, im a beginner in this kind of thing) hehe my email zramanta@gmail.com sorry for the bad english :D

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


How can I make footswitch controllable stage lighting?

I'm looking to make something that sort of combines both of these, but i'm really hesitant about diving into something like this as I don't want to shock myself or someone else haha. https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Inexpensive-Dremel-Foot-Switch/ https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-the-BandBlinder---Stage-lights-on-the-cheap/ This seems like it'd be easy enough to build yourself, but I can't say for sure.  I'd like to be able to control 4-6 colored lightbulb fixtures with 4 separate footswitches.  I build guitar effects pedals, though I can't read schematics, so I have knowledge of building enclosures and swtich setups.  So if it's basically just a power on/off switch to the light would that blow out the bulb quickly?  would it have to be another way of switching it on/off?  Would it have to be a specific type of bulb?  I was thinking about having an enclosure with 4 on/off footswitches to control the lights, and then 2 momentary switches that will only turn on if the switch is pressed down.  I want the power to be grounded, the enclosure would be 4-6 switches with 4-6 outlets for the lights and then one cable for the main power.  Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks. - Matt

Question by mtstreit 8 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Need help making a CAPD/Dialysis bag warmer

We are doing a lot of traveling right now to a bunch of different hospitals and I need a heating device I can plug into the car or preferably run off a battery. I have a hard platt suitcase which will hold 2 bags and am toying with the idea of just insulating it and putting a heating pad in there to plug into an inverter. The problem there is I don't always have access to an outlet in the hospital, and you tend to look very much like a terrorist and scare the holy jeebus out of people strolling around the hospital with this wired suitcase thingy. I am unaware of  IED or ordinance requiring an electrical outlet, but hospital security knows all about them and are just itching to go all *observe and report* on you.  I picked up one of those black and decker heat/cooler's at a yard sale with the intent to pop it open and see if anything can be repurposed, but I am not real confident on how to cover the elements so they don't melt the bags.  Temperature regulation is really important, and I really don't have the foggiest idea how to best do this. It's a 4.4lb bag of fluid, so it would have to heat 2 of them without turning them into boiling lava. It also can't be so weak that it takes 12 hours to heat the bag. It would need to get to 37*C/98.6*F (or near to it in any event) in about 4 hours. This is the real McCoy I am trying to rinky dink replicate: http://www.kidneystuff.com/warmers.html Keeping her alive ain't cheap so I simply don't have the 400$ to hand over for it.  Nutshell: I need help with (everything :P ) 1. Heating element 2. How to best secure bags  3. Best/most efficient way to power it 4. What material and in what fashion to insulate the case. 5. How to regulate temperature. I'm sure I missed some things, but really any and all advice would be more than greatly appreciated. 

Question by orphicdragon 8 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Labware for Sale

Hey guys, Over the years I've collected a fair amount of glassware other junk from various institutions. Unfortunately, my preoccupations as such don't permit as much time to pursue my hobbies. However, I'm abroad now, and will be until mid-December, so I can't actually supply much more info than generalizations about the materials. If anyone's interested in hearing more, reply on this thread or message me. Also unsure about some of the fitting sizes. To my knowledge I'm pretty sure I have: 1 - Allihn Condensor 2 - 1L Round bottom boiling flasks sv. - 500ml Round bottom boiling flasks 4 - VariACs 2/3 - Cases of 15ml glass screw-top vials 2/3 - Cases of 15ml plastic screw-top vials many - Ground glass stoppers many - Ground glass neck bottles (apothecary style!) 3 - Glass retorts 1 - 5L Glass carboy with broken outlet nozzle 1 - Drying chamber with vacuum attachment 100's - 15/30 ml glass tubes They'll be shipped from New England; only domestic inquiries please.

Topic by Cat on my Lap 9 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Help with my project.

Little help with my project.  I think ya'll could help me with my project. I have no experience in electrical engineering other than 1 high school electronics project. That I messed up, but still have that project & it works due to teacher tinkering with it. So now I'm attempting to tinker with electronics. I've taken a Paper Jamz amplifier that was powered by 4 aaa batteries and modified it to be powered by a 6v 300ma ac/dc wall wort w/o destroying either. Whoa who!! Now time to try something a bit harder. This project is to make a attractive desktop Solar USB charger, dual stereo amplifier, mp3 player system (Pandora's Box). Seeing Joshua Zimmerman of BrownDogGadgets.com's heavy duty solar charger in a tin & USB charging circuit I believe that my project is possible. I will probably be purchasing both of them and hack together a Dual USB solar charger with 2 AA batteries.  Looking over this post could someone draw a schematic in "English" with missing parts added? So I've started to tinker. Here is a list of all the things I have. Got pictures of some of them but not sure if I have to go pro to post. (* Not married to some of these parts) 2 Paper Jamz amplifiers 8ohm 1w stereo speakers (each powered by 4 aaa batteries) 1 5v 200mA solar panel * 1 Paper Jamz battery pack * (4 aaa batteries) Not sure what batteries to use. Can power both amps w/ 1 pack. Coby 1gb USB mp3 player (playback functions powered by 1 aaa battery) 1 Micro USB MALE - USB A MALE cable cut and stripped. Breadboard, hookups for wiring. To avoid soldering. Audio hookups: 4 3.5mm M - M, 2 3.5mm F - F coupler, Stereo Y adapter 3.5mm M - 2 F  Y adapter Cigar Box enclosure. Internal dimensions (open no lid space): 2.25"h x 7.5625"w x 6.1875"d. external closed: 2.6875"h x 8.375"w x 7.0625"d So I've powered both of the amplifiers with one set of AAA batteries. I'm thinking that they can be powered by the 2 AA batteries from the solar charger. Let me know if I'm right here.   I would like to attach my USB micro male whip to a circuit, through box to charge my BlackBerry PlayBook. I think it needs 5v 1.8a for charging. Don't know if it also needs fake data voltage for charging. I've tested my phone with the USB micro whip, AAA power pack & it charges. For ease of construction I'll be using the breadboard & hot glue circuit parts together. Seeing that the mp3 player only needs power from the equivalent of a aaa battery, what is the best way to reduce the amperage from the two AA batteries so not to burn out the Mp3 player? Going to mount it against side of box with USB MALE adapter going through back wall. Use dowl rod pieces for buttons on side, battery hookups faceted inside. All components sending/receiving audio via 3.5mm audio patch cables.  Paper Jamz amps wired in parallel through breadboard to power pack. [power pack, breadboard (not mounted)], audio ports, speakers. Speakers mounted to sound board suspended from lid. Would like to mount solar panel on outside of box lid. Nothing mounted is set in stone but the audio ports & speakers are fixed in place.  Thanks in advance hope ya'll can help here. & if your going to Maker Fair Detroit this weekend have fun. Thanks again,  Okaybye! Josh Kalbow Remember to Zombie proof your projects. 

Topic by Zombie_Tinker 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Can anyone help me out with my project?

Little help with my project.  I think ya'll could help me with my project. I have no experience in electrical engineering other than a 4th grade science fair project on the difference between parallel and series circuits. And 1 high school electronics project that I messed up, but still have that project & it works due to teacher tinkering with it. So now I'm attempting to tinker with electronics. I've taken a Paper Jamz amplifier that was powered by 4 aaa batteries and modified it to be powered by a 6v 300ma ac/dc wall wort w/o destroying either. Whoa who!! Now time to try something a bit harder. This project is to make a attractive desktop Solar USB charger, dual stereo amplifier, mp3 player system (Pandora's Box). Seeing Joshua Zimmerman of BrownDogGadgets.com's heavy duty solar charger in a tin & USB charging circuit I believe that my project is possible. I will probably be purchasing both of them and hack together a Dual USB solar charger with 2 AA batteries.  Looking over this post could someone draw a schematic in "English" with missing parts added? So I've started to tinker. Here is a list of all the things I have. Got pictures of some of them but not sure if I have to go pro to post. (* Not married to some of these parts) 2 Paper Jamz amplifiers 8ohm 1w stereo speakers (each powered by 4 aaa batteries) 1 5v 200mA solar panel * 1 Paper Jamz battery pack * (4 aaa batteries) Not sure what batteries to use. Can power both amps w/ 1 pack. Coby 1gb USB mp3 player (playback functions powered by 1 aaa battery) 1 Micro USB MALE - USB A MALE cable cut and stripped. Breadboard, hookups for wiring. To avoid soldering. Audio hookups: 4 3.5mm M - M, 2 3.5mm F - F coupler, Stereo Y adapter 3.5mm M - 2 F  Y adapter Cigar Box enclosure. Internal dimensions (open no lid space): 2.25"h x 7.5625"w x 6.1875"d. external closed: 2.6875"h x 8.375"w x 7.0625"d So I've powered both of the amplifiers with one set of AAA batteries. I'm thinking that they can be powered by the 2 AA batteries from the solar charger. Let me know if I'm right here.   I would like to attach my USB micro male whip to a circuit, through box to charge my BlackBerry PlayBook. I think it needs 5v 1.8a for charging. Don't know if it also needs fake data voltage for charging. I've tested my phone with the USB micro whip, AAA power pack & it charges. For ease of construction I'll be using the breadboard & hot glue circuit parts together. Seeing that the mp3 player only needs power from the equivalent of a aaa battery, what is the best way to reduce the amperage from the two AA batteries so not to burn out the Mp3 player? Going to mount it against side of box with USB MALE adapter going through back wall. Use dowl rod pieces for buttons on side, battery hookups faceted inside. All components sending/receiving audio via 3.5mm audio patch cables.  Paper Jamz amps wired in parallel through breadboard to power pack. [power pack, breadboard (not mounted)], audio ports, speakers. Speakers mounted to sound board suspended from lid. Would like to mount solar panel on outside of box lid. Nothing mounted is set in stone but the audio ports & speakers are fixed in place.  Thanks in advance hope ya'll can help here. & if your going to Maker Fair Detroit this weekend have fun. Thanks again,  Okaybye! Josh Kalbow Remember to Zombie proof your projects. 

Question by Zombie_Tinker 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Solar "Generator"

Since I've always wanted to do something like this and I found this site, it's about to happen! I found a smaller version with what I wanted to do at Popular Science but I want to do something on a larger scale. I do have some questions though that I'm hoping someone can answer or point me in the correct direction.I'm going to describe what I'm doing with what and what I have questions with.I'm going to be buying this solar panel and charge controller kit. Sunforce Solar Panel With Charge ControllerA deep cycle 115 AMP Hour 12 V marine battery from Wal-Mart with Plastic Battery caseSalvaged wood Toy BoxMeter Question: How to meter how many amp hours I have left or how charged the battery is? What kind of meter to buy? Where? (not too expensive <20 bucks or so) how to hook it up.A 12 V accessory outlet with on off switch Question: I'm putting an inline fuse before the switch, 15A the line fuse goes on the + (positive) side correct?A 700 Watt 6.25 AMP DC to AC converter with 4 outlets connected to it. Question: can I put a breaker or fuse between the 4 outlets I'm going to be plugging into on the outside and the plug being plugged into the DC to AC converter? If so how?USB ports for charging with on off switch. Question: how do I convert the 12V to 5V in an easy way? I've seen some creative ideas on here for charging VIA salvaged USB ports but I don't want to have to hook it up to my power inverter if I don't have to. Cooling/ventilation for the entire thing. Any ideas how I might cool/vent it? Currently I'm thinking of using old computer fans and put them on both sides of the toy box and have 2 blowing and 2 blowing out. Having the fans run off of the solar panel during the day and either have a switch to change it to battery at night (if it's too warm in the house) or maybe photo sense it? Temp sensor to turn it on and off? Or a switch to turn it off completely. I'm just looking for idea's to keep the battery (and to expand to be more than one battery) cool/ventilated. If you have examples or detailed description on how to do it that'd be great. I'm not one to steal ideas so I'll credit the idea's I'm given if I use them =)I'm going to see how much I can run off of this and how long. Hopefully save some big time energy also!Thanks all!

Topic by oddie1212 11 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Can I build headphones out of drivers???

Ok... my plan is to use jackhammer noise blockers (im pretty sure we've all seen the mod) and 'install' 1 inch tang band drivers.my concerns: 1. will it be too loud I am the kind of person who prefers to not have throbbing ears when I am done listening 2. how can I power the drivers. these are headphones, so I need a portable source of power. I am new to speakers, and I dont know what type of power the drivers use. So, what I am asking is what type of battery do I need to use. 3. how do I set up stereo sound w/ 2 speakers in a headphone jack. there are instructions for how to connect a single speaker to a jack, but I am going to be using 2 4. any ideas on how to make it look cooler, paint ideas (spray paint only, no airbrush), where/how to put a battery container in the system, and how to make that look good.stuff: Drivers:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000KGSYPW/ref=ord_cart_shr?_encoding=UTF8&m;=A385A0XNQBW8HY&v;=glance headset: either 1.http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000VU8U2E/ref=ord_cart_shr?_encoding=UTF8&m;=A17MC6HOH9AVE6&v;=glance -or- 2.http://www.amazon.com/Peltor-H10A-Professional-Canceling-Earmuff/dp/B00009LI4K/ref=cm_lmf_tit_13_rdssss0 any constructive comments welcome, but, please dont just say its impossible, unless you are absolutely postive it isnt

Question by airsofter2 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Im looking to install a custom built subwoofer box in my car, but I have some questions about doing this. Any help?

I have quite a few questions seeing as how this is my first audio system for cars. 1. The amplifier I am useing has an input near the power inputs that reads REM. My guess is that it is the remote wire the acts as a switch for the amp. so where does this "remote wire" originate from? i.e. where do I plug that wire into my fuse box? 2. If the REM wire is a "on-off" switch will I still need the + wire pluged in? 3. If the REM is not a on-off switch will i need a separte toggle switch? 4. This box is custom made and not factory made. therefore is not built to fit my car specifily. How do I keep the box and the amp from sliding around in my trunk with out drilling any holes or any modifications like that? 5. How do I test the whattage of an amp that does not list that specification? 6. How do I get signal from the deck to the trunk if the rear speakers are located in the doors and there is no way to take apart the dashboard? 7. How do I bridge left and right signal together without blowing out my amp or car stereo? 8. In the front doors I notice, when I remove a cover, 2 wires with its own connector at the end the leads into nothing. My guess is this is a tweeter output. After putting a multimeter to this plug, to insure it is not a turn signal output, I notice the multimeter does not pick up any voltage, or any ohm ratings. so how would I measure the impeadence of the stereo using this plug? 9. I notice in the trunk 4 wires with its own plug that have no place to be. I made sure this was not simply an extra brake light out put by removing the interior wall panal from the inside of the trunk lid to find that brake light plug in there. so my guess is that this is a subwoofer output. is it possible for me to use it if it is a sub output? if so how?

Question by fastcar123 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


How to build your own soccer/football referee communication system?

Hi, if you are a soccer/football fan, then you have seen soccer referees in UEFA, EPL, and World Cup matches wearing and using a communication system to talk with one another. An example of this is here: http://www.crescentcomms.com/ A similar system is offered specifically for dental offices: here (NOTE: actual that website shows a lot of interesting equipment) The problems associated with this system are: -Too expensive -Too many wires -Too many pieces of equipment -Too heavy to wear (a transmitter is strapped to your shorts as you run around) -Uncomfortable to use as you are running and sweating People can build their own cheaper systems by buying 2-way walkie talkies, headsets, batteries, arm straps, etc. off the shelves.  But it retains all the drawbacks. What I really envision are the following: -Secure communication (i.e. set channel/frequency) for at least 4 referees -Open communication (i.e. no need to push to talk) -Each referee wears a bluetooth headset like this one made by Platronics -Adjustable ear pieces as needed -Need to work for at least three hours straight at one time -Ideally powered by small lithium batteries (like those used for watches) -Ideally power source should be rechargeable or somehow be able to plug into USB or outlet for recharging As you can see, I really would like to see something built that can eliminate the wires, the weight, and discomfort.  Keep it super simple to use and equip.  If anyone has suggestions, please offer them. 

Question by shl_junk 7 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Modding a Lawnmower into a Shredder / Mulcher

Hello everyone. I have a simplelawnmower with a briggs 6HP motor. I want to use it to shred/grind aged horse manure compost in the easiest way possible. The mower has a side shoot, but it has a spring loaded trap door covering it right now. It also has a trap door for a back discharge bag, which is also closed and I don't have the bag, I have thought of 2 options for this myself. 1) Cut a hole in the sheet metal base of the mower beside the motor, on the left hand side if you were pushing the mower, so that I can shovel in the manure.. Cover the bottom of the mower under the blades with 1/4 - 1/2" hardware cloth. Elevate mower off the ground on cinder blocks over tarp. Hoping it would shoot the shredded mulch out the bottom, through the metal hardware cloth onto the tarp to be collected. Problems I foresee : If the regular discharge outlet on the right side of the mower blows grass out, will my hole i cut in the left side of the mower suck inward, or also blow out? Obviously this wouldn't work if the area I'm trying to shovel in is blasting air out. Would the shredded compost be blown downward? It's really the only place for it to go except the hole I would be shoveling in at. This is the simplest way I can think of. I would prefer to do something like this. Perhaps if it wouldnt work stock like this then I could maybe reverse the blade? I don't have a welder, btw. 2) Much cooler option but I dont really have the time, material, or know how would be to run a pulley to a seperate trash can with its own blade at the bottom and wire mesh under that. Any idears?

Topic by sandman420 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Safely add a Flyback Transformer to a an electrical fence transformer to make plasma? Answered

Hello, Just a few things you should know first: This is my first post on Instructables, and I am kind of new to electronics. I have a very old outlet powered electric fence charger that I recently took apart because it was broken.  I took out the transformer and hooked it up to the wall (110v 60hz) bypassing a large resistor and capacitor and was able to get a stable arc of plasma about 1/4" long.  As best i could tell the transformer does not have an internal rectifier so the output was AC.  As for the voltage and the amps I can't tell, The limit of my multimeter is 500v and it went past that even with the resistor and capacitor hooked up to it and the output voltage is not labeled on it. I am hoping to connect a Flyback Transformer to this to make a Jacob's Ladder and possibly experiment with some plasma. I do not yet have one but I am currently looking at a few on Ebay that are standard in Sony TVs. So i guess my questions would be:  Is it safe to connect a flyback transformer to it? Is it even safe to hook up 2 transformers in that manner?  Would it burn it out? And what kind of Voltage could I expect out of it? Would that kind or brand work well? Any help would be appreciated, Thanks.

Question by sabership 8 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Motor for ceiling mounted cargo box storage lift?

Hi there, A year or so ago, I purchased a Thule 571 Roof Mount Cargo Box Storage Lift and installed it on the ceiling in my garage.  The ceiling in the garage has a fairly high ceiling though and using the crank that came with the lift is a bit cumbersome to say the least.  I usually have to stand up on a tire of the car in order to reach the crank to turn it efficiently. So the idea popped into my head that wouldn't it be really cool to connect a reversible electric motor to the lift so I could just flip a switch to lift it and then toggle the switch down to lower it.   Here's a link to the specific product I'm using, which I think Thule has discontinued because I couldn't find it on their website tonight:  http://www.overheadgaragestoragesolutions.org/thule-571-roof-mount-cargo-box-garage-storage-solution/ My questions: 1) What size/spec motor should I get? 2) Where can I get the motor from? 3) I'm assuming that any electric motor can be reversible just by swapping polarity in the switch? 4) Do I need a belt to ensure that the motor doesn't spin the worm gear too fast or should it just be a direct connection? 5) Any other thoughts/ideas? There's an open 110v outlet in the ceiling of the garage where the garage door opener is installed, so I could run a power cord to that outlet and then I presume I'll need to run a wired switch down to the wall of the garage where I want to be able to control the lift. Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.  This would certainly make my life a bit easier to be able to quickly and easily raise and lower my ski box onto and off the roof of my car.   Regards, David

Topic by dtepper 7 years ago


Need help figuring out how to make LEDs come on when signal is sent to speaker

Hi everyone! I've finally decided to create something. But since i'm completely new at this i need some help I want to add some interior lights in my car, and i want them to be sound activated. Currently i have 4 cathodes connected to 2 sound modules wired into the cigarette lighter. The problems i have with that are if i change the volume on the stereo, i also have to adjust the sensitivity knob on both the sound modules and because one module is under the seat and one is behind the dashboard, they react completely differently. what i want to do is get rid of the cathodes and replace them with LEDs and i want to somehow get the set that will be under the dash to turn on when an audio signal is sent to the front speakers and the set that will be under the seats to turn on and off when a signal is sent to the amplifier for the subwoofer. The key thing on this project is that i don't want to have to adjust something every time i change the volume and i want it to actually match the music, not every noise that can be heard in my car. Also i'd possibly want to replace the switch that turns on and off the entire system with a 3 way switch to have one side turn on the sound activation and the other to have the lights steady on so basically i would need to know what i would have to buy and how to put it together... Unfortunately my experience with electronics is limited to assembling a kit from adafruit to charge my ipod with 2 AA batteries and making a stun gun out of a disposable camera so i'm hoping for a simple way to do this Any help, ideas, suggestions, anything like that would be greatly appreciated

Topic by sandlehat 9 years ago


How do I build an inductive charger?

      Sorry for making the initial question so generic. The basic concept I'm addressing is inductive charging but in perhaps an interesting fashion. I'm working on a school project and my idea is to build an inductive charger for my cell phone (and other devices) that is powered by my car's 12V accessory outlet. I know that I need to have a time-varying signal (AC) to create a time-varying magnetic field in order to transfer energy between the two inductive coils. I'll lay out what I've considered / calculated so far and any help would be greatly appreciated.       I am going to use a cheap DC-to-AC inverter to go from 12VDC to 120VAC, single phase, modulated sine wave (per the inverter's specs). For the inductive coils, I'm using magnet wire from Radioshack and Fry's. The primary coil has 40 turns with a radius of 3.45 cm. It is wound in a solenoidal shape with a length of 2.5 cm. The wire gauge is 24 which has an approximate current limit rating of 0.577 A. The secondary coil has 30 turns with a radius of 2.9 cm. It is also wound in a solenoidal shape with a lenth of 2.2 cm.  The wire gauge is 22 which has an approximate current limit rating of 0.92 A. Both coils are wound around PVC pipe couplings as they were the only round, cheap forms that I could find to wind my coils on. I have been unable to find any data online regarding permeability of PVC or how it would / will impact magnetic field induction. Any information on this matter would be greatly appreciated.         Continuing on to the secondary coil side, if I understand it correctly, due to the turn ratio of 40 over 30, the output voltage would be approximately 90 VAC. Is this correct? For the output current, I've found that it is dependent upon # of turns, distance from primary coil, and loop radius. I know that orientation of the secondary coil relative to the primary coil also greatly influences this but I intend to place the secondary inside of the primary.       I used the simplified magnetic field equation of B = µ I / 2 R to calculate the approximate field strength at the center of the secondary coil. Based on this calculation, if my input current is 500 mA  I get the following: (12.57e-7)(40*0.5)/(2*0.0345) = 3.643e-4 T --> 3.643e-4 = (12.57e-7)(30 * Io )/(2*0.029) --> Io = 560 mA.   Do these calculations look on par with what I should be getting? So my Vi = 120 VAC Ii = 500 mA and Vo = 90 VAC and Io = 560 mA.  From the secondary coil I plan to use a bridge rectifier to convert to DC and then drop down to 5VDC.  Ultimately I would like to get 5VDC @ 500+ mA on the output to meet USB standards.  How does this plan appear? Are there things that I am missing? Are there things that I don't need? Again, any and all help is welcomed and appreciated. Thanks.

Question by AMNunnally 8 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


How can I get rid of the smell of damp concrete in my studio?

I have been working without success on the smell in my 12' x 14' studio for 5 months, so I really hope someone can help me. I can put my nose right up to the walls and the ceiling and the outlets and not smell anything. But when I put my nose right to the floor I smell the dank, musty, yucky smell of damp, dank concrete. The place reeks of it, I can't work in it. I smelled it last October when I was looking to buy the house, I told the inspector about it but he could not smell anything. Everyone can smell something when they open the door, some people can tolerate it but I can't. As soon as you open the door it just overwhelms you. What I have done so far: 1. Had two peg board walls removed and replaced with chipboard, because that was what the other walls were made of. I had assumed at that time that the smell was mold coming from the pegboard. At that time I looked at the insulation inside the studs and it was fine. It smelled so good with that new chip board up that I thought the problem had been solved. 2. In preparation for painting I caulked the ceiling, around the windows, and up against the floors where it meets the walls. 3. Painted 3 coats of Kills primer on all the walls. 4. Painted 2 coats of very good quality semi-gloss paint on all the walls. 5. I scraped off all of the existing paint that was on the floor. It was peeling in places which is what led me to think the smell was coming from the concrete. 6. Washed the floor with a de-greaser. 7. Washed the floor with sulphuric acid, and rinsed it about 30 times. 8. Painted the floor with 3 coats of special paint made for concrete basements to act as a waterproofer. 9. Painted 2 coats of sealer on top. 10. I called the previous owner who confirmed that the studio's monolithic slab was poured without a vapor barrier because code didn't call for it, because no one was going to spend the night there or live in it. He never noticed the smell. 11. In all this time I have run the A/C non-stop, with the windows open, with the windows closed, with no effect. I have even run the heater for a few days. I have cleaned the A/C over and over, there is nothing to clean and the smell is not coming from there. Is there anything I can put on the floor to effectively seal the smell from getting into the air? Why didn't all those coats of concrete paint and sealer do it?

Topic by Ninzerbean 6 years ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


Led notification button using USB car charger

Here an challenge that I am struggling. I do have understanding of how to put things together based on parts buying. Yet I do not have good idea of how to literally create from scratch. Hope someone can walk me through to create interesting concept.  So I was wondering if can use USB car charger to power a led notification system with light on when button pressed and light off when let go the button.  Specifics requested: 1. Button need to have ability to tolerate abuse and free from getting caught by any fabric or strings.  Want this button  - http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?PartNumber=060-640 Avoid this button - http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=060-632 2. Any Led will do. Please give me options of two set of led.  3. Power supply needed.   Preferred USB car charger (charge my phone too) Similar to - http://www.amazon.com/Cigarette-Lighter-Adapter-Players-Charger/dp/B000CC6I5W Any car charger will do if USB is too complicated.  Try avoid battery at all cost.  4. Step by step as how to wire the whole thing. Do not understand those schematic outlet unless actual pictures instruction.  I have spent few hours on Google but just couldn't put puzzle together. So want to ask the community my burning question. Then I will be up for the challenge to really build it. I do have tools to build anything. Just need schematic step by step by genius like you.  Then I will post WHY I asked this question. Thank you in advance. 

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


Building Battery Packs?

Hello all! I am currently in the process of designing an (increasingly) large project using LED light strips. These are the strips I intend on using. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? It should be. The other thing is that this is a portable project, one that I want to be able to use without being tethered to an outlet. Basically, what it comes down to is that the project involves using about 8.25 meters of light strip. I say about because I haven't done precise measurements, but I'm buying ten meters which should be plenty. This adds up to 264 LEDs total (for the 8.25, not the 10). Each LED can draw up to 60 mA at full brightness, so all of them at full brightness would draw almost 16 A >_< I am thinking that the best way to go about this would be to build four smaller battery packs, each powering about 2 meters of strip. I was looking at using these Li-Ion cells. The only problem is that I do not know how to accomplish what I am trying to do. I am still befuddled by the relationship between a battery's "C" rating and its mAh, and I am quite unsure of what kind of circuit these batteries need to be used with to prevent killing them, or worse, fires. What I really want is to be able to run the entire thing for 3-4 hours on a single charge of all four of the battery packs. But I also want to have the possibility to run all the LEDs at full brightness (albeit for a fraction of a second) without damaging the circuitry. Another problem I am encountering is that these batteries are 3.7V, and the strip needs about (but no more than) 5V to run. I appreciate any advice, help, references, etc. you can give me. I don't need a full blueprint or schematic of how exactly to do this, but I do not even know in which direction to start looking. Thanks again.

Topic by SteamEngenius 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Hard drive MP3 boombox?

I was wondering if anyone has and Instructable or has done this. I've searched Instructables and can't find anything like this at all, which really surprised me as I thought this would have been an obvious one to do. What I'd like to do is build a bookcase / boombox stereo from scratch using: 1. an old hard drive 2. some speakers 3. a small lcd to display info 4. some basic controls 5. usb port to update files on HD -or- make the HD removable 6. whatever other electronics parts are necessary. It doesn't need to have radio, CD audio or anything else. All I want is a 200GB or larger hard drive full of MP3's and a way to play them with decent fidelity and loud without using the computer. I've built lots of PC's and know computer hardware and software fairly well but have never used a soldering iron... but can follow complex instructions very well. Also I'm not sure if it can use a prebuilt interface by scavinging the electronics from a basic el-chepo MP3 player or if it would be better to use something like a VIA Micro-ATX motherboard with built in CPU and have something like a USB drive booting to a simple version of Linux directly to a media player interface? That seems like it would cost more in parts but be simpler than creating custom circuitry. But that is the way I would go if attempting this on my own. An all hardware & firmware solution somehow seems more elegant but that's beyond my current ability's. If I go with the Micro-ATX motherboard and Linux it could be done in a modular format that would allow the addition of other components latter such as CD player (with auto MP3 ripping), input and output to other components etc. So has anyone done this? If you haven't but have the know how do you want to collaborate via e-mail and walk me through it. I'd create an Instructable if so and give you full credit. Any and all suggestions, comments, rants, put downs, cheers, roars, hollars and yells appreciated!!

Topic by skonofvulcan 10 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Safety of your garage door or car remote...

No time and no pics for a proper Instructable, so I just put out some word of warning ;) Around here bad people take advantage of the fact that a lot of new houses have the garage right next to the house. With these you usually also get a door so when you park your car you don't have to get out of the garage again. All controlled by the press of a button on the remote... Some fancy guys got a device working similar to the IM-ME Open Sesame hack a few years back. But unlike the original author the new guys found ways to make money by providing working "universal garage door openers" on dubious websites. Problem with the new model is that it not only fakes a remote with dip switches but also the newer models with so called "rolling code", "intellicode", "changing code" and so on. The old remotes with dip switches should actually by phased out years ago by any owner who values his stuff... But the new models are still deemed secure and next to impossible to hack - well if you trust the advertisement... How does the code hacking work? The old dip switch models allow for a maximum of just over 4000 different codes and come in just 3 or 4 frequency bands. No real problem for anyone with basic electronic and coding skills to hack these - as shown with Open Sesame. The new models all use a so called rolling code, here the remote and opener are paired through 32 bit of ID code and an encrypted part that changes every time. Both remote and opener calculate the next code once a button was pressed or a code received. To overcome reception problems the base usually calculates the next 256 codes in advance - and that is the entry point for bad boys. The illegal device scrambles the frequency detected while storing the code received by the orignal remote. As the door did not open the owner will try to press the button again. Still scrambled to opener does nothing - until the device sends out the first recorded code! Now the owner can drive in and is happy. Of course he still needs to close the garage - again all is scrambled and the code stored as before. You see where this is going.... It is even possible to set the amount of required tries to capture, so in theory a bad guy could get the next 10 or codes in advance for use once the owner is gone out... Worst thing however is that these illegal devices not only open garage doors but also cars as a lot of them use similar systems for their remotes - up to the point of starting the car with it. Took me only 2 hours with Google translate to find a website outside the usual search results that offers these "gadgets", along with WiFi and cell phone jammers, credit card copy devices and more things I don't want know about... What can you do to protect yourself? First check what type of remote your system uses - if there are DIP Switches than replace the remote system or the entire device in favour for something more secure. If you already have a rolling code model that you are far better off but sadly no longer totally safe here. A lost remote should not only be replaced but the old one removed from the system as well - you never know if you just lost it or someone took your remote ;) Alternatives exist, especially if you are not afraid of doing some open heart surgery on the electronics of a garage door opener. You can add a WiFi module and use your mobile phone to open the garage - search Google if you like the idea ;) Another very neat way is using a second transmitter that keeps the relay for activating the opener from working. This can be anything from a BT module paired with your phone or cars BT system over a keycard to numberplate recognition cams. A good system also allows for a "holiday mode" or similar. Here you can set this mode with one remote until you deactivate it with the same remote the system will not react to anything. Great if you leave the house for more than a day or two... As a last resort you can always get a big and angry dog to sleep in your garage.... What if you are renting or a bit limited with the electronics and soldering skills? Not all is lost if you can accept a second remote for added safety. These days you can get plug in converters for your mains voltage outlets that work with a remote control. Unless they use Infra Red for this they are great to disable your opener. Simply plug it in where the power cord for the opener is and then plug the cord into it as well ;) Now you can fully shut off the opener with the press of a button and only if the power outlet is switched on the opener will work. If in doubt you can use a double outlet adapter an extension cord and a night light to indicate wether or not the opener has power. Ok, and what about the door lading from the garage into the house? Well, of course keep it locked and if you are home also keep it locked. At least this way you have some extra time in case someone tries to enter through your garage while you are sleeping ;)

Topic by Downunder35m 1 year ago


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 7 years ago


A couple questions

Hey guys, I want to bug you's again. Instead of trying to ask about different things in one of my other topics, I wanted to start a new one. I went to the local dump today, and one of the first things I spotted was Three, not just one, booster packs. You know, the ones you can charge up and boost a car with, and some of them have inverters built into them so you can run small appliances. Well I snapped all three of them up, thinking that at the very least, the lead acid batteries inside them would be OODLES of help towards making a full scale wind generator (I plan to build one or two full size wind generators with car alternators, whenever the good weather comes and I can work outside). Well, I got them home and cracked them all open. Turns out that only one battery is good to me (pictures below). The two identical units have 350 watt inverters built into them (I've removed one so far), but the batteries were bulging and the sides were split open, although not leaking, which was good, less mess to clean up. The third booster pack I opened appeared to have been already attempted at being opened. 4 of the 6 screws had been drilled out (which is beyond me as far as why they would do it? They were only phillips screws), but maybe they weren't successful? It had a couple wounds of electrical tape around it to hold it together. Needless to say, whatever cutting tool they used, cut into the battery itself (they cut too far in, dumbasses...), and so my main question here is, is the battery safe to charge, and use? I took some macro's of the damage and some of the cut marks seemed to have gone far enough in to cut into what appears to be a white plastic lining inside, as the white crud on the sides of the battery feels more like burnt on plastic from a cutting disc than it does acid that oozed out and dried up, so the damage doesn't appear to be that bad. What's the worst that could happen anyways? Also, the battery has about almost 8v left in it, and another question is, is that too low for a 12v battery? Like has it been discharged too far? Also, aside from the battery. I found this plate with a transformer, giant capacitor, and a pcb that looks like it was some kind of voltage converter board (I would take a picture but I've since cut a few things off of it and I won't even bother now) The transformer puts out 25v and you can see in the pictures what the capacitor is rated for (I would like to know what I can use this capacitor for, or if I should save it and wait till I can make a bank of capacitors for a tesla coil project or something) What I can't figure out, is what is this square device I found that was plugged into one of the output leads of the transformer? It only had two leads coming off of it, one is marked + and one -, the other two terminals don't have marking on it. No model numbers or anything. Does anyone know what this is? Also, last in my pictures is one of the inverter boards I pulled out of one of the power-packs. I cut the second outlet off and wrapped the first one in tape just to make sure I dont' shock the hell out of myself. I have my truck battery sitting inside over the winter, and with a good 12.71v, I thought it would be the perfect battery to try the inverter on. I brushed the wires onto the top terminals of the battery and although I could hear a bit of sparking, I saw nothing and the indicator light on the power switch didn't light. The volt meter also showed nothing from the 120v outlet. So I tried shoving the wires into the bolt sockets that the truck's wires bolt into, and I quite literally startled myself as it emitted a really loud BEEEEEEEEEEP, I nearly jumped through the roof. The indicator light turns on when I flick the switch to I and I can hear the transformer making a little buzzing sound. However, when I measured the AC voltage from the outlet, I didn't write down the voltage, but it was around 3v? Not even quite that much. I'm not sure if the inverter is screwed or if it has something to do with the switching nature of power inverters causing my multi-meter to not read it right? One other thing I will note is that I had to cut the power switch leads to remove it from the case, then re-solder the switch. The switch has 2 black wires and one red, I tried my best to make sure that each black wire went to the terminal on the switch it came from, and I assume if I didn't hook the switch up right, it wouldn't have lighted up or anything right?? I don't want to try plugging something into it for fear that it will blow up in my face, at least not until I know it's functioning like it should be, however I doubt these power packs were throwing out for failure of the inverter... *On the side note* I apologize for these (sometimes) rediculously long posts or just mundane questions. However, I like to be thoughrough with my questions so that there are very little questions asked, about my question, in the first place. As it seems to waste a lot of time asking for details about this or that problem, when you could just throughly explain it all in one go. This is what I try to do, so there are no blank spaces for you guys to try and "assume" where you don't know the proper information. Secondly, I've really appreciated the help, and sometimes just the helpful and creative ideas I hear from others, makes me feel good, like there's actually some people on here that know what they're doing and I can trust their answers (Nacho, kiteman, caitlyn's dad, 1010100100, all of you regulars, have been great help to me) *End of girlish requiem*

Topic by Punkguyta 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Where to buy JB Weld

I tend to do a good bit of research when I purchase anything. I will spend hours finding the deal that will save me five cents. While this doesn't make much financial sense for me, maybe it will end up being worth it if you can save a few cents in the process!The only step to this instructable is a list of the best places I've found to purchase JB Weld. For those who are not familiar with JB Weld, it is, simply put, God, in a tube. It is an epoxy that when mixed (and mix quickly, you only have about 20 minutes of pliability) will set within 4-6 hours, and cure within 24. Once cured, it has the strength of steel, can bind with glass, and neatest of all, is actually conductive enough to use as solder!Note that I'm only referring to the original JB Weld, model 8265 (and 8265-S). I find the stick version doesn't adhere as well, and the "Kwick" version isn't as strong. I also tend to be stubborn and just stick with what I'm comfortable with.Since the invention of Duct Tape (genuflect) nothing has been so valuable to mankind. Thus, it's not surprising to find it anywhere from $9.99 a tube, up to $14.99 per tube. So how much should you be paying for your J.B. Weld?If ordered online, you can get it for as little as $2.95 per tube!Note: These prices are only accurate as of the posting of this instructable (29 June 2009)Okay, so if you've come this far, $2.95 per tube sounds pretty exciting. Keep in mind though that you're also going to end up dealing with shipping, so we'll see what the end result will be. When in doubt, if you have a local Ace Hardware, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. look there first. You avoid shipping, and the Ace online outlet sells it for as little as $3.25 per tube (No idea why nobody else, including Sears, KMart, Target, etc. carries it online). If you can find it in the store for that price, that would be your best bet. But assuming you don't have a local Ace Hardware, or since they're locally owned the Franchise Owner is a prick that overprices things, let's see how the following websites work out.First, it's important to note that while you will find many other places online that claim to sell the JB Weld for as little as $2.95 per tube, just try to purchase them. I'll wait... Back? So as you saw, 99.9% of these sites use the Amazon.com checkout system, and only allow ONE TUBE AT A TIME to be purchased. They then hit you with a $4.99 shipping fee for each pop, and now you're back to paying $8 per tube.On to the real suppliers:#1) Tool Explosion - The best price I've found with free shipping, but their free shipping minimum purchase is $100, and their JB Weld was only $3.76 per tube when last checked! One of the better deals out there. Between $100-$130 worth, this was the best deal I could find.#2) Alexandria General Supply - To get the $2.95 price here, you have to buy in 6 packs, otherwise it's more expensive. But hey, more JB Weld can only be a good thing. They seem to have a starting-rate of $17.05 for shipping, which is nearly as much as the 6-pack of JB Weld, making them almost $6 per. However, the more you order, the price of shipping will actually start to go DOWN. At 7 cases (42 tubes), it dropped to $7.41 for shipping making it $3.12 per tube, and at 20 cases, it was only up to $8.16 for shipping, making bulk purchases very much worth it. At $131.31 for 42 tubes, this was the best deal out there, and only gets better the higher you go. They do not accept PayPal, but do accept all major credit cards.#3) Ace Hardware Outlet - Don't ask me why AceHardware.com doesn't carry it, but AceHardwareOutlet does, but I'm not going to argue. At its respectable price of $3.39 per tube, it's not a bad deal if you're buying in bulk. Unfortunately, for just a single tube to ship, you're looking at $6.39 for shipping. The shipping rates only slowly go up the more you pile on, so if you're doing some shopping for some other hardware, Ace is The Place... For Me... (Plus, they take PayPal!) For individual tubes assuming you can't find anything locally, this is the best price going. At least buy 2 or 3 tubes at a time to make the shipping worth it, though.#4) Hands-On Tools - Another site with fair shipping, and a decent price of $3.66 per tube. Not much to say about this one, except that they seem to be one of the more reputable sites selling the weld for a good price. They work with the BBB and have a good rating, accept PayPal, and give you percentage discounts the more you buy. All around a solid company.#5) Castle Wholesalers - One of my personal favorites (since they are located near me, mostly) selling the JB Weld at $3.47 per tube. However, do keep in mind that you have a $25 minimum order here. Their prices are pretty standard for shipping, so you can add about $1 per tube once you've bought the requisite $25 worth. The more you buy, the cheaper the shipping gets per tube, as well. Only Visa and Mastercard accepted.#6) College Toolbox - While their price isn't the best, it's still a fun site with some decent stuff at fair prices. At $4.11 per tube, it's not necessarily worth the purchase here unless you find enough of their gear to get the "$150 purchase gets free shipping" thing. (And they take PayPal)In closing, if needing just a tube or two, your best bet is always going to be to shop locally, and buy from a hardware store. But once you start getting into the $5 and $6 price range, there are some decent places online to pick it up (if you don't mind the wait). Always take shipping into account, and always avoid Amazon.com and their Affiliate's rip-off schemes. If you see the Amazon logo, run far and fast (or at least close the window). E-Bay is equally a rip-off, only moreso as you're starting at the $9.99 level, and then tacking shipping onto that.For the hobbyist that understands the glory that is JB Weld, drop the $130 and get enough JB Weld to last you for a long, long time. For all others, I would recommend avoiding purchasing it online unless you absolutely can't find it for a fair price in your local stores (I can't stress that enough. Shipping is the debbil.)Hope this helps someone, and if anyone finds a better price, feel free to include it in the comments and I'll add it to the list!

Topic by Javin007 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Building: wireless monitor/tablet recycling old laptop parts

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.Building wireless touchscreen ar1100 to bluetooth transmitte by Fearlessleader on Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:04 am Hi I have 15.4 samsung laptop screen I am converting to 4 wire touch overlay and want to us the ar1100 but need to go from the usb out bluetooth wireless mouse transmitter. I would need the same type of transmitter like any bluetooth mouse would have inside. The mini pc I am building has both bluetooth and wireless display.Parts list so far15.4 samsung screen pulled from a Dell laptop modle LTN154W1-L01Control board for the screen with hdmi ebay 30$ link https://www.ebay.com/itm/HDMI-DVI-VGA-LCD-Lvds-Con.. 12v 3 amp power supply for the screen controler I already have but later I would build voltage control unit that would charge or power the whole unit. Again YouTube has videos and links for the part for this. And I really don't want to have a bunch a supplies to run it. While prototype it I will the final will run from the laptop I got the screen from. It should plenty of power for a single board computer like the new pi 3 to be added and the audio amp15.4 4 wire overlay conversion many sorce's about 50$ link https://www.ebay.com/itm/15-4inch-4-Wire-Film-to-F... $Ar1100 touch to usb mouse adafuit 10$ link https://www.adafruit.com/product/1580Hdmi wireless receiver. 20 to 40$ depending on features like if it has chromecasting and such I just need video so I think the 20$ unit will do nice. These can be found in many places, so I would think this to be open end item depending on features the builder wants. I would buy the best you can afford to leave it fexible .The last thing I need to make work would be usb transmitter to make the ar1100 bluetooth or matched pair of 2.4 dongles usb this is the only item missing. I could test the whole set up but would have run 1 usb cable, but that's a deal breaker for full wireless... If I had a old bluetooth mouse and knew how take its transmitter out, that work but a bluetooth usb adapter the would plug in the ar1100 board would be the thing I need.If someone would know how to remove the mouse transmitter and wire it to male usb plug I would be happy to buy it. I real want this to made from as much recycled parts as possible.I just don't want to have run a usb cable from ar1100 to the pc.I don't think the same usb dongle that's used to the pc is the same as the one used in every bluetooth mouse or keyboard. That's my idea for a wireless touchscreen handheld All the parts are easy to get I just need make the ar1100 usb board and wireless usb transmitter. The pc would use GA-h77n-wifi mini itx as it has both bluetooth & wireless display and wifi.Part 2The idea sound lol! I want to build a frame for the screen with speakers and laptop battery and used the power supply from the Dell laptop I got the screen from, that would need a small amp. Since the receiver is hdmi, I would think the audio would be there if not that would be simple to just use a bluetooth stereo headphones and run the earphone wires to the small audio amp.I would like any comments on this idea and a sorce the one part that missing the usb mouse transmitter for the ar1100 and this could be built.So What do you folks think? A portable monitor 100% wireless that could even double as touchscreen remote! I even thought down the road to add the new pi 3 to it as that would completely independent as low power tablet or connect to the pc that nvidia gpu and could stream pc games to My Nvidia shield too. With all the power of I7 2700k oc to 4.2ghz.The possibilities here are endless you and all kinds a features adding a mic and Webcam for video calls with sckype or google voice and messenger and bingo u have a voice and video over IPThis do able you think?All comments good or bad give to me straight.Oh but go easy on the grammar thing. I technology geek but a 56 year old high school drop out. But hay at 37 I was disabled with fractured spine by time I was 40 I did all computers repairs for my local high school and was building white box computers out of my home office. If there is 1 thing I have learned in this life anything is possible but you have to try!Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Topic by Fearlessleader62 1 year ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


Proposal for a Multitasking Robot

Greetings, I am a senior EE major at Polytechnic University. I spent most of my time working with robotics and electronics. I always wanted to enter one of these robots competitions but finding the time and funds was always the problem. Its really interesting that iRobot is deciding to sponser a few teams. After brainstorming I came up with a few robot ideas that I believed novel. Then I thought about it some more and came up with more ideas. Instead of narrowing them down I thought how great would it be if all of them could be made. That led me into designing an idea for an iRobot Butler that can do many tasks. The idea is to create a modular robot that has the ability to dock with its base station and perform multiple tasks with different specialized modules. The project I propose is to develop the modular autonomous docking system and several modular tools for the robot to utilize. These tools can be used for entertainment purposes or for human aid. Here are a few concepts 1) Mobile Music docking station and amplifier - You have a stereo system, great! Only down side is its always stationary so you have to blast it till the neighbors know the lyrics if you want to hear it everywhere in the house. With this kind of a docking station just come home plug it in and let the music follow you. 2) IRobot key fob (that thing that opens your car) - Why have robot if you can't command it when you need it. With a IRobot linked to some off the shelf electronics you could have it meet you in whatever room you are in. 3) Where's the remote? Who knows? But iRobot can help you out by using a embedded universal remote following the sony ir protocol. Just give iRobot a buzz and he could come in and change it to your liking. 4) Not so Clocky Alarm Clock - Clocky is a robotic alarm clock. It rolls off its nightstand, hides somewhere in the room and then starts to wake you by forcing you to find where it hid. With the modular IRobot when you go to sleep it can hook up with its Music docking station and do pretty much the same thing. 5) Life Alert System - Many of us have been hurt at times where we wished someone could come to our aid. If you are in a accident and unable to reach a phone, press on IRobot's key fob and him lock onto another tool which brings you a cordless phone module to call for aid. The Docking Station The docking station for the robotic butler could be tracked using the same method as the self charging station. In order to remove platforms or add them a servo would be placed on the iRobot which would lock or unlock the tray. To maintain electrical connection between the two trays an array of spring header pins could be used. There are many great robotic ideas out there for the iRobot however the expense for one robot to only do one thing is pretty great. In order to compensate for the overhead expenditure a multifunctional robot with inexpensive and optional tools is a possible solution to suit home needs. This way all of the design entries can be utilized. Regarding my qualifications, I taught for three years as a teaching assistant to a freshman engineering course. My most recent completed project is the development of a chemical model car experiment and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle design project for freshman engineering. Both of these projects underwent a rigourous amount of work and will be shown at the American Society of Engineering Education 2007 conference.

Topic by cooblades 11 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Tap water often quite dark and with a strong chemical smell - what to do?

I don't ask for much help but this time I am reaching the end of my knowledge and patience with landlord and water authorities.That's the story so far:When I moved in I did the usual checks and tests but of course did not pay too much attention to what comes out of my taps.After a few weeks I noticed that the drain in bathroom sink seems to rust on the enamel....Easy wipe with some cleaner fixed it but since the actual drain is made of brass I started to wonder what caused the discoloration in the first place.A bit later I had my niece here and while she had a shower I realised that I only get very little hot water from any other tap in the house.Landlord stated that no one would need hot water from two outlets at one and refused to have it checked out - WTF??Paid for plumber myself and the result was not good.The hot water system is connected "open" was his answer after half an hour of messing around.For the lame man it means that whenever there is a pressure difference between hot and cold water it will go through the hot water system.Did not fully get this so he showed me in the laundry.Open the hot water a bit and it runs out fine, open the seperate cold water tap and the hot water stops.This even worked when turning on the cold water in the kitchen.The water is able to go back into the hot water system through the outlet much easier than through the inlet side.And to top it off, the current install basically turns the hot water system into a giant bypass valve :(Paid a few bucks extra so I would get that same explanation in writing for my landlord a few days later.The next and growing problem is the chemical smell.If highly chlorinated then my aquarium test kit would show this and recommend to use a water conditioner when using tap water to top the tank up.And it does not really smell like any chlorinated water I know.Definately a chemical cleaning or sanitation smell though.The plumber could not do more than basic tests so I contacted my water supplier.To my surprise they were happy to send someone out for free.Of course they only cared about their product and all tests were limited to the tap right next to the water meter.Pressure ok.Water clearity ok.Chlorine levels next to zero."Harmful substances test" came back negative as well.It was recommended that I have the plumbing under the house inspected for the water color changes and smells/bad taste.And I had to admit that what came out of the front tap really looked and smelled fine.Work slowed me down for a while and the problem only came back to my mind when I came back from a weekend trip.Needed something to drink quickly so I filled a glass from the tap.It came out like from a rusty bucket.Definately of brownish color and the chemical smell worse then ever.Had to let the water run for about 15 minutes to get something out I dared to drink.Installed a water filter a few days later and though all is good now.Pre-filter, 0.5 micron filter and then a cartridge with activate carbon.Am a single and the unit was meant to be for a busy family.Should have been good for well over 5000 liters of water.I don't really use much in the kitchen for drinking and cooking purposes so I guesstimated I need new filters every 12 to 18 months at worst.They lasted less than 4 weeks before the water came out in drops instead or running....Cutting the fliters open revealed that both pre- and fine filter were fully blocked and brown.Provided all documents and evidence to my landlord but again was told there is no issue and the house is just old :(As a last resort I tried to get under house yesterday to check the pipes itself.Couldn't get all the way in due to all the pipes from the ducted heating system.But I found a bad mess of literally all bad plumbing skills.From the water meter a just finger thick copper pipe goes under the house.This goes into some 1/2" galvanised steel pipe and it look the main way of sealing the connection was some glue or resin around the screw fitting.The same old gal but thinner pipes go close to where the connections for water go.There the "plumber" again used screw on press fittings and glue to connect to thin copper pipes.Hot water is designed the same way, one big gal pipe straight through and then thin copper pipes connected to it.I am not a plumbing expert but I do know that copper and steel won't mix if water is involved.Assuming the hot water system is affected in the same way then this giant battery is eating away the thick gal pipes while supplying me with all the byproducts of this galvanic reaction.The landlord won't budge unless I take legal action and around here you would want to do this as a tennant.Right now I have a long garden hose from the front tap going through my kitchen window :(At least I get usable drinking and cooking water this way, my fish no loger suffer losses after the topping up the water from this hose either...But this can't go on like this.Once the gal pipes start to leak the landlord is required to act but not before that.And chances are these thick pipes will last a few more years before failing :(If i wouldn't know better then I would say at some stage the ducted heating was replaced and to have more room all but the main gal pipes were removed.All copper pipes are the flexible ones and are bend to follow the floor and wooden beams.What are my real life options to fix this water problem?A set of filters ever 4 or 6 weeks sets me back close to 120 bucks each time, hence the garden hose :(What sort of tests can I make to determine what is actually created in my water that causes the smell, taste and discoloration?By the way: a simple rust test available to check for corroded steel pipes only shows traces of rust even if the water is of a slight brownish color.Replacing the piping myself is not just far over my budget but also not allowed for a tenant.And somehow I still wonder if there is more hiding in the walls but could not get close enough to see if the opper pipes actually connect to the taps or just another piece of old steel pipe.Apart from the obvious, what are the dangers of having steel and copper pipes mixed like this for my health?

Question by Downunder35m 2 months ago  |  last reply 8 weeks ago


Looking for a cheap compressor with a high pressure rating or for airbrush use?

Today a friend of mine asked me if I know a way to reduce the noise level of his compressor in the work shed. With the current heat he prefers to work in the evening and nights, which does not make his neighbours too happy. His main use for several airbrush guns and sometimes for mormal airtools or the big spray gun for an undercoat or similar. So his main concern is oil in the airline and the actual flow rate is of second concern as he has an old 25kg propane cyclinder as an additional air tank. For relative low air volumes I would suggest an old fridge compressor. With a thicker pipe at the outlet that is filled with stainless steel wool most of the oil stays in the compressor. That is if this pipe is a) long enough b) upright c) of sufficient diameter so there is enough for the oil to avoid it being pushed up A second, standard oil seperator will be enough for the oil level required for airbrush stuff - and most other things too. If there is no pressure regulator on the airbrush system it is best to add a small air tank and shut off valve for it. In our case however a fridge compressor would be just enough to keep the bigger airbrush gun running but not to fill the tank at the same time. Not to mention the problem of fluctuating pressure levels. Since we already had a tank and pressure shut off connected to the loud compressor it was only a matter of finding something that keeps the neighbours happy. The first thing we did was to check how often the compressor comes on and how long it runs till the tank is back to pressure. With that and the stated air volume on the compressor we guesstimated that something a bit bigger than the compressor of a window airconditioner should be sufficient. The search begins.... If you don't know what to look for I give you a few hints: Older airconditioners often run on R22 or R12 - both use quite high system pressures which is a bonus, but more on that later. As a rule of thumb for these compressors you cans say: the bigger the higher the flow rate. At the local wreckers and scrap yards we found a few units but noticed the bigger ones often used three phases and not just one :( So we opted for the R22 compressor of a 4.5kW unit. Keep in mind the 4.5kW is for the entire system, so the quite massive fans can be removed from the sum. Usually the compressor alone is the 2.5 - 3kW range. Ok, we found the big thing but how does this help us? First things first ;) The oil was removed as the housing stating the original oil amount. This allowed us to use an oil rated for air use that has little to no water absorption qualities - you don't want water in your compressor. With the usual heat the water should be no problem anyway. Next was a pressure test to make sure the thing actually still works, so we added some plumping in the form of standard connectors to the inlet and outlet. We got well above 200PSI and abondoned the test at this stage as it was more than enough already. The air volume seemd to be well more than expected too so let'S move to the next stage. A fridge or aircon compressor always needs to have a certain amount of oil in it as it will otherwise seize and overheat quickly. But they are also designed so that the oil mixes with the refrigerant to cool all moving parts. So the biggest hurdle is to make sure the oil stays where it should stay and won't enter or get lost in the tank. Only real option for this to use something to catch the oil that is capable of releasing it into the compressor once it shuts off. Now there are several options for this so I start with the most basic: A "catch can" will get most of the oil, especially if filled with stainless steel wool or similar. Downside is that you have to find a way to get it back into the compressor. A step better is a thicker pipe filled with stainless steel wool to catch the oil. If placed upright and the outgoing pipe can be bend a bit upwards you have a good chance that most of the oil will sweep through the valves and get back down into the compressor housing. But only too often the cheap or even free compressor is better than expected and the oil won't get back into the housing as the vlaves are just too good. The last and IMHO best option is a pressurised return system. Most compressors for bigger aircons have a seperate filling port or sealed off piece of pipe. In this case you can do a simple check to see if they are usable for our purposes. Open the port of pipe and use a simple bike bump or similar to get some pressure in it. With a dedicated oil filling port you are best off but they are hard to find. The air you pump in should come out of the high pressure side - you might need a little pressure to overcome the valves. If you hear any bubbling in the housing (use a pipe on your ear or a sensitive microphone) it means you are going through the oil inside the compressor - perfect! You might not hear any bubbling but the port or pipe is still usable. Get ready with your fingers and start the compressor. The fill pipe should be sucking air in, same for the service port if there is one. A dedicated oil port should not suck but instead force some oil up if you cover the high pressure outlet. I assume all is good and no oil is splashing out of the open pipe or port. Add a small amount of oil with a syringe or similar into the port/pipe. If you see an oil mist coming out of the high side it is bad news. Clean outlet air is good. To get the oil back from the catch pipe or can we have to add a hose or pipe with a needle valve. It needs to be adjusted so that there is only a very little airflow (or oil mist) coming out. This regulated outlet is now being connect to the port/pipe with a bit of suction that we found earlier. Now every time the compressor runs the collected oil is forced back into the compressor :) Please double check the port/pipe used is not directly connected to the intake port! The last thing you want is a puddle of oil going into the cylinder and damaging it! They are designed to move gas but not liquid! If in doubt use a hardened sttel nail or similar to create a small puncture in the top of the compressor housing if there is nothing else to use. Check first if the material sound very thick, if so it might help to drill with a 5 or 6mm drill first - only about 1mm to make sure you won't enter the housing and conimate it with metal shavings! Once you have a small puncture hole of about 2mm in diameter get some 2 component metal repair glue mix and add a suitable connection for the collecting pipe/can. If you feel up to it you can of course use a blow torch and solder the connection on. Now we have the compressor working with a oil return system that also gives up very little to no oil at all in our system. You might now think you are good to go but you should at least add a decent and fine filter to the air inlet ;) The compressor noise of a bigger system can still be an issue if thicker pipes are used that allow the noise to travel out. Keep in mind they usually run in a fully closed system.... As we only need to match the noise level of the compressor itself a solid steel can like an old fire extinguisher in the 1kg rage is a good way out. Fill it with filter wool and a fine filter pad after adding some hose connectors either end. You can misuse the trigger nozzle and keep it to seal the top if you braze a connector on it. If the intake here is about 5 times larger than the pipe connection to the compressor itself the air flow going into the thing is low enough for a cheap paper air filter can or box if you have a quite dusty enviroment to work with. The real trick is to have a hose or pipe on the inside of the fire extinguisher connected to the compressor pipe connection. A garden hose is great here as is reduces the noise quite good and is dirt cheap. Make a lot of about 2mm sized holes in this pipe and close the other end of it off. Now the compressor will suck it through the small holes and the soft garden hose reduces the noise, the surrounding padding brings it down to basically nothing. The special case of clean air for airbrush.... If you read this for the sole purpose of airbrush use then this chapter is just for you, all other might want to skip it. The two things you don't want to enter your gun is oil or water. Both are a common thing in normal compressors due to lubrication and pressure difference resulting in condensation of the humidity in the intake air. Oil free compressors of good quality can cost quite a few bucks and often require ongoing replacement of membranes or piston seals. A refrigeration compressor with the above modifications already provides clean enough air for most airbrush users if a proper tank is used to store enough of the compressed air. So you might just want to add a basic oil filter or very fine paper filter close to the regulator. For very detailed work with very sensitive paints you might want to build a filter box containing of several layers of oil absorbent paper. This stuff is often used in the industry to clean up minor oil spills and bind oil very well. A PVC pipe (pressure rated please) with 5-8 layers of filter screens should last about a lifetime before the filters need changing if the diameter is in the 10-15cm range. That leaves us with the dreaded problem of condensation and water contamination. Depending on the type of paint and gun used a small amount of water vapour is usually no problem. Solvent based paints usally show their disliking by unwanted drops or run offs caused by water droplets. Of course you just go and buy a professional dehumidifier and accept the ongoing replacement costs for the cartridges... But if you are in a climated that has above 30% humidity for most of the year than you will have to remove the water one way or the other. A big enough storage tank for the air that is upright usually helps to release any condensated water prior to usage. But if you use a homemade tank you might want to avoid this problem completely and forget about water in the system altogehter. Silaca gel is the answer here, specifically the indicating variety that changes color once "full". A spaghetti glas or similar should be big enough unless you are in a very humid climate - is so just use multiple in a row. The air intake side for the compressor has to go through the silica gel to be effictive. This mean we need two holes in the lid. One with a pipe or hose going all the way to the botom - that is the air intake side. The other right on the lid - this is the air outlet side which continues to the compressor intake. With the color change in the silica gel we can estimate how much usage we have left until we have to heat it up to remove the water. If this color change happens quite fast from the bottom to the top, let's say within three days or less than you really need to use more jars with silica gel in a row or a longer one - like using a long and clear acrylic pipe instead. Of course you can always just cut holes and "viewing glasses" along the length to a PVC pipe.... No matter how wet your climate is you want to get at least 100 hours of compressor run time before you need to recharge the silica gel. This brings us to the recharging.... Once the color changes and you only have about one quarter left to the top you want to get the water out of the gel and re-use it. To do this you simply heat it up in your oven to around 120-150°C - the supplier should state the max temp for this. If you use a gas oven or one with limited accuracy here it is best to stay within the 120° range. You need to stir and mix the gel or use something big enough like an oven tray. But be aware that these little balls are like glass! The roll and bounce like no tomorrow! IMHO it best to use an old cooking pot that has no plastic handles for this and not to overfill it. This allows for easy mixing without making a mess that might cause a bad trpping hazard on your kitchen floor tiles! Once the gel is back to original colr it is time to let it cool of to a safe temperature and to fill it back into our canister or pipe. Tanks and shut off systems.... We have a refrigeration compressor working for us, and since it was for R22 we can use much higher pressures as a simple compressor from the hardware store. The low pressure side is used to 70PSI or around 5Bar of pressure in normal working conditions. The high side often works at pressure in the range of 200-300PSI or 14-20Bar! The tank we used is a big propane tank that was restamped at some stage in his life for the use of LPG - so it was tested to quite high pressures. The lower pressure limit is what keeps the stored gas liquid at the given temperature. For Propane at an imaginary 30°C this would around 155PSI or 10Bar. The stamped test pressure, although outdated, showed 600PSI or around 40Bar of pressure with no problems - and the thing was thick in the walls... The old shut off switch from an old air compressor was adjustable after removing the safety cap with a bit of force and the help of few cold beer. With a little tank attached we adjusted it to turn the compressor off at 250PSI or around 17Bar of pressure. If your tank is old or has no test pressure stamped on do your own test in a safe location. Make sure the area is secured so there is no chance of debris from a brusting tank can go anywhere - this includes to chain down the tank itself ;) Use the aircon compressor to fill it up to 300PSI or 20Bar of pressure - this should be tolerated with ease by any propane or LPG tank. Shut the valves and let it rest for a day or so. It is best to do this in the early morning so the heat from the day will slightly increase the pressure. At the end you still want to have a working tank and no major pressure losses. All of our mods on this tank were done without actually harming the tank. This was possible as the original valve had a release port for filling purposes - as it standard on most refillable ones. Here we removed the valve and added a pressure guage instead - better to know what is happening than to assume things. As this "port" had a seperate connection to the bottom of the brass valve we added as T-connection to allow for the connection to the compressor. Just be be really sure a thin piece of copper tubing was brazed to the exit hole of this port so all incoming air will be going down and away from the outlet connection with the big shut off valve on top - which we use to actually isolate and close the tank when not it use. Last thing required was something to connect the pressure shut off switch and regulator to. That was the only major expense on this project as we had no old BBQ hose or similar to get a suitable connector to the tank. We bought a simple adapter for the use of smaller hoses and cut the unwanted bits off we there was only the bottle conntector with the nut left. After removing the rubber ring we brazed piece of copper pipe onto it. Here we drilled holes and fitted severy connectors. First for the pressure switch, then for the connection to the pressure regulator and two standard ones with a ball valve for air hose connections. One air hose connection female, the other male so a standard compressor can be connected as well or "backfilled" for additional and mobile storage use. As we wanted to avoid any reduction in the safety and burst pressure no release valve was added at the bottom on the tank. The added silica gel filter stage was used instead so no water will get into the system to begin with. Additionally, and painfully for me and me friend, the inside of the tank was coated with a layer of acrylic paint to prevent and rust as it was free from it when we checked it at the beginning. This involved filling a suitable amount of paint into it, closing the top while keeping the thread clean and then to move the tank around to cover the inside evenly. If you do this be prepared for some weird movements with your friends LOL Once we were sure all ust be covered by paint at least three times we released the exxess paint and allowed the inside to dry with the assistance of some air forced to go in with a length of pipe. This was repeated 3 times... Then another two just for the bottom third of it where there might be some moisture after all... Now you don't want to remove the brass valve with everything connected to it just to turn the tank over to releae the collected water. Instead we made sure the added pipe on the former relese port would go all the way to the bottom of the tank. If any water collection is suspected only the connection to the compressor needs an additional valve for the disconnection so the water will be force back out here. To make this easy and fast we used standard quick connectors and a piece of flexible airhose rated to 20bar of pressure for the connection to the compressor. We checked the performance of the moisture removal and oil removal only for a few hours of running time while priming some surface for later use. The compressor oil used was very smelly to say it nice but nothing coul be smelled in the first paper filter after the pressure regulator. To check for remaining moisture levels (65% humidity in the house) we used a 10m length of clear PVC tubing going through an ice bath. After 30 minutes of moderate air release there was no condensation on the inside of the tubing visible. Of course if you only need it for air supply and don't care about a bit of moisture and oil you can keep it simple ;) Benefits of doing such a stupid thing: For starters noise and the peace of mind that you can do a lot of airbrushing until the compressor needs to kick in again. Then of course the benefit of an almost silent system compared to a standard compressor - something you can actually tolerate while doing art. But the real deal is knowing YOU did it and you did it for cheap. Warnings and some advise... I know, it should be at the very beginning but I just hope you read till the end ;) If the compressor fails from overheating you are up for a new one. This means the tan size should be within the limits of what the compressor can handle - same for what you actually use on air. You want an empty tank to be filled before the compressor feels hot to touch - quite warm is fine but if you can't leave your hand on it then it is too hot. Same story for the usage. There is no point in using a tiny 10 liter storage tank if you need that capacity every few minutes. The compressor would only have little pauses and overheat quickly. You want a good balance of usage time before the tank goes below supply pressure and running time of the compressor to get it to full pressure again. This brings us to the safety of high pressures. Where possible only copper tubing or sufficiently rate hoses should be used, the later as short as possible to avoid them acting like a whip if something goes wrong. When it comes to the safety of the tank you want to make sure to stay withing it's rated limits. All benefits of a compressor capable of producing over 500PSI otr close to 35Bar is wasted if your tank and pressure regulator can't handle it. This must not mean that you try to use a gas cylinder of unknow age and pressure rating and assume it will work! If in doubt use a lower shut off pressure and stay within the limits of normal air compressors - which is around 120PSI or 8Bar. Never, ever use a tank that is compromised by inside rust or bad corrosion on the outside! If you don't know how to braze copper tubing, pipes and connectors then check out some of the great Instructables about it! Whenever you know you won't use any compressed air for more than a few hours close all valves especially the ones going back to the compressor on the high pressure side! Some compressors really don't like a huge pressure difference constantly pushing on the reed valves. If your tank is big enough to allow for more than one hour of operation before the compressor has to top it up you might want to consider a one way valve right on the compressor outlet. This will prevent any massive pressures going onto the valves - especially helpful for modern compressors that only rely on the sealing capabilities of the clyinders or rotary system used. One thing you should always consider is a pressure relief valve rated for about 50PSI more than your tank pressure - it can be added to the pipe ;) If the shut off valve ever fails the relief valve gives you the ease of mind that it will blow before your tank does. Maintenance... If modded correctly the compressor should stay in the compressor and the compressor itself should not overheat from use. Having said that your compressor might force out a little more than your best catch system can handle. If that becomes a problem it might help to use an oil with a lower viscosity. If all fails it just means you need to top up oil once the last last paper filter is filthy or use slightly more to begin with so the intervals are longer. The silica gel, if used should be recharged before all of it is wasted - no point in adding it if you use it once full of water. If no gel is used there will be water in the storage tank. Even with the added paint and a good air filter it is possible that nasty things grow in there. Making sure the tank is emptied of any water after long uses and again before the next use is good practise. If no pressure gauge is used on the tank you must make sure the shut off valve is always working fine and within set parameters. I strongly recommend using a gauge and if not to perform a pressure check of the system every now and then to confirm all is within parameters of normal operation. A compressor constantly running means you either use far too much air or you have a leak - same story if the compressos kicks in after some of forgetting to shut it off and close the valves. If you keep the above in mind the salvaged compressor should work just fine for many years to come. Troubleshooting and alternatives.... You put everything together the right way, double checked and something is till not right? Maybe my crystal ball helps me to find something... 1. Always oil coming through the catch system. It usually means you use too much of it. A salvaged compressor, if the refrigent was removed legally from the system should still have a "correct" level of oil inside. Too much oil would mean is being pumped through the system at an excessive rate. Very thin compressor oils tend to do that in the compressor is misude like we do. Changing to standard mineral oil can help here. As a last resort you can use a pressure gauge or good judgement to allow more flow through the needle valve from the catch system back to the compressor. Too much backflow here would mean we loose system pressure to the set level of this needle valve! 2. The R22 rated compressor seems to be unable to produce enough pressure. First do a leak test using soapy water to rule out any leaks. Do a back pressure test on the ports. If you can push air through them in the reverse way with ease it means the valves are damaged making the compressor useless. You need to replace it. A regular cause with our type of usage is a constand back pressure from the storage tank to the compressor. To prevent this it might help to mount an electric solenoid between the compressor and storage tank. Such valve should be off when the pressure switch is engaged and on when the pressure switch is disengaged. This prevents the coil from overheating but requires a "normally off" type of valve. A good source at the wreckers are cars with LPG systems installed, they usually have suitable 12V valves somewhere on or near the tank and filler cap. 3. I am using several kg of silica gel but still get a lot of water in my storage tank. Going overboard in a humid climate can be a good thing here but if moisture makes it into the tank even with great amounts of silica gel there are only two causes: a) the tube or cylinder used is not long enough or not wide enough to allow the absorption of all the moisture going through. b) the flow rate is too high and the temperatures are too. For the first the solution is obvious enough. The second is related to the first for the diameter and lenght but temperatures constantly above the 30°C while operating somehow limits what the gel can do. Using a cooling coil on the intake side or simply putting the gel containers in icy water will help to a great deal here. If that is not an option than I suggest to layer the gel and to seperate it with fine paper filter screens. This will slow and even out the airflow allowing for more contact time with the gel. 4. The compressor gets very noisy after some time. If "some time" means more than 30-45 minutes you simply have it running too much and it overheats. If the noise increases too much when reaching the shut off pressure it can mean the pressure is too high for it. 5. Can I use multiple compressors from smaller units or refrigerators to get enough air volume? Of course you can but it might mean you have to lower your pressure expectations. Consider that each individual compressor would get the back pressure from all other compressors running while it's outlet valve is closed. To avoid premature failure you want to make sure the compressors are shut off at a lowver pressure. 6. I don't want to use a big tank but require a good airflow for airbrush. Two or three fridge compressors working one after the other with a small tank to keep the output pressure even can allow for about 30 minutes runtime per compressor. With three it gives one hour for the the first to cool off and should be enough for ongoing work. Downside is you need to make some sort of automatic switch to "rotate" to compressor working. Last words.... Is you find any spelling mistakes you can keep them. However, if you use them in any way to make a profit with them I kindly ask for 10% of your earning from it ;) Why did I not make an Instructable out of all this? Well the day was very hot, the beer very cold and my mobile phone at home, so I did not take any pics. To top it up the whole thing is now in a seperate box for additional noise reduction so it can be used in the same room where the guy is working. Of course he just used a nailgun for the job without any regard of access or at least easy view of the two pressure gauges. Typical if you have a great idea and the cold beer tells you to forget all about screws or hinges ROFL Only comment was: You created it and it works fine, why would need more than the pipe connections for the gel and regulator? Maybe he will reconsider when the service is due....

Topic by Downunder35m 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Tracking down the speed problems on a laptop.

I've copied the conversation here so we could remove the information from the original instructable's comments.  I figure this would also be of some interest to other forum viewers who may have similar problems, or may be able to chip in. The long and short of it is, 92033 (Ed) has a refurbished laptop that takes literal hours to run a YouTube video on.  I suspect that it's due to a bottleneck with his internet connection.  Here's the conversation thus far: ---------------------------------------------------------------- 92033 (Ed): Thank you kindly for your prompt reply...appreciate it very much. I came across this site by accident in searching for something else and now I'm 'hooked' on it. :) So far I've read over 400 archived posts (whew)...as well as looking at the videos. The videos are somewhat of a problem because this new laptop only has 512 mg memory...LOOOOOng time to load. For example...to watch a SLOW 5-minute You Tube video takes 5-1/2 HOURS to load...keeps showing a couple words at a time...need to get two new memory chips to upgrade to 2gb. Thanks again...Take care. ---------------------------------------------------------------- eddems: I think you're basic download speed is killing ya, not the laptop. check you're speed at Internetfrog.com, if you see the link near the bottom for the old test, run it, I like it's graph of upload and download speed much better. ---------------------------------------------------------------- 92033: Thanks much. I'll check it out. I ordered a 1gb SDRAM Memory chip which just arrived yesterday. Hope this speeds things up a bit. ---------------------------------------------------------------- harley_rly: i hear u man, my computer is hopped up, but i live out in the sticks and have dialup...i only get 24kbps at most :( ---------------------------------------------------------------- 92033: Maybe there's hope for 'us' yet. :-) I phoned Tiger Direct to see cost of an upgrading memory chip to go from 512mg to 1-1/2gb. The guy I talked to suggested I get "PC TUNEUP 2.0" which bypasses the Windows Operating System (I'm using Windows XP Pro) and speeds up the system. I gave it a try and ordered the CD (cost $39.98 - $44.77 postpaid). It hasn't arrived yet but will let you know if it helps as he claims it will. He said that if I just ordered a 1gb memory chip my system wouldn't notice much improvement as it is, but this CD should do the trick. THEN...when I DO order the Memory chip(s) to get total of 2gb my system should zip through like a rocket with the CD just ordered. I'll let you know when I get the CD and about the results. Just hope I haven't thrown forty-five bucks to the wind. Thanks for the contact...appreciate hearing from you. TAKE CARE. ~ ED ---------------------------------------------------------------- Javin007: PC Tune-Up "bypasses the Windows Operating System?" This guy fed you a load of crap. (I work on computers for a living.) PC Tune-Up does nothing more than clean up registries, defragment harddrives (if your OS even needs it, some don't) and keeps drivers up to date (which you could do manually.) That guy's an idiot, or just a liar. Could be both. Unless you were buying PC Tuneup 2.0 from Tiger Direct, in which case we can add "sleazy salesman" to that. What are the specs of the laptop? Go to Start/Run and type in DXDIAG. This will give you a quick snapshot of the specs. Specifically, I'm curious as to the processor speed/type. For a 5 1/2 hour "load" you're more likely looking at network slowdown issues (although 512 megs for XP is WAYYYY too little. I HATE when they put PCs together like that). The RAM upgrade will show significant speed increases, but no improvement with YouTube videos or other downloads. I'm glad to see you are returning the CD. ---------------------------------------------------------------- 92033: Thanks much for your input...appreciate it very much. I checked the DXDIAG as you recommended. Here's the info on it: IBM ThinPad Laptop PC. Model # 23738TU. Intel Premium M 1.70GHZ. 512mb SDRAM Memory chip.Page File- 351mb used,513 mb available. Direct Version-Directx 9.00 (4.09.0000.0904). 512 mb SDRAM-Actual 212 Ram. AVAST Anti-Virus. MS Windows XP-PRO.. Dialup Speed-40kbps. PC2700 SDRAM 512mb Memory Chip installed. I ordered 1bb memory chip which arrived yesterday. Now I have to figure out HOW to remove the bottom of this laptop to install it...lotta small screws on it. :-) Oh, total memory shows 32mb. I don't know if this means much to you. I note your comment that the added RAM memory WONT (?) speed up loading YouTube videos? Is that correct? If so, why not? Thanks again. Take care. ~ ED ---------------------------------------------------------------- Javin007: :) At the risk of boring too many people, here's how memory in a PC works: You have two kinds of memory: RAM, and Hard Drive (technically there's three, as there's also onboard video RAM on video cards, but this is primarily used for 3D video game textures, so can be mostly ignored.) Your harddrive's read/write speed is determined by the type of harddrive it is (most are SATA now) and the rotation speed (most are 7200 RPM, though the specs for your system say yours is only 5400 RPM, but there are 10, 15, and even 20K rpm models out there that are exponentially more expensive.) No matter what, harddrive memory will always be degrees slower than RAM. RAM on the other hand is a small chunk of memory that is "temporary" memory, but very fast. Its speed is determined by the type of RAM (DDR2 being the current common one for notebooks, though DDR3 is available with some motherboards (you can ignore this, though, as you can only handle 2 gigs max of DDR with your system). The motherboard will determine the limits for the RAM that can be installed.) When running *ANYTHING* on your computer, and I mean ANYTHING, it must first be loaded into RAM to be accessed by the CPU. The computer doesn't directly access the harddrive. So this means when your operating system is loaded (Windows XP) the entirety of all running processes for the OS have to be loaded into RAM. Now, Microsoft claims that Windows XP only requires a minimum of 64 megs of RAM, but recommends 128 megs. I challenge you to find me a Windows XP system that only uses 128 megs out of the box. It's not atypical for an XP system to chew through all 512 megs of your RAM, leaving no RAM available for other applications. (Interestingly, the default setup for your laptop is only 256 megs of RAM, yet yours is reporting 512.) What happens when there's no RAM left? The system has to then start trading things into what is called "Virtual Memory." VM is nothing more than a file on the harddrive that will temporarily hold information that SHOULD be in RAM, so the RAM can load more info. For instance, say you have a process that's using RAM, but you want to watch your YouTube video. As the video is ready to play, the system will take the other process's data that's in RAM, write it to the harddrive, load your video into RAM in its place, play a portion of it, write the video to the harddrive, load the data for the process to RAM, let it run for a split second (so it doesn't lock up), write it back to the harddrive, load your video into RAM and play a short clip, etc. etc. etc. The result of low RAM on your system is that applications will open slowly (seconds or minutes, instead of instantly or a few seconds) and they will seem slow to respond, will stutter, etc. With enough RAM, your system can freely open as much as it needs into RAM, and ignore the virtual memory and all the slowdowns that it causes. Now, all of this being said, NO lack of RAM will cause a streaming video to take 5 1/2 hours to play. This is 100% going to be related to your downspeed. (Go to www.speedtest.net and post your results.) RAM slowdowns tend to be most noticeable when shutting down, or starting up your computer, apps will open a little more slowly, they will be slower to respond to button clicks, and video will be very choppy. Anything that is causing a YouTube video to take HOURS will be due to the system simply waiting to get the video in the first place. RAM wouldn't slow down the receiving of the video, but it would cause the video to play weird once it's downloaded. So, all this being said, here's the summary: Your system has a 1.7 Ghz processor, and your RAM is most likely 333 Mhz DDR. If you bump your memory up to a gig, you should see a pretty significant improvement in that your computer will, overall, just "feel" faster. It'll be more responsive, and working with large documents will be many, many times faster. This won't, however, affect your YouTube experience (unless you were getting jittery video often, not the same as "buffering" video.) If you see "buffering" for a long time, your internet connection is your bottleneck. A test on www.SpeedTest.net will likely confirm this. However, if you get decent numbers on SpeedTest, then we could have something more sinister going on, though I suspect you'll find your numbers well below the 1 mbps rate. This brings us to actually changing the RAM. I've been out of the PC hardware realm (professional programmer now) for a few years, and was unable to find a manual for your particular model. However, if memory serves, this image should be a fairly accurate representation of the underside of your system: http://www.javin-inc.com/temp/thinkpad.JPG Don't quote me, but I BELIEVE the red circle will indicate the only screw you will need to remove to access the RAM. There should also be a small clip holding the RAM in place that you'll want to pinch to get the RAM out, and make sure that the new RAM snaps into place. (Sometimes you'll have additional empty RAM beds, and you can just put your RAM in there and end up with 1.5 gigs, but I suspect you'll have two 256 gig chips in there.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- 92033: Phew. Thanks again for your most indepth educational lesson. I appreciate all your help more than you realize. I attempted to answer this last night, typing in more than twice the amount of text as your to me, then suddenly realized there was a glitch and I was on another page...lost it all into the ionisphere. :-( Rather than try to retype all I wrote, I shut 'r down and went to sleep. Now I'm trying to recall all I wrote last night but failed to get mailed. I'm not a traditional typist, rather a one-finger bloke so you can understand the frustration there. I do, however, type at a reasonably good speed. With that said, let's continue. I went to search for Configuration of this IBM Laptop ThinkPad 23738TU and am copy and pasting it here. It's relevant to what I have to say...here it is: ********************************************************************************** Overview Specs Features Includes Warranty Supplies IBM ThinkPad T42 2373 Specifications Part # 23738TU Key Specifications IBM ThinkPAD T42 2373 Manufacturer IBM Manufacturer Part # 23738TU Processor Type Intel Pentium M 735 1.7 GHz Data Bus Speed 400 MHz Cache Memory Type L2 cache Installed Size 2 MB RAM Installed Size 256 MB Technology DDR SDRAM Memory Speed 333 MHz System Type Notebook Storage Hard Drive 40 GB, 5400 rpm Storage Controller Type IDE Optical Storage Type DVD ROM Read Speed 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD) Display Type 14.1" TFT active matrix Graphics Processor / Vendor ATI MOBILITY RADEON 7500 Video Memory 32 MB Max. Resolution 1024 x 768 Audio Output Type Sound card Audio Codec AD1981B Compliant Standards DirectSound, AC '97, SoundMAX Telecom Modem Fax / modem Max. Transfer Rate 56 Kbps Protocols & Specifications ITU V.90 Networking Networking Network adapter Data Link Protocol Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet Expansion Expansion Slots Total 1 x front accessible Expansion Slots Total 2 ( 1 ) x memory 1 ( 1 ) x CardBus - type II Interfaces 1 x docking / port replicator, 240 pin docking 2 x Hi Speed USB, 4 pin USB Type A 1 x parallel, IEEE 1284 (EPP/ECP), 25 pin D Sub (DB25) 1 x display / video, VGA, 15 pin HD D Sub (HD 15) 1 x infrared, IrDA 1 x modem, phone line, RJ11 1 x network, Ethernet 10BaseT/100BaseTX, RJ45 1 x display / video, S video output, 4 pin mini DIN 1 x microphone, input, mini phone mono 3.5 mm 1 x headphones, output, mini phone stereo 3.5 mm Miscellaneous Features Locking device keyhole (cable lock), administrator password, hard drive password, power-on password, asset ID, IBM Embedded Security Subsystem 2.0 Compliant Standards ACPI 2.0, ACPI 1.0b, FCC Class B certified, CE, MPR II, UL, BSMI, cUL, NOM, VCCI-II Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional Software Included Adobe Acrobat Reader, PC Doctor, IBM Rapid Restore Ultra, IBM Update Connector, InterVideo WinDVD, IBM Access Connections, IBM Access Support, Access IBM,(OEM) Battery Technology lithium ion Capacity 4400 mAh Average Run Time 5 hour(s) Installed Qty 1 Ambient Temperature Min Operating Temperature 50 °F Max Operating Temperature 90 °F Humidity Range Operating 8 - 80% Dimensions (W x D x H) Unit 12.2 in x 10 in x 1.1 in Weight Unit 4.9 lbs Warranty 3 Years Limited Warranty on parts and labor. IBM 23738TU Summary ********************************************************************************* NOTE...I DON'T BELIEVE THIS...I JUST TYPED FORTY MINUTES REPLY HERE and it instantly scrolled up like speed of lightning and disappeared like last night. I'll ATTEMP to try again later. So please don't reply yet as you need to read my discoveries in changing the RAM chip. Meanwhile, thanks again...take care. ~ ED ******************************************************************************* TRY #3...I'm Back :-) Your diagram showing where the RAM chip is located was right on. Thanks. Here's my DISCOVERY :-( The RAM chip installed was NOT a 512mg...but only a 256mg chip. The ads ans specs say it's a 512mg...NOT SO. I was lied to by either the manufacturer or refurbishing company who removed the original 512 chip and reinstalled a 256 chip. I was lied to by the Tiger Direct guy on the phone. There are NOT two chip slots...only one. So I now have a useless removed 256mb RAM chip. Replaced with the 1gb RAM chip I just installed. So instead of having 1-1/2 gb RAM, I only have 1gb. Here's the crux. To. go to 2gb RAM I'd need to buy a full 2gb RAM CHIP and discard the 1gb for which I just paid $39.99 ($45.00 with s/h). This means another output of almost a hundred dollars plus the $45.00 just wasted because they wont accept return once the sealed chip plastic was opened...even though I had no idea there was only ONE SLOT in this PC instead of TWO like the Tiger Guy said. Now...crux #2...this new 1gb RAM does nothing more to increase speed. I just watched a 2.01 MINUTE YouTube video which took a HALF HOUR to load, so I threw the money away for nothing, eh? There is no noticeable change except the 'speed' shows it now as 41.2 kbps instead of 40 kbps. Okay...now HOW do I get to speed this thing up to normal viewing in real time? I also saw an ad for 4bg RAM Gateway laptop with 120gb hard drive for $404.99 which is all suped-up with everything. I had to upgrade a LOT since I got this only four months ago...taking over a hundred hours to load it, like Internet Explorer 5 to 6 and then to 8 and now to 9. I'm using AVAST Anti-Virus, after trying for 23 hours to get ADVAR, then find out it didn't load because of problem on the servor's end. Added Firefox and upgraded twice. Loaded MS Protection but it created more problems so I deleted it...now with AVAST which I like. Soooo...I've literally spent over 200 hours to get this thng where it's at now, plus the wasted money for the upgraded RAM chip.and I still don't have increased speed. HOW do I get it? IF the processor has to be changed does this mean I have to gut the thing and install a new motherboard? If so, what kind of money cost are we talking here? I bought this four months ago as a refurbished unit only because I was able to get it on payments of only $25.00 a month. If I had to wait to get $400.00 cash I'd never have it. :-) Okay...that's it for the moment. Thanks much again for your help offering and detailed instructions...appreciate it more than you realize. Best Wishes And God's Blessings To You And Yours In Everything Always. Most Respectfully... ~ ED  ---------------------------------------------------------------- Javin007: Well, let's start with the RAM. If you're running windows XP, you can assume all the extra processes (virus scanners, and whatnot) will be eating up about 512 megs of the RAM. First thing to do is check DXDIAG again (start/run) and verify that it's now reporting the correct amount of RAM. (Don't be surprised if it's like 9 hundred something megs or slightly more. It won't report 1024 or 1 gig.) This being said, that will leave you with the other 512 for your applications. This box won't be running the latest and greatest 3D games, but I suspect it was never intended to. If the heaviest hitter you'll have running is along the lines of photoshop, the 1 gig of RAM you have now should be plenty sufficient. I wouldn't worry about getting 2 gigs. Not for this rig, anyway. Also, Avast is a great (and free) virus protection, every bit as good as Symantec's Norton, so good choice there. If your youtube videos are choking out, we need to start by verifying that it's an actual speed throttling problem. Go to www.SpeedTest.net and run the speed test. Come back with the results.

Topic by Javin007 8 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago