Distinguish glass hard disk platters from aluminum without marring the reflective surface? Answered

I have hundreds of hard disk platters from disassembled hard drives.  Some are made of glass, some are made of aluminum.  The glass ones, when flexed, shatter into thousands of razor shards which screech across the room. I would like to avoid that in the future.  I only want to use the aluminum ones, but I don't want to mar the reflective surface. I've thought of weighing them, but the platters some from many manufacturers and eras and so the weights won't be consistent.  Magnets don't attract glass or aluminum. Does glass float? (I'm guessing no.)  Is the reflective surface transparent? (I'm guessing no again, but maybe a strong light would work?) There has to be a way....

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


How to cut aluminum hard drive platters?

After determining that a hard drive platter is aluminum (I don't want to try to cut the glass ones), how could I cut it neatly?  I'd like to cut out neat rectangles for a small kaleidoscope.  I tried a hacksaw, but it was a messy cut, and I expect it bent the optical surface a bit.  I tried a rotary tool with cut-off discs, but the aluminum chewed up the discs really fast--I could see the discs shrinking before my eyes into tiny circles.  

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


what smd components can I use to make a voltage regulator? Answered

I have components from a laptop hard drive and would like to know which components on the controller board can be used to make a voltage regulator that regulates voltages at 3,6,9 and 12 volts.

Question by techfix1 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Labrador has strange phobia of unusual floor surfaces? Answered

Does anyone has an explanation? My labrador is in perfect health; no balance problems; he leaps fences and is not timid in any way. A few years ago when we laid down slate floor tiles on the entire diner and kitchen area he seems  worried about walking on the kitchen area and avoids it or approaches it very gingerly, bowing low as he does so; it's as if he perceives it as a deep hole . He will, however, totally forget about this fear if he can get to the cat's food but otherwise it is very hard coaxing him onto the tiles in the kitchen only. My friend's  exterior  landing and staircase has a mottled pattern; he just couldn't walk on it and refused to come down it; he had to be carried. So, none of this is a problem at all, but I'm just curious to see if anyone has encountered anything similar? Thanks.

Question by FriendOfHumanity 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


need a jig for cuttin styrofoam straight/smooth surfaces?

I'm trying to get into lost foam (aluminum) casting, so I just build a styrofoam cutter ("frame" with a hot-wire). It's pretty difficult to handle because it melts trough the styrofoam so quickly and it's hard to hold perfectly straight and every movement makes an impression in the styrofoam part. I need some ideas on how to make a jig that makes it easy(er) to make smooth surfaces in the styrofoam part, I was thinking something that adjusts the distance between the hot wire and the table/surface and then just slide the styrofoam across the table/surface through the hotwire for making plates (easy), but I need to be able to change the distancee between the surface and the hotwire for different thinknesses but also somehow be able to make angles and hopefully also somehow ROUND PIECES AND CYLINDERS :o hope you can give me some inputs :D and even better some pictures, drawings and links thianks!

Question by lordl9999 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


can you put bondo on plaster of paris? Answered

Can you put bondo on plaster of paris? i want to put some kind of filler on a rounded styrofoam shape, and then use bondo to make it look like a hard plastic or metal surface

Question by William930 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Can I mix cement, aggregate, and water in place?

I have a 250 sq. ft. area that has 2" of pea gravel on top of clay.  Can I mix cement into the gravel then water from the top to get a surface hard enough to put pavers or stones on?

Question by Silvermist73 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Recycling stuff for cool fridge magnets!

Recyle your old broken hard drives. Take them apart and scrounge the powerful magnets out. They make great ways to attach anything to your fridge or metal surface. See my 64 Corvette Stingray Fridge Magnet Instructable. It has flashing tailights! As ever -TRIUMPHMAN.

Topic by triumphman 11 years ago


Green sand options? Answered

I finally finnished my testing prototype of my metal melting furnace. Did a few casts to get short rods for the lathe work and noticed a big problem. I used washed play sand as itwas the finest sand I could find locally. The result was good in shape but very bad in terms of surface quality. For another test I used the leftovers of my crushed perlite and mixed it bentonite and the surface was really smooth - but using perlite is not really an option. Real green sand is hard to get in my area and the postage costs for a 20kg bag are just too high on top of it. So, before I start hunting down all sand and soils shops nearby: Is there a proper name for extreme fine sand or a good alternative for a reusable casting media?

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


Mirror acrylic Glue

Hey,I have been researching the best way to glue acrylic mirror together into a cube the same as the picture attached. So far I have been told it is quiet hard but Dichloro is what my supplier was able to find out. I have read a lot of health hazards and difficulty getting hold of it. Is there any that would be able to point me in the right direction.With my normal acrylic i just use a weldbond etc but the mirrored surface would not be suited.Thanks in advance everyone.

Question by PeteH66 3 months ago  |  last reply 3 months ago


New Idea but I don't know how to make it

Hey all, I was just looking at some photos on some photographers website in a series called Beautiful Decay. I had looked at maybe two or three when I suddenly had an idea. I know some various ways of aging things, primarily metal, but there is one style of aging which must technically be possible but I am coming up with only a few possibilities as to how to do it on my own: flaking paint. So far I have thought of dabbing on paint thinner before spraying to make it have a weak bond to the surface or adding powder (probably whatever the surface is, just ground up) for the same effect and then with the weak bond simply sweeping over the area with a broom several times to flake the paint. These seem like they would be hard to make seem natural. a second idea that kind of fits in is fake rust. By that I mean that the surface looks old and rusty (get your tetanus booster kind of thing) but is actually fully protected from the elements. Any ideas you have are welcome and I thank you for them in advance.

Topic by finfan7 10 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Can anyone tell me for sure what material the Western Digital HD are made? They shine like mirrors and seems steel. Answered

I dismantled an old WD HD 2.5 Gb to use the neodymium magnet, and to my surprise I found that instead of a disc, it had three, stacked. I was also surprised for its mirror finish, I expected a dark brown surface, like floppies. Can anyone tell me for sure what material they are made the discs? Aluminum is not, must be steel, but it must be stainless steel or be well covered, because they shine like mirrors.  

Question by rimar2000 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


antique school bell

OK, i got this antique school bell, i think the date reads 1898 idk its got a little surface rust, i saw this thing sitting on a shelf, and i thought to my self  "how awesome would that be to be hooked up to a door bell" but no matter how hard i look i cant find clear instructions on how to, and what i need to make it work. Ive put some power on it and the hammer just stuck to the coil instead of bouncing back forth. are there any antique gurus who can help me with this issue?   thanks :P

Topic by golddigger1559 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Built from scratch computer desk help (woodworking)

Hey world, i was wondering if any carpentry buffs out there could give me a hand, i have a very simple project: a desk using only 4 pieces of straight board, one for the top surface, 2 for the sides/legs, and one for support. (if you're having trouble visualizing it, look at the pic below). what i need help with is what kind of wood to use, i was thinking some hard wood, but i dont know what would be most cost effective (not goin for beauty here, it'll all be painted in the end) I plan to make a bunch of cut outs in the surface so i can incorperate things like an ipod dock, slots for papers and holes for wires to be hidden. I dont know if that would help determine what kind of wood to use, but i assume every bit of info i can provide would help :) thanks in advance! ADRENIHOLIC

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


Solar Filter for Telescopes

Having seen some predictions of increased solar activity over the next two years, I decided to make a filter so I can check it out with my trusty telescope. To start out, I constructed the rig shown in photo A, and practiced with it by cutting disks of plain glass. Make a table like that in photo C so you can make a continuous score on the glass, without stopping. Put oil on the wheel of the grass cutter. Be sure that the surface you work on is flat. You can skip this if you want a square filter. After scoring, your glass should look like that in photo B, with a uniform and even cut. Next, put the scored glass on a soft surface like a mouse pad, with the scored surface wetted with water and face down. Press on the back of the score with a dull nail to start a crack. By continual pressing you can watch the crack propagate all the way around. Then, make 8 radial scores from the circle to the edge of the glass and propagate those cracks in the same manner as the disk. When you do it right, you get a result like photo D, where the pieces were separated for illustration. When you get good at this with regular glass, you can cut the mirror into a disk. With the mirror, you score the glass on the side that has the metal coating. Or, you can just cut the mirror in a square instead of a circle. Photo E shows an uncut and a finished cut mirror. The mirror came out of the back of a discarded projection TV. Some of the mirrors are plastic films, some are second surface, some are first surface glass but the metal coating is too thin. There are many variations, but you need to find a first surface glass mirror that reduces the light level by 12 stops (as measured by a LunaPro SBC light meter). Photographically, this is like reducing the light level from F1.4 to F64. This level of light reduction will be hard to find. WARNING: Use of a mirror with a thin reflective coating can result in eye damage if used to view the sun through a telescope. I have access to a smaller commercial filter to use as a guide. This filter produced a bright blue image of the sun, so I added a red filter at the eyepiece. This combination produced a normal yellow image of the sun. There were no significant sunspots visible, so I didn’t bother taking any pictures. The Filter is mounted to a screw-in lens cap.

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


Removing Broken Pin from an RCA Jack

I recieved a free, working TV the other day. The only problem with it was the pin from an RCA video cable had broken off inside the socket. I didn't want to spend money on an RF modulator for my DVD Player, so I figured out a pretty solid way of getting the pin out. 1.) Find a needle 2.) On a hard surface, bend the very tip of the needle slightly so that it forms a tiny barb. 3.) heat the tip of the needle with a lighter until it glows red hot. 4.) stick the needle into the plastic core of the broken RCA pin 5.) wait a few seconds for it to cool 6.) pull the needle out, and the broken tip should follow!

Topic by spenjmn 11 years ago  |  last reply 2 months ago


Tempered glass screen protectors - understand and beware!

I recently had the joy of needing a new screen protector for my mobile after being dumb enough to drop it on gravel. The hard cover took all the impact but the film protector on the screen was scratched badly. Was old and partially worn anyway so I decided to upgrade to a Tempered Glass screen protector. Being somewhere rural I had no chance to get one in a shop so I ordered online. With no intention of advertising for some sellers, I collected a few links so you can check what I am talking about: Item1 Item2 Item3 Item4 Item5 Item6 So, what is my concern with these? They all can be found on amazon and other online services as well as on local markets... As I said I ordered a glass screen protector. If you check these listings and even some of the packing you will notice they all have a thing in common - being shatter proof and of 9H hardness. I also love this video showing how to remove and fix a glass screen protector! The last time I checked glass had one very distinct feature: It is hard and before it really bends it breaks - unless you use fibre optics of fibre glass cloth... What is my concern and warning here? Pretty simple: Stay away from expensive scams! Some claim their screen protector is only 0.25mm thick, even the 0.2mm one I measured was over 0.5mm with the glue... The hardness of 9H refers to the so called Moh's hardness - look it up on Wikipedia if you like. That means these tempered glass protectors would have a similr hardness than a diamond, or at least close to it. Problem is that they are made from plastic to start with and not glass at all. They claims that the screen protector is flexible because it is so thin - again a fake! Even the thinnest tempered glass will shatter if you bend it enough, not so these plastic ones. If you think I am making all this up try to use a really sharp knife or deburring tool and cut the thin sides of one of these protectors. All the ones I tested could be cut quite easy - and I though glass can't be cut with a kinfe... A nice website showing that the scratch resistance is far from the claims can be found here. And a video showing how a real glass screen protector sounds and breaks can be found here. So is it really all bad and should I avoid getting one? Not really if it is only for the added protection. To be clear here, and without the intention to blame any of the above sellers, some protectors actually do have a top layer made from glass and you can hear it as in the above video - it sound solid and not like plastic if you tap it with something hard. Another factor is the simple fact that plastic absorbs impact much better than glass. So where a real glass screen protector might shatter and crack like in the above video, the fake ones might one get a nasty dint or scratch. But you should be aware and clear about what you get and what to expect from it. These glass imitations are made from a strong polycarbonate plastic, similar to the stuff used for bullet and explosion proof "glas" windows - if you every watched the Mythbusters you have seen the big sheets I mean. The top layer of these things is specially treated to repell water, oil and dirt, it also gives the surface the good scratch resistance. The technique is nothing new, camera lenses, plastic sheets and the clear covers you see over the timetable at your bus stop all use it. The new thing is to intentionally mislable a product to make the consumer think it is glass ;) What is the real difference for the user? Check this video. Here a guy performs a drop test with a real glass screen protector. Thing is once the protector breaks the screen itself is broken too but until then it was not too bad. Here it is demonstrated how a real glass screen protector reacts to certain types of abuse - one of the reason I decided on glass. Compared to the plastic counterfeits just the sound on the glass is worth it, but I think the hacksaw was best. Another video from XDA gives a bit more info on how the glass is made - if you can't seeing a phone being abused then don't watch the drop tests at the end ;) Glass with these hardness levels and types of surface protection will give the user a long and worry free use of the phone. The plastic fakes will perform at a similar level for some time but will show signs of wear long before even the top coat of the glass one fails. Both types have their uses and if the fakes would be labeled correctly the user would actually benefit from that. On bigger screens like a tablet I would actually prefer the plastic ones to prevent damage once it needs replacing. On a mobile used in less than perfect conditions I would also go for plastic as it usually is a bit thinner and will fit better within quality hard covers. But when it comes to real abuse like using with dirty fingers most of the time or mostly outdoors where a lot of dust and fine sand can be involved I always go for glass. If you paid attention to the surface treatment then you already realised that the plastic and the glass are in the same region, making them quite scratch resistant. Still fine sand or metal dust will scratch it.... The difference is in the hardness of the actual material that was covered with the oleophobic film. Glass will not give in any way, where plastic is much softer - so not to be confused with the surface hardness! This mean that sharp and point object will easier penetrate the plastic than the glass, something to be considered if you often ecounter harsh use. In terms of actual protection we need to differenciate between surface quality and actual screen damage. After all when badly scratched we can replace the protector but if the display got damaged we are back to square one. The surface hardness was already covered so let's move on to the screen itself. In some of the above videos you can see the abuse a screen might see in normal conditions, and if we would not drop our phones so often repair shops would not be at every corner LOL I have done quite a few screen repairs, mostly for friends and work mates that did not want to pay the hefty extras in a repair shop. From there I got the stories on how it happened and in almost all cases the screen cracked when the phone landed on the corners. In one case the screen and glass protector failed, including the actual display when the phone was dropped out of a 4WD and landed screen first onto a rock. A glass protector will spread the (direct onto the face) impact force onto a much larger area, where a plastic one will produce a dint onto the actual screen much sooner. So again glass wins in terms of actually protecting your expensive screen. But be aware that all this is useless if the phone lands on the corners!! Let me explain: Both the top glass on your screen and the screen protector have a thin layer of "glue". This acts like a shock absorber, so unless an impact goes deep enough so the pressure on the actual screen is too much only the protector should fail. But the screen itself is a tight fit into the frame of the phone, so all side and corner impacts go directly into the glass. As the rest of the glass has no way to give or go the stresses will crack the screen. How should I treat my phone with the new screen protector? Exactly the same way you would without it of course. But if you don't have a proper cover that offers protection of the corners you should invest in one. Having a quality protector and a good case does not mean your phone can be used as a football, see it as an added insurance in case something does go wrong. For obvious reason it can also pay off to have a spare at hand, if something bad happens that requires replacement of the protector you won't be left with an unprotected screen ;) Last but not least, double it up: For people that already know their screen will see a fair bit of abuse in term of scratches it is a good idea to put an extra film protector onto the glass one. Once it is too scratched you peel it off and replace it, while the glass protector gives you the actual protection for your screen. Corning Willow glass As time of wrinting Corning Willow glass is the only "flexible" glass on the market, unless stated with your flexible screen protector you can assume it will be just plastic. I did not list it above as this high tech material is mainly reserved for displays and at least to my knowledge is not available for screen protectors, although I will stand corrected as I have to assume some big players use it for their protectors. The material is actually a sandwich where an ultra thin sheet of glass stis bewteen two layers of durable coating, read it up on their website it is quite interesting. It won't reach the strength of their famous Gorilla glass so without an outer plastic that has the additional oleophobic coating it won't provide the strenght of real tempered glass protectors. Some phones like the Galaxy Round and the fleixble HTC phones use it for example.

Topic by Downunder35m 3 years ago  |  last reply 5 months ago


Tips and Hints

This is my invention for the day.  Use of magnetic tool holders is a very old, but handy way to organize tools.  My contribution to Magnetic Tool Holders is to use small, strong magnets (12 mm diameter) attached to a metal bar or in the photo, to my card table edge.  That in itself is still not very significant. However HOW the tools are hung from the magnets is significant. The problem:  If I put the magnets vertically and hang the tools vertically, the surface area of the magnet is such that often the attraction between the tool and the magnet causes the magnet to stay with the tool instead of with the table.  A magnet sticking to the tool, can be very annoying. The solution:  Placing the magnets horizontally--at the bottom--AND hanging the tools by their tips allows for very easy detachment and attachment.  The magnetic force is strong enough to hold some very heavy tools, like the pliers or long nose pliers without any difficulty.  The tools are easily removed and easily replaced.  This would also apply to any magnetic strip.   The key thought of the day: Hang tools from magnetic tool holders by their tips. Of course, another solution is to glue the magnets to the supporting bar--wood or metal--and clamp the supporting bar to the table.  That works as well, but is more permanent and is a little more work.  Also, if the magnets are allowed to attach by their full surface area to the tools, the tools are hard to remove.  

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


Question about the full-screen teleprompter?

 I made a quick teleprompter based on yours as a guide, but made mine from black foam core instead of wood, and it's as strong as can be (and acts as it's own blackout device because it reflects very little light. And it works awesomely except for one thing. The glass on mine (just regular picture frame glass like yours) reflects a double image back at me, I presume from both glass surfaces. How did you manage to not get a double image, which on mine makes the text really quite hard to read. I was thinking of going to a glass shop and replacing it with a piece of one way glass, but you used regular glass and apparently have no problem. Just wondering if you know why or have ay explanations for me on this. Thanks,

Question by 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Small VERY Hot Plate

I am looking for someone who can design for me to make or make for me a specialized hot plate. I need it to be small like 3" by 2" and to get very hot as much as 700 degrees is desired. I want the power source to be 400watts. I know this seems hard but my reasoning is that the smaller size means higher temps with less wattage. I would use this as a hot plate that evaporates liquid from an airstream as it passes by - a dryer if you like. I would use 2 to cause the air to have to pass both in a zig-zag path. I would like to have a solid surface so eventually I see the plate encased in ceramic but for this it need only be metal. Can you help? Contact me here on the site to discuss more details Coog

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


Thickening enamel paint. Answered

I am looking for a way to thicken enamel paint to a buttery consistency similar to the acrylic paint you get in a tube. I worked out a decorative effect years ago which uses acrylics and is good for painting tins, but was never hard enough to last well. The only thing I could think of was ground glass, but I'm not sure if you can buy this as a hobbyist, as it used to be used as a poison. (If you're curious, the way I used to do it was to lay down a layer of acrylic in one colour, pick up the surface with a brush to make it stand out, wait for it to dry, then put a contrasting colour over it, and when it is dry sand it with wet sand paper until the colours from below stand out. It makes a marbled ripply effect which looks pretty e.g. in purple and orange).

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


Soldering aluminium and stainless steel - input for an Instructable

I am currently working on a new Instructable covering the topic of soldering aluminium and stainless steel. As I am "old school" and don't like to waste money on special equippment unless really necessary, I would like to get some feedback on what to include. So far I covered the basics of the materials, the general how to and what to llok out for. Pics and videos will be made once I am happy with the tutorials to give a better understanding. Aluminium is considered to be hard to solder with no experience and I would like to try to make it possible for the hobbiest to do it, same for stainless steel. For example: Should I include my recepies for stainless steel fluxes or limit it to the procedure of actually doing it without any flux? Is is better to document with nice pictures or videos showing the entire process? (asking the noobs that want to learn it) Is it necessary to go into details like what solder alloy is best for the purpose? For me it is quite hard to go back to a "I know nothing about it state" and make sure everything a noob might need is included. But the longer I work on it the bigger the Instructable is getting with informations that not everyone might need, like how to properly clean the surface, remove the oxide layerand provide the right temperature for the job. Trying to keep it simple but complete and not drifting into boring details is harder than I tough on this topic :( Feedback and requests are welcome!

Topic by Downunder35m 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


I need a circuit to run a tiny motor from a USB port? Answered

I made a leather "Steam Punk" case for a portable hard drive. It has several gears that show under a glass porthole and I need a way to move the gears powered from a second USB cable. I'll use a separate USB cable then the Hard drive as I don't want to compromise the original device. I have a very small motor from some Radio Shack ZipZap RC cars. Tried to design a simple circuit myself but can't get the motor to spin. I suspect it doesn't have enough current. The motor does spin if hooked directly to a AA batery. The ZipZaps work with 2 AAA bateries in the charger/controller. The car hooks on top of the controller charges up and then can run for a short time. Opening the car up it has a 1.2 V 100mAh NI-MH battery inside it. Tried looking at a couple of BEAM robot solar engine designs used to run small motors from solar cells but just coudn't figure out how to convert them. I'm looking for a small circuit (in size) that could drive this motor, with a backwards current spike protector so the USB or computer doesn't get fried. I have limited EE experience but can through hole solder but not surface mount. -Steve

Question by nevets_mcd 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


The more natural way of cleaning things...

At my workplace we basically have a specific cleaner or cleaning product for every task you can think of. From glass over stainless to plastics and desinfectants for lots of different surfaces. After a quick look into my cleaining cabinet at home I started to wonder if I am doing something wrong as I only have a few cleaning things for my use. Asking my friends also showed they have a big bunch of cleaning chemicals, plus the bottle of bleach that everyone down here has. So I though: Your grandma only had a few cleaning products and you learned most of things you need to clean from her. Considering I grew up healthy I guess she must have done something right.... Let's clean up with the cleaning myths, shall we? 1. What cleaning chemicals do you have? For quite a few people the list would start something like this: Dishwashing liquid, window, cleaner, bathroom cleaner, soap scum remover, floor cleaner, oven cleaner, several desinfectants.... If that is true for you too than we might be on to something already. 2. What cleaning chemicals do I really need? This is a good question as everyone is a bit different but I assume a healthy household here. Of course we need certain things to clean our various surfaces properly but it is far less than waht you have been told by the TV commercials.... These days we like to think if there is a special cleaner for something then of course we have to use it to clean properly. Unless you have trades people walking through with their wet dogs several times a day and see dust storms at least twice a week you really only need a few things. So let's get to the basics: 3. Old style cleaning and what you need for it - really the only stuff required to keep all clean and sanitised. a) Methylated spirit b) Clear ammonia - cloudy ammonia works too but be aware that the added soap can be a problem that leaves streakes c) Hydrogen peroxide - pool grade to be cheap in the long run d) Orange oil - citrus oil works great too if you prefer a different smell e) Soap - just basic soap, these stinky, slightly yellow and hard bricks - no fancy smelly soap ;) f) Several cleaning brushes but you should already have those g) Windows cleaning tools - the basic microfibre cloth and squeegee will do h) Several microfibre cloths - bigger ones for floors and walls, smaller for windows and the rest I) Yesterdays newspaper j) Baking soda With those few things we have everything to clean whatever comes up and if bought in bulk comes down to a few cents per bottle compared to a few dollars when you buy all the stuff you don't need. Lets figure out what the stuff does and how to use it: 4. Mixing and what to use it for.... The alcohol is a really good remover for everything greasy and also desinfects the surfaces. A quick spray and wipe on your bench is all that you need to remove oily residue or the mess from the kids. Mixed with a bit of soap and water (about 50-50) also removes sticky stuff like jam or syrup. If we use about 50ml of alcohol, 50ml of clear ammonia and 900ml of water we get one liter of really good window cleaner. The modern way is to use microfibre for the cleaning and a squeegee to get it dry, the old way just uses a cloth and then the window is "polished" with some old newspaper. The black ink reacts with the alcohol and form a mild abrasive while the paper soaks up the moisture, the result is a prefectly clean window in under 3 minutes. Orange oil is not only a powerful degreaser but also lifts old dirt or even glue residue. Used directly it will get rid of the remains from sticky tape, stickers and everything that other cleaners fails to get off - smoth surface and non soaking of course. 50ml of it with 50ml of ammonia and 100ml of alcohol per bucket makes a good florr cleaner and your house smells nice when done. Works best if you can use a microfibre cloth or floor wiper to dry the surface with it. In the kitchen we can find a lot of surfaces that are greasy and we already covered that bit, so lets get to the though stuff. The kitchen sink can become dull looking although it is not scratched. This is due to hard water, food residue, soap and other things. Best is of course to wipe it and dry it after use but who really does this every day? A pot scrubbing pad with some baking soda on it does the trick here. Make the pad nly moist and sprinkle the baking soda on it. Rub over the stainless and if too dry add a few drops of water. Once done rinse off and enjoy the difference. For hard to clean or badly turtured sinks you can try a ball of aluminium foil and coke - use it like a polish. The oven is often our worst nightmare. The cooktop is not far behind. But even here we can have a chance to clean without too much hard work or bad chemicals. Of course the best way is to prevent these spills and boil overs ;) For the cooktop some hot water and baking soda will soften the baked on stuff. Simply remove what you can with the hot water and then sprinkle the surface with baking soda. Cover all with the paper towels and if not wet enough add a bit more hot water so all shets are soaked. Leave ove night and wipe clean the next day. The oven is a bit of a problem once the side and back wall are filthy. If baking soda with a pot scrubber won't do the trick get some of these steel pads with soap in it. The soap in them is special in terms that you only need a little bit of water to remove almost anything with them - and they won't scrath enamelled surfaces. On the bottom we often have badly burnt in things that are next to impossible to fully remove. I suggest to cover the same way as the cooktop but also to add some orange oil. Just make a thick paste of baking soda and orange oil and wrok it into the soiled surface. Cover with wet paper towels and leave over night. Now you don't want to flood your oven, so that means you need to use a sponge or thick cloth that is big enough to wipe off the surfaces you soaked the day before. As the orange oil really is oil it pays off to use some alcohol in the cleaning water to get rid of the oil and grease a bit easier. Don't expect to see a clean and shiny surface after one treatment if the oven was badly misused, you might have to repeat the procedure a few times. If in doubt use the soapy steel pads for last clean and before soaking over night again. Three to four treatments are usually enough to clean even the worst disaster that can happen in an oven unless you baked it in for months... 5. Desinfecting and mouldy spots.... As said, the methylated spirit is basically just pure alcohol and kill almost anything that might harm you. But sometimes that just is not enough. And who really wants to spend an hour or longer to clean some mouldy spots in the shower or try to cover the smell by spraying room freshener? As a lst resort for everything I use Hydrogen Peroxide. The supermarket grade is only 3% and usually badly overpriced, so I suggest to get a small canister of pool grade peroxide. Do yourself a favour and ask them to install a tap on it - you don't want to do it yourself unless you already know how bad pool grade peroxide is! For your own safety when handling it I strongly recommend wearing long rubber gloves, nitrile is better but please no latex as it could start to burn when getting in contact with the peroxide. For high grade desinfecting or the removal of mouldy areas I recommend to dilute 1:5, one part of peroxide to 5 parts of water. Only for the mould removal on tiled, plastic, glass or metal surfaces you can use the peroxide pure from the container - but please add face protection when cleaning! Some spray bottles work with peroxide some just start leaking badly, if you want try an old bottle of chlorine based cleaner after really flushing everything out. The peroxide breaks down any organic material it comes into contact with, so not just the mould you want to remove but also your skin or eyes if you allow contact. On the skin you see white areas after contact and they won't go away until all the oxygen in the skin is gone that was left by the peroxide. If you act too late it means you might loose some skin flakes. The sure sign of overlook exposure on your skin is a burning sensation in the area - this only happens when the amount was big enough or your clothes got soaked. On your surfaces to clean you will notice bubbles forming quite quickly - this mean the peroxide is reacting with something, usually organic material. Let it bubble... Once it stops bubbling the surface is either sterile or the peroxide is used up, if it bubbles when adding fresh peroxide onto it then there is still crap left ;) It really helps to brush off the surface after each treatment as a lot of loose material will be flushed out when rinsing off. Once it looks and smells clean again it usually means it is clean :) 6. Special case: Wood... Be it wooden floorboards, furniture or just your chopping board - always try what the manufacturer recommends first! Untreated wood should never be cleaned with anything wet! Sealed wood, like floorboards or things with varnish on it to make it water proof can be cleaned the same way as mentioned above - but I would leave out the ammonia as some wood treatments simply won't tolerate it and might go dull instead of returning nice and shiny - spot testing required if you think you have to use ammonia as well! Orange oil itself makes a great furniture cleaner if the surface is smooth and sealed, but if it is not it means the oil soaks into the wood together with the stuff you want to clean off! It also takes off several paints and types of varnish if you work it hard enough and give it some time, so avoid this and be quick instead of forgetting to finnish the job ;) Always try to wet the surface as little as possible and wipe fully dry as soon as possible! Ok, good start but what is the real benefit? For me the actual benefit is that I know what I am using and exposing myself to. Just reading what is in most cleaning products we find at the supermarket makes me want to clean again after using them, just to remove their residues... I admit it might take some time to get used to mixing and just having a few ingredients for the cleaning but it does work great. Especially if you or your kids are already sensitive to certain chemicals or just of poor health in general you might see the benefit quite quickly. Some people really don't like the smell of ammonia but unless you are sensitive to it there is nothing to worry when using the household grade as we always dilute it down massively anyway. A good way to avoid the worst stink is by mixing it outside with the wind from behind. I won't say that certain commercial products are bad, harmful or not good enough for the job. Some are actually worth to have in some cases but I just say it is better to only have a hand full of chemicals that are not too bad instead of an endless list of things were we don't even know what's inside. For me the best is your surprise when it actually works better than you expected and report your findings here.

Topic by Downunder35m 2 years ago


Gaming without the disk?

I know there are instructions all over the internet on how to do this but as far as i can tell the instructions are without the original disk, if i have the original disk is there a way to download all the information to the computer so that i can launch the game from a folder? a way that doesn't make punkbuster (EA games) kick me if i play online. essentially i want a digital disk so i can use the original as a backup and i won't have to worry about my family removing my disks and destroying them (they tend to leave disks anywhere they can put them down). As a random note im always worried that when transfering my disk from the case to the drive that something will happen as in the past i have been pushed and i dropped the disk, it landed on an uneven surface and someone stepped on in breaking it.

Question by pmk222 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


how to make a rubber part that doesnt exist ?

Hi good peoples, i work at a place that makes and sells beef jerky and smokies. quite recenty one of the machines we use to cut them from links quit working properly and needs a new rubber pad for the clutch that stops the blade. the problem is the company we bought the machines and all parts for them it died with the owner so we cant replace them. my question is how hard would it be to mold rubber into a new brake pad for the clutch. i will put up pictures of the clutch and pad as soon as i can but i might as well start with the first problem how to cast and mold a rubber sturdy enough to do the job. all info on this would be greatly appreciated side note: now that i have the parts this is what they look like. two very soft rubber wheels with a concave treaded surface. the rubber tread is really worn down hence the need for replacement 

Question by snowfox222 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


A little magnet experiment for everyone!

Some people just love to play with magnets and have a lot of them.If you are just like that and like to tinker a bit then I might have something for you.What magnets you use for the following experiment does not really matter but you should have 20 or 30 of identical properties.Can be disk magnets, block magnets or cubes, just not spheres ;)If you have a 3D printer you use it to make it fancy but a peice of wood, acrylic or such and a drill will do for round magnets.For cubes or flat packs you can make retaining walls on a flat surface.The experiment goes like this:I assume you already tried ways to combine your magnets to make them stronger, like stacking them up.But there is another way to really increase how strong they are combined.Start with one magnet at the center.Then like a ring add more magnets around it but with the oppisite side up.The created mounting solution is to prevent them flipping up and together, you want them as close as possible though.Add another ring and change the direction of the field again.Try this magnet, once all magnets are secured and compare the holding strenght to any other combo you tried so far.It will be much higher for the same amount of magnets.If you want to prevent the use of glue then try to create your mounting system with a really flat but strong enough bottom - this will then be the contact surface.Slightly reduced strength but you can re-use magnet with ease.But if you want to get a really strong one you need cube magnets.Like before you want to create some sort of grid, this time we go for a square.Start with cube in the center, facing north up.Leave enough space in your construction to add 8 more cubes around it - like on the face of a rubik's cube.Leave them empty for now !Add nother row, this time 16 to keep the square.Of course these one go with the south side facing up!Again one empty of 48 and then one last one with north side up with 196 magnets.Ok, to be fair, you wouldn't be able to pull it off a metal surface unless you used really tiny cubes, so if in doubt then go for just to 48 and leave the enter one out for now.Should be quite intense but similar to what any other shaped magnet would have done.Time to fill the voids!Add the cubes in the spce between the magnets so the north and south side face the magnets next to it!So basically sideways but in the correct orientation.You can then also add the center piece - try either orientation for that one ;)What happened now is that you forced the magnetic field lines to go up instead od for trying to go the easiest and shortest way to the next magnet.And "up" is where our magnetic surface would be, which provides the now overdue shortcut for the magnetic fields.Be amased how much stronger this version is and how much even 3x3x3 cubes would accomplish.With 10x10x10mm N52 magnets you might be able to use them support our wieght if you pull straight dwon from a horizontal surface...Ok, kidding, not just might, unless you are really big...One 10x10x10 might hold about 6kg.Stacked up a bit more but having 20 or stcked up would not be much stronger than 10.Even just 25 magnets with one in the center, one row of sideways orientated and one row with opposing field to the center one would be hard to remove from a steel surface.If we go with the imagined 6kg per magnet we could assume to get 25 x 6 = 150kg of holding power.Check you single magnet first then compare to the square of 25 ;)Consider using some plastic between magnet and surface so you can at least slide or pry it off if you have to.You can also combine magnets or a new one that has one side appear much stronger than the other.Meaning that for example on the north side it could hold 20kg while on the south side only 5.

Topic by Downunder35m 2 months ago


Can countertop laminate be used as flooring?

I've been having a hard time finding just the right color and pattern that I want in sheet vinyl or tiles, and Formica/Wisonart laminates come in about a BILLION styles and colors. If I put it down as flooring, do you think the surface would last over time? In a bathroom it would only see foot traffic and water, nothing heavy to scrape or damage it (like a fridge or furniture legs). I don't imagine it would chip or break as long as all the outer edges are protected. In a small bathroom you could get away with using only one sheet (no seams), or 2 sheets with just one seam in the middle. Sheets of laminate aren't cheap, but they're no worse than sheet vinyl of the same size. I imagine you couldn't "loose-lay" it even if you cut it to the exact dimensions of the room, because you'd probably get a slight air pocket effect when you step on it. A strip of glue down the floor's center along with perimeter gluing ought to be sufficient.

Question by Scott153 7 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


"Sonic" drilling or cutting

If we look up sonic drills today we usually get some fancy machines driving pipes in the ground, preferably softer ground.But the term includes all types of machines that use sonic vibrations to advance through a media.With the ancient and claimed to have never existed technologies in mind I did some digging...In the food industry vibrating knifes are quite common, same for "air knifes" on softer food.Even in the meat industry they find more and more uses now.Ultrasonic cutting or welding is the same thing and included in "sonic".Same for some experimental sub sonic drilling methods currently being tested.The general idea might be as old as using vibrating equippment to compact stuff, like concrete, bricks and so on.What you can compact by vibration you can also make "fluid" by vibration.Industrial feeder systems utilise this to the extreme by even making light and fine particles like flour move like water without causing any dusting.What all the techniques have in common that a suitable tool or tool head is used and that it is attempted to use the most suitable vibration frequency for the job.Anyone operating an ultrasonic welder knows the pain of finetuning for a new electrode or just new part to be welded.What does that tell us now that makes the understanding easier?Take a bottle of ketchup, preferably one that is still quite full.Turn it upside down and noothing comes out.Shake it a bit and you are either lucky or drowned in red.But hold it at an angle and start tapping it and the red sauce flows out easily.What it true for most newtonian fluids is in some way also true for non-newtonian fluids.Ever mixed corn starch and water to make these funny experiments with it?Hit it hard and it reacts really hard and is not sticky at all.Leave your hand resting on it and in sinks in and sticks to it.Stirring it very slowly is easy, go faster and you get stuck.You can do similar things with by using an external source for vibrations.For example a vibration speaker mounted to a smal cup of the goo.If you place sand on a sloped piece of plastic or sheet metal then at a low angle it will pile up easy and stay.Start vibrating the plate and the sand will start to flow off.Works fine with a vibration source mounted to a piece of steel bar or rod and a bucket of sand too.Trying to press it into the sand requires a lot of force, especially once you are a bit deeper.Let it vibrate properly and it slides rights down.If we can do the simple stuff as well as really complicated stuff in the industry then what about other materials?So far we use vibrations to make things move out of the way, compact things, transport them or to heat them up for welding plus some cutting applications.Considering the variety one might wonder why no one tries it for "difficult" materials.Machined surface can be found throughout ancient history.Finding "machined things" were vibrations was clearly used is a bit harder.The great walls are not a perfect example here as the views differ quite a bit on how they could have been created.But if we leave things melting them or a secret concret like recipe for creating for example granite then vibrations start to make some sense.You find some interesting videos on youtube where people use speakers, wires and rocks to confirm you can actually "machine" them by vibrations.Especially granite has some quite musical properties, big boulders as well as smaller ones produce destinct sounds when you hit them hard.Tests and measurements were made on granite and other hard rocks to check how fast sound travels in them , how it is refeclted and where the sound comes out or affects the surface the most.Lets just say every sample gave different results.Shape, density and dimensions affect not just the resonant frequency but also where and how the sound travels in the rock.What if??We can use a simple speaker, a plate and some rice to see how patterns form under various frequencies.Works with sand or other granules as well.The interesting patterns are the so called harmoncis.Here we see clear and destinct patters, sometimes with extremely fine lines and areas of softly vibrating granules.Some people say these harmonic frequencies have all special meanings and uses.We mainly used them to avoid problems.Imagine your new TV would not have a housing tested to be stable with all frequencies the speakers can produce.All of a sudden your back of the TV might start to rattle ;)Same for car engines.Harmonic vibrations are eliminated wherever possible.Otherwise they could multiply and affect other things in the engine or around it.Simply put it means we have various options to detect and measure vibrations on a surface or in a system.Back in the day every half decent backup generator had a mechanical indicator for the frequency of the supplied electricity.A set of tiny forks with the desired on painted red and several on either side of it.These forks were designed to get into harmonic and therfor quite intense vibrations at their set frequency.If the one for 50Hz looked blurry then all was good ;)The same principle god be applied on a big boulder of granite.Place the "vibration meter" at the desired spot and start moving around the vibration source on the surface until you find a spot that causes maximum response on the meter.Best thing here is that if you then place that surface area onto another peice of fixed in place granite both pieces will start to loose substance if vibrations are applied.The fine sediment forming is then usable as an indicator where to move the vibration source to continue once the effect literally wears off.Is it feasable?Well, if we trust mainstream science then the answer is no.A huge amount of vibration energy would be required for such a hard material, despite ancient proof that says otherwise.Semi industrial test also seemed to confirm the theory as only with very high amplitudes (loudness) and while automatically adjusting for the resonant frequency changes a measurable amount of material was removed.I struggle a bit with that as for the testing tool heads made from hardened steel or carbide were used.And that with little or no regards on how the head and tool itself affects the output.I mean in terms of having the max possible movement happening right t the tool contact surface!There is a huge difference between applying a vibration to a tool and using a system, tool and tool head DESIGNED to work at the desired frequency!Otherwise we wouldn't need a computer to design and test a horn for welding purposes or shade a knife spefically so that the vibration go along the right axis and in the right direction.You not break a hard thing with a very soft thing unless it travels fast enough to become harder as the target!This complicated explanation basically just confirms that if you hit water at a too high speed then it will just break you into pieces instead of offering a soft splashPlease do not jump of bridges or such to confirm this yourself!!If that is really true and science says it is, then how about the other way around?Works fine too, or we wouldn't have pressure washers or water cutters.Now for the part where I hope some really smart people leave helpful comments:If we can cut steel with just a stream of water, then I ask:Isn't for example copper much harder than water?Steel is much harder than copper but water cuts through it.The answer here it simple or complicated, depending on how you want to expain how it works.Comes down to speed and pressure plus the right nozzle shape to prevent a beam expansion.But then water is indeed "harder than steel".Questions:Lets say we would use a copper pipe that in lenght, thickness, hardness and diameter is optimised to transmit a frequency so the pipe end sees the max vibration like a feed horn for ultrasonic welding.Not to hard to calculate these days :)Now imagine said "main frequency" would be optimised for the pipe but also be a harmonic frequency of the rock to be worked on.The pipe end would deform quickly, abrasion does the rest and it fails before even making a decent sratch that is not copper metal on granite.No matter how hard we press nothing good enough will ever happen.BUT: If we would add more hormainc frequencies to feed our pipe we can multiply the amplitude quite easy!Just try with a sound generator from your app store, needs 2 or more channels to be usable.Pick for example 400hZ on one and 800Hz on another, then finetune around these number to hear how the tone changes ;)My theory goes like this:If all "working frequencies" would just harmonics of the resonant frequency of the granite, then they can be tuned so the effect on the pipe end is minimised.The overlaying frequencies however should result in the same effect a water cutter has: The pipe becomes ultra hard.The better the match and the more you have to get it right the harder the pipe will be.Adding now a "drilling frequency" or multiple could be used to drive these harmonics slightly out of phase.Like with the sound generator on your phone we end up with a pulsating sound, or vibration.While the pipe still vibrates at the same "hardening" mix the drilling frequency creates a peak like a jackhammer.Try it by using the heaphone output on a small speaker and placing some light and tiny things into the cone.The will violently jump around during these pulsing tones.For a drilling system the output can be mechanically maximised by utilising a pitchfork design.A head holds the vibration speakers and the tynes are tuned good enough to the frequency of the speakers.Always two would have to operate in sync though as otherwise the pitchfork movement that transfers the sound down the center bar won't work.This head could then be desgined to act as a holder for a quick change of work out pipes that are no longer long enough for tuning.I guesstimate that a well tuned design would result in a copper pipe being able to drill at least 10 to 15cm into solid granite before it wears off too much.And we are talking here about just a few mm to get the thing out of tune!But would dare to desing such a thing just to confirm a theory that no one ever really dared to test? ;)And if friction welding works as good as ultrasonic welding, then what would happen if we try this with the right frequencies and vibrations instead of wasting tons of energy?

Topic by Downunder35m 2 months ago


illuminated ball - remote switching and charging

I'm working on making an illuminated ball for playing bike polo with at night time. A couple of high output red LEDs are sufficient for light to get through a normal street-hockey ball. The problems I'm currently facing are switching the lights on or off, and charging the batteries. Ideally both of these could be done remotely - i.e. without having to open the ball up. For switching I was thinking of using a magnetic reed switch - when a magnet is attached, the lights switch off. The only problem is that reed switches seem to be (a) made of glass (not ideal when the ball gets hit really hard), and (b) in a normally-open configuration - I'd need a normally closed one for this. As for charging, I have two ideas - one is to have two small metal pads on the surface of the ball to connect to the charger. This could be problematic due to forces on the ball during gameplay. The other more fun idea would be inductive charging. Like what you get in those fancy electric toothbrushes. One coil inside the ball, one outside. How practical is this? can it supply the necessary voltage and current to charge either a pair of NiMH batteries or a Li-ion cell? vik

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


Scrounging Electronic Components

Old PCBs (printed circuit boards) used to be a great source for electronic parts. Especially if you need a power transistor, MOSFET, voltage regulator, big capacitor, or reed relay which is not available locally. It just does not pay to mail order small numbers of parts, so having a grab bag assortment at home is handy. But I have noticed that the some higher-quality PCBs just loaded with cool parts can be hard to scrounge from: 1. They are double-sided, or even multi-layered, with copper plating right through the holes (vias) so it is like pulling teeth, only harder. 2. They use no-lead (RoHS) solder which needs high temperatures to melt 3. They use surface-mount components and good luck removing and using those. I use 15 watt, 40 watt, soldering irons, solder sucker, solder braid, flux, and a soldering gun. And for some items, a small windproof butane "jet engine" lighter as a mini torch to remove multi-pin items. Just heat-sink the legs and bang the hot PCB down to remove lots of solder at once. Of course I use gloves, safety goggles, ventilation, and proper recycling. But the main issue is that it is getting harder to scrounge parts to build up a pile of useful stuff.  What resources do you use?

Topic by iectyx3c 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Please help me understand this 12VDC - USB circuit. Answered

This ties into my earlier question about the large resistor (Thank you, Quercus austrina et al). I'm an electronics newbie working on hacking a boombox into an under-cabinet kitchen radio.  One of the things I want to do is provide USB power to charge my BlackBerry while I listen.  I want to repurpose this car power adapter to do that.  It has a cigarette lighter plug, two cig lighter jacks, and one USB port. I have attempted to draw a schematic of the circuit as I understand it.  This is my first schematic, so be gentle.  Sorry about the small size.  You may need to click on it and choose "Original Size" to see it more clearly. Here are my questions: 1) There's a surface-mount resistor (R2) between the big scary "sandstone" one and the LED.  The numbers on that resistor could be read as "102" or "201".  If I understand correctly, it's either 1000ohms or 200ohms.  That's a significant difference. Which is it likely to be? 2) Likewise, the ceramic disc capacitor (C2) appears to be labeled 104, but is very hard to read, since it's hidden behind the other two.  There may be a dot after 104.  Would it be .1µF, then? 3) Did I correctly decode the numbers on the group of four resistors that provide current to the USB data pins? 4) Here's the Big Question:  If I remove the 7805 and everything to the left of it, and hook in 5VDC from a computer power supply, will it function? Thank you for your consideration.

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


An alternative to expensive grinding stones

For some people buying a decent grinding or honing stone is a lifetime investment.Prices of over $500 for a single stone of a very fine grid are not uncommon.But what about the average Joe who just needs to sharpen a knife or tool every now and then?If slicing and dicing is not your living than investing in a set of diamond plates might be better than getting a set of stones.But there are limitations, firstly their size and then how long they last.The later is really important if not used correctly as even diamond toold can be ruined quickly.In some case these small sharpening tools are hard to handle.The bigger plates can still be a pain if they don't come with a proper mount.Well, and if you forget to clean them after use and put them in a dry place it will be quite hard to remove the rust.A nice alternative I found is sandpaper, specifically sandpaper on a glass plate.Good wet and dry sandpaper is available from almost gravel to a 10.000 grid, above that you might have to make a special order.In general the finer the grid the more you pay due to the ingredients.I use a glass plate from and old scanner as they are both heat proof and really strong, window glass is not recommended here.The glass is covered with strips of kapton tape for the ease of later cleaning.The tape is then evenly covered with a contact glue, preferably the spry king to get an even cover.Same for the sheet of sandpaper.I try to get the glue over the glass edge a bit and to have at least two sides of the sandpaper going over an edge.Just to have an area to work close to the edge without risking to lift the paper off.Once a sheet is too worn I place the plat in the oven for a few minutes so the glue softens and peel the sheet off.If too much glue remians on the tape I replace it before I put a new sheet on.Of course you need a bunch of plates although it works fine with two different sheets halfing a plate.The thing works best under slow running water, so use your tinker skills to come with a suitable frame and water supply ;)But even with just a spray bottle it is a cheap way to replace a costly stone, especially if you do require a bigger surface area.

Topic by Downunder35m 6 months ago  |  last reply 6 months ago


expanded graphite heat-sink? Answered

Okay , I've searched and searched and cannot find what I'm looking for. Maybe the other diy'ers can help me. 1.What I'm looking for is a heat-sink made of expanded graphite or (carbon, graphite (∥) as it might be known as well) that is actually in the shape of a traditional aluminum heat-sink with the fins and NOT in the shape of thin film as it is very commonly available. I don't even know if it exists or is manufactured by any company. I've tried contacting some companies about it but they have yet to get back to me. The reason I want this is for the tremendous increase in heat conductivity as in this chart shown on this webpage http://physics.info/conduction/ . The application I am trying to use it for needs a raised, elongated surface area to displace heat semi-uniformly, hence why I need fins like a traditional heat-sink instead of the commonly available film expanded graphite online. 2. If it does exist or is able to be manufactured, would it be a ridiculously priced part or would it be a reasonable priced part? (Just doing small scale tests for now so it would be the size of a FET finned sink). 3. From what I've read it seems possible by maybe layering the films into a stacked lattice, keeping heat transfer perpendicular to the lattice, but what are your thoughts all? (I question bonding the layers myself but I don't know if you could hard press the layers together without a bonding agent since any bonding agent being used I believe would reduce the thermal conductivity quite a bit, but I'm not incredibly familiar with expanded graphite). Any and all help would be appreciated from this wonderful community Best regards, Velesh

Question by velesh 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Heated print beds - are they overrated gimmicks?

For years now I use my old, trusty Mega Prusa with the bare basics in terms of hardware. But basically every new printer out there comes with heated print beds and most users "upgrade" to one to get better quality prints. So I started to to check the reprap forums and other websites to find out why a heated would be a "must have". Quite a simple task you might think, but not so for someone who prints every material on a cold bed with success... What are the official pro statements for a heated bed? 1. Better bed adhesion of course. 2. Less warping of parts. 3. Far less problems with layer seperation. 4. Better print results. And of course there are a few more but not worth listing them. Why do I think most of the four statements are actually unrelated to using a heated bed? Bed adhesion is a matter of print material and surface of the bed / bed preperation, like tape, glue and such. If you filament peels off a cold bed with no adhesion at all it simply means the surface is either unclean or unsuited for the print material. Warping of parts happens because the material shrinks when it cools down, a heated bed is only able to keep a certain height of the print warm. Higher prints won't have any benefit in terms of better layer adhesion with a heated bed. Same goes for seperating layers. Unlike the common believe a heated bed does not fix this problem - it only masks it! Layers seperate because there is not enough bonging between them. This can be due to insuffient extrusion width, too high print layers, wrong print temperature and of course wrong z-axis stepping and wrong extrusion multiplicator. And how good a print comes out of your printer depends on a good calibration and proper print settings - again a heated bed only masks problems ;) Ok, so heated beds are nonsense, right? Well, wrong again ;) They take a lot of worry out of the daily print life to start with. Especially prints with big foot print will benefit, although PLA should never be a problem on a cold bed. If you print long parts in ABS or even Nylon you can have a hard time forcing the plastic to stay on the bed all around the print. A heated bed, with the right settings of course, can make sure your print keeps the shape until it is high enough so the bottom part won't be affected by shrinking anymore. My opinion on how to get the best results... Manage to print on a cold bed first! Smaller parts don't need a heated bed anyway, so use them to improve on your skills of finding the perfect bed material / coating! You will find that once you have really optimised your printer and settings most parts won't need a heated bed anymore. Once you are really happy with the result of smaller prints on a cold bed try something bigger and pay close attention to any problems on the way. For example a big print might start out perfectly but after about 5-10mm of print height you see the part starts to warp and slowly peels of the print bed - especially long parts or thin areas are affected. The infill also affects how a parts reacts during the cooling, so try the same problem print with solid infill as well as only 15% infill to compare - you can stop the print once the problem is identified, don't waste filament. Now comes the magic of the heated bed... You want the temp as low as possible but still high enough to prevent the warping! Why go low if high would help more?? Simply said: If the bed is too hot the part stays soft for a long time, which can badly affect layer bonding and shape. Imagine you squish the plastic on an already "hard" layer - the plastic is pressed flat to be within the set specs. Now if the the layer is still too hot and soft the plastic will push the lower layer in - which of course will expand outwards. So the layer can actually end up to be lower than it should be - layer will still peel ;) Start with around 50° C for ABS and turn the heat down gradually every 10 layers or 25 if you print really thin layers. If the part still prefers to warp go 10 degrees higher. But again: If the stuff would not stick properly on a cold bed work on that first! How do I print on a cold bed and claim it works fine? To be honest, with a lot of time spent on trying, calibrating and finding the right "magic" to put on the glass to make things stick. Nylon, if the part is big, can still be a frustrating task unless cardboard or Bakelite is used but I still prefer the glass bed. I no longer bother with tapes as it can be costly and I hate changing the entire setup just because I use a different material ;) As said, the main key is a proper calibration of hard- and software! If your prints look messy and you spend as much time cleaning your parts as printing them you know what I mean ;) At the moment my "bed magic" is a clear craft glue with methanol as a solvent, mine is from Aldi but similar products can be found in every craft store. The bed is sanded with 600 grid diamond blocks to be as flat as possible and to provide a bigger surface area for the glue. When mostly printing Nylon is first clean the bed with alcohol and put a layer of plastic primer on it before re-applying the glue. With the right temp settings this glue surface can be reused several times with increasing bond to the part. Once the glue start peeling off the bed it cut the area clean and apply another coat just in the spot. A single bottle of craft glue, diluted down by 20%, lasted now about 3 rolls of filament - not too bad for a 2$ investment LOL Seriously though, squeeky clean your glass bed using alcohol and / or acetone and play with different types of craft glue. You want the stuff that is clear and uses either methanol or ethanol as the solvent, don't bother with water based glues! If the glue sticks well to your part but peels off the bed easily try a layer of plastic primer on the bed first - do this outside! However, if your printer is only capable of using PLA anyway you might not want to bother at all and stick to tape ;)

Topic by Downunder35m 3 years ago


WHAT GIVES WHERES MY FLOPPY THREAD?!?

Sorry folks looks like the server screwed up my posting and i'll have to post my idea for home brewed 5.25in floppies all over again (the post eventually appeared several hours later so i deleted it) ok so where to start (*light bulb appears over head*) i got it if you have a 5.25in floppy get it out and look at it you'll notice that its pretty simple the first part you will notice is the plastic envelope enclosure thing which is just a single piece of folded plastic with some holes cut in it, just below the surface of the enclosure is a fabric or paper dust trap that keeps the disk debris free and finally comes the hard part the disk each disk has 3 components the iron oxide powder, the disk, and the binding glue stuff the holds the powder to the disk. now here is my crude theoretical unproven construction process 1. cut out the enclosure(i'm thinking a material like plastic card stock might work) (probable impossible by hand put it under a laser cutter or watter jet if you have one) 2.use 8 dabs of glue to glue the dust trap in place on the side of the enclosure that will come in contact with the disk 3.spray some adhesive onto the disk and bury it in iron oxide powder 4.remove the excess powder and spray it again with adhesive 5.carefully put the disk in the enclosure and fold the enclosure around it gluing the enclosure shut 6.stick it in your floppy drive and format it i'll have time to try this myself this summer until then feel free the criticize and question my sanity just PLEASE don't suggest buying disks from e-bay, thrift stores, flee markets, online, or any where else for that matter

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


Self-Flying Balloon

I have an idea to make a bunch of smallish balloons that have a LED sinside and small circuits that would control small heating elements to randomly change the density of the air inside the balloons, making them rise or fall. Just as a fun art project, making a bunch of them and letting them into a room for a party or something. A couple of issues I have: I'm having a hard time figuring out how to calculate the buoyancy, though that may have to come later once I decide on all the components. I don't want to use any lighter-than-air materials like Helium, just regular air heated up. I've been trying to find some small ceramic heaters, but I haven't had much luck. Ideally, something like this seems like it would work perfectly, but I need to find some that I can buy in quantities less than 20,000: http://cdsk.manufacturer.globalsources.com/si/6008801115398/pdtl/Heating-element/1070197186/Surface-Heating-Elements.htm Whatever I choose would also need to heat up and cool down pretty quickly so the rising/falling would have a stronger effect. I might be asking too much here. I'd need the whole circuit to be pretty small and lightweight. If I use an Arduino Uno, could I just transplant the ATmega328 into the balloon? If I used a small watch battery, would that even provide enough juice to operate an LED and a heating element? Anything bigger seems like it would be too heavy. As for the casing, I plan on whipping something up in Blender and printing it out in lightweight plastic. It would have to hold the circuitry and be airtight to keep the balloon sealed. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Topic by jemtan990 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Extreme water cooling idea for computer chilling plus dust protection

I started to play around with some compressor cooling devices, otherwise known as fridges, freezers or airconditioners ;) As with everything it started with a lot of reading, some doing, more reading, well you get the point... Anyways, I am now running an old and portable split airconditioner on hydrocarbons instead of the already escaped R22 refrigerant. With all this experimenting I got reminded that my computer does not really like to do hard gaming work on these hot days. There are already a lot of infos out there on how to use water and/or heatpipes to cool your system. One thing that they all have in common is that you need a chiller to cool the water. Now, there are really tons of options here - from using an old bar fridge to hold the water up to big direct chillers that can be used 24/7 and cost a small fortune. Here in Victoria the weather might be more forgiving but up north the humidity will be your main enemy if you want to use any decent cooling system. Imagine 90% humitiy and the water condensing on pipes and coolers inside your computer... Some systems compensate here by using a temp of around 12°C at the lowest to minimise the risk of condensation. But I think we can do better for cheaper if we are willing to get dirty and salvage some scrap. If it also a great way to protect your computer in a dusty and hot workshop enviroment! Let me explain the thought: Considering the costs for a decent air cooled system over the expense for just a basic water cooling kit it might be worth spending the extra money otherwise. What makes a normal and not overclocked computer go too hot assuming it is clean and free from dust? Right - the outside temperature and how hard we actually use it. Normal systems are designed to work at a room temp between 18 and 24°C, we are often lucky to have it under 30 in the summer. Getting a CPU to just under 70° if the outside air is already over 30° is hard if not impossible. But what if the computer would be in one of these fancy server rooms that are kept at 16° throughout the year? Problem solved, just win the lottery to get your server room build. Step back a bit and think again ;) If we make an additional and well insulated enclosure to put the computer in we would only need to worry about making it pretty much air tight and keeping the inside always under 20°C. Now follow me to my imaginary shopping trip... First step is getting a decent sized cooler box - you can build your own of course I would go for these oversizes Esky chests. Next step is a visit to the local hard rubbish collection or scrap yard. We look for a bar fridge or water cooling tower that has a condenser that will fit on the side or back of our cooling box. Prefer something old running on R22 instead of R134a if you can. If the system already has one or two service ports for filling even better, otherwise see you get one from a different fridge or freezer. The fun starts back home where we now make a big mess. The cooling system needs to come apart and if not a tower the fridge around it has to go without damaging pipes or condensers. Perfect would be to have a working system and to keep it in this condition to avoid the illegal escape or refrigerant. It also make it easier than having to refill it again. On the other hand getting a system that is already professionally evacuated as most scrap yards now do anyway can make the modding easier - up to your skill set and options to have the system checked and filled. Once we have a naked cooling system we get the cold side into the cooler box. Either by creating a slot to slide it in or by feeding the hoses through holes if you plan to do your own thing in terms of testing and filling. The compressor part and "hot side" are mounted securely to the outside of the box. If you still have the thermostat working and connected you can now check your homebuild fridge. To get the computer inside you have several option, IMHO the easiest is use one big enough hole to get all cables to the outside. You want this hole to end up as airtight as possible, I found candle wax to be a good sealer if you place some painters tape on the box first. So far this was the easy part, the hard part is now to make sure the humidity inside the box stays as low as possible. When the compressor starts cooling the evaporator will go to very low temperatures, even if you set the thermostat to 10° the cold side will condese or even freeze the moisture in the air. Unlike with direct cooling option inside your computer we now have a "cold trap" outside the coputer that we use to our advantage! Easiest option here is to have a catchment under the cold side to collect the condensing water and to let it discharge through a small tube to the outside. Once the system was operating for a few days there should be no moisture left inside our box unless it is not properly sealed. At this point you could be tempted to just set the thermostat to the coldest possible - I advise against it! Imagine the inside of the box is below freezing - the capacitors won't like it to start with and since we now have all surface subcooled the moisture can condense everywhere not warm enough, including your mainboard. A temp of around 10°C should be more than enough for normal gaming and gives the compressor a chance to turn off every now and then so any ice can drop off and exit. If you like the idea use it and make a featured Instructable out of it, my time is too limited at the moment to get serious with this.

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


Suggestions on making small (synthetic?) Go stones?

I'm looking into making myself a Go set. It's a very old Asian board game. There are a couple instructables on making a board itself, which is pretty straightforward. My problem is in the manufacture of the stones. Basically the stones are flattened out marbles in either black or white. The idea is a bi-convex round stone, usually between 5 and 9.2mm thick, around the size of an average thumbnail. Traditionally these are made out of agate, slate or something similar. My goal is to produce stones that are hard and rather heavy, to mimic the actual stone feel as much as possible. I'm going to need 361 stones for a set, and I want to make several sets (maybe half a dozen). My current best bet is to press clay stones with a mold, fire them without a glaze to avoid non-uniform surface due to contact points, then spray an acrylic coat for color and texture. I was hoping someone might have other suggestions. I was considering an epoxy/resin option that I could press in a mold, then dry into a hardened, dense synthetic stone. But I know very little about epoxies and my options in this. I've considered glass and machined metal, but I lack the facilities and skills. Stone is beautiful but I don't know where to start with detail grinding and mass production at the same time. Wood would be great, but I would have to find/make the world's smallest lathe and I think the man hours needed would be impractical due to the quantities. I'm limited in tools, resources and knowledge on the subjects at hand. I like the idea of making a mold with which I could press several stones at once. Cheap is good and the ability to do this without a kiln would be great. The clay seems my best option but my kiln access is limited, so firing upwards of a thousand stones would be difficult. So if you have experience with a synthetic that I could pour and harden, I would greatly appreciate it.

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


Producing Hydrogen to Function as a Lift Gas

The short version: I want to make hydrogen to fill model airship envelopes with, because screw helium. Help me make a cheap electrolysis device that can do this in under an hour (ideally), or come up with an even better system for production. My immediate problem is that I need a high-surface electrode that won't fail in a solution of sodium hydroxide.The long version:I've devoted a fair portion of my time to contemplating airships, primarily because they're awesome. Fell out of use with the rise of much faster aircraft, and the technology its fate sealed by the extraordinarily bad rep the Hindenburg gave it. It is still far from useless, however, in that lighter-than-air systems can lay claim to flight times measured in days, and sometimes months, thanks to the fact that they literally float in the air like a boat floats in water.Their day may have come and gone, but I still want to experiment with the technology and create some model airships of my own. Helium works okay as a lifting gas, but it remains expensive and isn't going to get any cheaper in the foreseeable future. It is for this reason that I am pursuing hydrogen, in the hope that I might be able to produce a cheap lifting gas for my projects. Unfortunately for my aspirations, hydrogen is surprisingly hard to get cheaply in decent quantities. Here's what I've figured out so far.For one, it is absurdly hard to find sites that don't veer into fringe science when talking about hydrogen. HHO production, Joe cells, power your car with water...it all keeps cropping up, and not only does none of this do what I want, the concepts are often poorly documented or riddled with problems. However, I have been able to glean some information from my research. First off, one of the easiest methods (and the one I'll be pursuing the most) of hydrogen production is through electrolysis. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, you can basically take two electrodes, stick them in water, add some electrolyte (like regular table salt), and apply a decent voltage. You'll get hydrogen gas streaming out of the negative electrode and oxygen out of the positive electrode. Fancier systems use large tanks, platinum electrodes, and a strong acid or base as the electrolyte. To increase efficiency (yeah, it's not 100% efficient), there is ongoing experimentation with high-temperature electrolysis and ongoing research into an effective electrocatalyst.Now, when I did my research, I thought "Hey! This sounds easy! I'll just set the system up like explained, and away we go!" Unfortunately, those exclamation marks were unwarranted. My first attempt showed that production is mind-numbingly slow with small electrodes. Using salt had the wonderful side-effect of producing chlorine and sodium hydroxide, a.k.a. caustic soda. It's called that for a reason, and I'm lucky I didn't run it too long or I might have a chemical burn now. Now I know. Choosing a good electrode turns out to be a problem too, as most conductors oxidize quickly or dissolve in the solution (now I know why everybody uses platinum when possible). My aluminum foil electrodes in a sodium hydroxide solution? Yeah, that didn't work AT ALL. I had better luck with steel mesh, but I recently found that it seems to fail over time too. The only thing that isn't disappointing is the container and the collection apparatus: an inverted plastic bottle with some airtight hose running off it, connected to a gas valve. If the bottle is placed such that forming gas causes the internal water level to be lower than the external container water level, the gas will be pushed through the hose (no pumping necessary!). There was one good thing I discovered, however. Apparently there was a bit of soap or something left over in the container, and I ended up forming a bit of explosive foam as well. The hydrogen foam blows up like nothing else, and the oxygen foam makes a loud pop and sends (slightly) caustic foam all over the place. Totally useless but still somewhat cool, so long as you're not fool enough to do it in large quantities.So, as of right now, I've got a good container and collection system, but my electrodes suck and production rates are so low that it'd take me hours and hours to inflate a good-sized balloon anyway. I'll be using sodium hydroxide in the future as the electrolyte, skipping the chlorine production and observing the proper safety procedures. My top priority is finding a good electrode, my next is finding a good way to increase surface area, and my last is getting a higher voltage source than the 12V power supply I had lying around. Any ideas?

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


Living salad, makerbot songs, and noodle!

My first day at Instructables, I found myself sitting on a chair fabricated by the guy next to me, listening to plans for a living salad which would grow through your plate, fertilized by worms below the surface and a stained glass window made of dried fruit, trying to focus on absorbing all the information Vanessa and Noah were dishing out. Just beyond loomed the amazing fabrication facilities, with rows of 3D printers, zillion-axis CNC machines, a stocked electronics room, every kind of adhesive you could dream of, and even a test kitchen! It was a makers dream, Pier 9 had the material and equipment resources to allow us to realize nearly any idea we could dream up, and dream we did. It was immediately clear that the one month my collaborator Kyle (https://www.instructables.com/member/kylemcdonald/) and I had planned to spend there was not enough. Sadly, it was all we had, so we got to work immediately on Noodle, a little robot with the I/O of a machine but the thoughts and feelings of a human. I could go on about the shop at Pier 9, but the thing that really made the experience for me was the people. Hosting 10-12 AIRs at a time, the studio was always full with people building crazy things. One day we'd experiment with Nick's instruments fashioned from rocks, sticks, and water jugs while sampling cocktails from Ben's machine and Rima's cricket ganache, the next day we'd admire Aaron's work on hoodies that zipped around your hands while being serenaded by Andreas' makerbot which seemed to be singing the future. We were all so excited and inspired it wasn't unusual to find half the group there all weekend long or into the wee hours of the night. I won't go so far as to say anyone slept the night there, but...  Not only did we get to hang out in the AIRea, but we also got to know all the others working at Pier 9. This was a building full of people willing to chat about anything from caustics to contests, lend you their skateboard so you could learn how, or demo their latest projects. Vanessa and Noah couldn't have been more supportive and helpful, and it was so inspiring to run into them in the shop on weekends hacking away on crazy things of their own. With so much going on, we sometimes had to work hard to tune it out and stay focused on our Noodle. Luckily, Kyle and I had worked together before and we were able to divide and conquer pretty productively. Kyle handled the fabrication aspects, spec'ing all the hardware and designing and lasercutting then 3D printing the physical enclosure for Noodle. I was heads down on the software trying to hook up our raspberry pi to Amazon Mechanical Turk, speakers, a display, a camera, and an interface. Thankfully, the long hack sessions were broken up by Vanessa coming by to peek at my computer over my shoulder and ask, "what's taking so long? how hard can it possibly be!" ;) I will end this post here and get to work finishing up our instructable before Vanessa hunts us down. If the specifics of our project are a bit cryptic still, all will be revealed with the instructable post (see attached pictures for more mystery). And to all of you considering applying to the AIR program, DO IT! If you are a motivated, curious person with energy and ideas you will have a blast. And the weather is ok, too. Thanks Vanessa, Noah and Instructables!

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


Top 10 Summer Instructables

Summer is finally here, and so we've selected the top 10 Instructables related to the summer months. From enjoying the sun to cooling off, here are some of our favorites.These are in no particular order, and there are plenty more great Instructables that didn't make the list but could be fun or helpful this summer. Instant Hammock This instant hammock is a simple, easy way to relax under the sun. The directions are clear and the moving images make following the directions a breeze. Fly a Kite This very appropriate Instructable from Kiteman gives you all of the information, and then some, about how to fly a kite. Cozy Boat If kite flying isn't your thing, perhaps you'd enjoy a scenic boat ride. A simple, easy-to-build boat (and its upgraded incarnations) could add a fun element to your summer. PVC Air Cannon For a little more summer fun, you could throw water balloons...or you could shoot them 250 feet with this cannon. I'd go with the cannon. Make Lemonade After a hot day, there's no better way to cool down than with a tall glass of lemonade. Try this, or one of the many other Instructables recipes. Tetris Ice Cubes To cool the lemonade, though, you'll need ice. You can make your lemonade that much better by adding these tetris-shaped ice cubes. LED Picnic Blanket To enjoy your ice-cold tetris lemonade, you'll want to sit outside and bask in the weather. This LED picnic blanket, with hard center serving surface, could be a great option for a drink or an entire meal. Plus, the lights give the blanket nice ambience for a nighttime meal. Solar Lawn Mower Before you can picnic in the grass, however, your grass needs to be mowed. This upgraded lawn mower uses solar power to provide the energy to power the machine. You still have to mow the lawn yourself, though. Beach Cover-Up If you want to look good while you picnic or when you hang around the beach, this Instructable turns an old towel into an attractive piece of clothing. Heat-Blocking Curtains If your house is hot and muggy, being inside will be anything but relieving. You can turn the AC up, but that uses up an absurd amount of energy and makes the electricity bill skyrocket. These simple, cheap curtains could keep some of the heat out and make your house more efficient and comfortable. These are only a few of the Instructables you can use to your advantage this summer. Enjoy the summer (unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere)!

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


Decorating Plastic Crates With Old T-shirts (not a Tutorial)

Instructables editors are really fighting for their step-by-step how to make format, and I can understand them, cause it's after all distinctive feature of a site. But at the same time I'm having a hard times at dealing with my frustration over... I guess, life in general , so after trying to post this thing as an instructable (unsuccessfuly even after adding photoes of my pets as step 1 and 2) I had no choice but to publish it here. So here we go, uncut directors version with cats and dogs. Just want to share the idea, since I'm not going to replicate this old project any soon and thus making a propper instructable. So, plastic crates are nice way to store things, but they look not very interior-friendly for most living... interiors. But you can upgrade their apperance using some old t-shirts for prise of couple of hours of tedios work... I meant, exiting crafting. Well, ok, while I like the result I got, the process itself is not something I want to repeat ocasionaly. But, anyway, I believe, you'll be abe to decide for yourself. The process consists mainly from two operations: 1. Cutting t-shirts into strips: use scissors and cut them as a spiral starting from the bottom. Sleaves will produse shorter pieces, and the even shorter strips from remaining cut-offs can be used for wrapping handles. ...And since Instructables editors don't tolerate 1 step instructables, this is my dog on the photo, from when he was younger. 2. Weaving strips into the crates: most of those plastic crates have grid-like structure filling the main frame. Use openings in the grid to put strips in and out. Take a time to think through of the weaving pattern you want to achieve and the sequense of actions before doing something - it's much easyer than undoing and redoing things. Do not use very long pieces of strips since it's not very convenient weave like this. Tie new sections to the previous ones and hide knots inside the crate (I used knots as a decoration on the white and red one, but I'm not sure if I like it). It may look a bit messy inside. ...and this is my cat, from when she was alive... and quiet possibly, possessed. It takes roughly 2 medium size t-shirts for one crate of this size (the photo). It doesn't matter if the shirt has some printing on it since the edges of the cutten strips tend to curl to the face surface of the fabric leaving the image not visible in the result. I guess this is it, thanks for the attention and have a nice crates.

Topic by Waldemar Sha 1 year ago


An idea for highly directional and loud loudspeakers

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

Topic by Downunder35m 6 months ago


A complete roleplaying game in one post

I can't post this as an Instructable, because it's not my game at all.  It surfaced in the sorting out of my lab as my school closed. My original copy of the game was a page in Games and Puzzles magazine, but this is my own re-type of it, which I had to re-type again because the first digital copy was lost during one PC upgrade or another. The document gives me permission to pass it on (even though it pre-dates the Creative Commons movement), but I have emailed the author to let him know I'm posting it anyway.  I've not had a reply, but the page I found his address on had not been updated since 2009. UPDATE: Frank has been in touch, is happy for the game to be published like this, and is even going to send me copies of v2 if he ever finds them. FURTHER UPDATE: Frank has sent me a scan of the v2 rules, which I have added as the first image below. I thought older members might like to be reminded of their youth, and younger members sometimes need reminding that roleplaying games didn't always need a computer with a high-speed internet connection Here is the text, and I have attached a tidier-looking PDF of the same text: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- S.I.M.P.L.E. by Frank Carver Shared Imagination Multi Player Leisure Experience Have you ever been sitting around with a few friends and wanted to play a game – but hadn’t brought the rule books, supplements, charts & tables, character sheets, funny dice, metal figures etc? Here is the answer: a game simple enough to fit on one sheet of paper, and easy enough to remember & explain, even if you haven’t got that! ABOUT SIMPLE SIMPLE is a roleplaying game (RPG), in which each player controls the actions of a single character in an adventure. An adventure takes place in an imaginary world, which may be very different from the real world. Sometimes it’s outer space, the far future, wild west or fantasy. The background from any book, film, TV show may be used, or one from your own imagination. The adventure is usually organised by one player acting as Game Master (GM), who knows about the setting and provides things for the characters to do – problems to solve, enemies to defeat, victims to be rescued, riches to be gained ... anything the other players might enjoy. Problems are solved by thinking them through, talking to the other players and the GM, and rolling dice to see if your plan works. Details of each character are recorded on a character sheet, which develops from game to game. Travel the Universe without ever leaving your chair! TO PLAY You need at least two players (more than 5 or 6 is hard work), a copy of this sheet, at least one normal 6-sided die, a pen or pencil (an eraser is handy), some paper to write on and your imagination. THE SIMPLE CHARACTER Each SIMPLE character is described by three things – Body, Mind and Abilities. Body is a single number showing how strong and tough the character is. Mind is also a number, showing how clever and aware the character is. Abilities are things the character is good at. Each Ability has a description, and a number which shows how much better than average the character is. If your character is just average at something, it doesn’t go on their Ability list. Each character starts with 10 character points, which may be put into Body, Mind and Ability. For each point put into Body or Mind, the number goes up by one. For each half point put into Ability, the number goes up by one. Abilities may be anything that suits the setting. The GM and other players must agree with them. For example: running, science, driving, casting spells, seeing in the dark... EXAMPLE CHARACTER SHEET Name: Gus Goodguy Player: Frank Body: 5 Mind: 3 Abilities: Gunfight 2, ride horse 1, drink whisky 1 Description: A gunfighter in the Old West. Rides tall in the saddle, tips his white 10-gallon hat to ladies, calls men “Pardner”, travels the dusty plains looking for bandits to catch or farmers to rescue. Likes his whisky, and wil never resist a call to a shoot-out. USING THE NUMBERS IN AN ADVENTURE To see if a character succeeds at a task, the GM decides on the difficulty (5=easy, 8=average, 11=hard, 14=very hard and so on) and whether it is a physical (Body) task or a mental (Mind) task. The player then rolls a die and adds the character’s Body or Mind and any matching Abilities. A 6 means roll again and add the result. If the player’s total is better than the GM’s target, then the character has succeeded. The difference between the two numbers gives how well it was done. Gus Goodguy has Body 5 and Gunfight 2. To shoot Bill Badguy is an average (8) Body task. Gus rolls a 3, plus his body of 5, plus his gunfighting 2, making a total of 10 – succeeded by 2! Bill has been shot, and until his wound is treated his body is reduced by 1 point. If his Body falls to 1 he is unconscious, if it reaches 0 he is dead! At the end of a game, the GM may award up to one point to good players to spend on their characters. DOING EVERYTHING ELSE Most problems should be decided by the GM and common sense. Some useful hints, though: when time is important, like in a fight, do things in one-second rounds, with the character with the highest Body going first. A character can run Body (plus running Ability) metres per second. An “average” person has 4 Body and 4 MNind with no extra Abilities. If you need some enemies in a hurry, roll some dice onto the table – use the numbers on top as their Body score, and turn the die down one when they are injured. If you like this game, please copy it, give it to your friends, take it to conventions etc If you like it a lot, why not write to Frank Carver at: The Albion Guard Games Club, 62 Tomline Road, Ipswich, IP3 8DB, United Kingdom. This document is copyright Frank K Carver, 1992. Permission granted to copy and distribute this document, provided that only the complete document (including this provision) is copied and/or distributed. Enjoy!

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


Mono pole / single pole magnets!?

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

Topic by Downunder35m 2 months ago


SteamPunk Typewriter Keyboard for PC!!! Handmade please look!!

Check out this eBay auction for the following SteamPunk Typewriter Keyboard!!http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item;=170344004923&ssPageName;=ADME:X:AAQ:US:1123"SteamPunk" Typewriter Keyboard for PCThis is a custom made "Steampunk" Typewriter Keyboard that is fully functional and works with any PC! I hand made this over the course of many weeks of hard and meticulous work, using the guts of a very solid Logitech PC keyboard system which I completely rebuilt over many stages, into this solid, beautiful, and unique piece of antique technological art! Three separate sets of antique Royal glass typewriter keys make up all of the keys besides the handmade brass keys (described below). I can personally guarantee this keyboard is completely unique, and you won't find anything like it out on the market! This new beautiful style of combining the old Victorian look with new high-tech products is becoming very popular from young teens looking to be creative and inspired to rich business CEO's wanting something beautiful to match their office. Think about the all the joy and beauty this would bring to your life (not to mention bragging rights!). Right now is your chance to own a piece or art and history which you can put to use everyday!This keyboards design consists of:Solid glass keys from a three different sets of original antique Royal early 1900's typewriters.Hand and naturally aged copper top and bottom rails.Custom, hand punched, leather backing (perfectly fitted and stretched over the top and seamed underneath).Custom bent steel side brackets (which have been properly welded to the copper rails to make a very solid keyboard).Beautiful antique cloth wire loom covering computer connector.Hand made brass Esc key, F keys (done in roman numerals), Arrows, and nine keys above Arrows (because they didn't make any of these keys on antique typewriters).Brief "Steampunk" HistorySteampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date.Functionality and BeautyAs I keep strongly pointing out, not only does this piece of techno-art look beautiful, but it also works as beautifully too! All the keys were lubricated then meticulously aligned and ergonomically angled with high strength silicon glue, which will stand up to many years of hard use! Keys that weren't available (such as the F keys and arrows) I custom made from brass which was then clear coated for years of protection.A Brief Fabrication ProcessThis whole keyboard started with an idea in my head one day, and then turned into numbers of sketches and design ideas until I filled my notebook and decided it was time to make it! I started with a high quality Logitech PC keyboard, and gutted it down to the bare parts. Then after trimming all the borders off the top frame I perfectly aligned the key frame back together with now a flat surface. Next I had to hand cut all the key tops off and level them for attachment of the Royal typewriter keys. During this process I custom made the copper/steel rails and side pieces making sure the height and angle was ergonomically correct. Next was the custom punching of the leather backing which was quite difficult to align perfectly, but came out beautifully! Finally the smaller things like the light posts, cloth wire loom, painting and copper aging, and electrical work was done. (P.S. Like I said, this is a very brief summary of the complete process! Many, many steps took place during this fabrication!)Level, Sturdy, and Desk Scratching Friendly!This frame was professionally welded together by a hired welder who meticulously made sure was level and solid. Every detail about this keyboard was thoroughly thought through, down to the hidden padded bases so it won't slide around on your desk or scratch it!You Wont Find Anything Like It!Obviously you can tell by now that this is a very custom piece of art that you have the chance to own and display in your office or home! You can't imagine the beauty of this in real life, pictures just simply do no justice! A few other people have attempted to make such type of typewriter keyboards that consist of the original ugly plastic base and just changed keys.... this keyboard goes above and beyond the bar and you will not be disappointed!Reduced Environmental ImpactAs always, I tried to stay eco-conscious while designing and fabricating this keyboard. It was designed with the following features to reduce its environmental impact:High quality polyurethane based Leather alternative (no animals harmed!)Recycled copper pipingOriginal and restored Royal typewriter keys.Highly recyclable parts (although you'll never want to get rid of this!)

Topic by maxter32 9 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Technology Makes Cheap Drinking Water from Air

INTRODUCTION:   How can we best apply basic technology to help the underprivileged and/or disaster-hit countries like Haiti? Daily hygiene and nourishment are among the top needs for disaster ridden regions!  Simply put, no water means no hygiene. The Romans understood that over two millennia ago and created their complexly beautiful aqueduct networks for handling both fresh and wastewater! Other ingenious water systems like “air wells” have been found in the city of Theodosia (cf: discovered in 1900 by Zibold, see Zibold’s Collectors/Dehumidifiers) dating back to Greco-Roman times during the Byzantine Empire. These were strictly passive systems that naturally dehumidified air, collecting its potable water in underground basins. All air, even in relatively dry desert regions, will precipitate or release its natural water content (initially in the form of vapor) through condensation when it hits its dew-point temperature and below. That means you “chill” it to an appropriate level that is anywhere from 5F to 50F below its current air temperature, depending upon how much water content (relative humidity) it has locally absorbed. The condensation of the water vapor releases its internal latent heat (reheating the cooled air) which must be constantly dissipated (absorbed by something) in order for water formation to steadily continue. So how do we dissipate this resultant vapor-heat and chill our air without any infrastructure or electricity, in an underprivileged or disaster-ridden region? We simply bury a long cast-iron or any metallic drain-pipe sufficiently underground where the temperature of the earth is naturally held to a constant at around 45F to 55F. That’s our “free” chiller gift from nature. One end of the pipe, Figure-1,  sticks out of the ground to suck-in local outside hot air, and the other end dumps cooled dry air and water into an underground cistern where it gets collected and is piped to the surface to both exhaust the cooled dry air and connect to a water pump. We need a hand operated water pump to lift up the water above ground, and we need an electric fan to constantly pump air through the ground-chilled piping system. We can even force the cooled piped air to exhaust into a tent-like structure where it provides air conditioning as an added bonus, but this adds the penalty of both power and the increased fan size necessary to drive our required airflow further into an enclosure! While this concept is not “passive” (requiring electricity to work) like those clever Byzantine air-wells, it will produce much more potable water and within a smaller volume than those elegantly passive historic devices. The electricity for our fan power requirements can be produced by any one of four ways using either “active” or “passive” techniques: 1) An active playground or bike-pedaling-person or oxen-driven mechanism-generator, 2) A passive windmill generator, 3) A passive solar energy collection system that directly generates electricity, or 4) A passive thermo-electric system that directly generates electricity using the Peltier effect, operating solely on temperature differences between the cell’s top and bottom surface (we jury-rig the cool pipe and hot ambient air to contact separate sides of the cell). Depending upon how much water is needed, the required air volume plus pipe length and diameter, together with the fan will be sized accordingly. We can also configure groups of parallel fan-driven air pipes that are radially fed into the cistern. The sizing of this underground network depends upon the ambient air’s local average temperature and relative humidity (how much water gets absorbed into the air) plus buried pipe depth and effective underground temperatures achieved. The basic concept is one where we “wring” water from air at some given humidity content. The higher its relative humidity the more water is recovered from the air. The air-wringing process simply chills the air as it scrubs along the cooled internal pipe surface until it starts to rain inside the pipe from condensation onto its surface. The condensation is like the dew that forms on car windows, grass or any cooled surface in the early morning, before the sun comes out and evaporates the dew back into the heating air. A further bonus is that our dew-formed water is naturally distilled and very clean. It is potable water ready to drink without the need for additional sterilizing agents. Of course, we must make sure that the interior piping and cistern network is biologically cleansed before burying it underground. The hand pump with its 10 to 15 foot extended piping to reach the underground cistern must also be cleansed. The beauty of this constantly replenishable water supply is its convenient underground installation anywhere! After the in-ground installation, we have a virtual, partially passive, no moving parts, non-breakdown system containing above ground total access to all moving parts that could breakdown, namely the water pump and electric fan. Also, it is easily maintained, with few moving parts (water hand-pump and electric fan) and basically lacking any technical complexity which makes it ideal for technologically backward regions. The example below uses a relatively small industrial fan moving air at 1500 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) with a DC motor rated at 1kW. This fan together with our underground piping system will conservatively generate 12 GPH (Gallons Per Hour) of potable drinking water without need for any purification chemistry. Based on an average electrical cost of 14-cents per kWh (kilo-Watt hour), the typical commercial distillation of one gallon of drinking water costs roughly 35-cents as compared to our cost of only 1.2-cents. Furthermore, if we decide to go green and use solar energy for generating our water, it would effectively cost us nothing beyond the initial installation! USING A PSYCHROMETRIC CHART TO SIZE OUR WATER SUPPLY: The following gets a little technical and is only provided for those die-hards who are truly interested in how the science works. Those non-technically schooled may skip this part and not miss the basic concept. Figure-2 shows a Psychrometric Chart for air. This chart summarizes some of the basic thermodynamic properties of air throughout its typical range of operating temperature. The chart uses six basic air properties that defines the physical chemistry of water evaporation into air:  (1) the enthalpy or total energy contained within a unit of air which is a combination of its internal and external energy, expressed as the amount of BTU-energy per unit mass of reference dry-air, (2) the specific volume or the ratio of a unit volume of local air to its mass of reference dry-air, (3) the humidity ratio or the amount (mass) of moisture in a local unit of air divided by its reference mass of dry-air, (4) the percent relative humidity per unit of local air, or the mass ratio (expressed in percentage form) of the partial pressure of water vapor in the air-water mixture to the saturated vapor pressure of water at those conditions (the relative humidity depends not only on air temperature but also on the pressure of the system of interest),  (5) the dry-bulb temperature or the locally measured air temperature, and (6) the wet-bulb temperature or saturation temperature which is the local air temperature experienced during constant water evaporation (a wet-bulb thermometer is typically used:   a thermometer that measures resultant temperature while wrapped in a water wet-gauze and spun to generate local air movement and max-evaporation)  1.0   The Process and A Sample Calculation Our Psychrometric Chart uses six thermodynamic properties that help to determine the amount of water available for extraction from the local ambient air as a function of its temperature, pressure and relative humidity.  Let’s assume the following local ambient conditions for the region we plan to construct our water system at:  (1) Typical daily air temperature Td = 106F and one atmosphere pressure assumed at sea-level, (2) Relative Humidity, RH = 55%, and (3) Typical underground temperature down at six feet is measured at Tu=55F (at 12ft. it drops to ~45F). This yields the following calculated results for obtaining a steady-state supply (changes at night) of water to fill the cistern:      1)      In our example, the “local” air (dry-bulb) temperature is Td=106F, at a relative humidity of RH= 55%.  Fig-2 indicates that the resultant Humidity Ratio is HR= 0.0253 Lbs-water/Lb-Dry-Air (intersection of Td=106F line and RH=55% line, then horizontal to HR value).  We then determine the “gulp” of air volume containing the HR Lbs-water which corresponds to the point of intersection of Td and RH. Interpolating on specific volume “mv” yields mv=14.7 ft3/Lb-Dry-Air (this value sets the optimum unit airflow for our given ambient conditions, and creates a ballpark pipe length to diameter ratio needed later). It represents the basic unit of air volume that will enter our underground pipe per given time, and ultimately defines the size of our fan and piping network. For increased water creation, multiples of this unit volume will scale up the additional amounts of water that can be collected. 2)      As the inlet air cools down to a temperature of Tu=55F, from contact with the relatively cold underground pipe, we follow the constant enthalpy line (red upward left-diagonal) from the intersection of Td and RH to its saturated air temperature condition of Ts= ~88F, which is its dew-point temperature where the corresponding local RH=100%.  At this temperature or under, the air precipitates and releases its moisture content, resulting in water condensation onto the pipe walls.  Since our air will chill to a final pipe temperature of Tu=~55F, we follow the RH=100% saturated curve (green) down to yield an HR=~0.009 Lbs-water/Lb-Dry-Air. This is how much water is left in the air when it gets to 55F.  Therefore for every pound of local outside air that enters the pipe, mw=0.0253 – 0.009 = 0.0163 pounds of absolute pure, distilled potable water precipitates onto the inside pipe wall (per pound of dry air that is cooled and dehydrated) to gravity-flow out the pipe exit and into the cistern. 3)      We now convert pounds of air per unit time into a unitized volumetric airflow that yields gallons of hygienically pure potable water production per unit time. For every Va=100 ft3 of local volumetric air movement per minute (CFM) through the pipe, which translates into ma=Va/mv= 100/14.7 = 6.8 lbs. of dry air per minute or 6.8 * 60 = 408 lbs. per hour (PPH), to yield a water-flow of mwf=ma * mw = 408 * 0.0163 = 6.65 PPH or 6.65/8.345 = 0.8 GPH of water.  An industrial fan rated at 1kW DC will typically move 1500 CFM at a pressure of 8-iwc, to continuously produce 15 * 0.8 = 12 GPH of pristine potable water. 4)      Not shown here are the design details of sizing our pipe, fan and solar collection system for electric power requirements using heat transfer principles coupled with a thermodynamic heat balance, and aerodynamic fan performance assessment. These details help to size the electric power generation requirements plus margin used to properly size a solar collector containing further margins for overcast days. The engineering involved here is straight forward but beyond the scope of the current project.

Topic by RT-101 6 years ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


Laser Cutter Contest Winners!

It is with great pleasure that I announce the winner of the Laser Cutter Contest:Stuart.Mcfarlan for How to Make a Three Axis CNC Machine (Cheaply and Easily)Be sure to check out Stuart.Mcfarlan's plans for the Laser Cutter.Congratulations to all the finalists who will receive a Laser-etched Instructables Leatherman Juice S2 and an Instructables t-shirt for their simply amazing work:crabfu for Steam Turbine Tankdave spencer for erupting Volcano Birthday CakeHonus for How to make a Green Lantern ring- including a glowing version!jabroutin for personal powerPlantjeffkobi for Retro Hi-Fi ProjectKasey for Compubeaver --> How to case-mod a beaver - in 29 easy steps!lkrasnow for Precision Puzzlemaking Primer -- Volume 1mikejedw for Pringles Wind Turbine (Pleech) - Version One mydian_nightshade forFurniture grade cocktail arcade cabinetmzed for Low-cost Spherical Speaker Array nemomatic for Giant Squid kinetic sculpture from found materialsorthonormal_basis_of_evil for EMP shopping cart lockertalbotron22 for DIY Kitty Crack: ultra-potent catnip extract turkey tek for Interactive Multitouch DisplayWe had planned to select 20 second place winners, but just couldn't narrow the field, so we're awarding 25 second place winners, who will receive Instructables t-shirts! They are:$30 High-Speed PCB Drill Press by lancandy$60 Laser Engraver / Cutter by cgoshBreath powered USB charger by jmengelBuild a Tetris DVD (or book) shelf by odecom5Capture the Ethereal Beauty of Everyday Objects Using Polarized Light. by Tool Using AnimalCO2 laser that cuts sheet metal by owhiteCosmic Light With LEDs Embedded in Resin by technoplastiqueDuck Cam Decoy by RoadstarElectromagnetic Floater by J_HodgieFine Silver (99.9% pure) Popcorn Pendant! by roughtyperHan Solo in carbonite chocolate bar! by FreakCitySFLaptop Converted to 2nd Monitor by punish3rMake a wall avoiding Robot! a collaboration led by Brandon121233Make Conductive Glue and Glue a Circuit by mikey77Make rope out of dead plants -- with no tools a collaboration led by phyzomeMod a toaster and have retro art toast for breakfast by 5VoltMotherboard PCB Bracelet by llama13Portable Water resistant LED Picnic Blanket with hard center serving surface! by pointcloudStart a Guerrilla Drive-in by plusbryanThe Ice Bulb by mandrakeThe Intimate Video Light/ Handheld photograpy light. by curve12The One, The Only COTTON CANDY MACHINE! by T3h_MuffinatorTheater Effects: Gunshot Wounds by TrumpetNeelUse a Vacuum cleaner to build your own Skateboard by gregorylavoieWire Scorpion by OniToraAll the winners should watch for a personal message from us for prize claiming instructions.With so many excellent entries, and with each of them being at the top of their game in some different aspect, the judging was extremely difficult. We had help juding from a large number of users including 5Volt, african_andy187, Albetcha, BobbyMike, CameronSS, canida, daenris, drinkmorecoffee, ewilhelm, fungus amungus, herrozerro, ian, imanalchemist, J_Hodgie, jamesh, jesse.hensel, jessyratfink, jmengel, Kiteman, LasVegas, lebowski, lennyb, llama13, lothotrity, momo!, nagutron, nak, noahw, olddaddycrane, pt, Randofo, Robyntheslug, royalestel, ryzellon, Sam Noyoun, saul, Sedgewick17, sheekgeek, stasterisk, steven07, T3h_Muffinator, technick29, Tetranitrate, Tool Using Animal, trebuchet03, trialex, x9a, zieak, and Zujus. For more information on how we judged, check here.The entries submitted to this contest exceeded all of my expectations. They are totally amazing in their quality, instructional value, uniqueness, and pure brilliance. It is my hope that everyone had a blast entering the contest and learned something useful, fun, or both. To me, the value of posting an Instructable is when someone makes a comment saying that I taught them something new, changed the way they looked at things, or inspired them to make something themselves (even if it's something totally different than my Instructable). Looking through the Instructables submitted to the contest and comments on the finalists' forum posts, it's clear that this is happening all over, and it makes me smile every time. Congratulations to all the winners! And, thanks to everyone that entered. Even if your Instructable didn't win a prize, I'm sure it has had a positive impact on someone's life and will continue to do so.

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


Sharpening knifes and similar tools

On the weekend a friend of mine asked me if I could get his 2 fishing knifes ready for the season.Being a nice guy I agreed as they were so blunt that you could sit on the knifes edge without even getting a scratch.Did just the usual, you know, cleaning it first, grinding a proper angle back on it with a very coarse stone, sharpening from a 300 grit down to a 1000 grit and then of course polishing and removing the burr.Was quite pleased with the result and decided to bring the finnished knifes back to my friend....There are several ways to check if a knife is sharp.Most know the newpaper cutting thing.Some dare to try if the knife i able to shave some hair off.And a few actually know that it is enough to check if it won't slip of your fingernail.My friend however was used to knifes that I would consider to be piece of steel with a rounded edge...Of course he had to try to run his finger down the blade and before I could stop him....He said "Feels nice and smooth but I think you ruined the edge with your polishing!".I only said "Get some bandaids before you check your finger and reconsider."Lets just say about 10 seconds after his test he started bleeding like a pig.He actually managed to get the cut about 5mm deep :(We agreed that it would be best to keep these knifes in the boat and to put a note on them so he won't check their sharpness again.There are tons of tutorials and videos showing various ways of sharpening a knife that can be used as a general reference.But if you already know all the basic while still struggling a bit to get the edge and sharpness you desire:The most important thing to know is what type of steel is used in your blade.I don't mean the grade or composition, just the difference between stainless steel and old style steel that is able to rust.You never want to sharpen a stainless steel blade with a stone that is well used on normal steel.If in doubt clean it out!The reason behind is that you cause the steel that is able to oxidise or rust to be worked into the stainless steel surface.In the worst case this can cause rust spots or smalle pits in your sharpened edge.When it comes to restoring the edge of a well worn knife some beginners and so called expert struggle to keep the angle and edge itself even and straight.Tools to overcome this are available, like these guides for a diamond stone on a stick where you cplamp your blade in.There are also "trolleys" that hold your blade at a fixed angle on the stone by means of small wheels.Both have their uses but also a lot of limitations, especially when it comes to the rounded parts of a blade, like the tip or filet knife that is generally curved a bit.Special knifes like the old Kukri knifes have a curved part that goes to the inside, these are a true pain with normal grinding and honing stones, so I will leave them out here, but feel free to ask in the comments if you need more info.The best way I found for restoring a rounded knifes edge without special tools is by using a long diamond file.Preferably with a quite long handle and not too wide.Like with the guide tools the key is to cheat your way through ;)But unlike most guide tools you will still keep the same angle in the curved parts ;)Here are the basic tool required:Long handled diamond fileSome wooden block or similar to get work platforms of different heights (lego blocks work too)A long enough clamp to secure your blade on the block(s)For the last you can also make a screw clamp like a hinge to hold the blade in place.You want to knife to be secured so it won't move and so that you can reach all parts of the edge with the file.Depening on what side you work on or what you prefer the file will rest with the handle either above or below the knife.With the length of the handle you can adjust the required angle, preferably in the 20-25° region.For the straight parts of the blade you work in overlapping sections.Rest the handl so it aligns close to the knifes handle and move the file along the knifes edge.It helps to use a permanent marker on the endge to visualise where you take material off and to check the work area creates a parallel area in the painted bits.When you see some material removed move the handle of the file a bit further towards the pointy bit and continue to create the parallel boundaries.Kepp going back and forth along the straight part of the blade until there is only a tiny area left on the edge where the marker stays visible.For the rounded tip part you place the handle so you can follow the curve on the knife at the same angle as on the straight part.Most knife have this area badly neglected once well used so you might end up with a slightly wider area where material is removed.Once the edge is all reduced to the same slim marker line it is time to repaet the process on the other side at the same angle you used before.Don't be too scared to see in a close up that your edge is not perfectly even or straight, a few imperfections will be buffed out in the next step.To finnish the edge and smooth it out you use a flat stone or diomand plate of similar grid to the file, for example 300.If you do this step right you won't even need fancy guides or tricks after doing it a few times.The key from now on is keep an even angle that matches your initial angle to restore the edge.The old masters were right here to use stones that are either secured tightly in a wooden frame or "clamped" down by a leather strap.Apart from needing a perfectly clean and flat surface on the stone and movement will cause a more or less rounded edge again.Every use one of these fancy chesse slicers that work like a potato peeler?You wanna do the same with your knife on the stone.With the stone in front of you start at the far end and move the blade down like you want to cut a thin slice of the stone.Always with the edge towards you like cutting something off, never the other way around.If you don't mount your stone too high you will notics that it is quite easy to use your palms as a guide to keep an even angle throughout a cutting stroke.To find the right angle you again cheat with a marker.But no matter what type of stne or diamond sharpener you use: use lube!!The coarse types usually are fine with water, diomand anyway, finer or so called "oil sones" require honing oil.Do a few strokes and check the marks you left on the marker.Adjust until you get about the same work area cleaned as in the previous step with the file.You will soon see that there are now uneven areas which cause a wobbly outline on the marker.Continue with this grit until you get a nice and even outline.For the rounded tip area you do it similar but with a slight twisting motion.It can help to do a few dry runs on a piece of cardboard to find the right twist.Simply place the rounded part on the cardboard at the approx angle for the sharpening.Now move the handle so the edge follows the curve on the cardboard - the circular motion you need to get from the straight part to the tip is the "twist" you want during the sharpeing of this area.Again, once satisfied do the same on the other side.Now it is time to decide if you want to keep the angle all the way or if you prefer a beveled edge with a slightly wider angle for actual cutting edge.The later is good for knifes that see a lot of abuse and hard work, the first for everything that needs to be really sharp.I prefer sharp so lets continue with this and if you can't figure out how to get a second agnle on the edge ask me in the comments ;)Depending on the quality of your blade you now need to work your way up the grid.If your edge (the part with marker left) is more than half a mm wide you might want to keep going with 300 grit until no marker is left and the edge develops a slight bur on the other side.From now on cleaning the blade and stone every few minutes is a good thing!Rinse it off, wipe it off, flush it off, whatever works best to keep it clean.If you go to 600 grit you will clearly see the difference in the work area.The scratches buff out an the surface becomes smooth.You keep doing the same slicing technique but only do as many strokes as required to get a slight bur throughout the edge on the other side.You will feel it when you move your finger along the side, one feels smooth, one feel very rough.Areas that stay smooth indicate that there is either still material to be removed or that you created a small dint while sharpening - the marker will tell you.Once you get a bur with just a few strokes you know the edge is there.Time to move the next higher grit you have available.From here on you might need to use oil instead of water and depending on the type of stone you will need to leave some slurry on the stone - check the manual ;)Either way the procedure is still the same: Slice a thin piece off until you get a bur.Then do the other side until both are even.Assuming around 1000 grid is the usual max on a hobby level and that you don't have any finer stone it is now time to take of the bur on the edge.No matter what you try there will always be some but created when sharpening.A lot can be prevented and smoothed out though.To do this you reduce the pressure during the last few strokes and turn the knife around often.When you get to the point where a single stroke causes a bur and another single stroke on the other side inverts the bur the knife is almost ready.Polishing a knifes edge can cause a bit of bluntness.For obvious reasons it is best to sharpen to the honing point where a 5000 - 20000grit wet stone is used, but these are quite expensive and require special care.In other cases like our example here you need to make the best out of it:Get some sturdy old leather like some belt.Use proper glue and clamps to glue it onto a really flat piece of wood.You want the smooth side glued and the rough side of the leather facing up.Prepare the leather with some kitchen knife that is need of sharpening anyway by placing it almost flat onto the strip with the edge facing away from you.With good pressure move the blade toward you.You will have to do this several times to align the fibres in one direction only.Now get some metal polishing paste or if nothing else polishing wax for metal - the fine stuff for the wax type please.Rub it in and work in with the kitchen kifes the same as bafore, always in the same direction.You will create a bit of a mess but that does not matter for now.The leather will become more and more smoth on the surface until it appear quite even.Clean the excess off and grab the real knife.There is now enough lube and polishing material in the leather to last quite a while.Start with the knife as flat as possible, again the edge facing away from you when you move the knife in a slicing motion towards you.Do this for a few minutes and you will see that the sharpened edge becomes shiny where it goes into the knifes body.Once all is polished increase the angle slightly and repeat.In a perfect world the polishing should now go almost to the last bit of the edge, only leaving a very thin rough line.This last line is the critical bit.There are two ways to deal with it, pressure or time.If you keep the last used angle but increase your pressure the blade will go deeper into the leather and the polishing should reach the front of the edge.In the other case you slightly increase you angle but only use very little pressure, more like letting the knife rest on the leather while you move it along.In either case you check the edge often with your finger and once it feel really smooth throuout you stop.Turn the knife over often during this last step as even with the polishing you create a slight bur.Only repeated turning and using as little pressure as possible will remove this last bur on both sides.If you know think your knife is still not sharp enough than you might just have a very cheap knife... ;)

Topic by Downunder35m 7 months ago  |  last reply 7 months ago