Submission, terminology changes

UPDATE 1-14-11: After an initial attempt that we had to roll back, I now believe that this update has been successfully released.  We'll be watching very carefully for the next few days to be sure of that! --- We have made some visible changes this time around. We are always trying to simplify the content submission process, to make it as easy as possible to share what you've made. To that end, we've relabeled the Instructable types.  Slideshow is now "Photos" and full Instructables are now "Step by Step", while videos are still videos. You'll also notice that in many places, Photos are listed first now. Here's our thinking. Everyone has cool stuff that they don't have time to create full blown step-by-step instructions for, something they've already done that could be shown off. We're trying to encourage them to do so. As Christy put it the other day, "Next thing they know, they'll wake up in a bathtub of ice next to a computer displaying 25 step-by-step Instructables... it's a slippery slope." (We'll be greasing that slope by including Photos prizes in all of our new contests.) Hopefully most of our users will agree that people sharing what they make is a great thing, even if there aren't complete step-by-step instructions to go along with the photos. It's also now another member of the community who can help you with your project or question. Along with this, the display for the various places that Instructables are listed is changing slightly. There's no more banner covering up a big chunk of your image. We'd gotten lots of complaints about how that obscured part of a featured author's gorgeous intro image. Guides are still labeled with a note at the bottom of the image, but for Video/Photos/Step by Step as well as featured Instructables, you need to look at the gray icons below the project's title. A star = featured, a play button = Video. Photos are indicated by an icon representing a couple of pictures, while Step By Step Instructables are represented by a set of rectangles like index cards. A trophy cup means a contest winner. Let us know if you have ideas how these could be improved; this is a first pass for the design, and we'll surely tweak it as we figure out what will work better. On your page, the featured star wlll show up if your project has been featured at any level. Ditto when browsing - no matter what level you're browsing, anything with any kind of feature will have a star. But if you click "editors' picks" you'll still only see the items featured at that level - same as before. We also are getting a lot of members who sign up with their real name, not realizing how much it's used on the site, and then would prefer to have an alias like most of the other members. So we've added a facility for letting you change your screen name, on your You page. But we're only going to let you do it once - for the problem we're fixing, once is plenty.

Topic by rachel 8 years ago


Library of 123D Design Terms?

Is there a comprehensive library of terms for Autodesk 123D Design terms and terminology?

Topic by SAMSTONE11 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Sponsored vs. Prizes Provided

I noticed there's new terminology being used on contests with sponsors. The Burn it contest and previous contests say they are "sponsored by," but all the current contests say "prizes provided by." Is this a clue that perhaps the sponsor has less input and those contests will close on the regular schedule, or does it not really mean anything?

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


Capacitive Sensor Array Switch

I'm looking to build a on/off switch using an array of capacitive sensors.  To turn the switch on requires a finger swipe in one direction, and off in the opposite.  I will be using an Arduino with capsense as the controller.   How can I detect which direction a finger is moving across the array?  I understand what needs to happen and would research it myself if i knew the terminology behind it.  

Question by buckchuck27 6 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Tactile / Joystick Switches

I'm looking for small, four-directional (with or without center-push), "joystick" style switches, like the SKQU series (PDF), except perhaps a little larger, through-hole, and with caps, like here (PDF). (see item "G").But more importantly, I'd like to know if there's a better way to refer to them, or more exact terminology I could use while searching. Does anyone have experience with these?

Topic by Ian M 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


WiFi Reception Help!

I'm not very adept with computers, explaining any incorrect use of terminology. My computer has a built-in wireless card, and I'm in range of two WiFi signals- Starbucks and McDonalds. Usually each one tops at around 2 bars and 20ps. How can I get better reception without running to Mcdonalds or Starbucks? I saw the strainer-on USB instructable, but that was not as practical as I had hoped. Is there some USB antennae type thing?

Topic by crestind 12 years ago  |  last reply 12 years ago


Amateur Radio?

 I am going to be taking an amateur radio course early next year (foundation level). I have been doing a little research into the subject and I am baffled by the terminology / acronyms.  I'm sure I'll learn all that when the time comes.  At the moment I am interested in cheap kits / second-hand gear and instructions on how to make a small, portable aerial for 2m (144MHz) operation for www.sota.org.uk. Any other information is gladly accepted. What is CQ, SSB, CW, QSL? etc.

Question by DELETED_zoltzerino 9 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Voltage Relays

Hello, I'm new to this board, and well, making things in general, and am particularly stumped about voltage relays. I know in theory how they work, a small voltage triggers a circuit to close and let a larger voltage through, but practically have no idea what the terminology used in the data sheets mean. What I'm looking for is to have 120VAC be triggered by a 5VDC. The 120VAC would only be on as long as there was 5VDC triggering it. Can anyone out there tell me what I should be looking for, in particular, what the voltage that causes the circuit to close is called? Thanks. --D.K.

Topic by Knip. 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Capacitance transforms electrical energy into what other form? Answered

I've been working on my understanding of electricity. So I am a little ignorant on the subject. From what I've read, there are 3 fundamental ways energy is consumed in a circuit: resistance (R), capacitance (C), and inductance (L). But that's just the terminology, right? Energy is never consumed, it's transformed. So resistance primarily creates heat. Inductance primarily creates magnetism or a magnetic field. Capacitance??? Capacitance transforms electrical energy into what other form of energy?

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


Where can I find a BASIC tutorial on mounting and installing small gears? Answered

I can program easily because there are tutorials on everything. I'm looking for something similar for dealing with mounting small gears on axles or shafts. I have 12V motors and various small gears and axles salvaged from printers, but can't find anything for someone who doesn't yet know the terminology. For example, where does one buy the little thingies that click into creases on axles to hold them in place? Where does one find axles with part of the edge ground flat? Etc, etc.... Thanks.

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


What diameter hole do I need to drill for a standard E26 lamp socket nipple? Answered

I live in the UK and am making a lamp for a friend in the US. They are going to fit the socket and wire but I need to drill a hole for the nipple to go through to seat the socket. What diameter hole should I drill to fit a standard E26 brass socket nipple? (I've added a picture to show the kind of socket I have in mind) Apologies if any of the terminology is off, it's all very different in the UK! Thanks for your Help!

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


Old cardboard box wins major "green" prize.

Want to get credit for an idea that is older than you are?Simple - give it a cool name and tie the idea in with trendy green terminology.A cheap solar cooker has won first prize in a contest for green ideas.The Kyoto Box is made from cardboard and can be used for sterilising water or boiling or baking food. It's just a basic solar cooker - cardboard, black paint and aluminium foil - but discussing it in terms of sustainability and carbon credits makes it worth 75,000GBP and potential mass-marketing contracts.(Cynical? Me?)(Story)

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


Can anybody give an explanation to help me understand more basic concepts of electricity?

I know about Ohms law and some of the terminology on electricity and electronics (i.e. voltage, ohms, coulombs).  What I am in need of is a way to kind of put all of the knowledge together to help me better understand the way circuits work and how to follow and read schematics.  I understand that this question is quite broad, but any help would be very appreciated. I thank anyone and everyone that can contribute knowledge to help me better understand. I am a beginner and I have taken quite an interest in electronics.

Question by An_Amateur622 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Transmission hologram turned into volumetric image ?

Hello ! I am new here..but hopefuly someone could help me, or at least give an opinion. Here we go...in the next few weeks I'll receive a transmission hologram from someone (already recorded).Now the problem is that I have to project it, and since it is a simple transmission hologram I would like some ideas of ways to project it. I've been thinking to turn it into a volumetric hologram(2d or 3d) with some parabolic mirrors. However..I am not really prepared for something too spectacular since I am just a highschool student...Thanks in advance&I am sorry for any wrong terminology used. Waiting for ideas..

Question by R.S.E. 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


How do I reattach the 3.5 mm jack to this PCB?

This is a PCB from a watch Walkie Talkie. I was a little rough trying to get it out of the case and broke the connection. it doesn't look like I did any damage but I'm not sure how to fix it. This is probably a common issue but after searching I'm not finding anything its probably because I don't know they right terminology to search for. There is an orange tape on the bottom on the legs coming off of the 3.5 mm jack, What is that for? any help would be greatly appreciated and I know this may be a beginner question but that is what I am so go easy on me.

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


DIY Solar Cells through screen printing

I was wondering if anyone has seen the "plans" offered by fuellessamerica.com on producing solar cells cheaply and at home through screen printing. They claim efficiencies of 12-14% can be achieved. I know most solar cells are screen printed, but I know the doping can be difficult. Has anyone seen/done this? I have seen the American patent held by a Japanese company that outlines the process. I didn't have much time to peruse it however. I did notice they were using correct terminology, but it was obviously geared towards commercial enterprise. Any thoughts?

Topic by bowakowa 11 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


7.1 DIY audio switch, please help

Dear Instructables community,I stumbled on to this site while looking for a DIY solution to a problem where no commercial alternative seems available. The problem? I need a dual input/output switch for my 7.1 audio system.What I found on this site was: https://www.instructables.com/id/35mm_51_Surround_Sound_Switch_Splitter_Box/I'm "OK" with a soldering iron, but I've never really built anything before, and I'm not familiar with some of the terminology. Really, the only things I have done in the past have been soldering plugs on the ends of wires and re-soldering loose connections. Even so, I'd like to build something similar but for 7.1 with dual inputs and outputs.I'm hoping you can help me make the right choices building this.My original plan was going to be just like the 5.1 version with a few most switches, but instead of the input 3.5mm jack as the source for the switch, I would just connect another switch and then connect it to two 3.5mm jacks.(See attached image)Will this work without taking a hit in audio quality?Is there an easier or more efficient way of doing this?Here's the hardware I selected initially:Switches: http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId;=10001&catalogId;=10001&productId;=76260&3.5mm jacks: http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/SMJ/3.5MM-STEREO-PHONE-JACK-W/N.O.-SWITCH/1.htmlI don't understand most of the terminology on these parts, but they look like they should work.Please let me know what you think, I'm open to advice.Thanks!

Topic by Oriknama 9 years ago


I bought an ArduPilotMega 2.0 - want to build a quadrotor - now what?

So, I'd like to build a quadrotor.  I looked at plans out there and it seemed that an ArduPilotMega 2.0 controller was cheaper than the old ArduPilotMega + IMU board, and more advanced.  So I bought it.  But I don't understand a lot of the terminology the RC / UAV crowd throws around, all I know is it's basically an Arduino - which I have used - with special logic for flight stuff like gyros and multiplexing.  Besides that, I don't know where to start.  I know I need to get some lightweight brushless DC motors, radios and a radio controller unit.   but what type, etc.. ?   Where do I start?

Question by stupidloginthing 7 years ago


Ordering Custom Textiles

Hey everyone. I'm trying to recreate the vest from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I know it sounds strange, but I really want that vest. I've been obsessing over it for a long time. Now, I look at the vest on display, and I can't decide if it's a knitted vest or made out of fabric, like sewn together. It looks like it has an elastic band around the waist and a black collar, so I think it might be sewn. But I can't get that fabric anywhere. Is there any way to order custom textiles that ISN'T Spoonflower.com? I don't want printed textiles, but something woven.  Can someone point me in the right direction? I have no idea where to even look, mostly because I don't know the terminology. THANKS!! -Max

Topic by Super Cameraman 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Circuit for digital time control

In my design classroom project, my students want to build a 230V AC electric immersion heater (for heating water in a bucket) whose duration of heating the user should be able to set. The user should be able to set the ON duration by pressing up- and down- keys (operating 2 switches) to increase or decrease numbers that show on a dual 7-segment display (for showing 1-99). The numbers that show in the 7-segment display is the time in minutes the heater should stay on for and then switch itself off. Please guide me to a circuit that would do the above. All our induction cookers, washing machines, etc have this interface, I know this is not something new, but not being an electronics person I don't know where and with what terminology to look. Please help.

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


How does one dual boot windows 7 and linux mint with windows 7 installed first? Answered

So I recently upgraded my laptop, i swapped out the old 80GB HDD for a shiny new 120GB SSD, and I installed windows 7, I would like to know how to dual boot windows 7 and linux mint.  I've searched google, but all i find are forums where I dont understand the terminology that the users use.  I was wondering If anybody knows of a site that/could tell(s) me in simple terms how to do this.  I've done this before with windows vista and windows XP, so I know how to shrink volumes and all that type of stuff. 

Question by junits15 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


3w common anode RGB LED circuit?

Hi all,Does anyone have a link to a circuit diagram for a common anode led? Here are the specs:Red: 2.5V ~ 3.0V, 350mAGreen: 3.2V ~ 3.8V, 350mABlue: 3.2V ~ 3.8V, 350mAI picked one up and didn't realize the effects of common anode v. common cathode :/ I can run it with drivers from one of the instructables floating around, but I have to use totally isolated power supplies (i.e. one separate battery for each color). I realize that I could use PWM for them, but I don't have the tools to program and burn a chip right now.Soooo, either a circuit that can sink current (I believe that is the correct terminology) or some way to isolate power between the 3 colors would be much appreciated.Here is a link to the led I have: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4530

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


What material works best as a CORE for a small coil at about 500 hertz?

I am building a small coil with 1000 turns of 36 gauge wire wound around it.  A 12 volt/ 500 hertz squarewave will feed the coil.   I want to receive this 500 hertz tone a few feet away using a sensitive receiver that i have.   However, i am having trouble figuring out what kind of CORE to use and where to purchase it.  I built several coils using various items such as steel, iron, and ferrite from a flyback transformer.  So far, the plain old STEEL works the best, but I keep thinking something else might work better.   I searched the internet, but it starts to get really confusing because of all the terminology like "flux density", permeability, field strength, mu, etc etc.  It must be something that does not retain magnetism when the coil is de-energized.  Any help would be appreciated !

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


Arduino uno: How to switch flashing patterns with a button

Hi everyoneI'm still learning how to use an arduino uno and if anyone could help me on this it would be greatly appreciated. Question: How do you switch between different flashing patterns (sorry I don't know terminology) on 4 LEDs with a single push button in an arduino uno?Extra: My aim is to program a bike light using an arduino uno. I'm planning to have 4 LEDs and a single push button. When the button is first pushed, the 4 LEDs stay turned on, and when pushed again they flash, when pushed again they change pattern e.g. scroll and so on until it finally turns off after the final push of the button. I have been able to test several loops but they just continue forever like expected. If anyone could help me with what code to use to switch between the flashing patterns that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Question by Airhead1 1 year ago


Random raising and lowering led bars like a graphic equalizer??

Hello! I'm interested in doing a project which would just involve having a series of mounted LED bars, probably between 8 and 12 LEDs per bar, which would light up to random heights from low (bottom) to high (top) repeatedly. I want to create the effect of a graphic equalizer on a larger scale, as a kind of wall decoration. No different colored lights or anything required, I'm just planning to use white lights and colored gels.  http://i.imgur.com/QoPlA9b.gif I am primarily an artist, and have only done minimal work with small electronics, and I've never really created a circuit board, so I'm really not too familiar with the terminology and the ins and outs therein. I've found certain articles about blinking lights and oscillating lights, but nothing quite like what I am looking for *Unless I've missed it, in which case I apologize) Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Question by urkelbot666 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


LED powering and switches

I am trying to build a small display box that has 2 LEDs (either 3mm or 5mm). One LED lights the displayed item from above, the other from below.  I plan to use only 1 LED at a time, so I presume I need an SPDT-Center off micro rocker switch.  I have a small model and it provides ample light with 2 CR2032 batteries, however, I'd like to be able to use an AC/DC adapter in place of the batteries. I need help figuring out what parts I need so I don't create anything dangerous. I am confused by the terminology used for the switch...how many amps/volts would I need? Am I correct that I would need a 6v adapter? Can the adapter be wired directly to a battery holder, or can it be SAFELY wired directly to the switch/LEDs? I want to order some stuff, but I don't know what I need! If anyone can provide this info, I would be grateful! Thank you.

Topic by craigo 7 years ago


How to properly bridge 2 mono jacks using a 1uf capacitor and connect to rheostat?

Hello everyone, I am struggling on the proper way connect a few parts in my power source. At the moment I am about to wire my rheostat to a mono jack. From there I need to wire a 1uf capacitor to a 2nd mono jack. I do not understand where to connect each wire. I know how to wire the rheostat to the first jack but from there I do not know how to properly bridge the 2 jacks with the capacitor. I know I need to connect both jacks but how do I wire this? Do I connect the capacitor between both "ground" leads on the jacks? Does this also constitute  connecting both jacks in general? Also, the 2nd jack will be connected to the rest of the negative circuit in the source. I really hope I explained this well enough. I am new to electronics and I am still not that familiar with terminology so please bare with me. I would appreciate any help offered. Thank you in advance!

Question by alp0204 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


What is the vernacular to describe an rf transmitter w/rotary knob that turns a servo/motor 1:1?

I'm barely schooled in robotics and RC.  Seems I'm searching for a needle in a haystack without the precise terminology.  I'd like to turn a knob on a remote chassis.  The knob presently turns manually from stop to stop approximately six times.  It meters L/min of air.  Low torque equivalent to about average for volume/bass/treble controls on a stereo. I'd like to be enabled to turn this knob at an indexible 1:1 ratio with a handheld remote transmitter that utilizes a likewise rotary knob.  Once the servo/stepper or other is mounted axially to the chassis mounted knob and powered by a wall transformer, the hand held remote need not be indexed to match it precisely.   1/4 ID hose attaches to the unit and a L/min flow meter is attached to the remote.  Rf would be highly desirable.  If necessary, or practical, I'd go with a wired rotary encoder/controller to accomplish the same.  I'm unable to find either option after a day of searching online.  Fully willing to cannibalize existing products as well.  It's sometimes much easier and cheaper way to go. Thanks

Question by brad.williamson.3110 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Quick question

Hi, I need help. You see the street I live in has more cats than, well the musical cats,  and seeing as my garden seems to be they're preferred  choice for going to the toilet, I decided to build a motion sensing water sprayer. So off to Amazon I went and purchased some PIR sensors, a solar pump with a DC connection, bread boards wires and batteries and chucked it all together. Now the sensor will light an LED no problem but when I switch in the pump I get nothing. I read on tinternet that transistors can be used to up the juice but I was already far beyond my knowledge of circuits, components and the like. I even tried looking at sketches of PIR sensors to transistors, but after weeks of trying I'm no closer and have nothing to show for it but a headache.  If anyone can help and describe to me (in child like, basic terminology) how I wire up a transistor to a PIR and then a 4-12v 3.5watt pump that would be just super.  Or at-least put me out of my misery and tell me it's not doable.  Thanks.

Topic by Daveuppercut 4 years ago


How do I use a transistor to up the power of a PIR output?

Hi, I need help. You see the street I live in has more cats than, well the musical cats,  and seeing as my garden seems to be they're preferred  choice for going to the toilet, I decided to build a motion sensing water sprayer. So off to Amazon I went and purchased some PIR sensors, a solar pump with a DC connection, bread boards wires and batteries and chucked it all together. Now the sensor will light an LED no problem but when I switch in the pump I get nothing. I read on tinternet that transistors can be used to up the juice but I was already far beyond my knowledge of circuits, components and the like. I even tried looking at sketches of PIR sensors to transistors, but after weeks of trying I'm no closer and have nothing to show for it but a headache. If anyone can help and describe to me (in child like, basic terminology) how I wire up a transistor to a PIR and then a 4-12v 3.5watt pump that would be just super. Or at-least put me out of my misery and tell me it's not doable. Thanks.

Question by Daveuppercut 4 years ago


Will this GPU fit in my computer? Answered

As recently as January I've bought a new GPU for my HP Pavilion Slimline (2009). It works great (AMD Radeon 7750) however, my PC is coming up with problems here and there. If I however choose to change computers, I saw this one that has decent performance, but the GPU is terrible. It's a low profile but doesn't do well on BF3. On my current computer and GPU I'm able to run BF3 on Medium graphics perfectly no lag at all. I would guess maybe 40FPS. So my question is, if I were to buy the HPE H8 1360T desktop pc, would my AMD Radon HD 7750 GPU fit in the HPE H81360T? The Radeon came with 2 different holders for the back and I used the smaller one, but would the larger one fit? I measured it as about 4.75 inches. If it's too small, are there any custom fittings to make it fit? Would my GPU be compatible with that PC? Thanks! (Im buying it from shopping.hp.com too for about $720)

Question by knexpert1700 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Picture Quiz - CLOSED

Free picture-quiz! (Isn't this site great...?) Some of you will know this format, others will not. The pictures "spell-out" Instructables user names, either literally or with a bit of thinking. The first is me as an example, the other 10 are the ones I'd like to see a full set of answers for. While this is just for fun I'll patch whoever gets them any of them. While I don't expect people to do this, it would be preferable only to post answers to all10. So far: 1 Red KITE MAN tractor unit 2 ANGRY RED (Fraggle) HEAD (from Full Metal Jacket, where as Marines the toilets were referred to as "Heads" in line with marine terminology) 3 CAN IDA (an asteroid) 4 JAY (E) and Silent-Bob FU (U) Manchu as played by Boris Karloff 5 JESS (Postman Pat's cat) (Y) RAT Barton FINK 6 KENT (county) (S) OK (magazine) 7 (=) S & M ART Garfunkel (=) 8 GOO Tenacious D Tony HART 9 (THE) (Breakfast) BURRITO The MASTER (from Dr Who?, as played by Roger Delgado) 10 Mr BUMP US flag The winners being NachoMahma, Kiteman, n8man & Jayefuu L

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


Led light & switch

Hi, I've purchased a wooden toy kitchen, for my daughter. I want to add a couple of special effects to it, for realism. There's one part I don't know exactly how to do and I don't know the correct terminology for the parts I need. So any advice would be greatly appreciated. basically, the pretend oven part of the kitchen, I'd like to add a push to make, illuminated switch to the panel that houses the pretend dials. I want this switch to be connected to a battery, hidden inside the play oven & upon pressing it, not only does the switch itself light up, it powers some red led lights. This is so when my daughter presses the button, it'll light up red inside, to give the impression it's hot, the oven has a Perspex panel, so the red light will be noticeable. I'm unsure how many led lights I'd need, it's probably 1 cubic foot in volume & doesn't need to be overly bright. So what type of push button switch, what types of LED & how many, what batteries and what other components would I need?   Sorry for the lack of knowledge & thanks for any advice.

Topic by dlee60 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Mass production and led's and arduinos?

I'm interested in making something that will have several led's that I would like to flash randomly and some flashing slowly, some fast, etc.. Some with the "fade in/ fade out" kinda deal (sorry, don't know the terminology). Anyway, I'm in the process of learning all about the arduino and I'm just beginning. What I would like to know is, say I figure out how to make these led's do what I need them to and I make up one "unit" and I put it all together etc.; will I have to buy and use an arduino for every single one of these? That would get very expensive. It's kinda like those pictures I've been seeing lately for Halloween/ fall/ Christmas that have led's flashing at different times, and some come on slowly, and then fade out slowly etc.. Or anything really maybe like those little rubber balls that have flashing led's in them. How do they accomplish this? Do each of those pictures have an arduino in them or is it a matter of "programming" some kind of cheaper "chip" and using it in each project? Like I said before, I don't know the terminololgy. Just looking for most economical way of accomplishing this on several different projects. Thanks so much for any help from anyone!!

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


Servo Mod help

Hi Every one thanks for looking at my post. I have a specific project where I need 8 servos which would need to rotate up to 360 degrees. Please note I do not need continuous rotation mod, which would make me loose servo angle control. Given that i ended up with 3 options 1. Buy a winch or sail servo - these are costly about $40 and not sure if they suite my need. 2. Add an additional gear with 1:2 or 2:1 ratio (not sure about the terminology) of the main servo gear ( attached to pot); Servo rotates about 230 degrees now, so limiting it to 180 degrees from code and with the additional gear and modification I can get a 360 rotation on the added gear and use that as my main servo drive. 3. Replace current potentiometer with a multi-turn one ( available for around $2) with similar resistance value, this along with the potentiometer gear stop peg removal would give more than 360 degree rotation. Servo control would not be effected as resistance value is same and angle must be limited from code to keep the potentiometer from going to the end limits. I am just preparing and calculating the current gear values to decide on the specs needs for the gear mod. I need to measure servo pot values to find a suitable multi-turn pot. I would really appreciate if any one could comment on my approach and any alternatives. I wish some one had tried these before and could share their experience. Thanks Satya

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


Ikea RAMVIK Coffee Table Arcade Mod

I'm in the purchasing phase to begin building a new arcade modded coffee table.  I have most everything figured out, my only issue is an idea a friend of mine expressed to me tonight and that is a "spring loaded latch" to serve as a means to, when first pushed in, release the monitor from being held in place on the table so it can be more conveniently angled towards the viewers, and when pushed in again, to latch it back into position (flush with table top). My problem is,  I have no idea what these things are called or what they look like. I'm fairly certain "spring loaded latch" is the appropriate terminology, but not completely sure as everything I'm seeing looks entirely foreign to me. I've included a terrible, terrible MS Paint version (I literally spent ~5 minutes on this) to kind of show what I'm going for. I want it flat on latch, angled at release. Spring loaded to push it forward upon release, but locking at the end point (say 35 degrees). This will be my first mod, and I absolutely HAVE to do it as my wife thought it was cool enough to allow for our living room piece. So, to reiterate, my question is: What is the name of this piece that latches/releases upon pressing? Is there one viable for something as heavy as this monitor (21.5" IPS LED Monitor)? --- Also, if anyone has any suggestions, please do share. I am a total novice but my father is a woodworking aficionado (though my intent is to keep this as exclusive to my own efforts as possible).  When I finish this piece, I will absolutely include a step-by-step instruction PDF. Thanks, Eric

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


Pro woodworker seeks advice fro a machinist - I think?

So, I have 5 young nephews (5 - 12) that are super into Harry Potter. I want to make them individual, unique wands for Christmas. Not so much “traditional” HP style wands, but ones geared to each of their individual personalities. I am highly skilled with (and own) all major wood working hand tools and stationary tools, except (crucially) a lathe. Plus a lot of basic metal working tools. The goal - I would like to build a lathe like appliance, that would hold small wand sized branches / sticks, and execute assorted procedures on the branch... 1st - allow me to turn the workpiece at variable speeds (because most will not be straight). A sliding router jig would allow me to rough round theme most irregular pieces at a low lathe spin rate. I’m not so worried about achieving this goal. 2nd - I need one mandrel to be lockable (so I can inlay details with my router, for example). 3rd - I need to be able to INDEX and LOCK the mandrel at least at 6 to 12 positions (or 60 degree to 30 degree positions) - preferably the 12 position so I can make 90 degree faces, too). Unlimited stop options would be ideal, of course. This allows me to create all kinds of faceted surfaces and textures with different bits or tools. So, the obvious answer is go buy a wood lathe with an indexable and lockable mandrel. But I can’t find a cheap one, and I am a touch cash poor right now. I assume there must be a machinist mandrel head that will index like I’m describing, that I could build into my homemade appliance and power with a variable speed motor. But my main problem i have found is that I do not know the correct terminology. Any help? Thanks! Colin

Question by cnaughtin 9 months ago  |  last reply 8 months ago


Thin edge of the wedge in Texan education?

Any Texans out there? Did you know what (revisionist?) plans were afoot in your education system? Even as a panel of educators laid out a vision Wednesday for national standards for public schools, the Texas school board was going in a different direction, holding hearings on changes to its social studies curriculum that would portray conservatives in a more positive light, emphasize the role of Christianity in American history and include Republican political philosophies in textbooks. There have also been efforts among conservatives on the board to tweak the history of the civil rights movement. One amendment states that the movement created “unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes” among minorities. Another proposed change removes any reference to race, sex or religion in talking about how different groups have contributed to the national identity. - A greater emphasis on “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s.” - A reduced scope for Latino history and culture. - Changes in specific terminology. Terms that the board’s conservative majority felt were ideologically loaded are being retired. (The new recommendations stress the need for favorable depictions of America’s economic superiority across the board.) - A more positive portrayal of Cold War anticommunism. Disgraced anticommunist crusader Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin senator censured by the Senate for his aggressive targeting of individual citizens and their civil liberties on the basis of their purported ties to the Communist Party, comes in for partial rehabilitation. - Language that qualifies the legacy of 1960s liberalism. Great Society programs such as Title IX—which provides for equal gender access to educational resources—and affirmative action, intended to remedy historic workplace discrimination against African-Americans, are said to have created adverse “unintended consequences” in the curriculum’s preferred language. - Thomas Jefferson no longer included among writers influencing the nation’s intellectual origins. Jefferson, a deist who helped pioneer the legal theory of the separation of church and state, is not a model founder in the board’s judgment. ... Heavy emphasis is also to be placed on the founding fathers having been guided by strict Christian beliefs. - Excision of recent third-party presidential candidates Ralph Nader (from the left) and Ross Perot (from the centrist Reform Party). - A recommendation to include country and western music among the nation’s important cultural movements. The popular black genre of hip-hop is being dropped from the same list. None of these proposals has met with final ratification from the board—that vote will come in May, after a prolonged period of public comment on the recommendations. Still, the conservatives clearly feel like the bulk of their work is done; after the 120-page draft was finalized last Friday, Republican board member Terri Leo declared that it was "world class" and "exceptional." First paragraphs from New York Times Headline paragraphs from Yahoo News It occurs to me that it may be appropriate for some members to have a rather forceful word with their elected representatives - at all levels - about the damage these proposals will cause in the American education system...

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


Site improvement suggestion (we need meta-categories too, btw)

I have a feature request/suggestion for instructables.com.My suggestion would be to provide a menu bar option (where "Explore", "Groups", "Forums", and "Contribute" are currently) for a user of the site to suggest and request a type of instructable, and provide information about what they'd like to see.I feel that this will provide a number of benefits, and virtually no drawbacks. I will attempt to list a sampling of both if I can... I'm going to begin a couple of terminology conventions to make my idea easier to write out. From here on out, I'm going to refer to REQUESTORS as people that have an idea for an instructable that they either would like someone to pick up and do from beginning to end, or possibly a little assistance on an instructable that they've began and have a stumbling block that they need help with. I'm going to refer to WRITERS as people who write up an instructable, simple as that.-- This will allow people one central location to ask this terrific community for help with an idea that they've got in mind.-- It would serve in a way similar to the "want it" option on ebay does... Only to create a marketplace of ideas. Currently on Instructables, there seems to be, at least in a small way, a reputation system where the quality and quantity of your instructables may be a source of pride and mutual respect for the users. Some WRITER may be looking for ideas to write up, whether from beginning to end, or help solve someone else's stumbling block. They go out to the requests page (or even do a search for it) and see if anything strikes his or her interest.-- If you think about it, a lot of the biggest and best user contributed sites are successful based on the workflow organization, and how efficient they are (wikipedia comes to mind). This idea would further increase the efficiency of instructables.com, allowing for larger rates of growth. I'm not going to place value judgments on growth for growth's sake, but that's for the people that provide this great site to consider and decide for themselves.-- It would help clean out the forum a bit.-- I guess it could also help tip the balance in the "marketplace of ideas" that I mentioned before. Right now in instructables, it's not always easy to tell what a user has to bring to the table in a discussion unless they've got a few instructables out there to judge. If you have a request system, you could look at what kinds of things they ask, and get to know them a little better that way.--in my opinion, one of the biggest neat benefits would be the additional opportunity for isolated users to connect with others who are interested in the same types of things as they may be (or you, or me). This would enhance the learning environment, the sense of community, and benefit everyone.Negatives:--additional complexity--frivolous requests (like that never happens now, right?)--time and expense for implementation--site aesthetics, maybe?I'm certain that my idea could use some tinkering, but that's kinda the spirit of this site, isn't it? I already have some ideas about this along the fringes, but I'd rather wait and see if this gets any kind of response.

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


How to limit welder current (heat)? Answered

Hi All, I admit to being electrically dumb, well one step above dumb, I'm a software engineer not electrical engineer, but I don't even know enough enough to be dangerous yet:) I'm going to be converting an ac welder to dc. It's a harbor freight 90 amp flux wire job, comes from the factory as AC for some unknown reason, but should be DCEN for FCAW welding. There are several walk throughs availabile online. I don't know the rules for linking to other forums, so I won't post a link, but you can google 90 amp welder dcen conversion if you want details. I attached an image of the circuit I got from a post by bluecatfish onweldingweb. I'll be taking the transformer output, running through a full bridge rectifier to convert to rippled DC, using capacitors to remove ripple, and lastly running through a torroid inductor. Another problem with this welder is it only comes with high/low power settings. The low is still too hot and burns through thinner metals.  I want a way limit current further, but maintain voltage for a stable arc. I'll be adding a bleeder resistor to drain the caps, which gave me an idea. At first I thought to use several more resistors in parallel with the bleeder to reduce current. I imagine this might work but be horribly inefficient. It would still use all available power from the supply, just converting some of it to heat, leaving less power for the arc. I've read that adding resistance in series will reduce current, but won't that drop voltage available for the arc? Then I was thinking, I have a motor speed control for a router. I believe this is a pwm. Could it be used to chop the mains input (120v 20a) to the transformer and reduce overall output without effecting voltage(I've read this is 38v 80a in the factory state before my mods)? since I'm adding capacitors downstream, will they just discharge too fast leaving me with ripple/pulsing? If so, how would I slow the discharge rate? (I'm looking at 3x or 4x caps 22,000uF @65v in parallel on a bus bar, so 66,000 or 88,000uF total). Sorry if in not making sense, as I said in the intro, I have a lot to learn, and right now, the more I read, the more confused I get. Edit:  After more research, and to hopefully use correct terminology, I think I'm talking about using a current divider when referring to multiple resistors in parallel to the welding leads. I think I'm referring to a switching regulator when I suggested using a pwm to chop the transformer input. Can either of these work like I'm hoping? Is there a better way, that is relatively simple?  Thanks in advance for your patience and help. 

Question by DonaldF9 3 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


(Arduino) automated macro-photography rail

Hi everyone, I would like to build an Arduino automated macro-photography rail (let's call it AAMR). I'm a decent software engineer and I want to learn electronics, so I'm looking for someone telling me I'm going in the right direction... The idea sounds simple, I want to : 1/ place the subject on the AAMR 2/ input the # of pictures needed to perform a "focus stacking" (https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Focus_stacking) 3/ push the start button and make the AAMR loop n times through the following steps : - trigger the camera to take a picture of the subject - move the subject 1 millimetre toward the camera After a couple weeks reading and day-dreaming, here are my thoughts. I need : - to read more :) - a steeper motor and its driver (I own bipolar steppers and L298 / L293 IC) - to trigger the camera (Canon EOS 70d : remote cable is quite easy to make) - a potentiometer and 2* 7segment displays (input and display the # of pictures) - a start button - a reset button to make the rail come back at position Zero - two "end of course" buttons (not sure about the English terminology), just in case the motor wants to jump over the board - power (5v for the arduino and the logic, 12v for the motors) I. Arduino ---------- First things first, I plan to use an Arduino Uno during prototyping and replace it by a home made board in the final product. Uno has 14 Digital I/O Pins and 6 Analog Input Pins : - stepper => 6 Digital pins (3 ?? if using http://www.bristolwatch.com/L298N/L298N_arduino.htm) - 7segment led => 3 Digital pins if using shift registers (https://www.instructables.com/id/Different-methods-of-driving-7-Segment-LED-display/step5/null/) - start button => 1 Digital pin - reset button => 1 Digital pin - "end of course" buttons => 2 Digital pins - camera trigger => 1 Digital pin (to drive an opto isolator / solid state relay) - potentiometer => 1 Analog pin 14 Digital pins ! Uno should do the job, am I right ? (I know I could use Analog pins as Digital ones, but it seems I don't need it...) II. PSU ------- Next interrogation is about power supply : I don't want a battery powered device and my options are scarce : - ATX PSU supplies both 5 and 12v, but Arduino seems to like >5v, so ATX doesn't seem a good choice - home made PSU from an existing wall wart -> voltage divider to get ~7v and ~14v -> 7805/7812 voltage regulator (may need heatsinks and/or little fan) If I do the math : - Arduino : 50ma - Stepper motor : 700mA max - L298 : 70mA (quiescent current) - 2* 7Segment LED (multiplexed) : 2 * 80mA (estimated) - Shift registers IC (SN74HC595N) : 1ma (optional : Hex inverter 74LS04 : ?? mA) Total : around 980mA... Am I doing right ? I have tons of questions left (Hex inverter, filter capacitors, motor noise reduction, solid state relays...), but it's a good start :) Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for your answers ! D

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


Davison and being an inventor

Last week a company called Davison was running targeted ads on Instructables through Google Adsense. Google Adsense typically places contextual-based ads on sites making connections between advertisers and publishers based on their search technology. However, advertisers can also work with Google to directly placed ads on specific sites. At first, we were flattered that Davison chose to target us, and further flattered that they were actually using our terminology in their ads. You may have seen "Cool Instructable?" or "Have an Instructable?" text ads running in our right sidebar.After checking out what Davison does, I decided they weren't a good fit with us and removed the ads. Normally, this would be no big deal, but because of the business Davison is in and the specifics of this case, I wanted to share my thinking.Davison solicits ideas from independent inventors, creates prototypes, markets potential products to manufacturers and distributors, and collects royalties. This is not worlds different from what we did at Squid Labs, except I would characterize Squid's activities as more technical and with the aim of creating sustainable businesses rather than exclusively creating products to be licensed.The rub comes in that Davison is not forthcoming with how they actually make money: high fees paid by the independent inventors. Here's a Forbes article that goes into greater depth, but for me, the important statistic is this: 37,000 or so people have contracted Davison Design's services in the last five years; but only eight of those who have signed up have realized royalties exceeding their fees to Davison.A 0.02% success rate is just awful, and clearly shows that they are preying upon people who don't know any better.The thing that personally put me over the edge was a section from their Questions and Myths:9. Can I tell people about my idea? We recommend that you do not publicly disclose your invention/idea to anyone (not even a friend or a family member), unless you have confidential documents in place to verify that you are the originator of the invention.Obviously, I have a conflict of interest, because I want you to share your initial ideas here in the forums and how you built your ideas into prototypes as Instructables to help me grow the site; however, the concept of absolute secrecy is anathema to me. Here at Squid Labs, we know of no one that has had their invention stolen by some big corporation (more on this at Saul's column in Makezine Vol. 9; full text available as an attached PDF, kindly permitted by Make). My experience has uniformly been that sharing yields stronger results than hiding. The person you share your ideas with might turn into a business partner and be instrumental in your shared success.Clearly there's demand for services to help inventors. Davison seems to have a nice facility at Invention Land; instead, why don't they invite the almost 8000 people per year that contact them to attend an "invention boot camp?" Attendees could learn some basic design, CAD, and machining skills, give mock presentations, and learn how to do a preliminary patent search. If Davison was doing a good job, they would start to see some success from their graduates, and companies looking for innovation would seek out the graduates or ask to attend the camp's final design reviews.Teaching people all these skills might sound impossible - like a full undergraduate and graduate series of degrees compressed into an 80-hour crash course. No course can cover everything- instead, it should give motivated people the basic skills and confidence to start doing it themselves, and teach them how to seek out the additional knowledge they need. It's surprising what motivated people can accomplish if you just get them started.In 2002 Saul and I taught a one-week class called Cyclomerisation where we taught a group of 12 people just enough bicycle design, CAD, and manufacturing to make them dangerous. Each person then designed their own custom bicycle using 8020 extruded aluminum and jet-machined connectors. We had telescoping unicycles, recumbent tricycles, and plenty of standard bikes; for example, check out Saul's 8020 Chopper. Half the participants were MIT students, half were not, and it made no difference -- everyone was motivated to learn something new and to put it into practice.If this idea isn't Davison's thing, then maybe I've found a project to work on after Instructables can run itself. In the meantime, I'm sharing the idea with all of you, because that's the best way to vet it, see if it has legs, and make it stronger.More pictures from Cyclomerisation here and here.

Topic by ewilhelm 12 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


History of Printing Mesh

Sit in on a trade show seminar or visit an online forum, and you'll encounter countless debates about the "right" type of mesh to use. The truth is, while there are some guidelines to follow, the best way to determine what's right for your shop is by trial and error. Only problem is, who has the time to experiment? There are literally hundreds of mesh types out there. Trying to choose the best one can seem like an overwhelming task, but by following some general rules of thumb, you can narrow down your mesh choices to a dozen or so. Then testing each kind won't seem so unmanageable. Specs. It may look like the screen on your back door, but screen printing mesh isn't the same kind of material. The biggest difference is that unlike what keeps bugs out of your house, this type of mesh is made from fabric, not wire. For this industry, monofilament polyester is the most frequently used mesh material. When you start shopping for mesh, you'll also need to determine the weave, count, thread diameter and color that's best for your shop. The type of weave is a no-brainer. When researching mesh, you may come upon the terms plain-weave and twill mesh. The difference between the two is how the threads are woven to create the mesh pattern. Make sure you purchase plain-weave mesh instead of twill mesh, which can cause moiré problems, especially in the high mesh counts. Mesh is often referred to by its mesh count – i.e. 120 mesh, 230 mesh etc. – representing the number of threads per inch. The lower the count, the bigger the mesh openings. Low mesh counts are commonly used with specialty inks such as glitter and puff to allow big ink particles to reach the substrate. High mesh counts are mainly used to print fine details and halftones. Printing through high mesh counts also produces a thin layer of ink on the garment, creating a soft hand. Mesh with a count that falls somewhere in the middle is what most screen printers rely on for their basic, everyday print jobs. The last factor you'll need to decide on is thread diameter. Until a few years ago, terms such as S, T and HD were commonly used to refer to thread diameter. Now, however, a more universal method of referring to the diameter number (in microns) helps keep consistency throughout the industry. While there's no standard thread diameter for each mesh count, there's generally a heavy-duty and a light version for each mesh count. The thinner the thread, the better the detail, but the weaker the fabric. The mesh manufacturer or your local distributor will help you weigh the benefits of each and determine what's right for your individual shop. As you shop for mesh, you're sure to come across different colors. Mesh is typically offered in white and yellow, although orange is available from some manufacturers. During exposure, a white mesh will refract the light similar to the way in which a fiber optic cable works. The light travels down and out, affecting edge definition and quality. This isn't as important with lower mesh counts, but when you're doing a lot of fine detail and halftone work, such slight adjustments will show up in the final print. For this reason, many printers stick with white for lower mesh counts, but use yellow or orange for higher mesh counts. Assess Your Need. Everyone has a preferred type, but there are some general guidelines to go by when you're in the market for mesh. Look around your shop and you'll find clues to what type of mesh counts you should be printing with. The three factors to base your decision on are the type of garments you're printing on, your ink type and the kind of frame system that you use on a regular basis. You'll also need to take into account the type of print jobs you typically do. For most screen printers, T-shirts are the order of the day. They can probably get by using a middle-of-the-road mesh count such as a 110 mesh. However, if you print a lot of athletic numbers and use thick ink to withstand the rough treatment jerseys encounter on the field, you'll probably need a coarser mesh count to allow the thicker ink to reach the material. In such cases, it's not necessary to use a high mesh count. On the other hand, if you do a lot of halftone and fine detail work, you'll need a higher mesh count to retain the minute details in the design. Also let your distributor or manufacturer know what type of frame system you use, as some types require sturdier mesh (and higher thread diameters) to withstand repeated use. In general, most screen printers find that a 110 mesh count will work fine for most jobs. The key word here, though, is "most." Don't rely on 110 mesh for each and every single job. Instead, try out different mesh counts with different print jobs, and keep a record of your production results. Note the mesh type, screen tension, type of ink and whether the print job is multicolor, process color, etc. Also note the garment type: Are you printing on a nylon jacket or a cotton T-shirt? Regularly reviewing your records will help you see a pattern, and decide which mesh tends to work best with a particular ink and design combination. You'll be surprised by the varying results between your "everyday" mesh count and one that's a little higher or lower. If you want to experiment with different mesh counts, start with the coarsest mesh and work your way up to the higher numbers, noting how the print looks with each version. Hit the Trail. Most screen printers have an established local distributor that they order supplies from. Others may prefer to order directly from the manufacturer. To find a list of mesh distributors and manufacturers, check out IMPRESSIONS' 2003 Sourcebook. Decoding the Salesspeak. The world of mesh can get a little technical. Here are some key terms to help you navigate the terminology: Low-elongation (LE) mesh – Most monofilament polyester fabrics are low elongation. The term refers to the mesh's ability to retain its tension level. In the past, stretching screens required tensioning the mesh to say, 25 N/cm, letting it relax to a lower tension then repeating the process. Today's low elongation mesh typically only requires one go-around. Monofilament polyester mesh – Some printers who've been around for years still use multifilament polyester mesh. However, the majority of the industry has switched to monofilament. Although it must be abraded for good emulsion adhesion, monofilament mesh tends to stretch, hold tension and print better than multifilament mesh. Plain-weave mesh – Almost all mesh for the textile printing industry is plain weave. The term refers to the method by which the threads are arranged to create the mesh openings. Warp – The threads that run the length of a roll of mesh. Weft – The threads that run the width of a roll of mesh. The Numbers Game. Mesh is typically ordered by the roll, usually in yards. The price depends on the width of the roll (40", 50", 60" wide, etc.), the mesh count and the color. White mesh is not quite as expensive as yellow or orange mesh, because it doesn't go through the dying and rinse processes. Setup Surprises. Be careful how you open the packaging surrounding your new roll of mesh. Avoid using a knife if possible – mesh can be damaged just by being carelessly opened. Once you've opened your new mesh, store it someplace out of the traffic flow. Try hanging it on a wall like a paper towel roll. Getting it up and off the floor can prevent accidental damage. Keeping the roll visible also allows staff to monitor the supply. Don't wait until the last minute to order mesh – you may not be able to get a new supply in time for that next rush job. Care and Feeding. Once you stretch your screens, what can you do to keep the mesh in top shape? For one thing, be careful with your screens. While coarse mesh can withstand more wear and tear, high mesh counts can be easily damaged when moving them around the shop. To extend the life of your mesh, try stretching your screens so that the squeegee stroke runs parallel to the warp. After several print jobs, who can remember what the mesh count is on a particular screen? To help keep confusion to a minimum, consider writing the mesh count number directly on the screens or frame. Or, color code your stock: white for lower mesh counts, yellow for the more detailed work. So while there's no hard rule for what mesh counts to use, knowing what to look for can help you find what's right for your shop. – CW from Internet

Topic by sharefilters 10 years ago


FAQ Center (UNDER CONSTRUCTION!)

Hi there! I'm Keith-Kid, a regular member of Instructables.com, and just a kid that enjoys making stuff. This place is extremely friendly and welcoming, so feel free to jump into a conversation anytime!I noticed a lot of Frequently Asked Questions around the forums from new members, so I decided to do something about it. Be sure to check back here if you ever have a question. Or, just ask any member to help!So go out there, and Start Making!Instructrables has recently been upgraded, and changed. Please wait while I update this FAQ to the aforementioned changesTable Of Contents1. Getting Started 1.1.......................What is Instructables? 1.2.......................How does the Site make money? Is it profitable? 1.3.......................What is the Instructables Robot? 1.4...................... How can I get started here? 1.5...................... Who can Help me get started here? 1.6.......................What does DIY mean? 1.7.......................What can I write an Instructable about? 1.8.......................What's the difference between an Instructable and a slideshow? 1.9 ......................What is a video on Instructables 1.10....................How can I unpublish my Instructable?2. The Community 2.1.............................How can I make text effects like bold, italic , small text and upper small text? 2.2............................ Why doesn't my Instructable show up on the search page when I type the name? 2.3 ............................What kind of material is considered offensive? What kind of material should be avoided? 2.4.............................Why am I asked to give a number when I send a Private message to someone? 2.5.............................Can I ask for homework help on the forums? 2.6.............................How can I improve the community? 2.7.............................I've spotted an offensive ad! What can I do? 2.8.............................Can i post Instructables in other languages? 3. Other Instructables Features 3.1.............................How do contests work? 3.2.............................Are contests decided by the staff or the community? 3.3.............................What is Burning Questions? 3.4.............................Why is Burning Questions Held? 3.5..............................If Burning Questions is chosen by the staff, then why does it have a voting option for the Instructables? 3.6.................................If I submit 2 answers to Burning Questions, and they both win, do I get 2 Prize Packs? 3.7.................................What regions are eligible to participate in contests? 3.8 ................................How can my Instructable get more views? 3.9.................................How are Instructables featured? 3.10...............................What does an Instructable need to be featured? 3.11...............................How can I be selected to be able to feature? 4. Miscellaneous 4.1..............................Is it possible to intern at Instructables? 4.2 ..............................What is the Community Section? 4.3...............................What is the Marketplace? 4.4...............................I just saw a comment that says it was posted -xx minutes ago! What should I do?5. Current Events and Glitches5.1............................... I just rated an Instructable, but it says that it hasn't been rated yet!5.2 ...............................5.2 I just saw a comment that says it was posted -xx minutes ago! What should I do?1. Getting Started 1.1 What is Instructables?In a sentence: Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others. A bit more in depth: It was created by Eric Wilhelm, a mechanical engineer, and launched in August 2005. Instructables is dedicated to step-by-step collaboration among members to build a variety of projects. Users post instructions to their projects, usually accompanied by visual aids, and then interact through comment sections below each Instructable step as well in topic forumsWhile a member of the Media Lab at MIT, Wilhelm co-founded Squid Labs, an engineering and technology company specializing in design and consulting. Instructables started as an internal Squid Labs project, which Wilhelm has since spun out as an independent company and acts as CEO.The original content focused mostly on such projects as building electronic or mechanical devices to solve common problems around the home. The scope of the project has expanded to include a larger array of categories, including arts and crafts, food, home, life, offbeat (first known as "not liable") and recently knex, transportation and tech. The site allows uploading of photos, diagrams, video and animation to help explain complex terminology and mechanisms in clear and understandable termsRead more about the history...Also, Read our About to see who works here1.2 How does the Site make money? Is it profitable?The site is mainly supported by ads, which you see in the sidebars and sometimes at the top of the page. Here is the full explanationIs Instructables profitable? - Almost. According to ewilhelm , the site generates enough money, that it usually covers its running costs, but not quite enough yet to be constantly profitable. 1.3 What is the Instructables Robot?The Instructables Robot is Instructable's mascot. His main function is to greet new members and alert members when they receive comments or messages. The robot is friendly and welcoming. You can easily find him around Instructables.You can tell the robot to alert you if you receive a comment in your personal settings. Likewise, you can tell him to stop doing so anytime at your personal settings.Nobody knows how exactly the robot came to Instructables.....time may tell......1.4 How can I get started here?You probably want to upload an image to your profile. You can do that here , as well as change some of your other account settings, like making View all Steps in one page your default.After that, check out How to make a great Instructable , The Guided Tour of Instructables, and the Help Group if you have any questions.1.5 Who can Help me get started here? ANYONE! all users are helpful. If you are confused, or have a question, don't be afraid to ask in the forum of a member of the community. Our members are happy to help newcomers get comfortable. You are more likely to get lots of help through an open thread, but you can ask questions privately (say, for a project in development) through the "Private Message" system.Have a look at other FAQs in the FAQ Section1.6 What does DIY mean?DIY means Do-It-Yourself. It means that instead of buying expensive stuff, make it yourself and save some money. The main idea of Instructables is to make things and share them with others. You will be surprised about how much money you could save if you do things yourself, and we are here to help you.1.7 What can I write an Instructable about?Bearing in mind our family nature, anything at all. If you're passionate about it, and want to tell others how you do it, then write an Instructable. If you're looking for inspiration, check out the Burning Questions to get you started. When you're a bit more familiarized try entering our Contests1.8 What's the difference between an Instructable and a slideshow?In an Instructable, you show detailed step-by step details on how to make or do something. A slideshow is used when you do not have enough documentation or material for a full Instructable. In a slideshow, you can show off projects or things that you have made. If you want to show something, but its not enough to fill an instructable, you can show pictures of it in a slideshow and write a short summary of the project.1.9 What is a video on Instructables? If you do not want to write a full instructable, but you want to present something that can't be fit into a slideshow, you can embed a video as an individual section.1.10 How can I unpublish my Instructable?It's a slightly-roundabout route, but if you click the edit function, then the publish, and unpublish options appears lower down the screen.2. The Community2.1 How can I make text effects like bold, italic , small text and upper small text?Read this helpful Section by Instructables member NachoMahma2.2 Why doesn't my Instructable show up on the search page when I type the name? Instructables are reviewed by the Robot and his human minions before being added to the public pages. Be patient, it may not have gone through the filter yet. Is your instructable lacking images? Sometimes instructables without images fail to go through the filter.On weekends and Holidays, where there is an influx of people posting projects, it may take longer than normal for it to show up in the Most Recents. If there is a problem with your work, someone on staff will PM you.Your instructable may have been caught by the spam filter. If it has, contact anyone in the Instructable team, and they will check it out for you. Just Be Patient.2.3 What kind of material is considered offensive? What kind of material should be avoided?Pornography - Any and all pornographic material is considered offensive. Posting images or links that include pornography is strictly prohibited. This is a family friendly site, children often browse this site.Language - If you wouldn't show it or say it to your headteacher at school, don't show or say it here.Insults and flaming - We have a "be nice" policy here. Please be positive and constructive with your comments or risk being banned from our site.Spam - Spamming, misleading links and site advertising on the forums, orangeboards, instructables, and Private Messaging are strictly prohibited. However, offers and advertising are allowed in the For Sale Section2.4 Why am I asked to give a number when I send a Private message to someone?This is called a Captcha. A captcha is when you are asked a number or word that appears as an image or sound. The purpose of this is to stop automated spam robots from spamming our Community.2.5 Can I ask for homework help on the forums?Of course! Our community is more than happy to help any way possible! Be sure to post in in the right category, because you wont get much science help in our craft section!2.6 How can I improve the community?You can help our community in many different ways:Be positive and constructive in your comments. We are a friendly and welcoming community, feel free to comment and incorporate yourself into forum topics and discussions. Our members are happy to help and guide newcomers in any way they can.Report offensive material. If you spot material that might be considered offensive or SPAM, click the "flag" button next to the comment or instructable. The Staff will review and take action if necessary.2.7 I've spotted an offensive ad! What can I do?If you spot an ad that qualifies as offensive, right click (not left click!) on it and choose properties. In Firefox, you can right-click and select "Copy Link Location". Copy the URL and report it to a staff member so they can take immediate action. If possible, it is also good to take snapshots of the page (On your keyboard, press Prt Scrn and paste it on MS paint or another image editing program) then present it to a staff member.2.8 Can I post Instructables in other languages?Of Course! We would be extremely happy to add instructables with languages other than english. If you need help with some words or terms, feel free to ask around on our community! Proper grammar and spelling are compulsory in any language. We have a lot of users who are fluent in many languages including Spanish, German and French.3. Other Instructables Features3.1 How do contests work?There is no complete answer to that question, as different contests have different rules. Usually, a contest follows these steps:1) A staff member usually announces that a new contest is coming, and what the theme will be, so members will start getting ideas2) The Contest is announced in the front page3) A staff member will post an instructable on how to enter the contest, and will show full details about it.4) The Contest is then opened for entries.5) After a specific time, the entry deadline closes and the winners are chosen either by the staff of by community votes (Depends on the contests specific rules) and are announced.There are two kinds of contests:- Regular contests are the ones that last a month. These contests also set the month's specific theme. These contests are usually sponsored by a company that is related to the theme. For this reason, prizes almost always come from the companies themselves. Regular contest feature more expensive prizes.- Speed contests are those that only last a predefined time. They are called speed contests, because users have to submit their entries before a close deadline. Since they last such a short time, there are usually more than one speed contest can be held in one same month. In some rare occasions, there can be more than one active Speed Contest at a time. Speed contests usually have more and less expensive prizes than regular contests.3.2 Are contests decided by the staff or the community?It depends on the Contest's specific rules. When an Instructable is chosen by the community, the winners may have multiple categories, such as best rated, most viewed, most votes and others.When the staff decides the winners, they usually take the community's reaction to it as a factor in choosing the winners.3.3 What is Burning Questions?Burning Questions is a regular event in Instructables, where the staff (usually Noahw since he manages it) posts a list of Wanted Instructables that haven't been made.Users submit their entries and the best instructable that answers a question on the list wins a prize. Since there are so many prizes (One for each question), Burning Question Prizes are less expensive, so there can be more prizes.(Originally, the prize was an Instructables Shirt, but as the community grew, more instructables were requested, and the prizes were getting more expensive, so now, the prize is usually a Prize Pack consisting of various Instructables Merchandise)When a winner is chosen, the staff will send him/her a Private Message telling them how to claim their prize.The staff publishes a new round every now and then (currently, we should be expecting Round 5.)Rules:Although the rules are posted in the same posts that the questions are announced, these rules are important, and if not followed, an entry wont qualify: - The Instructable must have pictures in every step. These pictures must be related to the instructable. - The Instructable must be of good quality. It must have proper grammar and steps must be clearly understandable and detailed - The title must be the same as the question, or else it wont be accepted. If the question is how to fold a shirt, the Instructable's title must be exactly that.3.4 Why is Burning Questions Held?Burning Questions has 2 purposes:Getting people to create Instructables wanted amongst the communityImproving the site's "googleabilty". Since many questions start with How to...., it helps the site appear more prominently amongst search engines like Google.3.5 If Burning Questions is chosen by the staff, then why does it have a voting option for the Instructables?Burning Questions winners are chosen by the staff. The voting option is available because Burning Questions has been implemented into the new Contest Section, because of various reasons.Although it is the staff who choose the winners, the community's response to the instructables is also a factor in the decision. 3.6 If I submit 2 answers to Burning Questions, and they both win, do I get 2 Prize Packs?No, if you answer 2 questions in one Burning Questions Contest, the staff will send you a surprise extra gift along with your Prize Pack.3.7 What regions are eligible to participate in contests?Some contest are open to any country, while sadly others are not available for some countries. Take your time and carefully read the rules and details of contests so you can save time or make arrangements.3.8 How can my Instructable get more views?The main thing you can do to get more views is to make something interesting and likable.If you want more views, try posting a forum topic so people can learn about it. Instructables with good and clear steps might even be featured on the Front page- the most trafficked part of Instructables.com3.9 How are Instructables featured? Members who have shown to be very helpful inside our community are handpicked by the Instructables staff and are given the ability to feature an instructable is they consider it meets the criteria for Featuring. As Instructables are featured they appear on the homepage, the most trafficked part of the site. 3.10 What does an Instructable need to be featured?It needs to be good - clear, easily-read Instructions, plenty of useful photos, in focus and probably using your camera's Macro Function (Click here for additional info on using the macro setting) , and additional notes on the images to explain extra points.You should use full and proper language - capitalize sentences, check your spellings and don't use sms-speak. (cuz-because). English isn't compulsory, but correct grammar and spelling are.If it is original idea, a novel approach or an enjoyable read, with carefully-arranged images, then it is more likely to be featured.3.11 How can I be selected to be able to feature?If you produce consistently-good Instructables, and especially if you take an active, useful part in the community, you may be approached by Eric ( ewilhelm ) to join the team. There is no set number of members of the team, but new members are not often invited.4. Miscellaneous4.1 Is it possible to intern at Instructables?-Check regularly at our We're hiring page for more info. Instructables member TimAnderson is also running an internship program documenting Heirloom Technologies 4.2 What is the Community Section?The Community Section contains the Forums:You can choose to either view topics by category or View All in an option at the top of the pageGeneral Forums - General Discussions of DIY. You can talk about anything, not just DIYMarketPlace - Forums for job offers, Internships, Kit sales and other sale sin generalHelp - Ask for help, report a bug, or just give your feedback on Instructables4.3 What is the Marketplace?The MarketPlace is a special part of the forums dedicated to bussiness like Job offers, Interships, Kit sales, and other sales in general.You can sell your stuff, or buy someone else's. This section is still fairly new, so some changes might still happen.5. Current events and Glitches5.1 I just rated an Instructable, but it says that it hasn't been rated yet!The current rating system is fairly new. Before, the rating system was simply the option to give it a plus, or a minus.Our new Rating System is based on the one described hereThe new rating system, consists of the ability to give it a rating from a scale of 0.0 to 5.0. This system is represented by a line of stars. You may also give ratings like 3.5 and 2.5.This new system is not yet complete, and there are a few bugs to work out. Currently when you rate something, it is queued to be processed during Instructables' overnight Bayesian rating algorithm-run and does not update immediately.Until it is complete, you might notice somethings, like for example, that most Instructables will have a rating lower than 4.5.2 I just saw a comment that says it was posted -xx minutes ago! What should I do?This is a small glitch we are currently experiencing. The staff is aware of this, so please, do not report this as a bug or make a forum topic about it. It is nothing serious and out staff are working to fix it. Instructables runs on a couple of servers. Sometimes, the serves receive different information, and when they each compare their information, they might get confused and say that the post was made at a time that is not possible.The following people have contributed to this FAQ:* Kiteman* NachoMahma* Brennn10ewilhelmThanks for your help!I hope this Section has helped answer any questions you might have.Have a question that should appear here? Private message me and I will answer as soon as I can.

Topic by Keith-Kid 11 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago