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Homemade electric nail file

Hey there to all you wonderful people! I have an odd proposal / suggestion / idea... I was wondering if anyone had ever considered this as an Instructables project by any (small) chance? Don't laugh TOO much, this is not something that would be considered a run-of-the-mill every-day kind of DIY by any means... Here's my ish: I'm not incredibly fantastic when it comes to personal grooming, doing the basics as quickly as possible so as to waste as little time getting ready for the day. However, me tooties are a point of some concern due to an out-of-the-ordinary dermal condition. As a result of this, I have to take special attention to moisturizing feet and toenail filing. Also, I suffered an accident when I was much younger that caused the nails on the big toe to grow skew. Long story short I've now been sitting on the floor for 40 minutes with a manual file and, while my one's and two's a looking smashing, I thought there MUST be a way of making my own electric nail file. I thought to try and convert a screwdriver bit for my electric screwdriver into a spherical file which I'm sure would literally save me HOURS and will do my knees a world of good - I've found myself kneeling in 1 position for a lot longer than nature intended. I am NOT the shining Instructables Star in the making by ANY stretch of the imagination but I do have some interesting theories about time travel (not really applicable here, but I wanted to try and sound less daaa - cos this isn't a 'Change The World' kinda project) In any event, I thought maybe someone who has a grasp of my concept and an understanding of how things worked may have a thought on how to accomplish this? Baring in mind that where I live, things like electric nail files are luxuries available only to a specific  social group & not an option for the general norm pavements specials such as I... I'm so interested to see if anyone could give me some help. You'd LITERALLY be saving my life (or at least adding about 10 - 15 years to it where I don't have to spend crouched over a small chair for a quarter of my day every 5 or 6 days) Stopped giggling yet? :) Tx guys, it's a dumb thing to ask, but this dumb thing has the potential to SIGNIFICANTLY change my life in a very practical way. Kind Regards and Loads of thanks! ps It ses to add images, but I think just for the sake of global sanity I'll refrain until I've found a working solution (or a pic of someone else's feet) :) Much love t'ya!

Topic by nixusinc    |  last reply


Cool things to build in a cardboard maze?

I am in charge of building a cardboard maze for my churches "Harvest Party" (basically a safer, family oriented alternative for trick or treating). I have been doing this for a couple years, and last year we build a maze about 80x60 feet big (all out of cardboard an duct tape!). So now we are starting to plan out this years maze. I was just wondering if anyone had some really cool ideas of stuff to put into the maze, or an interesting structure/passageway to add to the maze. Not sure about sizes yet, but I think this year we can expand the maze to about half the size of a basketball court or larger (so size does not matter). In the past we have done blacklights, strobes, etc. Please no ideas about skeletons/ghosts/hauntings. This maze is for kids, and is an alternative to "scarier" halloween traditions. Keep this in mind as you post please. Thanks, I am looking forward to your replies! A907

Topic by astroboy907    |  last reply


I need new shoes!

I've been wearing the same pair of shoes every day since early July 2008, and after gluing the soles back on twice, they're finally starting to wear out. I want another pair just like them, but they went out of production a couple weeks before I got them on clearance. They're Skechers 60562 Ridge Meridians, pictured below. I'm having a devil of a time finding replacements. I want a natural rubber sole that isn't a mud collector, full-grain leather uppers (in as few pieces as possible), preferably low tops (I like ankle movement), fairly wide for my clown feet, and very flexible. Basically this creates a shoe that is comfortable and workable to walk in (I walk a lot) but still tough enough to hold up to sharp and/or flaming things being dropped on them in the shop or in the field. Suggestions for durable replacements? Perhaps Red Wings or Wolverines? How durable are Hush Puppies?

Topic by CameronSS    |  last reply


Bamboo Rain Stick

Hey, I am thinking about making a natural rain stick out of bamboo, but I don't know exactly where I should go to pick up a hollow bamboo pole to make the body of. I found a lot of sites online that I can buy bales of 10+ poles, but honestly I only need 10 feet or so to tinker around with. I am thinking a diameter of 2 or 3 inches would be good. Also, any ideas on what to use for the nails/screws inside the pole? I was thinking of finding some cactus needles or wooden pegs/screws, but I don't know where I could find enough. Any brainstorming ideas? The most important thing for me is how to find these bamboo poles. Any help or ideas would be awesome, thanks!

Topic by JadedEmperor    |  last reply


Effects on metal

So I really like this clock.  I think I'll buy it soon. But as a beginner's art project, I'm trying to replicate some of the metal effects here.  I'm curious for techniques on how to accomplish some things, like: The back plate is copper, which the artist says is "oxidized".  I expect oxidation to turn copper green, blue, or black, not this silver/grey color.  Any ideas how this was done?  Is it just that it's a light oxidation? I really like the metal texturing here.  I've been able to replicate something similar on copper plate by hand-sanding in one direction with a fine-grained sandpaper.  But notice the vertical texturing on the backplate - how would that have been done?? I like the polished metal look of the minute hand contrasting with the reflective look of the hour hand.  How would you do that - similar way as the backplate?  Same with the gear? I've actually made what I think are much prettier nails by taking old (originally quite rusted) square iron nails, removing the rust and grinding the crap out of them with a bench grinder until I get a cool reflective finish.  Doing the grinding in patches gives it almost a hammered metal look while keeping the reflectiveness.  I think the effect is cool and really works with the "old-but-new" look of the square nails.  I'll post before+after pictures if anyone's interested.

Topic by ischorr    |  last reply


How to make a RFID bracelet for a travel card (Oyster card)?

Im trying to make a bracelet which incorporates my London Oyster Card (RFID travel card) so i can just swipe my wrist and not faff about with wallets or pockets etc but I am having a few issues. The basic design is going to be simple and effective. I will have a length of regular guage wire around the wrist, secured by a single wire connector/ terminal block (see photo). It will prob be a earth wire, as it is a fancy colour. The RFID will be placed inside the plastic connector and hot glued end end to secure it and keep out the elements. The RFID's aeriel wire will be inside the earth wire heatshrink, it will be a loop of wire and can be as thick as it needs to be. I keep having problems though, I cant get the chip out of the card in one piece. I have been using nail varnish remover but with mixed results.   When/if I do get the RFID chip out of the card, i will need to solder a new aerial and I am unsure about the process. Does the length/gauge of wire matter for the function of the RFID? im thinking about its frequency. Will it need to be ceramic covered wire to avoid shorts? Has anyone put a contactless travel card into other things? Or has any experience dealing with this sort of area? I would very much appreciate any help or advice.

Question by Clodester    |  last reply


health questions? Answered

Hey heres just some general health questions i have for anyone out there and dont judge, i am simply just asking for help alright so i am 15 and i am 6'2" tall and 145lbs with a pretty good diet if that pertains to any questions. first question: on my fingernails i have little white marks that show up all the time its like if i damaged my nails but i didn't and they are very random and mostly show up on my right hand only, second question: my left eye has what looks like a popped blood vessel and its been like that for about a year and it doesn't go away  every so often it varies, for example it will be kinda pinkish in the area then the next day it will be dark red, what is this?, third question: my feet naturally go out when i walk and stand they look like this:\/ with the point being my heels how can i fix this, fourth question: whenever i work out, my right elbow gets symptoms of tennis elbow and when im doing curls my elbow hurts severely on the way down but it doesn't hurt when im bringing up the weight, also my right elbow will lock up: for example i will be writing in school and my elbow will suddenly freeze, it doesn't hurt that bad it just is annoying and i will have to swing my arm for it to get unstuck and continue writing, what is this and how can i fix it? fifth question: if i scratch my head i will acummulate this greasy white stuff under my finger nails (keep in mind i wash my hair very good  everyday) and this is just nasty please explain to me what it may be and sixth and final question: i have bad posture in my back and would like to know some exercises i can do to improve it? sorry this was really long and if you could respond that would be nice thanks 

Question by BIGHAIRYDUDE    |  last reply


glass table? (is this where this goes? :D)

I recently obtained for a fair price a cut piece of glass from goodwill. its rounded slightly at the sides and greatly at the corners. at the widest point it is approximately 52" by 24". its 3/8" thick-its fairly heavy as you could imagine. I mean i can pick it up by myself but its worrying me what to build the actual support out of. I was thinking to have 2 tubes pipes or cylinders at equal distances from the right and left edges-it would be at least 10 inches away from the edge on each side, leaving what, 32 inches in between them? Now my question is whats the cheapest way of doing this. i didnt THINK i would use PVC, but i dont have the slightest clue how much it could support, so idk. Aluminum tubing is cheap for smaller sizes, is that better? Id give a weight estimate but im terrible at estimating things based off my senses so thats a bad idea. Maybe you can get an idea off the dimensions. I can spend at max 15 bucks for PVC or aluminum. oh, and the desk is gonna be around 30 inches tall. so 5 feet is just enough. Also, what would be a good idea to place the cylinders on top of for balance? At this point, all i need to do is keep the glass 30 inches off the ground with ~3 feet of space for me to slide my chair into (although its really not a neccessity because itll be out alot anyway.) with a 15 dollar budget. any sugestions?

Topic by abkarch    |  last reply


Balance Bike type of RideOn but for grown ups? NoPedals

You know all the kind of training bikes LikeABike and Strider RideOn so many different brands and varieties and naturally them are for the kids so young them have not learned to pedal and keep balance so these first "bikes" are for them to run along like on a "Hobby Horse" kind of thing that have the added safety of both feet on the ground when them need to gain balance again. Them sit and walk or run and seem to really enjoy it. Now suppose you are some 65 years older than these kids. You have the balance and can go by pedaled bike but them are not allowed to take on the Commuter Train or on the Bus that goes to the big Mall you want to visit and when you arrive no bike is allowed in so it get vandalized or stolen outside. But if you had a Walker or Rollator kind of mobility aid then that would be allowed. So what if one took a "Toddler" bike and made a grown up RideOne or BalanceBike for grown ups. No pedals on it. That would not get allowed either unless it has an electric motor and look like an expensive Mobility Scooter. So one need a Rollator that transforms into a RideOn. type of seated thing that can be used to move around on. I wish one could easily combine these two things but I fail to have enough innovation fantasy on how to accomplish this. So I test if kind people here get a clue or hang on how one could do such a thing. Transformer Bike/Rollator or what to name it. I have bought several Rollators and several KickBoard GoPed similar versions one are supposed to stand on or walk behind All of these are hurting the knee. So one need a seated thing. Sure it does exists already. The KneeScooter but that one have a seat that is too narrow so it hurts the butt. The customers complained so now one can buy an extra seat or saddle to it that is broader and less painful. But the KneeScooter does not look like a Rollator at all. It looks like a Scooter. A Rollator need Castering wheels in the front that seems a must. It can be a three wheel as long as the caster is the front wheel. Now if you sit on a four or three wheel thing and push of or kick off with feet on the ground then there is now way to steer the thing. so a transformer bike/rolator need to change from free wheeling caster to a steered caster to be safe. So that is the criteria and difference. In one position it looks like a real standard Rollator that you walk behind or in front off. Then after pushing the magig button it turns into the steerable seated balance bike kind of mobility RideOn for grown ups with knee problems. I have written about this in another post too so hope I am not breaching a hard hitting rule. Here I ask more what to name such a thing and how to make that thing so popular that the accumulated popularity makes the commercial companies aware of the need. If we can come up with a catchy name for such a thing then somebody maybe make one and test the market? On the other thread I ask for somebody to help me figure out how to DIY make one or to modify a standard Rollator so it can fill both functions. You would make me very happy if you come up with a catchy name for such a thing.

Topic by kneeproblemguy    |  last reply


Knex Firepower Standard

Hello everyone I (like alot of my freinds) get tired of... oh why dont you just search "Knex gun" and look at the mini descriptions and read them all, or maybe most and think what alot have us geting tired of, Go ahead! see you in maybe a min or 2? just click back or whatever to return here! and continue from where you last read.Welcome back! Do you see what what I'm talking about? well there are two things and if you did not notice these things feel free to look again!And what is Sypran talking about? (drumroll) the Quotes "It's very powerful" "easy yet powerful knex gun" "gun shoots about 60-70 feet" "this is a very small gun but will fire about 50 feet" "A deadly knex gun" and that is just the first page! i could go on for hours (ok maybe a long time) of coppy and pasteing these quotes!honestly i see to much "easy yet powerfuls" i cant realy tell what is powerful! so what do we do? well we take out time building maybe some and it turns to be not that great or it is great!, or we rush to see if KILLERK, Mepain, Extreme builder, Trainman2000 (i will always call him that >=D)You (aka mykhailo),Perfect duck,loosewire,Dsman19(i cant rember numbers) Oodalumps, am i forgeting anyone? (tell me if i am) has any new ideas/guns.so what do we need to do? WE NEED A FIREPOWER STANDARD something simple like 1-20 and how to mesure it, in earth science they clasify rocks hardnes by what they scratch (nail 2.5 glass 5.5 and so on) we need it something like paper peice, but not that for some guns have alot of power but cant peice due to low velocity and or dull non sharpened bullets.also if you know anything about real guns the bigger the bullet, the more powerful =D but the smaller the bullet the higher peirce rateing (a 0mm would be the best peirce but little damage) so in other words the biger the bullet (45 cal example) the more stoping power it will have but less muzzle velocity (pierceing ability) wile the smaller (7mm) the knocking over/stoping power is anything to be desired, but it will have high muzzle velocity so peirce through more materials. yet with (if it was at all posible) a 0mm (or basicly nothingness) in theory could peirce through ANYTHING but would not stop the person or thing in any way so the same pricable stands for knex notice the shotguns that shoot conectors (or killerks magnum with his amo) create a biger bang sound, they do more damage, but need more force to get all that mass through a paper wile the ones that shoot sharpened (like gorkem's) or greens can peirce paper with ease. so not only will we need a firepower test but a peirce test. peirce is easy enough its velocity and ammo size and a variable if it is sharpend and we have an instructable on how to determin bullet speed. power is bullet size+ extentions (killerk's magnum ammo like) also a little velocitybut the system needs a ruberband standard to keep in mind no putting on more then the systems amount of ruber bands or size of ruber bands (i know people will do this anyway)so what am i basicly saying in this topic? easy please people we need records of bullets speeds for sertain bullets with your guns it is easy since most of you seem to have digital cameras and there is an instructable about it. also we need to know a standard RB cause i dont know whats standard in the rest of the world besides USA and even then i dont know if its standard in the other states (they say americans like everything bigger and sadly sometimes it's true)i have tested some guns out and lets say that stong yet easys from the first page so far are low... so maybe we need a test for difrent kinds of guns! i have seen rifles that fire like a medium pistol (for they are exept they have a longer barrel, bipod, stock, and scope) should these even be given a 6 out of 10 in every catagory? or should it be 2 outa 10 for rifles. if lets say we got a standard of ruberbands to be 2 (not including trigger ruberbands) that where (makeing this up) a circumfrance of 3 inches, end of barrel being 2 feet away from camerathe adverage gun (all makeing up still) 25 feet with white shooting 1 foot per sec, does not dent an empty can. bullet speed of 5 feet per second with a max range of 40 feet (acurate ranges ppl use mesuring tape) with a white bullet that dents and peirce through an empty can we can conclude that the gun has high peirce rate but beter then normal power rateing. so a 7/10 for peirce if best was a max of 60 ft bullet speed of 10 ft per sec and white rods then it could have scored higher.one day when i search "knex gun" i want to see "my first Sniper!, it scored a 7/10 firepower and 8/10 pierce with 100ft range" cause then i can say that is a good gun I'm going to build!

Topic by Sypran    |  last reply


Suggestions for a cheap, simple robot unicorn build

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

Topic by SvdSinner    |  last reply


DarkOwlKnex's Project Update Five

As of late, I have been modding Bijou, my magical rifle, and making Short Deluxe Extended Playtime Albums for certain characters.   (You can see the four original Homestuck Kids' soundtracks here.  Don't fret, you don't have to be a fan of Homestuck to enjoy the albums; in my opinion, it's good music, and as the albums are based on a certain character, they are based on a theme to some extent.) (There is going to be soundtracks for the ponies from My Little Pony; Dr. Richtofen and I have been collaborating on what songs to pick.) In addition to those two things, I have been working on a new pistol, that I'm going to call Insight.  It is a super compact pistol that is different from all others because of one thing: it has a tubular magazine.  To my knowledge, it's the most compact tubular magazine gun to date.  The pictures show the gun and how to load it. Insight also: Shoots green rods. (A downside for some, but a pro for others). Uses a red rod sized firing pin. Has a comfortable handle. Can hold up to five bullets at a time. Gets about 25 feet as of now.  (This is just the pre-beta version, so I will keep modding it until it goes farther) Requires no cut pieces. (Nor do any of my posted guns, come to think of it.) And... Yes, the gun has a theme song: Insight by Joy Division. That's pretty much it. DarkOwl Out...    ,     ,  (O,O) <(IIIII)>    I    I

Topic by DarkOwlProductions    |  last reply


A good way to add a variable speed controller for my re-made Hobbies fretsaw.

Hi folks. I have decided I want to add a variable speed foot controller to my re-made hobbies fretsaw. https://www.instructables.com/id/1950s-Hobbies-treadle-fretsaw-remade/ My question is what do you guys out there think would be the easiest, least costly (cheap) way of doing it? I have given some thought to using a foot controller from a sewing machine possibly because this thing started life as a treadle fret saw & I guess it seems fitting that it should follow a similar evolution as sewing machines did. I know very little about sewing machines so if anyone has any ideas regarding this I would welcome them. I plan to include an isolator switch on the machine itself, it seems a good idea as we have a small grandson who visits very often as well as two dogs & 'ible the kitten & as much as I try to keep them out of my tiny workshop it sometimes seems as if I am the only person in the house who has mastered the skill of closing the door so with all those feet around I want to be able to kill the power when I am not actually cutting. So there you go guys what does the combined genius of the 'ibling world have to suggest for my little project?

Question by Nostalgic Guy    |  last reply


A good way to add a variable speed controller for my re-made Hobbies fretsaw.

Hi folks. I did ask this in the questions section but only got one reply which suggested I didn't really need one so I thought before I start on it I would give the forums a try. I have decided I want to add a variable speed foot controller to my re-made hobbies fretsaw. https://www.instructables.com/id/1950s-Hobbies-treadle-fretsaw-remade/ My question is what do you guys out there think would be the easiest, least costly (cheap) way of doing it? I have given some thought to using a foot controller from a sewing machine possibly because this thing started life as a treadle fret saw & I guess it seems fitting that it should follow a similar evolution as the sewing machine. I know very little about sewing machine controllers so if anyone has any ideas regarding this I would welcome them. I plan to include an isolator switch on the machine itself, it seems a good idea as we have a small grandson who visits very often as well as two dogs & 'ible the kitten, as much as I try to keep them out of my tiny workshop it sometimes seems as if I am the only person in the house who has mastered the skill of closing the door so with all those feet around I want to be able to kill the power when I am not actually cutting. I plan to do an 'ible about the job so I will happily give credit where it is due to any to any body/bodies that comes up with any ideas I use. So there you go guys what does the combined genius of the 'ibling world have to suggest for my little project?

Topic by Nostalgic Guy    |  last reply


Rebuilding after the end has come to pass...

The year is 2054, the human race has endured its biggest and longest war ever leaving the last survivors to fend for them selfs in its wake. To make matters worse, a human designed diseasse has spread, thinning out the last survivors to less than 50.000 people all over the world who happen to be lucky enough to be ressistent to the dissease. There are no more governments, no more borders, no forms of modern society ''at all...'' except for your own rules and moral state of mind. Raw modern resources are almost all used up, maybe a few drops of oil here and there but not enough to be reliable for longterm use at all. City's have burn down to the ground, blasted into the sky or have bin left to decay and rust, there are simply not enough people arround to keep them running. U, yes U are one of the lucky ones to wake up one morning, having your loved ones by your side and you can see the sun come up! Your in a forrest, your car has run dry on fuel, but your alive and kicking! What would you do to survive, build a longterm home and grow out to become a safe haven for "all" who will find your place of refugee? These are the conditions you have that work for you: 1. You are not alone, you have the ones that are closest to you with you all the way. ( ideal situation huh? ) 2. The forrest you are in is huge, deu to the fact humankind has declined in such small numbers, nature hase taken back a lot of groundspace and it is booming! ( again, ideal! ) 3. You have a car, it is broken down, has no more fuel except some fumes, but you have it non the less... ( not so ideal, but still... ) 4. In the trunk you have a tiny solar panel, strong enough to fill your cars battery ( yup, one battery... but its 2054 so the poweroutput is more than enough to help you out in the first stages of building your new home. ) 5. In that same trunk you have sleeping gear for camping, a couple of pots and pans, some basic workingtools and a bundle of paracord, couple of hundred feet in length. ( you like paracord, o yes you dooo... ) 6. You see a chicken in the corner of your eye... your running condition happens to be excellent and so you take a sprint... There's your protein... ( eat the chicken, or keep it for later use? its yours now, so do what you want with it. ) This is whats working against you: 1. Guns are not a good option. All rounds off ammo that where ever made have bin used up. Even your trusty ol .45 lays in the back of your trunk not knowing its own purpose in life anymore... ( so sad... ) 2. City's? gone! Piles of rust and decay are the only things that are waiting for you over there. ( pluss, the bandits roaming the city are not the most happy bunch to cross with. ) 3. Fuel, nope, fumes, yes... ( not much going there... ) 4. Communication devices are out... ( you forgot to pack your radio, and now you have nothing to reach out with... or do you? ) 5. The spot your in is most beautifful, really, its the most beautifull patch of forrest you and all around you have ever seen!!! The gigantic mutated bears and stray wolfs think so too... ( Radition and the human designed diseasse worked toghether in the animal kingdom making these guys grow almost double there original size... see statement 1 for double sadness!!! ) Ok, taking the mutated bears and wolves aside, think outside the box. You have a car, thats something, and these bears and wolves will leave you allone as long as you let them do there thing. And if they dont get hungry enough to eat you ofcourse. ( Its a mutual agreement i guess. ) Im curious to see what you guys come up with, so be my guest and spit it out ;-)

Topic by AriedeB    |  last reply


Your War Stories

Everyone who has played war simulation games probably has a story to tell, I know I have a few. I would like to hear about your past experiences. This being the internet, anybody can claim to have done anything. Please try to be honest in your stories. Paintball:I was pinned down behind a tree that was barely the width of my body. Three enemies were bunkered up behind a felled tree in front of me, all of them shooting. I could hear their bullets whizzing inches from my head, and I was getting covered in splatter from the paintballs breaking across the tree. If I moved even an inch, I would be exposed. I was completely helpless. One of my buddies ran up to help, taking cover on my right. He was gunned down in less than a minute. I was trapped behind that tree for what seemed like an eternity. Luckily, one of my teammates (we call him Rambo) flanked the bunker, ran up from behind, and shot all of them in the back. When I looked at the cover I was behind, the tree and surrounding area was completely painted. I was on a speedball course behind cover, exchanging fire with (of all people) my brother. I look up, and he is charging up the field directly at me. Panicked, I take some shots at him and nailed him in a very sensitive area. He immediately went down and stayed down for several minutes, rolling around in pain. I captured it on my Gun-cam, you can see the paintball hit it's mark.(I've got plenty of good paintball stories, but I want to keep this short.)Airsoft:We were playing Ambush: VIP, and I was the VIP (No gun. I die, we loose). The course consisted of trails in the woods which lead to an open field. I had to go through the woods and across the field to a designated endpoint. The first leg was uneventful, we saw no action through the trails. When we reached the tree line, we decided it was best to book it across the field. We ran to the tree line, my bodyguard about ten feet ahead of me. He was the first to break the tree line. As soon as he did, he was shot up the leg and chest from near point blank range by a full auto MP5 and toppled over. As soon as I saw this I tried to do three things at once (thinking Oh Spit!): come to a sudden stop from a full on sprint, change direction, and book it in the opposite direction. Let's just say I face-planted and got shot up on the ground. I was stalking a guy who was facing me, staying just inside his peripherals (at least ten feet away). I shot him and, knowing the noise would attract others, immediately went prone in my ghillie suit. I was right, his teammate showed up to investigate. I took him out easily. This attracted a third teammate. I waited a good five minutes and, thinking he had gone, stood up to flank him. Turns out I stood up right in front of him and was subsequently lit up like a Christmas tree. (All these stories may make it sound like I suck at paintball/airsoft, but the most memorable events are often your worst.)Edit.I actually ended up writing an English paper on one of these stories. The Clearing A ski mask pulled over his face, Robert steadied his AK-47. The surrounding shadows merged with his dark sweatshirt and jeans. Shifting his weight, he anxiously scanned the path ahead. Both of us were sitting ducks here, he knew it. We had come to a fork in the road, providing us with two options. We could continue down the well-worn dirt path, or divert to a small, overgrown trail. "Come on." Robert whispered, eying the smaller trail, "Let's go."The objective was simple; navigate a maze of trails through the woods, cross an open field, and reach an endpoint on the other side. There was just one small problem; I must make it to the endpoint alive. I was the designated V.I.P., forbidden to carry a firearm and it was game over if I died. It was Robert's duty to escort me to the endpoint in one piece. Robert disappeared into the overgrown trail. Waiting ten seconds, I continued after him. Pushing aside ferns and thorn bushes, Robert and I slowly advanced. We knew it would be safe, they wouldn't expect us to follow this trail. Nonetheless, we kept a wary eye on the trees and bushes ahead. It was unusually hot, and I was beginning to sweat under my stuffy ghillie suit. The surrounding woods were eerily silent, a calm before the storm. As if on cue, there was a rustle off to our right. Immediately, Robert raised and lowered his palm, swinging his rifle in the direction of the sound. Catching his signal, I crouched low to the ground, adrenaline seeping through my veins. Tense, we waited for the seemingly inevitable. More rustling, this time accompanied by flapping. Robert's finger tightened against the trigger. A form shot out of the bushes, rapidly ascending to the branches above. It is just a bird. Sighing with relief, we rose and continued down the trail.We arrived at the edge of the woods, beyond which lay a small clearing. A mere one hundred feet separated us from the awaiting endpoint on the other side. One hundred feet of open field, it might as well have been a thousand. Robert and I came to the decision that we run across as fast as possible. We would be completely exposed, our fate placed at the mercy of the clearing. Drawing a deep breath, Robert sprinted toward the tree line. I followed, maintaining a distance of ten feet. Approaching a full sprint, Robert burst into the clearing. He managed to complete five strides before a sharp rat-tat-tat shattered the silence. Time slowed, Robert cried out in pain and toppled into the tall grass. He had taken several hits up the chest and legs at point blank range. A dark figure rose from the bushes directly ahead, looming above the surrounding flora. I was sprinting, full speed, to my doom. My mind went blank, overridden by three instincts: stop, turn around, and run. I attempted to complete all of these tasks simultaneously: come to a dead stop from a full sprint, turn one hundred and eighty degrees, and run. Momentum sternly disagreed, sending me in an awkward flying flop to the ground. Stunned, I lay on the forest floor at the edge of the woods. Regaining my senses, I felt several bee stings crawl up my back. I was hit, game over.

Topic by Spl1nt3rC3ll    |  last reply


Hydrogen Peroxide at home and in the Garden

Although the topic is quite old for some of us and mostly because I am too lazy today to make an Instructable: Hydrogen Peroxide ! Back in the day Hydrogen Peroxide was mainly known for the ability to bleech your hair, later it replaced chlorine based products for the preparation of paper and organic fibres. For me it is a good opportunity to go back in time and to pull out some of the remedies my grandparents already used. Who knows, there might be something that helps you or you might know other good uses that I failed to mention here, so feel free to comment. First off: What actually is hydrogen peroxide? We could check Wikipedia but I think it is enough to say that it basically water with an added oxgen mulecule which turn the stuff into a quite powerfull oxidizer. When hydrogen peroxide reacts the added oxygen is released and the normal water remains. Precausions and health risks. In the normal supermarket form hydrogen peroxide comes at a strenght of just 3%. This is just enough for wound treatment or cleaning off a fresh and small stain. The stuff you can buy at your hair dresser comes in concentrations of 5-15%, above that it is of little use to them. Pool grade peroxide however can come as high as 50%. It often requires a permit of at least leaving a copy of your drivers license to buy such high concentration but well worth it price wise. The downside of anything above 5% is a risk for your skin, eyes and airways. So when handling hydrogen peroxide you should waer long sleeve rubber gloves, safety or better swimming goggles and make sure that you don't create vapour by spraying it against the wind direction. Having water at hand to dilute and spillage on your skin is always good. What happens to me if things go wrong? Well, if handled correctly nothing should go wrong but of cause the worst would be eye contact. Getting concentrated hydrogen peroxide in your eyes means extreme pain and even with rinsing it out asap eye damage is more than just possible. Again: wear proper eye protection and if spraying use a filter mask, the paper type is enough!!! Nothing immediate happens on sking contact but a few minutes after contact the skin will turn slightly brown or goes white. This is caused by the oxygen release into your skin cells, if washed off quickly after noticing the discoloration will fade after a few hours. Prolonged exposure of the skin can cause skin cells to fully discolor and living cells might get damaged - a burning sensation is usually the sign that you need to wash the area now ;) Enough bad stuff said, let's see what we can do in the garden.... Fungal infection of your old roses or on your fruit trees? Sometimes the weather does not like our plants and by the time we discover a fungal infestation it is usually pruning time. There are commercial producta available that work quite well but especially the copper based ones tend to do more harm than good in th long run. An alternative is a solution of 10-20% hydrogen peroxide. Spray generously over all affected parts of the plant, leaves, twigs, stem and all. Make sure everything is properly wet! In some cases the fungus can act as a water replellent and it seems impossible to get any of the solution to wet these areas - a drop of dish washing liquid into the bottle will fix this! Watever runs off can be left as it only helps to get oxygen into the soil but of course you should not soak the area... Leave it on for about an hour, around 20 minutes if it quite warm. Rinse all off with clear water and repeat every 2 days for 5 treatments all up. After this time wait 2 or 3 weeks and check if the fungus still gows in some hard to reach areas. If so then repeat the treatment there until satisfied but wait another 2 weeks every 5 single treatments. In some areas of the world certain types of fungus on roses are refered to as "rust". ----- Moved into a new home and the garden beds smell really bad? The last house I moved into had a previous occupant with a big dog but no time to clean after his pet. The garden beds looked dead and I mean so dead that I could not even find weeds in them. And the smell was a distinct mix of old dog poo with lots of fresh cat poo mixed in it - the perfect outdoor pet toilet :( Trying to dig it all under made me recover that the top soil was more §$&*# than soil. I had to get rid of the bacteria of all the poo and somehow neutralize a lot of the unwanted "nutrients". The solution was to first loosen all the soil as deep as I could go. Then I added rice straw (but anything straw like or dry grass will do) to mix it through. At this stage I wished I had a gas mask LOL All up the contaminated garden beds covered about 20square meters. I got a 10 liter canister of pool grade hydrogen peroxide, from this I diluted down with 20 liters of water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to help with the soil wetting. All was applied as evenly as I good with a watering can and then the area was covered with some tarp to try keeping as much oxygen on and in the soil as possible. A day later the tarp was removed and all beds watered with hose to drowning point. This watering was repeated every 3 days for 3 weeks to drive out all the excess and unwanted nutrients from the poo. The smell was already gone except for some cat urine residue which disappeared after some rounds of watering. Three months after the initial treatment I did some soil tests, added nutrients were required and the next season I had vegetables growing :) ----- Planting? Whether from seeds or seedlings, give hydrogen peroxide a try! I use a 5% solution to soak the potting mix I use before putting my seeds in it. Not only does it kill a few of the unwanted things that might still be in there but it adds a lot of oxygen into the soil, which gives the seeds a much better start. For seeds I use a 5% solution as well but only leave them in for about an hour before placing them between some wet paper towels until they start germinating. This way I can be sure all harmful bacteria and fungal spores are dead and I can use a sterile seed to keep going. Might just be my opinion but I think the germination rate is better and seedling in comparison start growing faster and stronger. Home uses.... As we learned before hydrogen peroxide, at least in higher concentrations is a powerful way to remove fungus. In our bathrooms we often have the problem that the ceiling starts to develop black spots as in the colder times water condenses here and takes a long time to dry off. If you now go to your favorite hardware store they will recommend the use of a chlorine based product, basically bleach... And although it does the job it also means your house will stink for days and if you scrub the ceiling you will get it on your sking and stink too. Hydrogen peroxide at 20% or higher concentrations can be sprayed onto the cleiling :) Of course you will need good protection for this and all things color should be removed, like towels or floor mats. By protection I mean a minimum of swimming goggles, a tyvek suit or similar to cover all exposed skin areas and at least a paper dust mask, better a filtered respirator like you use for spray painting or using insecticides. If you have a spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle then a stream is far better than a spray mist!! Not only is your exposure far lower but it much easier to wet the ceiling quickly. Wet all affected areas, then leave and the room, close the door and take off all clothes you used t protect you. The clothes can be left out to dry but double check that you had no soaked spot where your sking might have been in contact - if so rinse the skin with plenty of water! It will take some time to work and then dry, so best to do this in the summer time or if during the colder times you need to make sure the room is porperly heated and aired out to dry! Repeat until all black spots are gone, really bad areas will leave a permanent discoloration looking like a slight brwonish color is the ligh it right otherwise you won't see it. Once fully dry it is best to scrape off all lose paint and then to use a acrylic based sealer before giving the ceiling a fresh coat of white. The sealer will prevent the water to penetrate more than the paint level and if you get the fungus back on the paint it is far easier to clean ;) ----- Carpet cleaning.... When moving into a new rental with carpet on the floor you often are left with areas indicating the carpet might be "clean" but the underlay certainly is not. You can fix the underlay but you certainly can make sure all harmful stuff is gone from the carpet. Carpet cleaning machines can be hired but often much cheaper if you buy the "recommended" cleaning product with it. Rent is usually based on a daily base and price depends on how much cleaner you need. If you only want to desinfect the carpet which otherwise looks mostly fine than go for the smallest pack available and use it to spot clean areas you want cleaner first. For the desinfecting part I recommend to test how high you can go with the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide before using it on a big scale - keep in mind the carpet will never be fully dry and the remaining peroxide will continue to act! Test a 10% solution first before you go higher as you don't want to buy 30 liters or more of pool grade peroxide - just trust me on that one and only try to buy this much you do want to get into trouble a few days later! If 10 percent solution left on the carpet does not cause any bleaching of the fabric (unwanted bleaching that is) you can try higher for spot cleaning in demanding areas. A good spot to try the solution is under the cover or duct outlets, under these joining bars where carpet changes to tiles (if you can lift them off) or in wardrobes if the carpet goes inside. There are two way to treat your carpet once the general cleaning is done. a) use a garden sprayer or similar to wet the carpet This is good for single room treatment like for the baby room but especially on thicker carpets it requires a lot of solution and can become costly. Once wet leave for at least 30 minutes so the peroxide can do its thing, then use the machine with either the solution filled or just to dry off the carpet. I recommend to use the peroxide solution in the machine as it allows for better penetration and it will remove more soiled solution this way. If your catching container starts bubbling like mad it means you have a lot of §$%&#+ in the carpet and it might be best to first clean it all with the normal carpet cleaning agent before using the peroxide again - again tesing on smaller areas can help wasting the peroxide. If you need to store prepared solutions than it is best in a cold place. It will take several hours on an otherwise clean carpet for the peroxide to fully disappear so it best to use shoes and prevent skin contact during that time - especially if a baby crawls around ;) ----- Toilet.... We don't want to talk about it but everyone needs to clean their toilet sooner or later. For most things in there using the toilet brush when it happens will keep things clean and healthy. But what if someone in the house is sick or with a weak immune system? You could use all sorts of commercial cleaners and desinfectants but a wipe with wet towel or cloth soaked in a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide will quickly eliminate all harmfull things on your seat, lid or bowl, including the buttons to press and the door handles ;) Just wipe and leave it wet for a minute or two then wipe again and ry - done! Personal use I always pack a small bottle of supermarket grade peroxide when going off road or camping trips. Although we now have modern desinfectants that won't stink or otherwise harm you I still prefer the old stuff ;) If you are far from civilisation than the last thing you want to need is medical attention for something that started as small as a scratch or graze.... Out in the unkown wilderness you will never know if the rockk you just crash landed on was used as a urinal by a fox the night before... A bit of gravel left in your skin might contain harmful bacteria... A cut with your own knife?? - What did you all cut since the last proper cleaning of the blade? You see where I am going here, a small thing might turn into something really nasty a day or two later. If you clean a freash and minor wound properly and then rinsie it with hydrogen perodixe most if not all harmful leftovers will be killed by the releasing oxygen. Of course this pretty much useless on bleeding wounds or where it is obvious that you won't be able to remove all debris from the wound - here it means you trip is still over in favour for proper medical treatment. The thing is that hydrogen peroxide was basically abandoned for all wound treatment once the modern "cleaning aids" became available as the peroxide will not only attack harmful things but also living tissue. The claims goes as far as causing bad scar tissue, damage to blood vessels and even "burning" of the tissue. One big problem I have with all these claims is that they were never really mentioned until the new meds came out. IMHO exposure time and how you use it it the key - common sense if you ask me. Noone should ever soak a wound in peroxide, if it is that big that you need to soak it you need medical attention anyway. And as said you should rinse the wound, that means all remaining liquid should be allowed to flow off - this will only leave a minor amount of peroxide in the wound and the exposure time will end with once all oxygen is released. For minor wounds I only use a paper tissue or cotton bud soaked in peroxide and wipe the wound.... ----- Smelly feet? Ok, maybe not the best way to start a conversation but we all know what sneakers do to our feet in the summer... Insoles with copper and activated carbon will help a lot and at least "cure" your sneakers while they are off your feet and have time to dry. But the smell is actually cause by bacteria growing from everywherey in your sneaker to your sking, actuall starting at your sking... If you wear your sneakers for long periods of time time or even whenever possible and also suffer from a bad smell hydrogen peroxide might be able to help you. Most sneakers will tolerate a machine wash and should come out germ free, if that is no option pack them in a sealed back and leaven them in the freezer over night - this will kill all bacteria and remove the smell. Now to break the endless cycle you need to remove the bacteria from inside your skin. So daily sock changes, freezing shoes and washing feet is a must! Your feet will really benefit from a foot bath in a 5% solution of hydrogen peroxide. To keep costs at a minimum use a container that is just the right size for your feet and prepare the solution from pool grade peroxide. I an ideal case you should not need more than 2 liters but all used product can be stored cool and re-used the next day, after that you need to make a new batch. Keep your feet submerged for at least 10 minutes. This will allow a deep penetration of the skin but might result in some white spots that will disappear after a few hours. Consenquent foot baths can be reduced to 5 minutes. After about a week you should notice that wearing your sneakes no longer causes and bad smell and you can stop the treatment. Freezing the sneakers over night, dialy (or more) sock changes and daily, proper cleaning of your feet should prevent any further bad smells :) ----- Bleaching your hair Althoug it was done for many years I really can't recommend using hydron peroxide for this purpose! Any concentration strong enough to have a proper effect in a reasonable time will at least cuase skin irritation. Back in the days they said your burning scalp is what you need to endure to get blonde hair :( And as said already you really don't want to get that stuff into your eyes... General uses If you have a fruit based stain then cahnces are hydrogen peroxide will remove it, especially if fresh. Even at supermarket concentration repeated application and proper drying off with a paper towel or similar will remove even red wine or beetroot stains. ------ Blood... On you skin blood is easy removed with cold water, same on other surfaces but washing off is no option a wet cloth or cotton piece will work fine. Hydrogen peroxide is good if things need to go fst or if the surface is porous, here the releasing oxigen will drive out the blood with the bubbles. ----- Fish tanks... If you love your tank then you really hate to medicate or even worse have a bad algea infestion, especially the stuff of the black kind. A change to activated carbon filter material is always recommended after a medical treatment to remove all leftovers from the system. However, certain medication simply won't be affected by a carbon filter and stay in the system until fully used or broken down otherwise. Especially in bigger tanks a partial water change is often out of the question as it would cause too much additional stress to the fish and plants. Hydrogen peroxide can help to break down most if not all remains of the used medication while at the same time adding more oxygen to the water. To be sensitive and safe in all enviroments I recomment to calculate the concentration based on the volume of your tank and to add the required amount of peroxide very slowly into the outgoing water stream from your pump. By slowly I mean in terms of a slow drip if using solutions over 10% to be added to the tank. If in doubt remove a suitable amount of tank water into a bucket and add the concentrated peroxide to reach the final tank limit. I strongly recommend to stay below 2% in favour over additional treatments a few days later if required. That means the diluted solution you add should be entered into the tank slowly if in doubt add a glass full every few minutes. For the treatment of the dreaded black algea you do the same 2% solution but be prepared that it will take several treatment until you see them die off. If you can then it is best relocate the fish for a few days so you can use a stronger solution of 5-8% just with the plants left in the tank. When transporting fish in a bag it can pay off to add a little bit of 3% peroxide to the bag to give additional oxygen for transport. I do this maually for every fish I buy from a store so I can be sure all fungus and bacteris is killed of before I introduce it to my tank. Really helps to prevent loosing a lot of fish just because you added one or two more to your tank ;) For the normal sized transport bags I use a good shot glass full of 3% peroxide in case you wondered. ----- Fridge and freezer Be it after long use or because you bought one second hand - once empty and warm some of our colling gadget just smell bad. A good clean with a hot water and your favourite cleaning agent is a good start, no need for aggressive stuff ;) If clean but still smelly, like after a power failure with fish in it you might want to go one step further. Best option is to use a spray bottle and a peroxide solution of at least 15% here. Use proper protection as mentioned above and spray all surface with the solution until soaked. What you can take out you take you take out, clean properly and then wipe or brush with the same peroxide solution. Bare aluminium should be handled with caution as in some cases it can oxidise badly, leaving a white and not removable crust behind. Here it is best to wipe and then wipe again with a cloth soaked in clear water to limit exposure time. No need to dry out - wipe out and check if it still smells, if so repeat and wiped off all areas as good as you can with a solution soaked cloth. Once the smell is gone dry out and enjoy smell free use from now on :) ----- Fruit and vegetables Unless you know exactly what happened to it you might want to clean your vegies and fruits properly before using them. Pesticides, herbicites, fungicites.... Not mention normal fungus and bacteria on the product.... On a commercial base hydron peroxide baths are often used to clean products for sensible people, hospital use or long term storage. For a personal use this only makes sense if you have free and unlimited access to the peroxide. An alternative are ozone bubblers. Expensive models can eb bought in shops or online, complete with timers or even a gauge showing the concentration in a room. On a hobby level for the kitchen sink we can use an ozone generator, air pump and bubble stone from the aquarium store ;) Let the pump bubble out the ozone for a minute or two, fill the sink with the fruit and veggies and move them around every few minutes. Best of course with an open window to limit you exposure to the ozone! Rule of thumb: If you can smell it is already too much in the air! The ozone in the water does the same as the peroxide: It breaks down harmful things with pure oxygen. The downside is that it is very harmful for your airways and body in general, so against all what youtube can offer I actually prefer to treat my fruit and veggie in a sealed bag. Place them inside, push out as much air as you can and then fill up with the ozone from the generator. Once the bag is full leave for about 30 minutes then wash and use or place the things in the fridge.

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Ch. 3 In Which Old Science Creates New Technologies

Hey Instructastorians! I know I haven’t been keeping my Instructables Intern Blog updated, so in advance I apologize for the lateness in this update. Things have really picked up since the last time I posted anything here! As some of you might remember back, a couple of weeks ago Instructables HQ, which where herein be referred to as Instructables Laboratories (Seriously, that’s what they call the building here!), held a massive social event involving Liquid Nitrogen and fast freeze Ice Cream. It was a rising success for everyone and more than 70 people visited our lab! The Ice Cream was fantastic to, due to our delicious confectionary staff particularly Angie, and our Maker Faire ticket raffle was awesome. As for the Faire itself, I unfortunately was not able to participate in the Instructables Booth, being more than slightly preoccupied with my own DIY PIXAR stand, but I heard it was great. They managed to give away almost all of the Lab’s business cards and even managed to sell several dozens of our Robot T-Shirts! Sure beats the hell out of being stuck in a dark room, with several hundreds of people jamming into your personal space, while Tesla Coils scream Classical Music at 56 decibels… BUT, last week after the Faire, things became sadly much more subtle. Several people around The Lab were still recuperating from the hectic events of the Faire and there wasn’t much to do around the office. Being recently promoted to the job of Delivery (meaning I get to control all outward shipment of prizes and gifts), my goal was focused on trying to ship out a lot of the past closed contest prizes from a couple of months past. Thankfully Instructables had a monthly event to obliterate this post MF doldrums- INSTRUCTABLES BUILD DAY! This is held on the last Friday of every month, where most work is momentarily cast aside and everyone instead works on their own personal Building projects! SWEET! So for my project, I ended up creating something really cool involving PVC pipe connectors, a Shop Vac and several feet of clear vinyl tubing ('ible coming soon).  I'm making a note here- HUGE SUCCESS! As for myself, even though I might’ve gotten used to waking up at 6:00 AM to commute 1.5 hours to San Francisco, I’m still completely thrilled to be working here. Always something new going on and never a dull day at the office Lab. OH and I finally got my own key! Now I can enter our labs without setting off the Turret Defenses! -New Intern 2011, SHIFT!  

Topic by SHIFT!    |  last reply


Need Help extending range of wireless keyboard and mouse =(? Answered

I have a Microsoft wireless desktop keyboard and mouse combo that i use very frequently. the problem is the range isn't so great.  Im talking maybe 6-8 INCHES if im lucky. i do not know why this is, but it was a gift from my girlfriend so i cant just go out and buy another one that is Bluetooth. ;) i have my computer hooked up to my TV via a 12 gauge high speed hdmi cable. (computer sits about 10-12 feet away give or take.)  i mostly use the keyboard and mouse for internet but she loves to use it to play games.  the problem is its gotten very annoying to have to pull the usb cable as close as possible (maybe an 8' cord?) to be able to do anything with the computer.  you'll notice in the 2nd and 3rd images below the "receiver" for the keyboard and mouse. USB powered.  i have brand new Alkaline batteries in both the KB and MS and no change, for those who thought i wasn't thinking lol :) i tried to take apart the receiver and solder on a radio antenna but got no luck. the only thing that happened was no the keyboard and mouse had to be 6-8 inches from the antenna,  MY Question is, Is there a way to Easily build an RF amplifier, or to somehow tweak the board into increasing range.  im at a loss, i thought that if you add a larger antenna, you would gain DB's, like Newtons 3rd Law or something.  maybe im wrong, but if anyone has any input whatsoever, please feel free to comment or message me.  ive tried everything from taping it to the wall or the ceiling, turning it over and even keeping the plastic off, tried a different computer and still no luck, if anyone knows of a way to build an RF amplifier for a 26-28 MHz Range i would love you forever, and i will make an instructable on how to do this for all wireless keyboards and mice that are RF and not Bluetooth.

Question by Kold    |  last reply


Bio-Char Pellets

I didn't see a speel on this topic yet so now we have one. I wrote this to a forum for bio-pellet maker's and thought that I would pass it along to you to read. Enjoy. ______________________________________________________ Hello, I am new to the forum and to pellet making altogether really. I am an open researcher of the net at the present time have become interested in many topics I come across. The downfall of the net, for some, is that there so much information, it can boggle the mind. I ran across the videos put out by the web site on YouTube and decided to pose a question to the site administrator. They still have not gotten back to me, but I think from the posts on the forum you are a pretty busy group - he is likely looking into it. The newest thing on the 'Save the World' front is Bio-char. I asked if the pellet machine would be able to convert bio-char into a pellet form. I do know that the bio-char can be hand pressed, or screw extruded into briquettes. This is done in many countries around the world. What I think would work the best is the small pellets that your group are making. I will give a little bit of back ground for my idea. Researchers who have explored the rain forests of the Amazon have come across a soil type which is man-made. They call it 'Terra-Preta' or 'Dark Earth'. I have found out that the soil of the rain forest is not particularly suited to growing vegetation (this surprised me) and the ancient civilizations in the area would treat the soils. These plots of land they are finding today are estimated to be 100's of years old (in terms of last use) and are amazingly fertile as compared to other soils in the immediate area. They only run 4-5 feet in depth and cover the known growing plot area of the period. Today’s natives actually hunt out these plots and sell the fertile soil as an income. The keys to this fertile soil is a high carbon content and pottery chards. Both materials are very porous in nature. What happens is the nutrients that come to the treated soil gets trapped in the pores of the material and are held there, rather than being washed straight through the soil. These nutrients are then extracted from the material be the root systems of the plants as they grow. As the spaces in the material open up again they are refilled with newly arrived nutrients. This material has proven that it can remain in the soil for 100's of years - as is found in the 'Terra-Preta' plots. By the way these plots are not isolated to the Amazon they are found around the World in different areas. The thing is that the way they are made - the technique was lost. These plots around the World are being used up and the farmers are running out of nutrient rich natural (organic) soil. Some feel that the burning of the fields in the way to go as it has been done that way for ages. Well, the soil is dying and it working. The soils are being depleted. Plant matter which is made of carbon, takes its building blocks from the soil and therefore the soil is lacking carbon after centuries of use. But, because we had one lazy, or work saving generation, who knows how long ago, we have lost the technique of how to care for the soils. Tests run in Africa are showing an amazing 500+% increase in crop yields in the first year. They are still using un-organic fertilizers as that is what they thought they needed, but that can change now. Their soil is so bad in some areas that nothing would grow. If any farmer could get a 20% increase in annual yields they would be happy. The reason that the use of chemicals came into large use was because of the depleted soils. If the chemicals did not wash away (trapped in the carbon for future use) there would be less need in the future. Ideally there would be none needed in the future. So what are we doing? At present we grow plant material, burn it, and release the carbon into the atmosphere. I don't go for the global warming thing, but do feel it is not a good thing happening. The dirt on my car every day tells me that things are changing for the worse - I didn't see that as a child. What we can do is grow the plant material, burn a portion of it to covert another portion of the material back into carbon, and put that carbon back into the soil. This cuts emissions to the air (from that aspect of society) to 50% of what it was. Pellets can play a big part in this. My idea was to convert plant matter to char and the char to pellets. The pellets would be good as they are finding in test fields that the microbes in the soils like to grow in the larger pieces. 'It makes the soil happy' - they have a community of their own. You do not want too large of chunks as that makes the soil difficult to work with. Too small of piece (on surface soil) will be blown away on windy days. The windblown soil may not seem like a big thing, but the carbon has the nutrients now remember. Keep all you can on the fields instead of the forest. If you wish to recarbonize the forest soil, spread it through the forest in your spare time. It should be said here that the carbon upon introduction to the soil will deplete the soil of nutrients at first. This is the carbon 'charging' itself. The pores of the carbon are filling and will have the nutrients there; it just looks like the nutrients are gone. This is why it is a good idea to pre-charge the carbon before introduction to the soil. Mix it with compost or manure for a couple of weeks and let the pores fill. The nutrients will then be added to the soil with the carbon. This where the pottery chars they find in 'Terra-Preta' come from. They are the holding vessels from the indoor urinals and toilets - charged and stinky they were broken in the fields. This may not work as far as making pellets from bio-char goes. What about bio-char from pellets. This would be easy to test for you people. You have the machines and the wits to do it. The market is there if you want to sell the end material. Every back-yard composter, in every city will want this stuff. I hope I wasn't too long winded on this. It is an important topic, especially if you are a rural resident. City dwellers with a green thumb can help, but the rural residents hold a majority of the bio-matter. For more information Google 'bio-char' also 'making charcoal from wood' you can get into the worm castings and all that, but once the nutrients are in your soil the rest of the good things will come and live there without help.

Topic by strmrnnr    |  last reply


Longest Comment on Instructables (Possibly)

Https://www.instructables.com/answers/What-essential-tools-should-I-include-in-my-dorm-r/The longest comment on this site is one by Guardian Fox on the "What survival tools should I keep in my dorm room tool box?" If anyone can find a longer one, please PM me the link.Keep in mind, he typed this with his own fingers, not by holding down the paste command for a day. If that's what you want, then go to https://www.instructables.com/community/the_forum_for_spam/ Source: Guardian FoxFor the dorm room, you only need a few tools. You're not going to be renovating, and you're not going to be doing much woodworking. You aren't allowed to do anything at all to the room beyond hanging pictures (if that), and most dorms forbid power-tools in the rooms no matter what you're use them for. Here's my take on what you'll need for the dorm. I've included a lot of things that seem unnecessary, and you can probably live without some of it... but the kit will get you through nearly any problems you'll encounter at school or in an apartment:-At least one decent multi-bit screwdriver. Look for something with a comfortable grip and sturdy construction. Avoid gimmicks like built in flashlights. I recommend the Piquiq brand which comes in a few different sizes and can be found in many hardware stores in North America. You can usually get their three-piece set for less than $20.-A set of jeweler's screwdrivers. Get a cheap set because these little things WILL get lost. Look for something with at least a few unusual bits as well as the usuals. Get a 30ish-piece set for less than $20. Most handy if you've got a thing for messing with your electronics, but also great for changing a watch battery, fixing glasses, etc.-A basic hammer. Nothing fancy needed here, and I've always preferred an ordinary wooden-handled hammer anyway. Go for a smaller hammer if you only plan on hanging pictures, get a regular-sized hammer if you plan on using it to do real work later on. Stanley is a good brand with decent prices, but there are lots of good budget-priced hammers out there. Drop by a hardware store and pick one that feels good in your hand. Less than $20 for a brand name. $10 or less for a bargain hammer. Make sure the head of the hammer is securely attached to the handle, no matter what brand you pick but a little tiny wiggle is ok. Hang a picture or tap a few finishing nails into a small project. Very handy, even when you use it wrong.-Two utility knives with snap-off blades. One with the small size, and the other with the larger size. There are hundreds of brands of these on the market, and a lot of them are junk so spring for an Olfa (the best i.m.o.) if you can find it. Richard is a decent low-cost brand which is often found in paint stores. Again, avoid gimmicks. The most important thing you need to know is if the locking mechanism works well or not, as a utility knife can become dangerous if the blade is going to slide around while you're using it. Good knives can be around $10-20 each. Cheap, "disposable" knives can be found for less than a dollar, but be sure to buy something that seems sturdy. Add a self-healing cutting mat from the dollar store, and while you're there get a metal ruler for cutting straight lines. Smaller utility knives are good for light-duty applications like trimming photographs or opening packages. Larger utility knives are good for harder work like cutting lots of cardboard-A measuring tape. You probably already have a ruler for school, but a measuring tape is much more useful for around the house. Get a 16' tape for good versatility. Choose one that has a sturdy housing and a tape that slides in and out easily. Bennett is a good budget brand you can find for less than $10 and I recommend theirs over any of the name-brand tapes out there. If you can't find that brand, go to the building supplies store and ask what brand the clerks and outside staff use around the shop. You could skip this one during college, but you'll need it one day and it's the kind of thing you can make uses for.-Pliers. For around the house and crafting I find a pair of long-nose pliers more handy than a pair of linesman's pliers, but both tools have their place. Locking pliers (aka vice grips) are also super-handy. Get one or a set, but avoid the bargain brands. Look to spend at least $7 each for basic pliers, and at least $12 for a good pair of locking pliers. -An adjustable wrench (aka thumb-wrench). Pick a smaller-sized model for your toolbox. Most of the nuts and bolts in the house will be small anyway. Go for something that opens up to 1" or 1 1/2" Brand isn't an issue, but make sure it operates smoothly and won't jam or work loose. Spend less than $10. -Scissors. A usable, general purpose pair of scissors can be found at the dollar stores or in an office supply store. Make sure they open and close smoothly and that the blades don't wiggle. Look for one with a metal screw at the pivot so you can tighten it if it works loose. If you're using it routinely for cutting fabric or any other specific task, spend some extra money and get the right kind for the job or at least a good pair of general purpose ones. Less than $5 for cheap ones, $20+ for quality ones.-Sewing notions; A pack of needles, a roll of white thread, a roll of black thread, and a roll of transparent thread, a few safety pins and any spare buttons you find. That should get you through any wardrobe fixes you may need. Each item in the kit should be a dollar or less, and you can save money by starting with a pre-made kit from a dollar store and adding a few of your own extras. Also highly recommended is this, http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1352 , but keep in mind it is cheap for a reason and needs constant attention.-A soldering iron if it's allowed in your room, and only if you're working with or fixing electronics or jewelry. Get a scrap piece of plywood or something to use as a work surface. $15 for a basic 30w iron. Another $10 for a safer stand.-A toolbox that holds everything. I like the ones that double as a step-stool, which you can find for $20-$30 if you look hard enough (mastercraft and rubbermaid brands). You might like something different, but small plastic toolboxes and even small plain steel ones are all quite cheap so go look and see what you like. You can even use your imagination and just use a plastic tote, a tacklebox, a backpack/messenger bag, shoebox, etc. Just pack your tools in it neatly and avoid putting the heavy or sharp ones on top of the ones that might break.-A plunger. If your dorm room has a bathroom, this is a must even if you never have to use it. It's an insurance policy against one hell of a mess. $10-$15.Anyway, that's all I can think of for tools. Craftier folks need more gear, and less DIY-prone folks need less. Use your best judgment and buy only what you can afford and might actually use. Pick up a few fasteners and adhesives too, usually as needed. Here's what you should probably keep on hand.-A package of assorted picture-hangers and hooks (if hanging pictures is allowed in your dorm). Buy a pack at the dollar store. A few extra finishing nails and small screws would be a good addition to this as well.-Thumbtacks. Buy a pack at the dollar store or office supply store.-Scotch tape, packing tape, duct tape (or Gorilla tape).-Twist ties. Get a bunch from a pack of trash bags.-A package of superglue. Rather than one large tube, get the pack with several tiny tubes so you don't lose your entire supply when one dries up.-Craft wire. Use it wherever you might use a twist tie, but also can be bent into whatever shape you need to become a tool or a piece of art. Dollar stores carry rolls of it often at 2/$1

Topic by DELETED_M4industries    |  last reply


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    |  last reply


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

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

Topic by Downunder35m    |  last reply


Watching the moon without the blurry view?

We put our biggest telescopes on the highest mountians and as far away from civilisation as possible.Reason behind is light pollution and atmospheric distortion.My days of playing with a big telescope in the garden every night are long over, life moves on once you need a job to make a living and something like a family.A while ago I had a look through a friend's telescope at night again when I was asked to give him a hand with the connection to Wifi, computer, printer and so on.Just imagine a big telescope with built in camera and Wifi.Checking the claimed to be astonishingly clear pictures of the moon we took I started to wonder...Being able to get a "close up" so to say of a little crater on the moon is nice.But I missed the clearity.If you take a picture with your phone or camera with perfect setting then you get the best possible picture.Not so much for the moon.Those who ever used a telescopic lens on the camera with some haze or fog will know how things in the atmosphere have certain effects.The moon is basically in a boring grey so BW cameras would be sufficient and also eliminate all the bad side effects of colored imagining chips.Other reasons than our atmosphere that can prevent a clear picture...The earth rotates and so does the moon, sadly this makes tracking hard over such a distance.Constantly changing brightness levels make the right exposure a nightmare, especially if you want to combine images to get a combined one without the shadows.So why not use what we already have to eliminate or compensate most of the issues we have?The hardware required for the tracking of stellar objects and computer control should not be an issue anymore.Once you position is syncronised with the current position of the moon the computer would be able to calculate and track with extreme precision.Using highly sensitive BW cameras might be a short term fix, better would be a chip and lens system only sensitive to the visible wavelengths with the least atmospheric distortions.The last would be to actually use an AI to track every pixel as it is taken and to compare it with previous pixels taken in that same spot to check for brightness matches and wavelenght.A simplyfied version of this is still in use for the restauration of old films from the analog days.The moving film meant that the pictures are not always perfectly in sync in terms of their position for the single images.If digitised like this the result would be a quite blurry film.An algorithm checks for the usual up and down differences and matches the positions so in reference to the selected frame rate it results in the sharpest possible image.For the moon there is always a majority of less distortion giving us the impression of the image we see.The key is have an algorithm that can detect and filter out those frames or if powerful enough pixels with the most distortion.Quite similar to the steady function on your cameras and phones these days, at least for the digital part.Just in reverse so to say.With perfect and smooth tracking a frame by frame collection of the area you want an image of would result in a much clearer and detailed image.A bit like HDR works now.You take a lot of images and combine them to get the best possible details on all light level and all colors.We only need BW though...How would an algorithm an an AI be able to make an image clearer and more detailed?Currently we already compensate for camera movements, brightness levels, focus, colors and much more through the AI of our phones.Where someone with a DSLR or the good old SLR and real film needs to find the perfect setting for a shot in the amount of time the shot is available we just click a button on the screen and the AI does the rest for us.Sure, instead of three or four pictures taken as quickly as your phone can do our MOON-HDR algorithm might need a few thausand pictures to create one good image and several hours to do so....But hey, it is up there every night and day, we can perfectly track it and automate the process over days or weeks if we want to capture a full cycle.If it that easy then certainly the big telescopes on those mountains would make use of it!!Well, they actually do, but for the sole purpose of deep space exploration.The movements of earth and in space and referenced to the possible errors of the hardware...We only need to care about pixels moving in a fixed image...The algorithm in the simple form works on a frame by frame base, the proper one on a direct pixel one.Either way the collected images will create piles where all checks match.More piles means more and more areas to overlay like in a stitching process.More overlays mean more "filter" used to check the original images against.The amount of light hitting the moon is pretty predictable and easy to factor in for an AI.The amount of light loss by the atmosphere at the time the image was taken could be factored in by the means of external atmospheric sensors.In the most basic form a "ping" with a laser onto a satellite on a fixed position between telescope and moon, or close by.The the google AI tries to find more and more links to make more and more reference about our internet use our algorithm collects pixel informations for a fixed position in a digital image.Quite simple once you think about it, isn't it? ;)It is just a matter of time and amount of data being collected.What was already possible in the days of converting analog movies into the digital world can't be too hard to do with an object that we can literally nail to the wall in terms of images....So why isn't anyone doing it already?In therory anyone could just hire some time on a quantum computer or old style super computer and use their own algorithms to sort the images.In reality that would cost you a few millions quickly.Graphics card are already well in use to do other things than bringing an image to a monitor.They used a calculating work horses - the bitcoin mining is a prime example here.Medical and scientific use another.Her it is quite ommon that clusters of powerful graphics cards do nothing than to run simulations.Already a form of AI, although quite simple.There is no huge market for telescopes, let alone big and powerful ones for the sole purpose of watching moon.Why bother, it is up there every night but all the stars and planets up there need to watched first....You will have a hard time finding a manual telescope with a simple way to follow the moon through the night.Watching the andromeda nebula on the other hand is quite easy...Worse still for the cameras.What is out there for use with telescopes or integrated into one is optimised to get the most light out of everything that is quite dim.Even your basic telescope usually has a moon filter already because the thing is so damn bright.Professional BW cameras would need expensive and custom made adapters to fit a telescope's optics.Last but not least is the tracking mechincs that are simply not designed to follow the moon, neither in its movement, nor the speed it is moving.But as said the tracking could be fixed with a custom version designed for watching the moon and a little microcontroller to drive very smoth running motors and gears.Is a fancy smartphone the way out for the images?Not really unless you want to constanly fight to get and keep manual control about the settings for the BW camera on the back.And they are not really designed to be used like that for hours every night.The only way out is size and speed.What would the perfect telscope/camera combination look like?Atmospheric interference means the light is scattered.And ideally that should be the only thing the AI has to worry about later on.Sadly, when we take a picture we need a certain exposure time to capture enough light.This mean mean collect something you compare to a fast moving object.You just cant get a clear image of spinning fan blades easy these days...Shorter exposure times are only possible with enough light.There are two way we use to get enough light for a given exposure time.Add some more light or use a bigger lens.Our standard telescopes are designed for eye pieces for, well, our eyes.Imaginea huge sized 40 megapixel sensor perfectly positioned in a telescope.Using only optics to compensate image distortion and to match the incoming image size to the sensor size.No telescope optics and camera optincs fighting for the right position, just perfectly matched for the purpose of takin images from the moon...If said sensor would be highly sensible most people would cry out and say the moon is too bright - but we want to use every bit of light to lowe our exposure times ;)Imagine a high speed camera only taking BW picture of the moon.At a speed of over 2000 frames per second....Why bother with overcomplicated tracking if you can take millions of images every night.You will only bother about storage and calculating problems after a single night already LOLThe amount of pixels of near identical properties in the same spot would soon be much higher than the amount of blurry pixels with different values.And the AI would still be able to match those blurry ones with frames from other images.But who really wants to see footprints and left over parts on the moon?We have been there, we have seen it...And if go up again we will have live coverage anyway from up close, so there really is no need for anyone to get a clear image of the moon from down here, or is there?

Topic by Downunder35m  


Sharpening a concave blades like Kukri or similar

Every now and then you have someone approaching with the odd job.This time it was in the form of an old Kukri / Gurkha knife.Wasn't expecting this when I was asked a few days ago if I could sharpen some old knife so it can be used for camping.The knife had a few marks from hitting hard stuff or maybe the occasional nail.But the worst was that for as long as guy had that knife it was only "sharpened" using a belt sander.You know, these tiny machines advertised to give your (kitchen-) knife the perfect edge.We could now argue about the pros and cons of having a knife edge that is literally rounded.But once it was done so many times that the edge really looks rounded it becomes obvious why this method only works for thinner blades.Adding to the problem was the fact that the belt used was just over 1.5cm wide.Appereantly so it is easier to do the concave part of the blade.Lets just say lengthwise it looked like someone created a wave pattern LOLThere was nothing "straight" on this nice blade anymore.Now, if you look up how to properly sharpen thise Kukri knifes then you can find all sorts of really useful tips.One I really likes was to use some eraser and toglue sandpaper on it.Small and flexible enough to cause minimal damages to the curve towards the handle.Another nice one is to use half round diamond file, preferable of a finer grit in the 600 region.Should work fine - if you plan to invest an awful lot of money on such a file.I however like things quite often done the old fashioned way.The oldest trick in the book....Whether you are using chisels and work on wood, just love to keep your knifes sharp or go on long camping or hiking trips - sharp knifes and tools just become your thing.The main thing everyone tells you is a super flat surface for whatever is supposed to sharpen your blade.For the normal stuff that is fine and good and you only need to flatten out your stones every now and then.But what about these odd jobs?Imagine you would need to sharpen a long paper cutting blade on some machine.Might be over a meter long and it has to stay with a perfectly straight edge.Back in the day this task was not done with some very expensive stone of large size....Instead sandpaper of various grit was used on a flat steel surface.I actually prefer a small pane of glass and tape my sandpaper on it.Hard to find anything finer than 1000 or 2000 grit but you might be surprised how well this stuff polishes onces clogged up a bit.Its all about the right level of wetness...Anyways, for our Kukri in question I decided it is time to do the same but in a way that does not harm the blade, constantly cut into the eraser and still is solid and "flat".If you still work with a sickle then you already know where I am going here ;)I used a small diameter spray can as my surface to hold the sandpaper.Of course a piece of PVC pipe, round wood or similar would warok the same way....Sticky tape does not work well with sandpaper unless you use double sided stuff.But it is enough to wrap one round on the top and one on the bottom of the sandpaper on the can to hold in place.So much for the basics....If you know how to sharpen a knife then you also know that there is a prefered way of doing it.Depending on the blade and stone in question you literally try to cut a thin slice out of the stone with every stroke.Either stright or with a cutting motion.This works fine with sandpaper on a flat surface, not so much however on a round surface.Try it and you see how you cut off the sand from the paper and constantly ruin your edge.The only way to do it is to move with the edge.You start from the heel and stroke to the tip.The can is used likea sharpening rod and shall always stay at a 90° to the curve of the blade.Takes a bit of practice to find the right grip to hold the blade while moving and twisting the can but well worth it.The rounded surface only allows for a very thin area of the sandpaper to work on the edge.I started with 120 grit!!!It left a trail of destruction on the edge, at least in the rounded up section....Once I only had a very thin bit left on the edge from the old sharpening I switched to 240 grit until a flat edge formed.As the Kukri was a disaster this process still tok over 4 hours to complete.That blade was properly hardened too...The start of the finnishing was done by jump right to 600 grit paper.The first can was just slightly smaller in diameter than the concave bend in the blade - perfect to smooth out those nasty bumps.But with a burr forming now on the edge and minor mishap with angle of the can towards the curve of the blade would mean cutting into the can while sharpening the concave bit.Meant I used my emergency insect repellant can as I did not like the idea of hoping my pepper shaker would start leaking while sharpening ;)If you blade is not too damaged you can of course start right away with a smaller diameter.The process is the same as before.Move along the blade and keep the can at the 90° angle towards the curve.Once you feel a burr forming on the side turn over until you have a bur on the previous side again.Repeat until all the marks from the coarser grit are gone and the edge has a uniform shine.Switch to a finer grit and go as high as you can here.I had to stop at 1000 grit as my supply of 2000 and 4000 grit is out.Hints and tricks along the way....It really helps to do this sandpaper sharpening under running water.The paper won't clog up, you won't risk a losse grain making really deep marks...But on a bad blade this can take several hours and would do it with a small aquarium pump or so and some gloves.A fine but stiff brush and soapy water however do wonders to clean up used sandpaper!I prefer to use these re-used pieces before switching to a finer grit.In most cases they are already finer than the next grit and create a nice polish that makes the visual confirmation of your right angle and angle of attack easy.A kukri is a working blade!It is mot meant to make fish filet or shave you legs.It is somewhere between axe, big bowie knife and hatchet.That mean if you would dare to give a 8° angle either side of the edge you would have a pretty damn wide edge...Stick to the original in width but keep it nice and flat.It is good compromise between cutting sharpness and durability when for example chopping wood for your camp fire.DO NOT USE A BELT SANDER!!I said it before but have to repeat it again as there is people using a big belt sander with enough free space to add a set of wheel that creat the curve I got from my spray can.The guys in India that make these knife do this blind folded....It takes years of practise to get the steady hand required not to cut through the belt.The beginners start in reverse, meaning the belt runs towards the edge.These guys only to the basic forming of the edge with really coarse grit.Basically to remove the marks from the forging.After that the pro takes over the blades and he has the belt running towards the edge!If you are silly enough to try it at home be prepared to have the belt flying in your face very violently!!The reverse sanding can't be used to finnish a blade as you never get a proper sharpness and flatness right on the edge.So just stick to manual and take an hour or so longer but then be able to enjoy a cold drink when done.You need surprisingly little sandpaper in terms of clogging up and getting useless until you get to the finer grits.If you use a wooden dowel or similar then make it a bit longer and add strips about 6cm wide of sandpaper.This way you have all the grits you need in one place and can take them with you to keep your blade sharp ;)If you glue it onto the stick it is also quite easy to give it quick brush clean when done.The really tricky part starts from about 800 grit onwards.Every mishap on the concave part can mean damage to your paper or to your edge.When using stone most beginner think that using a lot of pressure is a good way to remove the material quickly.In reality however it is just a sure way to wobble the blade over the stone, especially if the blade is not fully straight.Sandpaper can be more aggressive than your stones as in our case you only work with a little area and every time you turn the can only a little bit you have a fresh piece of paper working instead of a slurry building up.This mean you really do't need much pressure at all.It is the repetition, not the pressure that gives you the edge if you don't mind the pun here. ;)For a real working knife stopping at 1000 grit once you do single strokes either side of the blade is sufficient.The tiny burr left will disappear quickly during use and the Chakmak can be used for a quick refurbishing after every longer use.Should mean you only need to get the sandpaper out once you edge actually started to get blunt again.The final stroke....There are those people that don't have a kukri to go camping...Some people like to collect them.Restoring an old kukri can be done like with any other knife.That is until you want a razo sharp edge that is also highly polished.This is quite possible with the original edge width on the kukri.But of course you can only go so far with sandpaper....Modern technolgy provides us with the solution in several options.Firstly we have the ceramic sharpening rods.Unless you can do with kitchen variety thickness you need to pay a lot of money.A short 8cm diameter rod can set you back over 100 bucks with ease.Especially if you want something that provides a mirror like finnish.And alternative that is often available relatively cheap is a ruby rod.They can often be found with slight damages that make them useless for laser applications.Even burnt out rods are still fine as long as they are not cracked.It is quite hard (literally) to give them a satin finnish but I found that good quality sandpaper is sometimes capable of doing it.I like one side smooth and the other half of the rod with a satin finnish to prepare the edge.On the budget there is quality wet and dry sandpaper as commonly used in paintshops.If used dry the finer grits tend to clog up on such a wide edge.Once you have a piece of 1000 or finer grit that is fully clogged up you can use to give the edge a final polish.With this you won't even need a leather strop anymore but as said it takes a lot of practise so you won't cut the paper in the concave area.The steel rod....If you happen to have a hardened steel rod, like from a motion rail, small drive shaft or a big drill then give it a try.When using a drill:Of course use the end of the drill, not the working part ;)Also make sure it really is motth as any burr from the chuck or such will cause deep scratches on your blade.If it starts to feel sticky after a few good stroke you know the drill method is working.If it continues to feel very smooth and you don't see any polishing effect at all if tried on a small area only then you blade is of really good quality.But then again you would have confirmed that already by the ongoing swearing during the endless hours trying to remove some material from the edge...A word of advise for the first time user of a kukri:Although a good kukri is hard to damage without hitting a stone or metal, you can make blunt very quickly.It is top heavy blade and requires a steady hand when working on other things than meat.Chopping into some wood and letting the blade slip can deform your edge.A little mishap can be fixed with chakmak but not if hit hardwood badly a couple of times.And tempting as might be to use it as a small hatchet or axe to split your kindling:Never hold a piece of wood and then hack into it from the top with your kukri!Not only can you miss the wood and hit your hand, the wood can also split far easier or in unexpected directions!If the kurki is sharp you then have a good chance to loose a finger or two!

Topic by Downunder35m  


Is my book good ?

Well i hate to bother anyone but can you please take some time to read this book i worked hard on ? i spent  countless hours of my free time over the weekend developing the plot and creatures so can you please take some time out to read the whole thing tell me what it needs or what would be good i already am 16 pages into the sequel so tell me if this is good so i can post the sequel ! enjoy Times come by Alby Chapter 1- beginning It was the night I would never forget,the night.......i....the......the last night I would enjoy life. It was spring of 2017 the night air was heavy in my lungs and you could faintly smell the BBQ and charcoal smoke from cookouts that died down hours ago I could here people talking and having a good time but I think my drink I grabbed the wrong beer it was Sarah's it was spiked I never would have noticed who did it at least it wasn't her to drink it. I simply enjoyed the sky line of Chicago filled with sky scrapers and mirror like office buildings it all seemed like a Bokeh picture to me the drug is taking affect on my body I feel dizzy . I hopped on the train, it was empty as for the weather gave a good reason to walk but I needed to get home safely. In about 30 minutes I was home. I clumsily walked up the stairs and almost fell it took about ten minutes before I opened the door, I then plopped down on my bed and ran to the bathroom and regurgitated everything I ate that night. i starred at the ceiling. I saw every detail to the nearest centimeter and then blurry the specks the marks swirled in my vision and I felt weightless for a while. I starred at the clock and noticed it was about 4:00 am and cursed myself for going to that bar with Sarah I threw up all over my bed. I tried to grab the phone to call the paramedics but I fell and hit my head on my night stand. I passed out from the concussion i fell into a deep sleep a very deep sleep. Chapter 2 Change I wiped the crust out of my eyes and felt my head a sharp pain rippled thru my scalp it was a Gash about two inches in length. i walked into the bathroom I pulled the faucet but all that came out was a wisp of air. I snatched a baby wipe and cleaned off my face I cleaned my wound with alcohol the sting ive gotten used to I used to get hurt pretty bad in the army, I got shrapnel in my knee and they sent me home the first year. I noticed a dead silence on the street I thought they probably closed it off for some type of repair. I put on my white tee shirt and noticed its softness and how it fit snug on my semi-muscular figure I was in good shape for a twenty-four year old, my mom would always tell me most of the people in America are fat but I guess she loves to tell stereotypes for what they are. I put on my jeans and not forgetting the belt this time either. I snatched my keys off the kitchen counter and headed for the door. I walked outside and paused too look at the empty streets filled with litter and carnage . My mouth wide open in amazement I asked myself what happened and pondered the different reasons riot,panic,fire what could cause such a mess, I walked towards a police squad car and smelled something rancid I slowly proceeded, I instantly veered back in panic I could not believe what I saw a dead police officer lying face down with half a chunk blown clean off his head. There were pieces of it every where splattered on the windshield and door of the police car and some on the concrete. I instinctively inched towards him and thought to myself that something bad is happening and I need protection. I unhooked his holster off his waist and placed it on mine I pulled off his Kevlar vest and put it on weirdly enough it barely was messy or smelled bad. I checked the pockets of the vest and took out a pair of keys I knew it belonged to his squad car. I first popped open the trunk and saw it glistening in the sun a Ar-15 assault rifle. I picked it up and the memories of my army training it just instantly popped into my mind. I guess it applied the same here, I slung it around my back and walked into the silence. I took out the pistol put in the clip pulled the slide back and switched the safety off and cautiously held it. I believe the gun made me more nervous than whats in the shadows, I walked down the narrow street and saw it the skyline of the city filled with smoke and fire. I stood in anger and confusion my home town ravaged broken and charred blood stained the streets and walls, but why.....why....how could this... I mean what could....d..do such a thing. I walked away in the opposite direction and then cut into an alley way to piss and paused as I heard a roar I looked up and saw a quick glance of the belly of a apache attack craft it quickly zoom by and then another. I looked away and ran out of the alley and then down the street to see what direction they were heading. They sped towards the lake area and then I saw a tiny black object fall horizontally from the choppers belly and it slowly fell, then a explosion. I could feel the vibrations. the explosion ripped the lake area into nothing....nothing..but....but...smoke. My heart skipped a few beats thinking what if the next one falls in this area I quickly broke my daydream and bolted as fast as I could as far as I could until I saw a woman crawling on the concrete she was Moaning and holding her stomach. I came up behind her and asked for help. She turned on her back “ Sarah? Ohh my god sarah are you okay ?” and she held a gun in her hand a Glock 22 model the slide locked all the way back and no clip in the gun. I kicked it out of her and and sprung on her she begged for mercy “albert you have to stay away from me im turning” she saw that I was armed and quickly told me the gun was unloaded and that she was sorry she told me she would do anything just get away from her . I told her “Im not here to hurt anyone I just want to help” I starred at her beautiful figure her perfect face and thin hourglass body but ragged cloths and red eyes from crying. How and what did she go thru that could turn her into such a wreck. She got up and put her arm around my shoulder kissed me on the cheek and passed out. I dragged her to an fenced off alley where there was a mattress I put her down and sat next to her .she hugged me and began to cry she than jumped on top of me “Sarah what are you doing no we cant do this now no!” I told her I will help her but I dont think she understood a word I said. She looked at me in my eyes I could feel her touch my soul, her blue eyes glared in the sun. “i dont want to die alone please” I stood up nervously, I was concerned for her health when suddenly I heard a bang then felt a sharp pain in my leg. I collapsed in agony and saw the cause of my pain a bean bag round I looked up and saw a gas mask wearing figure he shot me with another bean bag round in the knee, from his shot gun he then walked over my numb body and. picked up both bean bag's and threw it aside two people in hazmat gear grabbed Sarah and took off her clothing I screamed “what are you doing to her!!!” they did not acknowledge me they looked at her body like they where searching for something. Her passed out figure limp as a rag doll they removed her pants then her underwear I screamed “No!! you son of a bitch don't do it ill kill you” they studied a bite mark on her upper thigh they made some type of hand signal and left. the soldiers then they came and started pouring gasoline on the mattress and her body. the one with the kriss super V took his cigarette out of his mouth and then flicked it at her it rolled of of her shapely belly and hit the mattress her body bursted into flames and she spasmed and kicked wildly. Then the man pointed it me and said in a British accent “ knock that fuckin Yankee an put em in da ACP double time, thoes hungry bastards are comin” Chapter 3 world gone mad I awoke on a bed in clean clothes and a hair cut. I stood up and walked into the hallway and noticed that this was a hospital. Suddenly a hand grabbed me. “aey where do you think your going ya damn runner rapist” I starred at him & his arrogant look and heavily customized ACR bushmaster. “get the fuck away from me im leaving what ever the hell this place is” he then sprung up and pushed the barrel of his ACR into my neck. “look if you want to get devoured by those runners be my guest buddy but dont go exposing this place to the infection” I looked at him like he was retarded “infection what infection and why the hell is the army bombing populated areas” he looked at me the same way. “ where were you 2 days ago ? There was a virus it was originally H1N1 but it evolved up to 10 times now its got Chicago by the balls and its spreading across the world as we speak turning everyone into animals devouring and ripping people to shreds and then the virus takes over the dead body and brings it back as a runner also know as a fresh undead body that has the ability to run or sometimes sprint god forbid but after 2-4 weeks without food the tissue breaks down from constant use without fuel and they start to get slow and shuffle around” my mind felt overwhelmed I wondered how my parents were doing in Dallas. “so what am I supped to do here but be a waste of space” he grinned. “well you obviously know how to use a weapon and our records say you have been in the military. you cant take care of yourself out there so we will make you part of out kill squad. “kill squad ?” “ohh shit you mean you have never killed or seen any infected yet ? that means your fresh you can be put to good use in our kill team” he told me his name was henry the specialist of his team kill team Charlie-mike. He directed me to the staff sergeant who looked at me and said “well well well we got some fresh meat hope you ready for 3 months of hard core trainin cuz this wont be easy now get yo ass in the garage and clean every APC tire the armory I think the kill teams ran over a little too much runners” 3 Months later........ the training was more rigorous than the basic military stuff a the armory where there was at least a 100 others conversing and grabbing into boxes of gear. Henry took me to the gunny of the armory where he helped me choose my gear. I picked up dragon skin Kevlar with implanted ceramic & alloy inserts. I took some gloves which I cut the fingers of. My boots where the basic digital camo color probably a left over from the war in Iraq which ended several years ago when our president simply drew the troops out. And European troops and some Russians finished off the big time terrorists soon after we heard no more from any our genocidal efforts finally payed off. I went to the weapon stand where I had to fill out a ID sheet to make sure they knew I had training with combat rifles. I chose the ACR which was in stock by the thousands as a gift from the weapon companies to the American army. I pulled all the safety clips and then grabbed a eotech scope out of a box and locked it onto the rail system of the weapon. I attached a mag pull the every one of my carbon strength reinforced clips. The gunny looked at me with a grin and we left for briefing. Chapter 4 things get messy we met up in the garage of the hospital every runner hunter of this kill force a total of 300 men and women in the huge elevated parking complex of the hospital, a general arrived in the elevator his chrome glasses shined in the evening light so did the many badges pinned on his suit which fit his old figure rather awkwardly. he had two formally dressed men with him they both had desert eagles on there side holsters but the general had a FN 2000 slung around his back. it was worn and scratched its polymer body was embedded with and insignia that I did not see so well as it was obscured by the scuffs and grime he looked at us and smiled his mouth opened and he flung his cigar off the ledge of the building he then begun and explained in a dominant voice. “there are 40 spec op Humvee's set up in formation ready to patrol the streets of Chicago you all will be in sector 6 the most dangerous sector of Chicago but no need to worry we have full fledged firepower of 4 APC's which will Carrie your kill team to your objectives take as much time as needed the runners arent going any where. you will clear the sears tower area a hot spot for runners. look all you men and woman, its time to revolt and fight back. its time to say we will not be scared, we will not be intimidated, we will win back our freedom!!” the whole complex light up with cheer. As the two men in formal wear took out PDA's and started directing people to there kill teams the first man shouted “ Chavez,Williams,buck, and,Samson go to APC #1” I quickly advanced thru the crowd to APC 1 I slowed my pace and saw its matte paint job of digital camo and its pop up dillan machine gun turret mounted on top. I pounded on its steel behind and its back door unlatched I stood waiting for the rest of my team I saw all three walking in a line towards the door I saw him ,the man with the kriss super V he smiled at me and said “no fuckin way you tha yankee we picked up in tha alley way you mad cus we killed your little runner girlfriend” I sprung towards him and grabbed his collar and punched him in the stomach then elbowed him in the mouth all the color drained out of his face. “ if you wouldn't of shot me with a fucking bean bag I would of blown your brains out back at the alley” he looked at me and with blood dripping down his mouth “i was just doing my job. welcome to foxtrot 3 by my names john samson you can just call me hunter” I let him go and he limped into the APC then another walked towards me he wore a Grey baklava and tight fitting clothing and a vest that barely covered his chest which awkwardly bulged out he walked towards me and took off the mask. She looked at m surprised face and said “what ? a woman cant be in the military” “well I..I...I just did not expect to have such a high rank personnel on our team” she looked at me and frowend “were both specialists grade one my names Kelly williams” “a heavily armored male in a hijab walked towards me playfully he came up to me and pulled off his hijab he was a African American . “hey specialist now look Im basically here to keep the moral you catch me ? I was in the navy im Ricky buckman Just call me squid now what do you want to go by kid?” I smiled “echo” “nice choice” Albert “echo” chavez I thought in my head I figured that sounds good. We all jumped in the APC while a kill team of rangers in a heavy Humvee with a mounted sentry gun rolled behind us as the whole convoy of kill force 6 prepared for battle. I thought about all my training aim for the head,short controlled bursts a shot anywhere else just stunned them. They move fast so they have to be neutralized if you get bitten or infected kill yourself with the poison capsule that was given or a team mate would do it. I grabbed a Kukri blade off the weapon rack that was provided in the APC I looked at its razor sharp edge its brushed steel surface reflected no light I sheathed it and strapped it to my leg. I caught the eye of Kelly who was fiddling around with the UAV control panel she looked at me and smiled. The APC's lights blinked red prompting us that we are in a hot zone. The APC vibrated as the co pilot took out a pack of runners with the Dillon remote controlled mini gun. We all loaded our weapons and packed up some ammo. Hunter and squid looked at each other and they bumped fists. I put a clip in my ACR and cocked it I turned on the eotech scope and strapped on my helmet and then slid on a black baklava. The APC driver prompted a alarm which was the signal that the door was opening, the big metal door slowly lowered its platform to the ground and we all got out Kelly was the last one out she grabbed that control panel and slid it into her bag she ran out and flipped the close button on the APC. We met up with the four other teams in our sector who already exited there Humvee's. A black Humvee that I never knew was in the convoy rode up and a military adviser jumped out and barked orders like some scared little dog and then jumped back in glad that he wasn't us. He positioned eight snipers on the roof who where each divided into teams of four they zip lined up the roofs and soon each team where picked up by two little bird helicopters the rest of us where on the ground either Humvee calvary hit teams or long range grenade support foxtrot was positioned on the magnificent mile at least it was magnificent. We cautiously walked down the street with another team of 6 watching our back and little birds with snipers covering us and telling us where the nearest pack is. It was empty until we got a report a pack of twenty runners where heading straight for us about 3 blocks away we had about a minute to prepare, snipers took out some and only six broke there steady aim and where 5 feet away, I drew my weapon and just before I could fire a Humvee rammed half the pack of runners over my team shot at there heads to finish them off . I stunted back and fell startled by a runner with broken legs dragging its smelly corpse towards me, my team did not even notice as they where pre occupied with finishing off the pack it grabbed my boot and pulled itself onto my chest I pushed it back and hunter tackled it and shot it once it grazed its ear he then rad up to it and curb stomped its head in over and over, like an egg it crunched under his boot he then walked towards me and picked me up and then our comm's screeched with a danger code: sector red REPEAT SECTOR RED!! this is not a drill!! squid looked at Kelly “OH shit radio the APC radio the APC!!” Kelly hastily radioed the APC and it arrived around the corner ASAP she got in and took the panel out of her backpack all the rangers got back in there Humvee's and formed up a line of vehicle's and the APC was in front we all jumped in and squid popped open 3 of the four combat hatches. We took stance and poked our body's out of the hatches while Kelly was typing away at the panel. “Kelly get us that predator drone NOW!!” “on it Echo..about.....NOW!! get ready for some boom boom boys” she said over the comm a predator drone deployed from a building somewhere and roared across the city's night sky. The little birds shot flares into out immediate area and the military advisor said nervously over the comm “formation green zone ASAP make space for one more hummer!!” his hummer screeched into our circle formation at the middle of the block intersection. We all could hear the uproar and the screaming rage of the Runners it was 9:00 PM and my stomach dropped as runners came at us from every angle swarming in between all the vehicles as we took out as much as we can the advisor yelled. “Break formation head for lane 3 of sector 5 Kelly yelled “but thats a dead end we have no where to go !!” “exactly now MOVE !!” we hastily rammed out way thru the crowd of runners it was easily about 200 to 300 runners we reached the street which was a dead end it was blocked by a collapsed building from all the beach bombing runs. We waited for 5 minutes until we saw it our doom three times as much runners appeared and headed for the convoy. The driver looked bewildered “Get ready im breaking position” he advanced the APC towards the crowd its massive tires gripping the rubble and concrete so agile and quick. He opened fire the Dillon mini gun until there was not one round left. the APC swiveled madly like a dog chasing its tail, all the blood and body matter stuck to the tire made it impossible to control. The whole interior rocked forward on impact with the flipped car. suddenly a screech and the APC flipped over on its side. the runners ignored the APC and went for the group of Humvee's ripping the rangers out that had not locked there Humvee door and devouring them. We herd the screams despite layer after layer of Kevlar and Armour of the APC. My radio started to squawk. “ Pindad Panser down repeat,flipped on its side calling in little bird for support !! bring in UH-60 shadow for medivac ASAP!” I groaned in pain the impact was hard,i could taste blood in my mouth my world was spinning. my team mates did not move they where all laying face down. I soon passed out Chapter 5 delta crimson “Delta crimson GO GO GO !!” I awoke in a sweat, I felt normal again I wiped my blood crusted face off. I leaned up and saw them. “Squid Kelly Hunter Your all alive !” hunter smiled “the crowds not givin up. Hurry mate we got to get outta this APC or crimson is just gonna have to save us” Crimson was an elite rescue squad of some of the best rescue force members in the military marines,rangers,green berets, you name em they can save you. Suddenly we heard the roar of helicopters. Then the door of the APC light up and blew of its hinges a soldier in a crimson baklava shined a light me and my team he latched two metal hooks onto our APC and then the helicopter lifted us into the air, this vehicle the best attack helicopter crafted by the engineer crew over at Hudson base they called it the Shadow because thats all it was, a quick killer in the night. A man made machine manufactured to kill and thats what it was best at. I broke for the chopper and jumped in then squid then Kelly it started to take off right before it left ground hunter grabbed the bay door and climbed in. “forgetting something ?” He threw me my ACR bushmaster which started to look like the generals FN 2000 it was scuffed and marked in every crack and crease. A crimson medivac specialist handed us some refreshments and snacks he said he picked it up at his last raid. He gave me some meds, adrenalin shots use them as a last resort of energy he said. I looked at squid who was holding his dog tag “ man echo you see how that APC flipped on us I almost crapped my pant's” I laughed at the joke even if its not funny my team needs the moral. I looked it the pilot he caught my stare. “where going to the main objective” I sighed and looked away hunter looked at me and made some type of hand signal. “hey Kelly you think we could of died back there” “easily hunter luckily the runners did not find our APC interesting” I looked over at Kelly who was looking at the cracked screen of the control panel. “hey Kelly what all did you use that panel for” “i saved the whole platoon with this thing while you where taking a nap, now its gone and base is a long fly away. The screen broke when the APC flipped. And the predator drone crashed without me controlling it” “damn, nothing good ever lasts long does it” “well echo thats not true your still alive aren't you ?” I we both smiled and when the happiness broke it was back to work. chapter 6 Raid The shadow landed on the roof of a building about 3 blocks away from objective R.R.T.R (runner ruled territory raid) our forces had to kill all runners and take back the sears tower. Kelly was stationed on the roof with hundreds of other snipers .with her barret M82 which ripped into 2 to 3 runners at a time with its large caliber amour piercing rounds. Military advisors sent Ground troops they marched the streets for the main attack on the R.R.T (runner ruled territory). Soldiers of all pact creed and faction marched side by side. the ISF (Iraqi Security Forces) the IRA (Irish Republican Army) even the CIA and DEA forces were marching along with whole police precincts including the bulk of the U.S military. This battle was inevitable and we are going to win.

Topic by albylovesscience    |  last reply


Long Range Off the Grid WiFi Repeater

Hello Everyone,  I've got quite the project that I am undertaking and I am looking for a bit of advice. This will be my very 1st forray into long-distance wifi, as well as off-grid power resources, so Im biting off quite a bit at once! I have a friend who has been helping me with the research who has a much firmer understanding of both electricity and hardware, but he will be out of town for the next week and I would like to get a bit of progress on this while he is gone. SO, I shall consult the hive mind known as the internet. Alright, this project consists of creating an uplink between a remote shed, and a home in a nearby city, with a broadband connection. The rub, there is 10,000 ft mountain range in between the two. We have a site were we can put a repeater node at approx. 10,000 ft elevation, that has wonderful line-of-sight to both locations. However, this site is very remote, and will have to run off the grid obviously. The distances are as follows: Home to repeater: 3.96 miles (thats with Google Earth following the contours of the          mountain/valley, not sure how to make it just do a straight angled shot, so thats a rough estimate) Repeater to Remote shed: 2.68 miles (same issue) Background environment info: shed has generator + 60w solar array with 3-4 deep discharge lead RV batteries at 7400 feet. Has spring fed running water, which could be utilized for power as well, as obviously its always running. Repeater location is at 10k, as stated. Moderate to high winds very likely (data from peaks of similar altitude in the general area show gusts ranging from 40-60 mp/h, temperature ranges of  averaging 7 to 90+ for a the later part of July and August (F). Obviously, its very possible to get soemething below this, though the lowest Ive ever seen at the shed has been -15 (f), I would say most winters we could get a few nights that see temps below 0, but not often. Equipment Ideas: So to pull this off, we have come up with two ideas for the network equipment, which I shall discuss 1st, then I will show you what we have come up with for power.  - Network    - Repeater Node: rb433 wireless access point ($99.00) http://www.routerboard.com/pricelist.php?showProduct=43         with 2 r52h mini PCI wifi chips ($59.00 x2) http://www.routerboard.com/pricelist.php?showProduct=69         2 8-18 inch satelite dishs converted for long-range WIFI use (20.00 x2) http://www.engadget.com/2005/11/15/how-to-build-a-wifi-biquad-dish-antenna/ OR instead of a rb433, we could use 2 WRT54G Linksys routers like this. (I also have 2 BEF 801.11b routers that are legacy to the WRT54G. I would like to use this if possible! http://hackaday.com/2005/08/23/how-to-greyhat-wifi-repeater/ Now, I know that this later choice would increase power use by about double. From what I have been able to find, the WRT's would at anywhere from 4.2w to 8w of power. Anyways, I like this later choice because it would be significantly cheaper for the equipment, but do you have any other ideas? I know that the RB433 would work great, but its rather expensive all said and done after I throw up the power as well. Plus, if it takes a lighting strike, its out of commission, and 2 cheap linksys routers are much cheaper to replace! Anyways any input here would be great! - Power  so power to the repeater node is the real challenge. We crunched the numbers and came up with something almost exactly the same as below: From the datasheets, a routerboard will draw between 6-10W. So design for 10W. Over 24 hours you will need 10Wx24h = 240 Watt.Hours of power. For 7 days, you need 7x240Wh = 1680 Watt.Hours. A single, large deep cycle 110Ah 12V battery gives you about 1320 Watt.Hours of power, almost meeting the requirement. Now, to look at the solar panels: A good rule of thumb is to install 6 times the wattage that is drawn by the device. This is because only about 8 hours a day in sunny weather gives you maximum power output from a solar panel. So the other 16 hours you need to draw from the battery. (So already you need 3 times the wattage drawn by the device to break even each day) To generate 1 full day of extra battery power per sunny day, you need another 3 times the wattage. This is how we arrive at 6 times. 6 x 10W = 60W. So at a minimum I would recommend 60W of solar panels. That qoute comes from http://diywifilink.wordpress.com/ and http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php?179547-Advice-needed-Setting-up-wifi-repeater-11km which is a project from a guy in South Africa almost exactly the same as the one that we are working on. The numbers came out to be about the same (Though they were a bit different when we calculated for the WRT54G option.) so, 60w of power generation to keep a decent charge on a battery. Now, we have a 60w panel at the shed, which is rather large to take up to 10,000 ft and place on the side of a mountain, and given the consistent wind element up there, we are hoping to do a hybrid system of both solar and wind. This is where things get tricky. A perfect balance, or even a more wind heavy balance would be great, such as 30-40w wind 20-30w solar. That keeps the panel size down, and uses a power source that runs 24/7. A Faroun Savonius wind turbine seems like the best system, but the controller to prevent overcharging etc is where I get nice and lost, having breached into very unknown territory. https://www.instructables.com/id/Faroun-Savonius-Wind-Turbine/ http://www.fieldlines.com/board/index.php/topic,129060.html This looked at 1st like a good, cheap system to use a controller board for the wind, but my question is would the controller board that comes with these solar panels (see below) work for both. That below is the setup that we use more or less at the shed, with some mods, such as a better alternator. http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11298029&search;=solar&Mo;=5&cm;_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang;=en-US&Nr;=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp;=S&N;=4001192&whse;=BC&Dx;=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk;=Text_Search&Dr;=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne;=4000000&D;=solar&Ntt;=solar&No;=3&Ntx;=mode+matchallpartial&s;=1&topnav;=&Nty;=1&s;=1 So, can a small, 30-50w wind turbine and generator be built, with a small solar array to power this thing? I dont care if we have some down time, this is primarily going to be used as a system to get a weather station with web cam to send in hourly photos during the peak hours. I can have the system at the shed shutdown automatically  using some cron jobs in linux during the evening to conserve power. When there are people at the shed, we would like to be able to get a good enough wifi connection to use a wifi device (such as an android phone or ipod) to use as a voip phone in essential communication. The teenagers aren't going to be chatting with their friends for hours, but we would like to be able to put a short call through in case something goes wrong, or we just need to get ahold of someone at the shed or in the city. Next the equipment at the shed should be comparable to the repeater node,  sans 1 antenna and just some low power embedded system. We would like to get a webcam and weather station hooked up on this end, but that can wait for upgrades later if needed, if power doesnt allow it. like I said, a simple water turbine could be used (something similar to the wind turbine perhaps?) and even another wind turbine could be built to add extra power dedicated to running any system at the shed, though I dont think the wind is quite regular enough to be viable here, but if its cheap, we could throw it on anyways. equipment at the home in the city is simple, just use an extra laptop or desktop we have laying around to be server/router, hook up antenna to this, broadcast connection, run the weatherstation/webcam web server off of this. So, thats the plan, but load of input is needed to try to come up with this. We hope to try to keep this sub $1000.00, but the budget could go higher. This is DIY at its finest! Thanks in advance for you help!

Topic by kydan    |  last reply


The risks of DIY carpet cleaning and how save a buck or two....

I am writing this partly because of bed experiences with rental angents/landlords and as a general help.Here in Australia as well as other parts of the world it is common pratise that a real estate agent goes through your rented home multiple times a year to check if you keep it clean and undamaged.In most cases these visits go without any hickup until you move out.At this point agents often try to make your life a misery.Some expect you get the house back to the state it was 10 years ago when you moved - an impossible task.Carpet cleaning is usually done with a rented machine.This mean you pay a deposit for the machine and "rent" is made by the highly overpriced cleaning fluid you have to use with the machine.But more and more people see that a $100 machine from the discounter is a "money saver".So lets start with the main differences between a rented, commercial grade machine and those you find at the discounter to buy.The later comes quite small and in plastic, the commercial one is usually all metal and has huge water and waste tank.And lets be honest here, if a good vacuum cleaner sets you back more than twice what your new floor cleaning machine costs.....For me the real difference is in the sucktion.If you start with 10 liters in a commercail machine then you should expect to get over 8 liters back in the waste tank.The added waste often makes it seem much more though ;)The cheap discounter vesion however often struggles to get half of the water back out of your carpet that it drained into it!This is not only due to the weaker vacuum created but also due to the general design and lack of sealing the area that is sucked up.But during a hot summer week this makes no vital difference as it dries off anyway, or does it?Dryness and contamination....If you wash your clothes than you let them fully dry before you wear them.With a freshly cleaned carpet we often don't have that luxury and if the weather won't play nice you might end with a moist carpet for weeks.A proper wash of the carpet would require that water is actually flowing through the fabric.This is achieved by designing water outlets and sucktion areas to be in close proximity.However, most carpets these days are thin and flimsy, the underlay brings the comfort and often the required insulation from the cold floor.Fun fact: Most quality carpets in the EU come with a rubber or foam like backing which prevents that little spills go through and also leave the carpet basically dry after a cleaning.If the amount of water your machine collects does not get very close to what you filled into the tank then you end with a quite wet carpet and underlay.Cold from underneath and with basically no airflow through it.And if you ever removed an old carpet that was cleaned every few years you do know why you wear a protective suit, gloves and a filter mask on your face....It is simply impossible with a handheld machine to prevent water and contaminants from getting into the foam underlay of US and AU style carpet assemblies.Once fully dry there is little chance for anything to grow, but every time you clean the carpet you add the water required...I had it in two rentals that when I cleaned the carpets with a really good machine that stains from within the underlay came back up into the carpet.A job planned for a day then turned into three days of using heater fans and living in a sauna while washing carpets :(The same is true if you end up with fresh dirt or such on the carpet while it is still moist underneat - it gets worked ino the carpet and becomes even harder to clean.Is a commercial cleaning the better option?Sadly I have to say this highly depends on your agent/landlord and how much time and money you have.In some areas agents simply ignore the law and demand from you that the carpet looks at least as good as when you moved in.And if old stains you did not know about come from the filthy underlay a rented machine can come close to the cost of getting a commercail team in to do the job once you vacated.Either way you get an invoice for the service and a statement about the condition of the carpets before and after the cleaning.These guys come with a big van and before it fires up with water only the vacuum is used.Imagine a monster sized vacuum cleaner head on steroids that connects to an industrial sized evacuation fan in the van.It literally lifts your carpet from the underlay and leaves nothing loose behind.The actual cleaning and sanitation works the same way only with the big difference that the water is sprayed with pressure through the carpet and into the underlay.Final round is done dry and with vacuum only, means the carpets are dry enough to walk on them without getting wet feet.A complete dry state is usually reached within 2 days during the summer unlike rented machines that keep the humidity in your house up and high for about 2 weeks until back to normal.Main benefit of a commercail cleaning is that you won't get any issues with your agent/landlord unless you damaged the carpets or made them impossible to clean - ever dropped an ink jet printer refill kit? ;)If I do it myself with a reasonably good machine or a rented one : Do I have options for the cleaning solution used?Trust me, I had to figure that one out quickly when I moved into my first rental down here.4 bedrooms, entire house with carpet except for the kitchen and wet areas.They appeared reasonably clean at a first look but when I used a UV flashlight at night the story was shocking....In what must have a room for a baby the carpet looked like a psychedlic art impression under the UV light.The living room was not much better.As a result the rented machine ran out of cleaning fluid quickly.Bought 2 bottles that were supposed to be suffient for the house size but if you need several rounds per room.I "finnished" the former baby room and was one bottle down already.Called it a day and in the dark the UV light showed a slithly fades art impression but nowhere clean :(The shop had a heavy duty cleaning solution but I did not consider it with a price twice as high.Instead I wondered what would make my carpet different from my clothes in my washing machine....So I got a canister of Oxy-cleaner - sometimes called nappy soaking powder, or similar.Just make sure you get one that does not foam up too much.I used a bucket to dissolve a good amount of the powder before filling it into the machine - at about 40°C.What ended in the waste tank when using this cheap alternative looked digusting to say the least!With that encouragement I decided to make a new bucket with some added washing powder, just a tablespoon worth or just over.Washing powder for front loader does not foam up much, unlike the stuff for top loader, so choose wisely.That was, all counted, the forth cleaning round for the former baby room but after this the UV light showed a clean carpet that also had nice spring fresh smell thanks to the washing powder.Using the same appraoch of lots of oxy cleaner and a bit of washing machine powder in semi hot water made cleaning the rest of the house a breeze!When going slow with the machine it was like mowing the lawn, it left a clean path behind.Not all carpets might tolerate oxy cleaners though, especially if they are quite colorful, so do a spot check first if you never used the stuff to clean up a little spill of red wine before.And please keep some of the commercial cleaning fluid at hand to give the machine a quick wash through with it, otherwise the shop might ask you if you used non approved cleaning stuff with it ;)Tips for adjustable cleaning machines....Some of the rented machines come with several possible adjustments you can make.In the most basic form you can adjust the amount water used and how strong the machine sucks.Keep the sucktion as high as possible unless you actually want to pre soak the carpet.The amount of water should be adjusted to the type of carpet not to how dirty it is!You want just enough water to soak the carpet without going into the underlay too much.A clear sign of using too much water is if you waste tank is only half full when the water tank is empty.A few of the really good machines let you adjust the distance between the water outlet and sucktion area.In most cases there pre-set to what, from experience is the most commonly type of carpet in the area.Your might be different though...A greater distance means more time for the cleaning solution to do its job.This works especially well for thicker carpets with amount of water turned down to below 50%.For thin carpets a short distance is better as the water does not have to go deep into the fabric.Here you can even increase the water flow for very dirty areas without risking to soak the underlay too much.In either case you should check the machine before taking it home and if adjustable have the options explained to you in the store.Anything for really bad areas?The entrance area is often subject to whatever our shoes collected outside, especially if you have kids or playful dogs.A bit of oil from the road, some sticky residue of something, dust, small gravel and sand....Vacuum out what comes out first, then use a suitable, not too stiff brush if your vacuum cleaner does not have a rotating brush in the head.Use a spray bottle and prepare a solution of warm water with a bit of washing machine powder and a shot glass worth of methylated spirit.Slightly wet the soiled area with the spray bottle without saturating it.Use the brush to agitate the carpet fibres - preferably directional and with even strokes.If they are not wet in the deeper areas spray a bit more.Again: you don't want to soak it you want to wet it.Give it about 20 minutes on a warm day a bit longer if the insede temps are below 25°C.Check with your hand if the area is still wet, the alcohol should speed up the evaporation here.Before it dries up repeat the process and check with a paper towel if it picks up the stains already.If so then run over the area with cleaning machine.Best results are achieved if you manage to get the fibres wet all the way down with the brush and won't let the area fully dry off again after the spraying.How can I speed up the drying time?The only way to speed things up is heat and airflow.If outside humidty is quite high then you will struggle.Even in the summer times the humidity levels over night can get well into or even over the 80% region.Opening doors and windows then to get the carpet dry won't really help you.Best time to clean your carpets is actually at night because by the time you are done the sun is out and the humity levels much lower.On a good day below 30%.This is true even for the winter times.Put a few fans up and make sure the temperatures are well above the 20°C mark.If in doubt you have to turn the heater on.Once the humidity inside is sky high you open up all windows and doors to have an exchange of air.A few minutes suffice here unless there is wind at all.If it is a hot summer day you can of course just let it all open until the sun goes down again.During colder times pay special attention to cold areas, like your toilet, bathroom or in general areas that won't warm up properly.Even if the room was not cleaned the moisture can accumulate here and cause mold and mildew.If in doubt make sure the ENTIRE house is warm enough until your carpets are fully dry again.A humidity sensor or gauge certainly helps, two are better so you can check inside and outside at the same time.

Topic by Downunder35m  


And now I shall bore you with details of my vacation.

Yes, I know, everyone likes to talk about their vacations and nobody wants to hear about them, kind of like dreams. Must be a quirk in the human conditions. So read on, or not. My wife decided she wanted to go on a cruise, now I had prejudged cruising and had no desire to ever go on one. But she searched around and found one that had a fishing in Key West excursion to convince me to go. Well she planned the whole thing, did all the work and really made the vacation happen. There was one small moment when we decided to cancel the cruise for financial reasons (her transmission went out) but discovered we were one day past the cancellation deadline, so we must have been destined. So anyways, on with the vacation. On the first day we drove down to Miami, about four hours, not to bad. We were so early that we decided to visit Fairchild Tropical Garden. Fairchild is a must see for those with a horticultural bent, eighty some odd acres of lush tropical gardens, though I still felt it wasn't quite as nice as Leu Gardens here. We had lunch at the garden before proceeding to the hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn, cheap but surprisingly clean with a friendly staff, and a view of the port. Unfortunately my wife became ill from the lunch, and I don't mean just a little ill, but the throwing up out both ends ill. She was so sick that she was curled up in bed crying. We thought we might have to cancel the cruise. But I loaded her up with acidophilus capsules and a dose of a medicine I take for a condition I have and told her we would decide come morning. Come morning she was feeling better but weak, so we decided we'd continue on with the expedition. That brings us to day two. Getting on the boat is similar to boarding the airplane with one noticeable difference, Port security is infinitely more professional than airport security. We only made one mistake, we didn't check our bags. Since you can board hours before the rooms are ready we were stuck with our luggage. There was a moment of Zen when we boarded, they greet you with food and drinks in an atmosphere of sybaritic luxury, but since it was Christmas they were playing music, the song they were playing when we boarded was 'Do They Know It's Christmas'. The rest of the day is exploring the ship and discovering I get seasick, yea! Day Three Nassau, we have swimming with stingrays and snorkeling planned, afterwards we plan on visiting Ardastra Gardens on our own. Swimming with stingrays was pretty cool, and I enjoyed the snorkeling, my wife who doesn't care for the ocean spent her time sunbathing. Eventually that planned excursion was over but we never got to the garden, I was too darned tired from swimming for three hours and my wife was sunburnt. So, back to the cruise ship to do what else, but eat. Day four Cococay, Royal Caribbean's private island, I have snorkeling planned, my wife has sunbathing. Now, admittedly, we're here at the discretion of the cruise line, so the snorkeling area is prescribed, but it's not bad, there's an area of about 1/2 an acre inside a breakwater and about 5-8 acres outside the breakwater. But here's the interesting thing, of all the people snorkeling, only 5 went outside the breakwater! Which means we each had an acre or more to ourselves (there was an additional area that was closed due to the currents). I did find two 'artifacts' while snorkeling here, the first was a dive glove, so I kept that as a 'trophy', the second, I was snorkeling in about 20 feet of water and spotted a distinctly man made object, a doughnut shape, so I swam down and dug up a bottle top, but not just any bottle top but the top of a pre-civil war 'case' Gin bottle. I though that was pretty cool. Now I've considered the idea that the area was 'salted' but I can't quite believe they would 'salt' with broken glass. So I think it was a genuine find. I, of course, returned it to where I found it after taking a picture. Day five Key West, I'm really in a bad mood this morning, because we have to do a 'papers please' inspection with ICE, but then it gets MUCH worse. There's an envelope under the door, my fishing trip has been canceled, lack of participants, the minimum was 5 people, I'm the only one who signed up. Anyways, wise to the ways of Gov't, I convince my wife to show up early for the immigration control, reasoning that 'It's better to be 15 minutes early and wait 30 minutes, than be 15 minutes late and wait 3 hours', guy looks at my ID, asks where I was born, they punch my Seapass (onboard ID/CC). So we go looking for another excursion, my wife wants me to go Kayaking, but I'm seriously exhausted from the past two days of snorkeling. So we decide the Butterfly Conservatory and the Aquarium are where we'll go. The Butterfly conservatory was beautiful, with dozens of species flying everywhere, landing on you and a selection of birds thrown in for good measure, The aquarium, well, umm, geez, I don't want to be mean, but I wouldn't go back. After that we walked around and enjoyed the architecture and visited the Mel Fisher Museum since I was hooked on books about treasure hunting as a kid (I have a metal detector, the most valuable object I ever found was my wife's wedding ring several weeks after she lost it.) And then back to the boat for more eating. Last day, they get you off the ship early, here, you don't want to check your luggage, if you do, you don't get off until they let you, if you carry your luggage, you can get off the ship first thing at 7:30 am. So once we're off the ship all that is left is the customs and the drive back. Customs was nothing, you hand a guy a form and you are done. The drive back was mostly uneventful until the last rest stop, then, of course, the truck won't start. Well it will start, but it's stumbling and sound like only one bank of cylinders are firing, in desperation I stand on the gas and it picks up, think that last fill up had water in it. I baby it the rest of the way home by drafting behind a truck and keeping to 65 and, obviously, we get home. So, goods, bads, and impressions The goods. The ships are insane about cleanliness these days, I noted that there was one individual who seemed to do nothing but wipe the stair handrails with disinfectant continually. The service was impeccable. The food was variable, but it varied from just good to fantastic, it was always hot and fresh, and you never saw the same item twice. The room also had a revolving menu of movies to watch, so I finally got to see Wall-e. The Steward cleans the room twice a day and turns down your bed while you are at dinner. The excursions take a lot of the 'what do you want to do? I don't know, what do you want to do?' out of the trip. And the room was surprisingly quiet. The bad, I realize that the excursions are done through independent contractors and therefore they are not the ones who canceled my excursion, but they could have informed me before hand that there was the possibility that it would be canceled. They push the drinks and the pictures, learn to say no. During the life boat drill the videographer comes up and says 'Can I get a wave from everybody?' and I turned to him and said 'No', he came back with 'Are you kidding me?' and I said 'I can't speak for all these people, but I'm NOT waving' LOL, he walked off. The elevators are slower than hell, if you use them, you will spend half your cruise waiting, use the stairs. Also there are six elevators amidships, three port, three starboard, when you push the elevator button, it only summons the three elevators on the side you push! Poor design, you can cut down the waiting by pushing the button on one side and quickly walking over and pushing the other button, but, of course, you have now tied up two elevators and are increasing others waiting times. Also, no one tells you that you will suffer dizziness after the cruise, both my wife and I have been having dizzy spells and a search shows it is pretty common. Oh, and I used a Walgreens waterproof disposable for the snorkeling, since you don't see any of those pix, you can guess how well it worked. Impressions Cruises are not for xenophobes! Not just the mix of passengers, but the crew is from all over the world, and I like that when they introduce themselves it was often 'Hello, I'm Melvin from the Philippines.' And as a member of the IBWF I enjoyed the diversity. The formal dining was assigned seating, but we only did it once, I was actually a little uncomfortable with the level of service, three waiters for two people? I'm not used to that. Lastly, tipping is expected, I feel that it should be included in the price of the cruise, so we did the pre paid tips, so we wouldn't have to deal with it. And finally, the myth of the 'ugly American' is just that, a myth, what I learned is that ALL tourists are 'Ugly' So, in Ebay speak, A++++++ Would Cruise again. If you read this far, you deserve a drink.

Topic by Tool Using Animal    |  last reply