Ask a Scientist [topic: ancient science]

Topic: The 2000-Year-Old Computer (and Other Achievements of Ancient Science)We learn in school that the science of our ancestors included such endearing bunk as flat planets, geocentric solar systems, and the balancing of the body's four humors. (Even the pre-internet decades of my youth now seem to me like a dark, distant era of ignorance that I can't believe we all survived.) Did our ancient predecessors get anything right? Of course they did. Tonight, science historian Richard Carrier will discuss the nature and limitations of ancient science.While crucial contributions have come from many different cultures throughout history, Richard will talk about a handful of Graeco-Roman scientific and technological advances that might surprise you. Here's a teaser: we'll learn about the Antikythera mechanism, the oldest known computer discovered in a 2000-year-old shipwreck near Crete (pictured below). Cool.ABOUT THE SERIES: Ask a Scientist is an informative, entertaining, casual science lecture series, held at a San Francisco cafe. Each event features a speaker on a current topic, a short presentation, and the opportunity to ask all those burning questions that have been keeping you up at night. No tests, grades, or pressure, just food, drinks, socializing, and conversation about the universe's most fascinating mysteries. February 26, 200807:00 PM - 09:00 PMCost: FreeLocation: MapAxis Cafe1201 8th Street (btw. 16th & Irwin)San Francisco, CA 94107Additional Info:

Topic by noahw   |  last reply

incomplete work

My science teacher was telling us one day about how he came to hate incomplete work. he had surgery on his appendix one day (for unknown reasons) and when he woke up his appendix was finished but the doctor didnt close him up. he called the doctor in but he said "oh i just forgot." he fired that quack and got a new doctor to close him up. tell me what you think of this story and also think of incomplete work...

Topic by ich bin ein pyro   |  last reply

glasses to make humans to see in greyscale?

when we put on glasses we see the world in certain hues of other colors, would a combination of filters enable someone to see things in black and white? what combination of what materials might this be? are there any other ways this might be possible?

Question by miss.barboza   |  last reply

Philosophy experiment

I came across an experiment in a text on the Philosophy of Science, and I would like to test the results, if I may. Consider this scenario:Linda is is 31 years old, single, outspoken and very bright. She majored in philosophy (it's an American text). As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in anti-war demonstrations. Given this background, which of these statements do you consider to be the most probable? You do not have to justify your statement (though you may if you wish), simply post the letter of the most probable statement: a) Linda is a teacher in a primary school. b) Linda works in a bookshop, and takes Yoga classes. c) Linda is active in the feminist movement d) Linda is a psychiatric social worker. e) Linda is a member of the League of Women Voters f) Linda is a bank clerk g) Linda is an insurance salesperson h) Linda is a bank clerk, and active in the feminist movement. If you are feeling particularly helpful, you could rank the statements in order of probability (most likely to least likely). Thank you in advance. >K< Update: The answers: There isn't a "right" answer. The point is that (h) was consistently given a higher average probability than either (c) or (f).  There was no statistical difference between the results of a group of undergrads with no training in statistics, students who had taken basic courses in probability as part of their main subject (eg medicine) or even graduates of Stanford Business School who had taken courses in advanced probability and statistics.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply

Anyone remember this?

Hey there everyone! I was just going through some of my old stuff (trying to find loot for new projects), and I came across this gem. I got this for Christmas 25 years ago and I have held onto it for some reason. It wasn't until I started poking around this site and building again, that I realized why i have kept it. This it what got me interested in electronics.....well not really, I believe this was given to me to curb my random destruction of electronics around our house ;). So I want to say thank you to my dad, whom at the time saw an interest and tried to encourage it. So let me know if you remember this and if anyone still has one!

Topic by designforhire   |  last reply

Agnostics, Atheists, Skeptics -Why DON'T you believe in God?

Ok, Calling all non-believers! I am genuinely interested in why you DON'T believe in a God/Deity/Creator. I will not debate you on this. I am looking for serious answers. Was that the way you were raised? Is it a conclusion you came to on your own? Was your decision based on experiences, books, teachings? NOTE: Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.- Please do not turn this into an argument! If you have serious questions to the RESPONSES, then ask them. If you want to express why you DO believe in God/Gods, go to my "Why do you believe?" forum.

Topic by skunkbait   |  last reply

Arvind Gupta: Turning trash into toys for learning

Great TEDtalk where Arvind Gupta discusses simple toys that are inexpensive and yet educational.  His enthusiasm as a toy inventor just beams from the presentation. video link Description from TED: At the INK Conference, Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves -- while learning basic principles of science and design. Arvind Gupta is an Indian toy inventor and popularizer of science for kids. Creating simple toys out of trash and everyday goods, he illustrates principles of science and design in a memorably hands-on fashion. He works at the Children's Science Centre in Pune, India. He's the author of numerous books available in English, Hindi and other Indian languages, including Little Toys, Science from Scrap, and Science Skills & Thrills: The Best of Arvind Gupta. His Low-Cost Equipment for Science and Technology Eduction is available as a PDF download through UNESCO.

Topic by CrLz   |  last reply

Need Project Ideas for 4-H SET

Hi, I am a third year project volunteer with 4-H and looking for ideas on what our next years project theme should be, So far in year one we did robotics (vibrating bots, BEAM, Legos, and underwater ROVs). In year two we did mechanical devices (solar cars, catapults and compressed air rockets). Any unique ideas for our 7-12 year old age group is encouraged. Info on our activities are here.

Topic by phatguppy   |  last reply

Why is a bass sound so low? Can I use something like this for a science fair project?

My son has a bass that he loves. He has to do a science fair project for 5th grade. Any suggestion on how he can use his bass?

Question by    |  last reply

My lil man asked Santa for an Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device aka Portal Gun. Any builders willing to sell one?

Here is your opprtunity to make a young gamer the happiest kid on Christmas morning! We need a portal gun! Here is a link to what he wants and a photo.

Question by gameboyzmom 

Quality servos for an low price? Answered

Where can i get good quality servos for an low price?

Question by MACKattacksnipe   |  last reply

Do it yourself medicine -- not necessarily what the doctor ordered?

A news report on CNN describes a teen-ager who, in her high-school science class, diagnosed her own Crohn's disease by catching a granuloma on a microscope slide she was studying.As a "teachable moment" for good science education, it's great, but I'm not sure having to diagnose one's own disease is really what "do it yourself medicine" is meant to be about!

Topic by kelseymh   |  last reply

For a high school physics lab, my group needs to make a roller coaster out of foam pipe insulation. Answered

The coaster must use Newton's laws of motion. The coaster has to have at least three hills, though the first hill cannot be more than 1 metre high off of the surface it is upon. Does anyone have any ideas?

Question by 27723773   |  last reply

How Can I Improve My Catapult? Answered

So I built a mangonel (torsion catapult) for science olympiad, and it must launch a foam ball up to 15 meters. But, its struggling to reach 10 meters. I was wondering how I can make it launch further, whether changing the tension of the torsion bundle, different rope, or even structural changes. I will gladly accept any and all suggestions.

Question by sean_sylvester1   |  last reply


Why do you do it? Whatever it is you do that brings you here. So many sciences clustered in one group of people from all walks of life...

Topic by Senseless   |  last reply

Does anyone have any ideas for Instructables as my mind has gone blank? Answered

Any ideas welcome and i will try every idea i feel is humanly possible

Question by The Science Guy   |  last reply

Does anyone play GuildWars?

I am just young aspie friend has me playing so we can chat when I can't be there doing science projects :-)

Topic by Goodhart   |  last reply

Regarding the DIY music box... Answered

I was considering getting the DIY music box at thinkgeek and I'm wondering if there is a website with song blueprints and if I have to buy special paper to use for it.

Question by Fizzxwizz   |  last reply

A Pi-powered Portable Experimenter's Bench, PEB

We are appealing for your support for our startup project, to turn our vision into a reality.  Our vision also includes anytime, anywhere, hands-on learning for STEM topics.  STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering (Arts) and Math. We are a small startup operation building a new resource for hobbyists, or electronic hobbyists-want-to-be--a smart experimenter's platform that removes the sometimes difficult bits and bytes, and relies on your PC, tablet, or smartphones for user-interface. For instance out of the box, our PEB, allows experimentation like Measuring speed of Sound, Locating source of a sound, Determining direction and distance of a Sound, etc.  with our PEB, configured with Ras-Das-1 and Audio Explorer board, totaling for less than $150, plus shipping. See-- and our website, for details. We need to have minimum funding to get PCBs and assemblers under contract to produce them, and on  a portal  like Instructables  to help us distribute them around the world.   Please let your  members know about our product and future plans and invite their support to make it a reality.  Electronics is the gateway to science learning. Thanks for your kind consideration and support. -Steve  and team

Topic by syang8   |  last reply

fun projects? Answered

hi my name is gabe well summer is sucking  over here so my little brother and I are thinking of what we can do any ideas and please no science fair type projects more like for entertainment of me and him please take that he is 7 to your consideration thanx members of instructables !

Question by ladieslilman98   |  last reply

I was wondering if anyone knew how to set up a dazzle platinum to play 60hz games like MW2 (I live in the UK)?

I have double sided av cables, splitters you name it i've got it i just need help as it says no input signal availiable

Question by The Science Guy 

If I sand all the paint off the body of my Electric Guitar will it just be natural wood underneath? Answered

I recently bought a beat up Stratocaster copy. I want just a nice natural wood finish. Will it be natural wood underneath all the paint if I sand it? Thanks Ross

Question by The Science Guy   |  last reply

Two more days to Go Green!

One last reminder to y'all that the Go Green contest ends on Sunday night! Upload the photos, type in your eco-tips ,and publish something useful for everyone else. If you don't have a green thing to work on, there's also the Science Fair Contest that ends in a couple weeks. Show us something cool! OK, that's it. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply

Value my 12 string guitar please?

I recently got a second hand Takamine En 10-12, I struggle to play it so would like to sell it, It has a a damaged neck where it was stood on by previous owner but it doesn't effect the playing I think its more crushed and cracked than snapper, and it is electro-acoustic but the pre amp does not work. I am looking for a rough valuation and where the best place to sell it is Thanks

Question by The Science Guy   |  last reply

Moray Eels' Alien-like double jaws

There are times when life imitates art. Then there are times when life imitates science fiction.One of the most famous monsters in film history is the extraterrestrial beast of the Alien series. It slowly opened its glistening fangs to reveal a second set of jaws that shot forward to kill its victims.Scientists have now discovered a fish that does the same thing. If the First Bite Doesn't Do It, the Second One Will at the New York Times.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply

New Group: Volunteers

I've been thinking that this group / service has been necessary for some time, so I've finally gone and done it.If you're willing to be singled out as a helpful individual, then please join Volunteers. You may want to start a thread detailing what in areas you are willing or able to offer help or advice.If you want help, check out the membership of Volunteers, and either PM the appropriate member directly, or start a thread with Volunteer in the title and as a keyword.Oh, and my own specialities? Science, use of English and general know-it-allness.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply

Ideas for how to make a kinetic pin wall door

Http:// The concept was to take the pin walls that you see at museums and science centers and make a kid's bedroom door out of these push pins.   From talking to manufacturers it appears to be a pretty pricey proposition (.25 cents per pin / approx 55,000 pins per 4x4 area). I was wondering if anyone had any ideas how to make this more economical?  Or if it had already been done and there was an instructable already out there? Thanks!

Topic by msmith94   |  last reply

I Have My K'nex Back!

Well, I've got some explaining to do.  It turns out my K'nex was never actually sold.  My parents hid my K'nex from me, telling me they sold it, only to give it back to me extremely recently under one stipulation: I can't build guns anymore, unfortunately.  Trust me, I'm not complaining; I'm just ecstatic that I can build with them again.  I'm sorry for the huge lack of activity lately, but I haven't had that many ideas before I got my K'nex back.  My first K'nex creation in a while is this really cool compact lock.  Being K'nex, of course, I wouldn't advise that you lock anything with it, but it is nigh on impossible to open with force unless the button is pushed, or you deconstruct the lock itself.  It is powered completely by tension, and doesn't need any rubber bands or power source other than the K'nex from which it is made.  It is also extremely fun to mess around with, and I could spend about an hour just fiddling with the mechanism; such is my attention span.  I'm thinking about working on instructions, but I wanted to see what you guys thought of it first. The second thing I'd like to share with you all is this 3D Owl I printed over at Fab Lab in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry.  I would like to sincerely thank Matt Chalker, the head executive of the Museum of Science and Industry's Fab Lab, the museum itself, and all that make Fab Labs possible for such a wonderful experience.  Along with this owl, we made many things out of wood via the wood laser engraver, and finger puppets for each member of my family, depicting our faces, of course. (I have more pictures of both the owl and the lock.  If anyone is interested, I could post them in the comments.  They're pretty much the items on different backgrounds, though.) Enjoy! -DarkOwl

Topic by DarkOwlProductions   |  last reply

Trombone Mouthpiece Dimensions

So for a local science competition a couple of my friends and I are making a trombone out of copper pipe for a music event. In the rules it says the mouthpiece for the brass instrument cannot be store-bought or commercially made, so we are going to print our own with a 3D printer. The problem is, I can't find my 12C trombone mouthpiece to make the model from. So what I want to know is can someone measure every dimension of their 12C trombone mouthpiece with some calipers? I would greatly appreciate your help!

Topic by tinstructable   |  last reply

Getting to know her?

       My cover's blown! She knows i like her! :0 The thing is she doesn't know me very well i had a science lab with her once and <3<3<3..... You get the idea i was just quiet and i didn't know what to say... I recently read an article about the "Who what when where and why" conversation starters but i don't know how to approach her without looking like a creeper...... Help please, -Lovestruck Buckwheat

Topic by I3uckwheat   |  last reply

New categories? E.g. Homesteading

Dear Instructables, I am an organic gardener and smallholder/homesteader and most of my instructables are related to these topics, however apart from 'Pets', which is OK because my birds are very friendly and tame, there is no specific category for my Instructables. I have noticed that there are many people posting poultry instructables and it would be great if they could be grouped together. I also suggest, seeing the amount of relevant posts, that there should be a category which covers, permaculture, organic (food/horticulture and agriculture) and one for homesteading. Instructables is very well served on the engineering/science/computing side but it would be great to have a balance. Best Wishes, Pavlovafowl aka Sue

Topic by Pavlovafowl   |  last reply

Happy Darwin Day, everyone!

On February 12, 1809, in the town of Shrewsbury, England, Charles Robert Darwin was born. If you somehow don't already know, he's the guy that rode a beagle and played with birds and was a monkey's uncle and wrote some book. This Friday celebrates his 201st birthday. In other words, PARTAY! I will be wearing my science shirt in honor of the holiday, due to my unfortunate lack of suitable Darwinian attire...I shall also be eating ramen noodles in honor of the Pastafarian holiday of Friday, but that's mostly because I'll be working a play and that's all I have time to eat. How do YOU plan to celebrate this auspicious occasion?

Topic by CameronSS   |  last reply

How can I make a Bookcase Door?

Scooby-Doo movies became famous for it, spy movies have been known to have them, Batman had one, and yet... I used to live in Kansas, before I moved to Arizona, and while I was there I visited a place called Science City. It is basically an indoor amusement park with funky gizmos like a hologram of a fist sized diamond behind a painting, and a rocking chair that doubles as a power generator. But the thing that interested me most was a wall that revolved at the center, becoming a door that would lead to another room. I asked some of the employees about it, but it must be a trade secret since they all said they couldn't, or wouldn't tell me. One of them even denied the existence of such a wall! Ever since then, I have seen various recreations like this in spy and mystery movies. I think that this would be the coolest thing ever. You see, when you turn the wall around, one side is a fake bookcase, the other is a blank wall. It turns 180 degrees, then you have to turn it the other way. I want one of those in a cabin that my family is building up in the mountains. Since it would have to be custom built, I would need a very good idea of where to start. Anything in the way of advice, answers, or even speculations anyone could give me would be absolutely great. Sincerely Yours, Zelback1

Question by zelback1   |  last reply



Topic by MR WEED   |  last reply

Ant Killer!

It seems every year we get ants in our kitchen. I don't know if its a seasonal thing or just coincidence.This time, however, we were able to effectively combat them with a home remedy. We mixed boric acid & sugar in water and set the concoction in a few little lids across the kitchen. We used roughly a 1:1:1 ratio, but it isn't an exact science. It's also not important if it doesn't dissolve completely.The idea behind this is that the boric acid will not kill the ants instentaneously. In fact, the sugar will lure ants to it. Also, this amount of boric acid isn't harmful, even to most pets. I don't have any pictures to do an instructable, so I thought I'd share it here. If someone else does this, feel free to do an instructable. (no credit needed)

Topic by zachninme 

How many times have you changed your major?

Or, if you're out of school, how many times did you change it during school? At first, I thought maybe I'll do biology. Then it was CIS. Then I thought hmmm... English. Then Psychology. I've finally ended up in the Health field and I love it. I was going to do Public Education... but it seems quite unattainable now and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I don't think it's something I can do while working full time. Plus... I'm really not getting along with my epidemiology classes. So now I'm leaning towards being a physical education teacher or a personal trainer. (Exercise science.) And yet I would still rather spend my time building things. :P

Topic by jessyratfink   |  last reply

Engineer's Duel

Hi everyone, I'm new here to this forum site but I wanted to share an idea I've been kicking around for a while now.  I'm a huge fan of the Fantasy vs Science Fiction debate and often like to combine certain elements from each into one another (ie Spell Casting Robots, Steampunk Wizards, etc). One of the staple elements of any Fantasy work is the iconic Wizard's Duel, when two magical wielders face off against one another using a combination or various spells, attacks and magic.   Now, I've always been interested in the kinds of sports/ competitions that focus scientific and engineering minds (robot battles). So I devised one of my own today, just something I think would be really interesting to watch. It's sort of like a modern day resurrection of medieval duels, but instead of weapons the duelers use inventions. Engineer's Duel Overview: Two inventors face off, each utilizing different inventions they've built to best their opponent, and eventually destroy them (or at least incapacitate). The purpose of the battle is to test the wits, intelligence, strategy and inventing skills of each of the duelers.   The goal is not to destroy the opponent, but instead their chosen gadgets until yours is the last one surviving. Rules: 1) No Robots. This fight should be between the duelers themselves, not their robotic minions. 2) No Direct Weapons Allowed (devices that serve no other purpose except as a weapon). Eg no guns, swords, canons, etc. The purpose of the duel is not about how powerful an invention one can build, but how inventive it is and how well the dueler uses it. 3) Each invention chosen by the duelers must be used at least once in the fight. 4) No EMPs, for obvious reasons 5) Vehicular machines such as Tumblers, Mech Warriors, and Giant Hovercrafts are allowed but only in the National Primaries. Other than this, if you can build it, you can use it. So yeah tell me what you think!  

Topic by SHIFT!   |  last reply

Project ideas for 13 yr old boy. Single mom, live in Kathmandu, no access to Home Depot, etc. Very curious son. Answered

I'd really appreciate ideas for projects I can do this summer with my son to tap into his wonderfully curious mind and divert him from the numbing computer games he likes. I'm a quick study and computer literate. We can get all basics but some things others take for granted are not available to us. I used to call him "my wondering boy" because of all the "I wonder how..." questions. So, I think projects of almost any kind will be good. Science, technology, building, etc. I'm willing to give anything a try. Thanks in advance to all who chime in. Shanti Mama, stuck in monsoonal Kathmandu while all my son's friends head to their home countries.

Question by Shanti Mama   |  last reply

Instructables Superfan!!!

Wow...Just... wow.Eric Nguyen, Interaction Engineer for Instructables...Eric earned his BS in Computer Science at Harvard and has been building UI toolkits for the web ever since. Eric loves community-building, loud music, and industrial design...He... just... wrote this article. Well, not just now. Before. I found it on Google when I typed in GorillazMiko.But wow, just click the link and read the article, it meant so much to me.Here's some:Instructables user GorillazMiko is.. I don't know what to say. He's awesome. He's on the site almost all the time, reporting bugs, putting encouraging comments on every new Instructable that gets posted (that can be up to a hundred, some days), and making cool ones, himself.He does all this, and he's 13 years old. He's trying to get his parents to bring him to the office, the next time they have a family vacation in San Francisco. His parents must be a little confused as to why their son wants to visit some company while they're on vacation.

Topic by GorillazMiko   |  last reply

Are Americans Losing Touch with DIY Skills?

Click for Full Story*Link Fixed*Science-fiction author Robert A. Heinlein once wrote: "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."...Are hands-on skills — building things, fixing things, operating machines and so on — really in decline?...Does this matter? And if people are becoming less mechanically handy, is that so bad? I think so — and not just because specialization is for insects.We don't all have to be MacGyver, but from time to time all of us will face problems that can't be addressed with a laptop and a cellphone. In a genuine emergency, having some basic manual skills could be the difference between surviving comfortably and being totally helpless.That is a very interesting article. What do you think about it?

Topic by Bran   |  last reply

Math riddle? Answered

My friend asked me this one, I couldn't figure it out but I think the question itself is somehow flawed.Anyway, so here it goes: A kid has to buy a toy of 100 Rupees, he takes Rs.50 from his father and 50 from his mother. Later when he goes to the store he finds that the toy is only 97 rupees, he buys the toy and 3 rupees are left, still with me? Now he goes to his mother and father and out of those 3 rupees gives one rupee to his father, one rupee to his mother and keeps the remaining 1 rupee aside (not for himself). Now here is the question, as he has already given 1 rupee to his mother and father each, he has remaining 49 rupees to pay each one, so, my friend asks that add 49 to 49, 98, and then add to it the remaining 1 rupee he had kept aside, 99. Where did the remaining 1 rupee go? I just can't understand what is he trying to ask, the calculation he just did, I think, has nothing to do with amount the kid has to pay or paid.

Question by the-science-dude   |  last reply

A Level choices

 I'm not after anything in particular here just want some opinions. After recently applying to my local sixth form college I'm curious as to...well I just want to talk really. My options are: 1.Chemistry 2.Physics 3.Mathematics 4.DT: Product design - Materials Reserve:Computing GCSE: P= predicted grade, C = current grade (Or already gained GCSE), L/10 = how much I enjoy, G/10 = how capable I am. Maths: P= A*, C=V. high A, L8/10, G7/10 Physics: P=A*, C=A*, L9/10, G9/10 ICT: P=D(distinction), C=D, L7/10, G10/10 BPE: P=A*, C=A/A*, L6/10, G8/10 Chemistry: P=A*, C=A*, L9/10, G9/10 DT (Electronics):P=A*, C=A*, L9/10, G9/10 Catering: P=A*, C=A, L5/10, G8/10 Music: P=A/A* , C=B/A, L5/10, G7/10 Biology: P=A/A*, C=A/A*, L8/10, G7/10 English Lit.: P=A*, C=A, L6/10, G6/10 English Lang.: P=A/A*, C= B/A, L6/10, G6/10 PE: No GCSE Anyone else recently applied for sixth form? Currently at sixth form college or university? Any advice? I reckon I am going to end up (sounds so negative) in Engineering or Science, whether I choose University or an apprenticeship etc. ANY advice appreciated.

Topic by DELETED_zoltzerino 

Help me make a bookcase door to a secret room

  Inappropriate Incomplete Spam Scooby-Doo movies became famous for it, spy movies have been known to have them, Batman had one, and yet... I used to live in Kansas, before I moved to Arizona, and while I was there I visited a place called Science City. It is basically an indoor amusement park with funky gizmos like a hologram of a fist sized diamond behind a painting, and a rocking chair that doubles as a power generator. But the thing that interested me most was a wall that revolved at the center, becoming a door that would lead to another room. I asked some of the employees about it, but it must be a trade secret since they all said they couldn't, or wouldn't tell me. One of them even denied the existence of such a wall! Ever since then, I have seen various recreations like this in spy and mystery movies. I think that this would be the coolest thing ever. You see, when you turn the wall around, one side is a fake bookcase, the other is a blank wall. It turns 180 degrees, then you have to turn it the other way. I want one of those in a cabin that my family is building up in the mountains. Since it would have to be custom built, I would need a very good idea of where to start. Anything in the way of advice, answers, or even speculations anyone could give me would be absolutely great. Sincerely Yours, Zelback1

Topic by zelback1   |  last reply

LED Reef tank light ( auto dimming)

I am in the process of redesigning a LED reef light using Luxeon III White and Royal Blue. These will let my coral grow the best. The biology of it I have down to a science... My circuitry however is still in its infancy. I have been following several of the instructables but i am at a point where I need some help... I can kind of get to the simple on off in my schematics (given I do not know what my power supply is yet) but as I read in Circuits-for-using-High-Power-LED , I now see that it can be a little more complicated if I want to preserve these slightly costly lights... So that leads to many questions from which most I might be able to get from the 12 books on electronics I purchased and borrowed, but something tells me that experienced people might have more practical solutions for me. What is needed to operate a 24 led array (Luxeon 3, Vf = 3.9V, 1000mA Each LED) from 115VAC to the DC? Now for a topic that I am having trouble with finding information to, back in the day I had an electronic ballast for a metal halide reef light that would fade on to full output over the course of 2 hours and would dim the same when turning off. this ballast had to cords on to supply constant power( i would assume) and the other to control the switch that would allow it to fade on and off.... I would like to simulate this sunrise sunset effect with my LED array? I appreciate your time and help with this project of mine.

Topic by Aquatope   |  last reply

My idiotic dad doesn't think my grades are good or at least above average. What do you think?

So yeah, I got expelled from school on the last week, but the school decided to be nice and give me my report card. I personally think I did OK, some of my friends and teachers even praised me for it, but my perfectionist father lashed his anger at me to no end. Check these out:(Note: The passing is 2 out of 6, my school's standards aren't really that high)English: 5 out of 6Math: 4 out of 6Science: 4.5 out of 6Indonesian: 6 out of 6Physical Education: 6 out of 6Technology: 5 out of 6Social Studies: 4.5 out of 6So yeah, I know right, WTF. I even got an award for 6th best 7th grader overall (there are 34 7th graders in my school) on the award ceremony the week before I got expelled.As I said before, my friends and teachers praised me for this, but my dad insists that its very average. I tried telling my dad that this is actually pretty good and I'm one of the best off and that more than 5 kids went to summer school because they failed more than two subjects. But he wouldn't listen and used that stupid don't compare yourself to them excuse to screw out my arguments.So yeah, tell me what you think & any advice on how to lower my dad's perfectionist standards would be greatly appreciated.

Topic by Camisado   |  last reply

I won!

I posted this topic before, but I don't think anybody saw it (instructables glitch?)From wendsday to saterday i went to a resort named 7 springs in champion, Pennsylvania. I was there for a national competition called technology student association (aka TSA). This competition was states, for I already went to regionals.I won 1st place in Electrical Applications, which is basically your knowledge of electronics (you take a test) and you have to create a circuit on a bread board, along with creating a schematic. I tell you, this was almost a joke. Questions on the test are like --| C---- what is that a symbol of? And what does IC stand for?The breadboard challenge was even easier. They gave you a breadboard, a 9 volt battery, a lightbulb, and some wires. The challenge was to make a circuit (and schematic) that light up the lightbulb whenever you touch the probes to the right spots. Like you know those question and answer things at science fairs where if you line up the right question with the right answer? That's basically it.I also won 1st place along with a couple of my friends for a medical challenge where we gave a presentation on alzheimer's disease. Not much to explainMe and my friends also won 3rd in another thing, I can't remember (I get my trophy on wensday because they didn't have enough trophies for the whol group). I think it was in agriculture and biotech where we talked about biofuels.Me and my friend got 6th in a challenge where they give you a random technology topic and they give you 10 minutes to prepare (no computers) and then you have to give a speach.Me and my friends got 10th in a thing called tech bowl where they give your random questions and you are in direct competition wire people nexy to you (you have a buzzer).Me and my friends got 9th place in a challenge where we talked about the enviroment (specificaly ozone depletion);)does anybody know where this came from, I'm pretty sure I saw it at TSA (I just remember a yellow wrapped transformer at an angle in a box with a phone and it's all in a box)

Topic by guyfrom7up   |  last reply

Instructables Internship - Day 2

Hello Again!Well, it's been Day 2 for me, here at Instructables, and truthfully; I'm having a blast!So, what'd I do today? Well, I cut A TON of stickers out for the launch of the new Instructables Store. I did some more "outreach" work (mainly having to do with the science fair contest), and I tried to find places where I could get some surgical tubing for the top-secret project ;).I also started working on posting 2 new instructables that I have already built, they should be up in a reasonable amount of time, hopefully.I found out another thing about Instructables, today. Everyone is excited about everyone else's work. You see, Billy (Tetranitrate) has this new project that he's working on, which is actually going to be super-super-awesome, and everyone's just so interested in his progress, it's pretty amazing. Even with site updates and layouts and stuff, everyone is so interested in everything, it's just awesome. I've been at other internships where the employees don't even get along, but here, they collaborate in getting stuff done. Oh boy, I love it here just a bit too much.OH, That's right! I worked on some images for the new, yes, I said new, homepage layout/design! I'm actually really excited about it, mostly because I'm bored of looking at all of the same images EVERY SINGLE TIME I come to the site, and also because I get to pick some of what's going to be used on the new homepage. You know, the best part of interning here is being able to give back to Instructables, and the DIY Community as a whole. However, being able to do what you want after lunch is pretty sweet, too. Tomorrow, I think Noah (NoahW) and Jason (The other intern) and I are going to pick up our materials, pick up some muffin mix for salad club and other assorted foodstuffs, and get to work on our top-secret project.Btw, I started thinking up a design for Instructables badges, and depending on when I learn how to use the laser cutter, I'll make 'em ASAP!Cheers,-Muffinatorp.s.: Sigh, I burned my Peanut Butter Sandwich this morning.... The picture looks nice, though...

Topic by T3h_Muffinator   |  last reply

How do I actually PROGRAM a z80, 8088, 8035, or their predecessors? (schematic, code, assemblers, UVeproms?)? Answered

I have a z80, apparently, with supporting ICs, on a PCB waiting to be salvaged. All I could find online for z80 programming was this guy who was making a whole computer out of it. And a lame "z80 world" site that doesn't help me. Also, on a separate board, I have a couple of Toshiba TMP8035P (with UVeprom nearby), whose online "datasheet" says that it's instruction set and pin compatible with the intel 8048.see: have programmed microcontrollers before, so I know a tiny bit of what is needed for programming them. (Note: modern microcontrollers, in basic-esque languages, notably picaxes and basic stamps)My problem is in how to actually make the program on my computer, press the download button, and the chip run the program. I have no idea how to do assembly, (or find the right assembler). I am also clueless as to hook the computer up to the chip. (I suspect it requires a parallel port, but I think I only have DB9-pin serial easily available. I do have a single parallel port in a win98 computer, but it would be a pain in the butt.)In addition, I don't have a UVeprom eraser light. (I have an uncle who does, but I only meet him every now and then. Maybe he would let me borrow it?)Another problem is, I'm on a time limit. It does not have to be done tommorrow, but if I do not clear the garage of my currently un-programmable outdated microcontrollers soon, I will be too busy with college this fall of 2009 to work on those things, and my parents will force me to throw them away.As for the 8035's my uncle also needs room in his garage, and if I can't program mine soon, then he will throw away his remaining stash of them. (No sense in holding on to equipment your nephew can't program in a timely fashion)By the way, the same uncle dumped a CMX controller on me, with a weird keyboard, huge scroll wheel mouse, and the big box with computer-like guts inside, and a gazillion I/O ports on the back. He said it could be programmed, but Wikipedia said the company that made this video-editing machine went bankrupt or something. If I had the "instruction set", I assume assembly, in addition to a download circuit, then I can use this thing for controlling lots of cool things.Oh, and my uncle is very nice to me, so don't think I don't like him just because his hobby is dumping old junk on me.PS: I'm just whining, but it seems all these old microcontrollers, equipment and whatnot assume I grew up with these. I didn't, so anything beyond plugging in a basic program to a picaxe is rocket science to me. (No, I'm not Russian)

Question by Unit042   |  last reply