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JohnW51

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1Instructables491Views219CommentsYukon, Oklahoma, USA
Retired electronics engineer. Favorite pastimes: bicycling, photography, attempting simple with Arduino projects, VERY amateur woodworking.

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  • 3D PRINT a STEAM TRAIN 🚂 With Live Camera Streaming and Wifi Controls

    Very nice project! :-) One suggestion: Why not use magnets to attach the top of the tender so it doesn't tend to fall off?

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  • Card Stock Trainer Airplane [STEM Plane]

    Another great design! You are so talented at making these nice little planes. I've tried to get my 15-year-old grandson interested in making some of your designs, but he'd rather play video games. His fine motor skills are much better than mine.

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  • A Much Safer Table Saw Taper Jig

    Or drill a hole at each end of the slot and use a jig saw to cut between the holes. That's what most people do, I think.

    The hold down clamps are inexpensive on Amazon. For me, I'd rather spend my time making my projects than trying to make hold down clamps I can buy for a few $$.

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  • JohnW51 commented on shiura's instructable WiFi Sync Clock
    WiFi Sync Clock

    this is an ingenious design. I wonder if there would be a way to put the third hand (the longest one) behind the face. That way one would only see the minute and hour hands advance without the distraction of the third hand moving around a bit erratically.

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  • Class-A Headphone Amplifier

    That seems very strange to put the cap values in mF when the industry standard (at least everything I've ever dealt with in over 40 years of being an electronics engineer) is uF. I can see maybe using mF for circuits with very large caps, but not for the values you are using. Maybe the authors of Fritzing need to think about changing that to avoid this kind of confusion.

    OK, but the transistors are only passing current when they are driving a load. The max current is achieved only at peak volume, which would occur very infrequently if ever at all. Maybe I'm missing something here, but I think the transistors would be very cool with no heatsink unless you are running the volume very loud for long periods of time.

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  • The Ultimate Pumpkin Carving Knife

    Very nice! You have great skills and very good video presentation techniques. This seems like a lot of work for something you only use once a year, but I'm sure it was a very satisfying project and besides, it just looks SO COOL.

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  • Cardboard Storage Shelf From Single Box

    Nice! Good job on making it strong. Who's have thought a cardboard shelf would hold that much weight? :-)

    You want to transfer the load to stiff vertical members. Wood and similar materials (like cardboard) are strongest in compression. So the horizontal load of the shelves must be transferred to the vertical "legs" in this design. Of course the shelves themselves must be strong enough to support the load without sagging or collapsing. This is accomplished by making the shelves with some depth then adding the vertical members under the shelves. These members stiffen the shelf so it can hold the load. This is the same concept in wood frame buildings. The outside walls, and sometimes also some inside walls, support the roof. The walls are strong because they are "in compression", that is the 2x4s (or whatever the walls are made of) are vertical, their strongest orientation. …

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    You want to transfer the load to stiff vertical members. Wood and similar materials (like cardboard) are strongest in compression. So the horizontal load of the shelves must be transferred to the vertical "legs" in this design. Of course the shelves themselves must be strong enough to support the load without sagging or collapsing. This is accomplished by making the shelves with some depth then adding the vertical members under the shelves. These members stiffen the shelf so it can hold the load. This is the same concept in wood frame buildings. The outside walls, and sometimes also some inside walls, support the roof. The walls are strong because they are "in compression", that is the 2x4s (or whatever the walls are made of) are vertical, their strongest orientation. Think about a thin piece of wood. If you lay it horizontal and press on the middle, it will bend. But if you stand it up and press on the end, all you get is a sore hand. :)

    Good tips.

    You can get a ruler that has inches on one side and metric on the other side. Actually, the metric system is much easier when doing this kind of project because you rarely must deal in fractions. A millimeter is very small, less than a 16th of an inch. (I am more accustomed to the Imperial system, but, as an engineer, I've had to deal with metric system a lot and have come to prefer it.)

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  • Modern Cardboard Pet House for Cats 🐱

    I like that a LOT. Very nice, attractive design. :-)

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  • Class-A Headphone Amplifier

    Very thorough description of the project and how to build it. I have no need for a headphone amp, but if I did, I would consider building this one. Great job!

    The pads need to be thermally conductive but electrically non-conductive. The pads specified are appropriate for this application.

    Actually, you probably don't need to heatsink the power transistors for a headphone amp. What is the total dissipation for each transistor? Gotta be pretty low. If they do need some help in dissipating the heat, stamped metal heat sinks should be more that adequate. This would allow the amp to be built into a plastic or wooden box.

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  • JohnW51 commented on LK 200210 c's instructable Hot Glue Gun Stand
    Hot Glue Gun Stand

    I like this design. I think I'll make one from wood so it will be a bit more stable and more durable.

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  • How to Clean an Oven Door (also Between the Glass)

    Why not just use the vinegar and baking soda on the glass in the first place? It seems to do a better job.When I clean our oven door glass, I first spray it with Fantastic cleaner and let that soak for at least 10 minutes. Then I wipe off as much grease as I can and do that again. It is usually pretty clean by then and I just finish it up by wiping thoroughly with a hot damp cloth. If there are stubborn spots, I treat them with either the Fantastic cleaner or hot soapy water using Dawn dish detergent as the soap. Again finish up with a hot damp cloth.

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  • Give an Old Gramophone Some New Life!

    Wow! That is just BEAUTIFUL!! Wish I had your skills and patience.

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  • JohnW51 commented on gzumwalt's instructable "Walk N' Roll!"
    "Walk N' Roll!"

    Nice design. I love it!

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  • Smartphone Camera Foot Switch Trigger

    Hey, this is great. I didn't know pressing the volume up (an on my phone, also volume down) when in camera mode takes a photo. And I also discovered if you hold the switch down, it takes about 2 photos per second. I can use the volume buttons on my earbuds to take photos! That might be useful in some situations, say put the phone on a holder of some kind for stability, or just when it might be easier to hold the phone still with one hand and press the button with the other. Sometimes when I press the photo button on the touch screen, it causes the phone to jiggle a bit and blurs the photo in low light situations.I will consider making a foot switch also. That would be useful in a lot more situations.

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  • Making Timing Belts & Robot Tank Treads Using Scarf Joints:  Splicing Openbuilds GT2 & GT3 Belts Using a Scarf-joint to Make Timing Belts and Tracks

    I have not seen a vote button on any of the contest projects I have looked at in the last several weeks. Maybe the project creators are not doing whatever is required to make sure their project is submitted for the contest.

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  • Restoring a 74 Year Old Antique Engine!

    Excellent! I'm looking forward to seeing that.

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  • Restoring a 74 Year Old Antique Engine!

    OK, it's a beautiful restoration, but I wanted to see it run.

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  • JohnW51 commented on uersel's instructable Buggy Trike
    Buggy Trike

    This is an amazing project! Your creativity and skills with making old stuff into something beautiful and useful are just astounding. I wish I had half of your patience, skill and creativity.

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  • 81 LED Chaser - 555 Project

    A great project! Very nice PCB layout and great instructions for the build. But I wish you had explained more about the operation of the circuitry. That would be way more interesting than watching you build the board. The hints on getting the LEDs straight are great, but the rest is just kind of not very interesting or informative. Anyone who would take on a project of this nature would know how to solder components to a circuit board, I think.

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  • How to Make a Spray Bottle That Works in Any Orientation

    Hey, this is a great idea. Only one small problem. Superglue will not stick to flexible tubing. At least that has been my experience. But E6000 certainly will. Gonna try this right away.

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  • Re-purpose Broken Power Banks

    FINALLY a project that doesn't require a 3D printer! Good job. This is a very handy small power supply that would find a lot of uses around an engineering lab or a home hobby lab.

    I've had a couple projects that needed 3D printed parts. I found a few local people that will print parts for a small fee. I found that very useful. I got the parts I needed without buying a printer. It's not so much the price of the printer as it is a place to keep it. All of the storage spaces in my house and garage are full and overflowing. Admittedly, I need to get rid of some stuff, but it is mostly in the attic where I would not want to store something like a 3D printer.

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  • Needle Probe for Electronic Testing

    This is a great idea. Just a couple questions: Where did you find the plastic rod? Got any remedies for shaky hands? (Just joking on that second one.)

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  • JohnW51 commented on srhnz's instructable Computer Desk - 1 Board
    Computer Desk - 1 Board

    Hey, thanks for that very complete and informative answer. I wish I had the skills and the time for this kind of project, but I really don't need a desk and all my grandkids that have room for one already have one. :-) Still love the project though.

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  • JohnW51 commented on srhnz's instructable Computer Desk - 1 Board
    Computer Desk - 1 Board

    This is a pretty cool project. Very good design making the most of one sheet of plywood. I would, however, offer one suggestion. You have enough scrap left to add a strip about 60-70 mm wide along each vertical edge of the back panel. That would give you a lot more strength for attaching the legs. Drilling into the edge of an 18 mm panel for the MDF inserts would seem to me to be VERY difficult with a hand-held drill. Especially drilling into plywood.

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  • Tape Measure Yagi Antenna With 3D Printed Couplers

    Interesting. So, would this work for broadcast TV? Seems like it would. I have simple (commercially built) yagi antenna in my attic, which I installed before cable provided acceptable reception in my area. (My neighbors that had cable TV would marvel at the picture quality and ask how I got such a great picture. LOL!) I think I could measure the elements and placement on that antenna and transfer them to your cool design. It would be an interesting experiment.

    Aluminum, but you can't solder to it. Aluminum tubing is available in most home improvement stores. But it would be cheaper just to buy a yagi antenna, assuming you could get one tuned to the proper wavelength.

    Just glue the tape measure sections to pieces of PVC.

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  • A Novel Way to Set a Box Lid

    Very nice! I love this idea. I've seen other similar designs, but they didn't show any details on how to do it. Thanks for showing that. :-)

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  • Dave - the Remote Control Duck

    Very cool! And it also looks very easy. Your instructions are great!

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  • Micro FPV Boat From Drone Parts

    Very nice project. Wish I had the skills and equipment to make something like that. I think the best way to prevent the boat's antenna from getting wet would be to seal it inside the hull. Radio waves will pass right through plastic with almost no reduction.

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  • Reupholster a Chair From the Bones Up. Сhairs 43 Years Old

    Very nice! I love that you had the kids involved and the cat supervising. :-)

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  • JohnW51 commented on SEB TECH DIY's instructable Dust Collector ARM
    Dust Collector ARM

    Would PVC work just as well as ABS? I don't care about the color. Also, did you add any kind of lubricant to the moving pieces to make it easier to adjust?

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  • Easy Outdoor Sofa From 2x4s and Two Power Tools!

    This is a nice project and simple enough for most anyone to build. However, a chair or sofa is much more comfortable if the back is tilted about 100 to 110 degrees from the seat. This minor adjustment would be relatively simple to implement and make for a more comfortable sofa or chair. You did an excellent job with your material cut list and the video demonstrating the build.

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  • Arduino M&M Color Sorter

    This is a great project. Congratulations! If I'm your instructor, you get a solid A. Maybe even and A+. Simpler is always better. I love the mechanical simplicity of this device. The method of determining the color of the M&M piece is very clever, and the method of controlling where the piece ends up is just as clever.

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  • DIY Maglite USB Rechargeable 18650 and LED Upgrade

    Yes, I agree. Recycling or upcycling needs to be done a whole lot more. We throw away WAY too much stuff that still has use. AND, it's just so satisfying to do these kinds of projects.

    I think you can buy a pretty good LED flashlight for the same or less $$ than you spent on this project, but hey, where's the fun in that? Good job!

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  • Fix a Leaking Drinking Fountain

    Wow! You did your research and came up with a good solution. Kudos for hanging in there and not giving up when the project became more challenging than you had anticipated. I'm betting the shelter folks are really glad to have you around! :-)

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  • Fix a Stick Vacuum Cleaner - Electrolux Ergorapido - Red Light on - Motor Not Running

    Good job getting this little vac back in service. Lesson learned: Don't remove the filter in ANY vacuum cleaner. It's there for a reason--to prevent this kind of failure. I hope you found a replacement filter and installed it before returning this vac to it's owner.

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  • JohnW51 commented on scotto's instructable Dryer Fix and Re-paint
    Dryer Fix and Re-paint

    Good job! A lot of dryer problems are easily fixed. Our electric dryer stopped generating heat. I knew it was a burned out heating element. I got the model number from the dryer and found a replacement element for about $40 online. I put it in myself in about 15 minutes. That would have cost $90 for the repair call and probably $65 for the element. So I saved about $115 for about 15 minutes work.

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  • JohnW51 commented on BevCanTech's instructable Headlight Super-charged
    Headlight Super-charged

    Nice job, but I think I'll just buy a brighter headlamp. I'm a bit lazy. ;-)

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  • Build Your Dream Car (Alfa Romeo Vintage in Wood)

    Wow! Beautiful. You are truly an artist.

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  • The Bolt! - an Electric Go Kart Homeschool STEM Project

    Correct!

    You have some lucky kids! Great job. Seems like you know your way around batteries and brushless DC motors. I see Walmart online has electric go carts listed for about $850, but that doesn't necessarily mean they actually have any in stock. Probably couldn't build one for that price if you didn't have the go cart frame, batteries, etc. already on hand. Way more fun to build your own anyway and it was great to see the kids actually helping with the build.

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  • JohnW51 commented on tmckay1.jackson's instructable LED Hour Glass
    LED Hour Glass

    Really, really cool, guys!! Congratulations on a unique (as far as I know) and very innovative design. Y'all rock!

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  • LED Chaser Circuit Without IC

    First time I've seen this ckt. Nice job. Wish my hands were as steady as yours. :-) Thanks for including the schematic. Since I'm a retired electronics engineer, it makes much more sense to me than the physical circuit. :-)

    prabbel237 - Yes, that's true. But a single transistor with no other circuit on the die is just a transistor. Would you consider a Darlington pair an IC? I've never thought of it as such, but i guess in the broadest sense it is since it is two transistors connected together and sometimes with integrated (there's that word) resistors.

    jc_0142 - Absolutely correct. An IC can also include diodes of all types and small value capacitors. Typical ICs these days can contain thousands of transistors and other components. In the case of microprocessors, they can contain millions!

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  • Tiny H-Bridge Drivers | Basics

    I don't think you actually need an H-bridge circuit to do this. Just put a light spring behind the part that moves. Activate the coil to pull the moving part in, then deactivate to allow it to go back out. A simple transistor switch will do this. But, your solution makes the mechanical design simpler, and the H-bridge chips are relatively cheap, so it's still a nice solution.

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  • How to Make a Bright LED Panel for 20$

    OK, well, $4 for the supply and $3 and change to ship. Not bad. Just wondering what kind of quality you get for that price?

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  • Amazing Homemade Pumpkin Pie

    Made me hungry for pumpkin pie! I think the error most people make is not pre-baking the crust, or not doing it long enough. I've eaten a LOT of pumpkin pie that had a soggy crust. Also, I noticed you know how to slice a pie correctly. Almost everyone moves the knife up and down as they slice, which means the crust is not cut all the way along the slice. Then the slice just rips apart when you try to take it out. I don't know why people don't understand that. If I can, I try to sneak into the kitchen and slice the pies when we have them, which is only at Christmas and Thanksgiving. I'd prefer to have pie much more often.

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  • Volkspod (Volkswagen Minibike)

    WOW! This is the most complex Instructable I have ever seen! This is an amazing project. Looks great too. Congratulatons!

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  • Patching a Bike Tire for Beginners, (and Cats )

    Good explanation of the process. Some tires are much easier to take off and put back on than others. If you have one of those harder ones, this can really speed up the process and save you some frustration. (Beware imitations. If it isn't Crank Brothers, it's probably a cheap Chineese imitation.)https://www.crankbrothers.com/products/speedier-le...Also, I have found that the patches stick much better if you clean the tube with lacquer thinner before applying the rubber cement. AND, you MUST use rubber cement unless you are using "glueless patches". The glueless variety are intended for temporary repair only, just to quickly get you back on your wheels. Either replace the tube or put on a permanent patch when you get home.

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  • JohnW51 commented on Roberto Groza's instructable Sand Table
    Sand Table

    WOW! That is just to super, super, super amazing!! You have a great future ahead of you in engineering and/or computer science. Keep up the good work!!

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  • JohnW51 commented on GregF10's instructable An Autonomous Rover
    An Autonomous Rover

    Congratulations for sticking it out. Bet you learned a lot. :-)

    I must admit, this project is WAY over my head, but it's cool.

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  • Convert Cheap Flashlights to Lithium

    Got it. Thanks.

    I didn't quite understand about the metal piece for the + battery contact. Does that go inside the PVC pipe? If so, what holds it in place? If it doesn't go into the pipe, then does it just sit inside the flashlight on top the spring?

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  • DIY Concrete Stepping Stones That Look Natural

    The result looks nice. I like how you colored and textured the stones to make them look natural. But I have some concerns. Concrete with sand only is not very strong. It is intended more for decoration than for supporting a load. Concrete needs larger aggregate to make it strong. Reinforcement as suggested by FlorinJ is probably not needed for small stones like these if you used a mix with larger aggregate. I'm not sure reinforcement would help with the sand-only mix. Lastly, the trowel you were using is designed for spreading quickset cement when setting tile. That's what the notches are for. You should use a proper concrete trowel for concrete work. The notches of the quickset trowel tend to get in the way when trying to smooth the concrete.

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  • NOT Another Bluetooth Speaker

    Oh, sorry to hear about those problems. I nice looking tool, but not as precise as one would like it to be. I'm quite surprised a German-made tool has these kind of problems. Have you contacted the manufacturer to see if they can send you a new one or describe a way to calibrate the one you have?As far as the scratching of the table, that's a drawback of aluminum vs steel, but at least it won't rust.I have a fold-up table saw sold be Sears. It also has some issues, but I have learned to deal with it for the most part. The most annoying thing is I have not found a way to make a perfect 90 degree crosscut. Instead of grooves for a crosscut fence, the left part of the table top slides. It is slightly (probably about 1 degree) out of square. Not noticeable unless I am crosscutting a fairly wi…

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    Oh, sorry to hear about those problems. I nice looking tool, but not as precise as one would like it to be. I'm quite surprised a German-made tool has these kind of problems. Have you contacted the manufacturer to see if they can send you a new one or describe a way to calibrate the one you have?As far as the scratching of the table, that's a drawback of aluminum vs steel, but at least it won't rust.I have a fold-up table saw sold be Sears. It also has some issues, but I have learned to deal with it for the most part. The most annoying thing is I have not found a way to make a perfect 90 degree crosscut. Instead of grooves for a crosscut fence, the left part of the table top slides. It is slightly (probably about 1 degree) out of square. Not noticeable unless I am crosscutting a fairly wide board, but even with narrow stock, I can't really get a really true right angle joint. My solution was very expensive: I bought a miter saw.

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  • JohnW51 commented on TheLeftyMaker's instructable Test Tube Vase
    Test Tube Vase

    Two thumbs up! Great job with the video and instructions and a very handsome result.

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  • NOT Another Bluetooth Speaker

    This is a nice little project, very attractive when completed. You did an outstanding job with the video and the text/photo instructions. BTW, I love your miniature table saw. I should probably get one of those, but I think if I buy another tool my wife may throw me out of the house. :-)

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  • Solder Electronic Components on Aluminum

    Very clever. I've never tried to solder to aluminum because I know the solder won't adhere. Now I know it can be done. :-)

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  • Leather Gramophone Horn, Passive Smart Phone Amplifier

    You can upload a video directly to your Instructables project. Same as uploading a picture.

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  • How to Make the Fastest Paper Airplane

    I made these when I was in grade school over 50 years ago. Still fun!

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  • Leather Gramophone Horn, Passive Smart Phone Amplifier

    WOW! That is a thing of beauty. Even if it doesn't do a whole lot for the phone sound, it would be a pleasure just to sit and look at it. Congratulations on seems to me to be a very difficult project and something I wold have never thought of. On top of all that beauty--no cords and no batteries! :-)

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  • Adjustable Shelving for Part Bin Organizers

    I keep my cars in the garage because I keep cars a LONG time. I live in central Oklahoma where we have lots of hail storm in spring and summer and very hot sun in summer. These take a heavy toll on cars kept outside.

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  • Adjustable Shelving for Part Bin Organizers

    This is a great project and one I think may be easy enough for even me to build. I need this! But, where to put it? Time to get out in the garage and see what I can move to make room.

    To make sure all your dado cuts line up properly, cut them into the 3/4" plywood BEFORE you cut the sides and back to width. That way, you are guaranteed they dados will line up perfectly.

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  • DIY Ultraviolet Sterilization Device (UVClean)

    EXCELLENT! This is a great project and one that is much in need right now. Good luck with your engineering studies. Even in a tight job market, engineers are in high demand and, judging from your design capabilities and initiative to create a useful project, I'm sure you will have no trouble finding work once you graduate. I'm a retired electronics engineer myself. When I began my training, vacuum tube theory and practice were still being taught! Wow, that was a LONG time ago. :-)

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  • Neighbor-friendly Patio Light

    Cool! Glad you figured it out. Now, if you use this method, you will get to see how well laminated paper holds up to extremes of temperature and humidity. :-) I think it will out last plain paper by quite a bit, but that's just a guess. Probably depends on the type of laminate material used and the characteristics of the adhesive on the laminate. Oh, that brings up another possibility: You may be able to print directly on a piece of thin frosted plastic. Hmm.Bonne chance! (No, I'm not French, I just like the sound of that phrase.)

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  • Neighbor-friendly Patio Light

    Here's a shaded shape I created with Word. It's not exactly what you want, but gives you and idea of what is possible.

    You might consider a thin translucent plastic material instead of paper. I don't know of anything right off hand other than maybe plastic shower curtain, but that wouldn't be stiff enough. Maybe check online or at a craft store to see what kind of translucent plastic you can find. Of course the plastic will also deteriorate, but if the glove blocks all or most of the UV from sunlight, it should outlast paper by a considerable amount.

    Looks like the Word document isn't working. Here's a jpg of the page.

    I think you could even do that with a Word document. Create the shape and then use the graduated fill tool. It would take some experimenting, but I'm betting you could make it happen. If you have any kind of "drafting" program (I have Visio for example) I'm pretty sure that would work also. But I have much more experience with Word. It can be a bit tricky, but I have created quite a few shaded shapes over the years, some for my job and some for my bicycle club newsletter.

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  • Make a Keychain With Fusion 360, a CNC Machine and Scrap Wood

    Cool and VERY easy if you have the right equipment. A woodworker friend made several of the "badges" in the attached photo for a bicycle assembly project my bike club does each year for the Salvation Army at Christmas time. "Bike Elves" are those of us who go through these bikes after they have been assembled to make sure they are properly assembled and adjusted. This past Christmas, we checked and adjusted over 1300 bikes.

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  • Neighbor-friendly Patio Light

    Nice project, but I have concerns about paper in an outdoor application. Maybe it's not a big deal since you can easily replace the paper, but paper will deteriorate pretty rapidly in outdoor conditions, even if it is inside a fixture. The extremes of high and low temperature combined with moisture will gradually cause the paper to yellow and become fragile. I'd estimate the life of the paper would be maybe 5 years at most.

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  • How to Make Wooden Clamps From Scraps

    What a great idea! And your design is totally awesome! This got me to thinking about checking around my area to see if there is a maker space where I can get use of a laser cutter and perhaps a 3D printer (for other projects). And, BTW, using bike tubes for rubber bands is one of the best parts of your design. Regular rubber bands loose their elasticity very quickly compared to bike tubes. For those of you who may not have old bike tubes laying around, check your local bike shops. They will almost certainly have some in their discard bin and some even save them for recycling. Or, perhaps you have a neighbor or friend who is a cyclist. Nearly anyone who bicycles on a regular basis is going to have some old tubes if they haven't already tossed them in the trash.

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  • JohnW51 commented on josthebos's instructable Cardboard Quadcopter
    Cardboard Quadcopter

    WOW! That was a very ambitious project. I would have never thought of making a drone out of cardboard. I'm very impressed at how you solved the vibration problem and even that you recognized what was causing your copter to not fly. I'm also very impressed at your improvised blades. Maybe you could make yourself a few extra cash by making and selling those blades. I hope you win this cardboard contest. You certainly have my vote.

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  • Mechanical Seven Segment Display Clock

    It's cool, but that's a LOT of work and moving parts for a simple clock. Why does nearly everyone on Instructables assume we all have 3D printers?

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  • Fab Lab Tulsa Trophy and Dancing Robots

    Do you sell kits for these robots? I don't have access to a 3D printer.

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