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  • lr10cent commented on LaurenceB23's instructable Bouncy Chair With MTB Suspension 4 weeks ago
    Bouncy Chair With MTB Suspension

    A drawing with dimensions would be nice. I need CAD practice, so if you want I could help with that. We have a laminated wood chair, where the wood acts as the spring. The base on our chair doesn't even go as far back as the top of the seat back, but it seems quite stable. It probably doesn't have quite as much travel as yours. If you made the front upright from an appropriately sized steel sheet, you could probably dispense with the bike shock here. But the sheet might not look so great, I guess. And it wouldn't damp out the motion the way a bike shock can.Might be fun to cover a chair like this with aircraft fabric instead of wood. It has a little give to it, but is relatively sturdy. I had an open framed boat covered with it. Like this stuff:https://www.aircraftspruce.com/pages/cs/d...

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    A drawing with dimensions would be nice. I need CAD practice, so if you want I could help with that. We have a laminated wood chair, where the wood acts as the spring. The base on our chair doesn't even go as far back as the top of the seat back, but it seems quite stable. It probably doesn't have quite as much travel as yours. If you made the front upright from an appropriately sized steel sheet, you could probably dispense with the bike shock here. But the sheet might not look so great, I guess. And it wouldn't damp out the motion the way a bike shock can.Might be fun to cover a chair like this with aircraft fabric instead of wood. It has a little give to it, but is relatively sturdy. I had an open framed boat covered with it. Like this stuff:https://www.aircraftspruce.com/pages/cs/dacron/peelply4.php

    Or he could just allow a bit more space between the endpoints, or move the spring forward. Multiple mounting holes might be handy.Adding a tension spring will make the seat lower, but it will also act like a stiffer spring. Not NECESSARILY a problem, of course.

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  • lr10cent commented on Jonny Builds's instructable Build a Skateboard From Scrap Acrylic5 months ago
    Build a Skateboard From Scrap Acrylic

    If a frosted look is what you're after, a board made from UV resistant epoxy and fiberglass would be MUCH more durable, probably stiffer, and lighter. Actually, epoxy that isn't UV resistant can survive a few years in the sun with only moderate erosion of the surface. At least it can near sea level at 42 degrees north latitude. You might have to try different epoxies to get the appearance you want. Obviously this would be somewhat more expensive.Another interesting effect would be to route the edges of the acrylic a little thinner and then make a composite outline with fiberglass, kevlar and/or carbon and epoxy. This would make the board stiffer and stronger, plus any cracks would be much less dangerous.

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  • lr10cent commented on tomatoskins's instructable 8-Ball in Solid Wood Cube5 months ago
    8-Ball in Solid Wood Cube

    In Boatbuilding by Howard Chappelle, he writes that Douglas fir and yellow pine "can only be steamed or boiled to very slight curves." He writes that this is also true for most tropical hardwoods. For extreme curvature, he recommends rock elm (try to find that these days!), ash, and hickory. For less extreme bends, he writes that white oak, beech, birch, maple and red gum are suitable. I'm assuming that the same applies in this situation. I'm sure other sources will discuss other woods. I wonder what happens to poplar? I also wonder what species you can get 4 X 4's in. Chappelle also writes that pressure helps. So perhaps putting the cube in a pressure cooker will speed things up. He still wants you to soak the wood first, though. If it was my pressure cooker, I think I'd insi...

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    In Boatbuilding by Howard Chappelle, he writes that Douglas fir and yellow pine "can only be steamed or boiled to very slight curves." He writes that this is also true for most tropical hardwoods. For extreme curvature, he recommends rock elm (try to find that these days!), ash, and hickory. For less extreme bends, he writes that white oak, beech, birch, maple and red gum are suitable. I'm assuming that the same applies in this situation. I'm sure other sources will discuss other woods. I wonder what happens to poplar? I also wonder what species you can get 4 X 4's in. Chappelle also writes that pressure helps. So perhaps putting the cube in a pressure cooker will speed things up. He still wants you to soak the wood first, though. If it was my pressure cooker, I think I'd insist on maple. I understand it's less toxic. So a low cost source might be firewood. Firewood, however, does tend to crack at the ends, which you'd probably have to cut off. The right way to dry wood, if you're going to use it to build things, is to seal the ends, maybe with paint, so they don't dry out faster and crack. Maybe one could make this out of green wood (i.e. still wet after cutting the tree), although I don't know if it would crack or not when dried. It might not be straight after drying.

    On the Forstner bit, maybe you could put some kind of cross piece on the chuck and turn it by hand? Or I suppose you could find an old fashioned bit brace. Long ago, they had big ones shaped so that you could bear down on them with your chest. It's probably best to boil for an hour. If I recall correctly, boat builders have a rule of thumb to steam for an hour per inch of thickness before bending ribs. But maybe this trick is a bit more severe than bending ribs in the usual manner.

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  • lr10cent commented on tomatoskins's instructable Double Marble Puzzle5 months ago
    Double Marble Puzzle

    If you're going to drill it, polycarbonate is much less likely to crack. Maybe this happens with Plexiglas as well, but if you're cutting Lexan with a bandsaw, go slowly. If you go too fast, you may melt it a little, and then it grabs the blade, possibly breaking it. Not a problem if you're patient.

    Polycarbonate is amazingly tough. I'm sure that it wouldn't split unless you hit it REALLY hard. On the other hand, the hammer could scratch it up.

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  • lr10cent commented on seamster's instructable Impossible Nail in Wooden Block5 months ago
    Impossible Nail in Wooden Block

    You could steam and bend a dowel instead of using a nail. Cutting the hole in the middle might be tricky, though.

    Thirds, but you'd have to restrict the movement of the nail to hide the joint.

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  • lr10cent commented on seamster's instructable Deck of Cards in a Bottle (It's a Puzzle!)5 months ago
    Deck of Cards in a Bottle (It's a Puzzle!)

    She probably wants to put something of yours in a bottle.

    Obviously he's going on the honor system, but if not, throwing money at the problem will probably solve it. I imagine that it's possible to figure out what the order is with a CAT scan, MRI, etc.

    I thought of that, but wouldn't the box look terribly abused afterwards?

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  • lr10cent commented on seamster's instructable Tennis Balls in a Bottle (How-to!)5 months ago
    Tennis Balls in a Bottle (How-to!)

    I'm sure you could get them back out again at 110 feet under water. For tennis balls, I imagine they'd wrinkle instead of contracting uniformly, so they'd still have to be squeezed. However, with the handballs, you could probably tape the ball over the top of the bottle, loosely, then attach it to a weight and lower it from a boat. You'd have to maintain that vertical position. If it turns out that the squashed handball still floats, you could do it upside down. If I still lived in Vermont, I could go to an old granite quarry in Barre and just dangle it from the observation platform. Assuming the platform was still there, anyway.

    Clever, but you might want to stay 20 feet back in case the bottle exploded instead.

    I'm sure you could find suitable tools to cut the ball into little pieces. If you cut with a knife, it might help to put some soapy water in the bottle first.

    Maybe just make a tiny hole and be patient when squeezing.

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  • lr10cent commented on Electro maker's instructable How to Make a 30w Mega Flashlight5 months ago
    How to Make a 30w Mega Flashlight

    I like this flashlight. I've got a torchiere lamp in my living room with about the same amount of power going to some LED's. Very bright. It's just my personal opinion, but I think you'd have a better chance in the Epilog IX challenge if you added to it. For instance, a complete list of parts and maybe even sources. Also, a circuit diagram and more detailed, step by step instructions. And, of course, schematics.Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see a device to limit current. Did you do a test to make sure that the current wasn't greater than the specified maximum allowed for the LED? If this is a 12 volt LED chip, then 30 watts would be around 2.5 amps.If I was making one of these, I'd want more protection for the LED. Maybe, if it could withstand the heat, a piece of polycarbonate sheet....

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    I like this flashlight. I've got a torchiere lamp in my living room with about the same amount of power going to some LED's. Very bright. It's just my personal opinion, but I think you'd have a better chance in the Epilog IX challenge if you added to it. For instance, a complete list of parts and maybe even sources. Also, a circuit diagram and more detailed, step by step instructions. And, of course, schematics.Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see a device to limit current. Did you do a test to make sure that the current wasn't greater than the specified maximum allowed for the LED? If this is a 12 volt LED chip, then 30 watts would be around 2.5 amps.If I was making one of these, I'd want more protection for the LED. Maybe, if it could withstand the heat, a piece of polycarbonate sheet. Or a piece of tempered glass. Or maybe a wire cage, as you sometimes see on work lights.

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  • lr10cent commented on tomatoskins's instructable Table Saw Disc Sander6 months ago
    Table Saw Disc Sander

    You could taper the back of the plywood so it's thin at the edge. That should reduce the load considerably, while leaving it strong where it needs to be. Let's look at the forces involved. Say you have a 6 foot airplane prop turning at 2500 rpm. Acceleration is v^2/r, or at the prop's tip, over 200,000 ft/sec^2, or around 6400 g's. If you had a 10 inch disk on a table saw, going 4,000 rpm, then the outer edge would be experiencing about 2300 g's. Furthermore, since the prop is bigger there's 7.2 times as much wood. So the wood at the center of the prop experiences about 20 times the stress that the wood at the center of the disc does. If I was going to do a formal calculation, there would be some more steps, but this gives a very rough idea of the magnitude of the forces. Stress is p...

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    You could taper the back of the plywood so it's thin at the edge. That should reduce the load considerably, while leaving it strong where it needs to be. Let's look at the forces involved. Say you have a 6 foot airplane prop turning at 2500 rpm. Acceleration is v^2/r, or at the prop's tip, over 200,000 ft/sec^2, or around 6400 g's. If you had a 10 inch disk on a table saw, going 4,000 rpm, then the outer edge would be experiencing about 2300 g's. Furthermore, since the prop is bigger there's 7.2 times as much wood. So the wood at the center of the prop experiences about 20 times the stress that the wood at the center of the disc does. If I was going to do a formal calculation, there would be some more steps, but this gives a very rough idea of the magnitude of the forces. Stress is probably on the order of 100 psi*, while most reasonably dense woods can take several thousand pounds of stress parallel to the grain. So stressing at 45 degrees, which is the worst case, is still going to leave a good safety factor. *My calculation from the formula in Engineering Toolbox, and the stresses given by an on-line calculator I found, are both this order of magnitude, though they don't exactly agree.

    If you're lucky enough to have an old blade with very small teeth, this shouldn't be much of a problem. Also if you're using those standard sized adhesive sandpaper disks. Our local used tool store often has old blades on the cheapo table. You might be able to anneal the teeth with a propane torch, making it easier to grind or cut them off. But I'm not sure this would work.

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  • lr10cent commented on tomatoskins's instructable 20 Unusual Uses for Shop Tools6 months ago
    20 Unusual Uses for Shop Tools

    Does the graphite from the pencil come off on the next thing you sand? I suppose if it's something you're going to paint a dark color, then it won't matter.

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  • DIY Jigsaw Crosscut Sled - Perfect Jigsaw Cuts Every Single Time!

    Not sure this will show up enough, but I've drawn a cross section of something you might use to mount the saw to the bench. You can secure this with clamps instead of a vice. It's plywood, glued together into the shape of the black lines. The zig zag in the upright parts is to make room for those two sticks that retain the sled. Of course the corners need a bit of reinforcement, but I think this gets the idea across. I think you'd have to drill 4 countersunk holes in the base plate of the saw and use countersunk screws. On the other hand, really strong rare earth magnets would probably do the job.

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  • lr10cent commented on hpat's instructable Hidden Door, Bookcase Door, Secret Room6 months ago
    Hidden Door, Bookcase Door, Secret Room

    Not exactly "wrong". It's right for most of the world. If you buy a metric tape measure, you can now build designs from the rest of the world without having to do all those pesky conversions. As an engineer, I've had to move back and forth between the two systems all the time, but if you have a metric tape, you don't have to. I'm assuming that when you write "numerical system", you mean Imperial or English or whatever.P.S. 1 inch = 25.4 mm

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  • 3D Printed Bike Light Cheap and Lifelong V2

    On further thought, it occurs to me using a big washer and a threaded insert or a captive nut on the other side would allow you to tighten the screws more. I was only concerned about the strength. However, if you're going to add a plate to increase the field, I guess it could be steel and then you could make the entire support, or most of it, out of the right kind of steel. Not 3d, I'll admit. I'm into mechanical design, and have worked with stuff like electronics packaging of various kinds. (telecom and medical devices, a few short stints with other things)I don't ride any more. I got sick of having a chip on my shoulder all the time. For a while, I was living further from the city and I didn't get hassled much, but now I've moved closer in. However, the risk of cycling and being irrit...

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    On further thought, it occurs to me using a big washer and a threaded insert or a captive nut on the other side would allow you to tighten the screws more. I was only concerned about the strength. However, if you're going to add a plate to increase the field, I guess it could be steel and then you could make the entire support, or most of it, out of the right kind of steel. Not 3d, I'll admit. I'm into mechanical design, and have worked with stuff like electronics packaging of various kinds. (telecom and medical devices, a few short stints with other things)I don't ride any more. I got sick of having a chip on my shoulder all the time. For a while, I was living further from the city and I didn't get hassled much, but now I've moved closer in. However, the risk of cycling and being irritated may be lower than the risk of having less exercise. Maybe I'll take it up again when most cars are driven by computer.

    Warning: info below is from someone who's not the greatest with electronics, but has thought about similar problems to this one before. Here's one way that might work. You could use a bridge (aka full wave I think) rectifier, such as a TSS4B03G which you can get from Digikey for a bit over a buck. Unfortunately, you'd lose a volt or so. What's so elegant about the design as it exists is that you use that volt instead of wasting it. Then use a capacitor that's rated for sufficient voltage. Maybe a 1 F supercap rated for 6 volts? That would be about $5 from Digikey, I think. If you want 9 volts, it's not much more. It seems possible that 1F is more than you need to keep the light steady. I'm only guessing on the voltage, though. You need it high enough that it won't get fried at the fast...

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    Warning: info below is from someone who's not the greatest with electronics, but has thought about similar problems to this one before. Here's one way that might work. You could use a bridge (aka full wave I think) rectifier, such as a TSS4B03G which you can get from Digikey for a bit over a buck. Unfortunately, you'd lose a volt or so. What's so elegant about the design as it exists is that you use that volt instead of wasting it. Then use a capacitor that's rated for sufficient voltage. Maybe a 1 F supercap rated for 6 volts? That would be about $5 from Digikey, I think. If you want 9 volts, it's not much more. It seems possible that 1F is more than you need to keep the light steady. I'm only guessing on the voltage, though. You need it high enough that it won't get fried at the fastest speed the bike will encounter. You'd only need one LED. The original one had two so as to act as their own rectifier, so that there would be light both for positive and negative voltage. I suspect you'd need a more effective coil, a more powerful magnet, or more magnets, since, on the average, the steady light will use more power. The original design presumably has LED's that can handle enough current so they don't get fried at any reasonable speed. Depending on the specifics of how you get more power, they may or may not be right for your application. Using the above, it's probably a good idea to keep the wheel from turning when transporting the bike on a car, so as not to overpower the light. If you don't want to worry about things like that, you might want to use an LM317 as a current or voltage regulator. The spec sheets for the LM317 show how to do that. Of course there are other chips that will do the same job.

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  • 600 Watt, 3d-printed, Halbach Array, Brushless DC Electric Motor

    caveat: I don't know all that much about electric motors. Take the following with a grain of salt:If you don't mind using the lower unit from a regular outboard, maybe you could use essentially the existing elements and increase the diameter by increasing the number of poles? I have to admit I don't know what happens when you use more poles, but I'm guessing the torque will go up linearly with the diameter, and maybe the power as well. The mechanical stress will go up. You might have to use fiberglass components or at least wrap the outside of the rotor with fiberglass tow set in epoxy. Some outboard lower units have reduction gears, which ought to help. You might want to look up homemade wind turbine generators, as they're meant for high torque and low rpms. Not sure that they'd have ...

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    caveat: I don't know all that much about electric motors. Take the following with a grain of salt:If you don't mind using the lower unit from a regular outboard, maybe you could use essentially the existing elements and increase the diameter by increasing the number of poles? I have to admit I don't know what happens when you use more poles, but I'm guessing the torque will go up linearly with the diameter, and maybe the power as well. The mechanical stress will go up. You might have to use fiberglass components or at least wrap the outside of the rotor with fiberglass tow set in epoxy. Some outboard lower units have reduction gears, which ought to help. You might want to look up homemade wind turbine generators, as they're meant for high torque and low rpms. Not sure that they'd have ENOUGH rpm's, though. I've heard that some people use "pancake" motors from certain washing machines as generators on their wind turbines, so perhaps one of those could be a good choice for your outboard. OTOH, you can get fairly hefty brushless motors from hobby sources. I've seen 10kW motors for a few hundred dollars there. However, my guess is that you can find motors that are a little heavier but a lot cheaper that can do the job. Maybe motors meant for scooters, forklifts, small electric vehicles?? The hobby motors I'm talking about are meant to go on flying models. So they'd be lighter. Seems to me that, without all that air going through, an outboard motor application might not cool well enough unless you made specific arrangements. Fan blades built into the rotor?

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  • 3D Printed Bike Light Cheap and Lifelong V2

    As long as you're using epoxy already, it wouldn't be too much trouble to add a bit of fiberglass for strength. Tow is probably best, though cloth would still be a vast improvement over unreinforced plastic. Keep in mind that there's epoxy intended for glue, and there's epoxy intended for laying up composites. You'd want the latter, though it might be a good idea to attach the laid up fiberglass down with the glue type for better adhesion. You can also get pre-cured carbon or fiberglass. Maybe use a scrap of circuit board with all the copper etched off? I realize that's not 3D printed anymore. Then there's this obsolete composite that's very easy to work called wood. Tongue depressors?

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  • lr10cent commented on ruthgrace's instructable Leave Me Alone Sweater7 months ago
    Leave Me Alone Sweater

    This and a pair of earplugs might have been just the right outfit for the Christmas season, but I only just discovered it today on Dec. 26.Suggest a deluxe version, which would be armor in either medieval or SWAT/riot police style, in black of course.

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  • lr10cent commented on Chandler slowik's instructable The Stealth Bike12 months ago
    The Stealth Bike

    Depending on how much range you needed, and how clever you are, I suspect you could do it for a lot less than that! You could check out some of the electric motors, speed controls, and batteries available at sites catering to electric model airplane hobbyists. Maybe you could use some kind of friction drive, which would make things less visible and easier. But I guess you should enjoy what you've accomplished already. But keep the speed down and the brakes well adjusted!

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  • lr10cent commented on Not_Tasha's instructable Headlamp Battery Corrosion12 months ago
    Headlamp Battery Corrosion

    I hope you rinsed thoroughly. Vinegar can be corrosive. I haven't found it necessary. If the corrosion is really persistent, a pencil eraser can be abrasive enough to clean things up a bit. I had this problem with a really nice calculator, I think about 15 years ago. After everything was cleaned up, I used Corrosion-X, ACF-50, or one of those products. It only takes a little to protect the contacts. I haven't had to do it again since. It looks like the lens might be cloudy and the reflector dull. If so, you can improve things a great deal. Use plastic polish, which you can get at auto parts stores for cleaning up plastic headlights. If your car is old, you'll find the plastic polish brightens it up too. Clean off the reflector thoroughly and then use chrome spray paint on it. Really bri...

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    I hope you rinsed thoroughly. Vinegar can be corrosive. I haven't found it necessary. If the corrosion is really persistent, a pencil eraser can be abrasive enough to clean things up a bit. I had this problem with a really nice calculator, I think about 15 years ago. After everything was cleaned up, I used Corrosion-X, ACF-50, or one of those products. It only takes a little to protect the contacts. I haven't had to do it again since. It looks like the lens might be cloudy and the reflector dull. If so, you can improve things a great deal. Use plastic polish, which you can get at auto parts stores for cleaning up plastic headlights. If your car is old, you'll find the plastic polish brightens it up too. Clean off the reflector thoroughly and then use chrome spray paint on it. Really brightened up the tail lights on an old car I had which kept getting rear ended. If there's an LED bulb that fits your headlamp, they're more efficient and will give you longer life for a given level of light.

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  • Inexpensive Garage Lights From LED Strips

    Yes, but then you need that 12V power supply.

    In case something burns through, you could use a fuse or a cheap current regulator to keep things under control. I'll admit putting them in series may reduce the reliability.None of this is worth it if the lumens per watt isn't good. I'm sitting next to a torchiere lamp I converted to LED's. With 3 "stars" of 3 LED's each, it puts out an awful lot of light for the wattage, which I seem to recall is 20 or 25. The light seems comparable to what it put out as a fluorescent torchier using about twice the wattage! It seems like more than it is, because it all goes up to the white ceiling and there's no lampshade to dim it. My memory is vague, but I think they might give off around 2,000 lumens. There's a switching regulator which keeps the current constant. Whole setup was, I thi...

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    In case something burns through, you could use a fuse or a cheap current regulator to keep things under control. I'll admit putting them in series may reduce the reliability.None of this is worth it if the lumens per watt isn't good. I'm sitting next to a torchiere lamp I converted to LED's. With 3 "stars" of 3 LED's each, it puts out an awful lot of light for the wattage, which I seem to recall is 20 or 25. The light seems comparable to what it put out as a fluorescent torchier using about twice the wattage! It seems like more than it is, because it all goes up to the white ceiling and there's no lampshade to dim it. My memory is vague, but I think they might give off around 2,000 lumens. There's a switching regulator which keeps the current constant. Whole setup was, I think, $40. Of course I had to use a heat sink, which is the head from an old lawnmower engine.It would be relatively easy to put the same "stars" on the bottom of the garage roof trusses. Stars with only one LED might allow the light to be spread out a bit more. Not sure how this compares with the light strips' output, but I bet it's more efficient. -----------------It's not clear to me that driving the lights from solar panels is such a great idea unless there's a battery in the system. Otherwise, skylights ought to be superior.

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  • Inexpensive Garage Lights From LED Strips

    I wonder how many lumens per watt these strips put out? It may make more sense to Also, if the current is regulated within the strip, I'm guessing you could put 10 strips in series and connect to house current, possibly with a diode or full wave rectifier*. Or maybe the LED's are enough. Doing this would require some real care due to higher voltage, and possibly a some money slipped to the building inspector.*Either would be inexpensive.

    I've had good luck with acrylic adhesive mounting tape. I think all or most of the 3M UHB tapes use this type of adhesive. Use FIRM pressure in places where it's safe to apply, and let it sit in a warm place for a day or two before stressing. If the light strips are flat enough, perhaps they can be mounted, using thin acrylic adhesive transfer tape, to an aluminum strip. Again I'm speculating, but that might help them keep cool. For those with vacuum pumps, a vacuum bag setup might apply uniform pressure to the tape without breaking anything. If taping directly to wood joists, a better bond may be obtained if you apply shellac, sanding sealer, varnish or paint to the wood to give a fairly smooth surface. Unless the adhesive (not the foam) is very thick, anyway. In any case, make sure e...

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    I've had good luck with acrylic adhesive mounting tape. I think all or most of the 3M UHB tapes use this type of adhesive. Use FIRM pressure in places where it's safe to apply, and let it sit in a warm place for a day or two before stressing. If the light strips are flat enough, perhaps they can be mounted, using thin acrylic adhesive transfer tape, to an aluminum strip. Again I'm speculating, but that might help them keep cool. For those with vacuum pumps, a vacuum bag setup might apply uniform pressure to the tape without breaking anything. If taping directly to wood joists, a better bond may be obtained if you apply shellac, sanding sealer, varnish or paint to the wood to give a fairly smooth surface. Unless the adhesive (not the foam) is very thick, anyway. In any case, make sure everything is clean. If you're sticking it to difficult plastics, there are special tapes for low surface energy materials. Lots of info on 3M sites listing what adhesive is best for what material.Or, if you want to go to the trouble, you can flame or plasma treat. I gather that the latter requires a fairly high voltage electric arc, and possibly an inert gas.A lot of double stick tape uses rubber adhesive. There's more strength after a short period of time, but otherwise I think it's usually inferior.

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  • Start Your Car With a Rope (Dead Battery Life Hack)

    I hope you'll explain that. It's just a way of making the motor turn over, which is what the starter motor does. I don't see how this threatens the catalytic converter any more than a normal start, particularly if the normal start isn't going well.

    I'm almost certain that I've push or hill started my Honda Fit at one time or another. It's a 2007.

    That trick was very handy when my Ford Fiesta's clutch cable broke 100 feet from my driveway. As it happens, I was able to get the engine running and just turned off the ignition and hit the brake when it was where I wanted it. A trip to the hardware store provided some odds and ends with which I fixed the cable. I ran it that way for several months until I got the correct part.

    Let's see. Volare (ugh!), Fiesta, BMW 2002 (with rust, of course), Honda wagon, Saturn (used, drove it for 18 years), and now a Honda Fit. Thirty one years of cars, all manual transmission. I learned to deal with the clutch on an International Farmall tractor. Then there was my Dad's very nice Puegot that I sometimes drove. My cars were all in the vicinity of Boston, MA, but I learned to drive in Vermont. I was considering a Prius, but I really didn't like the ones I tried.

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  • Bicycle Cell Phone Charger (Wind Turbine with build in Battery)

    I'm guessing that for you, weight is critical. I suggest you make a generator using a brushless model airplane motor. They can handle quite a bit of power with not much weight, particularly if they get a lot of air cooling. They're fairly cheap, too, at least in the size that you'd need to charge little stuff. Maybe one like this: http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id=V450327&pid=I...Note that the weight is under 2 ounces and the price is under $20! Also, the "kv" is relatively low, which means you can use a slower spinning, larger prop that can catch energy from more air. Even this one will go 5580 rpm to get 6 volts, no load. Hmm... I guess if you use a voltage booster, you can use a bigger, slower turbine and still get decent voltage. Or use a geared motor. Less effi...

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    I'm guessing that for you, weight is critical. I suggest you make a generator using a brushless model airplane motor. They can handle quite a bit of power with not much weight, particularly if they get a lot of air cooling. They're fairly cheap, too, at least in the size that you'd need to charge little stuff. Maybe one like this: http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id=V450327&pid=I...Note that the weight is under 2 ounces and the price is under $20! Also, the "kv" is relatively low, which means you can use a slower spinning, larger prop that can catch energy from more air. Even this one will go 5580 rpm to get 6 volts, no load. Hmm... I guess if you use a voltage booster, you can use a bigger, slower turbine and still get decent voltage. Or use a geared motor. Less efficient, but maybe easier. But they're getting harder to find.Furthermore, I suggest you use a hand carved wood prop, er, turbine with two blades. Easy to make and light. Just remember that, for a turbine, the flat (or concave) and convex faces on the prop are reversed. That is, the flat side faces the wind. http://www.gryffinaero.com/models/ffpages/tips/pro...I'm pretty sure that I've seen a fairly simple circuit to rectify three phase power, which means you could use all three of the motor leads and, therefore, all the motor's coils.Another way to boost power is to put the device on a pole to get it away from obstacles. Even just getting it higher off flat ground will get it into stronger winds. Up to a very high point, the wind increases the further it gets away from the ground, though at the peak of a cliff, dune, or ridge it's also quite strong, as you've probably noticed.You could carry two or more sizes of turbine to adjust for different wind strengths.I wouldn't know how to optimize this without a lot of investigating and futzing around. For instance, you can control voltage vs current by wiring the coils in different ways. (Rewinding not necessary but may be helpful if you're really into it. But I'm sure if you did optimize things, you could get a lot more power for less weight.Wind power hobbyists have probably got this all figured out. They even make their own generators, though most are too big and heavy for you. BTW, I forget what it's called, but there is a low current generator that someone in the third world invented which uses the oscillations of a tight ribbon in the wind to move a magnet over a coil to generate electricity. Maybe that would be simpler and lighter, and less likely to bruise your finger if you grabbed it. Much less efficient, though. OTOH, you can probably carry a larger one rolled up.

    A good source might be Digikey.

    For someone who needs a generator in a hurry, your solution seems excellent.For something more efficient, perhaps extract the motor, put an o-ring on the case, and mount so that the o-ring rides on the tire or rim. But that's much more work!I've thought of mounting magnets somewhere on the wheel and a coil on the frame next to them. Come to think of it, maybe you could have a toothed wheel that interacted with the spokes. It would have to be soft and you'd probably want to put something on the spokes where the wheel hits them. But it would work a lot better in the rain than a friction-based drive.If you continue to develop this, you might check out some of the cheaper brushless model airplane motors. Better magnets and lighter weight. You could also put some rare earth magnets in a CD-...

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    For someone who needs a generator in a hurry, your solution seems excellent.For something more efficient, perhaps extract the motor, put an o-ring on the case, and mount so that the o-ring rides on the tire or rim. But that's much more work!I've thought of mounting magnets somewhere on the wheel and a coil on the frame next to them. Come to think of it, maybe you could have a toothed wheel that interacted with the spokes. It would have to be soft and you'd probably want to put something on the spokes where the wheel hits them. But it would work a lot better in the rain than a friction-based drive.If you continue to develop this, you might check out some of the cheaper brushless model airplane motors. Better magnets and lighter weight. You could also put some rare earth magnets in a CD-ROM or similar motor. That's how the brushless model airplane motors got started. Amazing amounts of power for very light weight. Props are fun to carve, too. http://www.gryffinaero.com/models/ffpages/tips/pro...It may not take as long as you think, and it gives you a lot of flexibility. I guess with the cooling fan, the parts are already matched up. Some interesting types of generators seem to be coming onto the market:http://bicyclehobo.com/dynamo-chargers-outside-of-...You might have to rob a bank first. ;-)

    Actually, I think it might increase air resistance on the order of 2 or 3 percent, VERY roughly. An cyclist and his bike might have 5 square feet of frontal area, which of course is a very crude way of estimating air drag, but is probably not horribly far off for lousy shapes like people, wheels, and tubes. If the fan has a frontal area of 20 square inches, that's close to 3 percent. The actual situation is much more complicated, but this gives us an idea of the magnitude. Keep in mind that, at least at slow speeds, there are other significant sources of drag besides the air.

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