your holiday tradition nobody else has

I have recently become curious about holiday traditions that people have that no one else has. This curiosity began when I contacted a holiday historian about a tradition passed down in my own family. The historian felt this originated within my family, though it has elements similar to England's plum Pudding ( my gm was half English) . My best guess is that my grandmother came up this ( a gift filled Christmas Pie) out of a desire to make a meager Christmas special early in her marriage. We have a second tradition that I started. It is a house elf, who writes letters year around and visits for two weeks at Christmas. I called on him because of my daughter's terror of Santa, whom she called the Claws. Both these traditions were likely born of need, and because they served their purpose well, were embraced and stayed. Now I am curious about others. Do you have a tradition you will share?

Posted by acorniv 11 years ago

Computer Control

I would like to know how to control the speed of a small DC motor via serial or USB. I have general electrical and programming knowledge, but I have no idea how I would do this. I have found help?

Posted by Crash2108 11 years ago


Does anyone know how to make a longboard? I really want to make one but have no clue what to do. Any information will be helpful. Thanks.

Posted by teka 11 years ago


Look on for plans of a 2X4 recumbent. No welding and no special parts needed.

Posted by bikeboy 11 years ago

Water Tunnel Testing (photos)

I'm starting a new topic so I can edit it later with more content.I went with some friends to a different lab section that was also playing with the tunnel (my official turn is on Friday).Things put in:1. PVC tube -- to show detachment of a cylinder2. Golf Ball -- to show how dimples create turbulence and keep flow attached longer3. Tennis Ball -- to show how fuzz acts almost like golf ball dimples4. Porsche 9115. Atlantis Space Shuttle6. Porsche 911-turbo (or possibly a 935 or 993 -- can't remember)7. Chain Mail Cube -- wtf? why did someone make that?8. Surf Board Fin9. Optimus Prime10. Unknown Porsche (I just can't remember what it was)11. Batting Cage BallThe pump was set to 3.55 inches per second. So for a 1/64 scale model (for the cars) - that's just under 13mph equivalence (in water).My camera had a low battery -- so the shutter was slower than normal. I'll get fresh batteries and a tripod on Friday I'll have some better pictures (hopefully).As for what I'm bringing in... Still don't know -- but I think I am going to do a comparison of apples and oranges :PVideos of the 911, 911turbo, unknown porsche and of the overall tunnel in operation ;)Update November 3rdItems Tested:1. Plastic Cone (with hole in top)2. Apple3. Eyeglass Case4. Obligatory Altoids Tin5. Plastic Water Bottle6. Highlighter Cap7. Reverse Gear from a manual gearbox (Nissan)8. Pen Cap thing9. Rubber Duck10. Nerf Dart (velcro top)11. Batman Shield (this was really cool)12. Welded Plate13. Golf Ball14. Guitar Bar15. Wing FoilAgain, it was set to 3.55 inches per second. I couldn't find an orange on campus (weird considering I'm in central Florida :P). So I'd say an orange is kinda like a golf ball :PThe Bat Shield video is very cool - if you watch just one of them, make it the bat shield ;)

Posted by trebuchet03 11 years ago

I need to hire someone to make one, possible more deivces for me

I know what I want, I have drawings, and the parts are relatively inexpensive and easy to get. It is a small LED based item similar to a children's toy. (parts are even used from inexpensive children's toys). I simply don't have the knowledge or time to put it together. If all goes well I have another device I need made as well. With the right person I will of course pay (I hope paypal is ok)before you start. I would strongly prefer someone with experience and someone that has posted projects on here before with LED experience. Please contact me at:

Posted by Michael_in_Mo 11 years ago

Hello all SOE Operatives

Your mission should you choose to accept it is to design and publish new instructables about conceilment, explosives, gadgets, tricks and any other things we may need!!!!! THIS MESSAGE WILL EXPLODE IN 10 SECONDS!!!!10......9.....8....7...6...5...4...3...2...1...........BANG!!!!!

Posted by Loosewire; SOE Operative 11 years ago


It's been a couple months- anything new to share?

Posted by vrogy 11 years ago

Wifi Antenna Questions From A Mac User

Hi. I just recently got a new Mac and my job requires me to travel a bit. They won't pay for a antenna, and I don't really have the money to buy, I need to build one, *shrugs. Basically, what I want is everything for nothing, *grins. I want the smallest, fastest, sleekest, most powerful antenna I can get...for as little as I can get it for. That said, here's what I'm dealing with: ***13-inch MacBook; 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo & all the wifi business is internal ('Airport')*** I'm a bit unknowledgable with Mac so far, so try to dumb down the responses for me, *grins. I've been told that because everything is internal regarding wifi, that I would have to drill or cut into the case to make any sort of antenna for it...but I'm reeeeeallly hoping this isn't true. Shouldn't I be able to still do something a bit easier involving the USB ports? If so, what's a good cheap one to buy? Will it work with an Intel based Mac (seems that comes up alot with everything) ? I've seen the antennas online that talk about receiving signal from x amount of miles, rather than just x amount of do I accomplish the same distances? What's the best for achieving a balance between power, ease, and portability (i.e. being tossed in and out of a backpack a few times a day) ? I would guess some sort of mesh parabolic like the strainers I've seen used, but I'll leave that up to you guys since you seem to have a better grip on these things than me. Thanx in advance for your help on this one, & I'll be sure to letcha know how your suggestions go! :)

Posted by olyryan 11 years ago

First Tuesday Following the First Monday of November is Fast Approaching

First, I'm not pushing any ideas on you - that's your job. For those of us in the United States, next Tuesday is election day. Surprisingly, some people don't even know this. If you're realizing that "Hey, I'm not sure what's going to be on said ballot," now (or even this weekend) is a good time to sit down for a little bit and research/find the people you feel speak and represent you.The resource I happen to use is . They do not accept any funding for corporations, PACs, or any organization that supports/opposes an issue/candidate. The service is free (all you need to know is your 9 digit zip code). The site lists the current candidates, the challengers and a whole lot of information about them (experience, voting records, candidate websites, etc.). You also ought to look at any amendments that will be on your ballot -- the wording can be quite tricky (In the last vote, FL had one amendment against the amendment not to build a monorail train* -1) so you probably want to make sure you are in fact voting for what you want ;)So, please take the time to vote next Tuesday. Staying home is NOT speaking out against "the man" or showing your disdain for the system, the person, the amendment on the ballot. I am personally driving four hours to my voting place - it's really that important...Again, I have the utmost respect for those with different views than my own and the same for those that share mine. I'm not pushing any idea on you (other than to actually vote) - I just want to put it out there that its that time of the every other year again :P

Posted by trebuchet03 11 years ago

Integrating Highschool Sciences

Irene Duke, Kate Hoff, Lyndsay Carlisle and myself are participating in the MIT course 11.124, _Introduction to Teaching and Learning Science and Mathematics_. We have a variety of teaching interests: Irene hopes to teach chemistry, Kate to teach Physics, myself Physics or Mathematics and Lyndsay hopes to teach social justice / political history. Provided Make magazines as inspiration, we were tasked to design a joint activity, merging four high school classes of these topics for a period of weeks or months. We developed the ideas described in this first entry over the course of a class period. Hopefully, we'll take the time to expand each step into an instructable, possibly including trials by fire teaching 8th-11th graders. The material is structured by conservation of energy and resources, inspired by the articles of Tim Andersen. The final demonstration we envision motivates the particular material we wanted from each field. A bicycle wheel is drives an alternator transforming mechanical energy into electrical. The electrical energy is used to run a electrolysis process, rendering separate measurable quantities of Hydrogen and Oxygen. The Hydrogen and Oxygen are then combusted for the students. The amount of mechanical energy can be measured, as can the electrical. The binding energy of H_2O can be used to determine the chemical potential energy rendered. Finally, the combustion both demonstrates the energy's new form, and the difficulties in storing energy. The difference between power and energy underlies all of these experiments. Conservation of linear momentumn should be a familiar topic with the students. Conservation of angular momentumn can easily be introduced at this point, demonstrated with the bicycle and a fly wheel. Chaning the orientation of the wheel can be exteremely difficult. For the chemical portion of the experiment, stoicheometry should be familiar to establish the link between the amount of gas generated and the energy invested. The most appropriate mathemetical tools are statistical. Sampling, linear regression and averaging would prove useful throughout the experiments. Global economic relationships leading up from the colonial period would perhaps be the most applicable topic form history or the social sciences. Though not a technical detail, an important aspect of executing such an idea involves the actual deployment of resources. Students could, for example be broken up by their topic of interest, whether it be the physical, chemical or social aspects of the project. Next, new groups would be formed with one or two members from each subject area. These groups could then attempt to execute the design from the first slide, or one which is similar. Throughout, the students will present their thoughts or understanding to the teacher. This design project should perhaps be phrased as simply turning mechanical energy into hydrogen. Students with social scientific background might be responsible for estimating the costs of the implementation in different settings, and that would be used to drive a larger scale version. So, before getting started on building and documenting this project, do people have suggestions? What worked to combine the physical sciences for you? What might have worked?

Posted by mmt 11 years ago

Weird and wacky electric sounds (theremin, vocoder etc.)

Anyone know of any really cool sounds you can make with electronics?I'm thinking of making both a Theremin ( and a Vocoder (, the first of which seems like a relatively simple circuit, the second seems much harder.there are a few wiring diagrams on the 'net for a theremin, there's links on the wikipedia page (check and you can also buy kits at some electronics shops.vocoder seems like it must be a load harder, and I haven't been able to find any wiring diagrams, and as far as I know, there aren't any kits available. there's a demo of what it does at wondering if anyone has experience with either of these weird and wonderful devices, either using them or making them, or if anyone has any other strange sound makers that should be brought to public attention?hrrmm... wonder how hard it would be to turn that old evolution MK-149 into one of these ?

Posted by naught101 11 years ago

Woodworking question

Newbie here... I am new to this, and new to woodworking too. Having put up a few shelves lately to house my many books, I decided that a nice prectical hobby was what I needed, and now I am 50, I have a bit of cash to spend on some decent tools. I have in mind to make some small things at home, and intend to keep some for my own use and donate the rest to charity shops to raise funds for good causes. I have in my possession a cheeseboard, and want to make my own. It has a cambered edge, not a flat one, and I wondered how to go about making one. how do I get a cambered edge? Any tips on useful tools and techniques appreciated.

Posted by Minto Grubb 11 years ago

packaging hack

My question is: how can I open a sealed toy package without damaging the package and in such a way that I may reassemble it after I’ve used the contents. Background: I am in the process of making a Super 8 film. One of my props are 3 Star Trek Borg action figures. I paid a pretty penny for them and only need to use them for a few scenes. When I am finished I want to put them back in the package and resell on eBay. Of course, I will give full disclosure to next buyer. The packaging is not true blister pack. It has a printed cardboard back with a molded plastic cover. I appears to be heat pressure sealed, probably with some sort of adhesive. I can provide digital pics when needed.

Posted by kentek 11 years ago

How To Get Music From an IPod (all models)

Here's how you do it. 1. Hook the iPod up to the computer. If iTunes pops up and asks you if you want to replace anything, say no. You can hit ctrl-shift-esc and go to processes, then close the iPodService.exe to get you more time. 2. Go to My Computer. It should list the iPod as whatever you named the iPod (like Joe's iPod). Click on the drive. 3. You should see some folders. If you don't see one named iPod_Control, go to the Tools option at the top of the window (its on the bar with File and Edit). Click on the "Folder Options" selection at the bottom. When that opens, click the View tab at the top, then scroll down the list and choose the "show hidden files and folders" button under the Hidden Files and Folders folder. The iPod_Control should show up. If not, go to the address bar and type it in. 4. Under iPod_Control, you should see a Music folder. From here, you can either copy the whole folder and paste it somewhere on the computer and put them in iTunes later, or you can find songs. If you do a search, you should be able to find songs by putting in what to search full under "word or phrase in file". If you want to put in music that will play in the iPod directly, you're going to have to go into one of the folders in the music folder (usually like f00 or f01 or something), find a file (usually with a random 4 letter name like MLKJ), take the song you want to play, rename it as the song you're replacing, then copy and paste it in there. Usually you want to reaname the song you're replacing first, then find it later. If you want to make sure you don't replace something you want, view the folder with details, right-click the top of the window in the bar that says "name" and check Author or Title. This will show what you're replacing. 5. If you want to put music on the iPod but don't want to have to lose anything, your best bet is to take the songs you want, put them in a folder on the iPod, and take them back to your home computer, add them to iTunes, then put them on your iPod. 6. To add songs to iTunes from a folder, go to File, click Add Folder, then find the folder you want and go. It automatically keeps the names and usually the album art with the songs. :B-Rad

Posted by B-rad 11 years ago

What other contest should instructable host?

Personally i wonder whats the many ways you can hack a solar garden light into... these guys are sweet! Anything else?

Posted by akimbo m 11 years ago

electronics program??

Hi guys, as you can tell by my name im a quite new to electronics especially when its resisters and capactors , does any one know of a program that i could use to create circuits and try out ideas without blowing my self up or having a shocking time.???

Posted by TotalNOOB 11 years ago

Good Cheap soldering Iron?

Anyone know of a good, yet cheap soldering iron? I like the pen variety, not the gun type. My current one is a pain because it doesn't have a regulator, so I have to unplug it once it gets hot... or it gets WAY to hot. Sorry if there is no-such-thing...

Posted by zachninme 11 years ago


Hi Everybody! Started this group a few weeks ago and glad to see so many members!!

Posted by phenoptix 11 years ago

Halloween contest

Here is my front yard that I do every year for Halloween. I use a variety of techniques, mostly Rigid Foam Insulation that is glued and carved for the tombstones and columns.

Posted by mkoorie 11 years ago

Quite hello

Hello everyone, I am here to update on the group. Hopefully and idealy, I will have the first instrucatable posted in december. -Quite Indubitably

Posted by mega_swordman 11 years ago

Halloween Gingerbread House

$5-$10 Gingerbread House kits.... I highly recommend NOT buying one. Not only are they not flammable... They taste bad, difficult to assemble AND they don't come with the parts to make it just like on the box....This was one sad sad house -- so we put it out of its misery... Just thought I'd share... <-- Some videos in there...

Posted by trebuchet03 11 years ago

What is the oddest thing you have sent through the mail?

Title is self-explanatory. Did it make it? Or what...

Posted by zachninme 11 years ago

Test Thread

I found this , which Instructable's formatting is based off of. So try out some stuff!SuperScript Subscript 3 strikes, you're out

Posted by zachninme 11 years ago

pick a card!

Pick any card and then put it upsidedown in the middle the shuffle and look throgh it and find it.

Posted by prosaga 11 years ago

Question about electric motor ratings

So, lucky me, I curb surfed a table saw last friday, I was going to part it, but my wonderful wife suggested that I could benefit from an extra saw. So deciding to fix it up, I looked over the motor rating, and was left with a question. The motor is rated at 1&1/2 Hp 110v 18 amps. So my question, When is it 18 amps? Start up? Running? Stall? I ask because my breakers are 20 amp, kinda close there for comfort, and no re wiring for 220 right now is not an option.

Posted by Tool Using Animal 11 years ago

inverter rating

Somewhat confused... I'm planning some guerilla projections with a 4500lumen projector (which has a power rating of 450w) can I run it with a 700w inverter? Instructable on these pages says I need 2000w+ inverter can anyone explain why I need so much headroom.

Posted by helterskelter 11 years ago

Ask Cassandra

I know all about electronics, relationships, and stuff. Ask me a question and maybe I'll answer it.

Posted by Ask Cassandra 11 years ago

Office Pranks - what do you do to torment your co-workers?

Inspired by the instructable "The Unusable Computer" found at . What are some of your favorite pranks to play on your friends at work?

Posted by jerbtown 11 years ago

Thanksgiving: Absolutely Necessary?

Every year we throw a huge Thanksgiving dinner for dozens of our friends. Everyone has a different idea of what must be included; there are usually serious regional variations in food choices, and even variations on a single dish. We generally get around this problem by having everything.What do you need to see on a dinner table for it to be a "proper" Thanksgiving? Are you planning to have anything new or weird this year?

Posted by canida 11 years ago

Water Tunnel Testing

So, my measurements professor got us permission to fill and fire up the water tunnel in the measurements lab.For those that don't know, a water tunnel (like the one below), pumps water from one end of a tank to another. The water goes through a conditioning filter (to make the flow nice and even), and then it passes through a tunnel (that blueish area in the picture). You can then add dye or solids to the water to see how a fluid flows over the object.We're allowed to bring in one item (per person) to put through the tunnel. The tunnel is a little more than a foot wide. What would you like to see in there? After the lab, I'll post up pictures (and possibly video) :)Keep in mind that the object should be heavier than water (e.g. no balloons :P). See the photo results here!

Posted by trebuchet03 11 years ago

Competition! (maybe, if we get prizes)

Ok, with haloween, Bonfire night(british and christmas coming up i would like to organise a competition.But, not sure what to do for a prize.As im not legaly an adult, it limits some things for me.And as i am British, and the majority of people on instructables are America it limits more things as i cannot be botherd shipping things, and wopuldnt have a clue how.Any Ideas on prizes?Only thing i can think of is front page of my site?If the competition does go ahead, it will work like this (suggestions, please post below) :All entry's must be submitted to this group by 25th November 2006 and added to this group, they must be marked with a * in the title to show it is and entry. It must be a gun of some sort, a firearm. Firing 6mm airsoft pellets

Posted by Camster911 11 years ago

Welcome to the 'Guns and weaponry' Instructbales group

Hello and welcome to the 'Guns and Weaponry' instructables group, this group focuses on improvised weaponry.i must warn you that some things posted here may be potentially lethal, so do not join this group if you are going to bitch about it.However, most things on here will be relativly harmless, and will not injure anyone too badly.FAQ:Q:What can/cant i post in this group?A:Any TUTORIAL on how to build a firearm / improvised weapon.Not pointless things nothing to do with the group, such as 'how to post pictures on your instructables acount' they do not fit in here, perhaps another group.Q:What kind of guns do you mean?A: Firearms, airsoft guns, pellet guns, spud guns, cannons.a gun that propels something out of the barrel. Not tatoo guns ect.Q:What does 'improvised' weaponry mean?A: IMPROVISED weaponry is something edited or made to do the same job as a weapon. ECT. sharpened stones to a knife-like sahpe for cutting > Improvised knife.Ok, rant over. :) Kids, dont kill yourself doing any of this please.Enjoy people.

Posted by Camster911 11 years ago

building a keymachine to run off car 12v

HI, My dad is a locksmith and a old school diy'er. his birthday is coming and i want to build him a small keymachine that will run off car 12v. i just need a high rpm 12v tolerant motor that can take abuse....any suggestions

Posted by cazmundi 11 years ago

Simple Design Suggestion

This is my first topic, so huzzah for me...Attached is a picture of what I was imagining instructables to be with forums. Now that there are forums, I figured I'd show it.. But then again, Cassandra still isn't here anyway..To get to the forums now is clunky and seems thrown in, which it probably was...

Posted by Crash2108 11 years ago

A phone blinky problem...

Hello everyone, I was just wondering if anybody knows how those stick on blinky stickers on mobile phone works? If so, then is there any way to make a homemade version of those things, also what does the circuit look like? A project that could be made by this knowledge is a powerless battery holder, that flashes on every phonecall.

Posted by akimbo m 11 years ago

If this info is already somewhere else, I apologize ( i.e. dumb question)

When you put up an instructable with pics, do you have to leave your pics in your gallery for the life of the instructable? I.e. if I use a pic in an instructable, then delete the photo from my gallery, does it break the image on the instructable? Thanks for any info!

Posted by jerbtown 11 years ago

post your suppliers with cheap shipping here

Raw electronics-The Electronics

Posted by cazmundi 11 years ago



Posted by cazmundi 11 years ago

Dude, Tell Me Some Jokes

Post some of your favorite jokes, or I'll send hasslehoff after you

Posted by TheCheese9921 11 years ago

Cell Phone + Magnet

I was playing around with some of my 1/8in. NeFeBr (or is it NeBrFe?) magnets leftover from the challenge. Was using them to find screws on my flip phone. I noticed that when I put it at the "joint" of the two halves, the screen went dark. Turns out it thought I shut my phone. This was just a little odd tidbit that I wanted to share, that has potental. But, it isn't an instructable, so I just posted it.

Posted by zachninme 11 years ago

can you help me build a Solar powered wireless camera

Hi guys,I have a little project here for some of you that I would like to find out how to go about making.i bought a wireless mini cctv camera Camera apparatus: 1/3 1/4 picture sensorSystem: PAL / CCIR NTSC / EIAValidity pixel : PAL:628*582 NTSC:510*492Picture area: PAL:5.78*4.19mm NTSC:4.69*3.45mmHorizontal definition: 380lineScan frequency: PAL / CCIR: 50HZ NTSC / EIA: 60HZMinimum illumination : 3LUXSensitivity: +18DB - AGL ON-OFFPower output : 50MWFrequency output : 0.9G/1.2GFrequency control : Adopt CPU frequency lock the wreath to control, with high frequency stabilitySize: 20*20*20(mm)Deliver the distance: 50-100MVoltage : DC+8VCurrent : Current :Power consumption : <=640MWWhat I want to know how to do is to power this by solar (al the time) so I can leave it unattended permanently without having to keep changing the batteries.i dont need to power the reciever by solar just the camera but if you like you can do that too.Any help would be greatly appreciated.Oh and I know nothing about capacitors and the likes so try make it easy for me : ) i hope you can make sence of the specs cos i cant. :)And the smaller the better.Thanks guys

Posted by TotalNOOB 11 years ago

Collaborative Projects in New York City

If anyone has an idea for a big project that you could use help on post it here.

Posted by leevonk 11 years ago

How to make two wires spark??

Me and my friends made a potato gun and we used a BBQ lighter to make a spark jump between to wires. But i have been trying to make a remote to make it shoot. Every thing works but to get a spark i have to touch the wires together but i need the spark to jump without touching the wires. Anyone know???

Posted by ...damo 11 years ago

Solar Cells at home?

Anyone know a way to make your own solar cells? Saw 50 cells for about $250 US on Ebay and wondered if thats as cheap as they get. Not that this didn't seem pretty cheap, but always looking for cool new processes.

Posted by bowakowa 11 years ago

Introduce Yourself

Well, now we have a suitable place to do this... let everyone know who you are, school?, job?, future plans, etc... My Name is Paul - I'm a Mechanical Engineering student (third year) and I go to school at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando. I currently don't have a job (other than little things around campus) - but I'm looking for an internship or even better an externship. As for the future -- I really don't want to work for someone else after I graduate. I don't know how that's going to work out just yet - so I continue to network...

Posted by trebuchet03 11 years ago

instructables shop

I think instructables needs a shop for us to buy hats and other stuff.

Posted by cooy 11 years ago

Forums are a great idea for fledgeling projects

THis way we don't clog up the area for completed projects with half-baked ones. Great work guys! They are simple and sexy. Did you guys buy these forums at Ikea ???

Posted by mikesty 11 years ago

Figuring Out Acceleration on a Potato Gun

My newest craze is potato cannons. I built a simple potato cannon powered with hairspray. I didn't plan out ratios of chamber volume to barrel volume, but I must have guessed pretty well because the potatos go far. Really far. I shoot them in an empty bean field and they stay in the air for 10 seconds before hitting the ground at what I guess is 300 yards away. I want to measure it to be sure. I'm probably exaggerating the distance out of sheer amazement. But the potato goes really far. I got to thinking, though, that I could go beyond just shooting the potatoes, and actually turn this into something useful. If there was a way to determine the acceleration of the potato inside the barrel, that would be super cool. I've had a few ideas on this so far:The most complicated involves drilling holes on each side of the barrel. The holes would be every inch the entire length of the barrel. On one side led's would be installed and wired in parallel to remain on constantly. On the other side photoresistors would be installed and also wired in parallel with a microcontroller. When the potato traveled down the barrel it would block the light to some of the photoresistors and the microcontroller would get a readout. If there was a way to program this whole system and get a graph on a computer of the acceleration/time curve, that would be awesome!! Another way would yield a less accurate number. Shooting the cannon straight up and timing how long it takes the potato to hit the ground would give you the initial velocity. Vf = Vi + Gt, so: -2Vi = -9.81t . Once the initial velocity is known, if the time it takes for the potato to leave the barrel can be figured out, the acceleration could be figured out.Let me know what you think!Note: I will attach images as they come.

Posted by intoon 11 years ago

What are you currently MAKE'ing?

Thought I would break the ice with an obvious. I just thought of this an hour ago, and haven't had a chance to work on it. I want to take out the huge antenna on my cell phone and just wind a coil around in my phone's case. Shouldn't be hard. (The "MAKE" is MAKE an antenna that fits inside your phone.)

Posted by zachninme 11 years ago