Is there an Instructables group for assistive technology?

I'm converting a Web-page description of a project I recently built (a modified infant crib for parents with a disability) into an Instructable, but I don't see an appropriate group (at least, my search attempts have failed). Is there an AT community out here in Instructables land?

Topic by kelseymh 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago

Recommendation for Contest: Accessibility and Assistive Technology

On behalf of Kiteman, NachoMahma, and myself, I would like to propose to the Instructables staff a contest theme of accessibility (in the sense of disability access, adaptive equipment and assistive technology, and the independent living movement). We'd like to see the contest include not just hardware (devices), but also software and online design (Web, PDF, etc.) which is fully accessible. Both specific designs and descriptions of the guidelines and tools to use should be included.For my own selfish benefit, I would like to have already published I'bles eligible for such a contest, but that's a policy decision for Instructables, not for me.

Topic by kelseymh 10 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago

New assistive tech channel?

We're about to break out a new channel for assistive/adaptive tech projects, and other "disability hack" type of Instructables.  The big question:  what do we call this channel, and what category do we sort it under? Why is this a hard question?  Check out the Humana Health by Design contest entries - they include everything from ultra low-tech tools and life hacks to construction projects and full-on techie builds.   Perhaps we need more than one channel.  If so, how should we divide the Instructables?  Do we need one channel for high-tech projects, and one for low-tech?  I've been playing with the ideas of "assistive tech"  for the high-tech/gadget-based projects to be filed under Technology, and "adaptive tools" for the low-tech/reuse projects and life-hacks to be sorted under Living.  These still seem to be arbitrary distinctions, and I'm not sure they make sense.  What do you think?  Please discuss in the comments, or feel free to send me your suggestions by email/PM!

Topic by canida 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

Internal "advert" for new Group -- Assistive Technology

A couple of weeks ago, I created a new Instructables Group around Assistive Technology. A few people have found and joined it, and they and I have added a small number of existing I'bles to its collection. If you have an I'ble, slideshow or video which is appropriate for the group, please feel free to add it (or have me do so if you don't feel like joining the group yourself).

Topic by kelseymh 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago

Power Point only works over remote assistance? Answered

One of our employees has a problem with pptx files in PowerPoint 2010. When  she opens her pptx file it only opens  the first slide and all the top tool bars in PowerPoint are grey and can’t be accessed. The steps I have taken are as follows: Installed the office 2007 compatibility pack although only some of the PowerPoint files were pptx. I tried open with Office 2007 but without success. I thought maybe it was created in Office 2007.   I have searched the web high and low for a solution for this and can’t find one single case with the same issues. I myself have never seen this before. The user is a local admin on her laptop. I have to add that there are no errors or warnings in event viewer. Has anyone seen anything like this?

Question by BjarniOddsson 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago

Logo for this Group?

Hey, got any ideas for a logo for this group? I think it's a great idea to have a group; it should have a strong presence, and we should fill it with great instructables! I've attached an image as an example.

Topic by nagutron 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

chemistry assistance please!?

Well, you may know you can synthesize CuSO4 with sodium hydrogen sulfate and copper metal if you heat it in a test tube over a burner, but, i have one question, is it possible to do the same with zinc in the place of copper in an effort to produce zinc sulfate? i want this simply as i want some glow powder,but, is this method possible? If not, tell me a simple way. (if there is one...)

Question by kerbal1234 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

RFID Project Assistance

I am Software Engineer and need to build an prototype. Please can you recommend the hardware according the requirements specified below     I have an Arduino UNO starter Kit here, also have an Arduino DUE     The basics of the system are as follows:     * RFID scanner (with buzzer if available) and Tokens required.     * Display LCD/VFD/Serial, Need to have 16 characters x 2 lines.     * Also need an PUSH button to control when the RFID needs to Stop/Start Scan - If its embedded in RFID/Display, my job is easier. Regards, jainvikas8

Question by jainviaks8 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

Need assistance with an electromagnet? Answered

Hi, let's say i have a permanent magnet and an electromagnet The permanent magnet is strong probably 50-100mt, the electromagnet is week less than 10mt, (the electromagnet being just a loop of wire, nothing inside, just air) I need the electromagnet to capture all the lines of the magnetic field of the permanent magnet and thus make my electromagnet  stronger, They can be placed at a distence of 3-5mm from each other I can isolate them and put them in an environement where once activated the electromagnet would offer to the permanenet magnet a path of least magnetic reluctance Since the electromagnet is weaker (and probably has less magnetic lines) will it still be able to capture all the  lines and strength of the permanent magnet and direct it with almost no losses to the other end of the electromagnet (cause the electromagnet is quite long ) How much weaker can it be untill it becomes useless in capture and directing the entire field of the PM (10 times, 100 times)? Any advice? Thank you in advance for your assistance

Question by Elys 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago

I want to use nerve impulses from muscles as a data input. Answered

I need to find out how to get a nerve impulse isolated and use it as an input.  I beleive a myoelectric electrode with a window comparator may work.  Instead of using an op amp to boost the impluse to run a motor, I want to use the impulse as a data entry signal.  I know that prosthesis use this system and I want to adapt it for signal input.  My goal is to use several nerve impulse sources to be used as a data input device to allow those with CP, or amputations to more easily communicate.  I am trying to bring a very old idea I had 20+ years ago to reality.  I have joined an open source prothesis forum as well as an Arduino forum.  I want to use the Arduino to "translate" the input combinations into a data form that a computer, PDA, or smart phone could use.  I want to keep this open source as I am not interested in a commercial venture. There are basically two steps.  The first is to use an Arduino to convert 5 touch pad inputs into 120 "characters" that are identified with various platforms.  5 inputs will generate 120 combinations (5x4x3x2x1) and that will give me a simple keyboard input.  I have to work up a timing method so that the Arduino will identify when buttons are pushed individually vs at the same time.  Next to have the Arduino generate a digital output that is compatable with a keyboard to keep the application flexible. The next step will be to identify intended muscle nerve signals from background nerve signals and 'filter" out unintentional signals.  Next, the buttons with the myoelectric inputs as the input to the Arduino. My goal is to have a myoelectric (or similar) input device that does not need muscle movement to generate data that is recognized by (practically) all devices.  It could be used for text generation, then voice synthesis, as well as a data signal for motors on the prosthesis to give better control.  Touch screen devices are proving to be a big challenge for those with prosthesis. Thank you, Paul H

Question by messyworkbench 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

coreldraw x8 image? Answered

Some of my cdr images were corrupted by unknown reason. I don't know an exact reason of corruption. But if someone knows the solution which could assist me, please say me about it. I got error - Error Reading CorelDraw file. How to repair cdr file?

Question by hapromeen19 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago

LED DRIVER assistance required? Answered

I am trying a diy led build. I have 9 3w 4v 800mah high power leds and a  240v AC to 26-39v variable voltage DC 1500mAh fixed  driver. My first question is, if I connect my 9 leds in series =36v leaving 3v drop do I need to limit the fixed 1500mAh current and if so how. My second question, is there a way of fitting a dimming circuit given that I cannot access the internals of the driver. I have looked for answers but cannot find oe specific to my problem Many thanks in advance for replies.

Question by m3ngc 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago

Flyback Transformer assistance requested

I am having problems with the flyback transformer. For primer on where I am at, following the tutorial to locate the 0v pin the voltage was win the specified range. The flyback is from a old monitor that was monochrome but was still working.  No datasheet could be obtained. 10 pins if it matters. I am following the struct on using the single transistor driver.  Specifically a 2n3055 from radio shack. Lets pretend i wouldn't waste your time if i didn't triple quadruple check the wiring first. using 24v dc power supply schematic and page i based my driver on.   i am not getting the high pitched noise from the flyback. i have 5w 220 resistor and a 5w 27 resistor . my resistance ratio is important. correct? since there is a voltage divider there. i know its vague but can someone give me some direction to work out my problems

Topic by Chingasman 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Assistance with BD-P1600 Repair?

Has anyone ever attempted to fix a Samsung BD-P1600 Blu-Ray player after a bad firmware update? I'm like 90% of the way there. I've already been able to get it to boot after flashing it with the European XEF version of the software, but I cannot use most of the streaming features that originally came with the player, a side effect of the European software, and it has the wrong region. All I need now is the rootfs.bin file from and American, XAA, version of the software. If anyone has done this fix themselves than they would likely have this file somewhere if it hasn't already been deleted. I know its a long shot, but you never know. Also, as a general point of information, the firmware from the Samsung website is encrypted, so it's no help. Links to sites describing the repair process: Edit: So I've discovered something which someone might be able to help me with even if they don't have the files. When it was first bricked and I cracked it open to try and repair it, I did a flash dump from the cfe into a file on my tftp server. More recently I copied partition 10 from the kernel to a flash drive, which supposedly is all the other partitions together, including the rootfs. When I compared this file to the flash dump from a year prior, the beginning part appeared exactly the same, so I though that by looking at the section in the copy of the partition that represents the rootfs, I could make a copy from the corresponding section in the flash dump and flash that as the rootfs. Sufficed to say, it didn't work, but just today I repeated the flash dump and found that it too is different than partition 10. It appears that beyond the first section of the file the flash dump has a completely different structure. When I compared the two sections in both flash dumps, they appeared very similar but has small differences in one section, which I would expect is a result of reflashing the rootfs. So now my question is is there a way to use the flash dump to repair the player? Edit: Additional question, I was wondering if I would be able to use the cfe to directly rewrite the section of the flash that is different. Fortunately, the cfe section of the flash appears to remain identical in all versions of the flash file I have, so I wont be rewriting that part, hopefully preventing it from being completely unbootable should something not work. My problem is that I am having problems figuring out how to reflash the nand from the cfe. I'm using the command: flash -offset=20000000 I keep getting the error: flash0: Device not found *** command status = -6 I think this is because the command did not specify a flash area to write to, so I did show devices and got:          uart0  16550 DUART at 0xB0400B00 channel 0          flash0.cfe  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 00000000 size 1536KB       flash0.kernel  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 00180000 size 5120KB       flash0.rootfs  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 00680000 size 40960KB        flash0.pstor  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 02E80000 size 8176KB       flash0.splash  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 0367C000 size 1280KB    flash0.drmregion  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 037BC000 size 128KB       flash0.rawnvr  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 037DC000 size 768KB       flash0.macadr  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 0389C000 size 16KB        flash0.nvram  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 038A0000 size 128KB         flash0.swap  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 038C0000 size 6400KB  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 03F00000 size 1024KB          flash1.all  New NAND flash at 00000000 offset 00000000 size 65536KB                eth0  BCM7038 Internal Ethernet at 0xB0080000 I'm not sure which one to choose. When I dumped the flash I used the command: CFE>save 192.168.x.y:flash_dump 0x1fc00000 0x4000000 The definition of the save command is: save Save a region of memory to a remote file via TFTP   Any idea which part of the flash this is dumping from / which part I should write to?

Question by danielemur 4 years ago

Sent items OE folder may have been damaged? Answered

I recently received a message from OE6 that my sent items folder may have been damaged. OE6 created a new "sent items 1" folder. The original sent items folder still exists on my hard drive. I tried moving the sent items 1 out of my mail directory and moving the original sent items folder in it's place. That didn't work. It created a new sent items 1 folder which was blank. I then moved the original sent items folder to another directory and tried to import, received the standard "no files or in use by another application. Then I created a new identity and tried importing. Same result Same has now occurred to my inbox folder. Is there any utility out there that can repair a corrupted folder and then be able to import into my existing folders? How about upgrading to a full edition program like Outlook and importing from OE6? Any assistance would be nice as I would like to retrieve my old email files

Question by EvanMalone 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago

Underwater ROV Arduino assistence please. Answered

I am participating ( with other students ) in a highschool level underwater rov competition, i would LIKE to use arduino to control the robot. BUT ive never done something like this before what id like to know is besides the Arduino board ( not sure if Uno would work or if Mega would be necessary ) what kind of compnents would be necassary  Like would the arduino be controlling the motors directly or would it control something to turn on/off the motors? as the motors run on higher voltages then the arduino does and what would the control side of it be like? i would LIKE to have a basic joystick  (2 axis, nothing fancy) and a few buttons but would that require a specific shield or something more complex?

Question by shabaki 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Assistance with a seemingly strange pirani gauge

I'm working on a vacuum system and so far things have gone unusually well for my projects and I really hope to keep doing well on it, but I'm hung up on the vacuum gauges. I've got a PR10-S Edwards Pirani gauge and the internal circuitry is strange. I can't find any literature on it anywhere or any schematics close enough to fudge. So I'm hoping I'blers might have a clue as to what is going on here. EDIT: Added a re-drawn circuit in an estimated configuration After some googling, a 3-wire resistance thermometer seems close to what I have as thats essentially what the gauge is, a clever application of a resistance thermometer.

Question by The Ideanator 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Technology Category: Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning/ Data Science

I would like to see AI/ Machine Learning/ Data Science be a Subcategory in the Technology Category on Instructables. The field of Data Science/ Machine Learning is on the rise. Machine Learning is being integrated into various products & services we use on a daily basis. Below is the Developer Roles chart from the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017; It shows that the field of Data Science & Machine Learning combined accounts for approximately 12% of those surveyed, compared to the combined 1.6% in 2016. A large number of Open Source Machine Learning libraries like TensorFlow, SciKit, etc have been made available to developers across the world. These libraries enable developers & engineers to integrate ML models, Computer Vision, Chat Bots, Speech & Text recognition, etc into their projects. The Google Assistant & Amazon Alexa AI both AI Assistants are now compatible with the Raspberry Pi. Android Things - An OS built for connected embedded systems which can run ML & AI programs is now compatible with Hardware Platforms like the Intel Edison/ Joule & the Raspberry Pi. Platforms such as OpenAI conduct fundamental research & provide free software for training, benchmarking & testing AI. Kaggle - a website for hosting Data Science Competitions has a large collection of high-quality public datasets. There are many other platforms & frameworks like these. With the growing number of resources being made available in these fields, it is only natural that a large number of people will be looking for tutorials & instructions to help them integrate these resources into their projects. Instructables could become the repository of ML/AI based projects. E.g: AI-based Security System, a Line following robot which uses ML algorithms to follow the line, etc. I hope we can have a constructive discussion in the comments as to how we the Instructables Community can make Instructables the best repository for AI/ML projects.

Topic by Jonathanrjpereira 1 year ago  |  last reply 9 months ago

Roomba mapping and quadriplegic assistive device

Hello,I am a high school student in the San Francisco bay area. After attending Maker fair this past weekend and talking to the instructables staff, i am going to take on one of your challenges and developing a roomba mapping platform, and much more. Because i am still a student, i don't have the funding to purchase my own roomba, so this is my application for the scholarship. I have attended many lectures that have been made by the Stanford DARPA team, i would like to take some of their ideas and apply it to the roomba platform. My roomba will be able to map it's surrounding, where it will then process that information, creating an optimum route. I will also utilize complete use of all the sensors that are provided so you can keep track of everything that is going on. Mapping will be one feature, there are plenty more. A nice control system for your roomba will be made so you can access everything you need to know about battery life, run time, dirt picked up, a nice GUI layout. RSS feed can also be sent to your laptop or cell phone so you know what exactly is happening with your roomba. And because this platform will be used very often to guard my precious projects, i will throw on a wi-fi video camera and control system. This will enable me to control the roomba over the internet to scout around and see what my dog is up to. The video feed will also be told to record one pass around the entire house, if anything abnormal appears (chair knocked over, loud nosies, etc.)I am also a member of this years Palo Alto High School Lemelson-MIT invent team. Our project is to create an assistive device for quadriplegics so that they can control their world using countless lase r activated household items. Our quadriplegics friend Henry Evans said that it would be amazing to be able to control a roomba that drives around and plays with his dog. I will make it my personal goal to create a platform which henry can use to control this roomba using the assistive technology our team is developing. ( are plenty of other things i would like to add on if i have the time. The main goal is to make the roomba map it's surroundings, and be controllable by our friend Henry.I have so many more ideas i would like to add on to this if i have the time, and i ensure you that i am very capable to complete these goals by the required time frame. I'm very excited to take on this project, and i believe that with your help i can really do something amazing here that can be appreciated by the entire robotic community.--Daniel FukubaPalo Alto High School

Topic by dfukuba 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago

Assistance in designing an automatic room light controller?

I am trying to build an automatic room light controller that will turn on a lamp when a person enters a room and maintains it in the on state as long as the room is occupied. once the room is empty, the lamp will switch off. I intend to use a PIC for this project, together with an infrared emitting diode and phototransistor for detecting entry and exit. But my major problem is making the circuit direction sensitive. How can I differentiate between entry and exit? I would really appreciate any help I can get. Thanks

Question by 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Toyota's new Human-Assistance Robot can play the violin, help the aged

Articles here: Toyota's new robot can play the violin, help the aged and here: Toyota Plans Human-Assistance Robot.How soon until these things fight wars for us!?

Topic by ewilhelm 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago

how to lift vertically with gas assist cylynders?

We have an overhead canopy that need to be lifted 3 feet into the air, and then let down to its origianal position at the end of the day.  it now goe's up and down with a smaller tube within a larger tube and pins put in position to hold it at the right height.  the size of the canopy is 4' x 12' and weighs approximately 150 lbs, as the supports are made from aluminum.  As we are not getting any younger it is taking its toll putting it up and down manually.  If there any way that we could re place the smaller inner tube with some type of gas assist cylynder that would take it up and down mechanically?  Imagine having to lift a box .,and then down again straight up and down.  Any replies would be appreciated. Thank you. JOJO

Question by jojofishjr 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

DESPERATE DAMSEL! Need some LEDs assistance...

Well, okay... I'm not really desperate but I am in (slight) distress-- needing someone to storm the castle of knowledge to save me from pounding my head against the walls of google-search any longer. Looking for some specific LED information. I have looked through several LED-throw-y Instructables but so far I haven't found the information I need. I am mostly electronics-retarded and so if anyone can give me the correct info I would sincerely appreciate the assistance. I just need to know the batteries/battery power/models needed to power smaller than 10mm LEDs. My project involves a very small space-- 1.8mm-3mm-5mm sized LEDs would probably be best-- I would need to know the kind of batteries I would need (least bulky and least number of batteries I could utilize for each size 1.8mm-3mm-5mm) and how many I would need for each single LED to operate effectively. Also-- is there any real concern of a fire hazard with such LEDs housed in an acrylic/urethane and resin container or would the output of the LED be such that I wouldn't have to have concerns of fire (or melting in the case or urethane/acrylic/resin) ? (Sorry if this question seems dumb, but again I stress how electronics-retarded I really am lol). Furthermore, if the LEDs had vellum or translucent paper covering them to diffuse the light-- would this additionally create any fire-hazard? The housing will probably vary between 14mm-20mm  for the LED with the batteries able to sit outside the LED-housing. I appreciate any assistance in getting the information I need and offer many thanks in advance for any helpful replies! (posted this in TECH forums as well- apologies if this is like a repost)

Question by pneumadragonfly 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Opera browser assistance... oh please someone help.

Does anyone here use Opera to view Instructables? I know this problem has to do with my web page settings, as viewing in fullscreen mode is fine. Anyone know how to solve this, as I would very much like to view groups etc once again.

Topic by Lftndbt 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago

Power assited dolly

Could someone recommend a dc motor strong enough but @ the same time gentle enough to be used for power assist. The item will be a custom built dolly used for lugging around camera equipment. The total weight will be approx. 50 - 75 lbs. Thank you to those that help.

Topic by sofiadragon1979 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

I am in need of assistance regarding electric motors.

I am planning on making a electric powered vertically sliding pet door.  I have all the mechanical and pulleys etc worked out but am ignorant regarding small electric motors. I am very competent regarding wiring and circuits/relays etc, only issue is the power for the unit.  I know they sell units like this but i want to build my own.  I need the motor to move slowly one way and stop when i cut power using a switch and when next powered to reverse until the switch cuts power so on and so on.  Any ideas as to where I can purchase a motor such as this?  Radioshack has zilch, so i assume I am going to need to go online.  Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. I have been planning this in my mind for quite a while, generally right around the time the dog door breaks in the dead of winter.  Thanks for any help! Joe

Question by jobad72 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Circuit board assistance for a beginner (corded phone hack)?

I'm attempting to hack an old corded phone into a two button device in a smaller enclosure. Reason being my apartment uses landline phones to buzz people into the building, and I wanted to see if I could DIY a fun alternative. As it stands the functionality of two buttons is needed - speaker to answer/hang up, and the 9 key to buzz in - but the board itself is larger than the enclosure I had wanted to put it in. Is there a way to get around this? Would it be a matter of having to trace the circuits and physically break off pieces of the board that aren't relevant (keys 1-8, etc), or do I have it all wrong?  Pictured below is the board and the two buttons in question. EDIT: I accidentally circled the key below the 9 key - I'm aware of this mistake. I am a total newbie when it comes to this stuff so if this is a dumb question I apologize in advance. Additionally, if anyone has alternative solutions or suggestions for this issue I would love to hear them. Thanks!

Question by Flip175 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago

Robotics Aspirant

Hello Great Mind. I am interested in Robotics but I don't know where to start. I think I will be needing an instructor, too. I really need your help and advice.

Topic by LoloN1 4 months ago  |  last reply 4 months ago

I am having difficulty loading my picture to my profile. Pls help. Ajah

Question by ajah 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

DC Polarity Shifter / changer

Require assistance to build a device to change the polarity of 13-14 volts 30 amps with an adjustable timer. Any help would be appreciated.

Topic by NickMac 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago

Need assistance with the electric motor aspect for a retractable projection screen. Answered

I want to build my own motorized movie screen and have just about everything thought out except for how to set up the drive system.  Mainly, I'm trying to figure out how to set up the electric motor system so that when you stop lowering the screen it stops at that point instead of drifting a little bit as electric motors tend to do.  Also, a good suggestion for the size of a motor would be helpful.  I don't know what the final weight of the screen will be, but it'll have some heft to it.  Appreciate any information on the subject or resources.  Thanks!

Question by geckostudios 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

Making your own digital assistant using ardino uno gsm shield Sd card module and VR shield

I am building a personalized assistant or a daily smart reminder sort of which speaks to you. Using the Arduino R3 and GSM Shield: SMS will be sent to the SIM card in the GSM shield connected to Arduino uno and the data fro the SMS will be extracted and stored on the SD card which will be displayed on an LCD screen. All of this will be voice activated and controlled.  Need help with the logic and working of this setup.

Topic by shreyansoswal 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago

How to submit a phone to 411 ? Answered

Does anyone know how to submit a phone # to directory assistance?  I have called a few different phone providers, but the most ligitimate answer I got was "I don't know".  Everyone else told me it couldn't be done.  This can't be true... Right?  I mean, how does everyone else do it???  Thanks in advance for the help!  :)

Question by thegeeke 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

How many instructables can a new user put in the First time author contest

I just wanted to ask that how many instructables can a new user put in the First time author contest

Question by Gagan jain 5 months ago  |  last reply 5 months ago

Assistance needed for coil gun design. Any help appreciated.

Hello. Frequent reader, first time posing. I have been working a coil gun project for awhile now, nearly a month.  Originally I was using a pre made coil I took out of a fan.  The coil itself is roughly 42 gauge wire, with roughly 8-10 layers, and an inch long. At first I was using flash camera capacitors (300v @ 80uf) and flash camera circuitry to shoot a screw or nail through a pen tube. More recently I have been using a 12vdc to 120vac converter rectified to about 200vdc as a charging unit.  I also obtained some high voltage electrolytic capacitors (450v @ 820uf) that charge after about 2 or 3 minutes. After messing around with with the completed assembly, using a push button to short the capacitors across the coil, I realized that the wire coil itself was limited by its gauge and size and the full potential of the capacitors was not being maximized. So I ordered a spool of 63 feet 16awg magnet wire to make a larger coil for a more powerful and efficient design. So today I wrapped a coil around a 1cm clear plastic tube that was about 4cm long and 3 layers thick. The coil itself has a very low resistance. I hooked up a 200v 470uf capacitor to the coil and the charging circuit and when I fired my push button was welded shut. After that I was just shorting the capacitor across the coil to fire ferrous projectiles, which resulted in a rather large spark where I was shorting it. I noticed lower efficiencies compared to the other coil, which I'm sure has a great deal to do with the the energy the spark waste. So question number one: does anyone know what type of firing switch I would need to handle roughly 500 volts at 10(ish) amps and where I could find one. My objective is to achieve maximum kinetic energy with a 10mm x 30mm projectile. I have chosen to use a clear tube to eventually have a optically triggered multi-stage design. From research I have concluded that a coil should be 33% to 50% larger than the projectile, so my coil length has been established. I would like to know how many layers I should use to maximize the first firing stage with a capacitor rated at 450v 820uf and a coil that is 40mm long. Sorry for such a long post, but any help is greatly appreciated.

Question by MurdaMastaMike 7 years ago

how do I open my western digital mybook drive?

My Mybook does not work so, I need to open it to download data. please assist.

Question by 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Everyday Problems

We were tasked as a team to design a machine or process that will better the lives of workers in all occupations. So I want to ask you all, What are some small, but annoying things you wished you had a solution to? It can be things that you problems that frequently occur at work, home, and anywhere you go. Thanks

Question by BBQCheerios 8 weeks ago  |  last reply 7 weeks ago

Pepsi Refresh Submission

Please cast your vote for the CIR's Pepsi Refresh submission to Provide Cost-Effective Prosthetic Care in Underserved Midwestern Areas - Video for the submission is available at:

Topic by CIRnetwork 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

Need assistance in building 2 devices to help with fencing academy

In the sport of fencing, like many other sports, speed and reaction are very important to us.  There are currently no training devices out there that we use to measure speed and reaction in our sport. There are two devices we'd love to have and use, but none of us are technologically educated to know how to build any of these, and hopefully these are simple enough that someone might offer some solutions. Project/device 1: Reaction Measurement We would like to measure a fencer's reaction to a stimulus.  The fencer must hit a fixed target (like a pad) when a stimulus is presented, for example, a light.  When the light goes on, the fencer must hit the target with the weapon (more specifically, the point of the weapon) and a timer will tell the fencer how long it took between the time the light came on and when the fencer hit the target. Note:  Potential problem: durability of the pad getting hit numerous times. Project/device 2: Speed Measurement More importantly, we would also like to measure the time difference between when the fencer hits the target and when the fencer's front foot leaves the ground in a lunge.  Ideal device would be some kind of pressure plate in front of the target, beneath the fencer's front foot.  When the fencer lunges to hit the target, a timer will measure the time difference between the fencer's foot leaving the pressure plate and when the target is hit. Please let me know if these devices can be made, is it even easy to create something like this...remember...I'm not tech savy!

Topic by guevarragv 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

Win8.1 Lost Plug & Play ?

I am using WIN 8.1 and recently purchased a USB 2.0 SATA 2.5" HD HDD Hard Disk Drive Enclosure External Case Box and it stopped working. It may be due to losing my Plug and Play software and does not recognize the attachment. I am also using FireFox  and MS IE. I would appreciate your help assisting the input in restoring my Plug and Play. Thanks for the site it is a great assist.

Question by mjp88keys 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago

Call for Projects for the workshop Interactivos?’12 Ljubljana. Obsolete Technologies of the Future

Ljudmila, Digital Medialab of Ljubjliana, in collaboration with SGMK of Zurich and Medialab-Prado are seeking for proposals for an upcoming workshops in collaborative prototyping which will be hold in Ljubljana (September 5 - 15, 2012) with the participation of advisors, technical assistants. Deadline: June 8, 2012 Call for Collaborators: starting July 2, 2012 Project development (workshop): September 5- 15, 2012 Suggested areas of focus include:     *     Projects that suggest different usages of existing urban technological infrastructures     *     Rethinking outdated technologies and recycling the computer and IT wasteland.     *     Projects which allow people to interact with technology to provoke new ways of perceiving the surrounding, the self, the visual, the material, and stimulate aesthetic experience.     *     Particular attention will be paid to projects which promote open source communities, collaborative work and collective modes of behavior.     *     Playing with data - submissions for works, which connect data forms and physically embody data streams, bridging ‘on’ and ‘off’ line worlds.     *     Products and services that provide sustainable solutions for our needs, including the use of open data, data mash ups and remixes. We are seeking proposals for:     *     Installations (interactive, responsive, generative)     *     Performances (participatory, gesticular, dance)     *     Visualisations (moving images, generative, projections, holograms)     *     Free Software (FLOSS) / Open Hardware / Open Design / Services / Start-ups / Apps / Devices The open call is aimed at designers, artists, engineers, coders, sociologists, architects, city planners, teachers, programmers, psychologists, journalists, environmentalists... or to any other person interested in the theme of the workshop. Complete information and guidelines: Advisors: Luka Frelih, Ida Hirsenfelder, Chris Sugrue and Yago Torroja. Activity within the framework of Studiolab European project:

Topic by medialab-prado 6 years ago

Can someone assist me on my idea involing a 555 timer?

Hey my fellow instructalites!!! I have this great prom proposal in mind but im getting a little confused on how I want to set it up or at least creating a schematic. Anyway the idea was that I was going to get a large pcb(already have it) and use some blue and green leds to spell out "Prom or Nah?". But my problem is I want the 555 timer to control only the words "prom and nah?", and also i wanted to add some typeof button to press so that when pushed in prom is the only word lighted.  What i wanted the timer to do is to have prom and nah?  to flash seperatly such as prom flash then goes out then nah? flashes then goes out. So any ideas to help me get started? My main confusion is trying to seperate the word "or" from the 555 circuit so that it stays on constantly until the button is pushed. Also I do have a spare arduino uno

Question by tramont 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago

Need assistance - hooking up 30W speakers to 17W amp - will not work

Hello All, My knowledge of audio is VERY limited and I need a little help. I'm trying to recycle my old car stereo by turning it into a home stereo. The car stereo outputs at 17W RMS and 50Wmax per channel (4 channels) I have a set of speakers that are 60W max, 30W RMS, 4Ohm. From what I understand the weaker amp should power more powerful speakers without much issue.  I tested the setup and ran into a problem. The speaker works fine as the stereo powers up and begins to play.  As I increase the volume the speaker suddenly cuts out. The stereo volume goes up to 50 (I don't know what 50 represents. Arbitrary value?) and the speaker cuts out around 21. The volume at this level is much, much, lower than what it was when this stereo was in my car.  I assume this is due to the power mismatch with the speakers.  Is this a fair assumption? What could be the reason for the speaker cutting out? The speaker wire I used is 22 gauge, which could be a little thin.  It's all I had on hand while testing. Could this be related?

Question by iTinkers 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

where to buy Veroboard,TL494 chip,IRF540 MOSFET? im in the phillipines. or what is the possible substitute? please help.


Question by alvinvin03 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Copper Crystal Metal

Hi, Please assist. I am looking for ways to create copper crystals from copper sulfate liquid by using chemicals only. I found a company in South Africa that's doing exactly that.

Topic by CrystalCopper 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

iPod touch mount for tripod?

 Looking to mount a new Apple touch on a camera mounting bracket. So ... no gooseneck extention -just a sinple right angle bracket of some sort. I might be over-thinking this - but thanks for your assistance!

Question by clintbradford 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Error: There was a problem reading this document (18)? Answered

Anyone know what this error means: There was an error processing a page. There was a problem reading this document (18).  I'm getting it when trying to view a pdf in Version 7. Any assistance is greatly appreciated!

Question by felixwiener 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago

How to design and setup a mobile phone jammer?

As a part of my academic project, I would like to build a mobile phone jammer, sufficient enough to block CDMA and GSM signals. Where shall I get technical assistance for that? 

Question by 9 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago