Top 5 new Instructables 6/5 -6/12

Another week has gone by and another new batch of great new Instructables have popped up. Below is a list of the five, in order, that have received the most pageviews and thus grabbed the most attention lately.So if you haven't check them out yet be sure to give them a read. And if you want more fresh and cool DIY stuff, check out the featured list for many more ideas.Have a great weekend, everyone! Cardboard LumberHow would you like an incredibly strong, cool, and cheap building material for making lightweight tables, chairs, shelves, or anything else you can think of. Reusing cardboard... posted by theRIAA on Jun 8, 2009 Recycled T-shirt NecklaceThis is a really simple soft necklace / scarf that can be made in about five minutes. I keep seeing similar ones being sold for twenty, forty, even sixty dollars while it can ... posted by cucumbersome on Jun 6, 2009 Hand LightsIf you work with your hands and want to have more light where you're working, these hand lights (okay.. forearm lights) work great and are pretty simple to make. Use them for... posted by Ookseer on Jun 6, 2009 Cupcake ConesDelicious, clever, and surprising, these cupcakes impersonating ice cream cones are sure to delight! My mother used to make these for my brother and me when we were kids an... posted by scoochmaroo on Jun 8, 2009 Pool Solar water heaterHow to build a solar pool water heater. posted by Lynxspring on Jun 6, 2009

Posted by fungus amungus 9 years ago

3D Printing Open Survey

Hi everyone! I am a huge 3d printing enthusiast from Poland (Europe). I run - news aggregator/blog concerning 3d printing, fablabs, open-source hardware and related. If you have some spare time please fill in my 3D Printing Open Survey - If you could make almost anything, what would it be ? Updated results are publicly available after completing questionnaire (Please press "Wyślij" - Send button and "Wyniki ankiety" - Results button at the end). This survey will be used to evaluate demand for 3d printing services globally. It consist of 30 questions about: - open-source 3d printers - future of additive manufacturing - 3d printing services - ecology in 3d printing - copyright issues and 3d printing Three example questions: 2. Which of the following 3d printing applications is the most interesting? * - Things personalization - Printing food - Attempts to print structures resembles in functioning living tissues or blood vessels - Creating impossible or difficult to create by using conventional technology things - Printing rooms or buildings on earth/moon - Printing chemical compounds (for example drugs) - Using in renewable energy sources - Printing parts and/or mechanical vehicles 3 . Have you ever heard about cheap DIY 3D Printers (for example RepRap, PrintrBot, MakiBox A6) ? * DIY - Do It Yourself - Yes - No 4 . When 3D Printers will become one of the typical household appliances ? * - After 5 years - After 10 years - After 15 years - After 20 years or later - Never - I don't know Feel free to ask questions! :)

Posted by dziarski 5 years ago

A better version of Etsy without the resellers

Etsy has made it pretty clear that they don't plan on closing down the high volume resellers that list cheap imports as "handmade."  Helen Killer (April Winchell) of Regretsy wrote an excellent explanation of why this amounts to bait and switch on Etsy's account. Most people go to the site thinking the majority of what they'll find is handmade.  Real makers, crafters, and artists post their items at a reasonable price considering how long it took to make the items.  Customers go to the site to find a specific item, search for it, and find a bunch of cheaper options listed with the handmade ones.  The cheaper items are often listed as handmade, and customers don't often do the extensive research to find out 1. how long a handmade version would actually take 2. the cheaper options were made in a factory overseas.  Considering that handmade was Etsy's big selling point, they have no reason to believe they're being duped by a reseller. Etsy also prohibits "calling out" in their forums, and often ignore the private reports of resellers.  Even if you have proof that the exact "handmade, unique" items in a seller's shop can be purchased for next to nothing elsewhere online (and in huge quantities), you're not allowed to mention it in Etsy's forums in order to warn others about what they're really buying. So far, is very small and new, but I like the clean interface and their promise to never allow reselling except in the case of crafting supplies.  I might be a naive idealist, but for now I believe that this site will actually keep their promise.

Posted by supersoftdrink 6 years ago

glass table? (is this where this goes? :D)

I recently obtained for a fair price a cut piece of glass from goodwill. its rounded slightly at the sides and greatly at the corners. at the widest point it is approximately 52" by 24". its 3/8" thick-its fairly heavy as you could imagine. I mean i can pick it up by myself but its worrying me what to build the actual support out of. I was thinking to have 2 tubes pipes or cylinders at equal distances from the right and left edges-it would be at least 10 inches away from the edge on each side, leaving what, 32 inches in between them? Now my question is whats the cheapest way of doing this. i didnt THINK i would use PVC, but i dont have the slightest clue how much it could support, so idk. Aluminum tubing is cheap for smaller sizes, is that better? Id give a weight estimate but im terrible at estimating things based off my senses so thats a bad idea. Maybe you can get an idea off the dimensions. I can spend at max 15 bucks for PVC or aluminum. oh, and the desk is gonna be around 30 inches tall. so 5 feet is just enough. Also, what would be a good idea to place the cylinders on top of for balance? At this point, all i need to do is keep the glass 30 inches off the ground with ~3 feet of space for me to slide my chair into (although its really not a neccessity because itll be out alot anyway.) with a 15 dollar budget. any sugestions?

Posted by abkarch 6 years ago

Part of iPad Screen Not Working after Replacement

Hi! I replaced the digitizer on my iPad 2. It was damaged in 2 separate drops and the screen was completely shattered. It was working fine before I replaced it. Took me 2-1/2 hours to get it off and clean up the glass and I had to grind flat two of the corners with my Dremel Tool so the replacement trim and the digitizer would lay flush with the frame. After I installed it, the iPad fired up just fine and was working, just there is a 2-1/2 inch section of the screen (about 4" up from the home button) that wasn't responding to touch. The top 1 inches of the screen worked fine, and the bottom 4" worked fine. I tried reseating the digitizer cable numerous times with no effect. I heard it's supposed to fit into the connector with the white dots flush with the connector, but it won't go in any further, even when I pushed it with my plastic pick. I was very careful in removing it and didn't damage any cables (WiFi, power, volume) or connectors. However, I did rub the sleep/wake sensor with my spudger and roughed it up a bit. It's not completely destroyed, but you can tell it was molested 8( Is it possible that in damaging the sleep/wake sensor that it would make the screen behave that way? Could it be the digitizer being faulty? I got it off Amazon for cheap. I am doing an RMA on it soon. If the replacement digitizer doesn't work, then I don't know what to do. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks. Nick

Posted by NickB6 3 years ago

Recycling fabric into fillingmaterial. Can it be done? And how?

Hi there, This is something I've been wondering about and maybe you'd like to share any ideas on the topic. Thing is this: There's two things I use a lot: Fabric and fillingmaterial. I mostly use Fiberfill for the best results. It's smooth, springy, soft and light. Great stuff. However for big projects it's costly. Now I also use A LOT of cheap fabric. After cutting it a lot of spare pieces remain. The bigger ones I can still use but the tiny bits (like in the picture) I throw away because I have no use for them. And I feel bad about it, because it seems so wastefull. I hate wasting things. So what I'm thinking is this: is there a way to grind the spare pieces of fabric into filling material? Offcourse, I could just take all those spare pieces and use them as filling materials as they are, but as they lack the springyness (not sure if this is an actual word, sorry if not :) of Fiberfill, the result is bumpy and heavy and you'll need a LOT. Now there is a cheaper alternative for fiberfill, I think they take foam matresses and pulverize them. It's a bit springy but still heavy and extremely messy to work with. Now for those spare bits of fabric: - What would be used to grind them? - Is there a way to somehow bind them, so it becomes a substance simmilar to fiberfill? Like gelatine, but for non-edible purposes? (grind'em, bind'em) I have no idea if this can be done (at home) but if you have any ideas I'd be happy to hear them. I think a lot of people would be happy with an inexpensive, recyclable filling material!! Material for a great instructable if you ask me :D

Posted by Tigermouse 4 years ago

Design for reuse...

The "1st world" (that would be us) is infamous for its rampant and wasteful consumerism. Buy an electronic gadget with N times the power of the OLPC machine, then throw it away after two years (incidentally filling landfills with all sorts of questionable stuff.) Meanwhile, other parts of the world starve for technology.Do you think it would be possible to SLIGHTLY modify the design of 1st world consumer products to make it easier to reuse them (or parts of them) in devices conceptually similar to OLPC? I mean, consider the cell phone. Modern cell phones have cameras, flash card sockets, relatively high-res (but tiny) displays, relatively high-quality sound capability, low power consumption in standby mode, and radio based networking capabilities. It seems pretty close to an OLPC device to me (tell me an Apple iPhone wouldn't be an adequate replacement for an OLPC...)Why can't "we" convince a cell phone manufacturer to design the internals such that when the phones original life is over, it's guts can get a larger display and keyboard and new software, and become someone's computer or eReader. People are willing to donate their old phones to assorted worthy causes now; they might even be convinced to pay an extra $10 to purchase a phone that is MORE reusable. (or is it more expensive to do this sort of "refurbishment" than to build brand new machines?) Now that wireless headsets are common, it's not even necessary for a cellphone to retain a "phone-like" size and shape. Can I have a paperback sized combination cell phone and eBook reader that will have a second life as "just an eBook reader"?What would it take to make a cellphone reusable as the core of a general purpose computer?1) extend and standardize display interface to allow page-sized display.2) extend and standardize keypad interface to allow keyboard (?)3) internal software nearly completely replacible with a general purpose OS.4) inappropriate radio functions capable of being removed, disabled, or converted to more appropriate functions (ad-hoc wireless networking)Some of those seem like things manufacturers would be doing anyway, just to reduce their own costs. Creating a reusable cellphone core may be more a matter of documentation than anything else (and politics. Not that either is easy.)Next, what other electronic devices do you have that you're likely to be done with before they break? An MP3 player could use the same standardized display link and reprogramability as cell phones. Your LCD monitor could implement the other half (old cell phone plus old monitor = general purpose computer?) I don't think there's enough standardization in the desktop computers to reuse them; their complexity makes reuse too administratively complex, and they're probably too power-hungry anyway.The "maker" community already spends a fair amount of effort reusing "appliances" as general purpose compute engines; usually "improving" the product in its original application space, or getting cheap cycles from a product that failed and is being sold off cheap. Creating intentionally reusable electronics would feed that community some, but it isn't big enough to absorb ALL the discards of our quick-moving society. A lot could be funneled into putting technology where it couldn't afford to be before.(some quick Google use says:In the US, we throw away over 400,000 cell phones PER DAY linkIn Europe, 27% of mobile phone user buy a new phone every year link; only 5% of the old phones are recycled.Overall, less than 1% of cell phones are recycled. link; cell phone sales are expected to exceed 1 billion per year by 2009.)(I pick primarilly on cell phones because they seem SO CLOSE to being a general purpose computer, AND small enough to possibly incorporate into a larger "second life" product.)

Posted by westfw 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 12 years ago

A convention, festival, fair, thing. Please read.

Hello, I've never put anything on the forums before, but I really want to get my idea out there if I can't make it.   I have this idea for something like a convention, fair, etc.  However it will be full of classes, and talking areas, I want it to be cheap and for all ages and backgrounds.   Each booth will be a class, they'll be able to talk/teach about anything: physics, folklore, robotics, animation, painting, dog training, baking, history, biology, ghosts, philosophy, anything!  You can go to these classes and take notes, if you find out you hate the subject or teacher you can leave to go to another class.  In the talking areas you can trade notes, share your own ideas, or just chill out.  I want most of the classes to be free (If a teacher charges money then they need to be the ones to keep people out) but they can charge for materials,(like a CD with references, or a program they use, or a book) or products,(like a cake they just baked, or a drawing they drew) or you can give them donations, and they can give you a business card if they have classes outside of the place.  You may have to organize the booths by loudness, or maturity (with the teachers being able to teach anything, some classes might be bad for kids to see.)  I don't know what this event would be called, it's not quite a convention, or festival, or school, It could happen indoors or out.  This is my main issue; I don't know if I would need permits for it, or what else I should get for it (also I'm broke).  I've been researching for a few weeks now, and I have a few ideas, but incase I fail then maybe someone on here can do it.  Thank you for reading.

Posted by WanderThroughGore 3 years ago

(newsletter) Live in a Bus, Auto Fish Feeder, Zippo Tricks...

Sep 4, 2008 Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; }"/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); } Welcome back! The winners of the Horny Toad Invent-a-Sport Contest are posted! Try out some of these awesome new sports! Live near San Francisco or planning a trip? Stop by for one of our build nights and make something cool in our office! September 11: Mouse mouse; October 2: Intro to Chainmail. RSVP required.Upcoming... Get ready for the biggest and best Halloween contest ever! October will be here soon, so start working on an elaborate costume and creepy decorations! Anything posted since the close of last year's contest is eligible. You can also get a head start on our Faberge Egg Contest (almost here!), where you could win a sound system and have your egg displayed in New York City! HDTV Antenna on a Direct TV mount by arte.sano Build a digital pin-hole camera by richard2nd Screen print your pancakes by lamedust Make a Short Film for $80 by Hermes   Get out and play! Turn 3D Motions Into Sculpture by jftesser Basic Zippo tricks by killerjackalope Make a fossilized Dinosaur Egg by KaptinScarlet Make a pizza oven in your backyard by fritz.bogott Make a Tunnel Book by Doldrum Automatic Aquarium Feeder by paulrobinson Sign Chair by wholman World's Smallest Electronic Shocker! by Plasmana   10 More Instructables to help get ready for class Prescription Goggles for $12 by engineerable Re-use a Schoolbus for Cheap Housing by zim Chuck's No Weld Recumbent Bike by chuckdiesel Dot Matrix Business Card by tomward Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; }"/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup2","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); }

Posted by fungus amungus 10 years ago

(newsletter) Business Card Catapult, Easter Prank, Handheld Tesla Coil...

Sign-up for this newsletter: We're now running FOUR awesome contests, so get to work on your Instructables! Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest - Create an energy-saving Instructable and you could win a MacBook Pro! Klutz Rubber Band-Powered Contest - Open to any rubber band-powered contraption. Win cool books from Klutz! Closes for entries on April 19!Burning Questions 7 - Answer our questions and win the love of thousands, or at least a spiffy new t-shirt! Epilog Challenge - Enter any awesome project with a green twist for the chance to win an Epilog Zing laser cutter or gift certificates from Ponoko! Closes for entries on April 19! The April Fools Contest and ThinkGeek Hacks Contest have closed for entries and are in the voting phase. Check them out and vote now! Make an Irretrievable Easter Egg The Business Card Catapult Power Glove 20th Anniversary Edition How to Make Kimchi / Kim Chee Closes for entries on April 19! Win a MacBook Pro! Make a Korg Kaossilator Guitar How to Thread Eyebrows Walking Papercraft Mech Warrior How to Make an Atari Game Featured questions from our new Answers section: How do you make a small but very strong electromagnet??? How can I make a hole in a glass bottle? Camera Light Ring Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day LCD Articulating Bracket for Cheap Quick and Dirty "Tesla Coil" Stretch, twist, and power something cool! Only the best for you Rubber-Band Powered Altoids Boat Hydroponic Food Factory Domo-Kun Backpack Add a Shower to your Toilet Sign-up for this newsletter:

Posted by fungus amungus 9 years ago

A rant

So, I've been wanting a didgeridoo, and thanks to my $25 gift certificate to amazon from the science fair, I was finally able to order one! I knew that I didn't want a PVC one (like many that are for sale) but other than that, it just needed to be cheap. Luckily, I found the perfect one, so I ordered it on the 13th. The estimated shipping date was from the 22nd to the they would ship it today or tomorrow. When I checked my email this morning, this is what I found:Dear Micah Weissensteinburg,We have received the order you placed on Amazon.In rare instances, we run out of stock on an item and another personbuys it before we can update our stock on Amazon. Unfortunately that iswhat happened in this case. The 52" Aboriginal Didgeridoo is on backorder but oursupplier could not provide us the ETA, so unfortunately we do not know when it could be shipped.We fell behind a bit on our stock updates. We really strive to keep our customers happy and wish to attempt to makethis right with you. We will offer you a 10% discount on your next order with us.We apologize for the inconvenience. Just make note on your nextorder that you were promised a 10% discount (with this number 6Y139).Please visit our storefront under you for your understanding.Yours sincerely,Support teamThat's right, twelve days later I get an email saying that they just didn't have any more...and it's not like that 10% will do anything, they're the kind of store that sells whatever hey can get their hands on. Twelve days to find out they're sold out is just inexcusable, and now i'm stuck trying to find another didge, besides the fact that a bunch of my friends expect me to have it on monday. Gah!

Posted by Weissensteinburg 11 years ago

Anyone ever made a laser plotter cutter?

I would like to discuss a project I'm planning on doing and there are things I'm not sure about. I'll be glad to photodocument this when I start building. My idea for a laser plotter is to buy a cheap vinyl plotter from ebay, maybe even used. I already have one for regular vinyl work and its performs great. The reason for using one is that I'm not that much of an engineer to build one like some of the projects I read here on the forums. My main goal is cut styrofoam logos/lettering. Thus my main question is what laser wattage would you recommend? I'm thinking 500-1000mW, but that's just a guess. Whoever has any experience with cutting styrofoam, could you describe how it went? If I could also burn pictures onto (but not trough) leather or plexiglass etc., that would be a nice bonus. Now, the plotter would have to be disected, removing the bottom from the top to accomodate the thickness of styro desks (I'm thinking up to 5 or 10cm). The main difference would be that instead of the whole top of the plotter moving to cut, it would stay the same as with the vinyl foils, using the bottom rollers to move a platen of some sort, on which the styro desks would be layed (and fixed with something). The vinyl plotters have a "knife-up, knife-down" mechanism (electromagnet?) for traveling to/from cut lines. I would use this for turning the laser on/off. My only concerns are the speed at which the styro can be cut, becuase the plotters move pretty fast even set at lowest speed, though this could probably be further tuned, and keeping the letters in place, so they don't move since the lower roller of the plotters moves quickly. But if the cut was very thin, this may not be a problem. Thanks for your thoughts!

Posted by Fyod 7 years ago

Using TEC chips and heatsinks for personal cooling - heating collars or pads

I've been toying with using TEC chips (facinating devices that are cheap - applying voltage make one side hot - the other cold, Inversely, appling any existing temprature differential to the sinks PRODUCES POWER). They are used most commonly by consumers in auto beverage coolers and heaters. It  started when a car ran me down on my bike, and I was wearing a neck brace for months. I thought about how misserable I'd be if it were summertime. I also thought of those poor people that always wore them... Anyway, there's a thousand different easy ways to do this - I took fluid-filled plastic sections of a beverage cooler and attached them to a belt, which hangs around my neck. applied the heat  sink of the TEC and there you go - just wrap it in something. Now if I were on a motorcycle in summer and stopped in traffic, the cool collar would be a lifesaver, as well as a myriad of other apps. I cannot figure out the best (inexpensive) way to control this. It's easy enough to turn on and off - you can hardly forget it! But if I allow the chip to get too much wattage it will get too hot and self-destruct. Also, if I limit the wattage correctly, it would just need adjusting, and could be left on most of the time. The idea here is there are many ways to do this but they are too expensive... I want everyone to be able to afford it. If you use a Pot or resistor, the excess goes to heat and ruins battery life, and other controllers of DC current are expensive. Any help? I am almost 60 and have earned the nickname Misc. Expert among my family and friends, and I must say I'm very impressed with what y'all do here in this newsletter - Congrats!

Posted by miscexpert 6 years ago

What you getting for Christmas?

EDIT:  Wow so its christmas!!!! WOO HOO! Did you get what you wanted? If not what did you get? I was actually suprised at how popular this topic (22 Including my shared their present) was so I want too say thankyou to all who commented and have a Merry Christmas! Ps: I got my Itouch 4  :) ANYONE ON IBLES REPLY TO THIS Please spread around so i have a huge list! Here is the list: megametal8: Apple Ipod Touch 4th Gen 8GB lemonie: Drunk DJ Radio: Xbox with Halo Reach Randomguy65: Kinect and (Possibly) Ipod Nano Goodhart: Three books of inspiration Seleziona: PS3 Shadowman39: Lego H1T4TCH1: Money TheFoofinator: Digital Camera MichelMoermans: Hat,Money,Building Supplies and a Book. knex_builder_freak: Ipod touch protective case and knife or sword bounty1012: L96a1 instruct39: Clothes,knex and wii games Ajleece: Samsung 330w Home Theatre System Tool Using Animal: A scout scope mount, and scope, for my Mosin Nagant happyjo: Trip to Hawaii Tornado96: New Super Mario Bros Wii, Video Camera and (Hopefully) more Knex stale56: A few video games,Tarn-X,IPod touch External Mic,Xbox 360 controllers,Cheap laser pointers, Flash drive and Duct and Electric Tape. knex gun builder: 2 RC Helicoptors, Suprise, Wii headset and Remote BrittLiv: A trip to the hard ware store SunBanks: Cahartt Jacket gruffalo child: A geiger counter, loads of books, some random things from her grandad's workshop, a hand-knitted jumper, ice-skates and a lop-sided picture

Posted by MegaMetal8 7 years ago

Electronic Toolkit

I do some work with the FIRST Robotics kids and it is amazing to see what they are doing.  Big problem though seems to be a general lack of electrical test equipment.  They don't really have the money to buy oscilloscopes, function generators, CAN and I2C analyzers.   So I got one of the M3 Discovery boards from STmicro and it is really cool.  It has four 5MS A/Ds on it plus a whole host of other features(CAN, I2C, Serial etc.). So it got me thinking. Why couldn't we turn one of these chips into an "All-In-One" electrical toolkit and keep it cheap($50-$60, BOM ~$20).  It would be fairly easy to turnkey. I threw together some simple specs, what do people think. 1) Will supply general use drivers so a user can use the app or write their own. 2) Oscilloscope   a. Two Channel     i. 2MHZ of Analog Bandwidth per channel     ii. 10MS/s per channel     iii. Trigger on rising edge, falling edge, on-command, run-stop actions     iv. Datalogging for extended time periods at up to 10hz per channel (data stored directly to console),  maybe higher rate will  just have to see 3) Serial – 2 Ports   a. Multi selectable protocol w/slew control     i. RS232, RS422, RS485 4) CANBus – 1 port 5) I2C – 1 port 6) SPI  - 1 port 7) 8 Discrete User Selectable 8) Function Generator   a. Two Channel      i. 1MS/s small signal change      ii. 250kS/s full range change      iii. 0-3.3VDC buffered output  9) PWM - 4 Channels

Posted by ase4542 4 years ago

The How-Tos That You Do: Instructables Keep People In Step After Step After Step. - Instructables in Helio Mag

Here's an interview I did with Helio Mag in June 2007:The How-Tos That You Do: Instructables Keep People In Step After Step After Step.Perhaps your next door neighbor has an amazing recipe for apple pie, a friend (accidentally) learned how to break any padlock or hack into a university database or, better yet, you know how to make a light saber, and not just any light saber, but a dual-ended one -- la Darth Maul. It would be selfish to keep such priceless information under wraps.While there are numerous places to distribute such how-tos, it's Instructables that has a home for practically all of 'em - from 11 steps to producing an interactive multi-touch display, and building a crowd-stopping invisible bookshelf in nine, to a three-step guide to a cheap, home-made air conditioner.The site was launched in 2006 by the same innovative MIT alums who started Squid Labs, a collective that has developed over-your-head electronics (such as electrospun metallic nanowires and "E-Rope," which made TIME's Best Inventions 2005 list) and good-for the-world projects such as developing affordable eyeglasses for the Third World and custom solar power systems.These days, Instructables has upwards of two million hits a month and is truly a DIY haven where thousands of willing collaborators help each other DIY even better.From the company "control tower" in Alameda, California, Squid Lab's cofounder and Instructables CEO Eric Wilhelm spoke to Helio's Teena Apeles about demystifying processes and how everyone - including Dad - has an Instructable in them.continuedMore news and press about Instructables here.

Posted by ewilhelm 10 years ago

(newsletter) Nintendo MP3 Player, Paint with Light, Zen Art...

Jan 15, 2009 Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; }"/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup1","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); } Welcome back!It's cold here in the northern hemisphere! (OK, it's 70F here in SF, but Robot is still knitting another scarf - best to be prepared.) Regardless of your climate, show us some great ways to fight the chill in the Stay Warm Contest, and win a sleeping bag!Reuse and recycle! Show off a clever reuse for a plastic bottle in the Tap'dNY Keep the Bottle Contest and win a Voltaic solar-charging backpack!The Craftsman Workshop of the Future Contest finalists are up! See all the entries who are moving on to Round 2 here! The winners of the Homemade Holidays: Holiday Gifts Contest have been announced! See who won! Fast Foam Lathe by marc.cryan Duct Tape Guide by lukethebook333 Open Manufacturing How to Build 30 Kits by Stuart.Mcfarlan Make Your Leather Boots Last Forever by ehmbee View the finalists! Win a Voltaic solar-charging backpack! Make an Art Bowl from a Plastic Bottle by gulguvenc Snow Arch by AndrewM Make Simple PVC Flutes by Jnkyrdguy Paint with Light by CYNICALifornia Cheap Car Underbody Lights by zerox61 Zen Art With A Water Bottle by domestic_engineer Lined Messenger Bag by cwickham Giant Fake Vacuum Tube by DirkGently Share your best way to fight the cold and win a sleeping bag! See who won! ReUse ReMake Crayons by SomArtMama Pirate Treasure from Trash by 1gruviscrapper Nintendo Controller MP3 Player by ryan97128 Pill Bottle Lamp by wholman Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric Sign-up for this newsletter: function openSubscribePopUp(src){ var emailValidate = /\w{1,}[@][\w\-]{1,}([.]([\w\-]{1,})){1,3}$/ if(emailValidate.test(src.value) == false){ alert("Please enter correct email"); return; }"/newsletter/newslettersignup?email=" + src.value,"newslettersignup2","status=yes,scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,width=420,height=250"); }

Posted by fungus amungus 9 years ago

Low pressure pneumatic grid (1 to 4 psi) to use small wind, small hydro and small solar power?

I have used low pressure air and a simple "airlift pump"  to cycle water around a "pallet  Garden" since August.  This meant that very little water was being used but the plants were growing really well.   the air comes from an aquarium bubble pump and it is about 1 psi.  The pallet garden is almost 20 ft from the little bubble pump.   Recently I decided to do something similar in my greenhouse, but it is 120 ft from the little pump and there is no electrical socket close.  So reluctantly I bought another 120 ft of 1/4 inch tubing to send the air to the greenhouse.  I didn't expect it to work at that distance.  But it is working great. Why not use air instead of electricity to move the energy from "toy" windmills in gardens? Or from low head small water power?  I bet anyone could make a compressor to make 1 PSI.  It is orders of magnitude easier than making a direct water pump or converting the energy to electrical and then back again in a pump.  An airlift pump is just a vertical tube in the water.    How simple is that!   and it is darn cheap too.  You can use this for pumping water (Highest I ever got was 18 ft with 1 psi) or just bubbling air into a fishpond or to actually move the water in small water features.   Or of course in the pallet garden or in aquaponics.  And even thought this energy is useful at that scale it can never ever be made worthwhile to share it electrically.  But maybe your grid could extend to your neighbours garden too?  You could have an interconnector if you or they have a bit of excess pneumatic power!

Posted by gaiatechnician 5 years ago

USB-phone of perfect voice quality on sale

Our company has many kinds of USB Skype Phone. Each design das more than 10 colours.1 Without screen:100% digital timbre with high quality, the same as PSTN2 U-disk: inside 128M U-dsik. It can be changed as the clients wish, save the charge of another U-disk take the files and phone with you, small and convenient.3 LCM:128*64 LCM, it can show multi-language and information of calls wonderfully, has many designs4 LCD:640 LCD、support English display, each letter shows 5*5 dot matrix. Better than common LCD5 Earphone port:Beside common features, it can use earphone to answer the phone, let your hands free.6 Desktop:Has the speaker function, use as the normal telephone, can be used as the loudhailer of your PCUSB Phone is the communication equipment that connected to the USB port of the computer, through the Internet; make a PC-to-PC call or a PC-to-phone call by Skype or other software. It offers high voice quality and cheap cost for the clients. It can call other PC or PSTN like common phones, or can be used as audio-device of PC or other voice massager software. It has special design as a mobile phone, used as a mobile phone, more convenient for making a call.Compare with common phones, USB phones don’t use the PSTN but the Internet. In the WAN, you can keep in touch with your families, friends, or clients, if you have a USB phone. When you communication with you Skype members, it is for free at all.Linkman:EricaSkype: erica888wQQ: 541006495MSN: c888160@hotmail.comTel: +86-755-27918959, 26626155,22015114LEAD TECHNOLOG DEVELOPMENT CO.,

Posted by cobbyzhou 11 years ago

Kombucha or sprout heater from a potpourri pot or other appliance?

I need something to heat a bucket of kombucha tea to 70 degrees Fahrenheit when the heat is off in the kitchen where I will be keeping it. The temperature dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in there. I also need something to warm sprouting jars, which I'll be keeping on a shelf that I plan to enclose with a window blind or something else to keep the heat in, but allow ventilation. I don't think I need a thermostat for either of these. The temperature doesn't have to be exact. For the kombucha, I could buy a heating pad for $60 or a heat belt for $20 and pay to have them shipped or I could go to the local aquarium store and buy some fish tank heaters, but I'd prefer to spend less, make something myself out of something old and not support an aquarium store. I'm not a big fan of fish prisons. The thrift stores around here have lots of old appliances for $2-$5 each. I thought I could make heaters using the heating element of one of the small potpourri pots I've seen at Goodwill. I saw online that these pots are heated with a wire wrapped around the (irremovable) pot. Any thoughts on how I could make heaters with this heating element that are safe and not too hot? Any ideas using other appliances? Another option would be to find a cheap heating pad (for heating people) without auto shutoff and use that on the Kombucha at least. I'm not sure that that would be warm enough though, but maybe it's a more worthwhile option that trying to make a heater. What do you think? Should I forget making something for the Kombucha and look for a heating pad instead? Thanks for your help.

Posted by vegagitator 9 years ago

Steam generator for a home-made steam room

I love steam rooms. i want to build one out behind our house in the country in thailand. but it has to be low-tech. i'm thinking i'll make a square wall out of cinderblocks, about 4 feet high. then my shower will stick up from that .we don't have running water. we get water pumped from the well into big jars and use a bowl to splash water on ourselves to wash. but i put a submersible pump in the bottom of the jar, rigged up some PVC pipe and i have a shower of sorts. so if i build a 4 foot high square wall, with a doorway, i can pull a thick piece of foam over the top to cover the top, hang a rubber curtain across the doorway opening, and have an enclosed, outdoor room that i can steam up and sweat the gunk out, then stand up, flip off the insulating cover and shower right there. the steam room will go right behind me and the jars in the shower picture- where you can see a little bit of grass growing. but how do i make a steam generator? commercial ones cost way more dollars (baht) than i need to spend. i can use propane from a tank for fire, or wood, or charcoal. the well water is very hard water with a lot of dissolved minerals in it so my steam generator can't be something that will get clogged up with mineral deposits. anybody got any ideas? the steam generator needs to be cheap, home-build-able with local materials, and safe... don't want anything that can blowup, catch fire, or asphyxiate the users.

Posted by Thaikarl 10 years ago

12v to 6v voltage regulator at about 15 amps

Hi, i have a 1963 VW bug that is very stock, but the 6v lights just dont work very well (dim at idle, then not too bright at speed) it is very simple to use a later 12v generator and then swap out all the lights, battery, coil and relays and it works great. BUT i have a 6v wiper motor and also a 6v gasoline heater that i will need to keep at 6v (the 12v parts are just not available or too expensive) I have found an article that recommends building a cheap voltage regulator using a 7806, ( 6 volt, 1 amp regulator) and 2 1uF 35v tantalum capacitors, then a NPN transistor which the original poster says is a 2N5881 npn transistor. here is the scematic. the pdf article is attached and the link to the original article is here  The questions i have 1. what is a 2n5881 been replaced as? i cannot find it at jameco and the original posted doesn't give any specs for it. 2. how would i "pump up" the amps available from 10 to anything else (looking for about 15 amps) thinking that the npn transistor is the key but i am new to this and wouldn't even begin to know where to look. 3. what happens if any item fails? can i put some sort of safety into this so it quits rather than passing any addition voltage through additional info the heater runs at about 85 watts so 85 watts / 6volts = 14.616 amps  the wipers run at much less than that so building 2 of this would work great.  Any ideas? Thanks in advance for any insight to this 

Posted by starvin 6 years ago

welding cast iron to mild steel

Welding cast iron to mild steel is for the most part done with ornamental iron such as gates and fences. the ornaments are typicaly cast iron such as spearpoints and fit over the top of what ever square tubing size ect you are working with. If you weld say with a mig welder in the normal mannor you rweld will cold roll and ball on you leaving a poor appearance that you will have to spend time grinding to make look good. Fortunatly it is not a matter of strenght or how much penetration ect. It is just ornamentation but must look good. Now take your mig welder with say 035 wire and use pure argon..(less spatter). Turn your welders heat up somewhat past what your normanl setting would be for what ever thickness you are using. Use breif spot welding like techniques overlapping as needed. You will find that this makes a good wash bead with no undercut or cold roll. The argon gas helps to keep down all the extra spatter welding cast iron to mild steel seems to cause. Larger peices such as caps for say 4by4 gate posts or fence posts, i preheat as uniformely as possibly to just under cherry red then weld as described. It welds badly because cast iron is actualy dirty, literaly with particles of dirt in the cheap castings, wich the ornaments are. Not haviong the need to be anealed or nodular for instance. If the welds are not going to show then you dont have to do this. It will still weld, just do not expect the clean perfect welds you are used to.  And NO I do not have PICS AND I dont own a digital camera nor do i know how to use one let alone put them on a computer.

Posted by beserker 6 years ago

Grow Our Own!- the big idea

Hey there Makers and Instructors! It's me, Maxwell and I have an idea to help feed people collaboratively, and I would like some advice on how to establish a collaborative barter network of people who want to or do grow food(mostly vegetables,herbs, and fruit,or even canned varieties for those who preserve) I call it Grow Our Own, or Let's Live! Participants would barter fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds, plants, etc, and a climate of information,instruction,and encouragement. This might take place at either gatherings on weekends in specific places, personal meetings, or through a distribution system I haven't figured out yet.(advice?) There would be a system to enhance diversity, as well,so you wouldn't just end up with an enormous beefsteak tomato glut,( kind of a grow what you want, but please if there's space a little of this?) Ideally, this would increase nutrition, oxygen, biodiversity, provide useful growing information to a hungry somewhat ignorant populace , promote responsible water and waste use ,and bypass at least some economic cycle problems. I want to establish a network of smaller more local groups to also encourage people to propagate fruit, herbs, and vegetables,(especially heirloom varieties) and to instruct and engender a system of distribution and instruction. I definitely think composting is a strong part of this. I also think that trying to find unused spaces and getting permission to grow on them might help grow abundance, as long as vandalism can be avoided.Admittedly over my head. I would also like to encourage this for partial-subsistence growing in urban areas. I feel each apartment building roof, balcony and courtyard that can hold even transient plant life should be split between solar power, raingathering, and semisubsistance food growing. If this is done collaboratively, it will begin to snowball and will become more common.This would effectively improve life for some poorer people with less nutritional access due to economic factors. (If the fast food industry served actually nutritious food at it's locations at the prices it has gummed up America's vascular systems and organs, it would be one of the most effective nutritive food distribution systems in the world, instead of the casually despotic mutilator of bodies it is.(bovine AND primate) That may have sounded harsh, and I apologize if your love of a Double Supersize Mc Twinky Burger supersedes your desire to survive, that's your choice and I respect it, I was making an example, not inviting the hate. Houses with arable land now foolishly wasting water on lawns should be growing food. This not only could increase air quality and continue to localize moisture, but could reduce economic burden on many families, and therefore incrementally reduce municipal strain. This also can help mitigate graywater and reduce system load and waste. We have gotten too used to the system of aloof receivership in our modern societies. We must relearn to grow our own food, make our own things, understand the processes that keep us alive on Earth. I know you understand. Linear systems are unrealistic in a universe of cycles, let alone a world of cycles. We can live better by working together, because that's how the planet works. Sympathetic and Symbiotic processes naturally facilitate unity and if we work with what of the Earth we haven't paved over, or create more space to grow food in, we may counteract some of the damage we have done and stop so much waste. We may even teach people to eat more nutritiously, I'll bet. We must reteach ourselves to seek knowledge and wisdom rather than solace and escape, teach our children the ways of responsible stewardship of sustenance and comfort. I am going to put together what I can of the idea into a simple website soon. I want to reach people with that message, though I don't know if I am much of a frontman.So let's do it together. If we work together we can help each other survive better. Isn't that what's really important? Thank you for any advice, oh yes, and please don't assume I am Omniscient Superfarmer, I'm trying to learn too, any useful information will be appreciated! Let's Live! Cheers and Hope, have a great day! Maxwell (btw,I've already sent this, somewhat paraphrased in email form to: The Buckminster Fuller,, The We Campaign, The Theodor Payne Foundation and many others, but any suggestions? You also may send it to whoever you think may help.) I admit I'm excited!

Posted by Subconscionaut 10 years ago

Cant acces draft due to bug and login error using FB

Here is the full report and what my draft now looks like.  This happened on wenesday the 21st at approximitly 12h30pm.  Don't waste any time trying to find it (if possible), I had saved my txt on notepad and had just started on the website so no big deal really!  New pic uploader doesnt seem to like me either :( Love this website, I'm not even complaining but when you're as good as you are, things can only get better.  And we need to get you something to do on this almost perfect website ;)  !!!  Just kiding  @(^.^)@   Thank you for your time and hard work. Davin-Cheap javax.servlet.jsp.JspException: ServletException in '/common/layout_bootstraped.jspx': ServletException in '/pages/explore/type/instructable_content.jsp': java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException at org.apache.tiles.taglib.InsertTag$InsertHandler.doEndTag( at org.apache.tiles.taglib.InsertTag.doEndTag( at _jsp._pages._explore._type._instructable__jsp._jspService( at com.caucho.jsp.JavaPage.service( at com.caucho.jsp.Page.pageservice( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.PageFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.webapp.DispatchFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.ServletInvocation.service( at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.include( at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.include( at com.instructables.servlet.ActionServlet.sendToJspPage( at com.instructables.servlet.ActionServlet.handleResult( at com.instructables.servlet.ActionServlet.prepare( at com.instructables.servlet.ActionServlet.doGet( at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service( at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.ServletFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.filters.GzipFilter.doFilter( at com.instructables.filter.FilterWrapperFilter.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.FilterFilterChain.doFilter( at com.instructables.filter.HibernateSessionRequestFilter.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.FilterFilterChain.doFilter( at com.instructables.filter.TemporaryProFilter.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.FilterFilterChain.doFilter( at com.instructables.filter.TemporaryPasswordFilter.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.FilterFilterChain.doFilter( at com.instructables.filter.SecurityFilter.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.FilterFilterChain.doFilter( at com.instructables.filter.SetupFilter.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.FilterFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.webapp.WebAppFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.ServletInvocation.service( at com.caucho.server.http.HttpRequest.handleRequest( at at com.caucho.util.ThreadPool.runTasks( at at Caused by: javax.servlet.ServletException: javax.servlet.jsp.JspException: ServletException in '/pages/explore/type/instructable_content.jsp': java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException at com.caucho.jsp.PageContextImpl.handlePageException( at _jsp._common._layout_0bootstraped__jspx._jspService( at com.caucho.jsp.JavaPage.service( at com.caucho.jsp.Page.pageservice( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.PageFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.webapp.DispatchFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.ServletInvocation.service( at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.include( at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.include( at com.caucho.jsp.PageContextImpl.include( at com.caucho.jsp.PageContextImpl.include( at org.apache.tiles.TilesUtilImpl.doInclude( at org.apache.tiles.TilesUtil.doInclude( at org.apache.tiles.taglib.InsertTag.doInclude( at org.apache.tiles.taglib.InsertTag$InsertHandler.doEndTag( ... 36 more Caused by: javax.servlet.jsp.JspException: ServletException in '/pages/explore/type/instructable_content.jsp': java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException at org.apache.tiles.taglib.InsertTag$InsertHandler.doEndTag( at org.apache.tiles.taglib.InsertTag.doEndTag( at _jsp._common._layout_0bootstraped__jspx._jspService( ... 49 more Caused by: javax.servlet.ServletException: javax.servlet.jsp.el.ELException: java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException at com.caucho.jsp.PageContextImpl.handlePageException( at _jsp._pages._explore._type._instructable_0body_0instructable_0bootstrapped__jsp._jspService( at com.caucho.jsp.JavaPage.service( at com.caucho.jsp.Page.pageservice( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.PageFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.webapp.DispatchFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.ServletInvocation.service( at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.include( at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.include( at com.caucho.jsp.PageContextImpl.include( at _jsp._pages._explore._type._instructable_0body_0bootstrapped__jsp._jspService( at com.caucho.jsp.JavaPage.service( at com.caucho.jsp.Page.pageservice( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.PageFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.webapp.DispatchFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.ServletInvocation.service( at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.include( at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.include( at com.caucho.jsp.PageContextImpl.include( at _jsp._pages._explore._type._instructable_0content__jsp._jspService( at com.caucho.jsp.JavaPage.service( at com.caucho.jsp.Page.pageservice( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.PageFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.webapp.DispatchFilterChain.doFilter( at com.caucho.server.dispatch.ServletInvocation.service( at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.include( at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.include( at com.caucho.jsp.PageContextImpl.include( at com.caucho.jsp.PageContextImpl.include( at org.apache.tiles.TilesUtilImpl.doInclude( at org.apache.tiles.TilesUtil.doInclude( at org.apache.tiles.taglib.InsertTag.doInclude( at org.apache.tiles.taglib.InsertTag$InsertHandler.doEndTag( ... 51 more Caused by: javax.servlet.jsp.el.ELException: java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException at com.caucho.el.StaticMethodExpr.evalMethod( at com.caucho.el.FunctionExpr.evalObject( at _jsp._pages._explore._type._instructable_0body_0instructable_0bootstrapped__jsp._jspService( ... 82 more Caused by: java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException at sun.reflect.GeneratedMethodAccessor853.invoke(Unknown Source) at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke( at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke( at com.caucho.el.StaticMethodExpr.evalMethod( ... 84 more Caused by: java.lang.NullPointerException

Posted by Davin-Cheap 5 years ago

A good way to add a variable speed controller for my re-made Hobbies fretsaw.

Hi folks. I did ask this in the questions section but only got one reply which suggested I didn't really need one so I thought before I start on it I would give the forums a try. I have decided I want to add a variable speed foot controller to my re-made hobbies fretsaw. My question is what do you guys out there think would be the easiest, least costly (cheap) way of doing it? I have given some thought to using a foot controller from a sewing machine possibly because this thing started life as a treadle fret saw & I guess it seems fitting that it should follow a similar evolution as the sewing machine. I know very little about sewing machine controllers so if anyone has any ideas regarding this I would welcome them. I plan to include an isolator switch on the machine itself, it seems a good idea as we have a small grandson who visits very often as well as two dogs & 'ible the kitten, as much as I try to keep them out of my tiny workshop it sometimes seems as if I am the only person in the house who has mastered the skill of closing the door so with all those feet around I want to be able to kill the power when I am not actually cutting. I plan to do an 'ible about the job so I will happily give credit where it is due to any to any body/bodies that comes up with any ideas I use. So there you go guys what does the combined genius of the 'ibling world have to suggest for my little project?

Posted by Nostalgic Guy 8 years ago

Magnetic actuators - anyone here ever made one?

Magnetostrictive alloys like Galfenol are not only quite cheap but also quite possible to produce and machine at home. As it seems that right now I can't finnish anything without being stopped by something else that got my attention I am a bit stuch on all ends now LOL Anyway, I still have a few kg of rare elements like Gallium, Bismuth, Antimony and such that I misused for my testing of home made ferrites. So apart from making some fancy metals that melt at very low temperatures I thought a much better test usage would be to make something that for once has some real world use :) If you look up some of the research papers for Galfenol use or magnetostrictive materials in general you soon learn two things: a) You need a degree or have studied something related to fully understand the technical stuff behind it. b) Finding something that would give you enough info to make something that works as planned is next to impossible. I don't mind wasting some time on melting steel, machining some samples and do some testing but of course this takes a lot of time... So I was wondering if anyone here already experimented with magnetostrictive materials and their possible uses? Apart from micro actuators for minature things I don't have I was thinking of generator use. A lot of things produce wanted and unwanted vibrations, magnetostrictive alloys are capable of transforming them into electrical energy by simply using a coil around the material. For example the recoil of your favourite hunting rifle could in theory charge your dot sight or laser sight/flashlight. Or the otherwise useless vibrations of big machines or rock tumblers can be turned into something to charge your phone. Not to mention impact sensors or flat surface loudspeakers....

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago

Excercise car?

What I am designing (and planning on working on very soon) is a vehicle with the possible speed of a gokart, but with a propulsion system similar to a bike. The mechanism itself would be a simple push pedal (like a car) but with a gear system like a bicycle. Upon pushing down the pedal, a shaft connected too it would then push against the foremost gear. and that gear would push another and so on until it comes in contact with the rear wheel, propelling it forward. A simple spring between the pedal and floor will allow the pedal to return to the original position. However I cannot seem to get the steering and brake system down right. Should the steering be that of a car and use 2 wheels on the front with a long axel connecting the 2? or more like a bike, with a one wheel turning system. (aka. should it be a 4 wheel or 3 wheel? Might depend on weight distribution and balance, though both could be possible.) and how should the brakes be arranged? a pedal, like a normal car brake, or a stick beside the driver, like an emergency break, as well as where the brake pad would come into contact with the rear. On the axel or on the wheels? Last (and most definitely not the least) is that while this vehicle must be sturdy, it must also be light weight. So any and all material recommendations for parts would be greatly appreciated. (cheap would also be appreciated) (My thought for material) chasis - light, but firm (strong) wood. axels - aluminum or steel tires - Gokart/ riding lawn mower turning wheel/steering - wood or plastic seat - whatever I can find that's soft (not a major thing) safty belt - I may not be able to test out the prototype (kinda thick) so I need the crash test dum *ahem* "driver" to survive incase a crash were to happen. brake pad - rubber so that it causes the right amount of friction but not enough to damage any parts.

Posted by curvy77 5 years ago

Induction heater 2.0

Some might have already tried my first induction heater, which was more a proof of concept than a modern device. Although I like to keep things simple where possible I want to upgrade my heater to a fully electronic version running on mains power. This time the base concept is to use a cheap induction cooktop for the control and power source. After using a few already as a communication device I realised it is a costly way of producing smoke signs but I am getting on the right track with the design now. So my obvious questions are: 1. Did actually anyone ever built my current induction heater and if so, can you provide some nice pics? 2. If you were interested in a hobby induction heater, what would like to do with it?     E.g: Just for curiosity on how it works, heat treatment of punches, chisels and similar,     heat treating knifes or even swords, sheet metal work.... 3. What would like to have included?     E.g: Water cooling for continous use, air cooling (mostly for smaller and quick jobs), exchangable coils,     additional micro controller for temp, water and remote control (foot panel or similar)... 4. Do you require a fully shielded version to avoid interference? 5. If you are based in AU (preferable VIC): Would you be able to donate me faulty (partially or fully) or working induction cooktops,     for example discarded units with broken glass tops?     Would you able to donate me copper tubing OD8mm or less? Leftovers from pluming installations, old LPS systems or similar?     Prefered lenght 1m or longer as the coils need quite a few turns... :(     Each donor will of course be listed in the Instructable unless you prefer to remain unnamed. Let me know what you think because this time I am not just building for myself, this time it is for you!

Posted by Downunder35m 2 years ago

Buy a Galileoscope! *Update* It's HERE!

I wish I'd posted this a while ago, but I think I was remembering a post in some other forum as being on here. I'm not selling these or making money, I just think it's cool.2009 is the International Astronomical Union's International Year of Astronomy, in recognition of both Galileo's first recorded astronomical observations and Kepler's publishing Astronomia Nova. As a part of this whole thing, the Galileoscope was created.Although most astronomers/telescope enthusiasts discourage buying telescopes of this size, because they are usually crap, and just discourage you with lousy views, this one was designed by professional astronomers. While it is largely plastic to keep costs down, the lenses are high-quality glass achromatic doublet lenses, which are usually found in much more expensive 'scopes. The other cool part about this project is that you can anonymously donate a telescope, and it will be sent to someone who can use it, whether it's a homeschooling family in Iowa or a schoolhouse in southeast Asia.Oh, and the best part: the telescope is $15. You really can't beat that price, and shipping is only $8.95 in the US. If you donate one, it's $12.50 with no shipping charges. I bought one, even though I have a larger telescope, as a more portable one for quick peeks at planets and to take on trips.Buy one! Or two! And donate some! They're cheap!Update 30 Aug 09: due to increased manufacturing costs since they started production, the price has been raised to $20 plus shipping to buy one, and $15 with no shipping to donate one. Still a heck of a deal, though.Second Update 2 September 09: ZOMG IT'S HERE! I should have just ordered the thing when I first heard about it. I was order #22,670, and the first 20,000 were shipped in mid-June. I have it, though, and I'll be posting an Instructable with assembly instructions as soon as I get around to it, and pictures taken through it once this stupid overcast blows over.

Posted by CameronSS 9 years ago

Top LED Instructables

The number of awesome LED Instructables keeps increasing, and we want to show them off! We have an older list of top LED Instructables, but within the space of a year and a half, including the very successful Let it Glow! and Get the LED Out! Contests, we've gotten many more cool projects that light up with color due to LEDs. Here are, in no particular order, 10 more great LED Instructables for you to try (or just admire): LED Chess Set With some dedicated modifying, you can turn a cheap glass chess set into a beautiful, glowing version. It also inspired another Instructable, the Simpler LED Chess Set.   Synchronizing Fireflies A favorite of randofo's , this series of LEDs shows a possible way that fireflies synchronize lighting up at the same time. Turn Signal Biking Jacket Hand signals, meet technology: a biking jacket with controllable glowing turn signals built in. 4x4x4 LED Cube Make light-based designs and patterns come to life with a large cube of LEDs. Animated Multilayered Engravings Transform a simple engraving into an animated piece of art with LEDs. LED Pasties The LED pasties became an instant classic--a very simple, very creative upgrade of burlesque pasties. Daft Punk Replica Table The squares on top of this table light up individually and can be programmed to make patterns and designs. LED Creatures These LED creatures can be programmed to recognize each other and can be a great project for kids and beginner LEDers. Hard Hat LED Display Geeks and construction workers are not often associated, but this hard hat bridges the gap with its LED Pong display. Fiber Optic and LED Garden Make a glowing garden that looks good both day and night and never needs to be watered. Choosing these 10 was very difficult--there are an enormous number of great LED projects on Instructables.Enjoy these projects, and let there be light-emitting diodes!

Posted by joshf 10 years ago

Heat gun mod question

I am not an electrician but I like to tinker. I am just getting started with DIY type electronics kits and I have decent soldering skills. I cant say I am an expert at reading prints, but I can usually build a simple schmatic. I wish to disassemble a heat gun for parts and add in a potentiometer to vary the heat, another potentiometer to control the airflow, and a digital temperature probe with temp display. I am attempting to build a heat generating device with precise control of the temperature and airflow. I dont really want to spend $150 on a fancy LED digital display heat gun with variable heat dial, so this is my next option and potentially a heck of a lot more fun. Initially I just want to get the variable heat and airflow control(potentiometers) hooked up, and if it will be easy enough I can later install the temp display. I could always just use a cheap "laser" temp probe to check the temp and ensure it is fairly stable. The heat gun I am looking at is a piece of junk and it only has 2 temp settings. How easy is it to install a potentiometer for varying the heat and one for the airflow? I assume I can just install the one for heat control inline after the circuit that sets the maximum heat level and dial in the temp I want. As for the airflow control I assume I could do the same thing, but instead put it before the power lead feeding the fan. I am not an electrical engineer so I want to make sure this will work first before I fry my cheapo $20 heat gun. Would it be bettter to just gut the entire thing and work with the naked parts and install my own circuit to control and display the temp or could I keep the basic unit intact and mod from there? Any ideas, or a basic schematic that would satisfy this requirement would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by RokGoblin 9 years ago

accelerometer based mouse, what happens when tilted

I got a free dual axis low g accelerometer from freescale, the output voltage is proportional to the g forces, I also have a ton of free PICmicro chips with I2C and A/D converters. I want to make a mouse just basically for proof of concept. I was thinking about how to program it, since I want to tell the computer the "movement since last request", I would need to calculate the speed using the g force reading (9.8m/s2 = 1g)if the mouse is moving at a constant speed, the g force would be 0, and the speed would be the same as the last reading, also, gravity affects the reading if the mouse is tilted slightly, increasing the speed even if it is not moving at all, so I was thinking, if the mouse was tilted, and then balanced again, the speed would remain the same, causing annoyance to the user. this is the problem i would like to solve.Is there a space efficient way to make a accelerometer not affected by tilt? if not, is there any tricks I can use (such as detecting unusually uniform g force and automatically go into "joystick mode")? I have been thinking about using a thumb button to zero the speed (while held down, the mouse can also do "super precise mode" which means one pixel per half second no mater how fast), is the thumb button the way to go? how about sensor to see if there is contact with a surface? or four IR rangers to detect tilt while above a surface?side note: does anybody have a datasheet for ata1060xa? its a optical mouse sensor with built in 27mhz RF transmitter made by @lab, and they don't share datasheets.oh and head on over to cypress for free wireless usb modules (2.4ghz i think, multiple channels) if you are interested in cheap RF, i have two with 50 meter rangeinfo on mouses and keyboard serial interface found here

Posted by frank26080115 11 years ago

OK that's it. What do you want me to build?

I'm getting a knex bucket from my friend cheap tomarrow (or maybe today if the forum shows up late like always...) and so I'll have enough pieces to fufil most requests. I still have my "will replicate any gun" thread going so check that out if you want me to make a certain gun. I just really need to build something. I'm also itching for making some new innovative design so I need ideas. Tell me exactly what kind of gun you want (shotgun, sniper, sidearm?) and I'll see what I can do. I also want to get more videos up on youtube. (masterofthelines -check me out later on this summer to see what I'm up to. Hey maybe you'll eventually meet who I am under "TheDunkis") So yeah tell me any details but for the love of god IF IT INCLUDES ANYTHING ABOUT FULL AUTO I'M JUST GOING TO FLAT OUT IGNORE YOUR POST AND POSIBLY YOU FOR THE REST OF MY TOPIC. OK just had to get that out of the way. And I doubt I'll think of any new semi auto ideas but feel free to mention any other ideas you think might be possible. Oh yeah tell me does anyone right now feel interested in another M4 that both looks good and has a good working magazine and rail system? I made one before but ran out of pieces so I might rebuild it again. I found out most guns here can either look good and not be the best or they can work awesomely...and not look the best. I know most of my guns aren't the greatest quality and that's why I'm trying to improve and at least mine worked for the most part. ~TheDunkis~

Posted by TheDunkis 10 years ago

Question on using a Peltier/TEC device for air temperature control - Help please.

I want to have some control over the temperature inside the Orchidium I'm designing and I thought it might be cool :) to use a Peltier Device (device aka module) (Peltier aka TEC or Thermoelectric Cooler). I find I need a lot of help! (Please!) Alright, this isn't a completed Instructable, it's a plea for help, and maybe if the subjects lie in some of your fields of knowledge then we can all enjoy and learn from it. So, the Orchidium I'm designing is an acrylic case 24"W x 18"D x 30"High. It's to grow species orchids indoors in a microclimate, with LED grow lights, proper humidity, air movement and temperature control. (Of course, other critters would like the case, too: poison dart frogs, newts, carniverous plants, etc.. But I'm going to call it the Orchidium.) I've got it all pretty well planned out so that it can be built for a very reasonable price (yes, including the LEDs) and still be aesthetically pleasing and real purdy, too. All planned out EXCEPT FOR THE TEMPERATURE CONTROL. I was looking for some way to cool my case and I stumbled across Peltier devices in eBay. They are CHEAP, costing about $5 or more, depending on the Wattage, etc. The eBay sellers intimated that all you have to do is plug them in and the device gets ice cold. Later, with diligent web-study I learned that actually ONE SIDE of the peltier gets cold, while the other side gets hot. Also, you MUST attach a heat sink and fan to both (?) sides of the peltier. Also, that these devices are not ready to be plugged in; you must attach a DC power supply to them. Oh, another trick that these miraculous devices do is reverse their hot & cold sides when you reverse the polarity of their juice. Ideally, I would like a Peltier device with heatsinks, fans, a thermostat and a DC wall transformer attached... the Peltier/heatsinks/fans would measure about 2" x 2" x 6" and would be mounted in the sidewall of the Orchidium. When the temperature is 65-85F degrees the orchids are happy and the device is Off. But when the thermostat senses the internal temp going over 85F it turns on the Peltier, cold side inside, and so the inside of the case doesn't go up to 90-95F like mine does now; it cools the case a little. Conversely, for someone with chilly orchids or sneezing newts the thermostat would switch the Peltier to hot-side-in to heat the Orchidium a bit. The retail cost for us to buy a Peltier device, 2 heatsinks w/fans and a DC transformer is cheap... roughly $30. The thermostat might be cheap, but I don't know enough about what's needed. If it's too expensive then the Orchidium can do without it. I was hoping I could find an off-the-shelf Orchidium cooler/heater. No such luck. These miraculous Peltier devices are still practically undiscovered -- relatively speaking. People want to use them to cool their computer chips but are hampered by condensation; my orchids welcome condensation. Pathetically, it seems the most common use for Peltiers now is to cool/heat the little boxes on your car seat... they plug into your cigarette lighter and keep your 6-pack cold. Come on! You folks at Instructables can surely help me figure out how to best make an Orchidium cooler with this barely-discovered and poorly-utilized device. I started out a few weeks ago writing to many of the Peltier manufacturers around the world in hopes they might help me in choosing which of their modules I might purchase for my Orchidium. None of them was any help. They wanted to know how many million Orchidiums I planned per year. They told me my basic plan was hopeless or inefficient cost-wise. A Swedish company wanted $800. An American company wanted $500. Some other company wanted $5,000 to $8,000. I wrote back and said I could get a Peltier on eBay for five bucks. The Swedes snottily claimed that their Peltiers were very high quality. No. No way is any svensker Peltier $795 better than ANY other Peltier in the known universe. They both get cold and grow ice crystals on one side. I just need to cool the case A LITTLE BIT, like from 90 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I am not trying to make a refrigerator or freezer. The case (Orchidium) is large, at about 7.5 cubic feet, and there is practically no insulation. Acrylic provides a little insulation, that's all. The temp of the interior of the case is derived from the ambient room temperature of your house... and the lights... which is why I designed it with LEDs. There is a constantly-operating muffin fan inside the case to provide air movement for the plants, but it does not provide any evaporative cooling since it's a closed case. So, first off what size Peltier do you recommend... do you think a 40 Watt would be enough, or what? Next, the placement. I envision the Peltier device mounted vertically through a hole in the side of the case. It might be a plan to mount it in the ceiling, but remember that the LEDs take up most of the ceiling. Next, the heatsinks. I confess I'm not totally clear on this, but I "think" that 2 heatsinks-with-fans may be needed, with one sticking out the outside and the other inside the case. I went ahead and got 2 heatsink/fans from Newegg for supercheap ($1 after rebate), but they aren't really what I want. They're actually shaped to fit some AMD chip. What I think I need is a copper heatsink with a flat bottom a little bigger than the Peltier, and fins... and a heatsink fan attached... and some way to attach it to the Peltier, and through the case to the other heatsink. See? Simple... well it should be but I can find nothing. Next, the power supply. I know it has to be DC, but I don't know which brick to get. I did find a bunch of DC or AC Wall Transformers for sale at alltronics... around $10 or so. All that stuff would be enough... at least to test the cooling power. But if we want to go whole hog then the icing on the cake would be thermostatic control of the Peltier. Well, I throw that out in case one of you is sharp in that field.

Posted by Knuten 10 years ago

Instructables Book Contest Winners

Instructables is happy to announce the winners of the Book Contest. All of these Instructables will receive a mention in the Best of Instructables Volume 1 and the authors will receive a copy of the book when it comes out this fall.Some of the Instructables here have also been selected by O'Reilly editors to be fully reproduced in the book as well.Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you for making great Instructables that inspire everyone else.InstructableAuthorLED ThrowiesQ-BranchInvisible Book ShelfdorxincandelandLaser Flashlight Hack!!KipkayMintyBoost! - Small battery-powered USB chargerladyadaDIY Compact Survival KitledzeppieHow to make a cardboard costume helmetHonusturn signal biking jacketleahbuechleyAudio Visual Art....FOTC Stylescooter76Wall-E Robot4mem8Paper WallettheRIAAScreen Printing: Cheap, Dirty, and At Hometracy_the_astonishingMunny Speakersfungus amungusKnex Heavy CannonI_am_CanadianHow to Make Playdough (Play-doh)canidaLED Chess SetTetranitrateSew your own Instructables Robot Plushie!jessyratfinkDIY Vinyl Wall ArtbritsteinerBluetooth Handgun Handset for your iPhone: iGiveUpManaEnergyPotionEasy to Build Desk Top 3 Axis CNC Milling MachineTom McWireBuild Your Own Butler Robot!!! - Tutorial,Photos, and VideoErobotsHow to build a 96-Volt Electric MotorcycleKentucky-bumHow To: Make Bath BombsSoapyHollowSteampunk Dystopian Sniper Rifle (Mercury Bow)gmjhoweSave $200 in 2 minutes and have the worlds best writing penkingantConcrete Lightbulb Wall HookwhamodyneLight Bulb LampbumpusLightbulb "green"houseLinuxH4x0rInstructables Robot -- Paper Model=SMART=How to Build a Robot - The BeetleBot v2 ( Revisited )robomaniacWallet made from a computer keyboardzieakhow to add EL wire to a coat or other garmentenlightedGandhi: 17' Tall Cardboard AvatardelappeTure Trigger, 10 Round, Auto-Loading, Knex Concept Rifle, by bannana inventorbannana inventorHow to build your own Jet EnginerusswmooreShake it like a Tic-Tac!MrMunkiCyber/Steampunk Futuresque Sci-Fi Hand GungmjhoweHow to Make a Marshmallow Gun or Marshmallow ShooterewilhelmHow to build a 72Volt electric motorcycleStrykerFriends Are Easy To MakecuteaznprincesssBuilding Small Robots: Making One Cubic Inch Micro-Sumo Robots and Smallermikey77Portable 12V Air Conditioner --Cheap and easy!CameronSSHow to Make a TRON Style Lamp: The MADYLIGHTGreg MadisonGiant MatchTetranitrateMagnetic Rubik's Dice CubeburzvingionHow to build a wood fired hot tubveloboyIron Man HelmetpmaggotHome-made Sun Jarcre8torGrow Your Own Bioluminescent Algae ScaryBunnyManConstruction of Two Portuguese Style Dinghies (Small Boats)rook999Uni-Directional WIFI Range Extendertm36usa"1UP Mushroom" Mushroom Burger!momo!Open Any PadlockTetranitrateCoilgun Handgunrwilsford07Electroforming an Iris Seed PodMaggieJs100 Ways to Reduce Your ImpactBrennn10Lego USB StickianhamptonSolar Powered Trikedpearce1How to Make a Three Axis CNC Machine (Cheaply and Easily)Stuart.McfarlanAirgun with eXplosive air-Release ValvechluaidChapStick LED FlashlightBCatAwesome led cubeAlexTheGreatBarbie Doll Electric Chair Science Fair Project!jessyratfinkDIY 3D ControllerkylemcdonaldThe Stirling Engine, absorb energy from candles, coffee, and more!thecheatscalcBuild a World's Smallest Electronic Shocker!PlasmanaSimulated woodgrain for metal boxesamz-fxHow to Grow Pineappleswoofboy111Creating a 3D effect with image editing software (GIMP or Photoshop)Andrew546S.P.R.E.E. (Solar Photovoltaic Renewable Electron Encapsulator), a Compact, Durable, and Portable Solar Energy GeneratorcharlitronHow to get a Tshirt for GoodHartRocketScientist2015Grow a square watermelonwatermelonBuild a 4 Color T-Shirt Printing PressProgfellowElectromagnetic FloaterJ_HodgieThe accidental pocket jet engine...killerjackalopeDigital Picture Framemicahdear

Posted by fungus amungus 10 years ago

A/V cables (Now RCA Inputs/Outputs)

I'm making a 3 way switcher on the cheap (of course) and was wondering if the negative wires of each plug could be put together (Left/Right/Video) and be hooked up to the same terminal. I would think so, as long as the positive wires were kept separate. Would it be alright to do it this way?Thanks :)Update:Here's what I ended up doing... just hooking the wires up to each input/output on the corresponding terminals of each. Each set (Red/White/Green. Yes, I used green... it doesn't really matter though, just pretend it's yellow :) ) needs 6 wires to be hooked up to them and then soldered onto the terminals of the others. Or in my case I soldered 6 wires onto each set, installed the rca units into the casing, and then soldered the correct wires together and taped them up to prevent them from touching each other. Pretty much a basic set-up.As you can see in the photos below, I haven't gotten around to finishing it up to make it look nice, but it does work very nicely (as long as you only have one input on at a time). If you're as fortunate as I was and land a nice deal like this, you can do pretty much whatever you want to do with them :) I've already got my monies worth just by making this, since the cheapest three way switcher around here is about $12, and this is a 7 way splitter (since it's not switchable) and I still have 52 more sets left.In the photo showing the back of the unit, you can see a small hole in the upper left corner. I was going to place a switch the so that the speaker could be turned on and off, but I didn't think the speaker would fit back in, so I misplaced it. I realize now that it will and I'll probably reinstall it and hook it up to a switch.I may even hook up some stereo jacks (taken from an old junk laptop) into either the left or right channel when I get around to it.

Posted by FrenchCrawler 11 years ago

Leah's etched laptop continues to be copied

I thought Leah's ad-supported laser-etched laptop was brilliant. When we were first talking about it, it was obvious that if she could pull it off, there would be a bunch of copy-cats trying to do the same thing. Obviously Squid Labs and Instructables are listed as sponsors, so I get a number of emails asking for further laser-sponsorship of laptops, and they always make me smile. Here's the latest, hope you enjoy the irony as much as I do: Dear Instructables-TeamIn the very near future I'll need a laptop for school. To finance that, I am planing to put Ad's onto the top of it.I am visiting a college of higher informatics. The school has more than 1000 students, teachers and other workers & visitors every day.My suggestion is a cheap way of advertising. The ad's would be laser etched into the top of the Laptop (made out of Aluminum). The Laptop has a size of about 40 by 27 cm (= about 14 by 10 inches).If you are looking at prices of an often-visited website for example, you'll get prices between 700 and 1000$'s PER MONTH for a little ad.For 1000$ you could cover the biggest part of the whole notebook, but you wont have to pay monthly. You only pay once, and the laptop will be used for 3 or 4 years. Also the laptop will be presented in the internet in several forums. I will post into a few forums myself, and make a little video about the laptop, and the company's that put ad's on it, and also other people will show around pictures of the project, because it's very unusual to do something like this.Of course you dont have to buy an ad for 1000$. Size, type of ad and therefor price are free of choice.I am looking forward to an answer !If interested, I could also send you some pictures how laser-etched things look like on a laptop and we could talk about data or prices if you are interested..

Posted by ewilhelm 11 years ago

Am I missing something or is this battery charger just insane?

I bought this cheap charger that charges 2 Li-ion 18650 on eBay: it charges them in PARALLEL!So if I put charge two batteries that have a different voltage, the charger will drain one and charge the other one at a pretty high current.If one battery is older, or has a different chemistry, it must not healthy to charge both.If I decide to charge only one, will it push too much current into it?If someone accidentally inserts one in reverse...If you want to charge 2 batteries that are exactly the same, make the charger a built-in feature in the device that uses the batteries, why disconnect them. Used batteries will always have a different voltage!I used to charge them with this cheaper charger, but I recently found out it charges them to 4.30V sometimes, and I want to be able to charge more than one at once...I don't care about charge time since I have a bunch of batteries always ready to use, prefer not to have our house burn down, but don't want to spend too much $ on a charger. Watt do you think of these? I don't want to pay 8x the price to have a charger tell me the voltage and be limited by USB cable's current... ("smartest" & most expensive. Still, only tells the voltage) (confusing) (not "smart" but seems the best IMO) (Hmmm...)Because we all know what can happen with an 18650 gets angry... Though I have used this charger to charge 15 y/o 19650s that were 0V, back to normal and they are like new now...

Posted by Yonatan24 3 months ago

Hidden dangers of receips and dockets printed on thermal paper

Ever wondered how these thermal papers for your fax machine or supermarket docket work? Nothing that is printed by fast machines for you these days uses ink when it comes to cheaply producing a parking docket for example. If you played around with these papers you already know they turn black when you apply heat. A soldering iron at low heat makes a nice pencil on them... But what if you pet or kid loves to play with these papers? Often they like do just jast with the receipt for your fast food if found inside the bag ;) Most people would not consider a piece of paper as a health risk, but for thermal paper this can often be a different story. A lot of these papers still use bisphenol in one form or the other to develop the ink from crystal clear to black. Feel free to read up on it on Wikipedia - I recommend it! They also have more info on the thermal paper itself, including alternatives to bisphenol. Although recent studies are in favour of the thermal paper, when handled correctly some also show an increased risk for those dealing with a lot of paper - like the people working at cash registers in a really busy shop. Bisphenol can get into the body through the skin and by ingestion - for example when your kid tries to chew on it. As noone really knows where the paper you got came from it is a guessing game to figure out if it is free of harmful chemicals... So the best option is to avoid exposure when possible. If you know your kids or pets might to try eating some paper then make sure you don't leave any thermal paper around where they could reach it. But there is good news too as more and more countries try to set standards for thermal paper in regards to harmful chemical levels and protective coatings. Cheap paper for almost any priter out there can always be ordered from asia to avoid higher costs of local and safe paper though...

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago

Super iPod, USB Fridge, Wood-Fired Hot Tub...

Sign-up for our newsletter here. Nov. 29, 2007 Welcome back. Don't forget to enter our Thanksgiving ReuseChallenge. Win an engraved bamboo cutting board! Check out all these cool Instructables! $5 Mini USB Fridge! Keep your drinks coldnext to your computer with the power coming out of your USBport.postedby babblin5 on Nov 28, 2007 High-powered LED Mag-lite Conversion Make you Mag-Liteshine brighter and longer with the addition of a dozen LEDs. posted by MustangChris429 on Nov 27, 2007 How to Make Delicious, Healthy Homemade Potato Chips With aMicrowave! Make your chips withwhatever seasonings you like!postedby thatkidwithayoyo on Nov 22,2007 How to build a wood-fired hot tub It's getting colderout there so build a hot tub for less than $75 and stay warm thiswinter.postedby veloboy on Nov 26, 2007 How To Turn an ice cream Stick Into aKey Make a copy of a keywith a popsicle stick and some simple tools.postedby tycoyoken on Nov 26,2007 Replicating body parts in plaster Preserve a part ofyourself forever with a plaster replica.postedby donnauwanna on Nov 25,2007 Super iPod Mega is the new mini soit's time to make an iPod pillowcase that plays music and has fabricbuttons to control it.postedby sun on Nov 24, 2007 Win a laser cutter worth over$15,000! Cook a Chicken in 15 minutes with an old can, a beerbottle, and some hay. Warm yourself up witha quick fire that delivers a roasted chicken. posted by dandym on Nov 22, 2007 The Poor Mans Paint Job: How to paint your car for$75 Try on a different carcolor with this new trick for painting with Rustoleum.postedby Styluss on Nov 27, 2007 Ultra-cheap router lift Make the router lift onyour own and save over $100. postedby Vestus on Nov 25, 2007   Now gomake something awesome, and I'll see you next week! -Eric

Posted by lebowski 10 years ago

Component to switch multiple data lines?

I'm looking for a component that I don't know the name of because I have very little electronics experience and asking google these types of things seems to get me everywhere except where I need to be. What I think I need is something that will allow me to switch between four different data lines simultaneously but default to four other lines. For example: Input 1 has four lines. Input 2 has four lines. There is one output with four lines.Real World Problem:I bought a digital picture frame for super cheap and didn't get a chance to research it. It is powered by a USB wall transformer. When the picture frame is receiving power from the wall, it displays the images. When it's plugged into the computer, it goes into update mode and mounts a drive that you can copy images to.What I Want Now:To be able to flip a switch and have it change from USB wall transformer to USB PC. So, from the above: input 1 = USB wall power, input 2 = PC USB, output = picture frame. The switch box would have a 2x USB Mini-A inputs and one USB Type A output.What I Want Later:I imagine it's trivial(?!) to change the physical switch out for a 555/556 timer and two potentiometers so that I can have set a Frequency and Duration of changing from the default wall power to the PC's USB power.What I Get:A picture frame that every x minutes switches to the PC for y minutes so that I can write an application to look for a newly mounted volume called KODAKFRAME (just an example) and create images for it of things like the latest news and weather or maybe even just change out the pictures for variety.My Real Motives:I'm an IT guy and would love to use this as an auxiliary display for info that isn't critically time sensitive such a free disk space, recently received FTP files, etc.Thanks in advance,3Toe

Posted by 3ToedBoxTurtle 9 years ago

Detroit-area resources, stores, etc

Hello, fellow Michiganders! *points to palm*I recently learned about Silicon Alley Recyclers, a Warren (10 and Ryan) outfit that takes cast-off computers and stuff (mostly from corporate environments), refurbs the machines, and sells them (cheap). I've taken the opportunity to unload some of my old boat-anchors, and I've picked up some neat hardware too. Are there other similar outfits in the area?A fun place for supplies is Arts and Scraps in Ann Arbor, which carries all sorts of industrial offcuts, recycled whatsits, and nifty thingamabobs. I don't know how else to describe it. I had a few bushels of cellphone parts to get rid of, and A&S; took the keypads and cases off my hands eagerly. (They wouldn't take the PCBs, which I still need to dispose of.)Cranbrook's art school has a directory of metal suppliers in the area, and I've personally been getting stuff from Metal Mart at 13 and Dequindre in Warren, right around the corner. They're cool with small orders, and very laid-back about shopping. After saying hi, they'll generally just ask you to go back and browse until you find what you want. There's a nice rack of scraps and pieces up near the front, which usually has all I need.For electronics parts, ever since K40 on Van Dyke and Michigan Radio (the store, not the broadcasting service) closed I've been going to Abel Electronics in St Clair Shores, and once in a while I'll hit up RS Electronics in Livonia. I need to stop in at Galco Industrial Electronics one of these days, since they're also right around the corner. There's a new Grainger in Madison Heights on Whitcomb (13 1/2 mile) but I've never been in there.Okay, that's my braindump for now. If you know more suppliers, please reply to this post, otherwise start a new thread so this one stays on-topic and info-dense.

Posted by Myself 11 years ago

Suggestions on making small (synthetic?) Go stones?

I'm looking into making myself a Go set. It's a very old Asian board game. There are a couple instructables on making a board itself, which is pretty straightforward. My problem is in the manufacture of the stones. Basically the stones are flattened out marbles in either black or white. The idea is a bi-convex round stone, usually between 5 and 9.2mm thick, around the size of an average thumbnail. Traditionally these are made out of agate, slate or something similar. My goal is to produce stones that are hard and rather heavy, to mimic the actual stone feel as much as possible. I'm going to need 361 stones for a set, and I want to make several sets (maybe half a dozen). My current best bet is to press clay stones with a mold, fire them without a glaze to avoid non-uniform surface due to contact points, then spray an acrylic coat for color and texture. I was hoping someone might have other suggestions. I was considering an epoxy/resin option that I could press in a mold, then dry into a hardened, dense synthetic stone. But I know very little about epoxies and my options in this. I've considered glass and machined metal, but I lack the facilities and skills. Stone is beautiful but I don't know where to start with detail grinding and mass production at the same time. Wood would be great, but I would have to find/make the world's smallest lathe and I think the man hours needed would be impractical due to the quantities. I'm limited in tools, resources and knowledge on the subjects at hand. I like the idea of making a mold with which I could press several stones at once. Cheap is good and the ability to do this without a kiln would be great. The clay seems my best option but my kiln access is limited, so firing upwards of a thousand stones would be difficult. So if you have experience with a synthetic that I could pour and harden, I would greatly appreciate it.

Posted by Legion 9 years ago

Producing Hydrogen to Function as a Lift Gas

The short version: I want to make hydrogen to fill model airship envelopes with, because screw helium. Help me make a cheap electrolysis device that can do this in under an hour (ideally), or come up with an even better system for production. My immediate problem is that I need a high-surface electrode that won't fail in a solution of sodium hydroxide.The long version:I've devoted a fair portion of my time to contemplating airships, primarily because they're awesome. Fell out of use with the rise of much faster aircraft, and the technology its fate sealed by the extraordinarily bad rep the Hindenburg gave it. It is still far from useless, however, in that lighter-than-air systems can lay claim to flight times measured in days, and sometimes months, thanks to the fact that they literally float in the air like a boat floats in water.Their day may have come and gone, but I still want to experiment with the technology and create some model airships of my own. Helium works okay as a lifting gas, but it remains expensive and isn't going to get any cheaper in the foreseeable future. It is for this reason that I am pursuing hydrogen, in the hope that I might be able to produce a cheap lifting gas for my projects. Unfortunately for my aspirations, hydrogen is surprisingly hard to get cheaply in decent quantities. Here's what I've figured out so far.For one, it is absurdly hard to find sites that don't veer into fringe science when talking about hydrogen. HHO production, Joe cells, power your car with all keeps cropping up, and not only does none of this do what I want, the concepts are often poorly documented or riddled with problems. However, I have been able to glean some information from my research. First off, one of the easiest methods (and the one I'll be pursuing the most) of hydrogen production is through electrolysis. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, you can basically take two electrodes, stick them in water, add some electrolyte (like regular table salt), and apply a decent voltage. You'll get hydrogen gas streaming out of the negative electrode and oxygen out of the positive electrode. Fancier systems use large tanks, platinum electrodes, and a strong acid or base as the electrolyte. To increase efficiency (yeah, it's not 100% efficient), there is ongoing experimentation with high-temperature electrolysis and ongoing research into an effective electrocatalyst.Now, when I did my research, I thought "Hey! This sounds easy! I'll just set the system up like explained, and away we go!" Unfortunately, those exclamation marks were unwarranted. My first attempt showed that production is mind-numbingly slow with small electrodes. Using salt had the wonderful side-effect of producing chlorine and sodium hydroxide, a.k.a. caustic soda. It's called that for a reason, and I'm lucky I didn't run it too long or I might have a chemical burn now. Now I know. Choosing a good electrode turns out to be a problem too, as most conductors oxidize quickly or dissolve in the solution (now I know why everybody uses platinum when possible). My aluminum foil electrodes in a sodium hydroxide solution? Yeah, that didn't work AT ALL. I had better luck with steel mesh, but I recently found that it seems to fail over time too. The only thing that isn't disappointing is the container and the collection apparatus: an inverted plastic bottle with some airtight hose running off it, connected to a gas valve. If the bottle is placed such that forming gas causes the internal water level to be lower than the external container water level, the gas will be pushed through the hose (no pumping necessary!). There was one good thing I discovered, however. Apparently there was a bit of soap or something left over in the container, and I ended up forming a bit of explosive foam as well. The hydrogen foam blows up like nothing else, and the oxygen foam makes a loud pop and sends (slightly) caustic foam all over the place. Totally useless but still somewhat cool, so long as you're not fool enough to do it in large quantities.So, as of right now, I've got a good container and collection system, but my electrodes suck and production rates are so low that it'd take me hours and hours to inflate a good-sized balloon anyway. I'll be using sodium hydroxide in the future as the electrolyte, skipping the chlorine production and observing the proper safety procedures. My top priority is finding a good electrode, my next is finding a good way to increase surface area, and my last is getting a higher voltage source than the 12V power supply I had lying around. Any ideas?

Posted by Cognoscan 9 years ago

Pressure system leak alert

Hi, from a brand new poster. I have a farm water pressure system in a shed, mostly watering troughs for stock. When there is a slow or fast leak, I waste water, at expense.  They could be broken valves to pin holes in pipes. The pressure is system is run by 240V mains, (Australia) via a plug into a socket, as normal. There is a smart meter in the shed. Stock generally don't drink much from midnight to 5am. If there is a constant leak, the pressure system will cycle during the night. What I want to know is, is there a way to trigger an indicator that shows the pressure system is cycling overnight between set hours (12 - 5am)?  Eg, a few cycles may be acceptable, 5-10 are not.  When noticed, I can go to the shed, further investigate, and reset the trigger. I also have capacity to read water pressure at my house, on the same system, which will fluctuate as the pressure system cycles.  If I could easily track and record the pressure fluctuations, I would also know if there is a leak. Apparently I could install a flow meter with a wifi or sms system, but that sounds expensive and complicated.  I don't use a flow meter as it is not needed. So we have power usage, pressure switch triggering, water flow, water pressure , noise, and pump heat as indicators, at the pump shed. I have line of sight to the shed from my house, about 500m away.  I could see any alert lights daily, both at dark in the evening, and in morning daylight.  They could be 240V or battery powered.  I am currently tapping into the pressure switch to run a light.  The problem is 1. I have to be awake then to check a light. 2. it takes time for long cycles to occur. For all I know there may be something available already, which I have not yet found. I don't have need, yet, to be alerted as an absentee manager (eg sms alert). I know there are fancy systems available for sale for that. Any technical ideas would be most welcome, thanks, including combinations of the engineers parameters - cheap, strong, quick.

Posted by farmfencer 1 year ago

Hello, I have a few questions.

Hello, I've been frequenting this site for a number of years now, but have never actually posted anything. However, I am now starting up an important project, that may be little much for me, and I'm wanting to make sure I have a full understanding of the resources I'm going to need to complete the project. So I'm going to give a little background in the hopes of explaining why this project is so important. I'm a college student looking to get my associates in Application Development. I'm currently in my second quarter of classes, and am beginning the planning process for what the school is calling the "Capstone Project" (aka Senior Project). So as it stands I have about two years to, assuming everything goes well, to create a new application, and I decided I'd be a bit of an over achiever (with this project even if I'm not with others xP) and develop an AI assistant home robot based off the Japanese Gatebox ( I choose this because I feel it's something that really challenges all my skills, as I started my career off as an IT in the Navy specializing in System Administration, then worked as an on call computer repairmen for a year after I got out, and am now working on becoming a programmer. Now while I've done some research into, and am forming a plan for the software side, there are a few things on the physical tech side that I'm having trouble with. First, I would like to use a prism hologram, rather than a projector and clear screen, however I'm also not wanting the base to take up a large area on a desk. So I was wondering if there were any cheap projectors that could work, or if someone knows of a small screen that could allow for a somewhat tall projection? Second, as a kind of way to make my system stand out as it's own thing, I was wanting figure out a way to wirelessly (preferably over a wifi connection) to stream the image from the "Central" unit to a "Remote" unit somewhere else in the house, while on a budget. I know Wireless HDMI systems exists, however given there price I would prefer to find an alternative method. Any and all help would be appreciated.

Posted by evocure 10 months ago

Find Your Car, Build a Letterpress, Become Mad Eye Moody...

Function clickclear(thisfield, defaulttext) {if (thisfield.value == defaulttext) {thisfield.value = "";}}Sign-up for our newsletter subscribe August 16, 2007 Welcome back!Two new contests have started! There's the Fake It, Don't Make It Contest and the Launch It! Contest. We're also excited to anounce that the Instructables Store has gone live. Check it out. Dude, where's my car? Use a magnetic pointer to remember where you put your car last night.posted by bobg on Aug 13, 2007 Portable 12V Air Conditioner - Cheap and easy! A $10 solution to a $500 solution to a $25,000 problem. posted by CameronSS on Aug 15, 2007 Easy Doughnuts Warm doughnuts on a Saturday morning are right up there with bubble baths and midday naps on the list of life's greatest pleasures.posted by on Aug 16, 2007 How to Make a Woody Laptop Nothing beats the texture, look and feel of wood. Especially on a laptop.posted by trebuchet03 on Aug 14, 2007 Build a Letterpress & Use It to Print Things Save a bundle on invitation printing with this effective tool.posted by j schultz on Aug 15, 2007 Contest ends this Sunday! Share your quick and delicious recipe and get published in Real Simple! Get ready to fly. Make an Evaporative Terra Cotta Beer Chiller Harness the power of evaporation to chill your drink.posted by jolshefsky on Aug 15, 2007 How to MAKE PV Solar Panels Revive "dead" solar cells and group them to form new solar panels.posted by VIRON on Aug 13, 2007 Retouch yourself into the picture Put yourself into any scene from your favorite movie. Become Mad Eye Moody!posted by KaptinScarlet on Aug 10, 2007 How to make a cardboard stand up of someone! So you wanna make a cardboard stand up of someone? Well with a few hours and a few bucks you can make one. posted by FreakCitySF on Aug 14, 2007 Solar Thermal Water Heater For Less Than $5 Reuse some old junk and learn about renewable energy.posted by TheNaib on Aug 5, 2007 Now go build something awesome, and I'll see you next week! -Eric

Posted by lebowski 11 years ago

Acrylic Heating Element - Questions for an electrician and acrylic expert

I'm trying to build a heating element suspended 1" from an aluminum surface, and 2" below what will be a piece of acrylic (hopefully up to 1/2" thick) suspended by aluminum covered 2x4's. I want to have a rheostat (I think that's what they're called) for variable control of the heating element. The width of the element is undetermined, although 1/2" is probably close and this may be of little relevance. The aluminum case itself is 21"x6" and 3" deep So far, I've harvested a coil of Nickel Chromium from a cheap space heater but in trying to create a suspended piece, I've done little but destroy my NiChrom. It was cool, sparks and all, but I'd like to get it right this time. I do not wish to use a torch or heat gun as the pieces are to be wide and the heat must be even over the width to create an aesthetic bend. I will post some photos of the pieces tomorrow. Feel free to throw your hat in on any questions you want to answer. Electric Questions: How much NiChrom. do I need to heat 1/2" acrylic to around 400 degrees (F) for malleabiity? What is the best way to mount or suspend the nichrom.? What is the appropriate method to attach NiChrome to the wiring? (My home made coil using 1/16" copper wiring as a cast was sound in theory, but practice yielded sagging of the strip when active, and eventually sparky explosions at the mounts, after which time this question came to mind.) What kind of Rheostat do I need? What kinds are there? What's the difference? Can I get away with using a 120v/600w Dimmer switch instead (please say 'yes')? Acrylic Questions: What is the ideal heat for bending thicker acrylics? Would a fan below the heating element help disperse the heat evenly over the acrylic, or mess up the dispersion? Can a heating element such as this create sufficient heat to 'weld' 2 pieces together? Is this even possible? Thanks. I'm sure I'll have more questions before you can answer those. Peace - Ian.Wms

Posted by Ian.Wms 10 years ago