Computer Drive Bay?

Hi all. I am looking to fill at least 2 of my 4 availible 5.26 inch drive bays in my "new" computer. I was thinking like maybe a fan comtroller... but thats a little boring for me. I want somthing really cool. I did consider a lcd... but its kind of expensive and well... just not... idk. I just dont really like that idea. I was thinking somthing lik a toaster. :D But really... i want something kool. i mean even somthing totally useless... I just wanna fill them. I did consider using 1/2/3 of them for resivours for a liquid cooling system... but thats a little hard 4 me rit now. I am on a budget. I already gotta pay lik 130-230 for a new mobo. But i still hav som monsy 2 spend on it. So, wat is the coolest 5.25 inch drive bay device u ever saw. I also have 2 3.5 inch ones for smaller things. Like floppy. :D In case ur wonderin, i hav a xion vantage case. I am usin lik 4 fans. 2 or 3 lite up. I will soon be adding cold cathodes. But anyway, u can see it in my forum topic that i will make once my pc is bak from shop. THANKS!

Question by sci4me 8 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

How can i fit a 3.5" hard drive in a 5.25" bay?

I want to fit my external hard drive in a 5.25" bay, as USB is too slow and i don't have another 3.5" bay. Things i have: 1. Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB. (the hard drive i want to move) 2. Sweex 3.5" external case, it sucks... 3. An old cd-drive. 4. Basic tools, no soldering iron. 5. an old pc i can steal parts from. Now my question, how do i make sure that thing stays into place, and, is it a problem if it doesn't have some kind of suspension? My pc is a compaq presario from 2008, which has 3 free 5.25" bays. I already looked on google and searched instructables, but can't find anything usefull. Thanks in advance, DJBD

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

PS3 Phat disk drive wont let disc be inserted?

Ok, I just finished fixing a friend YLOD and the disc drive unfortunately wont work. There are these two grey bars blocking it in the drive bay. Anyone know why this could happen?

Question by Krayzi99 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago

Your Computer's Getting Toasty

Add this to some of the other crazy toaster ideas. It's a toast drive: fitting snugly into a standard 5.25 drive bay, you put in bread for a toasting while the rest of the computer operates normally. It's kind of like sticking a disk into the disk drive--except that when it pops back out, you have a nice, crispy slice of toast.CrazyPC via boingboing.

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

I want to boot a usb stick that is plugged directly into the motherboard floppy connector.

I am running FreeNAS in a ChiliBox. It has no external drives or bays. I don't want the USB stick poking out of it.

Question by MickM 8 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

DIY Hatchback Subaru Legacy

Check out this DIY Hatchback I caught a few pictures of coming off the Bay Bridge in Oakland, CA. I think the guy driving was a woodworker, and needed a couple extra cubic feet to fit things like dressers and wardrobes.

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

Disk boot error? Answered

Last night, I wanted some files off my laptop drive, so I stuck it in an external enclosure and plugged it into my desktop (whilst on). I then turned off the desktop without unplugging my laptop drive and turned it on again today, forgetting to unplug it. I have USB booting enabled, so it tried to boot from the laptop drive and as I was out of the room when it was booting, it entered the recovery partition as the hardware is incompatible. I have done this before, so I just turned off my computer, unplugged the drive, and restarted. Instead of booting from my primary internal drive, it got stuck on the post screen. It detected it, but wouldn't go any further. I then thought that it was still looking for the USB drive, so changed the boot order and removed usb boot, same problem. Removing my primary drive just returned the error "disk boot error, insert boot drive and press enter to continue", so I inserted the primary hard drive (I have it in a hot-swap bay, so it can easily be removed, although being my primary hard drive, not "hot"). After doing so, it kept returning a similar error. I then figured that it was still looking for my laptop drive as a primary boot device, so I cleared CMOS with the jumper and after setting it up again, disabling every other bootable interface except the sata port my primary drive is connected to, and it still just gets stuck on post. I have left it about 10 mins and still get the same problem. It is also hard to enter BIOS or any of the other utilities, as it waits until after post, so I have to either remove all drives or insert the laptop drive in it's enclosure. How can I get my desktop to boot from the primary hard drive again? Inserting the install disk is also hard, because I don't actually have a DVD drive yet, so I installed Windows 7 extended trial through a memory stick from my laptop with a disk drive. I have since deleted it off my memory stick, and my laptop is now in pieces hooked up to my monitor/keyboard/mouse instead of my desktop. It is on it's back and the hard drive bay is open in case I need it again. My BIOS is award with additional features on a Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 board. Both drives are Hitachi sata-II drives, one being 3.5" and one being 2.5".

Question by andy70707 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

I would like some help as to how best tackle a Transom I/O modification from OMC stringer to Volvo /Merc stern drive.

The vessel is a 19ft Fjord family 46, and I'll publish some photos for those that are interested or need better description. The boat has a section of 2 1/2" thick transom ply where the old OMC stringer penetrated however this is only in the engine bay of the transom and is approx 78cm wide and 68cm deep. I'm wondering if I cut out and remove this ply and then build up with let's say 4 pieces of 1/2" ply whether it'll be strong enough for a stern drive being only 2" thick and only as wide as the engine bay. id appreciate some help before I tackle this project.

Question by gwaal 4 years ago

Halloween Bash – A Community Arcade

A mashup of Halloween and makers, celebrating community-made arcade games, with free trick-or-treating and a food drive. Part of the Bay Area Science Festival – it’s the perfect mix of technology, creativity and Halloween celebration. Community Maker Groups with large arcade games throughout the Center. Cardboard Challenge + Community Arcade game -making Station: You make the games, we provide the prizes! Saturday, October 25, 2014 noon – 4pm Bon Air Center Just off Hwy 101 on Sir Francis Drake Blvd in Greenbrae, CA

Topic by vkbonair 4 years ago

Need Assistance Planning Route

I'm looking for some help... I will be driving from Orlando, FL to Los Angeles, CA to the San Francisco, CA east bay area in about two weeks. I'm looking for advice on what roads to take, where to avoid (certain roads at certain times) and places to stop/see to break up the trip. I greatly appreciate the help, even if it's just for a local area :D I'll be going to AAA soon to get maps and construction advisories :) My goal, in my car's current configuration, is to get 30% over EPA estimate - which is ~40 miles per gallon. EPA estimates 31mpg highway - 24 city - 27 combined (that's the updated numbers). I have a scanguage2 and have been tuning my driving skills for hypermiling (my current tank is 32mpg, 100% city driving).

Topic by trebuchet03 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago

lcd to motherboard problems for original xbox!

Im building a original xbox laptop and im having problems figuring out how to wire a lcd screen into the motherboard? i have a xbox harddrive already loaded up with all the games. it has been modded already so im covered on that! so that means i wont need the drive bay nomore! already got my case configured and im just tryin to figure this last detail out so it will all fall in place!! its going to be pimp cuz im not cutting no corners!

Question by burgh1978 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Looking for an Electrical Engineer and an Angel Investor or a Business Specialist (in SF Bay Area preferably) to partner with on a high dollar ($500M) value project

I am Mechanical Engineer in SF Bay area an have a series of patent pending revolutionary industrial pumps. The project has gone through hydraulic and mechanical design iteration and looks very promising. These equipment require electric hardware and circuitry design as their driving mechanism which is technically a smart integrated motor. So if you have experience and/or willing to get deep in this area that would be very desired. I am looking for motivated and committed partners and will equally split the profit and share of the business. This patent pending project has a potential to grow up to 500 million to a billion dollar; these numbers are coming from the current competitors that have an inferior product!   I'll ask you to sign an NDA before we get going. Please contact me here or at bk.amir at gmail com. Regards, Amir 408 585 8115

Topic by AmirKalantari 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago

Antarctica-Bound Hybrid-Electric Hummers Visit Pier 9

Drive Around the World, a nonprofit founded in the Bay Area, revealed its latest innovation, a pair of hybrid­-electric Polar Traverse Vehicles, also known as the Zero South PTVs. These two unique vehicles are bound for a history­-making expedition across Antarctica and they came to Pier 9 today to talk about it.  These revolutionary vehicles, designed using Autodesk tools, have undergone an extensive transformation from gas guzzling Hummers to open source, environmentally conscious biofuel hybrid­-electric vehicles outfitted with ice tracks and capable of standing up to the Earth’s harshest environments. Vehicle designers and leading NASA scientists discussed the expedition's logistics and the latest in climate discoveries. From the Zero South team: There is intentional irony in repurposing the Hummer H1, which many view as a contemporary symbol of gross consumer waste and inefficiency. Others view it as a remarkable multipurpose machine capable of extreme on­ and off­-road performance. But no matter which way the audience is ³polarized² by the vehicle, this adventure will appeal to everyone. Zero South Electrical Engineer Brock Winberg

Topic by xxlauraxx 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago

Can an LDR be used to activate a circuit after everything has been built?

I working on the gender announcement for our next baby and having some slight issues with the activation action.  I have built a circuit based on an ATtiny85 that causes two separate LEDs blink back and forth at a quickening pace underneath a Batman logo or Wonder Woman logo until the LED stays light under the Superhero representing the sex of the's a BOY!   I have had some custom cardboard boxes made and created form inserts and completed the circuits but I am at a dead stop with the activation.  I have thought about contacts around the side of the inside of the box with a non conductive material that would come down from the lid to prevent activation.  My issue would be the reset and 100% success rate.   My guiness thought would be to make the circuit Light reactive but I have NO experience with this and since the circuits are done minus power and/or switch can I still add in a Light Reactive switch using an LDR?   Any help would be greatly appreciated, my wife is driving me crazy about getting these done since i"ve been procrastinating

Question by njeast13 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Sorry folks looks like the server screwed up my posting and i'll have to post my idea for home brewed 5.25in floppies all over again (the post eventually appeared several hours later so i deleted it) ok so where to start (*light bulb appears over head*) i got it if you have a 5.25in floppy get it out and look at it you'll notice that its pretty simple the first part you will notice is the plastic envelope enclosure thing which is just a single piece of folded plastic with some holes cut in it, just below the surface of the enclosure is a fabric or paper dust trap that keeps the disk debris free and finally comes the hard part the disk each disk has 3 components the iron oxide powder, the disk, and the binding glue stuff the holds the powder to the disk. now here is my crude theoretical unproven construction process 1. cut out the enclosure(i'm thinking a material like plastic card stock might work) (probable impossible by hand put it under a laser cutter or watter jet if you have one) 2.use 8 dabs of glue to glue the dust trap in place on the side of the enclosure that will come in contact with the disk 3.spray some adhesive onto the disk and bury it in iron oxide powder 4.remove the excess powder and spray it again with adhesive 5.carefully put the disk in the enclosure and fold the enclosure around it gluing the enclosure shut 6.stick it in your floppy drive and format it i'll have time to try this myself this summer until then feel free the criticize and question my sanity just PLEASE don't suggest buying disks from e-bay, thrift stores, flee markets, online, or any where else for that matter

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

2 computer builds: one budget computer system, and mid range gaming system. is everything compatible with each other?

I want to build a $200-$250 ultra budget computer system as my first build, to get the ropes, then after i get it working, and all, then move on and build another, much more powerful  $700-$750 gaming / video editing PC. however, i need help with making sure everything works together, as well as suggestions and tips please. i highly appreciate if you answer in detail everything i asked, that answer will get best answer from me. a will add details as i learn more about what i am really getting into. i bolded all my unanswered questions. (i decided on just making to separate builds,  originally i planed to make i cheap computer, with a good mobo, then expand on it. however i just decided it is better to make two separate builds.) 1) what advantages can i get out of a good housing/case? i prefer to use just the case i have right now, the old one from my old HP pavilion a1747c. it has several card readers and a few usb ports on the front, headphone jack, mic jack, some jack labeled 1394, 2 expansion bays (one of which with a DVD drive in it) 2) i plan on using a motherboard with a chipset that allows for: overclocking the CPU, RAM, and separate video card; as well as support for intel HD graphics; and of coarse uses the LGA-1155 socket. for less than $130.  ) is in any good? can someone list a few good afordable boards that will do what i listed above? her are a few i have in mind. is ASRock a good company? ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 ATX Intel Mobo <-- i am leaning towards this one. ASRock Z77 Pro4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77                                      3) for simple stuff like wifi, bluetooth, etc; do i need to buy those separably (for the motherboard)? do they use PCI slots? if not, can i use the old WiFi adapter from my old computer? id rather not use external but if i have to, i will. so i assume if i want front facing USB 3.0 slots i need a new case, right? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4) here are the parts for my first build. please tell me if you see a problem with the selection    CASE: ------Cooler Master RC-343-KKN1  MOBO:------ ASRock H61M-DGS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX (any better value out there)?  CPU: --------Pentium G620 (lga-1155) (can you best it within  $60?) (stock)  RAM:--------Team Elite 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333MHz  OS: ----------Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 bit.  HHD: --------the old HDD i have in my old computer, a 250gb 5400RPM drive.  OPTICAL: -my current DVD drive in my old computer.  PSU: --------will a 350W be enough power for this? i think so.  [total cost]: >$250 including the parts i don't think i need. (optical, case, PSU, CPU, heatsink) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5) my next build:   PSU: ------Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W  MOBO:----ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 ATX Intel Mobo (is it a good for the price)  CPU: ------Intel i5 3570K  RAM: ------Patriot Intel Extreme Master, 8GB, Cas Latency 9, 1600MHz  then overclocked?  HHD: ------Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAKX 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache  OPTICAL: whatever i find cheapest. is a blue ray drive worth it? do PC game need it?  GPU: ------Radeon HD 7870: or any cheaper card with similar performance

Question by -max- 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

Directions to Instructables HQ / Squid Labs

Coming to a party at Instructables HQ in the Squid Labs control tower?2175 Monarch St. Alameda, CA 94501We'd like you to actually get here. Google maps & Yahoo maps are giving misleading directions at the moment, so here are some better ones. Check out the aerial view here.From San Francisco/I-80E:1. Head east over the San Francisco Bay Bridge2. Take the exit onto I-880 S toward San Jose/Airport/Alameda3. Take the exit toward Broadway/Alameda4. Turn right at 5th St6. At the next light, stay right at the fork & follow signs for Broadway/Alameda (stay on 5th)7. Make a soft left at Broadway & follow the signs for Alameda. You will enter the Webster Tube/Tunnel. 8. After the tunnel, stay to the right and follow to the 1st light.9. At the first light, turn right onto Atlantic Ave/Ralph M Appezzato Mem Pkwy10. Go through a few lights & enter the Alameda Point Naval Base11. Continue in that same direction through the roundabout (around the navy jet)12. At the T-interstection, turn right onto Ferry Point13. The road will curve left & become W Tower Ave14. Follow Tower ave to a T-intersection, then turn left onto Monarch St15. Squid Labs is the control tower building on your right.From 880N/South of Oakland:1. Take the Broadway exit towards downtown Oakland2. Make a right onto Broadway3. Make an immediate right onto 7th street4. Drive 2 blocks and make a right onto Webster Street.5. Stay to the right & enter the Webster St Tube (Tunnel)6. After the tunnel, stay to the right and follow to the 1st light.7. At the first light, turn right onto Atlantic Ave/Ralph M Appezzato Mem Pkwy8. Go through a few lights & enter the Alameda Point Naval Base9. Continue in that same direction through the roundabout (around the navy jet)10. At the T-interstection, turn right onto Ferry Point11. The road will curve left & become W Tower Ave12. Follow Tower Ave to a T-intersection, then turn left onto Monarch St13. Squid Labs is the control tower building on your right.

Topic by canida 11 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Bad mice gone good

I originally posted this as a collaboration. Turns out it's better as a forum item, which may eventually evolve into a collaboration. I'll try to put up at least one image this weekend. Meanwhile, settle in for a bit of a read, and let me know what you think.. . . . . . . Ingredients:- About 2 dozen half dead or completely dead Apple USB mice, mostly black, some white, bundled and hung to age.- 8-10 Apple keyboards, some flavored with cola or hot chocolate, mostly black, some white.(Randofo may contribute more, we'll see what comes of this caper. See his keyboard hack.Optional additives:- Dead hard drives, also part of the job. I've been wanting to figure out how to hack the controllers and drive arms to make a sculpture that waves the arms vertically, in controllable ways. I don't know yet if this is a separate project or not.- Glue, solder, etc.- Other junk, hopefully minimal, unless it adds a whole new level to the project.StatusI gathered them by their USB connectors and hung them as sculpture, (photo coming soon) awaiting further inspiration.The ProjectFirst idea:Wire, (or rewire, in this case) the LEDs inside the mice, and make a decorative chandelier.Minimalist that I am, my first impulse is to leave the mice as original and intact as possible, while transforming an everyday object into something delightful and interesting.Current questions:- How to wire them all together, without making it a life's work?- Static or dynamic? Dimmable? Random "flickering/fading" like the new smarter Christmas lights, only more interesting?- Interactive? Respond to sound, temperature or other environmental changes? I like the idea of cause and effect resulting in some new information the observer can come away with, something that actually makes sense, rather than, "That's kind of interesting, but what for?"- Networkable?? So other Bad mice gone Good can influence behaviors?- Some sort of reference or action to the original intended function, i.e., input device, man-machine interface, 21st century worker harness, pixel pushing device, etc.- Hack a keyboard to control the mice? Force them to spell?? I like the idea of subverting/reversing the input/output direction.- use the reflective sensor in the mouse to provide input/output.- Influence Jonathan Ive and his brilliant staff at Apple to put some effective strain relief on all new mice!RulesAnd I use that term fairly loosely. Yet I find that good parameters, even if arbitrary (an affordable luxury with art and fooling around projects) help define the project, keep it manageable, and hence more likely to be completed. Sometimes it's just more fun too. I'll refrain from an essay on that for now. (hm, maybe an essay section would be good Instructables feature request?)- simple- can be made in 24 or fewer work hours.- cheap, with minimal non-salvaged parts.- repeatable, so others can create their own, in the fine, albeit young, Instructables tradition.- finished product is fun and delightful to most people, old or young, geek or non-geek.FeedbackPlease let me know what you think of this idea so far.New ideas, spinoffs, etc. are welcome. Please link or keyword all of them so we can see the connection between projects.Enough for now, I need to overhaul my resume so I can find a more interesting and creative job. SF Bay Area queries are encouraged!

Topic by Marcos 12 years ago  |  last reply 12 years ago

Roomba mapping and quadriplegic assistive device

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

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

Instructables Pizza Off 2008

I turned 25 this past week and celebrated my Birthday by organizing something that I've wanted to do for a long long time - a Pizza Off! A Pizza Off is an event where the participants order as many pizza pies as possible from as many different pizzerias as possible, bring them all to a central location at the same time, (Instructables HQ of course) and then eat them all and test which ones they like best! It's not something that you can do on your own, do to limitations of space, time and belly, so I was grateful when the entire Squid Labs community decided that this sounded like an awesome idea to them as well.The rules were simple (taken from the original email announcement):You must bring a pie with you. Think of it as a ticket for entry - if you plan on partaking, you've got to have a pie. We (as in the royal I) will allow sharing of one pie per two people. Ideally each person would bring their own pie, but I'm no tyrant.Your pizza must be from your favorite SF pizza joint. The pie you bring says something about who you are, so drive the extra mile to the place that's a little further, but twice as good. Each and every person in this building is beautiful, and your pizza should be too.You and your pie must arrive promptly at Instructables HQ at 1:00.You can bring whatever type of pizza you like, from whatever pizza joint you think is best. Ideally we'd all get plain cheese pies so we could truly compare, but if you've got to have something fancy on your pie, rock out.This event is all about two things: pizza and excess, so if you're thinking, oh I don't really need to bring a pie, it will be too much food...I'll just eat some pizza and stand around the table - you're wrong. This event only works if we hit critical pizza mass, so I'm counting on each and every one of you to help.When Tuesday rolled around, we ended up having 15 different pies from 13 different pizzerias! There were gourmet pizza pies from local worker owned bakery Arizmendi, traditional Italian cheese pies from North Beach, deep dish pies from San Francisco and East Bay favorite Zachary's, thin crust brick oven pies from Pizzeria Delfina and even Indian food pizza - which actually turned out to be an awesome flavor explosion!I almost made it "round the pizza world", but then some late entries showed up and the crusts caught up with me. There was a huge happy turnout, plenty of ravenous mouths, delicious pizza of all kinds and we all lived to tell the story of the first ever Pizza Off - all in all I'd call it a huge success!For anyone who doesn't already know, I love NY style pizza, and in my opinion, the best NY slices in San Francisco are from Arinell's on Valencia, so that's where I got my pie from. Everyone had their own favorites though, so I won't presume to report on any definitive results from the testing. I will say though that there's a pizza type for everyone, and I am never ceased to be amazed by the magic and wonder of Pizza.We're planning on having future Food Offs testing out other ubiquitous tasty foods. Some of the first things that I'd like to test are:Pad ThaiEgg RollsPhoBurgersIce CreamCoffeeRibsBurritosTacosAnyone else ever do anything like this? Find 15 friends who are as crazed about food as you are and make it happen!

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

Leaving China and Taking a Part With Me.

My time was short, it seems my time is always short. Groggily I was pulled from bed the day after the Maker Faire. Spending the night at Eric's place was so wonderful, it was my first nights sleep since leaving America a few days earlier. We loaded Eric Pans car with gear and headed out to pick up a 3D printer. 3D printing technology is booming in the states, nearly every hackerspace in America has a Makerbot and design firms have Shapeways to turn to to get their rapid prototyping. But elsewhere in the world these things are still fresh! Sharing tools is something I love to do because you never know where people's creativity will take them. You never can know all the problems in the world, but all the people know all their problems! One of my missions then is to share low cost and open technologies to people I think can make awesome use of them! The night before after the Shenzhen Maker Faire all the Makers were invited to a gathering. Beer, frogs on skewers and peanuts were all provided free of charge. We ate, drank, wheeled and dealed. Wiess Tech is a filament company in Shenzhen and they have started noticing that more and more of their customers were 3D printers. Especially DIY 3D printers. So they've begun to make Makerbot replicas with some modifications. And there I was - I wanted a 3D printer to bring with me to Beirut and they wanted… Well, I wasn't sure. The language barrier between us was strong. Somehow Eric and I convinced them that it would be a good idea to give me a machine, and perhaps I'd pay them back when I got to the states. At this point I was at $244 dollars and dropping and I couldn't even afford the incredible hackerspace price the company was offering of $500 dollars! They agreed, and that's how I found myself rushing off to their head quarters the next morning before catching my ship. But first. We must go to Seeed Studio to buy a cup of coffee from the robotic tweeting (QQ) coffee machine in their break room. Hahaha! We headed out to Wiess Tech and on the way there we drive by construction zone after construction zone. Aparently Shenzhen didn't exist 30 years ago, and now you can still see the signs of a rapid expansion. Everything here is growing at an incredible pace, and apparently even maker culture. We arrive at Wiess HQ, which is housed in a 30 story complex decked out with multiple confusing entrances, cafeterias and dual elevators for the odd and even numbered floors. After spending a bit of time wondering how to get to floor 22 and circling the building, we found ourselves face to face with a small crew of about 8people. A few people managing papers, a secretary, some of the marketing team, and one guy sitting at a table putting together Wiess Tech versions of the thingimatic. After speaking with them we find that they also sell a machines based around the Reprap project, one of the earliest open 3D printing projects and have in the works a few models of their own designs. I'm excited to see how Weiss Tech bootstraps itself off of open sourced designs and starts producing their own versions! I hope to see a whole new generation of better, faster and cheaper machines that stay open! Go Weiss Tech! Heading out to take a 3D panorama from their deck Eric rushes and tells me that my ship leaves in 20 mins and that the time is now. After an awkward moment or two talking about paypal and me giving them advice on staying open we undo all their packing (too bulky) throw the machine into my luggage and run. In the car Eric and I discuss the future of Chinese makers. It really seems this is just the start of something much larger. It's an exciting time, his company is building great products, more Chinese companies are looking at open source technologies and more people are calling themselves makers. Perhaps it's through Maker culture China will be able to become more than the King of manufacturing, but also participate in producing quality designs and solving serious problems. Leaving China, the baggage handlers on the ferry were rough handling Adriana, my 3D printer, and it really cut deep. But as I watched Shenzhen bay slowly recede, I knew the next time i came back, again, everything would again be different. This is the pace of China and yet it seems softened by the fog falling over the rolling green hills. +Bilal Ghalib

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

Damaged disc(s) in the lower back - what to do and what not ;)

I got diagnosed with a damaged L5 and L6 disc in my lower back about 8 years ago and I thought writing about my experience might helps others facing the same problems. Keeping your back straight when lifting or moving heavy things was a thing I already learned and followed during my school times and as you might have guessed it helped to keep my back healthy - at the expense of my knees... But the knees are a different story, today I want to help you understand lower back problems caused by damaged or bulging discs and how this will affect your life. For me it began with a little shock. One day I got out of bed, wanted to grab something I dropped and got stuck half way up. Knowing that there are some nerves that can cause the same issue and that a simple injection will fix me I called a cab to be dragged laying down on the back seat to my GP. As you might have guessed his diagnosis was a bit worse than what I wanted to hear... Many painful hours and some scans later it was confirmed that my L5 and L6 disk have collapsed on one side and started to push on the nerves next to it. Funny side not that I never really checked was that my doc said not everyone has a L6 disk... Anyways, as with most first "accidents" involving your lower back the so called recovery was long and painful. Sure the painkillers help to numb the worst, the anti inflammatory stuff covers some pain too but actually I did not want the full pain free package deal. Pain is the bodies way to let you know something is wrong, so I kept the pain medication at a level where I got that information when making a wrong move... The first 6 months I was literally confined to my bed, the shower and the toilet. I tried to keep a position with the least amount of pain for as long as possible and for obvious reasons was not too happy that my body not only required food intake but also the disposal of the waste products - getting out of bed and onto the toilet meant experiencing huge amounts of pain every time. But after those 6 months I started to adjust, to the pain as well as what my limited body was now capable of in terms of movement. Needless to say that all this time of not doing anything really meant my scale started to scream tripple digets at me one day... Luckily around the same time my pain levels went to a level that allowed my to walk around 500-600 at slightly slower speeds than normal before the pain got too much. My doctor also got quite concerned about my blood work and body weight recommending to loose a lot if I every intent to get back to a more normal life. So I started to walk several times a day, no matter how bad the weather was, just a bit up and down the street. The distance got longer, the fitness a bit better and the pain levels a bit lower too. Using my old weight lifting belt to keep the back supported helped me a lot during these times, especially when driving or doing housework. During those times I was still on 6-8 panedine forte tablets (paracetamol and codein) plus 2-4 tablets of 20mg oxicontin and not happy about the last anyway. Despite the added levels of pain I started to reduce the level of oxicontin and started to exercise more. My focus was getting the core muscles stronger and to get better support for my back. Also started riding my bike again, although I had to replace it for a bigger model to allow me a more upright position with less stress on the lower back. The kilos started to tumble very slowly but I was already quite proud when I got bak to 90kg. :( Good thing was that I got motivation to continue as every kg I lost and every little bit more on distance I got out of my walks and rides without getting too painful also meant that my average pain level went down too. Two years after it all happened I got rid of the oxicontin completely and reached the 80kg mark. My doc was happy too, my blood work looking good but of course he still suggested to loose a few more kg. Being able to move around again also meant being able to work again and with that came more food, less exercise and a lot more stress. I did manage to hold my 80kg but after about 6 months or working I noticed my back problems started to limit me again. My back belt covered for me and I was able to keep going a while longer but in the end I got hit by another attack on my back. The diagnosis was not good at all as now on top of the pain goind through the back and leg I also hab numbness and a feeling like ants crawl over the leg and chew on it every few mm. As with most lower back "revenges" this one only needed strong pain killers for a few weeks until I was back to something more normal in terms of pain and movability. Sadly the ongoing side effects did not go away the way they did the first time. This meant especiall finding the right position to sleep with the least amount of pain was becoming a nightmare on it's own. Either you got pins and needles keeping you awake, you lost your feeling in the leg to the point where it becomes useless or the pain in the back is just stabbing you all the time. Starting some projects here on Instructables kept my mind busy and gave me some welcome distraction from the daily routine. Eventually I manged to find a job again that allowed me to have enough different movements with only a bit of lifting so things started get back to normal. My doc put me on some amitriptyline to help with the pain at night and although it took some time to get used to the stuff it really started to help after about two weeks. The job was only for a fixed term but it gave me back some confidence that not all is bad or lost. Life went on and I actually manged to get down to just 75kg and only used some painkillers once or twice a week if it was really bad. Then, a few weeks back I started to notice that the top of my foot and the outside of my leg felt different to touch, especially in the shower with some brush or rough sponge. Not being happy already I agreed to some new scans to check if the discs started to cause problems or if the nerves are just inflamed. You might have guessed already, the scan confirmed that my two discs desintegrated further putting more pressure on the already suffering nerves. With the "help" of some quite strong anti inflammatory stuff, cortisone and other meds my doc managed to get me back to "normal" but he also informed me that this won't last forever. The current outcome (without surgery but more on that later on) I have two choices to keep going: a ) I continue with pain killers and other meds to keep the problems at bay. b ) I limit myself to basically not doing anything involving the movemnt of my lower back, keep to a strict calory intake and hope for the best. The first option won't do me any good in the long run except liver, kidney and digestive problems. The second option will allow me some sort of a normal life at the expense of never finding a job to support me again. So once again we soldier on knowing that it will only make things worse as giving up and relying on social services is no option for me. Hoping that you might just had your first encounter with lower back injuries and pain I will give some advise on the things that helped my most so that you might not have to suffer as much I did and still do. So read on please... Diagnosed with a damaged or bulged disc in the lower back - what does it acutally mean? If you check all the available images of the human skelleton you will quickly notice one thing: Our lower back is not really straight and not designed to carry a lot weight when it is put on the wrong way or direction. Noone with a sane mind would use a support beam shaped like that but the human body adapted to this problem caused by changing from using all four limbs to walking on just two legs. The muscles and tendons in our back work in such a way that they support the fragile construction of discs and bones that keep us upright. Sadly modern life, personal decisions and only too often a busy work shedule prevent us from using our body the wa we should. Be it too much lifting, being far too short for your weight or simply laziness the factors causing our muscle to degrade are too many to count. But once you are in the worst pain you ever felt and your doc tells you that there are damaged discs you suddenly wish you had it all done differently years ago - trust me, I have been there and I have done it ;) Or it might be like in my case that a healthy and fit person just cracks one or more discs for no obvious reason. Either way it means you have to change your life to be able to keep going. Pain killers help to ignore the problem and pretend all is good but they should be used with great care as most are highly addictive and the long term side effects are no fun either. The one thing you must never forget is although being a life sentence it must not mean you will be crippled forever! What can I do once it happened to help the pain and my sanity? Nerve pain is one of the worst pains there is and there are only two more or less working medications to deal with it. The first meds are opiates to literally numb the pain but due to source of the pain very high levels are required until the body adapted to deal with the wrong pain information. The second group of meds that offer help and that are often used together with pain killers are old sty anti depressants like the try-cyclic (was that right?) amitriptyline. Back in the days they were not really good for the advertised job but one of the common side effects was how they worked on the pain centers of the brain. In much lower dosages as used to treat depressions these meds help the brain to deal with the pain caused by the damaged or pinched nerves. As a long term solution they should be prefered over opiates so that the strong pain killers are only taken when really needed. If you are anything like me than not getting enough sleep over weeks on end will take a toll on your mood. So being able to sleep at least a few hours in one go is a real thing to aim for unless you prefer to harm your body with pain killers. What is there to help with the pain so you can sleep? I know that you now already think you tried it all and that nothing good comes out of here but keep reading as you might be surprised... The first thing that jumps into mind when it comes to sleeping is a bed - be it you by yourself or with a partner. And here also is the first point to improve! In many countries a bed for two persons has one bad feature: A single mattress! Any movement from the person next to you is transfered more or less onto your body - you don't want that! So if you own a big bid that you share with someone think about investing into a bed with seperated matresses and support frames. That brings us to the mattress itself. A lot of people think being soft and flexible is a prefered thing, not so much if you have back problems. You want enough support to keep the back straight without everything feeling like you sleep on wooden floorboards. Keep in mind though that when changing from soft matress to something much firmer you will need to adjust. Really the best option is to seek professional advise in a bedding studio or similar. And no, you don't have to go to the most expensive place to buy a mattress, you just try them out, get expert advise and use that new knowledge to find a suitable mattress to fit the budget. With no offence meant: If you are over the normal weight you really want to loose the excess and that means selecting a new matrress on your weight goal and not on your current weight! It is also good to have adjustable supports under the mattress itself, this way you choose a thinner and bit softer mattress but still get the firmness your back requires - again seeking proffessional advise on the right combinations is highly recommended here! Ok, your bed is sorted but still there is that nagging pain in certain positions or the tingling in your leg preventing you to go to sleep. Believe it or not but what you do before you go to bed affects how you feel when you hit the sack. So sitting like a bag full of water in front of your TV until just manage to crawl into bed won't do you any good. Same for having your dinner and hour or two before bedtime... What does help is to move your body and to burn a few kalories! If it helps you use a weight lifting belt but just a walk around the block with a little bit of bending and flexing will get the tension out of muscles. A nice partner giving you a proper massage might help too but I doubt you will get one every night ;) And before you start to complain: Yes, I know there are times where simply can't do any exersise as you will be happy to make it to the toilet or to make some dinner. For those times and especially during times of experiencing higher than normal pain level ther is something you can do to ease the pain. Some doctors will tell you but a lot of them wont: Cold actually helps to numb the pain and the symptoms like tingling, pins and needles or the constant stabbing when you made a slightly wrong move. But you need to apply the cold in the right way to get the benefit! The key here is timing. Using real ice in a suitable wrapper, so no vegetables or meat, you apply the cold where the damage is - not where the pain is! You want to cool down the area around the damaged discs for about 5 to max 10 minutes. Put the icepack back and repeat every hour! Nothing will happen after the first two or three round but then you will notice improvement - how much depends on the individual and extend of the damage of course. When I have bad days I usually start around mid-day and keep going every hour until either the pain is gone or it is time to drag myself to bed. The worst you can do is o apply heat! A warm (not hot!) bath can help to ease some muscular tension but hot packs or heat lamps will make your pain get worse quickly. Just imagine and inflammation somehwere else, the area is already hot and painful so you really don't want to add more heat, do you? ;) What can be done to keep mobile and improve? As said earlier the key is support for the damaged areas and of course a limitation in movements that put additional stress on the damaged dics - this includes weight, be it from your own body in terms of excess fat or simply be lifting things! You will have times of no pain and where you think you are 20 years younger again but never use that as an excuse to think your discs have improved! Once damaged they stay damaged and everything putting more stress on you dsic(s) will make things worse. A friend of mine loves to play golf - if you have back problems you want to find a different hobby! Coming from three digits I can tell you without being offensive in any way that being fat means having problems that you don't want to add to your list caused by a bad back! So like it or not you really need to loose all the excess you can find wobbling around your body! For me every single kg I lost was a step forward to being more fit and being able to more things for longer before my pain got too much. And no, there is no excuse for keeping those kilos if are able to leave the bed for more than a few hours. Turst me, you will feel better, need far less medication and like yourself much better once the benfits of less weight kick in! Exercise is the key to getting your life back to a more or less normal level! If you are a "first offender" than you have a good chance that a change of habbit and maybe job will make sure it stays a single incident and that you can have a pain free life after the initial recovery! Getting a higher core strenght and overall fitness level helps your body to heal but most importantly gives you the option to gain muscles where needed to support your back. You might think there is nothing you can do if you are in pain and can't really move anyway but if you do then you are wrong. I am not a personal trainer but I found a lot of ways to use my muscles without using my back for it... There is enough info on the web for exercise methods without any training gear and if you think "really hard" you might notice you can use a lot of positions to exercise your arms and legs without stressing you back ;) And even for the back you can do good without damage: If you lay flat on your belly you just slightly lift your arms and legs off the ground - this will need the support of the muscles in lower back! No need to actuall lift anything high, just enough to only slightly bend your back up - you might not even notice any bending at all. What you don't want is exercise like running, jogging or even contact sports, really nothing that might force your back to move more than what is possible without stressing your discs... Better fitness and more strenght means you will get better flexibility and movablity but never let that fool you into thinking the damage is gone! I can not stress enough than even if you don't need medication and feel fine a single wrong move can make all null and void! What are the options if despite loosing weight and excercise my pain is not going away or syptoms get worse? Well, we can ignore it, we can hope it all goes away but the sad reality for most is that sooner or later you reach the point where the damage is too much too handle. The first one to tell you that your lower back is now due for a pit stop is your foot. The pain might be more than what you ever experienced the pins and needles might drive you mad but as long as it just that you are fine, really :( For me it was during some light gradening when I got my "first hit" so to say. I brushed it off thinking I tripped over something that got kicked away while I struggled to keep my balance. A few days later I noticed that I had to put some extra efford to prevent my toes from scraping the floor while walking. It was there when I also realised that most of the feeling on top of my foot was gone. Same story for the outside of my calf by the way... For me, thanks to a non working medical system and no private health cover the story ends here... Since you might have more luck: Modern medicine has gone a long way when it comes to minimal invasive operations and they are the key to performing operations that otherwise would be impossible or require months of recovery. For the "treatment" of damaged discs in the lowest part of the spinal area the old conventional treatment was to fuse the bones together using some steel or titanium rods. To give the patient relief the dmaged disc was more or less mutilated to free the damaged nerve(s). Several weeks of bed rest and great loss in movement was the price to pay for less pain. Today we are much further and can use micro instruments to perform operations deemed impossible only a few years ago. One of the operations with the greatest and fastest recovery rates is actually quite smart if you think about it: A small portion of bone is removed to give more room for the nerve and to aid in the healing - without fusing the bones! The next step is remove the part of the disc that is bulging out - without removing the strong support layers around it, only the mashed up bits are taken away. The patient is literally pain free ( from the back pain) right after the operation. Healing takes about 2-3 weeks but by then even the pain from the cut bones will be gone. Some health insurers see these operations as a means to get a person back to work and into a normal life, so they support it. Others use simple math and decide pain killers are cheaper... In any case you should seek professional advice from your doc and health care provider before it is too late! Diagnosed and operated early can mean you get the option to have an almost normal life again, or at least a few years of being able to enjoy life much more than before the operation. There are of course risks involved and an opration might not be an option for every case but knowing your options and what form of treatment might be available for you can be reall life changing... Ok, but what's the worst that can happen to me if a simple operation is no longer an option? One of the first things you will notice after loosing control and feeling for your foot is a more or less contant need to go the toilet. Despite having an empty bladder or just using the toilet minutes ago you can develop the feeling that you really must go the toilet again. Sadly this is only the beginning... If things get worse you can loose control over your bladder and bowel. Simply put it means you no longer control the muscular tension required to keep you vital openings closed when required. Usually at this point your doctor will recommend to operate one way or the other. For you, if affected, this means you have to decide between the risk of an operation that might only last for a few months or years or wearing adult nappies... If you already had one or more operation or the damage to the disc(s) is too severe it can mean that there is no other option but to fuse the bones into place to prevent further damage and allow for some healing. But trust me, for your doc to even consider an operation you need to loose all the weight you can! What are my limitations after having my back bones fused together? Well, as it reads you will be fused together, meaning you level of movement will be severly limited. It also means you beep all the time at the airport security or when entering a court or other place with metal detectors - but that is the least of the worries I guess... The main problem after such operations is getting back to a life as normal as possible. You get a lot of help in rehab and will learn what you can and can't do, plus of course how to keep you fit despite these limits. Some people cope really good with the new limitations but others struggle a lot. This especially true if before the person was really active and doing a lot in terms of sport and outdoor activities. Learning to adapt to the changes allows you have many more years without too much pain or limitations. Sure, Golf is out of the question, playing soccer or riding a normal bike too but life goes on and being a part of it is always better than just looking at it through your bedroom window ;) In any case giving up should not be an option for you! No matter how bad it looks when the pain is too much, there are always more good days than bad days ahead of you! Go ahead, share your experience with back pain, what you do keep going and handle the pain. Share you information about what treatments helped you the most and share how you recovered to where you are now. Be an inspiration for those facing what we already went through! Real back pain based on nerve damage will only be understood by someone who experienced it - what did you do to make the people around you understand it? Whatever helped you might help someone wha just started to learn how to deal with damaged discs and back pain, so sharing is caring! ;)

Topic by Downunder35m 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago