Kite-powered proa (boat) collaboration/comments

Added 5/26/07: Please read the comments below to see how the project is evolving. Design specs, goals, etc, have been modified after discussion.Hi Folks,For several years I've been wanting to build a kite powered proa. A proa is a kind of boat with a narrow hull and a smaller outrigger. These Instructables are about building a proa with a traditional sail: are kite-powered proa-like vehicles for land and ice: for the project:1. Make at least one good boat.2. Publish a good Instructable.3. Work with interesting people.I am definitely going ahead with #1 & #2. #3... anyone interested?The Boat: Generally it should be appealing/attainable by as wide a range of budgets and circumstances and skill levels as possible.a. It should be fun to mess around with starting in about 6 or 7 mph of wind (3 m/s).b. A beach boat, not an overnighter. Should be able to carry one or two people, a paddle, personal flotation device and maybe a sandwich and a water bottle.c. Storable in a typical apartment (maybe even a dorm room?). I'm thinking a 2-part bolt-together hull like Wade Tarzia's above. Two halves, each under 8 feet long so they can be stored on end, maybe used as bookshelves as suggested by TimAnderson. What is a typical ceiling height? Mine is about 91"d. Possible to build on a restricted budget ($200? is that possible? $400?). I'm budgeting about $500 but as a cheapskate packrat scrounger type I am hoping not to spend it all. Should also avoid necessitating rare and expensive tools.e. It should be possible to make a "good looking" version if the builder chooses.... sort of financially and chronologically(?) scalable. Someone might want to build something as quickly and cheaply as possible, and another person might want to spend all summer working on the fine details and finish. The boat should be worth building in either case.f. Should be able to take a passenger (is that possible if we rely on weight-shifting for steering?), but be sailable single-handed.g. Possibly be adaptable to a traditional sail? Would this be hard? This is something I don't need for myself, but I bet someone will ask that question as soon as we publish it. If someone doesn't already have a kite, is it easier to build a kite, or a sail and associated mods to the boat?h. Probably plywood stitch-and-glue construction main hull, but maybe carved from a couple of Styrofoam billets with a plywood stringer and/or deck? Leaning towards all plywood. If we fiberglass the whole boat can we use 1/4" interior luaun at $9 per 4x8 sheet? Is that more practical and cost effective than something like occume at $60 per sheet with glass on just the keel and joints? We'd need 3 sheets. Need to do some calculations on this.i. Usable in flat water, chop and small waves (and bigger waves?). Mine will be used mostly at an ocean beach.j. Steerable by weight-shifting, i.e. moving towards the front or back of the boat. No rudders or daggerboards. Maybe paddle-assisted steering when carrying a passenger/helmsman?The Instructable:a. Should be a good read, even for folks who won't undertake the project. b. Doubles as an Instructable on how to collaborate to make a great project and a great Instructable.c. Represents everyone involved in the project in some way.d. Gives the potential builder a rough "how to sail it" as well?e. Presents the reader with several options for materials and/or construction.f. All the regular "what makes a good Instructable" things.The Interesting People:a. Everyone is interesting in some way or another, right?b. Some people like to do research on the web.c. Some people have built boats.d. Some people some know about wood, or glue, or paint, or kites, or sails, or writing, or... e. Maybe someone will build the boat concurrently so we'll have pictures of two or more versions at various stages when we publish the Instructable.Let me be the first to sign up :) I have been using kites to get around fields, beaches, frozen lakes and the ocean for 10+ years. I make my own kite boards and have made my own kites (I use commercial kites now but still love my homemade plywood boards). I've done a fair amount of web research on proas and plywood boats (and some on tarp boats, canvas covered canoes, surfboards, etc.) but I have never built a boat. I experimented with a busted up, rudderless old hobie 14 for a while, but my homemade foot-steerable rudders broke almost instantly, and shortly after that I had to abandon the boat because I moved to a place where it couldn't be stored. It was enough to get me interested. I'm pretty confident I could build a usable boat as a solo project but I want to see how much better it could be as a collaboration, or at least having a few folks commenting on my ideas.I have a small assortment of cheap power tools. I've used epoxy and fiberglass a few times and I have some on hand.I have permission from my lovely bride-to-be to use part of the kitchen, part of the time, as my workshop (that's true love). I also have a small are outside where I can work but I can't leave anything there.The pictures are my initial hull ideas. For each hull one pic shows the hull from 3 angles and the other shows how the side pieces would fit on two sheets of plywood. A third sheet would be needed for the deck and a fourth (of thicker stuff, I would guess?) for the frames, bulkheads, etc. I'll attach the files for the hulls too. You can get the freeware to view and edit them at simple V hull would mean less cutting and joining. The other one looks better (in my opinion) and can float more weight with the same amount of plywood.Could instead go with a flat bottom like Wade's.Let me know what you think.Thanks!

Posted by flywoodkb 11 years ago

Heated print beds - are they overrated gimmicks?

For years now I use my old, trusty Mega Prusa with the bare basics in terms of hardware. But basically every new printer out there comes with heated print beds and most users "upgrade" to one to get better quality prints. So I started to to check the reprap forums and other websites to find out why a heated would be a "must have". Quite a simple task you might think, but not so for someone who prints every material on a cold bed with success... What are the official pro statements for a heated bed? 1. Better bed adhesion of course. 2. Less warping of parts. 3. Far less problems with layer seperation. 4. Better print results. And of course there are a few more but not worth listing them. Why do I think most of the four statements are actually unrelated to using a heated bed? Bed adhesion is a matter of print material and surface of the bed / bed preperation, like tape, glue and such. If you filament peels off a cold bed with no adhesion at all it simply means the surface is either unclean or unsuited for the print material. Warping of parts happens because the material shrinks when it cools down, a heated bed is only able to keep a certain height of the print warm. Higher prints won't have any benefit in terms of better layer adhesion with a heated bed. Same goes for seperating layers. Unlike the common believe a heated bed does not fix this problem - it only masks it! Layers seperate because there is not enough bonging between them. This can be due to insuffient extrusion width, too high print layers, wrong print temperature and of course wrong z-axis stepping and wrong extrusion multiplicator. And how good a print comes out of your printer depends on a good calibration and proper print settings - again a heated bed only masks problems ;) Ok, so heated beds are nonsense, right? Well, wrong again ;) They take a lot of worry out of the daily print life to start with. Especially prints with big foot print will benefit, although PLA should never be a problem on a cold bed. If you print long parts in ABS or even Nylon you can have a hard time forcing the plastic to stay on the bed all around the print. A heated bed, with the right settings of course, can make sure your print keeps the shape until it is high enough so the bottom part won't be affected by shrinking anymore. My opinion on how to get the best results... Manage to print on a cold bed first! Smaller parts don't need a heated bed anyway, so use them to improve on your skills of finding the perfect bed material / coating! You will find that once you have really optimised your printer and settings most parts won't need a heated bed anymore. Once you are really happy with the result of smaller prints on a cold bed try something bigger and pay close attention to any problems on the way. For example a big print might start out perfectly but after about 5-10mm of print height you see the part starts to warp and slowly peels of the print bed - especially long parts or thin areas are affected. The infill also affects how a parts reacts during the cooling, so try the same problem print with solid infill as well as only 15% infill to compare - you can stop the print once the problem is identified, don't waste filament. Now comes the magic of the heated bed... You want the temp as low as possible but still high enough to prevent the warping! Why go low if high would help more?? Simply said: If the bed is too hot the part stays soft for a long time, which can badly affect layer bonding and shape. Imagine you squish the plastic on an already "hard" layer - the plastic is pressed flat to be within the set specs. Now if the the layer is still too hot and soft the plastic will push the lower layer in - which of course will expand outwards. So the layer can actually end up to be lower than it should be - layer will still peel ;) Start with around 50° C for ABS and turn the heat down gradually every 10 layers or 25 if you print really thin layers. If the part still prefers to warp go 10 degrees higher. But again: If the stuff would not stick properly on a cold bed work on that first! How do I print on a cold bed and claim it works fine? To be honest, with a lot of time spent on trying, calibrating and finding the right "magic" to put on the glass to make things stick. Nylon, if the part is big, can still be a frustrating task unless cardboard or Bakelite is used but I still prefer the glass bed. I no longer bother with tapes as it can be costly and I hate changing the entire setup just because I use a different material ;) As said, the main key is a proper calibration of hard- and software! If your prints look messy and you spend as much time cleaning your parts as printing them you know what I mean ;) At the moment my "bed magic" is a clear craft glue with methanol as a solvent, mine is from Aldi but similar products can be found in every craft store. The bed is sanded with 600 grid diamond blocks to be as flat as possible and to provide a bigger surface area for the glue. When mostly printing Nylon is first clean the bed with alcohol and put a layer of plastic primer on it before re-applying the glue. With the right temp settings this glue surface can be reused several times with increasing bond to the part. Once the glue start peeling off the bed it cut the area clean and apply another coat just in the spot. A single bottle of craft glue, diluted down by 20%, lasted now about 3 rolls of filament - not too bad for a 2$ investment LOL Seriously though, squeeky clean your glass bed using alcohol and / or acetone and play with different types of craft glue. You want the stuff that is clear and uses either methanol or ethanol as the solvent, don't bother with water based glues! If the glue sticks well to your part but peels off the bed easily try a layer of plastic primer on the bed first - do this outside! However, if your printer is only capable of using PLA anyway you might not want to bother at all and stick to tape ;)

Posted by Downunder35m 2 years ago

Instamorph Build Night at Arch Reactor Hackerspace, St. Louis, Missouri

On Tuesday, April 21st we held a build night at Arch Reactor (in St. Louis, Missouri) with Instamorph. There was a very excited turnout of over 15 people being introduced to the moldable plastic product. Some members incorporated their creations into existing projects, such as a loop to hold a weather balloon safely onto the quick release pipe during the pre-launch filling in order to measure the total lift without losing any of the gas. Another member created a diffuser for a LED project that used RFID tags to cause different combinations of colored LEDs to turn on when a tag was scanned.  Others experimented with the product to discover ways they might use Instamorph in other projects in the future. The big discoveries of the night were that any unused portions or failed creations could simply be placed back into the hot water and reshaped into version 2.0 or something new entirely and that once it cools Instamorph is virtually indestructible. See the photo of a flat sheet of it being bent into a taco shape. Process: We used an electric kettle to heat up our water to the correct temperature of 140 degrees F / 60 degrees C, and then poured it into small bowls. I had initially thought that each person could start with 3 ounces of the pellets, but the measuring cup that I brought only held 2 ounces. After heating that portion up in the water, we discovered that 2 ounces was plenty for most projects being considered. The member in charge of our workshop had asked those who did not have an idea for the Instamorph to consider making a hanger to hold individual shop safety glasses. He molded a piece into a design for that. Later it was discovered that the hearing protection holder dome in the shop was exactly the size to hold shop glasses. Attempts may be made later to fashion a "nosepiece" and "earpieces" from Instamorph and attach them to the dome to hold several pair of safety glasses on it instead of on the wall. It was also discussed to place a safety glasses holder at various stations throughout the shop to make them more accessible for users in the shop, and thus more likely to be worn.  Problems encountered:  The bowls that I had brought were plastic, so if the heated pellets were pressed into the bowl hard enough they would stick a little, but could be pushed off with just a little effort. In retrospect, I would use glass bowls the next time.  I would also consider using a crock pot to keep the water at a near constant temperature for any personal projects, but the electric kettle and bowls worked well for the build night. We also had an issue with the warmed Instamorph sticking to an acrylic roller and a plastic mold meant for cake decorating. It worked fine if the Instamorph had been allowed to cool while flattening it out by hand, then rolled. However, when it was removed from the water and immediately rolled, it cooled quickly and adhered to both the acrylic roller and the plastic mold. Much scraping, reheating, and elbow grease were applied in order to remove the Instamorph from those tools. Tools made from other materials might work better for this process. 

Posted by GeekTinker 3 years ago

Need help with capacitive button cover for Xbox One.

So I hate capacative buttons.  I work for Microsoft as a game dev and we all have Xbox Ones.  They have the worlds most sensitive capacative power button.  We regularly accidentally turn our boxes off with a slight brush of the hand, bumping a coffee cup that was too close or brushing a controller cord against it. I have been trying to build a button cover.  One that will still turn it on and off with an actual press rather than a light glance of the hand.  I have had no luck so far and have been learning about conductive surfaces along the way. The original plan was to use conductive rubber and some scotch double sided tape.  The tape I am using is a clear rubber and has a mm or so of thickness to it.  I bought some gasket punches and punched out a button about the size of the capacitive area of the Xbox One power button, around an inch, and then another in the tape.  I punched out a smaller center hole in the tape to turn it into a washer, and stuck it onto the button and stuck it on the Xbox.  In theory you have to press the button in to make contact with the capacative button to turn on or off the Xbox.  But alas, it still turned on with the slightest of brush still.  I stacked the tape up to four times.  I tried foam mounting tape.  Alternated tapes, stuck electrical tape inbetween, and still the same thing.   On their own the tapes wouldn't turn on the button when tapping them to, but perhaps there was enough distance when touching holding it length-wise rather than flat against. I figure the electricity must be flowing over the non conductive surface and still going to the button.  In the office with all the EMF I seem to be averaging around 3v to the touch.  I have a grounding mat at my desk that when I make contact with takes me under a volt, to around 0.3v but that doesn't make a difference. So I figured I needed a bigger insulator.   I got some larger machine washers where the hole seemed larger than the capacative area, punched another larger button out of the conductive rubber and glued it over the hole.  Using double sided scotch tape I stuck it to the Xbox.  The same thing as before happened.   Even touching the rubber only was enough to turn it on with a light bump.   I figured I needed a ground.  I tried removing the grounding cord from my mat and holding it against the rubber of the button.   It seems slightly less responsive but still turned on easily.   I tried running copper tape along the side of the Xbox to the button to see if that would draw away the charge, but it did not. Taking my rubber washers I used my multimeter to see if they were conductive at all.  They did not seem to be.  Setting it to measure the volts in ac they are picking up about 0.03v, but so is just the air.  But the rubber rings will turn on the Xbox when I hold them though the thick double sided tape will not. Does anybody have any ideas on how to get this to work or what I am doing wrong?  I will admit I don't know a ton about this stuff.  But I don't understand how these materials can turn the button on.

Posted by technicallyartistic 3 years ago

Burning Man How-Tos, Costumes, Bikes, and Tips & Tricks

Burning Man, the famous weeklong festival of music, art, free expression, and much more in the Nevada desert, is just around the corner. Whether you're a Burning Man veteran, a first-timer, or someone who is interested from afar, here's a list of some Instructables that will help you prepare and make your unique Burning Man experience even better. General Advice TimAnderson's Tips by TimAnderson Learn all about Burning Man and easy, creative ways to keep yourself prepared and safe from TimAnderson's documentation of his trip to the festival last year.   HalcyonPink's Tips by HalcyonPink In this video and the follow-up, Burning Man veteran HalcyonPink gives you his advice.   Find Your Fashion Fire Skirt by la The popular fire skirt uses EL wire to give your clothes some personality.   Angel Wings by fairywingsandthings If your attire of choice requires wings, you're well covered: you could try these angel wings or a different version .   Color-Changing Scarf by enlighted You can't go wrong with clothes that light up.   Electric Umbrella by sockmaster You can't go wrong with accessories that light up, either.   Bikes and the Like Wobble Bike by dan For a fun twist on a regular bike, convert it into a wobble bike that you have to steer from both the back and the front.   Kite-Powered Land Proa by aerohydro Derived from a water proa Instructable, this vehicle transplants the idea to land--ideal for flat, dry terrain like the playa.   Tall Bike by TimAnderson Get an aerial view of all the action while you bike along with this tall bike that anyone can build. .   Chopper Bicycle by KoolKat Few bike designs are as functional and attention-grabbing as the chopper, and you can follow these directions to upgrade your old bike, chopper style.   Furry Pink Bike by HalcyonPink Burning Man is all about being creative and expressing yourself--and your bike is a perfect item to deck out in your own personal style.   LED Bike Wheel Images by ladyada Transform your bike wheels with LEDs that you can program to glow to form various patterns, images, and designs .   Shelter and Shade Parachute Shade Structure by benjcarson This Burning Man-tested structure will help protect you from the raw elements of the playa.   Rebar Tent Stakes by tk1314 Normal tent stakes won't be too effective at Burning Man, but these made from rebar prevent impaling and will hold your tent firmly.   Portable Yurt by TimAnderson This version of a yurt, a Mongolian tent-like structure, is portable and can be assembled and disassembled easily.   Fire, Flying Things, and Other Fun Firebreathing by Tetranitrate A combination of fire, art, and fun, you can light up the desert night with firebreathing tricks.   Cincinnati Fire Kite by stasterisk Kiting is a very popular activity at Burning Man, and you can join in with a this kite that combines flying and fire together into a night-time spectacle.   Fire Staff by Stone Light both ends of the staff and spin to create your own patterns.   Candle-Powered Hot Air Balloon by ewilhelm A simple combination of birthday candles, painter's plastic, and balsa wood can turn into a functional hot air balloon.   Homemade Poi by Hydra Learn to make homemade practice poi that can be used anywhere--and check out other Instructables on how to spin poi and other DIY poi designs.   If you're going to Burning Man this year, we hope this helps and have a fun, safe, and exciting experience!

Posted by joshf 9 years ago

Blakes 7 Teleport Bracelet

This is how to make the magic blakes seven teleport bracelet!Ingredients:one cardboard roll, such as a poster or postal cylinder or the cardboard roll from inside a roll of packing tape; diameter 8.5cm, width 4cm (cut to this width if need be, using a saw or knife)cardboard, thick enough to be sturdy, thin enough to be flexiblethin cork (optional)plain paperglueblack or dark brown foam rubber (optional)silver tape width 1.5cm OR aluminuim foil cut or folded to width 1.5cmAntique Gold or metallic brown paintgrey paint OR a round grey button 2cm diameter OR grey tapered paint OR pink paint OR red paint + pearl nailpolishbrown packing tape or beige paintclear or red contact (optional)Visual Reference:Refer to the Liberator Teleport Bracelet diagram in the Horizon Technical Manual.Instructions:Cut your roll to the right width if need be. If the roll is too thin and flimsy, stick a layer of cardboard over it. Cover the rough edges with paper.Cut five strips of cardboard, one 15x3cm, one 9x3cm, one 1.3x3cm, and two 2.5x1cm (measurements will vary depending on the precise size of the cardboard roll). If the cardboard is thin, cut twice as many strips. If you are using thin cork, cut one strip each from the cork also.Stick the strips onto the roll, making sure they evenly positioned in the center. Check the diagram for where to stick them: the two long strips should be next to each other with a small gap representing where the hinge of the bracelet would go if it had a hinge. The small 1.3x3cm strip goes in the larger gap between the long strips - this is where the red button will go. If using cork, stick the cork down first, and the cardboard on top.When all the glue is dry, paint the bracelet with antique gold or metallic brown enamel paint. Do more than one coat if you think that will look better. Wait for the paint to dry.The red receive-button is made from the two smallest strips of cardboard stuck together, covered with white paper, painted red, and covered with contact to make it shiny. Another way of doing this is painting it red, and then painting it with white-pearl nailpoilish to get that glowing pink-red effect. Glue this as indicated in the diagram.The grey transmit-part is made either from cutting a circle of paper or thin card (1.5-2cm diameter) and painting it grey, or by using a grey round button and cutting off the shaft so that it will stick on flat. Stick this on as indicated in the diagram.Cut out silver tape or foil and stick on the bracelet as indicated in the diagram. Cut out (very cleverly) pieces of brown packing tape in the shapes of the alien characters that decorate the rest of the bracelet and stick them on, or else paint them on with beige paint. You may wish to paint the whole bracelet with clear enamel to protect it.Optionally add a lining with foam rubber, to aid the bracelet in not falling off when you wear it.NOTES: Cardboard rolls: the roll from inside a large roll of packing tape comes closest to the right size. A large postal cylinder is too large and a small one is too small. A Pringles packet is too small, but may be easier to obtain. A Pringles packet is easier to cut but is also flimsier; it is recommended to add bulk by sticking on more cardboard to thicken it up.Cardboard: most cardboard you can buy will probably be too thin. The backs of note-pads may provide thicker stuff. The disadvantage of thicker cardboard is that it will not bend as easily, and the cardboard used here must bend. An alternative if available could be thin cork (a few millimetres thick); this will bend fairly easily and add the bulk you need. But only bother if you happen to have some (maybe left over from someone's redecorating or the like). I used it for mine, it worked beautifully.The red button: building this up from strips of cardboard is fairly tedious, and if you can think of a better way, do that.I know Michael Keating!He Played Vila.

Posted by Bartboy 10 years ago

Status update (Update: Barackuda soon to post)

Hey, peoples.  I'm rather sad to see the community dying but I figured I'll cling on a little longer, try to spark some more activity if possible. I see people still posting instructions, so that's good. Just wish we'd keep more discussion going on the forums. Anyway, a couple things: Just to show what I have around, I tried to make something after my Barackuda but didn't end up going anywhere. I just wanted to have something around, so I remade and improved my SMRI model. This version was designed solely for looks based off my last version. I couldn't really be bothered to try making this one shoot. It still uses Red's stock because I couldn't think of a better design at the time. Anywho, this wasn't meant to be the impressive bit, just something to show while yabbering. =P  With the Barackuda and the SMRI, I realized that I'm still limited in a few pieces. I desperately need more dark greys, oranges, and black hands. I also realized I feel bad destroying guns and never keeping them around so that I can build new ones. I figure I might as well build my collection up so I can keep more guns around. So I've ordered more pieces. I'll get them probably some time early next week. I'm hoping to build something right away. I'm thinking of revisiting my Barackuda to see if I can improve the trigger and feed ramp. I might redesign it entirely. I'm hoping to attempt a repeating slingshot of some form at some point too. But it's an area I've never worked in before so I might get discouraged pretty quick. I dunno, I need to try actually building these ideas I have sitting in my head for years. I'll post more in here once I get the pieces and start building something. Update 2/19/16:  I'm mostly finished with my new version of the Barackuda. I filled in the empty gaps on the rods of the magazine to make it fuller looking. The trigger -should- work better now but I just noticed it struggles to set when it's still pulled back while cocking. I suspect I just need a better band setup to resolve this, otherwise it works fine when you manually push the trigger forward. Last, the stock was changed entirely to give the bolt a rail to glide inside of with a solid bolt stop right after the trigger engages, allowing for a quick and smooth action. The handle connection is also more sturdy, so the stock is surprisingly rigid. Overall I'm much more pleased with this version, as long as I can figure out the trigger bands this might be posted. I'll begin working on yet another remake of the UMP soon. Update 11/9/16:  Man, the year sure flew by. I apologize for never really getting around to posting the Barackuda before. This time I think I've finally gotten over my perfectionism. I've adjusted the stock to keep the same track design but attached it differently and otherwise made the rest of the stock use less pieces. I've figured out a (I think) new pair of K'nex sights more precise than our usual chunky ones, not that it'll help much. The trigger and back of the gun has been adjusted to block the pin further back, hopefully improving range slightly. The front of the gun was made more compact and flat at the bottom to allow potential changes to the front of the magazine in the future. It also makes muzzle loading much easier in tandem with the new ramp. The ramp is also simpler, more consistent, and hopefully offers better range than my other ones. Finally, the magazine has been adjusted to be easier to load and hopefully more reliable. I'd finally say this is a practical war weapon alternative. I'll post this...hopefully sooner rather than later. This time I mean it. 

Posted by TheDunkis 2 years ago

Instructables Online Classes

What are Instructables Classes? Our new online classes are the latest addition to Instructables! We're launching with nine classes - 3D Printing, Glue, Hand Sewing, Knitting, Leatherworking, Pasta Making, Robots, Wearable Electronics, and Woodworking - and more will be added each quarter. These online classes get you making with fun, project-based lessons, one-on-one help with your questions, and complete material lists and downloadable project resources. Do I need to have prior experience to take a class? No, not at all! All of our classes start with the basics so beginners with no prior experience are the perfect students! However, even if you’ve already dabbled in any of the class topics, you will surely still learn a ton, because the lessons progress and become more difficult. Our instructors kept material and tool costs in mind while crafting the classes in an effort to keep them accessible to everyone. Most of the classes can be done on a budget in your garage, backyard or one-bedroom apartment! What if I have questions when I’m taking the class? We’re committed to providing you one-on-one help and feedback. If you have a question, please post it in the “Ask a Question” section of the class or on any lesson and we will get back to you in a timely manner. Feel free to add pictures of your specific problem or tool so we can help in the best way possible! What are the benefits of taking a class? We firmly believe that making is one of the very best ways to spend your free time. Our classes are no different! Each one is fun, informative, and inclusive, using a range of media from videos and GIFs to images and text to explain new skills. Each new skill is also tied to a project, so you can make things while you follow along. You’ll be getting your hands dirty with new projects that you’ll be able to show off to your friends and loved ones! And, if you have any questions, you’ll receive one-on-one support from your instructor. Why do I need to be a Premium member to take a class? Our classes are a premium feature. Our instructors have been working around the clock for months to create the best quality content that is engaging, fun and teaches you the essential skills to make your creative dreams a reality. Our Premium membership starts at just $2.95/month and gives you access to ALL current and future classes on all your devices, as well as the perks listed below. You can also purchase one class for a flat fee of $29.95. What are the benefits of being a Premium member? When you sign up for a Premium account, not only do you get access to all current and future classes on your desktop, tablet and mobile phone, you also get a whole other suite of Premium features. These perks include the ability to download any Instructable as a PDF (that’s over 200,000 projects with 100s added daily), no ads while viewing on any device, partner discounts from maker-friendly brands, and more! How do I complete a class? In order to successfully complete a class, we track your progress in three ways: Quiz questions Homework Class projects You’ll see prompts for these activities scattered throughout the lessons. Make sure to complete all of these checkpoints to successfully complete the class. If a lesson doesn’t have any of the three progress trackers, you will successfully complete the lesson simply by reading and viewing all of the content on the page. Can I suggest an idea for a class I want to take? Please do suggest any and all ideas for what you want to learn! We are taking suggestions for class ideas at the bottom of this page. We might just make your dream class a reality! How often will new classes be added? We will be adding new classes on a rolling basis and sending updates via our newsletter. Sign up here to hear about them first.

Posted by asergeeva 2 years ago

Buy this and make something cool

My place of employment is currently trying to clean out a warehouse full of stuff they don't use, and I've been given permission to have a yard sale! I thought some of it could be used by the Instructables community to craft something amazing. First thing up for grabs is lots of (mostly) steel wire. Price is negotiable. Make me an offer or it gets dumped in the recycle bin in a few weeks. I have lots of different stuff to get rid of some of the more useful stuff might appear here (I got some aluminum squares of various sizes that could go). email or PM here. WIRE ST17-7 .010 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .012 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .016 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .018 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .020 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .026 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .032 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .035 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .039 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .041 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .042 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .0475 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .049 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .050 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .054 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .060 SQUARE WIRE ST17-7 .060 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .0625 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .067 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .072 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .072 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .075 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .080 DIA ANN? WIRE ST17-7 .080 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .085 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .088 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .091 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .095 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .105 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .109 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .120 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .140 DIA /AMS 5673 WIRE ST17-7 .148 DIA WIRE MUSIC .202 DIA TIN PL. 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B WIRE ST17-7 .112 DIA WIRE MUSIC .049 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .033 DIA WIRE ST17-7 .062 SQUARE WIRE ST17-7 .050 SQUARE WIRE ST302 .0915 DIA WIRE MUSIC .042 DIA WIRE ST316 .080 DIA COND. A WIRE MUSIC .034 DIA WIRE HD .080 DIA. GALV. WIRE HD .072 DIA. GALV. WIRE MUSIC .107 DIA WIRE MUSIC .048 DIA WIRE BASIC .080 GALVINIZED 14 GA. WIRE BASIC .062 GALVINIZED 16 GA. 66-18189-3 WIRE (PARTIALLY FORMED) 66-18189-3 WIRE (PARTIALLY FORMED) 69-41900-4 WIRE 69-41900-6 WIRE 66-18284-5 WIRE, CABLE STOP 808267A LOCKWIRE 5-71761-54 WIRE MESH 11010557-3 GUIDE, WIRE 11010557-4 GUIDE, WIRE 11010557-5 GUIDE, WIRE R829C WIRE FORM 409-64067-11 BRAID-WIRE 409-64067-12 BRAID-WIRE 409-64067-13 BRAID-WIRE 409-64067-14 BRAID-WIRE 409-64067-15 BRAID-WIRE 409-64067-16 BRAID-WIRE 409-64067-17 BRAID-WIRE 409-64067-18 BRAID-WIRE 409-64067-19 BRAID-WIRE 2821052-3 WIRE SET, TERMINAL 2821052-4 WIRE, ELECTRICAL 1681062-3 COVER, WIRE 1681047-3 COVER, WIRE 3B10500-104 SUPPORT-WIRE 105-BB23013F WIRE BAIL 204-31027-5 BRAID-WIRE 204-31027-4 BRAID-WIRE 69B93097-601 WIRE, ANTI-FOUL. 69-35829-4 WIRE 415T6346-3 WIRE FORM 214U3125-2 WIRE RETAINER #* 53N04 SAFETY WIRE 291AS234 LATCH, ARMING WIRE 287T0020-14 WIRE SUPPORT ASSY 287T0020-13 WIRE SUPPORT ASSY 287T0020-15 WIRE SUPPORT 287T0020-452 WIRE SUPPORT 287T0020-573 WIRE SUPPORT ASSY 287T0020-574 WIRE SUPPORT 287T1021-5 WIRE SUPPORT ASSY. 287T1021-6 WIRE SUPPORT ASSY. 7-3033-1 WIRE, RETAINING 25-9506-1 BRACKET, WIRE BUNDLE 287T1019-1 WIRE SUPPORT ASSY. 287T1019-2 WIRE SUPPORT ASSY. 417U9549-4 STIFFENER WIRE 417U9549-7 STIFFENER WIRE 287T0015-65 WIRE SUPPORT ASSY 287T0015-66 WIRE SUPPORT ASSY 287T0015-67 WIRE SUPPORT 287T0015-68 WIRE SUPPORT 66-1717 BRACKET, WIRE BUNDLE 63-9273-1 SPACER, WIRE BUNDLE 65-11665-800 CLIP, WIRE SUPPORT 65-11665-801 BRACKET, WIRE SUPPORT 7-3166-1 WIRE RETAINER 232W4561-19 WIRE E66-18189-3 WIRE (PARTIALLY FORMD) E66-18284-5 WIRE, CABLE STOP G66-18284-5 WIRE, CABLE STOP

Posted by Rainbowlaces 9 years ago

Hydrophobic music, dubstep windchimes, Smash Smash Revolution and etc @ Knox Makers Build Night w/ MaKey MaKey!

Wow, what a month at Knox Makers! We were absolutely invaded by MaKey MaKeys at our hackerspace all throughout January. To start us off, we released a freebie project a little early to help out members and guests get some ideas, to drum up local support for our events, and to offer a fun + easy starter project for the other spaces participating: Oversized Music Chest This ended up getting featured in Electronics! It leaves a lot of room to add extra components and tote the MaKey MaKey around, and we turned ours into a musical advertisement for our first Build Night, a mystery hack night about music. Mystery Hack Night: Music! What a blast! Talk about a weird time.. One family brought a theremin and a circuit bending kit for kids; another group brought an amp and speakers, a suitcase of effect pedals and circuit bent instruments, and a 4 channel mixer; we had a random component table for open hacking; an acoustic and broken ukulele was converted into an electronic instrument; we had painters painting music instrument for the MaKey MaKey with conductive paint; there was a table with our hydrophobic drum pad, bananas, an eggplant, flowers, and a grappling hook all controlling a set of browser based drums through the MaKey MaKey; we had members hooking up tactile buttons and levers to MaKey MaKeys; and we closed with the weirdest jam session this side of Alpha Centauri with all the things playing all the sounds at the same time. Mystery Hack Night: Video Game Controllers! This was a fun night, and we had a few new people show up. We tinkered with a platformer adventure game called Fancy Pants Adventure, where we assigned each person one button. At one point, the whole table was controlling the game's protagonist. Somehow, we made it pretty far into the game, considering. A few people commented that this type of exercise seemed like a really useful team building exercise, so we might look at creating some tutorials with this in mind. We also had individuals and small groups testing out their own inventions and games, again revisiting concepts like conductive ink or simple conductive objects. A two person team tinkered around with some simple fighting games that only use one button for each player, there were people playing Tetris and other games with their inventions, and we again offered a random hack table with an assortment of items and components to rummage through. MaKey MaKey Build Night I: When MaKeys Attack.. We had a nice turnout for this event. This was an introduction to the basic concept behind MaKey MaKey, how to remap the beta v1.2 boards using the web remapper, different applications that make a MaKey MaKey naturally awesome to use, and a few sample projects. We opened up the floor to open hacking, and that day our Adafruit group buy had just come in. We were able to add to the random hack table some awesome components, such as: male/male and female/female jumper wires, various diffused LEDs, slow and fast cycling LEDs, conductive thread, flat LED panels, sewable LEDs, tactile buttons, and other items. We wrapped up and one of our newest members stayed late to craft a thin copper wire into a flat copper instrument using a mallet. He ended up using a breadboard with the MaKey MaKey and Wolfram software to write his own music program. As with our other Build Night events this month, we also had people working on side projects in the background which added to the creative energy of the room. For this event, one of our members tested out a Gocupi that managed to draw Rear Admiral Grace Hopper and Albert Einstein on the whiteboard in dry erase marker using continuous lines. MaKey MaKey Build Night II: Big Projects! We had a decent turnout for this event, but mostly the attendees were there for their own big projects unrelated to MaKey MaKey. We got a few MaKey MaKey projects in around good company, though. We had members working on a large geodesic Airolite boat, someone showed up to work on their 3D printer and print out their first scale model of a scanned person, our Facilities Director was able to get some critical inventory done, a couple members mounted new shelves that had been donated that day, and one member's daughter wanted to play around with hydrophobics. We also were able to get electronic musical wind chimes made that work very nicely with the MaKey MaKey, and the same member who tinkered with Wolfram software at the prior event made more progress on some of his own MaKey MaKey ideas. MaKey MaKey Build Night III: Advanced Reprogramming! This was one of the build nights I was most excited about, and we had a nice turnout. We walked members through reprogramming the older MaKey MaKeys using the MaKey MaKey sketch for Arduino IDE. We bested Windows and its infernal resistance to unsigned 3rd party drivers, and we advanced onward. We looked at basic reprogramming of the settings.h key bindings, and we also looked at other Arduino programming such as delay, Keyboard.print,, Keyboard.release, and some other concepts. A father team duo that are also involved in a local high school robotics club showed up and schooled us a little on Arduino with some tricks they had up their sleeves, another father son duo showed up to experience the MaKey MaKey for the first time together and it seemed to blow their minds, and we talked about the new web remapping tool for the beta v1.2 boards. Mad Science Bingo For one of our educational outreach events, we attended hijacked bingo night at a local senior citizen community center. We let everyone have their bingo fun without interruption, but as bingo concluded we invaded with a MaKey MaKey, our hydrophobic drum pad, fruits and veggies, and some flowers. The senior citizens loved it and have invited us back. At one point, we had three participants record themselves singing into a Scratch program that we mapped to the flowers. The room erupted with laughter when the community center manager went to touch the flowers and they sang at her in her patrons' voices. She even lent her voice to be recorded, which sent the room into mad howls. We also made a chain of about dozen people between ground and the triggers. We didn't really invent anything unique here, but it was a fun bonus event for the community center patrons. We ended up tinkering around a little with hydrophobics and electronics. So far after all our events, we ended up with a few more Build Night projects: Hydrophobic Drum Pad (featured in Science and then Homepaged!) annoy friends with this party game: Wonky Pong Smash Smash Revolution ... black acrylic, conductive paint, and conductive thread Electronic Windchimes sewable Cardboard Feet DDR (featured in Video Games!) We've also set out our MaKey MaKey kits for space use now that our January Build Nights are over with. We have a few members with projects they are still working on at the space, a few projects that are still being documented to upload to Instructables, and a few people batting around their own ideas. If we come up with anything else, we'll be sure and update. A couple "lessons learned" here: Random hack tables are awesome. But.. if they are too chaotic and without the right presentation, these can be intimidating to beginners that may want more direction. Multiple Build Nights rule! But.. it is probably best not to hijack every Saturday of a shared workspace like a hackerspace. This could have been orchestrated a little better (my fault). Overall, this was a blast to participate in. Thanks to Joylabz and Instructables! PS.. with two features and one homepage, that gave us 1 and a half years of Pro. One got used, but we're giving away the remaining year of Pro and 3 months of Pro. The bounty: quick connect projects for MaKey MaKey. Ends 3/1 EST. You know what to do..

Posted by smalltortoise 3 years ago

Hack your Servo V1.00: Make a powerful linear actuator using a standard hobby Servo

Hack your Servo V1.00: Make a powerful linear actuator using a standard hobby Servo   Provided you have the tools and the servo you can built this for under a couple of bucks. The actuator extends with a rate of about 50mm/min. It is rather slow but very powerful. Watch my video at the end of the post where the small actuator lifts 10kg vertically.   Materials List Tools list   - hobby servo - standard hobby brass tubing             -OD: 4.0mm, ID: 3.4mm             -OD: 5.8mm, ID: 4.5mm - standard hobby styrene tubing                                                 -OD: 4.8mm, ID: 3.5mm - M4 studding - 2 x M5 washers - 2 x M4 nuts - 5 minute epoxy - cyanoacrylate - grease - multi-strand cables - heat-shrink tubing   - standard tools – screwdrivers, scalpel, files etc. - dremmel multi-tool with ceramic abrasive disk, or similar - hand-drill + 4.9mm + 2.5mm drill-bits - M3 tap - M4 tap - soldering iron - glue gun - small vice - small saw - sanding paper (relatively fine) - small flame torch Procedure - I will be giving instructions based on the dimensional parameters of the Hitec HS-300. The procedure remains the same for any type servo. I strongly recommend you read the whole post before you start. So lets make a start, shall we?   - Open your hobby servo, remove control electronics, feedback potentiometer and mechanical stop on the servo’s output gear.   - Solder new cables on the servo motor’s leads.   - Drill two 4.9mm holes on the servo case bottom cover. These should be located longitudinally along the centre line and 9.5 mm from each end (this applies on the Hitec HS-300 and is also true for many standard servos but depending on your servo type there might be differences). The M4 thread will come out from the servo body using one of these two so this hole must be located directly below the centre of rotation of the servo’s output gear. Be very careful since this alignment is very important! If you don’t get it right you might have to use a new servo! The more accurate you are, the longer your servo will endure. -  Measure the dimensions of the rotating shaft of the potentiometer on the servo’s original electronics – note the geometry in general. The shaft should be flattened right at the tip in order to prevent it from freely-rotating once inserted into the servo’s output gear.   - Take the M4 studding (M4 thread) pick one end and by using the dremmel and the abrasive wheel tool, replicate the tip of the servo’s potentiometer on that end. Start by decreasing the diameter of the thread, rotating it steadily by hand against the abrasive disk (normally to 3.5mm in diameter and at least 6mm in length). Try to think of your fingers as the chuck of a slow-turning lathe. Once the diameter of the thread is down to the pot’s shaft diameter, flatten the tip according to the potentiometer’s tip. The idea is that the thread must be inserted in the servo’s output gear in the same way the potentiometer did before. The better the fit the longer your servo will endure. - On the flat tip of the M4 thread, screw the two M4 nuts approximately 20mm down its length. Following that, insert the two M5 washers. - Insert the thread inside the servo and adjust the distance of the nuts and washers down the thread such that the servo case bottom cover closes properly and the motor rotates efficiently. Basically, you have to make sure that once the thread and the servo are assembled there is no pressure between the servo case bottom cover and the nut-washer assembly. Similarly, you have to make sure that once the thread and the servo are assembled there is no gap between the servo case bottom cover and the nut-washer assembly. Once again, the better the fit the more your linear actuator will endure.   - Once you find the optimum position carefully disassemble the servo, remove the washers from the thread and use a drop of cyanoacrylate on the side of the nut that was in contact with the washers in the assembly. Let the glue to settle for 5 minutes. Unscrew the second nut by 10mm towards the flat end of the thread, and prepare a small epoxy mix.   - Put the mix between the two nuts and screw the second nut back in place. Once in place also use some epoxy on the back of the second nut as well. Ideally you should sand all contacting areas before you apply the epoxy glue. Leave to settle for at least 6 hours (even if you use a 5 min epoxy). - Secure tightly the 4mm diameter brass tube onto a vice by flattening the mounting end and use the M4 tap VERY carefully tapping as deep as possible (at least 15mm). Using the dremmel cut 10mm out of the threaded part of the tube and then verify that the created thread runs along the whole length of the small threaded tube by screwing it onto an M4 screw. Keep the 4mm threaded tube on the screw for handling purposes. Apply a layer of solder on the outside surface. - Take the 5.8mm diameter brass tube pick one end and try to sand at least 5mm into the tube (on the inside). Mount the brass tubing on the vice without squishing it and apply a thin layer of solder on the inside.   - Ignite the flame torch, take the 4mm threaded tube (holding it by the screw) and move it on the soldered end of the 5.8mm diameter brass tube which should still be mounted on the vice. Using the flame torch heat-up both tubes and carefully insert the 4mm threaded tubing inside the 5.8mm tubing until is fully inside. Use a pair of pliers and insert the brass tube by holding the end of the screw that sticks out. Hold the threaded tube levelled inside the 5.8mm tube until the solder settles. If you do not have a flame torch use a candle, your soldering iron and your patience :). Remove the screw. The end result will be the cylinder of your linear actuator. - The cylinder length should be equal to: the actuator’s desired working length (stroke) + length of the 4mm threaded tube which is inside the 5.8mm tube + 10mm for the mounting hinge at the cylinder end.   - The thread length should be: the actuator’s desired working length (stroke) + length of threaded tube which is inside the 5.8mm tube + length of the thread which resides inside the servo casing, which is model-dependant.   - Take the non-threaded/non-soldered side of the cylinder and drill a 2.5mm hole through, 5mm from the tip. - Cover the entire length of the cylinder with heat-shrinking tube and cut-off any excess bits. The 2.5mm through holes made earlier on the non-threaded side of the cylinder are now covered. Use the drill again to expose them and tap them through, using the M3 tap. Screw a 20mm long M3 studding or simply cut-off the head of a 20mm long M3 screw. This will act as your cylinder mounting hinge.   - Take the 4.8mm styrene tubing and M4 tap it 10mm deep. Cut a small ring 5mm in length and screw it in the M4 thread fully, from the side of the nut that was in contact with the washers (long side of the M4 thread). This will act as bushing between the thread and the servo’s case bottom cover. Ideally you should use nylon, copper or metal bushing. - Secure the motor cables inside the servo casing using a glue-gun and use heat-shrinking tube to cover them. Assemble the servo including the thread, the styrene bushing and the washers.   - Screw-on the cylinder and you are good to go! Here is a video of the small actuator lifting 10kg For those of you that have watched my video on the MTR Rover     will understand where the idea of hacking the servo came from ;))   Soon we will be posting assembly instructions, code and schematics on how to modify a standard servo to get full PID speed and position control with 10-bit resolution over 360 degrees – continuous ;)     I look forward for your comments!    

Posted by Antonb 8 years ago

Distribution of Solar Heated Water and Any Other Heated or Cooled Water

I started this project about a week ago after seeing the Instructable – made mine out of cardboard and then coated the cardboard – front and back – with fiberglass resin for stiffness. I covered the inside with tinfoil to test it out and find the focal point. It worked great with the focal point at the center of the dish even with the lip of the curve. I then removed the tinfoil and replaced the tinfoil with mirrored Plexiglas. Now it works awesome. I have a 30� parabolic mirror that can ignite wood almost instantaneously at the focal point of the light.Next I constructed the heating coil to run water through. This is made from a large 1 Kg coffee can, 16’ of ¼� copper tubing with end fittings, and the glass lid of a small sauce pan (handle removed). The outside of the coffee can is painted flat black as is the copper pipe. The copper pipe is coiled to a coil 4� in diameter and 6� in length and inserted inside the can with the ends extending from the side of the can through two drilled holes. The inside of the can is not painted, but left shiny. The glass lid is then taped over the hole with aluminum metal tape covering a minimum amount of the glass – about 1/4� around the edge.The coffee can is then suspended over the mouth of the parabolic mirror by a three point 6� chimney pipe stand-off. The can’s mouth is centered at the focal point of the mirror so all of the light being reflected by the mirror must enter the coffee can. Hoses are hooked up to the copper pipe fittings and these lines go to the feed/storage tank.The problem with the conventional set up from here is that the speed the water moves at (slow) to be heated to a great degree causes such great loses through convection, this system is not really feasible. I propose a new idea – or a new twist on an old idea.I noticed that the solar heat generating station use a black water pipe inside a glass vacuum tube to generate heat from the sun for heating water. I said to myself that this is a great idea and plan on building the next heating coil in a vacuum chamber. But, I also came up with the idea that the if the water is heated in this manner, why can’t it be transferred to the storage tank in a similar manner.If the feed lines were suspended inside a larger outer line and the outer line sealed tight and vacuumed the heat transfer due to convection would be almost nil. I estimated that with a total convective area at 100% the use of plastic stand-offs (8 @1/8� thick over 12’) the convective area would be reduced to 0.6%. Unbelievable! Even if this rose to 5% it is far beyond anything in use today by the home owner. Stretches of pipe going 100s of meters would no longer be un-heard of. You could place the dish in a close by field away from the trees and house and pump the heat back without losing it to the ground.This would also work for outdoor wood furnaces if use today. An outer pipe could be added over the existing pipe work, sealed, and vacuumed – almost all heat lose would be gone. And much larger stretches of pipe could be used here also. They would no longer need one furnace for the barn and another for the house. With this system, the pipes could even be run above ground, if desired, in some cases.This could also be used to replace insulation on cooling lines also.The key to the system is minimal contact between the inside and outside lines, and the vacuum between the two lines. Remember, there is no transfer of heat through convention within a vacuum, because there is no air for the heat to transfer through.As with all the new ideas this could get costly depending on the scale of piping you are dealing with – but the savings from reduced heat lose will far out way these cost in the near future.I may get an Instructable out for the Energy efficiency contest, but will be hard pressed.

Posted by strmrnnr 9 years ago

XYZ Recumbent Trike

So I've been wanting a recumbent bike to help me get in shape. I'm far enough out of shape that a standard bike is uncomfortable to the point of being a deterent. The biggest obstacle to me is the price. Even the Terra Trike which is supposed to be an affordable, entry level option is almost a grand even bare bones. I tried looking on craigslist but even used ones rarely dip below 800. So I looked for something I could diy. My biggest obstacle on that front is I don't own, or know how to use a welder. I think I've found something promising though.  There is a group in The Netherlands called N55. They are sort of a engineering/art collective and they focus on things to improve modern life. One of the projects they have out there is their XYZ Vehicles. They are pedal powered vehicles designed so that they can be put together with a minimum of tools. All that really should be needed is a power drill, some wrenches and a metal saw. From what I understand, they do classes where they build the 2 upright versions, the bakfiet and the tadpole design with the cargo box, but these are all over in europe and I am in Arizona so... I haven't been able to find anyone as of yet who has made one of the recumbents here in the states and posted about it. I would love to do this and post it as an instructable but I need some help. All of the materials list is metric and while I personally think a base-10 system makes a heck of a lot more sense that what we call standard measurements, I'm still not familiar with metric. So my question to the community is, should I convert all the measurements to standard or is there someplace i can buy these materials from here in the states in metric sizes? B I L L O F M A T E R I A L S : B O L T S & N U T S M6 SELFLOCKING NUTS, stainless (DIN985) - ca. 150 pieces (TWOSEATER: 200 pieces) M8 SELFLOCKING NUTS, stainless (DIN985) - ca. 5 pieces (TWOSEATER: identical) M8 NUTS NORMAL, stainless - ca. 5 pieces (TWOSEATER: identical) M6 and M8 BOLTS with Hexagon head, stainless, (DIN931): 6mm x 140 mm - ca. 2 pieces (TWOSEATER: 3 pieces) 6mm x 90 mm - ca. 15 pieces (TWOSEATER: 20 pieces) 6mm x 90 mm - ca. 5 pieces in DIN 933 (full thread) (TWOSEATER: identical) 6mm x 60 mm - ca. 60 pieces (TWOSEATER: 120 pieces) 6mm x 65 mm - ca. 10 pieces (TWOSEATER: identical) 6mm x 40 mm - ca. 25 pieces (TWOSEATER: identical) 8mm x 120mm, 2 pieces (TWOSEATER: identical) 8mm x 100mm, 2 pieces (TWOSEATER: identical) M6 WASHERS - ca. 300 pieces (TWOSEATER: 400 pieces) M8 WASHERS - ca. 10 pieces (TWOSEATER: identical) A L U M I N U M 2x25x25mm ALUMINIUM SQUARE TUBE: 15m (TWOSEATER: 34m) 3x30x30mm ALUMINIUM SQUARE TUBE: 1m (TWOSEATER: 2.5m) 4x60mm ALUMINIUM FLAT: 1m (TWOSEATER: identical) 2x22mm ALUMINUM ROUND TUBE Ø 22mm: 1m P L A S T I C S 3x880x340mm POLYCARBONATE SHEET (TWOSEATER: 2 times) ENDCAPS (PE), black, for 2x25x25 tubing: ca. 70 pieces (TWOSEATER: 100 pieces) ENDCAPS (PE), black, for 3x30x30 tubing: ca. 10 pieces (TWOSEATER: 15 pieces) POM or PE black, round Ø 25mm: ca. 0,3m (TWOSEATER: 0,5m) POM or PE black, square 21x21mm: ca. 0,6m (TWOSEATER: 0,5m) POM or PE WASHERS M8: ca. 20 pieces (TWOSEATER: identical) M I S C E L L A N E O U S AXIAL NEEDLE BEARINGS M8: 4 pieces (TWOSEATER: identical) NYLON SPHERE w. screwthread, black, diameter 50mm: 2 pieces (TWOSEATER: identical) NYLON RIBBON, black, width 25mm, for seat side support: 1,7m (TWOSEATER: 3,5m)

Posted by dark8587 3 years ago

New palam tv at cheap price

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Posted by globalphones1999 11 years ago

Instructables in the News

Instructables seems to be finding its way around the news media. Here are links to the mentions I know of. If you see any others, leave a note in the comments, or post a forum topics and I'll add a link to it here. If you're from the press and would like to arrange an interview, please contact me here. See the most current news about Instructables with a Google News search for Instructables. The Top 100 Websites of 2011 - PCMag Share What You Make with Instructables - Forbes Autodesk 2011: On Autodesk Acquiring Instructables - Core77 Eric Wilhelm featured on NPR discussing DIY "Sous Vide" cooking techniques Maker Faire and the Growth of Do-It-Yourself - Entrepreneur Autodesk Buys Instructables; Design Software Giant in Consumer Marketing Push - Xconomy Instructables, A Mecca for Makers, Reflects Eric Wilhelm’s Passion for Building Stuff and Telling the Story - Xconomy Autodesk Acquires Instructables and What it Means for Makers - MAKE eBook Evolutions: Instructables - Forbes Blog Eric Wilhelm discusses high-tech Halloween projects on NPR's Science Friday 2010-10-22 New York Times - Bamboo Bicycles New York Times - Growing Vegetables Upside Down DIY Green Projects - ABC News Instructables in the Daily Green Taking an Open-Source Approach to Hardware - Instructables in the WSJ FYIs for the DIYers - Instructables in the Sacramento Bee Do-It-Yourself Guru Makes Treasures From Trash - Tim Anderson Profiled on NPR's Weekend Edition Instructables on WGHP Fox 8 - Paper Wallets and Marshmallow Shooters "It's not like everyone who does DIY is a communist!" - Instructables in the Financial Times Instructables in Inventors Digest - Five Questions with Eric Wilhelm Instructables on KSL5's Studio 5 How to make your own high-tech Christmas gifts - Instructables in New Scientist Build It Yourself at - Instructables on ABC's Ahead of the Curve DIY Holiday Gift Ideas - The Best of Instructables on NHPR's Word of Mouth Instructables on NPR's Here & Now 11/24/2008 Instructables on NYC's WCBS-AM 880 Monday Eco-nomical: Homemade Gifts -- Instructables Mentioned on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday 2008-11-23 Instructables on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday - 2008-11-22 Homeowners go greener with do-it-yourself jobs Faberge Egg Contest Round-up by Forbes Dry-Ice Martini and Electric Cake - Hungry Scientist and Instructables in the NYT Leah Buechley and Instructables Written Up by Forbes: "A Blinking Fashion Statement" Instructables Part of PC World's 100 Incredibly Useful and Interesting Web Sites Customers increasingly drive firms' innovations Netting circle - The crafting and DIY crazes are catching on with websites such as Etsy and Instructables Eric Wilhelm wins Technology Review's Top Innovators under 35 Award Tiny Talents - Learning Bar Tricks in the New York Times Magazine How To Fix The World & Grassroots Innovation Takes Root - Instructables in Forbes My Belt Sander Can Beat Your Circular Saw - Instructables in the New York Times 3 How-To Projects In 60 Seconds - Eric Wilhelm of Instructables on the Forbes Video Network Eric profiled by Technology Review in "Instructables pioneer loves to kite-surf" This, From That - Maker Faire and Instructables in the New York Times Instructables on NPR's Talk of the Nation April Fools' Day 2008 - The Top Five Office April Fools Pranks Instructables on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday March 9th, 2008 Innovation: 'How-To' Web Sites Let You Learn Just About Anything - Instructables in Fox Business News Arts and Crafts Find New Life Online - Instructables in BusinessWeek Instructables in SmartComputing Instructables on LA's KROQ Instructables in the Telegraph -- Weird and wonderful inventions The How-Tos That You Do: Instructables Keep People In Step After Step After Step. - Instructables in Helio Mag Instructables in the New York Times -- Romancing the Flat Pack: Ikea, Repurposed Instructables in the New York Times - In a Highly Complex World, Innovation From the Top Down Mouse Mouse in FHM-Germany Instructables and Squid Labs featured in Tech Closeup's April 2007 Show Instructables in the New York Times - How to Improve it? Ask Those Who Use It Instructables wins the 2006 WIRED Rave award for Industrial Design Instructables in World Changing Instructables mentioned in Jane Mag Instructables in the Sydney Morning Herald PodTech Network Instructables team interview: Eric and Leah Instructables in FHM-Netherlands Laser Cutter Origami - Squid Labs in the New Yorker Instructables in Trendwatching Instructables in Edutopia Instructables in The Village Voice Instructables in Network World, January 2006 The Dream Factory - Instructables debuts in WIRED, September 2005 Squid Labs profiled in WIRED news, September 2005 More cool stuff about Instructables here at the guided tour.

Posted by ewilhelm 11 years ago

Suggestions for a cheap, simple robot unicorn build

My 5yo daughter has figured out that her mad-Scientist daddy can make crazy things come true.  For her birthday, she got a real unicorn and a princess crown (see picture attached).  Now for Christmas, she has her heart set on a ROBOT unicorn, and I think I'm going to try to tackle this, but I need to keep the scope tight so that when Christmas arrives, I'll have a deliverable for her. (My instinct always leap to grandiose ideas like actual quadrupedalism that would balloon the time/effort/money inputs into the stratosphere.   My biggest obstacle to make this work for Christmas is to stick with K.I.S.S. principles.  I can do basic welding, woodworking, fabricating, stitching, etc.  I'm reasonably good at electronics, and am a professional programmer with a degree in Aerospace Engineering.) Here is my rough  build plan:  (Completely open to improvement suggestions) 1)  Build frame out of 1/2" square steel tubing and weld together.  Leave large torso cavity for electronics and batteries.  Feet will have wheels concealed by a hoof shroud.  Feet will be upgradable (see tech features below) 2)  Use blue foam to rough out body shape.  3)  Cover with about 1/2" of soft foam covered with felt.  Use yarn for mane and tail.  Cover should be removable and washable. I'm trying to figure out tiers of work so that as long as I get the basic frame and covering down, I'll be able to increase/decrease the scope to ensure I'll have a deliverable for Christmas.  Here are the tiered robotic features I am envisioning: Tier 1: Make the saddle bounce at about .5Hz with an amplitude of roughly 1/2".  Possibly make head/neck bob up/down in sync. Tier 2:  Add horse sound effects Tier 3:  Build sensors for the reigns and stirrups.  Monitor if stirrups get pushed inward in a basic kick the horse motion.  Monitor if one reign or both are being pulled.  Make sounds effects based on inputs.  (E.G.  Clop, clop of hooves begins when stirrups are pushed in, and stop when reigns are pulled.)  NOTE:  Since they have access to real horses, keeping the controls reasonably close to riding a real horse will make this double as a trainer/simulator for her and her friends. Tier 4:  Upgrade wheels to powered.  Move based on reign and stirrup inputs.   Max speed will be very slow (40fps or so), so that it can be used inside safely.  Movement is mostly just to augment her imagination, not to move like a real horse. Tier 5:  (Not much chance I'll get this far prior to Christmas)  Upgrade software, sound effects, etc. Current back of napkin ideas: Frame will probably have 3 pieces: legs/torso, neck/head, Saddle/back  Saddle/back removable for electronics access. Neck/head will be joined to torso in 3 spots:  the top point will be anchored with a chain link between two eye-bolts, the other two points would be on the sides of the bottom, with compression springs pushing the neck and torso away from each other, limited by a mechanical linkage.  This should give reasonable motion ability, and allow the two base points to become the sensors for the reigns being pulled. I'm thinking a small 12V deep cycle battery, and 12v salvage DC motors powering the wheels.  Depending on the motor torque, I'll either power the back two feet and keep the front feet as swivel casters, or power all four and turn tank-style. The budget needs to stay reasonable, say $100ish.  This is a kids toy, and I've got lots of other mad-scientist projects to pump money towards. Outstanding questions: Motor selection, cheapest with high enough torque Good, cheap way to make seat and possibly head oscillate.  Mechanism needs to not break even if a 200lbs rider sits on it.  (Doesn't need to work when overloaded, just can't be permanently damaged when overloaded.) Locate inexpensive 12v charger that won't overcharge if left connected, but will charge a 3ah battery reasonably quickly.  (Or schematics to build one)  Essentially, looking for a best bang-for-buck charger. Least expensive way to play audio clips?  I've got plenty of horse-sound clips located, but I need a way to play them economically. Not sure how much force will be needed for movement.  I'm assuming a 70lbs rider/robot max and that it will primarily operate on flat surfaces, potentially on carpet.  Can't burn out if overloaded.  Suggestions on simplifying this?  Suggestions on simple improvements?  Ways to keep the costs down?  Sources for economical parts?

Posted by SvdSinner 5 years ago

Turbine generator with heat pump

I got another weird idea that I like to share as I don't see me putting into reality anytime soon but someone else might do it for me after reading it ;) If you like me and call home where it is far too hot for most of the year you might have wondered how to cut the energy bills down. Especially if you in a remote area "off the grid". Sounds interesting? Then just do me the favour of posting here if you plan to put into reality and keep us updated ;) Technology has come long way and with some mirror like Mylar foil anyone can build big reflectors to use the sun for heating all sorts of things. Modern solar hot water systems are designed to produce a temp high enough to kill all harmfull stuff that might otherwise grow in our system but we can one step further: (Keep in mind it is just an idea with no prototype to proofe the concept works as expected!) Using heat pipes in a round reflector that is linked to solar tracker would allow us to boil water for as long as the sun is out there. Don't know if the flat types used for hot water systems are capable of producing steam but someone might have an old one at hand and is willing to test it on a sunny day? Anyway, assuming we can build a large enough array of solar ovens heating water pipes it is possible to drive a turbine with the steam. A linked generator of suitable size would now provide the electricity we might need to charge batteries or to power other things. But of course this would be total waste of the remaining energy in the steam! Plus we could really need some airconditioner, don't we? So in my vision we don't want to waste the water either, which mean we not only use the heat but also reuse the water to go back into the solar oven. If we now use an uscaled version of our RV fridge and instead of a heating element or a flame our remaining heat from the steam we can power a big fridge and an airconditioner on the same continous-cycle-ammonia-fridge type to cool what we need. Depending on the size and insulation rating of a house it is possible to be totally independent from the power grid during the sunny times. During the winter times the same generator can be combined with a ducted heating system where the waste heat of it is used to produce the steam we need. Of course integrating this into one unit would be the prefered option to keep the physical dimensions small. Combine all this with some good sized battery backup and inverter system and you might have enough juice to spare to make it through a cloudy day or two. Add some wind generators if you are in a suitable area to provide additional electricty. I think with new parts and some handy work it should be possible to create such a system for under $3000US. With access to some well sorted scrap yards even for free, not counting consumables, selants and so on... Sadly I don't own a house and currently not even have a garage to set up a little workshop so for now it stays an idea only... Tried to find some sponsors or at least people with interest to create something like this down here but it is like trying to explain quantum physics to a hundred year old in the retirement village. Sure, you can build something that would give me electricity and cooling for free? ... Of course it will work, so come back and show me once you made it.... If that crap could work, why are still buying fridges that run on electricty and airconditioners that drain our bank accounts?... We have 5 cooling containers outside runningon generators that use over 200liters of fuel every day and come try to tell me a steam generator can cut me fuel bills down by at least 50% if not more?... Just some of the more friendlier responses I got after trying to find some interest. Don't know if it is problem of the Aussie mentality or if I am just unable to make someone understand that we can use the scorching sun for free :( But I am not willing to give up on the idea itself, so what do you think? Oh! You have the financial means and access to create some prototype to integrate into a new cool house or  self sustaining home? Please feel free to contact me so we can start and make a living out of it ;)

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago

Design Changes on Instructables

As you've noticed, we've been making some design changes to Instructables.  We're trying to accomplish a number of things including making it easier to find content you're interested in, creating more compelling products for advertisers, and supporting and growing what we've already built.  Here, I'll share the details around some specific design changes. One of my big goals for 2010 is to increase our direct visitors.  A direct visitor might type our URL into their browser, click on a link in a newsletter, come to the site from one of their bookmarks, or search for a phrase that includes "Instructables".  Other types of visitors include searchers, who come to the site from phrases such as "sweet potato fries" but aren't specifically trying to reach, and visitors from blogs or news portals.  My thesis is that more and more brand advertisers will want to reach our true community, and not people who are just passing by.  A pretty good proxy for our true community is direct visitors, and we've already seen the savviest advertisers try to reach only that community by advertising exclusively on our homepage (the recent Apple campaigns, for example).  To grow our business and ensure that Instructables thrives, it's important that we have great opportunities for advertisers, and a stronger community means more great Instructables and more intelligent people seeing and commenting on your Instructables. To this end, we've been working to increase the likelihood that someone will go deeper into our content, and remember to come back in the future.  Said another way, we want that sweet potato fries Google search to introduce someone to Instructables, and then have them think, "wow this site is amazing, I'll bookmark it, sign up for the newsletter, come back, etc..."  Some of the most dramatic changes are on the homepage and channel homepages.   On the homepage, we've removed the intro text from the links to Instructables.  By making the homepage less cluttered with words, I was hoping to increase the number of people clicking on an Instructable.  Also, I felt that the beginning of the intro text didn't contribute much to my understanding of the Instructable, and often it was no more than a repetition of the title (and at worse a note about how it was someone's first...).  Removing text to increase engagement might seem counter-intuitive, but with too much going on, visitors sometimes just leave rather than decide what to click on.  So far, clicks from the homepage are flat or slightly up, so this change hasn't had a negative effect on deepening visits, and may over time move us in a positive direction.  On the channel homepages, we've drastically changed the layout to be more blog-like.  My theory here was to give people a format they were more familiar with from elsewhere on the web, and results have been dramatic.  The exit-rates (the percentage of visitors that leave Instructables from a particular page) on our channel homepages have been cut in half.  For example, the exit-rate on the home channel homepage has dropped from 12% to 4.5%.  This is really good!  To me, this indicates that on the channel homepages we're giving visitors more compelling content, and they are more likely to dig into that content. In support of our efforts to deepen visits, we've been doing similar smaller changes all over the site. Most of these are based on our traffic and click analysis, and if my theories are wrong, we change back or try something else.  One particular change that has generated concern is the removal of the Answers link from the header.  This has nothing to do with our support of Answers in general -- it's based on data.  That link was almost completely unused.  Coming again from the perspective of making a slightly cleaner look, we removed it.  As the link wasn't generating any clicks, traffic to Answers has been unaffected.  In fact, as we're highlighting specific answers on the channel homepages, traffic to the Answers section is actually up 7% since we removed the link:  from Feb. 1 - 18 answers did an average of 11.1 K pageviews per day; from Feb. 19 - 28 it's done 11.9 K pageviews per day.  Perhaps that's noise in the data, but removing the link certainly hasn't been the end of answers, and the trend since the change is positive. So, we do rearrange the furniture from time to time, but it's never without reason.  We're always trying to make Instructables better.  We've messed up in the past, and we'll surely mess up in the future; but I think this is good, because if we're not reaching and striving a little bit beyond our comfort zone, we're not learning and improving. 

Posted by ewilhelm 8 years ago

Your thoughts on "UFO's", strange things and the unknown

Don't take what comes below too serious please ;) I thought for the start of the new year it would be fun to talk about things we take for granted or that we would call nonsense. You know topis like those provided by Erich Däniken and other that think outside the conventional archiological range. Modern science has provided us with new insights into very old stuff but also a new look on things we thought to know better anyway. Here is some food for thought: 1. India... In this beautiful and old country it was discovered that hundreds if not over 2000 years ago people used lathe technology on stones. For example to make pillars with a weight over a few tons... Chains were created from molten rock and in many areas you find polished stone that even after hundreds of years still has a mirror finnish. Some of these creations are claimed to be made with hammer and chisel but how do you get a displayed accuracy that even modern technology struggles to provide? I don't want to clutter everything with video links but check Youtube and you will find temples in India showing musical granite pillars and chambers carved into solid rock with a precision that seems impossible! If that long ago human knd already knew about gear systems and lathe technology, then what else have we lost over time that we now claim as new technologies? How could anyone polish an entire granite hall and a big one that is to a mirror finnish? 2. Peru... Apart from being full of archeological wonders there is also the impossible to be found. The Nazca region shows, in aerial views, kilometer long and perfectly straight lines. In other regions, also in other continents, we can see images of strange people or artwork - again only from high above ground level. Some of the artwork is only in correct proportions and with proper contours if watched from a very specific angle to the mountain in question. The kilometer long lines are not simply on standard mountain faces but instead on top of mountain that have the top removed to be perfectly flat. And even with a lot of posible options to interpret the lines they look like any other huge, modern airport landing strips - including runways and tracks to areas we would call terminals or service bays. You can ignore all possible ways to interpret the design and possible use, what you can't ignore is the missing mountain top and level of accuracy on such a massive scale! 3. Pyramids... On all continents except Australia we find pyramid structures with very similar features in terms of proportions, angles and the way the face in a certain direction. In Egypt they just recently found another hidden chamber... Tunnels, too small for a human to fit point to stars and star signs. Some of the tools used to create were found with the help of small robots but also that some seem to be quite modern in age. Did grave robbers use them at a time were it is beleived that such tools were impossible to create? Or could they be as old as the pyramids itself? In south america we find pyramid structures looking quite similar to those in Egypt - why so similar in features and appearance if there was no contact between the two civilisations? To make things worse some of the Inca structures show tunnel and channel systems "leading" to the pyramid in question. Classic thought is that they were like tunnels to direct water or provide access in the beleive the jungle was not removed to hide the complex. Makes no sense if you see the city like areas that are now exposed and studied. I mean: how would created a city in the jungle without removing the trees?? What could make you wonder is a simulation that was performed several years ago. Based on a computer model in 3D different theories were tested. Irrigation was ruled out quickly, same for access routes or secret tunnels for the priests. One funny student got bored and decided to play god. Assuming the Inca priests would call their gods in the sky temple to provide rain he let a monsoon go down on the pyramid. The result was unexpected so he showed the results to his companions and they did the same test agin but simulated a massive airflow going down directly on the pyramid. Turned out the flow would be directed away under ground with more efficiency than systems Nasa uses today for rockets and space shuttles... Mind you the tunnels are far from straight and without this simulation it was trusted that they could not do this stuff... We now have rocket technology that uses surface direction and vector control. The square and flat designs leave a void insight that pretty much perferctly match the angles of those inca pyramids? Apart from pure coincidence, what could be the reason for this match in shape and angle with a tunnel system perfect to remove hot engine gasses? Ok, I admit, not all continents, the pyramids in Bosnia are just a hoax, so Europe is out of the race ;) Sorry Semir :) 4. Artwork... Be it here in Australia, the African desert or America - we find images of mystical people or rulers that could make you wonder. Again modern tech in the form color filtering, desitity readings and 3D scanning provided us details unseen before. If you think of gods in very ancient times and try to imagine you would be a native: What do think how many different images of their god could 100 people imagine? Let's agree it would be plenty... But if we study artwork in caves and rocks from around the world we find similarities that IMHO can't be explained. Many show features that, compared with modern technology, could be mistaken for helmets, gloves or even manual control systems. Others show things thought to be as simple as pine cones to resemble modern milling or finnishing tools. Again only possible by enhancing details the naked eye won't see. With no contact to each other and often thausand of years apart: What could the reason for having images of their gods show very similar and sometimes identical "features" ? 5. UFO technology and sightings... Some people love to post videos of secret weapons and UFO's that are simple rocket launches at a perfect time and with perfect weather conditions to attract attention. But what about the things we don't get to see? Just recently the US finally admitted to have a program to investigate what we might call "UFO activity", quite costly one too... This means a lot of leaked videos from fighter planes or spy planes you find on the net are actually the real deal. Often "enhanced" with editing tools but authentic ones have been released by the military and other organisations now too. If it happens over US ground and no US organisations admits to be flying the things we see than what it is? Right, it is a UFO - An Unidentified Flying Object! Does not mean it is alien, despite far too many people thinking an UFO must be alien :( UFO means just that! At the time of seeing it the ones seeing it can not identify the craft or "thing". And, no you are not alone! ;) Happens in all parts of the world and even commercial pilots upload what they can't explain. Oh, you are still a sceptic? Does that mean you think some of these sightings must be alien or do think someone down here uses technology we are not supposed to know of? If you are like me you might like to relax watching the live feed from the ISS. In case you are not try it anyway! Every noticed that that despite the stations own speed "forgeign" objects appear to come towards the station or even to grow in size very quickly? If so you also noticed another very strange thing... No matter what happens up there the stream keeps playing, even at times when the station is moved around a bit to avoid a possible hit with debris. But every single time something appears to move around the ISS or come close to it the feed cuts out. Ok, not every time, for well known stuff orbiting around like satellites, other stations, rocket lauchnes or supply flights they stay on. So, what are those flying objects changing course and direction or even circling the station? Why does the live feed cut out once an object is identified to be unidentified? 6. Roswell technology boom... Some think the US did take ownership of an alien craft, you know the stories and movies I mean... So called eye witness reports and some leaked documents all claim certain unknown technology in great detail. Anything from fibre optics and microchips, over "intelligent metals" to light enhancing glass lenses and seemingly indestructable fibres... Some say that if we would had the option to copy and understand the technology to copy it (without knowing anything about it of course) then the tech boom of the 60' would have been instantly. Imagine flat screen TV's and smartphones with GPS 50 years ago for everyone... ;) 7. Great land in the south - Antartica... The mysteries originating from Antartica range from Atlantis over hidden civilisations and living dinosaurs to the often claimed secret Nazi base with submarines and lost technologies. We all know that life as we know it can't really exists down there, so no strange animals, ancient creatures or a possibility to sustain a secret military base some 60 years ago. Or it there more to it?? Warm lakes containing fresh water with signs of life in them have already been discovered. Same for caves under the ice with temperatures far above freezing - constantly and again with signs of life. Ages ago the continent was still joint with other and in a warmer region so no wonder to find fossils. If we already found places that sustained life for thausands of years then what living things might be down there? Maybe even a place like the Galapagos Islands but for life thought be extinct - imagine Jurassic Park for real under the ice ;) With thriving life, vulcanos, rivers, lakes and all long before the dinosaurs it is not hard to imagine the remains under the ice and carved into the mountains. In todays times it all covered by ice and the sea level is much much higher, so again not hard to imagine that there might be rivers running off under the ice and into the ocean. Some maybe even connected to lakes in a hot spot sustaining life. A secret base from some secret part of the Nazi regime over 60 years ago?? Well, with all we know today about Antartica and is also known about the technological options available at that time it is possible. A submarine could have operated for days or even a few weeks under the ice with support ships available. Not just with so called secret tech but simply with a big sub on a minimum crew and the support of crude ways to reclaim and produce oxygen. If an entrance to a river leading to a suistainable area exists or existed at that time it would have been just a matter of time and endurance to find it. Of course we can't know if it was already found and removed or used since those with capable submarines and technology these days would not talk about it ;) But private or non government explorations map and drill more than ever, so once they hit "restricted areas" or create their own base and research station under the ice we will know ;) What to do if you actually see (or think you do) a real UFO?? Grab the oldest and dirtiest camera aou can find, mount it on the end of your longest fishing pole and create the shakiest video possible. And please make no references at all that would allow to get on the loctation, time or date. Jokes aside there is a good option these days, your modern smartphone, telescope, GoPro or favourite drone. A fake is often uploaded in very bad resolution often so low you might think an old webcam was used. Good fakes are often just a rocket launch, so check for this before you claim it is of unknown origins. Modern tech allows us to record a video in 4K at 60 or even 120FPS , so no excuse for a 320x240 AVI video LOL Optical zoom causes bad results so try to avoid it if possible. Image stabilisation can do wonders for free hand shots of moving objects, so crank it to the max even if the resulting video is a bit smaller in resolution. Geotagging is also a good thing as it allows an easy reference. You might see much more with you eye than what the video show, or in the best case the other way around. That means before you upload take a step back and try too see the video like someone who was not there when it happened! Are the movements reall that impossible? Is it really not just a plane, rocket flares? What sounds did you hear at the time or shortly after that might not be audible in the video? Sometimes a plane in the distance still is in the sunlight while you already stand in the dark - keep elevation in mind ;) Compare with other videos online that claim to be taken around the same time and area - sure you did not film a rocket launch? But if your video is crystal clear and shows the impossible in great detail you might want to check for the usual markings on military aircrafts or flashing lights in green and red. Still all good and impossible to explain? Then what are you waiting for? Tell us where, when and with what type of gear and upload the video so we get evidence of unknown technologies in the use/testing or an actual UFO - Unidentified flying object, until we know better. ;) Again don't take me too serious today but enjoy some of the thoughts and let your imagination wander off a bit. Lost technologies and knowlege exists, existed, is found again - whatever you want to call it. If humans could move stone blocks the size of a small house and create them with an accuracy down to the mm then they might have known more than we think they did. If we could melt granite to form new things, manipulate its sound or carve hollow heads of just a few mm in size then again we lost something well worth knowing. If in ancient times people had no way of seeing really distant and dim stars then how were they able to accurately map them and predict their movement? If milling and lathe technology was known and used when in other parts of the world we were happy to create simple and weak tools: How was it possible to create gears and know about planetary gear systems? If the evidence of the work clearly shows advance technologies used then where are the tools used and why can we find any written records or images of it being used? If even the all mighty US military, secret agencies and space programs fail to explain what they encounter quite often since we fly around: What is really that seems to try to hide from us while appearing to watch how we evolve, explore and fight wars? Since you still bother to read all this nonsense: If it appears we have "evidence" of the existance of beings capable of flying or even space travel since the dawn of time and add all the modern evidence: Is it possible someone or something has been watching us since humans came to be? Did "they" guide some cultures at some stage during their evolution to show us modern ways of creating alloys, machine stuff or understand what was magic or the gods at that time? And if they did help our evolution in some parts then why did this greatly improved society disappear with no more trace than their stone remains? How would we react if they dare to help us again? Is there a reason that even after countless encounters noone tried to shoot one of the UFO's down? I mean, not even a claim for trying since Rosswell..... Not any evidence of a recent landing either..... Or are we just watched so closely because they want something back we too from them??? ;) I blame all spelling mistakes on my annoyingly unresponsive keyboard. But if you still find some then feel free to keep them! I still demand a fee if use them to make money from them ;)

Posted by Downunder35m 7 months ago

The Dream Factory - Squid Labs and Instructables in Wired September 2005

This was Instructables' big debut. The author, Clive Thompson, came and hung out at Squid Labs for a couple of days, and later on we had a hilarious half-day photoshoot where the photographers couldn't remember Dan's name and had to keep calling him "wrench."Wired 13.09 The Dream Factoryby Clive ThompsonThey're already living that future in a small warehouse in Emeryville, California. It's the headquarters of Squid Labs, run by a gang of five MIT alums who by day create prototypes of new technologies for outside firms - and by night fabricate weird gizmos just for fun."Everything I own is basically one of a kind," says a cheery Saul Griffith, one of the cofounders, as he crouches on the floor of his dust-covered workshop, rooting through an enormous bucket of metal brackets and bolts. A tall, shaggy Australian, he's wearing ragged flip-flops and a pair of cargo pants so stained with oil and grime that I can't determine their original color. Dozens of his group's inventions lie scattered about: a Frisbee embedded with microchip-driven LEDs, a set of robots precision-cut from plastic, a bunch of helmet-mounted laser-and-GPS sensors designed to help firefighters locate one another in a blazing house.Today, Griffith is building a "hybrid electric bicycle" with a hidden battery compartment inside the bike's 4-foot-long, chopper-style front forks. To hold the forks in place, he spent the morning designing a bracket, then cut out a flat template for it on Squid Labs' laser cutter. Now, with that template as a guide, he hacks the shape out of quarter-inch steel, using a terrifyingly loud metal cutter. "I'm really into this 'tractor' aesthetic, getting everything to look like industrial machinery!" he hollers over the cutter's shrieks, while a 3-foot cone of orange sparks flies up and ricochets off his face.Every few minutes, Griffith pauses to snap a photo of his progress. When done, he'll write up a comprehensive guide on how to build his project. This, he argues, is the next crucial step in fab culture: getting hobbyists to carefully document their plans and share them online. Squid Labs is hoping to kick-start such sharing this fall when it launches - an open database of interesting projects and fab techniques, "kind of like a Wikipedia for making stuff," Griffith explains. If people want to build his electric hybrid chopper bicycle, they'll be able to download the CorelDraw design of the bracket and send it someplace like eMachineShop to have their own copy printed."We got inspired when we looked at all these guys who'd engineered these incredible, modded parts for their Harleys. They'd have amazing photos of them, but they'd never post the CAD image," Griffith says. "We were like, Why not go open source?"Later that day, I get a taste of how weirdly transformative this idea is. I'm hanging out with Dan Goldwater - another Squid Labs cofounder - and admiring one of his inventions. It's a pair of plastic gears that sit on a bike pedal and power a tiny generator. As you ride, you can run LED lights or a radio. I tell him I'd love to have a version of it myself. So a couple of Squid Labs guys go over to the laser cutter, pull up the design, and a few minutes later hand me exact copies of Goldwater's gears. Design once, print often. "Pretty cool, eh?" Goldwater grins."Griffith imagines that fab tools could produce new economic models for creators. Suppose a hobbyist made a cool plastic exterior for an MP3 player. Suppose she put the design online, and 700 people downloaded the file and had it printed at eMachineShop. "At what point," he asks, "would a manufacturer say, Hey, there's a market here - and offer to buy the design from her?""So, sure, soon we'll be able to build anything. But should we? "Let's say everyone suddenly can make their own hood ornaments. What if they actually do that? The real world would look like the Internet in 1996, when people started making their own Web sites." Griffith shudders. "Remember those hideous-looking psychedelic backgrounds and stupid animations? And blinking tags?""Rainbow dividers," Goldwater adds.It's a good point - and it makes me anxious about my guitar. Sure, it looked fine onscreen. But what if it turns out to be a monstrosity in my hands? Recalling my decision to use clear acrylic for the body, I break into a nervous sweat. It's going to look like something from a mid-'80s, big-hair heavy-metal band! What the hell was I thinking?Griffith interrupts my panic to announce that his chopper is ready. He wheels it onto the street, all five Squid Labbers in tow. Eric Wilhelm, a lanky designer, offers to be the test pilot. He straps on a helmet and mounts the seat. "Does it have brakes?" he asks."Sort of," Griffith says."It's amazing how often brakes are an afterthought," Wilhelm sighs. Then he hits the electric starter and peels off.

Posted by ewilhelm 10 years ago

Answer life's burning questions - win the thanks of many (and an Instructables t-shirt)

This is no longer the current Burning Questions Forum Topic. Please refer to The New and Official Burning Questions Instructable from now on for all matters related to the Burning Questions Contest, group, and discussion. The original forum topic is preserved below for reference.People search for stuff at Instructables all the time. Sometimes they find what they're looking for, sometimes they don't. But there are a few common how-tos that come up often enough for we stewards of Instructable-dom to wonder, "why don't we have an Instructable on that?"The answer is of course, because no one has written one. But you, noble Instructable citizen, can change that. Below I've listed out a number of popular 'wanted' Intructables. The bounty: 1 Instructables t-shirt and the thanks of many (including our own.)A regular Instructable about this has been posted, but keep your ideas, thoughts, and comments coming!Instructables most wanted:how to braid hair (your own)how to braid hair (someone else's)how to cut hair (someone else's - Steve Blair already did how to cut your own)how to clean a mattressHow to snowboardHow to make wineHow to make soapHow to paint a carHow to make a pinataHow to cure a headacheHow to do a donutHow to drift (Automotive drifting, not just wandering around aimlessly)How to surfHow to paint (Like, art and stuff.)How to DanceLearn pokerHow to make rubber molds (Suggested by Honus)How to cast with resin (Suggested by Honus)The only rules are: The Instructables have to be of good quality. (Ie, they have to be detailed, contain pictures, and actually provide a good answer to the question.) If they're lousy (and you know damn well when they are), no t-shirt for you.They have to be titled as above (or with very minor variation). Why? Because that's what people are looking for. If you write a great Instructable on how to build a hovercraft, but title it "poly-surface air powered vehicular lifting machine" no one is ever going to know you wrote it.They have to be new Instructables. (We might be willing to make some exception to this, should have you *really* answered one of these questions in the past, but titled your Instructable poorly. However, new Instructables > old Instructables.)Everything else is fair game. Generally, there's going to be only one winner, but if there's a good faith effort by two people at the same time, we'll call both of you winners. Really, we're not going to be sticklers on this. The idea is to help others, so if you can contribute, please do.I've created a group to house everything, called Burning Questions. If you want to get the shirt, you've got to add it to the group.When we've determined an Instructable is of high enough quality, we'll add a link to it below, in the "Answered Questions" section. Before that, the topic is still open! Are there questions you want answered? Comments? Post them on the Burning Questions forum thread!Answered Questions:how to boil an egg - Answered by TheCheese9921how to meditate - Answered by sardines454how to write a resume - Answered by Weissensteinburghow to cook - Answered by drinkmorecoffeehow to shave - Answered by Brennn10how to lose weight - Answered by jessyratfinkhow to gain weight - Answered by royalestelhow to write a research paper - Answered by Brennn10how to play tennis - Answered by jknighthow to get a passport - Answered by zieakhow to build a custom pc - Answered by technick29how to ask a girl out - Answered by spiralsyncrasyhow to clean dog/pet/cat urine - Answered by Zaenhow to play guitar - Answered by josh92176Learn photography - Answered by WeissensteinburgHow to stop global warming - Answered by WeissensteinburgHow to make a kite - Answered by (who would have guessed...) Kiteman (also, more kites!)How to swim - Answered by GbuttonHow to jump start a car - Answered by tbonecbHow to cure hiccups and How to cure hiccups - Answered by joejoerowley and LebowskiHow to parallel park - Answered by KitemanHow to fix a flat tire - Answered by trebuchet03How to solve a rubik's cube - Answered by T3h_MuffinatorHow to sell on ebay - Answered by grimsqueakerHow to remove gum from clothes - Answered by kqrpnbHow to play baseball - Answered by gamer5How to play chess and How to play chess - Answered by llama13, latobada, Hugo.B, and pyr0man1ac (Though the former Instructable is a big collaboration, and is still in progress.)How to download iTunes shared music on a mac - Answered by blckleprdHow to make money (online) - Answered by Sam NoyounHow to cure (and prevent) a hangover - Answered by zieakLearn to type - Answered by Brennn10How to make moonshine (For fuel purposes only, of course) - Answered by AdamKHow to clean leather - Answered by BeastbunnyHow to pick a lock - Answered by _Soapy_How to build a robot - Answered by robomaniacHow to make a diaper cake - Answered by dennisyukiHow to flirt - Answered by pestisbestP.S.This is how to add an Instructable to a group.And this is how to add a group or person as a collaborator.

Posted by jeffreyf 11 years ago

iPad Problems - 14 Problems with Apple's iPad

Apple just revealed the new Apple iPad Tablet that will probably make it one of the first failures by Apple's latest line of products. Apple revealed this new Tablet PC as a challenger to netbooks. However, it's already been labeled a "less powerful, but more expensive netbook." Here are 14 iPad problems that made this Apple iPad an iDisappointment. 1. No Multitasking The Apple iPad is just like the iPhone, in that there is no multitasking. You can't work on a document and talk on AIM or Gtalk. In other words, the iPad just a giant iPod Touch (the iPod Touch being better) and cannot match netbooks. 2. It Has an Awkward Design The design is a bit awkward because you have to hold it in one hand and balance it while your other hand uses the functionality or more likely you will need to put it on your knees to use it properly. It's like holding a monitor, I'm sure nothing will happen to it. Some people complain about the Bezel being too large, but perhaps this was necessary so that you don't constantly give commands while moving around. 3. No Adobe Flash Were you considering watching Hulu on this? How about youtube (well we'll have to wait for an app for that)? Thinking of playing flash games while waiting on the bus? Oh well. 4. No USB, Need Adapters Again with the iPod design, you need to plug in the special Apple adapter. If you lose it, you'll have to buy another. If you want to plug in multiple devices you need USB to iPad adapters! Since it's not even using Mac OS, most USB devices would probably not work anyway. 5. AT&T; Once Again Are you thinking of purchasing the 3G version? You'll need to get it with AT&T; and think of how overloaded their service will be now. There is no Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint service available for this product, some of which has better coverage. You can't use T-Mobile's 3G at all because of their MicroSIM made specifically for AT&T.; 6. Memory Business Model Apple will charge you extra for higher memory. It's a business model they use for all their products to increase profits. That's why they don't want other storage devices being inserted to improve memory. You're also stuck with a limit of 64GB, so don't think about putting in all your music, movies, or games. 7. Touch Keyboard Many people were complaining about the touchscreen keyboard. Which would be fine if it worked perfectly and you didn't have to sit it exactly on your lap and make sure it's flat. You can however, attach an Apple keyboard, just another way for Apple to make money. 8. App Store Again Just like the iPod Touch you have to download everything from an App store. Meaning if you don't like Safari, you're stuck with it. Some apps may be banned once again. 9. No Cameras Yeah no web cams on the front, and no cameras for photos or videos from the back either. 10. No Removable Battery You can't just take an extra battery with you on a long trip because the battery works the same way as an iPod (though my bet is, it doesn't last as long). 11. No HDMI/DVI Output You can't plug this thing into your TV to display your HD movies. You'd need AppleTV for that. 12. No Widescreen 16:9 ain't happening, you're stuck with a 4:3 screen. 13. No GPS There's no GPS, so --unlike the T-Mobile MyTouch or the Verizon Droid which both run on Android, can multitask and have GPS so that you can use the Beta Google Maps Navigation system for turn-by-turn directions-- you're stuck with locating yourself via WiFi hotspots. 14. It's Large, Slow, and Clunky Not only will you have to buy accessories to protect your device, it's very large making it easy to drop and probably won't live a healthy life in a backpack filled with notebooks and other possibly sharp objects. There may be a number of accessories sold by Apple to cover some of these problems. The iPad max speed is 1GHz (A4 processor) and will probably be just as slow surfing the web as most other smartphones and it won't match up to netbooks. There is no Mac OS X or anything either, it's definitely the iPhone OS except without the Phone capability and of course I'm sure they will ban Google Voice and Skype. The iPad is about the size of a Kindle, so it is nice for reading e-books I suppose, but then I'm not sure why I wouldn't just buy a Kindle. As with all companies that initially have much success, they get a little overconfident and launch a product just to create more hype and increase their stock prices.   More related iPad Problem resources: ipad wiki - What you need to know about iPad The iPad is a tablet computer developed by Apple Inc. Announced on January 27, 2010, it is similar in functionality to the iPhone and iPod touch, running the same operating system (iPhone OS) and almost all of the same applications...

Posted by newstigers 8 years ago

SteamPunk Typewriter Keyboard for PC!!! Handmade please look!!

Check out this eBay auction for the following SteamPunk Typewriter Keyboard!!;=170344004923&ssPageName;=ADME:X:AAQ:US:1123"SteamPunk" Typewriter Keyboard for PCThis is a custom made "Steampunk" Typewriter Keyboard that is fully functional and works with any PC! I hand made this over the course of many weeks of hard and meticulous work, using the guts of a very solid Logitech PC keyboard system which I completely rebuilt over many stages, into this solid, beautiful, and unique piece of antique technological art! Three separate sets of antique Royal glass typewriter keys make up all of the keys besides the handmade brass keys (described below). I can personally guarantee this keyboard is completely unique, and you won't find anything like it out on the market! This new beautiful style of combining the old Victorian look with new high-tech products is becoming very popular from young teens looking to be creative and inspired to rich business CEO's wanting something beautiful to match their office. Think about the all the joy and beauty this would bring to your life (not to mention bragging rights!). Right now is your chance to own a piece or art and history which you can put to use everyday!This keyboards design consists of:Solid glass keys from a three different sets of original antique Royal early 1900's typewriters.Hand and naturally aged copper top and bottom rails.Custom, hand punched, leather backing (perfectly fitted and stretched over the top and seamed underneath).Custom bent steel side brackets (which have been properly welded to the copper rails to make a very solid keyboard).Beautiful antique cloth wire loom covering computer connector.Hand made brass Esc key, F keys (done in roman numerals), Arrows, and nine keys above Arrows (because they didn't make any of these keys on antique typewriters).Brief "Steampunk" HistorySteampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date.Functionality and BeautyAs I keep strongly pointing out, not only does this piece of techno-art look beautiful, but it also works as beautifully too! All the keys were lubricated then meticulously aligned and ergonomically angled with high strength silicon glue, which will stand up to many years of hard use! Keys that weren't available (such as the F keys and arrows) I custom made from brass which was then clear coated for years of protection.A Brief Fabrication ProcessThis whole keyboard started with an idea in my head one day, and then turned into numbers of sketches and design ideas until I filled my notebook and decided it was time to make it! I started with a high quality Logitech PC keyboard, and gutted it down to the bare parts. Then after trimming all the borders off the top frame I perfectly aligned the key frame back together with now a flat surface. Next I had to hand cut all the key tops off and level them for attachment of the Royal typewriter keys. During this process I custom made the copper/steel rails and side pieces making sure the height and angle was ergonomically correct. Next was the custom punching of the leather backing which was quite difficult to align perfectly, but came out beautifully! Finally the smaller things like the light posts, cloth wire loom, painting and copper aging, and electrical work was done. (P.S. Like I said, this is a very brief summary of the complete process! Many, many steps took place during this fabrication!)Level, Sturdy, and Desk Scratching Friendly!This frame was professionally welded together by a hired welder who meticulously made sure was level and solid. Every detail about this keyboard was thoroughly thought through, down to the hidden padded bases so it won't slide around on your desk or scratch it!You Wont Find Anything Like It!Obviously you can tell by now that this is a very custom piece of art that you have the chance to own and display in your office or home! You can't imagine the beauty of this in real life, pictures just simply do no justice! A few other people have attempted to make such type of typewriter keyboards that consist of the original ugly plastic base and just changed keys.... this keyboard goes above and beyond the bar and you will not be disappointed!Reduced Environmental ImpactAs always, I tried to stay eco-conscious while designing and fabricating this keyboard. It was designed with the following features to reduce its environmental impact:High quality polyurethane based Leather alternative (no animals harmed!)Recycled copper pipingOriginal and restored Royal typewriter keys.Highly recyclable parts (although you'll never want to get rid of this!)

Posted by maxter32 9 years ago

How to Go to Maker Heaven

Dear Pier 9, You are a place like no other, and I’m so glad you came into my life.  I was a full time Artist in Residence at the Pier for 4 months, and I doubt I have ever been so simultaneously intellectually stimulated, inspired and intimidated at any other point.  When I came to the Pier I had been living in New York for 8 years, and I had just decided to make a permanent migration back to my homeland on the West Coast.  I’d heard rumors about the rampant culture of innovation in the Bay Area, but I was still totally unprepared for the explosion of creative energy and excitement that is the nerdy artist heaven called Pier 9. Maybe I’m just getting older and less jaded… but in the last few years, I have felt a change in the world, a shift in attitude from angst to optimism, from critique to creation, and I think places like the Pier exemplify this new positive force.  The fact that a multinational corporation like Autodesk has allocated a significant amount of resources to giving the imaginations of a bunch of madcap inventors, artists, engineers and other creatives free reign in a beautiful lab with a bunch of cutting edge machines… well, to me that says good things about the direction of the world.  But what really makes the Pier special, I think, is the fact that all the creativity taking place there is fundamentally motivated by the philosophy of Instructables; by the idea that knowledge should be shared.  I have never encountered a group of people so willing to share their ideas and skills, and so excited to help make other people’s dreams a reality.  And the feeling was really infectious!  Everyone was so ridiculously helpful, that on the rare occasion I had the opportunity to teach someone else a skill, it felt like a treat. That’s not to say that my experience at the Pier was all sunshine and roses.  It was exhausting and draining, and very ego challenging.  When I first arrived I was incredibly overwhelmed by all the new information I was intaking.  I had projects in mind, but those ideas were quickly swept away in the tide of new ideas that arose with every fascinating technology, and possibility I encountered.  Having nearly unlimited options can be paralyzing, and I fell pray to this paralysis many times at the Pier.  One of the pitfalls of having so many amazing minds in one place is that someone always has a new idea that will either revolutionize the project you are working on, or cause you to completely change direction and start working on something new.  That can be great, but if you aren’t careful it can cause acute artistic ADD. I think most creative journeys have a similar arc.  When you are learning new skills, it can take a while for the quality of the work you are producing to catch up with your creative vision.  I definitely felt that way at the Pier.  During my time there, my work ended up going on a journey from two dimensions to three dimensions.  I started out by experimenting with laser cutting.  I am a costume designer, and was interested in creating a wearable mechanical flower that would illuminate and open and close in response to its environment.  My first attempts to create this form felt very flat and lifeless to me, so I stepped away from the flower project and focused on figuring out how to create something much more three dimensional with the two dimensional process of laser cutting.  The result was a costume constructed from laser cut leather and el wire.  After that I decided I was ready to tackle 3D modeling and 3D printing, so I went back to my flower idea, and spent the rest of my time at the Pier testing and developing this form.  It was a really new and interesting process, 3D modeling and prototyping with the amazing Objet printers.  It also gave me the chance to work closely with two other awesome Artists in Residence, Paolo Salvagione and JoeJoe Martin.  It really underlined for me that the most important resource at the Pier is the people.  No matter how many incredible machines you have under one roof, they are only as good as the minds running them.  Noah Weinstein and the other amazing innovators who run the Pier have done such an incredible job of gathering together a diverse, brilliant, exciting, and truly kind-hearted group of people… the place practically buzzes with welcoming creative energy as soon as you walk through the door.  Also, putting relatively self-actualized creators in an environment where there are so many options and resources results in some incredibly interesting glimpses into individual human passion and curiosity.  I might not have fully understood why some of my fellow AiRs were so fascinated by stacking tetrahedrons, drawing graphically detailed pictures of intestinal parasites, or creating physical bodies for virtual bots, but witnessing each artist’s commitment to their singular pursuit was in itself a fascinating and beautiful experience. So much of our lives are spent trying to make practical things happen, it’s an rare opportunity to get to spend a dedicated amount of time just exploring the potential of creative ideas.  I really think that is what Pier 9 is about, providing a place that nurtures our human desire to create, explore and learn… with a kick ass set of resources to facilitate that exploration.  Honestly, during my time there I wish I had been able to let go and enjoy that process more.  It’s not always easy to escape the concepts of deadlines and expectations, but sometimes freeing yourself from those constraints is the only way to create anything truly new.  I very much believe that what is growing at Pier 9 is a new and exciting kind of creative ecosystem, and I hope it will inspire the creation of many more similar environments.  I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten a chance to be an explorer on the frontiers of Maker Land.  Thank you so much Noah and Vanessa.

Posted by MikaelaHolmes 4 years ago

whats next (updated)

Ok i bough this knex lot on for $42 and it comes with tons of stuff and below is what it has from the bid. take a look.This weighs OVER 20 pounds and we stored them in a Almost full, 64 quart Rubbermaid container (not included) LOTS AND LOTS!! Some of the pieces included are from rare and older sets, some of the pieces/sets are from the early 1990's.In the pictures is a 2 liter of soda, for size reference, not included.One picture is of the lot together, one is of the instructions included from front and top to see thickness, and one is of the motors and zip pull car included.There are 3 motors included in this lot; *one is a big alien(?) head, that i don't know what it is or what its from, but its a blue head & a big black power box & 2 additional motors that are all attached to the head with wires. I am unsure if this works, (untested) because i don't know what it is supposed to do, it does take batteries and as far as i can tell, it does not use a power cord. *One large grey one, takes batteries and does work, it measures about 6 inches long, 2 inches wide, 2 1/2 inches tall and goes forward and reverse and slow and fast, this come with batteries in it and can be used for ANYTHING! Cars, farris wheel, swings, anything your little ones hands can make!*another motor is the motor that came with the Farris wheel and/or roller coaster set, one of those, it is untested because the power cord box is missing from it, but it is a typical power box plug that is needed. worked last time my kids built a farris wheel ;0)Several WheelsI did not go through and inventory them all, because there are alot! But it does appear that they are all in pairs. There are 4 BIG monster truck wheels with rims (complete set) and there are medium wheels and small wheels that all share the same rims, there are also skinny wheels for like dragster type or motorcycle vehicals. and more!A zip-pull racer car, speedster!One red zip-pull racer car body, with pull, used for building a car or racer around and then insert the zip pull above the wheel and when you pull it out really fast the car takes off!!! No batteries required and it works!! (And there are instructions for this in here also.)Lots of gears! Lots of sticks in various colors and sizes!Lots of plugs and rings, or end pieces for stabalizing and holdingSeveral fans or flat pieces, (i.e. for a windmill or spoiler on cars etc)A few bendable pieces to make arches and turns2 bodies for making peopleSeveral caps and tops and 'balls' for building different thingsRubber bands for Racers and gears (instructions included)Instructions are for;(instructions are not in the best conditions, some have been ripped and taped back together, and some are missing small corner pieces, and have folds in them, but they are not missing pages as far as i can tell)*Rubber Band Racers (no model number on booklet)*Breakaway Speedsters 11524/21524*Street scorchers 11127*Safari Fun Set 11558/69815*Intermediate set 50015 and some loose various pages that may have been from another book/set that was simular or more advanced are inside this book also.*4X speedsters 3 10315/69948*Knex motor pack instructions for use (for the motor that is missing the AC adapter, says it uses input 120 volts AC 60Hz 12 watts, output 12 volts DC 500 mA adapter.) and there is a costumer service number on it to order replacments, so that may still be available.*Zoo 10 models building set 31009*Vehicles 10 models building set 31008*All terrain trekker builds 3 models set (uses the big gray battery motor) 13501/23505*Roller Coaster instructions Loop Version 63030 (I do not recall us having this roller coaster set and did not see any 'rail' pieces in this mess of Knex, but I did see some 'chain' pieces and gears, most of the set looks like the normal pieces, with exception of the top rails.)*AND also some advertising booklets that came with the sets that show additonal sets, the kids kept them and would use them to copy the pictures and build from them.*I do Not have instructions for that big head thing...I really do not know where we got it...??? But it is K'nex brand.All the instructions included are Awesome to have, because thats what usally gets lost, However, this lot does not included all the sets i have instructions for, and the ones I do have are probably not complete. Most of the instructions though can be used with any Knex pieces, I am just saying if you seperated them all out according to the instructions you will not have complete sets, and some pieces may not be there at all. These are used and were loved by my boys and some pieces were mine when I was younger and are 18+years old. I did not notice any broken pieces left in this lot, but there are A LOT of knex so there may be some, the few I did noticed i took out and threw away.but i was wornding what should i bulid but im make a listmakeing:ossr by dj radiocirle ball machine by iacscar11.01 and morriti and Park 52 knex sniper by the burrito masteriac's knex heavy cannonbox,nano,duex by darth trainmancrank by smileedos,project n,uno by the jamalamLithium by the knex weaslemicro by cfcubedthis is not well know so it has link Ultimate Simplicity 1: relentless,Project 2: Aggresor by tombuckeyThe Storm 223 V1.3 knex gunKnex Tavor TAR-21 by maxxium

Posted by knexsuperbuilderfreak 9 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

How to ride DH safely

1. Always wear a helmet, wear body armor as well when needed (how much depends on course, and what you find to be suitable) at all times. 2. Look ahead of you. The faster you are going the further ahead you should look. 3. Stay focused and try not to concentrate or think while you are going at high speed, this tends to slow you down and/or cause accidents...practice alot and everything should come naturally with flow! - Before a run get a song or something that gets you "in the mood" in the back of your mind,and go for it - before you know it you'll be through the track/race no should all ready know the track turn for turn before doing this. 4. Make sure your tires have appropriate tread on them and are not cracking/damaged 5. Check your bike over in the parking lot before going up the lift. Ride it around and check the brakes and tire pressures. 6. Get enough sleep before riding and especially before racing. 7. Don't drink or get high before racing or riding (you can do it, and seen it done, but if you want to win or want to be safe...don't) 8. Stay relaxed and dialed in on the bike, be as relaxed as possible mentally before you start a race but be pumped physically at the same time. 9. Know the track as well as you can before racing it (the later steps will go into greater detail on how to do this). 10.Learn to 'pump through the ruff stuff'-pull up on the face and push down on the back side of bumps/rocks/landing trannys, etc... 11. Stay light on the back brake as much as you can and try to lock it as rarely as possible if at may cause you to wash out. Only lock the brake on extremely sharp turns or to get into a turn if a cuttie won't be efficient enuff. 12. Try to go as fast as you can when you can-->PEDAL PEDAL PEDAL like a bat out of hell in the open or out of turns when/where ever you can. 13. Practice "cutties". 14. Buy the "Fundamentals" DVD available here on or at most bike shops and study it...take notes if you have to. You will find how to do "cutties" on the DVD as well as many many more "fundamentals" for DH riding-----> BUY IT, you will be glad you did. 15.Off camber: make sure you weight your outside foot and stand the bike on the egde of the tire, that way it will stick 16. Rock gardens: the faster the better- you will bobble across the top and be on you way before you know it, rather than getting packed down and ending up with major arm pump. 17. Braking: only ever do real braking in straight lines, you can brake on corners but do it conservatively and only to slide around sharp turns better as it may cause you to wash out as mentioned above. The less you brake the faster you go and fast riding is a winning formula- think about that. 18. >>>Don't Crash It can have you out for the rest of the season and that can prevent you from winning races----obviously. Just dont ride like an idiot and attempt things that will probably end in you getting hurt. Ride within your limits! 19. (Words of Pro Down hiller Steve Peat from the "fundamentals" DVD mentioned above) "Stay as light as you can on the bike and pump through the back side of rocks or rough sections as a skateboarder pumps a vert ramp" to gain or maintain speed and momentum. 20. Trust your tires throughout the course. If you believe and have faith in your tires grip, chances are they will have grip fine. If you don't trust your tires and BELEIVE that they wont grip and you will probably fall, chances are they won't grip and as a result you will indeed fall. 21. Walk the track and look for new lines or which lines are best to take and are the fastest 22. Tuck when ever possible to conserve energy. Pedal hard in the open spots before the ruff stuff then tuck and pump and repeat. 23. True your wheels to increase your speed and pedalling efficiency 24. Don't use big fat mud bog tiresfor DH(i.e. 2.6"-3.0") EVER...unless your DH course happens to be a downhill mud swamp 25. Learn to brake with out losing traction , this helps in straight line braking before turns. 26.Push yourself in the warmups, (not stupidly) and give 95% of what your maximum was when you were pushing yourself, in the actual race. This way you wont fall, but you are still hauling a$$. 27.Practice shift points, it is very important to be in the right gear at the right time or youll be sucking wind trying to pedal a flat stretch in too high of a gear. On a fast stretch where you need to begin pedaling to maintain that speed, youll be spinning out. Know what gear to start in and what gear you need to be in at every point in the track. 28. If all else fails look fast across the finish line where everyones watching. 29.When learning, set your fork/and or shock harder than you would normally, this will teach you to use to body rather than relying upon the bike. 30. Try to pick memory markers for your self; tree stump, odd looking rock, etc... and break the course down in your head so you can become very quick overall. 31. Practice simple skills such as manuals (good for roots), Hops, roots/rocks) and of course cutties 32. Commit to berms, brake on a berm and it will end it tears, aim to "rail the berm" to do this - hit the berm at a speed that isnt too fast (this will cause you to slip up it) and not to slow (you will slip down and is slower duh) The ideal speed should carry you round as g forces will push you into the berm. 34.Take a couple of the "Learn to race" clinics offered before many of the sanctioned races. 35.Play with your set up, everything from seat angle, to brake postioning- it can all make a big difference. The more comfortable you are on the bike the faster youll go, the steepness can be different for each course(for instance) so tweak it a little each time but dont EVER change your entire setup before a race. 36.When walking the course, look back up at it. You will find new lines looking up rather then down. 37. While riding (including in the air) never squeeze the seat with your knees. This makes it impossible to flow smoothly, and makes you a ridged weight to be tossed around at the mercy of the trail. It may feel safer, but it will cause you to wreck and lose speed when you would not otherwise. In the air also, it you pinch your seat then you can not compress the lip and extend for landing. Also you can not whip and prepare for upcoming turns and bumps. The ONLY time that pinching your seat would be appropriate is when doing a suicide no hander which, if you can do it without loosing speed, is a cool way to entertain the crowd. 38.Learn to crash,it is an important skill to have that will save you alot of trouble in the long run. 39. Work your way up to the big stuff. Even if you are a good rider always warm up on an easier trail then go for the harder stuff you set out to conquer. Same for riding in general- dont go tackle the hardest trail on the mountain without first being able to do the easy ones---this may sound somewhat obvious but alot of people just cant get this bit of logic into their skulls without being told directly. 40. If the drop doesn't have a great tranny, hit it with more speed. this will cause you to have increased foreward momentum and less downward ( static ) momentum and make the landing smoother. let your bike go off the drop first. 41. If you are in the air ( off a jump drop or whatever... ) and your back end starts to dip too much, tap your back brake, this will cause the front end to dip forward. ( this is used all the time in Motocross) WARNING: Use this with caution and only when its a neccesity. 42. XC riding will make you faster. I always love watching the out of shape downhillers crossing the finish line and nearly having a hear attack. The more tired you are the more mistakes you make and the more likely you are to get hurt. Pedal! Then pedal more! 43. Train like a mofo. During my DH racing times I would spend the summer mornings doing 5-8 runs on local dh trails then dirt jumping and XC riding in the afternoon= Legs that were strong/fast as hell. Dont forget to train in the off season too. 44. Develop a training schedule not just for biking and racing but to keep in shape in general. The more you ride the better you will be. Like Ito was saying, do as much of each mountain biking discipline as possible with emphasis on Down hill. Cedric Gracia wins because he is a great all around rider as is Minaar. 45.Commit to the front end of your bike in corners. Watch Sam Hill, no-one does it better. NOTE: BEFORE DOING THIS, make sure you have practiced it and know how to do this technique at speed (Note is courtesy of Iceboy) 46. Don't pedal like a mad man out of the gate. Pedal, but let your bike gather speed and focus on keeping it. Racing comes down to one thing - exit speed , in particular your speed out of corners. Wait until you feel the flow before you start pushing it harder. If you pedal too hard from the start you'll flip in 60 seconds and get back on your bike a go harder to make up the time. Then you'll flip again. Speaking from experience on this one! It's all about being 'zen'. At least that's what all the dudes who keep beating me are telling me. Learn how to go as fast as you can through turns and sections to know your limits. 47. Make your riding FEEL slow when you are going fast! If you feel fast it's because the trail is catching up with you too quickly for you to process all the info in a comfortable time frame. Probably because you are too busy worrying about going fast and not feeling the flow. Look out, you are about to flip. It's that zen thing you're missing. 48. Practice having FLOW in all your riding, down hill (speed as well as flow), Dirt jumps (flow), XC(speed and flow), what ever (FLOW)... 49.Dont be intimidated by other riders, stay focused on what you have to do not what they are doing, if they crash pay atention to why, and try not to make the same mistake. 50. Learn to go over jumps at as high a speed as possible with out overshooting or losing speed by going too high. Jumps and learning to land them without thinking is a VERY beneficial skill to have... (if you want to stay low coming of jumps learn to soak up the will go just as far but you'll stay lower) 51. When doing a j-hop, bunny hop or going up the face of a jump don't forget to push into the ground and then come up to get more air. 53. The rougher the place you are riding the more ralaxed and flowy you should be trying to go . 54. Spend time at the track and just watch other riders(especially how they are going through the tricky sections that you are having trouble with), see what they are doing wrong and try to not make the same mistakes, also watch for where the speed spots of the section are. 55.Read Brian Lopes's & Lee McCormick's book " Mastering Mountain Biking Skills", this book covers everything you need to know in great detail from top to bottom, it is with out a doubt the most comprehensive guide for how to ride/race mountain bikes and how to handle and practice everything involved in riding. I HIGHLY RECCOMEND IT, and would say that it is the BIBLE for Mountain Biking! 56.Look where you want to go not at what you are trying to avoid. if you stare at the tree you are trying to go around instead of the trail around it you will more often than not hit the tree. 57. As mentioned previously-The faster you are going the further ahead you should look, always look at what lies further ahead when riding downhill AND avoid staring at your front wheel--staring at your front wheel will slow you down drastically and often will lead to crashing. 58.To re-inerate what Harding.Thomas was saying; do not focus on obstacles like stumps logs and rocks, because thats were you will go instead of where you want to go. In essence, keep an eye on where you want to go and you will go there. Do not look down at what your riding over, let your bike deal with the terrain, thats what its for. This is a very important tip to increasing speed and improving flow. 59. Before you go riding, I find that a simple 10 minute warm up on flat land and practicing tight turns and j-hops helps loosen you up and calms you down If you have any other tips, tell me! ill post them in the list.

Posted by struckbyanarrow 7 years ago

TR8-2015 Review

I received my TR from Killerk this morning. I've had a little hands on time with it so I'll write up my text review now, though I'll also be making a video review in the near future. For now, here's the unboxing and first impressions video: So just to start, I've never made a TR before. I have limited experience with turreted weapons. So what I knew about them I only got from videos and other people's reviews. I didn't doubt the TR was a great performing weapon, but I was wondering what all the hubbub was about. After finally messing around with one for the morning, I can see where the praise comes from. I also noted some things I'd still like improved, at least to personalize on my variant.   I'm going to use a grade scheme (because everyone's impressions on stars and scales are usually biased toward higher numbers). So, just to clarify, don't think of C as bad. It's average. I'll point out what's subjective. I'll nitpick a lot of little things, and I'll give credit where credit is due. Anywho, on to the review. Aesthetics: C+ My impression of the TR has always been that it's been a rather simple weapon. I'm a rather hard man to please in this category. The front is a tube barrel construction. I don't care for the looks of turrets because they're rather chunky for the amount of ammo they take up. The stock is a little skeletony. And it seemingly has weird support pieces thrown in random places. But it's not bad. It still looks like a good weapon. The stock has a nice design. It has a relatively clean cut design around the outside. Ultimately, I know most was for the sake of a strong, durable weapon, and I'll be sure to personalize it more.   Ergonomics: D+ This one I gotta be honest on. The handle just doesn't float my boat. My hands are shaped oddly so I've always made weird sorts of handles myself. While the tires are a cool concept, they help keep your grip on the weapon, and I thought they'd be comfortable, their edges tends to stick out and dig into my hands. They also bulk up handle in a way that my hand just doesn't easily fit it. Like, I know my Oodassault's handle is also rather big, but my hand still fit around it naturally with a flat back and indents around around my thumb and point finger web. But this is something I can customize in the future, so it's not the end of the world by any means. I can still use it as is without being in total pain.  The trigger is a bit different. Not uncomfortable, but not the way I like triggers. Something I'll want to change, but I don't want to compromise its strength, so I'm going to keep analyzing it. The stock is a bit compact. This is yet another preference thing, but I'd like it at a slightly longer length. The charging handle isn't too comfortable to use either. With the rear sight integrated into it, it's a bit difficult to get a good grip on, which is important when you have the bands loaded up on it.  And again, this is subjective so I'm sure I can improve it for my preferences and it'll be just fine. I otherwise appreciate what Killerk attempted here. The front grip on the other had is rather comfortable. I don't think I'll need to change that ever. Ease of Use: B Things look up from here. The ratchet mechanism wasn't immediately obvious to me, but with previous K'nexing experience, I figured it out. Still, I wouldn't trust a newbie to be able to pick it up and know how to use that part specifically without direction. So that's part of the reason it's not a higher grade, but again, nitpicking. It's otherwise incredibly useful to be able to wind the band without turning the turret itself. It lets you load ammo and then just twist the ratchet, which isn't too difficult, to make sure it loads after each shot.  When I change the charging handle to be more comfortable, I'll appreciate it much more. Having a charging handle on a weapon loaded up with a lot bands makes it a lot easier to use. The rail guides and the pin guide are all perfectly constructed to make sure it's a smooth, straight pullback.  On that note, back to the stock from an ease of use perspective, because it's a bit shorter than I'd like, I don't feel like I have proper leverage on the charging handle. It's one thing I like about pistols, being able to use both arms to pull apart the gun and the pin to make it easier to draw. For this weapon, it's recommended to shoulder the stock and push back against you, which would be a little easier for me with a longer stock. It probably won't be a problem for others. Overall, I think someone strong enough could pick it up and, with a little direction, figure it out pretty quickly. It's something I could easily teach a friend how to use and then they shouldn't have a problem with it. Reliability: A This is one of the areas where the TR shines. It's only not perfect because of a few possible things you can do to mess it up. Now, to be fair, I haven't fired it enough to have a misfire, but I doubt that'll ever be a problem. The nature of the turret itself means that you shouldn't have any problems. However, I'd worry about little things like bumping the turret in such a way it skips a round. The power transfer pins offer a point of failure for the gun if you're not careful. Removing a round requires you to manually push back in the pin to avoid accidentally firing off an empty chamber, which I can imagine might be bad. I'm also a wee bit skeptical about the trigger setup but it hasn't failed on me. I may want to make a safety mechanism for this weapon, though. Something that wouldn't allow the trigger to move out of the way of the pin at all. Construction: A-  It's pretty dang solid. I did notice (more nitpicking) that the handle connection creaks a little bit. So it's not perfectly solid, but Killerk did a pretty good job at constructing this in such a way there shouldn't be many points of failure. It held up in shipping after all. There are some odd support structures here and there, but then some areas that are either neglected, or he just didn't care about. Honestly, I have no idea what he added because he thought it was necessary, what he added because it looked cool, and what he added just because he could. So there are some things I might change for the sake of consistency and aesthetics, but it's otherwise something I'd trust be able to drop, pickup, and use just fine. I'd only worry about dropping it right on the turret.  Performance: A+ This is the one area you can say is perfect for the TR. Basically, it's designed to maximize power, and finned ammo are designed to be stable, thus increasing range and accuracy. The tube barrel minimizes the snag on the pin from hitting any gaps and gives the gun a solid mounting point for bands. The turret treats each round as a single shot. The length of the charging distance is maximized while still being practical. It's as good as you can do for a pin gun, and it's as accurate as you can make K'nex ammo with minimal modification/using entirely different materials.  Overall Thoughts as a War Weapon:  I'm not going to grade this because there's so much opinion thrown in here, it wouldn't be fair. I can see where this thing would be everyone's weapon of choice. It has an 8 round capacity, which seems limiting, but you can reload whenever you happen to find ammo, so in theory it shouldn't be a problem until you're rushed with low ammo. If fin ammo is allowed, then clearly it's the best you can do for a repeater at the moment. Without it, it's got the most effective range you'll possibly find for a pin gun, though it's just not as easy for me to prime as a pistol. It's a weapon more about picking your shots instead of dishing them out as fast as possible. I'll need to do some raw comparisons with my Oodassault pistol to see which I'd prefer after I see all the differences. For example, what if the range really does make a difference compared to the ease of recharging? I'll just have to make it to a war with both weapons sometime and see which I do better with. Overall Thoughts as a Fun Weapon: Its main novelty is the range and accuracy you get in a repeater. It's satisfying to shoot multiple rounds down range and hit your target with ease. Other than that, it's mostly featureless. It's not something I'd dink around with in the house (mostly out of fret of damaging the walls). It might impress my friends the first time they see it and how far it fires. The ratchet mechanism might also be cool to show. But after that, there isn't much wow factor. Not that you'd need much more. It shoots hard. That's all you'll need to wow someone with plastic and rubber bands. I'm personally the kind of guy that likes having things like realistic charging handles, removable magazines, adjustable stocks, etc. just for novelty's sake, but that's just me. This is a no-nonsense weapon built for performance, and in that regard it does very well. I'll keep mine around and make small modifications to it. I won't deconstruct it for pieces to make other weapons. It'll be nice to have a raw performance weapon around all the time so I can focus on new concepts without think "I wish I had something that fired well, I'm going to rebuild my Oodassault." So it's fun enough to be worth keeping.  Overall, I'd highly recommend making it at least once just to experience it, see what it's all about. If you enjoy performance, taking highly accurate and ranged shots at targets, you'll appreciate it. It's also pretty modular in that if you keep its base construction intact, you can personalize it reasonably well. Better weapons can be built just for the sake of having fun, so it's not something everyone might want to keep permanently, but if you have the pieces, I think a lot of people will like to keep it around, as many already have.

Posted by TheDunkis 3 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! ;)

Posted by Downunder35m 2 years ago