Build an Electric Car

Want to convert your car to all-electric on the cheap?  Check out bennelson's awesome Instructable, Build your own Electric Car!  Ben walks you through the steps of converting a Geo Metro (purchase price $500, gas-requiring parts sold for $550) to run on a forklift motor and 6 12V batteries.   According to his calculations, the car gets the equivalent of about 130 mpg.  Not bad for an entirely self-taught mechanic! Check out the video of his converted Metro going up hills: Sounds easy, right?  So when are you planning to convert your car or truck? This post has been sponsored by Pepsi. The Pepsi Refresh Project celebrates the people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive effect on our world.

Posted by canida 8 years ago


Laser square projector

I work in a manufacturing facility and we've got a lot of forklifts that are buzzing around everywhere all the time. there's an initiative to make it safer for forklifts to interact with pedestrians. one of the ideas someone had came from another facility where they have these blue spot lights on top of the truck that project a blue dot in front of and behind the truck. you see the blue dot and you know a truck is coming. there's some concern that this might get missed by a pedestrian. a thought came to me, being a nerd, that we could use something maybe a little easier to see. I looked in to some disco type laser displays that you can display custom graphics with, but there's concern about how sturdy they are or how long you'd actually be able to use one (whatever it is would basically have to be on almost 24/7). we've got several Motorola barcode scanners, and the long range models (mc 9190) have a feature where it projects a red square to show the area where the scanning will take place. it's a solid red square, not just a perimeter, that scales up with distance (it's like 4"x4" if you're within 2' and goes up to a pretty large size the farther out you're pointing it). These scan guns are way more expensive than this project calls for of course. Does anyone know of a source for JUST the imagers for these things? or could anyone suggest a way to replicate the effect...a big red square on the floor, with other equipment. needs to be able to run for a long time, hopefully could be powered by a 24-36v DC source, possibly motion detection (though not really necessary)

Posted by crapflinger 4 years ago


FS: BIG electric motors

've got three 36v forklift steering motors. They're big, beefy, and used. Rated as 1 1/3 HP "special" duty. They draw 4.1A no load at 36v. With the gearbox, they draw 4.3A no load. Speed for the motor alone 3225RPM , with the gearbox is 75RPM. Torque must be something outrageous. They have an optional mating 43:1 Sumitomo-made gearbox which I reckon would make these some great drive motors for a large heavy project. Without gearbox, they would be excellent for go-karts, suicidal ebikes, etc. I even know of a e-car project that used a similar motor. (forkenswift) The motors alone weigh about 18lbs. Not sure what they weigh with the gearbox. You want one. I have three. I'm asking $100 each for the whole motor/gearbox shebang. Pictures:http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Ned/misc/big_motor1.jpghttp://www.majhost.com/gallery/Ned/misc/big_motor2.jpghttp://www.majhost.com/gallery/Ned/misc/big_motor3.jpghttp://www.majhost.com/gallery/Ned/misc/big_motor_4.jpghttp://www.majhost.com/gallery/Ned/misc/big_motor_5.jpghttp://www.majhost.com/gallery/Ned/misc/big_motor6.jpg

Posted by nedfunnell 10 years ago


DIY Plug-In Hybrid Pickup Truck

Hi everyone, For a while, I've had this as my "back-burner" project. I'm trying to really get going on it now. It's an Open Source, DIY, Plug-in Diesel/Electric Hybrid Pickup truck. That's really a mouthful, so I'm just calling it the "SuperTruck" project, until I can come up with a better name. The entire concept is that it is a parallel hybrid, which you can charge from the wall, and it has a diesel engine that can run on diesel, bio-diesel, and possibly veggie oil. Either the engine OR forklift motor will be able to propel the vehicle. (Meaning that it will have a dedicated EV mode.) The driver can manually decide to run it on diesel, electric, or both depending on the driving situation. The mechanicals are relatively simple. It uses a manual transmission (rather than a CVT or planetary gearing.) In theory, this will be a project than any advanced grease monkey will be able to duplicate. I'm not much of a car guy, but I have learned quite a bit working on my electric motorcycle, electric car, and experimenting with running my car as a hybrid. Here's a YouTube playlist of what I've got going so far. For the latest on this project, please visit the page for it on my blog: http://300mpg.org/projects/supertruck/ I'll definately need help on this project, so please tell all your friends about it!

Posted by bennelson 5 years ago


Custom furnishings and home items for people that can't bend over.

My mother has recently developed a kidney issue which causes a severe level of pain whenever she tries to bend over.  We basically need some ideas on re-outfitting the house with better possibilities so she can easily get to her household items without too much discomfort.  She is a stubborn one, and we will catch her writhing in pain before she asks anyone for help.  Because she will try to do these things anyway, we would like to make it alot less painful for her.  It is hard for her to get things out of her bottom cupboards.  I've been envisioning a pull-out platform with a round hole for her cane where she can insert her cane and pull the platform out and grab what she needs, but it would be even better if somehow this stuff could actually come up to her at a standing level.  My mind doesn't quite wrap around it.  I've seen an instructable for her to get things down from the top cupboards and I'm considering trying these out.  We also need a way for her to feed her pets, to set the dogfood bowls down onto the ground and retrieve them without pain.  I was picturing sort of a dolly-looking thing with a crank so she can forklift things up and down to herself.  I can see some of what we need in my head but I don't have the mechanical skills to put these things together.  I'd appreciate seeing some instructables of this nature or geared toward solving these types of problems. Thanks! If you see anything that may be use for me, please post a link and I will also share my findings.

Posted by sann6 6 years ago


Cabin photos from indie book release- Mobile shack/trailer/fort/camper made from trash

As promised, here's some photos of one of the newer JUNK CABINS I'm building.... AND...  http://relaxshax.wordpress.com/2010/01/    Its part of the indie book I just released on small houses/shacks... This cabin's nothing fancy, and stands at a mere 24 square feet, but it sleeps two (bunk-style), has a dutch style door (made from two recycled kitchen cabinet doors), and all in all is almost completely made from salvaged roadside/free materials- even most of the screws and nails. The paint (to make all the forklift pallet wood and scrap wood appear uniform) was unfortunately purchased (but after I sold some salvaged/found junk on craigslist). Also, The roof was originally made from mdf plywood/particle board from old stereo cabinets and tv armoirs (and an entire junked roll of roofing paper), but that proved too heavy for this wheeled/mobile cabin. In the endrun, I bit the bullet and bought some tuffex panels for roofing, which DOES give the interior some nice natural light- the only reason I decided to "cheat" with this route.      When finished, the cabin will have a mini-woodstove created from an old propane gas tank I nabbed at the dump (safety/workability pending), an outdoor kitchen/prep area attached to the cabin., and perhaps a small broken solar light kit I rewired and fixed. I'll also finish the wine-bottle window (not shown).    Anyway, thanks for looking!  Built to fit a trailer of mine, I'm eventually planning on hauling it up to my land in VT, where it can be used as lo-fi guest cabin or sorts, for those who always forget to bring tents.

Posted by Deek D 8 years ago


Look here if you need Ideas!!!

Lots of people are asking for ideas for instructables. Here's a few ideas that might give you a new idea. If you have any ideas, post em here, so people can hopefully make em.Tech:* As suggested by Redrev: Take a DVD-Player/recorder that the DVD drive has died and take the tuner and video hook ups along with lcd screen(that shows the channel and dvd section numbers) and connect to the computer to watch t.v. and dvd's ala win-tv.Climbing Robot- a robot that can climb a little stairs of books or something. Or at least crawl.A model of an elevator- you know, you hit a button on a remote, and the elevator rises to that level.Model Train- one of those little trains. Would be cool to learn how to make one.Model Forklift- Its basically an R/C car, but can anyone make it lift a little notebook?Pencil Sharpener? (Electric)Introductions - Theres a lot of big words out there, but most of us have never heard of em. If you're good with something, why not shre your knowledge?FlexinolsmtOffBeat:Weird Uses for satellite dishes- I've noticed how many thing you can do with old satellite dishes. Be creative!Naruto Costumes and accesories (not paper)Dragon Ball Z style effects with smoke- how about pressurizing fog or something to have it shoot out of a tube? Would be neat.A DS Game CaseArtHow to draw Anime Hands- personally I find that hands are the hardest thing to draw. Maybe someone has a little trick to get em right?Bridge of toothpicks- Its a bridge made or little wooden sticks that can hold a grown man. I've seen it in a lot of science fairs, and it would be neat to learn how to make em.As much as I hate myself for doing this, yes this is another post of an old topic I had. Just saying it before anyone else.

Posted by Keith-Kid 10 years ago


Jayefuu as Instructables' Artist in Residence

Thursday saw the end of two of the most fun filled months of my life. Since the beginning of February I've been an artist in residence at Instructables' office in San Francisco. First impressions? The office was unlike any I'd ever visited or heard of. An open plan 2nd floor office above a deli and a night club on 2nd street, Instructables' headquarters is home to a team of 25 young and enthusiastic staff. It's not like your average software company either, no desk is the same and each is covered in or surrounded by a mix of complete and incomplete projects, or is in itself a project. Those above mentioned staff are all friendly. The office has the same tight knit community feeling that I have felt part of as a non-staff member using the site. As an artist in residence I was given no direction other than to be creative and pursue and finish projects that interested me. The environment was hugely beneficial as a maker. At home I feel that I have to explain why I want to make something. “But you can buy that!” I am often told. At Instructables I was surrounded by people who understand that making is a passion, that it's important and ideas quickly develop and grow as enthusiastic friends chime in with over the top but all too often adopted suggestions to improve projects in progress or create new projects. There doesn't need to be a reason to create something to amuse, educate or just show off. While in residence I worked on a bubble machine, a giant chess set to play in Eric and Christy's kitchen, an improved laser cut jenga pistol, a cupcake decorating stencil, several educational instructables as well as writing Perl to simplify several tedious admin tasks performed by the editors. My most used tool was the laser cutter. If I had to choose a favourite new skill that I learned, I'd be hard pressed to choose between the skills I developed with a DSLR and lighting, and how to drive a forklift. The best piece of insider information I picked up.... I know who the next artist in residence will be! Given a chance, I'll definitely be back. I love the staff, I love the city and the nearby climbing is exceptional! James

Posted by Jayefuu 6 years ago


Coming Soon: EVERY Instructable, one massive book

[edit: this isn't real, but it would be awesome] In the interest of helping out our amazing community of authors, we’ve decided to make all of Instructables available for download in a single PDF document. That way when the EMPs hit or the grid goes down, you’ll have all the chicken rearing, solar paneling, rain barreling, wind turbining, and urban farming resources you’ll need. And because we’re including everything, you’ll also be able to stave off the post-apocalypse blues with bacon roses and unicorn poop. We’re putting all 127,000 Instructables projects into a single omnibus edition that will be sold at cost (TBD) to Instructables authors and for about $1000 for non-members. We’ll also make the PDF available to Pro members. If you’re so inclined, you can print and bind your own version. Get familiar with KaptinScarlet’s “How to Bind Your Own Hardcover Book” Instructable. We found a spectacular publisher who’s willing to bind the pages with paracord and baling wire. This edition should have just about 30 meters of paracord in the binding, along with just enough baling wire to keep the whole thing together if you choose to take out the paracord. The publisher also agreed to include a metal shank in the spine that can be fashioned into a makeshift knife, shovel, or bottle opener. The book is big enough to make a pretty nice counterweight for a small trebuchet, too. There were a few challenges for this publication. First of all, there’s an awful lot of content. To keep the print length down, we used small images wherever possible. We also cut the comment sections and individual project tables of contents. We did, however, keep the advertisements in the margins just in case AdSense will pay out during the End of Days. This publisher did balk at including packages of strike-anywhere matches in the book jacket. Sorry everybody. Matches were deemed “too unsafe” for their production and distribution teams. As though a conflagration of Amazon packages in the back of a UPS truck is less safe than losing a few digits to a frozen post-apocalyptic hellscape. The biggest challenge of all, though, was the sheer size of the book itself. The rough draft weighed in at about 500 kilograms. In a lucky break, using that ultra-thin biblical/lexicographer paper stock allowed us to cut the weight to just 220kg AND to make the pages double as bathroom tissue in a Charmin-less world. The tome will require a licensed forklift operator to receive it (or you can choose to pay the $150 white glove installation surcharge.) And, as usual, we cannot ship to a PO box.

Posted by wilgubeast 4 years ago


Setting up two forges...

Basically I have two ideas, one of which I'm pretty ready to make now and another which will take a little longer to make, one is a tiny forge, like desktop sized, for working at home and the other is a much larger forge for big metalwork projects, thankfully the large one will actually require less parts scavenging as I have plenty of acces to scrap material and there's a brickyard over the wall from us which will do me the necessary materials very cheap, mainly because I did a little forklift driving for them for larger heavyweight loads over three tonnes. That's all well and good a big one I can get my head round easily enough, But. How would I go about making a tiny forge and I mean miniscule, it's main purpose is for heating to cast for my specialist parts I prefer making and the other is for low material single cast jewellry my mum makes (she used to own a jewewllry business and still makes the odd bespoke items. But my main question is how I can build a reliable yet compact forge and furnace, from what I have sitting around I'm sure I can come up with a decent fuel source, ranging from butane torches and stoves, both of which can do propane and I could go to natural gas (we have a special plug out the back for gas barbeques the house had it when we came...) but my other questions are a bit more odd, first of all what would make a great crucible, I need something that'll be fairly invincible to the hardships caused by life, as the other liely user of the forge and furnace is very forgetful and sometimes accident prone. Next up is the housing, would it be feasible to use a single block of thermocrete cast to make the main furnace housing, as in everything is but the fuel and air source holes and the crucible hole would be one block, as it stands that seems like the best way to make it simple and effective, plus it would be pretty airtight where needed. Next question is the fuel and temperatures, I know that butane at full combustion get 1300C and 1000C is a practicable operating temp. for a butane item but what about propane or even natural gas, since it would be very cheap and clean burning... I'm a bit of a noob towards this end of the scale, I can make stuff hot and I can do alot with these things but actual forge and furnace making is a little beyond me on this scale, however I can think of several advantages to my baby furnace, including the practical movement of it, as it could be self contained very easily. The pic was just one of the last pictures that's remotely intersting I uploaded, however it raises it's own points as the jet engine basically welded all it's components forward of the flame together.

Posted by killerjackalope 10 years ago


Westward Group Alternatives: Alternative Energy the Next Big Play?

Alternative energy plays have been around for decades, including Ballard Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ/BLDP), a maker of hydrogen fuel cells that went public in 1993. The stock traded as high as $100.00 as a speculative investment opportunity in early 2000 but was unable to break into the automotive market. It is currently drifting at the $4.00 level. However, what Ballard was hoping for is now materializing for battery-powered automaker Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ/TSLA), which has built a superhighway of charging stations across the U.S. and is expanding into Europe and China. Tesla is a great story and a decent possible investment opportunity. Yet it’s not only vehicles that demand alternative sources of energy; we also see demand coming from numerous applications and, in some cases, manufacturing facilities. The demand for alternative energy can be based on wind, solar, or water and has led to the development of a strong solar industry as an investment opportunity. A small-cap that has been exciting the stock market while producing sizzling gains for speculators has been Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ/PLUG), a developer of hydrogen fuel cells that power forklifts and other devices. The stock traded as low as $0.32 over the past 52 weeks, surging to $6.37 on Thursday morning after reporting strong results. Plug Power has been on my technical analysis screens for some time, as the stock consistently breaks higher. If interested, I would suggest investors look to this stock on weakness for a volatile speculative investment opportunity. Another possible investment opportunity that may interest investors in the alternative energy space is FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ/FCEL), which has a market cap of $616 million. The stock has traded as low as $1.12 and as high as $4.74 over the past 52 weeks. The current price is halved at $2.37, so there’s a potential aggressive investment opportunity here. FuelCell is a developer of fuel cell solutions by way of its stationary “Direct FuelCell” power plants, built to deliver ultra-clean, efficient, and reliable green power. The process involves harnessing the energy of renewable biogas from wastewater treatment and food processing. Clients are varied and include commercial, industrial, government, and utility businesses. Sectors served include the food and beverage, manufacturing, hospital and prison, college and university, hospitality, utilities, and wastewater treatment areas. FuelCell says its energy produced is up to two times more efficient than fossil fuel plants. The company’s plants produce output ranging from 300 kilowatts (kW) to 2.8 megawatts (MW) and are expandable to more than 50 MW. There are currently more than 50 plants worldwide that have generated more than 300 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. FuelCell is expanding in Southeast Asia, including South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, which the company sees as an investment opportunity. Revenues are estimated to rise 7.2% to $201.16 million in FY14 followed by 22.6% to an estimated $246.54 million in FY15, according to Thomson Financial. I suggest investors keep an eye on a company like FuelCell, as this volatile investment opportunity has tremendous upside if it can deliver results.

Posted by nicolcrisci 3 years ago