silver casting mould

Anyone help me here..I have a wax master of a signet ring. If i use lost wax casting i will lose my original....This i do not want. Is there a mould making stuff that i can press the ring into leaving a negative to fill with silver.....

Posted by maninamousesuit 10 years ago


Experience with the Flexil/Vinamold/Gelflex hot melt vinyl rubber?

Hey again,Does anyone have any experience with this Flexil hot melt rubber stuff I've seen about. It's a vinyl rubber that you melt in a pot around 170 degrees and then pour it over masters and formers to create moulds like you would with RTV silicone (except quite hot). The rubber can be remelted which is a benefit over silicone, but does anyone know of reasons why silicone is better for making moulds with (other than the master possibly melting).Link here: http://www.cfsnet.co.uk/acatalog/CFS_Catalogue__Flexil__554.htmlIncidentally, CFS is also a good place to buy pretty much all casting and moulding materials if you're in the UK at somewhat reasonable prices :-)

Posted by chiok 9 years ago


Making moulds of something to make silicone products

Hi all. I have an item that I need to make silicone copies of. I don't want silicone moulds, but the actual end product to be silicone. What is the best way to do this? I have tried looking up but everything is "silicone moulds for xxx" and not what I want. Thanks!

Posted by JackOGara94 3 years ago


How is this person moulding paper onto aluminium?

Hi Guys, Intrigued about this guys process... would it be heat gun? http://www.seventeengallery.com/artists/jon-rafman/new-age-demanded/

Posted by jarris 4 years ago


Need help with mould

Hey everyone  i am looking for some assistance or advice i have created a sculpture for a project i am working on and would like to reproduce it what would be the best  mould to use to be able to reproduce this ,i have added 2 images of my sculpture if it helps at all  any and all help would be greatly appreciated

Posted by FrancesS3 3 years ago


Carve and cast moulds

Hello I was wondering if anyone was interested in buying the molds I created to make the cast and carve chocolates in my instructable.  https://www.instructables.com/id/Carve-an-cast-chocolate-treets/ It means you don't have to go through the pesky business of carving or making our own molds to end up with some fun chocolates.. or you could use something like plaster and end up with some nice casts. 

Posted by world of woodcraft 3 years ago


Casting pewter in RTV Silicone

I want to reproduce a bit of jewellery I have designed in pewter by using a 2-part RTV silicone mould. By all accounts it is possible but I've run into some problems when sourcing materials. Most high temperature silicones I have come across state a maximum temperature of 250°C, But pewter has a melting point of around 280°C. My feeling is that the mould itself will most likely never actually reach 280°C and will probably only be above 250°C for a short period of time. But I'm wondering if anyone has actually done this and could verify for me. Also as I'm new to the whole process, any other tips are welcomed. This is the high temp silicone I'm currently looking at. Thanks,                -Tom

Posted by madmanmoe64 6 years ago


casting a section of a large sphere in polyester resin

Hello, all.  I bought a nice pendant lamp for my house several months back from one of the local big box stores on clearance.  I only got around to putting it up recently, and when I opened it (yes, I already feel stupid for not having opened it right away to check on it...), the main glass lamp shade was completely shattered! Sadly, the lamp was on clearance because it had been discontinued, and none of the stores in Canada have any of them in stock anywhere, so getting replacement is impossible. I really like the lamp, though, as it matches several of the other lights that my wife and I have purchased, so I figured that I would try my hand at making a replacement shade!  The shade is shaped as follows: it is a section of a sphere 19.5" across (the diameter of the section, not the of the entire sphere), and 5" deep.  A little math (x^2 + y^2 = 2yr) lets me know that the radius of the sphere that this shade is a section of is 12". Here is my plan, and I would like to know if I am crazy or if anyone has a better suggestion.  I am going to try to cast a replacement shade from polyester resin, 1/4" to 3/8" thick.  I was going to make a 2-piece mould from plaster, and use my wood router suspended from a gimbal (on a 12" radius arm) to cut the outer mould.  Similarly, I would suspend a plaster blank from the gimbal over my router (on a 11 5/8" radius arm) to cut the inner mould.  Then I would simply coat the two halves with mould release and pour/pump the resin into the gap between the halves.  I'll tint the resin with some dye to get it the amber colour that I want, then lightly sand to get a smoky translucent finish. My only questions are: 1)  will I be able to get this mould apart without destroying the resin casting, and 2) will polyester resin be strong enough for this kind of casting?  Another option would be to make a wooden mould, but I thought that I might be able to chip away a plaster mould, whereas a wooden mould would be a lot harder to get off of a stuck casting! Thanks!   PS, of course, if this works, I'll post an instructable of it!

Posted by roboguy 4 years ago


recycling plaster of paris used in glass casting

Actually it is a question again on same topic but the way the plaster has been used here may change the way it can be recycled. I use plaster of paris to make moulds for glass casting.I want to know if the plaster from these moulds can be recycled since they already have been heated for 24 hours in 800 degrees temperatures. Are the properties lost once heated that high?

Posted by patbagniewski 10 years ago


Using Knex/Lego for design visualisation

Hi all, I was just wondering how many (pro companies) uses Knex/Meccano/Lego for design visualisation. In other words, do you use K N L for creating a "mould"? And if so, show me the art....... :)

Posted by TT2 5 years ago


in need of a clear thermoplastic

Hi :) Im looking for a thermoplastic which stays clear, and becomes pliable in hot water to then use to mould , i believe it comes in round sheets. I have been told that it is acetate,although I’m not sure about this now, and that it comes in sheets, anyone got any ideas?  thanks 

Posted by candylandcourt 3 years ago


Aluminium casting

Hi Can anyone help this old codger trying his first casting please. What I am trying to make is an aluminium block, 150mm square by 52mm thick with a 100mm hole in the centre, hopefully with a decent finish as I am short on finishing equipment. I am planning to weld angle iron into a square to make the sides, use a section of 100mm steel tube for the centre hole and tack weld them onto a steel plate to make the mould. I also want to fill the tube to make a disc. Does this this sound feasible please, also will the aluminium, as it shrink as it cools, get stressed by the centre steel tube. When I have poured the aluminimium into the moulds, do I slide a scraper across the top to get a reasonable finish. Many thanks Keith

Posted by axus4 10 years ago


Marbled Jelly Sandals

So, I'm totally in love with these marbled jelly shoes, but they're sold out. Just wondering what's involved in a DIY version... what material would you make the mould out of, what material would you use for the cast, and how do you do the marbling? https://svpply.com/item/1599841/Anntian_Marmored_Shoes

Posted by jarris 4 years ago


is there a substance out there that once carved reduces in size.

Is there a substance out there that can be carved or moulded that can reduce in size keeping its proportions intact. i know you can get the reverse, a substance that can grow in size keeping proportions intact (Thanks Goodhart). I am trying to sculpt in miniature and its breaking my heart

Posted by maninamousesuit 10 years ago


Making an awesome chandelier - the cheap way?

Hello all I'm very into art and like beautiful things in life. However, beautiful things are typically very expensive. I've found this chandelier/loft lamp that i'm particularly into. It's the Jeremy Close Blossom. It dosen't seem very complicated (ok, it looks complicated, but many parts are exactly the same), but it is very beautiful and very, very expensive. It's a whopping $10,000! The leafs themselves are made out of ceramic and the skeleton is made out of steel/aluminium.  What struck me was: isn't this a project that would be easily accomplished using a mould and some sort of foam? - paint it black and there you go..? The skeleton itself, i imagine, would be constructed by a series of concentric rings suspended on a wire of some sort. The leafs would them be clamped somehow to the rings by some sort of  tightening mechanism.. Any ideas how to do this one? - how would one make the shape of the leafs to make a mould? - are there anything out there on the market that looks like it, but is a lot cheaper?

Posted by tbertelsen 6 years ago


Bunion separators made to suit an individual

Hi there, Does anyone have ideas on how to make/get hold of a silicon type material to make moulds of so called toe separators.   Something which could be made to an individual's needs, i.e. I would make it for myself and if it works, to share it publicly, as I am sure those who suffer from having bunions would benefit extremely.  Unfortunately the products available on the market most of the time don't work (and is waste of money and resources), as all of us have different toes, feet, alignments etc. Any ideas on how to make such material at home and cheaply are very welcome. THANK you in advance! To peace and comfy feet for all! P.S. I have attached a few photos of these products to give you an idea of what I mean.  The silicone which is used is soft but sturdy enough, which doesn't hurt the joints of the toes.  It would be great to be able to mould these around flip flops (and other shoes) permanently - so that they don't move about.

Posted by okcuga 3 years ago


Cool ideas for USB stick mods?

I have some USB stick chips, and I want to make special cases for it, try to sell it and if it's a success I'll keep doing it. Now I need some ideas. They don't fit in a lego piece. I'm thinking of making a few with a bust of Indiana Jones around it(I can make replica's of one because I have moulding supllies) thanks

Posted by merijnvw 9 years ago


Xena Armour......starting blocks

Well i'm pretty ambitious in wanting to cosplay a charcter from from favourite tv show Xena : Warrior Princess, no matter how camp and cheesy it is :-P Most of the sewing and basic pieces such as armbands wristbands and the corseted dress are easy enough to do....the difficulty will be in replicating the 'metal armour' especially the breastplate Xena wears...and possibly the  Chakram (that round frizbee like throwing thing :P ) So i've been looking around at different methods trying to get an all round idea of the best way to go about it, keeping in mind i'd want to keep this costume forever if possible (with a $2000 price of a Xena costume from Todd's costumes not being ideal) ...i want authenticity, with the armour being a strong and sturdy as possible with a DIY. Saying that the various instructables for Halo seem to be the way to go: Having seen three awesome tutorials that i could definitely see myself end up using: https://www.instructables.com/id/Halo-ODST-Armor-Helmet-Part-1-of-6-of-ODST-Armo/ https://www.instructables.com/id/Using-Paper-Resin-and-Fiberglass-to-be-the-Maste/ https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-Halo-Armor/?&sort;=ACTIVE&limit;=40&offset;=40 Going the Halo armour route honestly seem the easiest. As while i would love to get as close to authentic metal battle armour as possible....there is time, money, and skills to consider. Also through looking here: http://www.therpf.com/f24/need-help-xena-armor-85017/ I've seen that it might be quite possible to create a two piece mould to cast the items. This would involve making a paper mache cast of my chest...creating the shape of the breast plate onto that....removing the breast plate...probably shaped out of nice sturdy lay (or not). From there.....a  mould could be cast from the breastplate....probably by something simply enough to mould around the front and the back of the breastplate....pressed to take on it's form and shape. One side would have to be done and dried/cured...the the other ensure the shaped of the breast plate is imprinted correctly and that non of the resin will seep through the mould... Now. I would love ideas for methods, materials, best way to paint to cast as i am a total noob just throwing around ideas at this stage. Some questions: Would it be possibly to use some as a finish so that the breastplate and other items actually feel like they are made of metal (never mind that there filled with resin)? How hard and how brittle would the resin be? Is it just like plastic? Will it break easily? If there is say a bit of side spillage when casting the resin, would it be possible to fix, say cut it off? What about the possibility of using Precious Metal Clay? Wouls it be hard/brittle/expensive/breakable? Is there such a think as bendable resin? (say for the armbands and wristbands) Would it be possible to 'coat' (as you might paint) resin onto the clay breastplate and remove it to create a replica? (without the need for a two part mould in this case)

Posted by Mavican 7 years ago


Large Scale Mould Making - the Evolution

I'm so excited, I now have + hours of video to cut and share :)Today we:Finished the split standSet the finished plug in the stand and aligned our waterlineBondo'd stand and plug for a flange lineApplied mold release waxSprayed PVA (Poly Vinyl alcohol)Applied a polyester tooling resin with cabosil (A silica thickener) to serve as the inner mold face (outer shape/surface of final product)Applied 4 layers of chopped fiber with polyester resin (took about an hour and we're still a tad bit high - even with good ventilation)Mind you the resin is catalyzed with MEK-P (Methyl Ethyl Keytone Peroxide -- some call it rocket fuel. It will eat the flesh off the bone and then eat the bone.Why am I so excited? Because we finished today and the catalyzed resin was COOK-ING. "Too hot to touch" is about 180 for the average meat human. It's well above too hot to touch - in fact, the radiant heat is a bit much for most meat peoples. And that's with the prescribed 1% catalyst.More information coming soon :) It's going to take 8 hours to capture all that video :PPhoto: Adding more PVA to the pot in the middle of the second coat.

Posted by trebuchet03 11 years ago


how do i build a fibreglass skateboard

 Hi im new here How do i build a fibreglass skateboard, im puzzled because they are just one peice. Are they injection moulded, or made in 2 halves and glued together, i understand you can place some plywood in the core to stiffen it. Also how is it coloured, if i want to make a blue one, is the first layer of fibreglass blue, or is it painted with an airbrush on completion, what sort of paint would be used and tough enough Many Thank - K

Posted by kc6666 8 years ago


New I'ble single-step URLs are broken for steps 10 and later

As Jamalam posted this morning, a new bug was introduced with the overnight feature rollout.  For published Instructables, the individual steps now have human-readable URLs of the form "https://www.instructables.com//step##//" (e.g., "https://www.instructables.com/id/Modified_Crib_for_Parent_with_Disability/step15/Attach-the-End-panel-Moulding/").  This is really nice. Unfortunately, the server-side code which generates these URLs is buggy.  For two-digit steps (step10 and higher), the URL does not resolve correctly, reverting back to the intro step.  You'll see this if you follow the link above.

Posted by kelseymh 8 years ago


How to "chew" a large amount chewing gum without actually chewing it

Hi, I want to chew a lot of chewing gum without actually doing the chewing myself (or inflicting that task on others) for an art project - can someone suggest how I could do this on a large scale? I don't know if I should put it in a blender, soak it or what? Also, I'm going to be making a half moulds which will be used to press the gum into, then I'll press the halves together. Is there a good way to harden the gum in a short amount of time? Would baking it work? Or does it need to be dehydrated? I have a dehydrator... Thanks for the advice.

Posted by jarris 6 years ago


Where to buy polyurethane resin/foam in UK?

Hi guys, Do any UK people know of nice suitable places to purchase the two-part polyurethane resin that mix together for making casts from moulds? Or the polyurethane foam that expands a bit when it cures? There's two places on eBay (TOMPS and another) but at £24 a kg with high postage costs, I was wondering if there's any bricks & mortar places I can pick it up, or other online places to buy the foam? I'm using it to thicken the shell of a Pepakura helmet so there's stuff to sand down. Any pointers please?

Posted by chiok 9 years ago


Toe Pincher Coffin

ok there are a few instructables for coffins but mostly they are just for halloween props, im a stickler for details, if i'm going to have a coffin it must look good, it must look real. so, can someone come up with an instructable to make a decent toe pincher coffin from proper wood, maybe a ply base, with mouldings to make it look authentic like this. http://www.vintagecoffins.com/BlackGothicToePincher.html also the handles are tricky to get hold of ideas? i think im going to get my dad to make the main bits for me as hes a carpenter, make it from pine and stain it then put handles on

Posted by n1cod3mus 8 years ago


Armor Help

I am looking to make a paintball armor.  I do not want to buy anything already made, DIY stuff FTW. I am looking to make it out of aluminum from aluminum cans.  I would cut off the top and bottom leaving a repectable sized piece to mould into any piece i want making it into 'scales'.  Using the bottoms of the cans as shoulder pads and other parts. My question is: What should I use as an anchor for the 'scales'? What type of material would i use as a place to mount them? And as always; if you have suggestions do tell.

Posted by Cpt Squishy 7 years ago


Resin floor

Has anyone ever done a DIY resin floor? Any advice? A friend of mine is in the early stages of a plan to cover her stairs in resin, with embedded small pieces of tile left over from the kitchen. We're planning to do a lot of small scale testing before we actually do anything permanent, and were just going to start with harware store marine resin. At the moment, the stairs are the bare chipboard left when the gross carpet was removed. It also curves around almost 180°, so there are only a few rectangular stairs. Any tips on the type of resin to use, best way to build a stair sized mould, things that the resin won't stick to, curing time, or any other random advice would be appreciated.

Posted by Mar HK 6 years ago


alternatives to fiberglass

Hey guys im building an enclosed recumbent motorcycle and i am a bit stuck. im making the outer skin. to get a working aerodynamic shape, complex curves and all i want to use some flexible sheet which i can connect to the strong points of the motorcycle. i am thinking of using that polypropilene chicken wire, and i wonder if it would be good enough to be the base of the fairing and put fibreglass on top. my brother wants to use cedar strips as a base and cardboard strips mounted over them and fibreglass the resultant mess. then bondo the lot. any ideas. i am not describing this very well. a single sheet of a flexible matting will save me the trouble of making a mould of the fairing. thanks guys.

Posted by maninamousesuit 7 years ago


How do I make a carbon fibre pipe for an air intake?

Hello folks! I'm trying to figure out how I can make a carbon fibre pipe for my cars air intake. I have a semi-flexi alloy pipe which I have managed to bend into shape and it will keep its shape without changing even if I take it out of the engine bay. I was wondering how I would go about making a mould of the pipe to make a replica of it out of carbon fibre for ultra cool points. Plus Carbon fibre helps repel heat better than aluminium. I was originally just going to get a Carbon Fibre vinyl wrap around the pipe but, why fake it?

Posted by apmaman 6 years ago


IDEAS... How to make a 4m diameter hallow sphere ??

Hello all this is my first post on Instructables so thanks for taking the time to read ! I am looking for ideas on how i could manufacture a perfect, hallow, fibreglass sphere measuring around 4 metres in diameter (BIG) :) I have experience with using fibreglass but I am running out of ideas for how to make a plug on this scale and get it to be perfectly spherical... It has to be made from Fibreglass so i am really asking for help on making the mould. ANY help or suggestions would be gratefully received no matter how wacky ....I am willing to try anything. If your idea works I will be more than happy to name the first of these epic spheres after you !! All the best  Ben

Posted by whitto2017 1 year ago


Life size ED 209 from robocop 1987

Hi all, so I have decided to build a life sized ED 209, the killer robot from the film Robocop (1987),  for a long time I have been toying with the Idea of making a life sized ED 209 and recently Make had an article on Shaun Thornson who made a life sized ED which has inspired me to go for it, so far I am about 50% done on making the first set of master moulds. if you can help at all, even by sharing this on facebook it would help, here is the facebook page for progress https://www.facebook.com/lifesizeded209

Posted by n1cod3mus 3 years ago


Basket / Bowl making help

Hya. I want to make my own bread proofing basket (Brotform or Banneton). I've had a look on google but can't find any instructions or guides. I wonder does anyone have experience of basket making that could help? It would you start with a wooden mould. You then take softened reeds or canes and create the basket in what looks like one long coil. The ridges leave marks in the finished bread. I need to know what materials to use (I'm thinking probably peeled rattan) and where to get it in the UK, ideally Manchester. I've been googling away but only seem to find cane furniture sites. I don't think any adhesive is used, I think you just pin the cane into place every few inches. Here's an image of the type of thing I'm after: http://www.breadexperience.com/proofing-basket.html Thanks.

Posted by nightofjoy 5 years ago


Wire only (no PCB) Speaker in clear resin ball.

So I had an idea to recycle on old speaker into something a bit more aesthetically pleasing.  Firstly I realise this will not improve it in any way   and over heating may be a serious problem but I never use the speakers and want to make this mainly as a novelty item rather than best functionality. What I had in mind was taking the speaker amp apart and resoldering all the components with wire rather than using the pcb, this would then be set in a clear resin ball with volume control, jack, power and cone sticking out. Firstly what would be the best way to prevent all the exposed solder contacting, Hot glue? Next what is the best resin to use, for clear resin I only know of polyester, is this best? If so are there any kinds of mould material that cant be used with this type of resin? Lastly could anyone suggest a way to ensure that all components are completely covered (i dont want any bits sticking just above the surface as it would ruin the look of it.) Thanks for any thoughts!  

Posted by inarranes 5 years ago


Touch Screen AC Control for car, please help

Hi everyone, I need some help. I have an AC fan switch that is going out on my truck, it seems there is a design flaw with the clips holding the switch to the plastic face mould, and it gets pushed back into the dash, where the wires that clip into the switch get cocked to the side and it doesn't make a good connection, so to keep the fans working at all its stuck on high and I don't dare move it. I may not get it back on again lol. So instead of trying to fix the clip I was thinking it would be simply amazing to replace all the switches for the AC, temperature, defrost, floor, bi-lev etc. and fan speed. I'm wanting to replace these with a single touch screen interface. one the mimics the original setup. I'll take some pictures and post later so you can see what I mean. If anyone knows what I would need to get a touch screen to act as a switch, or maybe something a little more simple such as simple on/off touch switches, and slider touch switches? like those you see on fancy referigerators these days, or the PS3 power buttons?

Posted by ActionTekJackson 10 years ago


Any suggestions on non slip natural material to put on my dogs paws

I'm looking for some suggestions to help my dog who is recovering from disc surgery. I've tried all the usual boots,socks,balloons etc. It is short of a nightmare watching him tread so carefully on slippery floorboards.I'm convinced he's lost muscle mass from not being able to walk normally anymore. Short of covering all my floors in rubber mats, I know there has to be a solution. I'm after something that is non toxic that I can rub on his paws. It has to have a tacky feel..you know like those silicone dots you can buy to stop slipping. Materials like those used in surfboard wax ..I've checked out the feel of surfboard wax and it feels ok but it feels like it's lacking the tacky element. The other thought I had was to buy a mould kit and get an imprint of his paws and make a slip on foot cover in a silicone. I'm not too sure what type of silicone to use for this..would it be like a latex that would be good to grip the floorboards? Any suggestions on what materials to use? Thanks

Posted by Lemonpoppyseed 2 years ago


Notes on Specific Laws - the second Law

Second LawAn unsuitable thread isolated from replies will descend the list into obscurity.This is an "anti-spam" law. We have all seen threads appear that advertise odd things - trainers, dating sites, Chinese plastic-moulding factories - and we all agree they should no be here. It is tempting to reply to the threads to express our chagrin, but that makes the thread bob to the surface again, pushing more useful threads down.Far better to flag the thread and let it slide down the list until it disappears.In addition, this law can also be applied to trolls - if somebody starts a thread specifically to start an argument (as opposed to a discussion), or just to put another user or group of users down, then they are trolling. Those threads should also be allowed to slide.Addendum to the second lawSpam advertisers may be chastised through the Private Message system to prevent their thread's longevity.If you cannot resist giving a spammer a piece of your mind, the PM system is very useful - the spammer gets an email alert to your comment, they are aware of your feelings, but the thread is undisturbed.Similarly a troll may be gently reminded of the site's Be Nice policy via a PM. Should the troll decide to respond with vitriol, they are deprived of the audience they crave.Finally, you can help the site financially - using a PM to casually point out the correct route for advertising could, perhaps, result in a new fee-paying advertiser for the site.

Posted by Kiteman 10 years ago


Thank You, Instructables

Five years ago today I joined Instructables. Since then I’ve posted 52 projects, favourited 510, and read far too many to count. I wanted to thank the Instructables community for all it has done for me over the past 5 years. Firstly, it gave me an outlet for my creativity. I’d always loved fabrication and design, but until joining the site I had no real reason to push myself to create anything new or different. Without Instructables I probably would have been content to limit myself to the projects assigned in wood and metal shop classes at school, and would likely never have broken out of the mould and began to design my own projects. Secondly, it helped me learn. Whether I was reading someone else’s Instructable or the comments on one of my own, I could always find some new, unique perspective that I never would have thought of. Thirdly, it taught me to persevere. Many of my projects had points where I was frustrated or dejected with how they were turning out, but I always pushed through them so that I could share my work with the community. Finally, it taught me to never stop making. There are so many projects out there I want to try, and so many ideas I want to share with the community; I think I’ll be busy for years to come. So thank you, Instructables. Here’s to five more great years.

Posted by M3G 1 year ago


Built of recycled materials, but is it "green"?

Construction is nearing completion in Taipei of a plastic bottle building. Technically a temporary structure, "the world's lightest, movable, breathable environmental miracle" (say the designers) is also strong enough to withstand typhoons and earthquakes.  The building will eventually become an exhibition space. Much is being made of the structure's "green" credentials - LED lighting, and particularly the construction material; 1,500,000 recycled PET bottles. That sounds great, and in most of the news coverage of the structure (such as the BBC and Treehugger) it sounds like the building is built directly of bottles that have been re-shaped somehow (maybe squashed in a heated mould).  The bottles even have lids, and they talk about filling them with air, water or sand to change the thermal properties of the building.. It turns out, though, that the building material is not "PET bottles", but "PET bottles chopped up, melted and re-formed into much thicker-walled bottles intended solely for building", branded as Polli-Bricks. OK, still recycled, still greener than most building materials, but it smacks of spin to just say the building is built of bottles. The Polli-Bricks are impressive - individually nice to look at, and fitting together snugly "like Lego" - but there is no indication of how much energy is spent creating them.  They are made by Hymini, but the Hymini website flashes up all sorts of alarms with my firewall and anti-virus as an "attack site".  There is more information at Miniwiz as well, but some of the links there also trigger alarms. Maybe I'm being a wet blanket. It is a nice building, after all. What do you think? GreenMuze article

Posted by Kiteman 8 years ago


And the winner is...

It's that time of year again - the Annals of Improbable Research has announced the 2010 IgNobel Prizes. It makes you proud to be British.... The full list of winners: Engineering Prize: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse (UK) and colleagues for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter. Medicine Prize: Simon Rietveld (Netherlands) and colleagues for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride. Transportation Planning Prize: Toshiyuki Nakagaki (Japan) and colleagues for using slime mould to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks. Physics Prize: Lianne Parkin (New Zealand) and colleagues for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes. Peace Prize: Richard Stephens (UK) and colleagues for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain. Public health Prize: Manuel Barbeito (US) and colleagues for determining by experiment that microbes cling to bearded scientists. Economics Prize: Awarded to the executives and directors of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Magnetar for creating and promoting new ways to invest money — ways that maximize financial gain and minimize financial risk for the world economy, or for a portion thereof. Chemistry Prize: Eric Adams (US) and colleagues for disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix. The research, supported by BP, was published under the title: "Review of Deep Oil Spill Modeling Activity Supported by the Deep Spill JIP and Offshore Operator's Committee". Management Prize: Alessandro Pluchino (Italy) and colleagues for demonstrating mathematically that organisations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random. Biology Prize: Libiao Zhang (China) and colleagues for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.

Posted by Kiteman 7 years ago


Getting more power from a quartz clock movement

Using a transistor to boost the output from a quartz clock to drive a larger motor in steps. Is the idea sound what would I need? Having read a couple of instructables on equitorial drives, I found myself wondering why you couldn't just use a quartz clock movement to drive one? They don't produce much torque is the answer to that one. Why not? I took one appart to find out. The gear chain is very flimsy moulded polyethylene, or maybe nylon. the power comes from a tiny armature that makes 1 turn a second in 2 pulses the magnetic pulses are provided by a little cuircit board with the quartz ossilator on it. Here endeth my actual knowledge. My knowledge of electronics is minimal give me a good set of instructions and I can build it (unless its a joule thief but thats a different matter) but don't ask me how it works. My limited understanding of a transistor is if you put a small current or voltage across 2 pins you can get a bigger current or voltage to flow across one of them and the third, something like a relay. I was thinking if I took the out put from the quartz cuircuit that provides the magnetic pulses and used it to trigger a transistor to pulse a higher voltage and current through a small 3 pole motor kicking it around 1 pole per pulse. The motor I have a salvaged and rebuilt in an earlier instructable runs on 3V and draws 0.2A when not under load. the largest motor I have to hand is a big 7 pole one designed to power model planes or cars draws up to 15A on 7.2V the timer cuircuit for that one needed 3 Mosfet's in parralle so I'm guessing thats not possible.

Posted by Stan1y 4 years ago


Homemade Ferrite - what updates do you seek most?

First a massive thank you for the interest in my project - I certainly was expecting this great response! Some might already know my first tutorial on how to make your own ferrite, here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-own-Ferrite-to-improve-magnetic-fields/ As the muber of followers grow and so the hits on the linked video I was wondering what updates you would most interested in! I want to make some custom pot cores for small HF transformers in the 2-20kHz region. So the question is what new recipe you would like to see... There are several options, all would include some mould making first: Clay as a binder Ceramic as a binder Using some non-hygroscopic salts to melt into the ferrit powder as a binder - all three would require to finnish the parts in a good oven 2K glue or fibreglass resin as a simple dry mix 2K glue or fibreglass resin with vacuum curing to remove all air - this might require special glue as in my experiments resin and glue start boiling long before total vacuum is reached, was thinking of casting resin istead as this would be rated for vacuum preparation From past experiments these are the most likely candidates to result in a good product, if you have other ideas and suggestions post them here. Being a guy that loves to keep things simple and prefering the use of scrap / easy to obtain parts I would obviously love to know where you struggled with your creation of ferrite. I still did not find a good source for rare earth materials in fine powder form to add to the mix but don't think it is an issue as for high performance there are always commercial cores available. Some people asked my what the best was is to make a big toroid core for Rodin coils and other unuasally big cores for transformers. If you are one of them, leave your feedback here as well as the size is only an issue in terms of avoiding cracks during the curing. Let's get the party started! :)

Posted by Downunder35m 3 years ago


Anyone want to do peer review? Open source product devellopment

I made the pulser pump 20 years ago. (A low tech trompe airlfit pump combination to use low grade water power.It never attracted scientific research funding and never got tested because it is simple and doesn't produce electiricity.I put up an instructable about how to make a model but nobody has made one.Last year I made the "mechanical mathematician" which is a new simple device to allow people to make moulds for parabolic dishes from cob or mud.The same constraints apply and official science will never check it out.This year, there is the tracking solar accumulator, the clock based dripper tracker and the 2 bucket dripper tracker. (Guess I am on a bit of a roll because I needed solutions to make the solar tracking accumulating barbecue a reality.)Official science will not be interested in this either.It is all very low tech stuff. Cheap simple trackers have been identified by solarcooking.org as an important part of getting solar cooking widely introduced. The clock based tracker especially could change things a whole lot for many people. It can be cheap and accurate enough to provide all day semi-automatic solar cooking. I have adapted a few clocks for this but there are probably many models on the market and you might find the ideal one or a better way of adapting one to help make better trackers for solar cookers.It takes years for new (even appropriate technology) to be introduced.Please help these things get introduced much faster by making some of them yourselves.And if you already have made some, please post them! Do not be afraid of doing a bad job. Places like the full belly group would be good to post your stuff or video or text responses to my utube videos.I will happily take down my instructables if someone posts better versions! I have made all these things but my versions were just demo's to show what could be done. There are no patents on any of them.Please join in. http://www.youtube.com/user/gaiatechnicianBrian White

Posted by gaiatechnician 10 years ago


Is evolution over?

Geneticist Professor Steve Jones has said that human evolution may be over, and that we may now, as a species, be on the slippery slope to extinction.He's not saying evolution in general has stopped, just ours.His theory is that our development and exploitation of technology has de-coupled human development from natural selection. Conditions which would have meant an early grave for our ancestors, through starvation or other side-effects, are now barely considered as inconvenient, let alone life-threatening.Personally, suffering asthma and 8 dioptres of short-sight, I would have quickly starved to death in our hunter-gatherer days, unable to keep up with prey animals or to see well enough to tell "nutritious" from "poisonous".What this means is that we have a rate of survival to age 21 that is almost 100%, double what it was in ancient times.At the same time, our supporting technologies, particularly in medicine, mean that there is a growing accumulation of deleterious genetic conditions in the general gene pool.Increases in world travel have also meant that the differences between different human populations, already low, are getting smaller, as openness and acceptance of other cultures has started to homogenise our phenotype.The result - we are isolated from natural evolutionary pressures, so there is nothing to stimulate natural selection, nothing to weed out potentially-dangerous mutations. We are stagnating.So, what next?On the one hand, the pessimistic view is that, at some point, our genome will become so laden with hazardous mutations that we will cease to be viable as a species. We will be unable to reproduce successfully.On the other hand, maybe other species, still closely linked with natural selection, will continue to evolve until they supplant us. The obvious choices are chimps and gorillas - if we don't drive them to extinction.Or maybe our heirs are currently underwater - dolphins, maybe? Or maybe they won't be mammals - octopus and squid are highly intelligent. Heck, even slime moulds have been shown to be capable of solving mazes!On the gripping hand, maybe we've out-evolved evolution? The optimist in me hopes that technology will out-pace the fuse on the genetic timebombs we have become. Maybe medicine will be able to edit our DNA, or write it afresh, truly triumphing over nature?Article stimulated by this BBC blog entry.Other linked news items.

Posted by Kiteman 9 years ago


how do I get an electronic device made?

Hi folks, I am new to this forum so please ignore and naivity / stupidty on my part and I hope this is the right place to ask this type of question. I need help and am appealing to anyone who knows anything about getting an Electronic Device Made. Basically, I require a Bi-Directional People Counter to put in the doorways of venues to count footfall in and out of a given location. It needs to be wireless (Battery operated), easily attached to a doorway/entrance (adhesively) so light weight and able to transmit the data back to our servers (probably via the venue wireless). I have an idea about what type of sensor I need (PIR) and the basic components within the device like battery, circuit board, wireless transmitter etc and I know I will require some sort of algorithm to aggregate/calculate the data and send it back to our servers. My problem is that I am not an engineer and can obviously only get so far and I don't know what to do next. From my research it would seem I need to get an Industrial Designer and a Manufacturing Engineer but both of these seem to be further down the process than what I need first. What I need is; 1. someone (an expert) who can understand the business problem I have and create the electronic device to solve it. Ie. design the circuit, tell me what type of battery I need, what type of sensors we should be using, code the algorithm to make it work and what the subsequent output of their design will be etc and for them to then produce these designs, PCB, Bill of Materials etc. 2. someone I can then take that data to and tell them to make it look pretty (presumably the Industrial Designer) by designing the case/aesthetics etc 3. to then have all the required information (functional designers / circuitry, mould/casing etc) to take to a manufacturer to put the final product together, ready for sale. Does anyone know what type of company or person I should be talking to for each phase? What are people called that do phase 1 that I outlined? Basically, I think I know what I need in terms of technology and its capabilities but I now need a professional/expert to take over to make it a reality. Any help or advice on this would be hugely appreciated as I'm getting a bit muddled and would love some clarity on the process so I can move forward in which ever direction is now appropriate? Thanks all!

Posted by jonkrug 3 years ago


2008 IgNobel Prizes announced!

The IgNobel Prizes are awarded annually for research which "cannot, or should not, be reproduced"; achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think". The prizes are meant in good humour, and many winner pay their own way to attend the ceremonies. Past winners have been known to return to ceremonies in later years to show off their achievements to a receptive audience (this year it was a sword-swallowing doctor).The Japanese team that showed slime moulds can solve mazes sang their acceptance speech.The Winners:NUTRITION PRIZE.Massimiliano Zampini of the University of Trento, Italy and Charles Spence of Oxford University, UK, for electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make the person chewing the chip believe it to be crisper and fresher than it really is. They also showed that playing the sound of bacon frying can make ice-cream taste bacony.PEACE PRIZE.The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH) and the citizens of Switzerland for adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity.ARCHAEOLOGY PRIZE.Astolfo G. Mello Araujo and Jose Carlos Marcelino of Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil, for measuring how the course of history, or at least the contents of an archaeological dig site, can be scrambled by the actions of a live armadillo.BIOLOGY PRIZE.Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert, and Michel Franc of Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulouse, France for discovering that the fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than the fleas that live on a cat.MEDICINE PRIZE.Dan Ariely of Duke University, USA, for demonstrating that high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine.COGNITIVE SCIENCE PRIZE.Toshiyuki Nakagaki of Hokkaido University, Japan, Hiroyasu Yamada of Nagoya, Japan, Ryo Kobayashi of Hiroshima University, Atsushi Tero of Presto JST, Akio Ishiguro of Tohoku University, and Agota Toth of the University of Szeged, Hungary, for discovering that slime molds can solve puzzles.ECONOMICS PRIZE.Geoffrey Miller, Joshua Tybur and Brent Jordan of the University of New Mexico, USA, for discovering that a professional lap dancer's ovulatory cycle affects her tip earnings.PHYSICS PRIZE.Dorian Raymer of the Ocean Observatories Initiative at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, and Douglas Smith of the University of California, San Diego, USA, for proving mathematically that heaps of string or hair or almost anything else will inevitably tangle themselves up in knots. Their paper has one of the best genuine research titles I have seen for a long time: Spontaneous Knotting of an Agitated String.JOINT CHEMISTRY PRIZE.Sharee A. Umpierre of the University of Puerto Rico, Joseph A. Hill of The Fertility Centers of New England (USA), Deborah J. Anderson of Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School (USA), for discovering that Coca-Cola is an effective spermicideJOINT CHEMISTRY PRIZE.Chuang-Ye Hong of Taipei Medical University (Taiwan), C.C. Shieh, P. Wu, and B.N. Chiang (all of Taiwan) for discovering that Coca-Cola is not an effective spermicide.LITERATURE PRIZE.David Sims of Cass Business School. London, UK, for his lovingly written study "You Bastard: A Narrative Exploration of the Experience of Indignation within Organizations."Journal of Improbable ResearchThe site will be hosting video of the ceremony in the next few days.

Posted by Kiteman 9 years ago


The more natural way of cleaning things...

At my workplace we basically have a specific cleaner or cleaning product for every task you can think of. From glass over stainless to plastics and desinfectants for lots of different surfaces. After a quick look into my cleaining cabinet at home I started to wonder if I am doing something wrong as I only have a few cleaning things for my use. Asking my friends also showed they have a big bunch of cleaning chemicals, plus the bottle of bleach that everyone down here has. So I though: Your grandma only had a few cleaning products and you learned most of things you need to clean from her. Considering I grew up healthy I guess she must have done something right.... Let's clean up with the cleaning myths, shall we? 1. What cleaning chemicals do you have? For quite a few people the list would start something like this: Dishwashing liquid, window, cleaner, bathroom cleaner, soap scum remover, floor cleaner, oven cleaner, several desinfectants.... If that is true for you too than we might be on to something already. 2. What cleaning chemicals do I really need? This is a good question as everyone is a bit different but I assume a healthy household here. Of course we need certain things to clean our various surfaces properly but it is far less than waht you have been told by the TV commercials.... These days we like to think if there is a special cleaner for something then of course we have to use it to clean properly. Unless you have trades people walking through with their wet dogs several times a day and see dust storms at least twice a week you really only need a few things. So let's get to the basics: 3. Old style cleaning and what you need for it - really the only stuff required to keep all clean and sanitised. a) Methylated spirit b) Clear ammonia - cloudy ammonia works too but be aware that the added soap can be a problem that leaves streakes c) Hydrogen peroxide - pool grade to be cheap in the long run d) Orange oil - citrus oil works great too if you prefer a different smell e) Soap - just basic soap, these stinky, slightly yellow and hard bricks - no fancy smelly soap ;) f) Several cleaning brushes but you should already have those g) Windows cleaning tools - the basic microfibre cloth and squeegee will do h) Several microfibre cloths - bigger ones for floors and walls, smaller for windows and the rest I) Yesterdays newspaper j) Baking soda With those few things we have everything to clean whatever comes up and if bought in bulk comes down to a few cents per bottle compared to a few dollars when you buy all the stuff you don't need. Lets figure out what the stuff does and how to use it: 4. Mixing and what to use it for.... The alcohol is a really good remover for everything greasy and also desinfects the surfaces. A quick spray and wipe on your bench is all that you need to remove oily residue or the mess from the kids. Mixed with a bit of soap and water (about 50-50) also removes sticky stuff like jam or syrup. If we use about 50ml of alcohol, 50ml of clear ammonia and 900ml of water we get one liter of really good window cleaner. The modern way is to use microfibre for the cleaning and a squeegee to get it dry, the old way just uses a cloth and then the window is "polished" with some old newspaper. The black ink reacts with the alcohol and form a mild abrasive while the paper soaks up the moisture, the result is a prefectly clean window in under 3 minutes. Orange oil is not only a powerful degreaser but also lifts old dirt or even glue residue. Used directly it will get rid of the remains from sticky tape, stickers and everything that other cleaners fails to get off - smoth surface and non soaking of course. 50ml of it with 50ml of ammonia and 100ml of alcohol per bucket makes a good florr cleaner and your house smells nice when done. Works best if you can use a microfibre cloth or floor wiper to dry the surface with it. In the kitchen we can find a lot of surfaces that are greasy and we already covered that bit, so lets get to the though stuff. The kitchen sink can become dull looking although it is not scratched. This is due to hard water, food residue, soap and other things. Best is of course to wipe it and dry it after use but who really does this every day? A pot scrubbing pad with some baking soda on it does the trick here. Make the pad nly moist and sprinkle the baking soda on it. Rub over the stainless and if too dry add a few drops of water. Once done rinse off and enjoy the difference. For hard to clean or badly turtured sinks you can try a ball of aluminium foil and coke - use it like a polish. The oven is often our worst nightmare. The cooktop is not far behind. But even here we can have a chance to clean without too much hard work or bad chemicals. Of course the best way is to prevent these spills and boil overs ;) For the cooktop some hot water and baking soda will soften the baked on stuff. Simply remove what you can with the hot water and then sprinkle the surface with baking soda. Cover all with the paper towels and if not wet enough add a bit more hot water so all shets are soaked. Leave ove night and wipe clean the next day. The oven is a bit of a problem once the side and back wall are filthy. If baking soda with a pot scrubber won't do the trick get some of these steel pads with soap in it. The soap in them is special in terms that you only need a little bit of water to remove almost anything with them - and they won't scrath enamelled surfaces. On the bottom we often have badly burnt in things that are next to impossible to fully remove. I suggest to cover the same way as the cooktop but also to add some orange oil. Just make a thick paste of baking soda and orange oil and wrok it into the soiled surface. Cover with wet paper towels and leave over night. Now you don't want to flood your oven, so that means you need to use a sponge or thick cloth that is big enough to wipe off the surfaces you soaked the day before. As the orange oil really is oil it pays off to use some alcohol in the cleaning water to get rid of the oil and grease a bit easier. Don't expect to see a clean and shiny surface after one treatment if the oven was badly misused, you might have to repeat the procedure a few times. If in doubt use the soapy steel pads for last clean and before soaking over night again. Three to four treatments are usually enough to clean even the worst disaster that can happen in an oven unless you baked it in for months... 5. Desinfecting and mouldy spots.... As said, the methylated spirit is basically just pure alcohol and kill almost anything that might harm you. But sometimes that just is not enough. And who really wants to spend an hour or longer to clean some mouldy spots in the shower or try to cover the smell by spraying room freshener? As a lst resort for everything I use Hydrogen Peroxide. The supermarket grade is only 3% and usually badly overpriced, so I suggest to get a small canister of pool grade peroxide. Do yourself a favour and ask them to install a tap on it - you don't want to do it yourself unless you already know how bad pool grade peroxide is! For your own safety when handling it I strongly recommend wearing long rubber gloves, nitrile is better but please no latex as it could start to burn when getting in contact with the peroxide. For high grade desinfecting or the removal of mouldy areas I recommend to dilute 1:5, one part of peroxide to 5 parts of water. Only for the mould removal on tiled, plastic, glass or metal surfaces you can use the peroxide pure from the container - but please add face protection when cleaning! Some spray bottles work with peroxide some just start leaking badly, if you want try an old bottle of chlorine based cleaner after really flushing everything out. The peroxide breaks down any organic material it comes into contact with, so not just the mould you want to remove but also your skin or eyes if you allow contact. On the skin you see white areas after contact and they won't go away until all the oxygen in the skin is gone that was left by the peroxide. If you act too late it means you might loose some skin flakes. The sure sign of overlook exposure on your skin is a burning sensation in the area - this only happens when the amount was big enough or your clothes got soaked. On your surfaces to clean you will notice bubbles forming quite quickly - this mean the peroxide is reacting with something, usually organic material. Let it bubble... Once it stops bubbling the surface is either sterile or the peroxide is used up, if it bubbles when adding fresh peroxide onto it then there is still crap left ;) It really helps to brush off the surface after each treatment as a lot of loose material will be flushed out when rinsing off. Once it looks and smells clean again it usually means it is clean :) 6. Special case: Wood... Be it wooden floorboards, furniture or just your chopping board - always try what the manufacturer recommends first! Untreated wood should never be cleaned with anything wet! Sealed wood, like floorboards or things with varnish on it to make it water proof can be cleaned the same way as mentioned above - but I would leave out the ammonia as some wood treatments simply won't tolerate it and might go dull instead of returning nice and shiny - spot testing required if you think you have to use ammonia as well! Orange oil itself makes a great furniture cleaner if the surface is smooth and sealed, but if it is not it means the oil soaks into the wood together with the stuff you want to clean off! It also takes off several paints and types of varnish if you work it hard enough and give it some time, so avoid this and be quick instead of forgetting to finnish the job ;) Always try to wet the surface as little as possible and wipe fully dry as soon as possible! Ok, good start but what is the real benefit? For me the actual benefit is that I know what I am using and exposing myself to. Just reading what is in most cleaning products we find at the supermarket makes me want to clean again after using them, just to remove their residues... I admit it might take some time to get used to mixing and just having a few ingredients for the cleaning but it does work great. Especially if you or your kids are already sensitive to certain chemicals or just of poor health in general you might see the benefit quite quickly. Some people really don't like the smell of ammonia but unless you are sensitive to it there is nothing to worry when using the household grade as we always dilute it down massively anyway. A good way to avoid the worst stink is by mixing it outside with the wind from behind. I won't say that certain commercial products are bad, harmful or not good enough for the job. Some are actually worth to have in some cases but I just say it is better to only have a hand full of chemicals that are not too bad instead of an endless list of things were we don't even know what's inside. For me the best is your surprise when it actually works better than you expected and report your findings here.

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago


Options to improve cooling and reduce consumption for portable coolers

I recently had to start learning how to service airconditioners on the fast and that learning got me thinking about my portable coolers.... Some of us like to go camping or on longer fishing trips, so there might be one of those 3-way fridges in use or a better cmpressor model. The one thing they all have in common is that they can only cool down to a difference in ambient temperatures. No matter which way we turn it the cooling produces heat and that needs to get away somehow. The other big thing is the cooling cycling - or the lack of it on a warm day. After some reading and thinking I came up with some ideas that might be applicable to your existing cooler if you are willing to mess around a bit. Let's start with the produced heat, shall we? Down here in Australia most people either have the fridge in their4WD or camper. In a car or small camper trailer there is often the problem of airflow, so the cooler might be doing overtime for no other reason than a lack of airflow. If you check online sites like Amozon and Ebay you quickly find fan systems meant to be installed inside the cooler to get lower temperatures and a quicker cooling of fresh goods. The thing is that the box is quite well insulated and the benefit of the airflow goes only as far as it can reach. And even if the box is quite empty and you would have a benefit of the cold air moving around it won't change the fact that "improved" cooling always comes with more heat in this case. But if we use one of these fan systems to actually improve the airflow on the hot side we not only get better cooling but also a reduce power consumption - something worth considering if you have no backup power generator.... This of course brings us to placement. As I have done the mistake myself you might be tempted to put a 3way cooler onto your seat. Opening it with the back free means the lid always gets stuck on the seat, do it the other way around and you block the airflow. If you do put it on the seat then make sure two things match: 1. The thing is secured properly. 2. The airflow from your aircon is able to reach the hot side of the cooler. Even permanent installations in a camper benefit from a good airflow. Often the fridge or freezer is built into some sort of bench and the airflow behind might be very limited. A simple solution here is to add a vent on top of the bench to allow the hot air to escape. A better one is to use a fan that is powered together with the heating element or compressor and drives the hot air to the outside. How to improve the cold side of the box or fridge? Well, to be honest there is not much that can be done unless you are prepared for some serious work. Depending on compartment size, contents and how full it is a little fan can help to keep the temperatures even but it won't help to get it cooler or reduce the cycling periods for the cooling. The only really working way that I found is to use a "battery" for the storage of the cold. The cooling works by checking the inside temp of the box and if above the set temp the cooling won't stop. This is all well and good while we have a constant supply of power but once we are on batteries it would be great to keep the active time to a minimum. A working solution is to build a container that fits around the cooling element. Smaller types often use an aluminium heatsink, bigger types might come with a compressor and an evaporator. In either case proper sealing is important! Most good models are fully waterproof, meaning even if you would fill them with water they would not leak in other areas than the door. But double check and if in doubt use a bit of silicone to make sure. Ok, but how do we "store" the cold coming from the device? Cold packs ;) These things contain a ready to use mix that holds cold temperatures quite well. Another really good alternative is alcohol or radiator coolant, although the last has limited capabilites in terms of holding capaity for the cold as it is desinged to exchange heat fast rather than to keep it. With a suitable sized and sealed box around the active cooling element we will need longer to actually see any cooling happen (with a warm "battery") but that can be compensated for by good planning or a frozen water bottle. If the cooling element is covered with a box of cooling gel then it has to cool this first before anything happens inside the box. But once it does the pack is already far below the normal temp it would have during normal operation. Remember the inside of the cold pack cools down first before the outside will get cold ;) So once the set temperature is reached the device will shut off. But since the cold pack is far below the set temp it will continue to cool our box until the core is warmer than the set temp. Quick thinkers will now say the benefit is lost as the time required to cool the "battery" down again is much longer than the normal cycle time - and they would be correct. But as we get much colder temps inside the gel box the overall running will still be less compared to normal operation. And since from the second cycle on the gel is only warming up to operating temp of the box it will be much faster than with a warm box. Another benefit might be the ease of cleaning and ice removal. Some peltier driven coolers have big cooling fins or a quite bad design for the heatsink allowing mould to grow where you can't remove it easy. If the box is made from stainless steel and flush with the back wall of the box we won't have that problem anymore. Ok, but how much is good or too much for the size and gel content? You got me there as it is bit tricky. You don't want to loose much usable space for starters and you don't want to wait hours for the gel to cool down if the box was not used. IMHO the size should fit the cooling element with about 20% to spare all around. If stainless steel is not an option than aluminium is the next best choice. Thin sheets can either be be cold formed with a hammer or "brazed" with a good torch and the right rods. Ok, before that route is there anything I should consider or do first? Depends ;) 3-way systems usually use a flame or heating elements to heat an ammoia solution. After years of neglect corrosion can form and reduce the amount of heat transfered into the system and reducing the efficiency this way. It might help to take the heating elements out once a year or so to clean them and the contact areas from any corrosion or dirt build up. With a fixed shedule for this you won't have the problem of never noticing a badly corroded heating element either - and this is the main failure on these systems.... Modifying your camper or making a few mods to your 4WD drawer system is not for the faint of heart and should be done with consideration. The last thing you want to do is rush things to find out it was not necessary. Before cutting holes check if you can't find the room for the fan in a different spot and use ducts to control the airflow - sometimes it is easier to blow air in than to get air out ;) When it comes to creating vents or connections for air to the outside always make sure it is waterproof and insect safe! If you can let the outlet go downwards so water won't run in, for 4WD trailers consider a flap to prevent water from going during a river crossing. Flyscreens will not only prevent insects from coming in but on the inside also prevent dust to go eerywhere - allow to the removal and cleaning! The salts used in these cold packs can be corrosive, so you have to make sure there are no leaks and that there is no steel to come into contact with gel - this includes screw ends hidden in through-holes. If in doubt use a coat of paint but keep it as thin as possible. Even on peltier systems it might be impossible to remove the heatsink without massive surgery on the internals. So before you take it all apart to gain access check if it is far easier to seal around the box opening and possible screw connections using silicone. The cooling battery can be screwed on and sealed with silicone as well as an easy escape route. Although for this to work you need to check if the material of the box allows for a proper bond with the silicone! Some materials just won't allow anything to stick at all, even after sanding them. So do a test first in an area where you would be able to cut the silicone away without causing damage. If you can rip or peel it off the surface you should not try to use a cooling battery screwed to the wall, only use a box that is fully sealed with the cooling element and has a seperate back - one complete unit around the cooling element. I have a 3-way system with a freezer compartment that does the cooling for the fridge too - what can I do? These units either provide good freezing with the fridge temps too low or good fridge cooling with no freezing capabilites - depending on the thermostat used. Our problem is that is next to impossible to add a cooling battery of the normal kind to these systems. The L-shaped freezer box can really only be added with a L-shaped cooling battery from underneath. Only if you don't need any freezing at all you could add a cooling battery to fit into the freezer box shape. In either case the benefit is somehow limited by the way the thermostat is used. If there is no temp control for freezing it should be fine. Warnings... Only peltier driven coolers are free from refrigerants. Every 3-way or compressor system uses refrigerant as evident by more or less piping and heating elements. Never attempt to screw anything into a cooling element containing refrigerant! Even if you think between the channels all will be fine it won't be! The material is just pressed to form the channels and any damage caould mean refrigerant leaking out! Use silicone instead and make sure all surfaces are properly cleaned before applying it, also wait until the silicone is really fully cured before putting any stress on it. As said, these cooling gels can be corrosive, especially if DC voltage is involved. Make sure that everything that is not aluminum or plastic is properly sealed before allowing ongoing contact with cooling gels. Do not attempt any of this if you have to ask yourself what tools you might need or how make a suitable container for the gel. If in doubt check Google on how to work with aluminium or stainless steel if there are not enough Instructables for it. The gel will expand a little bit if it freezes, this no problem in a metal container if you allow for a bit of flex or on the side added strength  - whatever suits you better. Another option is to get a few different cold packs (by the active ingredient) and to do a check in a little container. Freeze it and note whe level cold and warm. Little to no difference means nothing to worry in terms of expansion during freezing.

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago