Overheating stepper shield

Hi Everyone, As I'm a newbie, please forgive my ignorance for asking what maybe an obvious question.  I've got an Arduino Uno and a DK Electronics v1.0 motor shield (powered separately at 12v). I downloaded a library and managed to get a NEMA 23 stepper motor working. Trouble is, the chip on the shield doing all the work gets scarily hot in next to no time. The rated current of the motor is 1A, although when I tried it, it was under no load. I've checked the power consumption when driving the motor from a standalone controller and it's drawing no more than 250mA. Do you guys think:- a) I'm overloading the shield? b) I've got a fault? c) I scare too easily? Any feedback will be gratefully received. Thanks

Posted by Liebherrguy 3 years ago


pc shutdown issues

Well, I Have an HP desktop and it shuts down randomly after fully loading windows XP, the fan runs at a very high speed and is noisy. Is there anything I can do to fix this?

Posted by cambob97 7 years ago


OVERHEATED!!!.....again.

So my old laptop overheated again, i need help on stopping this...

Posted by Yerboogieman 10 years ago


Purchasing a peltier unit and have a few questions about them

I am planning on buying a peltier unit and have a few questions about it. This website gave me the idea so I figured I would ask here.What I'm planning to buy, http://www.virtualvillage.com/158w-thermoelectric-cooler-peltier-plate/sku001540-003I'm just going to list the questions and hope that someone is willing to answer,1. I understand that these unit get very hot and very cold at the same time, from my knowledge (which is not much so correct me if I'm wrong) of electronics the cold isn't really much of an issue but the heat could cause problems. Do I need to run a heatsink maybe with a fan on the hot side to prevent damage to the unit?2. It lists its' range as 0-15volts and 0-10amps I know overpowering a unit can cause damage to it, can under-powering non-mechanical electronics cause damage as well? Can you even under-power a peltier unit?3. On the website it states "Temperature Range: -60C to 180C" is this the temperature range I can expect the unit to reach at 158W or is it the range in which the device will operate?I would like to thank anyone in advance for taking the time to answer any of these questions.

Posted by Tpolich 9 years ago


overheating transistor on DC motor control circuit

I am trying to control a DC motor using 4 transistors, i am using 547 transistors connected to a motor with two on each axis, the opposite corners are wired together with two pushbuttons, the transistors change the polarity of the motor so that if one button i pressed the motor spins one way, the other button vice versa, but the motor is running very slowly in this setup and the last two transistor that go from the motor to ground heat up very quickly. the circuit works fine with only one transistor but i want to be able to change the direction of spin, does anyone know why the transistors are acting like this or a better circuit to control a DC motor? thanks very much!

Posted by sholtob 6 years ago


Dumpster Pools Invade Brooklyn

Over in Brooklyn, some overheated and dedicated folks have turned some dumpsters into pools for their very own urban pool party. Not too shabby for a budget of a few thousand bucks. I wonder if they can connect them together to get a proper bit of space to swim in.via Treehugger

Posted by fungus amungus 9 years ago


r.v. electronic help

how do i safely remove and repair the 12 volt converter in my rv. both posts are very loose, and overheating a little. ( 100 degrees to touch. ) i need to remove both threaded posts with out getting zapped and replace/resolder the connections. can you help ? thanks!

Posted by redwoodschef 7 years ago


iBook Overheating?

I've made a post on apple's forums and bumped it several times and no one wants to help me, I still haven't gotten one single reply and it's been almost a week. Anyways, I recently pulled it apart and took the heatsink off and put thermalpaste on the cpu and removed the thermal pad which was getting worn out by the looks of it. But now it runs rather hot, I'm not sure if it's always ran this hot or not as I was stupid and didn't look before it was apart. But it runs around 50-60 C idle with just msn on and up to 70 C when I play games. I'm really worried about this. Theres two adjustable nuts by the cpu and I thought I tightened it enough, should I just tighten it until it won't anymore? Thank you everyone that helps me. I know this isn't a computer forum, but I'm sick of waiting when I can see post after post being made and answered in the same forum I have mine in. Apples suck, yes they do

Posted by Punkguyta 11 years ago


Half broken monitor

I recently bought a 19 inch LCD monitor for 40 bucks (used). It works perfectly for about half an hour (i havn't timed it) and then the screen just goes blank. If i turn it off and then back on it works for a couple of seconds then it turns back off. If I let it be for a while (like an hour or just when I'm not using my computer) it works fine for another half hour. Is this an overheating problem or what is going on?

Posted by guyfrom7up 10 years ago


new vs. old

I found that i use older and slower computers more than i do my desktop modded to be fast, it's the fastest computer in my house! still for some reason i keep using an overheating, amd 366 laptop to play dos games and a pentium 4 laptop with 256mb of ram, instead of my desktop with a celeron D 3.23ghz (overclocked of course, how else?) and 1gb of ram. why? lol.

Posted by Yerboogieman 10 years ago


How can I recover a "crystallized" cutting disk?

I was cutting an iron L rod, and the cutting disk began to produce red sparks, instead of these habitual bright orange. Simultaneously, its cutting effectiveness was down dramatically. I searched in the web, and learned that this phenomen is named crystallization,and it is due to overheating. Now, my disk is a new one, I want not throw it to the waste. Any idea how to get it back? THANKS IN ADVANCE!

Posted by rimar2000 7 years ago


How to Avoid the Red Ring of Death, and other Xbox 360 Problems

I don't have an Xbox 360, and I probably never will, but for anybody who owns one, their worst nightmare is the Red Ring of Death. There are several causes for the Red Ring of Death, this forum topic is here for people to post how they have managed to avoid it and other 360 problems, including overheating. If I get enough ideas, I may post a Collaboration. If you post an idea, make it as detailed as possible, and if you can, with pictures.

Posted by Aeshir 10 years ago


Two loss wires to solder on stereo wireless hp's, both red, which one goes where using multimeter?

Hi, I have two disconnected red wires on the left side cups that need reconnecting to the, -L  & 3V on the board which you can see on the image below. My question as a multi-meter novice, how do a test to know which red wire goes to which point? Also is there any danger of overheating the board on so small solder points? Any help much appreciated

Posted by Optical10 6 years ago


Pinhole Slide Projector

Hi! I have no idea whether this is the right place to post this topic, but it does say 'burning questions' and that's what this is, so here goes. :-) I've had this idea for a kind of pinhole lense slide projector. The (very basic) diagram is pretty self explanatory, and I was wondering if anyone's tried/heard of anything like this, and whether it could work? Do you think a 100 LED torch would be bright enough? Also, if I'm right in thinking that LEDs don't get hot, there shouldn't be a risk of overheating/fire should there? Thanks! Looking forward to hearing what you think! :-)

Posted by MissPennyFarthing 9 years ago


Laptop Fan voltage booster

Hi, my laptop is overheating because the fan isnt fast enough. My idea is to build a small voltage booster to increase the fan voltage a small bit. It will be overvolting the 5v fan but i dont mind. For example, when idleing, fan voltage is at 3.5v and at full load its at 5v and i would like it to be 1-2v higher at both points WHILE still maintaining the variable control (spinning faster and slower as needed) Problem is, im pretty good at soldering but i dont know how to make one. Could anyone help with this project Thanks

Posted by ttg tricksh0tzz 4 years ago


System shuts down while use OCCT

 hey guys, my canola oil submerged pc system seems to shut down every time i use OCCT to get my system really working hard, i can tell you whats not the problem, Fresh Os (since last month), Not Overheating definitly. theres nothing wrong with my pc that i found so far other then running OCCT maybe i should try another stress test software?  Anyone wondering what the deuce a "Canola oil subermeged pc" is check here: www.instructables.com/id/Oil-Submerged-Fish-Tank-Pc/ also for system spec if your wondering

Posted by IIwootII 8 years ago


Lab Equipments

Look at the video attached. Those of you working in biology/chemistry  research labs may be familiar with these. One of them is a rotator (with small tubes fixed in the clips) and the other one is an orbital shaker (well, technically they're both sold as rotators). Can anyone please help me with building either or both of these. I have never done a DIY project before and would love to start with these. It doesn't have to be exact same design. It could be something very simple but functionally similar. It should be able to run for extended periods without overheating (24-48 hours). Also, I would prefer something that can run in a cold room (4 degree Celsius) but I can use anything right now. http://youtu.be/gQvpz3M-WjE Much thanks in advance!

Posted by mranjan2 4 years ago


Two loss wires to solder on stereo wireless hp's, both red, which one goes where using multimeter?

Hi, I have two disconnected red wires on the left side cups that need reconnecting to the L- & 3V on the board which you can see on the image below. https://www.dropbox.com/s/pisf15rkthlnlyk/DSC02001.JPG https://www.dropbox.com/s/9e97veutva4gpaj/DSC02000.JPG https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resi...M_vkdGusRCa8oc https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resi...M_vkdGusRCa8oc My question as a multi-meter novice, how do a test to know which red wire goes to which point? Also is there any danger of overheating the board on so small solder points? Any help much appreciated

Posted by Optical10 6 years ago


Instructable idea: the Frankenbox 360

Ok, I'm working on something, and before I go through the trouble of writing an -ible for it, I would like to get a good idea of what kind of interest there is in it. I recently came into a free bricked xbox 360 (shocking I know, those are SO hard to come by.....) so, I have harvested a few parts, and am modifying my old xbox that had a bad habit of overheating by putting another of the larger heatsinks in xbox's over the gpu, changing the shape of the fan duct to accommodate the larger heatsink, and will putt the cd drive on top of the case, run the wires inside, and hook another set of the original fans to a 12v power supply and mount a switch on the case. This thing will be hideous, beautiful and will tell heat just where to go. :) So, What does everyone think??

Posted by daywalker42 8 years ago


Instructables Robot Major Malfunction

A couple of days ago, the Instructables Robot had a major malfunction! It had dutifully sent a couple hundred thousand welcome notices, but at the 222,222th message, just starting smoking and foaming at the mouth. It crashed all the servers (on a newsletter day no less!) and just started going berserk. Fortunately, its power supply overheated, slowing it down, and we were able to toss a net over it stopping the carnage.For the time being we hacked together a replacement robot and linked the original Instructables Robot's profile to Robot 2.0. So don't be surprised if you see the new robot around. Our plans were pretty good, but there must be a spark of sentience as the new robot has slightly different tastes.Anyone have ideas as to what happened? We're still not certain where the robot actually came from, but maybe that would help provide some clues?

Posted by ewilhelm 10 years ago


Guide Me !!!

I want my Arduino  to control 4 power outlets (on\off)..my home electricity is 230v so i have to design  4 power outlets which should control hair dyer(400w),200w blub,Lcd tv,(50w)pumps in my project if any fault happens like overvoltage,neutral line fault or overheating happens in any of the outlets that particular outlet should be isolate which should be indicate with LED for this which component should use whether SSR relay or 4 channel Relay shield ?? and  sensing current and voltage for measuring the total power which was consuming by the devices which should transmit thro zigbee to LCD for monitoring... give some idea plzz  Please help me understand these things, and remember I'm very  new , so if you think I need to but something else, it will be great if you could explain !!! Lots of Thanks !!!! shyam

Posted by svenkatesh3 4 years ago


Keeping my equipment warm

Recently i went to take pictures in the middle of the night at Subfreezing temperatures and the front of my lens formed ice. so i need to keep the lens warm, there are many solutions but the one i thought would be fun to use is the use of a heating element. I found resistance heating wire, i would like to make an object that could fit around my lens and keep it warm. to prevent overheating i will use a microcontroller with temperature sensors to cut of the supply of electricity at a certain temperature. i just want to keep the lens at more than 5 degrees centigrade. I think my 12v lead acid battery will be enough for this kind of project. My question is how to do it, how much heating wire should i use? how much heat will it make? what wire should i use? Will it work? Any other ideas are welcome.

Posted by markosloizou 6 years ago


Hamster's heating pad

The winter is on it way. I'm having a hamster, a winter white, but the last winter his caught cold and it cost very much for him to cure him. I don't want my hamster to be sicked any more, so I made a heating pad for him. I used this instructable  https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-heated-clothing/ and I found it is very well. I use a two - meter 26 - gauge wire, and it only result in a 0.15 ohm resistance. With an 1.5 v voltage, It work well and i need a 10a fuse to protect this circuits:) But last week it overheated and my hamster was burned, quite bad. I'm wondering if there is a solution to this. Would you mind giving me a circuit in which: - there is a thermistor to sense the temperature. - If the temperature is to high (30 celcius degrees ), it gives a relay some voltage and the relay breaks the heater circuits. - And it component should be popular, cause I'm a kid and don't have many time go round n' round to find them. Me and my hamster will very appreciate your kindness. Thanks all.

Posted by vietanisme 4 years ago


outdoor pc box

I have a big outdoor plastic closet with shelfs in my garden. i want to place a pc with crt screen inside heating the space in which the pc and screen are to be located is 1/4 m3 (1 m wide x 1/2 m deep x 1/2 m height between the shelfs) or 1/2 m3 (1 m height) but with other objects sharing the space the computer is a pentium 1 (~40 W power). it is intended to be on for long periods with the door closed. the closet stands in a shaded place but air temperature outside can get to 35 C + sometimes. i dont want to cut vent holes in the closet the monitor (15 crt) is off when the door is closed. though i may switch it off and close the door while it is still hot how to prevent overheating ? is a water tank thermostat set to 45 C in the air near the pc (with the 240 V to the pc going thru it) good enough thermal protection ? insects we have lots of ants. how to protect the pc from them ? will the hot air in the closet be enough to distract them ?

Posted by 11010010110 9 years ago


12v desktop fan laptop cooler, request for info

right, so my toshiba has a notorious problem with overheating. its the a505 series, which for any toshiba user should instantly bring forth the heating problems. i run some rather heavy programs on it, such as blender, and several emulators. however, my computer goes litterally shuts off immediately once it hits about 90 degrees (and it will, often...... when i'm using the internet.) so, i've taken to putting it on a box fan. however this makes useing the computer hard. i went out and bought a (really exspensive >( ) laptop cooler, which does jack. it's running at 68 degrees with the internet and pc health monitor running. it's powered by usb cord, and is way to underpowered to be worth  my time. so what i want to do is get a couple desktop fans (as in four to six), wire them together, and hook them up to an outlet, since a usb doesnt supply the needed power. i can probably get the fans wired up (series or parallel?) but i don't know anything about getting a 12v power supply and hooking it up. can anyone help me, please?

Posted by badideasrus 7 years ago


Avoid using PVC

I see a lot of projects that use or re-use different grades of PVC pipe due to its easy use and availability. Free or cheap PVC seems to be a good material choice for those who lack the tools and skills needed for metal or wood work. I suggest that builder rethink this choice. Exposure to PVC is dangerous to your health. Fumes and dust from cutting, drilling and accidental burning or overheating PVC are known to cause cancer.A few points:PVC production is the largest use of chlorine gas in the world.Chlorine production consumes enormous amounts of energy.Chlorine production causes mercury pollution. Hazardous by-products are formed throughout the PVC lifecycle.By-products of PVC production are highly persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic.PVC is extremely difficult to recycle.PVC is one of the most environmentally hazardous consumer materials ever produced.source: http://www.healthybuilding.net/pvc/ThorntonPVCSummary.htmlDifferent grades of PVC have different melting points, flash and glass temperatures. At 70-80 Degrees C (~150 F), most grades begin to soften and degrade in performance. This should be taken into account when building projects that involve any kind of direct or indirect heat, including hot water, etc.(I've edited this post to contain more useful information)

Posted by toxonix 11 years ago


Small variable power supply from car charger?

A friend of mine gave me a bunch or car USB charger used in his company to charge the tablets and phones the delivery drivers use. His problem was that they ordered 10 exclusive for Apple products and 15 generic ones that have the standard 1amp/2.1amp USB outlets. I was asked to take a look and see if the problem is easy to fix. Long story short it was as apart from 2 blown fuses they all suffered from bad solder connections for the cigarette  lighter contacts that failed. Anyway I looked the chips up used to regulate it all and to my surprise the datasheet said they are "variable" from about 0.3V to the max supply voltage of 32V or even 40V. Checked two of mine and same story for one, the other is dirt cheap unregulated and only used to charge a flashlight. But it made me wonder... Since the output voltage is created with a simple resistor divider giving the right feedback voltage it is very easy to adjust them to whatever might be required. Could be a far better option than our standard adjustable voltage regulators and easier plus cheaper than building your own circuit. All the benefits of short circuit protection, under voltage shut off and self regulated max power to prevent overheating for 5 bucks from the next china shop. Give it a go one day before you power wasting old school regulators ;)

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago


Instructables safety

Hi! I love the site and all of the features. I do however have one concern, that is regarding the safety of the users/builders. I believe it's just a matter of time before someone gets killed or seriously hurt by attempting some of the instructions. I've seen way too many instructions without any type of warning text or concern about user safety, these instructables often involving high voltage, significant overheating risks and high powered lasers. A couple of these have also been featured instructables. My suggestion is something like big red bar just above every page of the instructable, saying like "DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS PROJECT WITHOUT ADEQUATE KNOWLEDGE/EXPERIENCE". To make this bar show up I suggest one final pop up question before each project is published saying something like "Could building/using project possibly cause any risk of injury?" and if true the banner would appear. Admins should also be able to turn on this bar manually. I believe the current focus is to prevent project that intends to cause harm, but many other projects will likely cause harm if the builder doesn't have enough knowledge. Especially if the original maker himself also lacks knowledge about the risks with their design. I would ask you to consider not allowing instructables that involves tampering with high voltage connections if you don't like the idea of a warning banner. I don't want to see some kid loosing their eyes after attempting to build a DIY laser engraver or worse, killed during a rainstorm holding their ungrounded DIY high voltage spotlight.

Posted by johanmoberg 3 years ago


led wiring with 12 volts in AA batteries

i just made a huge 50cm x 130 cm inifinity mirror with 2 strands of 3528 led strip lighting left over approx 1' long left over. I am on the attempt of making small portable infinity mirrors and coaster seem like the best idea for them. i wired it all good and i am done now however i appear to have a problem Step 1: Infinity Coaster everything works well until it has been left on for 2 mins. even when i turn off the lights, the batteries get super hot. They are cheap dollar store AA batteries but almost too hot to touch even when it is turned off. i figured maybe i have a short somewhere but i cannot find one with the multimeter. is it just that i have too much amperage for too little of an LED strip? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvYCstmnIfY they stopped turning on the lights when they got hot but i tried again to shoot this video clip and they worked pretty good. A little slow to light up still so some of the juice is gone i imagine. if you know these strips give me a clue. if i find out the problem, i can make a solution and make another instructable on how its made with # 2. it is Christmas after all and somebody needs a coaster for their egg-nog.  these pics arent great let me know if you wanna see wiring more clearely

Posted by DavidS477 1 year ago


Help!! It's 3am and I have a bubbling and squeaking battery!

Please help! I procured an electric wheelchair today (worn and torn, but in good shape.  It had 2 12v batteries, little smaller than an auto batt.  Didn't write down the amperage tho...The batteries were visually inspected for bowed or expanded sides, cracks, oxidation.  Everything appeared in order.  They have likely been sitting for some time.  Stupidly, I did not check electrolyte levels.  Oops.  Could easily be low.  I plugged the charger into the mainboard for 30 minutes, watching closely.  No issues, no overheating.  I left it for another 2 hours.  Again, no noticeable issues.  I tested the drive motors by controlling it around my driveway briefly. Power was very low.  It worked, but clearly lacked juice. I plugged the batts in for another 4 or 5 hours.  But after that time, I noticed a crackling/squealing (faint) sound.  As if pressure was escaping.  Bad news.  I had the chair chassis (and batts) in my workshop, and now I was afraid it may blow, contaminating everything.  The batteries feel warm. One more than the other. Beginning to panic, I threw on my goretex, respirator, goggles and gloves and carefully detached the battery cable from the main board.   I've never had one of this size blow, and have no idea what it could do.  very hesitantly, I rolled it into my garage, and closed the door.  Now I'm afraid to sleep, because I'm concerned about it. Is this Normal old battery behavior?  Could this be due to low electrolytes?  A small crack in the case?  Is there anything I can do besides wait?  I'm not real anxious to go too close for too long.  Is there anything I can do that would not increase hazard?  I'm about to throw a tarp over it, but is there a high flammability risk if a high amperage 12v were to blow? Guidance highly appreciated.  Thank you.

Posted by huck alexander 6 years ago


Swapping out a lead acid electric bike battery for a Lithium Ion one.

Hi folks. I have a fairly old but still quite serviceable Thompson Euro Classic electric bike that runs on a 36v lead acid electric battery pack with a brushless motor. I've just been offered a 36v lithium ion bike battery that I would love to use but I'm not too sure if it would be the right choice, my main reason for the change is simply weight consideration, the current battery pack comprises of three 12v batteries and weighs in at a hefty 28lb the replacement weighs a little under 4lb, this would very obviously make quite a difference in the bikes 87lb overall weight. However weight isn't the only consideration, I would like to extend the range of my bike and with a little work and some suitable wiring and a couple of switches I could quite easily use the battery as a second power source for longer rides, I fitted a large plastic  tool box onto a rear carrier when I first bought the bike which would easily accommodate the battery or I could possibly even add an external carrier for it behind the seat, the current battery is good for around fifteen to twenty miles depending on how many hills I hit & how much I feel like pedalling, I hoping that an additional battery would double the range meaning I could rely on it to visit nearby towns without having to worry about finding somewhere I can give the battery a booster charge. My main worry is about damage to the motor, I know very little about electric bike motors and having read so many stories about these batteries suffering from overheating problems and even catching fire I am more than a little concerned I could damage to my only transport, I usually ride motorcycles but thanks to a couple of health issues I'm currently grounded so apart from walking which can be pretty limiting this bike is my only way to get around without spending a fortune on public transport I'm looking for advice from people who know about electric bikes and their motors who could give me some simple advice in layman's terms on how to proceed, please don't blind me with all sorts of technical jargon as it really wouldn't help, I'm not stupid it just isn't my field of expertise. Thanks in advance for your help. NG.

Posted by Nostalgic Guy 2 years ago


Printer disconnecting or USB port disappearing in Windows

First I thought to make an Instructable out of it but realised there are too many different printer models out there, so this time no images. What is this about you might wonder? Well, let me tell you my story first and you might see similarities to your problem. It all started with me getting a new PC as the old one got memory problems (RAM modules failed). After a few successful prints I noticed errors coming up in the log window. Mainly things like communication problems and that some data is sent again. Realised that on my new PC I did not check the speed settings for the COM ports, so I adjusted them to match the printer board and moved on without even bothering to check the logs. Then, half way through a bigger print, it all stopped and I could not even connect to the printer anymore. After a power cycle on the printer all was fine again but the error kept coming back every now and then. At this point I started to read up on the problem and the most common recommendation is to print over SD - too bad if your printer does not support it and too bad it does not address the issue at all! A few more technical answers pointed to the Logitech drivers, especially mouse, keyboard and 3D vision. As I was using the same outer hardware as before and also the same drivers (and same version numbers) I simply ruled this one out too, although it might be a vital clue for others. When starting to get frustrated and after opening a cold blonde I remembered that I had a similar issue a long time ago and that it was related to loose wires on the screw terminals for the power connection. Measured it all but according to my trusty multimeter all was fine. Now comes the fun part: I friend of mine with a HiFi fetisch was here when I testing the connection and he started laughing at my attempts. He explained that ALL his connections, no matter if power or audio signal are oversized! Here I started to wonder if he is up to something and looked up similar circuit board mounted power plugs. To my surprise they are all rated for anything between 1 and 5Amps. Even without a heated bed powered by the printer board I think everyone will agree that a max 5A connections is not enough. My frined then offered to check the plug and connector at his place - what a great thing to have friends :) He used a signal generator and small speaker with the plug as a connector between them. With an oscilloscope connected to both input and speaker you could see, while moving the plug, that the audio signal become somehow unclean - there where spikes and missing bits everywhere depending which way you wobble the plug. After taking the whole thing apart the destructive way we saw the cause: overheated contact areas with discolored surfaces. I replaced the plug now with a 250V/20A one from an old laser printer and had no USB or connection issues ever since. Ok, what's the thing with power and USB problems on a 3D printer? Almost all printer boards have the ground connections bridged to avoid interference on the USB signals. This mean, in case of a faulty power connection or one that is "dirty", the USB port on the computer can receive back EMF signal or even a voltage spike. In return a smart bios either disconnects the port or disables it until the problem is solved, in our case by restarting / reconnecting the printer. But even with no obvious signs of power problems you can get  a so called "dirty" connection. Dirty covers all from corrosion, worn springs for battery compartments, overheating or in the old days burnt relay contacts. For our printer it usually means that either the soldering connection on the board or a screw came loose, in rare cases like mine an undersized connector can burn out due to being unable to handle the currents. The bad thing is that you can not always spot these problems the easy way... Is there an easy way to tell that my USB problem is caused by a faulty power connection? Yes and no. Some boards offer indicating LED's, you connect power and the LED stays on even if the printer is disconnected from the PC. If it is more than just a Power on" indicator" this LED will be off after the printer stops working and in the device manager your serial port for the printer is gone. You might also hear the warning sound from Windows in regards to a device being disconnected. If all the above is true than most likely your power connection has a problem somewhere - if in doubt replace all screw and plug connectors for the power. Sometimes the problem is less obvious. Your print software might show communication problems in the log window or re-send a lot of commands. If the speed selection for the com port is the same as for the firmware of the printer board and as set in the printer software, it could also be a power connection problem. But to be on the save side try a shielded cable with ferrite cores on both ends first for the connection between computer and printer. Can I take any measures to prevent the problem? Sure, you could solder everything and make sure the wires are fixed in place so they won't move. But a simple indicator might be enough: Solder a piece of LED strip to the power connection on the circuit board - if the connection has trouble the LED's will show it in most cases by changing light levels or flickering. On top they act as a nice light to see what's happening during a print.

Posted by Downunder35m 3 years ago


Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death - Fix Your Console Today and Enjoy Gaming Again Without Fear of Freezing

Since the Xbox 360's introduction in November, 2005, a significant quantity of Microsoft's game consoles have experienced a field malfunction that is indicated by three flashing red lights on the front of the console. It's The Xbox 360' Red Ring Of Death or E74 error.The "Red Ring of Death" is a very common problem. In July 2008, Microsoft admitted that over 800,000 people are dealing with it and 30% of all consoles sold are failing and the rest have a chance of failure. With an Xbox which suffer from the red ring of death, you will not be able to play games with peace of mind or any enjoyment and you can't use Xbox live membership without constantly dropping from online games, and losing level progress.Owning a broken $400 game system is annoying. If you don't fix the red ring of death, your system will only get worse with time, and your Xbox may stop working altogether (which will cost you in the hundreds of dollars to fix).The sooner you fix red ring of death the better, but first you should know what is wrong with your Xbox 360?The main cause of the 3 flashing red lights is overheating. In fact, it is an electrical connection failure between the CPU,GPU and the motherboard.due to an engineering flaw in the construction of the Xbox 360. When Microsoft designed it, they downsized the heat sinks ( which keep the system cool ) to accommodate the DVD drive, and they chose a slightly unusual way of mounting to link them to the processors. So when you play on your Xbox for too long, the temperature reaches beyond 120 degree, the motherboard heats up and begins to vibrate and flex against the X-Clamp plastic support . These vibrations loosen the soldering holding the graphics processing unit in place. This causes an electrical failure and the Xbox red ring of death error will happen.** How do we fix this ? **There is a myth going around that to fix the red ring of death errors by wrapping your Xbox 360 in a towel, turning it on for 20 minutes or so, and letting it overheat . BE CAREFUL !!! If you use this bogus repair method, you will risk turning a temporary problem into a permanent damage. This crazy method works for a few hours because when you wrap your console and turn it on, there is no ventilation for the heat to escape. It's like putting vegetable oil in your cars gas tank, sure it may run for a block but you have just ruined you car for a 2 minute trip! Your Xbox 360 is a piece of high tech equipment not a toaster, avoid completely the "towel fix" and any "fix" involving heat.** Is there a secure permanent fix for this ? **Of course, believe it or not fixing the Xbox red ring of death is not a difficult process and you don't need advanced technical skills or special tools to perform the "fix" yourself, I suggest you see a professional Xbox 360 repair guide with detailed clear video instuctions and pictures. These guides are developed by technicians with good knowledge and many years of experiences in the electronics and video game repair industry. They will show you step by step how to take your Xbox 360 apart safely, how to remove the X-clamp and heat sink, how to apply the washers and artic thermal compound, and put it all back together. There is also written instructions with the videos and the 24/7 tech support can assist you to save time and money and get your Xbox 360 up and running within 2 hoursThose Xbox red ring of death errors will be a distant memory and now you can enjoy gaming again without fear of freezing.Be careful there are some repair guides in the market which are a total scam .Here is an EASY step by step Xbox 360 repair guide so you can permanently fix your Xbox 360's 3 red light of death errors!Xbox 360 Red Light Fix Pro Gamer Edition : The Only Xbox 360 Repair Guide with Professional High Definition Video Tutorials, With In Action Camera Zooms , Fix in Less Time than it Takes to Mail Xbox 360 to Microsoft, Use Ordinary Household Tools ,Real Human, Knowledgeable Customer Support , No Special Skills Needed, Guaranteed Fix or Money Back, Be Playing Again - in 2 Hours or Less.Click Here

Posted by TexasHome 9 years ago


Fighting with Nylon ;)

As some might know I still use an old Gen1 Prusa but love the challenge of basically getting everything done with that oldie. One of my latest challenges of "always" printing on a cold bed includes Nylon. If you ever had troubles because you ABS or PLA filament got too moist you will already know what happens to your print... Nylon is even worse when it comes to moisture as you can't see or really feel it. I was thinking of making a complete Nylon guide as an Instructable but think I will start here to kick off some discussion first. So, we know the Nylon must be really dry for a god print as otherwise we get bubbles, bad adhesion and of course a foamy looking print. Well, not really... Let me explain: A perfectly smooth and shiny finnish is not always required, and with the right settings Nylon still forms strong bonds even with a foamy look. However, the dimensions of parts are affected as well - outside dimensions go bigger and hole diameters smaller. If that is no issue for your print then there is no real need to perfectly dry your filament ;) Speaking of drying: People use all sorts of methods to dry their filament, not just Nylon. One of the most common and most expensive seems to be the use of your oven for several hours to dry it. Another way involves food dyhydrators, bit less on the energy bill but still... Then we have the smart guys using the sun and silaca gel for the drying - good and great but so useless in cold and wet climates... My advise here: Take your time! I mean, sure you want to print right after the filament arrived in your letter box but a bit of preperation will save you filament and frustration. Usually filament comes in a sealed bag with a pack of silica gel and it should be dry and ready to use. But Nylon can become too moist within the time it takes to finnish a long print if you are in a wet climate. This means you start printing and all is good but the next day your new print looks ugly as for no real reason. Make use of these sealed storage containers. Put the filament in there with a good amount of indicating silica gel and only have a hole to feed the filament through - if in doubt use a bowden fitting and a short lenght of teflon tube to prevent friction. A piece of sticky tape over the hole when you don't use the filament and the filament is always ready to use. Reminds me to make an Ible for a suitable storage solution with spool holder... Anyway... When it finally comes to print Nylon you should know cardboard works best as a bed as Nylon sticks really well to it. I glue mine onto a layer of masking tape, this way it won't lift from the bed and I can still replace it very easy. But the most common mistake with Nylon is to print it too fast. The stuff really expands and shrinks a lot from filament to print and high speeds only too often cause the layers to seperate later on. Some people compensate with higher temperatures but I don't like the idea of fitting a filter system with activated carbon filters... Also keep in mind the intense shrinkage when setting the extrusion multiplier! If your ABS prints fine with 0.85 you can expect that the same sized Nylon prints fine somewhere in the range of 55-60! Now you also know why printing with thick layers is not such a great idea if you require all dimensions to fit. Although only outside accuracy can be done by cheating in the settings, getting outside, inside and extrusion widths settings accurate is almost rocket sience ;) Nylon is expensive or not available here in the diameter I require.... I had the same trouble and reverted to trimmer line and a modified, dedicated hotend instead. Why dedicated you wonder? Nylon can be real pain to clean as nothing dissolves and if you heat the parts hot enough to melt it you can not work easy with them. Having a decicated hotend means you won't run into the problem of burnt ABS or PLA clogging the nozzle ;) It also means you can match the hotend to the trimmer line you choice (more on that in a minute). For example, in some areas trimmer line of 2mm or 3.3mm diameter is the most popular and cheapest. Just drill out the hotend to cater for the new diameter, which I did after noticing the filament got stuck in the neck of the cold end ;) Trimmer line - does it matter which one? It does these days! Avoid everything that is not round or labeled with terms like "duracore", "dual core", "multi layer"  -basically all that indicates it is not just a single, solid stand of Nylon. Long lasting, special core line is great for your lawn trimmer but really bad for your hotend! PET, High temp nylon or even fibre re-inforced cores are in use, so in the best case you mix the nylon with overheating PET, in the worst you block your nozzle permanently. If it looks like it has a core or some sort of "mantle" around it, it means not usable.

Posted by Downunder35m 3 years ago


Fastest you have ever been.

I have a car, but no permit or license. One day, my brother told me to bring him something while he was at work. I was driving down the street going the speed limit or a little over and under. I turned onto the main road Speed limit, 50mph, and just went 50 or so the whole way. and when i got back onto the highway, this guy is following me to my bumper basically, so in the non passing zone just getting on i am going about 25mph, as you are getting on it is 35mph limit, as soon as it reaches 50mph, i jam the gas, it goes into passing gear and in no time i am doing 80mph. and on an S-curve still doing 80. On the stretch i am doing about 60mph, and decided i should just stick to the speed limit. Got a story? A Nice Morning Drive It was a fine morning in March 1982. The warm weather and clear sky gave promise of an early spring. Buzz had arisen early that morning, impatiently eaten breakfast and gone to the garage. Opening the door, he saw the sunshine bounce off the gleaming hood of his 15-year-old MGB roadster. After carefully checking the fluid levels, tire pressures and ignition wires, Buzz slid behind the wheel and cranked the engine, which immediately fired to life. He thought happily of the next few hours he would spend with the car, but his happiness was clouded - it was not as easy as it used to be. A dozen years ago things had begun changing. First there were a few modest safety and emission improvements required on new cars; gradually these became more comprehensive. The governmental requirements reached an adequate level, but they didn't stop; they continued and became more and more stringent. Now there were very few of the older models left, through natural deterioration and . . . other reasons. The MG was warmed up now and Buzz left the garage, hoping that this early in the morning there would be no trouble. He kept an eye on the instruments as he made his way down into the valley. The valley roads were no longer used very much: the small farms were all owned by doctors and the roads were somewhat narrow for the MSVs (Modern Safety Vehicles). The safety crusade had been well done at first. The few harebrained schemes were quickly ruled out and a sense of rationality developed. But in the late Seventies, with no major wars, cancer cured and social welfare straightened out, the politicians needed a new cause and once again they turned toward the automobile. The regulations concerning safety became tougher. Cars became larger, heavier, less efficient. They consumed gasoline so voraciously that the United States had had to become a major ally with the Arabian countries. The new cars were hard to stop or maneuver quickly, but they would save your life (usually) in a 50-mph crash. With 200 million cars on the road, however, few people ever drove that fast anymore. Buzz zipped quickly to the valley floor, dodging the frequent potholes which had developed from neglect of the seldom-used roads. The engine sounded spot-on and the entire car had a tight, good feeling about it. He negotiated several quick S-curves and reached 6000 in third gear before backing off for the next turn. He didn't worry about the police down here. No, not the cops . . . Despite the extent of the safety program, it was essentially a good idea. But unforeseen complications had arisen. People became accustomed to cars which went undamaged in 10-mph collisions. They gave even less thought than before to the possibility of being injured in a crash. As a result, they tended to worry less about clearances and rights-of-way, so that the accident rate went up a steady six percent every year. But the damages and injuries actually decreased, so the government was happy, the insurance industry was happy and most of the car owners were happy. Most of the car owners - the owners of the non-MSV cars - were kept busy dodging the less careful MSV drivers, and the result of this mismatch left very few of the older cars in existence. If they weren't crushed between two 6000-pound sleds on the highway they were quietly priced into the junkyard by the insurance peddlers. And worst of all, they became targets . . . Buzz was well into his act now, speeding through the twisting valley roads with all the skill he could muster, to the extent that he had forgotten his earlier worries. Where the road was unbroken he would power around the turns in well controlled oversteer, and where the sections were potholed he saw them as devious chicanes to be mastered. He left the ground briefly going over one of the old wooden bridges and later ascertained that the MG would still hit 110 on the long stretch between the old Hanlin and Grove farms. He was just beginning to wind down when he saw it, there in his mirror, a late-model MSV with hand-painted designs covering most of its body (one of the few modifications allowed on post-1980 cars). Buzz hoped it was a tourist or a wayward driver who got lost looking for a gas station. But now the MSV driver had spotted the MG, and with a whoosh of a well muffled, well cleansed exhaust he started the chase . . . It hadn't taken long for the less responsible element among drivers to discover that their new MSVs could inflict great damage on an older car and go unscathed themselves. As a result some drivers would go looking for the older cars in secluded areas, bounce them off the road or into a bridge abutment, and then speed off undamaged, relieved of whatever frustrations cause this kind of behavior. Police seldom patrolled these out-of-the-way places, their attentions being required more urgently elsewhere, and so it became a great sport for some drivers. Buzz wasn't too worried yet. This had happened a few times before, and unless the MSV driver was an exceptionally good one, the MG could be called upon to elude the other driver without too much difficulty. Yet something bothered him about this gaudy MSV in his mirror, but what was it? Planning carefully, Buzz let the other driver catch up to within a dozen yards or so, and then suddenly shot off down a road to the right. The MSV driver stood on his brakes, skidding 400 feet down the road, made a lumbering U-turn and set off once again after the roadster. The MG had gained a quarter mile in this manner and Buzz was thankful for the radial tires and front and rear anti-roll bars he had put on the car a few years back. He was flying along the twisting road, downshifting, cornering, accelerating and all the while planning his route ahead. He was confident that if he couldn't outrun the MSV then he could at least hold it off for another hour or more, at which time the MSV would be quite low on gas. But what was it that kept bothering him about the other car? They reached a straight section of the road and Buzz opened it up all the way and held it. The MSV was quite a way back but not so far that Buzz couldn't distinguish the tall antenna standing up from the back bumper. Antenna! Not police, but perhaps a Citizen's Band radio in the MSV? He quaked slightly and hoped it was not. The straight stretch was coming to an end now and Buzz put off braking to the last fraction of a second and then sped through a 75-mph right-hander, gaining ten more yards on the MSV. But less than a quarter mile ahead another huge MSV was slowly pulling across the road and to a stop. It was a CB set. The other driver had a cohort in the chase. Now Buzz was in trouble. He stayed on the gas until within a few hundred feet when he banked hard and feinted passing to the left. The MSV crawled in that direction and Buzz slipped by on the right, bouncing heavily over a stone on the shoulder. The two MSVs set off in hot pursuit, almost colliding in the process. Buzz turned right at the first crossroad and then made a quick left, hoping to be out of sight of his pursuers, and in fact he traveled several minutes before spotting one of them on the main road parallel to his lane. At the same time the other appeared in the mirror from around the last comer. By now they were beginning to climb the hills on the far side of the valley and Buzz pressed on for all he was worth, praying that the straining engine would stand up. He lost track of one MSV when the main road turned away, but could see the other one behind him on occasion. Climbing the old Monument Road, Buzz hoped to have time to get over the top and down the old dirt road to the right, which would be too narrow for his pursuers. Climbing, straining, the water temperature rising, using the entire road, flailing the shift lever back and forth from 3rd to 4th, not touching the brakes but scrubbing off the necessary speed in the corners, reaching the peak of the mountain where the lane to the old fire tower went off to the left . . . but coming up the other side of the hill was the second MSV he had lost track of! No time to get to his dirt road. He made a panicked turn left onto the fire tower road but spun on some loose gravel and struck a tree a glancing blow with his right fender. He came to a stop on the opposite side of the road. the engine stalled. Hurriedly he pushed the starter while the overheated engine slowly came back into life. He engaged 1st gear and sped off up the road, just as the first MSV turned the corner. Dazed though he was, Buzz had the advantage of a very narrow road lined on both sides with trees, and he made the most of it. The road twisted constantly and he stayed in 2nd with the engine between 5000 and 5500. The crash hadn't seemed to hurt anything and he was pulling away from the MSV. But to where? It hit him suddenly that the road dead-ended at the fire tower, no place to go but back . . . Still he pushed on and at the top of the hill drove quickly to the far end of the clearing, turned the MG around and waited. The first MSV came flying into the clearing and aimed itself at the sitting MG. Buzz grabbed reverse gear, backed up slightly to feint, stopped, and then backed up at full speed. The MSV, expecting the MG to change direction, veered the wrong way and slid to a stop up against a tree. Buzz was off again, down the fire tower road, and the undamaged MSV set off in pursuit. Buzz's predicament was unenviable. He was going full tilt down the twisting blacktop with a solid MSV coming up at him. and an equally solid MSV coming down after him. On he went, however, braking hard before each turn and then accelerating back up to 45 in between. Coming down to a particularly tight turn, he saw the MSV coming around it from the other direction and stood on the brakes. The sudden extreme pressure in the brake lines was too much for the rear brake line which had been twisted somewhat in his spin, and it broke, robbing Buzz of his brakes. In sheer desperation he pulled the handbrake as tightly as it would go and rammed the gear lever into 1st, popping the clutch as he did so. The back end locked solid and broke away, spinning him off the side of the road and miraculously into some bushes, which brought the car to a halt. As he was collecting his senses, Buzz saw the two MSVs, unable to stop in time, ram each other head on at over 40 mph. It was a long time before Buzz had the MG rebuilt to its original pristine condition of before the chase. It was an even longer time before he went back into the valley for a drive. Now it was only in the very early hours of the day when most people were still sleeping off the effects of the good life. And when he saw in the papers that the government would soon be requiring cars to be capable of withstanding 75-mph headon collisions, he stopped driving the MG altogether. Written by: Richard Foster

Posted by Yerboogieman 9 years ago


Looking for a cheap compressor with a high pressure rating or for airbrush use?

Today a friend of mine asked me if I know a way to reduce the noise level of his compressor in the work shed. With the current heat he prefers to work in the evening and nights, which does not make his neighbours too happy. His main use for several airbrush guns and sometimes for mormal airtools or the big spray gun for an undercoat or similar. So his main concern is oil in the airline and the actual flow rate is of second concern as he has an old 25kg propane cyclinder as an additional air tank. For relative low air volumes I would suggest an old fridge compressor. With a thicker pipe at the outlet that is filled with stainless steel wool most of the oil stays in the compressor. That is if this pipe is a) long enough b) upright c) of sufficient diameter so there is enough for the oil to avoid it being pushed up A second, standard oil seperator will be enough for the oil level required for airbrush stuff - and most other things too. If there is no pressure regulator on the airbrush system it is best to add a small air tank and shut off valve for it. In our case however a fridge compressor would be just enough to keep the bigger airbrush gun running but not to fill the tank at the same time. Not to mention the problem of fluctuating pressure levels. Since we already had a tank and pressure shut off connected to the loud compressor it was only a matter of finding something that keeps the neighbours happy. The first thing we did was to check how often the compressor comes on and how long it runs till the tank is back to pressure. With that and the stated air volume on the compressor we guesstimated that something a bit bigger than the compressor of a window airconditioner should be sufficient. The search begins.... If you don't know what to look for I give you a few hints: Older airconditioners often run on R22 or R12 - both use quite high system pressures which is a bonus, but more on that later. As a rule of thumb for these compressors you cans say: the bigger the higher the flow rate. At the local wreckers and scrap yards we found a few units but noticed the bigger ones often used three phases and not just one :( So we opted for the R22 compressor of a 4.5kW unit. Keep in mind the 4.5kW is for the entire system, so the quite massive fans can be removed from the sum. Usually the compressor alone is the 2.5 - 3kW range. Ok, we found the big thing but how does this help us? First things first ;) The oil was removed as the housing stating the original oil amount. This allowed us to use an oil rated for air use that has little to no water absorption qualities - you don't want water in your compressor. With the usual heat the water should be no problem anyway. Next was a pressure test to make sure the thing actually still works, so we added some plumping in the form of standard connectors to the inlet and outlet. We got well above 200PSI and abondoned the test at this stage as it was more than enough already. The air volume seemd to be well more than expected too so let'S move to the next stage. A fridge or aircon compressor always needs to have a certain amount of oil in it as it will otherwise seize and overheat quickly. But they are also designed so that the oil mixes with the refrigerant to cool all moving parts. So the biggest hurdle is to make sure the oil stays where it should stay and won't enter or get lost in the tank. Only real option for this to use something to catch the oil that is capable of releasing it into the compressor once it shuts off. Now there are several options for this so I start with the most basic: A "catch can" will get most of the oil, especially if filled with stainless steel wool or similar. Downside is that you have to find a way to get it back into the compressor. A step better is a thicker pipe filled with stainless steel wool to catch the oil. If placed upright and the outgoing pipe can be bend a bit upwards you have a good chance that most of the oil will sweep through the valves and get back down into the compressor housing. But only too often the cheap or even free compressor is better than expected and the oil won't get back into the housing as the vlaves are just too good. The last and IMHO best option is a pressurised return system. Most compressors for bigger aircons have a seperate filling port or sealed off piece of pipe. In this case you can do a simple check to see if they are usable for our purposes. Open the port of pipe and use a simple bike bump or similar to get some pressure in it. With a dedicated oil filling port you are best off but they are hard to find. The air you pump in should come out of the high pressure side - you might need a little pressure to overcome the valves. If you hear any bubbling in the housing (use a pipe on your ear or a sensitive microphone) it means you are going through the oil inside the compressor - perfect! You might not hear any bubbling but the port or pipe is still usable. Get ready with your fingers and start the compressor. The fill pipe should be sucking air in, same for the service port if there is one. A dedicated oil port should not suck but instead force some oil up if you cover the high pressure outlet. I assume all is good and no oil is splashing out of the open pipe or port. Add a small amount of oil with a syringe or similar into the port/pipe. If you see an oil mist coming out of the high side it is bad news. Clean outlet air is good. To get the oil back from the catch pipe or can we have to add a hose or pipe with a needle valve. It needs to be adjusted so that there is only a very little airflow (or oil mist) coming out. This regulated outlet is now being connect to the port/pipe with a bit of suction that we found earlier. Now every time the compressor runs the collected oil is forced back into the compressor :) Please double check the port/pipe used is not directly connected to the intake port! The last thing you want is a puddle of oil going into the cylinder and damaging it! They are designed to move gas but not liquid! If in doubt use a hardened sttel nail or similar to create a small puncture in the top of the compressor housing if there is nothing else to use. Check first if the material sound very thick, if so it might help to drill with a 5 or 6mm drill first - only about 1mm to make sure you won't enter the housing and conimate it with metal shavings! Once you have a small puncture hole of about 2mm in diameter get some 2 component metal repair glue mix and add a suitable connection for the collecting pipe/can. If you feel up to it you can of course use a blow torch and solder the connection on. Now we have the compressor working with a oil return system that also gives up very little to no oil at all in our system. You might now think you are good to go but you should at least add a decent and fine filter to the air inlet ;) The compressor noise of a bigger system can still be an issue if thicker pipes are used that allow the noise to travel out. Keep in mind they usually run in a fully closed system.... As we only need to match the noise level of the compressor itself a solid steel can like an old fire extinguisher in the 1kg rage is a good way out. Fill it with filter wool and a fine filter pad after adding some hose connectors either end. You can misuse the trigger nozzle and keep it to seal the top if you braze a connector on it. If the intake here is about 5 times larger than the pipe connection to the compressor itself the air flow going into the thing is low enough for a cheap paper air filter can or box if you have a quite dusty enviroment to work with. The real trick is to have a hose or pipe on the inside of the fire extinguisher connected to the compressor pipe connection. A garden hose is great here as is reduces the noise quite good and is dirt cheap. Make a lot of about 2mm sized holes in this pipe and close the other end of it off. Now the compressor will suck it through the small holes and the soft garden hose reduces the noise, the surrounding padding brings it down to basically nothing. The special case of clean air for airbrush.... If you read this for the sole purpose of airbrush use then this chapter is just for you, all other might want to skip it. The two things you don't want to enter your gun is oil or water. Both are a common thing in normal compressors due to lubrication and pressure difference resulting in condensation of the humidity in the intake air. Oil free compressors of good quality can cost quite a few bucks and often require ongoing replacement of membranes or piston seals. A refrigeration compressor with the above modifications already provides clean enough air for most airbrush users if a proper tank is used to store enough of the compressed air. So you might just want to add a basic oil filter or very fine paper filter close to the regulator. For very detailed work with very sensitive paints you might want to build a filter box containing of several layers of oil absorbent paper. This stuff is often used in the industry to clean up minor oil spills and bind oil very well. A PVC pipe (pressure rated please) with 5-8 layers of filter screens should last about a lifetime before the filters need changing if the diameter is in the 10-15cm range. That leaves us with the dreaded problem of condensation and water contamination. Depending on the type of paint and gun used a small amount of water vapour is usually no problem. Solvent based paints usally show their disliking by unwanted drops or run offs caused by water droplets. Of course you just go and buy a professional dehumidifier and accept the ongoing replacement costs for the cartridges... But if you are in a climated that has above 30% humidity for most of the year than you will have to remove the water one way or the other. A big enough storage tank for the air that is upright usually helps to release any condensated water prior to usage. But if you use a homemade tank you might want to avoid this problem completely and forget about water in the system altogehter. Silaca gel is the answer here, specifically the indicating variety that changes color once "full". A spaghetti glas or similar should be big enough unless you are in a very humid climate - is so just use multiple in a row. The air intake side for the compressor has to go through the silica gel to be effictive. This mean we need two holes in the lid. One with a pipe or hose going all the way to the botom - that is the air intake side. The other right on the lid - this is the air outlet side which continues to the compressor intake. With the color change in the silica gel we can estimate how much usage we have left until we have to heat it up to remove the water. If this color change happens quite fast from the bottom to the top, let's say within three days or less than you really need to use more jars with silica gel in a row or a longer one - like using a long and clear acrylic pipe instead. Of course you can always just cut holes and "viewing glasses" along the length to a PVC pipe.... No matter how wet your climate is you want to get at least 100 hours of compressor run time before you need to recharge the silica gel. This brings us to the recharging.... Once the color changes and you only have about one quarter left to the top you want to get the water out of the gel and re-use it. To do this you simply heat it up in your oven to around 120-150°C - the supplier should state the max temp for this. If you use a gas oven or one with limited accuracy here it is best to stay within the 120° range. You need to stir and mix the gel or use something big enough like an oven tray. But be aware that these little balls are like glass! The roll and bounce like no tomorrow! IMHO it best to use an old cooking pot that has no plastic handles for this and not to overfill it. This allows for easy mixing without making a mess that might cause a bad trpping hazard on your kitchen floor tiles! Once the gel is back to original colr it is time to let it cool of to a safe temperature and to fill it back into our canister or pipe. Tanks and shut off systems.... We have a refrigeration compressor working for us, and since it was for R22 we can use much higher pressures as a simple compressor from the hardware store. The low pressure side is used to 70PSI or around 5Bar of pressure in normal working conditions. The high side often works at pressure in the range of 200-300PSI or 14-20Bar! The tank we used is a big propane tank that was restamped at some stage in his life for the use of LPG - so it was tested to quite high pressures. The lower pressure limit is what keeps the stored gas liquid at the given temperature. For Propane at an imaginary 30°C this would around 155PSI or 10Bar. The stamped test pressure, although outdated, showed 600PSI or around 40Bar of pressure with no problems - and the thing was thick in the walls... The old shut off switch from an old air compressor was adjustable after removing the safety cap with a bit of force and the help of few cold beer. With a little tank attached we adjusted it to turn the compressor off at 250PSI or around 17Bar of pressure. If your tank is old or has no test pressure stamped on do your own test in a safe location. Make sure the area is secured so there is no chance of debris from a brusting tank can go anywhere - this includes to chain down the tank itself ;) Use the aircon compressor to fill it up to 300PSI or 20Bar of pressure - this should be tolerated with ease by any propane or LPG tank. Shut the valves and let it rest for a day or so. It is best to do this in the early morning so the heat from the day will slightly increase the pressure. At the end you still want to have a working tank and no major pressure losses. All of our mods on this tank were done without actually harming the tank. This was possible as the original valve had a release port for filling purposes - as it standard on most refillable ones. Here we removed the valve and added a pressure guage instead - better to know what is happening than to assume things. As this "port" had a seperate connection to the bottom of the brass valve we added as T-connection to allow for the connection to the compressor. Just be be really sure a thin piece of copper tubing was brazed to the exit hole of this port so all incoming air will be going down and away from the outlet connection with the big shut off valve on top - which we use to actually isolate and close the tank when not it use. Last thing required was something to connect the pressure shut off switch and regulator to. That was the only major expense on this project as we had no old BBQ hose or similar to get a suitable connector to the tank. We bought a simple adapter for the use of smaller hoses and cut the unwanted bits off we there was only the bottle conntector with the nut left. After removing the rubber ring we brazed piece of copper pipe onto it. Here we drilled holes and fitted severy connectors. First for the pressure switch, then for the connection to the pressure regulator and two standard ones with a ball valve for air hose connections. One air hose connection female, the other male so a standard compressor can be connected as well or "backfilled" for additional and mobile storage use. As we wanted to avoid any reduction in the safety and burst pressure no release valve was added at the bottom on the tank. The added silica gel filter stage was used instead so no water will get into the system to begin with. Additionally, and painfully for me and me friend, the inside of the tank was coated with a layer of acrylic paint to prevent and rust as it was free from it when we checked it at the beginning. This involved filling a suitable amount of paint into it, closing the top while keeping the thread clean and then to move the tank around to cover the inside evenly. If you do this be prepared for some weird movements with your friends LOL Once we were sure all ust be covered by paint at least three times we released the exxess paint and allowed the inside to dry with the assistance of some air forced to go in with a length of pipe. This was repeated 3 times... Then another two just for the bottom third of it where there might be some moisture after all... Now you don't want to remove the brass valve with everything connected to it just to turn the tank over to releae the collected water. Instead we made sure the added pipe on the former relese port would go all the way to the bottom of the tank. If any water collection is suspected only the connection to the compressor needs an additional valve for the disconnection so the water will be force back out here. To make this easy and fast we used standard quick connectors and a piece of flexible airhose rated to 20bar of pressure for the connection to the compressor. We checked the performance of the moisture removal and oil removal only for a few hours of running time while priming some surface for later use. The compressor oil used was very smelly to say it nice but nothing coul be smelled in the first paper filter after the pressure regulator. To check for remaining moisture levels (65% humidity in the house) we used a 10m length of clear PVC tubing going through an ice bath. After 30 minutes of moderate air release there was no condensation on the inside of the tubing visible. Of course if you only need it for air supply and don't care about a bit of moisture and oil you can keep it simple ;) Benefits of doing such a stupid thing: For starters noise and the peace of mind that you can do a lot of airbrushing until the compressor needs to kick in again. Then of course the benefit of an almost silent system compared to a standard compressor - something you can actually tolerate while doing art. But the real deal is knowing YOU did it and you did it for cheap. Warnings and some advise... I know, it should be at the very beginning but I just hope you read till the end ;) If the compressor fails from overheating you are up for a new one. This means the tan size should be within the limits of what the compressor can handle - same for what you actually use on air. You want an empty tank to be filled before the compressor feels hot to touch - quite warm is fine but if you can't leave your hand on it then it is too hot. Same story for the usage. There is no point in using a tiny 10 liter storage tank if you need that capacity every few minutes. The compressor would only have little pauses and overheat quickly. You want a good balance of usage time before the tank goes below supply pressure and running time of the compressor to get it to full pressure again. This brings us to the safety of high pressures. Where possible only copper tubing or sufficiently rate hoses should be used, the later as short as possible to avoid them acting like a whip if something goes wrong. When it comes to the safety of the tank you want to make sure to stay withing it's rated limits. All benefits of a compressor capable of producing over 500PSI otr close to 35Bar is wasted if your tank and pressure regulator can't handle it. This must not mean that you try to use a gas cylinder of unknow age and pressure rating and assume it will work! If in doubt use a lower shut off pressure and stay within the limits of normal air compressors - which is around 120PSI or 8Bar. Never, ever use a tank that is compromised by inside rust or bad corrosion on the outside! If you don't know how to braze copper tubing, pipes and connectors then check out some of the great Instructables about it! Whenever you know you won't use any compressed air for more than a few hours close all valves especially the ones going back to the compressor on the high pressure side! Some compressors really don't like a huge pressure difference constantly pushing on the reed valves. If your tank is big enough to allow for more than one hour of operation before the compressor has to top it up you might want to consider a one way valve right on the compressor outlet. This will prevent any massive pressures going onto the valves - especially helpful for modern compressors that only rely on the sealing capabilities of the clyinders or rotary system used. One thing you should always consider is a pressure relief valve rated for about 50PSI more than your tank pressure - it can be added to the pipe ;) If the shut off valve ever fails the relief valve gives you the ease of mind that it will blow before your tank does. Maintenance... If modded correctly the compressor should stay in the compressor and the compressor itself should not overheat from use. Having said that your compressor might force out a little more than your best catch system can handle. If that becomes a problem it might help to use an oil with a lower viscosity. If all fails it just means you need to top up oil once the last last paper filter is filthy or use slightly more to begin with so the intervals are longer. The silica gel, if used should be recharged before all of it is wasted - no point in adding it if you use it once full of water. If no gel is used there will be water in the storage tank. Even with the added paint and a good air filter it is possible that nasty things grow in there. Making sure the tank is emptied of any water after long uses and again before the next use is good practise. If no pressure gauge is used on the tank you must make sure the shut off valve is always working fine and within set parameters. I strongly recommend using a gauge and if not to perform a pressure check of the system every now and then to confirm all is within parameters of normal operation. A compressor constantly running means you either use far too much air or you have a leak - same story if the compressos kicks in after some of forgetting to shut it off and close the valves. If you keep the above in mind the salvaged compressor should work just fine for many years to come. Troubleshooting and alternatives.... You put everything together the right way, double checked and something is till not right? Maybe my crystal ball helps me to find something... 1. Always oil coming through the catch system. It usually means you use too much of it. A salvaged compressor, if the refrigent was removed legally from the system should still have a "correct" level of oil inside. Too much oil would mean is being pumped through the system at an excessive rate. Very thin compressor oils tend to do that in the compressor is misude like we do. Changing to standard mineral oil can help here. As a last resort you can use a pressure gauge or good judgement to allow more flow through the needle valve from the catch system back to the compressor. Too much backflow here would mean we loose system pressure to the set level of this needle valve! 2. The R22 rated compressor seems to be unable to produce enough pressure. First do a leak test using soapy water to rule out any leaks. Do a back pressure test on the ports. If you can push air through them in the reverse way with ease it means the valves are damaged making the compressor useless. You need to replace it. A regular cause with our type of usage is a constand back pressure from the storage tank to the compressor. To prevent this it might help to mount an electric solenoid between the compressor and storage tank. Such valve should be off when the pressure switch is engaged and on when the pressure switch is disengaged. This prevents the coil from overheating but requires a "normally off" type of valve. A good source at the wreckers are cars with LPG systems installed, they usually have suitable 12V valves somewhere on or near the tank and filler cap. 3. I am using several kg of silica gel but still get a lot of water in my storage tank. Going overboard in a humid climate can be a good thing here but if moisture makes it into the tank even with great amounts of silica gel there are only two causes: a) the tube or cylinder used is not long enough or not wide enough to allow the absorption of all the moisture going through. b) the flow rate is too high and the temperatures are too. For the first the solution is obvious enough. The second is related to the first for the diameter and lenght but temperatures constantly above the 30°C while operating somehow limits what the gel can do. Using a cooling coil on the intake side or simply putting the gel containers in icy water will help to a great deal here. If that is not an option than I suggest to layer the gel and to seperate it with fine paper filter screens. This will slow and even out the airflow allowing for more contact time with the gel. 4. The compressor gets very noisy after some time. If "some time" means more than 30-45 minutes you simply have it running too much and it overheats. If the noise increases too much when reaching the shut off pressure it can mean the pressure is too high for it. 5. Can I use multiple compressors from smaller units or refrigerators to get enough air volume? Of course you can but it might mean you have to lower your pressure expectations. Consider that each individual compressor would get the back pressure from all other compressors running while it's outlet valve is closed. To avoid premature failure you want to make sure the compressors are shut off at a lowver pressure. 6. I don't want to use a big tank but require a good airflow for airbrush. Two or three fridge compressors working one after the other with a small tank to keep the output pressure even can allow for about 30 minutes runtime per compressor. With three it gives one hour for the the first to cool off and should be enough for ongoing work. Downside is you need to make some sort of automatic switch to "rotate" to compressor working. Last words.... Is you find any spelling mistakes you can keep them. However, if you use them in any way to make a profit with them I kindly ask for 10% of your earning from it ;) Why did I not make an Instructable out of all this? Well the day was very hot, the beer very cold and my mobile phone at home, so I did not take any pics. To top it up the whole thing is now in a seperate box for additional noise reduction so it can be used in the same room where the guy is working. Of course he just used a nailgun for the job without any regard of access or at least easy view of the two pressure gauges. Typical if you have a great idea and the cold beer tells you to forget all about screws or hinges ROFL Only comment was: You created it and it works fine, why would need more than the pipe connections for the gel and regulator? Maybe he will reconsider when the service is due....

Posted by Downunder35m 1 year ago