Junk-box Testing Equipment

As inductance and capacitance testing is a frequent topic on instructables, N5ESE's GIZMOs page has several home-brew testing gadgets and misc. gizmos, including:-- inductance meter-- capacitance meter-- frequency generator-- crystal checker-- dummy loads and attenuators-- 'scope probesCool stuff...

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


Is the Rigol DS1052e any good? Answered

Does anyone have any experience with this oscilloscope? Would you recommend it as an entry level scope?

Question by Ethanal 8 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


v-i curve tracer? waiting for the best answerer Answered

i want to build this simple v-i curve tracer circuit at the page.. http://freecircuitdiagram.com/2008/09/06/voltage-currentvi-curve-tracer/ on the same page, they have shown different traces of diodes,capacitors, transistors... what i am thinking is that if i connect this tracer to the pins of any ic, would this damage the ic or show v-i trace of that ic or of  those two pirticular pins to which i connected the probes?

Question by hussainb 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


VLSI self test circuitry ?

VLSI testing is process that is used to determine that chip is good or faulty VLSI chip is tested by test equipment and some self test circuit just for example we made microcontroller then we can test by automatic test equipment , we use test vector to determine fault 1.test vector < microcontroller chip > output response 2.test vector output response 3.test vector output response Q I did not understand that self  test circuit and fault model  built within vlsi  chip or we connect   external fault model circuit to test VLSI chip ?

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


HP 3400a True RMS Voltmeter?

I have had one of these for the longest time and I really know very little of what it is used for.  It seems to work, but it does not appear to measure like a normal voltmeter, you can't just set it to the 30v range and hold the leads against a 9v battery, you seem to have to pulse it.  Does anyone know about them?  How much are they work because I was thinking of selling it and I have everything for it, the unit, the power cord, test leads, a manual etc. Any info on it or how it works would be appreciated! Thanks

Question by Electric Spectre1 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Electronic Test Equipment Building/Design Contest(s)

Is there any up coming contest(s) that will be the involvement of designing/building electronic test equipments? not pc related and or software driven, just electronic component to make it at ease for most Technicians out there to share the results of an test equipment that can be easily made from easy to get component? And will Trinidad & Tobago be able to enter such contest(s)?  Thanks for any info.... aNGELdREAD RandyXi

Topic by randyxi 6 years ago


tiq probe - a new kind of electronic debug tool for makers, techs and engineers

Hi! I'm launching a new product on Kickstarter this week that I think will be a great help to makers! It's called tiq and it's a new kind of high-performance tool for debugging electronic circuits, including projects using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, PCI, AVR etc. When you're debugging a project, you're usually looking for unexpected behavior, and you probe around the board to find out what's going on. With conventional test equipment this can require multiple pieces of equipment, hooking each up to your target, which often is in a hard to access place, changing ranges and looking away at the equipment displays. With tiq you can simply probe your circuit and tiq will display detailed logic level, logic pulse and voltage information completely automatically, without range switching or adjustments - and show it all close to the probe tip! Here's a one minute video of tiq in action: http://youtu.be/aNhjCvGdqkA Here's a short overview of tiq's features: http://www.innavatus.com Please let me know if you have any questions about tiq. I will post a link here to the Kickstarter page when it goes live. Cheers - Mark

Topic by markhen57 5 years ago


How do I determine if something is lead?

I found a hideously fake £2 coin in my change, I bit into it to double check and it left a noticeable tooth mark (also upon closer inspection the gold bits were rubbing off and it had an overall wedge shape to it). Because it's nice and soft and now worthless as currency, I thought I'd try that turn a quarter into a ring instructable with it. After only a few taps I saw a noticeable difference and it now occurs to me that it's probably made of lead. Bottom Line: - Dulled silvery metal - Very soft (can leave toothmarks if I bite hard) - Need a definite way to tell if it's lead before I attempt to make a ring out of it. I know it's not gonna kill me unless I keep attempting to take bites out of it, but I'd still like to know, thanks. (also I don't have access to any chemistry equipment for proper tests)

Question by madmanmoe64 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


tiq probe - a new kind of electronic debug tool for makers, techs and engineers

Hi! I'm launching a new product on Kickstarter this week that I think will be a great help to makers! It's called tiq and it's a new kind of high-performance tool for debugging electronic circuits, including projects using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, PCI, AVR etc. When you're debugging a project, you're usually looking for unexpected behavior, and you probe around the board to find out what's going on. With conventional test equipment this can require multiple pieces of equipment, hooking each up to your target, which often is in a hard to access place, changing ranges and looking away at the equipment displays. With tiq you can simply probe your circuit and tiq will display detailed logic level, logic pulse and voltage information completely automatically, without range switching or adjustments - and show it all close to the probe tip! Here's a one minute video of tiq in action: http://youtu.be/aNhjCvGdqkA Here's a short overview of tiq's features:  http://www.innavatus.com Please let me know if you have any questions about tiq. I will post a link here to the Kickstarter page when it goes live. Cheers - Mark

Topic by markhen57 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


How do I use this Test Function on a DMM?

 My DMM has a function for a 20mA loopback circuit. It rates 4mA at 5% and 20mA at 100% So what would I use this test function for?  Instead of using  the Amps test function?

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


How can I test for lead in paint? Answered

I currently live in China and am thinking about painting my apartment, however I am bit nervous about getting a paint that isn't lead-free. My Chinese speaking/reading abilities are still infantile, and even equipped with the means to ask about the paint I fear the reliability of the answer. Call me an empirophilic westerner, but I would much rather test the paint for myself. Is there a simple test (possibly household chemical) that I can perform to help me out?

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


Buying &quot;Untested&quot;

Is buying "Untested" equipment on ebay OK? Many auctions have very low prices for equipment that was bought in a large lot and has no testing done other than "powers on." Is there a good chance that these equipments are totally fine and functional? For example: Oscilloscopes, function generators, frequency counters, multimeters, etc.

Topic by guyfrom7up 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Help with designing and testing a Pool Monitoring system

Hi, I don't know if this is the right place to ask this so apologies to all in advance if it is not. I have had a pool for some time and I got quite sick of monitoring it. I searched for any "off the shelf" equipment to help me with this but there are none available. I just wanted to make pool monitoring easy, or at least easier than it is right now. I have made a prototype which continuously monitors pool & SPA water including Chlorine, alkalinity, temperature, and can deliver that to my website in a graphical format. It gives me a history of the pool environment and helps me keep the pool in top condition so when the kids or friends and relatives drop by I know instantly what the pool condition is and if it is safe for everyone to go in. It has wireless capability and I have manage to get the battery life to around 20 days without a recharge and the new solar version (still being built) will go almost indefinably. Just wondering if anyone else thinks this is a good idea.

Question by research1 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


What are the requirements for PAT test and what is the cheapest place for testing 1 item (UK)? Best awnser gets a patch Answered

Im looking at getting some of me stage lighting equipment tested so I can use it in a public place. I hope for it to pass first time as I don't want to spend too much money. I also want to the cheapest place  for testing 1 item in the UK for PAT testing. BEST AWNSER GETS A PATCH! Thanks   Oscar

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


How to check the USB headset other than PC?

Is there any equipment available to test the USB headset?

Question by Telekonnectors 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago



hydrongen gas for cars?

What will be the basic equipment I need to put together to test hydrogen gas on my vehicle? Where does the hydrogen mixes with the gasoline?

Question by hildebrand 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


SEMICON West 2011, July 11-15, in San Francisco

For techies who live in the San Francisco Bay area or who will be visiting here July 11th through July 15th, you may want to check out this event.  Event Dates Exhibits:                              July 12–14, 2011 Events (co-located conferences, partner events):   July 11–15, 2011 Location Moscone Center 747 Howard Street San Francisco, California (Facility address provided for directional purposes only) Show Hours Tuesday, July 12                  10:00am–5:00pm Wednesday, July 13             10:00am–5:00pm Thursday, July 14                 10:00am–4:00pm Background Founded 1971 (2011: 41st year) SEMICON West is the flagship annual event for the global microelectronics industry. It is the premier event for the display of new products and technologies for microelectronics design and manufacturing, featuring technologies from across the microelectronics supply chain, from electronic design automation, to device fabrication (wafer processing), to final manufacturing (assembly, packaging, and test). More than semiconductors, SEMICON West is also showcase for emerging markets and technologies born from the microelectronics industry, including micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), photovoltaics (PV), flexible electronics and displays, nano-electronics, solid state lighting (LEDs), and related technologies. Major technologies served Semiconductors Photovoltaics/Solar Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) LEDs/Solid State Lighting Printed/Flexible Electronics Technology/product segments include Device Fabrication/Wafer Processing Equipment and Materials Deposition (CVD, PVD, ALD) Etch Ion implant Lithography Masks/reticles and mask-making equipment Chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) equipment and materials Silicon and non-silicon based wafers and substrates Process chemicals and gases Chemical handling systems Vacuum systems, components, and parts Robotic systems and components Valves, actuators, gear systems, and other components Factory automation systems, software, and components Assembly and packaging equipment and materials Wire bonding Bump/flip chip/wafer-level packaging Automated semiconductor test equipment (ATE) Test handlers Probe cards and test materials FOR MORE INFO GO TO: www.semiconwest.org

Topic by unclejoe 7 years ago


What is the equation to determine a coil's inductance? Answered

I have been looking for the equation to determine a coils inductance in henries, but I can't find it. I want the one that uses core diameter, wire thickness, and wire length to calculate it. (But I'll take any equation that will allow me to calculate it easily without test equipment) Could someone help me out?                                                                                                                                                         Thanks!

Question by transistorguy 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


entering the contest

Hi, I would like to enter the contest https://www.instructables.com/contest/huntergatherer/ with my instructable https://www.instructables.com/id/Improvised-fishing-equipment-tested/ but I can not. I entered only 1 contest with this instructables and I have read that according to rules I can enter 3 contests with 1 instructable. I would also like to ask why I can not enter contests with some older instructables that are also used only once. Regards

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


Man Vs. Cartoon !

Did anyone catch this episode of Man Vs. Cartoon, on Tru TV ? Watch as a team of the country's brightest minds takes on the devices and techniques used by Wile E. Coyote in his vain attempts to snare his arch-enemy the Road Runner. See if expertise, years of training and the best equipment that money can buy will be enough to actually make Coyote's flawed Acme Company machines work.let's make some of the Wile E.'s stuff WORK !AND some character Bio'sSome of the future TESTS

Topic by Goodhart 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Tektronix 475 Oscilloscope for sale

I have a Tektronix 475 oscilloscope for sale.  I had used it to create my Desulphator in an Altoids Tin instructable several years ago (see pictures).  The scope is a 200 MHZ bandwidth (very fast) analog 2-channel design and was a top of the line device at the time of its manufacture. This scope is in very good operating condition, has had an easy life, has very few blemishes and no scratches.  Please see my eBay auction for further details.  http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item;=221319636161

Topic by kmpres 5 years ago


saftey questions ASAP

This is for school, but it's nothing graded, it's just a saftey test that I have to do, I have to get 100% on it to get to continue the course, I could fill out most of the questions in my study sheet, but I need a few answered. 1. What are 3 possible injuries from be shocked? 2. How much less is your body's resistance when wet than dry? 3. What are the 3 most common current paths that can stop your heart? 4. How does using grounded tools and electrical equipment make us safer? 5. What's a lockout/tagout procedure?

Topic by guyfrom7up 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Lego Rpg or Other game

I was thinking of making a lego based rpg or some other game(like a strategy game). That will comprise of some basic rules and game workings that every one could play. I'm going to try and make it simple enough to be played easily but complex enough to keep people interested. I will also try to make sure that gaming equipment is kept to a minimum. So you don't need to go out and buy like a 100, 20 sided dice or something. If anyone is interested in helping or testing please say so. I could use all the help i could get. Please say if this is a bad idea though- i don't want to waste my time on it.

Topic by davidturner666 10 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Making plasma in a vacuum chamber?

Im having trouble generating any kind of plasma and i guess not fully understanding this. Heres my setup: A metal pot with a Plexiglas lid as vacuum chamber. a pressure gauge on top A vacuum chamber A MOT as the power supply. Dont have equipment to measure high voltage but id guess around 2KVAC as thats what i understand is standard Two terminals about 2 inches apart inside of the chamber made from copper. one coming from the top, one from the bottom.  I hook up the terminals , hear the nice MOT buzz, but nothing happens inside of the chamber. The mot has been tested and does work.  Any clue or direction to point me in?

Question by GalaxyX 5 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


what are the spec. vacuum requirements for thermos bottles? Answered

I want to do some experimenting with making thermos bottles. I know that a vacuum is needed but how much? I heard that the thermal retention value only works below a certain vacuum level but I don't know what it is. any small vacuum won't do. I also would like the answer in regular terms. I found out that solar tubes use P<5x10-2Pa of vacuum. I don't know what that means in inches of vacuum. I need to know more, so that I can buy the right vacuum pump. What other equipment will I need? will a regular check valve and epoxy work for testing?

Question by M F 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


HAM Radio Questions

I am training in information to get into HAM radio... however, what kind of equipment is used? I looked up "HAM RADIO STARTER KIT" and differnet like phrases to see what I would be looking at... but simply cannot find anything. I assume its because your not supposed to purchase any of the stuff unless your licenced. I want to get in but I don't know where to start... and if after I start if I can afford it. Where can I learn the stuff thats on the test? I don't want to BUY a book, I have never seen any topic that didn't have soo little stuff under google. I mean I have been looking under "Amature Radio" and "HAM Radio" and getting certified and everyone wants to sell a book.

Topic by teamcoltra 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


HELP IDEAS for Mini A/C Unit for Truck

This is an idea that has been tried before with other type equipment & applications. However I think that I have found a way to limit the cost & over size of the application for the use intended. The rubb is that I need help with the fabrication. So I am hoping that the brain power will rally to help in a proto-type or test model of this idea.THE IDEA: A mini A/C unit to keep a vehicle cool for short periods of time 1-2 hours.Why needed?? I own a Private Investigation Agency and have very expensive electronic equipment inside sensitive to the high heat in south Texas during the summer.Equipment on hand for the idea:A. Small Cooler & HEater unit that can be found @ most Walmart, Walgreens, ect... Size 12"x 10" x 6"Input: 100-240VAC 1.2 A 40 watt Output 12 volt 4.0 A (looks like a tall showbox with a single hinge that opens like a center console-armrest-glovebox in a truck or van. Picture below...B. A DC/AC convertor also sold at same stores. The unit is very small but will power the unit very easy. 12 volt 5 A 100 watt, 4" x 3" x 3/4"C. a zeus sealed 12 volt battery 4-5 AH with the PWR use of cooler.D. VArious size small electric fans to be used a blower fans.E. PVC or duct work for the application.F. Optional Solar Cell for battery recharge to be mounted on roof of vehicle.I am sorry if my post is inapropiate for this forum or if I have used this post wrong for my purpose. This is my first time to post anything...If there is anything I can do to help with the concept please let me know.I will try and add Pic's of the parts later.THANKS!!!PS: total cost of everything brand new was less than $50.00

Topic by leebarret 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Gift Exchange: Varied skills

My skills include:   Electronics (building "some" things from schematics, etc (I haven't the equipment nor eyesight to use surface mount, nor any IC's with more then 16 pins).    Pyrography, i.e. burning pictures into wood.     Innovation,  making something into something it was not originally intended for. Some mechanical works (I am limited by lack of tools and materials however).   What I'd like to make for someone: Either some test equipment (diode tester, transistor tester,  magnetic field detector, etc.), or something cool, like steampunk, or HV. I'd be willing to make this size gift package for someone (choose all that apply): (S to M) I'd be willing to receive a smaller or larger size gift package from someone than the one I make for someone else: Within limits What I like:simple methods of testing capacitors,  inductors, etc. i.e. electronic tools and gadgets, HV devices, electronics I can reverse engineer, etc. What I don't like:  dolls (unless they have a voice recorder/playback in them), make up, knitting, rap music,  or rotting things. I absolutely can't have: (due to allergies, pets, etc);  pets (apartment restriction), candy/cakes/pies (I'm too fat already),  greasy foods. Type of thing I'd love to receive: simple understandable, completely reverse enginerable High Voltage devices,  or anything I can reverse engineer or improve on or change the function of. Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country? This would totally depend on the size of the item.  I may not be able to if over a certain weight. Confirm that are at least 18 years old or, if not, that you have the approval of a parent or guardian: I haven't seen 18 for 34 years  ;-) so yes, I am over 18.

Topic by Goodhart 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


New Sport!! Combine Golf with Archery!

I have an idea for a new sport. If you combine golf with archery, you'd get Golfery! The concept is simple with only some minor modifications. Arrowheads now have a golf ball or ping-pong ball for a head. To get a hole in one, the player must hit the flagpole in the pocket. There are (3) 1 foot wide rings concentrically spaced around the flagpole. Inner ring = 1 stroke, middle = 2 strokes, outer = 3 strokes. If the arrow lands outside of the outer ring, the player must pick up the arrow and gently toss it underhand towards the pocket. Other than that, the standard rules of golf are followed. I don't have the equipment to test out my ideas. If someone here would try it out and PM me with the results and any suggestions that would be great.

Topic by javajunkie1976 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


my Vehicle 2007 kia spectra wont start. making a constant noise when trying to start vehicle ?

Recently the vehicle radiator went out and had the radiator replace by a mechanic. Drove the vehicle around for about 90 miles and everything was working fine. one morning I went out to start the vehicle and my ac unit was not blowing any air at all for about 2 mins I turned off the vehicle and let it rest for about a few hours went back out to start the vehicle again and that when the issue started. The engine would not turn. It was making a constant noise when trying to start the engine but would not turn. I had one of my cousin come check it out for me and brought his compression test equipment 3 of the holes only were at 30 psi while the other was hitting 60 psi. During this process oil did not start shooting out until we were on the last valve checking with the test. He checks the timing belt and it seem to be accurate. We measure the "T" and were on perfectly. We could see the red dot through the holes to confirm it was on. My cousin then advise that he needs to replace the valves and take apart the engine. He thinks it may be a bad oil pump that cause the time to jump just wondering if anybody else has any other ideas of what to look for,

Question by anthony.sanchez.90260 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Ventilation In A Small Forge?

Hi all, Im trying to build a small forge in my small tin shed (9'x11') , due to noise and residential location everything must be inside and the sound proofing makes it pretty airtight, therefore I'm relying 110% on good ventilation design to avoid CO poisoning. The coke forge is in and flued using the side sucker design and 12" insulated duct, so far this works well with the addition of incoming air from the rear of the shop and I have been able to use reasonable quality test equipment to measure CO at acceptable levels (only under ideal conditions, further testing to follow). I have also thought of adding a propane forge (only one forge be used at any one time) but worry about the increased levels of CO produced, I have toyed with the idea of a hood which encompasses the mouth of the forge which would be ducted at 45 degrees into the main stack for the other forge (I would like to minimise roof penetrations if possible) I have made a rough sketch (in paint sorry) to demonstrate what I mean, do you think a fanned draught inducer is necessary/useful, we don't use them much in the UK so im not sure how much draught they induce :),  is the flue angle/ bends going to reduce efficiency greatly and would adding a fan to the intake to change to positive pressure internally make that much difference?  Any other ventilation advise would be greatly appreciated, including anything to help understand the maths required to calculate correct air volumes etc, I'm fairly serious about doing this correctly, understand in some detail the dangers of CO exposure and would not concider continuing without thorough testing for safety. Thanks in advance, drawing not even slightly to scale :)

Question by Squibo 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Want your own factory for $2400?

Article in this weeks's New Scientist - they've developed a desk-top fabricator:The standard version of their Freeform fabricator – or "fabber" – is about the size of a microwave oven and can be assembled for around $2400 (£1200). It can generate 3D objects from plastic and various other materials. Full documentation on how to build and operate the machine, along with all the software required, are available on the Fab@Home website, and all designs, documents and software have been released for free.Unlike commercial equipment, the Fab@Home machine is also designed to be used with more than one material. So far it has been tested with silicone, plaster, play-doh and even chocolate and icing. Different materials can also be used to make a single object – the control software prompts the user when to load new material into the machine.Article: http://www.newscientisttech.com/article/dn10922?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref;=Video of it in action: http://web.mae.cornell.edu/ccsl/temp/EvanMalone/FabAtHome/SqueezeBulbDemoMovie.wmvWhat would you build??

Topic by Kiteman 12 years ago


bike booster kit

There is a project here on how to build a "BIKE BOOSTER KIT". The kit is made up of multiple 3d printed parts, including the battery pack, charger, test equipment, and a choice of small or large rc notor. The built kit is designed to mount above the front tire either bike or trike. Although I do not know what kind of bracket is included for mounting. It can be configured to fit in a bike frame in any number of positions as long as the roller can touch the front tire. I plan to mount this on a trike, There are only two possible locations, on the handlebar stem, or the fork center hole for the fender after fender has been removed. I need mounting instructions, user manual, premium hardware kit, any special mounting brackets, and sources as to where I can buy a fully assembled kit charged and ready for mounting. I am concerned that the unit is not long enough to reach the tire from the stem. I might need some sort of extender block to make it longer. Complete advice please. reeltoreelguy@gmail.com.  photo included.

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


Foam Cutter transformer...overkill?

I have a Pyramid ps9kx desk top power supply for running 12v stuff...can I use this directly as a foam cutter or is this more of a breaker throwing foam melter? Specs from Amazon;5 Amp Hobbyist Bench Power SupplyBench Power Supply, AC-to-DC Power Converter with Car/Vehicle Power Outlet (5 Amp) Features:Linear / Regulated Power Supply DesignAC-to-DC Power Conversion (12V DC)Provides Constant Source of DC VoltageSimple Electronic Plug-in OperationHassle-Free Screw Terminal ConnectorsEliminates the Need of Battery or External Power Source12V Car / Vehicle Cigarette Lighter Power Accessory Outlet ConnectorFuse Protected with Auto-ResetElectronic Overload, Short Circuit & Overload ProtectionUsed for Component & Device Equipment Testing, Operation & PerformanceRugged & Durable Housing Construction, Cabinet HeatsinkBuilt-in Cooling FanPower ON / OFF SwitchPyramid Compact Hobby Power Supplies Safe for Tabletop PlacementTechnical Specs:Amperage: 5.0 AMP (Constant), 7.0 AMP (Surge)Connectors / Hardwire Terminals: Red Positive (+), Black Negative (-)Power Output: 13.8V DCPower Input: 115V AC, 60Hz (70 Watt)Dimensions (L x W x H): 7.5'' x 4.9'' x 3.0'' -incheshttps://www.amazon.com/Pyramid-Supply-Converter-Vehicle-PS9KX/dp/B0002BA570

Question by Nightmare54 1 year ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


Pig farmer proves that great ideas can come from anywhere

Here's a story with a great moral to it. If you're observant, then you can come up with a brilliant solution to a problem. And it doesn't matter if you went to a fancy design school for it or just need to solve a problem. Canadian pig farmer Mary Haugh had a problem; multiple heart attacks put her husband out of commission, and she alone had to somehow control and herd their 3,000 hogs through the barn. Traditional methods of getting pigs to move are to use a stick, an electric prod or a "chase board," a length of wood the farmer wields horizontally to angle the pigs in a particular direction.Haugh then came up with a roller that dispenses a swath of red cloth--a sort of farm version of the retractable "lane guides" that movie theaters use. Working with her brother Peter Jones, a mechanical engineer, she developed a 30-pound stainless steel prototype that retracted fabric like a windowshade and could unspool 50 feet of material. The pair also designed it so one end could attach to existing stabling, enabling one-person operation.The resulting product rolls up neatly, can easily be carried and deployed by one person, and meets Canadian standards for biosecurity as it can be washed with the pressure washers most farmers already own to clean other equipment. More importantly, it works far better than anything that came before it--testing trials reveal it saves 70% of the time needed to herd hogs, which translates to hours per week. link

Topic by fungus amungus 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


PCB Repair Process of 3 different kind of circuits

1 Power Supply Circuit: During the circuit board repair process, power supply part should be inspected at the first hand and then come to the other part. +/-5V, Power supply failure can occur under below several situation: (1) NO power supply voltage or power supply voltage is deficiency, NC system is often used +/-5V, +/-12V, +/-15V and +/-24V, a few of them use +3.3V, and the varied or unstable voltage of power supply will cause the system working impropery; (2) Use voltmeter to test the voltage of power supply, and the result show is normal. Voltage waveform detected by oscillograph has shown the existence of big ripple. This situation maybe caused by open circuit of Filtering capacitance, bad rectifier diode or cold soldering, but sometimes it could be caused by an overloaded component which has been brokendown and damaged by power. (3) System can run properly when it is just being opened, after a while of operating, the voltage begin to drop off. This is usually caused by voltage stabilizing circuit and large power triode. (4) The voltage decrease accompany with temperature increase maybe cause by component cold soldering, it is electrical connection can be affected negatively when the temperature high up. (5) NO power supply voltage or supply voltage decreases significantly will cause the system to interrupt or stop working, this fault can be detected and spotted easier. (6) When the capacity of power supply load drop off or filter circuit become invalid, it will cause the system halt suddenly, this situation which is very difficult to justify can bring damage to the equipment and facility even get personnel wound. 2 Clock Circuit: Clock circuit mainly exist on the systematic motherboard, it is the foundation of large-scale integrated circuit system through which it can work, it can generate the constant square signal in the circuit base upon the crystal oscillator (commonly known as crystal), Once the crystal oscillator stop working, it is same as the heart of human being stop beating, the whole system will fall into the status of paralyzed, only after crystal can work under normal condition, the systematic circuit can operate under the command of CPU according to the frequency of crystal. The number and frequency of the crystal could be different due to the variety of numerical control system, but generally will at least one crystal, different clock frequencies required by the other circuit can be solved by frequency dividing circuit or other crystal. Crystal possess a higher rate of failure or damage, below are some malfuntions of crystal: (1) Leakage: Use multimeter and switch to P*10K level to test it, if the resistance is infinite, then it can be viewed as normal; (2) Internal OPEN CIRCUIT: Value of resistance is infinite tested by Use multimeter, can fail to generate oscillating pulse in the circuit; (3) Alternative crystal: Due to the transformation of crytal will cause its internal parameter change which can only be detected by osillagraph or cymometer. Although the crystal can still has oscillation, but the clock frequency is deviated from its nominal value, and the still existing oscillation pulse can’t make system circuit work properly due to the value of oscillation is wrong. Only cymometer can test its tolerance now. (4) In clock circuit, the both ends of crystal would be connected to ground by one ceramic capacitor value range from several picofarads to tens picofarads, failure of the clock circuit result from this capacitor leakage, deterioration is also more common. The best tool to test whether the crystal is good or bad could be oscillagraph or cymometer, multimeter is very difficult to detect the root cause. 3 Reset Circuit Reset circuit also exist in the circuit system of motherboard, it is unique set of large-scale digital integrated circuit. Microprocessor and interface circuit are all possess reset terminal. Reset pulse generate by reset circuit will clear the progam counter, force CPU recall the orginal files from the memory, execute initiation process on all the controller chips, system will occurs the phenomenon of disorder or crash as a result of faulty reset circuit, the method of using cymometer to illustrate the reset pulse is turn on/off power supply repeatly, observe and record the pulse value at the right moment of power supply on/off since it should be the normal square wave-form. If there is no existence of reset pulse, all the resistor, capacitor and transistor in the reset circuit should be detected. The reset terminal of integrated circuit should be regular low or high electrical level, or else, it is probably the malfunctional reset circuit or damaged integrated circuit.http://www.circuit-engineering.com

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


Electronic Toolkit

I do some work with the FIRST Robotics kids and it is amazing to see what they are doing.  Big problem though seems to be a general lack of electrical test equipment.  They don't really have the money to buy oscilloscopes, function generators, CAN and I2C analyzers.   So I got one of the M3 Discovery boards from STmicro and it is really cool.  It has four 5MS A/Ds on it plus a whole host of other features(CAN, I2C, Serial etc.). http://www.st.com/web/en/catalog/tools/PF254044 So it got me thinking. Why couldn't we turn one of these chips into an "All-In-One" electrical toolkit and keep it cheap($50-$60, BOM ~$20).  It would be fairly easy to turnkey. I threw together some simple specs, what do people think. 1) Will supply general use drivers so a user can use the app or write their own. 2) Oscilloscope   a. Two Channel     i. 2MHZ of Analog Bandwidth per channel     ii. 10MS/s per channel     iii. Trigger on rising edge, falling edge, on-command, run-stop actions     iv. Datalogging for extended time periods at up to 10hz per channel (data stored directly to console),  maybe higher rate will  just have to see 3) Serial – 2 Ports   a. Multi selectable protocol w/slew control     i. RS232, RS422, RS485 4) CANBus – 1 port 5) I2C – 1 port 6) SPI  - 1 port 7) 8 Discrete User Selectable 8) Function Generator   a. Two Channel      i. 1MS/s small signal change      ii. 250kS/s full range change      iii. 0-3.3VDC buffered output  9) PWM - 4 Channels

Topic by ase4542 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Wrapping wood in carbon fibre.

Hi, After cutting my own wooden lacrosse shaft using the tutorial on Instructables, it snapped within half an hour of use. Now I know this was because the grain was pretty poor and it was not a strong wood, but someone suggested that I wrap a shaft in carbon fiber so that it is slightly stronger, limits horizontal movement and reduces denting. I just have a few questions about trying this; Would this carbon fiber be appropriate for the project. http://compositeenvisions.com/raw-fabric-cloth-2/carbon-fiber-97/carbon-fiber-fabric-plain-weave-3k-5-7oz-tape-605.html if not where should I look? The biggest problem I see is somehow packing the carbon tight around the shaft so there are no bubbles and it is consistently straight all the way down the shaft, there is a vacuum packing basics tutorial on instructables but I'm not sure if you could use that for a lacrosse shaft. Instead of making my own bag as per tutorial would just a plain bag (http://compositeenvisions.com/vacuum-infusion-equipment-71/nylon-vacuum-bagging-film-500.html) be fine then clamp off the unneeded extra, although are those bags re usable? Because I don't want to have to pay $5 USD every time I would like to wrap something. I saw something called bleeder cloth as well, would this be needed to stop excess resin sticking to the shaft? When it comes to the carbon, I know someone who sails a lot and has some experience with carbon fiber but none with vacuum packing who said I should lay it up like the image attached to decrease horizontal movement while allowing vertical flex. Would this have the desired affect as if this is successful I plan to make a ton more for a high school team I help coach. I've attached a image to give you some idea of what I'm talking about. Then for the actual laying of the carbon itself, a shaft is not a flat surface so you can't just pour it on like the Youtube video's I've found. I'm not sure how to pull this off. Then afterwards, is there a simple way to test the properties of the shaft; specifically flex and impact strength. Because even if I don't end up wrapping the shafts I still need to test the wood to compare it to alloy. Sorry about the small essay, but I would really like to give this a good shot. Because shipping shafts from the states is quite expensive, being able to make my own and then put graphics on them would be amazing.

Topic by Thatkiwiguy 6 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Quick rundown various Linux and BSD operating systems:

1.  Debian - one of the older base distributions and currently one of the most popular.  Uses the "apt" package manager for software installation.  Excellent server distribution. 2.  Fedora - the free community edition of Red Hat Linux.  Sponsored by Red Hat Linux.  Uses the "rpm" package manager for software installation. 3.  openSuse - sponsored by Novell, originally developed largely in Europe. 4.  Mageia - fork of an older distribution called Mandriva Linux. 5.  PCLinuxOS - also a fork of Mandriva.  Looks to provide out-of-the-box support for graphics and sound cards. 6.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) - based on Fedora, RHEL includes many enterprise-level enhancements and is supported Red Hat corporation. 7.  CentOS Linux - free enterprise-grade operating system that is built from the same source code as RHEL without the proprietary enhancements or support from Red Hat.  8.  Puppy - very small Linux operating system that boots the OS and applications completely into RAM.  Can operate on older computer equipment.  Excellent for use in emergencies and to recover data from hard drives. 9.  FreeBSD - operating system that is based on BSD code. 10.  Ubuntu Linux - easy to use operating system that is based on Debian Linux.  Supported by the Canonical corporation.  Ubuntu means "humanity to others".  Excellent server distribution. 11.  Linux Mint - currently one of the most popular distributions, based on Ubuntu Linux.  Looks to provides complete experience by including browser plugins and media codecs (ie: Flash) upon installation.  Excellent desktop distribution.  Also comes in lightweight editions for older hardware 12.  NetBSD - based on BSD code.  Can be run on a wide range of hardware.  Currently there are 57 different hardware architectures that can run NetBSD. 13.  OpenBSD - based on BSD code.  Source code built from the ground up with security first and foremost as the goal.  Ships "secure by default", that is, all non-essential services are disabled.  OpenBSD has embedded cryptography throughout the operating system; it utilizes OpenSSH, Pseudo Number Random Generators, cryptographic hash functions, cryptographic transforms and crypto hardware support. 14.  ClearOS - server and network distro designed for small businesses.  Based on Red Hat Linux.  Web-based interface controls anti-virus, anti-spam, VPN, content filtering, bandwidth manager, file services, SMTP services, print services, SSL certification, and web services. 15.  Kali Linux - distro that specializes in penetration testing and security auditing.  Over 300 penetration testing tools.  Based on Debian Linux. 16.  Lubuntu - lightweight version of Ubuntu Linux for older computers and netbooks. 17.  Gentoo - highly customizable distro that uses a package system called portage written in Python.  Mascot is Larry the Cow.

Topic by matt392 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


My Month at Instructables as an Artist in Residence

It's easy to see Instructables as a single entity who's persona is summed up in one yellow robot. During the month of November I had the good fortune to spend a month as an Artist in Residence at Instructables HQ and had the opportunity to look behind the yellow curtain and learn more about the people who craft the website and the work that they do. During my stay I met artists and technicians, crafters and programmers, and I was allowed to peek into their world and see the inner cogs whirling away. Oh yeah, I was also let loose with a million dollars worth of 3D printers and laser cutters with no more direction than to have fun and make stuff! Day to day life at the office was not what I expected. Before arriving I had envisioned a, well, a madhouse. I figured that there would be 10 ft cardboard robots beeping away in one corner, office supply archery in the other, and paper airplanes gliding over the top of it all. When inside though I didn't find a room of chaos, but a room of people quietly working. I soon found out that between community management, site development, contests and other site duties there is a massive amount of work that goes into making the Instructables DIY hub function. It wasn't all business though, there was certainly time for liquid nitrogen ice cream, communal lunch hours, and pizza Thursday! I am very much a robot / tech person, so one of the highlights of my visit was getting to talk shop with randofo and amandaghassaei, Instructables technology editors. They had the coolest gadgets, and both fit the role of tinkers perfectly. Randofo had a huge bin of motors, gearboxes and other electrical delights that he patiently let me riffle through, and Amanda's work area was mass of dismantled keyboards, wire and test equipment. They practiced a type of electronics where novelty is the main function, and it was amazingly fun to see their projects come together. And yes, of course, the 3D printers were a blast. I really was allowed to dive in and try anything I wanted with the Objet machines so I took every spare moment working with them. I spent a fair amount of time running test prints of the different materials and testing their physical and mechanical strength, (aka breaking them). Once I had a feel for the UV cure pseudo plastic, I had just enough time to print everything I wanted plus some. I should also mention that this same building had two of the fastest laser cutters I've seen, and all the plastic and cardboard I could possibly need for my scale of projects. I can't possibly relate how liberating it felt to be able to think of an idea, draw up the CAD, and have a working prototype in less than an hour. The Instructables office is found on a busy street of San Fransisco, above a deli and a bar that plays full Talking Heads albums. This was my first time in California and I loved every minute of it. There was this creative energy all about and it seemed that there was some kind of art plastered anywhere it could fit. I felt like I was on an expedition, seeing for the first time things that I had only read about; I saw subway performers, photographers, and a silver painted robot guy. I ate at a Kwik Way and bought guitar string from the store that the Mythbusters bought their trumpets from. Not only that, but there are celebrities in California and I'm almost positive that Elton John rode the same bus as me every day. I could be wrong, but he had these huge glasses and the hair cut and everything. (I've never seen a celebrity before.) I visited California for a month but it felt like it flew by in minutes. After giving a small presentation over a Thai lunch and a short goodbye, I left San Fransisco and Instructables with a greater awareness and appreciation of the creative community and the talents of its members. Visiting the office and meeting the Instructables crew was an unforgettable experience and I hope to visit again someday. I would highly recommend the AIR program to any one in the position to participate, I had the time of my life.

Topic by Tomdf 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


What is the axial orientation of Polaris with respect to the Earth? Answered

So... I know the Earth's axis of rotation currently points (roughly) at Polaris, the North Star. (which, of course, is why we can navigate by it here on Terra Firma).  I also know that Polaris is about ~500 ly from us,  has a rotational period (hence an axis), that it's a transitional Cepheid (sp) (a star that varies between a larger, brighter state and a smaller, denser one) , that it has at least two l known, low-output companion stars, and that since the ~1940s it has undergone visible changes in its rotational period and its output. My excuse and reason  for asking... First, I did google it. Either no one has asked the question(doubtful), it can't really be determined with our present level of science (could be, idk), or I just didn't use the right search  terms to find the answer (the usual culprit ime) , but in any case, after an off and on search that's spanned the past ~year, I think it's time I ask. Secondly, the inspiration. I enjoy amateur astronomy.  However, time and equipment and location often limit my grand delusions for the next "Citizen challenges Hubble with stunning new photo of Zeta p3044-a!" award hahahaha.  But the real problem is most often because of my mid-level scope's somewhat limited ability (in comparison to a German equatorial mount) to track consistently and smoothly, and as a result, Polaris becomes an easy target when I get frustrated with the scopes performance on a given night (sometimes it does track brilliantly... for a stepper-driven alt-z, but only sometimes and even then only to the limits of the steps) because the only thing the scope has to track when pointed at the North Star is rotation, which it seems to handle better than both directions of movement (probably needs a new gear or the motor is wearing or my expectations are simply higher than that of my equipment ...). Of course, I also quite often choose to shoot Polaris when conditions are such that it's the only viable target (for instance, when I'm stuck imaging from my backyard, I have a postage stamp size hole that happens to point at Polaris... which of course basically "doesn't move", pretty much everything else is shrouded by century old, 8-100 ft tall forest during the warmer months, and when I can't drive out to a more suitable location, it's a lucky night when everything is "right", I can even align the mount (it uses a goto controller that requires a 3 star alignment for tracking with any accuracy). So Polaris is a no-brainer, (take some images for arts sake, fine tune the in-situ collimation, data-reduction test sets, etc.) . Either that or do something else...  Anyway, as a result of all of this, I'm found myself enjoying the simplicity of shooting the North Star and the area around it, and having fun with image processing and even optical train modifications to further the artistic side. And I've read a few articles about it's variability and the ~relatively significant changes in its behavior that have been occurring during the past 50 years that got me to thinking What I'm wondering is that when I image Polaris, am I looking at it "on its side?", "on axis?", or at some other viewing angle? Not that I'm going to be able to literally "view it on its side" or something, since optically imaging the star beyond that roughly of a point-source isn't practical, but just to know, since the darned question won't get out of my head. (been asking it for the past year quietly to myself and google. I hate to think how many cumulative hours I've spent at it...) thanks!

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


An embarrassment of riches

I was an Artist in Residence at Instructables from September-December 2013, and words cannot express how wonderful it was.  Instructables has recently built out what I can only imagine is the world's greatest general use workshop, at Autodesk's Pier 9 facility.  You are probably aware of this shop if you're reading Artist in Residency posts, but if not, check out the overview here and the machine details here.  I tried to learn and do EVERYTHING in this shop!  I didn't quite succeed in that but I came close enough that I didn't totally finish any of my projects.  I'd planned to make an articulated model of an Escher drawing and an 8 foot tall steel dinosaur statue, both projects I could probably have spent all my time there on.  There was so much awesome to learn about and experiment with, though, that I kept getting distracted by side projects and what-if's that I might not have had opportunity to mess around with later on.  So what I actually ended up making was a series of acrylic jewelry, two small cardboard dinosaur models, MOST of the Escher drawing (I finished it later), some sheet metal walking-leg linkage experiments, half of a new Mustache Ride, part of a sixth Pulse of the City heart, tests of chemically-mediated etching on metal, a pair of 3d printed snowflake ornaments, and the beginnings of a pair of antler pants.  (I will definitely write instructables for the dinosaur and the pants, when they are complete.) I loved it all.  I loved it all so much, and so consistently, that I had to try everything and was hardly able to finish anything.  I cut metal on the waterjet, I printed many 3d things on the 3d printers, I lased like it was going out of style, I lathed like I didn't know what I was doing (Yay Learnings!), I cut and welded and drilled and screwed and printed and ground and sewed and soldered and blasted and glued.  I was like a kid in a candy shop who can't finish the fudge because the lollipops are so tasty and then whoa! peanut brittle! peppermints! gumdrops!  The only part of the shop I didn't use was the test kitchen because, well, I don't really cook. Three months was not enough.  Three years would not be enough.  I feel so fortunate to have been in there doing anything at all for any amount of time, though.  Things I can do now that I couldn't do last summer include: turn wood on a lathe cut metal, stone, cardboard, etc on a waterjet etch metal on a laser printer operate a small vacuum former print multiple materials on an Objet Connex run a jointer and planer operate a Shopbot TIG weld aluminum (to be sure, I'm lousy at this still, but I know How) operate a sand blaster bend steel tubes I'm an introverted anti-social nerd so it has taken me to the bottom of this post to talk about the people.  I absolutely need to say how great the people there are - everyone, no matter their job description, makes things.  Everyone just gets how it is to lose yourself in making some weird possibly useless object that you might have to get rid of when you're done anyway, but you just need to work on it to figure out That One Thing that you didn't quite understand but now you do!  It is a rare and wonderful set of people.  And some of the people, it is explicitly their JOB to teach me about all the equipment and help me with any problems I had with anything at all. If you're reading this you should definitely apply for this program.  You do not want to miss out on working in this shop.

Topic by rachel 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Living salad, makerbot songs, and noodle!

My first day at Instructables, I found myself sitting on a chair fabricated by the guy next to me, listening to plans for a living salad which would grow through your plate, fertilized by worms below the surface and a stained glass window made of dried fruit, trying to focus on absorbing all the information Vanessa and Noah were dishing out. Just beyond loomed the amazing fabrication facilities, with rows of 3D printers, zillion-axis CNC machines, a stocked electronics room, every kind of adhesive you could dream of, and even a test kitchen! It was a makers dream, Pier 9 had the material and equipment resources to allow us to realize nearly any idea we could dream up, and dream we did. It was immediately clear that the one month my collaborator Kyle (https://www.instructables.com/member/kylemcdonald/) and I had planned to spend there was not enough. Sadly, it was all we had, so we got to work immediately on Noodle, a little robot with the I/O of a machine but the thoughts and feelings of a human. I could go on about the shop at Pier 9, but the thing that really made the experience for me was the people. Hosting 10-12 AIRs at a time, the studio was always full with people building crazy things. One day we'd experiment with Nick's instruments fashioned from rocks, sticks, and water jugs while sampling cocktails from Ben's machine and Rima's cricket ganache, the next day we'd admire Aaron's work on hoodies that zipped around your hands while being serenaded by Andreas' makerbot which seemed to be singing the future. We were all so excited and inspired it wasn't unusual to find half the group there all weekend long or into the wee hours of the night. I won't go so far as to say anyone slept the night there, but...  Not only did we get to hang out in the AIRea, but we also got to know all the others working at Pier 9. This was a building full of people willing to chat about anything from caustics to contests, lend you their skateboard so you could learn how, or demo their latest projects. Vanessa and Noah couldn't have been more supportive and helpful, and it was so inspiring to run into them in the shop on weekends hacking away on crazy things of their own. With so much going on, we sometimes had to work hard to tune it out and stay focused on our Noodle. Luckily, Kyle and I had worked together before and we were able to divide and conquer pretty productively. Kyle handled the fabrication aspects, spec'ing all the hardware and designing and lasercutting then 3D printing the physical enclosure for Noodle. I was heads down on the software trying to hook up our raspberry pi to Amazon Mechanical Turk, speakers, a display, a camera, and an interface. Thankfully, the long hack sessions were broken up by Vanessa coming by to peek at my computer over my shoulder and ask, "what's taking so long? how hard can it possibly be!" ;) I will end this post here and get to work finishing up our instructable before Vanessa hunts us down. If the specifics of our project are a bit cryptic still, all will be revealed with the instructable post (see attached pictures for more mystery). And to all of you considering applying to the AIR program, DO IT! If you are a motivated, curious person with energy and ideas you will have a blast. And the weather is ok, too. Thanks Vanessa, Noah and Instructables!

Topic by lmccart 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Dorkbot Anglia 30th June 2011 - brief report, and an announcement.

It was a very pleasant evening, once I got parked (a lot of Bury St Edmund's car parks close early).  Only about two dozen people came to hear the speakers, but many more would have been cramped in the main room of the small gallery.  Bowls of snacks were out, along with a small "bar" (a table of bottled beers, available for a donation to the evening).  Unfortunately, whilst I remembered to take a notebook, I forgot to take my camera... Sitting with a beer, surrounded by Art and listening to enthusiastic Makers in the company of like-minded folk.  Mmmmmmm. Smith's Row curator, Rosie Grieve, kicked off the evening with an outline of how and why she ended up offering to host Dorkbot and arrange speakers for the event. The second speaker, and the main highlight for me, was Fraser Reich of Kore Technologies, showing off his mass spectrometer in a briefcase.  It's not a brand-new technology by any means (the machine he brought had been under constant vacuum for eleven years), but I am old enough to remember when samples had to be sent to dedicated buildings, and results came back days later, and Fraser's enthusiasm for the machine (it's largely his baby) was a joy to listen to, as he did a live test of the air in the room (benzene! toluene! silicone!) and the vapours given off by an orange, turning out useful results in only ten seconds. The third speaker, Lee Patterson, is a sound artist who works with recordings made "in the wild".  He attaches cheap piezoelectric microphones (so beloved of makers of cheap electric guitars) to street furniture, or makes his own hydrophones and records the lives of invertebrates and event weeds in the urban ponds of his native Manchester (MP3 files available here).  He talked us through his work, and also gave a live performance of nuts and seeds burning, attached directly to two of his microphones - the sound was... weird.  It sounded like tunnel-traffic, trains and room full of over-boiling kettles.  Although Fraser was the better speaker, Lee inspired in me more ideas for future projects.  I took notes. The final speaker, Anton Woodward, talked us through his work on stage automation - the sort of bespoke-built devices that fly actors through the air, lift scenery out of the stage, and don't quite drop chandeliers on the audience (yes, that was his).  He took us through a brief history of stage automation, from the early days when each motor had to be controlled by hand, live, by an operator as well-rehearsed as the actors, to modern systems that can automatically throw tonnes of equipment around the theatre with hundreds of motors, all under computer control, and showed us video of the kit in action.  His work includes Phantom of the Opera, Billy Elliot, and he has now moved into screenwork in Bollywood and  X Men: First Class (he created the mechanics of Banshee's flight sequences, which involved hanging the actor stationary in a harness, then shooting the camera towards his face at 40mph...). A very enjoyable evening, I shall continue to get to Dorkbot Anglia events whenever I can. ------------------------------------- For future notice, the event was compered by John Bowers of the Curiosity Collective, who have a show coming up in Ipswich soon, an exhibition of "interactive curiosities" with the general theme of "time". I don't know if I'll get to that one, but if I do, I'll definitely take my camera...

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


You can help save a rare frog from extinction!

First off, I realize instructables does not want pure advertising on their site through these forms. The voting is optional and I don't want this to be viewed as advertisement. If nothing else, I want to share with you our story in the project, and hopefully you'll see how awesome this is. We are doing something that no high school has ever achieved before, and I think it's more relevant to the site than some re-posting of a blog article. I hope that you take a few minutes and find out what the Frog Project is all about! Want to support the cause of helping endangered species, education, and advancing biotech in schools? Well, take 5 minutes and vote for our school to convince Khols' to give us 1/2 million $$! Unfortunately the contest is over, but we're going to go for a $250,000 grant for a Pepsi contest in November. If you become a fan of our page (noted below) you'll be updated. Check back in November! https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-AAEC-Frog-Project/128763967175416 ======================================================== Not convinced? Well, here's our story: You can help save a rare frog from extinction, and it is free! Kohls the dept. store is donating $500,000 to the 20 schools with the most creative need for the money. Your vote can help our school win this money, and best of all it costs you nothing! We are working on a project to try and save a rare frog from extinction. And we need the cash. At our small high school of 300 students, we are trying to completely sequence the genome of a rare Arizona frog. We hope to accomplish 2 things from this work. 1) We hope to rescue this frog from extinction. 2) We hope to train a new generation of students in modern biotechnology, and rescue the State of Arizona from last place in quality of education in the United States. The Chiricahua Leopard frog is currently listed as a threatened species. We have been working in conjunction with the Phoenix Zoo and Arizona Game and Fish to develop a genetic test that could aid in conservation efforts. We have already spent a year working on the sequence of the mitochondrial chromosome of this frog. Our school actually owns a DNA sequencer. We have made pioneering efforts in the design of genetic tests for this frog. Our students have presented 5 posters on our work at the International Plant and Animal Genome conference (PAG), quite an achievement for a high school. Our project was recently awarded one of only three heritage grants: http://www.gf.state.az.us/w_c/heritage_projects.shtml By the way, the other two Heritage grants were awarded to Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. What we really wish to do is completely sequence every chromosome in this frog. This is a very ambitious project. Consider that the human genome project completed in 2003, cost $3 billion dollars and took 13 years. Our leopard frog is estimated to contain twice as much DNA as humans! However, we think that with appropriate funding, and new technology that has recently become available we can accomplish this task in 2 years! We wish to construct what are called “DNA libraries”, collections of broken chromosome fragments of known sizes. These can be sequenced quickly using NEXT generation sequencing technology. The Chinese genomic group BGI has agreed to cover the costs of NEXT generation sequencing, and genome assembly for our project (an estimated $1 million) if our school can come up with the remaining funds needed for the construction of the libraries. We need to purchase about $200,000 in new equipment, and extend our existing lab space. With the completed genome sequence, we would like to have a custom “gene chip” manufactured. This chip will have all the DNA of the frog physically printed on it. The chip allows experiments to be carried out without any harm to any frog. This chip could then be used to aid conservation efforts by the Phoenix Zoo and Arizona Game & Fish. It could allow the exact parentage of every Chiricahua frog that is discovered to be known. Eventually this technology will become the backbone of conservation work on all species, but at this early stage it is not possible for Arizona Game & Fish to raise the funds needed to generate a gene chip before it is too late for the frog. Our school hopes to be the first in history to carry out a genome project. We hope this will serve as a guiding light to other schools, and start a grass-roots movement in the conservation and education world. Help us save our frog! Here is the catch. Vote for us on Facebook, and convince all your friends to do the same (forward this message to them), or unfortunately the frog bites it! Everybody can vote up to 5 times for us. In this way YOU can help make the difference not only for this rare species, but if we can succeed you will help pave the way to help many others. https://apps.facebook.com/KohlsCares/school/32741/aaec-paradise-valley Regards, -Mike Dr. Mike Brown Science Dept. Chair AAEC-Paradise Valley Phoenix Arizona 602 569 1101 Interesting references/links about our project and research (really, we are real!): Abstracts to posters presented by our high school students at the Plant ANimal Genome Conference (PAG)http://www.intl-pag.org/17/abstracts/P03a_PAGXVII_102.html http://www.intl-pag.org/pag/17/abstracts/P03b_PAGXVII_134.html http://www.intl-pag.org/18/abstracts/P03d_PAGXVIII_162.html http://www.intl-pag.org/18/abstracts/P01_PAGXVIII_031.html http://www.intl-pag.org/18/abstracts/P03b_PAGXVIII_155.html Our high school and its project http://www.aaechighschools.com/teachers/pv/mbrown/abstract.htm The MoBio scientific supply company featured us in their 2009 catalog, and describes our project on their “where in the world” page of their website: http://www.mobio.com/pages/wiw-namerica.html See page 8 of the Phoenix Zoo’s Conservation Science Newsletter: http://www.phoenixzoo.org/learn/Conservation_and_Science_Newsletter_Winter_09.pdf A recent article from the press: http://www.somonews.com/article.cfm?articleID=18154

Topic by lukethebook333 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Amazing Visit in Pier 9 (2015 Summer)

Dear Community,        !!Spoiler Alert!!         Last summer, my family took a vacation to the California America!! My parents only planned 2 day in SF!! It is such an vibrant city! i wish i had stayed longer! In our brief stay we did went to ILM's lobby and Pier 9 under my strong request!! A super friendly Community manager helped us to sign up between our DM.          We began in the lobby, a gentleman Jacob was our guide! He took us through a round of self introduction, the tour size was 9. And i was the only instructable member! After learning about the exhibit in the lobby and what role does pier 9 serve for Autodesk's development, we headed to the little showroom next to the kitchen. I saw projects i read about in real life! The feeling was incredible. My father was picked to try out the cocktail mixer from Manhattan project. We also learn from example hoe artist's work give feedback to software design and the cycle goes on and on, resulting in better iteration every time.        We then are instruct to wear lab goggles since it is time to see the CNC milling room. Luckily, there were only 2 machine in used. We got open up and see the inside of the machines with its extensive variety of drill head. We also get to hear from those who are currently using  the machines! Pass this door, is the wood and metal work room. Behold the Killer view(see attached pics). All members of the tour asked interesting questions. I was wondering if the metal chips and bit can be recycled in house, turn out they don't. We didn't spent much time there, since there is nobody working there. But hey, who would mind so decent carpenter metal-smith experience, making game related armor and weapons.       I was taking picture with my Canon DSLR. At this moment, the battery flated out despite being fully charged the night before. I continued with my Phone Camera. Which turns out that my Camera was shorted and formatted the sd card. Luckily recovered some pics later.        Up stairs we went, to the 3D print farm!! There is also the laser cutter. It is the busiest room in the pier. People on computers, setting up the printers, washing the water soluble support away. I am so overwhelm by the fillament, powder, even paper based printer which eat A4 and pumps 3d models out!! A massive amount of 3d print works are on a shelf. There are multicoolor print, a sabertooth skull, Human ears. A continuous track that i was told that it was printed that way without any assemble, which was made possible by the water soluble support! It was also one of my favorite room as a 3d artist. How i could quickly prototype parts and toys!      Afterwards, it is the skywalk of over the top of the milling room. there is this fun over head track with handles. I certainly took a spin!! haha that is what i mean by tech meets fun!!      Across the skywalk, we saw the Arduino and electronics room next to the internship area, where host XYZen-Garden and mini clear King Kong!! Many more!! The sewing room with so sewing machine mounted to the wall! With every equipment and machine i see, i can see myself using it to create interesting PROJECTS!! My brain was constantly bouncing into storming mode!! Unlocking new possibility of creation! New present idea i can surprise my Girlfriend with!!      The tour ends with the restaurant grade kitchen! Which was brief, since we were running out of time. We asked so many quality questions along the tour and time is almost up. It was the most interesting workshop i have ever been to!! As a scientist-artist hybrid, I really wanna work there some how!! To put my ideas to the test!      Enough about my visit, there are so many things i didnt wrote about though. Have you been there? Any fun ideas about HQ? Please tell me!! draft and  Craft, Mchau2 Who am I? I am joined instructables at March 2013, I published my first instructable about a year later!! It was a paper ironman that i built without peps. Being picked as featured the first time was my honor. I am from HK, apart from Digital art, I focus on prop making and D.I.Y. Toys. I tried my best every time. Until next time, Happy instructabling.

Topic by mchau2 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Crazy, Amazing and Delicious AIR Experience

What a wild ride... So here's the recipe.  Take one computer illiterate lady who's got a lot of random skills she's learned along the way and throw her into a room with 12 other people who's second  language is CAD or 0110001 or some other variation of looking into the eye of a screen and typing sweet nothings into its curvacious keyboard. Man did I feel like a fish in the desert.  I left orientation completely overwhelmed, flattened, and having no idea what I was doing there amongst all these obviously tech savvy folks. Once again odd man out. Now let me be clear, this has nothing to do with the people. Everyone was super sweet and willing to help. I was out of my element, which is exactly what I needed. For as long as I can remember, I've always thought in art. From the clothing and accoutrements I make for myself  to the images I capture. From the food that I create to the materials I bind together, or the mood i can set in an empty space if given a couple days to have my way with it.  Creation and art are an integral part of my existence as an external expression of my internal voice. So having three paid months to spend on my own work was a dream come true. For the first time in my life I was able to really focus on my work with 100 %  of my attention and not juggle how I was going to pay rent    and which piece goes where or how am I going to afford that thing I need for it.  It was fantastic to have that kind of creative freedom and I feel incredibly lucky to have had that opportunity.   I was able to finally create my stained fruit windows, something I've been imagining and working on in my head for many many years. I was able to experiment with different coatings and textures, slice thickness and transparency  to best preserve the beauty of the sliced fruit.  I spent day after day in the kitchen testing gluten free meal-worm flour bread amongst other insect delights. This was really an important experience for me due to my issues with factory farms and its effects on the environment but still feeling my bodies need for animal protein to perform. Once I felt comfortable with my results in the kitchen, I decided to explore the rest of the workshop at Autodesk / Instructables. Let me start by saying Holy $hit is that shop incredible. There are classes that are required to be able to use any one piece of equipment from the 3D printers to the drill. There were tools in the metal shop that I knew how to use but was unable to because I didn't take the class or get signed off. I recommend that any new AIR be realistic in what they want to use and take those classes right away. If you need a hole drilled and you aren't signed off on the drill, just ask someone who is signed off, they'll drill that hole for you because it's that kind of place. Time goes fast and if there is something you want to learn, go for it because when are you going to have that opportunity again? All the instructors are great and willing to answer all your crazy questions. A special thanks to Gabe for helping me so many times with all my computer questions and when the laser cutter doesn't feel like cooperating. (I did mention I'm computer Illiterate right?) On that note, I have learned soooooo much here and though I still feel that computers are generally going to shut down when I touch them, I have learned how to create an image and laser cut that image. I started with leather and made a few water bottle sheaths, dog collars, a leather necklace and a beautiful bag.  Now I'm working with wood and the detail is pretty incredible. I dabbled in the 3D software world and learned a little with Fusion 360 but I wasn't willing to take my precious residency time to learn it. But I do plan on pursuing that education. It's interesting to me and important for the way the world is going which I'm still trying to wrap my head around being a very old school DIY hand made kind of gal. I really cherished my time as an Artist in Residence at Instructables. Honestly, when I was there, I never wanted to leave and would stay into the wee hours. The people are very kind and its like a large quirky family. I've never worked anywhere where employees voluntarily and enjoyably come in on the weekend to work. By the time my residency was over, I think there were forty-five Airs. So many interesting and creative people.  What an amazing idea this is. What an amazing opportunity for growth this program has given so many people. A truly beautiful gift that I am forever grateful for. Thank you to all the people in the foreground who help us on a daily basis and form this place and for those behind the scenes that make it possible. Thank you, you are so appreciated. Sincerely, Rima Khalek

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


Solar Power Towers Efficiently Using Brayton Cycle

I want to point out a solar to electric generation concept that has yet to be seen anywhere, even though it originated back during the Carter Administration's ERDA programs of the late 70's. I’m talking about solar power towers that convert solar energy into electricity at the hundreds of mega-watt level. While power towers do exist today, and the world currently does have a handful of them as shown in Fig-1, none use the Brayton Cycle nor can they boast an energy conversion efficiency at the mid to upper thirty percent level.  A group of engineers got together at a think tank organization called Sanders Associates in Nashua, N.H., several decades ago, and designed a unique Brayton Cycle, 100 MW solar Power Tower concept for generating electricity. This was accomplished under ERDA (Energy Research Development Administration) who gave us a phase-2 follow-up contract that took our phase-1 design and built a working scale model at the 10 KW level. This model was tested at the Georgia Tech Solar Research Facility and "registered" ~37% electric solar conversion efficiency. The system used ambient air as its working fluid, and was to be located in open-spaced desert regions. Phase-2 was lost to competition using a closed-loop liquid sodium system that boiled water into superheated steam at 900F to run a turbine that generated ~21% overall electric conversion efficiency.  Apparently, at that time ERDA would rather haul water out to the desert than use ambient air to generate electricity? The politics of their decision is beyond reason and clashes with improving the world’s development of green technology energy.  ERDA shut out our better technological performer and safely locked it away for another day! ERDA's official reason for turning us down: "this technology uses excessively high temperatures (2500F versus 900F) that are dangerous to workman maintaining the equipment". But that was back in the 70’s, maybe we’ve learned to deal with high-temp heat by now?   Solar Energy Concept Using Low Pressure Storage Our solar power tower would collect the sun’s energy by locating its ceramic heat exchanger on top of a tall tower as shown in Fig-1. The tower was located in the center of a field of active sun-searching mirrors (heliostats, Figure-2). These mirrors reflected sunlight onto our ceramic honeycomb heat exchanger, producing a concentrated flux intensity level that heated it to around 2500F. At the same time, low pressure fans generating only a few psi pressure would suck the ambient air through the honeycomb, heating it to just under the 2500F and then passing it through energy storage silos which stored the heat down to ~150F. We purposely designed the energy storage charging phase of our hot air system to work at only a few psi above ambient as a safety feature. The sun effectively acts as the combustor of our jet engine or Brayton cycle engine. Once the sun heats the air, it passes through heat exchangers consisting of a labyrinth of underground silos that are temperature segregated. These silos receive our 2300F airflow and cool it down to about 150F, transferring this heat into solid salt containers which turn to liquid once they have absorbed sufficient heat. Figure-3 is a schematic of this underground energy storage facility and shows the airflow being heated by a fully charged set of silos containing liquid salt-bricks. This airflow direction is reversed when we charge the silo’s salt-bricks. The bricks are kept in specially insulated, high pressure silos (located underground for added insulation) that store the heat energy at one atmosphere for later use. These underground silos act as our energy storage batteries, and when needed would discharge their heat energy accordingly into the moving airflow. This energy storage concept permitted the generation of electricity at night and during overcast days. Two sets of storage systems are required for continuous operation. One would be charging at low pressure while the other is discharging at high pressure through the Brayton engine to generate electricity.   Electric Energy Generation at High Pressure Electricity would be created by turning an electric generator at high speed. The generator was turned by running a jet engine connected to it.  The engine’s combustor for heating the air is effectively the sun, hence the name Brayton cycle for generating our solar electricity (Figure-4). The heat from the molten salt containers would increase the energy of the high pressure air coming from the compressor, and would then force it through a typical turbine that turns this energy into high rotational speed to run the generator and make electricity. Our solar jet engine sucks in ambient air using its compressor, as all jet engines do, and blows it through a series of silos at high pressure whose stacked bricks are held at different temperature levels. We start our airflow through a silo held as low as 150F and work our way up to ~2300F as we pass through our last, hottest silo which acts to complete the effective solar combustion process. This air preheating technique dramatically improves our energy turnover capability and allowed us to convert solar energy into electricity at near 37% efficiency. During our electric energy generation phase, the silos of our Brayton system requires operating at many atmospheres of pressure just as in any jet engine combustor using petroleum-based JP-fuel.      

Topic by RT-101 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago