2008 Power Beaming Competition

Power beaming is just another way to say solar climbing. This is a competition hosted by The Spaceward Foundation. The end goal is to design a structure that will transport material from Earth into space without using rockets. The competition requires you to build a climber with the specs that follow:"net weight is limited to 50 kg [110 lbs], and they must ascend the ribbon at a minimum speed of 2 m/s. [6.6 feet per second] carrying as much payload as possible. A high performance prize will be awarded to teams that can move at 5 m/s. [16.5 fps]"Remember, this must be solar powered. Doesn't matter who wins this is an interesting engineering project, can't wait to see what people come up with.Anyone interested?

Topic by lamedust   |  last reply


Global Warming - Ruling on Documentary

UK Broadcasting watchdog OfCom has ruled that the Channel 4 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle broke broadcasting rules by implying that GW was not due to human activity.The film's key contentions were that the increase in atmospheric temperatures observed since the 1970s was not primarily caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, and that the modern focus on climate change is based in politics rather than science. It is seen in some "climate sceptic" circles as a counter to Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth, and credited with influencing public perception of climate science. It has reportedly been sold to 21 countries and distributed on DVD. GW experts featured in the documentary complained that they were quoted out of context, had not been told of the aims of the programme makers, and some quotes attributed to experts were, allegedly, made up by the reporters."It's very disappointing that Ofcom hasn't come up with a stronger statement about being misled," said Sir John Houghton, a former head of the UK Met Office and chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientific assessment. "I know hundreds of people, literally hundreds, who were misled by it - they saw it, it was a well-produced programme and they imagined it had some truth behind it, so they were misled and it seems Ofcom didn't care about that," he told BBC News."The programme has been let off the hook on a highly questionable technicality," said Bob Ward, former head of media at the Royal Society, who played a prominent role in co-ordinating objections to the film. "The ruling noted that Channel 4 had admitted errors in the graphs and data used in the programme, yet decided that this did not cause harm or offence to the audience." Plaintiffs accused the programme of containing myriad factual inaccuracies, but Ofcom says it was "impractical and inappropriate for it to examine in detail all of the multifarious alleged examples... set out in the complaints." On another issue - whether contributors to the programme had been treated fairly - Ofcom mainly found against Channel 4 and the film's producer WagTV. Former UK chief scientific adviser Sir David King had been misquoted and had not been given a chance to put his case, the regulator said. Ofcom also found in favour of Carl Wunsch, an oceanographer interviewed for the programme, who said he had been invited to take part in a programme that would "discuss in a balanced way the complicated elements of understanding of climate change", but which turned out to be "an out-and-out propaganda piece, in which there is not even a gesture toward balance". The film alleged that the IPCC's scientific reports were driven by politics rather than science, and Ofcom ruled the organisation had not been given adequate time to respond. Full BBC article, plus links

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Good new car

Hello boys and girls I have been saving up my lunch money for several months and thought about buying a new car. (my mom gave my car away to my nephew). I want something that is cheep, gets good gas mileage and preferable not made in the Republic of Korea (no Kia or Hyundai for personal reasons). I thought about a hybrid but they are like 6 grand more expensive and the advantage of MPG doesn't really justify the cost. I figure i can spend under 20,000. but i only make about 1 grand a month (take home) but i dont know how much insurance is going to be (probably expensive because im under 25) Or should i get one of them "pre-loved" cars at the dealer. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. (i thought about getting a bike but its not really a family friendly vehicle.

Topic by thematthatter   |  last reply


Did I hurt something by sitting on my bike wrong?

I went for a short ride today (20 miles - short, ha!) on my mountain bicycle to a local canal to go fish. I deplete water very quick, so I carried a half-gallon milk jug filled with ice. That, my fishing pole, and a few lures was all. The ride is close to 10 miles each way, and is completely on pavement. I rode on the road (with cars) for about 5 miles, and then there is an asphalt bike path set aside. There are hills, but most are somewhat gradual inclines. As I am still pretty out of shape, I was carrying a bit more weight than I would like. That little bike saddle is nearly hard as a rock, and it got quite uncomfortable around mile 18. Anyway, now my butt hurts really bad. It hurts a couple inches down from where my butt cra)'ck starts. Could I have injured my tailbone? Is this common for riders who aren't used to riding for so long? Is it because I sit upright? How could I prevent this? Thanks, Bran.

Topic by Bran   |  last reply


heliostat and sun tracker basic program

In the late 1980s, I designed, built and programmed a computer-controlled heliostat. Its mirror reflected sunlight into my living-room, making it much brighter. It worked excellently with almost no attention for many years, until a neighbour's tree grew and blocked sunlight from reaching the mirror. The computer was a Commodore VIC 20, which was old even then, and had only 4.5 kilobytes of memory. The program I wrote, in Commodore BASIC, fitted into that space and handled all the control functions. It even included a few "bells and whistles". For example, at night-time the mirror was automatically parked face downward to reduce the buildup of dust. That particular program would work only on a VIC, and I haven't seen any of those for many years. However, I have recently taken the astronomical and trigonometrical parts of the program and made them into a new program which I'll append below. It calculates the position of the sun in the sky, as azimuth (true compass bearing) and angle of elevation, as seen from anywhere on the earth at any time on any date. It also calculates the required orientation of a mirror if it is to reflect sunlight in any desired direction. With the addition of some code to enable the computer to control motors, this could become the software for a computerized sun-tracker or heliostat. I'll append two versions of the program. The first is in QBasic, and contains quite a lot of explanatory comments. The second version is in a very generic BASIC, and has been tested on many implementations of the language. It even has line numbers! Personally, I prefer the QBasic version. The coding is more elegant. However, the generic version is likely to be useful to more people. It's public-domain. Use it for any purpose, even commercially. Enjoy! dow ' SunAlign.BAS (Version for QBasic and similar dialects) ' Calculates position of sun in sky, as azimuth (compass bearing ' measured clockwise from True North) and angle of elevation, as ' seen from any place on earth, on any date and any time. ' Also calculates alignment of a heliostat mirror. ' David Williams ' P.O. Box 48512 ' 3605 Lakeshore Blvd. West ' Toronto, Ontario. M8W 4Y6 ' Canada ' Initially dated 2007 Jul 07 ' This version 2008 Jan 13 ' All angles in radians except in i/o routines DegIn and DegOut DECLARE SUB C2P (X, Y, Z, AZ, EL) DECLARE SUB P2C (AZ, EL, X, Y, Z) DECLARE FUNCTION Ang (X, Y) DECLARE SUB DegIn (P$, X) DECLARE SUB DegOut (P$, X) CONST PY = 3.1415926536# ' "PI" not assignable in some BASICs CONST DR = 180 / PY ' degree / radian factor W = 2 * PY / 365 ' earth's mean orbital angular speed in radians/day WR = PY / 12' earth's speed of rotation relative to sun (radians/hour) C = -23.45 / DR ' reverse angle of earth's axial tilt in radians ST = SIN(C) ' sine of reverse tilt CT = COS(C) ' cosine of reverse tilt E2 = 2 * .0167 ' twice earth's orbital eccentricity SN = 10 * W ' 10 days from December solstice to New Year (Jan 1) SP = 12 * W ' 12 days from December solstice to perihelion CLS Menu: PRINT "1. Calculate sun's position" PRINT "2. Calculate mirror orientation" PRINT "3. Calculate both" PRINT "4. Quit program" PRINT PRINT "Which? (1 - 4)"; DO S% = VAL(INKEY$) LOOP UNTIL S% >= 1 AND S% <= 4 PRINT S% IF S% = 4 THEN END ' Note: For brevity, no error checks on user inputs PRINT PRINT "Use negative numbers for directions opposite to those shown." PRINT DegIn "Observer's latitude (degrees North)", LT DegIn "Observer's longitude (degrees East)", LG INPUT "Time Zone (+/- hours from GMT/UT)"; TZN INPUT "Time (HH,MM) (24-hr format)"; HR, MIN INPUT "Date (M#,D#)"; Mth%, Day% PRINT CL = PY / 2 - LT ' co-latitude D = INT(30.6 * ((Mth% + 9) MOD 12) + 58.5 + Day%) MOD 365 ' day of year (D = 0 on Jan 1) A = W * D + SN ' orbit angle since solstice at mean speed B = A + E2 * SIN(A - SP) ' angle with correction for eccentricity C = (A - ATN(TAN(B) / CT)) / PY SL = PY * (C - INT(C + .5))' solar longitude relative to mean position C = ST * COS(B) DC = ATN(C / SQR(1 - C * C)) ' solar declination (latitude) ' arcsine of C. ASN not directly available in QBasic LD = (HR - TZN + MIN / 60) * WR + SL + LG ' longitude difference CALL P2C(LD, DC, sX, sY, sZ) ' polar axis (perpend'r to azimuth plane) CALL C2P(sY, sZ, sX, sAZ, sEL) ' horizontal axis CALL P2C(sAZ - CL, sEL, sY, sZ, sX) ' rotate by co-latitude IF sZ < 0 THEN BEEP PRINT "Sun Below Horizon" PRINT GOTO NewCalc END IF IF S% <> 2 THEN ' calculate and display sun's position CALL C2P(sX, sY, sZ, sAZ, sEL) ' vertical axis DegOut "Sun's azimuth: ", sAZ DegOut "Sun's elevation: ", sEL PRINT END IF IF S% > 1 THEN ' calculate and display mirror orientation PRINT "For target direction of light reflected from mirror:" DegIn "Azimuth of target direction (degrees)", tAZ DegIn "Elevation of target direction (degrees)", tEL PRINT CALL P2C(tAZ, tEL, tX, tY, tZ) ' target vector X,Y,Z CALL C2P(sX + tX, sY + tY, sZ + tZ, mAZ, mEL) ' angle bisection by vector addition PRINT "Mirror aim direction (perpendicular to surface):" DegOut "Azimuth: ", mAZ DegOut "Elevation: ", mEL PRINT END IF NewCalc: PRINT PRINT "New Calculation" PRINT GOTO Menu FUNCTION Ang (X, Y) ' calculates angle from positive X axis to vector to (X,Y) SELECT CASE SGN(X) CASE 1: Ang = ATN(Y / X) CASE -1: Ang = ATN(Y / X) + PY CASE ELSE: Ang = SGN(Y) * PY / 2 END SELECT END FUNCTION SUB C2P (X, Y, Z, AZ, EL) ' Cartesian to Polar. Convert from X,Y,Z to AZ,EL EL = Ang(SQR(X * X + Y * Y), Z) A = Ang(Y, X) IF A < PY THEN AZ = A + PY ELSE AZ = A - PY END SUB SUB DegIn (P$, X) ' Input angle in degrees and convert to radians PRINT P$; INPUT N X = N / DR END SUB SUB DegOut (P$, X) ' converts radians to degrees, rounds to nearest 0.1, and prints S$ = LTRIM$(STR$(INT(10 * ABS(X * DR) + .5))) IF S$ = "3600" THEN S$ = "0" IF LEN(S$) = 1 THEN S$ = "0" + S$ IF X < 0 THEN IF VAL(S$) THEN S$ = "-" + S$ PRINT P$; LEFT$(S$, LEN(S$) - 1); "."; RIGHT$(S$, 1); " degrees" END SUB SUB P2C (AZ, EL, X, Y, Z) ' Polar to Cartesian. Convert from AZ,EL to X,Y,Z Z = SIN(EL) C = -COS(EL) X = C * SIN(AZ) Y = C * COS(AZ) END SUB 100 REM SunAlign.BAS (Generic BASIC version) 110 REM Calculates position of sun in sky, as azimuth (compass bearing 120 REM measured clockwise from True North) and angle of elevation, as 130 REM seen from any place on earth, on any date and any time. 140 REM Also calculates alignment of a heliostat mirror. 150 REM David Williams 160 REM P.O. Box 48512 170 REM 3605 Lakeshore Blvd. West 180 REM Toronto, Ontario. M8W 4Y6 190 REM Canada 200 REM Original date 2007 Jul 07. This version 2007 Oct 07 210 REM Note: For brevity, no error checks on user inputs 220 CLS 230 PRINT "Use negative numbers for opposite directions." 240 INPUT "Observer's latitude (degrees North)"; LT 250 INPUT "Observer's longitude (degrees East)"; LG 260 INPUT "Date (M#,D#)"; Mth, Day 270 INPUT "Time (HH,MM) (24-hr format)"; HR, MIN 280 INPUT "Time Zone (+/- hours from GMT/UT)"; TZN 290 PY = 4 * ATN(1): REM "PI" not assignable in some BASICs 300 DR = 180 / PY: REM degree/radian factor 310 W = 2 * PY / 365: REM earth's mean orbital speed in radians/day 320 C = -23.45 / DR: REM reverse angle of axial tilt in radians 330 ST = SIN(C): REM sine of reverse tilt 340 CT = COS(C): REM cosine of reverse tilt 350 E2 = 2 * .0167: REM twice earth's orbital eccentricity 360 SP = 12 * W: REM 12 days from December solstice to perihelion 370 D = INT(30.6 * ((Mth + 9) MOD 12) + 58.5 + Day) MOD 365 380 A = W * (D + 10): REM Solstice 10 days before Jan 1 390 B = A + E2 * SIN(A - SP) 400 C = (A - ATN(TAN(B) / CT)) / PY 410 ET = 720 * (C - INT(C + .5)): REM equation of time 420 REM in 720 minutes, earth rotates PI radians relative to sun 430 C = ST * COS(B) 440 EL = ATN(C / SQR(1 - C * C)) * DR: REM solar declination 450 AZ = 15 * (HR - TZN) + (MIN + ET) / 4 + LG: REM longitude diff 460 GOSUB 800 470 R = SQR(Y * Y + Z * Z) 480 AX = Y: AY = Z: GOSUB 710 490 A = AA + (90 - LT) / DR 500 Y = R * COS(A) 510 Z = R * SIN(A) 520 GOSUB 740 530 PRINT : REM AZ & EL are now sun's azimuth & elevation in degrees 540 IF EL < 0 THEN PRINT "Sun Below Horizon": END 550 R = AZ: GOSUB 870: PRINT "Sun's azimuth: "; R; " degrees" 560 R = EL: GOSUB 870: PRINT "Sun's elevation: "; R; " degrees" 570 PRINT 580 INPUT "Calculate heliostat mirror alignment (y/n)"; K$ 590 IF K$ = "N" OR K$ = "n" THEN END 600 SX = X: SY = Y: SZ = Z 610 PRINT 620 INPUT "Azimuth of target direction (degrees)"; AZ 630 INPUT "Elevation of target direction (degrees)"; EL 640 GOSUB 800 650 X = X + SX: Y = Y + SY: Z = Z + SZ: GOSUB 740 660 PRINT : REM AZ & EL are now aim azimuth & elevation in degrees 670 PRINT "Mirror aim direction (perpendicular to surface):" 680 R = AZ: GOSUB 870: PRINT "Azimuth: "; R; " degrees" 690 R = EL: GOSUB 870: PRINT "Elevation: "; R; " degrees" 700 END 710 IF AX = 0 THEN AA = SGN(AY) * PY / 2: RETURN 720 AA = ATN(AY / AX): IF AX < 0 THEN AA = AA + PY 730 RETURN 740 AX = SQR(X * X + Y * Y): AY = Z: GOSUB 710 750 EL = AA * DR 760 AX = Y: AY = X: GOSUB 710 770 AZ = AA * DR 780 IF AZ < 180 THEN AZ = AZ + 180 ELSE AZ = AZ - 180 790 RETURN 800 E = EL / DR 810 A = AZ / DR 820 Z = SIN(E) 830 C = 0 - COS(E): REM Won't work without "0" in Liberty Basic 840 X = C * SIN(A) 850 Y = C * COS(A) 860 RETURN 870 R = INT(10 * R + .5): IF R = 3600 THEN R = 0 880 R = R / 10 890 RETURN

Topic by david williams 


Lost In Space

The brothers finished setting up, grabbed their head-sets, twiddled the knobs on their portable receivers, hit the record button and listened."Come in" "come in" "come in" "Listen! Come in!" "Talk to me!" "I am hot! I am hot!" "Come in!" "What? Forty-five?" "What? Fifty? Yes." "Yes, yes, breathing." "Oxygen, oxygen!" "I am hot. This is this dangerous?"The brothers looked nervously at one another. They only fully understood the Russian later when their sister translated for them, but the desperation in the woman’s voice was clear. Its an extremely interesting read about Russia's missing cosmonauts...LINK

Topic by bumpus   |  last reply


Gerber files and Eagle

I am just starting to use Eagle for my PCB design and I figured out how to use it for the most part. I want to use Kcam for CNC wich can use Gerber files, but I can't figure out how to make one in Eagle. How do I export a Gerber file? I looked under export but it wasn't there. Does it have something to do with the CAM processor? If so, How do I use it? Please Help! Thanks.

Topic by gimmelotsarobots   |  last reply


Google says "To the MOON!"

Time to go to the moon. Google is sponsoring an X Prize, get a lander to the moon. Besides requirements like a soft landing and traveling on the surface, there's a time limit. The full prize, $20 million, is only good to December 31 2012, then it drops to 15 and goes away by 2014.So, is the Instructables crew working on this or not? Hey, the people here are pros at making great things on the cheap, they should be able to get that prize and some profit from it. Why not, it worked on Salvage 1 (and who else here will admit how inspiring that was).

Topic by forgesmith   |  last reply


A late newsflash - Creationism being taught legally.

This just turned up in my email:***www.NewScientist.com - NEWSFLASH*** On the 28 June, The Science Education Act was passed as law in the State of Louisiana. This piece of legislature now allows teachers in this US state to present non-scientific alternatives to evolution, global warming and cloning – including ideas related to intelligent design. Opponents fear that Louisiana teachers are now free to present evolution and other targeted topics as matters of debate rather than broadly accepted science, and could have national implications. READ THE FULL STORY HERE:http://email.newscientist.com/cgi-bin1/DM/y/eBYeq0MYphT0mli0E8Po0E3

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


collecting gas

Hey everyone my freind is needed to collect and store 50ml of any gas she chooses and well, we have no idea how to do it. any ideas???? it can be any gas just as long as its a simple easy way to get the gas thanks :)

Topic by amyyy   |  last reply


Who here owns a VW made after 2000?

Who in here owns a VW(any model) made AFTER 2000?If you have one,drop a comment and (danger,entering optional area,start your brains)say if you like it or not!

Topic by Derin   |  last reply


Car, Cold, Ice, Snow and Wipers and better defrosting question

So if you live in a state that gets snow and ice one area you can never seem to get all the ice off, or the area that seems to build up ice easily is your wipers. Now my idea is like the rear window, when you turn on the defroster it warms up wires inside of the window that melts and defrostes the snow/ice/frost etc. A. Any ideas how I would make something like that, where I could turn on a switch that would be hooked to the battery with a fuse in the line where I could some how coil the wire around or under the wiper to melt the ice on the blade and in the area where the wipers are "stored" when turned off. B. Any different ideas then the one above?C. Any ways to make a roll of plastic or something with the wires held in place?All thoughts, ideas, diagrams and explanations welcome =)

Topic by oddie1212   |  last reply


What is the motorcycle of your dreams? Price is no object.

If money was no object, what motorcycle(s) would you want to own? For me it would have to be a Vincent Rapide, or a Brough Superior. Also, I'd like to own some historic bikes, like ones that belonged to : Pancho Villa, Evel Knievel, Lawrence of Arabia, Elvis, Bob Dylan, Steve McQueen, or maybe Peter Fonda's Captain America.

Topic by skunkbait 


How to Fly for Sooper Freaking Cheap!!

Are you between 18 and 22 RIGHT NOW? You're in luck.I found this deal by AirTran called "X-Fares"You just show up at their ticket counter and say, "Hey! I wanna get to _ with your X-Fares program!" And they charge you only $70 per leg. I showed up in Boston 40 minutes before a flight, and got to San Francisco that same night, in two legs, with no delays. Do it! Travel the country! Check out their blackout dates before you go. Some ("long haul") legs cost $100 instead of $70.http://www.airtranu.com/airtran_u.aspx

Topic by stasterisk   |  last reply


I need your suggestions for my upcoming iBle!!!

I was deciding on whether to let y'all know what I'm working on, and since I don't know much in the area I'm working in, I decided it would be best.I am working on an amphibious bicycle that can operate efficiently on land and water. There are just a few on the Interweb, and they are for sell at high prices ($500 bucks at least.)I am trying to do this with as little cost and as much recycled materials as possible.So far, I've decided that:My propulsion mechanism either has to be a prop like your average boat, or a paddlewheel. Both would be powered by my back wheel.I am considering wooden pontoons filled with 2 liter bottles or gallon milk jugs, reminiscent of this iBle.I want to stay as high as possible, but I want to be able to go straight from land to water and vice versa. Basically, no assembly required to change terrain.If anybody has any ideas at all, please let me know!Thanks much,Bran!

Topic by Bran   |  last reply


Check out my Butler Robot Tutorial!

Check it out!https://www.instructables.com/contest/robotcontest/?show=ENTRIES&sort;=USERVOTESits the entry thats titled Build Your Own Butler RobotAnybody have any advice on what more to add to the robot ?also , your vote is appreciated ! I worked hard to make the tutorial detailed and easy to read.Thanks!,EriceRobots.BlogSpot.com

Topic by Erobots 


Condom Electricity Maker

Can anyone say if, or how this works?

Topic by trevman   |  last reply


It happened to me too! Some drunk guy crashed into my fence!

Last night at around 2am some drunk guy crashed through my fence! He hit the curb, took out a tree, took out a sign, and the took out about 15 feet of my fence!

Topic by LinuxH4x0r   |  last reply


go kart kits

I'm going to build a go-kart kit and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what to buy.I found this go cart. I would like to build it myself but for that price (400 dollars) I rather buy that than spend 800+ dollars on something not as good as that.Bottom lineI found a nice go cart for 400 U.S. dollars. I would like to build a kit but not spend more than 400 dollars and that at least performs as well as the one in the above link. The kit has to total less than 450 dollars and have everything I need.Thanks Jrb

Topic by thejrb   |  last reply


Database of facts project : Teaching Good and Bad to a machine ...

.Let's imagine that you successfully created an intelligent machine, capable of thinking.The purpose of this machine would be to replace all of our governments and judges, so the world become a better and fairer place for every of its inhabitants. It would be an IA managed globalization.As you've just created this machine, her brain is empty. Like a tiny baby, she has to learn a lot ...Question : what facts would you teach her ? (given that your goal is to make her a fair judge and good world leader)What would you teach her to make her able to make the difference between what's good and what's bad ?

Topic by chooseausername   |  last reply


Parasites for Health?

There's an awesome NYTimes article about coevolution, and the necessity of parasites.Our immune systems developed under a pretty heavy parasitic load, and are built to handle those parasites. Now that we've cleaned up most of our worms and bacteria our relatively unchallenged immune systems basically get bored, and start going after inappropriate targets within our bodies. (This is a good argument for the five-second rule, and for eating street vendor food - keep that immune system properly occupied so it doesn't go looking for trouble.)Anyway, they have actual studies and statistics:About 10 years after improved hygiene and deworming efforts reduced worms in a given population, I.B.D. (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) rates jumped. Weinstock had his hypothesis: after a long coevolution, the human immune system came to depend on the worms for proper functioning. ...epidemiologists had already dubbed this notion "the hygiene hypothesis": as improved hygiene reduced exposure to certain infectious agents, the immune system began malfunctioning. By the late 20th century, autoimmune disorders, characterized by the body's defenses attacking some aspect of the self, had increased markedly, and allergic diseases, defined by an overblown immune response to nonthreatening substances, afflicted almost half the people in the developed world.If eliminating worms led to an increase in disease, could re-introducing worms actually treat these diseases? In mice, the answer was yes. Worms were used to "inoculate" against mouse asthma, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and I.B.D.In 2005, he published results from two human studies. After ingesting 2,500 microscopic T. suis eggs at 3-week intervals for 24 weeks, 23 of 29 Crohn's patients responded positively. (Crohn's disease belongs to the I.B.D. family, which also includes ulcerative colitis.) Twenty-one went into complete remission. In the second study, 13 of 30 ulcerative colitis patients improved compared with 4 in the 24-person placebo group.Scientists around the world are intrigued. Several large studies are under way. If you decide to try this at home, please document the project for Instructables!

Topic by canida   |  last reply


Steampunk Recumbent

It is a steampunk recumbent. Need I say more?Link

Topic by Tetranitrate   |  last reply


How to carry 80 feet of PVC on a bike

We needed 80 feet of 3/4" PVC from the local hardware store. Since it's pretty much impossible to park near it and the nearest available car was a couple miles away anyway we decided to carry it by bike. All we used was a couple pieces of inner tube and Brian's Xtracycle. I bet I could've pulled this off on another bike I've recently adopted, but we wanted to be safe. Speaking of safe, this rode pretty well, but the left turns were a little touchy as the front wheel would rub against the PVC. Good thing I was only going a few blocks. Along the way guy in the street told us that that was how the Vietcong would attack them. "They used to strap missiles to bikes! Heheh. Yeah, they kept getting us."

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


What's your Science Fair project?

So, this is how our science fair project for the elementary school science fair turned out. Everyone should be encouraged at a young age to have an interest in science. As they say, "If you ain't having fun in science(or any other subject), you ain't!" This was crafted from paper mache(monocoque nose shell over a cardboard superstructure), laminated cardboard eyeglass frame, and homemade science fair display board.We thought about everyone wanting to touch the display so we put black yarn in the open nostrils below to simulate nose hair if someone decided to pick this nose. We couldn't add slime. Gross-out factor is high in the fun quotient. Remember, you can pick your friends; you can pick your nose; but you can't pick your friend's nose... It would be great if we could see what everyone else worked on. Of course we need ideas to top this one for next year's project! Edit 5/20/08Yay! Caitlin was co-winner for first place in the Fourth Grade Science Fair at school. The other girl won for testing to see if different strengths of Listerine actually helped kill germs in the mouth by doing swabs and cultures. Congrats to the young ones.

Topic by caitlinsdad   |  last reply


Facial Robot Controll

Facial feature detection is an interesting addition to robotics. Much of human communication is done without verbs and nouns so a robot that can pick up on visual cues from the human face will probably be leagues ahead of it's peers. I imagine that using this feature it can pick up the disconect between words and facial expression to get a understanding of sarcasm. Turing test, here we come!Face Controlling Robots

Topic by lamedust   |  last reply


Gasoline-powered, but no wheels...

I heard about them, but I thought they were a joke.Then I ran across a link.They actually made gasoline-powered pogo-sticks that even grandpa can ride!It's a single-cylinder engine, with the bouncing foot being connected directly to the piston, called the Hop Rod. There are a bunch of adverts and slightly more modern test-drives in a short video on the site.They're... odd.Still, I wondered. Maybe the Hop Rod provided the inspiration for other wheel-less powered transports?Do you remember those Russian boots? 4 metre strides and speeds of 40kph were promised, but that was 8 years ago. According to The New York Times they fell foul of Soviet secrecy and then Russian financial mis-management.They're still around, waiting for some entrepreneur to hop on the band-wagon...

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Ammonium nitrate + mortar/pestle = death??

How risky would it be to crush crystalised ammonium nitrate (like in instant cold packs) in a ceramic mortar and pestle?

Topic by Dirtbiker460   |  last reply


24K Gold-Plated Bike for the Uber-Rich

A UK based insurance company, ETA, is offering a custom-made 24K gold-plated Charge Plug bicycle complete with customized seat, handlebars and chain to mark the Green Transport Week. The Midas themed ride comes with its own security guard. But, there are certain restrictions in case you want to buy this hell of a pimped ride like you must be eighteen years old, live in the UK, and get a free quote online for cycle insurance in order to enter the contest. One person will be randomly drawn after the contest ends on October 21st. This amazing two-wheeled ride is approximately worth $18,750 !

Topic by =SMART=   |  last reply


Why don't they use gigantic leyden jars to collect electricity from lightning and use it to power homes?

Seriously, I had this idea the other night when it was really stormy and lighting out like crazy. Why can't they make large collection centers for lightning, kinda like a leyden jar in principle, with a humongous lightning rod to attract lightning? Lightning is absolutely free, if it was harnessed to power our cities, at least some of them, it would be so awesome! No pollution, no cost to produce, other than construction and maintainance of the facility. You could just plug it into the existing power lines, with some massive step-down transformers of course. So why don't they do this, at least experimentally? Lightning is unpredictable, you say. No problemo, you put this collection thingie in an area where there are a lot of storms, and add a lightning rod-a BIG lightning rod. It's very dangerous, you say. So make it completely automated, no humans required, and put it away from residential and business areas. You say lightning is much too powerful. Nonsense, you can make a big enough facility to contain it. You say I've gone off my rocker...you may have a point there... I know it must be dumb, and have a flaw I am not seeing-do any of you science experts know what it is? Why won't this idea work?

Topic by Lithium Rain   |  last reply


hacking ftp servers

Does any one know how to hack into the ftp server of a web site so you can download files and stuff?

Topic by knex-4-life   |  last reply


Polyvinyl Chloride

What is your little brother (or sister) have in his/her mouth right now ? What makes your car smell nice ? What plastic is my ipod made of ? WHAT GAVE ME CANCER ?.... READ THIS

Topic by littlechef37   |  last reply


Car Phone

No, not a phone in a car--a phone that is a car, or at least looks like one. This car is a converted VW Beetle that is being used to promote a phone company. I think this may be even more exciting to see on the road than the sheepdog from the movie Dumb and Dumber.Link via TechEBlog

Topic by joshf 


DIY Hatchback Subaru Legacy

Check out this DIY Hatchback I caught a few pictures of coming off the Bay Bridge in Oakland, CA. I think the guy driving was a woodworker, and needed a couple extra cubic feet to fit things like dressers and wardrobes.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply


Non-stop Train Prototype

A train that doesn't ever stop or slow down? Sounds ridiculous (ly efficient). This design is a pretty interesting take on the concept, though liability issues and real-world feasibility will probably keep this from ever making it past the drawing board.Link

Topic by joshf   |  last reply


Deleting Registry

How do you delete things in your computer's registry so you can redownload trials?

Topic by MisterHankie   |  last reply


Green Transportation

Getting places is crucial, but it doesn't have to negatively impact the environment. These three ideas--while not really viable given a modest budget--are interesting ways of approaching homemade green transportation. I especially like the third one, Dream Car 123 (pictured below)--but that's probably because I've always wanted to drive around in a car that looks like it's from Sleeper (a sleeper cell, if you will) and the bulletproof glass will ensure that I don't get shot.Link

Topic by joshf   |  last reply


High-Tech Surfboard Made from Cardboard

Instead of the traditional methods, this surfboard is based on a core that's made up of nearly 400 pieces of cut cardboard that intersects and is then coated with fiberglass and resin. So far it's only a one-off, but more will surely be made.When it came time to replace his old surfboard, Mike Sheldrake decided to build his own. But the former Web programmer didn't have the sculpting skills to carve one out of foam the way professional builders do. So he used 3-D modeling software to design a snap-together deck that's as sturdy as a conventional model and performs just as well, made from the cheapest material he could find: cardboard. link

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


good way to bunny-hop???

I need to know how to bunny hop. private message me with links

Topic by Evil Bike   |  last reply


how would it be if we could make a skimmer?

Wouldn't it b very cool if we could make a skimmer? and ohh i found the website www.stormhawks.com try to check it out .my username is "scorpius acel" there join my squadron.

Topic by sem_on123   |  last reply


Million Dollar Bicycle

For a million dollars you can get a bike with the lowest air resistance in the world and hopefully get a better shot at the Olympics. That's what bike manufacturer Koga is claiming for this custom ride designed for Dutch rider Theo Bos. Oddly enough, they make the claim that since it has only one speed and no brakes it is one of the most difficult bikes to ride. Whatever. That style of bike is called a track bike and if you're in a city you've likely seen people riding them around. It's not that tough. Link

Topic by fungus amungus 


Spain Turning Into Desert as Water Wars Begin

Parts of Spain are feeling the pinch of too many people going after too little water. Some of the land is drying out after water-thirsty resorts and corn farms in the arid land guzzle it all up and leave nothing behind. About the only thriving part is the black market which is charging ever higher prices.Where I live in Oakland we're getting phone calls from the water utility to cut back on water use and are facing higher prices ourselves. People could even face penalties for excessive watering of gardens. Makes me feel OK for letting most of our plants shrivel up and die after all. Water Shortage in Spain

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


Wooden Bikes Around the World

Instructables member Woodenbikes touts the virtues of making bikes out of wood both here and in person at events like Maker Faire. While the idea may seem odd here in the States, there are other countries where it's not so strange at all as his collection of photos from around the world shows us. Check it out. Wooden bikes around the worldvia BoingBoing

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


Flight Simulator

So I posted a topic in "Tech," but it didn't show up there and none of my posts are, so here is the link to the actual post:https://www.instructables.com/community/Fight-Simulator/Yes, yes, I know. I accidentally called it "FIGHT Simulator."

Topic by mdj817 


Space Shuttle Launch

As you may know, the Space Shuttle just launched from Kennedy Space Center, delivering the most sophisticated part of the international space station called the Kibo Lab...referred to as the Lexus of the ISS. I live in Florida, and managed to take a couple photos of it from outside my house. They're nothing special, but kind of cool.

Topic by Weissensteinburg   |  last reply


How do I wire an electronic flashgun?

I'd like to build an electronic flashgun, like those used in magic tricks. Basically you put flash cotton in the base of the barrel, then some flash paper on top of that, and when the glo plug ( cigarette lighter thing ) at the base heats up it lights the cotton which shoots the now lit paper from the barrel causing a flame thrower type effect. So I'm after some advice and instructions from anyone out there who knows more about DIY electrical wiring and whatnot than I do ( which is basically everyone ) so that I don't hurt myself from lack of know how XD In return I'll make an Instructable of my efforts so other people can make their own

Topic by grantdevine   |  last reply


First Solar Powered Speedboat

Via The UberReview"It is not too often that we associate solar-powered with anything fast and or furious, but perhaps it is time that we start. The Czeers MK1 is a 10-meter vessel covered in photovoltaic cells that is capable of hitting speeds of up to 30 knots (55.5 km/ph to you non-nautical folks out there). While there are certainly faster boats on the water, those tend to use obscene amounts of fuel. The solar-powered Czeers MK1 is naturally going to be a lot quieter than its gas guzzling cousins, which would make it great for sneaking up over fish (though there is limited space to put them if you catch them. I would like to see a similar model with little bit more space for passengers, even if it did mean sacrificing some speed. Speedboats are so limited in what they are able to do, but if this had a little extra space, it could do so much more."

Topic by laminterious 


City Flying Taxi

LINK"Developed by the British company Avcen, the Jetpod is a small twin-jet aircraft with newly developed VQSTOL (Very Quiet Short Take-off and Landing) technology - and it’s aimed to make short-distance air travel possible in built-up urban areas by the year 2010.""75 Jetpods would service a city the size of London and thereby relieve road traffic of 37,000 return car journeys every day. A one-way flight from outer London to the city centre would take just 4 to 6 minutes. The Jetpod doesn’t even require a conventional runway. It can land on grass, dirt or stone-strewn areas. Avcen designed the Jetpod using the latest jet engine technologies for optimal fuel efficiency and lower emissions noise levels, when compared to car transportation.TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONSDRIVE SYSTEM: Dual jet enginesENGINE THRUST: 2 x 13.3 kN (3,000 lbs)CRUISING SPEED: 550 km/h (350 mph)FLYING RANGE: 1480 km (920 miles)OPERATING PAYLOAD: 700 kg (1,543 lbs)SEATING CAPACITY: 7"This is pretty cool, can't wait to see if it actually gets into production.

Topic by laminterious 


E85 to G15 and E100

Is there some way to remove the gasoline content from E85 to leave denatured ethanol? Is this even legal? I'd like to have some denatured ethanol on hand for my alcohol burner (isopropyl leaves soot), but a gallon can at the hardware store is $13.99. Since E85 is still well under $3.50/gallon, it seems like it would make more sense to remove the stinky, explosive gasoline from E85.

Topic by CameronSS   |  last reply


Nova's Elegant Universe

Nova's Elegant Universe is a very well made scientific documentary about string theory. If any of you have been interested in The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene but don't have a chance to sit down and read something. This is for you.String theory is trying to unify our understanding of everything through one equation, if you think that is interesting then: Click here to watch the entire series // More Brian Green at TED here \\

Topic by lamedust   |  last reply


"Ride" by Michael Cooper - My Favorite Thing From the Maker Faire

This was, by far, my favorite thing at the 2008 Maker Faire. From Make's Description:Ride is a custom single rider helicopter with eight engines conceived & created by sculptor, Michael Cooper. It looks like more like a time machine invented by Dr. Seuss for George Jetson than anything you've seen in the air (or on land) recently.Michael Cooper is a sculptor who combines wood, metal, kinetics and mechanics with a twisted imagination resulting in beautiful, unique works of art that roll, spin, hop, contort and make people laugh while simultaneously scratching their heads. After 34 years as an art instructor at Foothill and DeAnza Colleges, he has now "retired" to his studio in Sebastopol where he spends his days devoted to sculpting, inventing and pushing the boundaries of form and function with a heavy does of humor.I know the pictures don't do it justice, and it's really hard to see everything, but take a long look and answer this question before you continue: Do you think it does/could fly? (Scroll down below the line and look at the pictures.)... did you look at the pictures first?There are so many reasons why it can't fly that I won't bother to discuss them here. However, the truly fascinating thing I liked so much was standing around Ride and listening to the conversations, and particularly watching its creator stage-manage the discussion. Lots of people wanted to discuss why they thought it could or couldn't fly - remember that this was the Maker Faire, so lots people here were builders or tinkerers (or at least thought of themselves as such). There were half-hour long heated debates about the tiniest of minutiae -- fuel line diameters and spiral exhaust ports, for example.Periodically, someone would gain the courage to think about the system as a whole and would approach the creator to ask, "So it flies, right?" He'd answer truthfully enough by saying, "Well, it's not done yet," and then launch into a detail, like the difficulty in synchronizing 8 engines; this would get the whole group rolling again. Later Saturday evening, when most of the kids had gone home and everyone else was outside listening to a band, a group of particularly crotchety old tinkerer-types were showing off their smarts and trying to outwit each other. After one onlooker had finished with his unnecessarily loud pronouncement of "based on my extensive experience building 1/6th-scale steam locomotive engines, I absolutely sure it can fly," another of the group tentatively approached the creator, and asked the inevitable question.Michael Cooper took his cue, dodged, and redirected into a discussion of how the transmission linking the 8 engines to the propellor was open, and the first time he ran it, he was probably going to get covered in grease. I burst out laughing.After they were all rolling again on how many cubic feet of compressed air the vehicle should optimally carry for its four pneumatic lifter feet, I quietly asked Michael how many people "got it" and how many people asked if it could fly. He confided that I was very much in the minority. Further, he got a big kick out of removing his name tag, and listening in to the can-it-fly conversations, too.I really hope I get a change one day to work with Michael Cooper to design and build a gorgeous Ride-like vehicle for me, so I get the chance to answer the question, "So, does it really fly?"

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply