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Homemade antenna redux May 6, 2009

Posted by rururudy in how-to.
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coffee can antennaAm I still making homemade antennas? Can’t think of anything new?  Years ago, I gave a dorkbot talk on a can antenna.  OH MY!  I just looked at Karen’s old photo of me — I have the same facial hair after 7 years — I better shave it off before I finish this post — don’t want to be in a hairy rut!

I did an 802.11g test last week and got 10Mbps across the street with the can, but the goal is to convince KQED to replace their 1990’s  T-1 lines with a wireless link.  It’s got to look a bit better than tin cans, so I went down to Complete Fabrication and scrounged some tube out of their yard.  (MonkeyBrains.net hosts their website, and Ryan is a great guy, so he let me grab some three and a quarter inch aluminum tube.)  Jay Brommel welded the tube pieces onto some angle bar, I drilled some holes, and tonight I added the ‘element’.  Here is the final product:

Wifi CansThe measurements are thanks to the ‘How To Build A Tin Can Waveguide WiFi Antenna‘ instructions.

(The Ruler is thanks to Alameda County — you can get not only a free ruler, but your soil, paint, etc tested for FREE with a home lead-test kit — fun!  You should try it.)


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Nuclear Fusion in the Garage March 20, 2009

Posted by Jonathan Foote in how-to.
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This is amazing DIY badassery on a whole new scale. This guy goes beyond lame-ass glue-gun territory into a brand new world of Wile E. Coyote awesomeness. He’s generating neutrons. In his garage.

DIY nuclear fusion

DIY nuclear fusion

This is a spectacular combination of dangerous high voltage, high vacuum, plasma, radioactivity, and generally tinkering with the forces of nature. And, um, where exactly does one obtain neutron detectors? (“Whattaya gonna use those for, sonny?”) And if that weren’t enough, the star-mode plasma (in the purple glow above) is sublimely beautiful.

The last remaining question: how can I even show my face at Maker Faire when there’s someone doing homebrew nuclear fusion in their garage?

Ancient tech March 19, 2009

Posted by boilermonster in Uncategorized.
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I am continuing to plod forward through the 1800’s.

Some may remember a dorkbot (Jun 2007) that Liam and I did on a steam car we built (others were involved) in about 2 months, out of stuff we got at Ace Auto junkyard. None of the stuff we used was ever part of a car OR a train. Few if any drawings were done, and most of the engineering was done in my head.

It has continued to run despite our abuse.

Since then I have built a 500 lb boiler (weight, not working pressure) mostly out of stuff from OSH and Urban Ore. I think my goal is to determine how doable this is with the stuff that is readily available, but I don’t think there is much method to my madness.

Currently am reworking a engine I built 2 years ago. I am applying what I have learned over the last few years and I am trying to make it more efficient. This is taxing my (poor) machining skills but I am improving as I push myself.

Fashion Geek March 5, 2009

Posted by k0re in Uncategorized.
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Diana Eng Project Runway’s fashion nerd has come out with a DIY book with neat chapters on making your own flower ear buds, felt flower flash drive holders, digital jewelry, get-the-message bags, and more!

Available at Amazon

Fashion Geek

via Diana Eng