Monday, 27 May 2013

Solar air heater. Phase 2. Heat exchanger construction.

The build commences...

After collecting the required amount of cans, 72 in my case, I made a start by cutting the bottoms out of the cans with a holesaw.
Cans with the bottoms cut out.

Once all the cans have had the bottoms cut out a decent bead of adhesive was run round the tops,
All glued up.

The cans are then stuck top to bottom to form tubes to the required length.
All 72 cans stuck together into tubes. 
The view inside a tube.

Next I cut out a couple of bits of plywood and cut equally spaced holes to hold the cans these will act as headers to join all the tubes into one unit.
Top and bottom headers.

It was then all dry fitted together to check the fit and alignment.
Top header dry fitted

The headers have not been sealed to the tubes yet as the tubes will need a light sanding to provide a good key for the paint to stick to later, but I'll have to wait until tomorrow for the adhesive to properly cure before sanding.

Next time,  Insulation and case building.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

A maker group for N.E. Lincolnshire?

I'm considering starting a Makers group up somewhere in Grimsby and am trying to gauge the level of interest to see if there are enough numbers to start a local group. It will be for ages 13+ with no upper age limit and would be a members group with an elected committee.
The group would meet about once a month at a suitable venue to collectively collaborate on make and create projects, anything from card making and knitting right through to gadget hacking and rocketry.
If you would be interested in joining such a group please leave a comment or join our Facebook group, N.E. Lincolnshire Makers & Creators

Please feel free to re-blog this post or to share this with anyone in the area that might be interested as the more people that are interested increases the possibility of the group getting started.


Buck Converters

I recently bought a couple of buck converters off eBay for £1.16 each with free delivery from China. The one's I bought were these buck converters that I will be using to regulate a couple of power supplies for different jobs.
One of the buck converters from China.

After realising that not everybody knows what a buck converter is I thought I'd give a quick description here.

Stabilising camera mount design.

After my rather disappointing results trying to get aerial footage from my kite I've designed a mount for the camera. I know I could have Googled a design but for me half the fun is in the design and prototype stages of the project.

I decided against gyroscopic stabilisation, the cost of the three powered precision gyroscopes alone killed that idea pretty quick.
I then remembered an episode of scrapheap challenge from years ago where they had to carry open barrels of paint on a vehicle trying to spill as little as possible and that inspired my design. My idea is for a mass damped stabiliser that should be as simple and quick to construct as possible, no gimbals to make and make use of existing materials.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Kite videography. Almost a complete failure.

My wife bought me one of those MD80 mini cameras a while back. I've attached it various things in the past, like the car and the dog but I've had several attempts now at getting some decent video with the camera attached to my power kite.
When using a stills camera attached to the kite movement was not an issue with a fast shutter speed but for video it's a completely different can of worms.
I've tried different methods of attaching the camera to the kite, all with varying levels of fail, although today's footage is the best yet.
I've had a quick look for stabilising camera mounts but they all cost several times more than the actual camera itself so I think my next project might be a stabilising mount to attach to the kite.
Anyway here's the video for anybody that wants to watch 4 minutes of blurry scenes with occasional watchable bits.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Fireband elastic band gun strip-down and rebuild with extra fire power. Part 1

 Hello, I decided to start a quickie project to keep things going until I collect all the parts for the solar heater.
I have a semi automatic elastic band gun that my Nephew got a hold of and started dismantling so as it needed repairing I thought I would make some `improvements' to it.
The base gun for the project. AA battery for size.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Poundland solar light scavenge.

At the moment Poundland have a range of solar powered garden lights in stock. These lights come in a range of colours and sizes all have more or less the same components inside. The lights I am scavenging parts from are the colour changing solar light.
A £1 source of parts.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Tools and safety equipment.

I thought I would take a moment to go over the tools that I use and the safety equipment that is required for my projects.
Most jobs only need three tools; a hammer, duct tape & WD40.If it sticks and it shouldn't, WD40. If it should be stuck and isn't, duct tape. Otherwise get the hammer out.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Solar air heater. Phase 1, Introduction, prototype design and required materials.

After seeing several websites giving instructions on home built solar energy collectors I decided to have a go and build one for myself out of recycled or scavenged materials for as little cost as possible.
I don't know who to credit for the original design as there are so many variations on different sites, but if anyone knows I'll be happy to credit the original designer.

Welcome to my blog - A brief introduction.

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

About my projects.
I decided to start this blog to document some of my hacks, projects and experiments, past and future mostly for my own reference but also to share that information and hopefully inspire people to have a go for themselves. Please be aware that some of my projects use mains power or generate even higher voltages, possibly lethal without actual contact with live parts in some projects therefore I do not recommend anybody try some of the higher voltage projects without experience with high voltages and adequate safety equipment.  
All of my projects use recycled, scrounged or scavenged parts as much as possible, not only to keep costs down but using materials that would often end up in landfill.

My current projects.
I have two projects that I am working on at the moment, a solar air heater and a LED flower lamp. I am still awaiting parts for the LED lamp to arrive from China so I am working on the air heater at the moment.

Past projects.
Here are a few of my past projects that I'll have to revisit.

  • Simple high voltage generator.
  • H.V. Jacob's ladder.
  • Light emitting gherkins.
  • Hydrogen generator.
  • Microwave experiments.

Check back soon when I will be making a start on the solar air heater.