Saturday, August 31, 2013

Desktop Slingshot

13 14.47.jpgIn this is instructable, i am going to show you how to make an easy to use, desktop slingshot.13 14.42.jpgUse the nose pliers to bend the paper clip into the shape seen above.

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The Krotocam is a DIY Steadicam You Can Build On the Cheap

Nothing beats a Steadicam for capturing smooth video, but the commercially-available models can run for hundreds or thousands of dollars. But if you're willing to do a little work, you can build your own for small camcorders and dSLRs for about $30-40.

The video above from Krotoflik walks you through the entire process. Most of the parts you need won't be lying around your house, but they aren't too hard to find online. A collection of washers at the base serves as a customizable counterweight to keep your rig balanced, while a dollar store flashlight is used as a clever free-rotating gymbal. The finished product looks surprisingly professional, and the sample footage linked at the end of the video is very impressive for something so inexpensive.

If you love this idea, but want something a little more compact for a GoPro camera, Krotoflik also offers a modified tutorial for the Krotocam Mini. Whichever model you choose, the video you capture should be leaps and bounds smoother than anything you could get by shooting handheld.

How to Build the Krotocam (DIY Steadicam) | YouTube via DIY Photography

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ergonomic table

38.jpgI always use my laptop in bed.
Using the laptop in bed is very difficult without the appropriate table. Given that I'm living in iran and global markets are not available. Table if there is such a price is too expensive, I decided to make it myself.
Hopefully, the description is understandable given that they do not speak good English.

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Portable - Mini Amplifier Speaker

1.jpgIn this instructable, I will show you how to make a simple amplifier speaker with common components, it's not just simple but portable. It uses LM386N IC which is a low voltage audio power amplifier. When the project is finished you will have a working simple circuit that can connect with any device as an input, such as Ipod, MP3 player, even your laptop and PC.

This is the video of my portable amplifier speaker
(change the quality for a better view)

The sound quality of this circuit is pretty good.

OK, lets get started!

22.jpgHere is all you will need:
- (1) Small drug case
- (1) Perfboard
- (1) IC LM 386
- (1) 8 Pin DIP IC Socket
- (1) 3.5mm stereo jack female
- (2) 3.5mm stereo jack male
- (1) Potensio 5K
- (1) Potensio 1K
- (2) Potensio Knob (optional)
- (1) Resistor 10 Ohm
- (2) Ceramic Capacitor 0,01uF
- (1) Electrolit Capacitor 100uF
- (1) Electrolit Capacitor 220uF
- (1) Speaker 8 Ohm (0,5 - 0,6 watt)
- (1) 9 V battery
- (1) 9 V battery Clip
- (1) On-off Switch
- Shrink tubing
- Jumper wire
- Rainbow wire (optional)
- Male header extended (optional)
- Blackhousing / female 1x1 header (optional)

- Soldering iron
- Solder
- Hot glue
- Mini drill
- Pliers
- Cutter
- Helping hands (if you don't have it, you can build it from my helping hands instructable)

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how to sew a french seam

French seams are not as scary as they're talked up to be. I promise! The most tricky part about a French seam is making sure you account for the right width in the seam allowances of your project!

French seams are amazingly strong, so they're great for purses, totes, clothing and all sorts of home decor items! They're especially nice for clothes - no rough edges against the skin. 

This is the easiest and quickest way I've found to do them - sewing 1/8 and then 1/4 inch seam allowances keeps you from having to spend time cutting extra fabric off, and also keeps you from having to account for a really large seam allowance.

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Five Best Multitools

If you carry around a multitool in your bag or pocket for quick fixes, repair work, or just in case you need a sharp edge, a screwdriver, or pair of scissors, you're in good company. Many of you do, and this week we wanted to take a look at some of the best available—the ones that pack useful tools, are still portable, and offer great bang for the buck. Here are five of the best, based on your nominations.

This week, your top nominations from our call for contenders thread were overwhelmingly for the same brand: Leatherman. In fact, Leatherman multitool models weren't just the top five, they were the top six, and if we extended down to the top 20, they'd be 11 of the top 20 multitools you nominated.

So here's what we're going to do: We'll highlight the five most popular Leatherman models you mentioned, and include a sixth category here for some of the other models that fell short. Then, we'll expand the poll out to the top 10 models so everyone's not just voting for the top five Leatherman models and "Other," but so there's some real competition in there. Let's get started.

The Wave is probably Leatherman's most popular tool. It packs 17 different tools in one body, two different screw bits (Phillips #1-2 and Screwdriver 3/16", Phillips Eyeglass Screwdriver and Flat Tip), a stainless steel body, and every one of the Wave's 14 tools can lock in place firmly for comfortable use. Among its myriad tools are a a knife, a serrated knife, a pair of pliers, a saw, scissors, a bottle opener, a can opener, a wire stripper, and many more. It's large enough to be used comfortably with one hand, but small enough to be portable, either in your pocket or in a laptop or carry-all bag. If you're interested, they retail for $93, but you can pick one up for about $55 at Amazon.

The Skeletool and Skeletool CX are smaller, lighter Leatherman multitools that feature fewer specific tools, but are lighter, more portable, and small enough to go on a keychain or keep in your pocket. The Skeletool and the CX both sport seven tools, including both needlenose and standard pliers, two sets of wire cutters, a knife, a screwdriver with a single bit, and a combination carabiner clip and bottle opener. The CX features the same tools, but the blade uses a different type of steel and is completely smooth (compared to the multi-knife on the standard Skeletool with a serrated edge near the bottom of the blade), and the handle features a black carbon fiber insert. The Skeletool retails for $72, but you can grab one at Amazon for $40. The Skeletool CX retails for $96, but they're $59 at Amazon.

If you want a true pocket-tool, that is, small enough to go into your pocket without you noticing it at all, the Leatherman Squirt—as the name implies—is incredibly tiny, but still packs a good number of tools to make repairs around the house or on the go really easy. The Squirt comes in two flavors, the ES4 and the PS4. The ES4 is a slightly larger, 13 tool model that features spring-action needlenose pliers, wire strippers, and wire cutters. You also get a knife, a pair of scissors, a screwdriver, a file, and a bottle opener. It's seriously tiny, only about 2.25 inches when closed, and it sports a ring so you can keep it with the rest of your keys. The ES4 brings the number of tools down to 9 by removing the multi-gauge wire strippers. Otherwise, they're the same, and available in multiple colors. Both models retail for $42, but the ES4 is available at Amazon for $22, and the PS4 is $23, for some reason.

The Leatherman Charge TTi is another one of Leatherman's full-sized tools, so it's definitely more suited to a bag over a pocket, but if you had to keep it in your pocket it wouldn't be too bad. The Charge TTi features 19 tools, including a wood and metal file, a diamond-coated file, needlenose and standard pliers, two different types of wire cutters, a knife and another serrated knife, a saw, a cutting hook, a bottle opener, a can opener, and more, including 8 different screwdriver bits (Phillips #1-2, Screwdriver 3/16", Screwdriver 1/8" and Torx #15, Hex 5/32" and 9/64", Hex 1/8" and 7/64", Hex 3/32" and 5/64", Hex 1/6" and .050", Square Drive #1 and #2, and Eyeglass Screwdriver). The body is stainless steel, features a lanyard ring and a quick-release ring, and all of the tools and blades lock for one-handed use. It's a seriously powerful tool. If you want one, they retail for $155, but they're available for $130 at Amazon.

The Micra is one of Leatherman's smallest available multitools, and it still manages to pack in 10 different tools in a tiny package. It's only 2.5 inches closed, available in different colors, and packs Leatherman's best spring-action scissors available. Beyond that, the Micra also packs a ton of personal care tools, like a nail file, nail clippers, tweezers, a knife, three screwdrivers, a ruler, and a bottle opener. It's stainless steel, pocket-sized, and Leatherman says it's extremely popular as a gift and among anglers and fishermen who need those scissors in a small, portable tool. The Micra retails for $30, but it's available at Amazon for $20.

Since the top five was absolutely dominated by Leatherman models, we wanted to devote some space to some of the other great multitools available, like the various multitools by Swiss+Tech, like the 19-in-1 Micro-Max, and the one that earned a number of your nominations, the 6-in-1 Utili-Key and the 8-in-1 Utili-Key. All of their models are small enough to go right on your keyring, and while they can be a pain to get off of the keyring and use one-handed without cutting into your fingers or palm, they're imminently useful in a pinch, especially if you don't carry another type of tool.

We also wanted to mention Victorinox's SwissTool (from the makers of the famous Swiss Army Knife) and CyberTool, which many of you nominated because of Victorinox's reputation and history for well crafted, well built products. Both the CyberTool and SwissTool are product lines, so you can pick the multitool that has the number of individual tools and the form factor that you're looking for and works in your budget. The SwissTool is generally regarded as a more all-purpose, multi-purpose tool, while the CyberTool has features that are more geared towards someone who'll need to do repairs around the office or with technology—like the inside of your home-built PC.

Another tool that got a number of mentions was the SOG PowerAssist, a good-looking multi-tool that makes extending the blades and one-handed operation super-easy. Start to open any of the tools and the device takes over, extending them for you and locking them in place for safe operation. The PowerAssist is a full-sized tool with well over a dozen different tools on board, including a three sized file, a screwdriver, two different blades, a V-cutter, wire crimper, and many many more. It even comes in different finishes and metal types so you can pick one that works for you. Those of you who didn't menton the PowerAssist called out the PowerLock as your fave, and at least one of you made point to note that any mention of SOG is incomplete without noting its swappable tools and components.

Finally, we should mention the Gerber Diesel, an affordable and flexible multitool that's from the manufacturers of our much-loved Gerber Shard. The Diesel packs needlenose and standard pliers, a wire cutter, a partially serrated blade, screwdrivers, a can opener, bottle opener, and more, all in a slim package that slides into a pocket or easily into a bag. It's worth a look.

Now that you've seen the most popular contenders, let's put them head to head so you can vote for your pick:

Since this week is a special case (see the top of the post) we're going to eschew honorable mentions, especially since you have so many options here to vote for. If you hate Leatherman and want to rage about how popular it is, let's hear it in the discussions. If you're a Leatherman fan and think this looks just right to you, we want to hear that too. Just keep it civil, and remember the rule of the Hive: if yours didn't make the cut, make sure to nominate it next time. Sometimes what makes the top five and what misses is a matter of one or two voices.

Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don't just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it's not because we hate it—it's because it didn't get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it's a bit of a popularity contest, but if you have a favorite, we want to hear about it. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at!

Photo by Mark Tighe.

Friday, August 30, 2013

This Week's Top Downloads

This Week's Top Downloads

Every week, we share a number of downloads for all platforms to help you get things done. Here were the top downloads from this week.

This Week's Top Downloads

Android: Gmail just got a new update with a brand new inbox featuring labels, contact images, and indicators for your promotional, update, and social notifications. Additionally, new slide-out navigation makes it easy to access whatever you need when you need it.

This Week's Top Downloads

As more music services appear on the scene, it's become more and more difficult to keep your library from becoming a disjointed, cluttered mess split between 10 different apps. Tomahawk is a free, cross-platform music player that combines a wide variety of services and files into one place so you can have one giant mega-library of everything you want.

This Week's Top Downloads

Windows: If you've ever played a full-screen game and wished you could open a browser or respond to an IM without tabbing out, Overwolf is the utility for you. The app adds useful tools so you can look up strategies, chat with friends, control your music, and more, all without leaving the game.

This Week's Top Downloads

Android: Whether you parked on a side street downtown or in a huge lot at a stadium, it's not always easy to find your car at the end of the day. Valet is an elegant app that gets you back to your vehicle without any confusion.

This Week's Top Downloads

Windows/Web: LaMP, or Lingual Media Player, is a neat program for learning a new language through watching videos—one of the best ways to become more efficient in a foreign language. The program displays foreign language subtitles for any film you load into the media player or videos you select from YouTube.

This Week's Top Downloads

If you've been looking to go digital with your comic book collection, you're probably overwhelmed with all the comic readers available on the iPhone and iPad. Fret no more: Comic Zeal is the app you want.

This Week's Top Downloads

iOS: If you've ever gone over on your iPhone's data plan you know the horrible amount of money you get charged. To keep track of that usage, we like DataMan Next, and it's currently free.

This Week's Top Downloads

Android: Your device has several different volume levels: media, notifications, phone call, alarms, etc. Slider Widget manages them all in one place.

This Week's Top Downloads

Windows: F.lux, one of our favorite apps that manages your devices' color temperature based on time of day, just got a new beta that adds a couple sweet new features.

This Week's Top Downloads

Mac/iOS: If you haven't settled on a Google Reader replacement yet, NewsBar offers a tempting option if you live inside the Apple ecosystem.

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Quilled paper pond

PDF Downloads
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Spit Shine Shoes Like A Gentleman

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

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How to Sew a Coverstitch with a Twin Needle & Sewing Machine

coverstitch.jpgIf you're an avid sewer and want your creations to have a more professional seam - then learning how to sew with a twin needle is very helpful. Until recently, I had no idea my sewing machine was capable of sewing beautiful coverstitches with a twin needle. If you plan on sewing knits, swimwear or other stretchy material, this technique will provide you with a seam that has elasticity and looks professional!

Materials: A sewing machine capable of twin-needle stitches (refer to your manual - as many sewing machines have this feature) Thread, scissors and material Extra Spool Pin Twin Needle - A stretch twin needle is recommended *wooly nylon thread - optional
P1012663.JPGThe first thing you should do is change out your standard needle and replace it with your twin needle. I loosened the standard needle with a small flat-head screwdriver. Once removed, I replaced it with the twin needle.

Next, remove your presser foot. You'll need to replace it with a zigzag foot. My zigzag foot came with my machine when I purchased it. If you aren't sure if you have one, please check your manual. To change a presser foot, my machine has a little button to push to remove/replace it.

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Easy-to-make Fishing Line Stripper

LineStripper_01.jpgThis handy fishing line stripper can be made in just a few minutes using a couple of Greek yogurt containers.  In addition, you will need a length of threaded rod (1/4" x 20), two flat washers, a hex nut, and a wing nut.  That's it!

The line stripper can be chucked into any power drill and be used to very quickly remove the line from a reel.  Just wedge the end of the line between the two yogurt containers, turn on the drill, and remove as much line as you need to from your fishing reel.  When you're done, just unscrew the wing nut.  This allows you to separate the containers and the mass of line that has been wound there can than be easily removed

LineStripper_04.jpgYou can use 1/4" - 20 threaded rod.  If you have the means to cut a thread yourself,  use plain 1/4" rod and then thread a short length of the end to a 1/4"-20 thread.  The second method has a slight advantage, as we will see later.  Cut the rod to a length of 5 inches.  I used 1/4" aluminum rod, but the material is not critical.

Attach a hex nut and a flat washer, as shown in the photo.  Adjust the nut so that the amount of exposed thread remaining beyond the washer is 3/8".  If you have chosen to cut your own thread into the end of a solid rod, then make the length of the thread such that 3/8" is exposed beyond the washer when the nut is screwed on completely.  The advantage of this second method is that you will never have to adjust or measure the amount of exposed thread once you've made the spindle.

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solid wood Chess-board

005.JPGI love playing Chess. Especially in the summer, sitting outside in the shade with a good friend and a cool beverage.
I have gone thru several boards thru-out the years and I have always wanted a good solid wood board. When the Toy contest opened and I saw the Maker-bot as a prize, I knew exactly what I wanted to enter.

In this instructable I am taking you through the steps of making a Chess-board.
The wood used for the squares are Cherry and Norway Maple, the border is made from Norway maple. All of the wood used was harvested from local tress fallen during storms. After a really bad storm I ALWAYS drive around with a chainsaw offering to help and haul away some of their larger pieces (so glad I have a trailer).

The actual squares are 1-1/2" X 1-1/2". The whole board with the border is about 12-1/2" X12-1/2".

chess 002.JPGI'm really not one to draw up and go by plans. I really don't even like following plans. That being said, I do sketch ideas and make notes to figure out my rough needs for a project. This does have draw-backs at times, but I'm still able to "wing-it" with most projects.

A Chess/Checker-board consists of 64 squares total (8 columns and 8 rows).

After a quick sketch and some math, I found a couple of boards. The boards I have are rough sawn 5/4 boards (VERY ROUGH).

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

DIY Prescription Safety Goggles! (plus a few extras)

0605132136.jpgAs Someone with awful vision, I always have the problem of needing to have my glasses on to see what I'm working on, but then I either have to fuss with wearing safety goggles over my glasses or the lying to myself that my glasses work as safety goggles, which isn't true and even if they protect my eyes then my glasses end up scratched. I've worn safety glasses over them but I still always end up with dust and shavings getting through the open sides and defeating the purpose anyways. So I decided to make a pair of goggles that allowed me to still see what I'm working on while protecting my eyes much better, than other options I'd tried.

Last time I broke a pair of glasses, I finally bought some online and was amazed at how much cheaper it was.So logically I link jumped to prescription goggles thinking they would also be cheaper--no luck. Then I thought to myself, "Self- Don't you already have a cheap pair of goggles from the costume shop and some broken glasses?" So this is my slapped together prescription goggles, to which I added a small spotlight and a magnifying lens. This is also a great way to get some more mileage out of broken glasses you had to pay good money for.


Goggles from a Costume Shop
Broken Glasses with Lenses Still Intact
Reflective concave cup part from broken flashlight
LED flashlight from broken cheapo multiscrewdriver that I stupidly tried to pry something open with. 
Some small electric wire scavenged from various things
Stiff Bendable Craft wire
Old AM antenna. Actually I just used the old AM antenna for the plug at the end and the small electric wire- you can use anything that has those elements, I just have several because i find them a lot dumpster diving.

Needle and Thread
Drill with small bit, roughly the diameter of the bendable wire
Hot Glue Gun
Hacksaw blade
Exacto Knife

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Star Wars Figure Display Box


- Saw
- Drill
- Screwdriver. 


- Wooden picture frame
- 25mm x 50mm wooden baton
- clear Perspex 
- Mirrored Perspex. 
- Glue. 
- Paint. 
- L brackets. 
- Screws. 
- Glue. 

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Ribs and Pulled Pork Without The Fuss

2013-06-01 18.19.37.jpgIn this instructable I'm going to give you my ridiculously easy recipe for making amazing ribs and pulled pork. It's very simple, very cheap and uses only a few simple ingredients which most people should have lying around the house. If you're like me, then when you're cooking for a large group of people you like to do as little prep work as possible so you can actually hang out and enjoy your own party, however, when you do bring food to the table you still want it to be as delicious and amazing as possible, and that's where this recipe steps in. It is going to require you to cook the meat in the oven for a long time but in terms of preparation and effort it really is minimal.

Now I'm sure that the barbecue/grilling fanatics will be howling in derision and insist that you run out and purchase a backyard smoker immediately, and yes, it's true, your meat will be smokier if you use a smoker but this recipe is truly delicious and what it lacks in smokiness it more than makes up for in compatibility with a normal person's lifestyle. Not to mention that the realities of living in a small city apartment make owning a smoker an unachievable fantasy for a large many of us.

(Unfortunately, because my guests were hungry they tore the finished products from my hand and I barely had time to take these blurry cell phone pictures of the almost-finished product let alone a manicured picture with perfect lighting and just the right amount of neatly placed dressing. Next time I make them though I'll get a better set of pictures of the final product and upload them) 

It's worth noting in advance that this recipe requires some long cooking times, and in the case of the pork butt you can also do an overnight brine. We're going to be cooking the meat at a very low temperature for a long time (low and slow) to make sure that it's gets tender while still retaining as many of it's natural juices as possible. This is important to take into account when planning on having guests over so that the food is ready when everyone expects to eat.  I usually stick the pork in the oven first thing in the morning 8-9am and the ribs around 12-1pm so that they're ready around 5pm.

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Swirly Paperclip Bracelet

13, 5:14 PM.jpgNot your average 'string some clips together ' bracelet! This one was born of hours of frustration in front of a PC with 'network problems'. Instead of throwing the monitor out of the window, I started mutilating office supplies and a lovely accessory was born,

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NatureBox Automates Your Snacking, Keeps You Healthy

Sorry, I could not read the content fromt this page.Sorry, I could not read the content fromt this page.

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Freshen Up Your Home While Vacuuming with Oils and Cotton Balls

Freshen Up Your Home While Vacuuming with Oils and Cotton Balls

Vacuuming is nobody's favorite chore, but when you have to do it, you should at least kill two birds with one stone by taking the opportunity to make your home smell great.

All you have to do is soak a few cotton balls in your essential oil of choice, and drop them in the vacuum bag before you start cleaning. The cotton balls will infuse the air ejected by the vacuum with the scent of the oils. The effect will be subtle, but it's so easy to do that it's worth trying every time you vacuum. If your house really smells bad, you can cook your leftover oils in the oven for an hour or so to fully infuse your house with a pleasant scent. Be sure to click through the source link for more clever uses for cotton balls around your home.

9 Exciting Uses for Boring Cotton Balls | WonderHowTo

Photo by Olesia Bilkei (Shutterstock).

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Supa-Hula (a very big hula-hoop made from plastic electrical conduit)

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Solder Safely with this USB-Powered Fume Extractor

Soldering creates some nasty fumes that smell bad at best, and cause chronic asthma over time. If you do it often, you can keep yourself safe though with this portable, USB-powered fume extractor.

X2jiggy shares the elegant design on his personal site. The box incorporates a PC fan, carbon filter pad, and a small USB power supply dialed up to 12v with a cheap converter. The fan sucks in the fumes from your soldering station, and ejects them through the carbon pad, trapping toxins on the inside. The project requires a degree of electronics experience and a little bit of woodworking, but the finished product will be a great companion for your future projects. Check out the source link for a complete walkthrough.

USB Fume Extractor | X2jiggy via Hack A Day

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Service Pages for Google Chrome Brings Quick Access to Chrome Settings

Service Pages for Google Chrome Brings Quick Access to Chrome Settings

Chrome: Most of us know about internal Chrome settings pages like Chrome://flags, but it can be hard to remember the names for each of them. Service Pages for Google Chrome saves you from looking them up by storing them in your extensions menu.

Once you install the extension, just click the gearbox icon to call up a dropdown menu of every Chrome service page. The basics like Settings, Experiments, and Extensions are all there, but there are dozens more that you probably never knew existed. For example, chrome://memory-redirect/ shows you how much RAM each of your tabs are using, and chrome://sync-internals/ lets you view and manage fine grained details of Chrome's sync.

Some of the pages are either deprecated or not necessary for your Chrome configuration, so not all of the links will actually work, but you can disable bookmarks that you don't care about in the extension's settings. It might not be an app you use often, but it's great to have when you want to dig through the underbelly of your browser.

Service Pages for Google Chrome (Free) | Chrome Web Store via Ghacks


23.jpgHi everybody. Today I will show you how to make easy, quick and tasty droplets. This is a simple way of making delicious treats for guests out of three ingredients and in under 25 minutes. Read through the instructable before starting so you can understand what is needed. I hope the instructions are simple to understand and that you enjoy making them.3.jpgAll you need for the recipe is:
- 400g puff pastry
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more depending on how strong you want it)
- 100g sugar 

The tools used are:
- knife
- baking tray (glass/metal)
- baking paper

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Glowing Sugru pendant (for Burning Man 2013)

DSC_4596.jpgIn this Instructable I'll explain how create a glowing pendant made out of simple components. No engineering/programming skills are requires, though you will need to know how to do some basic soldering.

I've spent a lot of time trying out different variations for this pendant, and this one is my favorite so far. I already made several of those and I am planning to gift them on the next burn :)

DSC_4256.jpgYou will need the following: 1 x 5g Sugru pack (or get two, just in case). Any color will do, but if you use white the entire pendant should glow 1 x 5mm slow flash LED. Alternatively, you can get fast flashing LEDs, or just a fixed color LED. Get them on EBay, they are pretty cheap 1 x CR2032 SMD Battery Holder. I used this one 1 x CR2032 battery Plastic diffuser. The size should be about the same as the size of the battery holder. Mine are 2.5 x 1.8cm. I cut my diffusers from an Ikea 701.362.03 plastic box cover, which is ~2mm thick Sand paper (optional) Tin Foil (to use as a surface when working with Sugru) Hot glue gun Solder iron A cutter (to shorten the "legs" of the LED) Various tools to cut and shape the Sugru. I don't know the names, but you can look at the photo and see what I used. I also use a scalpel (not shown in this photo)

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Plug Your Ears and Speak Normally to Have Conversations at Concerts

Plug Your Ears and Speak Normally to Have Conversations at Concerts

Loud environments like concerts, clubs, and sporting events aren't well suited for conversations with your friends, but if you need to exchange a few words, try plugging your ears and speaking in a normal voice.

Osas Obaiza at WonderHowTo suggests sticking your fingers (gently) in your ears to help filter out the background music, and make it easier to focus what your friend is saying nearby. He also suggests having your conversation in a normal tone of voice, though you may need to speak directly into each others' ears. When you yell, your vocal frequency more closely matches the music in the background, and begins to blend into it, but speaking normally helps your voice stand out among the noise. You might not be able to have a detailed discussion about last week's Game of Thrones, but these tricks should let you get a few ideas across in just about any environment.

The Trick to Hearing Your Friends Better at Loud Clubs and Concerts (And Having Them Hear You) | WonderHowTo

Photo by Uroc Zunic (Shutterstock).

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How to Turn Your Initials Into a Circuit

This project uses fairly common parts that can be found at most places (with the exception of some of the sensors).

General parts:
--20mm coin cell (Sparkfun[currently out of stock], Radioshack)
--20mm coin cell holder (Sparkfun, Radioshack)
--3mm LED (Sparkfun, Radioshack)
--Button (Sparkfun)
--Copper tape (Sparkfun, Amazon) or conductive ink (Bare Conductive)

--Card stock paper or thin cardboard (I am using card stock throughout this instructable)
--Hobby knife or scissors
--Jumper wires
--Soldering iron
--Helping hands
--Multimeter (optional, for debugging)

Sensors (there are many possibilities):
--Photocell (Sparkfun, Radioshack)
--Thermistor (Sparkfun)
--Flex sensor (Sparkfun)
--Trimpot (Sparkfun)
--SoftPot (Sparkfun)

(The description of each sensor is in the next step, or check sparkfun for a better one.)

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Remove Name Tag Residue From Your Shirts with Nail Polish Remover

Remove Name Tag Residue From Your Shirts with Nail Polish Remover

We've all forgotten to take those sticky name tags off our shirts before tossing them in the wash, and the resulting residue is incredibly difficult to remove. The next time this happens to you, just reach for your nearest bottle of nail polish remover.

All you have to do is set the shirt on a towel, and spot test a drop of acetone-based nail polish remover in an inconspicuous place. It shouldn't harm most clothes, but better safe than sorry. Assuming it didn't damage the shirt, spread some more around the glue residue, and rub vigorously with a hand towel to loosen it up.

This trick works best for natural fibers, but tossing a synthetic fiber shirt in the freezer can actually accomplish the same thing. For more advice on cleaning glue residue off of synthetic fibers, be sure to click through the source link.

Yes, It's Possible. Remove Name-Tag Residue From a Shirt | Real Simple

Photo by Joe Belanger (Shutterstock).

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WidgetRunner Puts Dashboard Widgets on Your Desktop

WidgetRunner Puts Dashboard Widgets on Your Desktop

OS X: Odds are, your Mac's Dashboard has fallen by the wayside in recent years (even though it can be really useful), but widgets can still be really handy for certain tasks. WidgetRunner frees them from their prison in the Dashboard, and lets you run them alongside your desktop apps.

There's an old trick to do this with a terminal command, but it doesn't seem to work for most Mountain Lion users. WidgetRunner works on modern Macs, doesn't require a terminal command, and doesn't even saddle you with a complicated interface to set everything up. Just open the app, click the main dropdown menu in your menubar, and hit "New Widget." Your custom-installed widgets can be found in /Users/username/Library/Widgets, and the default widgets will be in /Library/Widgets. Just click the ones you want, and they'll populate on your desktop where you can drag them wherever you wish.

By default, widgets will act like regular windows, and disappear behind any other active applications. But if you want one to float on the top of the screen, just right click it and change the widget position to "Top." You can also set widgets to "Desktop" mode, which effectively turns them into part of your wallpaper. You won't be able to interact with it at all unless you first click the WidgetRunner icon in your dock, but it's great for passive information widgets like weather or stocks. The relevance of most widgets has been diminished by more powerful web apps over the years, but if there are any that hold a special place in your heart, this is a great solution to keep them close at hand.

WidgetRunner (Free) | MIT via MakeUseOf

Harry Potter Papercraft

picasion.com_7595d1373b317cdb97b0433a5ef788e8.gifPaper craft is a lot of fun, I particularly like the models that move.  I wanted to try my hand at making my own movable model.  When I came up with the idea of making Harry Potter with a moving arm it occurred to me that it could be even better if I incorporated an LED into the wand.  So as he raises his arm to cast a spell the tip of his wand lights up. 

The arm is moved using a lever in the back and the wand is lit up with a 3mm LED.  As the lever is pushed in it strikes the inside surface closing the circuit, thus turning on the light.  I used conductive fabric for the contact points of the switch and conductive thread running between the LED, switch and battery.  Alternatively, you could use conductive paint, tape or regular wire.  The template is available in the next step as a pdf file, print full size on 8 1/2 by 11 (Letter) card stock.

materials.JPGPaper model:
Scissors/utility knife Glue Tape Papercraft model pdf (see below) Cardstock and printer Electronics:

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Mini BSG Colonial Viper Mk II Popsicle Stick Model

How about a one-day mini popsicle stick model project?

Only nine (9) major sub-assemblies (including the two tiny rear landing gear housing!) makes up this mini Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper Mk II.  This should should be an easy build even for novice hobbyists.

The Viper Mk II was the main fighter spacecraft used by the Colonial Defense Forces against the Cylons in the 2003 remake of Battlestar Galactica.  A Mk I from the 1978 series should also make for an interesting one-day build.

The only major challenge in this project was in fabricating the top engine and engine exhaust nozzle.  The engine exhaust nozzle should fit snuggly inside the shaped housing at the rear end of the top engine.

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James - Your first Arduino Robot

Slide1.JPGSo you want to make a robot? Don't know where to start? How about you learn how to make a robot with me and make James!
James was made as part of a Robotics Class I teach to a few high school students.

I called him James in memory of my late Grandfather James Henry Edwards who passed away 14-3-2013. He loved teaching and helping kids and died doing what he loved, hopefully this James will carry on that legacy.

Slide2.JPGFor this build we will be using the Arduino Uno with a Prototyping Shield. You could use whichever Arduino you want with its own Prototyping Shield or Breadboard.

If you are looking to buy this Prototyping Shield search on ebay for “arduino prototype shield uno” and you should see it. Alternatively you can buy a similar looking one from Core Electronics:

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How to create a simple rope dog toy

minibones.jpgIn this instructable, I'll show you how to make a simple rope dog toy using two Matthew Walker knots. Many rope toys you can get at the pet store consist of a rope with two overhand knots in it. The Matthew Walker knot is much more symmetrical and less likely to come untied. With three strand rope, the Matthew Walker knot makes a great stopper knot which prevents the rope from unraveling. I'll be using this knot in other dog toy instructables, so follow me to see more!rope.jpgI always use cotton rope for my dog toys. It's all natural and isn't a big deal if your dog swallows pieces of it. I get my rope from both Knot and Rope Supply and Amazon. Knot and Rope Supply sells cotton rope by the foot in a number of different sizes:

I also have ordered spools of rope from Koch on Amazon:

You'll want to get the right size rope for your dog. A 1/2"-3/4" rope would be suitable for a little dog, while 1.5" rope works for very large dogs.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

how to revive a first generation Olympic 447 portable transistor radio

this radio is housed in a hinged split case. the hinge is at the bottom and the radio splits open right along the center inline with the knobs. it's easy to open so you can replace the batteries. no tools are needed to get inside.

pic 2 is of the radio opened up. the radio runs off 9vdc. it has two battery connectors but both are wired in parallel. now is a good time to see if your radio works at all. do not exceed 9v input to the radio. you risk damaging some VERY hard to find transistors. this radio will power up with 6v-9v. you can use a regulated power supply or a 9v battery and alligator clips.

look at the old battery connectors coming out of the radio. on the connector at the end of the cable, the terminal at the very end (not where the wires come in to the connector) is the positive terminal. apply power, turn the radio on at full volume, and tune around. get anything? any sign of life is good. it's possible your radio may play loud, in that case back down on the volume control.

your radio should have a pictorial diagram inside like the one in pic 3. it may be of help here. on a humorous note, the pictorial diagram shows the transistors in transistor sockets. the actual production model just re-used the tube sockets.

are you getting lots of hash and noise but nothing intelligible? is the radio right next to a computer or lithium battery charger? those two things can generate plenty of RF noise on an AM radio. relocate the radio and try again or shut off the possible noise sources. try again.

get anything now? if your radio picks up anything, that's a good sign. tinny, weak, or distorted audio we can fix. if your radio is totally dead you may need to do some simple checks.

take a multimeter and check for continuity from the positive battery terminal to the metal radio chassis. the radio should be switched on for this test. like many early transistor radios, this one uses positive ground. you should have continuity. if you don't, you need to find out why.

look at the volume control. the power switch is built in. it's got two terminals grouped together. those are the power switch terminals. check for continuity here. you should have continuity when the radio is switched on. if you don't, your power switch is bad and that would cause a dead radio.

if you have a totally dead radio, there is still hope but you may want to consider the fact that your radio may have issues beyond the scope of this instructable.

next up, we get inside.

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MixDrive: USB Cassette Tapes Made Easy

MixDrive001 copy.jpgI remember the days of the mixtape. Requesting songs from the local radio station and sitting by the cassette deck, finger on the record button. I remember the glorious day I got a dual cassette deck so that I could copy music from one tape to the next. Spending hours making mixes for friends, coloring cassettes with permanent markers or nail polish or glitter. Whatever I had lying around that could safely go into the tape deck. They weren't just plastic cassettes filled with noise, they were little works of art.

With the advent of digital music, it's all too easy just to send someone an iTunes gift card and song list. The physical aspect of the gift is lost, reduced to something that can't be seen or touched. As an expression of affection, I feel it's lacking.

I still want to make mixes for people. I love to give the gift of music. But I want it to be something they can hold, something real and tangible that they can take out and look at. A gift that has a physical presence. Thus, the MixDrive..

MixDrive046.jpgTo Make A MixDrive You Will Need:

- a USB stick
- a cassette tape
- a craft knife
- a small screwdriver
- a permanent marker
- a tool for cutting the casing of the cassette (I will be using chisels- a rotary tool would be good for this step as well)
- electrical tape
- scissors

To Make A Label and Case Insert For Your MixDrive (Optional):

- High quality paper for your label and case insert (I am using some free samples of glossy photo paper that came with my last ink purchase.)
- a printer
- adhesive for paper/plastic bonding (I will be using rubber cement.)
- Creativity!

Now that we've assembled all the supplies we will need to make our MixDrives, let's get started, shall we?

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