Links to stuff on this blog

Use the Site Index of Projects page link above for an easier way to find stuff on my blog that you might be looking for!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

UPDATED DIY Homemade Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Cooling Tube

The post that I did almost a year ago about my Homemade Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Cooling Tube (or just Hilsch Vortex tube) seems to have generated a lot of interest. Someone has asked me to put up more details about how I built mine and I decided that would be a good idea. Besides I was looking for something to build today so I built up another one! HERE is the original post that I did last year if you want to see what I am talking about and below is a picture of that first one that I built.
My Homemade Vortex Cooling Tube


If you are interested in the dimensions and details of what I built check out the first post at the above link or HERE again for your convenience. I figured that since that post has been up for almost a year and it is one of the most often viewed in my blog I can't really add to it so I decided to make a video explaining how I made my cooling tube. Without wasting more time below are links to the videos - enjoy!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How I made my Blogger favicon.ico image without special software (for free!)

If you are reading this post you might have noticed something a little different about my Blog. Instead of the orange and white B at the top of the browser tab there is now (or should be) a orange, white and black OB. This little image is a favicon and there are a ton of websites that talk about how to make your own  favicon and add them to your website or Blog. I decided to add one to my blog and because this blog is all about the things I do I decided to write about how I did it!
Favicon Images

The favicon icon or image is the little image that appears on a browser tab, and in the bar at the top that shows the web address see the above picture. Also at times it sometimes  shows up in the favorites bookmark. Why doesn't it always show up in the bookmark? I don't know but many people seem to have the same problem. If I figure it out I'll update this post or if you know the answer let me know!  
From what I have read the favicon.ico image was something that Microsoft added in Explorer some time ago and was adopted by many other (maybe all) browsers after that. As a side note if you are reading this and you don't see my custom favicon image in the places you see in the above picture, please let me know by leaving a comment or an email ( and let me know what browser you are using.
On to what I did to make this work in Blogger. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More Details About My DIY Homemade Wood Lathe

Awhile back I wrote a post about a Homemade Wood Lathe that I designed and built and HERE is the original post if you want to see what I am talking about. I decided to write a new post because I have been getting a few emails about some of the construction details. Specifically folks have been asking about the DIY Lathe Headstock and how the Motor Speed Control works.
Homemade Wood  Lathe
I'm going to assume that if you are reading this post you have probably read (or might want to read) the original post to get an idea of what I am talking about. I'm not going to go into the details of the lathe itself as I covered those in the first post. Without going on with more and more introduction I'll jump right in to the details!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Homemade Bladeless Fan Construction and Testing - DIY Dyson fan

Some time ago I decided to build myself a bladeless fan like the Dyson Bladeless fan you see in the stores and on TV. These things look really neat and I would like to have one but unfortunately they cost a lot of money. Before going 'full tilt' and trying to make a really big one I thought it might be a good idea to start with something small, after all that should be easier right? As with most of the projects that I attempt I'm never really sure if they are going to work so I didn't want to put a lot of effort into making one - in other words keep it simple.
From what I have seen and read it's just a airfoil shape that is wrapped around into a ring and you blow air into it through a small annular gap around one end. The air is blow through the gap using a fan that has blades so is it really a bladeless fan? The air going into and through the ring draws more air in from behind the ring and around it so you get a lot of airflow - at least that is how it is supposed to work!! HERE is a link to a video of the inventor Sir James Dyson explaining how it works better than I ever could. Below is how I went about making my own small one and a exciting video of it running!
Beginnings of Fan (pieces of parts)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

DIY Kinematic Optical Mirror Mount and Schlieren Photography

This week I built a Kinematic Mount for a 8 inch F7.38 parabolic mirror that I picked up. To explain why I bought a mirror, in the last post about Schlieren photography (HERE) I mentioned that I was using a lens in the setup and was trying to get rid of the chromatic aberration that I had in the pictures. The obvious solution was to get rid of the lens and use a mirror as the focusing element. I found a guy nearby that makes telescope mirrors and he had this one for sale so I bought it. To explain why I built a kinematic mirror mount for it... well why not?!
Homemade Kinematic Mount

Click on the picture for a bigger view. UPDATE 11/27/10: I made a video explaining how to make this Kinematic Mount HERE. The mirror by itself is a cool and fun thing to have but being delicate and heavy (it's 1-3/4in thick) it's a bit awkward to hold in place accurately. The nice thing about a Kinematic mount is you can hold a something like a mirror or a lens and position it just where you want it with screw adjustments. The mount that I made has one adjustment screw for elevation and one for azimuth allowing for easy alignment.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

More About the Homemade Schlieren Photography Setup

This week Otto Jr. and I did a bit more experimentation with the Homemade Schlieren Photography that we were doing last week (details in last weeks post HERE). The setup that we are using is essentially the same using the 5 inch 3 dioptre lens and the LED light source. HERE is the setup diagram of the basic setup. Last weeks results were pretty good all things considered but there were several things that we wanted to improve and try. Here is a picture that we did of a candle burning and is similar to last weeks pics HERE and HERE.
Schlieren Image of Candle Burning

One of the things that I tried to 'fix' was the chromatic aberration that can be seen around the lens in the above image. Rainbows are really cool but in this case I think it's a bit of a distraction. Most Schlieren setups use a mirror as a focusing element which doesn't have this type of disadvantage (and has other big advantages) but I don't have a mirror... The obvious solution was to switch to a monochromatic light source that wouldn't have all the colors of the rainbow and would also be lacking the pot of gold you sometimes find at the end. This was especially true in this case because it didn't work! Later what I found out was I need to find the optical Circle Of Least Confusion!!! (That is my new favorite technical term)

Click below to read more about the second Schlieren setup complete with videos!