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Dsc00917
Joe built this thing to save him from holding down the toilet handle for 10 seconds every time he flushes… Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Rob_Lewis says:

    Since the link doesn’t take me to WHY this was done, I assume that rather than spending ~$15 to fix the toilet (or maybe $0 to just adjust it) he spend all this time and effort? Is this some type of Rube Goldberg contraption?

  2. Village_Idiot says:

    Guess that’s what happens when electronics gurus have a plumbing problem?

    No matter, it’s still cool as hell and very much worth doing, since every time we get our hands on a real project we learn a lot about the elements involved, which often leads to totally unanticipated lessons or discoveries that are not possible when we just sit around thinking about doing something. Seemed like a lighthearted project to me, and the reward was found in the making of it, in other words.

    And the last time I checked, this scene was called “Make,” not “Routine Repairs and Mundane Maintenance Procedures Done Efficiently and Economically,” so to me at least that implies the projects require no justification whatsoever.

    Flush on, fearless Makers!

  3. jdmarshall says:

    I had a toilet like that. I bought a new clapper for about $4 plus gas and fixed it in about ten minutes.

    (The old clapper had a float attached, instead of being bouyant. It would close with several inches of water still in the tank. Not good on a low-flow toilet. I think the previous owner replaced the original with the wrong kind.)

  4. ECA says:

    DITTO all of the above…
    FIX it dont monkey it.. then you dont have to Explain it to Everyone that comes into the house.

  5. justDIY says:

    maybe it’s just my computer, but the LINK takes me to some consulting companies website. what’s the deal MAKE, is this an advertisement in disguise or a case of an intern pasting the wrong url in the link field?

  6. philliptorrone says:

    @justDIY – that’s joe’s site. he is the one who made the project, he’s a MAKE author too. if something was an ad it would always be clearly labeled.

  7. fstedie says:

    LAME. Fix your toilet and really make something useful, like a robotic toilet cleaner or something…

  8. GarrettM says:

    This project has untapped potential. It needs some internets, so you can flush the toilet over the internet if you remember that you forgot to do it before leaving home. Then it shows the total number of flushes on a web page, so you can track your…um…hits.

  9. joesmooth says:

    Oh, boo hoo. Sorry I can’t please everyone. Yes, this is what happens when an electrical guy has a mechanical problem. I was on a short vacation and wanted to create a cool interface with some parts lying around. It was a little hobbyist hack, not anything looking for praise.

    Of course, I could have fixed the toilet, but why always do the obvious? That’s no fun at all.

    -Joe

  10. justDIY says:

    @Joe

    I didn’t want my earlier comment to seem against the project. the project is pretty cool, will version 2 have a seat downer, and possibly replace the button with a motion detector?

    @Phillip

    The link provided doesn’t seem relevant to the post. One would expect blog entries about projects have a link to more details about the project or at least related material, not the front page of a design firm. If the information about the project is buried in there somewhere, a more direct link would have been nice.

  11. mike.b. says:

    My friend did something similar to his toilet, but took it a step farther using a programmed PIC to control several solenoids inside the toilet. No lever or anything, just a push-button.

    It was programmed so if you tapped the button, it did a short flush I believe. If you held the button for a half second or so, it activated the longer flush.

    I have a picture of it here: http://www.mikebeauchamp.com/images/show.php?set=indianapolis-chicago-2007&pic=14

    But his website is here:
    http://216.239.51.104/search?q=cache:egWcVL0ucCMJ:www.tripoint.org/kevtris/index.html+kevtris+tripoint&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca&client=firefox-a

  12. mike.b. says:

    My friend did something similar to his toilet, but took it a step farther using a programmed PIC to control several solenoids inside the toilet. No lever or anything, just a push-button.

    It was programmed so if you tapped the button, it did a short flush I believe. If you held the button for a half second or so, it activated the longer flush.

    I have a picture of it here: http://www.mikebeauchamp.com/images/show.php?set=indianapolis-chicago-2007&pic=14

    But his website is here:
    http://216.239.51.104/search?q=cache:egWcVL0ucCMJ:www.tripoint.org/kevtris/index.html+kevtris+tripoint&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca&client=firefox-a

  13. mike.b. says:

    My friend did something similar to his toilet, but took it a step farther using a programmed PIC to control several solenoids inside the toilet. No lever or anything, just a push-button.

    It was programmed so if you tapped the button, it did a short flush I believe. If you held the button for a half second or so, it activated the longer flush.

    I have a picture of it here: http://www.mikebeauchamp.com/images/show.php?set=indianapolis-chicago-2007&pic=14

    But his website is here:
    http://216.239.51.104/search?q=cache:egWcVL0ucCMJ:www.tripoint.org/kevtris/index.html+kevtris+tripoint&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca&client=firefox-a

  14. poor-robot says:

    Dude, forget the motion sensor and get robotic vision on that bad boy. Anybody using the toilet without an orange cap on gets flushed.

    On second thought, camera focused on the toilet = creepy. Maybe not.

  15. dragonphyre says:

    Now, just have it flush once you get up from the toilet, and your issue is solved once and for all.

    Never touch the toilet again. I would, in fact, put this inside the toilet itself. No buttons, no user interface. Done and done.

  16. jmassaglia says:

    I too was confused/disappointed by the link to an relatively unrelated page. I searched Joe’s site looking for more info about the project, but there was none.

    I think it would have been a little less confusing if the link to Joe’s website was linked from his name and a story link was just left out.

  17. dculberson says:

    Yeah, sorry Joe, looks like you built a south-pointing chariot.. :-)

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