Neato! For his son’s fourth birthday, Jeff hooked up an old car launcher project of his to an Arduino-based radio monitoring system. Now, when the local fire and emergency channels release a dispatch order, Dispatchatron releases a toy vehicle.
Martin Schmidt shares how he installed a double pulley system on an extension ladder he got for free recently.
Typically, the [single pulley] ladder is operated by a rope which is fastened to the bottom of the extending part of the ladder. The rope runs through a pulley at the top of the stationary part and back down to ground level for the operator to grasp. This simple arrangement is inexpensive to manufacture but it requires a force on the rope which is equal to the weight of the moving portion of the ladder. If the ladder is large, or if the moving parts have a high degree of friction, the ladder can be very difficult to extend when it is standing upright. This, in turn, makes it difficult to control the ladder and compromises safety.
Tips: Those small pearls of wisdom that, over time, can help elevate your skill level from “rudimentary” to “expert.” On Tuesday, we sent out our second Special Edition newsletter, and this time, we shared a variety of tips (screenshot above). Would you like to receive the Make: Newsletters? Sign up. To view past newsletters, check out the archive.
If you have a great tip you’d like to share, please post it on the Make Tips wiki page. I just posted a tip my dad has been stoked on lately, for grilling salmon:
Grill salmon on an untreated cedar shingle: Prep it several hours ahead by soaking the shingle in a bowl of water (it will need a weight on top). This will keep it from burning on the grill. Once you’re ready to grill, position the thick side of the fish over the thinnest part of the shingle (and vice versa). You’ll end up with a delicious, perfectly cooked fish.