A quick technique can save tons of time, clean up your storage, and keep your power cords organizedContinue Reading
Like many people in Southern New England, we were hit pretty hard by the Blizzard of 2013. Not only did we lose power for three days, but our road was blocked by fallen trees (cutting our supply lines), and our natural gas heater won’t fire without power, so we had to figure out how to get through those three days. Here’s how we used an ad-hoc solar power system, wood stove, and some snow shoveling to keep warm, fed, and charged up.Continue Reading
Today is Toolsday here at MAKE, so you know what that means – a live Google+ hangout where we will be discussing our favorite tools and workspace essentials. The main topic of the hangout will be power, in various forms. We’ll discuss a few of the many possible ways to power your projects, whether it’s with a homemade bench-top supply, a solar panel hanging out of your window, or a kit like the Mintyboost.Continue Reading
A little while ago, the utility gods smiled upon my house, renewing the electricity, telephone and internet. Hurricane Irene provided many people an opportunity to examine our cultural commitment to the systems of technology. We were without these modern amenities for about 48 hours, long enough to regain a healthy appreciation.
Thinking back upon my family’s recent technology vacation, it occurs to me that more things fell into the ‘Works Fine’ category than the ‘Doesn’t Work’ category. There’s also the ‘Works, but…’ column, which may be the most interesting to us makers. Having things stop working gives a great view into the systems that we depend on, how they work, how they fail, and what we can do to either prevent failure or deal with it when it comes our way.Continue Reading
Inspired by Sam Redfield’s rural alt.energy work in hydro-electric power, featured here on MAKE, “Fishboy,” working out of the Vancouver Hacker Space, created this micro-hydro plant in a plastic bucket. The power generator in the system is a Permanent Magnet Alternator (PMA) with a pelton wheel directly attached to the shaft. Water is sent through […]Continue Reading