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DIY science stuff

  1. Dec 12, 2014 #1
    Not sure if this is the right place for this thread but, have you guys ever made anything cool at home? I was planning on making an inverted microscope out of a webcam by just taking the lens out and flipping it over and setting it up like a microscope.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2014 #2
    Yes. When I put things in my refrigerator, they automagically get cool.

    Seriously though, I've done a lot of DIY things at home for fun, if they are cool or not is a matter of taste. Some examples are basic spectrometer, basic double slit experiment equipment, various electronics, microphones, loudspeakers (more engineering, though).

    There are a lot of scientists/engineers/students on this forum, so there are definitely people here who have done/are doing things at home for fun...
     
  4. Dec 13, 2014 #3

    Danger

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    Gold Member

    I've made everything from prosthetic make-up appliances (see my avatar for a sloppy example) to exotic weapons systems to my current project of a tank-treaded "docking station" for my power-chair. (It's currently useless in snow and can't climb stairs.)
    No scientific instruments, though.
     
  5. Dec 13, 2014 #4

    OmCheeto

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    2016 Award

    I would break the server if I listed everything I've made over the last 25 years.

    The last cool thing I made was a Relative Humidity/Dew Point sensing device.
    It consisted, of a wet paper towel, a muffin fan, and an infrared thermometer(not pictured).
    pf.2014.12.13.0200.rh.dp.measuring.device.jpg
    It worked!
    Unlike my vintage, indoor/outdoor thermometer, which claimed that it was 112°F outside. I think it was closer to 50°F this last Monday. It's marked off in 2°F increments. So, I think scientists would say it has an accuracy of 2°F +/- 62°F. Or they might say, that I should throw it away.

    I also made a microscope similar to what you are talking about, though, I used my digital camera and held the lens from my enlarger over the camera lens.
    The camera is manual focus, and has a minimum focus distance of about 1 foot. The enlarger lens reduces the focus distance to about an inch or so.
    It comes in handy for sharing pictures of teeny bugs, and moldy things.

    proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.europa.com%2F%257Egarry%2F2013.06.28.1221pm.satans.moth.jpg
    Stephanitis rhododendron

    proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fhome.europa.com%2F%7Egarry%2F2012.03.31.mold.on.CGB.agar.jpg
    Unidentified fungus
     
  6. Dec 13, 2014 #5

    Danger

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    How did you get a camera into my fridge? :oldgrumpy:
     
  7. Dec 13, 2014 #6
    An older pic, but back in '07 or so I built a flowbench for testing cylinder heads and manifolds. I had it set up to measure up to 36" of depression, but it could probably have pulled close to 96" if I had two more motors and a taller U-tube manometer. Sounded like a jet engine with all of the motors running under load pulling through a 1" orifice. Definitely one of the more interactive things i've built.



    FlowB2setup1.jpg
     
  8. Dec 13, 2014 #7
    And after building a flowbench out of PVC pipe, what do you do with the spare parts? Build a potato cannon of course! :D Also had to perform a series of tests using common flammable workshop liquids. A 20,000 volt stun gun works much better than a grill lighter.

    Cannon2.jpg

    ElectrodeTips.jpg
    Fuels.jpg
     
  9. Dec 13, 2014 #8
    Gee, that looks dangerous fun. I found one of these on ebay but I'm not about to drop 350 for hobbies at home. It's so cool looking though. But considering I have a good amount of experience on microscopes it'd annoy me if I didnt have 100x objective and oil immersion to use to look at cells. Oh well. I'll find something cool to do.

    I figured a railgun would be pretty easy too.
     
  10. Dec 14, 2014 #9
    A few years back I built an old fashioned spark coil:

    Sparky1_zps422c249e.jpg

    Sparky2_zpsd69dafc2.jpg
     
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