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16  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: THE HOME MOSQUITO TRAP | HELP ME KILL MOSQUITOS* AND SAVE LIVES on: April 04, 2013, 10:37:34 am
Oh, worth mentioning:  If you do the soda bottle thing, it works very well for other home and yard pests also.  Simply use an attractant that is specific to the bugs you want to stop.

Flies respond well with a small wad of meat or dog droppings as an attractant.  Always add some water, it both helps spread the odor and drowns the bugs.  Just about anything nasty is good for flies.  As more and more flies die and the whole mess gets nastier, it only gets MORE effective as time goes on.

Sugar water (add some borax for extra killing power) always is good for ants and many other crawlies.

Yellow Jackets and Japanese Beetles work well with their respective phermone attractant packs, they can be bought as "refills" for the commercially made version of the same trap idea.  By the way, FYI-  Yellow Jacket Phermone Attractant works very well.  As in you should never ever ever ever NEVER consider squirting one through the window of a random car in a parking lot at the ball game.  Ever.   smiley-twist

The scheme also scales up nicely:

55 gallon drum, inverted cone "funnel" of sheet metal, hang a couple of corn cobs a few inches higher than the rim.  Rats, Squirrels, etc- put a foot of water in the bottom.  Come back in a few days and dump the bodies, add more water.  A slightly different but even more effective rat eliminator is a chunk of rain downspout with the bait hanging in front of the end.  Place it over the barrel and have it pivot so that when the rat runs down the pipe to get the bait, it's own weight causes the downspout pipe to pivot, dumping the rat into the barrel.  With the weight of the rat gone, the spout falls back down and is reset... next "customer" please...

It's also possible to do something similar with a tanker truck and Raspberry Pi or Arduino Due.  I'm a decent swimmer, but....
17  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: THE HOME MOSQUITO TRAP | HELP ME KILL MOSQUITOS* AND SAVE LIVES on: April 04, 2013, 08:57:51 am
My personal favorite and eco friendly option is to re-use a soda two-liter bottle.  Stick a couple around the yard- they work.  Well.  My kids actually argue over who gets to make the mosquito traps we put out the day before we are planning to have folks over.

Cut off the top about 1/3 the way down the bottle, flip it and place inside the bottle to form a funnel into the remainder of the bottle.  Attach with tape.

Make a solution of 1/4 cup brown sugar in two cups warm water, allow to come to room temperature, and then toss in a packet of yeast.  Pour the mess into the bottle via the funnel.

Sugar and yeast make CO2 for long periods.  Mosquitoes hunt by CO2.  They follow the Co2 down the funnel, and then cannot get back out.  Kills THOUSANDS of mosquitoes a day, give it a try.  If you want, skip making sugar water and just use some of the soda, or best possible-  use the half bottle of soda the kids left out on the counter.

Eco-friendly, Non-toxic, Can be made by anyone.. and essentially Free, to boot!  I get that your project is directed at people that have.. ummm... much more money than need... "Skymall" sells this kind of thing.  I just don't see how the poverty-stricken folk are going to buy something that costs $100+ per room and provides less than 100% protection, like netting does.  It's cute, but how practical is this for the poverty-stricken folk of Brazil this is aimed at?


I'll take a look at your project... Take a minute and take a look at mine, if you would:

I remember an addage from Spanish class in High School:  ""En Boca Cerrada, No Entra Moscas.."

Longer term, the best solution is treating the area's standing water with a culture of Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelii- it's a bacteria which is predatory on the nymphs of the mosquito.  Very effective, safe, and cheap.  I have a half dozen "pucks" of retail-sold culture, waiting for the warmer weather to toss into the swampy spot behind my fence.. without BTI, it's moquito heaven.  With BTI, even my neighbors comment on how many fewer mosquitoes are around.

BTI was used after Katrina in the New Orleans area to treat swimming pools which had become nothing more than bug farms after they were abandoned.. the military and department of the interior both have programs implementing BTI as a disease control measure in the works.  They can now be bought at Home Depot and Walmart.
18  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Naming robots on: April 03, 2013, 10:42:01 pm
I think it's time for someone (me?) to make a script engine.

I've been told that "The Frankenbotic Thinganator" is wonderfully nondescript, and it's admittedly totally random.

So.. I'm POSITIVE that I am not the only person here with the PDP-BASIC source for "DOGGERAL" among other nonsense random poetry and headline engines..

How many fields?  Two?  Three? Eleventeen?

"Rectilinear Obfuscation Synthesizer, Revised (Alpha 6.0 Release Candidate)"
"Zapmatic Mashotron"

Or, once the Robot Overlords arise, a simple "Yes, Master" will suffice I suppose.
19  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Good, Cheap Camera for Close Ups? Macro? on: April 03, 2013, 10:10:30 pm
Macro is really about getting decent lighting.  Photography (what you are trying to do) is "Painting with Light" and takes a bit more than a camera to do- it takes thinking about how light falls, and how it works with a lens.  Snapshots are easy- photography is a bear.

You really don't need anything particularly good as a camera, in fact, the iphone sensor should perform just fine for something as contrasty and low resolution (compared to, say, portraits) as a PCB.

What you want to do is get a nice holder of one type or another for the iphone, a tripod of sorts.  No matter which one, just something to hold the thing in a decent, steady position.

Now, put it on preview, and if you have a mode which is usually marked as macro or for "closeups", try that.  Light the room as you normally would using ceiling lighting (direct or indirect from lamps or whatever) bright enough to light the subject well, but not so much as to to make dramatic shadows.  Shadows are enemies. Now, get yourself a couple of light sources, standard desk lamps are fine.  Place a screen of some sort- even some paper- in front of one, to spread the light out.  Place that forty five degrees off to the camera right.  Now take a second light, and place that on the left, about 45 degrees also, but as much as sixty degrees to keep any glare minimized.  The board should be resting on a neutral surface, neither too light or dark, and the background for all of it should be dark but not totally black.  An alternative to all of this is a light tent, which is a tent or box made of cloth (usually nylon or silk), you put the object inside and light the outside of the tent.  It's really all about getting the light spread around without getting glare spots.  A good presentation angle is to place something small (a half inch or so) under the far side of the board to tilt it toward the camera.

This is a really bad description of poor man's "Rembrandt" lighting, and it's a balanced look that usually works for most things.  Because diffusion screens take 40-70% of light, the overall effect is workable and looks fairly professional, even with the most basic camera.  In any case, I'd recommend that you search out a good tutorial online- it's rarely the camera that makes the difference in this sort of shot- it's setup and planning.  An expensive camera will just take a very high resolution image of a bad shot smiley
20  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Your latest purchase on: March 28, 2013, 02:34:55 pm
Whew!  I know sometimes it takes longer to get here than other places- but that's ridiculous..

I just got the MAX7219 order... LOL.
21  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Hey Focalist! You want Gas detectors? on: March 28, 2013, 02:21:48 pm
Sorry about not replying on the PM, been a bit under the weather again.

Yep, those are the sensors I am using, though I am using multiple types (MQ2 and MQ6 together and have MQ135 on order).  Just got another batch of both in the mail today, ordered them a while back from a vendor in China.

Yep, that's the basic idea-  the technology is pretty simple.. it's getting this thing made and implemented and certified that is the real issue. A commercially produced and certified valve that would be installed on the mains- which you and I are very much not allowed to do.  In many places it's illegal to mess with the gas, in all places it's foolish!

Development of the hardware really isn't a big deal, nor is the code.  It's putting the thing together and getting it in front of the right people to make it happen that is the big battle smiley
22  Community / Bar Sport / Re: How would you end your life? on: March 25, 2013, 09:07:22 am
Moot point.  The Great Flying Spaghetti Monster has blessed me with his Noodley Appendage, I fear not the pains of death, only Pesto.
23  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: A two hour project to use that pesky nuclear waste on: March 25, 2013, 01:15:39 am
So, it now will come down to some cool sequences rather than the random ones above.. Might have a couple of other cute ideas for it too.

Water oscilloscope?  Maybe multitrace, Arduino can easily handle multiple servos!
24  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: A two hour project to use that pesky nuclear waste on: March 25, 2013, 12:32:36 am
25  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: A two hour project that will worry the wife on: March 25, 2013, 12:28:36 am

#include <Servo.h>
 Servo myservo; 
 int pos = 0;     
 int minpos=70;
 int maxpos=110;
 int posstep=2;
 int seek=10;
 int wid, spd;
 int cent=90;
 void setup()
myservo.attach(9);  // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object
 void loop()
  for(int foo= random(1,11); foo<10; foo++) {
  for(pos = minpos; pos < maxpos; pos += posstep) 
  for(pos = maxpos; pos>=minpos; pos-=posstep)     

And the circuit... hobby servo on pin 9, a couple of caps on the power leads of the servo the cut down the power noise, and a chunk of tubing hotmelt glued to the shaft of the servo.  Bucket filled with water with a standard yellow highlighter dissolved in two gallons water, front lit with 2x40w blacklight fluorescent.

Shot through 50mm 1.4 Canon.

I'll write some interesting code for it tomorrow if I get a chance.  Not really intending this to be a huge project, just a neat one!
26  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: A two hour project that will worry the wife on: March 24, 2013, 11:46:05 pm

27  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / A two hour project to use that pesky nuclear waste on: March 24, 2013, 11:12:02 pm
Videos to follow in a second post, processing.  


Ended up having to kill some time today, so decided to slap a quick project together that was inspired by a video posted recently involving 24 Hz video synced with water falling from a hose, being vibrated at 24 Hz, and produced some cool effects.


I did something a little bit different.  While I deal with uploading video, see if you can figure out what's going on....

28  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Your latest purchase on: March 23, 2013, 03:50:33 pm
I did, I hit it out of the park with that synchro meter.  Arrived today, sealed factory packaging.

Emailed the company, as these have to be ordered directly from the company, usually.  First email was simply asking for a price quote for the device, here is the reply:

"The 801-F30 is our standard Synchro/Resolver panel meter with 0.01 degrees of resolution and 0.03 degrees of accuracy. In qty 1-4 pcs the per unit sell price is $2,550 with a 4 week leadtime."

I have now sent back an email explaining that I have one in hand, the project that I am doing, and the fact that I am trying to flip it for the most money I can so I can further finance the safety valve project.  I figure it can't hurt, I have nothing to lose. Worst case the guy tell me to get bent and I sell it on ebay.  I'd be happy to get a reasonable offer to purchase it (so they could recertify and sell), or I figure given the "good cause" nature of my project, he might be able to direct me to the maximum I might get for it.  They sell on ebay USED for $800-$1200.

 smiley-cool   smiley-mr-green  smiley-mr-green  smiley-mr-green  smiley-cool

The fates want this valve built too, it seems!
29  Using Arduino / Audio / Re: sound of a flickering neon on: March 23, 2013, 08:47:28 am
Frequency of 60hz, and use a random number generator to determine lengths of the tone and silence between tones.
30  Topics / Interactive Art / Giving out Props on: March 22, 2013, 08:59:58 pm
Fo shizzle.    smiley-mr-green

I do a lot of photography for local theater groups, and they know I'm a techie twiddler.  What is easy to forget is that to most people, taking the "plug in" wiring out of a crystal ball base and tossing in a cell phone battery and high powered LED, so their onstage Crystal Ball would work without needing wiring... That is simply beyond what they are comfortable doing.

If you are here, you are a tinkerer.  That being the case, don't forget to help out local theater folks, they have really interesting needs sometimes and are always fun folks.  Quite often what is for us a minor project they consider nearly impossible.. And they appreciate it.

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