Archive for December, 2009

Dec. 2009 – Show and Tell

December 9, 2009
An Accomplished Maker With Years of Experience

An Accomplished Maker With Years of Experience - photo by Steven Chau

This guy may be short in stature but he makes up for it with years of experience. He has been a maker since the age of 4. He did a great job running a cordless drill and placing the holes in a random pattern. We’ve offered sessions on building your own holiday lighting projects over the past few weeks.

His dad said the Show and Tell sessions are his least favorite of our Make:KC activities. He thinks they’re boring with all the talk. He likes making things the best.

Animated Lighting Project. - photo by Jason O'Reilly

Animated Lighting Project. - photo by Jason O'Reilly

From robotics to animated lighting, Brian enjoys making things. He and his brother look forward to our build sessions and enjoy bringing their projects out to show. The humanoid Lego robot he brought out is using the new color sensor to accept or reject marbles based on the color.

Humanoid Lego Robot - photo by Steven Chau

Nametag Update

Ed's Name Tag - photo by Jason O'Reilly

Ed's Name Tag - photo by Jason O'Reilly

Our name tag challenge continues with Ed Fagan bringing in these pieces he made. He used some homegrown electroplating techniques to make these tags.

Solar Collector Project

I first heard Randy Childers describing his project as part of the CCCKC (Cowtown Computer Congress) grand opening ceremonies about nine months ago.

Solar Collector Project - original photo by Steven Chau

Solar Collector Project - original photo by Steven Chau

His collector uses a glass vacuum tube much like a lunchbox thermos jug’s glass container. The water gets heated when sunlight travels through the outer wall of the glass tube and into the vacuum region. The inner wall of the glass tube is a black color to increase the heat collection. Copper water pipes fit into the void of the vacuum tube much like soup or coffee gets poured inside a thermos jug. Instead of liquid flooding the interior, the copper pipes form a manifold with the sun heated water sealed inside.

Randy's solar collector parts. Original photo's Steven Chau and Jason O'Reilly

The copper pipe manifold is assembled from off the shelf parts. A key part is the reducing 3/4″ to 1/2″ tee and a little work using a dremel tool to eliminate a lip on the tee’s inside.

The solar collector is part of a stationary heliostat that is created with a compound parabolic shape. The plastic pieces are cut using Craig Berscheidt’s laser cutter for optimum precision. Another version of this collector is in the works. This time increasing the span of the parabolic shape.

Solar Collector - photos Jason O'Reilly

Randy is getting impressive results from his tests and is planning on building a series of these collectors to implement in his house for heat and additional experiments converting heat to power using peltier junctions.

Report By Vince Thompson

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