Prince Rupert’s Glass Drops (explode)

When tempered glass breaks it blows into a million tiny pieces. While startling this actually makes the glass safer when it breaks as there are no large, heavy pieces which are actually more likely to harm.

I never understood why otherwise strong tempered glass would break so spectacularly but this article and the videos below of “Prince Rupert’s Drops” (small drops of tempered glass) show how the inherent tension caused by quick cooling makes glass stronger, but explosive.

via MAKE

Complete Bloc-Tronic manual

Love Tester ProjectFor those of you who are interested I have now posted the complete Bloc-Troic manual in my gallery!

From cover to cover (well, not really, the back cover was blank so I didn’t scan it.) the manual contains 163 electronic experiments. Each experiment illustrates the block layout for the kit and also includes a standard schematic for those who want to breadboard or permanently build any of the projects.

The experiments span from a simple conductor/insulator tester to a sound level meter to a basic radio with microphone mixing. While the Bloc-Tronic set was designed for children completing every, or even most projects in this book would be quite an accomplishment!

Unfortunately I have not transcribed the text from these pages to make them searchable. Perhaps someday I’ll get around to that, or better yet, maybe some fan of the set will volunteer to do part or all of them for me. (It took me a year to even get the images up, so don’t hold your breath on my account.)

If you’re having trouble making out something in the images notice that you can switch to a high-res version. The shadows in the image are the experiment on the back of each page bleeding through which should give you an idea of the quality of paper used in this manual. I have made it available because it seems to be orphaned. It is no longer made or distributed, the company named on the manual and box seems to have disappeared and there isn’t a copyright to be found anywhere in the materials.

I hope some others can find this useful with either the set or for building experiments on a breadboard.

electronic, toy, project, make, build, build your own, electronics kit

How not to test your potato gun

The funny thing about blogging is that occasionally the comments are as good as the articles. Here’s a comment from a reader named Scott who’s friend Shaun (who by Scott’s own proclamation shall remain nameless) demonstrates that the dangers of making a device like a potato gun go far beyond the obvious.

Scott writes:

(disclaimer) Do not try this at home, this test was performed by a self perclaimed perfessional tater gun tester!!!!!

My buddy Shaun who shall remain nameless for the entirety of this article, being of what he calls, sound mind and body he! he! he!, decided to make him one of those there tator guns, over the objections of his wife, who stated, you’re gonna put your eye out with that thing, to which he declared “what idiot could get hurt with a tator gun.” So from that point hopefully you all know where I am headed here, if not don’t try makin’ a tater gun without reading the rest of this story!!!

So the nameless fellow, refer to beginning of story, put all of his parts and pieces together, and perclaimed himself a perfessional tater gun maker, then atter that, nameless buddy decided to christen said tater gun, and perclaim hisself the new king of tater gun testers, by sticking his face over the soon to be designated tater launch area, and light off the former grill igniter while the PVC glue aroma was still quite fresh.

So at the unexpected report of da tater gun, all or the majority of his former eyebrows, and eyelashes perclaim his gun a success as they rushed by him!!! So the moron of this story, oops I meant the moral is, don’t be a testin’, or a lookin’ into that thar tater gun until after the put togetter stuffs has thuroly dissipated!!!

One for the record books, so please pass this around to all of your friends, so’s we can give my nameless buddy Shaun all the credit he justly deserves =), so in the words of good ol Bill Engvall, “Heres your sign Shaun ol buddy”

Thanks for sharing, er, sharin’ Scott. I’m more than happy to do my part to spread the word.

potato gun, make, funny, fun, accident, hazard, explosion

Worlds fastest Margarita maker

What would you do with a spare 8 cylinder car engine and a utility trailer? Here’s the best idea I’ve heard yet:

Margarita maker

So, when you’ve got a small-block 400, a trailer, assorted parts and the ability to custom fabricate a 6-inch tall replica of a blender blade out of stainless steel, what do you do with your spare time?

Make the world’s fastest margarita machine.

Add: 6 bags of ice, and 18 bottles of ready-to-drink margarita mix. Turn ignition, and rev engine for 10 to 20 seconds. Open valve and enjoy.

As far as I can tell there’s only one problem with this margarita maker: “ready-to-drink Margarita mix” but I guess I can’t blame a person for not wanting to squeeze all those limes.

via Carla and Make

food, drink, drinks, margarita, make, project

Triple barrel potato cannon

Well, this clearly qualifies for artillery of the week. This three barrel potato gun uses electronic injectors to deliver propane to each of its three champers, ignition coils and spark plugs for ignition, and the entire unit, including pan and tilt control is controlled through PIC micro controllers by a gaming joystick.

Triple barrel potato gun

The video has a ton of information on the device, but unfortunately only shows one shot, but if that’s not enough for you, you can make your own with the provided instructions*. I bet we’ll see more video of this potato gun sometime in the future.

* Check local laws regarding high velocity food products, and don’t blame me for the resulting accidents, lawsuits or potato famine.

via MAKE

make, diy, potato, food, potato gun, 3 barrel, atrillery, gun, project