Archive for August, 2008

Up from the Ashes of Disaster, grow the Roses of Success!

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

I have a working fluorescent lamp inverter!

There’s such a thing as going too far

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Whilst searching for power MOSFETs to build a H-bridge, I noticed this 12V microwave oven for in-car use. And whilst the thought of solar-powered cooking did cross my mind briefly, I had to reject it as being ultimately rather impractical. It needs 20 amps even on its low power setting, which is enough to cane one of my 8Ah batteries in 24 minutes.

If I wanted hot food while out and about, I’d be more inclined to consider a Coleman stove. This one is powered by unleaded petrol. It’s well worth the initial investment; petrol works out cheaper in the long run than butane canisters (not to mention there being several different, incompatible types), and is more widely available.

Or if I just wanted to heat up a Cornish pasty, I’d probably wrap it in foil and stick it in the engine compartment!

Stuff that Doesn’t Work

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Behind every great inventor, goes the saying, is a pile of failed experiments. Here I’m going to document some of my cases of finding out the hard way what doesn’t work.

More Light!

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Well, the lamps in the kit are fine in their own way (once equipped with inline switches; 1.19 from Wilko, and extension leads) but I need something more.

I’m thinking of modifying a readily-available table lamp. This will look nice! There are three ways I could proceed with this.

A New Addition to the Blogroll

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

BBC reporter Chris Jeavans is embarking on an ambitious project: to see if she can spend a month without buying any disposable plastic items, including packaging — that’s right, she isn’t even going to buy anything with a plastic over-wrap. Re-usable plastic (e.g. food containers) is O.K. though.

Most of the negative response has been from smart-arses trying to point out that computer keyboards &c. are made of plastic — yes, but you don’t throw a keyboard away after typing one document, do you? (I bet I am going to hear from somebody who does exactly that now.)

I say good luck to her. She’s linked on my Blogroll. You can read the initial story here and the blog here.