07 November, 2014

Building an optimal and secure wood-stove: Getting Started

Photo: Lotus Wood stove
In this post I continue my reflexion of the design of a range of "open source" in which all (and indeed some have already sent me mail their designs and tips) can participate and improve. 
When designing a wood burning stove in the optimal fuel consumption and comfortable, we have several options, depending on how we want to extract the heat. 
To do this we use the latest techniques and materials; First I'll build a simple stove that anyone can do only with refractory bricks, refractory cement and a fan (optional for better performance), to then make a more complex and automated fire control, accumulator wood to make it even more comfortable and autonomous.

06 November, 2014

3D printing: Closer to the general public

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Since companies like Shapeways that can mail you printed the piece that your imagination is capable of creating up, like design your own jewelry in precious metals or plastics , 3D printing is becoming closer to being the next fashion, displacing the "smartphones" in sales.

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05 November, 2014

Example of success: changing oil boiler with wood boiler

If you have boiler heating oil, do as Gregoria and Manolo; consider installing wood boiler

The wood boilers and inserts are increasingly popular and successful, the possibility of getting free firewood (cleaning mountains of fallen trees and dry branches) is an advantage.
Today I will discuss the case of Gregoria and Manolo, from La Rioja (Spain), this winter asked me for placing an insert stove with pan for heating and hot water, they were complaining of bills for diesel fuel (3,000 euros annual) due to poor insulation of their house, the doors and windows are made of iron (discouraging thieves), and while they are thinking to better isolate 150 m2 over two floors, because it requires a very high energy expenditure.

They were Not decided between several models, and models from Baxi Roca, the cheapest they found was Albizia model (70% yield, € 1,200 approx.) unregulated auto shot, and Serval (80% yield of 1,900 €), Portuguese manufacturing.
Update 02/11/14: Gregoria tells us this winter "around here we continue with our hydroboiler running, although at least in our case, has not been as great as expected, due to poor insulation we think of our house (that have not yet been undertaken.) The truth is that when the temperature drops below 5 °, we are still with a bit poor temperature, unless we burn more than 100 kilos of firewood a day ... When the temperature is not so cool if we got a lot more pleasant when we warmed up first with diesel. Lately, we have implemented a mix that works pretty well. As we still have operating the oil boiler when we turn on the stove, once the day we launch the diesel, about 20 or 30 minutes, this causes less firewood needed to heat the entire circuit and we heat faster. The fuel consumption is minimal, we took 70 euros all winter so far . Furthermore, for reasons of lack of time ... we stopped fetching firewood us, so we bought it at a fairly reasonable price 11 cents a kilo, beech and oak. "
Finally, although the choice of pellets is the most convenient, they decided on putting a wood, having the chimney suitable for stove measures, and have free fuel themselves like to enjoy nature and take advantage of clean mountains respectfully with their maintenance, removing broken branches and dead trees, so opted to put the model Albizia Baxi Roca.

And they can not be more pleased with the result: With 50 kg. daily dry firewood, collected directly from the mountain, they get put at 20 all day, your house look new, Gregoria told me enthusiastically.

04 November, 2014

Avoiding punctures on the bike: Fundax Leather Bands


I was looking at how to protect my electric bike from punctures (occasionally I like to go mountain, and the street itself usually glass and other sharp items) because the wheel with engine is more difficult to repair, and it is now easier for me doing 100 kms routes with the extra help of the engine.

First, have a good tire is essential. I have put a mixed Bontrager , and being "eco" low rolling resistance, not "dig" up hill as usual plug-covered tires, and I can also use them on something slippery surfaces like grass or dirt with no problem. Your heel height gives me an extra puncture protection, but I fear that when wearing a little, small skewers I've usually had to repair (as I already consider myself an expert in that matter), begin to appear.

To avoid this, I researched and even a friend recommended me to inflate with a foam to prevent punctures, which it does is fill the hole, auto-driying with the air, but did not convince me at all, because they add weight to go wiping every few months (every time we need to fill them), is ineffective in addition to holes larger than 3 mm.

After looking at the options on the internet regarding protective bands that stand between the camera and the cover in the end I opted for the leather Fundax like Javier, who came to the same conclusions on his blog , as are the that seem to go better, without adding too much weight, very long-lived and don't damage the tire as with the plastic.


01 November, 2014

Installing Windows 7 on an Acer Aspire 1690 or 1692LMi


Windows 7 is currently the best operating system of Microsoft, for speed, security and compatibility, being as fast as XP on computers with enough memory (2GB of RAM recommended), on computers with little RAM is highly recommended to install version Starter, occupies the least. 

But when installed on older computers like ACER Aspire laptop, you have to look for lifebecause some drivers are not directly available on the website of the computer manufacturer. 
The first thing to do is check if some drivers, but did not come with the Windows 7 DVD, may be in line for example in the Aspire 1692LMi both IrDA infrared port sound as we have them available if we give automatic driver search. 

Depending on the computer, we have to find out if there are compatible drivers available, usuallythose for Windows Vista will run smoothly on Windows 7. 

Installing drivers on Aspire 1692LMi step by step: 
  1. For Wifi unzip and run this file in administrator mode, and although we give error to restart will automatically recognize the wireless card built in. If it still will not install, installing all Windows updates will recognize.
  2. For the built-in card reader, it is worth us with Controller ATI website, here you have it available .
  3. For sound and infrared, as we discussed, we give automatic search online, or install all updates are installed automatically.
  4. To install the video card Ati Radeon X700 Mobitily, you must download and unzip this file several ancient Mobility Controllers, the "9-11_legacy_7_vista_32-64_dd_ccc_mobility"eg C: /, and then proceed to install the .inf folder C: \ ATI \ Support \ 9-11_legacy_vista32-64_dd_ccc \ Packages \ Drivers \ Display \ LH_INF manually:

How to install a driver manually on Windows 7

Within the Device Manager, right-click and "Update Driver"

31 October, 2014

How to Refill toner cartridges from laser printer


Refill toner cartridges from our laser printer can save over 80% on printing costs while contributing to reducing waste that is difficult to recycle (different plastics, aluminum, metal parts of the drum, toner, in a piece).
When toner is spent, the cartridge is empty, but cartridge parts (roller, gears, etc.), usually endure two or more times without loss of quality copies.
Further results will be the same as the original cartridge (if used toner compatible) while the plastic parts roller that transfers the ink does not wear.
TIP: Just make more than 50 copies per year as we get more cost effective to purchase a cheap color laser printer (between 100 and 200 €) with which we will save a lot of money on the cost per copy over the years compared to those of ink.
In this case, the HP Laserjet CM1312 toner brings a Factory endure only 500 copies called "test toner" and when they run are in perfect condition to be refilled, and put up the new ones enduring 1500 (covering the middle usual 5% of each page). 
The good thing is that it brings a CM1312 meters in cartridges that can be canceled without change in the configuration of the printer: 
Enter the menu, moving the arrows to the "Replacing consumable" option and select "ignore exhausted."

Spreading the heat from a smokestack with very little money

Low heat with heat removal by natural draft failing to place the drywall

In this post I will discuss the "invention" that has made ​​Jose, the previous entry that heats the house with a Hergóm stove to get more heat from a low fire.
Recently we were invited kindly to spend the evening at home, and we saw how he had prepared the Hergóm and how well it worked, and incidentally told me another idea that seduced me for its effectiveness, which he has kindly left me to share with you.
I had read somewhere on the possibility of putting tubes to extract the heat from the flames to the local, but had never seen implemented as well as it did Jose.

It is an ingenious system that removes most of the heat from the flames by the operation of two principles; that the hot air rises, and atmospheric pressure.
Let me explain:

  • On one side is sealed local (almost), because it has more air inlets to the pipe through the home (or stack), so that the flames, while climbing because warm air is lighter, make natural draft, "sucking" air of the room, which has no other site you get the pipe through fire. On the one hand ensures that no harmful cold air currents, and other system efficiency is maximized because we do not need fans. And there is no danger for local air constantly is renewed by the preheated air stream exiting the open tube you see in the first picture. It is also self-regulating, more fire, more shooting, more heat to the room.
  • On the other hand, the cold air entering the street at the bottom of the fire itself heat collecting tubes amounts to the upper tubes of the circuit, helping to maximize the siphon effect.

How to buy bulbs: Look at lumens and light-degrees

HOW TO BUY LIGHT BULBS: LEARNING ABOUT LUMENS IS A BRIGHT IDEA

The lamps are improving efficiency; Watts measure them no longer works. The new bulbs - such as halogen incandescent, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL for its acronym in English) and light emitting diodes (LED for its acronym in English) - have a longer life and use less energy than incandescent bulbs traditional, which means savings in electricity bills. In fact, from 2012, daily use bulbs will have to meet the new standards of the Department of Energy with respect to the amount of energy they consume. For the next two years, will eliminate any bulb that does not meet these standards .
Along with this change using more efficient light bulbs, a new way to select them when you go shopping.

What are Lumens?

For years, people have chosen to base bulbs in watts, learning by experience how much light bulb gives a typical 40 or 60 watts. But the wattage of a bulb consumes only tells you how much energy - does not tell you how much shine.
Because the new bulbs are designed to consume less power, wattage is not as reliable in measuring the brightness of a light bulb - you have to use the lumens.
Lumen = Brightness
W = energy
Lumens measure brightness, ie the total amount of light emitted. For example, a standard 60 watt incandescent bulb produces 800 lumens. Instead, a CFL causes lumens 800 and consumes less than 15 watts. 

30 October, 2014

How to weld aluminum and other nonferrous alloys easily with Durafix


Thank Durafix a zinc-based alloy and other materials, have managed to repair a bike aluminum BH we had forgotten in the attic for having a broken rear frame. 



Welding aluminum is very complicated, or at least it was until I tried to use Durafix; No welding aluminum and I can stand. The welds are stronger than aluminum itself, and instead the material melts before I do the base (aluminum) material, so that we can "work it" with some tool. 
Moreover it serves to weld many types of materials, such as brass, bronze, copper, non-ferrous etc. 

Your smartphone autorestarts, you lose data? Possible problem, internal memory damaged on your smartphone


I had a Samsung Galaxy SCL i9003 began to malfunction; I just restarted, lost contacts, program settings, etc. 
After searching the web, it turned out that the internal FLASH memory chip, using, being of low quality, began to fail. 
Such memories theoretically not lose their data for up to 10 years, but if damaged by use (allow a limited number of cycles, about 100,000 or more), you may not withhold good data and "forget" . It can happen to any phone that uses them, and sooner or later any "smartphone", tablet, ebook, etc with internal flash now have this problem.
To check it, it is best to use this freeware program h2testw . We connect the phone in "mass storage" mode and run mode continuous writing and then read until an error appears, checking the box for "endless verify" (to select target drive select):



How to extend the battery life of your laptop without losing power: Reduce the processor voltage


Earlier we saw how to extend the battery life (and the computer to overheat less, also extending its life) tweaking the settings of the graphics card . This time we will do the same, but without any danger to your computer, without slowing it , lowering processor voltage. 

Did you know that it will continue working as before and safely? Indeed. And I'll explain why. 

Assemblers buy computer components (including the processor, AMD, Intel, or whatever) and then merge them into assembly. However, when making the processors are produced in batches of thousands of units, and each comes with its own characteristics (may have tiny defects, with a different quality, which may slightly affect the performance of each) a particular "batch" sample is tested, and labeled with the voltage required to operate safely and without fail, usually with a large margin of error. 

We will find out what the lowest safe voltage possible for each processor operating frequency that our laptop mounts, and apply it using a program (RM-Clock for intel or AMD K10Stat for K10), so our team will to do the same job, but with less energy, less warming, lengthening its life, and thus making the battery last longer. It sounds complicated, but you will see that it is not. 

This applies especially to older processors; for current (Phenom, I3 / I5 / I7) can not find them programs that can configure or that you have to make the change through the BIOS (I think that Intel now are marked with fixed voltage factory without the possibility of change "on the fly").

29 October, 2014

DIY: Turn your bike into e-bike for yourself - Step 3/5: Preparing the box to house batteries and controller

Table prepared to house the batteries that drive us
If you do not want complications, you can always put a rear rack on the bike, and then put the battery. But I have opted to place them on the table, which, though it takes more work,has a number of advantages: 
  1. The weight will be more evenly distributed, providing braking and acceleration. On the rear wheel and have about 6 kg. with the engine, if you also put the battery, it will be more difficult to transport and easier we can steal the most expensive part of the electric bike.
  2. In the picture we can put the battery in the format we want, taking advantage of an otherwise wasted space, and allows us to better cool the driver if you use one side of sheet aluminum. It will be better secured and more stylish bike.
  3. Good space and fixing. The table allows us to fix very well, so they do not "jump" with every bump. Furthermore, by using standard Li-ion batteries with 1C charge / discharge, we must use more units per cell to get enough power in case you want to overcome slopes of more than 10% without much help from us; 18650 battery using 9 x 10 cells obtain a 36V and 20Ah capacity, enough to make 50 kms without problems (helping us). A battery of this size would not be very aesthetic behind and go unnoticed.
  4. And aesthetically, "cool" a lot! We can put stickers, drawings, etc.
As Jack, whose tutorials I learned a lot, he used wood to prepare : 


I preferred the aluminum for enduring great weather, easy to assemble, lightweight, flexible and durable. 
My bike Jumper BH, as I mentioned in previous posts, has a peculiar box aluminum alloy, which makes it more resistant to the jumps with its diamond shape. After figuring out the various settings, I bought a 45x23mm angles and 2 meters long, riveted on what was to be the base of support of the battery cells, placed diagonally. 
IMPORTANT: The width of the frame must be in accordance with the width of the batteries that we stay; in my case 6 cm. approx.
As batteries go diagonally, must form an angle at the bottom, where the profile will not: 

Holding one side of the base with a sergeant, drill and drilled, and then riveted

Changing the display cable on a laptop

Acer Aspire 5930G with the display cable fixed
Earlier I commented that in several ACER laptops the picture failed by the cable, and the solution to tighten the connection area does not give permanent results, so sick of the problem, ordered a new cable from Ebay. 15 days later it came to me:


In this post we will see the steps to take to change the cable screen (make that is the problem before changing; it is not the most common).
This guide will give us the necessary guidelines to disarm any screen, since all are constructed similarly.

Sending the warmth of a fireplace to the radiators with a coil

The cauldron of fireplaces Sierra (Granada)
With the onset of winter, and increasing energy bills (gas, electricity) should look ways to warm up cheaper and more efficient, as the use of biomass (wood, forest waste, olive pits, etc). 

In conventional wall mounted fireplaces, as already mentioned earlier in this blog, 80% of the heat is lost up the chimney if they have no heat recovery system (either by movement of air or water). 
In a wood stove cast iron outdoor setting this is not necessary, already have a lot of performance (depending on the oven). 


Image: Cassette flush with heat fans with 85% yield

DIY: Turn your bike into an e-bike for yourself - Step 2/5: Mount the engine and disc brakes on it

2: Putting the engine on the bike
In this post I will explain how I placed the wheel with the engine kit on the bike, but before going into the details of the assembly, we will expand the information in the first inning on motors that we use for our bike. 
In theory you could use any engine from 150 to 1000W (or more, but I think putting more unnecessary and dangerous), with or without brushes, etc, but if we use a lot of bike, it is better to spend more on a good motor brushless dc (B rush L ess D irect C urrent BLDC) that will last us as much as the bike itself (while we burn not overheat), since the only mechanical parts, bearings, they last almost a lifetime and may be changed if necessary. 
Brushless motors have the advantage of being easier to handle (not require an electronic controller), but require increased maintenance to bring wear parts (brushes, and gears if available).
Legally you can put a powerfull motor and limit it to 250W in certain countries; it is the output which is limited.
Among the small BLDC motors have 250 / 380W with gears to increase torque, the gears are usually made ​​of nylon and after a few thousand miles. often fail (although you can get partsof metal). These motors are recommended for people using the bike for rides, and have a little help with hills; they are small and inexpensive. 
It is always preferable to a direct BLDC motor bike without gears for the following reasons: 
  • They are the most efficient (up to 97% efficiency).
  • Very good power / weight ratio.
  • Very low maintenance.
  • High acceleration (nothing mechanical that limit, the limit is usually electronic).
  • Precisely controllable rate.
  • Low operating noise (soft rrrr only at low revs).
As I already mentioned , if we want to climb steep slopes need 500W at least one so you can go loose and does not overheat; on hot days the engine of my bike can become hot enough to climb a hill of 500 meters and 10% incline. 
As I said, I recommend reading the blog of Sebastian Reyes , especially this entry to choose the right kit for your needs. On this page of Golden Motors is a good comparison of performance and recommendations of the various engines.
I chose the 901 Prokit a kit consisting of rim GoldenMotor brushless motor that can work at 24/36 / 48V (500/720 / 1000W), controller knobs (with the right type motorcycle throttle), and a pair of switches for the horn and cruise. 
This engine runs about 38 km / h with a battery of 36V and 20Ah (I checked), and according to specifications can feed the Prokit 901 with up to 60V; I can not imagine how fast you could go with that voltage! 
An American editor has managed to put it to 120 km / h! . Yes, theorists in vacuum at 1050 rpm. and running at 72V, I guess.
Riding the rim with motor bike 

The Prokit 901 brings a BAC-281 controller 50A peak (30A continuous) which is fine, it can also operate without hall sensors (in case one fails), besides bringing cruise control, horn, anti-theft system etc, but your program setup by PC brings few changeable options: 

28 October, 2014

DIY: Turn your bike into an e-bike for yourself in 5 steps - Step 1: Build the battery from recycled laptop batteries

BH bike modified to electric with prokit 901; a real pleasure to climb hills with it
Some time ago I had in mind to change my bike to convert it to an e-bike; it was increasingly more difficult for me to climb the hill to my home with sections of 14% and get sweating profusely in summer is not very comfortable to say something.
In the next 5 entries I will tell you the details of how I have adapted mine for 500 € (if you want it without complications, since you have € 1100):

1: We'll see how to prepare the battery with Li-ion 18650 batteries

2: Putting the engine on the bike

3: Preparing the housing for the batteries in the box


4: Connecting it all and programming the controller

And finally, it is important to have good brakes; Bike weight reaches 25 kg.

Voltage monitor cell; important to know the status of each pack