Categories
Engineering Experiments

Jamison’s Simple LED Project

Jamison is playing with LEDs, transistors, and his iPod.

Here are some links we found useful.

I think it’s time for another trip to Fry’s and then start working our way through Make: Electronics.

Categories
Experiments

Cornstarch on a Speaker

This looks like fun.

Categories
Experiments

The Hurl – Wiki

Wow! How did I miss The Hurl Wiki when I was researching trebuchets for Jamison’s science project? It has lots of great information and links: videos, simulators, parts, kits, tuning hints, and more.

Looks like Jamison and I are going to have more fun this summer building a larger trebuchet. A small FAKA looks interesting. ;-)

Categories
Experiments family

Tabletop Trebuchet

Jamison and his neighbor friend decided they wanted to make trebuchets for their fifth-grade classroom science project. What a great idea! That meant I would get to help.

After a bit of searching online, we found some plans for a simple, tabletop trebuchet on hilaroad.com/projects. The plans are perfect for a first build with limited equipment and skills. They are quite detailed and show almost everything you need to know.

A few helpful hints we learned the hard way:

  • The pictures suggest the main pivot is a hollow tube. We started with 1/4-inch copper pipe but discovered the pipe was larger than 1/4 inch in diameter (the dimension is the inner diameter?) and it bent too easily. We had better luck with a 1/4-inch diameter, 6-inch long, hex-cap, machine screw.
  • The holes for suspending the counterweight should be fairly close to the top of the sides. The lower they are, the deeper the slot needs to be to clear the arm. We’d put ours a little higher next time around.
  • The notch at the end of the throwing arm needs to be sanded smooth to consistently release the sling. Make sure the metal hook on the loose end of the sling slides easily in and out of the notch.
  • The narrow strips of duct tape, recommended by the plans to shape the duct tape into a pouch, kept our marbles from easily exiting. We had much better luck without them.

Maybe one more thing: your current trebuchet is never big enough. We’re already looking forward to designing and building a larger trebuchet to launch dirt clods into the green space behind our backyard.

Categories
Experiments

Interesting links

Just doing some research… ;-)

Categories
Experiments

Nerf guns

I’ve made spud guns, but they can’t be fired in my hometown, at least not legally. These can. ;-)

Categories
Experiments

Dangerously fun

Yeah, dangerous to your time, as you spend too much time reading their blog.

Gee, thanks, Rob… ;-)
Categories
Experiments Science

The motor in action

Here is a short video showing how to assemble and run the motor that Jamison and I made.

Links to instructions on building the motor are here.

Categories
Experiments Science

Success — The Electric Motor Works

As threatened earlier, Jamison and I built an electric motor. We used these plans with great success. Our first attempt electric motor failed because we didn’t have heavy enough magnet wire — 21 gauge works!

Now to try one without a permanent magnet

Categories
blogging Experiments Science

Science Toys

Looks like Jamison and I will be building an electric motor for a science project.