b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Home Science » Page 1 | Search
This is a question Home Science

Have you split the atom in your kitchen? Made your own fireworks? Fired a bacon rocket through your window?
We love home science experiments - tell us about your best, preferably with instructions.

Extra points for lost eyebrows / nasal hair / limbs

(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 17:25)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Fun with smoke bombs
A few years back a fellow b3tan and I decided to knock together a few smoke bombs. I ordered some potassium nitrate and fuse wire from ebay and mixed it at a 3:2 ratio with some sugar. We put it in a pan at a very low heat and stirred continuously until it was the colour and consistency of peanut butter. We then spooned it in to bits of toilet roll tubes cut in to three with foil wrapped around the bottoms. We poked a hole in the still malleable paste with a pencil. When they were solid (which doesn't take long) we put a piece of safety fuse in each held in place with a bit of cotton wool. We set one off in the garden and they worked very well. Loads of thick white smoke and the reaction was volatile enough to burn the foil. Once we had used them all up we decided to make some more. Same recipe except this time I cranked up the heat to speed it up. I remember stirring and suddenly feeling a tiny sticking sensation like striking a match and then the contents of the pan exploded in my face spraying molten sugar and thick white smoke everywhere. Somehow I was unharmed and thanks to the stone flooring in the kitchen the floor was ok where I had dropped the pan. The kitchen sides had a few speckles where the molten sugar had melted them but it was pretty much ok. We opened the back door and waited outside for the smoke to clear, except it didn't. I went back inside and opened every window and door and stood out the front to convince the neighbours the house wasn't on fire. After about half an hour the smoke had almost cleared and I had managed to clear all the mess off of the kitchen floor. All seemed well then the wife arrived home. "Why are all the windows open she asked" We told her we were just airing the house out she eyed us suspiciously and said she was going to make a cup of tea. We had gotten away with setting fire to her kitchen! She went to the kitchen and opened a cupboard to get the tea bags.

It was full of thick white smoke.
(, Fri 10 Aug 2012, 11:17, 3 replies)
The taser story below jogged my memory....
back to when trying to connect two large camera flashguns to the same camera, to light a birdbox in the garden (the extent of wildlife photography when you're 12). As with all other electronics I just twisted the bare wires together at the camera end, should work fine. Right until I put my eye to the viewfinder and my glasses touched both wires, blew me backwards and gave me a splitting headache for a good 12 hours.
Pre-digital pro flashguns charge to ~ 600 volts and have capacitors in the size of Coke cans - would make one hell of a taser.

Also remember one lad at school nicking a piece of sodium the size of a fag packet from the lab, and chucking it in the local reservoir. The bang echoed off the hills for several seconds. We ran.
(, Fri 10 Aug 2012, 10:59, Reply)
Melty wire fun. Don't do this.
Take one plug and one paper clip. Open Plug. Screw wire between Neutral and Live terminals inside plug, not too tight.

Plug into wall socket. Turn on wall socket. Oooh! Pretty melty wire sparklies.

Again! Again! Except this time, do it up really tight since this must be better, right?

Wrong. Bang! Lights go out. Angry sounds of parent approaching from downstairs. Melted wire fused to carpet is not removable in the time it takes an adult to climb stairs.
(, Fri 10 Aug 2012, 10:57, 2 replies)
Custard Powder bomb fail
Science teacher had told us how to blow the lid off a can by putting a hose through the side, filling the end with custard powder, putting in a lit candle, banging the lid on and then blowing down the tube.

Mate was ready with the tube in one hand, me with the lid. This was the big one. He was ready for a really big blow, a little nervous. We had no idea how big a bang this could be, but we wanted a really big one.

In theory it's easy: Lid. Inhale. Tube to lips. Blow. Bang. Yay!

Except he was nervous, so it went: Lid. Tube to lips. Inhale. Splurgh.

Custard sick is *YELLOW*
(, Fri 10 Aug 2012, 10:09, 2 replies)
6 year old logic
Hot chocolate = wonderful
Lots of chocolate = incredible
Therefore making hot chocolate with lots of chocolate powder = incredibly wonderful!

We're talking 2/3 of a cup full of powder here. Topped up with milk. Had to be stirred with a knife. And then we put it in the microwave and watched for our chocolatey delight to manifest.


We had to chip it out of the microwave with a trowel. As she always did with food experiments, my mum made us eat it so the lesson would stick. It managed to be both chewy and slimy.
(, Fri 10 Aug 2012, 9:27, 1 reply)

Where to Start…

My dad always said I would end up in smoke… he hasn’t been proved right yet but he’s been close.

All the below happened to me up to the age of 14 and are the result of curiosity and lack of knowledge – not so much ‘experiments’.

I fondly remember my mum and dad walking in on me in the garage whilst holding a lit candle in one hand and a can of air freshener in the other. The best response I could muster was ‘Its not what it looks like’…

Drying the dishes with the hair dryer. (because it’s a genius idea – towels are for muppets) - Dryer overheats, I remove plug cover to inspect - I electrocute myself.

Cutting the grass with my dad’s petrol lawn mower. The only way to turn it off was by pressing a strip of metal onto an exposed spark plug which cuts the engine out. But you HAD to do this with your feet. I didn’t know why I had to use my feet, so I tried using my hand. The resulting shock knocked me about 10 ft down the garden.

Wanting to see what happens when you put the back of one tea spoon in a standard 240v plug socket . One in the Earth socket and another in the Neatral (making sure they touched). Result = Nothing. Unless you touch them – this resulted in a massive shower of sparks and the spoons becoming spot-welded together.

Working as a Dishwasher in a restaurant – had to get some stuff out of the big chest freezer upstairs. Opened the lid and saw a small hole, not sure what this hole was for, I inserted my finger. When I picked myself off the floor several feet away from the freezer, I concluded that the hole was indeed a light bulb socket.

Following a slight knock to my ankle, going home and sitting in the sun with my foot in a bowl of cold water. After 20 mins, I’m bored and get my acoustic guitar out. After 10 mins, I’m bored and get my electric guitar out…. And plug it in….then play, sat on a chair on the patio with my feet in a bowl of water. How I got away with that one I’ll never know… the look of panic and shame on my dads face was awesome.
(, Fri 10 Aug 2012, 9:16, 5 replies)
Custard powder is flammable
Minimal details to protect the guilty.

It's possible build a flamethrower using custard powder, a weedsprayer, a car battery and some wire. Blow a nice cloud of custard powder into the air over a hot wire, and if the consistency of the cloud is right, it produces an impressive fireball six or eight feet across.

Top tip: not all the powder burns. Some of it settles on the ground. If, as you are playing with your flamethrower, you walk around, this is not a problem. If you stop moving and do three or four "burns" in one place, a decent sized layer of fuel will build up directly in front of you. On the fourth or fifth burn, the slight breeze generate by the fireball will disturb the layer you've made and you will experience the joys of a secondary dust cloud explosion. These can be surprisingly violent and damage trousers.
(, Fri 10 Aug 2012, 8:37, 3 replies)
Aged 15, and "volunteered" to do presentations in the science labs for parent's evening
We were bored out of our brains, as all the parents were in the assembly hall listening to a presentation or some guff like that, and decided to raid the chemical cupboards -well stocked with "harmless" chemicals.

One pile of magnesium powder, Aluminium powder, iron filings and other assorted metal dusts later, we set it alight to watch the sparkly reaction, only to find that we had accidentally set off a thermite reaction, which promptly burned through the heatproof mat and turned a large chunk of the desk underneath to charcoal - along with a large amount of smoke covering the ceiling and a sigh of relief that the fire alarms were always switched off when the labs were occupied.
(, Fri 10 Aug 2012, 6:56, 2 replies)
Miniature tasers!
This may become completely outdated in the next few years.

If you go to a film processing place, they may have the carcasses of disposable cameras in their trash. (You know, like the Kodak Fun Saver.) The way these cameras work is that when you snap the last shot the film is already wound into a film canister, like any roll of film, so they pry it open and pull out the film to process and discard the cardboard and plastic that makes up the rest of the camera.

Only thing is, this includes (usually) a flash.

Take apart the carcass until the flash circuitry is exposed. You'll note a battery (an AA) and a capacitor almost the size of said battery. Take two wires (such as chunks of paperclip) and solder them to the leads of the capacitor so they extend out a ways. Make them the same length. Then poke around and find the two connections you have to short out to make the capacitor charge (you will hear the characteristic high pitched whine) and short them out with whatever metal you have (such as a coin) until it stops whining.

Do NOT touch the two wires you've soldered on. It will hurt. But if you touch them to a penny you get this:

(, Fri 10 Aug 2012, 5:32, 7 replies)
*prepares for week of stories explaining how half the site are efficient at making bombs*

*bides time until the next week*
(, Fri 10 Aug 2012, 1:40, Reply)
It's magnesium powder, I swear!
When I had just started high school, science lessons were winsome. For the first time, we had classes that involved fire and chemicals and gases and explosions and stuff!

One of the first experiments I can remember being shown was a simple 'un - Stick a bit of magnesium ribbon over a Bunsen burner and watch it go up in flames with a magnificent flash! Like any eager young scientist, I had to replicate this. So at the end of our lesson, I stuck a handful of the stuff into my pocket to take home.

That night when my folks were out, I pinched my brothers lighter and attempted to create science... Clearly the flame wasn't powerful enough. Nothing happened.

Ah-ha, thinks I, the cooker is basically a giant Bunsen burner! So off I go to the kitchen and recreate the class with the help of some barbecue tongs. After having much fun (I was 12, it was fun, honestly!) I went back to playing Championship Mannager or watching Robot Wars or something else that I did in the nineties.

An hour or so later, and I am startled by my screaming mother:


I had forgotten to clean the white powdery residue from the kitchen worktops. Obviously the only possibility was that a twelve year old had access to cocaine, could afford cocaine and was snorting cocaine from the kitchen worktop on a Tuesday night.

I'm still not convinced she believed my excuse.
(, Fri 10 Aug 2012, 0:46, 3 replies)
I've done this one:

Basically you get a glass jug and pour a bit of isopropyl alcohol (93%) or an equivalent in, slosh the alcohol all around to get a good bit of vapor in there, pour out the remaining alcohol and set the jug back down. Light a match and watch the pretty show.

Great one to do for your friends if they've been smoking a bit of weed.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 22:45, 11 replies)
I may have mentioned that I used to live in Holland. I was in a wee village with a population of about 50 people and 2 horses.

At the time I was about ten years old and used to hang about with the local Dr's son. His parents took a very laissez-faire approach to parenting and basically allowed their 4 sons to grow up as highly intelligent yet feral children.

Anyway, my mate was the youngest and arguably daftest of the brothers. He and I decided one day we were going to build a rocket. Not knowing much about aerodynamics, thrust, or ballistics we just decided to put a lot of burney stuff in a tube.

In his bedroom (which was MASSIVE) he had a full sized work bench and an Adidas Bag full of rusty tools. We set to work cutting open 5 boxes of these guys ( nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strijker_(vuurwerk) ) to harvest the powder. We "cut" it with 100 crushed sparklers. There was no scientific thinking behind it. We just looked at the sparklers and thought "hey, that shit burns. We can add it in". But almost as soon as we had mixed it we regretted it. Our limited knowledge of chemistry told us (belatedly) that the slower burn of a sparkler does not equate to a lot of air time.

We needed something. Something to balance out the sparklers. Something potent. Something with a lot of bang. Stephen has a lightbulb moment and runs out the room. He returns carrying a box. He quietly tells me it is stacked to the brim with his dad's shotgun cartridges. Awesome says I. We quickly set about them with our Stanley blades and before long we had a large mound of what looked like small flakes. I had expected wile e. coyote ACME style black powder but we figured this stuff would do.

Now, we mixed it all together and used a clamp and a makeshift metal tamper to compact this stuff into 4 copper tubes. One end had been hammered shut and once it the other end had been rammed full of our home brew we sealed it with blu tac and a sparkler fuse (yes, the design was both poor AND dangerous).

A few quick cardboard nose cones and we were in business.

We quickly set out to try our amazing flying machine. It was lit and then propped up in a glass bottle.

Holy Christ! It was like the end of the fucking world.

We had expected a sheet of flame and smoke as our copper arrow soared towards the sky.

Instead we had made a fucking grenade and then encased it in a heavy glass container. There was a massive fucking explosion followed by the tinkling of glass and a car alarm. We took out a neighbours window, a couple of panels on a Mercedes and most tragically, a neighbours cat.

The dutch don't have the BBFC making things difficult for them so a steady stream of 80's action movies told me that a young boy like me would soon be on the receiving end of a thousand million moustachioed men on the inside. I ran like a Kenyan on speed. Back at the docs house I picked up my other tube and went home.

Mum found it in my room a week later. She carefully explained that she used to work for ICI making detonators and how i should really be dead. I never got it back.

Stephen took the hit for the cat and the window and the car and my parents never breathed a word to anybody.

All's well that ends well unless you are a cat.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 21:47, 3 replies)
I am into Electronics
Here is some of the stuff I have built:

And here is my geek lab:
An Oscilloscope,
Bench Power Supply,
Multimeter (with PC interface)
PIC Programmer.

(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 21:21, 22 replies)
Hmmm, When 16 I was determined to 'get an edge' on any bullies in school
Previous QOTWs dealt with me getting arrested for making rockets from lab chemicals and shower rail that didn't fly but blew up- let off by the fuzz because thy saw it as a misguided science project.

My co-conspirators found 'British Woodland Herbs and Flowers' in the school library which helped describe and illustrate which growing plants you could extract sedatives from (valerian, dill etc) so we tried to make our own organic highs. Didn't manage it, and found that trying to eat a film capsule full of dill that had been steeped in bacardi did not tase good or even have an effect. Just as well, as at that age we had no idea what the LD50 was for these substances. We had the wit to stay away from mushrooms, monkshood and digitalis though.

After using the remainder of our black powder/magnesium mix for just setting off 'flares' (small film canister and match head fuses to set off the charge) we experimented with the old weedkiller/icing sugar mix, however the IRA had been using agrochemicals in bombs so the weedkiller was all laced with fire suppressants, thus it finished with a rather pathetic fizzle.

Then the other guys found information on nitrating toluene to make TNT, all you needed was...toluene, and concentrated sulphuric an nitric acid. They managed to purloin a small amount of each from the chemistry lab, in dropper bottles normally used for indicator because we didn't trust a rubber bung to hold in the concentrated acids.

I was the only one whose oldies were going to be out for the evening so we tried to cook it up in my folks' kitchen. Their superior A-level chemistry knowlede meant they were dictating the procedure. Mixed up in a boiling tube, supported on three sides by the wooden clothes-peg style tube holders, then heated in a water bath at 110 centigrade (added salt to the water to raise its boiling point) and sat at the table playing cards, occasionally checking to see for the formation of tell-tale yellow crystals.

Another round of cards was being played when there was a small thunk and we looked around to see the boiling tube bouncing and rattling around in the saucepan, hissing where the contents were pushing out past the bung.

Like a flash we all dashed out into the hallway, fearing a mighty bang to follow... but none did. After a few nervous moments of shitting bricks, we all decided that it was my kitchen so I would have to go and defuse the situation. Bastards :-).

Edging towards the stove with my arm over my eyes, I turned off the hob and took the tube out of the pan, leaving it to cool outside on the terrace. When it was looking less dangerous we poured the black, tarry, sticky muck out of the tube on to a saucer. A few days drying out and it was just like a marmite shitstain, and not looking very dangerous.

It was disposed of. Unfortunately the guys had already promised people some visible proof of success, so the decision was taken to get some sea salt crystals and use food dye to make 'yellow crystalline TNT' in a small jar. Apparently it was convincing enough to make a few weeds jump back in fright when the jar was shaken. Falsifying experimental results, tsk tsk!

My final school days project was an electronic kit to make a strobe, just a circuit board and components. It was OK but a bit weedy, and I had no reflector to direct the light pulses from the Xenon tube. So where do you get one? I tried a regular torch reflector, not much use though. What about this old camera flash unit? That has a reflector. I'll take it apart and use it instead.

While doing so I wondered about the flash itself- basically an inch long lighting bolt. That must be quite a lot of volts. I charged up the flash with the cover off and did the quick 'dab fingers on the wires quickly to see how much it hurt' and BY JINGO it made me jump. A plan hatched... the old flash unit was put back together with soldered wires protruding through the case from the terminals of the Xenon tube.

These wires were taped to the back of my old goalie gloves and routed to little spirals of bare wire around the fingertips of the index and middle finger. So now, I could switch on the flash in my pocket and theoretically jab an assailant with my isolated fingers, giving them a discouraging shock. Yes, I did read a lot of comic books when I was young.

To demonstrate I showed a few jeering schoolmates my invention and explained what it could do if any of them was brave enough to 'volunteer'. They still took the piss so I touched the metal edge of a locker, providing a spark and a snap that was slightly more impressive than the ones that automatically light gas rings. Suddenly there was a lot less jeering, and even less likelihood of a wanker chock full of bravura to sample my mighty thug pacifier.

I waited for the whine of the flash unit to settle, indicating readiness for another go and then did it again. SNAP. WOW. Drat, the bare copper wires had spot-welded themselves to the locker frame. Cue derisive laughter again as I struggled to pull the coiled wire free, stretching it out like a corkscrew. Damn. Hard pull- something snapped and I skulked off feeling a bit less the cocky showman.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 20:55, 1 reply)
S'plosions - DON'T try this at home kids!
Has anyone caught the propellant from a squirty air canister (the sort used for blowing dried spunk from keyboards) in a little plastic cup, then chucked in some boiling hot water?

BANG! Exploding water!

Caveat to this Home Science Reply.

Don't try this at home.
I accept NO responsibility for injury, damage to property or mental distress to kittins if you try this.

If you are brave stupid enough to try this, use eye protection, wear long gauntlets, asbestos apron, etc etc, you get the gist.

First one to do this and demonstrate their SCIENCE EXPERIMENT RESULTS (working out not necessary) wins a PRIZE.

And shit box bastards to the new question of the week, I had a corker today for the Fucked over by the man question. Involves court, judge and barristers. Nice day today though :)
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 20:31, 3 replies)
Lucky to be alive.
this goes back a few years. It must have been 1986 or 87. My mate had been doing private experiments with sugar and fertilizer, presumably after having read about its effects somewhere. The experiments hadn't amounted to much really, just igniting piles of the mixture on the floor, or maybe filling coke cans and cutting off one end so as to make a cheap and cheerful spinning firework. It was when he told our small group about it that the situation escalated.

After a couple of attempts at using aluminium tubing to make fireworks (believe me, the realisation that we were bomb making had not entered our dimwitted brains) another mate managed to get hold of an old motorbike exhaust pipe. After filling it with the mixture and using a sparkler as a fuse, we set out into the New Forest to admire our ingenuity. After half burying it in the ground and lighting the fuse, we retreated to a safe distance (approx 10ft) and awaited the pyrotechnic display we ad lovingly crafted.

Looking back now, I suppose it wasn't that long a time before we got bored and left it, although at the time it seemed we had waited an eternity. We never attempted to get closer and inspect it, as we had at least been born with a single brain cell between us, but we were bitterly disappointed as we walked away. We had only walked about 30 seconds when it went. I can honestly say that I had to completely redefine my understanding of terror. Not just the blast, but the sound of small pieces of molten death whistling past our ears on their way into the distant trees. Quite how anybody avoided having to explain the tattered corpse to their friends mum is still a mystery to me now.

After all that though, it was only the next morning speaking to my parents that the magnitude of our stupidity slammed home. My mum said in conversation that she had heard a bang the night before. The horrifying part is that we lived about 7 miles from the blast site.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 20:24, 5 replies)

Once, when planning a prank, I discovered that a mixture of cold tea and vinegar looks and smells like piss.

Not exactly like piss, but close enough to convince the person you've thrown it over.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 19:41, 3 replies)
Danger, Will Robinson, Danger
I have a small collection of home science books from the 20s and 30s when the notion of "Health and Safety" was still decades away. Many of the experiments are hair-raising. I think my favourite is:

"Amaze your friends by lighting a cigarette on a piece of ice. Simply push a pin-head sized piece of potassium in the end of the cigarette beforehand."
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 18:39, 6 replies)
How not to make vodka
1. Brew veggie peelings (include sprouts) with bread yeast in shed until has appearance of pea soup, but smells much worse
2. Wait until parents go out. Rig up home made still using ally bike bottle and plastic tubing tied under cold tap
3. Heat mixture in bottle, stand well back as tube blocks and foul smelling mixture gets blasted over kitchen ceiling
4. Clean kitchen including repainting polystyrene ceiling tiles with dap whitener
5. Spray kitchen liberally with air freshener, go out for long bike ride and hope parents have calmed down on return
6. The end.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 18:27, 2 replies)
Hot penny
While my parents were out I decided to see what happened if you heated a penny up in the gas flame of the cooker. I held the penny in some tongues and put it in the flame. It turned a nice red colour. Then brilliantly I put it down on the Formica work surface, where it made a sizzling sound and stinky fumes. I got the penny off and dropped it in water in the sink, where it fizzed cold. Now I had a nice imprint of a penny on the work top. I got some sandpaper to try to sand it out, but that just rubbed the mottled surface off the formica, exposing the white underneath, and demonstrated that the penny had sunk in a way, as the imprint didn't budge at all.

So I tried the 10-year old boy method of fixing it: I ignored it, and when my Dad asked who had burnt the image of a penny into the worktop while everyone else was out, I denied any knowledge. Didn't work. I wasn't allowed to buy my weekly Whizzer and Chips for about a month.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 18:22, 4 replies)
Jazz mags, spot lights, insulation tape and SHEDS!
1986, Aged 11. We had a 'Trailer Shed' at the top of the garden (it's like a normal shed only half as high, designed to shelter a trailer!) and me and the lads used it as a den (we didn't own a trailer). It was pretty dingy and low - but a cracking place to hang out.... and read jazz mags.

One night into October, nights getting shorter and a bit dim to read the stories properly we decide we need to fit a light. My Dad ever the bodger had a massive home-made mains extension which was basically 2 or 3 stuck together with insulation tape. He also had an old spotlight designed to go on the wall with a plug on it. Perfect. Ran the extension from the house, up the garden and plugged in the spotlight. Worked a treat but as we positioned the light it flickered and went out. "I'll fix it" I said, jumping up as I knew all about electrics. I presumed it was the wire I could see sticking out of the insulation tape so off I trotted to make good my repair.

Carefully undoing my Dad's tape, yes, those wires look a mess, let me tidy them up by twisti.............

Adrian said he heard the 'buzzing' noise first, turned to the door to see me, in a Frankenstein pose, hair smoking and stood on end, teeth clenched, 'blue lines' going into the ground with my arms tightly folded across my chest. I remember trying to talk but couldn't open my jaw and my head was ringing rather loudly. Total fucking panic ensued in the trailer shed and somehow - the wire was pulled from my grasp and I fell into a heap.

Dad came out when he heard the commotion - 1 hair-smoking child and 3 hysterical friends shouting "HE'S DEAD, HE'S DEAD". Lucky, I wasn't. Severe burns on both thumbs, both index fingers and a few other places which swelled up like I had oranges on each finger - and total awesome notoriety at school for the rest of the fucking year. Until I went fat and got bullied.

The Science bit? The light came on! HUMAN CONDUCTOR!
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 18:21, 6 replies)
The anti terrorist squad, in the early 90s,
or whatever the feck they were called back then, kindly demonstrated to us the correct way to knock up a budget improvised incendiary device or bomb.
I had no idea it was so easy until they showed us detailed pictures and a video of two such devices.

See, we'd had a number of animal rights nutters sending tubebombs in the post and blowing up a truck or 2. The successful destruction of property and near maiming of a member of staff had them worried enough to come and brief us on what to look for.

I'm not going into details, it's probably all out there for wannabe terrorists anyway but having seen this instruction video I had to have a go myself.

For anyone (un)familiar with explosives, the trick is to delay the big bang until you are safely out of harms way; simple.
A fuse then is the order of the day, and armed with my new knowledge of fuse making I set about creating my first test explosion.

The contents of the mini bomb were prepared in the kitchen sink ( again, look it up, I'm not gonna help here) and the lot carried out into the garden.

All I can say is the fuse was a tad quick. The concussion completely deafened me for two days and my favourite nylon jacket was burned to a crisp on the back as I ran away.

Cool hole though.

Oh and the bomb disposal team came and blew up a VHS cassette that arrived in the post. I think it was Mrs Doubtfire.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 18:12, Reply)
I had a chemistry set in my sh*d.

(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 18:02, Reply)
200 in 1 kits
I once tried to build an alarm to see if anyone opened my bedroom cupboard. Not that there was anything naughty in there - I was probably about 10 or so - but had got the idea from some Enid Blyton book.

My limited electronics knowledge meant that I attached up a buzzer then made a contact from tin foil on the door that short circuited it. On purpose.

The system technically worked - the buzzer only went off if you opened the door - but the short circuit meant the battery ran flat in about a day. Didn't explode or anything interesting mind you. Shit anecdote sorry.

Ooh just remembered another one. I attached some Meccano to a model railway transformer. I was quite convinced it would be able to pick up messages from aliens and was frightened to enter my room and made my dad turn it off.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 18:00, 6 replies)
I own chickens
I bought an Arduino last year, and a motor, and learned to program in whatever the Arduino thingy likes to be programmed in, and made the door to their coop go up and down, 30 mins after sunrise/sunset respectively. It didn't work, and we were about to go on holiday and leave them largely unattended (they got a check every 2-3 days) so I admitted defeat and bought a pre-made door opener.

Then I put a webcam in their coop, so we could be responsible poultry keepers, without having to go outside at all if it was raining (and so we could alert our holiday chicken-watchers to any problems from Australia).

Now all I need is a way of getting the eggs out of the nesting box and into the kitchen, and some sort of automatic feeder and waterer, and I'll be able to sit in the house, eating eggs all day, and the chickens can look after themselves.

Any suggestions for exciting technological poultry solutions are welcomed. I have an Arduino that isn't doing anything.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 17:59, 10 replies)
Proper story!
What happens if you microwave a car battery? (was bored in shed)


Detective Inspector pshit solves another mystery :)
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 17:52, 6 replies)

(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 17:50, 6 replies)
Ohh yeah 8)
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 17:50, Reply)
What a curious achievement.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 17:48, Reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1