Hacking together a bedbug exterminator

We’ve seen so many stories in the news about the growing plague of bedbugs. It kind of infuriates us because the spin of these “news” pieces is always that we’re going to have to live with these insects and there’s nothing you can do to avoid it. Bullcorn! [Ed Nisley] was dealt a bum hand in the form of a bedbug infestation but instead of losing his mind he used it to get himself out of the mess. One of the steps in the dis-insecting process was to develop a bedbug killing box that raises the contents above the kill temperature for the pests. He built an insulated chamber, with a grate to raise the target material off the bottom and allow for heat exchange around all edges of the item. Light bulb combinations of 60, 100, and 120 Watts were tested along with a fan for air circulation. He graphed the results and plans to use what he learned to build a more efficient heater for the box.

But the hot box isn’t his only defense. His household developed barriers, blocking the insects by height or with a sticky zone. Check out the collection of his bedbug posts and stop being afraid of these things! We can fight back and we can do it using common items and ingenuity.

[Thanks Steven]

Anaglyphic photography made easy

[ProfHankD] came up with a pretty easy way to take 3D photos using a single lens. He’s making Anaglyph images which use color filtering glasses to produce stereoscopic 3D effects. We’ve seen stereoscopic imaging hacks that use two cameras or a clever combination of mirrors, but this one uses a special filter and post-processing. [ProfHankD] drew up a template that can be used to properly align two colored filters, like those in the lens cap seen above. Once installed, just snap all the pictures you want and then hit them with your favorite photo editing software. This involves separating the color channels of the photograph and offsetting them to increase the depth of focus.

It’s a nice little process, and his writeup is easy to understand even if you’re not a hardcore photography guru.

[Thanks Paul]

Mix your own photo developing emulsions

If you’re into developing your own photographs you might try mixing your own emulsion. [Jimmy Hartnett] worked out the chemical reaction necessary to make a photosensitive medium using Silver Chloride. His process lets him manufacture canvas that can be use like photo paper. The gist of it involves coating the back of a canvas with Gesso to prevent the emulsion from passing all the way through. He then floats the canvas face-down to apply the emulsion and skims it with a straight edge before it has time to set. You can see the results of some contact print testing in the image above. If anything, this makes a great piece of art to hang on the wall as it’s visually interesting and [Jimmy] has a personal connection because he not only made it himself, but came up with the process.

Ridiculous exerciser becomes useful as a charger

[Scott Nietfeld] built a charger from a Dyna-flex wrist exerciser. We hadn’t heard of a these gyroscopic devices before but once we saw the promo video (embedded after the break) we realized that this is the kind of thing that infomercials were made to sell. [Scott] knew the internals spun to fairly high RPM and figured that adding a few magnets on the inside and coils on the outside would turn this thing into a generator. Four rare-earth magnets fit the bill, with two external coils feeding a rectifier and linear regulator. Below you can see his demonstration video where he takes the orb apart, then spins it up, generating 250 mA at about 7.5 volts to drive the regulator and charge a cellphone. Not bad!

[Read more...]

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