[ApexLogic] had some PMMA core acrylic rod rod left over from a project and decided to use it as the lighting element in a laminar flow water jet.
The typical water jet consists of a bunch of sponges and drinking straws sandwiched together to slow a rough water stream and then a finely cut nozzle to provide a smooth ripple-free strand of clear water. If light is applied to this stream of water it tends to act similarly to fiber optics. [ApexLogic], however, uses a combination of shaved PVC filings, Brillo, and what appears to be most of the plumbing aisle of a local hardware store to get the same laminar flow. To top it off the polished acrylic rod is much less fragile than its glass-fiber counterpart and can have a high power light glued to the end for a nice water tight seal.
The system currently runs off of garden hose pressure, and would probably need some kind of a boost before it went into that front yard mega fountain that [Caleb] is still waiting for somebody to make. If you still need some clarity on laminar water jets check out these videos on a few
[Niklas Roy] wanted to create electricity from moving water so he came up with this hyrdopower generator. It is part of his grand scheme to rent out small personal fountains made from buckets. They need electricity to run so he hooked up the generator to the water jet of a public fountain. It should be possible to use this setup with falling water in a similar way that other generators do.
To build the device he cut fins out of PVC pipe to use as the scoops. They are attached to a Shimano hub generator, meant for producing power while you pedal. The hub is mounted in the front for from a bicycle, which can then be mounted anywhere moving water is available. The only thing that worries us about the setup is [Niklas’] comment that being showered with water didn’t destroy the hub right away.
See the hub and the smaller fountains in the clip after the break.
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[Dave] has put together this laminar water jet, mainly from PVC and drinking straws. There isn’t a project page, but he does go into a little depth explaining how it works. The water enters at the bottom and is slowed down by a series of sponges, then forced through a column of drinking straws. It then pools at the top before being forced through a perfectly smooth and sharp nozzle. We did manage to find this other video, making one for $15 that has a ton of information and links. How long before we see a submission of a complete music synchronized fountain in one of our readers yard?
[Ray] noted that spectrum analyzers have become a favorite project for FPGA evaluators and sent in his groups version from 2004. His team used a combination of MatLab, an Altera FPGA and sixteen pumps to produce real-time sound spectrum output.