How to build a Viking camp chair

My friend Nik Shulz (aka L-Dopa) creates beautiful designs and illustrations. I hired him when I was an editor at Wired and at Make. In recent years Nik has branched out into furniture making, and his work is just as beautiful as his illustrations.

In his newsletter, Nik linked to an article by Joshua Farnsworth on how to make a collapsible Viking camp chair.

Image: YouTube

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BND: Court curbs German spy agency’s bugging abroad

computer servers, file picImage copyright AFP

Germany’s highest court has ruled that laws allowing the country’s BND foreign intelligence service to spy on foreigners’ telecommunications outside Germany breach fundamental rights.

The Constitutional Court case was brought by foreign journalists, who say the ruling is a win for press freedom.

The BND will no longer be able to monitor the emails or other data of foreigners abroad, without good reason.

Currently some of that data is passed on to other countries’ spy agencies.

The key question considered by the court was whether the German state was bound by the protections of the constitution outside the country.

The BND (Federal Intelligence Service) is already barred from snooping on German citizens’ internet data abroad but the new ruling means that German spies will only be able to monitor foreign nationals abroad if there is evidence of a threat.

Among those bringing the case was the international organisation Reporters Without Borders, which advocates for press and information freedom globally.

Speaking before the verdict, the head of the group’s German office, Christian Mihr, said journalists had to be able to guarantee the safety of their sources.

“We protect journalists so that they can go about their work, and doing work means that the sources, the informants that they have, can turn to them with confidence,” he said. “With the lawsuit against the BND law, we want to strengthen the protection of sources and informants in the digital realm.”

Responding to the ruling, BND chief Bruno Kahl said: “What is new is that fundamental rights apply internationally, which the court has ruled on for the first time.”

He said the BND would help the government and parliament to amend the law, adding: “The protection of fundamental rights has to be considered, as well as fulfilment of the BND’s mandate to keep Germany secure.”

The court gave the German government until the end of 2021 to amend the law that regulates the BND in response to its ruling.

In February 2017 the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that at least 50 telephone numbers used by international journalists had been monitored by the BND. Reporters working for the BBC, news agency Reuters and the New York Times newspaper were allegedly among those spied on. The BND made no comment on the report.

Beginning in 2013, the US whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed massive global surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) which, he said, was assisted by the BND and UK spy agency GCHQ.

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Popular pastor, who claimed he could cure Covid-19 by touch, dies of Covid-19

People who came to Frankline Ndifor’s church in hopes that he would make them immune to Covid-19 by the touch of his hands should be worried. The popular pastor died this week of the disease and likely spread the virus to those who sought his miracle blessing. Instead of taking action to prevent the spread of the disease, however, hundreds of his followers gathered around the house containing his corpse, awaiting his resurrection. Police used tear gas to encourage them to leave.

Image: YouTube

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ESP32 Trail Camera Goes the Distance on AA Batteries

There’s no shortage of things to like about the ESP8266 and ESP32, but if we had to make a list of the best features these WiFi-enabled microcontrollers have to offer, their power management capabilities would certainly be near the top. Which is how we assumed [Mark] was able to take a whopping 23,475 pictures on his ESP32 camera while powered by nothing more exotic than four AA batteries from the grocery store.

But as it turns out, the full story is quite a bit more interesting. As far as we can tell, [Mark] isn’t bothering with the ESP32’s sleep modes all. In fact, it looks like you could pull this trick off with whatever chip you wanted, which certainly makes it worth mentally filing away for the future; even if it depends on a fairly specific use case.

In the most simplistic of terms, [Mark] is cutting power to the ESP32 completely when it’s not actively taking pictures. The clever circuit he’s come up with only turns on the microcontroller when a PIR sensor detects something moving around in front of the camera. Once the chip is powered up and running code, it brings one of its GPIO pins high which in turn triggers a 4N37 optoisolator connected to the gate on the circuit’s MOSFET. As long as the pin remains high, the circuit won’t cut power to the ESP32. This gives the chip time to take the requested number of pictures and get everything in order before bringing the pin low and allowing the circuit to pull the plug.

If you’re looking to maximize runtime without wrangling any MOSFETs, we’ve seen some excellent examples of how the low power modes on the ESP8266 and ESP32 can be put to impressive use.

[Thanks to Jason for the tip.]

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The Evolution of a 3D Printed Off-Road R/C Car

For about as long as hackers and makers have been using desktop 3D printers, there have been critics that say the plastic parts they produce aren’t good for much else than toys and decorative pieces. They claim that printed parts are far too fragile to be of any practical use, and are better suited as prototype placeholders until the real parts can be injection molded or milled. Sure. Try telling that to [Engineering Nonsense].

He recently wrote in (as did a few other people, incidentally) to share the latest version of his incredible 3D printed remote control car, and seeing it tearing around in the video after the break, “fragile” certainly isn’t a word we’d use to describe it. Though it didn’t get that way overnight. The Tarmo4 represents a year of development, and as the name suggests, is the fourth version of the design.

We know the purists out there will complain that the car isn’t entirely 3D printed, but honestly, it’s hard to imagine you could get much closer than this. Outside of the electronics, fasteners, tires, and shocks, the Tarmo4 is all plastic. That includes the gearbox and drive shafts. [Engineering Nonsense] even mentions in the video that he’s not happy with the tires he’s found on the market, and that they too will likely get replaced with printed versions in the future.

While the car is certainly an incredible technical achievement, what’s perhaps just as impressive is the community that’s developed around it in such a relatively short time. Towards the end of the video he shows off a number of custom builds based on previous iterations of the Tarmo. We’re sure that interest from the community has played a part in pushing the design forward, and it’s always good to see a one-off project become something bigger. Hopefully we’ll be seeing even more from this passionate community in the near future.

Just like the Open R/C Project, Tarmo proves that 3D printed parts are more than a novelty. If these diminutive powerhouses can run with printed gears and drive shafts, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about when you run off the parts for your next project.

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Build a DIY UV-C Sterilization Cabinet to Fight Covid-19

As thousands of essential workers bravely continue to do their jobs despite limited access to personal protective equipment, the need to sterilize their PPE, especially their masks, increases daily. Contained UV-C light is an effective way to sterilize non-porous items such as N95 masks, phones, keys, and more. While some front-line health care workers have access to professional UV sterilization cabinets, many other essential workers who interact with the public every day do not.

Since many UV sterilization products are sold out, DIY sterilization may be one of the few options left for many people during this coronavirus pandemic. However, most DIY UV sterilization cabinets require hard-to-find parts, engineering know-how, and/or specialized tools.

YouVee is a DIY sterilization cabinet that can be made at home in under 1 hour using common tools and simple components — no tech skills required. In this article we’ll show you how.

YouVee was developed at Deeplocal in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We’re excited about this project and how beneficial it can be to those without access to engineering know-how or electronics tools.

MATERIALS
We designed YouVee so that you can get the parts with a single trip to a home improvement store in your area. Here are the exact parts we used:

Portable work light, 6W fluorescent Bayco #FL-906NPDQ, Lowes #203352
UV-C bulb, 60V, 9W, 254nm wavelength Smartpond #52287, Lowes #8411. This is not a UV-A “black light” for your trippy fluorescent posters, but a UV-C bulb specifically for disinfection.
Plastic tote with latching lid Craftsman #CMXXPBP5GT, Lowes #835737
Mesh paint grid Project Source #7003, Lowes #213078
Extension cord, 8′ such as Lowes #242043
Aluminum foil tape 3M #3381, Lowes #225505
Cable ties aka zip ties, such as Lowes #220871

 

TOOLS
You can build YouVee with common household tools — no special equipment needed.

Drill
¼” drill bit or similar size
Small Phillips screwdriver
Wire cutters and/or flush cutters
Scissors
Permanent marker e.g. Sharpie
Utility knife (optional) if you’re comfortable using it

 

Build the YouVee UV-C Sterilization Cabinet

In six simple steps, you can create your own version of this UV cabinet. We’ve broken them down for you here.

CAUTION: UV-C light can burn skin and damage eyes. Before you start to assemble your YouVee, please read our safety precautions and disclaimers which you can find at the end of this article.

1. Modify the lamp

a. Unscrew the 5 Phillips-head screws in the lamp (but keep track of them for later).

b. Remove the retaining pins that hold the bulb cover on. You can use your fingernails or a sharp screwdriver.

c. Open up the lamp and carefully remove the existing bulb.

d. There are plastic ribs on each side of the bulb socket. Cut these off with flush cut pliers or a utility knife. This is necessary to accommodate the UV bulb.

e. Alternately, if you have flush cutters, you can easily snip the ribs off.

f. Insert the UV bulb into the socket.

g. Reassemble the lamp. It’s helpful to keep the plastic bulb cover on to prevent the bulb from getting broken during the assembly, but make sure to remove it in the final installation.

2. Make a hole for the lamp plug in the lid of the bin.

a. Place the lamp diagonally across the inside of the lid, so it will fit inside the bin. Mark out a hole large enough to pass the plug through. Make sure this hole doesn’t overlap with where the lamp will be attached.

b. Drill a series of holes along the curve you drew. You can also use a hole saw if you have one.

c. Cut the plastic between the holes with a utility knife, wire cutter, or flush cut pliers.

3. Cover the bin in foil tape

Cover the inside of the bin and the lid in foil tape. Don’t worry about getting into all the nooks and crannies perfectly, just make sure all the surfaces that will be exposed to the UV light are covered.

4. Attach the lamp

a. Lay the lamp on the top of the lid in the position you want it (make sure it is lying flat and not sitting on the hole you made for the plug).

b. Mark holes for zip ties that will secure the lamp. They should be positioned so the zip tie goes across some of the grooves for your fingers in the handle of the lamp.

c. Drill through the holes and thread zip ties through them to attach the lamp.

d. Make sure the lamp is slightly rotated so that the switch isn’t sitting on the lid (or it will turn itself off). Also make sure the switch is in the on position.

5. Rig the safety interlock

a. Feed the lamp cable through the hole in the lid.

b. Cover any holes in the top of the lid so UV light can’t leak out.

c. Now we’re going to route the power cables in such a way that it creates a low-tech safety interlock. We want to make it so that you can’t open the box without also unplugging the power. This prevents accidental exposure to harmful UV-C light.

d. Mark 2 holes on each clasp.

e. Drill the holes.

f. Lay the power cable and extension cord across the lid, such that they meet in roughly the middle.

g. Zip tie the power cable securely to the clasps using the holes you drilled in them.

h. Add extra zip ties to the cables on either side of the clasp zip tie to prevent the cables from sliding under repeated use.

Now you can’t open the sterilizer without also unplugging it. Safety First!

6. Final touches

a. On the inside of the lid, cover the handle of the lamp and any exposed cable with foil tape.

b. Bend the legs of the paint grid so it stands slightly higher, which gets the item closer to the light and allows more light to get underneath it. Place it in the box, on the same side of the box as the bulb. It will be less effective if you place it under the handle of the lamp.

 

You’re Ready to Sanitize!

Make sure to take off the plastic bulb cover before you use the chamber, as it might block some of the UV-C light.

This is our recommended exposure time; read more about how we arrived at this recommendation below.

N95 masks: 30 minutes per side
Other objects: 20 minutes total, when placed on elevated platform

Calculating Exposure Times

Exact dosage required for masks is still under investigation by various organizations and may vary for different mask types. Based on current research (see SOURCES section below) and UVC measurements taken inside the box, we approximate exposure times to:

Mask (~1J/cm2) — 1 mask for ~30 minutes per side directly under the bulb on the raised
platform.
Non-porous items (~60mJ/cm2) — ~20 minutes anywhere in the box on raised platform(s)

That said, you should visit the sources and read N95DECON’s guidance on mask reuse.

The intensity of the UVC light in the box was measured in μW/cm2. We divided the recommended dosage (units: J/cm2) by this intensity (with a scaling factor to adjust units) to estimate the amount of time required for items placed in the box to receive the UV dosage recommended by the referenced scientific papers (see links below in SOURCES).

Research indicates approximately 1 J/cm2 dosage (source) of UVC light is recommended for both sides of a mask to penetrate the inner layers . It is important to note that research shows a mask may start to lose its effectiveness or fit after 10-20 cycles of this level of UVC exposure. For our box, this dosage can be achieved by placing a mask on the raised paint grate directly beneath the bulb for 30 minutes per mask side. You will likely only fit one mask at a time in this space. The side of the box beneath the handle of the work light has significantly lower UVC levels and may require 2+ hours per mask side to receive the recommended dosage.

Research indicates, for a non-porous surface, a 60 mJ/cm2 dosage is fine (source). After only 5 minutes, the top surface of items placed directly beneath the bulb will receive this dosage. However, items on the other side of the box and the items’ bottom surface will need more time. To fully treat an item anywhere in the box, leave it in for 20 minutes or more. If you leave them in the box, make sure all the items are on a paint grate so they are off the base of the box and make sure there are gaps between the items to allow the UVC light to reach the base of the box and bounce up to hit the undersides of the items.

 

Safety Precautions

● Take necessary precautions to avoid being exposed directly to UV light, which can be damaging.
● Wear personal protective equipment for assembly. We recommend safety glasses with an ANSI z87.1 rating which can provide protection from UV exposure, and cut-resistant gloves for protection when working with sharp objects.
● Only perform cutting on a suitable flat surface.
● Some germicidal bulbs produce ozone, so assemble and use your YouVee in a well-ventilated area. Allow the inside of the bin and sanitized content to air out for 30 minutes after extended run cycles.
● Some germicidal bulbs contain mercury, so in the event that your bulb breaks, wash any exposed skin thoroughly and wear appropriate PPE during clean up.
● UVC output may vary from bulb to bulb. The recommended exposure time was based on UVC measurements we made of a specific bulb using a light meter. We do not claim that any specific bulb can produce the same UVC output as the bulb we tested.

Measuring UVC Intensity

Using a UVC light meter, we measured the intensity of light in various scenarios. We measured the light intensity in various positions and orientations (facing down, facing the wall) to determine the exposure times needed to treat all sides of the objects. Since objects in the box reduce the amount of reflected light, we tested with two used masks in
the box. Finally, to capture bulb variations, we tested with 3 different bulbs.

Larger Versions

If you have more than one mask, you can also adapt the design to use a larger box. Just make sure to add more lights since there is more space to cover. The deeper the box, the longer the required time to reach a 1 J/cm2 dose, so if you have a very deep box raise up your masks so they are closer to the lights. For this larger version we made, we used 2 lights and we can fit 5 masks. According to our measurements they need 30 min per side.

 

PROJECTS THAT INSPIRED US
UVC Sterilizer for COVID-19 Emergency
Building a Crude UV-C Disinfection Chamber
UVGI Steriliser

 

SOURCES THAT WE REFERENCED
N95DECON
Theory Division, Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
Theory Division (updated)
Nebraska Medicine
CDC

 

Disclaimer: We make no claims that systems using these designs, or the components specified, reduce levels of bacterial, viral, or other types of contamination. Deeplocal is not responsible for injuries or illness resulting from the implementation of these designs or the resulting systems, including but not limited to physical injuries when implementing the designs, or infection from contaminated items treated by such systems or derivative systems. Implement these designs and use the resulting systems at your own risk.

 

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We Need a New CCC for Recovery — the Civic Response Corps

Our future won’t be defined by the crisis but by our response to it. Do we adapt, come together, and innovate to create a new and brighter future? That’s how the Great Depression and WW2 led to a manufacturing renaissance and the greatest middle class in the history of the world.

CCCCCCIn the midst of a deep crisis brought on by COVID-19, our nation is once again facing an inflection point in its history — just as it did in the aftermath of the Great Depression in the 1930’s. As it happens, this week marks the 87th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), one of the most important New Deal programs that helped America get out of the Great Depression. Signed as an Executive Order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 5, 1933, the CCC provided work to the unemployed and created much of the infrastructure we continue to enjoy today. The CCC gave workers new practical skills that enabled them to get productive jobs once the economy started to rebound.

We, together as a nation united, must once again act. It is time for a new version of the CCC, one that coordinates grassroots efforts, provides more training for others to participate, and creates a civic infrastructure that can make our country more resilient in the future.

Today, we propose launching the Civic Response Corps (CRC), a new program in the spirit of the CCC to coordinate local civic response efforts, train the unemployed, undereducated, and unskilled to participate and create a new civic infrastructure needed not only to respond to the crisis but ramp up the recovery. Everyone can and should play a role relying not just on their skills and expertise but also on what they are willing to learn to do. There is not just a shortage of parts and equipment, but there are shortages of trained health care personnel. We need to create fast-track training programs as much as we need to fast-track product development.

Right now, citizen-makers are rising to the challenge to create the medical supplies needed to address shortages in our local communities. If the government response is Plan A and industry response is Plan B, then Plan C is the civic response. Plan C is made up of individuals and self-organizing groups, collaborating online to develop DIY designs for medical equipment and protective gear. They are addressing the breakdown of the manufacturing supply chain by making parts themselves in garages, barns, and makerspaces. In Youngstown, Ohio, the national institute for additive manufacturing, America Makes, is coordinating these community-driven efforts to create new, easily-manufactured designs for masks, face shields, ventilator parts, and dozens of other open-source ideas to help protect our front-line medical workers, prevent the spread of infection, and save lives. Similar efforts are happening across the country and around the globe.

Throughout the country, we have so many talented people who want to contribute. And there’s so much to do. Beyond our healthcare system, our education system is in shock and completely unprepared. Families have to cope without pre-schools and community centers. How can we help families use digital tools to educate their children? Our college students are at home with little to do and face the prospects of a summer without jobs. Our small businesses have experienced the unimaginable. How can we help them use online marketplaces and reach customers in new ways?

The nation’s recovery will not be a matter of flipping a switch; it will be the long, multi-year process of rebuilding from a disaster. The response will require that we apply our energy and our intelligence collectively. Because we are at war with a virus that spreads exponentially, our nation’s response has to grow exponentially. Civic participation, even from home, is the most critical resource we have for this fight and the Civic Response Corps will coordinate, expand and scale this response across the country.

DO WHAT YOU CAN

Calling All College Students, Retirees, Unemployed, K12 Teachers, Informal Educators, Hairstylists, Science Center Staff, Sports Reporters, Personal Fitness Trainers, Pre-school Teachers, Audio/Video Producers, Roboticists, Repair Technicians, Social Media Mavens, Engineers, Hobbyists, Community Organizers, Community Center staffers, Librarians, Waiters, Baristas, Data Scientists, At-home Parents, and Many Others Whose Lives Have Been Disrupted.

The civic response needs YOU. Even though there is no formal organization called the Civic Response Corps, YOU can act on your own as part of the civic response to the COVID-19 crisis

YOU need to use whatever skills you possess at any skill level. YOU don’t need a technical or medical background to get started. Problem solvers, producers of all kinds, community organizers and coordinators are needed. What matters most is your ability to learn to do new things and act alongside your fellow citizens. We can #maketogether the solutions, although we are not physically side-by-side by acting as a community of shared purpose. The immediate problem is the the shortage of medical supplies and equipment. But there are other problems that face us to recover from this crisis. That’s the magnitude of the challenge requiring this community-wide civic response, not just in the US but everywhere.

Here are a few ways to get involved:

  1. First and foremost, follow guidelines for shelter-in-place, social distancing, and face mask use to protect yourself, your family and others in your community.
  2. Look for efforts in your local area to join
  3. Make: editors have compiled the BIG LIST of related projects you can do now
  4. Connect and network with others online to build a community-wide response. Find out about local and regional needs.
  5. Reach out to makerspaces in your area to see what they are doing and how you can help
  6. Let us know about your civic response efforts. You can email me: [email protected]

#DoWhatYouCan #maketogether #planc #civicresponse

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