rimstar.org
... An addiction to science, renewable energy, building stuff, understanding how things work, and passing it all on to you.

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August 9, 2014 New video showing how the corona motor (v2) was made.
August 3, 2014 New main corona motor page with explanation of how it works and a more powerful motor.
July 21, 2014 More symbols added to the electronic symbols for schematics page.
July 14, 2014 Tips about Fresnel lens and box solar cookers.
July 4, 2014 New page on electronic symbols, plus a video on how to read a schematic.
June 28, 2014 New video showing step-by-step how I made the nitinol wire/shape memory alloy inchworm.
June 22, 2014 Made a nitinol wire/shape memory alloy inchworm that walks!
June 15, 2014 Huge update to turning a PC monitor into a high voltage power supply.
June 8, 2014 Experimenting with nitinol wire (shape memory alloy).
June 1, 2014 Added details and example about solar panel specifications.
May 19, 2014 Lots more details added to the multiplier section of the how-to-make 30kV power supply page.
May 17, 2014 Video on how to read music and to adapt it to the 555 timer music player and the straw trombone
May 12, 2014 New high voltage power supply with easier to find parts.
April 28, 2014 Added Q&A about batteries and motors to the Van de Graaff generator FAQ page.
April 19, 2014 Enhanced the gravity light to power 3 LEDs and run for 8 minutes - video included
April 14, 2014 Gravity light (homemade) that powers an LED using a slowly falling mass
April 6, 2014 Making music instruments with drinking straws - a trombone and a trumpet
March 29, 2014 New calculator for figuring out how many solar panels you need.
March 23, 2014 Moving things with sound - Helmholtz resonators
March 18, 2014 Much improved voltage drop calculator for solar power system wiring.
March 10, 2014 Cleaning up smoke with a DIY electrostatic/smoke precipitator!
March 2, 2014 Added Van de Graaff generator FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page.
February 13, 2014 Added laser diodes to Star Wars TIE Fighter and Star Trek Enterprise models.
February 9, 2014 The mysterious ball bearing motor - how to make one and how it works.
February 2, 2014 Video about fixing my 30kV high voltage power supply.
January 25, 2014 Added an easy to use voltage drop calculator for solar power system wiring.
January 19, 2014 Repaired piano/keyboard key - encouraging repairing instead of throwing away.
January 13, 2014 Make a simple corona motor (or electrostatic/atmospheric motor)
January 3, 2014 Astrobotic plans to visit lunar skylight in October 2015.
December 14, 2013 New 2025 Mars crew landing date, Lockheed-Martin and SSTL selected for 2018 mission studies.
December 8, 2013 Added ion propulsion to a Star Trek Enterprise model!
November 30, 2013 Two new ion propulsion videos added, including one with a Star Trek Enterprise model!
November 20, 2013 How I did the linkage for my big Stirling engine.
November 17, 2013 About the thermoelectric effect (Peltier and Seebeck effects), and making ice.
November 5, 2013 Where to get a power supply for your lifter/ionocraft (an often asked question.)
November 1, 2013 Peltier module cooling efficiency testing.
October 30, 2013 Added details on the Google Lunar X Prize.
October 16, 2013 An easy to make laser - TEA laser.
September 30, 2013 Updated with the latest microFIT pricing and solar panel costs.
September 21, 2013 New how-to-make high voltage power supply video plus more added.
September 6, 2013 Awesome new music player I made for the 2013 Ottawa Mini-Maker Faire.
August 18, 2013 How to make your own electrolytic capacitors.
August 10, 2013 Make a simple AM radio transmitter.
August 3, 2013 DIY amplifier for playing the crystal radio on a loud speaker.
July 21, 2013 New Stirling engine for outdoor use with concentrated solar from Fresnel lens.
June 29, 2013 How to power a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) using a joule thief circuit and AA batteries!
June 22, 2013 Many more "how it's made" details added for the 555 timer chip music player.
June 2, 2013 Concentrated solar power experiments with large fresnel lens, solar cell and cooling.
May 26, 2013 Franklin's bell science project - how to make it.
May 17, 2013 How to make musical instruments using a 555 timer chip circuit, a pencil and paper.
May 5, 2013 How to make a diode using a razor blade and a pencil for use with a crystal radio.
April 28, 2013 Updates to path-to-space page and added the Mars One settlement plans.
April 23, 2013 New section - Science and Electronics Projects!
March 25, 2013 Major updates to electret making, including new positive test results and
video detailing how to determine charge polarity using an electroscope.
March 11, 2013 Updated the calculation for a microFIT system given lower solar panel costs.
March 8, 2013 A portable crystal radio using a loop antenna coil!
February 12, 2013 Step-by-step video on how to make a Kelvin water dropper, including troubleshooting.
February 2, 2013 Make static electricity from falling water - the Kelvin water dropper.
January 21, 2013 Bigelow to supply inflatable module to NASA for Internationl Space Station.
December 26, 2012 How to use earbuds/iPhone earpods with a crystal radio.
December 10, 2012 Large, enclosed solar panel made of transistor solar cells.
December 2, 2012 New page all about crystal earpieces for crystal radios, including homemade.
November 17, 2012 Tips for weatherproofing transistor solar panel.
November 12, 2012 How to check for piezoelectric speakers in gift cards without damaging them.
October 20, 2012 New Part 2 How to Make a Van de Graaff Generator video with lots of tips and improvements.
October 13, 2012 Van de Graaff generator as Faraday cage experiment.
October 7, 2012 New how to make a Stirling engine and how it works video and some tips.
September 15, 2012 How to make a piezoelectric crystal speaker from scratch.
August 30, 2012 New How a Crystal Radio Works video (very detailed).
August 11, 2012 Mini solar tower (version 7) with a tower this time!
August 5, 2012 Details of and my experience with the commercially available, and excellent, Copenhagen solar cooker.
July 27, 2012 How to repair a solar panel whose glass has been shattered.
July 20, 2012 By request, added a crystal radio amplifier step-by-step how-to-make video.
July 16, 2012 Ontario solar Feed-in Tariff program Version 2.0 rules finalized and accepting applications.
July 13, 2012 Finally, a fresnel lens powered "solar tower" turning a paper turbine.
July 6, 2012 New - How a Joule Thief Works video!
June 29, 2012 How to get a piezoelectric igniter from a lighter and how it works.
June 25, 2012 Repaired camera tripod leg - encouraging repairing instead of throwing away.
June 22, 2012 Updated Copenhagen solar cooker - more construction, aiming and adjusting, videos, ...
June 18, 2012 Copenhagen solar cooker - A good solar cooker that's easy to make or inexpensive to buy.
June 15, 2012 New video - Day in the Life of an Off-Grid Solar Installer.
June 13, 2012 DIY solar pool heating system in Sardinia, Italy.
June 8, 2012 The joule thief - getting power from dead batteries.
June 4, 2012 A comparison of different solar cookers.
June 1, 2012 A simple amplifier for my crystal radio - includes a how-to-make video.
May 28, 2012 Added air changes per hour setting to solar house simulator and analysis at bottom.
May 25, 2012 SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft successfully berthed at the International Space Station.
May 22, 2012 Solar city Ottawa - a sample of the many different types of systems in our northern city.
May 17, 2012 Determining charge using an electroscope and electrostatics and magnetism video.
May 14, 2012 Rain water harvesting for flushing toilets and
Added mention to raise evacuated tubes off roof for snow accumulation.
May 11, 2012 Bigelow to use SpaceX for getting to/from their space station.
May 7, 2012 Tricks for aiming things (solar cookers, PV panels, solar air heaters, ...) at the sun.
May 5, 2012 Selected commercial solar cookers - ones you can buy.
April 30, 2012 Taught my first solar cooking class - course handout, tips and photos are here.
April 27, 2012 Planetary Resources to start prospecting near Earth asteroids by or in 2014.
April 23, 2012 Detailed introduction to solar cooking.
April 20, 2012 Beefed up the section on Van de Graaff generator belts.
April 16, 2012 Mobile full off-grid solar power system on a trailer.
April 13, 2012 SpaceX's first launch to the International Space Station is set for April 30th.
April 9, 2012 Art's hybrid solar oven that can brew percolating coffee and also fry and bake.
April 6, 2012 Solar panel made of transistor solar cells powering a calculator.
April 5, 2012 News - Astrobotic announces Polaris mission to moon's north pole.
April 2, 2012 The fun with crystal radios that I've had over the years - including my how-to-make video.
March 30, 2012 How to make a solar cell using a power transistor.
March 26, 2012 Sizing and selecting batteries for an off-grid solar power system.
March 23, 2012 Significantly lowered prices for Ontario solar Feed-in Tariff program and
a new high voltage probe video, including taking it apart.
March 20, 2012 Neat tool made by Guy for cutting solar air heater cans.
March 19, 2012 Working out your power needs for an off-grid solar power system.
March 16, 2012 New voltage, current, airflow video for a lifter plus more enhancements to these pages.
March 12, 2012 A more detailed off-grid solar power system diagram and parts descriptions.
March 9, 2012 New step-by-step construction video for a lifter (non-conventional propulsion).
March 5, 2012 Started a section dedicated to off-grid solar power.
March 3, 2012 Improved the heat transfer/loss calculator,
added Suntuf and twin wall glazing to the insulation table, and info about U-value and conversion to R-value.
February 27, 2012 All about heat transfer, loss and gain, examples, and a calculator.
February 24, 2012 Video of modified CooKit solar cooker contruction and use in below freezing weather.
February 21, 2012 Diagrams and more tips added to making a computer monitor high voltage power supply and
added an explanation of why piezo crystals show positive and negative spikes.
February 20, 2012 Solar cooked in below freezing weather: soya rice vegetable concoction and
the modified CooKit solar cooker that was used.
February 13, 2012 Finished the off-grid solar system battery mainentance pages and
SpaceX to visit the International Space Station in late April.
February 11, 2012 My improved How a Van de Graaff Generator Works video - with all the physics.
February 6, 2012 How to measure a solar system's battery bank voltage.
January 30, 2012 Details about amp hour meters for solar power systems.
January 23, 2012 Solar cooked gluten-free pumpkin sourdough bread/cake recipe.
January 19 2012 Made a step-by-step video of getting a piezoelectric crystal from a BBQ ignitor.
January 17 2012 How to use a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity of solar system batteries.
January 16 2012 Winter results for David's DIY PEX coil solar water heater.
January 10 2012 A warning about window covering solar air heaters.
January 9 2012 Inexpensive iPhone and Android apps for doing solar shade analysis.
January 6, 2012 My fancy DIY shade finder tool for doing solar site surveys and how to read a Sun Chart.
December 19, 2011 New solar cooker - the Modified CooKit solar cooker!
December 14, 2011 Solar cooked winter solstice sourdough sunshine cake recipe and
reflector aiming method using distant viewing trick.
December 12, 2011 New solar cooking recipe section, starting with no-knead bread and pizza crust.
December 7, 2011 Baffle solar air heaters for odd shapes and
multiscreen screen solar air heaters.
December 2, 2011 New video for the simple DIY tool for finding year round shading.
November 27, 2011 Blog entry - The vanishing garbage and
November 25, 2011 Step-by-step how to make a Rochelle salt piezoelectric crystal and
a new video on testing Rochelle salt piezoelectric crystals.
November 22, 2011 Blue Origin reveals some of its orbital space plans and so
added Blue Origin to the Path to Space.
November 18, 2011 New page about my Cansolair installation and
a video detailing parts of the owner-installed Enerworks solar thermal/hot water system.
November 11, 2011 Finding sun shading/obstacle issues and
a simple DIY tool for finding year round shading.
November 4, 2011 Detailed video tour of the owner-installed Enerworks solar thermal/hot water system.
November 1, 2011 An owner-installed Enerworks solar thermal/hot water system.
October 27, 2011 JP Aerospace flies Tandem airship to record height to the edge of space.
October 24, 2011 Nuclear fusion including quantum tunnelling - and a new video.
October 20, 2011 Solar air heater with selectable input and output paths.
October 17, 2011 New detailed solar off-grid home video tour - a large system.
October 11, 2011 Started an insulation table for solar/renewable energy DIYers.
October 5, 2011 Passive solar house (well... box) simulator stable version uploaded.
October 3, 2011 Introduction to insulation: convection, conduction, radiation, R-values.
September 29, 2011 SpaceX reveals how they'll make their Falcon 9 rocket reusable.
September 24, 2011 Getting started page added to help newcomers to renewable energy projects.
September 14, 2011 How to repair things... starting with a knapsack and a bicycle lock key.
September 5, 2011 Various methods for finding true south for aligning solar collectors.
August 26, 2011 Video explaining nuclear fusion in the sun and how it gives us solar energy.
August 25, 2011 Data logs added for Guy's DIY can solar air heater.
August 23, 2011 Updated absorber and glazing subsections on main solar air heater page and
added schematic to homemade 24 volt power supply page.
August 16, 2011 Guy's DIY can solar air heater with measured savings for two seasons and
using an hour meter to measure runtime for solar heating systems.
August 12, 2011 Very efficient/interesting commercial solar air heater, Lubi.
August 10, 2011 First success with a car sunshade solar cooker!
August 8, 2011 August space news - Atlas V rocket selected for Boeing's Crew Space Transportation capsule.
August 4, 2011 Unique DIY solar hot water system using a PEX spiral coil/solar oven collector.
July 28, 2011 How to design reflectors for solar cookers (and other things.)
July 27, 2011 July space news - SpaceX's Dragon scheduled for December docking with ISS and
Bigelow moving directly to BA 330 (330 cubic meter) inflatable habitat development.

July 22, 2011 Full details on how I designed my fresnel lens and mirror solar cooker.
July 14, 2011 Fresnel lens AND MIRROR solar cooker; cooking from below and without goggles!
July 12, 2011 Where not to put a chlorinator in a solar pool heating system.
July 11, 2011 Mini solar tower version 5 partially rotates a small paper turbine.
July 5, 2011 Mini solar tower version 4 now up to 165C (330F) plus.
Also added Don's prototype fresnel lens solar cooker.
July 3, 2011 Blog entry - The world in 2050
June 25, 2011 Mini solar tower for generating electricity using fresnel lens.
June 18, 2011 About sunlight capture areas for solar cookers as a start to a
new section on designing solar cookers.
June 17, 2011 All about fresnel lenses - or what I learned making my solar cooker!
June 13, 2011 Blog entry - Doers ruin predictions
June 10, 2011 Fried an egg for lunch with my fresnel lens solar cooker!
June 7, 2011 How to make a Van de Graaff generator.
June 5, 2011 Bruce's feature rich fresnel lens solar cooker.
June 1, 2011 My new fresnel lens solar cooker!
May 27, 2011 DIY solar air heater types and
miscellaneous additions to the main solar air heater page.
May 26, 2011 Rain water powered piezoelectric generator lighting an LED!
May 22, 2011 Derelict rear projection TV = two new solar cookers!
May 20, 2011 Extracting and testing piezoelectric disks from gift cards.
May 15, 2011 Blog entry - Redefining normal
May 11, 2011 Firsts and mishaps in solar cooking - started a solar cooking log.
May 6, 2011 Complete video of the design, construction and use of my cone solar cooker.
May 5, 2011 How to mount a transistor to a heatsink.
April 29, 2011 News about SpaceX's $75 million award from NASA for launch escape system... and planetary lander and
minor updates to the "path to space" since things keep happening.
April 28, 2011 Details of AccuCut machine used for making electric rocket.
April 25, 2011 Sizing steps added for DIY solar pool heating hose/tube length.
April 21, 2011 Blog entry - Would you live without a washing machine?
April 16, 2011 Started solar cooking! Nothing beats solar cooked rice from
a homemade solar cooker.

April 11, 2011 How to make a sun finder for pointing a solar cooker at the sun.
April 6, 2011 More shower on/off valve water use tests, foot pedal activation idea, ...
April 5, 2011 SpaceX's Falcon Heavy added to the 'path to space' page as a result of recent announcements and
added news item re the Falcon Heavy to main space page.
April 4, 2011 2 gallons/7.6 litres for a full shower?! Yup. See the table of times and calculations.
April 1, 2011 How to size a DIY or commercial solar pool heating system.
March 31, 2011 Vaccum energy tapping design page now has general idea at top.
March 29, 2011 Ran across a great Ontario microFIT (PV feeding the grid) video.
March 25, 2011 The Airship to Orbit program - a novel way to go from Earth to space.
March 18, 2011 How to use a watt meter to save electricity!
February 18, 2011 Save water and heating costs by using a low flow shower head!
February 11, 2011 Much added to the 'path to space' page as a result of recent announcements and
added news item re Astrobotic Technology's moon plans.
February 7, 2011 More ways to clear snow off solar panels (plus added diagrams.)
February 4, 2011 Solar snow pre-melter experiments.
February 2, 2011 New Ontario Commercial Feed-in-Tariff (CFIT) program for renting of roofs/property for solar systems.
January 25, 2011 Assisting in melting snow off solar panels with strips of black tape and
a new main winter solar issues page.
January 20, 2011 Added a main 'Space' page.
January 19, 2011 Worm bin temperature measurements in mid-winter.
January 18, 2011 Realistic analysis of the future of humans in space.
January 17, 2011 Made a very full video about heat retention cooking.
January 10, 2011 More info on just about everything to do with DIY solar air heaters and
added types and CSA Performance Factors for commercial solar air heaters.
December 22, 2010 New main efficiency and conservation page and
how to do heat-retention cooking - cook long grain brown rice with 10 minutes on the stove instead of 45!
December 16, 2010 New main composting page and started doing green bin composting for the winter.
December 9, 2010 Blog entry - Can 100 miles of mirrors concentrated solar thermal power the US?
December 3, 2010 Ideas added for DIY dry cuprous oxide solar cells.
December 2, 2010 Revised how the vacuum energy tapping theory calculates space energy density.
December 1, 2010 Ontario microFIT/FIT Feed-in Tariff program details (up to $0.802/kWh). (Updated Dec 13 - See News)
November 18, 2010 How to square a frame for a solar array.
November 15, 2010 Barium titanate doorknob capacitor propulsion experiment!
November 12, 2010 Much improved Part 2 video for solar air heater temperature control and new assembly photos.
November 7, 2010 Abundant detail, circuits and videos on temperature control for solar air heaters!
October 4, 2010 In the testatika, the electric field is through the horseshoe magnet itself and not the gap between the legs.
September 10, 2010 New very detailed report of the DIY spiral hose type of solar pool heater in Tuscany!
Also, now introducing RSS support for rimstar.org! Click the button above.
August 26, 2010 Ontario's microFIT program now paying $0.642/kWh for non-roof systems.
August 15, 2010 DIY spiral hose type solar pool heater in Tuscany!
August 14, 2010 More details about solar pool heating control and automation.
July 15, 2010 New high voltage, infinitely adjustable horizontal rotating test platform.
June 24, 2010 Diagrams and ideas for the testatika principle experiment.
June 14, 2010 Visitor report, "Testatika demonstration with over 30 engineers".
June 12, 2010 Better mixing technique for Barium Titanate capacitors: K=27!.
May 15, 2010 Demonstration of charge holding in vacuum energy capacitor (work-in-progress).
May 7, 2010 More details on Ontario's $0.802/kWh Feed-in Tariff program and
spreadsheet calcs show lower voltage needed for vacuum energy tapping and
convincing evidence of mesh at center of 3kW testatika machine.
April 21, 2010 Making Barium Titanate capacitors for a high dielectric constant.
April 16, 2010 Much more likely explanation for what the testatika 3kW machine's sectors consist of.
March 21, 2010 Calculated required voltage for particle creation from vacuum energy and
a new design idea from how this might be going on in the testatika.
March 16, 2010 Last part of off-grid cottage size/type system on a motor home added.
March 9, 2010 Added AC and battery wiring to off-grid cottage size/type system on a motor home.
March 5, 2010 Derived surprisingly good formula for vacuum energy tapping theory calculations.
March 2, 2010 Added solar panel wiring, including to charge controller and battery description page.
February 27, 2010 Very, very detailed desciption of installation of off-grid cottage size/type system on a motor home.
February 23, 2010 First vacuum energy tapping theory calculations.
February 16, 2010 New video about inductive charging using an electroscope and
major updates to vacuum energy theory.
February 8, 2010 First vacuum energy tapping theory experiments.
February 3, 2010 Fuller explanation of the vacuum energy tapping theory.
February 1, 2010 Vacuum energy tapping theory and designs (experiments in progress.)
January 12, 2010 Feed-in Tariff program replaces Standard Offer Program in Ontario for solar power and
added Matrix Energy's products to solar air heater manufacturer info.
December 16, 2009 High voltage power supply with positive, negative and ground AT THE SAME TIME!
December 14, 2009 High voltage NEGATIVE voltage multiplier.
November 27, 2009 Major updates to solar air heater manufacturer info!
November 14, 2009 A new 312,000 PV solar panel solar farm in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
November 6, 2009 Testatika HV pulsing of magnets and converting to low voltage DC!
October 10, 2009 Added a video of how I harvest my worm castings (poop)!
October 6, 2009 My tricks for doing container gardening in our parking lot.
September 5, 2009 New food section, my growing efforts starting with... broccoli!
September 2, 2009 Some recent testatika work with 276mm disk and insulated HV plates.

What's New archive...

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Created Apr. 30, 1999, Last Modified August 9, 2014