Author Topic: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies  (Read 17662 times)

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luv2weld

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Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« on: June 09, 2010, 10:36:18 AM »
There are several things that need to be said here.
First, please Do Not try to impress us with your knowledge of scientific terms. One of the wonderful things
about the internet is, you never know who is on the other end. You may be talking to a rocket scientist,
a brain surgeon, an FBI agent, an electrical engineer, a diesel mechanic, a school teacher, etc. All at the same time.
It is much like seeing an old man on the street. He may look useless and all bent and broken. But you have no idea
where he has been or what he has done. So be courteous and respectful. On the street and on this forum.
We are impressed with actions and results. Show us what you have done. Even if it did not work as you thought it
should. We usually learn more from our failures than our successes.

Second, if you have not built anything yet, please Do Not try to improve on what you do not fully understand.
When I was a young man, I was told that you never really learn a subject until you start to teach it. Boy is that
the truth! So maybe this ties back into the first paragraph. There are a lot of people on this site (both male and female)
that have been building and teaching this stuff for years. It is really unlikely that you will think of some wonderful
way to improve on the axial flux air core alternator until you have built a number of them. You may think you understand
the interaction of the components. But until you build several of them, you really do not have a complete understanding
of what is going on. Changing one component changes EVERYTHING. If you change wire size or number of wraps, you
have changed the output, the size of the blades, maybe the offset and the furling. And probably several other things.
What I am trying to say here is Build Something! Then after you understand the interaction of All the components, you
might begin to think of improving things.

And that brings us to our next point. For your first build, DO NOT try to go off on your own and design an alternator.
The first build should ALWAYS be from either the plans from DanB and the boys or from Hugh Piggott.
They are proven designs. We know they work. IF you follow the instructions step by step, you will succeed. Yeah, I know
you don't have the money for the magnets that DanB used in his plans. Then there are several options. You can save up the money,
you can find a different set of plans, you can email DanB and ask about a layaway plan (where you pay so much per week or month), etc.
Just do not start changing things. I don't have that size wire so I'll use this one and I don't have those magnets so I'll use these
little ones, I don't have the money for the proper rotor plates so I'll use an aluminum pie plate, etc. Then when it doesn't work
you come back here and ask why!?!? If you do not want to waste time and money, besides being mad and frustrated, then
follow the instructions step by step. Take your time. Do it properly the first time.

Which brings us to the next point. It is better (and cheaper) to over build than to pick up the pieces and do it again.
This pertains mostly to the mechanical aspects, the rotor plates, the tower, guy wires, anchors, etc.
When you start under sizing things, you are playing with your money and your LIFE. And maybe the lives of your
wife and children!! Never use a guy wire that is too small. Remember Murphy's law---Whatever can go wrong, will. And at
the most inopportune time!! If that small cable breaks, it is quite possible to Kill someone. You do remember that the area
around a tower equal to total height is called the "Kill Zone"??? Now why do you suppose it's called that????
Safety at all times should be your number one concern. Tower too small or too thin---DO NOT use it. Rotor plates too
thin so you are getting way too much flux leakage---DON'T do it. It's going to cost you time and money! And if the rotors
flex and cause a blade tower strike, who or what is going to get hit with a blade moving at 100 miles an hour (or 120 k per hour)?!?!
It just isn't worth the risk to hodge podge things just to get it done quickly. Have you really saved any money by using
very thin tube for a tower when if falls on your new Cadillac or Mercedes????

One more thing. No one is born knowing this stuff. We all had to learn somewhere. For some of us, the education was hard fought.
We have the scars to prove it!!

I'm sure that there are other things that need to be added here, so I'll ask the rest of the members here to help me out.
And for the newbies, we are not trying to "talk down to you". We are just trying to make you think. This should be fun and
an enjoyable experience for all of us. 

If you succeed the first time, you are more likely to be seriously infected with this addiction and continue.


Now build something!!!!!! And show us the results. We love success stories.
And if it doesn't work, tell us that too. Maybe we can all learn from it.

Ralph






The best way to "kill time" is to work it to death!

TomW

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2010, 10:42:27 AM »
Thanks, Ralph.

I made this sticky  so it should stay up near the top in the section. Well said.

Now shouldn't you be building something? ;D

Tom
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DragonFly III

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 07:58:30 AM »
All though I do agree with you on, if you want to reproduce something you should follow the directions to the letter, I also believe that there is an amazing possibility in trying to build from things you may have laying around, things from friends and strangers, or like me, get them on garbage night.  You'd be amazed at what you can find...for FREE.  This method takes longer but I believe builds patients, which I believe is a rare commodity.  I am NOT an Alternative energy expert and definitely NOT a wind generator expert but I have been around the block.  I've been building since I was 2 (Leggos and blocks.  My parents said they were amazed it what I could build out of leggos.)   And since have built some amazing projects with junk that are fully functional and some still in use for 5+ yrs.  (just for backround)  If I had waited For money even save money I would have missed out on a Lot of experience.  Plus I learned that sometimes no matter how hard you try,  Unless you have the proper facilities some things are just not feasible.  Sorry if this sounds negative.  Defiantly not what I was going for.

luv2weld

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 09:19:23 AM »
I agree with what you are saying 100 percent.
If you read some of my past posts, you'll see that I am very much in favor of using what you have.

What I was trying to say was "If someone has to hold your hand and tell you every step to make, then
maybe you should follow the instructions step by step."

We get a lot of requests on this forum for help redesigning by people that don't have the proper
things on hand, but they also don't have a clue about substitution or improvisation either.

I don't think anyone here has a problem with inventive minds finding different ways to get things done.
We do have a problem with spoon feeding and hand holding.

Ralph
The best way to "kill time" is to work it to death!

SparWeb

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2010, 01:01:19 PM »
Quote
...We do have a problem with spoon feeding and hand holding...

In other words:

DIY means "Do It Yourself", with emphasis on the "yourself" part.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

Rover

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2010, 03:52:49 PM »
I think another addition might be. Don't reply to another post unless  you really think/know the topic and can live with some rebuttal if others have dissent for  your contribution.

Rover
<Where did I bury that microcontroller?>

DragonFly III

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2010, 11:43:21 PM »
Totally see what you are saying.  It made me think of people I have delt with.  I get "hired" to help get things going I give the instructions and leave.  Come back and see that they were waiting for me to come back and hold there hands.  Very counterproductive.  I just wanted to touch those who are actually selling themselves short because they dont have the funds or access to extra parts.


countrykidd

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2010, 07:02:49 PM »
Just read the "do's & don'ts" . Agree with most of it but I (after reading a ton of stuff on Micro hydro) wanted to see what I could build with what i had or could get for free. I certainly didn't have $1000/$2000 to buy off the shelf units. (at least not yet)  I have built and tested my unit and it works! (Maybe i was hoping for a few more amps  :) but it's a work in progress.
So I have been looking for a forum that's interested in DIY stuff. Am I in the right place?

RP

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2010, 07:13:39 PM »
So I have been looking for a forum that's interested in DIY stuff. Am I in the right place?

Yep,  You're home!

luv2weld

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2010, 08:48:26 AM »
One thing that I forgot is----Please include more information than you think is necessary.
Include where you are, the size of the swept area, voltage of the system, height of tower, if tower is sheltered
or in the open,how many batteries, what type, etc., any and all other information.
You know the details of your system and what you are asking. But we don't.
It is frustrating to have to ask for the information in order to answer your question.
Please give us all the help we need to answer your questions.

Ralph
The best way to "kill time" is to work it to death!

greenkarson

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2010, 05:42:33 PM »

"Second, if you have not built anything yet, please Do Not try to improve on what you do not fully understand."

Chuckled when i read that.  My grandfather was a oldtime boat builder in Newfoundland.  He used to tell me the story about building boats .  Everybody that came by while he was working had a suggestion how to improve his boats in one way or another.  So finally he started a new boat and followed everybodys suggestions that came by. Long story short first storm the boat sank in the harbor.  So after that anybody that came by with a suggestion while my grandfather was working.  He would stand up point out across the harbor and say "your boat is out there"
 

seilertechco

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2012, 07:40:35 AM »
Sorry but my joy comes from pushing the state of the art and that is not always following the tried and proven.   I don't recommend that anyone else try it.  Some of my work is patentable because of unique combinations, but after a few trips to DC, watching the Asian representatives taking patents for the cost of a copy, I decided NO Patent on anything. 

I probably spend 4x the normal research before picking up the welder.  I've done it for my technical company clients, working out problems that they may have reached roadblocks on, now for 30 years. 

For example, in sawmill bandsaws, I run blades at twice the tension of any known saw and do not fatigue the ultra thin blades.  In gasification I work with reformation, breaking water bonds to form high hydrogen and CO gas. I make high security pneumatic jail locks for older jails and in my windmill, I'm working on electro-permanent magnets that I believe will enable a wider operating range from cut in to max output. I worked on one of the first Vari-easy Rutan airplanes made from plans, so feel confident in the blade master (to make the mold from) I'm working on now.   

So I'm sorry if I ask a redundant question or one that does not make sense.  But I find that my joys are first in learning, then trying to push the state of the art (working for myself).  I may be a newbie to this forum but I've been working with new designs since 1974 in the enginering lab at Square D...so have some experience to draw from. 

Best regards,  Toby     

Bruce S

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2012, 07:45:24 AM »
Toby;
 Those were put there for a number of reasons.
In the past people came here asking questions that ARE here in the FAQs, then mostly without any research on their part started arguing with the Admins and people who knew/know the max energy formulas by heart and , could not convince the newbie that 99% of the stuff they found on the web and "other" websites was mostly rubbish at best.
Here with mods and Admins around the world, normally we can catch them and will PM them the errors of their ways. IF they choose NOT to listen to reason, then they get to be in a "read-only" mode to hopefully get a better understanding.
You've posted some of the stuff that you've done and accomplished, good on you, but the main thing we ask.
Try some of the stuff that has proven to work not just in one instance, but around the world by many, some with nothing more than a hammer ( made from an old jeep leaf-spring) and a bellows fire.
Then go push the envelope, we'll be right here to help and cheer you on.

Cheers
Bruce S

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seilertechco

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2012, 05:02:10 PM »
My posts seem to just disappear.  What a waste of time.

Bruce S

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Re: Do's and Don'ts for Newbies
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2012, 08:30:03 AM »
My posts seem to just disappear.  What a waste of time.
Then you're doing something wrong, we've not had any problems with posts disappearing in a long time (2 upgrades ago). Only other reason would be if a MOD of GM Or owner found it to be offensive or OverUnity nonsense.
A kind word often goes unsaid BUT never goes unheard