Where makers tell their tales and offer praise, brickbats, and swell ideas.
Skylar is 11 years old [pictured at right], and
he loves to make things. He went to Home Depot
and Lowe’s three times this weekend. He is pretty
tight with the plumbing dudes. They got a kick out of
his weekend project. Not your typical DIY.
After many viewings of his fav podcast at
makezine.com, Skylar made the T-shirt cannon
this weekend. First launch was 7: 40 p.m. He has
already lost a T-shirt in the neighbor’s bushes.
It works! Genius?
Katie Wisdom Weinstein
I happened across my first issue of MAKE
magazine with Volume 05. At the time I was working
on developing some children’s alternative energy
educational programs for a local startup in upstate
New York. Your magazine sucked me in with the
article about the DIY wind turbine from Velacreations
[page 90, “Wind Powered Generator,” by Abe and
Josie Connally]. In a month’s time I built my first
Chispito wind turbine. From there it has been a
whirlwind of change in my life.
I ended up building six Chispitos, became a forum
administrator for the Connallys’ website, traveled
to southwest Texas to finally meet them in person in
February 2007, decided two months later to sell my
house in upstate New York and move to their part
of Texas, designed an 8'× 16' structure I could move
into within two weeks, bought land in late November, began construction on Dec. 7, moved in on
Dec. 19, and after ten weeks in the desert I’m just a
couple weeks away from finishing all the details of
my off-the-grid desert hut [pictured at lower right]
— building materials $2,500, solar power system
$1,500, water catchment system $500.
Funny thing is, I have yet to add a wind turbine to
my place. This is just the first phase of a sustainable
living field research facility. Will be posting the full
set of construction photos at Flickr. Happy to email
some to you — you gotta see it!
172 Make: Volume 14
The Beetlebot article in Volume 12 is a delightfully minimalist creation. I really appreciate how
concise and symmetric the design is. I do have a
suggestion, prompted mostly by a sense of missed
If the polarity of one of the motors is reversed,
along with a reversal of the NO and NC connections
on that motor’s switch, then both batteries will be
used and drained “equally” — by that I mean that
when the Beetlebot is running unobstructed, each
battery will power one motor, and only when turning
would all the power come from a single motor.