Chris Knipstein

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since Oct 11, 2014
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Recent posts by Chris Knipstein

If you want a real eye opener, I was shocked when I realized every green dot on the map below was an individual cargo ship. I suspected that some dots were the history of a single ship but no, each is an individual transponder number.

Commercial ship location live map. Last known location by transponder number. Ships close to shore show more information, sometimes even a file photo of the ship. Once further out to sea transponder info is just ship type and location unless you pay a fee to see more information. Especially around China the more you zoom in the more ships appear because you can't make the dots small enough to see them all on the big map.

Green is cargo ships, Red are oil tankers, Orange are fishing vessels.
2 years ago
For those talking of cutting and then inoculating logs. You need to cut a live log or branch a couple months before plug spawning it. Live trees have antifungal properties and you must let that die out before spawning them to have the best results. It's a tricky timing thing between waiting until the antifungals are gone but before another fungus invades it. I run a small indoor mushroom farm and have never done logs but have seen and read a lot about it. I don't remember anything about spring sugar or sap content being a benefit and I suspect it may even be a hinderance as other bacteria and such feed on the sugars while you're waiting for the antifungal properties to decay before plugging. Most indoor farms doing Shiitake just use whatever dry hardwood sawdust is available and rehydrate it and it works great.
2 years ago
I help run a non-profit "MakerSpace", if you are not familiar with such places they are basically a membership based workshop. They are usually full of people wanting to learn new skills, make stuff, and tinker. Last week at the White House there was a meeting of MakerSpace leaders. So there was a meeting of a bunch of do it yourself, lets just build it types all together when the EpiPen news broke out. If you missed it, the manufacturer got government funds to develop the EpiPen, then recently squashed some competition, got legislation passed to require all schools in the country to have EpiPens on hand, then raised the price from around $50-$70 to $600. The group of makers said there had to be an alternative because people were saying there was just no way they could afford this lifesaving device.

They came up with a list of items that your doctor can prescribe that would allow someone to self inject the epinephrine just like an EpiPen. The cost is about $60 before taxes and shipping, with no insurance and it is reusable. There is some ongoing discussion on if it's the best, if there are other options, if it is the right size of needle for everyone, etc. The biggest concern so far is that the medicine is in a glass ampule and you would need a 'filter needle' to prevent picking up glass shards. This isn't meant to be a shopping list, but more of a list to take to your doctor as an alternative to discuss. EpiPens are serious, meant to save a life in sever allergic reactions. This alternative involves opening a vial, drawing it into an auto injector and then using it. In the panic of a severe allergic reaction its some fumbling around vs the EpiPen, so this is really meant for those who just absolutely can not afford the EpiPen and would go without it otherwise. This isn't meant to just save some money.

I don't want to just post the list and someone grab it and think 'this is the exact stuff I need'. David Norris of another MakerSpace has been putting up some additional information as they find it.  I'm going to link the Facebook page where you can see the comments and concerns. David Norris' name is linked there so you can contact him directly if you wish. He was the impromptu group head that sat down and came up with the list. I'm not sure how to link directly to the post, but we don't put much stuff up so it's right at the top.

I don't want to seem like I'm just directing people to read our site, so here is the list anyway. But PLEASE go ready the post in case things change and I don't notice and this post here doesn't get updated. We get no money in any way for any of this. It's just meant to help some people who may really need it. It's not exactly permaculture but perhaps self reliant related in that someone without insurance and without $600 in their pocket doesn't die to a peanut or the like.

This is an excellent example of #makers coming together to find solutions to problems. Most of you have likely heard of the EpiPen price hikes in the news the last week or so. The price going from $57 each to $600 each putting a strain on those who can not afford the life saving device. But the device is just a one time use automatic injector loaded with Epinepherine. The group of MakerSpace leaders meeting at the White House this week found a solution in a day. Here is a list originated by that group. Total cost before taxes and shipping (with no insurance reductions) $59.15, refillable and makes the per use cost around $1.50.

David Norris of Cyberia Makerspace
David said:
Some of us who met at the White House this week have formed an "open innovation medical devices" group to try to provide DIY solutions to devices the medical industry is killing people over or refuses to work on. This week's Epipen announcement was an excellent example of how quickly a group like that could come up with a solution. Here is a DIY Epipen kit for $1.50 per dose (cost spread over 100 doses) that your doctor can write you prescriptions for:

1.) $4.45 -- 1 mL epinephrine vial (contains enough for 3 adult doses, or 6 child doses)

2.) $32.95 -- Autoject 2 (general use injection aid device)

3.) $21.75 -- (box of 100) 0.3mL syringes

Now you have a cheap, refillable EpiPen with an average price of about $1.50/refill.

7 years ago
I got to thinking of a "cardboard survival shelter" I saw the other day, and thought of some modifications that might make it work for this. I'm no artist so this is the best I could do with the Paint program.

My idea is a plywood box with the lid folding out to make a pup tent type roof. The sides would be just high enough to be taller than the bedding, plus a little higher to accommodate tool storage. When closed it could have a couple hasps to make it lockable for keeping things safe. In the one I have drawn up, I like the idea of the whole side opening up so that if you want to get out in a hurry you don't have to crawl out the end, and if it is really warm you can just make it so that you can have some legs that could hold it fully open. (Being hinged the 'door' could just flip over backwards but propped up would allow some protection from falling things.

Maybe if this 'pod' was made of 1/2" or 3/4" plywood for the base and the small sides to give it rigidity for moving it around and only 1/4" was used for the 2 roof pieces the weight might be close to a car roof pod?

Being a plywood box tools would be secure when closed and locked. When closed it would likely only be 16" deep or so I would imagine, so it wouldn't take up a lot of room in the truck bed or when stored. It could be made to be fairly weatherproof incase it were rained on in the back of the truck. When set up the sloped roof would add protection from falling things you were looking for.

Here is the article that gave me the idea. They do some in depth testing of how warm a cardboard shelter could be with no heat source other than your body.

Here is my attempt to show what I had in mind.

7 years ago
It's (almost) done! The VW went for it's first test drive today. It only has half the batteries it will have, and the charger has not arrived yet. There are still some 'extras' dangling from below you can see that need dealt with. However, the test drive *had* to be done!

7 years ago

R Scott wrote:Awesome!

Are you upgrading the brakes or using regenerative braking or both?

I asked the people doing it and found out the answer for you. The brakes were upgraded to disk brakes before they purchased it, and they are also using a regenerative system. So the answer to your question is 'both'
7 years ago
One of the two people doing the conversion was on vacation for a week, and I wasn't in the shop at the same time as the other to ask about the braking yet. I did peek under the hood today and saw the motor controller was mounted so I suspect a test drive may happen in the near future!

7 years ago
Half of the batteries have arrived, and they fit perfectly behind the back seat! The other half will be mounted in the trunk, up front. Also uploaded a better shot of the motor in place. More photos added to the Facebook album link in the original post. (Off topic but I also just uploaded to Facebook a video and pictures of a Tesla coil one of the people made, I thought it unique as it uses salt water in glass pop bottles for capacitors, and cut pieces of copper pipe for spark gaps.)

7 years ago
Here in North East Indiana we have a substantial Amish population. They use draft horses for farming and regular horses for pulling their buggies for transportation. Some areas where they live there are buggy lanes along the side of the road like bike lanes in some cities. They are just another lane on the road designated for horse and buggies only. Partially to not impede traffic and partially because horses are surprisingly really rough on asphalt roads.

A car or truck distributes its weight over the 4 tires, each tire having a footprint many square inches larger than that of a horse shoe. The horse all it's weight comes down on 1 hoof at a time and only the metal horseshoe spreading that weight out. It's basically like taking a 1,000 pound plus hammer and just beating a trail down the center of the road over and over again. It only takes a couple years for a newly paved road to establish a rut down the center a couple inches deep where the horses are going over it. A few people with horses out on the side roads it doesn't happen, but when the whole community uses them such as the main road into town that's a lot of 'hammer blows' to the road. We have hot summers which helps soften the asphalt slightly but long winter as well when the below freezing temps surely give it more strength. I suspect in the south the ruts would happen more quickly.

By law the Amish must have lights on their buggies now. There were quite a few terrible accidents at night as all the buggies are painted black. Since the Amish do not use electricity in their homes, they quickly adapted to solar power, putting panels up on the barn and using rechargeable battery systems to run the lights on the buggies.

In the Amish areas many stores (even Walmart) have long 3 sided sheds with heavy rubber mats over the pavement so the horses can be tied up out of the sun and weather and a comfortable place to stand on the mats vs the pavement.
8 years ago
I'm part of a 'Maker space' in Fort Wayne, IN and a couple people are currently converting a 1975 Volkswagen Beetle to a everyday driver electric vehicle. I thought people might like to see how the electric motor looks mounted up. Some video was taken of mounting it but it needs to get edited down first. We're adding pictures of it to a photo album on the Facebook page as the project progresses. The picture below is the best one, so I uploaded it to Imjur to link here. The rest in the Facebook album are just different views, opposite side, from below etc. I've put the link to the album below if your interested in those other views.

Click the 'next' button above the top right corner to scroll through the pictures
Facebook photo album
8 years ago