Would you like to support the Chemhacker STM project?

Chemhacker periodic tableI’ve been asked this question a few times in the past week – how can someone support the Chemhacker STM project?

Here’s the easiest way: purchase a periodic table! I designed them myself, they are accurate to 5 significant figures and even contain Copernicium, the newest element! You can’t do chemistry without a periodic table.

So if you’re having trouble combating sentient grey goo, you should support the Chemhacker STM project by purchasing a periodic table!

$25 and ship worldwide for free.


Transmissometry Extended

Note: This project was originally hosted at ruggedscents.com, but I realized that a fragrance website isn’t really the best place for heavy duty science info, so I moved the transmissometry discussion, source code, and schematics here.

Below is the original post:

Open source hardware saved Campfire #1

I know there are case studies of Open Source Software helping businesses with their day-to-day tasks, but how many case studies are there of Open Source Hardware helping a business solve problems?

Here is my example of how the Open Source Hardware community saved the launch of my company’s first product.

I’ve also included all the theory, technical schematics, and details towards the end.

Here is the video we did for Pumping Station: One and Element 14:

Transmissometer from Pumping Station: One on Vimeo.

How did I get here:

My idea for a campfire scented cologne won the business plan competition at barcamp Chicago 2010, and on May 10, 2011, nearly a year later, I’m ready to launch my product-RuggedScents’ Campfire. Unfortunately, less than four weeks to launch, I discovered a major process flaw: gigantic inconsistencies between the longevity of the fragrance’s smell on the user’s skin from batch to batch-some batches lasted three to four hours, some barely made it past 30 minutes!

<pictures, schematics, and video after the jump> Read the rest of this entry »


Transmissometry: lasers and concentration

I’m starting up a company that makes a campfire scented cologne (I’m actually producing the smoke part of the fragrance myself).  I recently ran into a problem that only open source hardware could solve: figuring out concentration using just how much light my samples absorb.

Here is a blog post with details, schematics, photos, and source code.

Here is a video we shot (with the support of Element 14) to show how the device works:

Transmissometer from Pumping Station: One on Vimeo.


Insane Clown Lab

I’ve been wanting to upgrade the storage in ChemHacker central for a while – but I haven’t found a good, sturdy storage unit that is large, can handle holding a lot of weight, and is chemically resistant.

Until now.

I found this old Faygo-labeled shelving unit in a nearby alley:

After a (lot of) cleaning, here it is holding tools and a wide assortment of chemicals in the underground ChemHacker Lab:

Now that I have Faygo-themed shelving, perhaps I should look into teaching Juggalos some f’ing Science?


Can’t do without: Al Foil

I have a confession:

I <3 aluminum foil and can’t do chemistry without it.

When I first saw researcher friends using it, I was dumbfounded: what’s up with all the aluminum foil in your labs?

I’ve since become a convert: it’s a cheap, clean, impervious to spills, versatile, multitasking material that no lab should be without. Go out and buy a few rolls right now.  You’ll save money and frustration after only one use.

Here are only a few reasons why you should have a roll at hand in your chemistry lab:

  • Need a smooth, clean, spill-proof surface? Hey, presto! Just roll some out onto your workbench. When you’re done working, cleanup is a snap! Crumple it up, and toss it into the recycling bin. A sheet of aluminum foil won’t let spills touch your bench, is clean, and is a nice smooth surface.
  • Weigh boats.
  • Temporary container. (mine look exactly like my weigh boats)
  • A quick funnel.
  • A smooth surface to pour out a material for setting into a sheet.
  • A place to rest a stirring rod or magnetic stir bar without contaminating your entire work area. Read the rest of this entry »
March 8, 2010 | Posted in: Tools | Comments Closed