Thursday, September 11, 2008

Make:15 specifically and the publication as a whole

Make Issue #15 came yesterday, approximately 4 months after the previous issue. By my ciphering, that is about a month late but then maybe some earlier issues came early (I didn't check).

This issue emphasizes digital music. Since I'm tone deaf, I have zero interest in that subject (I love listening to music, I just can't make it myself). This points out what for me is a fatal flaw with the magazine - it just doesn't cover enough stuff that I'm interested in. Each issue has a theme, and it's been a while since I've been excited about one of them. I'm also a little miffed that the Halloween issue is presented as a special issue. I like Halloween and like reading about related projects. However, I'm not going to cough up more moolah for that issue. The web satisfies my Halloween interests. Still, if I could swap a regular issue for the special...

I probably will let my subscription expire and buy a single issue if it focuses on a subject I'm more interested in.

That being said, there is one rocketry and one rocketry-related article. The first provides plans for an air rocket launcher and the paper rockets that it will boost to 200'. This is based on a PVC air chamber, is fired by a sprinkler system valve, and is pressurized with a garden variety hand air pump. This may motivate me to gather the rest of the parts for my air launcher. I have a section of 4" pipe, a valve and various pneumatic fittings. I just need all the PVC reducers, adapters, etc. Just, I've said that before. My original motivation was the mutha of all amateur air launchers, the Jujubee. (Start with this page and scroll to find the launch reports.) This launcher was designed to boost a 29mm rocket that would then air start a pyro motor.

Next, there is a plan for a personal wind tunnel based on an electric fan and a cheap digitial scale. I don't know if this combo would work for modrocs, but the concepts could be applied to a bigger one (maybe a higher performance fan and a heftier scale?).