Monday, 13 August 2012

The MDCSPI is made.

After some bangin' bashin' bendin' and weldin' by Hammer and Tinktank, the 'Multi Dimensional Crossover Switch Polarity Inverter' is made. Just a trip now to be galvanized, and this unit can be put into operation.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Inverter takes shape.

After some minutes of collaboration at the Old Forge between Hammer and Tinktank, the Multi dimensional crossover switch polarity inverter design begins to take shape.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Here is a coincidence worth looking at, particularly the second paragraph

Click here

Monday, 16 April 2012

Agent H signing in.

Regarding the post below by the beings at the cosmic tinktank, I have been in possession of a small amount of meteoric iron for some years, not quite knowing what to do with it. whether or not it is forgeable remains to be seen but I think it's purpose may be becoming clear...

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Multi dimensional rescue mission.

Here at the Cosmic Tinktank we hear that a Secret Lab project into multi dimensionality has had a quite unexpected result. Marcus Morris, the top cheese at the SL appears to have fallen down dead.

It is our belief that he accidentally triggered one of the multi dimensional crossover switches and his consious self was sucked instantly to somewhere between the 8th and 11th dimensions.

Its hard to explain, but this is a sort of upside down, inside out world which lesser beings might find quite upsetting.

The first imperative we believe will be to return fragments of the mortal matter to the Secret Lab, and then an attempt can be made to retrieve the consiousness. This will require a yet undesigned apperatus, constructed of the appropriate metals, to be set up near the SL in an attempt to reverse the polarity of the crossover switch. We're not sure what this apperatus will look like, but it could well be constructed by a Blacksmith, and may appear to be some kind of aerial.

Details will be discussed with Agents S and H in the coming weeks. Agent P.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Easy Stereo-to-Mono Mixer, one more time

I first posted this little tip in April 2010 and loads of people liked it. Originally it was for safely mixing a stereo source (e.g. MP3 player) to mono for input into a PA, desk or similar sound system. I'm using exactly the same principle here to mix the left and right channels of this little Alto Zephyr desk to a mono line out (small black box, bottom right of photo, contains the embarrassingly simple circuit).

Why? Well, this is a great way to increase the number of inputs to your main PA. My main PA has six primary inputs. By plugging this little desk into one of the inputs (using my little mixer solution), I get 6-1+6 inputs, 11 in all. Of course, this solution is totally redundant if your sub-mixer already has a mono output but many little desks like this Zephyr do not have that facility.

Another cracking wheeze is that, for simple session/open-mic work at local pubs, we can leave the big PA at home. Just connect the Zephyr to a single, powered speaker/monitor (using my mixer) and you've got a titchy, easy to transport PA with six inputs that keeps everyone happy.

Another great wheeze is when you get a drummer turn up with umpteen mics. You give him/her the Zephyr and say "Sort it out yourself". You're dealing with one channel, just one feed. Anyone who works with drummers will understand how convenient this can be. They can make anything they like louder in their mix, but not in yours...

Many thanks to Rob Clark for explaining to me that grommets are not as challenging as they might first appear.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

DIY Cork Extractor

This little tip might just help you, come festival season, when you're camping and you've forgotten to bring your corkscrew...

Grow up. Don't buy shit you don't need.

Another work of genius from the Secret Laboratory...

Friday, 13 January 2012

Wassail Torch

It is that time of year when we must wake up the sleepy orchards so they can get to work on making little cider apples. Before waking the trees you must, of course, scare away all of the bad spirits that have been squatting rent-free over the winter period. What better, then, than a homemade Wassail torch from The Secret Laboratory?

Materials list:
  • A tin can (OK, they're actually steel these days). Remove the lid entirely and eat the contents. Save the lid.
  • An old towel or some similar kind of waste rag.
  • A woodscrew of sensible size.
  • A squidgy washer, possibly hard rubber or fibre.
  • A stout stick.
Equipment list:
  • Saw (to prepare your stout stick).
  • Punch (or some pointy thing that can act as a punch, e.g. a nail).
  • Hammer (to drive the punch).
  • Drill with a drill bit of sensible size (see woodscrew, sensible size).
  • Screwdriver (of sensible size - see woodscrew).
  • Tin snips. If you haven't got tin snips, nail scissors will do, as long as they're not your girlfriend's).
  • Using the saw, cut your stout stick to a sensible length, making sure the stick remains sensibly perpendicular to the cut faces.
  • Assuming your stout stick is vertical, drill a hole vertically in the top of your stout stick. If your stick is not vertical, either return your stick to a vertical position else establish your own local vertical reference by application of cider and proceed with caution.
  • Punch a sensible sized hole in the base of the tin can (see woodscrew). Place the squidgy washer on the woodscrew and, using the screwdriver, affix the tin can to the stout stick (see diagram). The purpose of the squidgy washer is to prevent fuel leakage from the combustion vessel (tin can). The importance of this can not be overstated.
  • Punch a hole in the centre of the tin lid and enlarge the hole to a sensible size (see wick) using tin snips.
  • Roll up a strip of towel or rag, leaving a little pointy wick sticking out of the centre of the roll (see diagram). Insert the wick through the hole in the tin lid and install the assembly in the combustion vessel (tin can).
Instructions for use:

Pour a small amount of paraffin (lamp oil) into the combustion vessel, just enough to dampen the towel AND NO MORE. There should be no fluid sloshing around in there. Return any excess to your paraffin container.

Light the wick and go scare the bad spirits away from the orchards. Wake the trees and let's hope the cider apple harvest doesn't fail!


These things shouldn't need saying but unfortunately they do. If you were a child who wasn't brought up playing and learning with inflammable substances, PAY ATTENTION NOW.
  • Under NO circumstances should your Wassail torch be used indoors.
  • Do NOT use your torch near any combustible material (dry vegetation, whatever).
  • Risk assessment is NOT for dummies. Formulate a contingency plan and establish emergency procedures before using your Wassail torch. Dry sand or earth is always a good thing to have around in these circumstances.
  • Enforce strict supervision of any parties using (or in the vicinity of) your torch, ESPECIALLY kids.
  • Petrol and other highly volatile spirits are NOT a good substitute for paraffin. You want a nice slow burn, not a bomb on a stick.
  • Finally, I cannot accept responsibility for any misuse of your Wassail torch. You're the grown-up.
I hate having to say all that shit but, you know, there are some people out there who need it.