Back up!

He’s on the roof again.

vaneBwRoof1 (30k image)

I think he must like it up there….

It’s all about this:

vanePlan (83k image)
(one day these will be as valuable as Da Vinci’s, and Bill Gates will want to buy them! — maybe)

It’s made of a cooking oil bottle, a margerine tub lid, a spice jar, a whisky bottle top, a cork and bike spokes.
vaneCloseup (37k image)

vaneRoof2 (30k image) Then you put it up on the roof and, when the wind blows, it … erm …. goes round. 🙂

Exciting eh?

Well, it amused me.


  1. Mark Says:

    Note the sneak-preview of the design for the new site (if we ever get to go live) :O

  2. Cad Says:

    I love the top sketch.
    I agree, I reckon it’s something Leonardo da Vinci would have come up with if he knew what coffee and web sites were.

    Can you engineer a Lyon’s treacle tin into v.2 of the erm… spinny round thing?


  3. Mark Says:

    Already done it mate!

    The prop for v.2 is sitting on the floor of my living room with a bike spoke through it. Its actually the lid of a coffe tin, which is close enough.

    I’d forgotten about the treacle tin Joystick I made at school, thats for that! 😀

  4. Tyg Says:

    Its lovely … I had this vision that it was much larger in scale – and then I saw the picture of you next to it …. darn!

    can you make a BIG ONE???

    It’ll be great when one day in the distant future people come across the great Dr Bitterjug’s famous lost drawings and try and work out "what does it do????"

  5. Mark Says:

    Benard liked it and wanted us to make another, bigger one. So I guess we better start eating a LOT of BlueBand Margerine!

    As for what it does, I have already heard some odd guesses. Someone thought it would somehow keep the house cool, someone else wondered if it was **using** electricity, and then spotted that there was no wire.

    v.2 is about the same size, but if I happend to find a suitable large item, I might consider a bigger one… unless I dream up something else to keep me distracted before then.

    As I had hoped, this one has started some conversations. There are some **real** ones in tala, at least one one generating electricity and another pumping water.

  6. Drew Says:

    All i’ve made this week:
    ripped out, Cleaned, refitted a shower tray. A big and messy job involving smashing blocks and building a frame under the tray, then and grouted and mastiked the tiles so it didn’t leak any more.

    Hence haven’t had a shower for days…I smell.
    Well that and a CAD model of a silletto.
    But you’re wind turbine is much more exciting…I love the attention to detail on the curvature of the blade.


  7. Mark Says:

    Have that boy washed, and brought to my room :O

    I also had a go at a shower this week, but only the nozzle. There was one of those Brazilian Lorenzetti shower head heaters in my house, the ones my brother-in-law calls "Faucets of fear". Even I got a shock on the head from one, once, in S. America — an unsettling experience at the best of times but somehow even more so when naked and dripping — Anyway, this one stopped working: turns out the heater element disconnected and you cant solder them back because, being heaters, they get hot and melt the solder. So I fitted a nice new one (three that cost nearly three thousand shillings :angry:) and checked all the wiring.

    I had a great shower the first morning, then Katie — Peace Corps volunteer from Tala, who was staying over that weekend — used it too. She likes a long shower and was in there for ages. When she emerged she looked very sheepish:

    "I broke the new shower", she said.

    Turns out to have been just a fuse that went when she switched the heat regulator switch into "Extreme Fear" position, but the result of that, combined with numerous power outages this week, was that I didnt get to use it again until this morning!

    But it’s great! :hehe:

    (I notice from their website that Lorenzetti have a "social responsibility" section. What’s that, I wonder? "I promise not to electrocute to many tall Britts this year"?

  8. Richard Says:

    Hi Mark.

    This bears a passing resemblance to a wind powered Meccano
    device from waaay back, complete with worm and gear drive.

    The top drawing looks as if the spindle could accommodate a "crank" so it could power something.

  9. Mark Says:

    😀 Hello Richard my old friend! Welcome to!
    I’m starting to wish there was an ever bigger "big grin" smiley to use here to reflect the one on my face after reading your comment!

    I’ve been talking to people here about that wind-powered meccano vehicle I made all those years ago. The most impressive thing about it was that it would drive **up wind**! But there had to be plenty of wind for it to drive up.

    And yes, it was my original intention to try and drive something small with the wind machine. That might even come later if I ever finish v.2.

    But the best thing about this is how you have read my mind. And, of course part of the reason for that is that our minds are somehow of a kind. Cardboard ZX Spectra (I presume that’s the correct plural of Spectrum, and I wouldnt dream of using anything else in your presence), paper mache carnival floats built on chicken wire, etc.

    You have cheered me up on a day when I Kenya has been gettin on my tits. Thank you!

  10. Mark Says:

    Don’t know why I struggled to think of a pedantic plural to Spectrum, it was a cardboard ZX81 after all. And the plural of that would be what? Zed Ex Eighty Wuns? :crazy:

  11. JAY Says:

    I love the top sketch en also that u made afterwords en placed it on the roof of your house i just like it but though i have been in the college compound i have never seen it !.

  12. Mark Says:

    Thanks, Jay. I’m currently working on another one (when the stima is off, which seems to be too much of the time)

    Oddly, perhaps, this has been one of my most popular blog entires. Christine, another volunteer who arrived in Kenya with me, was a regular reader of my blog.

    “They loved the one about the windmill”, she said, “You can tell what sort of friends Mark has!”.

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