I would like to introduce my new little friend...........
OK, Right off the bat let me make it clear that I can take no credit for this. It is an idea that has been ripped off and inspired by several others who have done the DYI magnetic stirrer plate method. It works great, took me less than an hour to make and the best part...it didn't cost me a dime. FREE! Just scraped up a few items I had laying around the house.
Here's how it was done:
~ Started off by mounting the fan to a block of scrap lumber. Connected the fan to the transformer. Originally I was going to add a dimmer switch, but after testing I deemed it unnecessary.
~ Next, I took a canning lid and hot glue gunned it to the top of the fan. Place the magnet in the center of the canning jar lid. Tested placement by plugging unit on to make sure there was no wobble. Hot glue gunned it once the magnet was properly centered.
~Then I cut two blocks of lumber about 1/8" taller than the height of the fan/jar lid/magnet assembly. Mounted these to the side of the fan with glue and screws. Fixed a square of plexiglass to the blocks. This is the base surface where the LC jars sit.
Turned on to make sure that the fan was spinning freely.
Check. Everything is running quiet and smooth
Now I need some stir rods................Hmmm. Ebay? Nah. Screw buying them!
I was now determined not to shell out any cash for this project. After playing around with several ideas, many which were too loud, slow or would require me spending some of my precious beer money .....
I was reminded how sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective.
A small piece of wire about 1/4" long is quiet, effective and best of all CHEAP!
I tested it by placing a small piece of toilet paper in the jar w/ H2O and with in an hour it had broker it into small fibers.
Yeah yeah. I can hear it now."Isn't the wire going to rust?"
Eventually. But not before the LC is done. They are essentially disposable, costing you about 10 cents per 100!
And there you have it.
How well does it work? Check out the first pic!
It spins like Dorthy in a tornado.
I first attached the canning lid to the fan blade with super glue, making sure that it was absolutely centered. I then played around with the placement of the magnet making sure that it spun with out wobbling. As soon as I had the placement correct I outlined the magnet w/ a sharpie, and secured with glue.
Its not really necessary, just the way I happened to do it
Need to warm up the temp of your LC? Try this:
Made one minor improvement to the Sir Mix-A-Lot magnetic stirrer.
I usually do my LC in temps around the high 80s. Currently temps in my neck of the woods are about 20 degrees too cold & I'd rather not put the stir plate in the incubator, so........................
I removed the plexiglass base plate and temporally replaced it with a 4 quart lexan tub. The tub is outfitted with a aquarium heater set to 87 degrees and a thermometer. (I realize that the heater is a little too large for this particular application..going to get a smaller one this weekend)
I can now dial in to the exact temp I need.
a piece of wire shrink wrap (can get it in small quantities at a hardware store or rat shack) will seal up that piece of wire nicely... slip it in, flame it up, watch it melt over the wire... voila, rust free low cost stir bar....
....doesn't have to be a cell charger, any "wall wort" a/c adapter whose voltage matches your fan (almost always 12 volts) will work. if you don't have one, universal ones are cheap, and sometimes have a switch to adjust voltage. (less than 12v = fan will still spin, but slower = a variable speed control version!) cut off tip, strip wires, twist together with wires from the fan. its ok to be off by a little, eg a 11.5v or 12.4v or such adapter is gonna do just fine with a 12v fan. don't go beyond 12.5v or so or risk burning out the fan, and anything much less than 11v is gonna result in a slow spinning fan. if it doesnt spin or spins backwords, match the wires up the other way around. radio shack also has 120vac fans that will work on current straight from the wall: in which case get a cheapo extension cord, cut off female end, strip and twist up wires in similar fashion. (use of wire nuts and/or lots of electrical tape is a good idea, 120vac can be dangerous if your wires are exposed! the voltage from a DC adapter like a cell charger will NOT harm you, but if the wires touch eachother you end up with a dead adapter)... if wiring the AC variety without an adapter you can't get the wires "backwards" as it will work either way.