CavTV – TV over wi-fi in rural Mali

GeekCorps has a story about a Mali radio station that is using wifi to stream video content to TVs run on car batteries in the village of Bourem Inaly in Mali. What is particularly cool about this project is that the wi-fi antennae are all made locally by recycling local materials including cans. The only imported part is the audio/video receiver that is imported from Canada. The radio station currently has 15 subscriptions to the service that make it $45 a month.

For DIYer’s who may want to try this project, here is a copy of the project guide.

You can watch the video on the making of one the antennae here on YouTube

via GeekCorps

Ethiopian Ingenuity: Turning Mortar Shells Into Coffee Makers

There’s an interesting story on the BBC about an Ethiopian gentleman who is taking war’s leftovers and converting them into coffee machines.

He uses old mortar shells, which stand about one metre high, to make his coffee machines.

He cuts off the pointed ends, seals them and puts holes into the aluminium cylinder. The cylinder channels the water, coffee and milk.

Read the rest of the story

Making Coffee Machines from Old Mortar Shells

(hat tip Elizabeth)

Making Tools from Scratch

Tools for specific needs can be expensive or hard to come by in some places in Africa. It could be something as simple as a certain sized wrench that is needed to remove a particular bolt.

I decided to take a short walk in Nairobi and just see what caught my eye. Bernard runs a small engine repair shop on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Mostly, he fixes lawn mower engines for the wealthy people living nearby, however he also fixes about any other small engine that you can think of.

The tools shown below are just what he works with. Many times he has to fabricate pieces that would be impossible to buy, or to expensive for him to make a profit on. It is really amazing to see him work, and to watch the problem-solving take place. As Bernard shows us in this video and pictures, your imagination and ingenuity are the only things holding you back.

Tools Made from Spare Parts

Below, a piece of rebar is bent, and the end hollowed-out to make a specific sized wrench:

rebar wrench Rebar Wrench 2

Below, a bolt from a truck tire is welded to a piece of metal to make a specific sized Allen wrench for small engines:

Truck Bolt = Wrench

A video explaining how Bernard created the tool.