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Cybernetics for the Masses 3: Using Thermistors and Neodymium Implants

Lepht Anonym now shares her experience with thermistor devices to determine the level of body heat, and dwells on a cheap way of going about neodymium implants.

Using thermistor device to help out with measuring body heat I’m on a lot of medications, as you can probably tell, so one of the side effects is occasionally my sense of temperature just blips in and out of existence. At some point I got bored and decided to build a thermistor-based input device to read this for me, because, well, who wouldn’t? It was very simple: you just hook thermistors up to resistors, up to a battery with an induction coil, and you hook that up to some LEDs or whatever – really simple, just a little circuit (see right-hand image). But I didn’t have enough electronics knowledge to do that, as I will explain later. It would have worked, but it didn’t.

Basic idea was just, like I said, a lithium cell attached to thermistors attached to LEDs. Level of brightness or level of haptic stimulation would determine the level of heat. Could have been a haptic device, could have been a visual device, could have been whatever you wanted. Mostly, from this I learned how to waterproof things, which I’ll explain to you guys later, because it was knowledge hard earned.

Problems with thermistors The waterproofing, before I discovered this Sugru stuff, was almost impossible to figure out. I couldn’t find anything that would stay intact inside the human body. I couldn’t find anything that wouldn’t be degraded by natural enzymes or whatever, especially some small devices like thermistors that would actually work. And there were other things like calibrating the damn things, stepping down the voltage so that it didn’t actually shock me when I put it in my hand, all kinds of things.

At this point it was a transdermal thing, and I would like to say to all of you: if you’re considering anything, got any projects – please put them completely under the skin; don’t think of having things hanging out, because it goes so wrong so fast. It’s bad; it gets stinky and nasty and bad.

Lessons learned from experimenting with thermistor device Lessons learned – if it’s waterproof, it’s not necessarily bioproof; trust me on this one. Just because you can leave it in the bath for three days doesn’t mean it’s fine inside your hand. You have to test things, or let me test them. Transdermal implants – bad idea; nasty, stinky, sepsis – bad. It’s almost impossible to keep them clean. Also I learned a lot about basic electronics from this that you guys probably already knew. By the time I gave up on this stupid project, the sense came back and now it’s gone again, so go figure. So many experiments, and you don’t learn anything.

Profile on neodymium implants These things (see right-hand image), I actually can show you how to do these things. Basically, they’re not my invention, I don’t want anyone thinking that I invented these things, because Steve Haworth did in Arizona, and he wants 50 Euros per implant and 150 to put them inside you, which is why I’m here, because I want to tell you how to do it for free. That’s the raw cost, that’s the cost of getting the implant simple. But if you want something professional, you can get a new sense, all 6 of them for all of your savings. Do consider Steve Haworth as an alternative.

I had some – 2, I think – fitted professionally, and I decided that these cost too much money. Basically they act as a sensory extension, like I was telling you before. The tiny magnets, when they come into contact with electromagnetic field, they resonate and generate electricity of their own, which, obviously, because they’re in your fingertips, sets off nerves. So, when you come into contact with any kind of device field, any power lines in the walls, things on a socket, CD-ROMs, hard drives, anything like that, then they get it off. It’s just a sensory extension, a cute little one; not particularly useful, so please don’t go thinking this will make you a cyberman or something, because it’s just for kicks, really. It’s just an extra layer of data on top of the data you’ve already got. But they’re easy to make and you can do it yourself.

Inserting neodymium implants First thing I had to do was figure out how to get these things inside me by myself, which is actually quite hard (see left-hand image). You can’t have piercers do it in most places anymore. In Amsterdam and Norway this is still legal, so if you want to go do it professionally, do it there. But you can’t do it in France, you can sort of do it in Germany, but you have to be in a piercing studio. There’s lots and lots of problems with doing this at any kind of professional level, so I figured it was much better to do it by myself.

So, I sat down in my kitchen with a vegetable peeler, and I decided to put things in my hands. The first time I ever did this, it went horribly, horribly wrong. The whole thing went septic, and I put myself in a hospital for two weeks. It was not very pretty, so lesson learned: sterilize everything. Sterilize everything with vodka if you have to, but make sure you get everything.

You always need a spotter with you, because you will pass out even if you think you’re hardcore.

There were two or three attempts that have so far been successful; I still need one more to go. It’s really not a difficult procedure; I’ll be telling you precisely how to do it later on. But, as I said, that horrible failure was pretty goddamn horrible, and I learned a lot from that; mostly just simple stuff, like: “Get surgery over with as quickly as possible, because you’re not very coherent during it,” and where to find veins in your hands – just shine a torch through them so that you don’t hit an artery and bleed out and have to get taken down to the hospital, because it’s bad.

Delicate components – a number of times I snicked things covered in silicone and then had them rust inside. If anything snicked at all if you’ve chipped it or dropped it on the floor, whatever – don’t use it, because they do rust so badly, even if you can’t see the cut yourself. Things like spotters – you always need a spotter with you, always, because you will pass out even if you think you’re hardcore. And you need to use proper tools. Don’t use a scalpel for anything in your fingertips – it’s too painful and you won’t be able to do it. Use a big ass 5mm needle instead; I hope you like needles.

Read previous: Cybernetics for the Masses 2: Nerve Stimulation and RFID Tagging

Read next: Cybernetics for the Masses 4: Experimenting with Neodymium Implants

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