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TECHNOLOGY  SCI ENCE 
JUNE 2004





GIANT
GYROS
 Lift Millions Of Pounds
 Fly At Mach Speeds
 Land Anywhere
SHORTY
SHOTGUNS
New Collector
Craze
NEWEST
DIGITAL
CAMERAS
Postersize
Your Pictures
NEWEST
DIGITAL
CAMERAS
Postersize
Your Pictures
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17 Technology
Watch
I A new and improved way to
perform CPR.
I Man’s earliest ancestor found
in Ethiopia.
I Robots take care of the elderly.
I Portable air conditioners for
troops stationed in Iraq.
I Space Shots and Earth News
this month, . plus more
38 Building Atoms
A metal found in smoke
detectors helps scientists
find two new elements.
78 Where Time
Began
Peering deep into space,
the doomed Hubble Space
Telescope sees the dawn of
creation.
86
46 New Cars
2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK and
E320 CDI, Chrysler Crossfire
Roadster, MazdaSpeed
MX-5 Miata, BMW 645Ci
Convertible, Jeep Wrangler
Unlimited, Audi A6, Saab
9-2X, Volvo V50.
48 Detroit Spy
2006 GMC Sierra pickup.
50 Asia Spy
2005 Infiniti M45; 2006 Nissan
Xterra; 2007 Toyota Supra.
86 Long-Term Test
Cars
Two fresh faces join the fleet as
a familiar one leaves.
123 Car Care
I AUTO CLINIC
Car care Q&A.
I SATURDAY MECHANIC
Curing steering wander.
94
NEED SPACE?: See our step-by-step
guide to installing a new hard drive.
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Heavy-lift gyroplanes will haul civilization to the
far corners of the world, and two companies are
competing to be first in the air. PAGE 74
THIS MONTH
AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY SCIENCE
2 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
30 Sony Style
Sleek bodies and killer
technology are the focus in
Sony’s new product lineup.
32 Data Recovery
Don’t fret. You get back that can
lost computer information.
82 How To Change
A Hard Drive
Adding hard-drive space for
more storage.
90 Best New
Digital Cameras
Even film purists will want
to use the new models intro-
duced at the Photo Marketing
Association show.
JUNE
ANSWERS FOR CURIOUS MINDS PM
42 Pressure Cooker
Sea-Doo’s new PWC packs
a water-boiling 215 super-
charged horsepower.
94 Coach Guns
Shorty shotguns played a
critical role on the Western
frontier. Now they’re regaining
popularity among Old West
enthusiasts.
98 Garden To Go
These outdoor planters are
easy to build and give you
the flexibility to move plants
around your yard.
103 Hang Tough
New tool belts are like a toolbox
on your hip.
110 Bright Stuff
Better, brighter light bulbs.
112 Showstoppers
The 15 best picks from the
International Builders’ Show.
116 Homeowners
Clinic
Answers to your tough home
improvement questions.
116 Book Review:
Home Inspection
Checklists
Our resident Home Q&A
expert has seen it all in the
past 20 years, and shares his
knowledge with you.
ON THE COVER
Art by Paul DiMare, Neal Barrett.
SYNTHETIC ROOF: It looks like cedar
shingles, but it’s not. We found it at
the International Builders’ Show.
90
6 EDITOR’S NOTES
10 COMMUNICATE
WITH US
12 LETTERS
14 TIME MACHINE
134 GREAT STUFF
154 IT WORKED FOR US
78
THE NEW KING OF PWCs: Sea-Doo’s
new 215-hp RXP personal watercraft.
P
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PM
OUTDOORS HOME MONTHLY
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 3
June 2004 Volume 181 No. 6
POPULARMECHANICS.COM
@
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH ON THE
PM
INVENT NOW AMERICA
POPULAR MECHANICS recently partnered
with the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame
for the frst annual “Invent Now America”
contest. The program was created to
promote the development of the everyday
invention. The PM.Zone brings you exclusive photos and
the winners of this event, which was held in Orlando, Fla.
Go to www.popularmechanics.com/links/invent for the
complete story.
SCIENCE
POPULAR MECHANICS is
pleased to ofer one lucky
reader the chance to win one
of the most innovative home
products on the market- the
iRobot Roomba.
First:
Go to the PM.Zone and
read our feature on Roomba
www.popularmechanics.com
/roomba
Then:
Go to our contest page
at www.popularmechanics
.com/links/roombacontest
and answer the following
question:
What kind of light signal
do the iRobots use to
communicate?
All of the correct answers
will be entered into a
sweepstakes for a chance
to win.
Good Luck!
THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY MEETING
A record number of physicists converged
on Montréal for the American Physical
Society Meeting. Topics covered at
this meeting included Instrument and
Measurement Science, Magnetism and Its
Applications, Shock Compression of Condensed Matter, and
Statistical and Nonlinear Physics. For the full story go to
www.popularmechanics.com/links/aps
SCIENCE
PM.ZONE GARDENING TIPS
The PM.Zone has a wide range
of great articles pertaining to lawn
care. Click below for some classic
and new gardening articles that
will leave your garden looking
great for the summer. Go to
www.popularmechanics.com/links/
gardening
HOME
GREAT AUDIO DEVICES OF 2004 (SO FAR)
Audio devices are shrinking in size and growing
in power and convenience. The PM.Zone has
a wide array of product reviews and features
of the most convenient audio devices ranging
from headphones to MP3 players. Go to
www.popularmechanics.com/links/audio to
check them out.
TECHNOLOGY
The help
you need is
always at
Ace.
For projects big
or small, the advice
and supplies you need
are available at your
neighborhood Ace.
www.acehardware.com
THERE ARE OVER 200 WAYS TO BE A SOLDIER IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY.
FIND OUT MORE AT GOARMY.COM OR VISIT 1-800-USA-ARMY.
Win a Free
iRobot Roomba
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PM EDITOR’S NOTES
HENEVER we print an article about
firearms, I get a rash of letters from a
certain faction calling us everything
from gun nuts to kid killers. Some
of them ask why we print articles on
those horrible things called guns.
Some question our motivation. Are
we selling out to the gun advertisers?
Are we promoting death in America?
How dare we take up valuable space
in with articles Popular Mechanics
on firearms, space that could presum-
ably be dedicated to some other sub-
ject more acceptable to these gun-
sensitive readers.
I expect the antigun letters to begin
flowing in as soon as this issue hits
newsstands and mailboxes, as we have
an article this month on the growing
popularity among Old West enthusi-
asts of coach guns, an Old West-style
shotgun. The article, by Contributor
Chris Christian, begins on page 94.
Let’s take a minute right here to
discuss this whole issue of guns and
Popular Mechanics.
Gun articles in the pages of PM are
nothing new. So you can lay to rest the
theory that I am a “gun nut” and start-
ed a “gun culture” here at Popular
Mechanics when I took over as editor.
Look at some of our earliest issues and
you’ll find articles on firearms technol-
ogy. These articles have not “taken up
space that could have been devoted
to other subjects.” These articles have
taken their rightful place in these pag-
es. They belong here. I’m talking about
articles discussing such firearms as the
bolt-action M1903 Springfield rifle
that played such an important role in
World War I; the Browning M1911 .45
pistol that is still being produced to this
day; the M1 Garand rifle that practical-
ly won World War II; the M16 and M4
rifles; the Colt Single Action Army that
won the West; and the Glock 17 used by
so many law enforcement officers. All
these firearms and
others we’ve writ-
ten about played a
major role in Amer-
ica’s history. The
technology related
to their invention
and development
was important to this nation—and to
you, the reader.
Since issue one, Popular Mechan-
ics has published articles chronicling
technology in many different fields.
Firearms is just one of them. As for sell-
ing out to the advertisers, we carry so
little advertising from gun manufactur-
ers that there is nothing to sell out to.
As the editor, yes, I decide what will
run and what will not. And yes, I enjoy
the shooting sports and am a member
of the National Rifle Association. I
believe that the Second Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution guarantees
me, an individual, the right to own a
firearm. Like most of the readers of
Popular Mechanics, I am generally a
law-abiding citizen, have served in the
armed forces of this country and am
not a “gun nut.” From letters I receive,
I think I’m pretty much in step with
the majority of our readers. Knowing
that I have the support of most of you
reading this, I can tell you categori-
cally that no amount of irate letters
or whining or protesting will scare me
into forcing gun articles out of these
pages. It’s part of our heritage. It’s part
of our editorial mission.
And that’s why we print articles
on firearms. Let the letters begin. Till
next time.
W
RIDING SHOTGUN:
Outdoors Contrib-
uting Editor Cliff
Gromer (left) with
Steve Eisenberg,
firearms expert
and owner of
The Firing Line in
Pearl River, N.Y.
Guns And Butter
6 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
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10 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
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PM LETTERS
All In One
It’s interesting to note that electronics
manufacturers are converging prod-
ucts into single units that do it all. But
why just for the entertainment mar-
ket? Why aren’t manufacturers com-
bining computer-related products into
one unit—all the functions of devices
now scattered over 9 sq. ft. of coun-
ter space in my home offce? These
include a computer, speakers, fat
scanner, word printer, photo printer,
fax machine, copier, telephone, USB
hub, DVD player and a big wad of tan-
gled wires. I can’t be the only one who
would replace all this with one con-
venient unit if a major manufacturer
would market it.
George G. Tate
Via Internet
PM Zone
Your Internet article “Replacing A
Dishwasher,” by Merle Henkenius,
was both informative and very help-
ful. I wasn’t sure I wanted to tackle
this job as I am not exactly Mr. Fix-
It. But his article made it look rath-
er manageable. The whole task went
smoothly, and the results were great.
We now have a new dishwasher, and
I was able to save a substan-
tial amount on the installa-
tion. In fact, we were able
to buy a better dishwash-
er than originally budget-
ed because of the savings
on the installation charges.
While researching this proj-
ect, I looked at other sites
with similar information,
but Henkenius’s article was
the best.
Richard Bryson
Via Internet
I was delighted to discover that your
world-class Web site supports my
two hobbies—auto maintenance and
woodworking. I never thought about
PM as a place for woodworking until
I was searching the Web for a circu-
lar-saw jig. To my surprise, your site
turned out to be the best site out
there. Period.
Ashok Moghe
Via Internet
Thanks for liking our Web site, which of
course, can be found at www.popular
mechanics.com. However, I’m a little
surprised that you wouldn’t think of
us frst for woodworking information.
After all, we’ve been publishing wood-
working articles for 102 years, and we
also feature a woodworking guide in
every November issue. —Ed.
Queen Mary 2
The new Queen is surely an impressive vessel. The only
trouble is that, in this day and age, it and other ships like it
are foating targets begging pirate-terrorists to board at sea
and hold them hostage—or worse. Chas McPherson, Via Internet
TEMPTING TARGET: Ultimate cruiser
could turn into a nightmare at sea.
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I
BUILT this fberglass 3-wheel, 2-seat diesel
vehicle because I couldn’t fnd a car that ran
economically enough. This car gets 70 mpg and
rides smoothly. It has air-ride suspension, is stable on
the road and can maintain highway speeds. Because
it’s a 3-wheel vehicle, the “car” is registered as a
motorcycle—so the license and insurance cost much
less than they would for a 4-wheel car.
EUGENE F. WRIGHT, Drums, PA
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YOUR CAR
MAY THI NK I T

S
BACK I N
THE SHOWROOM.
PM TIME MACHINE
1
0
0
Years Ago
(June 1904)
SUB-JECTIVE
Author Jules Verne, expounding on the
future of the submarine, said that its
use would be confined to war but would
ultimately bring peace. Verne said that
there was no defense against the sub.
He foresaw battle fleets becoming use-
less, and said that “as other war material
continues to improve, war will become
impossible.” Verne followed maneuvers
of the French and English navies, and
was impressed with the sub’s ability to
slip in, strike and get away in safety.
JUNIOR JET
This midget helicopter, built by Benson
Aircraft, weighed only 100 pounds but
could lift more than four times its weight.
The craft, with a rotor span of only 15 ft.,
was powered by two 5-pound aluminum
ramjet engines that were mounted on the
tips of the rotor blades. Benson claimed
speeds of up to 80 mph. Designed for the
military, the chopper could fit easily into
an average-size garage. PM
TRICKY BUSINESS
This ad for the Ventrilo, a
small instrument that fit in
the mouth, promised boys
the ability to throw their
voice into a trunk, a desk
at school—anywhere. “You
can get lots of fun fooling the
teacher, policemen, peddlers
and all your friends,” accord-
ing to the ad. The Ventrilo cost
just 10 cents.
75
Years Ago
(June 1979)
Years Ago (June 1954)
50
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Years Ago (June 1929)
14 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
FEELING LOW
Forget sharks. “Jaws” was
a tea party compared to the
kinds of jobs that industrial
divers were taking on. Some-
times working in total dark-
ness, and at record-setting
depths, these divers faced
a variety of formidable haz-
ards—including claustropho-
bia. Dive sites ranged from
offshore oil rigs with their
strong currents to the highly
dangerous environment inside
nuclear reactors.
s
THINK OF IT AS 120 POUNDS OF JUNKYARD DOG
STUFFED INTO A FOUR OUNCE FLASHLIGHT
The new E2D Defender self-defense flashlight.
Just what Dad wants on June 20.
What do you do when things go bump in the night? If you’re
prepared for the worst, you reach for the E2d Defender, a personal
safety device that packs a powerful defensive punch into a very
small package.
Originally developed for anti-terrorist units, its advanced
technology Xenon lamp produces a spot-free beam so intense it
can momentarily blind an attacker (four times more lighting
power than a standard two D-cell flashlight), and its crenellated
Strike Bezel

allows it to be used as a last-ditch impact weapon.
Constructed from aerospace-grade aluminum coated in a super
rugged military-specification finish, the pocket-size E2d Defender
also features an optically-coated Pyrex

lens; high-energy, ten-
year shelf-life lithium batteries; a stainless steel pocket clip, and
law enforcement-style momentary switching for blinding flashes or
emergency signaling.
And best of all, it’s a SureFire; trusted by U.S. Special Forces, Secret
Service, FBI, and better still—a Father’s Day gift worthy of Dad.
The World’s Finest Flashlights

www.surefire.com • 866-210-4674
s
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TECHWATCH
AVIATION DEFENSE ENVIRONMENT ROBOTICS TRANSPORTATION COMPUTERS ENERGY MEDICINE SPACE
A
N overweight man walk-
ing ahead of you clutches his
chest and falls to the floor.
If you have been trained in cardio-
pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) you
know exactly what to do. Sadly, most
bystanders can only dial 911 and wring
their hands while waiting for an Emer-
gency Medical Service (EMS) team.
In Tucson, Ariz., events play out
differently. As the result of a com-
munity-wide public educational pro-
gram, many residents here are ready
to save lives by applying a streamlined
form of CPR.
The basic idea behind traditional
CPR is to move oxygen into the lungs
with mouth-to-mouth breathing and
to move blood through the lungs and
circulatory system with chest com-
pressions. “We thought we’d figured
out how it worked,” says Dr. Robert
A. Berg, a professor of pediatrics at
the University of Arizona who helped
develop the new technique. But then it
became apparent that there was more
to be learned.
What Berg and his colleagues dis-
covered was that the mouth-to-mouth
part of the procedure is counter-
productive. During the 15 seconds
chest compressions are interrupted,
blood oxygen levels begin to fall mark-
edly. Maintaining a steady pace of 100
compressions per minute furnishes
the heart and brain with more oxygen
than if the tempo were interrupted for
mouth-to-mouth breathing. The uni-
versity shared its finding with the city’s
initially skeptical EMS unit.
“They had to sell the science of
this to us. They had to prove it hands
down,” Joe Gulotta, Deputy Chief of
EMS for the Tucson Fire Department,
tells . Popular Mechanics
Convincing evidence came from a
study of people who were taught either
standard CPR or chest-compressions-
only CPR. “The people in the [standard
CPR] group were so bludgeoned with
information that they were paralyzed,”
says Dr. Karl B. Kern of the Cardiac
Catheterization Laboratory at Univer-
sity Medical Center. He is the coordi-
nator of the Sarver Heart Center’s CPR
Research Group in Tucson.
“I believe this will become the uni-
versal standard,” says Gulotta.
A Better Way To Restart Hearts
“They had to sell the science of this to
us. They had to prove it hands down.”
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 17
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TECHWATCH
F
OSSILIZED teeth found in
Ethiopia have revealed man’s
earliest ancestor, a nearly 6
million-year-old biped that lived in
a once lushly wooded area 180 miles
northeast of Addis Ababa. “Ardipi-
thecus kadabba may represent the
first species on the human branch of
the family tree just after the evolu-
tionary split between lines leading to
modern chimpanzees and humans,”
says Yohannes Haile-Selassie of the
Cleveland Museum of Natural Histo-
ry. This claim is based on the discov-
ery of teeth (left) that are similar to
those of a chimpanzee
(far left) but lack their
fanglike shape. This
suggests the newly dis-
covered species fought
in some way other
than by biting.
TOOTHY TALE:
A. kadabba
lacked the
chimp’s self-
sharpening
canine teeth.
Teeth Reveal Early Ancestors
Stamping Out Transistors
A
N unusual method for
printing circuits on sheets of
plastic may reduce the cost of
manufacturing flexible displays and
help scientists understand how such
devices work.
“We construct transistors by lami-
nating a piece of silicone rubber that
supports electrodes and dielectric
layers for the transistor against the
surface of a single crystal,” says John
A. Rogers of the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign. In other
words, he stamps out transistors.
“While this assembly process
could be performed commercially to
produce complex circuits, we real-
ly designed it to get at the physics,”
Rogers says. “Understanding the fun-
damental behavior of transistors will
help us make better devices.”
Forecasts On
Your PC
I
NTERNET weather news offers
good regional forecasts but can-
not always predict sudden storms.
Rita the cyberfrog fills the information
gap by turning any PC into a complete
weather station. Beneath her amphib-
ian exterior lie temperature and pres-
sure sensors that report to a nearby PC
through its serial port. FroggyHome,
software shipped with Rita, uses local
data to refine forecasts. Rita’s develop-
er, Alpes DEIS of France, is looking for
a U.S. distributor.
FAST TRANSFER: Stamping out circuits
will make big-screen TVs cheaper.
Sensors spot
changes in
weather.
EDITOR JIM WILSON
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18 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
(Please turn to page 20)
REPORTERS STEFANO COLEDAN, SANDRA ERWIN, SCOTT GOURLEY
We’ve got over 57,000 answers. Between now and the end
of July, when you buy a new 2003 Honda VTX

1800, we’ll give you the added value of a $1000 in-store
credit
*
good for Honda Genuine Accessories

for your VTX, or for VTXtended coverage with a Honda
Protection Plan.
**
With more than 70 VTXccessories to choose from—including sport, touring, and classic-
style parts, that adds up to over 57,000 combinations. Want an even sweeter deal? How about super-low
3.9% APR financing upon approved credit on any new VTX1800

when you sign on the dotted line. Just see
your participating Honda Dealer for more information. And after you do, we know that you’ll be able to think
of plenty of reasons why you’ve just got to have a new VTX—over 57,000 of them.
honda.comBE A RESPONSIBLE RIDER. ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET, EYE PROTECTION AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING. OBEY THE LAW AND READ YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL THOROUGHLY. NEVER RIDE
UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL. Specifications and availability subject to change without notice. *$1000 in-store credit good with the purchase of any new 2003 or prior model year VTX1800C/R/S
and can only be used for purchases at the dealership and must be redeemed on the date of purchase. Offer has no cash value and is not transferable. Customers may apply in-store credit to Honda Genuine Accessories
or a Honda Protection Plan for qualified models and are responsible for all related sales tax and installation charges. **Honda Protection Plan in-store credit option not available in the state of Florida. The Honda Protection
Plans are administered by American Honda Service Contract Corp. in the state of Florida. †3.9% fixed APR financing for up to 3 years through American Honda Finance Corporation upon approved credit. Payment
example: 36 monthly payments of $29.48 for each $1000 financed. Financing offer good on all new and unregistered 2004 and prior model year VTX1800. Offers end 7/31/04. Accessorized VTX1800R model shown.
Rearview mirrors are standard equipment on all Honda streetbikes. VTX, Honda Genuine Accessories and Performance First are trademarks of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ©2004 AHMC, Inc. (4/04)
What can you do with1800cc
and $1000 in VTXccessories?
PM
TECHWATCH
R
ATHER than spend millions replacing aging microscopes, some
medical schools may switch to a DVD that is packed with images of
healthy and diseased tissue. First-year medical students at the Univer-
sity of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill currently pop the DVD into their
computer when they need to look at specimens of cells, tissues and organs. “As
a viewing device, the light microscope is difficult to use and requires strict rules
in order to get optimal images,” says Peter Petrusz, who developed the DVD
with colleague William Koch. The light microscope has not totally disappeared.
The professors also created a video on how to use the old-style magnifier.
DVD Trains Doctors
MONKEY TONGUE:
A section of tissue
as seen on the new
DVD microscope.
Robots Help Japan
Care For Its Elderly
B
ORROWING an idea from the auto industry,
Japanese nursing homes have begun experiment-
ing with using robots to help care for the elderly.
At one nursing home run by Matsushita Electric, a pack-
age of sensors is placed inside a teddy bear. From time
to time, the bear asks its human companion a question.
Then, judging by the response time, it decides whether a
nursing assistant should be called. One of the most labor-
intensive nursing home tasks is bathing frail residents. For
this job, Sanyo Electric has introduced what is essentially
a robot bathtub. Costing about $50,000, it closes around a
patient who is seated in a wheelchair. The wash and rinse
cycles operate automatically. A nurse’s aide takes care of
washing hair and toweling the resident off. Japan’s need
for elder-care robots is partially driven by
a falloff in its national birthrate, which has
left the country with too few young to care
for the old. The Japan Robot Association
expects the demand for elder-care robots
to help the personal-robot industry grow
to $40 billion by 2025.
IN HOT WATER:
A nursing
home resident
enjoys a visit
with her robot
bathtub.
W
HEN their kids ask,
“What did you do in the
war, Dad?” reservists with
Detachment Bravo of the 46th Marine
Aircraft Group can proudly say
they shrink-wrapped. The imaginative
packing technique was recently tested
as a means of protecting CH-46 heli-
copters during their shipboard transit
from California to the Middle East.
Plastic Wrap
Goes To War
GOOD TO GO: Shrink-wrapping locks
out corrosive, salty sea air.
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20 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
(Please turn to page 22)
e
PM
TECHWATCH
Turning The Corner On Terror
It’s In The Genes
A
N adapter that turns a pistol
into a weapon that can shoot
around corners is the lat-
est addition to the antiterror arsenal.
Developed by two former members of
the Israeli Defense Forces, the counter
terror weapon system from Corner Shot
Holdings (CSH) of Miami, Fla., is basi-
cally a hinged stock. A high-resolution
camera and gripping device are mount-
ed on the front, and a liquid-crystal dis-
play and trigger mechanism sit at the
rear. The shooter locks a Glock, Sig-
Sauer, CZ or Beretta handgun into
the gripper. Then, from the safety of a
wall or other barrier, he takes aim at
his target. CSH is pitching its product
to police and security agencies.
TRICK SHOT: The Corner Shooter gives
attackers a needed element of surprise.
S
CIENTISTS have long wondered how winter
wheat knows how to protect itself from the cold.
Unlike spring wheat that goes from seed to harvest
in a continuous growth cycle, winter wheat sprouts after
being planted in the fall, then shuts down before cold
weather sets in. Writing in a recent issue of the interna-
tional journal , Jorge Dubcovsky, of the University Science
of California at Davis, reports that the key is in a single
gene. Designated VRN2, the gene helps determine the
amount of cold to which wheat must be exposed before
it develops. The discovery will help scientists develop
hardier stocks of wheat.
SLOW START: A
gene in winter
wheat (left)
delays growth
until spring.
T
HOUSANDS of scientists
and engineers were pointed
toward their careers by tele-
vision. From May 21-24, The Science
Channel will pay homage to pioneer-
ing science TV by airing classic epi-
sodes of popular programs from the
1950s, ’60s and ’70s. “Watch Mr. Wiz-
ard” sets off the marathon, which also
includes episodes of “Connections”
and “The Ascent Of Man.”
Tuning In
To Science
WHAT A BLAST: “Mr. Wizard” gave boys
what they liked most: explosions.
22 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
(Please turn to page 24)
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PM
EARTH NEWS
WAS it a rare hurricane or a bad
tropical storm? Weather experts may
argue the point for years. Regardless
of the nomenclature, the storm killed
one person and left seven missing after
lashing the southern part of the coun-
try with 80-mph winds in late March.
MARCH weather proved deadly to
swimmers along southern beaches
when rip currents killed four people in
two days. Rip currents often form when
low tides combine with a strong easter-
ly wind. Fast-rushing current at a break
C
ERAMICS used in the space
shuttle and other extreme
applications including For-
mula One and World Rally Cars will
soon be moving into NASCAR, IRL,
CART, NHRA and CASCAR equip-
ment. “We have been exploring the
U.S. motorsports market for several
years,” says Jens Wemhoener, Presi-
dent and Co-Founder of Germany-
based Cerobear.
Wemhoener says the chief attrac-
tion of his company’s technology
is safety. “It is impossible for our
hybrid bearings to seize because sili-
con nitride and steel have different
molecular structures.”
The company’s ceramic rollers
are used in the space shuttles’ main
engines, where they operate at tem-
peratures that drop to minus 423˚F.
Cerobear has targeted companies
that manufacture engines, gearbox-
es, clutches, suspensions and wheels.
“We believe our bearings are ideally
suited for select racing series,” says
Wemhoener. Future products will
include low-friction split bearings.
No-Seize
Bearings
1 BRAZIL
4 FLORIDA
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FLO
O
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3
EARTHQUAKE
5
Problem
Mussels
F
LORIDA’S Tampa Bay is
now home to millions of Asian
Green Mussels. Native to the
Pacific Ocean, the aquatic invaders
arrived in ship ballast water in 1999.
Local health offi-
cials say Tampa Bay
water is too dirty for
the mussels to be
considered edible.
ALIEN SPECIES:
Four-in.-long
mussels have
begun blocking
water intakes.
RACEBOUND: Cerobear bearings are
currently used in F-1 race cars.
CINCINNATI insect experts say
the city and its suburbs may be the
bull’s-eye for an attack by North Ameri-
can cicadas. Some 5 billion of the
2-in.-long, winged insects are expect-
ed to rise from the soil in this area in
late May and early June. An infestation
of this variety of harmless but unap-
pealing insects occurs every 17 years
across the East and Midwest.
STREETS in Athens rumbled on
March 17 when an earthquake meas-
uring 6.3 struck 200 miles to the south
on the island of Crete. In Crete, resi-
dents evacuated buildings when the
trembling began at about 7 am. No
damage or injuries were reported.
5 GREECE
2 OHIO
COMPARED to a nor’easter it was
mild, but when 2.29 in. of rain fell
on downtown Albuquerque the first
weekend in April it not only beat a
3 NEW MEXICO
24-hour record set in 1893, but also
damaged sewer lines. Flooding in other
parts of the state caused the governor
to declare a state of emergency.
in a sandbar exhausts swimmers who
are then swept out to sea. If caught, one
should swim parallel to the shore.
24 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
(Please turn to page 26)
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PM
TECHWATCH
X-Ray Vision
T
HE Crab Nebula has awed
astronomers since it was first
observed in 1054. This new view,
taken by the Chandra Space Telescope, is
unlike any seen before. It shows only the
X-ray emissions produced by the colli-
sion of matter and antimatter. The image
reveals a pulsar, which is a fast-spinning
neutron star. Visible as a bright, white dot
near the center of the image, the pulsar
shoots matter and antimatter particles
into the surrounding nebula and spawns
vortices and rings of matter.
SPACE SHOTS
BREAKTHROUGH
O
NE of the limitations of
nanostructures, sensors in
particular, is that because of
their small size they become easily
clogged. At Pennsylvania State Uni-
versity in University Park, researchers
have found a unique method of keep-
ing nanosensors in working order. Tiny
titania nanotubes are coated with a lay-
er of palladium. The nanotubes under-
went tests in which they were exposed
to fatty acids, oil and even the parti-
cles from cigarette smoke. The dirtied
sensors shed their contaminants with
ease. Ironically, the one thing that did
contaminate the nanotubes was a com-
pound that most people use for clean-
ups: WD-40. It’s expected that this
method will one day be used to keep
fuel cell sensors clean.
S
CIENTISTS love data, but often the best data is
elusive. The way the eye moves when a patient is ill,
for example, is different from when he is healthy. At
the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, researchers
have discovered how to extract more information from a sin-
gle experiment by using a technique called Wavelet Sampling. Among other
things, the technique can be used to remove environmentally generated back-
ground noise that would make it otherwise impossible to extract data.
Bootstrapping Wavelets
EYES HAVE IT:
Pupil diameter
measurement
data is hard to
capture.
I Chandra Telescope:
I miles from Earth 86,500
I including launch $2 billion
Self-Cleaning
Nanosensors
26 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
(Please turn to page 28)
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PM
TECHWATCH
Portable Air Conditioning
S
OARING temperatures in
Iraq take a toll on soldiers who
are often forced to don biologi-
cal or radiological gear. Researchers
at the Pacific Northwest National Lab-
oratory (PNNL) in Hanford, Wash.,
hope to make the lives of swelter-
ing troops more tolerable. They have
invented an air conditioner that con-
verts body heat into cool water, which
is then circulated within the biohazard
suit. The heart of the device, shown
here, is a small heat exchanger. Sci-
entists say it can produce 150 watts
of cooling power and run for 6 hours.
It weighs about 4 pounds. Since it is
powered by heat generated by the per-
son wearing the suit,
there are no batter-
ies or fuel tanks. No
deployment date has
been set.
POWER DISC:
The cooler
works like a
heat pump.
LUNAR PROGRESS
F
INDING water on the moon
would “profoundly” affect the
economics of creating a lunar
base, Donald Campbell, an astrono-
mer from Cornell University in Ithaca,
N.Y., told a congressional subcommit-
tee on lunar development. Speaking at
an April hearing in Washington, D.C.,
he predicted water would be found in
the bottom of cold, permanently dark
craters near the lunar poles. “For a per-
manent or reusable base, a local supply
would be invaluable both for human
needs in the form of water and oxy-
gen and for production of rocket fuel,”
Campbell said.
Earlier this year, NASA announced
plans to return to the moon but has not
selected a date or launch vehicle. PM
Pumping Water
On The Moon
28 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
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2
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0
1
)
FOLLOWING UP…
ILLUSTRATIONS COURTESY X - PRIZE FOUNDATION
Comanche Killed
T
HE $38 billion Comanche armed reconnais-
sance helicopter program went down in flames in
late February after being fired at by White House
and congressional officials who claimed it was an expen-
sive relic of the Cold War. Since the Comanche’s incep-
tion in the early 1980s, about $8 billion had been spent
on design and engineering. The money that would have
bought 121 Coman-
ches will now be used
to develop unmanned
aircraft, to buy 796 less
expensive helicopters
and to upgrade 1400
existing aircraft includ-
ing 500 Apache attack
helicopters, reports the
industry publication
Defense Week.
W
HILE the space
shuttle remains
grounded, the
countdown continues for
two private space tourism
ventures. Millionaire Gregory Olsen will experience
weightlessness when he travels to the International
Space Station aboard a Russian rocket. Olsen’s $20 mil-
lion ticket includes six months of training, which he
begins later this year.
The first contender has stepped forward for the $10
million X-Prize, which we wrote about in the February
2001 issue of PM. The Federal Aviation Administration
has granted Scaled Composites of Mojave, Calif., a license
to launch a civilian rocket. To claim the X-Prize a crew
must reach 62 miles. The first crew to return home wins.
FEBRUARY 2001
Tourists
In Space
JU
LY 1991
FEBRUARY 2001
n
PM TECHNOLOGY
NSTEAD of slowly
leaking news of its
products, Sony likes
to bring all of us
editor types togeth-
er once a year to
see its whole line of
gizmos and gadgets
in one shot. This is
no glamorous press
junket, but a gath-
ering in New Jersey. This year’s offer-
ings were worth the trip. Here are a
few of my favorite things.
PLUG AND PLAY
High-definition TVs are nothing new,
but Sony displayed 12 good-looking
new sets ranging from 30 to 60 in. in
the FD Trinitron WEGA direct-view
CRT, Grand WEGA microdisplay LCD
and CRT rear-projection TV catego-
ries. The bigger news, however, is that
each of the sets works with CableLabs’
CableCARD technology.
What this does is let your TV
decode encrypted content delivered
from digital cable systems. Say good-
bye to another cable box. Just get
your removable CableCARD module
(provided by cable operators where
available), place a cable card in its
slot, and you’re up and running in the
world of HDTV.
To make sure you can record all
your new digital programming,
Sony unveiled two new high-defi-
nition digital video recorders—the
DHG-HDD100 ($700) and the DHG-
HDD200 ($800). Now watch “The
Sopranos” a day late and in high def.
HEAR THIS
Swinging over to audio, one of Sony’s
most impressive products is the MDR-
G94NC StreetStyle noise-canceling
headphones ($370). Most noise-can-
celing gear I’ve seen is enormous-
ly oversize. I love technology, but I
hate looking like a geek. These new
headphones are foldable and have
the easy and stylish behind-the-ear
design. And yes, they are consider-
ably smaller than the competition.
Sony claims the headphones dimin-
ish outside noise by 70 percent. A
microphone on the earpiece registers
outside noise and instantly generates
a sound of contradicting frequency.
Talk about a balancing act.
Also not to be missed is Sony’s new
portable speaker line. Now that I take
my iPod just about everywhere I go,
it’s nice to be able to listen to music
when I travel—without the head-
phones. Sony introduced three sets
of travel speakers: the SRS-T33 ($40),
the SRS-T57 ($50) and the SRS-T88
($90). All can connect to almost any
portable music device or laptop, and
they are quite light and easy to carry.
As many have been loath to tell me,
I do have expensive tastes, so it was
no surprise that the SRS-T88 was my
favorite of the batch. These speakers
include acoustic tube duct technol-
ogy that produces a rich bass—per-
fect for grooving to “The Grey Album”
or watching a DVD on my laptop. The
speakers also come with a worldwide
AC power adapter for even the most
discerning globe-trotter.
For information on these and other
products, visit www.sony.com. PM
Sony Style
I
Sleek bodies and killer technology are the focus
in Sony’s new product lineup. BY TOBEY GRUMET
ELECTRONICS
FD TRINITRON WEGA: KD-34XBR 960
34 in., $2200.
30 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
P
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F
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Road Star Warrior
The Two-Time AMA/Prostar Hot Rod Cruiser Class Champion
and Bonneville Record Holder.
If this doesn’t get you going, check your pulse. Massive pushrod, air-cooled 102 cu.in. engine
that’ll blow your socks off. Aluminum frame for incredible power-to-weight ratio. Four-piston
sportbike brakes. All in a package that turns heads as fast as it turns the quarter mile.
Special thanks to Patrick Racing and Team Bozeman Yamaha. Dress properly for your ride with a helmet, eye protection, long-sleeved shirt, long trousers, gloves and boots. Yamaha and
the Motorcycle Safety Foundation encourage you to ride safely and respect the environment. For further information regarding the MSF rider course, please call 1-800-446-9227. Do not
drink and ride. It is illegal and dangerous. ©2004 Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. Cypress, CA 90630. For the Yamaha dealer nearest you call 1-800-88-YAMAHA. yamaha-motor.com
Gone in the blink of an eye.
But, oh, what an eyeful.
T’S a nightmare
scenario. You’re
working away on
your computer on
a big project that’s
due in a few days
and your operating
system locks up.
You try to reboot
and the computer
won’t even start.
You’ve just suffered a catastrophic
hard-drive failure, baby.
Or—and we’ve all done this—you
delete some files only to realize you’ve
thrown out something you need.
There are a few options. You can
panic. You can use recovery software.
Or, you can go to a data recovery
specialist. Let’s look at these in order
of effectiveness.
Panicking is rarely beneficial. Nei-
ther is stomping of feet, gnashing of
teeth or rending of garments.
The second option is to try using
data recovery soft-
ware—one of the most
popular is Syman-
tec’s Norton GoBack.
These programs let
you recover—possi-
bly—your lost data.
How? Because even
after you delete some-
thing the data is likely still there.
Huh?
A hard drive is essentially a col-
lection of spinning aluminum discs
that are coated with one layer each
of a substrate, iron oxide and carbon.
These three layers are sprayed onto
the discs to form a thin covering—
as close to 1mm as possible. Then,
a Teflon-like covering is applied to
the discs. A metallic armature rests
over the drive and contains the drive-
head, which is a small square of sili-
con that is magnetoresistive (meaning
the head’s resistance to electricity
changes as it comes in contact with a
magnetic field).
The disc surfaces are quickly spin-
ning magnets with various patterns
of polarity on them—a moving mag-
netic field creates an electrical charge.
As the polarity changes, the electrical
charge in the vicinity of the drive-
head changes, allowing it to inter-
pret these changes as 1s and 0s. This
is your data.
Your hard drive is arranged into
sectors. A sector is the smallest physi-
cal storage unit on the disc, and
is almost always 512 bytes in size.
However, most files are larger than
512 bytes. So the file system has to
allocate multiple sectors to store a
file’s data. For example, if a file size
is 800 bytes, two 512 sectors are allo-
cated for the file. When you delete a
file, the data isn’t removed from the
drive. Instead, the operating system
marks that physical area of the disc as
being available for future data while
leaving the original data there. Basi-
cally, the operating system hides the
file so you can no longer get to it. It’s
Data
Recovery
Don’t fret. You get that lost computer can
information back. BY CHRISTOPHER ALLBRITTON
ANY HOPE?: A
damaged hard
drive is one
of the worst
things that can
happen to a
computer.
COMPUTERS
I P
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PM TECHNOLOGY
32 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
(Please turn to page 34)
1. 866. LEVI TRA
www. LEVI TRA. com
PROUD
SPONSOR
OF THE
© 2003 Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation
All rights reserved. PD1011303 12/03
Printed in the USA. LEV403R0
LEVITRA is a registered trademark of Bayer Aktiengesellschaft
and is used under license by GlaxoSmithKline.
* Among orally administered ED treatments.

Individual results may vary.
Please see adjacent Patient Information for more about
LEVITRA (2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg) tablets.
Ask your doctor if a free sample
of LEVITRA is right for you.
LEVITRA is a treatment for erectile dysfunction
(ED) that consistently improves erection quality
for most men:

LEVITRA works the first time, time and again
Some men may require additional attempts

LEVITRA works to improve the quality of
erectile function
LEVITRA improves duration, hardness, and
the ability to attain an erection

LEVITRA works fast
It doesn’t matter if the challenge is on the field or off – I always strive to
be the best. For ED, I found something that works for me, LEVITRA.

– Mike Ditka, NFL Hall of Fame player and coach
LEVITRA is a medicine that may be used up to once a day to treat
erectile dysfunction (ED). LEVITRA is for use by prescription only.
Men taking nitrate drugs, often used to control chest pain (also
known as angina), should not take LEVITRA. Men who use
alpha-blockers, sometimes prescribed for high blood pressure or
prostate problems, also should not take LEVITRA. Such
combinations could cause blood pressure to drop to an unsafe
level. The most commonly reported side effects are headache,
flushing, and stuffy or runny nose. Men who experience an
erection for more than four hours should seek immediate
medical attention. You should not take LEVITRA if your doctor
determines that sexual activity poses a health risk for you.
LEVITRA does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
h
PM TECHNOLOGY
still there, at least until new data is
written over it.
What data recovery software does is
go through your file system, find all the
files that have been marked as deleted
and offer to recover them. You should
save the recovered files to someplace
other than your hard drive. Otherwise,
you run the risk of overwriting other
files you may want to get back.
Using software like this is a good
solution for the “oops, I threw that
away” problem—especially if you
catch your mistake quickly. It becomes
less effective as more time passes
between emptying your computer’s
Recycle Bin and attempting a recov-
ery because there’s more of a chance
you’ve overwritten the files you’re
looking for.
But what if you’ve had a catastroph-
ic drive failure? And just what is a cata-
strophic drive failure?
I mentioned that a hard drive is a
collection of discs coated with thin
layers of substrate and magnetic
material. Hovering above the discs is
the drivehead on the end of the arma-
ture. The discs—spinning at up to
15,000 rpm—create a slight breeze as
they spin, which creates a cushion of
air for the head. The drivehead never
touches the discs—unless something
happens to that cushion of air. Then,
the head can drop, gouge through the
magnetic layers and cut slashes into
the surface of the discs.
“It can grind through the aluminum
substrate and spray dust from all three
layers all over the drive,” says Peter
Dinhofer of Data Recovery Services in
Brooklyn, N.Y. “That is an unrecover-
able drive. One piece of dust is what
causes this to happen.”
Dinhofer and his colleagues are
“Recovery soft-
ware is a good
solution for the
‘oops, I threw that
away’ problem.”
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
(Please turn to page 36)
08669034IP 8/03
Read the Patient Information about LEVITRA before you start taking it
and again each time you get a refill. There may be new information.
You may also find it helpful to share this information with your partner.
This leaflet does not take the place of talking with your doctor. You
and your doctor should talk about LEVITRA when you start taking it
and at regular checkups. If you do not understand the information, or
have questions, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
WHAT IMPORTANT INFORMATION SHOULD YOU KNOW ABOUT
LEVITRA?
LEVITRA can cause your blood pressure to drop suddenly to an
unsafe level if it is taken with certain other medicines. With a sudden
drop in blood pressure, you could get dizzy, faint, or have a heart
attack or stroke.
Do not take LEVITRA if you:
• take any medicines called “nitrates.”
• use recreational drugs called “poppers” like amyl nitrate and
butyl nitrate.
• take medicines called alpha-blockers.
(See “Who Should Not Take LEVITRA?”)
Tell all your healthcare providers that you take LEVITRA. If you
need emergency medical care for a heart problem, it will be important
for your healthcare provider to know when you last took LEVITRA.
WHAT IS LEVITRA?
LEVITRA is a prescription medicine taken by mouth for the treatment
of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.
ED is a condition where the penis does not harden and expand when
a man is sexually excited, or when he cannot keep an erection. A man
who has trouble getting or keeping an erection should see his doctor
for help if the condition bothers him. LEVITRA may help a man with
ED get and keep an erection when he is sexually excited.
LEVITRA does not:
• cure ED
• increase a man’s sexual desire
• protect a man or his partner from sexually transmitted diseases,
including HIV. Speak to your doctor about ways to guard against
sexually transmitted diseases.
• serve as a male form of birth control
LEVITRA is only for men with ED. LEVITRA is not for women or
children. LEVITRA must be used only under a doctor’s care.
HOW DOES LEVITRA WORK?
When a man is sexually stimulated, his body’s normal physical
response is to increase blood flow to his penis. This results in an
erection. LEVITRA helps increase blood flow to the penis and may
help men with ED get and keep an erection satisfactory for sexual
activity. Once a man has completed sexual activity, blood flow to his
penis decreases, and his erection goes away.
WHO CAN TAKE LEVITRA?
Talk to your doctor to decide if LEVITRA is right for you.
LEVITRA has been shown to be effective in men over the age of 18
years who have erectile dysfunction, including men with diabetes or
who have undergone prostatectomy.
WHO SHOULD NOT TAKE LEVITRA?
Do not take LEVITRA if you:
• take any medicines called “nitrates” (See “What important infor-
mation should you know about LEVITRA?”). Nitrates are
commonly used to treat angina. Angina is a symptom of heart dis-
ease and can cause pain in your chest, jaw, or down your arm.
Medicines called nitrates include nitroglycerin that is found in
tablets, sprays, ointments, pastes, or patches. Nitrates can also be
found in other medicines such as isosorbide dinitrate or isosorbide
mononitrate. Some recreational drugs called “poppers” also contain
nitrates, such as amyl nitrate and butyl nitrate. Do not use LEVITRA
if you are using these drugs. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you
are not sure if any of your medicines are nitrates.
• take medicines called “alpha-blockers.” Alpha-blockers are some-
times prescribed for prostate problems or high blood pressure. If
LEVITRA is taken with alpha-blockers, your blood pressure could
suddenly drop to an unsafe level. You could get dizzy and faint.
• you have been told by your healthcare provider to not have sexual
activity because of health problems. Sexual activity can put an
extra strain on your heart, especially if your heart is already weak
from a heart attack or heart disease.
• are allergic to LEVITRA or any of its ingredients. The active ingre-
dient in LEVITRA is called vardenafil. See the end of this leaflet for a
complete list of ingredients.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DISCUSS WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE
TAKING LEVITRA?
Before taking LEVITRA, tell your doctor about all your medical
problems, including if you:
• have heart problems such as angina, heart failure, irregular heart-
beats, or have had a heart attack. Ask your doctor if it is safe for you
to have sexual activity.
• have low blood pressure or have high blood pressure that is not
controlled
• have had a stroke
• or any family members have a rare heart condition known as
prolongation of the QT interval (long QT syndrome)
• have liver problems
• have kidney problems and require dialysis
• have retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic (runs in families) eye disease
• have stomach ulcers
• have a bleeding problem
• have a deformed penis shape or Peyronie’s disease
• have had an erection that lasted more than 4 hours
• have blood cell problems such as sickle cell anemia, multiple
myeloma, or leukemia
CAN OTHER MEDICATIONS AFFECT LEVITRA?
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription
and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
LEVITRA and other medicines may affect each other. Always check
with your doctor before starting or stopping any medicines.
Especially tell your doctor if you take any of the following:
• medicines called nitrates (See “What important information should
you know about LEVITRA?”)
• medicines called alpha-blockers. These include Hytrin
®
(terazosin
HCl), Flomax
®
(tamsulosin HCl), Cardura
®
(doxazosin mesylate),
Minipress
®
(prazosin HCl) or Uroxatral
®
(alfuzosin HCl).
• medicines that treat abnormal heartbeat. These include quinidine,
procainamide, amiodarone and sotalol.
• ritonavir (Norvir
®
) or indinavir sulfate (Crixivan
®
)
• ketoconazole or itraconazole (such as Nizoral
®
or Sporanox
®
)
• erythromycin
• other medicines or treatments for ED
HOW SHOULD YOU TAKE LEVITRA?
Take LEVITRA exactly as your doctor prescribes. LEVITRA comes in
different doses (2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg). For most men,
the recommended starting dose is 10 mg. Take LEVITRA no more
than once a day. Doses should be taken at least 24 hours apart.
Some men can only take a low dose of LEVITRA because of medical
conditions or medicines they take. Your doctor will prescribe the
dose that is right for you.
• If you are older than 65 or have liver problems, your doctor may
start you on a lower dose of LEVITRA.
• If you are taking certain other medicines your doctor may prescribe
a lower starting dose and limit you to one dose of LEVITRA in a
72-hour (3 days) period.
Take 1 LEVITRA tablet about 1 hour (60 minutes) before sexual activity.
Some form of sexual stimulation is needed for an erection to happen
with LEVITRA. LEVITRA may be taken with or without meals.
Do not change your dose of LEVITRA without talking to your doctor.
Your doctor may lower your dose or raise your dose, depending on
how your body reacts to LEVITRA.
If you take too much LEVITRA, call your doctor or emergency room
right away.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF LEVITRA?
The most common side effects with LEVITRA are headache, flushing,
stuffy or runny nose, indigestion, upset stomach, or dizziness. These
side effects usually go away after a few hours. Call your doctor if you
get a side effect that bothers you or one that will not go away.
LEVITRA may uncommonly cause:
• an erection that won’t go away (priapism). If you get an erection
that lasts more than 4 hours, get medical help right away. Priapism
must be treated as soon as possible or lasting damage can happen
to your penis including the inability to have erections.
• vision changes, such as seeing a blue tinge to objects or having
difficulty telling the difference between the colors blue and green.
These are not all the side effects of LEVITRA. For more information,
ask your doctor or pharmacist.
HOW SHOULD LEVITRA BE STORED?
• Store LEVITRA at room temperature between 59° and 86° F
(15° to 30° C).
• Keep LEVITRA and all medicines out of the reach of children.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT LEVITRA.
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions other than those
described in patient information leaflets. Do not use LEVITRA for a
condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give LEVITRA to
other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It
may harm them.
This leaflet summarizes the most important information about LEVITRA.
If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare
provider. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information
about LEVITRA that is written for health professionals.
For more information you can also visit www.LEVITRA.com, or call
1-866-LEVITRA.
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS OF LEVITRA?
Active Ingredient: vardenafil hydrochloride
Inactive Ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, crospovidone, colloidal
silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, polyethylene
glycol, titanium dioxide, yellow ferric oxide, and red ferric oxide.
Norvir (ritonavir) is a trademark of Abbott Laboratories
Crixivan (indinavir sulfate) is a trademark of Merck & Co., Inc.
Nizoral (ketoconazole) is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson
Sporanox (itraconazole) is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson
Hytrin (terazosin HCl) is a trademark of Abbott Laboratories
Flomax (tamsulosin HCl) is a trademark of Yamanouchi
Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Cardura (doxazosin mesylate) is a trademark of Pfizer Inc.
Minipress (prazosin HCl) is a trademark of Pfizer Inc.
Uroxatral (alfuzosin HCl) is a trademark of Sanofi-Synthelabo
ߑOnly
08669034IP 8/03 ©2003 Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation
12030 Printed in U.S.A.
Patient Information
LEVITRA
®
(Luh-VEE-Trah)
(vardenafil HCl) Tablets
Marketed by:
GlaxoSmithKline
Research Triangle Park
NC 27709
Manufactured and Marketed by:
Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation
400 Morgan Lane
West Haven, CT 06516
Made in Germany
LEVITRA LEVITRA LEVITRA LEVITRA
LEVITRA
LEVITRA
L E V I T R A
L E V I T R A
L E V I T R A L E V I T R A L E V I T R A L E V I T R A
L E V I T R A
L E V I T R A
L E VITRA
LEVITRA
LEVITRA
Manufactured and Marketed by:
Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation
400 Morgan Lane
West Haven, CT 06516
Made in Germany
a
h
Take time to send a reminder of home and a
message of support to the brave men and
women deployed overseas.
With a $25 donation, you can sponsor a USO
Care Package that includes items requested
most by our troops. Plus, you may include
your personal message thanking them for
their service and sacrifices.
With your support, our troops will know
they have not been forgotten.
Sponsor a USO Care Package today
by visiting
www.timeforthetroops.com
USO photo by Mike Theiler
5
PM TECHNOLOGY
the Federal Emergency Management
Agency of hard drives. Services such
as theirs come in as a last resort when
nothing else works—and they’re not
cheap. While Symantec’s software
costs $39.95, Dinhofer’s services
start at $250 and go up to $3500 for a
single drive. But he’s able to take a
drive that is just shy of completely
hosed and get some—or even most—
of your data back.
Data recovery services each have
their own techniques, but usually
the first step is to get the damaged
drive up and running again. The serv-
ice clones your drive to a blank drive
and then works on the cloned drive.
As for the damaged parts of the drive,
they attempt to work around those
portions.
Once a damaged drive is cloned to
another drive, the service will pick the
low-hanging fruit by using data recov-
ery software, either an off-the-shelf
variety like Symantec’s or one that is
custom-made. If that’s not successful,
a recovery specialist will attempt to
rebuild the data on the drive by hand
by recreating the master boot record
(MBR), which among other things
tells the computer how big the drive
is, and the master file table (MFT),
which tells the computer where all
the bits of data are on the drive.
“I know what [MBRs and MFTs]
look like and I can go in there and find
them, correct them and then we can
use some form of data recovery tools,”
says Dinhofer.
But recovery services can’t work
miracles. A drive that has had a mas-
sive head crash is usually a lost cause.
Moreover, moving large amounts
of data around the drive is almost
guaranteed to overwrite some files
you want to recover.
So when you have a drive crash
or erase files inadvertently, step back
and take a deep breath. Don’t use
the computer. Calmly and coolly get
a data repairman on the phone or try
to remedy the problem yourself by
using recovery software. Your data
depends on it. PM I
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B
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A
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O
N
WHERE’S MY DATA?: Recovering data
from a dead drive can be diffi cult, but
not impossible.
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
Soak daily for clean, long-lasting teeth. Use WD-40
®
to protect, lubricate, and prevent
dirt and debris from sticking to everything from lawn mowers to weed wackers.
wd40.com
©2004 WD-40 Company
d
PM SCIENCE
URNING their Cold War expertise
to more peaceful pursuits, scientists
at top American and Russian nucle-
ar laboratories have created two new
el ements. If researchers elsewhere con-
firm their results, the new elements will
be christened ununtrium and unun-
pentium. Difficult names aside, chem-
ists and physicists are smitten with
the new additions. “This just opens
up the horizon on the periodic table,”
says Ken Moody. He led the American
team, which is based at the Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
in Livermore, Calif.
The periodic table to which Moody
refers is the familiar chart that deco-
rates the walls wherever chemists
congregate. Most of us probably
remember it from high school or col-
lege chemistry. The chart explains why
different elements combine the way
they do. It neatly arranges el ements
according to their weight and chemi-
cal properties. An element’s posi-
tion predicts how well it plays with
its companions. With the creation of
elements 113 and 115, the number
of known el ements rises to 116.
The story of the periodic table
begins in 1863 when a young French
geologist, Alexandre-Emile Béguyer de
Chancourtois, wrote a list of the then
known elements in increasing atom-
ic weight. He then wrapped the list
around a cylinder. When he did this he
saw that chemically similar elements
lined up. It was a step beyond the trial-
and-error approach used by chemists
up to that point, but not much better.
About the same time, a young
English chemist, John A.R. Newlands,
was also experimenting with ways
of arranging elements. He noticed
that chemical groups repeated every
eight elements. Thinking he was
on to something big, he proud-
ly reported his work to the English
Chemical Society. The older, more
conservative members of the group
branded his idea absurd, and it was
pretty much forgotten.
RUSSIAN REVIVAL
Scientific communications were slow
in the 19th century. So, it is not sur-
prising that another 20 years passed
before the idea was revived. This
time the notion struck Russian chem-
ist Dmitri I. Mendeleev and German
chemist Julius Lothar Meyer. Work-
ing separately, these two arranged the
el ements into seven columns. Each
el ement’s position was determined by
its chemical and physical properties.
And, as de Chancourtois and Newlands
had observed earlier, the el ements I
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“An element’s position predicts how
well it plays with its companions.”
T
A metal found in smoke detectors helps
scientists find two new elements. BY JIM WILSON
Building Atoms
CHEMISTRY
38 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
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SHORT-LIVED: After 90 milliseconds,
ununpentium decays into ununtrium,
which lingers for 1.2 seconds.
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 00
SCIENCE PM
grouped themselves into what might
be called “chemical families.”
Mendeleev delved deeper into why
this should occur. The result was a
table with blanks showing precisely
where undiscovered elements would
be found. The discovery is all the
more amazing because at the time,
scientists had no idea how the atom
was constructed.
In the century that followed, chem-
ists found more ways to make the peri-
odic table useful. Simple tables, like
the one shown here, were expanded to
include an element’s density, magnetic
properties, oxidation states, and melt-
ing and boiling points. They also con-
tain information about how electrons
are distributed about an atom, and
they list the weights of the element’s
heavier chemical twins or isotopes.
ARTIFICIAL ELEMENTS
Perhaps the single most important
contribution of the early charts was
showing chemists there were undis-
covered elements.
By the start of the 20th century,
physicists had an inkling that much of
what they believed about the structure
of the atom was wrong. For starters,
atoms were not solid, but mostly open
space. Slowly the vacant slots began to
fll in. But holes remained.
Knowing where to look sped the
discovery of the naturally occurring
elements. With the emergence of an
accurate theory of how the atomic
nucleus was constructed, came the
possibility of creating “artifcial” or
synthetic elements by bombarding
metals with streams of energy.
Adding neutrons, which are elec-
trically neutral, has no effect on an
element’s chemical behavior—it just
makes the element heavier. But as
atoms gain weight, they become less
stable and, generally speaking, more
easily break apart. This process spews
neutrons and energy into space. Most
of the protons, neutrons and electrons,
however, remain and reorganize them-
selves into lighter elements.
THE NEW ARRIVALS
This past February, scientists from
the LLNL and the Joint Institute for
Nuclear Research (JINR) in Russia
took advantage of the way the nucleus
of an atom behaves when it is bombard-
ed to create the two newest elements.
The frst of these was element 115,
which was created when americium,
a metal used in smoke detectors, was
bombarded with a radioactive form of
calcium. Four atoms briefy appeared,
then after 90 milliseconds they
decayed into the second new arrival,
element 113. These four atoms lin-
gered for 1.2 seconds, before decaying
into lighter-weight elements that scien-
tists had previously discovered. Artif-
cial elements tend to be short-lived
because the large number of protons
and neutrons in their nuclei makes
them inherently unstable.
Now, about those odd names. Sev-
eral years ago the International Union
of Pure and Applied Chemistry in
Research Triangle Park, N.C., decid-
ed that new elements should have
culturally neutral names. To do this,
they use the Latin pronunciation of
an element’s atomic number. Hence,
the numbers 1,1,5 are read as “un, un,
pent.” The “ium” ending indicates the
element is a metal.
Briefy as they existed, the dis-
covery of elements 115 and 113 does
more than raise the count of known
elements. “It allows us to expand the
fundamental principles of chemistry,”
says Livermore’s Moody. “From new
chemistry comes new materials and
new technology.” PM
1 13
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1 15
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PERIODIC TABLE
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NEWEST MEMBERS: When the discov-
eries are confrmed, the number of
elements will rise to 116.
T’S a shame that
PWCs don’t have
doors. It would be
so much fun see-
ing them blown
off by Sea-Doo’s
RXP—the undis-
puted new king
of personal mus-
cle craft. The clos-
est thing to being
shot out of a particle accelerator,
on the water, the RXP experience
redefines performance with a clean,
green 215-hp Rotax engine. How does
0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds grab ya, or
0 to 30 mph in 1.8 seconds? And that’s
with a full tank of gas.
STYLE WITH SIZZLE
Going fast is cool, but your ride should
also look the part. Remember the mus-
clecar ’60s and ’70s? Hood scoops,
shaker hoods, wings, spoilers, fend-
er gills and rocket exhaust tips were
the order of the day. Sea-Doo may not
have rocket exhaust tips but it does
deliver on image, borrowing cues from
today’s sportbikes. On the downside,
we think Sea-Doo is missing the boat,
so to speak, by not offering a “Jaws”
paint option.
The RXP’s supercharged 4-stroke
3-cylinder Rotax SOHC with intercool-
er features a big-bore (100mm), short-
stroke (63.4mm) design. Reduced
piston travel means a longer engine
life. The heads are a 4-valve design
because the RXP mill is redlined at
8 grand. High-revving bike engines
that spin at over 11,000 rpm benefit
from 5-valve heads. Premium compo-
nents, such as titanium valves, add to
the durability equation, but that stuff
doesn’t come cheap. Bombardier, the
Pressure
Cooker
PWCs
Sea-Doo hammers the competition with
215 supercharged horsepower. BY CLIFF GROMER
I
42 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
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PM OUTDOORS
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
PM OUTDOORS
parent company for Sea-Doo, Rotax
and other brands, needed volume to
justify the engine investment. In addi-
tion to powering PWCs, the 4-stroke—
dubbed 4 TEC—in various configura-
tions is being bolted into everything
from the company’s ATVs and snow-
mobiles to Sea-Doo sport boats.
ENGINE EVOLUTION
The 4 TEC engine first appeared in the
2002 Sea-Doo 3-passenger GTX plat-
form—the best-selling PWC in the
industry that year. Naturally aspirat-
ed, the engine produced 155 hp. From
the get-go, the 4 TEC was designed
to handle the additional power loads
demanded by supercharging and
intercooling, with no modifications
other than ignition tweaking.
In 2003, the engine, still in the GTX
hull, was treated to a positive-displace-
ment supercharger making 5 psi boost.
This upped the ponies to 185. For ’04,
blower boost rises to 8.5 psi, and the
added intercooler is the icing on the
cake. Just as significant, the engine
was moved from a 3-passenger cruis-
er platform to the high-performance
2-up muscle-platform RXP.
The choice to go the supercharging
route—versus turbocharging, as Hon-
da has done in its AquaTrax PWC—was
based on quicker throttle response.
Turbos have to spool up with engine
rpm, so there’s always some lag. Posi-
tive-displacement superchargers are
always on boost when you come off
idle. Acceleration just snaps—some-
thing nice to have if you’re towing a
skier or wake jumping. The blower is
gear driven, and that does suck some
horsepower. Sea-Doo claims no weight
penalty compared to a turbo.
The supercharger hangs off the
rear of the engine, so the top deck and
seat width are no wider than that of a
2-stroke machine. This is important
in aggressive riding when you need to
clench the seat with your knees. Some
of those wide cruisers, with their Buick
approach to PWCs, make you feel like
you’re on an elephant safari.
THE STRAIGHT SCOOP
The RXP’s hull, based on Sea-Doo’s
GTi line, is slightly modified with
improved chine placement and front
spray deflectors. The intake area is
widened to process more water. The
top deck is totally new, and the rid-
er position, compared to the GTi, is
moved forward for a more athletic
riding style and quicker turning.
Handling aside, the RXP excels in
the same arena as the old muscle-
cars—straight-line performance. It
will take you from point A to point B
quicker than any other PWC on the
water. And it’ll blow those craft so far
into the weeds, they’ll need a GPS to
find their way out. PM
LIMITED: Only 9000 Sea-Doo RXPs
will be produced for 2004. They’ll
cost $10,399 each.
“Some of those wide cruisers make you
feel like you’re on an elephant safari.”
Mercedes-Benz remakes its SLK in the SL’s image.
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Poor Man’s SL
“Heated head
restraints keep
the air on your
neck warm.”
FUN FOR TWO: The SLK’s interior is
larger and more plush than before.
diminutive compared to its legend-
ary brother. However, now it offers a
new grille and headlight arrangement
that mimics the flagship SL coupe.
Perhaps more important, the car
boasts a retractable, folding hardtop
like its more expensive sibling. Under
the bulging power dome on the SLK’s
hood is a 268-hp 3.5-liter V6. Later this
year there will be a hot-rod AMG ver-
sion with a 368-hp 5.5-liter V8. The
V6 comes mated to either a 6-speed
manual or a 7-speed automatic trans-
mission. The car rides on 17-in. wheels
and low-profile tires. The AMG mod-
el, when it arrives, will boast
18-in. wheels and tires.
Inside the SLK’s intimate
passenger compartment you’ll
find such niceties as heated
head restraints that warm the
air that flows over the necks of
driver and passenger, as well as side-
impact airbags stowed in the seatbacks
to protect both occupants’ heads and
thoraxes in the event of a collision.
Compared to its predecessors,
the new SLK is 2.8 in. longer, 3 in.
wider and 1.3 in. taller. As a result,
you’ll find increased passenger cabin
space. The added size is accompa-
nied by a modest increase of 1.3 in. in
the wheelbase, which helps improve
the ride. In addition, the configura-
tion of the stowed top is such that
the cargo space in the trunk has been
increased by nearly one-third over the
previous model.
Almost lost beside the flashy new
SLK, the C-Class has been refined.
Mercedes-Benz has given those
models a minor facelift. The
grille is cleaner, and headlights
and taillights are brighter than
before. Larger tires bring a slight-
ly wider track as well. Jim Dunne
Borrowing a page from its exclusive
SL-Class coupe/roadster, Mercedes-Benz has
restyled and enhanced its SLK for 2005. Larger
and more potent than before, the 2-seater is still
46 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
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MIGHTY MITE: Engine and chassis mods are all good.
SIMILAR:
Chrysler’s
Crossfire
shares much
with the
Benz SLK.
Kissing Cousin
Crossfire is more than an SLK wannabe.
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2005 GMC SIERRA: Grille makes a
bold, no-nonsense statement.
C
HRYSLER’S Crossfire
Sport Coupe gains a sis-
ter model in the new
Roadster, a soft-top
convertible built on the
Coupe’s chassis. Soft-top operation is
semiautomatic—part manual, most-
ly motor driven. But the manual part
requires some strength and dexterity.
The complete operation—top up or
top down—takes a measured 22 sec-
onds. With the top down the roof nes-
tles neatly under small, body-colored
hard panels, fitting flush with the top
of a slightly redesigned deck.
Prices start at $34,960 for the
Roadster base model with its standard
3.2-liter 215-hp V6 engine and 6-speed
manual transmission. A 5-speed auto-
matic is optional.
At $45,995, the SRT-6 version of
the Crossfire comes complete with
a hand-built, supercharged 3.2-liter
V6 engine that delivers 330 hp and a
5-speed automatic transmission.
You probably cannot help but
notice that the Crossfire bears a strong
resemblance to the Mercedes-Benz
SLK shown on page 46. That’s because,
beneath the skin, the Chrysler Cross-
fire is a near clone of the SLK—albeit
with different drivetrains. However,
the European-built Crossfire lacks
the SLK’s hardtop roof. This further
helps to distinguish the car from its
corporate cousins. J.D.
“An SRT package
brings 330 hp.”
Don’t Look Back,
There’s A GMC
Gaining On You
T
HERE will be no doubt
that there’s a 2006 GMC
Sierra behind you when
you see this nose in your rearview
mirror. The new face continues the
trend set by Dodge with the large
chrome crosshairs in the Ram’s
oversize grille. Besides the new
look, the Sierra—and its cousin,
the Chevrolet Silverado—gets a
number of technical goodies when
it shows up in dealerships in late
2005. You can expect the pickups
to get things such as an engine
that shuts off at stoplights, electri-
cally assisted acceleration, and
Displacement-on-Demand, a sys-
tem that allows the engine to run
on fewer cylinders while cruising.
BY JIM DUNNE
M
AZDA’S perform-
ance arm, Mazda-
Speed, has mas-
saged the lovable little MX-5
Miata into a sports car with
some machismo. For starters,
the engine now has a turbo
with 178 hp and 166 ft.-lb.
of torque. That may not
sound like much, but it’s a
25 percent increase in horse-
power and a 30 percent
increase in torque. There’s
a Torsen-type torque-sens-
ing rear differential with
4.11:1 gears, a heavy-duty
clutch and beefier U-joints.
There are firmer springs
and shocks, larger antiroll
bars and 205/40R17 tires.
The car’s steering has been
made quicker by shorten-
ing the end links in the
steering rack. And best of
all, it’s $26,000—much less
than you’d have to spend for
this level of performance in
another roadster. Ben Stewart
Monster Miata MazdaSpeed works over the Miata. r
FUTURE FLIER: The 2005 Infniti
M45 is bigger than before.
MORE ROOM: There are added inches
in front of and behind the rear seat.
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ASIA
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Open-Top
Bimmer
BMW adds a convertible to
its 6 Series.
SKY VIEW: The 2005 645Ci now
comes open or closed.
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MW brought back its
big coupe and the
6 Series designation with
its 645Ci earlier this year
(“Reports From Around
The World,” Jan. 2004, page 52). Now
the Bavarian maker has dropped the
other shoe: the 645Ci Convertible. It
shares all of its essential components
with the Coupe. That includes the
325-hp 4.4-liter V8 engine and a choice
of three different 6-speed transmis-
sions. The only real difference between
the two models is the Convertible’s
folding soft-top. The fully automatic
top opens or closes in about 25 sec-
onds. And, the BMW’s top can be raised
while the vehicle is in gear and moving
below about 20 mph—a great boon
if the weather takes a sudden turn. In
addition, the glass back window can
be lowered with the top up to increase
ventilation. Don Chaikin
Infnite Improvement
From Infniti
I
NFINITI, Nissan’s luxury
division, will soon have this
stylish and sporty rear-wheel-
drive 4-door to do battle with
BMW’s 5 Series. The new M45
will be based on a lengthened
and strengthened version of the
current Infniti G35 chassis. The
wheelbase has been stretched by
2 in., but the overall length of the
car is nearly 5 in. less than the cur-
rent M45. Ride refnement will be
increased through the use of
10 mounts for the front and rear
suspension systems. And to fur-
ther aid handling, the Sport mod-
els will receive an electronic active
rear steering system, 19-in. wheels
and low-profle tires. In addition
to the 350-hp V8 M45, there will
be a 6-cylinder M35 with an all-
wheel-drive option.
J
EEP has finally unveiled a
stretched version of its popular
Wrangler: the Unlimited. The
model is 15 in. longer overall and
should be enough to head off poten-
tial competitors. That’s 2 in. more rear-
seat legroom and 13 in. more cargo
space. The new length meant, among
other things, a need for a longer top. In
the Unlimited, the full-length soft-top
has a nifty sunroof. Towing limits are
now set at 3500 pounds. In virtually
all other measurements and appear-
ance items, the Unlimited is identi-
cal to the base Wrangler. Prices start
at $24,995—automatic transmission
only—with the hardtop roof running
an extra $795. J.D.
Jeep adds inches inside its Wrangler.
An Of-Road Stretch
Joe Gibbs is very demanding. Particularly about anything or anyone that affects
the success of his team. Which says volumes about WIX filters, the only filter used
by Joe Gibbs Racing and by most of the teams in NASCAR. They choose WIX
because it’s a better filter. And so should you. WIX filters out 45% more dirt and
lasts 35% longer than the leading national brand. That should give you something
to smile about. WIX. The #1 Filter in NASCAR.
www.wixfilters.com
G
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SPY REPORT
2007 SUPRA:
Volta con-
cept car may
be the next
Supra—and
a hybrid.
DÉJÀ VU: The new Saab is really an
existing Subaru.
52 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
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A
UDI wants its new
A6 to be the handling
benchmark. The new
car’s engines have
been set farther back
in the chassis for a gain in rearward
weight bias. The car’s suspension bor-
rows from both the A8 and A4, with a
trapezoidal multilink setup in the rear
and a 4-link arrangement up front. All
the bushings have been stiffened for
better response. The new A6 is lon-
ger, wider and slightly taller than the
outgoing model. Its body shell is also
34 percent stiffer. There’s a choice
of a 255-hp 3.2-liter V6 or a 335-hp
4.2-liter V8. The V6 can hit 60 mph in
6.8 seconds. Both come with Audi’s
quattro all-wheel-drive system stand-
ard and both are paired to a new cus-
tard-smooth 6-speed Tiptronic
automatic. Expect prices to
start around $45,000. B.S.
Super
Sedan
Audi’s new A6 is designed
to be driven hard and fast.
A Supercar Of A Supra
From Toyota Via Italy
S
INCE the Supra departed
the market about 10 years
ago, Toyota has been with-
out a high-performance sports car.
That’s about to change. At the auto
show held in Geneva earlier this
year, Toyota unveiled the Volta
concept car. The Volta was created
by famed Italian auto designer
Giugiaro and it could serve as the
Supra’s replacement as early as
2007. The concept car features a
carbon-fiber body and chassis,
making it extremely light—under
2900 pounds. The sports car
also uses a 6-cylinder version of
Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive
that makes over 400 hp. And
engineers were able to make
the floor flat, so there’s room for
three seats. With its light weight
and impressive power, the Volta
should be able to give Porsche
and Ferrari a run for their money.
With the hybrid drivetrain, the
Volta should have fuel economy
numbers to rival an
average 4-cylinder
sedan and get about
400 miles on a tank
of fuel—a rarity in
this class.
Japanese Swede Saab gets a new awd model—from Subaru.
I
F the Saab 9-2X looks
familiar, it’s because there
is a Subaru WRX station
wagon beneath its skin. Like the
WRX, the Saab comes only as an
all-wheel-drive, with a choice of
two 4-cylinder opposed engines.
The base model, the Linear, has a
165-hp 2.5-liter engine, while the
upgrade Aero has a 2.0-liter turbo
good for 227 hp. Standard equip-
ment on both is a 5-speed manu-
al transmission. The optional
4-speed automatic carries an addi-
tional $1250 price tag. Prices for
the Linear start below $25,000.
Buying an Aero model boosts prices
up to the $29,000 level. J.D.
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2006 XTERRA: More of an out-
doorsman than before.
ASIA
SPY REPORT
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B
ASED on the under-
pinnings of the S40
sedan, the V50 is the
successor to the V40. In
Volvo parlance, “V” rep-
resents station wagon and “S” is sedan.
Powered by a transversely mounted
5-cylinder engine, the V50 comes
tuned to either 170 hp or, in the T5
model, a turbocharged 220. Transmis-
sions include a 6-speed manual or a
5-speed automatic. All of this normal-
ly drives the front wheels, with the
T5 model getting full-time awd. The
center differential is really not a dif-
ferential, but a hydraulically actuated,
electronically controlled clutch. The
V50 has a well-controlled ride and seri-
ous rubber. That’s the good part. The
bad part is that the rear cargo capac-
ity is just big enough for some gro-
ceries—the soccer team’s equipment
duffel won’t ft. This is a relatively small
car, and unless you fold the rear seat
(which is easy to do), interior space is
limited. This is the frst Volvo with Key-
less Drive: Just leave the key in your
pocket or purse and walk up to the
car. The driver’s door (or all fve, your
option) will unlock by itself. Sit down
and start up the engine with a switch
on the dash. Spooky. No, you can’t lock
the key inside if you get out and leave
the key sitting there. Mike Allen
Not June Cleaver’s Wagon
Volvo’s new station wagon
is more at home on a
mountain road than parked
by a soccer feld.
Tougher Nissan
For Terra Firma
T
HE original Xterra was
embraced by its owners
for rugged looks and of-
road capability. Now, with the rest
of Nissan’s truck lineup recently
re-made, the Xterra is due. Shown
earlier this year at the New York
auto show, this is our frst look at
the ’06 Xterra on the road. It will
share much of its chassis with the
upcoming 2005 Frontier pickup,
which is a modifed version of
Nissan’s full-size Titan pickup.
That means a solid rear axle and
leaf springs. Under the hood will
be a choice of a 2.5-liter Four or
a 250-hp 4.0-liter V6. Expect the
new Xterra, with its optimal lock-
ing rear diferential, to be geared
more toward of-road enthusiasts.
Styling will combine the previous
Xterra’s trademark stepped roof
with the look of Titan and Armada.
T
HE E320 CDI is quick and
quiet and emits no visible
smoke from its tailpipes. With
an estimated 27 mpg/city and 37
mpg/highway, it has a range of nearly
600 miles. At its heart is a 201-hp 3.2-
liter inline 6-cylinder turbodiesel that
cranks out a tugboat-like 369 ft.-lb. of
torque. That’s only 20 hp less than a
gasoline E320, but 137 ft.-lb. more.
In fact, that’s 30 ft.-lb. more than
the V8-powered E500. The key to all
this is a new common-rail high-pres-
sure fuel-injection system that shoots
the fuel directly into each cylinder.
And the load-dependent
rail allows constant fuel
pressure to each injector
simultaneously and on
demand. The new vari-
able-vane turbocharger
allows for lagfree boost
throughout the engine’s rev range.
Expect the E320 CDI to sell for under
$50,000. B.S. PM
Spark-Plug-Free Mercedes
Mercedes-Benz is back in the diesel business with
a new, smooth, quiet, fuel-burning E-Class sedan.
CLEAN: The
Benz E320
CDI sedan
is quiet and
potent—not
pungent.
I
love classic watches. They are finely tuned
miniature mechanical marvels that are both
beautiful and functional. But many Swiss
models cost more than my new car. So we at
Stauer decided to replicate the movement of a
magnificent $26,000 Swiss Automatic watch but
sell it to you for only $198. So you end up with
$25,802 in change. That’s enough to buy a brand
new sedan or SUV.
Is their watch really worth $26,000…
Well we don’t believe that any watch is. That’s the
point. How did we build such a fine machine for
such a low price? We decided that we could save
you a fortune on the perfect watch if we moved the
factory across the border and out of Switzerland. By
using Swiss built machinery and Swiss trained engi-
neers, Stauer is able to build this magnificent limit-
ed edition Stauer Monaco automatic timepiece for
93% less than a comparable luxury model.
Our factory spent over $22 million on Swiss
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speci al adver t i si ng sect i on
In this second, and final, part of our series about
rebuilding a Little League baseball field
we get to the actual work, and the play.
F E D F I L
OUR VERY OWN
2
P
A
R
T
L
speci al adver t i si ng sect i on
When the
Little League’s Urban Initiative Program
got together with the City of Atlanta,
they were looking to bring
baseball and all the positive values
it stands for back to the inner city,
but they needed to find a supportive community,
a field in need, and kids in need
of the values baseball has to offer.
What they found was the
Melvin Drive Field. >>>
Take me fishing.
Because I miss my boy.
Take me fishing.
Like I used to take you.
Take me fishing.
And we’ll give the fish
a good laugh.
Take me fishing.
Because it’s easier
to talk on the boat.
Take me fishing.
Because I miss my boy.
To learn more about boating and fishing, visit
www.WaterWorksWonders.org
nused for more than three
years, the field was in sad
shape, but the local com-
munity was not. The Ben
Hill Community Center
had a strong network of
administrators, parents
and volunteers committed
to making their neighbor-
hood safer, stronger and
better for their kids. With
those building blocks in
place, we went out and
rounded up eight corpo-
rate partners—Husqvarna,
GMC, Wolverine, Ace
Hardware, The Recreational
Boating and Fishing
Foundation, Minwax,
Quikrete, and the
speci al adver t i si ng sect i on
OUR VERY OWN
FIELD DREAMS OF
IT’S ALL IN
THE MIX
O
riginally founded in 1940,
Quikrete has grown into a
powerhouse that manufac-
tures more than 200 packaged
cement, concrete and masonry prod-
ucts, which are sold at 75 locations
throughout the U.S., Canada and
Puerto Rico. They even have a spe-
cial product testing, research and
development, and quality assurance
center located in Atlanta.
Quikrete’s line of Core Products are
almost certainly already found in
your home and are invaluable for any
number of home improvement and
repair projects. They include every-
thing from gravel to blacktop seal,
to play sand, and rock salt—and of
course concrete. In the Commercial
line, there are a variety of FastSet
products, including cement, concrete
mix, non-shrink grout, underlayment
and mortar. There are also stucco
products and a series of Walk Maker
items that are fantastic for laying
down your own walkway pavers in
a number of patterns.
Rechargeable Battery
Recycling Corporation—
to provide the financing
and the materials needed
to rebuild the field and
bring baseball back to
the Ben Hill community.
For the actual work,
though, we needed a local
contractor with a wide
range of experience and
specific knowledge of what
it takes to build a great
baseball field. As luck
would have it we found
Sports Turf Management,
located right there in
Woodstock, Georgia, not
30 miles away. All they do
is build athletic fields, and
they specialize in base-
ball, having constructed
hundreds of them all
over the country.
When Sports Turf
Management arrived on
The Ben Hill
Community
Center had a
strong network
committed to
making their
neighborhood
safer, stronger
and better for
their kids.
speci al adver t i si ng sect i on
OUR VERY OWN
FIELD DREAMS OF
HIGH SCORE
FOR SERVICE
F
or 80 years has provided Ace
not just hardware and home
products to communities
around the country, but it has offered
helpful service to people trying to do
anything from repairing a screen to
cutting a pipe. With more than 5,000
stores spread across all 50 states (and
72 countries), 50 percent of the U.S.
population lives within three miles of
an Ace, and anyone can get that great
assistance any time, anywhere at
acehardware.com. Of the 65,000
products Ace sells, the company knew
which would be instrumental in not
only building a ball field but in main-
taining it. That’s why they donated
dozens of items, including a tool box,
wrenches, screwdrivers, garbage bags,
painting materials, a water hose, buck-
ets, a wheelbarrow, and a Rubbermaid
storage bin to keep it all in good condi-
tion. Of course, Ace’s support should
come as no surprise, “The Helpful
Place” has been a major sponsor of the
Children’s Miracle Network for years.
speci al adver t i si ng sect i on
the scene they immediate-
ly knew the first order of
business was getting
control of the weeds
choking out the entire
field. They applied two
intensive treatments of
weed killer two weeks
apart to do the job. Then
to make sure it was done
right, they Blecavated!
A Blecavator is a reverse
tine tiller, that spins at a
very high speed and basi-
cally buries the top layer of
soil-and any rocks, sticks,
pieces of broken glass—
about six inches under
ground. Done in two direc-
tions, it creates a beauti-
ful seedbed. A high-end
attachment, a Blecavator
must be pulled at a very
slow speed behind a
tractor, such as the
Husqvarna CZ4817.
Husqvarna donated a
CZ4817, which has 17 hp
Kohler Command engine,
a 48 in. deck, an electric
power clutch and a 5.4
gal. gas tank, the Ben Hill
Little League has been
using it to keep their new
field looking great.
That done, Sports Turf
Management set about
Good advice is the best tool.
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speci al adver t i si ng sect i on
A CUT ABOVE
A
nyone who has a yard knows
that grass needs to be
mown, and a Little League
field in particular needs great care.
Certainly they know it at , Husqvarna
where they make everything from
chain saws to weed whackers, as
well as lawn mowers and tractors.
For this project Husqvarna donated
a CZ4817, a residential model that
turns within its own length and
that is operated through a unique
dual-lever steering system. A 17 hp
Kohler Command engine, which
can push it 6.5 mph. In addition
to the speed, there’s also a 10
gauge stamped steel deck that’s 48
inches wide, so it makes the mowing
go quickly.
An electric power clutch means
it’s easy to engage the blade and a
foot-assist deck lift makes it just
as simple to adjust the cutting
height, which ranges from 1.5 to
4.5 inches. An hour meter ensures
that you won’t miss engine service
intervals, while a large five-gallon
gas tank will keep it running for
even the biggest job. And while
you’re out there, a drink holder
and small glove box add pleasant
creature comforts.
OUR VERY OWN
FIELD DREAMS OF
regrading the field, which
they did by first survey-
ing it with dual-slope laser
technology. The years of
neglect had left the field in
a bad state and in some
areas the workers had to
move around up to six
inches of soil. Once that
was done, they excavated
the entire infield to a depth
of four inches. That’s the
kind of labor that’s perfect
for a professional grade
truck like the GMC Sierra
1500, a Crew Cab that
seats six yet can haul
1835 pounds of payload
with its 5.3 liter Vortec
engine.
With the field leveled, the
crew then designed and
installed the irrigation
system. The unit included
20 sprinkler heads running
off an electric timer and
a 2 in. supply line pump-
ing a minimum 75psi. The
wide range of equipment
donated by Ace Hardware
is a great help with any
kind of project like this
Sports Turf
Management
set about
regrading the
field...first
surveying it
with dual-slope
laser
technology.
n
one, where everything from
a basic tool kit, to shovels,
augurs and leather gloves
comes in handy.
Now that the irrigation was
in place, the infield was
refilled with four inches of
a special clay blend, that
not only provides a consis-
tent, quick draining sur-
face, but that ensures the
field will be soft and deep
enough to prevent injury.
After the infield was laser
graded to a tolerance of
1/4 of an inch, the mound,
home plate and bullpens
were installed. The outfield
was sodded with a durable
Bermuda grass that comes
in specially cut 42 in. wide
strips that run 75 ft. long,
and once it was in place
it was overseeded with
perennial rye grass that
keeps the field green
and beautiful while the
Bermuda is dormant.
Next, the team built fences
down the foul lines and a
home run fence 200 ft.
from home plate complete
with a warning track that
encircled the field from
dugout to dugout. Bases
and a pitching rubber were
installed and outside the
field two batting cages
were put in. These
combination of fencing
and netting and allow both
teams to take batting prac-
tice during the game and
even before the game they
can get a few swings with-
out tearing up the field.
At this point, everything
was set for play except for
one finishing touch: the
scoreboard. A Daktronics
The outfield
was sodded
with a durable
Bermuda grass
overseeded
with perennial
rye grass.
speci al adver t i si ng sect i on
55´x14´x12´ cages are a
Harsh weather conditions are always on the attack. So arm your
wood with the superior protection of Minwax
®
Helmsman
®
Spar
Urethane. It’s a tough, clear finish formulated to beautify and protect
wood. Special ultraviolet absorbers defend against fading. And special oils allow
Helmsman
®
to expand and contract to avoid cracking and chipping that occurs with
seasonal temperature changes. From winter blizzards to torrential downpours
to scorchi ng summer sun, make sure
your wood fights back–with the protection
of Helmsman
®
Spar Urethane.
elements, use Helmsman Spar Urethane.
minwax.com
©2004 Minwax Company. All rights reserved.
the right concrete mix for
your project.
With the electronics in
place it was finally time to
play ball, the workers set
about perfecting the scor-
er’s box behind home
plate, where the official
scorers could watch the
action and run the score-
board. The raised wood
platform was coated with
Minwax Helmsman which
speci al adver t i si ng sect i on
For long-lasting protection against the
®
,
LED model, it shows
both the score and the
time and is operated
by a radio control
remote, so there’s no
need to run wires and
it can be used from
anywhere on the field.
The actual installation
required two holes dug
to a depth of five feet
with a 36 in. diameter
in which the support
poles were set with
Fast-Drying Quikrete.
Quikrete offers more
than 200 products that
would provide you with
speci al adver t i si ng sect i on
A WINNING
RIDE
L
ike all the trucks GMC
builds, the Sierra 1500
Crew Cab is professional
grade. By that, the company means
that it performs to a higher stan-
dard. It’s a standard that comes
from having a passion for what you
do, so that your work exceeds your
expectations—and in fact, GMC is
constantly trying to outperform its
own capabilities. They seem to have
done so with the Sierra 1500. With
four full-size doors it has enough
head and legroom to seat six adults.
There’s a heart-jolting 295 hp Vortec
5.3 liter engine that produces 330
lb. ft. of torque, which means it has
plenty of pulling power. That’s not
to say that this brute is without finer
touches. It’s available with a Bose
premium audio system, XM radio,
a rear DVD entertainment system
and OnStar service. Working hard
or playing hard, the Sierra 1500
Crew Cab, like all GMC trucks,
is a grade above.
OUR VERY OWN
FIELD DREAMS OF
protects it from water,
mold, heat, cold and UV
rays, and will keep it look-
ing great for years.
Opening day was Saturday,
March 6, and everything
went perfectly. A host
of city officials-from
Recreation Director to the
Parks Commissioner to the
local councilman-were on
hand for the invocation
and actual ribbon cutting,
since the city government
played an important role in
making the project a suc-
cess. The field looked
incredible and all con-
stituencies of the newly
formed Ben Hill Little
League were out for the
occasion. Speeches were
made, a local Color Guard
played, the coach, like
many of the workers
before him, wore boots
donated by Wolverine, and
the parents filled the seats.
Then in two separate
games, close to 50 Little
Leaguers got a chance to
step up and take a swing
on the brand new field.
They had a ball.
speci al adver t i si ng sect i on
Close to 50 got a chance to Little Leaguers
step up and take a swing on the brand new field.
They had a ball.
speci al adver t i si ng sect i on
Special thanks to the
following companies
for their contribution to
1-866-LOCATE ACE
www.acehardware.com
800-462-8782
www.gmc.com
www.husqvarna.com
800-282-5828
www.quikrete.com
800-270-6079
www.wolverinebootsandshoes.com
703-519-0013
www.waterworkswonders.org
800-367-6297
www.thompsonswaterseal.com
800-8-BATTERY
www.rbrc.org
800-523-9299
www.minwax.com
OUR VERY OWN
FIELD F
Ribbon cutting ceremony on opening day
2
PART
Giant
BY ILLUSTRATION BY JIM WILSON PAUL DIMARE
Gy ros
Heavy-lift gyroplanes haul civilization
to the far corners of the world.
SCIENCE
74 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
r
Some of the world’s most valuable resources are in the last
places on Earth. The wastelands of Siberia, the rain forests of Bra-
zil and the deserts of Antarctica hold vast stores of rare metals,
oil and natural gas. Despite their value, these treasures remain
untouched. It is simply too expensive to bring in the manpower
and equipment needed to extract them. Over the next decade,
this situation will change as a new fleet of fast, powerful and versa-
tile aircraft—heavy-lift gyroplanes—take to the sky.
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 75

Winged aircraft can carry massive
loads. The Ukrainian-built Antonov
An-225, for example, can transport
more than 500,000 pounds. Heli-
copters have a limited lifting capa-
bility compared to cargo planes. The
trade off is their ability to operate
without a runway. Gyroplanes offer
the perfect compromise between
lifting capability and versatility.
Although many have proposed gyro-
planes, only two companies remain
active: Groen Bros. Aviation (GBA) of
Salt Lake City, Utah, and Carter Avi-
ation Technologies of Wichita Falls,
Texas. Here is what they have on their
drawing boards.
GBA GYROLIFTER
“More than 40 years ago Fairey Avia-
tion Co., a British aircraft manufac-
turer, developed a revolutionary new
type of aircraft called the Rotodyne,”
says company founder David Groen.
“It used rotorblade tip-jets to power
its rotor for vertical takeoff and land-
ing.” The jets were shut down in flight,
and conventionally mounted propeller
engines carried the 44-passenger air-
craft at 200 mph.
Although technically successful,
the Rotodyne never fired the imagi-
nation of airline executives and the
plane was abandoned. “If the Fairey
Rotodyne existed today, even without
modern improvements, it would still
be the fastest, safest method of trav-
el,” says Groen. “GBA has developed a
plan that can rapidly bring the Roto-
dyne into the modern age.”
Groen’s idea is to create “runway
independent aircraft” by incorporat-
ing rotor components into existing
production airplanes. He has iden-
tified about a half-dozen existing
commercial aircraft suitable for con-
version. “It would be relatively easy
and inexpensive to transform the
Lockheed Martin C-130 cargo trans-
port into a heavy-lift GyroLifter by
equipping it with a GBA-designed
rotor system incorporating rotor-
mounted tip-jets,” says Groen. “The
technology is simple and the engi-
neering risks are low.”
GBA has successfully tested the
concept using a modified Cessna
Sky master, a 6-place aircraft with an
unusual fore-and-aft engine configu-
ration. The Cessna’s forward engine
was replaced with a Rolls-Royce gas
turbine. Its rear engine was replaced
with a large cargo door. Existing wings
were shortened, and the twin-boom
tail was inverted to create rotor clear-
ance. A rotor assembly from an existing
GBA Hawk 4 Gyroplane was connected
to the wing attach points already carry-
ing the fuselage. The ungainly aircraft
took to the air like a duck to water. “It
demonstrated the characteristics of a
well-designed gyroplane,” Groen says.
In addition to operating in remote
locations, the GyroLifter, Groen
believes, could help the United States
deal with runway overcrowding by
turning almost any patch of ground
into a commercial airport.
CARTER HELIPLANE
“The CarterCopter Heliplane is com-
parable in payload and flight perform-
ance to the C-130J Hercules,” says
“Although many
have proposed
gyroplanes, only
two companies
remain active.”
Rotor Diameter 112 ft.
Max Payload 40,000 lb.
Range At Max Payload 863 miles
Cruise Speed 288 mph
GROEN GYROLIFTER
76 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
company founder Jay Carter. “It takes
off, hovers and lands like a helicopter.”
In forward flight the rotor slows and a
long, thin wing provides lift.
Where Groen uses tip-jets to provide
the energy needed for vertical flight,
Carter uses 900 pounds of tip-mounted
weight. Before takeoff, the rotor is
accelerated to 128 rpm. “The tip
weights store energy like a flywheel,”
Carter explains. “The extra horsepow-
er that this inertial-boost provides
permits the Heliplane to reach its
minimum steady flight speed by the
time the rotor rpm has dropped to its
normal speed.” As the Heliplane’s for-
ward speed increases, the rotor slows.
At 400 mph the rotor is turning at 25
rpm and creating less than 20 percent
of the aircraft’s lift. “The Heliplane is
now flying essentially as a fixed-wing
aircraft,” says Carter.
Last year, Carter Aviation locked
up a series of patents covering vari-
ous aspects of the Heliplane’s design
and operation. The company also has
begun work on a three-tenths scale
Heliplane Transport, which it will use
for safety and reliability testing.
FUTURE HEAVY LIFTERS
Within the aircraft industry, there is
talk of larger and faster cargo carri-
ers. Ultralight, high-strength compos-
ites will make it possible to construct
multiple-rotor machines capable of
lifting a million pounds.
Until recently, it was believed that
the speed of a rotorcraft was limited
by the so-called Mu (µ) barrier. Mu
is the ratio of the forward speed of an
aircraft to the tip speed of the rotor. At
ratios of Mu-1 rotorcraft become high-
ly unstable. “We know that to maintain
a Mu of 0.75 the rotor pitch can’t vary
much more than 1 degree,” says Carter.
He believes that advanced automation
systems will eventually solve this prob-
lem. Cracking the Mu barrier will open
the door to heavy-lift gyroplanes that
approach supersonic speeds. PM
SCIENCE
Rotor Diameter 150 ft.
Max Payload 45,000 lb.
Range At Max Payload 1500 miles
Cruise Speed 420 mph
HELICOPTERS
ISIKORSKY SUPER STALLION
Payload: 36,000 lb.
IBOEING CHINOOK
Payload: 28,000 lb.
GYROPLANES
IGBA GYROLIFTER
ICARTER HELIPLANE
Payload: 45,000 lb.
ISIKORSKY SKYCRANE
Payload: 20,000 lb.
IGYROPLANE 2050 (CONCEPT)
Payload: 2,000,000 lb.
For more science features check out
the PM.Zone Web site
POPULARMECHANICS.COM/SCIENCE
CARTER HELIPLANE
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 77
HEAVY-LIFT ROTORCRAFT
T Where Time
78
SCIENCE
Peering deep into space, the doomed Hubble
BY STEFANO COLEDAN ace Telescope sees the dawn of creation.
E
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L
L
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T
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B
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)
HE Hubble Space Telescope has looked deep into the
cosmic abyss and created a unique baby picture of the universe.
Until now, images returned by Hubble showed galaxies as they
appeared when they were cosmic youngsters. The new images
reveal the galaxies as toddlers, in the
midst of a period of rapid develop-
mental changes.
As with many baby pictures, the
celestial portrait of the young uni-
verse was anything but easy to create,
and it came into being 14 years after
the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
flew into orbit.
Launched in 1990 with a faulty
mirror, the telescope became NASA’s
biggest embarrassment and even the
butt of jokes on late-night TV. Then,
in 1993, a team of shuttle astronauts
flew to Hubble to make repairs, quick-
ly turning it into the agency’s crown
jewel. Since 1997, three shuttle crews
have flown to the telescope to carry
out maintenance work and to upgrade
and replace its instruments.
The spectacular picture on the
opening pages is a combination of
images taken by two sophisticated
cameras. The devices were installed
by shuttle astronauts in 2002: One
captures visible light, and the other
infrared. The picture is also significant
because it may be one of the last imag-
es of its type created in this decade.
In the wake of the disas- Columbia
ter, HST may never get another visit
by astronauts. That is if NASA stands
by its pledge of sending no more shut-
tle crews to the telescope. Launching
the shuttle to rendezvous with Hubble
would mean sending astronauts onto
an orbit far too distant from the Inter-
national Space Station—considered
the only possible safe haven in case
of emergency.
TIME MACHINE
The two Hubble instruments picked
up the faint light from galaxies about
13 billion light-years away. That is
much farther into space than ground-
based telescopes and even HST’s previ-
ous instruments could see. By captur-
ing light emitted by stars so long ago,
the telescope, in effect, is looking back
in history much like a time machine
would. In fact, it is almost staring at
the beginning of time.
“Hubble takes us to within a stone’s
throw of the big bang itself,” says Mas-
simo Stiavelli, a scientist at NASA’s
Space Telescope Science Institute in
Baltimore, Md.
So far, the number of galaxies spot-
ted in Hubble’s so-called Ultra-Deep
Field amounts to 10,000. These star
groups are poorly organized, though,
and only some of them resemble the
graceful forms of galaxies such as
Andromeda, which is noted for its
spiral arms.
The universe began with the big
bang. For the next 300 million years
radiation was so intense, light itself
could not penetrate. Slowly, subatom-
ic particles turned into atoms and then
condensed into stars, which eventual-
ly congregated. Within a billion years
they had turned into galaxies—a rath-
er quick evolution, in cosmological
terms, scientists say.
A few of the oldest galaxies pho-
tographed by Hubble have strange
T
HUBBLE
ULTRA-
DEEP
FIELD
ERIDANUS
ORION
0 ˚
CELESTIAL
EQUATOR
-90 SOUTH ˚
CELESTIAL POLE
Three hundred million years after the big bang,
when the universe became cold and dark, matter
began to condense and stars began to form and
eventually congregate into galaxies.
WHERE HUBBLE AIMED ITS CAMERAS















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AGE OF THE UNIVERSE (BILLIONS OF YEARS)
13.7
1 0.7-0.4 0
80 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
INSIDE HUBBLE
One of the two new cameras, the
Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Sur-
veys, makes it possible for astronomers
to see galaxies two to four times faint-
er than Hubble could see with its
previous cameras. Called ACS for
short, the instrument can detect radia-
tion below visible light frequencies,
which enables astronomers to spot
some of the most remote galaxies in
the universe.
It is likely that this baby picture
may hold the record as the deepest-
ever view of the universe until NASA
launches HST’s successor in 2011:
the James Webb Space Telescope
(JWST). Unlike Hubble, the new scope
will scan the universe exclusively using
infrared instruments. Like automobile
foglights, they will penetrate through
the haze of interstellar and interga-
lactic dust that limits visibility, thus
giving the next generation of astrono-
mers a look back in time to the era
of galaxy formation and beyond.
Using the Webb’s 21-ft.-wide mir-
ror, astronomers may see the birth of
stars and planetary systems similar to
our own. Moreover, scientists hope to
shed light on the so-called dark matter
question and begin to understand the
nature of this invisible material that
pervades the universe.
JWST is scheduled to launch in
August 2011 aboard a European
Ariane 5 rocket, which will place it on
an orbit far too high to be serviced by
the space shuttle. In retrospect, this
was a fortunate choice, as President
George W. Bush’s new vision for space
exploration requires the shuttle fleet
be grounded by 2010. PM
SECONDARY
MIRROR
SOLAR PANELS
PRIMARY
MIRROR
Two new cameras installed
by astronauts gave Hubble
the ability to see faint
images in a portion of the
sky that previously had
appeared empty.
shapes: Some look like thin sticks
while others could be classified as
plain old cosmic oddballs.
A key question, astronomers say, is
whether the universe looked the same
at the age of a few hundred million
years as it did when it was between
1 billion and 2 billion years old.
In short, the question is this: When
did the universe start to tidy up and
take the form we see today?
LONG SHOT
The historic images
Hubble gathered were
taken during 400 Earth orbits from
September 2003 to January 2004.
During this time the telescope was
pointed at the same location in space
for a total exposure time of about
1 million seconds.
The area populated by the Ultra-
Deep Field’s 10,000 galaxies is below
the constellation Orion. At first glance
the field appears almost empty. If
observed from the ground, scientists
say, the apparent size is equivalent
to one-tenth that of the full moon.
NASA astronomers have compared
this to looking at the sky through an
8-ft.-long soda straw.
It will take years to determine how
far into the depths of the universe the
Hubble can see, but apparently one
camera caught sight of galaxies that
existed 400 million years after the
big bang. Additional research will be
needed to confirm the discovery.
PEERING DEEPER
Examining the frequency of light from
the Ultra-Deep Field has made it pos-
sible to identify about 1000 objects,
says Sangeeta Malhotra, one of the
principal investigators at the Space
Telescope Science Institute.
“Included among them are some of
the intensely faint and red points of
light in the image—prime candidates
for distant galaxies,” Malhotra says.
“Some of these objects are among the
farthest and youngest galaxies ever
seen. The spectra also distinguish
among other types of very red objects,
such as old and dusty red galaxies,
quasars and cool dwarf stars.”
CAMERA
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“The question is
this: When did
the universe start
to tidy up and
take the form we
see today?”
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 81
For more science features check out
the PM.Zone Web site
POPULARMECHANICS.COM/SCIENCE
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TECHNOLOGY
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Adding hard-drive space for more storage.
HOW TO CHANGE A
HARD
DRIVE
BY ILLUSTRATION BY CHRISTOPHER ALLBRITTON GRIFF WASON
There are a lot of reasons for replacing your hard
drive or adding a new one to your old computer, but they all
boil down to the need for more space. Perhaps you want to
keep all your videos, pictures and MP3s on a drive separate
from your operating system. Or maybe you want a hard drive
that spins faster than your old one so you can get a bump in
system performance.
No matter. This article will primarily deal with adding a
second internal hard drive to your system, but we’ll also talk
about replacing an old hard drive with a new one. In the lat-
ter case you’ll need to transfer your data to the new drive.
Otherwise, there’s no difference in technique.
83
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BACKING UP
If you’re replacing a drive, the first
thing you want to do is back up your
data. You don’t need to keep every-
thing, but you will want to copy to
a CD or an external hard drive any
personal documents, pictures, mov-
ies and sound files that you’ve saved.
Also, keep handy the installation
discs for any specialized software.
You’ll need to reinstall these pro-
grams when you get your new drive
up and running.
Another option is to buy a hard
drive enclosure that converts an inter-
nal hard drive to an external one. We
recommend the Bex-HD-135 ($69 to
$99) from Baber.com. You remove the
original drive, snap it into the enclo-
sure and seal it. Voila! You now have
an external drive with all your data on
it. Once you install your new drive and
the OS, you’ll be able to drag and drop
your personal files into it.
An enclosure is the recommend-
ed means of preserving data when
replacing an old drive. If you’re simply
installing an additional drive, disre-
gard this step.
PREPARING TO INSTALL
We decided to add a Western Digi-
tal Caviar SE 250 internal hard drive
($249) to an old Dell Optiplex GX1
system we had lying around the office.
In this system, up to two 3.5-in. hard
drives may be installed in the vertical
bracket at the front of the computer.
You’ll easily spot the bracket after
removing your machine’s cover.
Next you’ll need to decide how you
want to configure the jumpers on your
hard drives. Jumpers are small switch-
es that determine how your drives will
work with your operating system. If
you’re using two EIDE (Enhanced Inte-
grated Drive Electronics) drives, like
we are, and your system isn’t too old,
you’ll probably be able to use the Cable
Select jumper position. The position of
the drives on the cable connecting the
drives to the motherboard determines
how they’ll work.
Your hard drives are connected to
the motherboard via long, flat, gray
ribbon called an interface cable. When
two EIDE drives are connected to a sin-
gle interface cable and are configured
to use Cable Select (the default jumper
position), the drive attached to the end
of the cable is the master, or bootable,
drive. The drive in the middle—con-
nected to both the motherboard and
the master drive—is the slave drive. It
will appear as a second hard drive in
your Explore menu under Windows.
We’ll be keeping the master drive and
adding a slave drive. You can reverse
this, but remember: Unless there is an
operating system installed on the mas-
ter drive, your system won’t boot up.
INSTALLING YOUR DRIVE
The first thing you want to do is make
sure all of your computer’s devices,
cables and power cords are discon-
nected—don’t forget the power cable.
Next, ground yourself and discharge
any static electricity you may have
built up. You can do this by simply
touching a metal surface such as the
computer’s power supply.
Next, check that your new EIDE
drive is set for the Cable Select jumper
position. This step will differ depend-
ing on the manufacturer, but usually
it involves locating a set of pins on the
back of the hard drive and setting the
jumper—a small plastic sleeve that
covers two pins. Refer to the documen-
tation that came with your drive.
Now you will remove the hard
drive bracket from the computer’s
chassis, 1 . Unplug the interface
and the power cables from the origi-
nal drive. The power cable will be a
smaller connector with multicolored
wires running into it.
Then, remove the screws holding
in the bracket. The bracket will lift
right out.
Slide your new drive into the empty
bay, making sure the pins and connec-
tor slots on the back of the hard drive
face the back of the bracket, 2 . Also
“The need for more space is the main
reason to replace a hard drive.”
1
Locate the screws securing the
drive bracket and remove them.
Be sure not to lose them.
2
Slide your new drive into the avail-
able space in the drive bracket.
Pins should face the back.
3
Plug in the power cables, making
sure to align the plugs properly.
Make sure the plugs are secure.
84 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
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check that the power connector will be
closest to the bottom of the computer
when the bracket is reinstalled.
Most drives will come with screws
with which to secure the drive in the
bracket. Find these and insert them
into the proper holes for your bracket.
Reattach the power and interface
cables to the original drive, 3 , and
attach the appropriate cables to the
new drive, 4 . The colored edge of
the interface cable should line up with
Pin 1 of the connector on the back of
the drive. (There is usually a notch on
the connectors for the interface cable.)
Place the bracket back in its place
and tighten the holding screws, 5 .
Replace the cover of the computer and
boot up.
Your computer will not detect the
new drive immediately. It has to be
formatted under Windows XP. We
inserted the CD that Western Digital
provides with its hard drives and it
took us through formatting the drive
for Windows. After a few moments,
we restarted (just to be on the safe
side) and we had our extra 250GB
of storage.
RESTORING YOUR FILES
If you’ve replaced your original drive
instead of adding a second one, you’ll
not see your familiar boot screen.
Instead you’ll be asked to insert a
bootable CD or foppy drive. It’s at
this point that you’ll pull out your
Windows CD and begin the long
installation process. If you’ve put your
original drive in an enclosure, you can
just drag your fles from the external
drive to your new internal drive after
the installation is complete. Then you
can erase the original drive and use it
for whatever you want. We suggest
using it for backup storage.
CONCLUSION
So there you go. Nothing too compli-
cated. Just a willingness to roll up your
sleeves and attach a couple of cables.
The rewards of a new drive are
many. You now have extra room for
movies, photos and music fles—the
essentials of a modern multimedia
computer. By adding a new drive,
you’ve taken the frst step in upgrad-
ing an old computer and you’ve done
it for a lot less money than buying a
new computer. PM
“By adding a
new drive, you’ve
taken the frst
step in upgrading
an old computer.”
5
Reinstall the bracket in its original
position and tighten the screws to
hold it in place.
4
Attach the interface cable to your new drive. The colored edge of this cable
should line up with Pin 1 of the connector on the back of the drive. There is
often a notch that will help you align the parts.
For more technology features check
out the PM.Zone Web site
POPULARMECHANICS.COM/TECH
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 85
But no matter what they’re called, some
things will always adhere to their tra-
ditional roots. To help illustrate the
point, as a favorite crossover leaves
our fleet, we welcome a humble sedan
along with what’s really the modern
interpretation of the family wagon.
CHRYSLER PACIFICA
According to the folks at Chrysler, the
Pacifica is not another crossover SUV
nor is it a minivan. They claim that it
defies any classification. It seems to
us that the Pacifica is the most recent
itera tion of the once-familiar station
UTOMOTIVE executives continue to create
new market segments and niches, and constantly
try to redefine long-lived conventional vehicle types.
A
Two fresh faces join the fleet
as a familiar one leaves.
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Long-Term
86 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
e
wagon. Since we love wagons, we
decided to try one on for about a year.
Well, our Pacifica has a tailgate and
four hinged doors, just like our dad’s
old Chrysler Windsor Town and Coun-
try. Of course, our Pacifica’s tailgate is
power operated, and power from the
V6 engine goes to all four wheels, not
just the rear ones. But the Pacifica has
the same general shape as a traditional
wagon, complete with its sedan-level
step-in and cargo-floor height.
What the Pacifica has that no Chrys-
ler before it had, however, is a true
blend of both Daimler and Chrysler
parts. While more and more new mod-
els coming from Chrysler share parts
and technology with their Mercedes-
Benz cousins, this is the first prod-
uct to reap the benefits of the collec-
tive corporate parts bin: The 3.5-liter
24-valve V6 and 4-speed automatic
transmission come from the now-dis-
continued Chrysler 300M sedan, while
the 5-link, independent, load-leveling
rear suspension and brakes are pirated
from the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
How does it all work? We’ll let you
know. Don Chaikin
CHEVROLET
MALIBU LS
Yes, Virginia, there still are sedans,
though admittedly they’re hard to spot
in the current automotive sea of SUVs
and pickups. In fact, of the 10 best-sell-
ing new vehicles in the country, six are
humble passenger cars. Automakers
have been quietly making great strides
in improving and refining these cars,
regardless of what price range they
sell in. To our minds, Chevrolet made
a quantum leap when the company
replaced the previous Malibu sedan—
itself a fine, value-laden sedan—with
the current one.
Sharing its underpinnings with
other GM products, including the Saab
9-3, the new Malibu is impressive with
its smooth ride, crisp handling and
interior quiet. In total, the car delivers
a driving experience that we feel sets
benchmarks in its class. But, to be sure,
we’re going to drive the Malibu day in
and day out for a year and see if it
holds up to its good first impression.
Now the LS in our fleet is accumu-
lating break-in miles, and so far we are
still impressed. Each driver who gets
I Report number: 1
I Base price: $32,300
I As-tested price: $37,730
I Extra-cost options: Leather-trimmed
seats, heated front and rear seats,
power glass sunroof, navigation sys-
tem, power liftgate, full-size spare tire
I Drivetrain: 3.5-liter SOHC V6, 4-speed
automatic transmission, all-wheel drive
I Engine performance: 250 hp/250 ft.-lb.
I EPA fuel economy: 17 city/22 hwy
I Report number: 1
I Base price: $20,370
I As-tested price: $22,295
I Extra-cost options: Curtain-style
airbags, power driver’s seat, front and
rear floor mats, XM Satellite Radio,
rear spoiler
I Drivetrain: 3.5-liter V6, 4-speed auto-
matic transmission, front-wheel drive
I Engine performance:
200 hp/220 ft.-lb.
I EPA fuel economy: 23 city/32 hwy
CHEVROLET MALIBU LS
CHRYSLER PACIFICA AWD
AUTOMOTIVE
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 87
behind the wheel for the first time is
surprised and delighted with the car’s
road manners. Many also have been
enamored of the added bonus of XM
Satellite Radio, which serves up more
listening options than the jukebox at
Moe’s Tavern.
Stay tuned to see if the Malibu can
live up to its early billing. D.C.
TOYOTA SIENNA XLE
Life’s tough in the Big Apple—even if
you’re sitting around doing nothing.
We went to drive our Sienna home
recently only to discover a dent and
a long scratch on the passenger side.
The shape, size, location and paint
color of the damage perfectly match-
es a section of pillar in our midtown
garage. The attendants admitted their
culpability, but we’ll drive the van with
its scar for a while before heading to
the body shop in the firm belief that
there’s more minor damage to come.
Out in the wild, our Sienna’s run-
flat tires proved their worth when
the right rear picked up a nail and
lost enough air to trigger the tire-
pressure warning light. We regularly
check the tires with a good eyeballing,
but that periodic check with a gauge
revealed the right rear was down 12
psi. Despite the stiff sidewalls of the
run-flats, our suspicions about the
tire were triggered before we saw the
warning light when the Sienna seri-
ously oversteered while making a
sharp turn off Broadway.
These problems aside, the Sien-
na soldiered on through the winter
and spring, carrying us through sev-
eral major snowstorms and a lot of
commuting. Its sure-footedness on
slippery roads is most welcome. How-
ever, we’re not sure if we like the
heavy-feeling suspension, which kicks
back annoyingly through the steer-
ing wheel after any bump or jolt. But
we do appreciate its admirable —for
an awd minivan—fuel economy and
cruising range.
We do wish those wonderful
power-operated side doors and tail-
gate opened a wee bit more quickly—
“We do a lot of smiling in our STi.
Running through the gears is addictive.”
I 3 (see PM 4/04, 11/03) Report number:
I 12,351 Total miles driven:
I 4334 Miles driven since last report:
I 16.9 mpg Average fuel economy:
I Worst observed fuel economy:
12.9 mpg
I Best observed fuel economy:
18.6 mpg
I Maintenance/repair costs:
Scheduled service, $60
TOYOTA SIENNA XLE AWD
88 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
n
For more automotive features check
out the PM.Zone Web site
POPULARMECHANICS.COM/AUTO
especially in the rain when
we’re burdened down with
packages. Mike Allen
SUBARU WRX STi
It’s easy to tell when we like
a car. Just look at the miles.
The STi’s been with us for a
few short months but already
we’ve logged 13,786 miles.
About 3000 of those miles
were amassed when we drove
the car cross-country to our
West Coast office. When you
spend 10 hours a day behind
the wheel you start to appre-
ciate the little things—like
good seats. And the Subaru’s left our
sacroiliacs smiling from Manhattan to
Malibu. In fact, we do a lot of smil-
ing in the Subaru. Every time we slide
behind the wheel it’s like hitting the
reset button for a new game of Ralli-
Sport Challenge. The STi’s 300 hp
and 300 ft.-lb. of turbocharged torque
shove you hard into the seat from just
off idle until that upshift light glows
red. It’s addicting to run this car
through the first three gears. And the
suspension and steering are so respon-
sive, we find ourselves taking the curvi-
est way home at least twice a week.
Unfortunately, everyone knows
what this car is. Especially in Los
Angeles. So everything from a Ford
Focus to a Porsche Carrera 4 wants
a shot at the world’s most powerful
sport compact. With all that built-in
rally-bred performance, you wouldn’t
think this car would be a comfortable
commuter. You’d be wrong. But there’s
no hiding the firm ride. And if there
is uneven pavement, the wide tires
will pull the steering wheel when
those massive Brembo brakes are
applied. But hey, this is a 4-door
supercar, not a Buick LeSabre. For-
tunately, when it comes to mainte-
nance and reliability, the STi is still
a Subaru. We haven’t had a lick of
trouble. Ben Stewart
INFINITI FX45
Parallax is a funny thing, especially
during rush hour. As you probably
remember from high-school phys-
ics, parallax is the apparent change
of position of an object when what’s
really changing is the position of the
viewer. Or, in the case of the New Jer-
sey Turnpike, parallax can cause driv-
ers in two different traffic lanes to
each be absolutely positive that they
are the one in the correct lane for the
tollbooth. And that’s what cost our
FX45 a few weeks of driving time and
several hundred dollars’ worth of
bodywork. Suffice it to say, another
tired, aggravated commuter and his
Explorer and one of our editors and
the Infiniti tried to enter said toll-
booth simultaneously, each driver
certain of the right-of-way.
That mishap aside, life with our
potent, crowd-gathering crossover
has been nothing but pleasure. Unfor-
tunately, our time with it is done and
our 315-hp, all-wheel-drive FX45,
complete with its rear-vision moni-
tor, handy navigation system (which
saved our butts myriad times in con-
fusing suburban subdivisions) and
waist-high 20-in. wheels and tires,
has been returned to Infiniti. While
some critics complain that the FX45
rides too harshly, we disagree. Firm,
absolutely. Objectionable? Not at all
for a vehicle with the FX45’s level of
handling and performance. D.C.
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I 2 (see PM 4/04) Report number:
I 13,786 Total miles driven:
I 9071 Miles driven since last report:
I 20.6 mpg Average fuel economy:
I Worst observed fuel economy:
14.6 mpg
I Best observed fuel economy:
24.6 mpg
I Maintenance/repair costs:
Scheduled service, $84
SUBARU WRX STi
“We’ll miss our
quirky-looking
but crowd-
gathering 315-hp
crossover.”
I 4 Report number:
(see PM 4/04, 11/03, 9/03)
I 19, 831 Total miles driven:
I 3185 Miles driven since last report:
I 15.9 mpg Average fuel economy:
I Worst observed fuel economy:
14.1 mpg
I Best observed fuel economy:
18.9 mpg
I Maintenance/repair costs:
Body damage repair, $605;
scheduled service, $125
INFINITI FX45
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 89
90 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
Digital
Vegas
Sin City gets
pixelated as the
Photo Marketing
Association shows
its wares.
The high end of the
digital camera market is
really starting to click (ba
dum bum). The cameras
that premiered at the recent
Photo Marketing Association
convention in Las Vegas are
making it tough for film pur-
ists to resist the temptation
of the digital surge. With an
annual growth of 15 percent
and projected sales of 53
million units this year,
PHOTOS BY DAVID WEISS
BY REBECCA DAY
TECHNOLOGY
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 91
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PANASONIC DMC-LC1
$1599 www.panasonic.com
I 5 Megapixels:
I SD Card Media:
I 3x Optical Zoom:
OLYMPUS C-8080
WIDE ZOOM
$999 www.olympus.com
I 8 Megapixels:
I xD-Picture Card And Media:
CompactFlash
I 5x Optical Zoom:
POLAROID X530
$399 www.polaroid.com
I 4.5 Megapixels:
I SD Card Media:
I 3x Optical Zoom:
NIKON D70
$999 www.nikon.com
I 6 Megapixels:
I CompactFlash Media:
I Varies With Optical Zoom:
Optional Lens
CASIO EXILIM
PRO EX-P600
$649 www.casio.com
I 6 Megapixels:
I SD Card Media:
I 4x Optical Zoom:
o
according to market research firm
Infotrends, digital cameras have fast
overtaken film cameras, sparking even
stalwart Kodak to pull out of the film
camera business.
Despite the growth of the main-
stream market, which has been
spurred by consumers who enjoy
e-mailing photos and printing their
pictures at home, high-end products
have run up against limitations in per-
formance, lens options and prohibitive
prices. Until now, that is.
New products from well-known
camera brands Nikon, Olympus and
Polaroid are redefining the consumer
market for digital. Joint efforts between
consumer electronics companies and
traditional camera makers are produc-
ing cameras that combine sophisticat-
ed lenses with the flexibility of digital.
And thanks to partnerships like those
between Panasonic and Leica, and
Casio and Canon, photo enthusiasts
can reap the benefits of digital without
sacrificing the purity of film.
Technological advances contin-
ue to improve performance of digital
cameras. Megapixel counts expand
as do optical zoom lengths. A boost in
processing power means faster startup
and shot-to-shot times. Yet, there is still
room inside for software designers to
incorporate photography tutorials.
Here’s a look at five standouts from
this season’s new lineup of digicams.
NIKON D70
The 6-megapixel D70 is the entry-level
digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera
many Nikon owners have been dying to
own. It is compatible with more than 40
Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm camera lenses
and digital DX lenses, and Nikon offers
the AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm
($300) lens as an option. The D70’s DX
imaging sensor is smaller than a 35mm
frame of film so when you use an inter-
changeable lens, there’s an increase in
angle of view by 1.5 times. A telephoto
lens becomes more of a telephoto lens,
for example, and a wide-angle lens
becomes a more normal lens.
A new buffer technology enables
you to shoot 144 continuous pictures
at three pictures per second. This is a
useful feature for action photographers
who don’t have time to wait while the
camera writes the image to the mem-
ory card. Nikon’s Digital Vari-Program
modes expand on the automatic aper-
ture and shutter speed controls typical-
ly found on film cameras. In addition to
selecting the best combination of depth
of field and shutter speed for portrait
or sport modes, the D70 adds digital
parameters such as color and contrast.
POLAROID X530
Digital cameras use either a CCD
(charge-coupled device) or CMOS
(complementary metal-oxide semicon-
ductor) mosaic image sensor to capture
an image. The sensors can detect only
the absence or presence of light, how-
ever, and have to rely on red, green
and blue filters for each pixel to pro-
vide color. Since each pixel is assigned
one color, the sensor has to interpolate
the colors from surrounding pixels.
Foveon, an image-capture technology
company, maintains that the interpola-
tion leads to false colors and artifacts.
Foveon’s alternative is the X3 image
sensor, which is used in Polaroid’s
X530. The sensor directly captures
full color—red, green and blue—at
every point in the image. Three layers
of each color pixel capture red, green
and blue light, without interpolation.
Foveon, which Polaroid first brought
to the consumer market, says this tech-
nology results in truer, warmer tones
and sharper images.
The fully automatic X530 shoots
640 x 480 motion video at 30 frames
per second. In still mode it stores imag-
es in JPEG and RAW file format. Using
the latter along with Polaroid Photo-
Lab software, users can make detailed
adjustments to images. The software’s
Fill Light feature lets you simulta-
neously adjust shadows and highlights
in difficult lighting situations to bring
out details in shadows without over-
exposing the rest of the image.
OLYMPUS C-8080 WIDE ZOOM
Missed your photo again because your
camera took too long to boot up? Rapid
startup is just one of the benefits of the
TruePic TURBO image processor inside
the Olympus 8-megapixel C-8080.
The new processor features Olym-
pus’s Proper Gamma II technology,
which separates the color and lumi-
nance signals and calculates the opti-
mum gamma midtone contrast range.
The results are more faithful color
reproduction compared to earlier
cameras, and more subtle tonal gra-
dations from dark to light for better
reproduction of texture. In addition,
the processor’s new Spacial Frequency
filter helps retain the contrast of the
image in low-light situations such as
candlelit settings.
For those who shoot to edit in
software, the camera’s large sensor
offers plenty of cutting room for both
amateur and pro photographers. “With
8 million pixels, you can crop the image
in half and still go out to an 11 x 14 print
if you had to,” says Sally Smith-Clem-
ens, Product Manager at Olympus. A
family might want to use a wedding or
reunion photo for a painting-size image
over the fireplace. “With a camera that
offers this kind of resolution,” she says,
“you can do things like that using the
native reso lution of the camera without
having to interpolate to larger sizes.”
The C-8080’s digital zoom mode
extends the zoom to 15x. The 1.8-in.
LCD viewfinder swivels 90˚ up and
45˚ down.
CASIO EXILIM PRO EX-P600
When Casio created its EXILIM line, the
company knew the slimline look would
T
HE latest high-end digital
cameras boast 8-megapixel
(8 million pixels) image sen-
sors, enough to reproduce a poster-
size image without loss of quality.
That’s beyond the needs of most
people—and far too large for e-mail—
but serious croppers will find the
high resolution useful. When editing
photos, you can carve out the portion
you want and enlarge it for printing
without losing resolution.
MEGAPIXEL MADNESS?
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COMMEMORATIVE: Editions like
this John Wayne Coach Gun ride
center stage in display cases.
BY CHRIS CHRISTIAN PHOTOS BY SPENCER JONES
The coach gun played a critical role on the Western frontier.
Now it’s regaining popularity among Old West enthusiasts.
history of the American West was
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Lesser known is the coach gun. But,
in the overall scheme of things it was
certainly as important as those other
weapons—possibly more so—when it
came to settling the West.
PROTECTION RACKET
The term “coach gun” emerged in
1858 when Wells, Fargo & Co. began
regular stagecoach service from Tip-
ton, Mo., to San Francisco, Calif.
The route was 2800 miles long, and
passed through some of the most
lawless areas of the West. In addition
to carrying passengers, Wells Fargo
also had contracts for the U.S. Mail, as
well as the task of transporting gold
shipments to its banking facilities.
To say that the coaches became
a tempting target for outlaws is an
understatement. In fact, robbing stage-
coaches became a cottage industry
in some areas, and between 1870 and
1884 Wells Fargo stages were the
target of 347 robbery attempts.
Getting the stage and its valuable
cargo through was not a job for the
fainthearted, and some of the best
in the West accepted the challenge.
Among those who spent time driving
stagecoaches were Wyatt Earp, Wild
Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody and
Morgan Earp.
Riding with them was an armed
guard toting a coach gun.
This wasn’t a specific make or mod-
el of firearm. It was a moniker earned
through circumstance by a generic
class of guns. These were compact,
side-by-side double-barreled shot-
guns featuring barrels in the 12- to
20-in. range to allow easy handling in
the cramped driver’s box of the stage.
Virtually all featured twin triggers,
with one trigger for each barrel. Most
were equipped with external hammers,
called “rabbit ears,” although some
hammerless models were produced.
The 12-ga. likely was the most popu-
lar, although the 10-ga. and, to a lesser
extent, the 16-ga. were widely used.
Glamorous they were not. But they
were an ideal tool for the task.
Although repeating rifles held more
rounds and had a greater range, only
EAA BOUNTY HUNTER
HUGLU ARMSCO DURANGO
STOEGER NICKEL
HUGLU ARMSCO AMARILLO
VARIETY: Coach guns are character-
ized by short barrels and a variety of
single- and twin-trigger, and exposed-
hammer and hammerless configura-
tions. They come in several gauges.
96 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
JOHN WAYNE
in Hollywood does one score con-
sistent hits on moving targets from
the bouncing box of a feeing stage-
coach. The multiple-shot charge from
a smoothbore was far more likely to
score, and since only hits counted
in that situation, shotguns were the
choice of savvy stage guards.
There were some repeating shot-
guns available that could hold more
than the two rounds of the double
barrel, but their mechanisms were
rather delicate and not up to the rig-
ors of stage travel. That made them
less than reliable.
The sturdy little double barrels
suffered no such ills. They were virtu-
ally indestructible, and even if heav-
ily fouled they would fre as long as
shells could be rammed into the cham-
bers and the action closed.
Should fouling become
excessive, a quick wipe on the
breech face and chambers with a
shirttail would put the gun back into
action.
When it came to guarding the stage,
the coach gun reigned supreme. In
fact, the term “riding shotgun” is still
in common use today. But, as effec-
tive as the coach gun was, its reign
was brief.
By the late 1890s, railroads were
carrying the bulk of gold shipments.
Stage lines were in decline and provid-
ed rather meager pickings for robbers.
At the same time, smokeless powder
came into use, as did more reliable
repeating shotguns, like the 6-shot
Winchester Model 97 pump.
COACH GUN REVIVAL
Time and technology began to render
the coach gun obsolete. It might have
faded completely had it not been for the
Single Action Shooting Society (SASS).
Founded in 1985, SASS (www.sass
net.com) has almost 60,000 members
spread across all 50 states. They com-
pete in action-style frearms matches
in which multiple targets are knocked
down as quickly as possible. And they
do it with Old West frearms while
wearing period clothing.
While time and circumstance ended
the reign of the coach gun in the late
1890s, SASS rules have made it one
of the most desirable shotguns for its
competitive events. The same factors
that made the compact double bar-
rel the best tool for the job then, do so
now. And manufacturers are eager to
provide these guns.
The resurgence in popularity, how-
ever, isn’t restricted to SASS competi-
tors. Once gunmakers began producing
coach guns for this enthusiast market,
other shooters rediscovered the classic
shortened double barrel.
A number of the traditional twin-
trigger/rabbit-ear models are pur-
chased by those who will never shoot
them. Simply hanging a piece of
American history on the wall, or inside
a display case, is enough for them. In
some cases, the guns may be spe-
cial-edition commemorative models,
exquisitely engraved in a custom shop.
They are produced in limited numbers
to achieve some degree of collector
value. The John Wayne Coach Gun
produced by America Remembers is
one such outstanding example.
More than a few of these shotguns
serve double duty as home-defense
frearms, and they are just as effective
in that role today as they were in their
heyday. Few criminals argue with a
double-barreled shotgun, and those
who do usually lose.
John Wayne
“The sturdy little
double barrels
were virtually
indestructible.”
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Journal
PLANTERS
Garden To Go
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY NEAL BARRETT
If you like to dress up your yard or patio with seasonal flowers or
small ornamental bushes, planters offer a nice addition to in-ground
landscaping. Planters give you the option of moving small shrubs or
flowers around your yard, or placing them in spots that can’t accommo-
date a permanent planting bed. As a bonus, they provide an attractive
architectural element to the grounds. And, if you build your own, you
can size them to suit your particular needs and tastes.
We built our planters from nominal 5/4 (1
1
/
8 in. thick) and 1-in. (
3
/
4 in.
thick) pine, and
3
/
4-in.-thick marine-grade fir plywood. Marine plywood
is made with waterproof glue so it can
stand up to moisture. If your local sup-
plier doesn’t carry marine plywood,
you can order it from M.L. Condon
Co., 250 Ferris Ave., White Plains, NY
10603. To extend the life of the plant-
ers, we added metal liners made from
aluminum flashing that’s common-
ly available at hardware stores and
building supply dealers.
PARTS AND JOINERY
Although we made planters in two
different sizes, the construction tech-
niques are the same for each so it’s
easy to modify the designs if you wish.
Begin by cutting the frame parts to
size. If you’re making more than one
planter, or planters of different sizes,
98 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
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sizes—it’s easy to modify
the designs if you wish.”
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sort the parts so that similar pieces are
grouped together. Then, clamp togeth-
er a group of planter stiles so that their
ends are perfectly flush and lay out the
mortises for the rail joints. Repeat the
procedure for each group of stiles and
rails. Rout the mortises with a
3
/8-in.
spiral up-cutting bit, 1 . To provide
a stable base for the router, clamp the
workpiece to a similar-size piece.
Attach a board to your table saw’s rip
fence, install a dado blade and adjust
the fence to cut the tenon cheeks,
2 . Then, readjust the blade height,
and hold the stock on edge to cut the
shoulders at the inside edges of the
rails and on both edges of the mullions.
Lay out the notch for the tenon haunch
at the outer edge of each rail, and use
a backsaw or dovetail saw to make the
cuts, 3 . The haunch, or shoulder, on
the tenon is necessary to fill the frame’s
panel groove at the ends of the stiles. It
also adds strength to the joint.
With the joints shaped, use a dado
blade to cut the panel grooves in the
edges of all frame parts, 4 . Clamp a
featherboard to the saw table to keep
the stock tight to the fence and to
reduce the risk of kickback.
Rip and crosscut plywood to size for
the planter panels. Install a straight bit
in the router table and use it to cut the
3
/8 x
9
/16-in. rabbet around the edges
of each piece on their inside faces.
Test the fit of a panel in one of the rail
grooves. If it doesn’t easily slide into
place, adjust the router table setup to
improve the fit.
ASSEMBLY
Since these planters are designed to be
used outdoors, it’s best to use water-
proof glue for assembly. We used Tite-
bond II for our project, but you could
also use polyurethane glue.
Begin assembly by gluing the mul-
lions to the rails. If a planter side has
only one mullion, apply glue to the
mullion tenons and rail mortises, and
use a clamp to pull the joints tight.
Compare opposite diagonal meas-
urements to check that the assembly
is square. Next, slide the panels into
place, 5 , spread glue on the rail ten-
ons and stile mortises, and add the
stiles. Clamp the assembly until the
glue sets. For planter sides with two
mullions, slide the center panel into
position before adding the top rail to
the mullion ends.
Lay out joining-plate positions for
assembling the four sides of each
planter. Clamp a tall fence to your
worktable to support the sides that
receive slots on the stile faces, 6 . To
cut the slots in the ends of the remain-
ing sides, clamp each firmly to the
worktable, facedown, 7 .
5
After gluing the mullions to rails,
slide the plywood panels into
place. Then glue the stiles in place.
6
Clamp a tall fence to the work-
table for support when cutting
plate slots in front and back panels.
7
Clamp the planter sides to the
worktable and cut joining-plate
slots in the panel edges.
1
Use a plunge router and edge guide
to cut the mortises. Clamp a sec-
ond piece to the work for stability.
2
Clamp a board to your table saw’s
fence, and use a dado blade to cut
tenon cheeks on rails and mullions.
3
Cut the haunched tenon shoul-
ders with a backsaw. The other
shoulders are cut with a dado blade.
4
Use a dado blade in the table saw
to cut the panel grooves in the
edges of stiles, rails and mullions.
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To join the planter sides, spread
glue on the mating surfaces and in
plate slots. Use a shim to apply glue
to the joining plates and slide them
into the slots. Then, assemble each
planter box and use clamps to pull
the joints tight, 8 . Compare oppo-
site diagonal measurements to make
sure that each box is square, and let
the glue set for about an hour before
removing the clamps.
Cut
3
/4-in.-thick stock into 2
1
/4-in.-
square blocks for the planter feet. Use
a sanding block to bevel the edges of
each to a 10˚ angle, and nail the feet
to the bottom of the planter with 6d
galvanized fnishing nails. Set the nail-
heads below the wood surface and fll
the holes with a good-quality, exterior
wood fller.
Rip and crosscut
3
/4-in. stock for
the bottom support cleats. Use 1
1
/2-in.
No. 8 galvanized deck screws to fasten
the cleats to the inside of the planter, 9 .
Cut the bottom panels to size. Mark
the center of the drainage holes, then
bore the holes with a holesaw. Slide
the bottom panel into position, 10,
and fasten it to the cleats with 1
1
/2-in.
No. 8 galvanized deck screws.
PAINTING THE PLANTERS
Smooth the surfaces with 120-grit
sandpaper, taking care to ease all
sharp edges. Thoroughly remove
the sanding dust and seal all surfac-
es with a premium-quality, exterior
alkyd primer. After overnight dry-
ing, lightly sand the primed surface
to remove any roughness and, again,
remove all sanding dust. Finish the
planter by applying at least two coats
of 100 percent acrylic exterior paint,
following the manufacturer’s applica-
tion instructions. Make sure that you
coat the interior as thoroughly as you
do the exterior surfaces.
MAKING THE LINERS
Use a felt-tipped marker to lay out the
liner and tray parts on the aluminum
fashing stock, and cut out the pieces
with metalcutting shears. Mark the
center of the drainage holes on the
liner tray pieces and mark the bend
lines on all parts.
Use a holesaw or shears to cut the
drainage holes. Note that the holes
in the tray are slightly smaller than
those in the planter bottom—this pre-
vents water from collecting on the ply-
wood surface. To bend the aluminum,
clamp a board on each side of the met-
al with the board edges aligned with
the bend line. Then use the boards to
guide the bend, 11 .
Slide the liner inside the tray and
bore
1
/8-in.-dia. holes for blind rivets
where the liner ends overlap. Use a
wood block on the exit side of the drill
bit to support the metal when mak-
ing the holes. Install the rivets to fas-
ten the liner ends together and then
attach the liner to the tray in the same
way, 12 . If you wish, staple a piece of
fberglass screen to the bottom panel,
over the drainage holes, before install-
ing the liner to keep soil from falling
out of the planter. PM
9
Cut side cleats from
3
/4-in. pine
and attach them to the planter
sides with galvanized deck screws.
10
Use a holesaw to cut the drain-
age holes. Slide the panel in
place and secure with screws.
11
Cut the fashing to size and use
boards clamped at the bend
lines to form straight, 90˚ folds.
12
Use blind rivets to secure the
liner ends where they overlap
and to attach the liner to the tray.
For more home features check out the
PM.Zone Web site
POPULARMECHANICS.COM/HOME
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8
Apply glue to the mating surfaces and assemble the planter sides. Clamp
and check that the box is square.
New tool belts are like
a toolbox on your hip.
BY JOSEPH TRUINI
Hang
Tough
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F you’re a typical
Popular Mechanics
reader you probably
have a well-stocked
toolbox that you use
for various home-
improvement and
repair projects. And
while a toolbox is
great for carrying
tools to the work site, it doesn’t serve
much purpose once the dust starts
to fly. The most efficient way to
work is to keep essen-
tial tools and sup-
plies close at hand,
and the best way
to do that is with a
tool belt.
When most peo-
ple think of a tool
belt they imagine
the typical leath-
er carpenter’s belt
favored by profes-
sional contractors.
But that’s just one of
the many tool-toting
aprons, belts, pouches,
holsters and slings avail-
able for active do-it-your-
selfers. If you’re still using an old
cloth nail apron or, worse yet, stuffing
tools into your pockets, then it’s time to
consider a buckle-up tool belt.
Here, we’ve assembled a representa-
tive collection of products made from
thick cotton, supple leather and hard-
wearing DuPont Cordura Nylon. Also
included are two cleverly designed
tool vests and a beltless system with
interchangeable tool pouches.
I
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I Leather, Cordura Nylon
I Oversize Pockets
I Occidental Leather, P.O. Box 389, Graton, CA
95444; 800-743-6914
OCCIDENTAL LEATHER MODEL 8080DB
$165 www.bestbelt.com
I Ballistic Nylon
I Modular Design Permits Customization
I DeWalt, 701 E. Joppa Rd., Baltimore, MD 21286;
800-433-9258
DEWALT MODEL D5100
$80; Accessory Drill Holster, $22 www.dewalt.com
104 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
1 Leather-Nylon
Framer’s Belt
Flexible leather and resilient Cordura
Nylon come together in this pro-qual-
ity modular tool belt from Occiden-
tal Leather. It’s sized for carrying a
substantial quantity of fasteners and
most of the hand tools you would
need for a day’s work. Called the Oxy-
Lights DB Pro Framer, it has some of
the largest pockets found on any of
these products hanging from its 3-
in.-wide leather belt. The two forest
green nylon pouches are divided into
six various-size compartments, includ-
ing two oversize pockets that measure
8 in. deep x 9
1
/2 in. wide.
The OxyLights DB Pro Framer is
equipped with a tape measure pouch,
six outer pockets and six interior
pockets, which are great for organiz-
ing easy-to-lose tools such as nail-
sets, screwdrivers
and small pliers.
Because the belt is
large and capable
of carrying a sub-
stantial load, Occi-
dental makes an accessory Strong-
hold Suspension System (not shown,
Model 5055, about $75). These heavy-
duty suspenders clip onto the belt
and help distribute the
load from your hips to your
shoulders, reducing fatigue
and lower back strain.
Incidentally, this may
be your belt if you’re a
stickler for buying prod-
ucts made in the
United States.
Occidental
makes its prod-
ucts here and
uses U.S.-made
premium-grade
leather, nylon and
hardware.
2 Tool Belt Set
This DeWalt professional-duty tool
belt is made from ballistic nylon, a
material so tough it’s used in bullet-
proof vests. Its two oversize bags are
divided into compartments. All of the
seams are double-stitched and riveted
to survive a lifetime of job-site abuse.
Plus, each widemouthed pouch is
heat-formed to maintain its shape.
The advantage of this is that you can
reach more easily into the pouch and
readily locate what you need.
All totaled, this versatile tool belt
offers seven large fastener pouches
(for nails and screws), 14 narrow tool
pockets, a steel-loop hammer holder,
and four leather sleeves to hold crow-
bars, flashlights, hammers, wrenches
and combination squares.
The DeWalt is a modular tool belt,
meaning its bags aren’t permanently
attached to the belt. This allows you
to slip off a bag and exchange it for
another bag or tool-holding acces-
sory. Here, the belt is shown with its
Accessory Drill Holster.
Deciding which tool belt to buy
depends on several factors including
the kind of projects you tackle, the
type of tools you use and, of course,
how much you’re willing to spend. But
regardless of your skill level or budget,
we’re sure you’ll find the perfect tool
belt for your next project.
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I Oil-Tanned Leather I Right/Left Steel Hammer Loops
I Sears Craftsman, Dept. 703-MAL, 3333 Beverly Rd.,
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179; 800-377-1565
SEARS CRAFTSMAN MODEL 40522
$50 www.craftsman.com
BEYOND THE BASIC BELT
Tool Vest
The Skillers Tool Vest is a com-
fortable, zippered vest made of
nylon-reinforced cotton duck
(Model 4205-12, about $50). The
vest’s right side has a large
snap-closed upper pocket,
two small tool pockets and
a 4-in.-deep x 5
1
/
2-in.-wide
fastener pouch. Four more
pockets and a fastener
pouch can be found on
the left side.
Hanging from the bot-
tom of the vest are four
large 7 x 7-in. sewn-on
pouches, two in the front
and two in the back.
There are also two Velcro-
lined straps for attaching
other Skillers accesso-
ries, such as a drill hol-
ster or nail pouch.
Flexi System
A slightly different take on the vest
is Viio’s clever Skillers Flexi System,
which consists of more than a dozen
different harnesses, vests, pouches
and bags that you can mix and
match to create a customized tool
carrier. Here, the Skillers Yoke
(Model 9712, about $30) is shown
with the Ergo Belt (Model 9702,
about $20). The Yoke has two
large pockets, eight narrow
pockets and two small fastener
pouches. Its four adjustable
nylon straps and thickly padded
shoulder straps ensure a com-
fortable, snug fit. The nylon belt
is outfitted with a Power Tool Holster
(Model 9711, about $16) and a Hammer
Holder (Model 9082, about $6).
Contact Skillers Workwear, 299-A
Washington St., Woburn, MA 01801;
800-325-8707; www.skillers.com.
B
ACK in 1975, Swedish electrician Matti Viio was frustrated that he couldn’t find
comfortable work clothes that also were compatible with his need to carry lots of
tools. So, he designed his own line of workwear based on the demanding needs of
professional tradesmen. Today, his company, Skillers Workwear, offers a broad range of
innovative, well-made garment-tool carriers.
3 Oil-Tanned
Leather Tool Belt
A leather tool belt usually takes
awhile to soften up and lose its stiff-
ness. That’s not the case with this
Sears Craftsman belt. It’s made from
oil-tanned leather that’s soft and sup-
ple the first time you use it. It’s an all-
leather tool carrier with permanently
fixed pouches, which are steel-riveted
and double-stitched to the 2-in.-wide
leather belt. There are two extra-large,
8-in.-deep tool pouches and two 4-in.-
deep fastener pouches.
The belt is also equipped with two
steel-loop hammer holders to satisfy
both right- and lefthanded users, six
narrow leather pockets for storing
drill bits and pencils, a tape measure
pouch that has a snap-down strap,
and a steel sheath that accepts a com-
bination square.
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“The most
ef cient way to
work is to keep
essential tools
and supplies
close at hand.”
4
4 Suspender
Tool Carrier
This product from Occiden-
tal Leather is not a belt in
the conventional sense but
a suspender-mounted system
of large clip-on pouches.
Made of durable Cor-
dura Nylon, this innovative
design allows complete
freedom of movement. It
enables you to more eas-
ily bend or squat without
dumping tools and fasten-
ers out of the pouches. Along with the
increased mobility comes improved
comfort because the system transfers
the load from your hips to your shoul-
ders. And it’s one of the few tool carri-
ers that can be comfortably worn over
a work coat or insulated coveralls.
The system features more than
30 pockets and tool holders. On
the right side, you’ll fnd eight tool
pockets, two steel-loop hammer
holders, a giant 9 x 10-in. fastener
pouch, a 6 x 6-in. outer pouch, two
narrow leather pockets and a leather
sheath for a combination square.
The left side has eight small tool
pockets, a 5 x 5-in. fastener pouch, a
large leather sheath that will hold a
framing square, two narrow leather
pockets and a smaller leather sheath
for a combination square. The Oxy
Tool Chest weighs about 5
1
/2 pounds
when empty. That’s a lot of weight,
but there are times when you need a
lot of carrying capacity.
OCCIDENTAL LEATHER MODEL 2008
$200 www.bestbelt.com
 Leather, Cordura Nylon
 Suspender-Hung Clip-On Pouches
 Occidental Leather, P.O. Box 389, Graton, CA
95444; 800-743-6914
5 Canvas Apron
The old-fashioned canvas nail apron
is a good idea because it’s lightweight
and perfect for those jobs when you
don’t have to carry everything includ-
ing the kitchen sink. The problem
with canvas aprons, as anyone who
has ever worn one can tell you, is that
their drawstrings often wear through
and break. The drawstrings also do not
do a particularly good job of distribut-
ing the weight of nails and a hammer,
not to mention other tools. A few years
ago, the clever folks at Bucket Boss
decided to improve on the canvas nail
apron. The result of their efforts pro-
duced the Super Waist Apron. This
inexpensive lightweight tool tote is
sewn from 12-ounce cotton duck, a
material that’s soft and comfortable,
yet tough enough to withstand many
years of use.
The apron has eight small inner
tool pockets, fve large outer fastener
pockets and two nylon hammer loops.
Its adjustable, 1-in.-wide nylon belt is
ftted with a snap-lock, quick-release
buckle, so there are no strings to tie.
This 9-in.-wide x 24-in.-long apron
is ideal for active homeowners who
enjoy tackling small projects around
the house, workshop and garden. PM
 12-oz. Cotton Duck Canvas
 13 Pockets And Two Hammer Loops
 Bucket Boss, Fiskars Corp., 305 84th Ave. S.,
Wausau, WI 54401; 800-289-8288
BUCKET BOSS MODEL 83100
$15 www.bucketboss.com
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WESTINGHOUSE
LED
Brighter, better light bulbs. BY ROY BERENDSOHN
E
The Bright Stuff
SPEED OF LIGHT
Until recently, getting three dis-
tinctly different light levels
from a CFL was a problem.
Technical Consumer
Products (TCP) offers
a spring lamp (a CFL
shaped like a spring)
that can replace a 50/
100/150-watt incan-
descent bulb. The
bulb lasts for 10,000
hours and costs about
$15. A dimmable version
of the bulb, not shown,
costs about $17.
Both are sold at
home centers. Con-
tact Technical Consum-
er Products, 300 Lena Dr.,
Aurora, OH 44202; 800-
324-1496; www.tcpi.com.
Cathedral ceilings are
nothing new, but they are
more widely used in new
construction—along with
light fixtures that are hard
to reach. Philips houses a
spring-shaped CFL inside a
reflector floodlamp globe
designed for these fixtures.
The 16-watt lamp is
rated for 7000 hours,
or about five years’
worth of use. That should reduce your
bulb-changing trips up and down a
ladder. Also, it is UL-listed for wet
locations, so it can be used outdoors.
It costs $8 to $10 at hardware stores
and home centers. Contact Philips
Lighting, 200 Franklin Square Dr.,
Somerset, NJ 08875; www.lighting
.philips.com.
THE NEW LIGHT: LED
Light-emitting diodes have been used
for years in electronic products
but not for general lighting.
Westinghouse says it is the
first to break that barrier
with its product, which
uses a proprietary cone-
shaped plastic lens inside
the globe-shaped outer
lens to give its LED bulb
a pleasing light. It says
the 20-watt
bulb pro-
duces light
output equal to a 100-watt incan-
descent. The company projects
the bulb’s life as being about
80,000 hours. At press
time, its price was esti-
mated at $40. Contact
Westinghouse Light-
ing, 12401 McNul-
ty Rd., Philadelphia,
PA 19154; 800-999-2226; www
.westinghouse
lighting.com.
Finally,
if you need
under-cabinet
lighting, you might
consider General
Elec tric’s Gelcore
LED strip. The flexi-
ble strip has an adhe-
sive backing and five white LEDs. The
low-voltage transformer has a 6-ft.
cord, so you can plug it into a nearby
outlet. A cord-mounted rotary switch
controls the lights. This product costs
about $25 at Wal-Mart. Contact Gel-
core, 6180 Halle Dr.,Valley View, OH
44125; www.gelcore.com. PM
VEN in this high-technology age,
there’s no question that the incandes-
cent bulb is the residential lighting
workhorse. Simple and inexpensive,
it remains little changed from the
tungsten-filament model developed
in 1910. And that’s the prob-
lem. Electrically speaking,
it’s the product of a bygone
era. By some estimates,
only 4 to 6 percent of the
electricity supplied to an
incandescent bulb produc-
es visible light. The rest
produces heat. That’s why
the incandescent bulb is
steadily being replaced by
the long-lasting and elec-
trically efficient compact
fluorescent lamp (CFL). A
CFL can last anywhere from
6000 to 10,000 hours, with some
manufacturers citing models
designed for 20,000 hours—or
the equivalent of five to 15 years
under normal use. A good-quality
incandescent lasts about 1000 hours.
A CFL costs between $5 and $10, how-
ever, while an incandescent costs from
35 cents to $2, depending on wattage
and other factors. Still, bulb manu-
facturers estimate that a CFL will pay
for itself in a year or two. Here are the
latest replacement options for your old
incandescent bulbs.
TCP 3-way
spring lamp
GE Gelcore
under-cabinet
light
PHILIPS
CFL reflector
floodlamp
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COMPOSITE
PORCH FLOORING
SABRE SAW
SYNTHETIC ROOF
LOOKS LIKE CEDAR
Build Up
The 15 best picks from the
Builders’ Show. BY ROY BERENDSOHN
BOSCH $170
A saw is only as good as its ability to stay
on the cutline. Bosch’s 1590EVSK grips its
T-shank blades with a 3-point blade holder
and a second lower clamp to prevent the
blade from wandering. Toolfree blade
changes, a soft start, and electronics that
monitor the load on the 6.4-amp motor
and adjust its output are among the saw’s
industrial features. Four orbital settings
adjust the saw’s cutting aggressiveness.
It’s available at hardware stores and home
centers. Contact Bosch Power Tools, 4300
W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL 60646; 877-
267-2499. www.boschtools.com
THE International Builders’ Show
is not your typical trade show. Not
by a long shot. One side is gritty and
tough, like the rough-and-tumble
world of construction. The other side
is glamorous, perhaps even chic—a
world where money is no object. We
tend to gravitate toward the gritty
end of the spectrum, but there’s no
denying that the fancy things—like
doors, windows, appliances and bath
fxtures that cost thousands of dol-
lars—have their own unique fascina-
tion. Here’s the report of the show’s
best products and an evenhanded
look at both sides of the show.
ENVIROSHAKE $375 (100 SQ. FT.)
The Enviroshake looks like a No. 1 grade taper-sawn cedar roof,
but it’s 95 percent recycled materials. To be more specifc, it’s
molded from plastic, fbers and tire-derived rubber. It starts out as a
brown-gray and weathers to the same silver-gray color of cedar shingles
after a couple of years. The product can be installed over plywood or skip sheathing,
and is fastened with ordinary roofng nails. Note that pricing varies widely depend-
ing on region. Contact Wellington Polymer Technology, 650 Riverview Dr., Unit 5,
P.O. Box 1462, Chatham, Ontario, Canada N7M 5W8. www.enviroshake.com
TENDURA $6.50 (SQ. FT.)
It used to be that porch foors had to be
painted. No more. Tendura 1 x 4 composite
porch fooring is solid gray throughout
its thickness, so you’ll never get wear
marks in high-traf c areas. It’s made from
recycled plastic resin and sawdust. It locks
together with tongue-and-groove joints
fastened with stainless steel ring-shank
nails driven through predrilled holes.
For a distributor, contact Tendura, 1220 S.
Brundidge St., P.O. Box 827, Troy, AL 36081;
800-836-3872. www.tendura.com
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DUAL-MODE
CLOTHES DRYER
WINDOW WITH
HIDDEN JAMB LINER
DUAL-FUEL RANGE
BOSCH $1800
Maximum cooking capability for the money is what the 30-in. Bosch free-stand-
ing dual-fuel range is all about. This appliance has a continuous grate over its
four gas burners (5500 to 15,000 BTU) and a broiler element and convection oven
below. A telescoping full-extension oven rack and two standard racks that can be
set at six positions let you put the food just where it needs to cook. The stove is
available in black, white and stainless steel at appliance dealers. Contact Bosch
Home Appliances, 5551 McFadden Ave., Huntington Beach, CA 92646; 800-921-9622.
www.boschappliances.com
MAYTAG $1200-$1500
Maytag’s Neptune Drying Center combines
a tumble dryer with an upper drying
cabinet for garments that need a gentle
touch. You can hang nine garments on a
rod that sways back and forth as warm air
blows through the cabinet, or you can lay
fve garments on removable mesh shelves.
Hooks on the cabinet’s doors provide a
place for you to hang small items. Below
the cabinet is a 7-cu.-ft. tumble dryer. It is
sold at appliance dealers. Contact Maytag,
403 W. Fourth St. N., Newton, IA 50208.
www.maytag.com
KOLBE & KOLBE $600 (starting price)
An ugly jamb liner detracts from a
window’s beauty. That’s why Kolbe &
Kolbe did away with a visible jamb liner
on its Sterling series. The liner, block-and-
tackle balances and all vinyl components
are blissfully out of sight. The window’s
dual-position lever locks the two sash and
unlocks the window, permitting tilt clean-
ing. To fnd a dealer, contact Kolbe & Kolbe
Millwork, 1323 S. 11th Ave., Wausau, WI
54401. www.kolbe-kolbe.com
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 113
MILWAUKEE $160-$200
Is the
3
/
8-in. drill obsolete? Milwaukee’s Compact
Series 14.4-volt tool is the size of a
3
/
8-in. drill
but packs a
1
/
2-in. chuck, 19 clutch positions and
two speed ranges. It comes with two batteries
and a charger that works on 9.6-volt through
18-volt batteries. Its gimbal-like device,
called a Clip-Lok, enables you to secure
the drill to your belt while permitting
full movement of the tool. It includes
a carrying case, and is sold at hard-
ware stores and home centers. Contact
Milwaukee Electric Tool, 13135 W. Lisbon
Rd., Brookfeld, WI 53005; 800-729-3878.
www.milwaukeetool.com
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WATER-CONSERVING
TOILET
RETROFIT FAUCET
HEAT-RECOVERY
GAS FIREPLACE
HIGH-POWERED 9.6-VOLT DRILL
MOEN $150-$250
What do you do when you have a 3-hole sink and you want to use a single-lever
faucet? Answer: Install the Moen Monticello. The latest addition to the Monticello
line is designed for retroftting 3-hole sinks. It uses a washerless cartridge and a
simplifed drop-in installation. It’s available in a range of fnishes from polished
chrome to brushed platinum. Contact Moen, 25300 Al Moen Dr., North Olmsted,
OH 44070. www.moen.com
HEATILATOR
$5000-$6000 (INSTALLED)
Heatilator’s FreshAir gas freplace uses an
aluminum-core heat-recovery ventilator to
reclaim the heat in the combustion waste
gas. Then it power vents the gas outside.
That way you have a nice, clean gas fre
that heats living areas without combus-
tion byproducts entering the space. Neat
trick. The freplace is available with either
a glass front or an open front. To fnd a
dealer, contact Heatilator, 1915 W. Saunders
St., Mount Pleasant, IA 52641; 877-427-8368.
www.freshairfreplace.com
KOHLER $270
Kohler’s Cimarron uses only 1.4 gal. of
water per fush. But it gets the job done
without clogging by using a 3
1
/
4-in.-dia.
fush valve and a 2
1
/
8-in.-dia. trapway that
is fully glazed for maximum smoothness.
Also, its Drylock system does away with
the bolt holes through the tank. Instead, a
pair of
1
/
2-in. bolts are engaged on a gasket-
sealed bracket on the tank bottom. Set the
tank on the bowl, then tighten the bolts.
The Cimarron is sold at plumbing supply
houses. For more information, contact
Kohler Co., Kohler, WI 53044; 800-456-4537.
www.kohler.com
HITACHI $80
Hitachi’s DS9DVF is petite, but it packs a punch. The 9.6-volt tool weighs only
3.2 pounds but is rated to drill through
3
/
8-in.-thick steel. Its
3
/
8-in. keyless chuck
is backed by a 22-position clutch and two speed ranges: 0 to 280 rpm and 0 to
840 rpm. Included are seven bits, two batteries, a charger, a carrying case and
a fashlight. Contact Hitachi, 3950 Steve Reynolds Blvd., Norcross, GA 30093.
www.hitachi.com
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PHOTOVOLTAIC ROOFING
PANELIZED
TILE FLOOR
COMPOSITE
RAILING SYSTEM
EDGE FLOORING $3.50-$7 (SQ. FT.)
A free-floating tile floor was impossible
until this product. It uses ceramic or stone
tiles attached to snap-together panels. You
roll out its underlayment sheet, snap the
panels in place, then seal the joints with
grout from a pressurized can. The manu-
facturer also supplies a special tile-cutting
circular saw blade. The underlayment
costs $15 per 30-sq.-ft. roll, and the grout is
$10 per can (enough for 20 to 40 sq. ft.). The
saw blade is about $30. The flooring is sold
exclusively at Lowe’s Home Improvement
Centers. For information, visit your local
store or contact Edge Flooring, 200
Howell Dr., Dalton, GA 30721; 866-914-3343.
www.edgeflooring.com
Water should consist of two parts hydro-
gen, one part oxygen and nothing else. The
Purefecta Drinking Water Purifier delivers
that by taking out everything from com-
mon chemicals to viruses. Water passes
through its prefilter, a reverse-osmosis
membrane, a virus-removing filter, a car-
bon post-filter and a bacteria-removing
post-filter. After 500 gal., the system is
flushed by the installing dealer and filters
are replaced ($300 to $400). It’s sold at
Kinetico dealers. Contact Kinetico, 10845
Kinsman Rd., Newbury, OH 44065; 800-
944-9283. www.kinetico.com PM
ATLANTIS ENERGY SYSTEMS $12,000 (100 SQ. FT.)
Sunslates are fiber-cement roofing slates with a unique difference: They generate
electricity. The photovoltaic panels glued to each slate create direct current, which is
fed to an inverter that produces 120-volt alternating current for residential applianc-
es and lighting circuits. The slates are hung from the roof with stainless steel fasten-
ers and are designed to withstand snow loads and 120-mph winds. A completed roof
looks like an ordinary slate roof when seen from the ground. A typical residential
installation requires 300 sq. ft. of the slates and costs roughly $36,000. The system
provides 60 to 80 percent of a house’s electrical needs. Contact Atlantis Energy
Systems, 9275 Beatty Dr., Suite B, Sacramento, CA 95820. www.atlantisenergy.org
TIMBERTECH $25-$35 (LINEAR FT.)
Mix sawdust and plastic resin and you
have the beginning of a great railing
system. Whitesand composite railing is
assembled from 6- and 8-ft. lengths of top
and bottom rails with precut balusters.
The railing’s smooth top surface, combined
with the highly reflective pigments that
give it color, provides a secure grip that’s
comfortable to hold even in hot weather.
You can purchase the railing at lumber-
yards and home centers. For more infor-
mation, contact TimberTech, 894 Prairie
Ave., Wilmington, OH 45177; 800-307-7780.
www.timbertech.com
ULTRAPURE WATER FILTER
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 115
PUREFECTA $1700-$1900 (INSTALLED)
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Clogged
Faucet Aerator
The aerators on my faucets get
clogged by tiny, light green gran-
ules. To fnd the cause, I ran just
cold water and checked the aera-
tors. They were clean. The same
test with hot water revealed the
granules, so the problem must be
with my water heater. What is it?
BOB SCHULTZ
Beach Haven Gardens, NJ
If the water supplied to your house
has a relatively high pH (8-plus), the
problem may be caused by a chemical
reaction between the water and the
aluminum anode in your water heater.
The reaction causes excessive amounts
of aluminum hydroxide to form on the
anode and in the bottom of the tank.
Aluminum hydroxide takes the form of
green, blue or gray granules.
To correct the problem you need to
fush the tank and replace the alumi-
num anode with a magnesium anode.
Depending on the heater’s age and
the cost of replacing the anode, it may
pay to replace the entire water heater
with one that has a magnesium anode.
You can tell whether the water heat-
er has an aluminum or a magnesium
anode by looking at the anode’s top.
An aluminum anode has a smooth
top, whereas a magnesium anode has
a welded bead on its top.
Replacement water-heater anodes
are sold at home centers, plumbing
supply houses and through Web-based
retailers.
Metal Roofing
Over Shingles
We want to cover our fberglass-
shingled roof with metal. Will we
need to place anything between
the metal and the old shingles?
Which are best: ring-shank nails
or screws? Everyone we ask has a
diferent opinion.
GLEN LAKNER
Wall, SD
First check with your municipal build-
ing department to see if you will need
a building permit. Also ask whether
you are required to remove the exist-
ing roofng before installing the new
roofng.
If you don’t have to remove the shin-
gles, you should put 30-pound roofng
felt over them prior to installing the
TELLTALE SIGN: Water with a high
pH may react with a water heater’s
aluminum anode and produce a cor-
rosion byproduct, aluminum hydrox-
ide, that can clog faucet aerators.
ALUMINUM
ANODE ROD
Clogged Aerator,
Metal Roofng,
Garage Slab,
Woodpeckers
The answers to your tough
home improvement questions.
BY NORMAN BECKER, P.E.
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HIS 137-page book shines a bright light into
the hidden recesses of a house. In 20 years
of writing this column and in performing
thousands of home inspections, PM’s dauntless
Contributing Editor Norman Becker has seen it all,
including a huge snake slithering through a dark
attic. Becker’s latest book takes you on a tour of base-
ments and attics, under sinks, inside walls, through
mushy backyards, under decks and behind ancient,
cranky boilers. Would you know where to run your hand along
the belly of a basement oil tank to fnd leaking fuel oil? Becker shows
you exactly where to look. The book costs about $13 at bookstores. For more
information, contact The McGraw-Hill Cos., 2 Penn Plaza, New York, NY
10121; www.books.mcgraw-hill.com. —Roy Berendsohn
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c
SERVICE TIP WOODWORKING
Bench Height Basics
P
EOPLE often build furniture using plans with dimensions that are
based on the height of the average person. A table that is 30 in. tall will
be at a comfortable height for most people when seated. Workbenches,
however, are a different matter. You may spend several
hours at a workbench, so there’s no
sense in building one that may not
suit you. A good way to determine
the height of a workbench is to stand
with your arms straight at your
sides and with your hands
turned palms down. The dis-
tance from your palms to the
floor is a good starting dimen-
sion. You may find that exact
height to be ideal, or within a
few inches plus or minus. The
important thing is to determine a
height that’s right for you. —R.B.
metal roofing. This will protect the
underside of the metal from being
scratched by the rough shingles. If the
underside of the roofing is scratched,
it can rust.
When installing metal roofing, I
prefer screws to ring-shank nails. You
can get a tighter seal with screws and
they are less likely to back out. Never-
theless, it’s more important to fol-
low the manufacturer’s installation
instructions. Otherwise, you will void
the warranty.
You didn’t indicate which type of
metal roof covering you are consider-
ing. There are many styles. One com-
pany that carries a wide selection is
Metal Roofing Wholesalers at 877-
646-6382; www.metalroofingwhole
salers.com. The company is also a
good source of general information
on metal roofing.
Covering Garage
Floor Slab
What would you recommend as a
surface covering for a garage floor?
I have used oil-based paint and
an epoxy coating, both of which
blistered and peeled.
JEFF MOORE
Jemez Springs, NM
A number of things can cause a garage
floor coating to peel. One is improp-
er surface preparation. It is difficult
to adequately clean a garage floor
because dirt and grease are ground
into the concrete. You might consider
Safe ’N Easy Oil and Grease Remove, a
new cleaner specifically formulated for
this task. Made by Dumond Chemicals,
it costs about $20 per gallon at hard-
ware stores and home centers. If you
can’t find it locally, you can buy it on
the Web at www.paintremoval.com.
The problem may have been caused
by subslab moisture. You can check
for this by taping a 12 x 12-in. plas-
tic sheet to the floor. Tape the edges
with duct tape, and allow it to remain
in place for 24 hours. If water drop-
lets appear on the inside of the plastic
or if the concrete appears wet, there is
moisture in the concrete and the floor
should not be coated. This is because
subslab ground moisture will work its
way to the slab surface and lift the
coating from it. In this case, your best
bet is to remove the coating from the
floor using a chemical paint stripper.
Then, clean the floor with a commer-
cial masonry cleaner or by high-pres-
sure washing (or both). When the
floor is dry, apply a masonry stain.
The stain allows moisture vapor to I
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Spirals can use less than half the floor-space of a traditional stair!
*
Free up valuable square footage with a space-saving
spiral stair kit from The Iron Shop, in metal, oak,
Victorian inspired cast-aluminum, or custom all-welded
metal units. The Iron Shop’s spiral stairs start at only
$425 and are available in diameters ranging from
3'6" to 7'0", spanning almost any height.
Since 1931, The Iron Shop has enjoyed a reputation
for outstanding design and fabrication of spiral stairs.
Today, by utilizing computer-aided technology throughout
our production process we guarantee that each stair
meets only the highest standards —successfully mixing
state-of-the-art manufacturing with Old World quality.
Call for the FREE color Catalog & Price List:
1-800-523-7427Ask for Ext. PM
or visit our Web Site at www.TheIronShop.com/PM
Main Plant & Showroom: Dept. PM, P.O. Box 547, 400 Reed Road, Broomall, PA 19008
Showrooms / Warehouses: Ontario, CA • Sarasota, FL • Houston, TX • Chicago, IL • Stamford, CT
©2003 The Iron Shop
*Calculations are based on the floor-space requirement of
The Iron Shop’s 3'-6" diameter metal spiral stair kit versus
the required floor-space of a traditional 42° straight
stair, spanning a typical 9'0" floor-to-floor height.
NASCAR
®
is a registered trademark of the National
Association for Stock Car Racing, Inc. All other logos,
trademarks and service marks are property of their
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Woodpeckers
Pecking
My home has cedar shingle siding
and woodpeckers are destroying
it. Our research tells us that the
woodpeckers are marking their
territory, not hunting for bugs. We
are considering vinyl siding but
are concerned the birds will peck
at that also. Please advise.
MICHAEL D. KAEN
Yorktown Heights, NY
I discussed your question with Dr.
Joe Sullivan, a wildlife biologist and
toxicologist in Woodland, Calif. (www
.ardeacon.com). He said that wood-
peckers hear insect movement in trees
and behind wood siding. So if the
woodpecker is pecking on your shin-
gles because there are insects behind
them, and you cover the shingles with
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In addition to searching for food,
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Do You Have A Home-Maintenance
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Care Car
LET’S DO THE TWIST
I screwed up. I wanted to bleed the brakes on my old pickup but I broke
off the bleeder bolt flush with the caliper casting. I tried to drill out the
old bolt nub and install a HeliCoil in the hole. Now it leaks—badly. How
can I fix this? Teflon tape didn’t help. –Jim Tucona, Via Internet
R
ULE One: Never use Teflon
tape on any brake fitting. It
won’t help and might screw
something up. (Think about little
pieces of tape inside the ABS control-
ler holding the poppet valves off their
seats. The ABS controller can’t deal
with even the tiniest internal leak.)
Best solution: Buy a rebuilt caliper
at the auto parts store. If you have a
classic or rare vehicle and no replace-
ment caliper is available, you might
try to fix it properly. The bleeder bolt
seals at the tapered seat at the base
of the hole, not along the threads,
so Teflon tape can’t possibly be effec-
tive. If you managed to get the Heli-
Coil installed correctly, you probably
damaged the seat at the bottom of the
bore with your drill bit, making a good
seal impossible. Get a repair fitting.
This will have tapered pipe threads on
the caliper side and a proper bleeder
bolt drilling on the outside. Remove
the caliper and pull out the piston(s).
Drill and tap the caliper casting for
pipe threads, then carefully clean it
to remove any debris from the drill-
ing and tapping operation. Thread in
the repair fitting, rebuild the caliper
with new seals, and install and bleed
it normally.
I predict that the repair fitting and
the rebuild kit will cost about as much
as a rebuilt caliper, which is why I sug-
gest just replacing it if at all possible.
By the way, if you bleed your brakes I
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BLEEDER BOLT
REPAIR FITTING
AUTO CLINIC
BY MIKE ALLEN
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 123
n
every year or so, the bleeder bolts
probably won’t seize and break off.
Spongy Bob
I bought a new ’04 GMC pickup
recently. I feel there is a problem
with the brakes. The pedal is very
spongy. And, when I’m in gear
with the engine running, it doesn’t
take much pressure to depress the
brake pedal all the way to what
feels like a mechanical stop. The
dealer’s service department tells
me this is normal. I suspect a
defective vacuum booster or soft
flexible lines. Mind you, the truck
stops okay, but the pedal travel
really seems excessive.
BOB SKOGLUND
Via Internet
GM brakes are notorious for that
spongy feeling. First off, if the master
cylinder is bottoming out (if that’s the
CAR CARE TIP
T
HE neighbor wanted to bor-
row a battery terminal puller
to reset his Check Engine
light. This set off some red flags, so
I asked what in tarna-
tion for. His plan was
to remove the battery
leads and clamp them
together for an hour
or so to remove the
codes and turn off the
light. He wanted to be
sure his car passed
the state inspection
the next morning. He
felt it would give his
car a fresh start.
Wrong, at least partly. Yes, this
probably will turn off the Check
Engine light, at least for a while. But
his late-model car uses OBD II—the
auto industry’s latest diagnostic
software. It might not have volatile
memory that would be erased by
disconnecting the battery. Plus, it
takes a while, sometimes as long
as an hour of normal
driving, for the engine
management computer
to relearn its new trim
settings for fuel and
spark—so the car might
have run poorly enough
to fail if he had it tested
first thing in the morn-
ing. Moreover, this
technique will destroy
all the radio presets, the
date and time on the dash, the seat
and mirror memory, the antitheft
codes in the stereo, and maybe the
codes in the keyless entry. I
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Bound To Fail
Care Car
mechanical stop you’re feeling), you
stand the chance of damaging it inter-
nally. Insist that the service manager
let you drive at least two other 2004
trucks to compare. If those trucks
have better-feeling brakes, he’ll have
to take corrective action. Have him
frst perform a thorough brake bleed
according to the service manual pro-
cedures. This may involve using an
ABS tester to cycle the valves in the
ABS pump to purge any hidden air.
Bleeding ABS systems is not triv ial.
The traditional “pump the pedal,
hold it down, open the bleeder, close
the bleeder and pump some more”
litany won’t always collect the last bit
of air lurking inside the ABS pump.
Pressure-bleeding the system may only
froth up the entrained air into foam
that will be impossible to bleed by any
means, so it’s important to follow the
factory manual recommendation.
If this procedure doesn’t give you
good pedal feel and appropriate travel,
look for a misadjusted brake pushrod
or a cranky vacuum booster.
Still stepping on a sponge? Upgrade
to Tefon-lined braided stainless steel,
fexible lines. Easy, but certainly not
cheap. But it will help a lot. PM
SERVICE TIPS
 Can’t put enough fuel into your
2003 Infniti FX35 or FX45 to make
the gauge read “F”? The Sub Fuel
Sending assembly may need to be
replaced to make the gauge read
correctly. Technical Service Bulletin
(TSB) EL03-046.
 Got whistling in the front of your
2002-03 Chevy or GMC full-size van
that abates when you turn the wheel
slightly to either side? TSB 03-02-32-
047 says it’s coming from the power
steering gearbox. The problem
is interaction with the fuid fow
through the pressure port at the pop-
pet valve. The TSB suggests adding
an adapter and O-ring to the high-
pressure line to eliminate the noise.
 A loose foam block in the HVAC
plenum of 2003-04 Saturn Ions
may block the drainhole and cause
water to spill into the car’s interior,
according to TSB 03-01-38-020. Easy
fx? Not. Due to its buried location,
removing the foam block is a dif -
cult, time-consuming procedure.
Do You Have A Car Problem?
Just ask Mike about it. Send your questions
to Auto Clinic, Popular Mechanics, 810 Seventh
Ave., New York, NY 10019. While letters, faxes,
phone calls or e-mail cannot be answered
individually, problems of general interest will
be discussed in the column.
www.id-usa.com
If you can do this, you can do this.
Recharging your A/C is easy with
• Bring back the cool to your vehicle’s A/C in minutes!
• No special tools or skill needed
• Do it yourself and save $$$!
Is your car’s air conditioning blowing hot air?
Don’t sweat it.
If you can do this, you can do this.
Is your car’s air conditioning blowing hot air?
Don’t sweat it.
Care Car
SATURDAY MECHANIC
BY BOB FREUDENBERG
Curing Steering Wander
Y
OU’RE almost enjoying a
long drive on a nice, flat inter-
state. Almost, because it’s
windy and you need to saw the steer-
ing wheel back and forth, tacking like
a sailboat, to stay in your lane. That is,
until you make a short rest stop and
realize that there’s no wind whatso-
ever. The kids in the back seat are
screaming for Dramamine, and you’re
fatigued after only an hour of driving.
There’s no doubt about it—you def-
initely have some steering issues.
VEHICLE-TO-PAVEMENT
INTERFACE
Before you start thinking about expen-
sive repairs, make sure the basic vehi-
cle-to-road interface is okay, meaning
the tires. First, check inflation pres-
sures. (Don’t trust the gauge on the
quarter-eating pump at the local sta-
tion—those are often off by as much
as 5 pounds. Drop 10 bucks on a good
gauge and keep it in your glovebox.)
You should check your tire pressures
once a month. And that’s first thing in
the morning, cold. The correct pres-
sure is on a sticker—check your own-
er’s manual for its exact location. A
low tire on one side will make a car
pull in that direction. This is because
its rolling diameter will be smaller
than that of its mate on the other side.
Also, there’ll be more tread-to-pave-
ment drag on the low side, pulling the
car in that direction.
DETERIORATED
RUBBER
DISCS
126 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
LOST MOTION: A deteriorated rag joint
disc can cause slop in the steering.
STEERING
COLUMN
STEERING
BOX
(Please turn to page 128)
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DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
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866-567-7226 (866-567-SCAN) www.autoscanner.com/pm
Actron AutoScanner available at Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Murray’s, NAPA, Pep Boys, Sears,
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Yourcar is trying to tell you something.
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are easily upgradeable, so you’ll be able to diagnose and repair your
future cars, too. Whenever your check engine light is on, AutoScanner
will pinpoint the problem so you can fix it fast and be on your way.
Care Car
If the problem persists, try switch-
ing the positions of the right and left
tire/wheel assemblies. If the car pulls
in the opposite direction after you’ve
done this, you’ve found tire trouble.
Check your tires’ tread-wear pat-
terns. For example, if a front tire’s tread
tends to disappear along the outboard
edge, it’s likely that the camber setting
at that corner is too positive, and any
pull probably will be toward that side.
GEOMETRICAL
CONSIDERATIONS
Camber refers to the tilt of the
tire from the vertical, and this
has a profound effect on direc-
tional tendencies. Zero cam-
ber means the centerline of the
tire is perfectly perpendicular
to a level surface. If the top
of the tire tilts outward from
the body, camber is said to be
positive. Going too far in this
direction will cause a pull to
that side because the tire itself
forms the shape of a cone.
Don’t run to the alignment
shop just yet. You can get a
pretty good idea of camber by using
a carpenter’s level, although you’ll
need to be parked on a perfectly level
space. We used two 35mm film canis-
ters held to the edge of the level with
rubber bands. The canisters served as
feet that we placed at the top and bot-
tom of the wheel’s rim. Keep in mind
that most vehicles will have a degree
or two of negative camber.
Here’s where ride height comes
in. As springs or torsion bars sag with
age, camber changes. Replacing coil
springs or adjusting torsion bars can
bring alignment back into specs.
WOOF!
Even if the front wheels are perfect-
ly aligned and tires properly inflated,
you may still have to steer constantly
in one direction or the other to keep
the vehicle going straight up the road.
The problem is that the rear wheels
are also trying to steer the vehicle and
overtake the fronts. This condition is
commonly referred to
as dog tracking.
Technically this
oc curs when your
vehicle’s “thrust line”
and centerline are too
far apart. On vehicles
with solid rear axles, the thrust line
is perpendicular to the rear axle. On
vehicles with an independent rear
suspension (IRS), the thrust line is
determined by splitting the toe-in
angle of the rear wheels. For exam-
ple, if the left rear wheel is toed in
at 4˚ and the right is toed at zero,
the thrust line is 2˚ to the left of the
centerline.
In an ideal world the two lines
coincide. But given a vehicle’s size,
manufacturing tolerances, wear and
abuse of daily driving, they often do
not. If the deviation between the two
is great, your vehicle will dog track.
Besides having a steering
wheel that’s not at center
when you’re going straight,
another obvious clue to dog
tracking is if you see four dis-
tinct tracks in the snow or
rain when driving straight.
This is just about impos-
sible to correct without pro-
fessional 4-wheel-alignment
equipment. On IRS cars,
tapered shims are typical-
ly installed under the rear
stub axles to reconcile the
thrust line and centerline
and to restore harmony. With
solid rear axles, the repair
will require replacing the
rear links or straightening
the frame.
22 PSI
SPACERS
CARPENTER’S
LEVEL
LEVEL
PAVEMENT
128 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
PSSST!: Low
tire pressure
will cause
a wheel to
pull.
THIS SIDE UP: A quick camber
check can be done with a level
and two simple spacers.
(Please turn to page 130)
t
Care Car
WANDERLUST
If your car doesn’t have a
definite pull to one side,
but instead a sloppy, undis-
ciplined tendency to wan-
der all over the place, the
first thing to think about
is wear in the steering
and suspension.
Direct observation is
the best way to find this,
but you’ll need a helper.
With the car sitting with
all wheels solidly on the
pavement, have him or her
unlock the steering col-
umn, then rock the wheel
vigorously back and forth
while you stick your head
underneath and inspect
with a light. (Needless to
say, do this with the engine off.)
With a parallelogram steering sys-
tem—the kind with a Pitman arm
may see the idler or Pitman arm mov-
ing up and down. Or you may notice
slop in the tie-rod ends or perhaps
more rotational action going into the
steering box than coming out. With
rack-and-pinion steering, pay special
attention to the inner tie-rod ends,
and make sure the rack housing itself
is firmly mounted.
Another way to inspect is to slight-
ly raise one tire off the ground (place
the jack under the lower control arm,
then have your assistant rock that tire
side to side, then top to bottom, while
STEERING BAG?
With the recirculating-ball steering
boxes typically found on big domestic
rwd cars, pickups and SUVs, lash will
gradually develop between the worm
and sector gears. You can eliminate
this problem by doing an “over-cen-
ter adjustment.” You’ll find an adjust-
ing bolt or screw sticking out of the top
of the steering box. With the wheels
as close to the straight-ahead position
as you can get them, loosen the lock-
nut, then turn the screw clockwise
to reduce lash. Do not overdo this or
you can reduce interior tolerances too
much, causing damage. You’ll know
you’ve gone too far if the steering
wheel stays where you put it instead of
returning to a straight-ahead position
under normal road forces, especially
when coming out of a turn.
Lash may exist in the joints that
allow the steering column to trans-
mit the helmsman’s commands to the
gearbox. The universal variety typi-
cally lasts forever, but
the rubberized textile
type, fondly known as
a “rag joint,” often dete-
riorates to the point
at which there’s exces-
sive play.
Deteriorated upper control arm
bushings can cause serious steering
problems, and probably a lot of clunk-
ing to boot. Look down on them while
your helper holds the brakes and shifts
from Drive to Reverse and back. You’ll
see and hear excessive movement. PM
STEERING
BOX
ADJUSTMENT
BOLT
TIE ROD
LOOSER: Worn
tie-rod ends
let the wheels
wander, mak-
ing steering
vague.
For more automotive features check
out the PM.Zone Web site
POPULARMECHANICS.COM/AUTO
130 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
LOOSE: Minor adjustment to the
clearance of a high-mileage steering
box can tighten up the steering.
coming out of the steering box—you
you take a look).
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produced the originals. Instead, they
come from factories in Spain, Italy,
Turkey, Brazil, China and elsewhere.
But they are precisely machined with
modern steels and eminently suited to
carry on the coach gun tradition.
The classic twin-trigger/rabbit-
ear models are among the most com-
monly encountered, but there are a
number of hammerless/twin-trigger
models available. Although single-
trigger guns were virtually unheard
of on the Western frontier, coach gun
models featuring this firing mecha-
nism are offered. Here’s a look at the
most prominent coach gun models
currently on the market.
HUGLU ARMSCO
Two models of the Turkish-made
Huglu are available. Both are ham-
merless designs featuring 20-in. bar-
rels, interchangeable choke tubes (five
are supplied with each gun), a Turk-
ish walnut stock and forearm, a raised
center rib with a single-bead front
sight, a manual sliding-tang safety
and case-hardened receivers with pol-
ished, blued barrels. These guns are
available in either 12 or 20 ga. The
Durango model offers a single trigger,
while the Amarillo provides the tradi-
tional twin-trigger configuration. 847-
768-1000; www.armsco.net
CENTURY ARMS
Four budget-priced models of Chinese
manufacture are offered, and each is a
traditional exposed-hammer/double-
trigger design. All feature 20-in. bar-
rels, a sliding safety, a center rib with a
bead front sight and a walnut-stained
hardwood stock. They are available
in 12 and 20 ga. in fixed-choke and
full-choke models, as well as .410 in a
cylinder choke.
Also available is the Century Arms
Centurion Coach Gun model, an upper-
level offering manufactured by Kahn in
Turkey. Chambered for 12 ga. (3-in.
shells) with 20-in. cylinder-choke
barrels, a sunken center rib and a
brass-bead front sight, it is an exposed-
hammer/double-trigger design with
Anson & Deeley-style sidelocks, a Turk-
ish walnut stock and polished, blued
metalwork. www.centuryarms.com
RIDING SHOTGUN
(Continued from page 97)
WeatherTech
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A u t o m o t i v e A c c e s s o r i e s
800 441- 6287
MacNeil Automotive Products Limited • 2435 Wisconsin Street • Downers Grove, IL 60515 • 630-769-1500 • fax 630-769-0300
Applications for
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Available in
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P r e m i u m R u b b e r M a t s
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WeatherFlectors™ applications to fit
over 600 vehicle models!
Car go Li ner s
Cargo Liner applications to fit over 900 vehicle models!
EUROPEAN AMERICAN
ARMORY (EAA)
European American Armory offers
three Bounty Hunter coach gun mod-
els made by the Russian firm Baikal.
And while similar in outward appear-
ance, there are noticeable mechanical
differences between them.
Model IZH43 is a hammerless/
twin-trigger design featuring 20-in.
barrels, a sliding safety and an Amer-
ican walnut stock. It’s available in
either a blued or nickel receiver. It is
offered in 12 ga. (2
3
/4-in. chambers) or
20 ga. (3-in. chambers). Either gauge
can be had with fixed cylinder chokes
or with the MC-3 interchangeable
choke-tube system.
Model IZH43K is available only in
12 ga. (2
3
/4-in. chambers) with 20-in.
barrels in either fixed cylinder chokes
or the MC-3 interchangeable system.
It features twin triggers along with
exposed hammers, which recreate the
traditional appearance of the classic
coach gun but serve only to cock the
internal hammers on the gun.
Model IZH43KH is identical in
appearance to the IZH43K, but offers
an 18.5-in. barrel. Its exposed hammers
are truly functioning hammers—they
hit the firing pin instead of just activat-
ing an internal set of hammers.
All three guns feature walnut stocks
and polished/blued barrels with a cen-
ter rib and single-bead front sight.
www.eaacorp.com
INTERSTATE ARMS CORP. (IAC)
The Chinese-made Model 99W
Ham mer Coach Gun is an exposed-
hammer/twin-trigger 12-ga. with an
American walnut stock. The 20-in. bar-
rels are chambered for 2
3
/4-in. shells.
The 99W features dual safeties—one
to block the trigger and one to block
the hammer. 978-667-7060
STOEGER INDUSTRIES
The Brazilian-made Stoeger coach
gun is a hammerless/twin-trigger
design with a sliding safety. Available
in 12, 20 and .410 (3-in. chambers on
all), each features 20-in. barrels with
fixed chokes in Improved Cylinder
and Modified, and a raised center rib
with a brass single-bead front sight.
Models are available in a variety of
finishes, including blued steel and wal-
nut, bright nickel with black Brazilian
hardwood, and matte nickel.
The newly introduced Coach Gun
Supreme model features upgraded
wood, an effective recoil pad, and is
fitted for interchangeable screw-in
choke tubes (Improved Cylinder and
Modified are supplied with the gun) on
the 12- and 20-ga. versions. In addi-
tion, a 24-in. barrel version is offered
in 12 ga., and while that departs from
the traditional short barrel, it would
make an excellent upland bird gun.
www.stoegerindustries.com PM
For more outdoors features check out
the PM.Zone Web site
POPULARMECHANICS.COM/OUTDOORS
For more info & pricing, call
Call Toll Free 888-325-5756
Or Call 818-788-4358
•BAK-TALK actually talks to you. “8 Feet.....,”
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•BAK-TALK even reads objects in blind areas.
•BAK-TALK fits all vehicles
•Let BAK-TALK save you hundred$ in damages!
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•Will fit almost every kind of vehicle: cars, vans,
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BAK-TALK
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IN A FEMALE VOICE THE DISTANCE YOU ARE FROM ANYTHING or ANYONE BEHIND YOU!
134 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
1 ADVENTURE BITES
Grab adventure by the handlebars,
stuff a phone in your shirt
pocket and make sawdust for
fun or profit. Plus much more.
You’ll get adventure fever once you’re bitten by the 2005 Triumph Tiger.
The dual-sport bike features a 955cc fuel-injected triple and betters
the old model with improved chassis geometry and a new suspension.
You can pounce on this Tiger, complete with hard saddlebags. Contact
Triumph Motorcycles at 678-854-2010. 2005 TRIUMPH TIGER www.triumph.co.uk $10,500
5 BIG MAMA
4 SAMSUNG STYLIN’
3 GARAGE SCOOTER
2 CUT THE CORD
2
5
SAMSUNG SGH-e715 $249.99
The Samsung SGH-e715 mobile phone is
small enough to fit in a shirt pocket and
stylish enough to take out on the town.
Encased in a sleek, blue and silver flip
body, this 2.9-ounce phone has a VGA-qual-
ity camera with built-in flash, zoom and
brightness adjustment. You’ll also find an
easy-to-use scroll menu. The screen is a
65,536-color TFT LCD. Since this is a GSM
dual-band phone, you can use it almost
anywhere in the world. Forty polyphonic
ring tones are available, plus MMS and
SMS. www.samsung.com
BOSCH FRAMING SAW $190
Bosch took its formidable worm-gear saw,
got rid of the cord and called it the Direct
Connect. Now you plug the extension
cord directly into the saw. This eliminates
the problem of the saw and cord parting
company or the end plug getting snagged.
It also makes the saw easier to store. The
saw has a lightweight composite shoe and
a sawhook. It’s sold at hardware stores and
home centers. Contact Robert Bosch Tool,
1800 W. Central Rd., Mount Prospect, IL
60056; 877-267-2499. www.boschtools.com
CYCRA PRO MECHANICS ROLL CART
$89.95
Rolling mechanics seats sure beat work-
ing in a bent-over position or putting all
your weight on your knees. Cycra’s Pro
Mechanics Roll Cart can handle up to 300
pounds. It features a tray that holds a bev-
erage, fasteners and tools, and a lower stor-
age area. The cart has a comfy seat and is
not affected by oils and solvents. You’ll find
it at auto parts stores. Contact Cycra at
740-929-0188. www.cycra.com
LG ELECTRONICS TU-62SZ71D
$6000
LG Electronics has the right idea: Put a digi-
tal recorder and a TV in the same piece of
equipment. The LG TU-62SZ71D is a 62-in.
integrated rear-projection DLP HDTV with
a built-in High-Definition Digital Video
Recorder that features a 160GB hard drive.
This gives you up to 10 hours of high-
definition recording time and 80 hours of
standard-definition recording. You also get
a TV Guide On Screen Program Guide and
2-tuner picture-in-picture. www.lge.com
3
4
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM 135
2 ON A ROLL
RYOBI ROLLING TABLE SAW $250
Ryobi deserves credit for putting wheels
on its 91-pound table saw—a boon for those
of us with packed garages and limited
work space, and for others who need a tru-
ly portable work-site table saw. The 10-in.
saw has a rip capacity of 27 in. to the right
of the blade and a maximum depth of cut
of 3
5
/
8 in. (2
1
/
2 in. with the blade at 45˚). A
15-amp direct-drive motor powers the 36-in.
thin-kerf carbide blade that comes with the
saw. That way, you get the power you need
to cut tough materials. The saw is sold
at The Home Depot. Contact Ryobi, 1428
Pearman Dairy Rd., Anderson, SC 29625;
800-525-2579. www.ryobitools.com
2
Great
Stu≠
RIDGID HAMMER DRILL $170
Ridgid has decided to pull out the stops
and enter the power tool market with a
line of handheld power tools and station-
ary shop machines. Its 9-amp,
1
/
2-in. ham-
mer drill has a safety clutch to prevent
kickback if its bit jams while drilling a
deep or diffi cult hole. A pulse drilling
mode allows you to work with more
finesse than you usually can with a tool
this large and powerful. Auto-stop brush-
es halt the drill’s operation when they
are worn. It’s sold at The Home Depot.
Contact Emerson Tool, 8100 Florissant
Bldg. T, St. Louis, MO 63136; 800-474-3443.
www.ridgid.com
3
GRADY-WHITE TOURNAMENT 225 $58,495 WITH YAMAHA 225 OUTBOARD
Grady-White redesigned its dual-console Tournament 225 to be more of a true dual-
purpose fishing boat and family fun cruiser. Features include a roomy enclosed head
that doubles as a secure storage area. There’s a large bow seating area with available
sun platform, and a sleeper seat that’s comfortable whether the passenger is sitting or
lying down. Contact Grady-White at 252-752-2111. www.gradywhite.com
1 FISH ’N’ FUN
3 ENTER THE FRAY
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
GREAT STUFF

Insulating Foam Sealant is the fast, easy
way to fill the holes and cracks where insects get into
your home. It expands to fill any size hole and sticks to
anything. Pick up a can anywhere home-improvement
products are sold and visit www.dowgreatstuff.com.
Directions:
Remove cap.
Fill cracks.
Lie on couch.
*
*Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company
6 NO COMPLAINTS
4 PRETTY PICTURES
ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ALBUM 2.0
$129.99
4
LUFKIN PROSERIES $9-$20
To develop its ProSeries tapes, Lufkin
addressed complaints tradesmen had with
tape measures. It increased the abrasive
resistance of the blade by giving it a nylon-
powder-coated finish. Then, it reinforced the tape’s end hook with a stainless steel
strip. It also added a toggle-activated blade lock that keeps the blade firmly in posi-
tion. The tape measures are available in sizes of 12 to 35 ft. Contact Cooper Tools,
P.O. Box 30100, Raleigh, NC 27622.
6
5
5 SNIPPETY
BUCK KNIVES MODEL 720 $28
Buck Knives pruning shears were created
with hunters in mind. Say you’re in a tree
stand and there’s a branch sticking into
your line of sight. Snip, snip. End of prob-
lem. The shears are also great for clearing
around the campsite and for gardening
tasks. The 8-in. high-carbon blades are
Teflon coated to resist residue buildup.
The Model 720 8-in. shears come with a
handy belt sheath. Contact Buck Knives
at 800-326-2825.
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
If you use a digital camera, you know
how important it is to be able to find, fix
and share your digital images. Adobe
has topped itself with its new Adobe
Photoshop Album 2.0, which lets you
keep all your images in one place, orga-
nized by date. A mouse click gets your
images from camera to computer, and
you can transfer pictures from any CD,
scanner, computer or mobile phone.
Features include realistic painting effects,
stylized type and color correction. You
can restore old pictures, try out various
photo album formats, and create slide
shows, calendars and greeting cards.
You also can save your memories on
CD or DVD. www.adobe.com
ET2025

Round Crown
Flat Crown
Brads
Flush Stapling,
Safe Installation of
Low Voltage Wiring
and Brad Nailing
3
in
1
Put up insulation & upholster furniture
with 4 sizes of Flat Crown Staples
Arrow Fastener Co., Inc., 271 Mayhill Street, Saddle Brook, New Jersey 07663
Canada: Jardel Distributors, Inc., 6505 Metropolitan Blvd. East, Montreal, Quebec H1P 1X9
United Kingdom: Arrow Fastener (U.K) Ltd., Unit 5 ZK Park, 23 Commerce Way, Croydon CR0 4ZS, Surrey
Available at home centers, lumber yards and hardware stores, wherever fine tools are sold.
© ARROW FASTENER COMPANY, INC.
Repair a drawer or build a
picture frame with a 5/8”nail
Install wire & cable with 4 sizes
of Round Crown Staples
DOUBLE
INSULATED
E50931
• Drive Power
Adjustment Dial
• Patented Jam-Proof
Mechanism
• Trigger Safety Lock
• All Steel Channel and
Track for Durability
• Unique Wiring Attachment
for Safe Installation of
3/16” & 1/4” Wire
Great
2 RINGS ROCKS
1 LIGHTS OUT
1
OPTRONICS NIGHTBLASTER GL-100
$85.99
If pesky varmints are chewing up your
garden, digging up your lawn or other-
wise giving you fits, you can put out their
lights with the help of the Varmint Light.
The NightBlaster GL-100 mounts to a 1-in.
scope and uses a stock-mounted switch.
The quartz halogen light with red lens
projects a 100-yard beam. The light is
sold with a 6-volt rechargeable battery.
Contact Optronics at 800-364-5483.
LORD OF THE RINGS DVD $29.95
Now you can take the last of the trilogy
home. The final brick in a house built
of love and sweat, “The Lord Of The
Rings: The Return Of The King” is now
on DVD—with even more of the film to
enjoy. A second disc included in the pack-
age offers hours of additional content:
behind-the-scenes specials, featurettes, a
preview of The Lord Of The Rings video
game from Electronic Arts, and more. So
relive the magic of one of the best stories
ever told. The DVD is available in both
widescreen and full-screen versions.
www.lordoftherings.net
2
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
Gorilla Glue is the versatile,
interior/exterior adhesive
ideal for most household
fixes and building projects:
furniture repair, crafts,
woodworking, and general
repairs around the house.
Bonds wood, stone,
metal, ceramic & more!
Incredibly strong and
100% waterproof.
REQUEST YOUR FREE
INFORMATION KIT!
www.gorillaglue.com
1-800-966-3458
i
Great
Stu≠
1
2 NO SMOKING
JUSTICE BROS. DIESEL FUEL
TREATMENT $7.25
If you drive a diesel-powered vehicle,
check out Justice Bros. Diesel Fuel
Treatment. The product helps keep fuel
tanks, lines and filters free of gums, resins
and tars that can build up and interfere
with proper fuel delivery. It also cleans
injectors and protects against rust. Other
benefits include easier cold-weather start-
ing and exhaust smoke control. Contact
Justice Bros. at 626-359-9174.
2
DREMEL CORDLESS ROTARY TOOL
$70
Dremel steals a page from the laptop
computer industry playbook by using a
lithium-ion battery in its rotary tool. The
10.8-volt tool produces the same rpm as
Dremel’s corded models: 5000 to 35,000.
And it offers 50 percent more torque than
its predecessor. Another advantage of
the lithium-ion battery is charge storage.
The new battery retains 85 percent of its
charge after four months in storage, com-
pared to a complete loss of charge for a
nickel-cadmium battery. Additional batter-
ies cost about $40. The rotary tool comes
in a kit that includes a 3-hour charger and
60 accessory bits. It’s sold at hardware
stores and home centers. Contact Dremel,
4915 21st St., Racine, WI 53406; 800-437-
3635. www.dremel.com
1 PAGE BURNER
3 DASH THRASH
3
JUST DASHES FADE AWAY $129.99
Old soldiers fade away, and so does the
color of your dash over time. Bring back
the original shade or change the color to
suit your mood with the Fade Away vinyl
dye kit. Included are 2 quarts of dye and
a disposable sprayer. Call 800-247-3274.
www.justdashes.com
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
Stoner, Inc. • 1070 Robert Fulton Hwy. • Quarryville, PA 17566 • 1-888-STONER3 • code # VPM3U
invisibleglass.com
Invisible Glass
®
cleans windshields, windows, and
mirrors so well, you’ll think they’re invisible.
Other cleaners use water and foamy soaps or
surfactants. These low cost ingredients remove basic dirt,
but leave streaky residues that are difficult or impossible to
remove. Invisible Glass cleans fast with a powerful, non-
streaking, non-abrasive formula. It contains NO soaps,
surfactants, or foams so you get optimum clarity.
Quickly removes dirt, bugs, sap, oil, grease, smoke,
plasticizers, fingerprints, and more from glass. Removes
road oils and restores “water beading” on windshields.
Improves day and night visibility for cruisers, racers,
commuters, and others who take driving seriously. Learn
more, get special offers, and find other retail stores at:
Now available at leading auto parts stores:

Makes Glass INVISIBLE

AUTOMOTIVE AISLE
6 KICK ME
CREEPER SWEEPER $7.95
We can’t think of anything worse than rolling along on your creeper and getting
stopped dead in your tracks by debris (nuts, bolts, etc.) on your garage foor. Now you
can beat the heartbreak of wheel bind-up with Creeper Sweeper replacement casters
for creepers, tool carts, table saws—just about anything that rolls on casters. Creeper
Sweepers clear the way with an integrated brush system. The casters are avail-
able in a 2
1

2-in.-dia. threaded stem mount. Call Butler & Associates at 858-549-9338.
www.creepersweeper.com
ADIDAS ROTEIRO BALL $130
With the game of soccer becom-
ing faster and more technical,
traditional ball construction has
reached its limits, Adidas says.
Adidas’s new Roteiro ball, the
ofcial match ball of UEFA EURO
2004, uses a thermal bonding
process to ensure a perfectly
round shape and exact size. The
ball also features a new Power
Balance Technology and a seam-
less surface design. The ball
delivers maximum energy return
regardless of trajectory origin.
The Roteiro is sold at soccer spe-
cialty stores. Contact Adidas at
800-448-1796. www.adidas.com
6
5 5 TOUGH LOVE
IRWIN PRO UTILITY TOOL
ORGANIZER $25-$30
The Irwin Pro Utility Tool Organizer is
lightweight but it’s built to take a beating.
It’s made from an untearable 600-denier
polyester fabric. The bag has 26 pockets, a
square-shaped, plastic-reinforced bottom,
reinforced sides, heavy-duty metal hard-
ware, a solid rubber handle and a shoul-
der strap. Contact Irwin Industrial Tool,
8935 N. Pointe Executive Dr., Huntersville,
NC 28078; 800-464-7946. www.irwin.com
4 CLEAN SWEEP
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
BUY TOOLS THAT LAST A
LIFETIME
WITHOUT PAYING
FOR THEM THE
REST OF YOUR LIFE.
Hot-forged, full-polished,
rust-resistant and loaded
with pro-grade
features. All in
competitively priced full
sets. Expect to have them
a good, long time. For a
Stanley
®
retailer near you,
call 1-866-340-6909 or visit
www.stanleytools.com.
Go online at
www.stanleytools.com to
receive a rebate coupon of
up to $10 direct from Stanley.
See website for details.
©
2
0
0
4

T
h
e

S
t
a
n
l
e
y

W
o
r
k
s
Great
2 BIG PUSH
1 A BETTER BEAD
GENERAL ELECTRIC CAULK $4-$6
GE improved its caulk by reformulating
it and improving its container. The latex-
silicone product is called Caulk-It, and it
comes in a well-designed squeeze tube
that is shaped for an easy grip. Remove its
cap, unclip the nozzle from the container
and thread it on the tube. The nozzle is pre-
cut, but you can cut it back to make a larg-
er opening. Part of the reformulation proc-
ess, says GE, was to improve the caulk’s
ability to extrude and be tooled to a neat
finish. Thread the cap back on when you’re
done and hang the tube from its hook. The
caulk is sold at hardware stores and home
centers. Contact GE Sealants & Adhesives,
16325 Northcross Dr., Huntersville, NC
28078. www.gesealants.com
OUTBOARD PROPULSION SYSTEMS
Bolt a self-contained 4-cylinder 150-hp die-
sel or a 275-hp small-block V8 package to
the transom of your 16- to 25-ft. boat. The
engine powers a large-diameter jet drive
via a toothed Kevlar belt. The unit’s fiber-
glass shell spreads the weight of the pow-
er pack over a larger area as compared to
an outboard. Contact Outboard Propulsion
Systems at 386-676-7685. www.jetpac.us
1
2
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
(Please turn to page 144)
“The World’s Best” Just Got Better!
performance circuitry that provides maxi-
mum laser warning
• X-treme POP protection…the most
effective counter measure to the newest
traffic monitoring technology
Order yours today. We’re so confident that you’ll
love it, we’ll let you test-drive it for 30 days –
completely risk free!
The all new, technologically advanced Passport
8500 X50 from ESCORT. The legend lives on.
For more than 25 years ESCORT has set the
standard. Now, we’re raising the bar…again.
Introducing the all new Passport 8500 X50…
the most advanced and most sophisticated
detector ever!
The Passport 8500 X50 takes radar/laser perfor-
mance to the X-treme:
• X-treme radar range…up to 50% more
range on the all-important K and Ka bands
• X-treme laser response…high
Introducing the all New
Passport 8500X50
N
E
W
!
©
2
0
0
4
E
s
c
o
r
t
I
n
c
.
Passport 8500 X50 Blue $339.95
Passport 8500 X50 Red $299.95
Plus S&H. OH residents add 6.5% sales tax
Escort Inc. 5440 West Chester Rd.
West Chester, Ohio 45069
Department 406864
DE T E C T T HE DI F F E RE NC E
www. escortradar. com
Call Toll Free 1-888-837-2678
1-888-8 ESCORT
HOT
SHOTS
ENJOY THE DYNAMIC PHOTOGRAPHY THAT
MAKES POPULAR MECHANICS UNIQUE AND
CAPTURES THE ESSENCE OF THE WORLD
AROUND US.
Makes a great birthday or anniversary gift for
the Popular Mechanics reader on your list!
Choose from our increasing library of images used
in the pages of Popular Mechanics. Simply go to
popularmechanics.publishedphotos.net to view all
images available.
Sizes range from 10” to 20” and prices start at
$27.00. Framing options are available for an addi-
tional charge.
To view all images and to place an order, visit
popularmechanics.publishedphotos.net
Prices do
not include
shipping,
handling
and sales
tax. Please
allow up to
four weeks
for delivery.
1 UNHOOKED
GRABB-IT $39.95
How many times have you snagged yourself trying to twist the hook out of a big fish?
The Grabb-it grabs and locks the hook, giving you complete control for safe removal.
It makes fishing a lot more fun. The Grabb-it is 20 in. long. Contact Bob Patterson
Products at 608-848-6911. www.muskie.com
Great
Stu≠
MIDWAY BASEBALL $39.99
Taking the genre of baseball video
games to a new level, Midway’s new MLB
SlugFest: Loaded is truly a knock ’em
down, drag ’em out battle to the finish.
It’s the only game that lets you pelt your
opposition with pitches, start brawls
with other players and pump up your
adrenaline. SlugFest includes the Baseball
Mogul engine, a well-known fantasy
baseball program to make things even
more realistic. Because you also can play
online, Baseball Mogul truly adds depth
and excitement to the game’s Franchise
Mode. In fact, playing the game online
lets you see an onscreen sports ticker
that includes a live MLB news feed from
MLB.com. Other features include turbo-
speed running, huge collisions and, of
course, the ability for a player to catch
on fire. www.midway.com
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
2 SLUG IT OUT
1
3
4 GREAT CRATE
HORSE PAL FLY TRAP $225
If biting flies are driving you away from
your yard or pool, check out the Horse Pal
trap. We did, and it works. The odorless
trap lures flies in the horsefly/deerfly
family and uses no baits or chemicals.
All you have to do is periodically dump
the dead flies from the collecting jar. The
trap is available from Horse Pal. For more
information, call 888-685-2244.
3 NO-FLY ZONE
CHEVY RACING CRATE ENGINE
$4999
If clapped-out Yugos are zipping past
you on the highway, consider repowering
with a Joe Sherman Racing Development
350-cu.-in. Chevy crate engine. Complete
and ready to run with a dyno-proven 450
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Holly Avenger 4-barrel carb. For informa-
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3
4
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
G
No single-tip spark plug can make
a spark this big. SplitFire’s
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combustion, and more
powerful performance,
SplitFire
®
has the extra
spark you’re looking for.
Call toll free 1-800-224-plug (7584) for a retailer near you, or visit our website at www.splitfire.com
©2004 Old World Industries, Inc.
speak to the style-conscious crowd. To
turn the heads of more serious photog-
raphers, Casio turned to respected lens
maker Canon for the compact optical
zoom lens in its flagship product.
The EX-P600 keeps a low profile.
Small and sleek in EXILIM fashion,
this impressive package is completed
by a large 2-in. TFT (thin-film transis-
tor) LCD. This display is the canvas
Casio uses to educate users on how
changes in ISO (film speed) and aper-
ture setting affect images. “If I’m new
to photography and don’t know what
aperture is, I can go into Aperture
Priority Mode, press Set, and aper-
ture steps come up on the screen,”
says Scott Nelson, Casio’s Director of
Product Development.
The EX-P600 has 9MB of internal
storage—convenient for the times you
don’t have a memory card. In addi-
tion to JPEG and TIFF still images, the
camera shoots Motion JPEG video and
records monaural WAV audio files.
PANASONIC DMC-LC1
It looks like a film camera and acts like
one and even boasts a lens from Leica,
one of the most respected names in
film photography. But the Panasonic
DMC-LC1 is definitely digital. Featur-
ing traditional focus rings and aper-
ture controls on the lens and familiar
shutter speed settings on the top of the
camera, the DMC-LC1 was designed to
nudge film photographers into the digi-
tal world by maintaining the comfort-
ing look, feel and size of a traditional
35mm camera.
The 35mm equivalents of focal
lengths are printed on the lens bar-
rel, so users who usually shoot with
a 50mm lens, for example, are able to
shoot at their accustomed length.
The camera produces a finished
product that’s closer to a positive
image—or a slide—than a film nega-
tive. The Leica lens has 13 elements
that are said to provide strong edge-
to-edge sharpness and linearity. The
camera includes a 2.5-in. LCD. PM
For more technology features check
out the PM.Zone Web site
POPULARMECHANICS.COM/TECH
JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
DIGITAL VEGAS
(Continued from page 93)
Take your sex life to a whole new level
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For advertising rates call Jackie O’Connor (212) 649-2930 or Rene Biemer (212) 649-2929. Fax: (212) 258-2253.
Send advertising material to: 810 Seventh Avenue, 6th Fl, New York, NY 10019. 1-800-333-4948.
Buyer’s Guide
WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM | JUNE 2004 147
Over 1,500 Accessories
for your Dremel
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0RDER

RAISE
the
OCTANE
of your
AFTERSHAVE
unscented aftershave / cologne additive
Dr. Cutler is a biologist and
President of Athena
Institute, co-discoverer of
human pheromones in
1986 ( 12/1/86; Time
Newsweek 1/12/87).
Ph.D. from U. of Penn,
post-doc Stanford, au-
thored 35+ scientific pa-
pers, 6 books, and wrote
the pheromone chapter
in a medical textbook.
Not in stores. Call (610) 827-2200 - Order online -
or send to: Athena Institute, Dept PMx�
1211 Braefield Rd. Chester Springs, PA 19425
www.athenainstitute.com
Dr. Winnifred Cutler
RAISE
the
OCTANE
of your
AFTERSHAVE
TM
10X is designed to enhance your sex-
appeal. Vial of 1/6 oz. added to 2-3 oz.
of your aftershave or cologne lasts 4
to 6 months. Contains synthesized
human sex-attractant pheromones.
Not guaranteed to work for all, since body
chemistries differ, but does work for most
men. Not an aphrodisiac. Patent Pending.
Also: Athena Pheromone 10:13
tm
for Women.
Please send___ vials of @$99.50 10X for men
and/or___ vials of @$98.50 10:13 for women
for a *total _____ by: money order, check  
 Visa, M/C, Disc.______-_______-_______-______
exp_______signature____________________
Name ___________________________________
Address_______________________________
City/State___________________ zip________
Tel:______________email _____________ PMx�
(*PA add 6% tax, Canada add US$7.50 per vial)
www.athenainstitute.com
“I want to order another of the
Athena 10X. This stuff is
amazing! My wife loves to
smell me when I am in bed;
all night long she wants to
be close. And everywhere else
I go, women come closer and act
kind of friendly, they get kind of
softer and easier to be
around. I am not
real good with
women but
since I started
with the 10X, it
is amazing.
Women are
really inter-
ested in pay-
ing attention
to me all the
time now.”
MY WIFE WANTS TO BE
CLOSE ALL NIGHT LONG
WHEN I USE THE 10X.
(actual testimonial
received 5/24/01)
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TOUGH STEEL BUILDINGS
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SOLAR/WIND ELECTRICITY, ENERGY
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Information: $4 Catalog 785-364-4407
www.KansasWindPower.net
LEGENDARYCHINESE 12KWENCLOSED
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1-888-454-1193
RUN YOURPORTABLE GASOLINE
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Easy, lowcost, do-it-yourself change over
kits. www.uscarb.com or 800-553-5608
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603-300-7081 www.solar-stream.com
APPAREL
SUSPENDERS WITH PATENTED NO-SLIP
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WHOLESALE PRICES ON CLOCK
WORKS, jewelry craft supplies, beading
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Catalog $3.00. $4.50 refundable with
first order. Eloxite, Dept. 45, Box 729,
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SAVE $ on Auto Repair! Hot NewBook,
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BOX 5106 Cerritos, CA 90703
AMSOIL SYNTHETIC LUBRICANTS.
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WE ABSOLUTELYGUARANTEE
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www.rctoys.com 1-800-979-9794
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DIMENSION EDGE AMERICAN
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ELECTRIC BICYCLE KIT- Complete Unit
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GOLDEN EAGLE BICYCLE ENGINES
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Up to 250mpg & 30 mph w/200 +lb
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517-410-2793
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BOATKITS - PLANS - PATTERNS - SUPPLIES
Catalog $5.00, Clarkcraft,
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716-873-2640. www.clarkcraft.com
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To reach over 9 million prospects, or for additional advertising information, call McNeill Group, Inc toll free at: 1-800-394-5157, ext. 29
fax: 1-215-321-9636, or e-mail: sstauber@mcneill-group.com. Thank you for choosing Popular Mechanics Classified Advertising,
385 Oxford Valley Road, Suite 420, Yardley, PA 19067. For subscription inquiries call 1-800-333-4948.
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2
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LEARN AUTOMOTIVE ELECTRONICS
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ENGINES, MOTORS & STARTERS
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153
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Popular Mechanics (ISSN 0032-4558) is published
monthly by Hearst Communications, Inc., a unit
of the Hearst Corporation, 959 Eighth Avenue, New
York, NY 10019, U.S.A. Victor F. Ganzi, President, Chief
Executive Ofcer; George R. Hearst Jr., Chairman;
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SPEED SQUARE
SAW GUIDE
For a lot of basic carpentry chores,
especially framing with construction
lumber, perfectly square cuts aren’t
crucial. Mark a square line on a board
and make the cut with your saw. If
you’re reasonably careful, you’ll get
a decent, serviceable cut. But lots of
times close isn’t good enough. Sid-
ing joints and trim joints are just two
examples that come to mind. One great
way to get square cuts easily is by using
a speed square as a saw guide. Just
mark the board with a cutline. Place
your saw so the blade will cut on the
waste side of this line, and slide a speed
square against the outboard base of the
saw. Hold the square frmly and push
the saw against it. (You also can use
a framing square or a combination
square to get similar results, but both
lack the wide face to push against that
the speed square has.) This technique
takes a couple of tries before it’s com-
fortable, but once it is, a good square
cut will always be close at hand.
FLEXIBLE
DRYWALL KNIVES
Many people who do their own work
around the house don’t mind hang-
ing a little drywall once in a while. It’s
heavy work and usually very messy,
but it goes up fast—after all, each 4 x 8
sheet covers 32 sq. ft. of wall or ceiling
area. But fnishing drywall with tape
and multiple coats of compound—
to say nothing of all the sanding
required—is almost universally dread-
ed. In fact, the process is so annoying
that people frequently give up on doing
a good job and just hope that a couple
of coats of paint will make everything
okay. Unfortunately, it won’t. One rea-
son that fnishing work is so hard is
that many people use the wrong tools.
They try to spread the compound with
the same 4- or 6-in.-wide stiff-blade
putty knives they’ve had around the
house for years. A better idea is to buy
some fexible knives like the ones that
professional fnishers use. These tools
are commonly available in hardware
stores in 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-in. widths
that should handle just about any joint
you are likely to encounter. (You can
tell if they’re fexible enough by simply
bending the blade as shown here.) The
fexibility of these tools allows them to
better follow the slight contours of a
joint, leaving behind a smoother, more
uniform surface that requires far less
sanding. And, as we all know, the less
sanding the better. PM
We cannot be responsible for loss of unsolicited queries, manuscripts or photos. For return, they must be accompanied by adequate postage. AS A SERVICE TO READERS, Popular Mechanics publishes newsworthy products, techniques
and scientifc and technological developments. Due to possible variance in the quality and condition of materials and workmanship, Popular Mechanics cannot assume responsibility for proper application of techniques or proper
and safe functioning of manufactured products or reader-built projects resulting from information published in this magazine.
154 JUNE 2004 | WWW.POPULARMECHANICS.COM
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