AstroMediaShop

Fitzroy Storm Glass, Radiometer, Goethe Barometer, Galileo Thermometer, Solar Photo Paper, Pocket-Phonograph, Klein Bottle, LCD thermometers, fire steel, magnesium bar, mini compass, pocket phonograph, magnets, etc


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Gadgets

Apart from our famous cardboard kits, we also sell gadgets and gizmos that might interest you and that intrigue curious young minds. They are also ideal stocking fillers or little presents for children’s birthday parties.

The Edison Pocket-Phonograph


It was a historic moment when Thomas Alva Edison succeeded in recording his voice in 1877. This Pocket-Phonograph goes back to one of his patents as well:


A thin strip with grooves carved into one side is connected to a resonator. The recorded sound can then be played back with the nail of your thumb.


Comes with four messages:

“Merry Christmas”, “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations”, and “Good Morning”

Construction in pictures

 

Einstein’s Drinking Duck


Probably one of the best known scientific toys in the world, also known as “Happy Drinking Bird”. If you regularly fill his glass with new water, he will forever carry on sipping, seesawing back and forth.

This toy had been banned in Europe for a long time because of its former harmful filling. But now Astromedia have found a version that has full EU approval and is safe.


Hand made in Europe

Filling: Original Ecoluvon TM

Height: 18cm

Download Instructions

 

Twinky - the smallest kaleidoscope in the World!


Only 2 inches small but already an AstroMedia classic, not only for children’s birthday parties. The colourful cardboard ring holds a special spectral film that turns any light source into a fan of breathtaking rainbow colour. Just hold the Twinky close to your eye and look through it.

 

The Galileo Thermometer


The principle of this thermometer was discovered by Galileo Galilei: Suspended in the liquid inside the cylinder are a number of weights which are attached to sealed glass bulbs. As the liquid in the cylinder changes temperature, its density changes and the bulbs rise or fall to a position where their density is either equal to that of the surrounding liquid or until they bounce against other bulbs. The bulbs differ in density by a very small amount and are ordered in a way that the least dense is at the top and densest at the bottom so that they form a temperature scale. The temperature can be read from an engraved metal disc on each bulb.


This Galileo Thermometer is specifically made for AstroMedia with a range of 18ºC-24ºC and an accuracy of 1ºC. Most other thermometers of this kind only show the temperature in 2ºC steps.

A beautiful instrument, very decorative, and a wonderful present!


Height: 30cm

Contains 7 coloured glass bulbs with silver degree signs.

 

The Pocket Kite


Incredible: a key ring that turns into a proper kite of nearly half a metre wingspan! It doesn’t need any rods, it is stabilised by two air pockets. The whole kite fits into a tiny pocket that is attached to a key ring. A fantastic toy for young and old. Complete with 15 metre string on a spindle.


Pocket diameter: 9 cm

Size: 42 x 38 (+70) cm

 

The Solar Zeppelin


Air ship shaped balloon, 3 m long, 0.6 m thick, made from thin black film. The sun warms up the enclosed air and makes the zeppelin rise, even in winter. Complete with 50 m string.


Caution: don’t let go of the string, the zeppelin can rise several thousand metres!


Download Instructions

 

Temperature sensitive card


A fascinating gadget: wherever this black film is warmed up to 28°C it changes its colour to red. If the temperature rises above that, the colour changes to orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. At 34°C it turns black again.


Explore your thermal surroundings!

 

LCD film thermometer (set of 3)


  1. a)Room thermometer, range 14°C to 31°C in steps of 1°C, 18 x 130 mm, self-adhesive

  2. b) Round thermometer, range 14°C to 32°C in steps of 2°C, diameter 50 mm, self-adhesive

  3. c)Fever thermometer, range 35°C to 40°C in steps of 1°C, 18 x 90 mm. Just press on the forehead for 5 seconds to measure the body temperature.

 

Solar Photo Paper


A very special photographic paper from the early days of photography. Just put objects or negatives on the paper and expose it to the sun light. The outlines of the objects will show up as a silhouette.

Developing and fixation with tap water and without the need of a dark chamber. Non-poisonous, made from recycling paper, instructions in German, English, and French.


Pack of 20 sheets, 140 x 190 mm

 

£0.90


No 276.TWI

£5.28


No 454.ETP

Here’s a link to Rob Ives’ website where he shows how to build a really nice player for our Edison strips.

£17.70


No 323.ETE

Here’s a YouTube video of the Duck in action.

Read about Miles Sullivan, the inventor of the Drinking Duck!

£13.26


No 894.GTH

£7.92


No 411.SFP

Solar Photo Paper, large


A very special photographic paper from the early days of photography. Just put objects or negatives on the paper and expose it to the sun light. The outlines of the objects will show up as a silhouette.

Developing and fixation with tap water and without the need of a dark chamber. Non-poisonous, made from recycling paper, instructions in German, English, and French.


Now also available in (nearly) A4.

Pack of 10 sheets, 215 x 280 mm

 

£8.82


No 871.SFG

£3.48


No 442.TDR

£6.48


No 413.SLS

£5.28


No 448.WBK

£3.48


No 449.FFT

The Fire Steel


Produces 3000°C hot sparks when struck with the enclosed tool or another sharp edged steel object (knife back). These sparks set fire to any dry tinder like paper or magnesium chips (see below) even in wet conditions. Can also be used for signalling in the dark.


A hot present for all camping, outdoor, and survival fans. Complete with leather strap and tool to strike it with.

 

£6.48


No 443.FES

The Magnesium Bar


Bar made from 99.95% pure magnesium, as was used for photographic flashes. Chips can easily be scraped off with a knife. These are the ultimate tinder and burn with a 3000°C hot flame that ignites even wet material. The bar itself is as safe as a bar of aluminium. The perfect addition to our fire steel and can be threaded on its leather strap.


Size: 9 x 19 x 80 mm

 

£4.62


No 445.ZMG

The Mini Compass


Not much bigger than a finger nail but still a fully working magnetic compass. Fully sealed and liquid damped.


Diameter: 20 mm

 

£1.08


No 451.MNC

 

The Micro Compass


You want it even smaller? Here you are: our smallest magnetic compass. Fully sealed and liquid damped.


Diameter: 12 mm

£0.90


No 450.MCC

 

Cardboard sunglasses


Ultra light and flat sunglasses with top quality Baader SolarGold film glasses. Colour neutral and UV protection (EU norm). Ideal as a book mark, spare glasses, in the glove compartment, etc.

£1.38


No 273.ASS

The Goethe colour glasses


These cardboard specs are equipped with a special multi-spectral film and turn every light source into a colourful rainbow (see Twinky above).


Comes with an explanation of Goethe’s theory of colours (in German).

 

£1.98


No 275.GFB

 

Cardboard 3D - glasses (red/green)


For watching specially made 3D photographs and movies that require red/green glasses.

£1.98


No 270.RGB

 

Cardboard 3D - glasses (red/cyan)


For watching specially made 3D photographs and movies that require red/cyan glasses.

£1.98


No 271.RCB

 

Cardboard 3D - glasses (polarisation filter)


For watching specially made 3D photographs and movies that require polarisation glasses. Filter at 45 and 135 degree angle.

£1.98


No 277.PBR

The Pythagoras Cup


The Pythagoras Cup (also known as Greedy Cup or Tantalus Cup) forces its user to drink only in moderation. Due to its clever construction you can only fill it to a certain height, so that the moderate drinker can enjoy her/his drink in peace. The greedy one on the other hand, who fills the cup above this level,  will find that the contents will drain completely through a hole in the bottom of the cup, leaving her/him with an empty vessel. It is said that Pythagoras invented this cup to teach his workers moderation in the consumption of wine.


Ceramic, handmade in Greece

Height: 105 mm, Diameter: 95 mm

 

£18.60


No 895.BDP

The Fitzroy Storm Glass - Test tube shaped


The Storm Glass Barometer came into general use during the early 1700s. Sailors attached this instrument to the mast of their ship and by interpretation of the constantly changing crystal formations within, relied upon it to forecast the weather for nearly 250 years.

Admiral Robert Fitzroy, Captain of the HMS Beagle and later Governor of New Zealand, while in command of Charles Darwin's expedition, conducted a detailed study of the instrument. He refined the formula and published observational guidelines.

Our Fitzroy Storm Glass consists of a sealed glass tube, filled with a mixture of water, ethanol, camphor, potassium nitrate, and ammonium chloride. Depending on the weather conditions you can observe different forms of crystals form and dissolve, helping you to predict the weather.


A very decorative instrument, an interesting conversation piece, and a great present!

(The storm glass is made from glass and children should only handle it under adult supervision!)


Height: 16.5cm, Diameter: 3.2cm, Wooden Stand: 7.5 x 7.5cm

 

£12.54


No 897.FSG

The Goethe Table Barometer


The Goethe Table Barometer consists of a partly filled glass sphere with stand that has a spout attached to its bottom. The spout is open at the top, which allows the atmospheric pressure to change the level of the liquid inside. If the pressure rises, the liquid is forced back into the sphere against the internal air pressure and the level of the liquid inside the spout drops: fair weather is to be expected. When the atmospheric pressure drops, the level in the spout rises and predicts rain or storm. 

Including syringe and tube for easy filling of the barometer and blue food dye.


A beautiful instrument and a great present!

(The barometer is made from thin glass and children should only handle it under adult supervision!)


Height: 16.5cm, Width: 9.5cm

 

£13.92


No 896.GTB

The Crookes Radiometer


The Crookes Radiometer, also known as a “light mill”, consists of a partly evacuated glass bulb, inside of which a set of vanes is suspended on a vertical axle. One side of the vanes is black, the other silver coloured. When exposed to bright light, the vanes start rotating about the axle.

Most people think that this is due to photon radiation pressure. Nevertheless, that can’t be the reason since the vanes turn so that the dark sides retreat from the source of light. If radiation pressure would be the reason for the rotation, they would rotate in the opposite direction since the radiation pressure on the silver sides is twice as large (photons being reflected instead of absorbed). The actual reason for the rotation is that the black sides get warmer than the silver ones. The gas molecules inside the glass bulb are heated by the black sides of the vanes, bounce off them and so, according to Newton’s third law, accelerate them in the opposite direction. The Radiometer is in fact a heat engine!

Our Crookes Radiometer is a beautiful glass instrument and never fails to fascinate!


(The radiometer is made from thin glass and children should only handle it under adult supervision!)


Height: 19cm, Diameter: 6cm

 

£18.60


No 893.RMT

The Hand Boiler


If you hold the bottom glass bulb of the hand boiler in your hand, something astonishing happens: The blue fluid inside the bulb starts to rise through the spiral into the top bulb. When nearly all of the liquid is in the top bulb it also starts to bubble, as if it would be boiling! For this reason the Hand boiler is also called “Love Meter”; if someone can make a fluid boil with just the heat of her/his hands they must truly be exceptional lovers!


(The Hand boiler is made from thin glass and children should only handle it under adult supervision!)


Height: 17cm, Diameter: 6cm

 

£11.76


No 898.HWK

Iron Filings


With these cast iron filings you can make magnetic fields visible! You can sprinkle the filings on a sheet of paper or cardboard and hold a magnet underneath, or you put them into a glass jar and hold the magnet against the glass. You get especially impressive results if you also fill the glass with a thin, clear oil. The nearly free-floating filings will adjust themselves into bizarre spiky forms along the magnetic filed lines. Strong neodymium magnets are ideal for these experiments.

Glass and magnet are not included.

Grain size: 0.05-0.15mm

Weight: 40g

 

£1.68


No 424.MEP

The classic test tube shaped Storm Glass - not available at the moment.

The Fitzroy Storm Glass - Tear drop shaped


The Storm Glass Barometer came into general use during the early 1700s. Sailors attached this instrument to the mast of their ship and by interpretation of the constantly changing crystal formations within, relied upon it to forecast the weather for nearly 250 years.

Admiral Robert Fitzroy, Captain of the HMS Beagle and later Governor of New Zealand, while in command of Charles Darwin's expedition, conducted a detailed study of the instrument. He refined the formula and published observational guidelines.

Our Fitzroy Storm Glass consists of a sealed glass tube, filled with a mixture of water, ethanol, camphor, potassium nitrate, and ammonium chloride. Depending on the weather conditions you can observe different forms of crystals form and dissolve, helping you to predict the weather.


A very decorative instrument, an interesting conversation piece, and a great present!

(The storm glass is made from glass and children should only handle it under adult supervision!)


Height: 11.3cm, Diameter: 6cm, Lacquered Wooden Stand: 8cm

 

£23.40


No 899.FSK

The Newton Window Prism


A rainbow for indoors! This large crown glass prism projects beautiful spectral colours into your room.

Hang the prism in a south-west or south-east facing window. When the low standing sun shines through the prism, it projects fields of spectral colours sideways into the room. A slight spin of the prism makes them dance around beautifully.

The English mathematician, physicist, and philosopher Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) was one of the founding fathers of the modern theory of colours. Prisms, like this one, were commonly known as a toy in Newton’s time, but he was the first one to use them for scientific experiments, leading to his famous Theory of Colours.


Includes box, strong hanger, and a description of Newton’s famous prism experiments.

Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 30 x 200 mm

 

£17.70


No 577.NFP

The Magnetic Egg Timer


A special egg timer: the sand doesn’t land on a uniform hill, but forms strange structures!

In a normal egg timer the sand always forms a flat cone onto whose tip the sand falls from above. This sand in this egg timer does the same, until you stand it in its wooden stand. Suddenly the sand forms a round hedgehog-like spiny structure. As soon as you lift the egg timer from the stand, the structure dissolves into the well-known cone shape. How is that possible?

The secret lies in the small, but strong neodymium magnet in the stand and in the fact that the sand consists of cast iron granules that are attracted to the magnet.


Includes wooden stand with magnet

Dimensions: 150 x 55 x 55 mm

Download Instructions

 

£14.88


No 464.MSU

The Bottle Tornado


A small tube that has a great effect: Take two ordinary plastic drink bottles, fill one two thirds with water and  then connect the two bottles with our Bottle Tornado tube. When you now turn the bottles upside-down, the water starts gurgling down, creating a large vortex (you might have to squeeze the lower bottle a bit to start the process). If you add some dye, the tornado looks even more impressive.


Dimensions: 48 x 33mm

 

£3.60


No 463.FTO

The Mini Compass, Set of  10


If you need to equip a group of small explorers with compasses, this set of ten fully sealed and liquid damped magnetic compasses is exactly what you need!



Diameter: 20 mm

 

£4.98


No 452.MCS

Set of 20 Ferrite Magnets


Set of 20 all-purpose permanent magnets made from a ceramic compound of iron oxide (ferrite). Ideal for homemade fridge magnets or for experiments with our iron filings (see above).


Height: 4mm,  Diameter: 8mm

 

£2.40


No 403.PMA

Neodymium Magnets:

These high-tech magnets are amongst the strongest industrial magnets in the world. It takes a lot of force to separate them and they can pinch you quite hard if you are not careful. Experience their incredible force acting through thick table tops and attracting iron from a long distance! You need to see it to believe it! The strong magnetic field can best be visualised with our iron filings (424.MEP) in a glass of silicon oil.

Hints: Try not to catch your skin between two magnets, as they can pinch quite hard. Also make sure that you keep the magnets away from magnetic data storage devices like hard drives and floppy disks, as they can be deleted by strong magnetic fields.

 

£4.38

No 428.NMY

 

£6.12

No 427.NMX

Neodymium Magnets 15 x 5 mm, Set of 4:


Diameter: 15mm, Height: 5mm

Set of 4 magnets

Neodymium Magnets 15 x 2.5 mm, Set of 6:


Diameter: 15mm, Height: 2.5mm

Set of 6 magnets

Neodymium Magnets 10 x 4 mm, Set of 6:


Diameter: 10mm, Height: 4mm

Set of 6 magnets

£6.12

No 404.NMA

 

Neodymium Magnets 7 x 10 mm, Set of 6:


Diameter: 7mm, Height: 10mm

Set of 6 magnets

£5.64

No 481.NMH

 

Neodymium Magnets 6 x 6 mm, Set of 10:


Diameter: 6mm, Height: 6mm

Set of 10 magnets

£4.38

No 480.NMQ

 

Neodymium Magnets 5 x 2 mm, Set of 20:


Diameter: 5mm, Height: 2mm

Set of 20 magnets

£4.38

No 423.NMK

 

Neodymium Magnet Balls 8 mm, Set of 4:


Diameter: 8mm,

Set of 4 magnets

£4.38

No 425.NMS

 

The Goethe Wall Barometer


Our Goethe Wall Barometer is hand blown from a traditional glass formula called “forest glass” in Lauscha, Thuringia in Germany. It is a copy of the original barometer from 1792/93 that was found in Goethe’s house in Weimar after his death. The slight green tinge of the glass and its texture make it look like a real antique.

The barometer is a sealed glass vessel with a long open spout and a glass ring on the top so it can be hung on the wall. On a day with average air pressure, fill the barometer about halfway with boiled or distilled water. You can use the enclosed dye tablet to colour the water, which increases the visibility of the water level in the spout. The higher the air pressure rises, the lower the water level in the spout will be. This indicates fair weather. If the air pressure drops, usually an indication of bad weather or a storm, the water level in the spout rises.

Make sure you don’t overfill the barometer to avoid water stains on your furniture or carpet when the pressure drops very low. To ensure accurate pressure readings, hang the barometer in a place with constant temperature (not over a radiator or in direct sunshine).


A very decorative instrument, an interesting conversation piece, and a great present!

(The barometer is made from glass and children should only handle it under adult supervision!)

Height: 245mm, Width 102mm,   Depth: 80mm

Download Instructions

 

£39.90


No 888.GWB

The Klein Bottle


Our Klein Bottle is hand blown exclusively for us in Lauscha, Thuringia in Germany. A Klein Bottle is an example of a non-orientable surface: a three-dimensional body that doesn't have an inside or outside, it has just one surface! You might be more familiar with the two-dimensional Moebius Strip: if you take a long strip of paper, twist it once and glue the ends together, you have a paper ring with just one surface. If you trace your finger along the surface of a Moebius Strip, you will see that you cover both sides without having to go across the edge. A Klein Bottle has the same property: you can get from the inside to the outside without having to cross the edge of a spout. In three dimensions this is only possible by cutting a hole into the side of the bottle and leading the neck through this opening. This is not an easy thing to do and you need to be a very experienced glass blower to accomplish it.

You can even fill the bottle with a fluid and then stand it on its opening. We should mention though that filling and emptying the bottle is not easy because of the trapped air, and cleaning the inside of the  bottle is virtually impossible.


A very decorative mathematical model, an interesting conversation piece, and a great present!

(Our Klein Bottle is made from glass and children should only handle it under adult supervision!)


Height: 16cm

 

£49.20


No 889.KLF

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Please contact us if you want to buy larger quantities e.g. for educational purposes. We can offer you the following discounts:

10 of one article: 5% discount

20 of one article: 10% discount

30 of one article: 15% discount

100 of one article: 20% discount

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If you have any questions about your order, please contact us by email and we’ll get in contact with you: AstroMediaShop@gmail.com