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Gary_Gough

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About Gary_Gough

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    Gary Gough

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    Loon Lake, Sask. Canada

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  1. LIGHTWEIGHT EDC/backpack

    Short answer, badly The new flashlights help ( have a dirt cheap 10440 (( AAA size)) clipped inside my T shirt collar most of the time . 15 mins of silly bright ) but I have a tendency to carry a tool kit in my jacket along with meds.( my VOM might fit in an altoids tin except the test leads ) If you feel like splurging https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01BS8VMWW These things are $23 in Canukistan, 3 intensities so you can run for several hours if you don't need a spotlight, and has a rave mode and a signal mode ( two fast presses and it does one or two fast pulses )
  2. Hello from the Philippines

    Hi from Canada Paul.
  3. Kimchi

    Jar Rick gave me tastes great ( said the old guy with the chives ).
  4. survival related humour

    XKCD of course
  5. Yeah. In fact any larger Li-ion can start a fire if abused. Most laptops have a 40 to 60 watt hour rating, and if shorted can be producing several hundred watts until something melts, ruptures or burns. Airport security is largely there to make people think "something is being done" IMHO. The rules display a lack of any rational competence coupled with the old military pattern of getting ready to fight the last war. Air travel was a high profile target, and the old rules were the weak point ( cockpit crew were supposed to negotiate with high jackers having been subject to diverting flights before ). Since hard doors have been installed one, maybe two, loaded planes have gone down because of unstable flight crew members, and the handful of real terrorists have looked for other easy targets, like pedestrians. In terms of danger, consider how long it takes to pass 1,000 cars and trucks, and consider the odds of .1 % of the driving population being unstable. Every time we drive anywhere we are facing far worse odds then we ever faced flying. But launching a "war" on a tactic sells as a way to justify all sorts of nonsense ( beyond the basic idea being mental in the first place ), and people will agree to anything in the name of safety. Back on abusing cells. I'm thinking of making a video of fire starting using some Li-ion flat cells I have. One or two using Cat5 cable , paper and a cell, and maybe a couple of just short and film till they self destruct.
  6. Yep. The power banks are great and nearly disposable at the price. I've had one of these on my belt for over a year, https://www.aliexpress.com/item/High-Quality- Battery-Storage-Case-USB-5V-1A-POWER-BANK-Suite-18650-BATTERY-External-DIY-Kit/32773072957.html Uses those 18650 salvaged laptop cells , and with a hand selected 2500 mah cell gives my cell phone a full extra day of run time as a wifi hotspot One other nice point is I can pack a few extra cells and multiply the use time. Down side, the internal circuit is drawing a few microamps monitoring the cell , so should get a top off every few months in the pack ( free cells in a plastic box have a storage life measured in years so a second plus for carrying a few extra cells ) I've also got a few of these https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Dual-USB-Power-Bank-6x-18650-External-Backup-Battery-Charger-Box-Case-For-Phone/32805042325.html Loaded with 6 good cells that's 18,000 mah of storage ( over a week of use on a cell phone ) for $3.15 Canadian. Track record has been solid using 4 for over a year. + side 2 USB outputs, negatives ... once you snap ( ok bash ) the lid closed these do not come apart, also takes about a day to recharge from a standard USB port. It's a good idea to test and select 6 cells with 2500 mah of measured storage each. In use they are very lightly loaded so should work for years. Airports may take a dim view of these , but at 63 watt hours of storage they are under the 100 watt hour limit for shipping. I've got a couple of charging projects on the bench , but think those will fit better in the DIY mods thread
  7. Hi there!

    Well, I'm allowed to go on rants, pretty tolerant lot obviously. If you want to self promote there is a thread for that, but spam will get anyone blocked, also advocating blatantly illegal or morally dubious activities ( selling counterfeit money for instance ). Observations, experiences, suggestions, questions, all welcome. Debates do break out, generally civil ( I have to get back to @zackmars on one we had, after more research I've decided he's correct even if I still think my position is correct for my circumstances ) Disagreement is fine, personal attacks are not.
  8. Hi there!

    Hi. There are a few of us. I'm in northern Saskatchewan :-)
  9. Make it yourself [DIYs & Modifications]

    I'm just an old tech, maybe started a little earlier so I have had more time to learn from my mistakes.
  10. Make it yourself [DIYs & Modifications]

    Double edged sword. I like them, lower internal resistance so safer on high current devices due to less heating. Down side is they will deliver even more power into a short. So do put a fuse in the load and be careful to avoid shorts. If you are building power supplies to run unattended, these are a good idea. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3-7V-4-2V-3A-Li-ion-Lithium-Battery-Charger-Over-Charge-Discharge-Overcurrent-Protection-Board/32803131082.html If you want to know how healthy a cell is, and how safe, internal resistance is the way to go. Easy to measure with a fixed load ( say a 1 ohm resistor , 10 watt minimum as you can easily be running 4 watts through it, it will get hot ) and a volt meter. Measure the open voltage ( no load, I'll call this Vo ), put the load on and measure the voltage ( call that Vl ). Then plug the numbers into these. current (A) = Vl/R , since R=1 that just means you can say the current in amps = the voltage under load. The voltage drop from open is caused by internal resistance, so Vo-Vl = the drop across the internal resistance ( I'll call that Vi ) so Vi/A = the internal resistance. A high drain 18650 cell can be down around 15 milliohms , a run of the mill Li-ion maybe 70 milliohm , for context I've seen carbon zinc cells around an ohm. The internal heating and safe discharge rate fall right out of that. As a battery ages it will rise. You'll also notice a cell that is going to over heat in a vape could be fine in a flash light. Also short duration loads can be fine as it takes a few seconds for heat to build up.
  11. Make it yourself [DIYs & Modifications]

    Useful bits and pieces, while salvaging Li-Ion cells.This was an older Toshiba pack ,old enough that all 6 cells were totally shot. Still parts. The black rectangle is a self resetting circuit breaker ( also trips around 77C ) Great for protecting batteries and loads that are running unattended. Silver cylinder is a 99degree C thermal fuse with a 10 amp rating , so too hot or too much current ( and the breaker failing ) kills the pack for good, but before it is likely to catch fire. That brown tag connected to T1 and T2 is a thermistor to read temperatures. IC1 is a purpose made microprocessor , and IC2 is a common 4 K bit EEPROM with I2C communications. ( 512 byte ) I haven't dug any further and I'll assume IC2 just acts as scratchpad memory for the laptop to read and store battery information with a Micro monitoring voltages and temperature and reporting to the laptop. All useful stuff and other then the processor all reusable ( no docs for the MPU )
  12. In the labs

    Yeah the whole A B C M X scale makes for dramatic announcements , but could have just been scientific notation ( 9.3 x 10^4 is a clearer way of saying X9.3 ) but I'm sure there are early reasons. Like + and - on batteries , electrons have a - charge because Volta guessed wrong, by the time the actual charge was measured the labels were long established.
  13. Make it yourself [DIYs & Modifications]

    Always a concern with any batteries. The fact they store and release energy means they are potentially dangerous in proportion to how fast they can release energy, even if that is often a desirable trait. Historically, I had a NiCd pack short out while in my pocket, grabbed it and threw, then turned my motorcycle around and collected the pieces. A Li-Ion with no fuse running into a short can start fires, explode, and generally be messy. In series, if one cell is weak and the pack isn't protected and balanced, discharging can take that weak cell and reverse charge it. More then a few % and it's destroyed and maybe a hazard. Ripping apart laptop packs, as a rule they have their own microprocessor monitoring the voltage across each 3.6 volt section and if any one section drops below 3 volts the whole pack shuts off, they also have temperature sensors to shut down if going over safe temperature. Earlier packs had 109 degree thermal fuses, but those are often blown by being left in a hot vehicle so are much rarer now. I've seen a few packs with one section showing a reverse voltage ( generally in millivolts ) and those cells are shot. That's where a 3.6 volt pack has some good points, as it's all one parallel pack no part of it can ever be reverse charged by the rest, so just safe voltage limiting is easy. Using a fine wire fuse on each cell will stop any one bad cell from shorting out the full pack. The other major problem with Li-Ion is charging while cold ( say -20c ) The battery charges as a lithium metal battery, which has much higher storage density but tends to form internal metal bridges between plates. The bridge is a short, the cell discharges internally through that short and can create an even larger short followed by the unusual nasties. In normal use a Li-Ion doesn't out gas, so they are totally sealed ( with a safety vent to blow out if they are failing ) , a lead acid vents hydrogen in normal use so you can't really seal them. Most other cells have out gassing ( or in ) characteristics. A silver cell uses oxygen up as discharging. If you look at the really big current draw uses, cars for instance, each cell will have it's own fuse , the whole set are often cooled, sometimes by liquid, ( or heated to above 4 C ) and have a major effort put into monitoring and balance control.
  14. In the labs

    X9 flare right now, so this video. It's all worth watching. The time offset is to a great description of what is and isn't going to have problems in a Carrington event and why. Ps that one was estimated around X48 . The scale is a log and linear hybrid , X = 10M. M=10C ... letters are A,B,C,M,X with them being multiplied by the number, so X9.3 93,000 times a A1 , but the X scale is open ended so a X48 would be like a 4.8 in the next range if they had another order of magnitude letter. https://www.pscp.tv/TamithaSkov/1OyJArQlrgDxb?t=1400 Of note right now, Ham radio will be down for awhile, at least the HF stuff. UHF should be mostly ok and while 2 meter will be contending with a lower signal to noise it should be usable. GPS may get effected. Could be a good light show coming.
  15. Knots

    Trucker's hitch is a good one too.
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