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Welcome to BLOGical Thoughts

March 2017

 

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

It's that time of year. I have published the latest edition of the Campfire Cooking cookbook and have posted it. Feel free to download either the PDF version or the ePUB version of it. You can find more free cookbooks on our Cookbooks page.


Two of the laptop battery packs I got for recycling were not 18650 batteries. One of the packs consisted of 12 NiMH batteries. Those were D.O.A. The other pack consisted of 12 Lithium Ion batteries. Those were okay, but are smaller than 18650 batteries and they have less capacity. Average capacity of those 12 batteries is 733 mah.

I have now completed my capacity checks of all the 18650 batteries. The results are

Now all I have to do is come up with a good application for most of the batteries. I have 14 earmarked for power banks. Someone suggested I make up a 12 volt power source for my teardrop trailer. That's probably a good idea, as the lead acid battery currently in the trailer is 14 years old.


Quote of the day:

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
     Anonymous

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

* Revolt in 2100, 1953 by Robert Heinlein

Thursday, 23 March, 2017

I have finished charging the batteries I have extracted from old laptop battery packs, except for the batteries my charger does not recognize as holding enough charge to be worthwhile recharging.

I discovered, though, that those 'unrechargeable' batteries can sometimes be recharged. I wired one of them in parallel with a fully charged cell, then waited about a minute. This combination ensures that the fully charged cell will try to even itself with the other cell, resulting in a battery that has enough voltage be recharged in the charger. This works like a champ, so I have some more work to do with those batteries.

In the meantime, here are some statistics on the batteries I have recharged

Recycled 18650 Batteries

No. of
batteries
Capacity (mah) No. of
batteries
Capacity (mah)
4 500 - 1199 34 Currently not charged
6 1200 - 1299 3 1900 - 1999
5 1300 -1399 10 2000 - 2099
3 1400 - 1499 12 2100 - 2199
5 1500 - 1599 5 2200 - 2299
4 1600 - 1699 7 2300 - 2399
4 1700 - 1799 2 2400 - 2499
3 1800 - 1899 4 2500 - 2599

Total good batteries: 77
Average battery capacity: 1,880 mah


Quote of the day:

Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.
     Anonymous

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Tuesday, 21 March, 2017

I have eight more 18650 batteries to test and then I will be able to determine how well my free battery acquistitions went. So far, it looks like the average battery capacity is around 1,850 milliamp-hours. That's fairly good, but I'd like to see it higher.


As of April the 1st, Amazon will begin collecting Idaho state sales tax for items purchased by Idahoans. Be aware of this, fellow Idahoans. I know it will certainly affect my purchasing decisions.


The sole remaining Radio Shack store in Coeur d'Alene is closing its doors. It joins the ranks of Montgomery Wards, Hastings and Border Books as defunct merchandise chains to stop operations there.

This means I can no longer get over-priced parts on short notice. I will have to order them and wait two or three weeks for the parts to show up.


Quote of the day:

Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me for the path is narrow. In fact, just piss off and leave me alone.
     Anonymous

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Thursday, 16 March, 2017

I have recharged about 40% of the 18650 batteries from all the computer laptop battery packs I tore apart. There is a remarkable number of batteries that are still capable of 2,000 mah, but I have yet to get into the batteries that haven't held up well to storage. When I finish, I will post a list of the results of my scavenging.


I celebrated last Tuesday as not only Pi day (3/14, 3.14 - get it?) but also as the last day I have had snow on the roof of my house. The snow has been up there with no relief since November.

The berm I created in front of the house has also gone from 6 feet down to 4 feet. More of this nice weather and I will begin to think it's actually Spring.


Quote of the day:

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.
     Winston Churchill

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Friday, 10 March, 2017

I have received the fancy battery charger I ordered, and I am in the process of going through all my 18650 batteries with the charger. It can tell me the internal resistance of a battery and can determine its current capacity. I have already determined that those batteries that read less than one volt are not recoverable, so they will go to the recycler.

The average capacity of an 18650 battery is about 2,100 to 2,200 milliamp-hours (mah). That is, it can supply 2 amps for an hour, or 1 amp for two hours. The used batteries I have processed so far are down around 1,500 mah. That is still good enough to use them. Four of them in parallel would supply 1 amp for six hours. That is not to be sneezed at.

I will continue to use the charger to test and charge all the batteries I have. I'm sure there will be enough good ones to create some good power banks.

Update: I have done more batteries and it seems that the 1,500 mah range is on the low end. Some of the batteries I have done are up in the 1,800 to 2,000 mah range. When I finish looking at all the batteries, I may do a graph of how it all came out.


The INCCC calendar of events has been published. When they do that, I go through the calendar and put events that are less than 100 miles from here on our classic car web site. This task will take me a few days, as there are more events this year than in the past.



Quote of the day:

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.
     Dave Barry

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


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Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Tuesday, 7 March, 2017

Instead of trying to install a 12 volt car radio in my 6 volt, positive ground 1949 Plymouth, I have decided to stick with a portable MP3 player and bluetooth speakers. With that in mind, I ordered an MP3 player from a vendor on eBay.

I received the player yesterday and it was dead on arrival. I tried to charge the battery and my USB doctor said it was receiving the 5 volts, but was not drawing any current. I left the charger on for nine hours and nothing happened. I will have to return the thing to the vendor and I have started that process. What a pain.

I can actually get an equivalent player from Amazon for the same or lower price. I will look into that when my refund is processed.


I thought you might like to know what 121 18650 batteries look like. Here they are.


Quote of the day:

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it.
     Clarence Darrow

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Thursday, 2 March, 2017

There is a definite lack of support in this area of the country for electronic hobbyists. It's the little things I miss being able to purchase. This time it is single row male header pins. They come in a strip of 40 and you can clip off however many you need.

Not much to them, but they are priceless if you don't have any. If I order them from China, it will take at least a couple of weeks for them to get here. They are for a USB to Serial adapter board that took 3 weeks to get here. I'm really not willing to wait that much longer, but I may have to.


My old microwave oven went belly up on Tuesday. I had just finished using it to reheat some carne asada and was trying to warm up the tortilla and cheese. It went on for 2 seconds then quit. I think I blew the klystron, but who knows? The thing is 15 years old, so it has had a good run. Time to buy another one.


Quote of the day:

When I grow up, I want to be an honest lawyer so things like that can't happen.
     Richard Nixon
     as a boy (on the Teapot Dome scandal)

Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Hobby Stuff


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother