Saturday, October 27, 2007

For you Asimov fans

If you're familiar with the laws of robotics...

Rob's law of robotics: Your Roomba will always run out of power under the middle of the bed.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

BatteryMinder: does it really work?

This is the product I bought.

Followup: Look here for our followup article and 'interview' with the developer of the BatteryMinder.

What is does is pulse the battery with a low voltage, high frequency signal at the resonate frequency of either the sulfate bonds or the crystal formation (read the theory somewhere else) and returns those materials to the acid solution vs having the crystals gunk up your battery plates.

All the sources I looked at said it works. I got mine for half of what they sell for on the company website. I figured I'd throw $35 at the chance of not having to buy 6 new batteries for these Razor E100 scooters I'm working on for the kids. Those batteries are at least $20-$25 each in small quantities.

I'm thinking that the batteries are just 'dead' from sitting with no charge on them. That's a great way to kill one.

I'll probably throw it on the cars for a day from time to time as well.

I have a couple of batteries hooked up to it. The first one has been on it for 2-3 days, the second I hooked up in parallel today. Both are also on an automotive charger at a 2A rate. This is so that the BatteryMinder will see a 12V source and pulse the batteries for desulphation. It will not function below something like 10.2V IIRC.

So, we're tricking it into pulsing. If you do this, I'd make sure you don't have a shorted cell in your battery. That could be bad.

When I first put it on, I checked to make sure the batteries weren't getting warm. They are nice and cool, and battery #1 appears to be slowly accepting a charge. It's a 12V battery, first showed something really low like 1.3-3V after the first few hours on the charger.

Now, days later, it shows 6+ V off charge, so preliminary data shows it's working. I'm keeping a log of rough times and voltages so we'll see.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You haven't seen it all

Check this out: a gutter cleaning robot. From iRobot (the Roomba people) so you know it works unless your gutter is hideously corrupted.

Watch the video on that page.

I ordered a new Roomba SE 4220 today for $150 since a new battery is about $25, and the new one will also have the floor charger base (which it finds by itself and recharges on) as well as two new virtual walls, a remote, faster recharge time, bigger dust bin, etc. etc. Thought it worth the difference. I think I paid near that for just the base Red model a year and a half ago. We still have old Red and this new one will let me troubleshoot Red to see if it's his battery or him that's sick. He won't run right.

Wish him luck and send a get well soon card.

Here's a minor Roomba tip: Just wash those filters out with soap and hot water. Over a year of use and the new ones still look fine.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gelato ebike update #1

The pedals were cheap and cracked when I got it, so today I swapped them for some on a bike that will soon get junked.

So, standard pedals will fit. These were larger so its easier to pedal when hill climbing, cruising slowly for exercise, nearing your destination, sidewalks near businesses, etc.

Posted from the seat of the bike. :)

XJT Bidding

Bid results should be out in a while. I got to bid in phase 2, which is all the reserve stuff. I got an R4 line for 24-28 October, which means I'm on call from 9am to midnight. I hope to get at least R5 which is Noon to 3AM. Later Rx lines don't get called as much as I understand things.

Staffing looks pretty decent; most days there are still 20-30 pilots on reserve that don't get called. I want some time off to get the house affairs straight. (Sell the Cessna 182, sell my extra car, etc.)

I am #139 for reserve bidding, so I should get a relief line or builtup line in a month or two hopefully.

Update: I got an R5 line which is phone standby from 9AM-Midnight. According to my friend, those don't get called out much. 12 days off for Oct, and hopefully next month will get me a line.

I was two spots out of getting a line on my bid preferences.

Now I have to figure out whether I'm considered inexperienced as I have about 170 hrs on the plane now, and whether or not I have to consolidate or not.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saying of the Day

From time to time I come across one I haven't heard before, so I might make this a regular thing. Here's today's:

"If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is."

(Yeah, that's you & me and everyone else that likes to 'improve' it or see how it really works.)
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