Friday, October 28, 2016

Fixing a Broken Lid on a "Sip" by Swell

If you bought a Sip by Swell from Target, congratulations, they are really a great product.  Insulated well they keep your drinks cold or hot.  If you were unfortunate enough, however, to try and disinfect the lid by boiling it, only to find that the lid no longer worked, well, I'm sorry for your loss.

I spent way too much time trying to figure out why the lid was broken, turns out the entire plastic assembly inside became disconnected from the metal casing, not just the top of it.  So, yeah, the screw part is plastic, not metal.

I thought then that I could just remove the metal casing to fix it, but during the process of trying to remove the casing with a pair of "long nosed vice grips" aka pliers, I luckily crimped the side sufficiently to lock the metal casing in place with the plastic threading.  So, voila, repaired.

I'm not sure if it counts as serendipity.  I mean, I did try to get a repaired lid, but not a repaired lid in this fashion.  Maybe the Persian Princesses of Serendip would know.  Have a good one.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Salvaging: Safety First

So, I cut myself the other day salvaging parts from an old dishwasher somebody left on the parkside.  It wasn't that bad, or at least that's what I tell myself.  I should have been wearing my work gloves, but it was one of those cliche thoughts, "What could go wrong?"  I mean, I don't like being paranoid, and it really did seem unlikely that I would generate enough force to put a 1/8" deep cut in my finger just from pulling off the electric motor.  Before you ask, yes I unscrewed it first.  Maybe it was from doing it at 5:30 in the morning.  It was dark.  Maybe it's like the darkside.  It's dark so the metal is more dangerous.  Maybe it was like my cave moment.  Or maybe the dishwasher was cursed!

I guess my hand hit the metal framing at the bottom and that was enough to cut it.  I was dumbfounded when I looked at my finger.  Blood was flowing.  My first reaction was to try to put pressure on it, but I decided to let the blood flow a little bit to make sure any dirt or crud would come out.  I mean, it was bleeding pretty substantially, but I had enough sense to know that it wasn't so bad that it wouldn't stop on its own.  I busted out the first aid kit when I got home, and put antibacteria cream on it and a bandage.  Now, of course, I wear gloves over the bandage, even a pair of vinyl gloves for when I do dishes, and, of course, the lesson here is, always wear gloves when doing your salvage jobs!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Generator Odyssey

So I was looking at some of my old video logs, and thought I'd write about generators.  I tried using an old fan to generate energy for the grid.  So I was spinning the generator for quite some time, and even burned out two fans with this experimentation, one was a salvage job I found on the sidewalk.  But, I never tested the fan with a light bulb.

You may have better luck, if you have a fan you don't need anymore that doesn't work, you could try wiring the plug using some spare wire to a lamp.  Connect positive to positive and negative to negative then spin the fan and see if you can generate light.  Maybe you can tinker with it, and get it to work.  I also tried doing it with a diode but that didn't work either.

I did manage to light a lightbulb using an asynchronous motor that I pulled out of a dead microwave, which I still have somewhere.  It was the motor that spun the tray.  But it only generates about 6W (watts), which isn't enough to be practical.  I mean I hooked it up to our battery charger and spun it for like an hour, but it wasn't enough to fully charge the AA batteries, of course.

I also bought some small solar panels, which can charge AA rechargeable batteries for $15 a piece, which worked for me before, but I tried hooking them up in series to charge my cellphone, but it didn't generate enough voltage.

I guess what's the point of it?  Why use electronics?  Basically, I only play anything when I get tired of meditating, because my ability to concentrate on the space and light in my own mind isn't strong enough of a distraction to overcome the static outside.

Anyway hope this helps if you are considering creating an electric generating home gym.

Have a good one.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Ceiling Fans

I've found people have often said that you want a fan to be blowing down on you in order to keep it running.  Well, this isn't always the case.  If it's cooler outside, having the fan blow upward toward the ceiling will cause air and heat to flow out through the roof.  It's not as good as having a fan blow up into the attic, which is doable, I've seen it, but this not being possible, having the fan blow up will cause a vacuum which will cause air to flow in from the outside.  I wouldn't recommend this though if it is already cooler inside than outside.

Windows: Building Envelope Improvements

So, I recently hacked some window coverings into the window that I found in a dumpster.  They were these large pieces of white styrofoam that I found in a dumpster.  I managed to fix the pieces into the window that only had those tinny aluminum mini-blinds.  My wife complained at first, but it was an improvement, and kept the heat out rather effectively.

We did end up getting curtains, and moved those pieces of styrofoam into the attic/crawl space to work as additional insulation.  Now everybody is happy.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Grey Water Recycling on a Budget

The key to capturing grey dish water is to capture only the rinse water, and not to rinse the dishes in the already captured water.

It's also a good idea to clean the bucket periodically.  Once a week with less than a teaspoon of bleach should do the trick.

Also covering the bucket when not in use will ensure mosquitoes can't breed, even if they do manage to find a way inside your home.

Have a magical day!