Tips – February 2018

About “Tips”:

While I’m mostly interested in things having to do with:

Computer stuff, especially small single board computers
Making money, usually via trading
Weather and climate (“Global Warming” & “Climate Change”)
Quakes, Volcanoes, and other Earth Sciences
Current economic and political events
(often as those last three have impact on money and climate things…)
And just about any ‘way cool’ interesting science or technology
Oh, and lately, cars ;-)

If something else is interesting to you, put a “tip” here as you like.

If there is a current Hot Topic for active discussion, try one of the Weekly Occasional Open Discussion pages here:

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/category/w-o-o-d/

You can also look at the list of “Categories” on the right hand side and get an idea of any other broad area of interest.

This ought not to be seen as a “limit” on what is “interesting”, more as a “focus list” with other things that are interesting being fair game as well.

The History:

Note that “pages” are the things reached from links on the top bar just under the pretty picture. “Postings” are reached from the listing along the right side of any given article (posting).

Since WordPress has decided that comments on Pages, like the Old Tips Pages, won’t show up in recent comments, it kind of breaks the value of it for me. In response, I shifted from a set of “pages” to a set of “postings”. As any given Tips Posting gets full, I’ll add a new one.

I have kept the same general format, with the T page (top bar) still pointing to both the archive of Tips Pages as well as the series of new Postings via a link to the TIPS category.

This is the next posting from prior Tips postings. Same idea, just a new set of space to put pointers to things of interest. The most immediately preceding Tips posting is: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/tips-january-2018/.

The generic “T” parent page remains up top, where older copies of the various “Tips” pages can be found archived. The Tips category (see list at right) marks Tips postings for easy location.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Tips and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to Tips – February 2018

  1. philjourdan says:

    Re: Google – They are like the blob! I found that an IP we had blocked previously (it had not returned even an in-arpa address and was blocked for originating port scans), was suddenly now the google address for a portion of the US! And not just the search engine, but for their news, analytics, drive, calendar, etc.

    Blackholing is the only way to go with Google. Trying to keep up with their address space is impossible.

  2. Another Ian says:

    E.M.

    If true ought to speed the move to somewhere else

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2018/02/o-sweet-saint-o-246.html

    And link / comments

  3. Another Ian says:

    “Automation, or Perhaps Not (At Least for a While)”

    “I wonder how many of the people making predictions about the future of truck drivers have ever ridden with one to see what they do?”

    And much more

    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2018/02/automation-or-perhaps-not-at-least-for-a-while.html

  4. David Walker says:

    Has anyone else come across this little nugget?

    H.R.193 – American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017

    Summary: H.R.193 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

    Shown Here:
    Introduced in House (01/03/2017)
    American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017

    This bill repeals the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and other specified related laws.

    The bill requires: (1) the President to terminate U.S. membership in the United Nations (U.N.), including any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body; and (2) closure of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

    The bill prohibits: (1) the authorization of funds for the U.S. assessed or voluntary contribution to the U.N., (2) the authorization of funds for any U.S. contribution to any U.N. military or peacekeeping operation, (3) the expenditure of funds to support the participation of U.S. Armed Forces as part of any U.N. military or peacekeeping operation, (4) U.S. Armed Forces from serving under U.N. command, and (5) diplomatic immunity for U.N. officers or employees.

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/193

    Can anyone verify that it is genuine, and if it is, how it has managed to sneak under the radar since 01/03/2017?

  5. Another Ian says:

    “Climate predictions come in two types, those that failed to materialise and those that are yet to fail to materialise. So much fun.”

    More at

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/05/quote-of-the-week-climate-predictions-edition/

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting article from Sharyl Attkisson about the patterns in Government intrusions into the lives of citizens through electronic monitoring.

    http://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/351495-it-looks-like-obama-did-spy-on-trump-just-as-he-did-to-me

  7. Another Ian says:

    Pickering on latest stock exchange moves

    http://pickeringpost.com/cartoon/7982

    Translation here if needed

    https://www.tab.com.au/

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    tab.com.au is unavailable from your location

    It appears you’re visiting our website from a country we’re unable to give access to.

    If you are in a country we’re licensed to operate in, get in touch and we’ll do all we can to connect you.
    That’s something you can bet on.

    131 802 (In Australia)
    +61 2 9407 0850 (International Betting)
    +61 2 8863 5320 (International Customer Service)
    Contact Help Desk

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    I’ve lived about 4 out of the last 10 years in Florida. I was “bi coastal” through most of it as the house and kids were still in California. We are presently working through the final process of escape from California…. No need to convince me.

    That said, I’ve been barefoot and a loose shirt all day today. California is devoid of humidity and largely lacking in bugs. There are no major storms (hurricanes and such). I love the geology and climate / weather of the place. THE only reason to leave is the politics of it. The people infesting it. So we are.

  10. Another Ian says:

    TAB is a major horse/sporting etc betting agency

  11. pouncer says:

    Hi,
    Regarding all the (badly informed) general new reporting on the past week’s US stock market volatility …

    I see that from November to about first of January the rates of change of all major stock indices — S&P, Nasdaq, Dow, — tracked closely. After Christmas the Dow started rising faster than the others. This week, up to the 26th, it was rising significantly faster. Then all indices fell together. Now all are rising about the same.

    Within the Dow itself, it looks to me as if most of the major companies are recovering, but Apple and Microsoft seem not.

    I try NOT to pay any attention to this sort of stuff but given how it has spilled over into the parade of idiocy lined up on PBS and NPR I find my self sort of curious about what persons of real interest and knowledge of markets (and the use and abuse of index measures) have to say.

  12. jim2 says:

    I used to run my IRA, but turned it over to a professional :)

    That said, the economy is doing well. Wages have begun to rise, which investors believe will cause inflation. Inflation will be met by the Fed which will raise interest rates. Higher rates mean borrowing is more expensive for businesses. So the belief is that the economy will cool down due to slower business investment.

    Actually, there have been many times in the past that the markets go up as interest rates go up, so given the economy appears healthy, that’s what I expect to happen in this case.

    That said, eventually the economy will actually slow, and then the markets will go down and stay down for a more extended period.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    25 pages?….

    That’s gonna take me a while to get to it…

  14. A C Osborn says:

    EM, not that long actually, it shows very dodgy handling of the Clinton Investigation and the FBI dleiberatley witholding and delaying the release of data to the oversight comittee.
    They learned more from the Newspapers than they did from Comey.
    Real skuldugery going on there and they are going to follow it up.
    It looks like Comey is toast unless he turns state’s evidence.

  15. philjourdan says:

    Great letter at Fox (via WUWT) – https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/08/peter-ridd-hits-back-at-jcu-james-cook-university-hard/

    I especially liked this paragraph:

    The conflicting realities of the Great Barrier Reef point to a deeper problem. In science, consensus is not the same thing as truth. But consensus has come to play a controlling role in many areas of modern science. And if you go against the consensus you can suffer unpleasant consequences.

  16. Another Ian says:

    Brings to mind that old saying about brains and dynamite

    “Greenpeace activist gets arm bitten off after hugging a white shark

    http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/greenpeace-activist-gets-arm-bitten-off-after-hugging-a-white-shark/

    Via http://joannenova.com.au/2018/02/weekend-unthreaded-198/#comment-1981645

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Well, just think of the joy he can have realizing he’s fed the poor hungry fish…

  18. jim2 says:

    Brings to mind that guy that cavorted with brown bears. He and girlfriend both became bear snacks.

  19. Another Ian says:

    “el gordo
    February 13, 2018 at 10:23 am · Reply

    Anthony Watts has a scoop.

    ‘A little bird told me that NASA GISS / GISTEMP might be on the chopping block since it’s clearly redundant, and alarmist, just recycling NOAA data by applying their own special sauce.’”

    http://joannenova.com.au/2018/02/midweek-unthreaded-11/#comment-1982133

    Reference is

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/12/the-zealous-overselling-of-climate-science-has-come-home-to-roost-as-budget-cuts/

  20. jim2 says:

    Any nominations?

    “Who has been programming the longest? We’ve had a claim from a 70-year old to be one of the world’s most durable programmers having started coding for a living in 1969 and still doing so today. Other contestants, step forward please! (Latest updates below.)”

    http://www.tnmoc.org/news/notes-museum/who-most-durable-programmer

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Well it would make my day! The whole GisTemp thing is just a bad warped re-mix of the NOAA data anyway. Yes, a couple of years of my life are wrapped up in porting and understanding it. But that understanding is that “It’s Crap Jim!”, so yeah, flush it and move on. There is no value added there.

    @Jim2:

    Well, I’m close…. My first program was in about 1972 or 1973. (I ought to look it up) So I’m about 3 or 4 years later than him. Pretty close though!

  22. Larry Ledwick says:

    I wrote my first computer program in the fall of 1968 at University of Colorado Engineering school but I have never made a living coding. I only do it to save myself time on command line tasks and for useful tools we use in operations to do frequently executed tasks..

    It was a punch card program to run a calcomp plotter to draw a maze – got an A for it, even though I forgot to lift the pen once and had a diagonal line across the maze. All the other students drew much simpler figures.

  23. llanfar says:

    I knew a developer that was professionally coding when I was born in ‘62. He retired from UHC 10? Years ago, but may still be teaching a masters course in knowledge engineering…

    He joked that OO and knowledge engineering occurred around the same time and that the OO crowd wore coats and ties, while they wore jeans.

  24. pouncer says:

    Eric Raymond of “Open Source” fame is considering the problems of Uninterruptable Power Supplies (now badly addressed by consumer grade devices.) http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7839

    Seems a topic that might interest you. But a quick question — in your personal experience (not in Apple or Disney commercial enterprises) when power does go out, it is a one shot deal? Or does the line go dead for a while, come back up, go dead again an hour or so later for a shorter time, and perhaps repeat until normal service (and reliability) is back? If you were designing UPS to solve your own problems, what sort of outage behavior do you expect?

    “Bouncing” supply may simply be a Texas / ERCOT behavior for all I know.

  25. pouncer says:

    Putting Disney and ERCOT in the same post risks creating confusion with EPCOT. Sorry.

    To be specific,
    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is not
    the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.

  26. catweazle666 says:

    I was first subjected to computer programming in December 1964 when I was in the VIth form at school and went on a 3-day computer course to Nottingham University at the beginning of the Christmas holidays, and I still program in a desultory sort of fashion to this day…

  27. cdquarles says:

    My experience with stand-by power supply for emergencies is that when the grid goes down, the local batteries kick in quickly, say 50 milliseconds or so, followed by the diesel generator. Blink of an eye stuff. The generator keeps running as long as needed and only the emergency powered equipment stayed on (I don’t remember how much diesel was kept on site, but then again, the grid never was out more than a few hours, and, as one of the county’s EMA consultants, we had a plan and tested it regularly, with changes made when after-action reports demonstrated the necessity and I loved working with the engineers … the politicians, not so much).

  28. Steve C says:

    @catweazle666 – Ah, now that was prime time for Nottingham University’s Colonel Shaw of the Chemistry department doing his annual explosives lecture tour around Bonfire Night. That lecture was a joy. I saw it twice at Sussex Uni on school trips in the late 60s, then several times more when I attended Nottingham University myself in the 70s. Did you go and see him? (NB: The answer “I can’t remember” cannot possibly apply … ;-)

  29. p.g.sharrow says:

    Undersea Super Volcano:
    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/02/13/8-trillion-gallons-huge-blob-magma-found-atop-undersea-volcano.html
    Japanese under sea caldera has 32 cubic kilometer “bubble” of rhyolite lava in it’s dome.
    Interesting time line of eruptions…pg

  30. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pouncer:

    It is highly variable. The outages that is.

    When the Loma Prieta quake hit, it was “one and done” for several days.

    During the Governor Democrat Gray “out” Davis years, we’d have dips and browns and occasional double drops a few minutes apart.

    The odd ‘car vs pole’ often has about a 15 minute drop until the utility guys reroute the block power (most blocks have ‘connectors’ at each end and if one end goes down they can open those switches and close the ones on the other end of the 2200 or 22kv lines (as needed)). Sometimes a double blink as the wires swing and short, then a drop as the large HV breaker pops.

    Eventually under Gray “out” Davis they adopted a planned rotating blackout of about 2 hours instead of random drops and browns. Enough to bother you but not enough to lose the fridge contents.

    Commercial Scale UPS is very very different from home UPS boxes. Hospitals expect to take a 2 second or so “dark time” as the Diesel starts (tested every month or three). Sensitive gear gets an added battery UPS in between, but the lights would still blink when I was working in hospitals. Computer rooms can’t take the blink, so they may have either a system that kicks in with fractional cycle speed (so hardly a blip in the powersupply of attached equipment). Some just run the UPS as a constant power source and just have line power float charging the batteries (so not even a blip) with the generators on the charging side on a switch.

    Home boxes work OK in my experience. We had the entertainment cluster on a 1 KW job for several years (thanks to Gray “out” Davis and the Dims…). Many drops of various kinds, and the TV didn’t even flicker nor the sound change. Lights were dandy on one too, as were all our computers.

    Generators are far more problematic. I had a 5 KW job that was able to support most of the house only slightly above idle. When the fridge cut in or the washer was run, it would sag and stumble for about a second as it throttled up to take up the load. This managed to kill one small wall mount AC unit that was not robust enough to such sags when it would kick in.

    I eventually sold it to a friend and got a 1 KW Honda that runs everything but the AC and Washer (we don’t really need heat…) just fine. I make sure there’s enough load on it to be at least 1/3 throttle so no power up lag issues to speak of.

    Out of all that, I came to this design approach for my Whole House UPS (that was never finished as the brown & blackout problem was enough PITA that even the rabid Democrats of California dumped his ass and elected a RINO… and power became stable again.) But the design:

    Large battery box. Figure about 2 to 4 “RV” batteries. Use a car charger to keep them float charged. Attach a few inverters to feed key circuits. I bought a 1 kw unit but never got the batteries so it has not been used, but still have it… Then route the entertainment cluster, the fridge, and selected lighting circuits to the inverter. Eventually I was going to add a 2 kW inverter for the washer / gas dryer and maybe another one for the wall AC. In that way “sag” likely will not happen and if it does, is limited to the one device. The inverter was something like $70 at Costco, so not a big cost. (Make sure you get sin wave or “modified sin wave” as needed by the given appliances). The Honda Generator then becomes the backup battery charger.

    Now in a power outage, I’d likely not notice until some alarm told me, so figured I’d likely put a ‘night light’ on wall power somewhere easy to see. When it is out, you have a problem… and when battery voltage gets to about 11 V have some alert sound. Then go fire up the generator to provide a constant charge of about 1 kW into the battery stack. (That was also the , measured, average power consumption of my home so would be plenty).

    Essentially this is a house sized version of the typical RV system. It is like what I had on my (liveaboard) boat when I was doing that. It has the added advantage that jumper cables from your car to the battery box let you start the car and / or use the car to charge the house box. (Mobile generator with gas tank ;-)

    But for just a few things in the house, the APC brand UPS boxes have worked fine for me. If you open them up, what do you find? A charging circuit, a 12 VDC battery, and an inverter… with some switches and noise makers attached ;-)

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, read his rant. Really it is 2 things:

    Batteries are sucky and die after a few years. (Well, duh…)

    It doesn’t automatically and nicely shut down my computer farm for me.

    As I don’t leave a computer farm running AND mine take a power fail nicely anyway AND they are on a UPS plugged into a UPS so the LAST thing to go down; I’m OK with a manual shutdown.

    Per batteries: His idea that a magical gel cell will last decades is a bit dim. Never seen it. Maybe 5 years. After that you must go to other chemistries than lead.

    So yes, expect to replace the battery every few years. I’ve done it. It isn’t hard. (Open trap door. Unscrew retainer. Unplug battery. Put in new battery, Screw in retainer. Close trap door.) IF you really want that super cell, put one in then… Or just run the wires outside to an external battery box and put in it a giant RV battery and be “good to go” for extended outages…

  32. Larry Ledwick says:

    But a quick question — in your personal experience (not in Apple or Disney commercial enterprises) when power does go out, it is a one shot deal? Or does the line go dead for a while, come back up, go dead again an hour or so later for a shorter time, and perhaps repeat until normal service (and reliability) is back? If you were designing UPS to solve your own problems, what sort of outage behavior do you expect?

    The answer to that depends a lot on where you live, (right down to the neighborhood).
    It also depends a bit on why you bought the UPS, and how you use your equipment.

    UPS systems generally do 2 things, They provide some line filtering and voltage level managment (transient spikes and peak load dips in line voltage) and also the obvious when the power goes out keeps the voltage up long enough to out last the outage or give you time to gracefully shut down and save your work.

    Some local grids are much dirtier than others regarding power spike. Years ago I lived just a few miles from the Coors plant in Golden Colorado and noticed my UPS would beep for one or two cycles at certain times of the day. It was reacting to start up load for lots of electric motors being started at Coors and near by manufacturing operations at certain times of the day.

    That was spike filtering and brown out smoothing in action. I currently live in a different location. My current UPS systems are Tripp-lite Tripp Lite 1500VA 900W UPS Battery Back Up
    [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009TZTGWK/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage]

    It has a useful digital front panel display with line voltage, and battery status info on it. Best I have found at consumer level prices.

    During the day my line voltage is 127-128 volts on the displays (I have 2 of them), late at night local line voltage drops to 126 v.

    In my experience and some research there are several types of power outages you will see.

    Single hard hit – power just drops suddenly and stays down:
    Car hit a power pole, lightning strike blows up a power transformer, or opens a circuit breaker.

    Most of those are clean sudden breaks in power like flipping a switch and the power outage lasts upwards of 15 minutes to an hour or so.

    Unstable power – repeated small hits and short outages followed immediately by return of power.
    This is typical of heavy snow and ice storms where snow is taking down tree branches and they take down power lines, but the power system tries to recover the load by switching around the outage. These are like you kid is playing with the light switch and very hard on equipment as the power surges with return of load can spike to several hundred volts due to inductance and back EMF generated by line connected loads. When I start to see that I simply shut down my system and go do something else for a while, even top of the line UPS systems struggle to manage those load variations.

    To help clean that sort of line voltage behavior I recently added a hospital class isolation transformer between the wall socket and the UPS systems.

    Tripp Lite IS500HG Isolation Transformer 500W Medical Surge
    [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00007KQKJ/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage]

    It provides physical isolation from the main power line, with only inductive coupling in the transformer to carry power. This stops cold in the tracks severe voltage spikes and makes power much more uniform as the electrical enertia of the transformer windings smooths out line dips and spikes to the UPS I now never see really brief power spikes and dips that make the UPS chirp one or two times.

    Most power outages in the US are only about 5-10 minutes long or less, with a few around 15 minutes and rare events longer than an hour. A UPS spends most of its time and effort managing line voltage dips (brown out) and voltage spikes (start up loads) and distant lightning strike spikes.

    These tripp-lite UPS units actually give near their rated reserve period. The desk top system I do most of my daily work on here at home is an I7 chip desk top, The CPU uses 95 watts and the display uses 70 watts, when in use normal load on the UPS is 165-195 watts (highest load is right after powering up and everything is starting up. (these are actual measure at the wall socket loads with watt meter. When on and fully snoozed it only uses 56 watts.

    I have several hours of backup power for the system at normal load, but watching the battery status meter bar I usually shut down if power is out for more than 45 minutes as once the outage runs that long it could be a long outage.

    I also have 4 deep discharge 12v batteries I float on trickle charge that I can feed an inverter with and using that as the base power plug my UPS into that if I had to keep the system up for an hour or more. But why do that because the internet connection will probably drop too in a long power outage.

    (which reminds me I need to replace those deep cycle batteries they are 10 years old now.)

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry:

    Part of why I designed my home system as “charger then batteries then inverter”. The charger isolates a lot in the transformer, then the DC ripple gets smoothed by the batteries, and finally the inverter produces a clean waveform. Only grounding issues would be problematic. (Lightning strike inside 100 yards can raise your ground plane voltage something considerable and fry things with reverse volts through the ground). So a nice fat lighting protector needed on inputs and ground.

    Before you dump the deep cycle batteries, put a load on them and measure what % of original capacity was lost / is still available. Would be very interesting information to have. Some deep cycle wet RV batteries have been known to last a very very long time if float charged and rarely discharged.

  34. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes according to West Marine (which has some good info on deep cycle batteries aimed at sail boat owners) they can last 20 years on float if well maintained. These are walmart specials which I float at 12.87 volts. (conventional lead acid deep cycle intended for trolling motors etc.)

    I have not tested them recently but I did let the water get a bit low on them so consider them “suspect”. With 2 of them wired in parallel their new capacity would have been 400 ah (100 ah each) so even at 50% capacity they are more than enough for light loads but amateur radio at full power out would suck them down pretty fast.

    They were originally setup for use with my amateur radio gear. There are now maint free 125 ah batteries available (thanks to the guys building 1000w car stereo sytems). But they cost about $250 – $280 each – as I recall I paid something like $39 each for these manufacture date of Feb 2006)

    [https://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-Maxx-Marine-Battery-Group-Size-29DC/20531539]
    They were rated at 114 Ah at 1 amp drain rate- (until it reaches 10.5 volts)

    I might put a watt meter on the output of an inverter and load them with a 100 watt incandescent bulb and see what they do if I get ambitious.

    I am heading down to the store to pick up some distilled water and will top them up and let them float for a while then check them.

  35. Larry Ledwick says:

    Ooops try 200 ah total for the pack new, and 100 ah at 50% capacity.

  36. pouncer says:

    The ESR thread has suddenly latched onto the Raspberry Pi as a controller… I’m finding it interesting to watch crowd designed, open source, never-funded project happening in real time.

    Replacing batteries in consumer devices isn’t hard provided the batteries are (a) still being made for the slot or (b) can be made to work in a “wrong” slot by some sort of rig. Apparently you and Larry have moved and rigged the “battery” part of the system clear out of the consumer device under the desk. Cool.

    I’m very very fond of the scene in the movie “Apollo 13” where the project lead walks into the room full of engineers and shows them a cylinder and a cube and a box of trash apparently raked out of a Fibber’s Closet. “We’ve got to make THIS work in the slot built for THAT using nothing but THESE.” Yeah. Life is like that. Several devices in my closet would work just fine if I didn’t mind a rubber band holding several AA batteries to the back and a couple of dangly wires snagging around the edges.

  37. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well I just popped the caps on these old batteries and one battery was a bit low and the cells on the other battery were very low on water.
    I am going to declare them critically wounded and due for immediate replacement.
    I just topped them off with tap water so as not to waste disitilled water on a battery that will be recycled in a couple weeks, (my local municipal water is pretty soft water).

    I will put it on the charger and let the voltage return to the float 12.87 for a day or so and then run a extreme discharge test this weekend and see how much life and capacity remain in 12 year old deep discharge batteries which were allowed to get very low on water. (these Walmart batteries are the old style where you have to pop off the caps and top up the cells occasionally.)

    They are currently charging at 12.90 V and the power supply is providing just a bit under 1 amp charge rate right now.

    In the next few weeks I will figure out what I want to replace them with and pickup 4 batteries to replace the 2 I have in the pack now. (That means I need to build a second enclosure for the other pair of batteries)

    If I can convince myself to buy the top line 125 AH batteries currently available at about $270 each that would give me 500 AH at an average discharge voltage of 11.65 volts (median between 10.5 volt discharge state and 12.8 volt float charge) or about 5.8 kw of stored electrical power.

    That would run my full size desk top computer for 35 hours, or a 4 watt LED desk lamp for 60 days continuous.

  38. Larry Ledwick says:

    Should have been KWH above not KW.

    I am going to modify my setup a bit, just ordered a simple (not smart) battery charger (2A/10A/50A) to add to my battery stack. Two reasons for this, there is always slight variation in cell resistance in a stack of batteries and as a result some cells will not reach full charge on a nominal float charge. To fix this, you need to periodically do a “topping charge” where you intentionally slightly over charge the battery for a short time to bring those low cells up to full charge (also helps reverse any stubborn sulfation). Best done by checking specific gravity of each cell and figuring out which cells are the tail end Charlies in the bunch.

    Second, in an emergency situation where you might have intermittent line power (say only power for 4 hours a day) you want a high amperage charger that can slam the battery pack while you have power to get it back fully charged while you have line power, or to minimize the time you need to run a gas powered generator to top the pack up. Portable generators are most efficient if run at a reasonable fraction of their design load. They are usually optimized to run at about 50% to 80% percent of their design power out load.

    So I can have that high power line charger for when I need it, and let the batteries float on my existing home made trickle charger. (without having to steal the charger in the garage I keep for use on the car.)

  39. Larry Ledwick says:

    If you haven’t seen this video of Boston Dynamics latest AI critters.

    New AI critters from Boston Dynamics work as a team and can open doors

  40. E.M.Smith says:

    The Twitter link gave a whole bunch of stuff, so much so the page took forever and never quite finished loading enough for effective scrolling to find whatever it was you were quasi pointing at…

    Your adventures in Battery Land have me once again pondering actually building up my Big Battery Box UPS… I think I’ll ponder it more all next week. Then get busy and do Deep Pondering the week after that! ;-)

    I’ve got 2 UPS boxes of 1 kW each with dead batteries on the back porch. ( I got my collection of UPS boxes doing shutdowns of various companies and being told to just chuck all the junk in the dumpster… Asked and was told if I wanted them to take them… But that was a decade+ ago and batteries are a consumable.) So all I really need is a big battery box and some wires and I’d have a couple of kW of very good UPS with long duration…

    Or maybe I’ll wait until we have a power outage again. We’ve had stable power for a couple of years now…

  41. Larry Ledwick says:

    Here try this direct youtube link for the same video.

    Boston Dynamics robot dog opens doors

    My battery pack has been very helpful on a few occasions. I have never really had to stress it, but the one thing I really like about it is since the batteries are essentially large car batteries I could use the car alternator to charge them if all else fails. Although it would be horribly inefficient regarding fuel used for electrical energy stored unless I made it a secondary function to some other use for the car like setting them up to charge while I ran an errand.

    A year ago the took down our power for an hour 2x so they could connect a new apartment complex to the grid. It was a ho-hum affair for me as I had plenty of power to do other things.

  42. jim2 says:

    Has anyone else programmed in Ladder Logic? It’s sort of like a ROM, but implemented in macro devices.

  43. LG says:

    Predicting climate temperatures isn’t science – it’s science fiction. Emeritus Professor of Physics at Princeton University Will Happer explains.

  44. pouncer says:

    Any number of users have up-hacked boat-, car-, and RV-batteries to extend the U time of a UPS.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Rework-a-UPS-with-Massive-Capacity/

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-computer-UPS-last-for-hours-instead-of-m/

    http://www.instructables.com/id/UPS-Battery-Upgrade-15-Hours-Backup-Time/

    All such look about as safe and beautiful as my hypothetical Palm-Pilot with the AAA rechargables duct-taped to the back… Even if it works, how often do you need it _TO_ work?

    On the other hand, a cinder-block rocket-stove kinda fits that category, too. Works when you need it, and when you need it who cares how it looks?

    Interesting effort, any how.

  45. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pouncer:

    It isn’t really complicated enough to need an “instructables”. I get the impression those folks were trying to make something more complex than it needed.

    The internal gel cell connects with 2 spade lugs. Just take a chunk of wire, attach 2 spade lugs to one end and battery clips or connectors to the other end. Plug spade lugs in where internal battery would go, and clip other end to car or RV battery. Done.

    IFF you really want it to be used that way a long time and want the battery cover closed and can’t find an existing wire sized hole, then drill a hole in the case and stick a rubber donut grommet in it. Pass the wires through that.

    Really, all that is being done is the battery is being moved outside the case and up-sized.

  46. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Yeah… California has been dealing with them since 1899 or some such. Supposed to be tasty if cooked right…

    There are also capybara in Florida and one seen up around Mississippi, so spreading. Some folks will be all worked up about this. BUT, they were native to North America until about the Clovis Event. They were part of what got wiped out in the impact event. I’m happy to have them return to their normal range… It would be fun to see a rodent a kid could put a saddle on and ride ;-)

    The thing to worry about are the 2 species of Python loose in the Everglades. Those things are big enough to eat people and the occasional small pony…

  47. Larry Ledwick says:

    Will pythons eat Tide Pods?

    You just need to find a natural control – make python skin clothing fashionable and put a bounty on pythons and you can probably hold them for a while but the only cure is probably several years of winters cold enough to freeze the everglades for several weeks a year. (or a natural predator conditioned to prefer python as prey, and another predator conditioned to eat python eggs.

  48. philjourdan says:

    Re: Python predators. Nature has a way of balancing itself. I suspect that some of the fauna down there will develop a taste for the eggs soon.

    Re: Capybara – Maybe that will replace Mutton busting. :-)

  49. Larry Ledwick says:

    Maybe we need to take one of the natural predators and raise them on python eggs so they recognize them as food.

    The problem is the mature pythons are pretty much an apex predator (any thing that can battle and kill an alligator should be respected)

  50. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry:

    I’d say to just advertise open season on pythons and offer a bounty of a box of shells for each skin turned in… Wonder how Python Jerky tastes? Gator jerky is nice… There’s enough Cajuns and Swamp Folks to make that a regular gig until they are all gone. Have road side stands selling Python steaks and burgers… Python breakfast sausage…

    Who’s your apex predator? 8-)

  51. Larry Ledwick says:

    They have already gone part the way there with a big contest to harvest pythons, unfortunately a month long contest is no significant threat to the population. You need relentless year round pressure.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/winners-florida-s-python-challenge-capture-snake-15-feet-125-n527226

    https://www.sfwmd.gov/our-work/python-program

    There is also the option to poison them with acetaminophen, somewhere I saw an item where someone was suggesting releasing prey species that had acetaminophen packs on a collar. Since pythons eat their prey whole seems it would work.

    https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1939&context=icwdm_usdanwrc

  52. Larry Ledwick says:

    They have already gone part the way there with a big contest to harvest pythons, unfortunately a month long contest is no significant threat to the population. You need relentless year round pressure.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/winners-florida-s-python-challenge-capture-snake-15-feet-125-n527226

    https://www.sfwmd.gov/our-work/python-program

    There is also the option to poison them with acetaminophen, somewhere I saw an item where someone was suggesting releasing prey species that had acetaminophen packs on a collar. Since pythons eat their prey whole seems it would work.

    https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1939&context=icwdm_usdanwrc

  53. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm think my last post got eaten by the spam filter (may be 2x copies)

    [Reply: Looks like an unfortunate filter for a banned person matched the middle of the drug name for Tylenol so it went to the bin… -E.M.Smith]

  54. jim2 says:

    Did anyone know libtards came up with a test to determine if a work of art has enough man-emancipated women?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test

  55. jim2 says:

    The movie, Black Panther, is being leveraged for political gains. The movie, in part, is a black fantasy about an obscure but advanced African nation that decides it must share ts technology with people of African descent around the world in order to help them conquer their oppressors. The movie is being used to register blacks to vote – as if there weren’t enough of those efforts already. Dimorats practically do everything but get in the voting booth for some blacks, and who knows, they might even be doing that.

    I wonder if voter registration was planned all along of if that was thought of afterwards.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/374343-black-voter-registration-effort-launched-at-black-panther-screenings

  56. E.M.Smith says:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/two-thousand-mice-dropped-guam-parachute-kill-snakes-f2D11685572

    Looks like it’s a known and used strategy. BUT, for the giant pythons in Florida one might need to put whole bottles of Tylenol inside small goats…

    As this is likely to generate some discussion I’ve taken “tamino” out of the spam filter as it tripped on ace-tamino-phen…

  57. Larry Ledwick says:

    Back on the battery pack process, continuing to trickle charge these 12 year old batteries. After I topped them off with water I noticed an interesting change, the trickle charger voltage meter has been slowly dropping the last few days. When I discovered the batteries were very low on water the trickle charger was holding a voltage of 12.87 volts on the batteries. Over the last few days since I added the water, that voltage has been very slowly dropping, now at 12.80.

    I presume that implies that the internal cell resistance has dropped. The batteries are now noticeably warm to the touch. The trickle charger is now showing about 2 amp charge rate.

    Using my infra-red thermometer, one battery has cell temperatures ranging from 100 deg F and 97 deg F (measuring the electrolyte in the top of the cell (interesting way to see differences in cell heating. The other battery that was not as low in water is at cell temps of about 81-82 deg F.

    I just got the full power automotive charger in the mail going to put a higher amp charge on it and see how they behave.

    I did find this web page while shopping for deep discharge batteries which actually gives good ampere hour rating information on their batteries and the change in total energy delivered depending on how rapidly the battery is discharged (presumably the difference is in energy lost to heating at the higher current rates.

    http://www.odysseybatteries.com/pc2250.htm

    I will finish this later, just had one of our servers crash – back in a while

  58. Larry Ledwick says:

    server crash is someone else’s problem now – checking database.

    After shutting off the trickle charger the battery stack voltage is settling down at about 12.31 V

    I just turned on the automotive charger set on 10 amp charge rate and it is holding the battery at 13.31 slowly climbing to 13.44 volts and I am starting to get just a little bubbling in the cells so it is taking a charge. It has been charging now at 10 amps for about 30 minutes.

  59. Larry Ledwick says:

    Batteries have been off the charger now for a bit over an hour, cell electrolyte temp is still close to 102 deg F in the most abused battery, and battery voltage has settled to 12.23 V. I will let it settle for a few more hours than run another 10 amp charge cycle.

    (I need to pickup a real battery hydrometer to actually measure what is going on in the cells, their cheap floating ball version is pretty useless and tells me the battery is dead.)

    This will be a continuing saga for a few days before I do a high load discharge to see how much life is really available in these abused 12 year old batteries. Then I will pickup some new batteries and let these go to recycle.

  60. Larry Ledwick says:

    Found another good battery info doc which discusses the technical details of lead acid battery voltage.

    http://www.rencobattery.com/resources/SOC_vs-Voltage.pdf

    According to the chart on page 2 titled “12 Volt Lead Acid Battery State of Charge (SOC) vs. Voltage while battery is under charge” my battery pack is toes up (ie dead).

    With electrolyte temp still near 100 deg, and after resting about 2+ hours the battery stack voltage is down to 12.15 which on that chart shows the battery has about 30 – 35% state of charge. This after a couple days at 2 amp charge rate, and an hour at 10 amp charge rate after topping off the dried out cells with water. (very likely it has a high resistance internal short from the sulfate build up)

    I knew it was toast, but cool to get good reference info to work with.
    Given this info I doubt there is much to be learned by doing a full discharge test to 10.2 volts after the battery fully cools down.

    That said this period of tinkering has given me some hints on things I want to put on the rebuilt battery setup.

    1) I want the ability to physically disconnect the trickle charger while I physically connect the high rate charger to avoid possibly killing the trickle charger with the high amperage charger.

    2) I want the new setup to keep the digital voltage meter connected to the batteries even when they are disconnected from the inverter and connected to the high amperage charger.

    2a) I need to wire a good in line digital amp meter in series with the output line so I actually know how much current I am drawing from the pack.

    3) The high amperage charger has no power switch you turn it on by plugging it in – bad designer bad!

    4) Have a real battery hydrometer on hand ( my old one walked off, and places like walmart don’t sell real glass bulb hydrometers only their half assed floating ball hydrometers.

    5) I found you can use an infra-red thermometer to measure the electrolyte temperature easily.

    6) I will continue to setup the parallel wiring on the batteries so they are charged from opposite ends of the stack – this helps equalize charging on the cells. (wire the batteries in parallel, but the hot wires used to charge and draw power do not come off the came battery on the end of the stack. One lead comes off the closest battery and the other lead goes to the farthest battery )

    https://caravanchronicles.com/guides/how-to-connect-two-batteries-in-parallel/
    As in this illustration (which is the way I have currently wired my pack – so no change just documenting it ):

    7) Put rollers or sliders on the battery shelves, with two 50# batteries it is a pain to wrestle them out of the stack for service (that means you put it off and kill batteries like I did).

    8) Make sure you have an acid safe drip tray under the batteries (plastic dish washing sink tub) etc.

    9) The high rate automotive charger also has no line fuse for the AC power. I need to add one to it and move the line fuse on the Astron trickle charger and put both of them on the front panel where they are easy to get at.

  61. E.M.Smith says:

    If you are up for it, you could also test this approach to battery life recovery. Epsom Salts.
    https://www.warriorforum.com/off-topic-forum/525296-battery-trick-really-works.html

    I’ve seen several confirmations of this as working. It would be nice to get one from someone I trust.

    If you do a web search on Epsom salts and battery recovery there’s lots of pages come up.

  62. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm interesting tip, I might play with that – got nothing to lose at this point so useful test no matter how it works.

    My only question is the exact chemical reaction, epsom salt is:
    PubChem CID: 24083
    Chemical Names: MAGNESIUM SULFATE; Magnesium sulphate; 7487-88-9; Magnesium sulfate anhydrous; Sulfuric acid magnesium salt (1:1); Magnesiumsulfate More…
    Molecular Formula: MgSO4 or MgO4S

    PubChem CID: 24008
    Chemical Names: Lead(II) sulfate; LEAD SULFATE; 7446-14-2; Anglislite; Lead sulphate; Mulhouse White More…
    Molecular Formula: PbSO4 or O4PbS

    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/additives

    Presumably (been a long time since I messed with chemistry) the more electrically active magnesium steals sulfur from the lead sulfate gradually pulling it into the solution, Do you end up with a higher sulfate (sulfite what ever) of magnesium, does it release oxygen etc.? There seems to be a lack of descriptions of the actual chemistry involved.

    I don’t see how the MgSO4 can gain another sulfur unless there is a higher sulfur compound involving magnesium?

    It appears there is a MgS2,

    There is also:
    Mg(HSO3)2 Magnesium bisulfite
    Magnesium Bisulfate H2MgO8S2

    It also appears that the magnesium sulfate may simply act as an electrolyte replacing the missing sulfuric acid and lowering cell resistance, without actually dissolving the lead sulfate.

    https://mattgadient.com/2014/04/06/desulfating-a-lead-acid-battery-with-the-yihua-605d-and-magnesium-sulfate/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead%E2%80%93acid_battery#Electrochemistry

    I will have to dig through this later when I am fresh been baby sitting computers all day and a bit fried after 12+ hours, and have a few more to go before I get to bed tonight.

  63. Larry Ledwick says:

    A quick survey of listings on the internet, leads me to believe the actual chemistry of action in battery restoration with epsom salt (and other chemicals) is not clearly defined – at least by the hobby folks who do this. Or it might be very very complex and not a simple substitution reaction as I expected.

    I did find this item which gives some hints about the method of action.

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US5945236

    It might be that the treatment does not actually remove much lead sulfate but instead makes the lead sulfate deposit more electrically conductive and by that action reduces its effect on the normal battery chemistry. I am sure that the actual chemistry is known by battery manufactures but not widely disseminated to the public, but some of the listings leave little doubt that it helps a marginal battery give a little more service and in that matter extends its physically useful life.

    Will have to dig around some more with different search keys and even different search engines to see if I can find someone that explains the actual method of action and its chemistry.

  64. jim2 says:

    It appears a small microprocessor might be handy to control charging with temperature.

    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/corrosion_shedding_and_internal_short

    If the failure mode is a “soft short”, it could be that MgSO4 helps dissolve the material at the bottom of the battery.

  65. jim2 says:

    Here’s a discussion thread re MgSO4 and lead-acid batteries.

    http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=67944.0

  66. E.M.Smith says:

    Solution Chemistry isn’t always as straight forward as the formulaic approach from chem class.

    Unfortunately, the only example I know of is used to make propellants / “gun cotton”. I’ve generally not shared it, then again, I learned it from some “Formulas Processes & Trade Secrets” book at the public library 1/2 century ago… so not exactly a secret…

    Take a beaker of concentrated sulfuric acid. Dissolve into it about 1/2 volume of a nitrate salt ( I used potassium nitrate but others ought to also work). In the process of dissolving, this dissociates into ions, You now have K ions, sulfate ions, AND NITRATE ions.

    Add cotton and let soak, it reacts with the nitrate yielding various levels of guncotton. Wash VERY carefully. Note that several reactions are exothermic and require cooling in any size larger than very very small. Like tossing the acid soaked guncotton into your bathtub…

    So at no time did you have “Nitric Acid” nor at any time did the KNO3 react with the H2SO4, yet you got a nitrification with nitric acid ions.

    I suspect something similar in the battery. Mg helping to dissolve sulfate where it does not belong, perhaps under the influence of the odd electrons in charging.

  67. jim2 says:

    The common ion effect would imply the MgSO4 would precipitate PbSO4, not dissolve it. So, I’m not certain how this might work. PbSO4 is already very insoluble, so maybe the Mg displaces the Pb and thus allows the “cleaning” of the plates? Again, not sure.

  68. jim2 says:

    Some kids at the school involved in the latest school shooting are starting a campaign for gun control. They were on Fox News and Meet the (De)Press(ed). I speculate some libtard parent, teacher, or even Dimowit operative put them on to it.

    All this does is divert attention away from the real solution: SECURE THE SCHOOLS!!!

  69. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jim2:

    As a typical ‘reaction in a bottle’ yes, the insoluble precipitates. Now think in terms of ion species. Some PB++ and SO4– is sitting next to some MG++ and SO4– in solution, the MG++ momentarily is close to the plate SO4– and it stochastically has a loosened “grip” on the PB++, now an electron or two comes by… the PB++ becomes PB as it is supposed to be and the SO4– in solution picks up some H2 from the water, the O going off to be near the MG++ and eventually (waves hands) ends up at the other plate turning Pb++ into PbO

    What happens with ions drifting around in an e-field is not the same as what happens to quiet solutions without solids and electricity in the mix. The ions are not absolute in their actions. Some PB++/SO4– is in solution, and then the MG++ can influence it. Other is in solid phase, but still influenced at the surface (thus the whole field of “surface chemistry”).

    IMHO what happens is the presence of MG++ ions allows the PBSO4 to dissolve / dissociate and end up electrochemically reformed back to proper plate materials. The presence of –SO4 with the MG++ is just to keep it charge balanced and not change the sulfuric acid chemistry. That’s my speculative theory anyway.

    @Jim2:

    Just stop making the schools into “protection free zones” with “shoot here, no guns in citizen hands to oppose you” laws.

    When I was a kid, one of the teachers in my high school was packing a Walther (saw it under his jacket once). On Fridays in hunting season, most of the guys would run to their cars in the school parking lot, open the trunk, put on their vests and check their shotguns function, then head out to find pheasants. NEVER EVER did anyone contemplate facing that with bad intent. (Well, they might have contemplated it, but quickly realized the stupid in it…)

    Most homes had a gun or two in the parent’s bedroom. (Mormon town…) I had a rifle i my room, WITH AMMUNITION from about age 11…

    There was an extraordinarily low level of theft, break-ins, shootings, etc. In fact, we did not have functioning locks on our home until I was off to college at 18 and Mom was left living alone. I came back one summer and added them. Prior to that, we’d go on vacation and just ask one of the neighbors to “keep an eye on the place” for us. A lock would have prevented them from fixing anything if it broke (water…) so why lock it? Different times.

    It was common for kids to have guns then. One guy down the street from me showed me his derringer. He was about 8 IIRC… I can’t remember a single shooting other than involving police until I was about 18 and the town was changing / laws were changing (Post JFK laws on guns). Even then, I can only remember 2, and one of them was Police vs Bad Guy.

    “An armed society is a polite society”. Period.

  70. Larry Ledwick says:

    I was thinking nearly the same that the magnesium being more electrically reactive would over time steal SO4 from the lead sulfate and make the formerly insoluble deposits gradually dissolve or at least become sufficiently porous and conductive that they opened up an electrical path for the lead plates they were deposited on to return to the chemical processes needed to store and deliver charge.

    As you mentioned on nitration it works better in the presence of sulfuric acid in what is called mixed acid. The guy who accidentally invented gun cotton when he nitrated his wife’s cotton apron discovered by adding about 25% concentrated sulfuric acid to the nitric acid that the nitration was more effective. I assume something similar is going on in the battery note in that patent document that he mixes several metallic sulfates. Being metallic salts they would also make the electrolyte more electrically conductive I suspect. Which if true would lower the internal cell resistance and increase the batteries ability to discharge at higher currents ( or perhaps to recharge more efficiently) the question that tickles my brain is if this works why don’t the battery manufactures add Mg sulfate at the start?

  71. Larry Ledwick says:

    On the schools and guns thing I agree the real problem is that now there is essentially no risk to attacking a school. Even with a single armed resource officer (as this school had) you can do a lot of damage before he shows up. That campus was about 700 ft across, he ran toward the gun fire but never saw the shooter. There are so many simple solutions.

    Put a man trap entry in the school with buzz in locks outside certain time windows someone has to buzz you into the school.
    Do like Oklahoma and Texas and allow certain staff to be armed on campus. That drastically increases the uncertainty.

    Put police substations in the schools, giving the cops a place to do their paper work establish relationships with the kids and be a presence to limit violent behavior by students etc. All win win solutions little over all cost but huge benefits.

    Like the ROTC situation where the kids ushered students into the room and used ROTC backstop curtains to provide a safe refuge, use building materials for class rooms that make bullet resistant structures (stone/brick facing on the lower walls, armored doors with robust locks etc.)

    If you remember the first mass shooting (Texas Towers) local citizens showed up with hunting rifles and returned fire on Whitman to keep him pinned down. There was not another mass shooting for many years. It was just not a low risk operation.

    We also need to break the celebrity attached to these acts and that requires a cooperative media that will not show the shooters picture and refuses to use his name but refers only to the site of the shooting. Also the media needs to not run 24 hour coverage of the shooting for 3 days.
    But that takes a culture change in the media.

  72. Another Ian says:

    EM

    At one stage one of the EDTAs was the in thing for battery rehab. I’m hazy on the details now.

  73. jim2 says:

    One of the articles I linked stated one should dump the weak acid from a charged but failing battery and replace it with saturated MgSO4. That allows conduction which allows charging. Then, after charging, dump the MgSO4 solution and replace with the proper concentration of sulfuric acid.

  74. E.M.Smith says:

    The Spouse, as a teacher, was required to do “active shooter” drills. They were required to use materials in the classroom to “barricade” the door. ( I got recruited to help her figure out how to do an ersatz barricade design… since a history of shoulder dislocations makes tipping tables on end a no-no for her). Police then went door to door and tested each barricade.

    Being a bright lad, I went to OSH and bought a couple of “vacation locks”. These hook into the door bolt hole and have a locking piece on the inside door side.

    They worked perfectly. Door could not be forced (without breaking the door) and the “shooter” could not get it open enough to see inside. $10 / door.

    My wife was “chastised” as it was NOT a “barricade” and was not made from available materials with an ersatz design. i.e. it didn’t generate the proper fear and angst and need to worry about protecting yourself enough…

    NOBODY cared about a perfect and workable and dirt cheap SOLUTION.

    Next year I made a hokey wooden thing to drop in the push bar. Ir mostly worked and looked ersatz so she got a “pass” grade.

    IMHO, the whole purpose of the exercise is to have regular “drills” to make children fear guns. I can’t explain it otherwise. Solving the problem clearly wasn’t the goal…

    @Jim2:

    Yeah, I saw that too. I see no reason for it though. All I see is people saying “Well, we ought to return it to the battery chemistry I KNOW”, without any testing nor decent reasoning. It MIGHT be important, or it MIGHT be entirely irrelevant. Testing one battery that way, and one with just some MgSO4 adjunct is in order. Wonder if I can find 2 equal dead batteries somewhere…

    As to “why don’t battery companies do that?” I point to the Lead-Calcium battery:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VRLA_battery

    A valve-regulated lead-acid battery (VRLA battery) sometimes called sealed lead-acid (SLA), gel cell, or maintenance free battery. Due to their construction, the Gel and Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) types of VRLA can be mounted in any orientation, and do not require constant maintenance. The term “maintenance free” is a misnomer as VRLA batteries still require cleaning and regular functional testing. They are widely used in large portable electrical devices, off-grid power systems and similar roles, where large amounts of storage are needed at a lower cost than other low-maintenance technologies like lithium-ion.

    There are three primary types of VRLA batteries, Sealed VR wet cell, AGM and Gel. Gel cells add silica dust to the electrolyte, forming a thick putty-like gel. These are sometimes referred to as “silicone batteries”. AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) batteries feature fiberglass mesh between the battery plates which serves to contain the electrolyte. Both designs offer advantages and disadvantages compared to conventional batteries and sealed VR wet cells, as well as each other.
    […]
    A modern gel battery (also known as a “gel cell”) is a VRLA battery with a gelified electrolyte; the sulfuric acid is mixed with fumed silica, which makes the resulting mass gel-like and immobile. Unlike a flooded wet-cell lead-acid battery, these batteries do not need to be kept upright. Gel batteries reduce the electrolyte evaporation, spillage (and subsequent corrosion problems) common to the wet-cell battery, and boast greater resistance to shock and vibration. Chemically they are almost the same as wet (non-sealed) batteries except that the antimony in the lead plates is replaced by calcium, and gas recombination can take place.

    http://www.yuasabatteries.com/batteries.php

    Long Life
    Because of its lead calcium design, the AGM battery will hold its specific gravity more than three times longer than conventional lead antimony types.
    This means much longer periods between charges when the battery is used in a standby mode, like winter storage.

    As Mg and Ca chemistry is very similar, I’d suggest they are using the idea, if not the exact method; but only in long life standby gel cells.

    I’d go further and suggest that just perhaps part of what happens in the MgSO4 process is some Mg gets displaced into the plate itself over time. Thus my belief that one ought to be able to just add some Epsom Salt to a regular battery and charge it. The SO4 becomes more suphuric acid while the MG either stays in solution to increase conductivity (and too much might give too high a self discharge conduction…) or it ends up migrating into the plate and acting like a lead-calcium battery with less electrolysis of water and loss of water.

    Come to think of it… I DO have an old very very dead (like decade long dead) car battery in the garage and I have some Epsom salts and a charger… Kind of an extreme test, but maybe… Wonder if I can find it anymore ;-) (Last seen was 1/2 decade ago… saved as a ‘core’ since sometimes they demand one and sometimes not.)

    IMHO, to understand the MGSO4 battery fix, a good place to start is the lead-calcium battery reactions.

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