The operating temperatures of refrigerators and freezers used for food storage is important to safe storage of food and to minimisation of energy costs.
The US FDA recommends the refrigerator should be set to 40F (4.4°) and the freezer to 0F (-17.8°).
Temperatures vary inside the cabinets, and they vary over time with opening and closing doors, and introduction of warmer goods for storage.
Many spot temperature checks are helpful but they don’t provide a very complete picture, and opening the door to make measurements disturbs the very thing being measured. Continue reading Fridge / freezer setup
Claims of performance of LED torches become more extravagant by the month it seems.
Above is an Ultrafire XML-T6 LED torch purchased on eBay for about A$25 posted. The seller claims “CREE T6 2000lm LED Zoomable Torch Flashlight 2 x 18650 4200mah AAA Batteries”. Continue reading Ultrafire XML-T6 torch review
I purchased a torch (flashlight) on eBay recently. It was described as using CREE T6 LED array, and supplied with two 4200mAh 18650 Li-ion rechargeable batteries with charger for A$25 inc post.
Above, the cells are clearly marked 3000mAh, way short of the advertised 4200mAh… but what is their actual capacity.
Above are the results of discharge tests, the first digit is the cell number and the second is the test. The first test is charged with the supplied charger, the second test is with my charger. Continue reading Chinese 18650 Li-ion cells – Ultrafire capacity test
Further to 18650 Lithium Ion cells on eBay I purchased a pair of Panasonic NCR18650B cells, nominal 3400mAh, from an Australian supplier for about A$22 posted.
Above is a pic of a cell.
Above is a zoomed in view of the same pic with increased contrast. The feint QC code printed on the underlying steel container is visible. It is usually visible through the jacket on genuine Panasonic cells.
It is always hard to know whether the product is genuine, the Chinese are better at copying the looks than the internals.
The cell was charged, then discharged at 1C on a battery analyser.
Above is the first three discharge cycles, the cell achieved just under 3000mAh to 2.8V, about 93% of datasheet rated capacity of 3200mAH, 85% of the advertised nominal 3400mAh capacity.
The actual discharge curve is fairly similar to the 1C curve from the datasheet.
These cells look more promising than the GTL red 5300mAh cells previously evaluated.
I have been intrigued by the huge number of sellers of very low cost 18650 Li-ion cells on eBay.
Could they be any good?
As a reality check, Panasonic cells around 3000mAh sell through traditional channels here in Australia for around A$20 per cell, there are Australian eBay sellers selling cells advertised as Panasonic for around A$22 per pair posted.
Above, the GTL red LS18650 5300mAh Li-ion cell purchased in a lot of five for $1.30 each (inc post from China). The rated capacity is more than 50% higher than the maximum from brand name products. Continue reading 18650 Lithium Ion cells on eBay
The N2006P is a inexpensive PID controller, typically for heating and cooling operations. There are lots of similar devices for under A$20 on eBay.
Above, the controller in a minimal test harness using a Type K Thermocouple for temperature sensing and 40A SSR mounted on a heatsink. (The SSR output should be protected with an MOV for inductive loads.) 480VAC 40A SSRs sell for as little as A$5 on eBay. Continue reading N2006P PID checkout #1
Jaycar have sold the MP3090 (Manson SPS-9400) over many years. I have one dated 2001 and they are still in their catalog in 2015. Manson is a Chinese manufacturer of medium quality power supplies, at reasonable prices. Continue reading Jaycar MP3090 / Manson SPS-9400 repair
I wrote in the fraud of energy efficient lighting – e-ballasts of frustration with green measures forced on us, measures that have replaced tried and true reliable lighting solutions with high tech low reliability solutions in a false promise of net energy saving.
Typically, the cost of repair and replacement of this unreliable technology is much greater than their direct energy saving, indeed much greater than their energy consumption of the life of the equipment.
Above is a ballast removed from a light this morning after 4 years during which it was hardly ever used… perhaps 10 hours at most… so the original capital cost of $80 for luminaire and fitting for 10 hours service gives an average cost of $8/hr for capital and about $0.01/hr for energy. Continue reading Another Osram e-ballast bites the dust
In Australia, conservationists have led a push for replacement of a range of appliances that were in good working condition for more energy efficient appliances. For this reason, some types of appliance can no longer be purchased, or serviced with spares as required.
The humble flourescent light is one of those. Although still one of our most efficient lights, rivalled only by the best of LEDs, the push is on to replace the conventional magnetic ballast flourescent T8 flourescent with T5 lights, and in the interim, T8 lights with electronic ballasts. Continue reading The fraud of energy efficient lighting – e-ballasts