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Posts published in February 2009

Shopping in Texas

How do you know you’re shopping in Texas? Watch the video below…

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Feeling a little detached from your young children?? Can’t imagine why….


A good lesson

The Incredible Bread Machine

By R.W. Grant

This is the story of a man whose name
Was a household word: a man whose fame
Burst on the world like an atom bomb;
Smith was his last name; first name Tom.

Now, Smith, an inventor, had specialized
In toys, so people were surprized,
When they found that he instead
Of making toys, was BAKING BREAD!

The way to make bread he’d conceived
Cost less than people could believe!
And not just make it! This device,
Could in addition, wrap and slice!
The price per loaf, one loaf or many,
The miniscule sum of under a penny!

Can you imagine what this meant?
Can you comprehend the consequent?
The first time yet the world well fed,
And all because of Tom Smith’s bread.

A citation from the President,
For Smith’s amazing bread,
This and other honours too,
Were heaped upon his head!

But isn’t it a wonderous thing,
How quickly fame is flown?
Smith, the hero of today,
Tommorow, scarcely known!

Yes, the fickle years passed by,
Smith was a millionaire,
But Smith himself was now forgot,
Though bread was everywhere…
People, asked from where it came,
Would very seldom know.
They would simple eat and ask,
“Was not it always so?”

However, Smith cared not a bit,
For millions ate his bread…
And everything is fine, thought he,
I am rich, and they are fed!

Everything was fine, he though,
He reckoned not with fate.
Note the sequence of events,
Starting on the date,
On which the business tax went up.
Then, to a slight extent,
The price on every loaf rose too:
Up to one full cent!

“What’s going on!” the public cried,
“He’s guilty of pure plunder!
He has no right to get so rich
on other peoples hunger!”

(A Prize cartoon depicted Smith,
With fat and drooping jowls,
Snatching bread from hungry babes,
indiferrent to their howls!)

Well, since the public does come first,
It could not be denied
That in matters such as this,
The Public must decide!

So Anti-Trust now took a hand,
Of course, it was appalled
At what it found was going on.
The “Bread Trust” it was called.

Now this was getting serious,
So Smith felt that he must
Have a friendly interview
With the men in Anti-Trust.

So hat in hand, he went to them.
They’d surely been misled;
No Rule of Law had he defied.

But then their lawyer said:
“The Rule of Law, in complex times,
Has proved itself deficient.
We much prefer the Rule of Men,
It’s vastly more efficient!

Now let me state the present rules,”
The lawyer then went on,
“These very simple guidelines,
You can rely upon:
You’re gouging on your prices if
You charge more than the rest.
But it’s unfair competition if
You think you can charge less!
“A second point that we would make
To help avoid confusion…
Don’t try to charge the same amount,
That would be Collusion!
You must compete. But not too much,
For if you do you see,
Then the market would be yours –
And that’s Monopoly!

Price too high?
Or Price too low?
Now, which charge did they make?

Well, they weren’t loath to charging both,
With Public Good at stake!

In fact, they went one better!
They charged “Monopoly!”
No muss, no fuss, oh, woe is us!
Egad, they charged ALL THREE!

“Five Years in jail,” The Judge then said
“You’re lucky it’s not worse!
Robber Barrons must be taught,
Society comes first!”

Now bread is baked by government.
And as might be expected,
Everything is well controlled.
The Public well protected.

True, loaves cost a dollar each,
But our leaders do their best!
The selling price is half a cent..
Taxes pay the rest.

Battery Charging Process

Written by Steve Spence (website at bottom of article)

Batteries are complex mechanisms that can even fool the experts at times, so it comes as no surprise that non-technical people have a hard time understanding the charge process. Ask a typical crowd of battery users when their batteries are full charged and at least ten answers will surface.

In both Living on 12 Volts with Ample Power, and Wiring 12 Volts for Ample Power the authors explain that a battery is fully charged when the voltage is about 14.4 Volts and current through the battery has declined to less than 2% of the capacity of the battery in Amp-hours …2 Amps for a 100 Ah battery.

That information is substantially correct, however, a more intuitive feel for the charge process is necessary, not only to understand when the battery is full, but also to know when the battery is not behaving normally. It is the intent of this application note to provide enough information about the charge process so that the average user can judge how well the batteries are charging.

The Bulk Charge Step
When a charge source is first applied to a well discharged battery, charge current begins to flow, typically at the maximum rate of the charge source. If a true 40 Amp charger is connected to an 8D battery which is completely discharged, about 40 Amps of charge current would flow for some period of time. Because most of the charge is delivered at the maximum charger rate, the first step of the charge cycle is called the bulk charge step.

NOTE: During the bulk step, battery voltage will steadily rise.

The Start of the Absorption Step
At the instant battery voltage has risen to the maximum allowable voltage of the charge source, current through the battery begins to decline. This simultaneous event of reaching maximum voltage and the start of current decline marks the beginning of the absorption step.

For instance, if the 40 Amp charger is set to 14.4 Volts, then when battery voltage has risen to 14.4 Volts, the charger will now hold the voltage constant. Current through the battery will begin to decline.

NOTE: The charger, (or alternator), is not limiting the current at this point. The battery is `absorbing’ all it can at the voltage setpoint.

The End of the Absorption Step
The absorption step should continue until current through the battery declines to about 2% of battery capacity in Amp-hours as mentioned above. Without knowing what the current is through the battery, you can’t know when it’s full. Just because that fancy charger, (or inverter/charger), has kicked out to float is no sign that the battery is full …there is no charger on the market that measures battery current!

It’s a given, then, that you need to measure battery current to know when the battery is full. With a battery current meter, you can discover some very interesting details about the charge process. For instance, you can discover that once the charger voltage limit is reached, battery current begins to decline. If the current decline is rapid, either the batteries are nearly full, or they are NO GOOD! If the current decline is slow, then either the charge source has more output than the batteries can reasonably absorb, or the batteries are NO GOOD! Here’s where Amp-hour instrumentation is particularly valuable.

Given enough time at the absorption voltage, charge current will decline to a steady-state value, that is, a low current that either stays constant, or declines very little. At the point where charge current has gone as low as it is going to, then the batteries are truly full. While 2% of Ah rating is close, good batteries will reach a steady state current at less than 1% of Ah rating.

The Float Step
Once a battery is full, a lower voltage should be applied that will maintain the full charge. Depending on the type of battery, (liquid, gel), and the age of the battery, 13.4 – 13.8 Volts is appropriate as a float voltage.

Temperature Compensation
The voltage given above are good only at F, (C). For high temperatures, voltage will be less. It is important to charge batteries with temperature compensation. To learn more about this aspect of charging, refer to page 70 in the revised edition of Wiring 12 Volts for Ample Power.

A Very Common Problem
Your batteries are only four months old. You discharge them until their voltage is less than 11 Volts and then crank up the engine. The alternator brings up the voltage to 14.4 Volts very quickly, but the current begins to decline immediately and in a few minutes is down to a few Amps. You:
*suspect your voltage regulator and immediately call the factory and ask for a replacement to be sent out; OR *realize that something has happened to the batteries because the alternator and regulator are operating as expected.

Conditioning Batteries
How do batteries that are only four months old die? Perhaps they weren’t broken in properly; maybe they sat deeply discharged for a few days or more; perhaps they were allowed to self-discharge over the last four months …there’s plenty of ways to murder batteries.
All batteries that refuse to accept a charge are not necessarily ready for the scrap heap. Often, a deep discharge followed by a slow charge will recover lost capacity and charge acceptance. For more information, refer to Wiring 12 Volts for Ample Power.


This is just plain hilarious.

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Coming Soon!

Coming soon to a theater near you!


Breast Implant Recall!

Oh no! See the imbedded video below and then check your boobs ladies!

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