Jun 29, 2016

Jun - 09 2016 | By

There was no show June 22. Pre empted by special programming.
– 3.77v NiMH Battery Lore! iMax B6! Charge! Discharge! Batteries in General.
– Windows 10 “RT” Tablets. It’s  back!?
– Win 10 update Aug 02



Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at: twitter.com/ddhart.
– They’re tagged with #Zentech.
– When what’s said is unclear to me (or I’m unfamiliar with a topic) I tend to quote (” “) verbatim.
– Editor’s comments are delimited by < >

For a couple of months, the audio of today’s show will be here. Recent shows are here.


Both Glenn and Paul were in the studio today.


Glenn has a flashlight that has a Cree LED light. He said he paid about $10 for the package that included a battery, an A/C charger and an adapter for using 3 regular AAA batteries in place of the rechargeable battery. The flashlight alone goes for about $5. They are often called tactical flashlights.

A one point the battery wouldn’t charge, so they opened the flashlight and saw the number 18650 printed on it. Using that number in a search query, Paul found the description of the battery — a generic single cell 3.7 volt nickel metal hydride (NiMh) general purpose universal battery. Paul described it as being cylindrical, covered in insulating plastic and looking like a AAA but bigger — about 3/4″ in diameter and about 3″ long. He tried charging it on his Imax charger without success.

Eventually he realized the battery looked familiar. It seemed to be same as a cell inside a laptop battery he had torn apart. The component cell said Samsung ICR18650 on it.

Unlike a car battery, NiMh batteries shouldn’t be charged in series — where the current flows thru one and then thru the next one. This is because, as it charges, one battery changes its resistance differently from the next. This can cause over heating, asymmetric charging or venting (causing it to blow up). When a laptop battery is charged, each cell is monitored and its charging is individually controlled.

Paul used one of the ICR18650 cells in Glenn’s flashlight and it worked fine.

Attributes of NiMh cells:
– You’re not supposed to drain it down below 3.0 volts.
– You’re not supposed to charge it more than 4.2 volts.
– About 90% of its existence is spent delivering about 3.77 volts — called nominal voltage.

Paul flies radio-controlled model aircraft, which use electric motors and batteries. He uses an Imax B6 charger, which he suggested is great for anyone with similar batteries. It costs $60. Clones of this charger from China, which lack some features, are about $19.

The Imax charger has a chip inside that allows you to set the amount of current going into the battery as well is its duration. It also lets you monitor the temperature of the battery as it charges. And it tells you how long it took to charge it. The time it takes to charge the battery is an indication of its health.

The Imax is also able to conditon a battery. You can set it to discharge a battery at 1 amp until it goes down to 3.0 volts and it will tell you how long it took. Paul said this is a great way of testing any off-the-shelf battery. He said he’s in the process of testing some alkaline batteries.

Paul said that, like a car’s lead acid battery, the NiMh batteries are recycleable.

Paul gave a brief history of various battery types. Early types were the zinc carbon batteries, which aren’t rechargeable. Next came nickel cadmium rechargeable batteries, which aren’t used much anymore because they develop a memory condition. If you repeatedly discharged them only 10% before recharging, they would act as if that was all the capacity they had. Also, cadmium is an environmental pollutant.

The disclaimer:
The opinions you hear are those of the speaker and not necessarily those of the station, its staff, our supporters or other folks.

Paul said that these newer flashlights present a greater danger of eye damage than laser pointers, because the light is so intense. He hasn’t seen a health warning, but it should be a consideration, he said.

Pinky called with a correction. Nevada County for Bernie, in the calendar announcement preceding this show, is meeting at 10 not 11. The phone number is 388-0959 (530 area, I presume).

Tom called about junk email. He keeps unsubscribing but it continues to come. His email is at wildblue.net.
– The bad news is that it’s not going away.
– Get a Gmail account. Paul said that Gmail seems to be good at filtering out the spam.
– You can have the mail you normally get at wildblue.net go to the Gmail account. You can set Wildblue to forward the emails to Gmail. Or, in Gmail, go into ‘other account’ in the settings menu and tell it to collect the mail from Wildblue.
– Get a Gmail account and see what you think of it, while still using your Wildblue account.
– Unsubscribing usually doesn’t do any good but it does tell the spammers that yours is a good email address for sending more spam, or to sell to other spammers.

Tom also asked for the name of Glenn’s flashlight. Glenn couldn’t give him the name but implied the cre LED comes in many flashlights. He said, “There is a model number and that seems to ring true with many of them, and that is XML-TC”. Paul said to search for the words: XML-TC flashlight.

Glenn learned a trick for quickly scrolling thru his big collection of emails using his iPhone or iPad. After searching and reading an email from long ago, he would have to use his finger to keep scrolling to get back to the top. From Paul he learned that while he’s still viewing the email he can double click (double touch) in the inbox area and that will take him back to the top.

Paul said that with the iPad/iPhone there is no alternative to the built-in email program unless you use a browser and web-based email. He figured Glenn was not the only one to encounter this problem so he searched for the words: ipad inbox email long scroll.

Another problem Glenn encountered, this time on a PC, was when he was cleaning the keyboard. Somehow he caused the screen to rotate to the right 90 degrees. The solution turned out to be the key combination Control Alt and one of the arrow keys. Doing that brought the screen back to its normal orientation.

Paul noted that on an Android you can turn on or off the auto rotation of the screen. From the top (towards the right) swipe down and you’ll see a setting that switches between <‘Auto Rotate’ and ‘Rotation Locked’, as per version 4.4.2>. Glenn said that on the iPhone you have to swipe from the bottom to get to your settings.

Paul mentioned that Android has a number of status icons to inform you of your settings. These a tiny icons at the top of your screen. There’s one that looks like a dart or paper plane that indicates an app is using your GPS. To learn more, search for the words: android status icons.

Lenn called to ask about some of hazards of downloading apps.
– If you download from Googles Play Store or Amazon’s app store, you’re pretty safe.
– And when you uninstall something on the Android, usually there’s not much garbage left behind.
– The top app Paul uses is called Clean Sweep. <I couldn’t find Clean Sweep but I see some people refer to CleanMaster as Clean Sweep. I suspect that’s what he meant, since he’s mentioned it before>.
– Just because an app is free doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with it. However, some have in-app purchases as in the case of a GPS map program Paul got. It was fine until he wanted to travel beyond a specific area. At that point it prompted him to buy more maps.
– Glenn suggested Lenn do a search using the name of the app to see what others say about it. That’s how Glenn found that one of his iPhone apps was consuming a lot of power.
– The Play Store and Amazon Store apps have star ratings to guide you. Also look at the number of downloads. And read the user reviews. Paul tends not to download brand new apps unless there’s a good reason

Glenn thanked the listeners who support KVMR. If you’d like to become a supporting member please visit kvmr.org

Last Updated 12:02 AM 6-30-2016

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