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Paul was in studio; Glenn called in from Sacramento
Some time was spent talking about auto anti-freeze.
– Paul reminded us that the proper name is coolant, not anti-freeze.
– Coolant depresses the freezing point and raises boiling point of the mixture.
– It contains anti-corrosion stuff, so it has more than ethylene glycol.
– Glenn: the environmentally friendly stuff comes in a color other than the traditional fluorescent green.
– Don't leave the anti-freeze where animals can get to it; it can kill them. Paul said the compound is related to glycerin and tastes sweet, so it attracts animals.
– The mixture of ethylene glycol & water has less heat carrying capacity than plain water, but not by much.
– To gauge the efficacy of your coolant mixture you can get a hydrometer at an auto parts store. It measures the specific gravity of the mixture. Plain water is 1gram per cc (cubic centimeter). The coolant is actually has less density than this, and the reduced density indicates how much ethylene glycol is in the mixture.
The KVMR membership drive about 2 weeks ago raised $104079 from 846 pledges, which includes 152 new members.
John called in to say he looks for coolant using propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol because it's less toxic. The brand name has the word Sierra in it <I couldn't tell if there was more to it, they all talked at once>. Paul speculated that the different color might indicate this different formulation.
There was some speculation about frogs having natural anti-freeze.
Paul found an instrumentation thermometer on Ebay which has a cable so he can measure the temp in his freezer and he said it's recommended the refrigerator should not go above 4 degrees Centigrade. And the freezer should be about -18 degrees Centigrade
– Using Google you can do unit conversions like Centigrade to Fahrenheit. In the search window type e.g. " 35 Centigrade = " and you'll get the result in Fahrenheit.
Glenn mentioned that today is the 1st day of official production of the Chevy Volt. It has a fully electric propulsion system and a gasoline generator to charge the battery, adding approx. 300 miles to extend its range above the 40 miles you get from the initial charge (initial charge is estimated to cost $1.50).
– It recharges in 10hr at 120v or 4hr at 220v.
– It will be at the dealers in about 1 month at a base price of $33000. Glenn thinks that price includes various price incentives.
Find out more at chevrolet.com/volt.
Paul said the burden of energy production for electric cars is shifted to the power plants where the 'economy of scale' keeps the price more reasonable.
Glenn said that on the current model of the Prius, the heating & cooling is assisted by solar cells on top.
Glenn said that Clark Howard, a consumer advocate, spent about $9000 to convert his Toyota hybrid to an electric plugin hybrid. His mileage went from about 40 to 50 mpg, as a hybrid, to 90 mpg average as a plugin hybrid.
Paul talked about lithium batteries, saying they were patented around the time of the lead-acid batteries.
– When not properly regulated or on over-current conditions, they can be explosive.
– In cars that use them, there are electronics that monitor their temperature & current to provide a measure of safety.
– Paul said the biggest aging factor of these batteries is their temperature (being stored in warm conditions) and not so much how often they are charged & discharged.
– He said you can't extend their life by keeping them in the refrigerator. Too cold or too hot and they age spontaneously even without any current being taken out of them.
– Alkaline batteries do benefit from being stored at cold temps.
Jeff called to ask if the Community Calendar is on the KVMR website.
– No, but maybe soon. Try going to yuba.net, though their calendar may be different.
He also asked whether the guys offer computer classes.
– No, not the guys personally, but there are links on the front page of zen.kvmr.org to classes. And the local senior center may offer some.
Then he asked if electrical power stations reduce generation at night.
– No. Continuous load stations (e.g. coal-fired stations) run all of the time. Peak load stations (e.g. diesel or natural gas-fired stations) do fluctuate in their production.
– Check Wikipedia for "base loading".
He also asked about cell phone use by children and if it's safe.
– Paul's personal opinion: "It did me no harm. Take a look at me"
– Dangerous or not, you don't need to keep it near your head. Use a hands-free system,
– You can get an EMF meter to measure exposure to cell phone radiation, but be aware of what the readings mean.
Airport body scanners use radiation, but planes fly so high above the protective atmosphere that you get more radiation at high altitude than from body scanners.
There are 2 types body scanners. One uses frequencies similar to those used by radar speed traps & the other uses ionizing radiation (a type of x-ray).
Robert called to say the tire wear on a Prius is substantially greater than on regular car because of the "constant drive on all 4 wheels". They are under constant torque, both to propel forward and during regenerative braking. So you spend more on tires, which offsets the saving on fuel.
Charlie called to ask if the radiation from smart meters is dangerous?
– Paul said he hasn't completed his research on the subject. He asked knowledgeable listeners to respond.
Charlie also concurred with the previous comments about Prius tire wear, but also said that if your tires are under warranty, they are like prorated for ware. So the cost of excessive tire wear is not such a big issue.
Glenn added that his favorite tire brand is Michelin.
The views and opinions expressed on this show are entirely those of the speakers only and they don't necessarily represent those of this station (KVMR), the board of its directors, the staff who work here, or anyone who contributes anything (including, probably, the people who call in). You're under advice not to follow the instructions. It's just information. And judicious use of the information is entirely up to you.
Glenn went back to the subject of computer instruction. He said the Gold Country Computer Learning Center is still in business. Check them out at www.gcclc.org
Paul was impressed by the Zoom H1 handheld recorder; $99 digital stereo voice recorder. He said it has great audio quality. Includes a 2gig microSD card with 23 hours of recording at 128kbps mp3. It will go up to 320kbps. And it can record in lossless .wav format. It uses USB to transfer files and behaves as regular flash drive.
Paul also just got a Mac Book Pro and is very excited about it. It has the new i7 Intel processor that can do real-time speech recognition. He has 10 to 15 years of DV & analog 8mm magnetic videocassette tapes, and the extra horsepower makes it easy to transcribe & edit.
Glenn said Bill, who called last week about a USB mouse problem, followed the suggestion to unplug all other USB devices. That led to the solution of the problem: the keyboard that was plugged in.
Paul said laptops are known for not delivering enough current to power all USB devices.
A powered USB hub can take care of the problem. Avoid connecting high-speed devices to the hub, but keyboards, mice and printers should benefit.
Last updated: 7:51 PM 11/10/2010