Tips & Tricks Blog
Notes, ideas and general comments on anything related to high-tech.

August 8, 2020

First hand experience with Samsung Galaxy S9 battery getting on fire…

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , ,

Wow, that was exciting…
My Samsung S9 battery bloated up popping the back cover open. I bought a replacement and was in the process of changing it when the old (bloated one) shorted somewhere inside in the bottom corner of the battery. It started by glowing in one small point then the whole thing started sizzling making lots of smoke. I tried to take it outside but made only a few steps before the whole thing got hot and scary to hold in hands, and I had to drop the phone. The battery remains popped out and started glowing red (I’m not exaggerating) then caught fire. Fortunately that main burning piece of the battery landed on the concrete part of the floor. The pieces that landed on the carpet were so hot that they melted it. Those were not thick big pieces that can absorb a lot of heat, pretty much just a copper foil.

The tip of the day: BE VERY CAREFUL PRYING OUT LI-ION BATTERIES, ESPECIALLY AVOID THE CORNERS.

Surprisingly, the phone still works, just the speaker board needs replacement…

October 4, 2018

How Much Lead Can You Get From a Car Battery

Filed under: General

Long story short, I needed to source about 20lb of lead cheaply and decided to take apart an old car-sized marine battery a friend gave me.

If you ever do that (and my advice don’t) just get the contact points and the big chunks that bridge the plates. You can see the latter on the picture inside the battery case.

Getting the lead mesh from the plates is not worth the efforts. There is more junk there than lead.

Baking soda and/or pool’s PH+ chemicals can be used to neutralize it. Borax can be used too. It converts it into boric acid and anhydrous sodium sulfate (neither of which is a nasty stuff, apparently). The process is simple. First, the water is added to dilute the acid (it’s not pure, so 50/50 mix is good enough). Then the neutralizing agent is added slowly (if doing it start with one spoon to see how it reacts). The baking soda and HTH PH+ bubble when added (borax doesn’t). As soon as it stops bubbling when the baking soda or HTH PH+ is added it should be good to dispose of.

It took quite a bit of the stuff to neutralize all the acid in the bucket and its remains in the battery case. I have scavenged and dumped in a pound or two all the above chemicals till it finally stopped bubbling.

20180915_160845 20180915_160854 20180916_3

The final result: 10lb

20180916_144331

And after smelting there were only about 6lb left.

The conclusion: a lot of time, efforts and baking soda wasted (borax and PH+ did not count, didn’t need them anyway).

Water Purity Experiment

Filed under: Water

Just for the fun of it I decided to see how different is the residue after evaporating the water coming directly from the well, vs passed through the softener, vs passed through the reverse osmosis filter (iSpring under-the-sink system).

I have filled in 3 glasses, covered them with a napkin and left to evaporate slowly in a secluded corner in the basement.

To my surprise it took a while (about 2-3 months, probably due to high humidity in the basement in the summer).

Here are the results (left-to-right: well, softener, filter). The last row is under microscope (4x magnification):
20181003_231623 20181003_231630
20181003_231638 20181003_231642 20181003_231645
20181003_232125 20181003_23214420181003_232213
20181003_234106 20181003_234326 20181003_234424

The filter has (quote) “…¬†Alkaline mineralization filter cartridge with Mineral Stone, Calcite, and Corosex …”. The content inside is of brown/yellow color, so I guess that’s where the brown crystals come from.

May 5, 2009

Artificial Aging of Wine Using Electric Field

Filed under: Wine — Tags: , , , ,

I have just read an interesting NewScientist article. It mentioned that they have had an unprecedented success with artificial aging of wine. To be precise, they mentioned taking a cheap 3-month old cabernet sauvignon and making it taste and smell like a really good wine according to a blind test of a group of wine experts. The chemical analysis also showed that the treatment sped up production of chemical compounds usually found in aged wine.
The process involved placing the wine for 3 min. into 600V/cm. electric field.
That should not be that hard to try at home unless some important details were missing from the article.
Maybe I should take an old TV and replace the picture tube with appropriately sized wine container between two plates under high voltage…
Note that they said that overexposure will ruin the wine…



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