A look at Survival and Preparedness, Firearms, Ham Radio, German Shepherds, Photography and other related stuff! 73 Later, ZombieAxe :-)


Monday, December 8, 2008

Ramblings on keeping electronics working in cold weather...

I just got back from a parade up here in the mountains of NC my little was in. It was rather chilly, overcast, 5mph breeze, and 30F. I know for most of you in the Northern part of the country this is considered a heat wave, but for us in the south when that is the HIGH, that is 'dry' blizzard conditions

So when standing on a street waiting for your little angel to hurry the heck up (the float she was on was 3rd from the last ) your camera batteries are even less cold tolerant than you... So you don't want to miss that all important 15 secs of "Hey Daddy!!!!!" you were capturing for posterity with a cold 'graveyard dead' camera battery.

There are actually 2 solutions to this problem but are dependent on the battery type.

1. If your device is powered by AA's then simply switch them out to Energizers Lithium AA batteries. These batteries work very well in the cold. ALL my gear in my BOB/GHB has lithiums in them (if available), because these don't leak like alkalines, and their shelf life is greater! Only downside is MORE expensive, but what is more expensive the cost of the batteries??? Or the item being useless when you need it???

2. Hot Hands 2 hand warmers...I came up with this technique on a camping trip in the Natahala National Forest. Our ham radios were powered by rechargeable NiMh batteries, but when subjected to below freezing temps, the batteries couldn't take it and they would shut down. Cold and rechargeable batteries don't mix in my experience, so some way was need to keep the battery warm so we could use the darn things! We had a crap load of hot hand hand warmers so stuck these in the radio pouches to keep our radios working. They work EXTREMELY well at this and we got through the trip. No fumes and no fuel or mess. Thin enough to fit in pouches or be temporarily taped/rubber banded to the back of cameras,camcorders, GPS units, ham radios, etc. They also do not get too hot (130F) but you should make sure that your electronics don't super heat by monitoring them while using the hot hands.

Just something you need to consider when working outside in the cold and expect your electronics to do the same...

That is what I used to get the video camera to record those 'precious moments' today!



Zombie Axe's "Check Six Ring"

ZA's Check Six Ring in action

Back in my early school days I read an interesting book. It took place in the late 1800's but I don't remember much of anything other than the central character was young boy and somehow befriended a benevolent river boat gambler. The gambler had one of the coolest things to check behind his back while playing card so NO bad guys could get the jump on him. The cool thing was a "highly mirror polished ring" so he could see what was going on without turning around. I reckon he had to keep an eye on the players so they wouldn't cheat and keep an eye on his rear (called "check six" by military folks) so he wouldn't get jumped! I always thought the idea of a mirror ring was very neat and a worthwhile idea.

In my high school days i had a cool pair of sunglasses which were mirrored on the inside edges to allow you to "check six". I loved those things and the reflective ring became a distant memory.

ZA's Check Six Ring Model 1

Enter to a few weeks ago, I discovered Kip Kay's awesome HOW TO videos and REALLY got interested when he showed this little 1"x1" mirrors that people use in craft projectsm
, but was using them to bounce a laser beam for a home brewed security system. I thought, "wow next time I locate some of those I will hafta get some!"

Now flash forward to today. I was checking out a VERY good dollar store called "Mighty Dollar". They had bags of these little mirrors for , you guessed it, a dollar. I bought several bags for projects I have been wanting to do and lots of other goodies :)

When I got home, I thought about the gamblers ring and boy now I got the mirror, how can I make it handy???

ZA's Check Six Ring factory

I went messing around in the tool room and found some copper fittings from a plumbing job I did years ago... and it dawned on me, that I was a pretty good solderer back in the copper pipe days :)

ZA's Check Six Ring 1&2

A 3/4" coupling made a good ring after cutting a piece off. A 1/2" coupling cut into, pulled apart, pounded flat made a good base to support the mirror on the copper ring. All I had to do was solder the two together. After a little engineering and some blow torch time, my little project came together just fine.

I made 1, then made another using a more streamlined approach. My wife was astounded I could make jewelry (I am in trouble now ;) )and thought it was a cool idea.

In the pics I am using a piece of tape to hold the mirrors onto the copper plate. The one I will be testing out has it attached with an adhesive silicone glue. I am planning on painting these in a "skin tone" color to blend in with the hand better.

Ok Ok, you ask, "WTF is that for???????????????????????????" Fair enough, the 'ZA Check Six Ring' is to discreetly observe WTF is going on behind you. Observe things overhead while looking down. Place on a table to observe whatever.

ZA's Check Six Ring model 2

I really do not know if there is a market for this or not, or heck, even a practical use for it. A fictional river boat gambler, thought something similar was a good idea, so maybe there is a use??? It's a cool idea if I do so so myself :)

Thanks for reading!!!


Disclaimer and Copyright Notice

The information presented in this blog are things I know how to do and have training for. To duplicate any information or techniques within is solely at the readers risk and ZombieAxe, ZombieAxe's Ramblings or Google shall not be liable for any advice and information posted within that results in damage/loss of property, injury, loss of limb, or death. By reading this blog you, your family, your heirs and even folks that have not been born yet, have entered into an electronic binding contract to not hold any entity liable (especially ME!) but YOURSELF for any damage/loss of property, injury, loss of limb, or death from reading this blog.

FTC Discalimer,

To the Federal Trade Commison:Zombie Axe/Zombie Axe's Ramblings is not being paid by anyone, bribed with free gear to test, or offered free trips to exotic locals to 'give good press' for a product. All products were personally purchased by myself with the intention of using them for myself and any thing I plug on this blog is an item I recommend because I HAVE TESTED IT and found it worthy of mention. Go after those travel agents who get the free cruises and leave us legit non commercial bloggers alone.

All material is copyright 2009 Zombie Axe and no material may be used without credit to the author in part or whole.

Zombie Axe