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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Batteroo: voltage booster for AA and AA cells

The Battero is a voltage booster that is a sleeve that goes round your AA or AAA battery cells, very common cells used in the US market. That means it can boost the voltage to your items get more use out of the battery. Normally, a 1.5vdc AA battery is considered dead when it reaches 1.2v. The Batteroo boosts the voltage higher so the device thinks the battery has more juice than it does.

The Batteroo got a lot of criticism because it make outrageous claims like extending battery life 800%. That is not true, but it does extend battery life. The concept of a voltage booster is also called  Joule Thief. The concept is simple, but the key for the Batteroo was miniturizing the components to fit as a sleeve around the AA battery.

More Batteroos scheduled to be sold in Jan 2017. Stay tuned. I'll be testing one of these.

I haven't seen any Joule Thief flashlights out there. Most flashlights concentrate on guzzling power to get a high brightness to blind a UFO. But if you want a power-sipping LED light that works on dead batteries, go here to Etsy.

EDIT: Further Batteroo testing by several people revealed the Batteroo does nothing to improve battery life. So it appears it's not even a tiny Joule Thief.
  1. EEVBlog video here, with toy train test.  
  2. EEVBlog post about the Batteroo testing. You will need a free account to comment.
  3. Wikipedia entry on Batteroo.

I assumed there was some potential here if they really miniaturized a Joule Thief, and improved battery life about 20-40%, but test results indicate that it's a total scam.

San Jose State University's Kiumars Parvin claimed, "We tested the Batteriser sleeve in our lab and we confirmed that the Batteriser taps into 80 percent of energy that is usually thrown away."
Now if you don't know how marketers talk, you will totally misunderstand the above statement. The statement does not say "it uses up all of the other 80% of the battery power". It says "it taps into (uses some of) the wasted 80% of battery power."

In the test by UL (safety organization), a Garmin Golf GPS using Batteriser was shown to have a lifespan of 10 hours and 12 minutes, in contrast to the 1 hour and 43 minutes of operating time without a Batteriser.[8] However, later the test was independently duplicated by TechnologyCatalyst to demonstrate that Garmin runs OK for over 17 hours on ordinary AA batteries, and the report by UL was based on the sloppy test design.
 Test design matters, quite a bit, apparently. A better test might be how many milliamps the device uses with and without the Batteroo. Power meters on different devices are designed differently and can be misleading.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Monsanto corn damaged intestines

Monsanto's GM corn MON810 has damaged rat intestines, according to a new study stored at the NIH. Damaged intestines can lead to poor nutrient uptake, leading to a host of diseases and conditions, although the symptoms may be subtle. This GM corn contained delta toxins, the same emitted by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

GM Watch. 2016-11-24.
Study at the NIH. 2016-11.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tiny batteries with nanopores charge in 12 minutes

A new battery type, made with nanopores, could store more energy in a smaller space and improve battery technology.

  1. They are 80,000 times thinner than a human hair. I wonder if they could be made flexible.
  2. One billion nanoholes could fit on a postage stamp. 
  3. Recharges thousands of times. (Not likely, current batteries don't even do that.)
  4. It could take 3-5 years to commercialize this product. 
  5. These batteries have the potential to triple a cell phone's battery life and give electric vehicles a 300-mile driving range. 
  6. It took two decades to bring the initial lithium-ion battery to the market.

National Geographic, 2014.
Follow NatGeoGreen on Twitter.

Friday, December 2, 2016

USDA: 85% of foods tested contain pesticides

The USDA runs a program called the Pesticide Data Program where it tests foods for pesticide residues. The 2015 report (released Nov 2016) says 85% of foods tested contained pesticides. One sample of strawberries contained 20 pesticides. Only 15% of foods were free from pesticides.
  1. There were 10,000+ samples collected.
  2. Apples, cherries (fresh and frozen), cucumbers, grapefruit, grapes, green beans, lettuce, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, sweet corn (fresh and frozen), tomatoes, and watermelon.
  3. Because PDP data are mainly used for risk assessments, PDP laboratory methods are geared to detect the lowest possible levels of pesticide residues.
  4. Samples were taken from a variety of US states. Both domestic items and imported items were sampled.

Source backup link to PDF.