Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Each installment will cover and item that is extremely useful so much so that no person should be without.
This installment will cover the grand-daddy of usefulness DUCT TAPE
It goes by many names HVAC Tape, Duct Tape, Duck Tape, 100 mph Tape, and the list goes on...they vary in name as they do in quality. MAKE sure you buy GOOD quality duct tape not the cheap crap which only pretends to be duct tape.
Duct tape has been used to hold vehicles together, patch pipes, patch hoses, patch BODIES, etc. It has a multitude of uses due to its stickiness and its strength both of which are legendary.
According to Wikipedia "Duct tape (sometimes called duck tape; see under Etymology) is a vinyl, fabric-reinforced, multi-purpose pressure sensitive tape with a soft and tacky pressure sensitive adhesive. It is generally silver or black in color but many other colors and transparent tapes have recently become available. With a standard width of 17⁄8 inches (48 mm), duct tape was originally developed during World War II in 1942 as a water resistant sealing tape for ammunition cases. Permacel, then a division of Johnson & Johnson, used a rubber-based adhesive to help the tape resist water and a fabric backing to add strength. It was also used to repair military equipment quickly, including jeeps, firearms, and aircraft because of these properties. In Canadian military circles, this variant is known as "gun-tape", typically olive-green, and also known for its resistance to oils and greases. Duct tape is also called "100-MPH tape" or 'Hurricane Tape' in the military  - a name that comes from the use of a specific variety of duct-tape that was supposedly supposed to hold up to 100mph winds. Another version attributes this to the fact that soldiers often refer to something that exceeds expectations as "High Speed."
(end of Wikipedia reference)
Duct tape has so many uses that everyone should have at least a roll or two laying around somewhere. I have a few rolls in the garage and I keep a roll in my truck box as well. When I used to play roller hockey I would reinforce the knees on my skate pants with duct tape to keep them from shredding when I would drop to my knees to block shots (I was a defenseman). It worked great.
Most recently I needed to patch my Pop-up campers awning after I carelessly put a tear in it. The awning has withstood multiple rain storms and the tape is still holding rock solid.
There are several great sites on the internet dedicated to duct tape and here is a sampling:
The Duct Tape Guys
The Duct Tape Club
Popular Mechanics, one of my favorite magazines by the way, did a great test pitting duct tape against some other types of tape and although Gorilla Tape was the winner (more expensive), duct tape performed very well. You can read the article and see the results here.
Some things you can do with duct tape:
1.) Repair your fender or even reattach it to your car.
2.) Make a wallet
3.) Patch a rubber dingy.
4.) Hem your pants
5.) Repair your tent.
6.) Patch ripped clothing
7.) Fix a broken book binding.
8.) Use to keep a wound closed (temporarily)
9.) Fasten a limb to a splint.
10.) Use as a disguise when robbing a liquor store.
11.) Used as weather stripping around doors and windows.
12.) Tape an alligators mouth shut.
13.) Repair a garden hose.
14.) Seal duct work..yes believe it or not.
15.) Duct tape also has some wart eradicating qualities. The daily application of a patch of duct tape has an equally good chance of working as over the counter remedies.
...that is all.
Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries have been taking the place of NiMH packs in digital equipment such as cameras and laptops because their capacity is 2-3 times what a NiMH is. Almost all new laptops utilize a Li-ion battery pack. Night vision gear almost always use lithium batteries, either the primary or the rechargeable kind. These cells exhibit a low self-discharge rate of 5% per month.
Of course, there are disadvantages to go with the advantages. Li-ion cells have high internal resistance, so cannot provide the surges of power that NiCad and even NiMH can. Li-ion batteries also lose capacity dependent more upon time than cycles, so storing these cells away for an emergency will get you nothing. A Li-ion cell will lose 20% of its capacity per year, no matter what. Again, these need a smart charger, and the Li-ion battery packs are known for their propensity to catch fire during charging or even use. 1% of all Li-ion laptop battery packs produced have been recalled for this problem.
For laptops, digital cameras, night vision and other electronics, there is nothing that holds out longer than Li-ion batteries. So far, they are too expensive and finicky for anything else, but there is a lot of skull sweat being expended to fix that.
NiMH cells can hold up to 3x the capacity that an alkaline cell of the same size does (up to 8AH in a AA cell). However, these cells have an extremely high self-discharge rate, losing 5-10% of their charge one day after charging, and then 1% per day after that. For this reason, they are unsuitable for emergency intermittent use, but for regular use, they rule.
There is a new type of NiMH cell out now that has a greatly reduced self-discharge rate, down to less than 5% per month or even better than the NiCad. This was achieved at the loss of capacity, these cells hold less than an alkaline cell does (although better than NiCad).
NiMH cells are more finicky than NiCad cells when charging, they can suffer damage very quickly if charged incorrectly. A smart battery charger is essential for these cells. Even a trickle charger can harm them if left on it more than a day. Their charging efficiency is at 66%, so you get a maximum of 2/3 of the power put into them. They also can be damaged by discharging them completely. If treated correctly, these batteries will deliver more than 500 cycles before failure. NiCads can deliver more cycles, but their lower capacity means that more total power was stored and delivered with NiMH cells.
NiMH cells are still more expensive than NiCads, but their other characteristics make them a more suitable general use rechargeable battery. I used to be a NiCad fan, but have switched to NiMH for most rechargeable uses (they don't go in the digital camera, though).
The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of the muscle. He has got a fine Geneva watch, but he has lost the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His notebooks impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance-office increases the number of accidents- Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841The less you can do for yourself, the more you have to pay others to do it for you. As the posting Self-Reliance puts it, "Plumbers know that you’re reliant on them for your life to continue as normal, so they can charge exorbitant rates and take their sweet time solving the problem. This costs you money." At CodeNameInsight, the author was inspired by this idea and created a list of ways we have become reliant on others:
- Cooking - we eat out or buy ready to eat meals at the grocery
- Growing food - we buy it
- Catching/Killing food - we buy it and it comes pre-cut and cleaned.
- Coffee - Starbucks does this for you
- Washing clothes - what would you do with a washer/dryer or laundromat?
- Child raising - nannies, day-care
- Car repair - mechanics
- Plumbing - plumbers
- Electrical - electricians
- First Aid - emergency rooms
- Make clothes - we buy them
- ... and so on
The more you can learn and do on your own the cheaper you can live. You'll have greater self confidence and survivability during emergencies.
More importantly it discusses what you individually can learn from this mess and apply to your own life. Today we discuss how to get out of and stay out of debt and why it is as important to survivalism as growing food, learning to use a weapon or storing supplies.
Resources for Today’s Show…
Legislation Discussed in Today’s Show
- The GIVE Act - Not about a “drafted army” but it still sucks!
- The Food Safety Act - They are NOT after your tomato patch but they are after the small farmer, shut it down.
- Ron Paul’s Bill to Abolish the Federal Reserve - Won’t even come to a vote but nice to see it being attempted.
- Ron Paul’s Bill to Require Transparency of the Federal Reserve - Call your congress critter and call the committee members to support this one. Unless you are opposed to it of course.