May 29th, 2013

WTF

In which I'm very careful about battery chargers...

So last night I spent some time reading up about LiPo batteries. Why? Because they are really expensive, and I'm planning to strap one to myself. These two factors make it imperative that I learn enough to a) not destroy it by treating it wrong, since I've never dealt with these before, and b) not set fire to myself.

Not setting fire to myself may be coming across as something of a theme here. Hmm..

So the first thing I learned is that LiPo batteries don't just catch fire, they can also explode:



By the time I'd read the first page about them, I was eyeballing my one as if it was a bomb, and having serious reservations about putting it in a belt pack close to my kidneys. However, that page up there (the one about LiPo batteries) tells me that there are four rules for not making your battery go splodey:

1. Don't overcharge it.
2. Don't short it out.
3. Don't incinerate it.
4. Don't impale it on anything.

As long as I follow those rules, I should be good. Also, my one is a hardpack. These are built for remote control vehicle racing, and are actually compulsory in this sport because they are the safest. Realistically, my biggest danger is shorting, and I've been pretty damn careful about making sure that doesn't happen - previously because of not wanting to destroy my microcontroller, but now also because of not wanting to have explosions. Also, the battery will be in a pocket made of 3.2mm leather, attached to a belt made of 3.2mm leather - so that's 6.4mm of essentially leather armour between me and any explosions. What? It makes me feel better!

Urk.

So anyway, my cow butt arrived. Thick leather is thick. Bring on the thumb callouses while I sew this stuff..

Also, I got a press release from the DEA this morning that says they have successfully extradited the ex-president of Guatemala to face charges of misappropriating Guatemalan tax money and laundering it through US banks. I realise that money laundering is illegal, but there are two crimes here - one is money laundering in the US, and the other is stealing vast sums of money from the Guatemalan people. It strikes me as odd that the US can (and will) extradite a person there for the lesser crime of money laundering, and then brag about it. It just seems.. arrogant. Especially in light of the HSBC thing. Just saying.