Monthly Archives: September 2016

Start now, and Keep on Learning

Hi everyone, I’m Benedict, and today I want you to know that the best time to start learning is now. Your age or ability in your field of interest doesn’t matter. Whether you want to learn a new concept, work on a current or new skill, or just try something adventurous, don’t wait till tomorrow. At the same time, always remember that safety comes first, so do take all the necessary precautions.

The pictures below are some of the learning experiences and experiments I have done through the years. I know, they probably are not the most efficient way to fulfill my intended purpose, but hey, at least I can say I tried and learnt right? So here we go.

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This first picture was my first attempt at creating my own interpretation of the ‘Internet TV’, which was a new concept back in that time. (Internet TV does not actually work this way.) It was just a simple connection from the RCA port on my PC to the TV. The quality was not very good, but at least now we could watch YouTube on our old TV. I did this back when I was in upper primary, and it felt like a great achievement that motivated me to carry on making.

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This second picture was my first attempt at reusing some lithium ion battery cells from a discarded laptop battery into a portable charger. I used a 5V voltage regulator (The component with the heat sink in the picture.) to give an output of 5V to recharge the phone. While they were able to recharge the phone for a while, I had issues recharging the cells later, and I learnt firsthand about the dangers they posed.

I must emphasize that lithium ion battery cells can be extremely dangerous if mishandled, short circuited or overheated, so be careful when handling them, store them properly and make sure you know what you are working on.

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This third picture was my most recent attempt to transfer heat energy from the surrounding air to water. I observed that the water coming into our homes through the pipes are generally several degrees cooler than the air around us on a warm day. The expected end result was that the heat could be transferred from the air to the water, the air would be cooled to provide relief from the heat, and the water would be warmed up for washing or bathing as it flowed. The setup in the picture was just for the proof of concept.

I felt that this might provide a substitute to using an air-conditioner and water heater, both of which consume a large amount of electricity. This setup would only require a small motor for the radiator fan, which consumes very little electricity. Since the temperature gradient was very shallow, I needed a very large surface area for the heat to passively transfer. An air-conditioner radiator, I felt, was the best tool for the job. (Although any significantly large enough radiator would be good enough too.)

As a side note, if you are reusing an old radiator, it’s best to flush it with water for a while to remove any contaminants inside it before you start using it.

Thanks for reading and I hope this inspires you to start pursuing your aspirations starting right now. Remember, it’s never too late to start.

P.S. I apologize for the irregularity of my posts. I have just finished my exams at this point, but project work and my other commitments can sometimes leave me with little time to spare.

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