Saturday, May 07, 2011

Ow! (Scooter Battery, Continued)

So today, with goggles and gloves and no little trepidation, I undertook filling up the new motorscooter battery.

I was interested to learn they ship with their very own bottle of acid and I didn't spill more than few drops. Nearly panicked when, with about half the bottle poured in, it did not appear to be filling up, but it just takes awhile. Nonplussed that there's maybe a third of a cup left over, along with instructions to take it to the local hazmat disposal center.

But I got it done. And after letting it sit and settle for over an hour, it was charging time, which the good ol' trickle/float charger did, humming along tickety-boo.

Yeah. Tickety-freaking-boo. Tam and I were heading out to Big Giant Home Improvement (it's 25' ladder day! Hooray!) and, noticing the charger had flipped over from "charge" "storage," I shut it down, disconnected the leads and used my explod-o-meter (cheap small analog VOM that one doesn't mind if it gets exploded) to check. 13V, spot-on for a tiny meter. Knelt down for a closer look at the electrolyte level and OW!

There was a sudden, stabbing pain in the meat of my left shin at the outside front, next to the bone. One of the kawaii little test probes had come to rest pointy end up when I set the VOM down and I managed to come in for a landing on it with my shin -- stabby, stabby!

Poked in right through my jeans. As soon as I figure out what it was (kinda easy, what with a test probe stuck in my leg and all), I yanked it out and took a look at the damage: just a puncture and a muscle ache.

So we went to Big Home Improvement and I limped around 'til it felt a bit better. Tam kept giggling, though: "You're like a robot that only functions to unplug itself!" Yeah, sometimes.


og said...

My dr was looking at my arms preparatory to me going to get the damned carpal tunnel test which I was supposed to get last year and couldn't afford, and he said "Every square centimeter of your forearm has a scar on it. How have you not bled to death?"

If you do most any kind of technical work, unless it involves counting cotton balls, sooner or later, you're gonna bleed.

I have gotten into the habit of coating the tips of sharp tools with bacitracin. Don't know if it does anything, but at least it's named after a girl named tracy.

Anonymous said...

Haven't heard Tickety-Boo since I worked with a Welsh coal miner restoring an old slope mine for tourists. Nice phrase, and sorry 'bout the stab. Anon, Don

Standard Mischief said...


Hey, at least it wasn't an acid spill.

Keep the extra acid around. It'll come in handy as drain cleaner or to anodize your next scratch-built lower.

I've got a few of the el-cheapo harbor freight $3 meters where I cut the tips off and solder on alligator clips. Handy to have around for such stuff.

Kirk A said...

Battery Tender units do a good job for cycles. And if you want to get trick, wire in a John Deere/BMW connector plug and make it a cinch to keep your cells charged fully.

Roberta X said...

Kirk A: a Battery Tender is what I've got -- an excellent device.

Std. Mischief: I dunno about keeping the acid around, the container is kind of flimsy. And unless properly stored, it just sits there getting more concentrated. I'll either neutralize it with a lot of baking soda or make the trip to the hazmat center.

Noah D said...

Well...what was the reading on the meter?

Keads said...

Well I feel bad now. I always use a Fluke 73 VOM or Fluke 123 Scopemeter for everything!

I concur with Kirk A. Battery Tenders keep the 1971 and 1966 Mustang batteries in top form here!

Just remember the old saw: "When dealing with the cutting edge of technology, the blood on the floor is yours"!

Roberta X said...

Noah on the battery, or stuck in my leg? 13.0 and 0. Bear in mind the meter scale might be 1.5" long.

Keads, I have, as you might expect, a little collection of meters (and someday I'll get my h/p DC and ACVTVMs calibrated and on the bench again), but they're mostly bench meters; I'll use my Simpson 260 around the house but messing with storage batteries, a disposable "cheapie" is better.

When Market Square Arena was imploded, we had an "explodocam" inside. This led to Engineering thinking about situations where adequate-quality disposables suited our purposes better than the good stuff.

Keads said...

Ah, we still have a Simpson 260 in service here. Love that thing!

Based on what you say based on environmental circumstances that is totally logical!

Ritchie said...

Do you still have meter probes with the little chuck to hold a steel phonograph needle? Those are classic, and possibly now illegal in some states.