Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Battery – Make Electronic Objects Mobile

A battery is a device that stores chemical energy and is available in an electric form. The batteries contain a series of electrochemical devices that contains one or more fuel cells, galvanic cells and flow cells. This electric battery is an interconnected array of one or more than one voltaic cells that are used in the cars, in torches, laptops, digital watches and almost every electronic goods that we use in our daily life.

Series of battery cells

The cells in the battery are connected either in parallel, in series or in both combinations. While the parallel combination of cells has the same voltage power as a single cell, it can supply a higher current than a single cell can. The parallel arrangements, however, suffer from a recurrent problem. If one cell discharges faster than its neighbor cell, then current will flow from the full cell to the empty cell, thereby wasting a lot of power and causing excess of overheating. Another marked disadvantage is if one of the cells gets short-circuited due to an internal fault, then its neighbor will be forced to discharge its maximum current into the faulty cell, thereby leading to sudden explosion.

The capacity of a battery to store charge is often expressed in ampere hours [1 A.h = 3600 coulombs]. If the battery can provide one ampere [1A] of current for completely one hour then it is said to have a real-world capacity of 1 A.h.

Types of batteries

There are some common battery types that are used in everyday life. The different types include rechargeable and disposable batteries, homemade cells, and traction batteries and flow batteries.

Disposable batteries

Also called primary cells are intended to use only once until the chemical changed that induce electrical current supply are complete and the battery is then discarded. They are commonly used in smaller and portable objects with low current drain. They are usually contained in light drain and heavy drain appliances, digital cameras, watches, computer clocks, and hearing aids.

Rechargeable batteries

These are secondary cells that can be recharged after they have been drained. This is done by conveniently applying externally supplied electrical current that reverses the chemical reactions that usually occur in use. It is used in appliances like alarm systems, vehicles, vacuum tube radio sets, absorbed glass mats etc.

Traction batteries

These batteries are designed to provide power to move vehicles like electric cars and tow motors. A peculiar characteristic of traction batteries is the electrolytes in the batteries are gelled.

Flow batteries

They are a special class of battery that stores additional quantities of electrolyte outside the main power cell of the battery and are circulated throughout by pumps or through movement. They have a high capacity and are specially used in the marine appliances.

So whether it’s your car, PC, laptop cell phone or MP3 player, the batteries are almost everywhere to make you electrically mobile.

An Introduction To Plasma TV Technology

Plasma TVs have become increasingly available, and their cost is lowering all the time. We have all heard about plasma TVs, and advertising campaigns are constantly telling us that they are the status symbol to have. Adverts are extremely effective at glorifying the benefits of having a plasma TV, so much so that it appears that even our pulling power and popularity will be improved. The one thing that these adverts don’t really tell us is what a plasma TV actually is. Here is a brief guide to plasma TVs to help you appreciate this apparent miracle of modern technology.

Plasma TVs have a higher resolution than other conventional display devices which means that they can display the high definition signals of HDTV and DTV. Also, plasma TVs are compatible with the computer signals SVGA, VGA, and XGA.

Unlike other display devices, plasma TVs have a transistor electrode for every pixel cell which means that there are none of the scan lines that are visible with regular TV sets. The whole image is evenly lit across the display by these electrodes, and not produced by an electron beam which is the cause of scan lines.

Top-of-the-range plasma TVs have display capabilities of over 16 million colours. This ensures that the picture has far more realistic colour than that shown on a conventional TV screen. This is because they are able to show far more shades of colours compared to the lesser quality TV screens.

Plasma TV screens are completely flat which has two benefits. There is no edge distortion, unlike on more curved conventional TV screens, and also there is a far wider viewing angle. The viewing angle of a plasma TV is 160 degrees, and allows the image to be seen properly from more areas of the room where the TV set is situated. This makes plasma TV screens ideal for large groups to view, and lessens the need for more than one TV set to be placed.

Of course, the main benefit that most people are aware of with plasma TVs is their space-saving quality. They are extremely shallow, and can therefore be installed in many more locations than a conventional TV set. The depth of a 50 inch screen is approximately 4 inches, and it can therefore be hung on a wall.

Before there was iPod...

In 1992 Sony launched the MiniDisc (MD) as an attempt to replace audio cassette technologies. The MiniDisc was developed based on magneto-optical storage media that allowed for writing and rewriting of stored information. The fact that the data could be quickly accessed without the need to scroll through an entire tape made this technology very promising for ease of use over the cassette. The data compression format known as ATRAC (Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding) was used to allow the audio files to fit on the MiniDisc. In fact, at the SP compression ratio of 292kbps, 60 to 80 minutes of music could be stored on a single disk. Even at CD quality, 20 to 28 minutes of music could be stored on the MiniDisc.

The first MiniDisc based machine was the MZ-1 recorder. The problem with this machine was mainly that it had a cost of more than $750.00. It had an optical line input, audio line input, and microphone input jack. It had an audio output. Some of the earliest versions had an optical line output, but this feature was discontinued. Sony licensed MiniDisc tecnhology to a variety of companies such as Sharp, Panasonic, and Kenwood. It was only a matter of time before all of these companies had released their own lines of MiniDisc players and recorders. MiniDisc players were also developed by Sony for use in the home and car in 1994. All of these efforts yielded no results in North America and Europe, where people seemed content with cassettes for recording and CDs for music purchases. But in East Asia, the MiniDisc took hold and reigned as the top audio format medium through the rest of the 1990s.

In 2000, Sony launched the MiniDisc Long Play (MDLP) format. In the form of LP2, the MiniDisc player could compress audio at 132kbps for up to 80 to 160 minutes per disc. In the LP4 format, the audio could be compressed at 66kbps for up to 320 minutes of audio per disc. But a big difference existed in how the stereo channels were recorded between these two MiniDisc Long Play formats. The LP2 used the same discrete left and right audio channels as the original MiniDisc SP format, while the LP4 began the use of joint stereo encoding.

To keep up with the new MP3 players hitting the market, Sony developed its NetMD for launch in 2002. The NetMD featured a USB connector for exchanging music files with a personal computer. However, in order to use NetMD on your computer, you would have to install their SonicStage (SS) software. Many people found that SonicStage was problematic. In some cases, it froze their computer systems. In other cases it used up a lot of system resources, had file transfer errors, and put restrictions on how often files could be transferred. Though Sony quickly came up with an update called SonicStage CP (SSCP), which was more usable. Their reputation was so tarnished by the original SonicStage that many former NetMD users still won't purchase Sony products.

Other people don't use Sony products anymore because of deceptive claims Sony made about NetMD on the NetMD product boxes and on the Sony NetMD website. Sony claimed the NetMD would be able to play MP3 files. What they didn't bother to mention was that the MP3 files would not be played natively but would have to be re-encoded by SonicStage into ATRAC format during the file transfer process. This not only meant that the sound quality of the MP3 files would be tarnished, but also that file transfers to the NetMD could take several hours.

It didn't help that Sony did not provide good product information to NetMD retailers. All during this time NetMD retailers were telling their customers that files could be transferred from the NetMD to their personal computers. Many people ended up deleting their original files on their computers after transfer only to find out later that they couldn't copy their NetMD files back onto their computers.

In 2004, Sony made a variety of fixes and upgrades to their MiniDisc product line with the release of the Hi-MD. Things such as USB two-way file transfers could now be done. For the first time, recordings could be uploaded from the recorder to the computer but only files that were recorded in the Hi-MD format. But for many former MiniDisc customers it was too late, as too much damage had been done to Sony's credibility. In addition to Sony, only Onkyo even bothered to make mini-component systems and home stereos using Hi-MD. But Kenwood, Teac, and Marantz still have MDLP systems on the market, even though Hi-MD is backwards compatible with the previous MiniDisc formats. Hi-MD contains 1 gigabyte of memory and records in PCM, otherwise known as WAV.

In April 2006, Sony came out with the MZ-RH1 portable Hi-MD recorder. This recorder went the extra step, not only could Hi-MD recordings be uploaded but also recordings made prior to the introduction of Hi-MD could be uploaded. Without blatantly admitting it, Sony was giving MD users the chance to upload all their MD recordings to computer so the files could be transferred to other formats as the MD-age was now coming to a close.

A whole generation in East Asia has now grown up using the MiniDisc formats. Many people have become hardcore fans. Many people haven't found a viable alternative for making real-time copies of music for replay without requiring the clunky intervention and use of a computer. Many people now collect MiniDisc systems just as a hobby. But the MiniDisc systems live on in popular usage because many people just want to be able to grab whatever they hear to hear again later.

Alpine Living Air Classic – Taking A Closer Look

For more than a decade, Americans have been becoming increasingly aware that the air that they breathe in their homes is generally not of good quality. Between cooking and pet odors, mold, mildew, the widespread use of plastic materials, and carcinogenic cleaning products, many feel that their inside air has been compromised. What do consumers do? Purchase an air purifier. In 1998 I was given the gift of an Alpine Living Air Classic machine. It has been touted as an ideal solution for problem air. Let’s see if the product lives up to its billing.

As far as air purifiers go, the Alpine Living Air Classic [now sold by EcoQuest International] is neither cheap nor does it look cheap. Weighing 19 pounds, the “Classic” is housed in a wooden cabinet available to consumers in four colors: dark walnut, light oak, putty, and black. It is a solid unit with a thick six foot electrical cord. Claiming coverage of up to 3,000 square feet most homes could operate with just one unit although a second one might be needed if your house is large, indoor air pollution is high, or you have high humidity. Prices currently start at $549 so it is no cheap investment.

How does it work? The unit produces ozone which coupled with an active fan it reproduces and spreads the clean, fresh scent of a thunderstorm throughout your home. Okay, I am parroting some of the marketing material...I had to because it isn’t that easy to describe.

So, does it work? As far as producing the ‘thunderstorm scent’ it certainly does. As far as getting rid of pollutants, odors, and the like I cannot tell you for sure that it does. Indeed there has been plenty of controversy and government rulings against the reported claims of air purifiers over the years by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency {EPA}, Consumer’s Union [they produce Consumer’s Report magazine], and the American Lung Association.

The EPA has this to say, “whether in its pure form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts of ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and, throat irritation. It may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma as well as compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections." They go on to say, “some studies show that ozone concentrations produced by ozone generators can exceed health standards even when one follows manufacturer’s instructions. Many factors affect ozone concentrations including the amount of ozone produced by the machine(s), the size of the indoor space, the amount of material in the room with which ozone reacts, the outdoor ozone concentration, and the amount of ventilation. These factors make it difficult to control the ozone concentration in all circumstances."

In conclusion, the EPA states: “Available scientific evidence shows that, at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is generally ineffective in controlling indoor air pollution.” The concentration of ozone would have to greatly exceed health standards to be effective in removing most indoor air contaminants. In the process of reacting with chemicals indoors, ozone can produce other chemicals that themselves can be irritating and corrosive.

As you can imagine, I no longer use my Alpine Living Air Classic. It sits in my office, unplugged, and working well in its new role as a coffee cup holder while I work on my computer. Frankly, the claims made against this unit made by the federal government and others are certainly frightening.

So, how do I achieve clean air today? Again, by visiting the EPA’s site I have learned that there are 3 common approaches to reducing indoor air pollution:

Source Control: Eliminate or control the sources of pollution;

Ventilation: Dilute and exhaust pollutants through outdoor air ventilation, and

Air Cleaning: Remove pollutants through proven air cleaning methods.

Of the three, the first approach -- source control -- is the most effective. This involves minimizing the use of products and materials that cause indoor pollution, employing good hygiene practices to minimize biological contaminants (including the control of humidity and moisture, and occasional cleaning and disinfection of wet or moist surfaces), and using good housekeeping practices to control particles.

The second approach -- outdoor air ventilation -- is also effective and commonly employed. Ventilation methods include installing an exhaust fan close to the source of contaminants, increasing outdoor air flows in mechanical ventilation systems, and opening windows, especially when pollutant sources are in use.

The third approach -- air cleaning -- is not generally regarded as sufficient in itself, but is sometimes used to supplement source control and ventilation. Air filters, electronic particle air cleaners and ionizers are often used to remove airborne particles, and gas adsorbing material is sometimes used to remove gaseous contaminants when source control and ventilation are inadequate.

If you are intent on purchasing any air purifier, I recommend that you first do plenty of independent research apart from what the marketers tell you. By following the 3 methods stressed by the EPA you should be able to achieve acceptable indoor cleanliness without resorting to purchasing expensive – even dangerous – air sanitization equipment.

For more information please read:

The EPA’s Position:

Some Air Purifiers May Produce Dangerous Levels of Ozone:

What is Ozone Air Pollution?

Advantages of Buying the Latest Electronic Gadgets Online, and How You Can Get It before Anyone Else

Everyone likes to see and try out the newest electronic gadgets. For someone that is normally hard to buy for or someone who just likes to upgrade or add to their collections, buying an innovative new gadget will satisfy their curiosity and interest. Some gadgets are not practical or necessarily useful, but they all have a unique function.

Electronic gadgets are not just for computer geeks or children. There are such a wide variety of devices now that any age will be able to get use from a gadget. The next generation will always be looking for cool new gadgets and accessories.

Why Buy Online

Buying electronic gadgets online gives you a chance to get it before anyone else. Finding new products as they come out would take a lot of time in driving around to different stores, as well as the expense of traveling. It is much easier and less stressful to shop right from your home or office computer.

Taking time to check out different websites will give you a chance to compare products and prices. Instead of spending time going to several stores to check, you can spend less time looking at a large variety of websites. Saving time will also help you to get it before anyone else. And, browsing sites will give you many great gift ideas.

Find New Products and Get It Before Anyone Else

Finding new products is easier online because you can check websites as often as you want, every day or more, and it just takes a few minutes. Bookmark the sites that interest you the most and they will just be a click away.

Some websites offer free shipping on orders of a certain amount. This would save the expense of shipping or gasoline if you had to drive to a store to buy it. If you find a unique product on a website, you could order immediately and get it before anyone else.

Shop Around Online

Most websites have online catalogs where you can search the different products they offer on the site. This gives you a chance to review a wide selection of products that often is not available in retail stores. You can search by subject or type in a keyword for a specific product that you want.

Finding the lowest prices and best deals is easy. It is so convenient to take advantage of their information and comments. Some sites feature customers' emails and comments. You can check out a product before you buy and decide if you want to get it before anyone else.

Many websites allow you to register a wish list. This way you can keep track of what you are watching for on a certain page. Also, some sites let you put in requests for a product or subject you are interested in finding.

Take advantage of modern technology and shop online. There are many reasons to shop on the Web. The convenience and the amount of variety give you a big jump on other shoppers. Start surfing for gadgets now and get it before anyone else!


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