VECYS CR18 Car Refrigerator review

I reviewed the VECYS CR18 Car refrigerator.

This is an 18L fridge/freezer (it can get down to -14C / 6.8F) that runs on 12-24 volts DC (although it ships with an AC adapter that allows you to use it off of mains power).

At refrigeration temperatures (0c/32f) it takes 190 watt hours to maintain temperature for 24 hours.

At freezing temperatures(-20c on the control panel, -14c inside), it takes 520 watt hours to maintain temperature for 24 hours.

It takes almost 24 hours to fully freeze a 1L / 1kg / 2lb water gel pack.

Amazon Affiliate link: https://amzn.to/3mfW5zc

It’s October 2021, how is Orange County doing with COVID-19?

We are nearing the tail end of the Delta surge. The October 1st 2021 DOH report shows that orange county had “only” 2,365 cases in the last week, and our 7 day test positivity rate has dropped down to 5% (for the first time in 3 months…).

The number of cases per day are still as bad as in January/Feb, April/May, so COVID is definitely spreading in the community, but “74% of those 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine” according to Mayor Jerry Demings.  Although breakthrough infections are possible, being vaccinated gives strong protection against infection, and extremely strong protection against getting sick enough to need hospitalization or dying.

Orange county schools have reported 5909 student cases (and 1,114 employee cases) since August 2nd, and are still enforcing a mask mandate through the end of October.

Deaths

So far, Orange County FL has had 2,045 COVID-19 deaths out of a population of 1,457,445, or (140 deaths per 100,000 residents), which is a per-capita death rate higher than the countries of South Korea (5), Australia (6), Iceland (9), Japan (14), Norway (16), Egypt (17), India (33) and the Philippines (36) combined.

 

Ring Mailbox Sensor Review

Ring sells a “Mailbox Sensor” ($29) which tells you when somebody opens your mailbox. (i.e. it notifies you when the mail is delivered, or picked up.)

Really, it’s just one of their ring outdoor light motion sensor modules with an extra external antenna jack. (The small round object near the white square in the photo below.) It is powered by 3 AAA batteries, and lasts about 2.5 months under “normal” usage (e.g. opening the mailbox twice a day six days a week) using generic AAA batteries. Continue reading

It’s September 2021, how is Orange County doing with COVID-19?

For the week ending August 27th, 2021, Orange County Florida had an average of 1,292 new cases per day. This is worse than the highest previous peak in January.  The exponential growth can be blamed on the Delta Variant and the relaxing of masking and social distancing.

However, the number of new cases each week appears to have plateaued, and the test positivity rate, at 14.9%, while still very high, has gone down from a peak of 20%, so it appears that we may have reached the peak of this delta variant surge.

Historically, Orange County has had a case fatality rate of near 1%, so that would indicate we are due to see about 12-13 deaths per day in the near future, but as death numbers are no longer part of the FDOH weekly reports for counties I have no way of knowing if the case fatality rate has started to drop due to vaccinations of high-risk groups or has increased due to the Delta variant.

We have vaccinated (at least a first dose) 858,281 people (out of a population of 1,457,445), or 59% of the total. If you discount children 12 and under who are not yet eligible for vaccination, Orange County has vaccinated 69% of the eligible population.  We vaccinated 77,829 people in August (Compared to 62,349 people in July, 65,206 in June, 88,482 in May and 151,176 in April.)

Hospitalizations

Although the FDOH is not reporting county level hospitalization numbers, we can assume that the admissions curves for Orange County are similar to the entire state of Florida. We currently have more people hospitalized with confirmed covid-19 cases than ever before. Elective surgeries are postponed,  hospital morgues are full  and portable morgue units are being deployed.

Deaths

The FDOH is not reporting death numbers directly for Orange County, but judging from the graphs for the entire state of Florida, deaths are also at an all time high.

The “actual date of death” data lags behind the “reported date of death” data, but as you can see from historical trends, the reported death data is indicating that the actual date of death data will set new records in Florida.

Orange County Public Schools

In the entire 2020-2021 school year (when around half of the students were remote) OCPS reported a total of 5,072 student cases of Covid-19.  (and 2,216 employee cases).

So far, in the first three weeks of the 2021-2022 school year (with the majority of students in-person) the OCPS dashboard has reported 2,599 student cases of Covid-19. (And 624 employee cases.)

Have we reached the peak?
In other countries surges driven by the Delta Variant have peaked hard and then receded quickly (after natural immunity is reached in the un-vaccinated population via infections) so we we may see a sharp decline in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in September.

Ego 7.5AH Battery capacity over time (Battery Degradation over time) – 4 year update

I own three 7.5AH Ego batteries. My earliest had a manufacture date of 2014 (although I purchased it in 2017 with a mower manufactured in 2016). I now have four years of operation on this battery.

As shown in the graph, the capacity dropped off over time (down to a low of 260 watt hours in year 3, which is 63% of the original 410 watt hour capacity), but in year 4 it has actually increased a bit to 290 watt hours (70% of the original capacity).

My 2nd 7.5AH battery was purchased in July of 2018 (manufactured in May of 2018).

As you can see, its graph has gone down, and so far hasn’t popped back up.  At the three year mark it is also down to a 260 watt hour capacity (63% of it’s new capacity).

My third 7.5AH battery has a 2019 manufacture date, but it’s still in its first year of “use”, so I don’t have a fancy graph for it yet, although I have started to include it in the comparison bar graph below:

So far, all three of my 7.5 AH batteries have followed a very similar capacity vs time curve, and you can expect one of these batteries to retain an average of 90% capacity in year 1, 72-75% capacity in year 2, and 63% capacity in year 3.

[Plus, they MAY bounce back up to 70% capacity in year 4, if the other two follow the path taken by my first battery.]

Capacitive Touch Button Failure on Looking Glass Portrait can be solved with a better USB-C PD power supply

I’ve had re-occuring issues with Looking Glass Portrait displays where the touch sensitive capacitive buttons (Forward, Back and Play/Pause) would not work. (Either straight out of the box, or intermittently.)

After a lot of back and forth with Looking Glass (and them shipping me 4! replacement units) I was finally able to determine that the issue is the provided CHOETECH USB-C 20W PD power supplies. (Which apparently don’t work well on the 110-113 volts AC at my house, even though they are rated at 100-240 volts AC….)

I’m not sure if it is a power issue, or some type of noise/frequency that the power supply generates when running on voltages close to the bottom end of its range, but I can reliably fix the issue by changing over to using my Google Pixel 4A USB-C PD power adapter to power the Looking Glass Portrait.

 

 

EcoQube C+ acrylic lid

I bought an EcoQube C+  (3 gallon aquarium/aquaponics system with a built in spot for a few small plants) from a discount deal of the day website (after their Kickstarter imploded…and somebody offloaded the product).  The model I got was the EcoQube C+ UV, which has a small box containing UV LEDS just after the pump, that supposedly keep algae and other bad stuff from growing in the water.

Of course, it didn’t come with the plant growth medium that you are supposed to use in the four little baskets, so I bought some coco hanging basket liner and used a small strip of that in a loop to hold some perlite in the basket to support the roots of some sweet mint.

I noticed that the water was evaporating relatively quickly, possibly due to the large opening at the top. You used to be able to buy a glass cover for the 2 gallon EcoQube C, but it was out of stock, and probably wouldn’t fit the C+ anyways, so I decided to make my own out of 1/8″ clear acrylic.


This view with the protective paper still on the acrylic lets you see how it fits over the tank, and the following photo shows what it looks like when the protective paper is removed.

If you have access to a laser cutter, you can download my .SVG file to make your own: ecoCubeC+cover.svg

Or find it on Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4924825

 

It’s August 1st, 2021, how is Orange County doing with COVID-19?

For the week ending July 29th 2021, Orange County Florida had an average of 1,130 new cases per day. The test positivity rate over the last week was 18.2%.
This is worse than the highest previous peak in January.  The exponential growth can be blamed on the Delta Variant and the relaxing of masking and social distancing.

Historically, Orange County has had a case fatality rate of near 1%, so that would indicate we are due to see about 11 deaths per day in the near future, but as death numbers are no longer part of the FDOH weekly reports for counties I have no way of knowing if the case fatality rate has started to drop due to vaccinations of high-risk groups or has increased due to the Delta variant.

We have vaccinated (at least a first dose) 780,452 people (out of a population of 1,457,445, or 54% of the total. If you discount children 12 and under who are not yet eligible for vaccination, Orange County has vaccinated 63% of the eligible population.  We vaccinated 62,349 people in July (Compared to 65,206 in June, 88,482 in May and 151,176 in April.)

Hospitalizations

Although the FDOH is not reporting county level hospitalization numbers, we can assume that the admissions curves for Orange County are similar to the entire state of Florida.

AdventHealth has entered ‘black’ status and postponed all non-emergency surgeries confirming that they have more hospitalizations than in January, which matches the state level graph.

Nursing Homes

We are seeing a small uptick in covid-19 cases in nursing homes. According to the AARP, in Florida’s nursing homes “Roughly 3 in 10 nursing home residents and 3 in 5 health care staffers are not fully vaccinated. The state’s nursing home vaccination rates are well below national averages”.

End in sight?

In the United Kingdom, which was hit by the Delta variant earlier than the US, daily case numbers are starting to drop.  It may be possible that through vaccinations and “naturally obtained immunity” that the UK is reaching the herd immunity threshold. As the delta variant tears through the remaining unvaccinated population in the US we may see a corresponding drop in infections next month.

The Delta Variant, and why case numbers in Florida will continue to go up in July

The Delta variant of the SARS-COV-2 virus is a version/mutation of the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans that happens to be significantly more transmissible than previous variants. This means that when the delta variant is introduced to a region, it will “take over” and become the predominant variety of SARS-COV-2 that is circulating. Because it is easier to transmit/catch, the number of cases also tends to go up in that region.

All of the following graphs are from the great covariants.org website. I encourage you to check it out and look at all of the country and state graphs.

For example, in the country of India, Delta (dark green in the graphs) was at 7% of all sequences in the March 8-22nd timeframe, and grew to 91% in the May 3-17th timeframe.

This pattern of Delta out-performing all other variants repeats in other countries and US states where it is introduced.
Continue reading