Posted On: Wednesday - October 14th 2020 6:50PM MST
In Topics:   General Stupidity  Healthcare Stupidity
Due to a certain family member's squeamishness about the Kung Flu, which has thankfully mostly dissipated finally, we do have lots of the regular medical face masks all over the place. I have one or two balled up in a pocket, besides my Dead Head one, then there's a box in the living room, some oldies but goodies in the car I think ...
This post will either read like Reader's Digest or Popular Mechanics to you. Peak Stupidity had found yet another way that these stupid ubiquitous face masks can be used around the house. As a good homeowner, I have to blow leaves quite often. The time is nigh. That sounds ominous, but after so many years of resisting these blowers, I finally quit raking cold turkey 3 years ago. I got a Kobalt electric. I really had to have batteries as, in some situations up high, a cord really could have made me bust my ass.
The 80V 2.0 Amp-hour battery was OK for the first 2 seasons. Sure, I had to take a half-hour union break, as I called it, every 20 minutes, due to my having just the one battery. It was pretty impressive that this ~ 4" x 3" x 6" package could power the leaf blower on high speed for 20 minutes.
Well, the battery life has petered out and I'm down to 7 minutes of work time now, with the same union break time rule, as far as I've noticed the latter based on the charge time. Someone at the Master Executive Council has done a bang up job on our last contract, apparently.
I gotta face it, this battery is dying.
A friend walked by and I mentioned all this. He noted that lots of these rechargeable battery packs in tools, and I've opened a few myself, have just regular or at least easily obtainable cells inside. They can be replaced with good rechargeable batteries. Hmmmm?
Well, they did not make it too easy. The 4 Torx-head screws were not a size I had on my regular fold-out one, but luckily a friend had gotten me a set of jeweler's screwdrivers a few years back. These screws were not TINY, but one of the medium sized Torx drivers fit well. However, the little blue-anodized handle of the set was not made for any serious torque (plus, the bits aren't made for too much torque anyway.) The screws were in tight though. I needed to use the small vise grips, but didn't want to mess up the knurling.
What to use, what to use ...? Ahaaa, the handy face mask ... here's another use for one of these - shown up top. It worked like a charm.
Finally, as for the result, it really was just a learning exercise. There is a circuit board, the check energy level switch, and something like 20 of these cells, as one can see above. What would be the chances I'd come out ahead on money AND with the pack still in working order? Not good, and that's not even with accounting for my time being worth something.
Oh well, $89 for a refurbished pack, which to me means new cells in a cleaned up case with the used electronics, is what they want, plus shipping and tax. That's OK by me, as a new battery costs over 75% of the whole blower with the battery. I guess that's the idea, suck you into the blower ... expense, then sell you expensive batteries until the blower itself dies a Cheap China-made death.
Keep these face masks handy. You never know when you might need on in These United States.