I have a trip on the calendar for the 4th of July for a trip with a buddy (who isn't…

I have a trip on the calendar for the 4th of July for a trip with a buddy (who isn't a ULer). My wife sent me to Aldi's for some ground beef, and I saw a few things I just had to have. A 40oz stainless water bottle and the Adventuridge Lightweight Foldable Backpack.

The backpack really reminded me of a small version of the G4 DIY ultralight bag. I've been meaning to make that bag for a few whiles. Just no time and a lack of ambition.

This bag is $10 and folds into itself. The back is padded, and the straps are double layer, but not padded. I figure I can rip open the seam, add my own padding, and sew it back up as good as new. Suggestions on a padded shoulder strap material?

There was also a black and red version. I picked this bright (like bright blue car bright) blue and silver one because I have some 'twilight grey' fabric dye I like to use to tone down bright articles. It should match my Kelty Hip Bag I posted here a few months ago.

I stuck it on the scale and it comes in at under 11oz or a touch over 300 grams. It claims 7.9 gallons which is 30 liters or 1825 cubic inches. A kids bag in size, really, but I suffer from fill-er-up-itis so a small bag is just what I need. I also have kids… so when I start going with them, they will have a bag to use as well.

I do plan on mating it to my Kelty hip bag with some clips so they function as a single bag. The Kelty is a great hip bag and will do the load bearing bit. This new bag is for the lighter stuff like the sleeping bag, hammock and such.

In album Aldi’s Ultralight backpack

This photo is pretty close to the true color of the light blue. It’s actually brighter yet to the eye than to the camera.

10 3/4 oz for a 7.9 gallon backpack. The best part? $10!

306 grams (including the cardboard tags). It folds up into itself nicely as well.

Turn it over, and you see it’s a backpack that really looks like that DIY G4 backpack I’ve seen plans for online. And it folds into itself so I can stash it nicely when I am not using it.

The outside is nice and simple. The over-flap has a zipper pocket like is very common. The color is very bright. Florescent lighting doesn’t really capture it.

The back is padded, but the straps aren’t really padded. I figure I can open up a seam, add some padding, and re-sew the seam on the straps.

I gave the brand new bag in a dye-dunk to try to tone the brightness down and make it more closely match my Kelty Oriele bag. The gray is a tad purplish, but this dye does that. I think a second round and I may have it tinted quite nicely to match. Also check out that big 40oz stainless water bottle for $5 at Aldi’s as well.

The hip pack has clips for shoulder straps. I plan on clipping the new bag onto the hip pack and using the hip pack like the waist belt. The heavy stuff can go into the lower bag, the light, bulky stuff can go in the new bag.

I am just getting into backpacking and the concept of "Ultralight'

 I've done a lot of camping in the past, so I have all the heavy stuff. I've a limited budget, so most of my stuff is DIY or cheap bargain gear.

I am currently getting a hammock setup. I've some photos of my mis-adventures in my back yard.

In album Hammock Camping Tweaks

I like this setup. Easy up, easy down. pretty functional in the weather too.

I’ve even tested space blankets.

The little ones LOVE the hammock. It’s a lot of fun to hang out in.

I’ve done extensive research on sleeping gear.

I’ve spent the night in the woods with nothing more than a space blanket & really big mosquitoes. It sucked.

This is my older tent. It’s Huge. And Heavy – 47lbs. I could park a car inside if I could figure out how to get it through the door.

I own a couple of large tents. The kids love this one, it has a doggy door and play tunnel on the back side.

I’ve made my own under-quilts for hammocks. This one is a mylar space blanket and green bubble wrap. I’ve used it on single degree nights with a wool blanket on top of me in the hammock. I was cold, but I made it the night.

I’ve made and weighed my home made gear. This is a large tarp made out of window insulation film and duct tape. This tarp is my main shelter now when I go out.

I made a bathtub floor for sleeping on the ground if I was so inclined.

Space Blanket tarp made from 2 cheap blankets taped together and duct tape tie-outs. When used right, it can make the difference between a cold night and a really cold night.

Half a dozen tent stakes.

I’ve even weighed the bag. It was free, I will use it until I find something lighter for cheaper.

Under 4 lbs. for this shelter. Not great, but much better than the 47 lbs tent I hiked a mile into the woods once…

Taken during a ‘Blue Moon’. A clear roof means you can star gaze and stay dry. I turned on the flash so you can see the tarp.

My RepRap is a handy tool in my tool box

I didn’t realize it until last night, but 1 of my windows wouldn’t lock. I can’t have that! It was a 2nd story window, so not a security issue, but the cold air blows through it. I needed to make a shim for the lock.

I happen to have this really cool tool. My 3d printer. It can make parts for me when the weather is too nasty to go to the store (never mind that the stores  don’t carry the parts I want).

Some quickly made plastic shims
Some quickly made plastic shims. They are 2 different sizes because the window wasn’t installed well it appears.

I took a few measurements, wrote a few lines of openscad code, and 30 minutes later, I had some perfectly fitting window lock plate shims.

3d printed window lock plate shims
3d printed window lock plate shims to hold the 2 halves of the lock at the right distance so they can function!

The most tedious part was getting good measurements and working the screws with the window right there. Doesn’t leave much room for tools and hands.

I installed the shim and now the lock engages perfectly and snugs up the window seal so less cold air blows through it.
I installed the shim and now the lock engages perfectly and snugs up the window seal so less cold air blows through it.

The part is so trivial to create that I probably won’t post it to thingiverse… although the new configurator may make it useful for other people.

OpenScad Code Below

length = 71.75;
width = 7;
depth = 3.5;

topHole = 7.75;
bottomHole = 6.5;
holeWidth = 3.5;

difference()
{
	cube(size = [length,width,depth], center = true);
	translate (v = [length/2 - topHole , 0, -depth/2]) cylinder(h = depth, r=holeWidth/2, $fs =1);
	translate (v = [-length/2 + bottomHole , 0, -depth/2]) cylinder(h = depth, r=holeWidth/2, $fs =1);
}

Print Settings for ~ 30 minute print of both parts at the same time.

; generated by Slic3r 0.9.8 on 2013-01-27 at 16:17:39

; layer_height = 0.15
; perimeters = 2
; top_solid_layers = 4
; bottom_solid_layers = 3
; fill_density = 0.30
; perimeter_speed = 60
; infill_speed = 100
; travel_speed = 130
; scale = 1
; nozzle_diameter = 0.35
; filament_diameter = 1.73
; extrusion_multiplier = 1
; perimeters extrusion width = 0.56mm
; infill extrusion width = 0.56mm
; first layer extrusion width = 0.38mm

Dryer vent heat shedder

I can’t call this a heat exchanger, as it doesn’t exchange any heat. It just sheds some of the heat from the dryer duct into the room. I am trying to keep some of the heat I paid to create, in the house, where I tend to hang out when it’s cold outside.

I know I’d get better return on the money I spent by feeding the dryer outside air, but I wanted to give this a try. A friend gave me the heat sinks, so I wanted to see if I could find a noble use for them. I love DIY projects anyhow. I kinda liken it to a homemade energy themed work of art.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a 25k word novelette. (Hey, technically these stereoscopic photos are 2 photos each, so they count double. Just cross your eyes to get your word-count’s worth.).

The parts needed for my dryer heat exchanger
The parts needed for my dryer heat exchanger. I spent $56 at the hardware store last night to get the bulk of it. The heat sinks a friend gave me, because they had my name on the boxes “FREE”.
A friend of mine gave me boxes of new, unused computer heat sinks.
A friend of mine gave me boxes of new, unused computer heat sinks.

I currently have 20 of these heat sinks. I fiddled around with them for a while to see how many I can fit on my duct, and I came up with 74. Two rows of 15 down the long, wide face with 14 spaced in between and a row of 15 down each side.

Laying out the heat sinks on my ductwork to see how many I would need total
Laying out the heat sinks on my ductwork to see how many I would need total.

I figured I’d start with the 20 I have, and see if it does anything for me at all before I mangle that many heat sinks.

The center row of heat sinks is spun 45 degrees so they fit better
The center row of heat sinks is spun 45 degrees so they fit better. I have them upside down to keep the goo from getting everywhere.

I rather like this dense arrangement. I’ve knocked all the cooling fans loose for now. I may re-install some of them. Possibly just down the center row maybe? A larger box fan running off the dryer’s timer may work better in the end.

2 hours measureing and marking to get the layout I wanted
2 hours measuring and marking to get the layout I wanted.
Took me a while to figure out the best way to drill the holes
Took me a while to figure out the best way to drill the holes.

I ended up drilling all the holes with a drill bit from the back side where I had my layout marks. I then de-burred the holes from the front, pushing hard, so I dimpled each hole. This flexed the metal so that the screws would tighten the sheet metal up to the heat sink.

positioning the heat sinks and holding them while screwing them on was tricky
Positioning the heat sinks and holding them while screwing them on was tricky. Duct tape for Duct work FTW!

The screws I used where some pan head self tapping sheet metal screws. Ended up not needing the self tapping feature as I had to pre-drill all the holes to keep the metal bits from preventing the heat sinks from coming up tight to the metal. Live and learn. I just ran them between the fins on the heat sink. They seem to hold tight. I hope that if I ever disassemble this thing, I can reuse the heat-sinks in the future. Maybe. Please?

The heatsinks came with some thermal paste, but I added extra for good measure
The heatsinks came with some thermal paste, but I added extra for good measure

It’s actually surprising how heavy the assembled unit is. A lot of light weight parts makes for a heavy finished product.

20 heat sinks screwed to some ducting. how silly is that?
20 heat sinks screwed to some ducting. how silly is that?

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a risk when doing something like this, so the whole contraption is sealed up tight. I’d feel really bad if I killed myself trying to save a buck.

This fancy tape was the most expensive part to buy! What do you mean, I can't use duct tape on duct work?
This fancy tape was the most expensive part to buy! What do you mean, I can’t use duct tape on duct work?
The screws are all sealed with silicone sealer good for 400 degrees
The screws are all sealed with silicone sealer good for 400 degrees

I tried to keep the inside of the duct as smooth as possible to not collect any lint and cause a fire hazard. I am hoping the shallow screw heads will create just enough turbulence to keep mixing the hotter air with what’s already shed some heat to the walls.

Ready to wire up and mount on the wall!
Ready to wire up and mount on the wall!

 

Now I just need to add 2 stainless steel housed thermistors so I can monitor the air intake and exit temperatures. If I see a temperature difference, that means it’s working. I can use a 55 gallon plastic bag to figure out the air flow of the dryer. Some magical maths will tell me how much heat I am dumping into the house vs throwing out with the wash-water (clever, eh?). If I get any good results at all, I will try to collect enough heat sinks over time to finish this project.

54 more heatsinks needed. New price for these appear to range between $10 and $100 (Seriously?!?). Glad I am not damaging the heat sinks too bad, but the dollar value of this project kinda makes me a little sad.

 

 

Phase two of the Paint Can Pocket Rocket Experiement

So yesterday, I got to play outside a bit more. I worked on my Pocket Rocket Heater some more. I tore it apart, to see where it got hot, and where it did not and to add 1 more can to complete a burn chamber. I also insulated it with perlite.

The 4 cans, wire and perlite to rebuild the Pocket Rocket Stove
The 4 cans, wire and perlite to rebuild the Pocket Rocket Stove
The cans all come together to form a single burn chamber
The cans all come together to form a single burn chamber

I couldn’t find my baling wire (old timers will tell you it’s duct tape 1.0) so I used a bit of floral wire. Not as sturdy, and I expect it to be too light, so a good burn will melt it enough that it will break, but this is just a test unit, right?

I also poured perlite all around the inside cans to insulate the stove burn chamber area. Of course, I forgot to take a photo of this step. Bummer.

With the lid back on, I now have an insulated Pocket Rocket Stove
With the lid back on, I now have an insulated Pocket Rocket Stove
The wood tray is KEY to the workings of this stove, it allows the air to come in from underneith and thus through the fire
The wood tray is KEY to the workings of this stove, it allows the air to come in from underneith and thus through the fire
The wood sits on top of the wood tray.
The wood sits on top of the wood tray.
Shiney!
Shiney!
The whole unit as it currently exists.
The whole unit as it currently exists.

I am quite happy with how it all works. I like fire, and I like making things from junk.

My future plans for this particular unit is to either run a longish near horizontal 4″ exhaust out a window or maybe do the full on inverted chimney. This involves a 2nd, much larger chimney placed around the current one with a cap on top. A horizontal exhaust is then attached to the bottom of the outer chimney to vent the gasses. This allows the whole thing more time to release more air into the space that it occupies. It’s worth trying to play with, that’s for sure!.