Before we go further… there’s some adult oriented humour here. Skip the first definition and video if you’re easily offended or have no sense of humour.
We need some definitions here as to what dogging, wombling mean.
/ (ˈdɒɡɪŋ) /
British slang the practice of carrying out or watching sexual activities in semi-secluded locations such as parks or car parks, often arranged by e-mail or text messages
I have a time share dog, Jess, who spends 3 days with me and Mrs. FMF and 4 days with my son. One of things having a dog does is it teaches you about where you live.
Here we are about a 1km from home amongst the wild Orchids.
I never knew of a fracton of the paths I have discovered out walking Jess. Which brings us to “dogging” and the comedy use of the term. Peter Kay is a hugely successful English comedian famed for his everyday observational comedy and he did a long sketch about misunderstanding the term.
Anyway, thanks to Peter Kay, dogging also means nothing more than taking the dog for a walk. But it gets a raised eyebrow from people who have never seen Peter Kay
So some time late January I was dogging and came across a “shiny thing” laying on a path. I put it in my pocket for later inspection. I Googled the name of the item and found it was an ElfBar single use disposable vape. So a vape is an electrically heated chamber containing a fluid that vapourises when heated. The liquid contains Nicotine (the thing people smoke cigarettes for) and is allegedly safer than tobacco. To heat the chamber there’s a battery and a pressure activated switch. Hang on battery? Yes. Refillable vapes use 18650 batteries to power the heater. Disposable vapes contain a LiPo as they can provide the current to instantly vapourise the fluid. But as they are single use so once used they are thrown away.
That has to be the most outrageous thing I have heard in years… there is a finite amount of Lithium in the world which we need for future batteries and putting into a single use item that is not recycled is just insane. Apparently sales of single use vapes is enormous as they just work and are quite cheap.
I wasn’t sure if the one I found was something someone had dropped and lost but no, people just throw them into bushes etc. when they are empty. Sadly, many people in the UK are simply scum and drop litter at any opportunity. The lack of litter in places like Germany, Switzerland, Austria is striking in comparison. So now I knew that lots of single use vapes are sold each day and people just drop them when empty. armed with this info in mid January I went in to Womble mode.
Collecting things out of skips, bins, abandoned flats and rubbish tips which can be put to good use. Named after the Wombles kids TV show, where the Wombles recycled things other people threw away.
Slang word used commonly in the squatter community who furnished their homes with wombled items.
All you have to do is walk about and keep your eyes open and you will find these on the ground. The following photo shows 17 single use vapes found within 5km of my home when walking Jess in the last 9 weeks. Actually, I found one when I parked at Scald Law, someone threw one out of their car when driving past!
9 weeks Wombling !
The most common single use vape I find is the Elfbar 600 (bottom 11 items). The others are much less common but the square blue ones have the ultimate prize, a big battery!
As it’s been winter, I normally have gloves one when dogging. (qv) You want to be careful touching these because they’ve been in someone’s mouth and then left in the undergrowth. We’ve all got past Covid so a bit of sense touching these is needed, I wouldn’t want to catch something nasty.
If you strip them down, plastic end plugs pull out, you can remove the pressure switch, battery and vape chamber. Again I wear one-use disposable gloves (like mechanics now wear) as there is often leaking vape fluid over everything inside. That contains nicotine which is easily absorbed through the skin and you don’t want that. Anyway you find typically 3 different sized LiPo batteries.
Three sizes of battery, 13350 (1.3x3.5cm) 500mAhr, 13400 (1.3x4cm) 550mAhr, and 20400 (2.0x4.0cm) 1500mAhr.
It should be noted the blue square section hi capacity vapes are illegal to sell in the UK as they contain too much nicotine by volume. These were probably sold on eBay but they have the big batteries
Here’s the current selection of batteries waiting for reuse.
And here is the 1st proof of concept at reusing these FREE batteries for SOTA. This is 6 x 13400 550mAhr cells wired as 3S2P in an Altoids tin. So this is a 1.1Ahr pack in a box the same size as a QCXmini, which is what it is intended to power. Right now it’s wired to a JST connector so it can be charged/discharged for testing. Show to the right is a 3S BMS from eBay that was £3 inc. P&P but it’s too big for the space left at the end of the case (measure twice Andy next time!) It will still fit inside but I was going to look for a smaller BMS. The inside of the tin is lined with Kapton tape (eBay). This is the yellow tape you can see on some cells. I used it because it is stable at up to 400degC and wont melt and catch fire the way PVC insulating tape or heat-shrink can. More tape is needed over each end of cell. With the BMS installed there’ll be a single connector on the lid for both charging and use.
I’m expecting easily to get 2hrs QCXmini operation out of such a pack.
But that doesn’t really matter as much as getting the cells for free and also cleaning up my environment is so much more important!
If you do collect these and use the cells then wear gloves till you have cleaned off any fluid and for heavens sake, CHECK THE CELLS for any damage. If they look squashed or mechanical damaged, then don’t use them. Take them to your recycling depot.
On air reports to follow.