Scram Bag:The Needle

 

A needle, more useful and more difficult to make than you think.

 

Why is this so significant?

Yes it is a needle, it is used for sewing materials together.

The reason it is significant is because it is the oldest tool ever discovered that was not designed for killing or eating.

The first tool of construction. Men and women made clothes and other usefull items from this one giant leap in technology. It’s our first actual tool of construction. Everything before it was a tool for cutting, chopping, crushing or stabbing. Most previuos tools made things smaller, except this one which made things bigger. The first bone needles were found 6000BC older than recorded civilisation itself, You might assume it was a prerequisite for civilisation.

If you still think the needle is insignificant, try to make one that works well. you’ll find it’s very hard to do.

Using this knowledge imagine what would happen when civilsation as we know it collapses. The factories that currently produce needles would likely cease production at least for a time. Trade and transport networks will be disrupted perhaps permanently. The production of new clothes would likey halt. People would have worn and damaged clothes and be perhaps unable to replace them. New clothes may become rare and expensive to manufacture. Clothes are made of woven threads, theads will not be scarce. Needles possibly will be. Needles will likely become quite valuable. It’s possible may become a form of currency or at the very least a valuable item of barter. It’s clear that needles will be far more valuable than they are today.

Less obvious uses for a needle:

A needle can be bent and turned into a fishing hook.

Needles can be used as pins for sewing.

Needles can be used to clean out a wound or prick open a blister.

A magnetised needle floating on still water can be used as a compass.

Needle can be use to clear a small blockage in a metal filter or small gague pipes.

Stitching a wound closed.

 

 

 

 

 

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Scram Bag: Cloth tape

Few thing have a greater quick fix potential than cloth tape.

Known by many names in many places, such as gaffa tape, duct tape and 100 mile tape, among others.

Can be use to:

Make something slightly water proof.

repair small holes.

join things together.

Padding in machinery

You’ll notice a large round hole in the center of the tape where the hard cardboard roll is. If needed this cardboard roll can be flattened without affecting the tape itself.

Be sure the tape has cloth in it as otherwise it will stretch and wont create strong joins.

12 Volt DC car adapter plug

 

The 12 Volt car adapter is a very popular source of DC power so its worth knowing more about its parameters.

12V adapter. positive and negative contacts labeled. Red arrow shows direction of rotation for access to the fuse under the positive contact.

20-25mm in diameter and 50mm long.

Positive contact at the tip and negative contact on the side.

The negative side contacts are usually attached to springs to hold the device secure.

Frequently one of the negative side contacts may be not electrically connected and simply to help hold the device in place.

Under the positive contact there may be a spring and a fuse, which is normally a 2Amp fuse.

 

Some adapters in this format may support 24 volts as some truck electrical systems are 24 volt.

Repair: Examples – Small solar battery block in rain water

I have a bed side lamp I got from IKEA years ago, it’s solar powered with a removable block of batteries. So I did something dumb and inadvertently left the block out in the rain. Thinking the unit was well sealed as I retrieved it it made a sloshing sound, obviously not that well sealed. The 2 slots for the power output of the battery were it’s Achilles heel, and let the water straight in. As I unscrewed the block, water dribbled out of the screw hole, this repair/salvage job started looking dicey. The real risk was if there were complex charging circuits in the block. I finally opened it after almost losing 2 of the 4 screws bouncing on my wood floor.

Solar battery block with 3 x AA (1200mAh?)

After about 5 minutes of using a hair dryer to dry the water away, I discovered there was apparently only a fuse as the sole electronic component. Fuses do tend to survive water quite well.

Quite a relief really. Other things I found out were there were only 3 AA cells (I had guessed 4) and they were stamped with  1200A, I speculate that means 1200mAh, low on the capacity spectrum of rechargeable batteries.

The things you learn once you have the audacity to pop open the case.

Amazingly enough, once dry the unit worked.

Solar lamp in working order