Our first winning entry comes from our home state, Connecticut! It’s a cool look at how some of our gizmos can come to the rescue – or prevent an emergency before it starts.
Well for a start, a bit of backstory; I play airsoft as both my favored method of recreation and exercise. one of the type of match types is called milsim (military simulation) which is basically a pre-built scenario based game usually over the course of a couple days or more.
this was back in the end of 2013 in the dead of October and was at a blacksheep milsim (the organizing company) called camp bobriwka which is hosted up in the northern border of connecticut and Massachusetts at a campground called bobriwka that spans about 220 acres up in Colebrook, CT. now this place has bare minimum in amenities; they have a mess hall cabin with some power but for the most part this place was both devoid of shelter and power.
so on on the last night (we camped there; temps hit around 14 degrees Fahrenheit through the night).
we were going to go start the car and get some food, me and two of my friends went together in the same SUV. when we all got in the car my friend who owns the SUV tried to start it, turns the key and we hear it just sorta die after half a turnover. so we all look at each other and Corey says “shit I think I left the lights on in the middle of the night”.
so now this is both our way of getting dinner and you know, getting home; so I brought a 17AH lead acid deep cycle battery and a multi-chemistry charger with me to charge the batteries for the airsoft guns I use. so I get this battery out and my multi-chemistry charger and hook it up to the lead acid and the charge leads to the car battery and set it to charge at 18 volts and about 5 amps.
so I run the charger for about 5 or 10 minutes and then disconnect it and try to turn it over; nada it gets one little lurch and nothing.
so my line of thought is “ok this won’t be able to charge the car battery significantly enough to turn over, but if I try to turn the car on while the charger will be upconverting the 12v to the cars 18v the charger should cut when the amp draw exceeds the safety limit; but that should at least get one or two good cranks, I hope”
so I do the same; hook the charger up for about 10 minutes and then while it’s still going try to start the car: the first turnover goes and as the thing is about to fail the turn, completes and the engine fires up while the charge is blaring the “OVER AMP” alarm tone over the little piezo speaker.
I still can’t believe that this all happened or that it worked so well but it did and it probably saved us hours of a tow truck trying to find us out in this campground in the middle of nowhere, in the dead of winter, almost 11 o’clock at night and temps heading south of 15 degrees Fahrenheit for the night.