Bunker bulldust day 63


Social isolation, Bali style.   © PJ Croft 2020

Another lovely day, 19deg but getting cooler. It was actually cold last night wasn’t it? But just think, it’s only 5 weeks until the winter solstice.


Damn. I found my internet was running very slowly this morning (in fact not running at all until I rebooted the modem). I was going to wait a while before phoning iiNet support. I ran Speedtest a couple of times:

Screenshot_2020-05-19 Speedtest by Ookla - The Global Broadband Speed Test(1)

Screenshot_2020-05-19 Speedtest by Ookla - The Global Broadband Speed Test

It’s pretty bad when your upload speed is faster than your download speed.

Then I noticed my phone – a message from iiNet: You have exceeded your monthly download limit. Your speed has been shaped to 200Kb/s and will reset to full speed on 22 May at 12.01am.” Damn. It’s the first time this has happened since I’ve had fibre. Oh well, nothing to be done about it, I’ll just have to wait it out.

I’ve been an iiNet customer since April 2013. I think it’s time they started treating me nicer, like unlimited downloads or even a free upgrade to 50Mb/s. I’d threaten to walk, but there are only a few choices in this Hybrid Fibre Coax area. I’ll check it out.


The Honda battery — while thinking about buying a new one and hesitating before spending $189 or more, I remembered that Silicon Chip featured a design for resurrecting dead lead acid batteries a long time ago, so I looked it up. I found it was first published in 2005 and was called the Battery Zapper. I remembered it because a friend was interested and asked me if I’d build it for him. But the interest waned and it didn’t happen.

I looked it up and found there was a new version in July 2009, so I bought the issue ($9, Paypal, instant access online to a PDF version and a paper copy is in the mail, great).

Unfortunately it uses a few hard to get components and although Jaycar produced a kit, it was $79.50 then and has been discontinued.

However, the article filled me in on how it works and why the battery dies. Sulphation. This Zapper gives brief high current pulses at a rate of about 1/sec to blast the lead sulphate crystals off the plates. I’ve got my Century charger connected and I’ve noticed the LEDs blink at about a 1/sec rate, so maybe that’s what it’s doing, I don’t know.

But the article did say the process can take tens or even hundreds of hours, so that made me think that I’ll just leave the charger to do its thing until either it commences a proper charge or it’s obvious it’s not working. I don’t need to drive the car so I can leave it as long as it takes.

The other point is that spending $80 on a device that may not do anything, on one battery, which may not stay fixed, doesn’t add up. If the charger doesn’t fix it, I’d be better off saving my $80 and just buying a new battery.


The fuel price for unleaded today – 87.7c per litre! That’s the lowest price in at least 20 years that I remember. I was thinking of filling up but I’m doing so little driving these days that I hardly need any. The Honda needs filling, but with the dead battery I can’t drive it.


Silicon Chip are selling USB sticks with 60 issues of the magazine (five years’ worth) per stick for $100 each, or $90 for subscribers, which I am now. Scanned copies, that is, in PDF form. Not a bad idea. I’ve got piles and piles of the paper copies, which I never want to be without, but finding any article is a lot of work and they take up a lot of space. I don’t like spending lumps of $100, but I might buy one or two.