UV-C Sterilization Project

Antibiotic-resistant microbes are increasing in strength and in number. The rates of change themselves are also increasing. Society should be worried.

We began researching ultraviolet sterilization methods, and after settling on a wavelength of about 280nm, we had a lab design and produce a prototype array for us. (We have a few extra arrays if you are feeling experimental.)

The business end of our UV-C LED array.

Our array is driven by 20-28 volts DC, and requires a constant current of 125mA. At the moment, we are driving the array with our favorite DC power supply, but we intend to design a dedicated constant-current LED driver to integrate into the next iteration.

Covering the array with a box, and zapping food, toothbrushes, and anything else not bolted down.

UV-C encompasses wavelengths that tend to be almost completely absorbed by our atmosphere, and that’s a good thing as UV-C can cause cancer, blindness, and other major health issues. It also happens to be perfect for killing microbes.

As we became interested in the technology, we began seeing plenty of small devices for sterilizing small tools such as nail salon equipment. Don’t buy any type of UV-C equipment that you can see into the sterilization chamber. Such devices can hurt you, and are ripe for eventual lawsuits. Our next iteration will include a kill-switch that shuts down the device if it isn’t properly closed (similar to how a microwave oven shuts off if you arbitrarily open the door while it is running).

We are seeing a lot of patent applications in the field, and I expect the area to grow tremendously. We’re going to mount one to a Roomba and let it continuously zap our floors once we finish building a protective/restrictive cover for it….

“Gas, Gas, Gas”

You veterans out there know those three words well, and I know you’ll never forget your date with the gas chamber back in basic. Ah, the memories….

We build equipment for international journalists, and we were recently asked about protection from CS Gas (“riot gas”). Note that CS attacks anything wet on the body such as eyes, nose, and mouth.)

There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding gas masks, respirators, and all the various filter cartridges. The CDC/NIOSH and OSHA are the place to get correct info, and below is a summary of what you will find there.

CS Gas is considered an “organic vapor.” Suitable respirator cartridges should be mated to a particulate filter of at least N95 grade. Filter ratings are N: not resistant to oil, R: resistant to oil, and P: oil-Proof. P is the best rating.

Suitable cartridges for CS Gas include the following:

  • 6001 Organic Vapor -Black
  • 6003 Organic Vapor / Acid Gas – Yellow
  • 6005 Formaldehyde / Organic Vapor – Olive/Black
  • 6006 Multi-vapor – Olive

Filters and cartridges can expire even without use, and they should be replaced regularly. Store cartridges in their sealed plastic packaging until needed.

We recommend an appropriate gas cartridge paired up with a replaceable particulate filter. Proper fit of headgear is also important. Whiskers or beards will prevent a proper seal/fit.

Just because you have a mask/respirator does NOT mean you are safe from harmful vapors. Move and communicate. Don’t stick around unless you understand and accept the consequences.

OSHA color codes


12S 36V 35A LiFePO4 BMS Units Now in Stock.

Those of you who build batteries know how difficult it can be to find a quality source of BMS units.  We’ve gone through boxes of them ….

Our requirements included all the basic protections, plus we wanted a thermal shutdown by way of an attached thermistor.  We also needed our optimal unit to perform cell balancing, and we needed it to be able to handle a true 35 amp continuous output current.

We’ve settled on a vendor for our 12S 35A LifePO4 needs, and we’ve been so impressed with them, we are now adding them to our product offerings.  You can check them out here.  Feel free to call us if you have any questions or concerns before adding them into your own projects.