experiments: crockpot shortbread, charging Braun shaver

shortbread, engage

My favorite cookies are shortbread, but they are so unreasonably $$ that I rarely buy them. So I figured let’s make some in the crockpot. Then on my last shopping run Safeway had butter on sale for $2/lb. The universe approves of shortbread, I think.

The recipe I was leveraging called for a long cook time (2.5hrs) so I figured I’d start the baking then do other stuff. Turns out I didn’t have as much time as I thought. But first…

reviving a Braun shaver

The National Forests in Colorado are in pretty good shape from what I can see. Dog and I walk around a lot and rarely find anything left by campers after recreating. So it was a surprise to find maybe half a truckload of stuff dumped along a forest road deeper in the forest. I pick up (litter) and bury (surface poop) what I can but this pile is above my ability. Not to mention being located a couple miles into the hike.

It had been raining off/on so most things were wet. Because of how the pile was arranged there were some dry spots. In one of the dry spots was a Braun 3040s electric shaver. It had no charger but did turn on with a red light flashing. I packed out the shaver, hoping to either figure out a way to charge it, or maybe just tear it apart to see the insides.

Back at camp I found documentation for it online. The manual says that means “low battery”; no surprise there.

The manual didn’t give charger specs and “see electrical details printed on the charger” doesn’t help much when the charger is missing. I looked up OEM replacements, and they specified 12v/1A. The plug adapter is triangular/proprietary (bastids!) so I’d either have to find a Braun charger or rig something.

While looking for the charger info I saw replacement batteries, which appear to be 2x 1.2v NiMH. I saw this configuration apparently confirmed in the manual. I guess the charging circuit for them takes 12v.

I read on:

Charging lights (5)The green charging light shows the charge status of the batteries. The green charging light blinks when the shaver is being charged or switched on. When the battery is fully charged, all green charging lights shine permanently, provided the shaver is connected to an electrical outlet.

and also

When charging for the first time or when the shaver is not used for a few months, leave the shaver to charge continuously for 4 hours

When I went to the thrift the other day I looked in the pile of adapters but saw no Braun. No surprise.

Today I remembered I have a 10A bench DC power supply in the van, originally used to balance the 6v batteries before installing in series. I’ll also be using it for battery experiments once I get some free/cheap smaller batts to play with.

The shaver’s charging leads didn’t expose battery voltage to the terminals and the pics I saw didn’t show a positive “tracer” marking on the cord. Hmmm. We’ve got a 50/50 chance here.

I hooked up the shaver to the power supply with alligator clips and gently eased on the current. No response. I reversed the clips and eased back into it: blinking green CHARGING light. I marked the charger so I’d know which prong was which.

I started at 0.5A and voltage stabilized around 6v. I cranked it to 0.95A and voltage rose to 7v but the charger started to get hot. I backed off to 0.2A where it stayed until the CHARGING light went solid. And the next charging light started blinking. I didn’t even know it was there. The docs didn’t say exactly how many lights there were but I found a review online that said when fully charged two lights were solid green.

After another 20mins or so the 2nd light went green and the shaver works as expected. We’ll see how long it works. I don’t particularly like electric shavers but in a water-limited situation they might be best.

shortbread ready

side view scorched

By the time I finished playing with the shaver the shortbread was [over]done. 2.5hrs is too much; maybe the recipe meant 2.5 hours on LOW? It’s burned around the edges and generally scorched. But the flavor is great and it was a successful proof-of-concept test in that sense.

I may have eaten half of it for lunch.


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