Recommendations for a spring-loader center punch

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I was surprised to find my local HoPo didn't have any spring-loaded center punches. Anyone have one/used one they could recommend? Primary use is to punch out car window if trapped in a flood. Since the 100 year floods appearing to be coming every 2 years now, I figure it's time to put one in the glovebox. Not sure what happens to fancy power doors and locks when they're shorted. I know when floods reach certain levels, car horns start to sound, which I assume means the harness/electronics failing or that cars really do have souls and "scream" when they drown. Either way, I think it's prudent to carry one to pop a window if it ever comes to that.
I pay $100's for insurance that won't actually be able to do anything very helpful during an underwater situation so I figured I could spend $10 or $20 on something that might prove useful in what I hope is an extremely rare situation. (And that I could use in the shop, too!) I've only seen it flood that seriously here before once in . . . well, once in my life, really. With the bridges of the country in disrepair, who knows what will happeno?
I've seen EMT's use a combo device that slits belts and punches windows, but belts are manually operated and wouldn't lock up in a flood situation so that's probably overkill. I am sure a new dollar mart rectangular letter opened with a guide slot would work wwww
Any other suggestions?
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

Why spring-loaded?

It's not a question of whether the belt "locks up" as much as whether you can get to the release and operate it. Then again it's also a question of whether in that situation you could get to the emergency tool.

(Amazon.com product link shortened)
There are also versions with a flashlight and such.
R
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wrote:

cars
it's
<<Why spring-loaded?>>
I'd be worried about being able to swing a hammer with enough force to pop the window in an emergency situation. The spring loaded jobs are what I've seen EMTs and firemen use.

$20
but
<<It's not a question of whether the belt "locks up" as much as whether you can get to the release and operate it. Then again it's also a question of whether in that situation you could get to the emergency tool.>>
I can slip a small spring-loaded punch in the console or even with a magnetic mount.

<< (Amazon.com product link shortened)
There are also versions with a flashlight and such. >>
Looks interesting - thanks. I'll pick up the HF one, I think. Not as worried about the belts as I am about the windows and doors not opening.
If I end up being hung up in the seat belts, you can be assured I'll die thinking "RJ was right!" (-:
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

All the cars I've had with power windows and locks had fairly hardy circuits that did not run through the computer (likely for exactly this reason). I would be very surprised if they didn't work underwater for a few minutes at least. I think I remember someone running tests on this (Mythbusters maybe) and it wasn't usually a problem.
On the other hand, I wouldn't lose much sleep over paying $2.50 for a punch just in case...
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On Sat, 24 Sep 2011 09:42:04 -0700 (PDT), Larry Fishel

I agrree. Water and river water aren't perfect insulators but they don't carry current as well as wires do. At least once I've had a non-waterproof flashight under water, and it worked for the few minutes I used it. Then I dried it out and it still worked. .
OTOH, who knows when the windows will stop working, and the window has to be open a little to let water in to eventually open the door.
Of course unlock the doors when the flooding starts.
After a colllision, when everything is scrunched together and the person may have broken bones, it can be hard to get to the seatbelt latch, but during a flood, it shoudln't be much harder than normal, except you may be floating off the seat an inch or two.

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I dunno. I distinctly recall seeing a program about a flood and people watching from a tall hotel building. When the water reached a certain level, the horns of the cars in the hotel parking lot began sounding.
While I believe that most door and window circuitry is rubber-booted and generally weathproof, I'm forever cleaning corrosion off my allegedly weatherproof charging cables. In the winter I keep the cars on trickle chargers that are in the basement and feed 13 VDC out to the cars through 12 gauge stranded cabled. Both cars have a weathproof connector and fuse leading from the battery to the front grille so I don't have to even pop the hood to put them on charge. Turned out to be really useful the night the door was iced and didn't close fully. The battery would have been dead by morning without the charger. The are allegedly waterproof but they get green mighty fast. That reminds me to get a small round file and some WD-40 to clean them up again before the New Ice Age sets him. I'm betting that the eggheads have it all wrong and that in 20 years we'll be well on our way to Snowball Earth II.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth
cousin of the:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_catastrophe
and close friend of the nickel famine:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/04/090408-nickel-famine-oxygen.html
But, as always, I digress . . .

If you can even open the door. I'll have to look more closely next time I'm in the van. I think they may operate manually. Since I am getting a new battery this weekend, it would be a perfect time to run the "can I get out with no power test."

What if you're a drunken Ted Kennedy? (-: (Sorry dead Teddy, but you *did* let Mary Jo Kopechne die to save your reputation). I am not sure in a flooding situation (deaths are actually more often caused by people trying to drive through water of unknown depth) I would have the presence of mind to unlock the doors. I believe I would be panicking. (-:

When I said flood I should have also included driving off into the water for some odd reason. I spend a lot of time on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and it's not as hard as you might think to end up in water very quickly. It's pretty marshy country.

Even if they proved one car didn't fail, there are an awful lot of car door variations out there. I would assume the circuits are "battle hardened" just because they're exposed to pretty wide humidity and temperature changes. My cars are getting fairly old and rubber gets brittle, etc.

Exactly. I just ordered a fancy carbide tipped one from Amazon and will pick up one for the other car when next I visit Harbor Freight.
-- Bobby G.
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On Sat, 24 Sep 2011 21:32:56 -0400, "Robert Green"

Why would watert short the horn relay, but not short out the battery so the horns couldn't sound. Why wouldn't the headlights go on, and the trun signals, etc. Why the horn?
Perhaps the weight of the water on the steering wheel horn button is what made the horns sound.

I'm not saying anything is weatherproof, just that copper conducts electricity better than even dirty water.
Another question related to this I have long entertained. Why does throwing the radio or electric heater in the bathtub kill the person in the tub? At least in the movies. Why doesn't the current go through the dirty bathwater to the metal drain, and from there to ground, in the days when some drains were metal. Why would enough of it go through someone's body?
If this does happen, I wonder if people pick up the heater and hold it as they toss it from the tub, making their body a required part of the path to ground. Wwhen they would be better off getting out of the tub while leaving the heater, etc. in it.

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<stuff snipped>

Beats me. All I remember is the survivors making a point of how eerie it sounded in a hotel without power and not much noise when the car horns started going off in the rising waters, one after the other. Then they starting gurgling as the water reached the horn's diaphragm and finally went silent. I know they're relay controlled so I suspect that's the component that caused the horns to sound. How, I couldn't say.

I'd rate that scenario "not likely" I'm afraid.

That doesn't matter, though, in something like a PC circuit board or perhaps even a relay. That's why so many cellphones die when dumped in the sink or worse. Flood waters on city streets are probably a hell of lot more conductive than clean water.

I think I first saw that in a James Bond film 50 years ago. (-: It sounds like the Mythbusters might have tackled something like that already. I sure as hell ain't doing the research!

Clearly questions for the theoretical physicists of the group.
-- Bobby G.
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On 9/25/2011 8:46 AM, Robert Green wrote:

I'd guess it had to do with car alarms.

To prove a point I've already put a working video game pc board into water and it kept working. The trick is that I didn't get the sensitive parts like the clock/crystal wet. That will stop it from working, as I eventually demonstrated. And just for the record, the pc board worked fine again after it was dry.
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On Sun, 25 Sep 2011 08:46:38 -0400, "Robert Green"

That's the trouble. I can never get a volunteer. And I myself am very busy this week.

And Tony, you've heard of washing computer keyboards in the dishwasher?
No soap, NO HEAT on the DRYing part of the cycle.
They say it works well.
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I have heard this before, but didn't try it. It was not until now that I heard the NO HEAT part. Maybe that's a good thing. ;-) Mine's so dirty, I may just run it through the delicate cycle on the washing machine with a couple of pieces of lingerie.
Steve
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wrote in message

sounds
sure
When I need to kill someone bathing and a heater's handy, I'll get back to you. (-:
Damnit, SOMEONE must have weighed in on this before:
http://mythbustersresults.com/episode19
One can be killed by dropping an electrical appliance into a bath full of water. confirmed
<<The current in most electrical appliances is well above the levels the human body can withstand. The electrocution effect is increased if the appliance drops farther from the drain or if the water has more salt in it (such as due to urine or epsom salts). They also proved that devices (and probably by extension, sockets) with GFCIs are effective at preventing these electrocutions, as a GFCI-equipped hairdryer cut off on contact with the water.>>
I suppose all the hubbub about GFCI's is a tacit admission that it's easier to get electrocuted in the bathroom than most other rooms in the house. Especially if James Bond is prowling around.

A keyboard is designed to deal with being face up to dirty fingers. Other electronics don't seem to swim as well. I have a dead Nikon somewhere that didn't take to swim. A Black and Decker trickle charger blew out in the rain (I didn't see that it had tiny ventilation hole cleverly offset to be almost invisible). Stuff drowns. It's a fact of life. Some stuff drowns better than others.
-- Bobby G.
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On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 13:31:29 -0400, "Robert Green"

BTW IIRC the keyboard was supposed to be top down in the dish washer.

One keyboard was like any oher to me, and replacement new ones were 2 dollars at hamfests, until I got used to using 8 of the special keys on the "multimedia" keyboard.
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<stuff snipped>

Other
that
be
drowns
I know the feeling, I collect keyboards with enlarged "L" shaped Enter keys and elongated backspace keys. Once you get used to certain features, especially in things like keyboards, it's hard to use something different.
I bought Keytronics Lifetime (dirty fu&ing liars!) keyboards because they had a good feel and good longevity and those two keys in the right places. They didn't survive (more accurately had more keys go bad) after a distilled water cleanout. That treatment was tried after paying to ship them back for repair only to be told "biological matter in keyboard - warranty voided." Show me one keyboard on earth that doesn't have skin cells and human hair lodged it in. Or worse.
It's all in the design. Keyboards are also simple circuits. The more low voltage IC's on a running circuit board, the more damage I think immersion can do. Keyboards are being washed when off. They might not fare so well with current running through them when they contact water and don't from what I recall of drowned keyboards at our company. And that was back when Compaq had the balls to charge over $100 per replacement keyboard. For that sin, they were consumed by the hideous monster, HP, who is now puking up their half-digested corpse.
And who says there's no justice in the world?
-- Bobby G.
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Because of a broken thumb long ago, and wrist overuse, I can only use the v shaped keyboards. The others, and the laptops particularly feel like I have my wrists bound together with a tight zip tie. Currently, I am using a Microsoft that I have had forever, and it is about to go into the dishwasher. I just sit down, and my fingers automatically go to the right place. Plus, there's a division between the keys, in the center. Makes some typos almost impossible.
Steve
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wrote

v
have
I agree regarding laptop keyboards. They almost all suck - some just more than others.
I hope that yours survives the immersion. Some do, some don't.
-- Bobby G.
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On 9/25/2011 9:40 PM, micky wrote:

This is the first I heard of washing keyboards in the dishwasher. Now all I need is a dishwasher!
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wrote in message

people
certain
it
went
component
and
perhaps
sink or

sounds
sure
Many problems with keyboards can be solved/prevented by holding them upside and blowing them out with compressed air. I don't have a dishwasher, either, but I have two air compressors. (-:
-- Bobby G.
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Regarding the car horns sounding during flooding: Some cars have a metal ring within the steering column that connects to the horn button. This ring turns with the steering wheel. Below and touching this ring is a small, spring loaded contact, fixed to the non-turning portion of the steering column. The horn button typically completes a ground circuit. Because of the bearings etc. the conductive path from the contact through the ring to the horn button and then to ground is not a very good one, so the relay that is used needs only a very very tiny current to close and actuate the horn. For the same reason, the small amount of current that can flow from the contact to the next nearest ground when it gets wet is also often enough to close the relay too. This is an older way of wiring a car horn. More often today, cars use a "clock spring" harness or cable assembly, which is a kind of wiring harness that resembles its name, and allows a reliable connection for the buttons and switches that are sometimes found mounted on the steering wheel.
--
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
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The water is not conductive enough to dead short a car battery. Eventually it would go dead but not instantly.
Why the horn? Because the people who related the experience couldn't SEE the cars. Odds are other electrical anomalies were going on, but those are visual. Sound travels around corners and through walls. Light does not.
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