Saturday, September 26, 2009

Luft Freund

Update 2012-10-12: I just stumbled upon this page and thought I'd mention that I really have never used this contraption. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it took way to long to work, and find it's easier to neglect the CamelBak, clean it a bit before each use, and if it gets gross I just clean it extra good. I did end up getting a new CamelBak bladder after damaging it with bleach.
After using a CamelBak it's a good idea to dump the water out and let the water container (bladder) dry out. It's hard to get it to stay open, and to get all the moisture out of the tube. If you don't get it dry it can get kind of funky in there.

I saw this product called the Zerogoo Hydration Bladder Dryer. It's a fan that snaps into the wide mouth of a CamelBak bladder and blows air into it. With the mouthpiece off, the air blows right through the bladder and down the tube, drying it out in about an hour or two.

Unfortunately it costs $30 and I was feeling like MacGyver today. So I built my own version.

Although I could have used a small fan, I had a blower from an old air hockey table. I guessed that it might output more air than a little fan and dry the bladder faster. Another critical component is the connection to the bladder. I found an old plastic drink bottle that fit snugly into the bladder mouth. Cutting out the bottom would give me a tube. To connect the blower to the tube, I decided to simply use a cardboard box.

It works well. Although I'm not sure there is an advantage to using the air hockey blower versus something smaller like a PC fan. You might think there's a blast of air coming out the tube, but in reality is more like a slight breeze. I guess an air hockey table doesn't really require a lot of air flow, as even thousands of pin holes don't add up to much. I might consider trying a smaller fan and box sometime.

Oh yeah, I call him my Luft Freund. When I emerge from the basement with a new creation I sometimes feel obligated to do some kind of mad scientist impression. Apparently this one was German. Luft Freund means Air Friend.

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