Questions and Answers

Your Questions About X100

June 12, 2013

Maria asks…

What causes home radiators to rust at the bottom?

Im living in a rented property and 2 of the radiators (one outside the bathroom and other in the living room) have started to rust along the bottom. First the paint started to bubble, then once it fell off its revealed rust underneath. I know that if its bad then the radiators need to be replaced.

My question is though why does it happen, and being a tennant, was there anything I could have done to prevent it? Both radiators are the same design and both look old. The others in the house are fine and are newer. I am due to move out soon and being with an agent, im worried that they will try to charge me for it as I know agents take some of the deposit for various things.

Thanks in advance!

Administrator answers:

Generally radiators will rust at the bottom if they are either a) exposed to moisture or b) have some sort of pinhole leaks.

Do you have a lot of plants in your living room, and/or is the radiator right under a window (most of them are)? And do you ever get condensation on the inside of the window glass? In the bathroom does it steam up a lot when you take a shower or do you run an exhaust fan? Either of those conditions could create drips on the radiators at those two locations. All it takes is a tiny bit of moisture to get behind the paint for the rust to form.

But, it is more likely pinholes that show during the initial heating phase, but not all the time. Try brushing off the rust with a stiff wire-brush and wipe down the exposed area with a soft cotton cloth and ammonia or Windex or some other good cleaner. Clean it until a white cloth or paper towel shows no rust. Allow it to sit for 24 hours then wipe it again with a white cloth. If you get any rust or dampness at all, that is indicative of pinhole leaks.

Neither condition is your fault, by the way. Radiators are not tenant-maintenance items (excepting abuse) in that sense – unless you are the sole occupant on that heating system and your lease specifies you are responsible. Even if you took steamy showers and have lots of plants. Radiator finishes should be impervious to all that, and absolutely not something you should do yourself.

Note that in our house we installed some pretty costly rust inhibitors (Sentinel X100) to prevent just this issue. Given that the radiators are 100 years old for the most part (but not the boiler), a good precaution. Add to this that the stuff is nearly impossible to find in the US.

Good luck with it.

Michael asks…

What is the best kind of photography camera?

I have a nikon d5000 and i really like it, but i kind of want to upgrade to a better camera. Do you have any suggestions? I’m also going to do my minor’s in photography! So if you could please give me your opinions/experiences/recommendations. Thank you. I will pick best answer

Administrator answers:

So, this question is a bit tricky. Your actual question should probably be more or less, “which camera should I upgrade to?” Any respectable photog is also going to interrogate you about what type of photographs do you plan on taking before giving you a recommendation. I’ll spare you the typical zen response (to the effect that the photographer makes the image, not the camera, yada yada). :)

Literal: The best types of photography cameras are (currently) full frame DSLR cameras. Ones with a 100% viewfinder. Depth of field, build quality, features, and available lens quality on these cameras are usually superb. These are widely regarded as Professionals cameras, and at least any sporting event will have a press line full of them. Some FF Cameras to look at: Canon 5D Mark II, Nikon D700, Sony Alpha A900. Leica may have a full frame range finder camera as well. Besides the price, the cons are that these cameras are very big and not very practical to have with you where ever you are.

Practical: If you already have a bunch of Nikon glass, upgrading to the D7000 is probably the way to go. Along with the Pentax K5, it is one of the best APS-C sized sensor cameras on the market today. The “problem” with it, is that it’s pretty forgiving – allowing ridiculous ISO settings, so you aren’t forced to experience the technique and expertise honing failures involved with lesser sensors. Both are pretty much professional grade cameras, although the Pentax is more rugged. Manual/Automatic controls, etc. A sleeper is probably the Nikon D90, which should be going for pretty cheap about now. It’s a superb camera if just a generation behind the newfangled K7000.

Philosophical: Someone wise once said, that the best kind of camera is the one you have with you. The best fancy camera in the world isn’t going to mean anything to you if it’s back home in your closet when you need it most. This is why I recommend eventually picking up an awesome P&S with manual capabilities as your backup. Some that come to mind are Canon PowerShot S90/95 or SX210, Panasonic’s DMC line, Fuji X100, Nikon has the Coolpix P7000. There are also a slew of hipster-magnet Micro 4/3rds cameras as well, but you kind of lose the “Take it with you” proposition since you inevitably accumulate multiple lenses with them – which aren’t really that small, relative to DSLRs.

Good luck!

Sandra asks…

How would you do an experiment on what popcorn brand pops the most kernels?

Its for a science fair project?

Administrator answers:

I would do percentage. There are 2 kinds, stove top and microwavables.

First, make sure you use the same microwave and same stove top. To avoid “variables” that shouldn’t affect the experiment. I would buy 3 of each kind of popcorn of certain brands. If I’m correct, you’re comparing different brands and the quality of their popped corn. So buy 3, that way you can average it out. The more the better! And buy only one kind like “regular no flavor” so all should be no butter or any other enhancers.

Second decide on which time you will use. Some microwaves (like mine) has a “popcorn” button and has a set time. Or follow the instructions. Whatever you choose, make sure you to the same to all bags.

For stove top, follow the instructions. And do that for all.

Third, pop the corn! Your choice if your going to grab it right after the timer stops or let it cool off then open it. If you let it cool off, it may pop more corn in the process, changing your numbers. Again, whatever you decide, do it to all experiments.

Fourth, count how many popcorn. Popped and not popped. The percentage will look like this:

Unpopped popcorn = U
Popped popcorn = P

U/(P+U) x100= percentage of unpopped popcorn

Take the average of the 3 repeated tests then compare it with the other brands. The lowest percentage is the “best” brand.

Carol asks…

How do I determine the percent by mass composition of the original sample?

PB(NO3)2(aq) + Na2SO4*10H2O(aq) –> PbSO4(s) + 2NaNO3(aq)+10H2)(I)

water was added to a 2.4570 g sample, PbSO4 filtered and had mass of 0.8029g. Through trial Pb2+ was found to be the limiting reagent (not SO4,2+)

Determine the percent by mass composition of the original sample. How do I do this??? Thanks!

Administrator answers:

No. Of moles of PbSO4= 0.8029/(207 + 32 + 4×16)
= 0.002650 mol
No. Of moles of sample = 0.002650 mol

Mass of sample = 0.002650 x (207 + 2×14 + 2x3x16)
= 0.8771g
%tage by mass = (0.8771/2.4570) x100
= 35.7%

Mark asks…

how much would a plumber charge to move a radiator 12 feet onto another wall?

ok captbob, rad is on west wall, supplied in copper, it is upstairs, (floorboards) I would like it on north wall, it is about 5 years old, wil I need sludge remover & rust inhibitor?
I actually need 4 rads moved and plumber said £75 per rad.

Administrator answers:

It depends on how much pipe-work needs altering. I allow half a day to do this type of task (drain down, remove, reposition, install new pipe-work, refill, recommission.) £150 cash or £200 cheque plus costs for materials.

Any plumber that charges less than this is underpricing the job just to get the work.

£75 a rad is about correct if a lot of pipe-work needs altering.

For the price of the job, you get our experience and knowledge. If you want a cheap job then find a Polish plumber to do it, then call a PROPER plumber to put it right when you can’t get hold of him.

Sentinel x300 system cleanser added before a flush out only if it is needed (sludgey system), Sentinel x100 inhibitor ALWAYS added while refilling system.

Lizzie asks…

The Ka of a monoprotic weak acid is 5.81 × 10-3. What is the percent ionization of a 0.111 M solution of this?

The Ka of a monoprotic weak acid is 5.81 × 10-3. What is the percent ionization of a 0.111 M solution of this acid?

My calculations:
Ka= 5.81×10^-3=x^2/0.111—> x^2= (5.81×10^-3)(0.111)—->x^2=6.4991×10^-4—-> x= 0.0254

Percent Ionization= (0.0254/0.111)x100%= 22.88%

As you can see I was only able to solve this halfway through. It’s not valid because it’s more than 5% so I have to use the quadratic formula. Problem is I don’t know what values to place as a,b, or c for the quadratic formula. Can anyone please help me with this. The best explanation gets 10 points!

Administrator answers:

5.81e-3 = x*x / 0.111-x

6.449e-4 – 5.81e-3x – x^2 = 0

A = -1
B = -5.81e-3
C = +6.449e-4

Plug it in the quadratic equation formula

x = 0.022655

% Ionization = (0.022655/0.111) * 100 = 20.41%

So not much difference. Your method is correct

Read up on some info about Quadratic Formula

Joseph asks…

What product can you add to gasoline to change its smell in ATVs?

I want it smell like pine or a natural smell found in the wild. There was something on the market a few years ago, but I don’t know what. Somebody please help.

Administrator answers:

Castor oil – such as Shell X100 at 30:1 (two stroke engines only!) will give another odour like a pure race engine. Acetone is one of the only additives that will give a rise in the RON of petrol but not require a change in jet size. This Castor oil mix does not store well, and is for use on the day, or very soon thereafter. Acetone has no particular storage problems that petrol does not otherwise have.

The best thing in the first place is to ensure that the engine is in peak condition and go from there.

Any additive for a ‘natural’ smell from fossil fuels is an oxymoron. To cover the smell of combustion a lot of synthetic additives will be required – to burn something and end up with pine as a smell is pretty difficult, and certainly not ‘natural’. Even to debate what is a natural smell is difficult, that could be anything like sulfur, or natural pitch fires, peat, oil, vegetation, molten rock, fumaroles etc. A four stroke has immediate advantages in emissions, but far greater impact in it’s eventual waste oil than you think. A huge issue is fuel spillage into the environment – one state in the USA alone calculates a loss into the water of more than 200,000 gal of petrol into the environment in a single weekend!! Much of this passes through the engine unburnt – I wish you well in your attempt, but feel it will be very difficult given the current limitations of the technology.


Beware the scam artists out there too. Some claims are mind blowing.

Lisa asks…

What is a cheap alternative to a ‘Camelbak’ for promotional purposes?

I am currently looking for a cheaper alternative to a ‘Camelbak’ that provides the same purpose;
– Can be worn as a back pack.
– has a hose attached to the water bag for easy use.

for promotional usage, below is a list of things I require for said product:
– Much cheaper and available for bulk order, not trying to spend anymore than $15/unit for 100+.
– Zipper pocket separate from water bag compartment to store items
– Available in solid colors, no patterns or designs.
– Site does not have to have on-site printing available, either or is fine.
– Large surface area to allow for printing.

Thank you, please respond if you find anything.
Best answer will be given and things of that nature.

Administrator answers:

There are lots of marketing promotional companies that have online catalogues that offer a range of goods, not sure that they do what you are looking for, but you need to contact them and find out. Buying non brand and in bulk is always cheaper (be aware that x100 would not be considered a large stock order) or you could go direct to the manufacturer and see if they would deal with you direct.

William asks…

How do I take pictures/videotape the night sky?

I have an Olympus Stylus-9000 12 megapixel camera (nothing fancy, not a professional camera) And I’m really interested in sky watching, but I cant take pictures because its too dark and you cant see anything. So is there some way I can mess with the camera settings to make it see the stars and stuff?

Administrator answers:

I’m going to be honest with you, shooting the night sky is not as easy as one might think. There are many factors other than your camera that make a difference.

First off, your eyes are much more sensitive to light than your camera is. While you might think stars are bright, your camera doesn’t. Your brain also does a terrific job of separating things that are bright and things that are dark, and tells your eyes to make bright things look darker, and dark things to look brighter, so you end up seeing a balanced photo.

Cameras aren’t so smart. Well, not yet at least. Ever wonder why shadows in afternoon sunlight look so much darker on your camera than they did when you saw them with your own eyes? Things that we might not think are very bright or significant make a much bigger difference on a camera. This is especially true when shooting pictures at night. Light sources like city lights and the moon are actually really bright and will hide away the stars from your image.

So, the first thing you need to watch out for when taking starfield photos are other sources of light, especially the moon. The best results are on a new moon. And try to get as far from the city as possible. You’ll also need to wait quite a while after dusk.

The other thing is your camera. You’re almost definitely going to need to use manual settings on your camera, most cameras don’t have a preset for star field photography. If you’ve ever tried manual settings, you may have discovered the “ISO” menu. A higher ISO is more sensitive to light, and a lower ISO is less sensitive to light. High ISOs are typically better because you can take pictures handheld without shaking, but lower ISOs have a clearer image that doesn’t look as grainy (lots of tiny little dots in the picture). One might expect that you should use a high ISO when shooting at night, but it is in fact quite the opposite. High ISOs make dark parts of the image look super-grainy, so your black sky will be littered with tiny dots. To avoid this, you’ll need a way to stabilize your camera (a tripod is usually best, but you can get creative) and use a low ISO to keep the dark sky smooth. I’d use ISO 200, but I suggest you don’t go higher than ISO 800 if you absolutely need to go higher. Turn off the flash and use a slow shutter speed (15-30 seconds is usually enough, depending on how clear your sky is).

The last thing that can be a problem (if you do everything else right) is your actual camera. Small cameras like yours are great for about 90% of images, but unfortunately starfields may fall under the 10%. Most portable cameras (exceptions include the Fuji X100 and Leica X1) have a really small image sensor, so they don’t characterize tiny light sources (stars are basically point sources) very well. I know this isn’t what you’re going to want to hear, but slide film actually works best for starfield photography. But that isn’t saying your camera is incapable, especially if you pay close attention to the light. The most important factor is the light that may be polluting your image. While the camera may be an issue, its not the deciding factor (its almost never the camera’s fault, almost always the light you throw at it).

As far as video goes, I have little advice other than to take multiple photos and put them together as a movie. Most of the dazzling starfield videos you see are done this way.

Good luck!

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