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If you are slightly confused as to what the color on your doo-hickey, smart phone, computer monitor, or whatever, really means, you are not alone. Rest assured though, there could be even more” powerful” problems on hand...

On the Red-Green Confusion


By —— Bio and Archives--September 9, 2018

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On the Red-Green Confusion
To begin with, I’m not color-blind and can quite easily differentiate between those two colors. My commiserations to anyone who cannot!

On a larger scale, you might think it’s no issue. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s begin with the easy part.

.

Traffic Lights

At road intersections traffic lights are found all over the place, commonly in multiples, simply to avoid any accidents that could be due to just ONE light bulb having stopped working. Their vertical arrangement is also standardized, RED (and often a larger light) on top and GEEN on the bottom, also helpful.

As far as I know, a red light means STOP and a green one means GO, perhaps anywhere in the world.

In the marine system, at least within North American waters, the same system applies. A vessel crossing your path (at night) from your right to your left shows a RED light on its Port side, meaning it has the Right-of-Way.

No problem anywhere. It’s a simple and unmistakable system.

However, the 21st century has also put new meanings into those colors of light – and they are NOT universal. The problem is particularly evident when it comes to rechargeable batteries and the associated power packs (PPs), i.e. charging implements.

Power Packs - Voltage

Likely you have acquired a variety of “rechargeable” items over time, such as flash lights, etc.  I certainly did so. Nearly each of such devices came with its own power pack to recharge the battery from the electric grid.  Apart from the difficulty remembering which power pack goes with which battery system, that would be no problem. You can always attach a little note to any cable, telling you the instrument it is designed for – a wise intention – in theory.

To begin with, depending on the battery/implement connection type, there are several types of connectors that can fit and truly connect to the battery-containing implement. The most common ones have green or black ends. That’s just covering the size and geometry of such.

When it comes to the actual use of such things, you must also remember the required charging voltage.  It is critical in many of such systems and, naturally, each company/product has its own requirements. Those charging voltage are all over the place. To complicate things further, a battery’s stated voltage may or may not be identical with the stated output voltage of the correct PP. 

I ran afoul of that when I recently thought that two different chargers could charge nearly identical size (stated) 3.7 V lithium- ion flashlight batteries—for light sources from the same company. Nope, they did not.
But that’s not the end of the potential problems or misunderstandings. Please read on.

Power Packs – Lights

Some of the newer PPs have one or two lights that will illuminate – whenever and whatever.

For example:

 

  1. In some PPs, a RED light means it is connected to an external power source (e.g. your electricity outlet).
  2. In some PPs, a GREEN light means it is connected to an external power source (e.g. your electricity outlet).
  3. In some PPs, a RED light means that your battery is being charged.
  4. In some PPs, a GREEN light means that your battery is being charged.
  5. In some PPs, a RED light means the battery is fully charged.
  6. In some PPs, a GREEN light means the battery is fully charged.

Many older PPs have no lights at all.

Actually, I’m still trying to figure out the details of my problem(s). Is it that one of those PPs does not work, or not as designed? Is it that I used the wrong PP for one of the batteries? Or, am I so dozy not to understand the subtleties of modern technologies?

That brings me to another revelation that may surprise you:

RISING Prices can be shown in RED

Depending on where you are and what you are looking at, RED and GREEN colors have different meanings, even entirely opposite meanings. One example of that is the color associated with changes in stock and commodity prices at the exchanges in some Asian countries and the western world. In most western countries, RISING prices are shown in GREEN. Just go to Yahoo, Google, or any North American or European exchange and look at any graph of the price of anything you fancy. They all show RISING prices in GREEN and FALLING prices in RED.

Not so in China or (South)-Korea, or Japan. There, RISING prices for whatever are shown in RED color and FALLING prices in GREEN. Just see the main page of the Korean exchange or the Tokyo Exchange and you may get a feeling of being upside-down.

However, possibilities of confusion do not end there either. Some of the notations (for example certain currency exchange rates) are the inverse of other ones. Of course, that means that what is RED in one becomes GREEN in the other, and vice versa (regardless of what the color itself means).

In Summary Then

If you are slightly confused as to what the color on your doo-hickey, smart phone, computer monitor, or whatever, really means, you are not alone. Rest assured though, there could be even more” powerful” problems on hand, like:

Which power pack goes with which battery-powered gadget?


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Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser is author of CONVENIENT MYTHS, the green revolution – perceptions, politics, and facts Convenient Myths


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