Thursday, June 20, 2019

Chen Brothers Durian & Fruit

One of the most sought after durian stall in KL is Chen Brothers Durian & Fruit in Kepong Baru.

It is located at 'durian street' (Jalan Mergastua) where several durian stalls lined up on both side of the busy road. One could take the KTM Komuter and stop at Kepong station. The durian street is about 15 minutes walk away.

They sell a wide varieties of durian such as Musang King, Red Meat, D24, D101, Kunyit and Bamboo Leg.

The durian here is not the cheapest around but we had at least 5 different types of durian and the pulps turn out alright. If the durian turn out to be unsatisfactory, the owner would willingly change it.

Water is readily available on each table for free. One could order coconut too here for cooling down the body after taking durians.

The stall also package the pulp in a plastic container which is later vacuum sealed to prevent the strong smell of the king of fruits from emitting out.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Sigma Metalytics Precious Metal Verifier

If one is investing in precious metals bullion bar or coin, it is important that what been purchased is genuine and not counterfeit. Sigma Metalytics offers a solution with a Verifier that can give a quick measurement and assurance of the bullion purchased.

This unit costs just below RM 4,000 in 2017 and the price has risen to RM 4100 - 4300 now. It comes with the main measuring unit, charger, calibration disc, bullion wand and user manual.

The size of it is just right and can be hold in a palm. This makes it really convenient to move around with it. In fact, to measure any standard 1 oz coin, this main unit alone is sufficient

A brief operating instruction is available at the back of the unit. It is quite easy to use and only a few buttons to play around.

This is the main sensor where the coins are placed for measurement. 1 ounce coin will fit perfectly whereas smaller coin will give inaccurate reading and small bullion wand is required.

The Verifier can measures gold and silver of different purity as well as other precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.

The unit measures the electrical resistivity of the metal as different materials have different resistivity.

Results interpretation is rather straightforward. The metal is genuine as long as the black cursor box is between the brackets. Should the black cursor box is slightly outside the brackets, the metal require further test and check for confirmation.

When a left or right arrow appears, the metal is likely not the selected metal.

For bars and smaller coins, bullion wand can be used to measure the metal. The wand comes in 3 sizes.

Connect the wand to the main sensor and slide it across the metal sample and the reading will appear.

The Verifier can works with the bar or can inside a plastic cases and bags. Hence, the protective covers remain intact and need not to be opened up.

The Verifier has another feature which is not mentioned in the manual. It is able to show the resistivity reading of the measured metal.

Shown here are the resistivity measurement of gold (2.17) and silver (1.62)

It has a few drawbacks and one of it is that the Verifier only measure the surface of coins and bars. Hence, counterfeiter could use Tungsten or Lead filled bars to fool the Verifier. The electrical resistivity of silver (1.59) and copper (1.68) are quite close and the sample could be manipulated in order to make PMV to give inaccurate reading.

To overcome these shortcomings, Sigma Metalytics has introduced Previous Metal Verifier Pro (approximately USD 1380) last year which actually measures completely through the sample as well as confirms the metal density is correct. By taking the density into consideration, it will be hard for the sample metal to be counterfeited.

Having said that, I still find the original Precious Metal Verifier to be useful as the first line of defense by screening all the bullion. With additional devices such as magnetic slide (for silver coin), jewellery digital scale and thickness measurement tools, it will complement the PMV for re-assurance of the metal content in the sample metal.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

LifeStraw Go

It is always a good idea to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances and emergencies that may arise. Water is an essential part of our life and hence clean potable water is crucial when disaster struck where clean water is not available. LifeStraw is one of the leading brands which offers products that are capable of filtering dirty or contaminated water for human consumption.

LifeStraw Go (RM 187) is one of product which I opt to be included in my inventory for emergency preparedness. This is an upgraded version (or should I say version 2) of their earlier LifeStraw Go where the updated version comes with 2 stage filtration.

The specification is well define in the package. The filter consists two parts. The first stage is a hollow fiber membrane which removes 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% of protozoa and with filtration capacity of 1000 liters.

The second stage is an activated carbon capsule which reduces chlorine, bad odor, taste, organic chemical matter and with filtration capacity of 100 liters.

The filter do not have the capability to filter out viruses.

With each purchase of LifeStraw product, one school child in developing countries will receives safe drinking water for an entire school year. This is one of the company's give back program.

Each LifeStraw Go come with bottle, cap, filter, carabiner and user manual. It looks like any sports or outdoor bottle in the market with the exception of the filter instead of a straw. The bottle can hold 650ml of water in it.

The main component of this product is filter which is made up of a hollow fiber membrane and activated carbon. I always feel better if any contaminated water had passed through an activated carbon filter before consumption.

Carbon filter will improve the drinking experience as it eliminates odour.

The activated carbon filter capsule can be disengaged from the filter unit, revealing the holes at the end of the hollow fiber membrane. There is no expiry date on the filter. Hence, the filter can be stored for a long period of time when not in use.

The complete replacement filter (RM 93.40) can be purchased separately. Since the activated carbon filter capsule has a shorter working life, keeping a few carbon filter replacements would be ideal.

Silicon mouthpiece at the cap for a more comfortable sipping of the filtered water. The silicon mouthpiece is replaceable.

LifeStraw Go is one way to reduce plastic waste while travelling by avoiding buying or using bottled water. Instead, just fill up with tap water or available water source and drink it from the LifeStraw Go.

The fabrication month and year can be found beneath the cap. The units I purchased today were made in December 2018. It is to my best understanding that the whole unit is produced in Switzerland.

LifeStraw Go offers a lot of convenience as one can simply scoop water from lake, river, water fall or pot holes and store it and drink when ready. The portability is definitely a big advantage for this bottle which made it ideal for travelling, camping, hiking and emergency preparedness. I would definitely carry one of this when travelling in a country where the quality of the tap water is questionable.

On the down side, LifeStraw Go is not capable to filter viruses. In the event of emergency, where one need to store clean water to cook, this product might not be ideal (LifeStraw Flex would be more suitable). Nevertheless, it is a great product to have in case of emergency or any outdoor activities.