Monday, August 31, 2009

How To Keep Your House Cool

I found out the web-site below very good. Check it out!

Seal out the heat for comfort

Take control of your home’s environment
In simple terms, taking control of heat transfer is all about smoothing out the temperature fluctuation that occurs on a hot day by slowing the rate at which a home heats up inside during the day and speeding up its cooling down rate in the late afternoon and evening.

Soothing out the daily temperature fluctuation

CSR Coolbatts Insulation – the best first step
In the same way that an insulated ice-box keeps cold inside, quality CSR Coolbatts with guaranteed thermal resistance (R-value) will dramatically slow heat transfer in your home.

Taming Mother Nature

Direct Sun (radiation)

Reducing the impact of sunlight coming into your home will have a dramatic effect on internal temperatures.

North, east and west facing windows are the ones to watch.
• External shutters provide the best protection as they stop the hot sun before it can heat your window glass.
• Venetians, holland and vertical blinds fit neatly inside the window cavity and help to reflect direct sunlight.
• Consider reflective window tinting (particularly west-facing windows) where light, but not heat from a window is desirable.

Tip: A combination of sheer, fixed curtains and heavy retractable drapes gives a lot of flexibility.

Your Garden
Greenery provides shade and will not reflect as much heat as a concrete path!
• Plant deciduous trees to provide shade
• Use potted plants where there is no garden bed
• Lawn and other ground cover reduces reflected heat

Windows & Doors
Search for draughts! Hot air can easily come in under doors and around windows.
• Install draught seals on outside doors
• Using weather-seal around windows and doors will minimise air escape
• Seal any gaps between skirting boards and floors with a caulking compound

Tip: For rooms with fixed vent windows such as toilet/bathrooms, keep the door shut or fit auto-closers!

Roofs and Walls
• 70% of a home’s heat comes from the roof, 30% through the walls.
• Install ceiling insulation to slow heat transfer from your roof
• Install eave vents on the southern side of your home and a roof ventilator to expel the heat built up in your roof space.
• Consider CSR Coolbatts insulation to slow heat transfer from external walls
• Paint external walls a lighter colour to reflect heat

Tip: A quick early evening hose down of hot brick walls will help to cool things down.

Common Sense Solutions

Changeover Times
Take note of the two times, morning and afternoon, that the outside temperature is the same as inside.
• In the morning, close windows and doors to keep the cool air inside and close blinds and awnings on the east, north and west as the sun moves throughout the day
• At night, open windows and doors to let in cool breezes
• Get to know which doors in your home provide the best natural air flow

Air Conditioning
An easy comfort decision which can be expensive to run if you’re not careful.
• Install the unit on the shaded side of your home, if practical
• Limit the area you are cooling by closing doors to the rest of the house
• Use your air conditioner’s thermostat or timer or turn it off at night and when you’re out
• Consider an air transfer ducting system between specific rooms

Tip: An insulated home will retain its coolness for much longer periods, allowing you to run your air conditioner for less, saving energy, money and the environment.

Things are heating up!
Scientists predict that the earth's average temperature may increase by a further 6°C by the year 2100. But take heart, by understanding how heat works and learning to tame Mother Nature, you can make a real improvement in your year-round comfort (and make a positive contribution to global warming at the same time!)

Piyik and Adult Sound Frequency Analysis

I did a frequency Analysis on Piyik and Adult Bird Calling sound. What I found out that Piyik frequency range around 1K to 15K. Adult Birds Calling sound frequency range around 0 to 20K.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


If you read my earlier blog, I did buy a few tweeters from US which according to the review is good and cheap. I did not have change to test them until recently. I run a simple test to verify which tweeter have better performance.

The tweeter on the Bottom-left is the current tweeter I use in my BH. Can't remember what is the brand. Is made in China. The tweeter on the Top-Left is tweeter from Orian KP307M bought in Jakarta. The tweeter on the Bottom-right is tweeter bought from US (GT-1025) and the tweeter on the Top-right is tweeter bought from US (GT-1005).

Orion KP307M, Tweeter bought in Jakarta.
I opened out all the tweeter and checked the inside. The tweeter that I use has coil (copper) below the diaphragm.
The tweeters that bought from US and Jakarta do not have coil.
I not very sure the use of coil. When I compare the sound played by those tweeters, the tweeter with coil can play louder. After checked the tweeters, I start run the sound test. I used Sony digital Recorder to record the same sound from the Amplifier at the same distance. I used wool to cover my recorder mic to reduce the wind sound.

After recorded, I try to listen the sound quality from each tweeter. Maybe my listening skill is not good enough, all the tweeters almost same quality except the tweeter that I use the pitch seem to be higher. You can here the sound by click the link below

I then used Audacity software to analyse the frequency response of each tweeter. Good Tweeter will able to reproduce the same frequency waveform as compare to the original sound below.

From the Frequency Analysis, it seem that the GT-1025 is the best, follow by GT-1005, KP305M and lastly the tweeter that I use now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Visit to Eka Walet Jakarta

Before my friends and I back to Singapore, we visited one of EKA WALET branch in Jakarta. Unfortunately, the shop under renovation and not many things can see and buy. But we have the opportunity to see how they hatch the swiftlet egg in oven.

The workers feed the piyik with tauhu goreng.
The egg and piyik in oven at around 33degC.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Commercial swiftlet farming

Thanks for Mr F for contriuting another article in my blog.

During a lecture several years ago, Dr Charles Leh who is an authority on bird nest swiftlets mentioned about venturing into this field as a commercial venture in which decisions taken should ensure the viability of such an enterprise. He said that if anyone took lightly the decision to venture into this industry without sufficient knowledge and research; then one might unintentionally ended up as a hobbyist with a farm sparsely populated by few swiftlets and nests. It’s a case of like people who rear fishes in an aquarium unlike entrepreneurs who used ponds to rear fish on a business scale for profits.

A very important aspect of any commercial enterprise is the ingredient of time. The old saying goes that time is money and its generally true; for example. The sooner one can entice large numbers of birds stay and populate a farm, the sooner the farm will see returns in the form of nests. And the farm that can rapidly expand its population of birds and nests will see huge difference in the profits being generated. Actually, there is a old Chinese saying that goes further than time is money. For it said that: A measure of time is a measure of gold; but a measure of gold cannot obtain a measure of time. Time is constantly flowing like water in a river rushing to the sea. There are those contractors who counsel novice swiftlet farmers to have patience when there is no sign of bird shit in the farm even after months of those farms being in operation. Sometimes, they used the analogy of oil palm trees requiring three years to grow to a stage where they would begun to bear fruits and can be harvested. I think to be a commercially viable venture, one need to see swiftlets staying and making nests at the latest, several months after a farm becomes operational. Having said that, I should add that commercial swiftlet farming certainly required a time frame for a venture to succeed and patience is needed to see continuous growth until the farm is eventually saturated. But to trust to whims of fate and keep on waiting and waiting for your “luck” to turn is often wishful thinking. We should be more proactive and analyze the problems and try promptly to supply remedies.

Those who venture into this field should equipped themselves with sufficient knowledge and accumulate experiences from other practitioners and from their own observations and also use some common sense. This field not only require a high degree of technical proficiency but also substantial capital. For those who have lands, they still need large sums of money to build their swiftlet bungalows, and those who have no land but have to buy them require even greater capital. The expenses for those who have to buy buildings in town areas before converting them, the costs are also rather substantial. Only those who have existing buildings can get away with putting up large sums of capital to venture into this field. So, many swiftlet farmers often try to save money when they are equipping their farms. This can be false economy. They must spend all the money truly required on equipments that will be able to function in the competitive art of enticing birds to come and stay. For example, high quality and heavy duty amps are essential but not the top of the line models as they represent overkills such as using a large knife meant for killing a cow to kill a chicken. But significant savings can be achieved in using cheap tweeters especially for the nesting rooms. But the biggest decisions must be on the location and on the competent designs of the farm in order to achieve an ideal and optimum micro-climate and environment for swiftlets to visit, stay and built their precious nests.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Best Aroma I Ever Heard

A lot of people have been taking about whether aroma is effictive or not? Some people even claimed that their aroma can increase 700 nests in a very short period. It may or may not true. Because there is no picture or video clip to show or support their claims.

A friend of mine send a video clip to me. When I saw the video clip, my heart beat faster. I really cannot believe my eye. Below is the video clip link and what he wrote in the YouTube.

This is fantatic ! given the good micro of a BH, in 3 days time a single Swiftlet's colony can grow from 25 to 50++ ...Double ! . ..that is the what we called the effectiveness of a good aroma !

Now you can judge yourself whether aroma is effective or not.............Shit.........still thinking about the video clip......The aroma also affect human brain also...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Panimbang, Java Swiftlet Center Visit

The next day after Pak Hen Seminar, we visited Swiftlet Center in Panimbang, Java, about 4 hours bus journel. On the way to the center, we stop half way to visit the Seriti Nests Cleaning Center. Only 10% to 20% of the seriti nest is edible. You can imagine how difficult is to clean the nests.
Seriti Nests Cleaning Center

Seriti Nest

BH along the River at Panimbang
When we reached the center, almost all the buildings in this village is Bird House. I have been told that the BH below can collect 80kg/month of nests.

This is another BH belong to Malaysian. They called it "Malaysia Swiftlet Complex". There are 6 BH in this complex. Each BH can collect 3kg/months.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Minimizing disturbances to young swiftlets while renovating farms

A good article posted by Mr. F. Thanks for sharing.

It would be ideal to build a swiftlet farm properly in the first place before switching on the sounds; it would be best if one do not have to do any renovation at all so as not to disturb or scare away swiftlets. However, in a less than perfect world; sometimes it may be required especially when one find that the designs of a farm is far from ideal only after it is operational; and there are already nests inside the farm with baby swiftlets and fledging. If the renovations are absolutely essential to the long term growth of the farm, then one should get on with the renovations as soon as it is convenient and try to keep it short and sweet so as to minimize disturbances for the precious inhabitants in the farm.

Lets us just take the exercise of hacking down walls or sections of walls as an example. First, we must identify the problems and the solutions: Where are the places required to be hack down and how large the hole(s) need to be. Then we should follow the counsel of Confucious who admonished us to prepare our tools first before we embark on a project.

For hacking down section of a wall(s); it pays to know what type of walls we are facing.. For there are certain walls within a building that were build during the late 1960s or early 1970s which comprised of cement bricks with hollow center. If this is the case, it would be a cinch to hack such walls and one only needs rudimentary tools to accomplish our missions. One would need basically just a mid-size hammer and also a spade, pail, broom and dust pan to clean up afterward.

For walls build with bricks, especially red clay bricks; it would required more equipments to do the job. One can in practice get away with using a set of hammers ranging from mid-size hammers with long handle (for a bigger swing) and short handle (for more detail job) and a sledge hammer for hammering down sections of a wall that had became loose and weaken. We also need to have two types of chisels (a flat edge one and a pointed one). We started out with the pointed one first to punch a hole in the middle area of a wall where for example, we might want to make a rectangle opening. We then use the mid size hammer to knock at various part of the wall within the outline of the shape of the hole marked out with a white chalk so as to weaken the mortal surrounding the bricks. Once a hole is punch through, we can then knock out adjacent bricks to the top/bottom/left and right until the hole is gradually enlarge to the extent we desired.

However, it is much better if we can obtain the use of a pneumatic jack which will help to speed up the hacking. Either we can borrow it from a friend or rent it from someone for a day. The pneumatic jack should first be use to demolish the cement covering of the wall and only then to punch away at the mortar areas between the bricks and not at the bricks themselves because the hardness of the bricks will cause much resistance. By the way, a mid-size pneumatic jack is powerful but it also heats up rapidly; so one should let the jack have frequent rest and make use of the hammers while the jack is left to cool for a few minutes.

Renovators should also prepare a heavy duty extension wire so that the jack is able to plug in at power outlet that is far away from the wall. It is also a good idea to have a ladder, a stand or a stool in order to hack higher section of a wall. If one wanted to take down a whole section of a wall, it is advisable to hack from the top. People had been seriously hurt when they started to hack at the bottom section of a wall only to have the top section came crashing down at them due to gravity pulling down the upper section that no longer have bottom support. Another important thing to remember is that one should wear a mask for health reason as while doing hacking, a great amount of debris and dust are generated which a person not wearing a mask will surely inhale into their lungs.

Finally, one should be sure to start the renovation in the afternoon after the parent birds came back to feed their off-springs. As the hammering and the use of pneumatic jack is a noisy and violent affair; it pays to ensure that the inner sound be tune up more so as to camouflage the noise generated. The humidifiers must be working and it might be desirable to bring them closer to the work area to disguised the work in progress so as to cause least alarm to the baby swiftlets huddling in their nests. One should not just keep banging away at a wall as hammering away a wall not yet significantly weaken will takes a great deal of effort and not only cause a good deal of noise but also vibrations that can be felt keenly by the babies and fledging at their nests. It is far better to strip away the cement/mortar façade of a wall first so as to weaken it before using the jack or chisels to penetrate the walls to weaken it further and finally using the hammers again.

The above advices are specifically for hacking down walls but some of the tips are applicable to other types of renovations such as putting up partitions (just make sure they are truly necessary and will not impede the flight of birds inside the confine of a farm) or the installing of gadgets and equipments that require a certain amount of time and effort. One final tip is try to make use of minimal amount of local lighting (such as torch light or light strap to the head) in order to placate the emotions of the baby swiflets still residing in the farm during the renovation; for it must be very scary for the birds to have all the lights of a farm switch on in which not only their nests are exposed but also they can observe a person or more is making a good deal of noise and vibration such as while hacking a wall. Good luck to all those doing renovations and hope that they will see meaningful improvements in their farms soon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


My friend asked me to post the news below which shows the dangerous of ammonia. Make sure you use the food grade ammonia in your BH (Ammonium Bicarbonate)
Six die of ammonia poisoning


TANJUNG KARANG: Six people, including a store manager who tried to save a Bangladeshi worker, died from inhaling ammonia that leaked from a faulty refrigeration system at a jetty in Kampung Bagan Pasir here.

Three other Bangladeshi workers who also suffered from the gas leak have been warded at the Tanjung Karang Hospital.

Manager Lim Kian Chew, 35, collapsed after pulling out a Bangladeshi worker who had fainted while working inside a makeshift cooler tank that was used to store fish.

Four other Bangladeshi workers, who joined Lim’s relative Kim Son, 58, and two of his neighbours, Sia Liang Huat, 33, and Gan Ayong, 30, in responding to calls for help, also died in the 8am incident yesterday.

zone: Six people were killed and three others hurt after inhaling ammonia gas that leaked from a faulty refrigeration system at a jetty in Kampung Bagan Pasir.

The noxious ammonia was being used as a refrigerant in the cooler tank.

When firefighters arrived at 9am, they found nine people unconscious and foaming at the mouth next to one of the four cooler tanks in the jetty area.

A firefighter said the smell of ammonia was so strong that he could smell it through his breathing apparatus.

The victims were sent to the hospital where six of them were pronounced dead on arrival.

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Soiman Jahid told reporters that residents from 15 houses within 100m of the jetty were ordered to evacuate for several hours until the situation was under control.

“This is the first time we have responded to a case like this in Selangor,” he said.

Three fire engines, including a hazardous materials response team (Hazmat) from Section 15, Shah Alam, were dispatched to the emergency.

Water was used to dissolve the gas contained in the faulty cooler tank and later soda ash was applied to neutralise the liquid ammonia.

Kian Chew managed the store for his elder brother Kian Boon, 38, who sells the fish that is used to make fertiliser.

Kian Boon said the cooling system had leaked before, adding that the salt water caused the refrigerator coils to corrode and he spent RM10,000 in April to change the coils.

“The workers knew the gas was poisonous but they did not know how hazardous it was,” he told The Star reporters.

The ABCs of ammonia

AMMONIA is a colourless, highly irritating gas with a pungent, suffocating odour.

Eighty per cent of ammonia produced by industry is used in agriculture as fertiliser.

Ammonia is also used as a refrigerant gas, which was the case in yesterday’s incident in Tanjung Karang where six people died after a leak at a refrigeration facility.

Other uses of ammonia are to purify water and in the manufacture of plastics, explosives, textiles, pesticides, dyes and other chemicals.

It is also found in many household and industrial-strength cleaning solutions.

How ammonia kills

Ammonia acts immediately upon contact with any available moisture in the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, and particularly mucous surfaces to form the very corrosive ammonium hydroxide.

Ammonium hydroxide leads to cellular destruction, causing cell proteins to break down, resulting in inflammation.

Inhalation of lower concentrations can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation.

Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia causes an immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract. This can result in respiratory distress or failure.

Ammonia’s odour is highly noticeable due to its stench but it also causes olfactory (smelling) fatigue or adaptation, reducing awareness of one’s prolonged exposure at low concentrations.

What to do if one comes into prolonged contact with ammonia? Ammonia’s effects can be treated.

Wash affected skin and eyes with copious amounts of water.

Ingested liquid ammonia is diluted with milk or water.


Pak Hen Swiftlet Farming Seminar - Jakarta 8-9Aug 09

Last Weekend, my friend and I attended Pak Hen Seminar at Jakarta. Due to flight delayed, we reached there by 1am Jakarta time. I could not sleep well and woke up around 4am. I was quite tired. We entered the ball room around 8.45am, 15 mins before the seminar started, but all the front seats have been taken up by participants. We have to sit at the last row (See the picture above taken from where I sit). They need 3 projectors to make sure everybody able to see.

In my opinion, it is a very good seminar. I learn a lot from the seminar and also realized that there are still a lot of things that I do not know. But at least I have some idea what I need to do for my BH in the coming months.

Not only the seminar is good, I also enjoy the beer session after the seminar with Pak Hen. He will chat with the participants till mid-night every days. The feeling is wonderful. I get to know a lot of friends with same interest during this session. Everybody willing to share their experince in this seminar. I don't know other sifu will do that or not. Most likely they will disappear after the seminar.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Let Your Imagination Takes Flight

Another article posted by Mr. Fr. Thanks

Swiftlet farmers should try to imagine themselves to be swiftlets, escape from the pull of gravity and being able to soar into the sky; flying over towns, oil palm plantations, paddy fields or all over the sea shores. Then try to imagine flying over their bird houses and later proceed to enter into the premise, into the roving room and then into the nesting rooms; while circling inside the premises, just try to visualize whether the interior is suitable for swiftlets to navigate easily and safely.

The saying goes that it takes a thief to catch a thief; for a thief best knows the ways of thieves and can therefore anticipate the actions of a thief. Therefore, swiftlet farmers must try to learn as much about the ways and behaviors of swiftlets in order that they can best design a premise that caters to the comfort and well-beings of swiftlets so that they will opt to stay and make nests and lay eggs to raise their off-springs.

In Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel-Captain Courageous, he told a story of a master fisherman-Disko Troop, who sailed the rich fishing grounds of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland trying to catch cod fishes:

“Disko Troop stared forward, the pipe between his teeth, with eyes that saw nothing. As his son said, he was studying the fish-pitting his knowledge and experience on the Banks against the roving cod in his own sea. He accepted the presence of the inquisitives schooners on the horizon as a compliment to his powers. But now that it was paid, he wished to draw away and make his berth alone, till it was time to go up to The Virgin and fish in the streets of that roaring town upon the waters. So Disko Troop thought of recent whether, and gales, currents, food supplies, and other domestic arrangements, from the point of view of a twenty-pound cod; was, in fact, for an hour, a cod himself, and looked remarkably like one.”

So to succeed in swiftlet farming, it pays to give your imagination a free rein and think like a swiftlet. To imagine yourself to be a swiftlet and visualize from a bird eye view of flying over your farm and also into your farm…

Monday, August 3, 2009

Temperature and Humidity after 9 months

After 9 months of operation, the average temperature = 29degC and the humidity still around 78%. The humidity still drop a lot of the humidifier is OFF. Base on the data, I able to track the source of the problem. I found out that the timer used to control the ventilator is set WRONGLY. When I was in the BH around 3pm, the timer showed around 10am. So, because of that, the ventilator will only OFF at 12am.

To help me understand further my BH micro conditions, I have placed another data logger at the roving area closer to the entrance hole. It will measure the external temp and humidity. With these data, I can make a better comparison and understand how to improve my BH micro conditions.

One of my friend has gave his feedback after used the Data Logger. With this tool, he can do his own modification instead of depend on consultant again. The problem when you consult your consultant is if they do not use this tool, they also cannot pin point where is the problem. At the end, you might waste your money doing something that is unnecessary.

Dear Victor,

Just like to inform you that the data logger is a great tool.

Managed to help to trace what went wrong in my BH.

Usually we thought hottest time was 3pm but not really. Noted temperature gone up after 5pm-12am before coming down slowly. Evening sun during sunset causing temp to raise up to 33C! That's the major problem in my BH. Now asked the contractor to install industry zink with polyform as permanent solution at the western wall. There are many methods but for my case think this is the better solution.