Why do I smell like burning, all of a sudden?

      Why do I smell like burning, all of a sudden?

      Last Friday night, I had to interrupt a camming session a bit suddenly due to a small technical issue. Afterwards, as I was explaining to others what had happened, it was suggested to me that the story might interest some of you. So here goes.

      A little over a year ago, I started working on a way to bring in some fresh air in to where my face is inside the mask. You see, I have kind of a wide, fleshy neck, and the chin part of Koshi's face sits flush with where my chin and neck meet, more or less. That doesn't leave much room for fresh air to come in (the lack of a gap does help a bit with the visual illusion, though!) So I thought, what if I had a fan hanging down the back of my neck, outside the mask, but hidden by my hair, pushing air through a tube, over to my face.

      Over the last 12 months or so, I built 3 different prototypes. My latest one has two battery holders that sit above my ears, held by magnets inside the mask, with wires that go out to the fan, in a small box that hangs down my back, and a tube that comes back up into the mask, over to my face. This has worked pretty well for me for the past 6 months or so.

      In this pic, the cause of my problems last Friday is already visible, even though I took this pic over a month ago. See if you can figure it out before I explain it.

      So, as I was happily (and, I might add, sexily!) camming, my fan suddenly stopped, and I immediately started smelling like something was burning. There was also a smell of ozone, the kind that accompanies electrical issues. So I quickly cut out my cam feed, pulled off the mask, and started disconnecting things to find out what had happened. I also panicked a little. Just a healthy dose of panic, though.

      If you're still trying to figure out what happened, stop reading now. Come back later. Don't worry, I'll wait.


      OK, so, after I disconnected everything, I discovered that the wires coming from my batteries, which I'd soldered together, and then isolated from one another using electrical tape, had slipped out of the tape. so the two joins finally touched at one point, creating a short-circuit, basically draining 12V out of my batteries, as fast as the wires would permit.

      It's only the following day, as I was inspecting everything to confirm what was still OK, and what might have been damaged, that I discovered where the burning smell came from: the plastic near the posts of my battery packs had melted a little, and gotten deformed. I was initially worried that I might have burned the hood on my zentai, or burnt out the fan from some hair going into it and clogging it, but all in all, the damage was pretty minor. Plus, I have another set of battery packs, so after fixing up my exposed wire joins, I'm back in business.

      Oh, another reason why all this happened is, I have the fan hanging from a magnet that sticks to a metal plate down the bottom of my hatch back. This is so the fan isn't hanging by the battery wires. As Martha Stewart used to say, "It's a good thing". Well, when I took off the mask in a hurry, I noticed that the magnet wasn't hanging in its normal position. The metal plate (which I'd glued in with epoxy) had come unstuck. The weight of the fan and tube caused the wires to be pulled out of the tape, causing the short-circuit. So as I made repairs, I used a slightly bigger metal plate, and more epoxy. Hopefully, with this extra surface area, it should hold in place longer...

      While I was checking and fixing things, I even added a 90 degree elbow at the end of my tube to point the fresh air straight at my face. Tested it last night, and it works like a charm!

      So, what's the moral of the story? I guess I'll leave it up to you all to figure out.
      Remember epoxy will soften when head is applied to it. That may be the reason the plate dislodged on you. I drill holes into plates to create keys for the epoxy to bench itself into. Try that if you already haven't. That should stop the plate (s) from moving on you.

      Glad you're alright too. I know you were a bit shaken from the experience.