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morphy_richards
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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:14 pm

Heater wrote:I can't help thinking that if capacitors were a sensible and economic way to store electricity then we would not be using batteries all over the place. From torches and phones to Teslas.

We don't. So I guess they are not.
It was only a few years ago or so that I heard of super caps, this young man is now using them to store the power for what sounds like a real life modern day version of The Goodlife. Kudos to him!
Perhaps it will take a pioneer or two to show the rest of us oldies the way to go :)
I really would love to see some pictures of your setup DavidS.

Heater
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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:33 pm

I'm all for pioneers. Who knows what happens in the future.

Only this oldie is not convinced this is a good idea without some numbers to back it up. Purchase price, size, energy density, etc.

The laws of physics don't change so much as you get older :)

I'd love to see some pictures too. We never will though because that takes to much energy!

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emgi
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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:49 pm

morphy_richards wrote:
Heater wrote:I can't help thinking that if capacitors were a sensible and economic way to store electricity then we would not be using batteries all over the place. From torches and phones to Teslas.

We don't. So I guess they are not.
It was only a few years ago or so that I heard of super caps, this young man is now using them to store the power for what sounds like a real life modern day version of The Goodlife. Kudos to him!
Perhaps it will take a pioneer or two to show the rest of us oldies the way to go :)
I really would love to see some pictures of your setup DavidS.
+1 regarding them pictures!
For us 'oldies' supercapacitors are something new entirely. I've bothered to look at what my chinese fiends have on offer in this category:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2Pcs-ul ... 4617f8fcf4

In case the link doesn't work: Two times [email protected] for 2.65Euro.
Being an 'oldie' myself I'm still used to express capacity in micro-Farad which is a million times less. :!:
When it gets to this kind of capacities, a capacitor can act as a battery. Perhaps a Pi is not ideal but when you put two of these in parallel I guess you could run an Arduino on it for a long time, even when taking the discharge curve into consideration.
One problem I would expect is the sensitivity to overcharging. Too high a voltage an the unit pops; traditional Elco's were already known for this and I guess here it will be even more critical(?)
No clue about the other properties, like the ability to hold its charge under no-load conditions. On the other hand, for 2.65 euro's (free shipping) this might be something worth testing.
Actually a somewhat higher voltage would be better in combination with a switching regulator and a 12V solar panel. That would give you a bigger discharge range so that you can actually use ~50% of the stored energy before having to recharge.

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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:34 pm

Heater wrote:I can't help thinking that if capacitors were a sensible and economic way to store electricity then we would not be using batteries all over the place. From torches and phones to Teslas.

We don't. So I guess they are not.
capacitors are more efficient than batteries. Though the energy density per volume is much lower than batteries, hence why batteries are the way to go for a relatively large amount of electrical energy stored in a relatively small space.
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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:35 pm

morphy_richards wrote:
Heater wrote:I can't help thinking that if capacitors were a sensible and economic way to store electricity then we would not be using batteries all over the place. From torches and phones to Teslas.

We don't. So I guess they are not.
It was only a few years ago or so that I heard of super caps, this young man is now using them to store the power for what sounds like a real life modern day version of The Goodlife. Kudos to him!
Perhaps it will take a pioneer or two to show the rest of us oldies the way to go :)
I really would love to see some pictures of your setup DavidS.
Pictures are coming, just after I get a camera. Definitely I would love to share this simple setup, and would love to see more people doing similar.
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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:37 pm

Heater wrote:I'm all for pioneers. Who knows what happens in the future.

Only this oldie is not convinced this is a good idea without some numbers to back it up. Purchase price, size, energy density, etc.

The laws of physics don't change so much as you get older :)

I'd love to see some pictures too. We never will though because that takes to much energy!
Energy density is the one downfall, they take a lot of space as they require the surface area of the conductor to store energy.

I would have to look up current prices, as the price has been rapidly going down.
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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:41 pm

emgi wrote:
morphy_richards wrote:
Heater wrote:I can't help thinking that if capacitors were a sensible and economic way to store electricity then we would not be using batteries all over the place. From torches and phones to Teslas.

We don't. So I guess they are not.
It was only a few years ago or so that I heard of super caps, this young man is now using them to store the power for what sounds like a real life modern day version of The Goodlife. Kudos to him!
Perhaps it will take a pioneer or two to show the rest of us oldies the way to go :)
I really would love to see some pictures of your setup DavidS.
+1 regarding them pictures!
For us 'oldies' supercapacitors are something new entirely. I've bothered to look at what my chinese fiends have on offer in this category:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2Pcs-ul ... 4617f8fcf4

In case the link doesn't work: Two times [email protected] for 2.65Euro.
Being an 'oldie' myself I'm still used to express capacity in micro-Farad which is a million times less. :!:
When it gets to this kind of capacities, a capacitor can act as a battery. Perhaps a Pi is not ideal but when you put two of these in parallel I guess you could run an Arduino on it for a long time, even when taking the discharge curve into consideration.
One problem I would expect is the sensitivity to overcharging. Too high a voltage an the unit pops; traditional Elco's were already known for this and I guess here it will be even more critical(?)
No clue about the other properties, like the ability to hold its charge under no-load conditions. On the other hand, for 2.65 euro's (free shipping) this might be something worth testing.
Actually a somewhat higher voltage would be better in combination with a switching regulator and a 12V solar panel. That would give you a bigger discharge range so that you can actually use ~50% of the stored energy before having to recharge.
Well as to the ability to hold a charge under 0 load, the oil bath type do very well. Also the oil bath type are less likely to pop. Not sure what type the ones you linked are, as the link would not open for me.

That is definitely a better price than I paid, how much do they want for 48 volt rated 5 farad capacitors?
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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:55 pm

DavidS,

I'm fascinated. Do you have a link to a place I can buy a 48v 5 Farad oil bath capacitor?

Google is not helping me find one.

Of course another big difference between batteries and caps is that the voltage supplied by a cap plummets as it discharges where as a batteries voltage is pretty constant.

Sounds like you need a boost/buck converter to make the best use of the energy in a capacitor.

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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:01 pm

That is definitely a better price than I paid, how much do they want for 48 volt rated 5 farad capacitors?
That doesn't seem to be available. The standard voltage seems to be 2.7V or multiples of that.
Advertized capacity seems to range from 0.47F up to 500F (no typo) :!: .
Prices in the 2.7V range are good, examples:
2.7V, 150F, 46,01Euro for 5
2.7V, 30F, 16,30Euro for 5.

I also found 'automotive' grade units (16V, 20F) but they cost about the same as a good old lead-acid battery.

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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:21 pm

Heater wrote:DavidS,

I'm fascinated. Do you have a link to a place I can buy a 48v 5 Farad oil bath capacitor?

Google is not helping me find one.

Of course another big difference between batteries and caps is that the voltage supplied by a cap plummets as it discharges where as a batteries voltage is pretty constant.

Sounds like you need a boost/buck converter to make the best use of the energy in a capacitor.
Had not thought about using a boost converter. Though remember that you do not want to get the voltage to low, or your charge regulators will register a short circuit, as there is nothing to stop a capacitor from taking current at full rate except for the resistance of the stored voltage. If mine get below 10.2 volts I have to hook them to a small 45 watt solar panel without any regulator to bring them back up (without the issue of heating up the wires do to more current than the wire can handle).

No link off hand, though I could search. The ones I have were sold by a local business for a while, the business is no more unfortunately. Though I am sure that they can be found, I will attempt a few different searches that may bring them up, hopefully.
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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:29 pm

Heater wrote:DavidS,

I'm fascinated. Do you have a link to a place I can buy a 48v 5 Farad oil bath capacitor?

Google is not helping me find one.

Of course another big difference between batteries and caps is that the voltage supplied by a cap plummets as it discharges where as a batteries voltage is pretty constant.

Sounds like you need a boost/buck converter to make the best use of the energy in a capacitor.
Not finding them at the moment. Though I am finding even better super capacitors now available that I did not know about, for example:
http://www.maxwell.com/products/ultraca ... 8v-modules
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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:39 pm

emgi wrote:
That is definitely a better price than I paid, how much do they want for 48 volt rated 5 farad capacitors?
That doesn't seem to be available. The standard voltage seems to be 2.7V or multiples of that.
Advertized capacity seems to range from 0.47F up to 500F (no typo) :!: .
Prices in the 2.7V range are good, examples:
2.7V, 150F, 46,01Euro for 5
2.7V, 30F, 16,30Euro for 5.

I also found 'automotive' grade units (16V, 20F) but they cost about the same as a good old lead-acid battery.
Well the 24 volt units do come in a shrink pack, each 24 volt 5 farad is 18 units in a shrink casing.
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Re: Low Power.

Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:40 pm

While I am not finding the oil bath capacitors at all now, they look a lot like these:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Tecate-16-6 ... 2608636800
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Re: Low Power.

Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:34 am

I'm really not getting this?
(Is this a theoretical discussion?)

1 Ah @ 12v = 300F

A cheap car battery is 50+ Ah

Off-grid people tend to use banks of car batteries...
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Re: Low Power.

Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:46 pm

He did say, earlier
DavidS wrote:... here in the desert where we are lucky if a regular lead acid battery will last a full year of normal use, lead acid batteries tend to die in a hurry in this climate.
I don't know which desert he lives in - Mojave Desert, Painted Desert, Death Valley (I've been there - it's quite warm) - and I've no knowledge of how a standard battery would react, but I can imagine much of modern technology could struggle in those environments.

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Re: Low Power.

Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:13 pm

Supercaps, while getting cheaper, are still a poor choice for energy storage. Run the numbers, you can keep yourself in good deep-discharge solar batteries for a decade or two for the cost of a small bank of supercaps. The difference in energy storage is hundreds, sometimes thousands of times for equivalent cost as well.

For those not aware, regular car batteries don't like deep discharge, they are intended for starting. They would be OK if you keep your discharge to around 5-10% of capacity. Also at desert temperatures (100°F+) lead acid batteries like lower charge and float voltages, using normal 'higher' voltages like they were at room temperature will shorten their service life. They have temperature compensated chargers for this purpose, or make your own.

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Re: Low Power.

Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:43 am

Wow, missed the size of those caps.
I have not been to their web page for ages.
Had seen the little ones before, if you call 3000F small :lol:

Live in desert?
Hot during day, cold at night?
Always tried to figure out how to use the the temperature difference for aircon and power generation.

Not too hard to make a solar concentrator to heat oil to 800C.
This can be stored and used for cooking at night time.
Run water through oil tank and you have 800C steam which is steam engine suitable.
Bit dangerous but the carnot cycle requires large temperature difference.
Stirling engines can run at lower temps.

CO2 based refrigeration instead of hydrocarbon?
Solve green house warming by sucking CO2 out of air and use in fridges and aircon.

New battery tech is nearly here (they say that every year, whoever they are) :lol:
Sodium ion batteries made from salt water?
A few of these floating around now, they are real, have seen pictures of them installed.
http://aquionenergy.com/

The manufacturers make them for early adopters, those who can afford them etc.
But houses are getting more efficient and don't need as much power as they used to.
Er for the "average" house, not David's, who could probably run off my kids left over toy batteries.

Seriously thinking about a home battery bank after getting my last power bill.
Even with a 1.5KW solar system we are now back to the original power bill from 5 yrs ago.
I only had one quarter where we made money, been going down hill since.
70% of the bill is service charges. Subsidizing those who were smart and put in 5Kw.
80% of water bill is charges.

We had floods in 2011, plenty of solar panel on roofs making power, but they were grid connected.
Lose grid and solar turns off, lots of food in thousands of fridges went off.
So what point is the grid, saves the power company an extra peak power generator?

Long term batteries - Edison type - Nickel Iron, last for 100+yrs, safe too, just not the most efficient.
What manufacturer is going to make long lasting batteries?
http://ironcorebatteries.com.au/page2.php
https://ironedison.com/nickel-iron-ni-fe-battery

Anybody off grid now, stay off grid.

Hybrid cars, fuel engine is micro turbine, burns just about any hydrocarbon charges Sodium ion cells.
3D printed turbines nearly off the shelf, turbines -most reliable engines ever made.
Just need to keep current car running until they show up.

Or wait until hover boards are safer and cheaper.
http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/15/11439 ... -interview
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DavidS
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Re: Low Power.

Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:21 pm

I live in the sonoran desert.

Yes it would be interesting to figure out a way to take advantage of the temperature difference between day and night to produce power, it can be a fairly significant difference here.
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Re: Low Power.

Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:07 am

I live in the sonoran desert.
Earthship?
That would explain a lot.

I designed one for my final year high school project in 1977.
Never got around to building it :(
It is the last big thing on my bucket list.

Two big insulated tanks of water?
Hot heated during day.
Cold one cooled at night by IR radiators.
Cool house down by pumping cool water around floor, walls.
Heat house up, pump hot water around.
And some way to make electrickery from the temp difference.

Phase change materials is one thing I have looked at for thermal storage.
Ice and salts.
Water is useful because it has two phase changes, ice, steam.
Preserving food and power, the basics after shelter.

You done Aquaponics?
Back in 1977 I did not know what it was called but it was in the design.
It is one of the things I am learning Pi's for.
Home automation of the pumps, feeding etc
5-10,000L tanks inside is good thermal mass and fish don't like/need much light.
Grow beds from IBCs etc.
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DavidS
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Re: Low Power.

Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:22 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:
I live in the sonoran desert.
Earthship?
That would explain a lot.

I designed one for my final year high school project in 1977.
Never got around to building it :(
It is the last big thing on my bucket list.
Do it, do not procrastinate, it is more than worth it.
Two big insulated tanks of water?
Hot heated during day.
Cold one cooled at night by IR radiators.
Cool house down by pumping cool water around floor, walls.
Heat house up, pump hot water around.
And some way to make electrickery from the temp difference.
Now that is taking it to a slightly higher level. Using Solar for electricity is one thing, though getting the thermal difference to work for you is another thing all together.
Phase change materials is one thing I have looked at for thermal storage.
Ice and salts.
Water is useful because it has two phase changes, ice, steam.
Preserving food and power, the basics after shelter.

You done Aquaponics?
Back in 1977 I did not know what it was called but it was in the design.
It is one of the things I am learning Pi's for.
Home automation of the pumps, feeding etc
5-10,000L tanks inside is good thermal mass and fish don't like/need much light.
Grow beds from IBCs etc.
Yes Aquaponics is what provides about 60% of my food. I would recommend something a little more bare than a Raspberry Pi for control systems though.

Are you familiar with the Parallax Propeller? It is the best choice I know of for control systems of the type you are talking about. It is easy to implement 99% of things using only a few passive components and some code (that is already written, and open source under a MIT license, in most cases), including ADC, DAC, Freq-Counter, VGA, NTSC, PAL, Serial, USB, etc. For most motor related applications you need only add an ULN2803.

For info on the Propeller take a look at:
http://parallax.com/

For more on the prewritten bit banged HW, that is beyond what you would expect possible, take a look at:
http://obex.parallax.com/

For even more on the Propeller look at the parallax forums:
http://forums.parallax.com/

Also the Propeller goes together with the Raspberry Pi very nicely. Parallax even sells a Raspberry Pi HAT for using the Propeller.
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Re: Low Power.

Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:05 am

Yep Props, been using them for years.
Got tied of waiting for the Prop 2 and then the Pi came out.
Got distracted for years by learning Linux and a bucket load of programming languages.

Zero W running Ultibo code is close to Prop with connectivity maybe once wifi sorted.
Pi's with prop or psoc micro I use all the time.

Have lived in the mountain and in the trees, lived on an island.
Very nearly built dome house there, listened to bad advise.
Then got married, had kid, plans went on hold and it was back to the burbs.

These days I try to figure out how to get off grid and still commute.
Flying car :lol:

Compressors on fridges could do with Maxwell capacitor starting.
Our new fridge has digital compressor.
Danfoss make solar compressors, but these days I am looking for CO2 cycle equipment.

Understand now how you can run so low power.

I watch Grand Designs, people have heaps of money or lots of time to build or both.
I have neither, so I research automatic building methods. 3D printed house etc.
Trained in Robotics so that bit is not hard.

Been following these guys for clues
http://opensourceecology.org/

I think some automatic house extruder using hempcrete might be the way to go.
CO2 negative and hemp can grow nearly anywhere even on the land you build on.
But the nanny states here are a bit against hemp, it is slowly changing so maybe one day.

Hemp farmer and house building machine maker, my retirement job?
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Re: Low Power.

Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:35 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:Yep Props, been using them for years.
Got tied of waiting for the Prop 2 and then the Pi came out.
Got distracted for years by learning Linux and a bucket load of programming languages.

Zero W running Ultibo code is close to Prop with connectivity maybe once wifi sorted.
Pi's with prop or psoc micro I use all the time.
Even with Ultibo the Raspberry Pi will never be as predictable for timing as the Propeller, do to the fact that interrupts are still a fact of life on the Raspberry Pi. WiFi is available for the Propeller now, so that is one more thing not to worry about.

I am waiting for the Prop 2 as well, though the Propeller 1 is still very useful. Just because we only have the Propeller 1 does not mean to ignore what we do have.
Have lived in the mountain and in the trees, lived on an island.
Very nearly built dome house there, listened to bad advise.
Then got married, had kid, plans went on hold and it was back to the burbs.

These days I try to figure out how to get off grid and still commute.
Flying car :lol:
Electric Vespa style Motor-Scooter, charged by 2 100 Watt Solar Panels, or similar.
Compressors on fridges could do with Maxwell capacitor starting.
Our new fridge has digital compressor.
Danfoss make solar compressors, but these days I am looking for CO2 cycle equipment.
Always refrigeration will be an interesting problem. I use a peltier junction based top opening fridge, that is very well insulated. Yes it is less efficient, though if only opened twice per day at most it needs only rarely turn on.
Understand now how you can run so low power.

I watch Grand Designs, people have heaps of money or lots of time to build or both.
I have neither, so I research automatic building methods. 3D printed house etc.
Trained in Robotics so that bit is not hard.

Been following these guys for clues
http://opensourceecology.org/

I think some automatic house extruder using hempcrete might be the way to go.
CO2 negative and hemp can grow nearly anywhere even on the land you build on.
But the nanny states here are a bit against hemp, it is slowly changing so maybe one day.

Hemp farmer and house building machine maker, my retirement job?
Now you do have a way to live.
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Re: Low Power.

Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:12 am

David, seriously you should write a book, with pictures, code on how to do the aquaponics and other stuff.
That way I don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Recently found out when the kid took command of my Linux box, a Pi 3 with LibreOffice is not bad for writing.
Good enough to edit, write a 50 page, 482 paragraph legal document.

It's strange, when I had the money to do it I didn't, now I have no money and wish I did.
I think that 's what they call hindsight in life, more commonly called procrastination :D

Timing is the reason I do baremetal stuff on Pi's and no bloat.
Don't need usec timing most of the time, msec is good enough for most things.

It does not have the hardware the PSoC has or the software/hardware smarts the Prop has.
But Pi's are cheap, well made, reliable and easy to get, well if you only want one Zero at a time :lol:
That and I needed to learn Linux. The writing was on the wall by 2012 re MS.

1 GHz cpu? even bad slow code runs fast enough :lol:
And you get HDMI graphics thrown in free.
Plus because the documentation is not complete I can pretend I am a hacker exploring unknown silicon territory :ugeek:
A certain micro manufacturer used to hate me because I kept finding bugs for them in their XC68...... early release parts.
It used to make my day finding errors in their datasheets too :twisted:
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Re: Low Power.

Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:34 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:David, seriously you should write a book, with pictures, code on how to do the aquaponics and other stuff.
That way I don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Recently found out when the kid took command of my Linux box, a Pi 3 with LibreOffice is not bad for writing.
Good enough to edit, write a 50 page, 482 paragraph legal document.
I may indeed do that during some of the time I am offline. It could be fun writing, even if I am a terrible author.
It's strange, when I had the money to do it I didn't, now I have no money and wish I did.
I think that 's what they call hindsight in life, more commonly called procrastination :D
When you have no money is the time to do it.
Timing is the reason I do baremetal stuff on Pi's and no bloat.
Don't need usec timing most of the time, msec is good enough for most things.

It does not have the hardware the PSoC has or the software/hardware smarts the Prop has.
But Pi's are cheap, well made, reliable and easy to get, well if you only want one Zero at a time :lol:
That and I needed to learn Linux. The writing was on the wall by 2012 re MS.
Linux does have some interesting challenges. I have had to force my self to stick with it a few times, and not go running back to RISC OS (especially now that I know that the PropLoader and OpenSPIN run on RISC OS with little more than a recompile). I still use RISC OS a lot, though I am attempting to truly give Linux a fair shot.
1 GHz cpu? even bad slow code runs fast enough :lol:
And you get HDMI graphics thrown in free.
And NTSC/PAL. Though not so much for VGA (you loose to many GPIO's on the RPi).
Plus because the documentation is not complete I can pretend I am a hacker exploring unknown silicon territory :ugeek:
A certain micro manufacturer used to hate me because I kept finding bugs for them in their XC68...... early release parts.
It used to make my day finding errors in their datasheets too :twisted:
:)
RPi = The best ARM based RISC OS computer around
More than 95% of posts made from RISC OS on RPi 1B/1B+ computers. Most of the rest from RISC OS on RPi 2B/3B/3B+ computers

User avatar
Gavinmc42
Posts: 3736
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:31 am

Re: Low Power.

Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:02 am

Real, Real time people use the ARMxR, not ARMxA(Pi) or ARMxM(micro).

Linux is useful in the post MS era.
Keeping the code/data/docs on an external USB stick, means the SD card just holds the OS.
Easy then to swap OS.
It could be fun writing, even if I am a terrible author.
Lots of pictures and code or do what they do these days, YouTube videos.
My kid learns more minecraft tricks from youtube than doing it himself or reading the books..
When you have no money is the time to do it.
Time poor too now, most of my writing is done after midnight, no one up to distract or annoy :lol: .

Coming to the conclusion that home lighting could be done off grid.
Most suburbanite homes have a fuse for the lighting wiring.
Disconnect the lighting circuit and replace the GU10 fittings for GU5.3 fittings then 12V LED lights with battery back up could be retro fitted to most houses.
Special wall points for 12V powered stuff, like monitors, Pi PC's, NAS.

Mains voltage stuff is not as important as it used to be with the fridge the number one issue as it runs 24/7.
Things like TV are multi voltage and getting more efficient, soon 12V OLED roll up stick on wall?
Not that TV is a big as it used to be with small screens and phone/tablets potentially in every room.

Utilities are a big problem, too expensive for most people to replace.
Cooking and aircon really the major problem we have here.
Peak demand brownouts have even got the politicians talking big project again.

New land releases, first thing to go is the trees and top soil.
Go through a new housing estate and feel the heat (er probably not much for a desert dweller).
When we went looking for a house years ago, we spotted one new MCMansion with 9 Aircons, right next door to another McMansion, three feet from their aircons.

People like my brother used to pay $5000 a quarter before he put in wood fire and solar.
We were complaining about a $300 bill at the time :lol:
We ended up getting old hardwood place on a block with the most trees in the street.
No insulation, wood fire and no aircon till this year. Dead trees/branches keep the house warm in winter.
Still need a bit of power for the battery chainsaw :lol:

The building regulations are stuffed in this country.
No allowance for thermal mass, super insulation compulsory .....
As a result government has to spend billions for power problem solutions.
Yet there are people who have figured out solutions that get mostly ignored.
http://bze.org.au/

None of them think about it from the ground up, all based on "traditional" housing models.
Hence we need people like you to write books an how to do it :lol:
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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