Thursday, March 1, 2012

I've gone onto summer hours!

Yes, already! It's now light enough to be still working outside at 19:00 and so that's what I'm doing. And the computing activities that I need to do, well I'm doing those from 10:00 until 12:00.

Yesterday I spent most of the day on the computer though. One or two things have needed doing rather urgently and that was what took up most of the day. But there was so much bright sunlight that I could sit up here with the luxury of a coffee machine on the boil all day, which I refilled as necessary. The last time that I did that was probably back in 2007 when I was still living in Brussels. Wasn't that a long time ago? But I ended up not having ny tea last night. The fact was that it was far too warm to light the fire up here and I didn't really feel like going downstairs to cook anything. It's hard to summon up the enthusiasm.

So with an early night, I had an early morning as well, just for a change. And on went the coffee pot again because if anything it was even nicer today than yesterday. So much so, in fact, that I ran the electric heater up here. Not because I needed to, but because it was a shame to waste the energy.

One of the things that I needed to do was to print off about 50 pages of stuff that I need to complete. And I think that I'm having printer issues. The black ink didn't work at all and in the end I put a new cartridge in. That worked fine for a few pages and then we were back to the missing lines and dirty heads again. I cleaned the heads, and that worked fine for a while and then we were back in the missing lines and dirty heads. I don't know why that is. Printers never seem to last very long with me.

This afternoon I had a pile of fun. I've had a few parcels delivered these last couple of days, and one of them contained the half-a-dozen 12 volt DC hour meters similar to the 230 volt ones that I bought to run with the mains inverters. The purpose of these 12-volt hour meters is to wire them into the solar panel circuits to see for how long a solar charge is received by the panels (to help in resiting them to an optimum position), to wire into the wind turbine circuits ditto, and also to wire into the overcharge circuits to see for how long surplus energy is created. And so I spent a happy afternoon wiring in the overcharge timers and the solar timers. I'm not able to do the wind turbine timers as I need diodes to stop the backflow of energy from the batteries and they haven't come yet. The wind turbines are connected directly to the batteries with no charge controller so if you wire a timer in there without stopping the current flowing back from the batteries, the timers will be running 24 hours per day, feeding off the batteries.

I also did some tidying up of the panel that I made a couple of months ago - the one with the 600-watt inverter, the electric meter and the electrical sockets, that I'm using in the barn. That looks neater and tidier, and works better than before. But I forgot to say that when I was in Brussels at Christmas, Marianne was chucking out an old hair drier - something like 400 watts or so. Anyway, I chucked it into Caliburn and brought it back here. The reason? every now and again I use heat shrink insulation on bare wires and while you are supposed to shrink it using a hot-air paint stripper, I don't have enough power to run a hot-air paint stripper. I do to run a 400-watt hair drier and while it's slower and not quite as effective, it does in fact work well enough. I'm quite impressed with that.

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