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Old 04-03-2012, 10:38 AM   #10021
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Woke up at 4:00 am. Flew to San Francisco (packed plane and bumpy ride). Ate lunch at CPK. Went for a walk. Now resting. Tomorrow, apartment hunting begins in earnest...
Oof. That plane ride reminds me of so many when I was traveling for work. Good luck in your apartment hunting today!
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #10022
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Slept in late again and woke up to glorious sunshine again.

My grouting job turned out fabulous. I have grout sealer on hand and will go down later today or tomorrow to apply that. Mr B is doing his Accountant thing and getting their manual records into an Excel spreadsheet. Nice to have a place where we can both volunteer.

Next step is to bring in my manual pump garden sprayer and give the entire floor a good cleaning in the corners. There is a floor drain so I can spray and spray to my heart's content. A floor squeegee will help channel the excess to the drain.
I noticed the front entrance to the club is full of cobwebs near the ceiling and the wallpaper and wood trim and pillars need some cleaning. The tile floor also needs some TLC in the corners. Years of accumulation of dirt is going to be eliminated.
I got approval from the club President to enlist the help of 2 young men (on the payroll as dishwashers) for any heavy w*rk. I just need to give him an estimate of hours required so they can add it to their normal clocked in hours.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:38 PM   #10023
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i spent today cleaning the patio furniture .We have two sets of furniture . One on the deck upstairs and a separate set by the pool.Both sets take a beating due to the salt water and high winds which living on the water brings . Our upstairs set is frequently blown down the steps . When we first moved in our grill almost went down the stairs before we bunged it to the railing . Our view is spectacular but the poor furniture takes a beating .
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:32 AM   #10024
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I was in Vancouver yesterday and today for meetings. Today's meeting ended early and I had a few hours to kill before catching my flight home. So I went to the Vancouver International Auto Show. I am now completely car-overloaded but at least I have shortened my shortlist of possible next cars. I struck the Infiniti EX off the list because it's just not worth the money. Despite outward appearances and elegance, it's actually a small car inside. The Prius V is now on my list as the poor rear visibility of the original Prius has been corrected and the fuel consumption is pretty good. And I do like the new Honda CRV. The Hyundai Tucson also gets good marks. And in the category of cars I would never buy, the Fiat Cinquecento was cute but the back seat was completely nonfunctional.

I went up to the Honda desk and reported a problem with my Honda: it just won't give up after 17 years. They called the manager over, congratulated me and gave me a free Honda T shirt!

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Old 04-04-2012, 10:53 PM   #10025
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I just found this video. Not her electric company, but the same process.
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Gee, we never learned that skill in the Master Gardeners class.
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That seems like something out of ThereIFixedIt.com.
Sounds exactly like that just with its own rotors.

But I think I saw that tree-trimmer in a James Bond movie:
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:47 AM   #10026
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And I do like the new Honda CRV. The Hyundai Tucson also gets good marks. And in the category of cars I would never buy, the Fiat Cinquecento was cute but the back seat was completely nonfunctional.

I went up to the Honda desk and reported a problem with my Honda: it just won't give up after 17 years. They called the manager over, congratulated me and gave me a free Honda T shirt!


I like the new Honda CRV especially all the options they now have . My CRV has been great . The only negative I have found is a blind spot so you have to be really careful when people are passing on the right .
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:06 AM   #10027
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The first thing I do when we get a new car is put convex mirrors on both sides. Warn anyone who borrows your car though.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:31 PM   #10028
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Here's what I finished today: rewinding a big and mean toroid inductor to use in my home-brew MPPT controller (the thinggy that sits between a solar panel and the RV battery bank). There might be 1.5 lb of ferrite in each of the 3" doughnuts in the photo below.

I bought these surplus toroids a while back, and they looked like they were for some industrial applications. They would be expensive and difficult to get new. Typical DC/DC converters would use smaller inductors to save cost, but they would need to run at higher switching frequencies. High-frequency converters are more tricky to build for a one-off design. My home-brew design will use a lower frequency of 100KHz, and this big toroid works out great.

The problem was that its value of 1.1mH was higher than necessary and it had an resistance of 100milliOhms. So, I unwound it, cut the copper wire in 3, and rewound it with a trifilar winding. Ideally, reducing the number of turns to 1/3 and tripling up the wire would result in 1/9 the inductance and also 1/9 the resistance. Due to a bit of lead length at the ends, I ended up with a ratio of 1/10.

At a charging current in excess of 15A, the loss due to the initial coil would have been greater than 22.5W, or 1/10 the max output of the panel. It is now 2.25W, a much more palatable number.

It took me a couple of hours, because the copper wire was 16-gauge and quite stiff. It has been a long time since I wound some inductors or transformers by hand. It was what I did as a teenager, who had more time than money. Now, as a semi-retired geezer, I am reviving old activities. I am not quite sure if that is good or bad. All this work instead of spending a few hundred bucks to buy one off-the-shelf like everyone else! But then, I have always been a geek. Maybe I should just go back to work.

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Old 04-05-2012, 03:14 PM   #10029
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Driving down the highway, I saw that Caltrans had put out a neat pile of firewood for LBYMers like me. I was thinking, I wish I were in the truck, then realized I was in the truck (Lena needed the Echo). I took the next exit, looped around, and got a nice load.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:03 PM   #10030
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Worked....again.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:15 PM   #10031
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Here's what I finished today: rewinding a big and mean toroid inductor to use in my home-brew MPPT controller (the thinggy that sits between a solar panel and the RV battery bank). There might be 1.5 lb of ferrite in each of the 3" doughnuts in the photo below.

I bought these surplus toroids a while back, and they looked like they were for some industrial applications. They would be expensive and difficult to get new. Typical DC/DC converters would use smaller inductors to save cost, but they would need to run at higher switching frequencies. High-frequency converters are more tricky to build for a one-off design. My home-brew design will use a lower frequency of 100KHz, and this big toroid works out great.

The problem was that its value of 1.1mH was higher than necessary and it had an resistance of 100milliOhms. So, I unwound it, cut the copper wire in 3, and rewound it with a trifilar winding. Ideally, reducing the number of turns to 1/3 and tripling up the wire would result in 1/9 the inductance and also 1/9 the resistance. Due to a bit of lead length at the ends, I ended up with a ratio of 1/10.

At a charging current in excess of 15A, the loss due to the initial coil would have been greater than 22.5W, or 1/10 the max output of the panel. It is now 2.25W, a much more palatable number.

It took me a couple of hours, because the copper wire was 16-gauge and quite stiff. It has been a long time since I wound some inductors or transformers by hand. It was what I did as a teenager, who had more time than money. Now, as a semi-retired geezer, I am reviving old activities. I am not quite sure if that is good or bad. All this work instead of spending a few hundred bucks to buy one off-the-shelf like everyone else! But then, I have always been a geek. Maybe I should just go back to work.

You have more patience than I do. All in the name of efficiency. Superb.

Reminds me of a time when i made up a cable with 50 pin connectors, soldered and heat shrinked each wire. Then I discovered that I forgot to put the rest of the body and strain relief onto the cable BEFORE carefully soldering each pin. A great lesson it was.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:21 PM   #10032
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Rebuilt the pump section of a weed sprayer.

Then replaced the weeny blades on my lawnmower with godzilla bldes, they should chop through rocks.

By the way, that is my $150 mower.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:26 PM   #10033
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Went to dentist for 6 month cleaning.
Hit grocery store.
Contemplated the future.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:15 PM   #10034
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You guys work harder in retirement than I did at work. I spent 3 hours dancing this afternoon, and then an hour visiting.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:43 PM   #10035
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We went to the Flight 93 National Memorial, the Quecreek Mine Rescue Site and 4 covered bridges in Somerset County PA today. Stopped in Grantstown Md on the way home and had dinner at a restaurant that I had seen the sign many times on the interstate, but had never been before and we enjoyed it. Glad to be back home relaxing now.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:44 PM   #10036
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You guys work harder in retirement than I did at work. I spent 3 hours dancing this afternoon, and then an hour visiting.
I agree with you. They wear me out just reading everything that they do. Your 3 hours dancing and an hour visiting sound so much better to me!
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:26 PM   #10037
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I finished and efiled the taxes. I hope it won't be a problem that my HSA contribution won't arrive until next week.

It was easier last year because this year there were a few ambiguous questions.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:59 PM   #10038
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More taxes. At least now I'm finished putting myself on report with the income section, and working on the creative writing essay deductions & credits.

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Then replaced the weeny blades on my lawnmower with godzilla bldes, they should chop through rocks.
You've already clearly marked the location of your property's sprinkler heads, sewer cleanouts, and water well connections?

Might be a good idea to plywood over any windows in the vicinity, too...
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:56 AM   #10039
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Here's what I finished today: rewinding a big and mean toroid inductor to use in my home-brew MPPT controller (the thinggy that sits between a solar panel and the RV battery bank). There might be 1.5 lb of ferrite in each of the 3" doughnuts in the photo below.

I bought these surplus toroids a while back, and they looked like they were for some industrial applications. They would be expensive and difficult to get new. Typical DC/DC converters would use smaller inductors to save cost, but they would need to run at higher switching frequencies. High-frequency converters are more tricky to build for a one-off design. My home-brew design will use a lower frequency of 100KHz, and this big toroid works out great.

The problem was that its value of 1.1mH was higher than necessary and it had an resistance of 100milliOhms. So, I unwound it, cut the copper wire in 3, and rewound it with a trifilar winding. Ideally, reducing the number of turns to 1/3 and tripling up the wire would result in 1/9 the inductance and also 1/9 the resistance. Due to a bit of lead length at the ends, I ended up with a ratio of 1/10.

At a charging current in excess of 15A, the loss due to the initial coil would have been greater than 22.5W, or 1/10 the max output of the panel. It is now 2.25W, a much more palatable number.

It took me a couple of hours, because the copper wire was 16-gauge and quite stiff. It has been a long time since I wound some inductors or transformers by hand. It was what I did as a teenager, who had more time than money. Now, as a semi-retired geezer, I am reviving old activities. I am not quite sure if that is good or bad. All this work instead of spending a few hundred bucks to buy one off-the-shelf like everyone else! But then, I have always been a geek. Maybe I should just go back to work.


Wow, I had almost the same experience, but over a two-day period.
Let me tell you about it:

Yesterday, the knob on the bathtub faucet fell off , as it has regularly for the last couple of months. Only this time I couldn't push it back on. This knob thing, before it fell off for good, was used to direct the water either to the shower head or to the bathtub spout. Anyhow, I used a pliers to turn it so the water would come of out of the shower head and was able to take a shower. But, wait, the story isn't over:

My wife and I decided not to call the plumber until we needed something else to be fixed. So, the very next day, my wife accidently (?) broke the kitchen sink faucet (is she a good woman or what)? What she did was pull out the spray hose too far and it wouldn't go back into the faucet. We both tried pushing it back in, but, no luck. (Easy, easy, I'm still talking about the sink faucet situation).

Now two things are broken: so we get to call the plumber. He comes over, and fixes the spray thing in the kitchen in less than 10 seconds. He opens the cabinet that's under the sink and pulls on the part of the spray hose that's down there and it's fixed. Then he goes into the bathroom, puts on a new knob (that took about two minutes) and he's done. I give him $60 and a can of Classic Coke. He says we are his favorite customers and leaves.

It was an exhausting couple of days, but with some ingenuity, $60, a plumber and a can of Classic Coke, all is once again well in the redduck household.

NW-Bound has nothing on me.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:35 AM   #10040
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Here's what I finished today: rewinding a big and mean toroid inductor to use in my home-brew MPPT controller (the thinggy that sits between a solar panel and the RV battery bank). There might be 1.5 lb of ferrite in each of the 3" doughnuts in the photo below.

I bought these surplus toroids a while back, and they looked like they were for some industrial applications. They would be expensive and difficult to get new. Typical DC/DC converters would use smaller inductors to save cost, but they would need to run at higher switching frequencies. High-frequency converters are more tricky to build for a one-off design. My home-brew design will use a lower frequency of 100KHz, and this big toroid works out great.

The problem was that its value of 1.1mH was higher than necessary and it had an resistance of 100milliOhms. So, I unwound it, cut the copper wire in 3, and rewound it with a trifilar winding. Ideally, reducing the number of turns to 1/3 and tripling up the wire would result in 1/9 the inductance and also 1/9 the resistance. Due to a bit of lead length at the ends, I ended up with a ratio of 1/10.

At a charging current in excess of 15A, the loss due to the initial coil would have been greater than 22.5W, or 1/10 the max output of the panel. It is now 2.25W, a much more palatable number.

It took me a couple of hours, because the copper wire was 16-gauge and quite stiff. It has been a long time since I wound some inductors or transformers by hand. It was what I did as a teenager, who had more time than money. Now, as a semi-retired geezer, I am reviving old activities. I am not quite sure if that is good or bad. All this work instead of spending a few hundred bucks to buy one off-the-shelf like everyone else! But then, I have always been a geek. Maybe I should just go back to work.

Wow, that is quite a winding job NW-Bound, and trifilar too - impressive! When winding bifilars or trifilars I find that using different-colored wires helps to differentiate the windings, though of course, going with what you've already got is the most economical way to go. The small RF inductors I usually end up winding require a slightly different skill set This is an actual project I recently completed, complete with lots of toroids:



No hand included in the picture for scale, but you can judge that from the sizes of all the components. The closest thing I've wound to what you did was a loading coil for a low power AM broadcast band transmitter that, like yours, also used 16 gauge wire and the first thing I noticed was how springy it was, compared to the 26 and 28 gauge wire I usually use for my small toroids. It was wound on a piece of 3" diameter schedule 40:



Here's another project I put together (a small transmitter), this one without the aid of a PCB. The 9V battery gives a good idea of the size of the toroid:



And then there was this toroid, which I just liked because I thought it looked cool. I never got around to finishing this particular project:



Sorry for all the pictures. I get a bit carried away at times Please let us know how the charge controller works out. You're going to be using it with about 100-200W of panels IIRC?
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