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Tuesday, 16 April 2019 Dereel Images for 16 April 2019
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More solar energy stuff
Topic: Stones Road house, opinion Link here

Still no reply from Tomas Kucera of Effective Electrical by this morning, so I called him up to find out what had gone wrong. He had tried to call me, he says, on my home number, the one stored in his phone. No evidence of that at my end. Maybe the number's wrong? That's the one he called me on on Friday. And why didn't he leave a message? And why didn't he answer my mail message? As he said, he's a Microsoft certified something.

Ah, he never got the mail message. The problem must be at my end. OK, here's my server log... Oh:

Apr 15 14:51:20 eureka postfix/smtp[18320]: CB73B264D3F: to=<tom@effectiveelectrical.com.au>, relay=none, delay=0.07, delays=0.02/0.06/0/0, dsn=4.4.1, status=deferred (connect to localhost.lemis.com[127.0.0.1]:2026: Connection refused)

Damn! Forgot to restart my mail tunnel after the last reboot. OK, one point to Tomas. But he seemed to be excited because on Friday I had asked for time to think over what to do: he had to schedule his sparkies, something that he hadn't mentioned earlier. And he couldn't quote any other batteries because there are no other ones that would work with the Ingeteam inverter. I told him about my discussion with Fyodor two weeks ago, but he didn't know any of that information. Left him to discuss the matter with Fyodor and get back to me.

In any case, the good news is that he will, indeed, be able to deliver the first battery pack tomorrow. And what happens if the second one isn't available on time? Dammit, this is all too difficult, I have a "get out of jail free” card. Why don't you just take your deposit back and we'll forget the whole thing?

Somehow he doesn't understand what a contract is. He referred to the terms and conditions in his quote, but there were no such conditions in the contract that I signed. In any case, that's not in anybody's interest. I asked to speak to his boss, but no, his boss isn't interested in speaking with me—says Tomas. I'm sure that would change if we really had to go to VCAT about the matter.

So we're going ahead with the installation tomorrow. Tony, the electrician, showed up and did some more measurements, apparently related to the way the inverter needs to be wired (in groups of three, it seems). We'll get 24 on this section of roof (facing 10°):


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And 6 each on these two sections, facing 280°:

 
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He also confirmed that Tomas can get “a bit excitable”, and made the relatively obvious observation that if the battery coupling (basically just cabling) is not available on time, it's relatively trivial to do some custom wiring. But he had heard from Fyodor that the coupling is not just on time, it may be available earlier than expected. Preferably not before 1 July, so that I can get the state battery rebate—maybe.

Roll on tomorrow at 7:30.


Bushfire!
Topic: Stones Road house, photography, opinion Link here

Message from Chris Bahlo (on Facebook, of course) to tell us of two bushfires: one in Mount Clear, and one in Grassy Gully Road. The latter was supposed to be small.

And indeed it must have been. The sorry excuse for an emergency map showed only:

 
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No further information whatsoever. Earlier it has at least said that one vehicle had attended the incident. But the map shows that it was about 500 m from hour house. Anything to be seen? Nothing.

Later we went walking with the dogs, and of course looked for any signs of the fire. None. But there was something there in the distance, a couple of hundred metres south of the specified location:

 
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That's taken at focal length 100 mm (comparable to a 200 mm “full frame” focal length). What's there? What can a crop in postprocessing achieve?

 
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Later we were closer, and got:

 
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Clearly nothing to do with the fire, but interesting because it shows so much more than we could see with the naked eye. Something like a delayed action telescope.


Wednesday, 17 April 2019 Dereel Images for 17 April 2019
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World jousting tournament
Topic: general, animals Link here

Interesting local news on the (state-wide) radio news broadcast: apart from the bushfire in Mount Clear, there was a mention of the World Jousting Tournament in Federation Square, Melbourne. Jousting? That's what Chris Bahlo does, with her mates Cliff Marisma and Phillip Leitch. Today's news report gave two names: the current world champion, Phillip Leitch, and his Australian contender Cliff Marisma. It seems that nobody has twigged to the fact that Phil is also Australian (he runs the show at Kryal Castle). And the page above shows a particularly poor photo with the text “Reigning world champion Phillip Leitch (red) and Australian team mate, Cliff Marisma of Australia perform a medieval solid lance joust...”:

But I identify them more with paintings in Yvonne's office:

 
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The first painting is of Cliff, the second of Phil (painted a long time ago).

The photo on Federation Square was particularly mediocre, but it's not the only one we saw. Here they are again:

Is that genuine? It's particularly impressive, anyway. Phil on horseback, Cliff on the ground.


Solar electricity installation, finally
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

The electricians from Effective Electrical along first thing in the morning with a surprisingly small pack of 36 solar panels, and set to making a fiendish noise attaching clams to the roofing and rails to the clamps.

 
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By midday they were ready to mount the panels, which I saw for the first time close-up:

 
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And by evening all but two of them had been mounted:


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In the course of the day, Tony and Fyodor came along and brought in the battery and the inverter. It seems that Tony was wrong about the “coupling” just being cables. It seems that there's a lot of electronics involved, and that's why it has taken so long. But they're doing a field test soon, so I asked Fyodor to put me down as a tester. That could still happen.


Leo does a runner
Topic: animals Link here

With all the things going on in the front of the house, let the dogs out to have a look. But somebody had left the gate open, and despite the interesting stuff going on in the driveway, Leonid decided that Grassy Gully Road was more interesting, and set off by himself. By the time I caught up with him he was half way along. I really hadn't expected that.


GPS time rollover revisited
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Last week I discovered that my “new” GPS navigator (less than 5 years old, anyway) had had a Y2K event and reset its date to August 1999. And that made me think: what would my ancient Garmin GPS2 GPS receiver do?

Went looking, but couldn't find it. But coincidentally, because of the solar panel installation, I had to move the fridges out of the garage and into the shed. OK, take a look in the old cartons that have been there since we moved in... GPS receiver, a digital level and a whole lot of old important CDs that, for some reason, I haven't needed in 4 years.

OK, fire up the GPS 2. It works, though a row on the LCD screen has died. And it gave me the correct time! It must have been through two W1K rollovers. How did it manage?


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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