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Saturday, 18 May 2019 Dereel Images for 18 May 2019
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Microsoft update, day 3
Topic: technology Link here

So now I have installed 6 out of 7 Microsoft updates; it has only taken 2 days. On to the last one:

 
This should be Microsoft-update-6.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Microsoft update 6
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It stayed that for long enough that I lost interest, and the next time I saw the same picture, but claiming that updates had been installed today at 14:22 (sorry, 2.22 PM). Nothing that I saw, and definitely no reboot.


ON1 again
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

ON1 Photo RAW 2019.5 (isn't the shouting nice?) has just been released. It offers a surprising number of features that I've been looking for, especially since it gives the impression of being an incremental release:

Terms like “A New Workflow for Layers” and “User Interface: The new user interface will have a fresh and modern feel” look ominous, but I can always try it.

Or can I? I noted that I tried it 18 months ago and discovered that it required OpenGL 3.3 and later, but didn't tell me how to install it. Today I had the same issue after finally installing it (and watching the install process just die without any message, leaving me to search the maze of twisty little icons, all different, for the one that started ON1.

So why don't I have OpenGL 3.3? And how do I install it? It seems that it should be installed on just about all systems, but I couldn't find it in the program list, and it failed both on dischord (desktop) and euroa (laptop). Is this something to do with the fact that I'm running Microsoft “Windows” 7 on both? Or maybe because I'm running via a remote desktop? Too much pain for today, but maybe tomorrow...


The people have spoken... the bastards!
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Federal election today. When should I vote? After a bit of consideration, decided that mid to late afternoon would be the best choice. Finally off round 15:00 and found the place closed, though a couple of people were standing round a stand in the car park, presumably selling sausages.

Oh. This was at the Dereel Hall, and we had always had elections in the side hall. Have they moved to the main hall? Yes, it proved that they had, and they were too polite to assume that anybody would make the mistake to go to the place where it was last time, so there was no sign on the door.

The place was pretty quiet, and I didn't have to wait at all to get my ballot. I had hoped to find supporters of the main parties there, but it seems that they had given up and gone home. Pity: I had plenty of opinions for both Labor (“why do you want to cut my pension by $1000 a month?”) and the Liberals (many, mainly human rights and climate). Clearly I didn't agree with either party, but given the small choice, Labor seemed better.

In the evening, Chris Bahlo and Margaret Swan came to dinner, and after the polling booths closed (20:00, 18:00 in WA), we followed the results, rejoicing as Tony Abbott lost his seat. But that was the only good thing. Not only did the The Coalition stay in government, it seems to have received more votes than before. How could that happen? As we discovered (and I confirmed on IRC), while we're not rabid Labor supporters, we're all agreed that the Coalition as it stands today is one of the worst things that has happened to Australia in recent years. Who are these silent majority? And what are they thinking?


Schnitzel: deep fry or pan fry?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

(Crumbed) veal schnitzel for dinner tonight, along with gratin dauphinois. Normally we eat this as Wiener schnitzel, in which case it should be deep fried. But somehow that seemed wrong to me in combination with the gratin, so I made half pan fried in butter (left) and half in the deep fryer (right):

 
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The result? The deep fried ones were marginally overdone, but the consensus was that the deep fried ones were better.


Sunday, 19 May 2019 Dereel Images for 19 May 2019
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Power fail!
Topic: Stones Road house, technology Link here

Into the office this sunny morning, and almost as a matter of course looked at the “dashboard” display of the solar electricity inverter. No power! The PV generation was off.

What happened there? Out to take a look at the inverter. No, no problems there. Oh. PV array shows 478 V, which looks right, but 0 W input. Why? Played around with the menu system on the inverter and came up with a way to “Start” and “Stop” the inverter.

 
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OK, cautiously take the inverter out of circuit with the unmarked oscillator isolator to the right of the inverter:

 
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Then stopped and started the inverter. No change.

OK, what happens if I disconnect the PV arrays from the inverter using the convenient isolators?

Nothing! It continues to display the same voltage! Something has clearly hung.

OK, let's isolate everything, including the battery. Surprise, surprise: the inverter shuts down completely. Well, what would you expect when you take away all its power? Turned it on again, and it took about 10 s to fire up again. But then it worked normally, and the PV voltage was 458 V, presumably because it was drawing a couple of kilowatts. About the only other thing worth noting was that I needed to start the “dashboard” at http://inverter.lemis.com/dashboard/main.html.

OK, what does the information in my database say?

mysql> select tstamp, Pac, Status, SOC, VBat, PacGrid, PacBat, PacPV, FromPV, W1
from powerstats
where tstamp > "2019-05-18 18:55";

+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| tstamp              | Pac  | Status               | SOC  | VBat | PacGrid | PacBat | PacPV | FromPV | W1   |
+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| 2019-05-18 18:55:16 | 3547 | On-grid              |   21 |  254 |       0 |   3761 |     0 | 0      |    3 |
| 2019-05-18 18:55:17 | 3529 | On-grid              |   21 |  254 |       0 |   3763 |     0 | 0      |  -21 |
| 2019-05-18 18:55:19 |   46 | On-grid              |   20 |  253 |       0 |   3162 |     0 | 0      | 3375 |
| 2019-05-18 18:55:20 | -481 | On-grid (calibrating |   20 |  253 |       0 |   -464 |     0 | 0      | 3912 |
| 2019-05-18 18:55:21 | -491 | On-grid (calibrating |   20 |  253 |       0 |   -472 |     0 | 0      | 3928 |
+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+

So for no obvious reason the inverter status changed from “On-grid” to “On-grid (calibrating batteries - 1)”. Why? And why did it stay that way, even after I had restarted the inverter?

As if that wasn't enough, the inverter started charging the batteries both from the PV array and from the grid:

 
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Why? Yes, it's (currently) set up to start charging from the grid when the battery charge hits 20%, and not to stop until it hits 30%, but here we have a charge of 75%. Turned off the main switch, and sure enough, it charged normally. But clearly something's wrong, and I'll need to investigate further.


More RCD trips
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

As if the fun with the solar power inverter wasn't enough, round the same time I had not one, but 3 trips on the RCD. What caused that? It's easy to guess that the problems are related. Overvoltage, maybe? I should get some kind of mains voltage monitor. Or maybe I can find a way to get the inverter to supply the remaining information that it displays on its screen but not elsewhere.


Sprinkler problems
Topic: Stones Road house, technology, gardening Link here

I've been dragging my heels again on cleaning the bore water filter, and it shows: the garden beds are no longer moist. OK, clean the filter, then run the sprinkler:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/21) ~ 47 -> netsprinkle 30 30 30 30
(nothing)

Nothing! What went wrong there? Something to do with the other two issues, maybe? Discovered that it was off the net, or at least it didn't respond to pings. My best bet was one of the network switches in the pantry, so went and power cycled them. No change. Finally got euroa (my laptop) and took it out to the shed and connected to the network cable. Works.

Damn! The power supply voltage looked OK, so it must be the relay itself. Is this related to the other issues? Power surge, maybe? The indicated voltage has been very high lately, just shy of the 253 V maximum allowed by the standard.

More to the point, what do I do now? Order another one? How long will that take? As it happened, I found one in Sydney for about the same price as I paid for this one, but with a case and mounting to hang on a wall. That sounded like a good idea, so I ordered one. It's a different board; hopefully I'll get enough information to control it.


ON1 tried again
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

So why does ON1 Photo RAW 2019.5 want OpenGL 3.3? Is it installed on my systems or not? Or is it an issue with remote desktop?

Fired it up on euroa. Crashed. Do you want to report? Yes, of course. But it seemed that that referred to the last attempt. After that, sure enough, it started with no trouble and happily migrated to my remote desktop session. So maybe it is worth looking at after all. I just have to work my way through yet another maze of twisty little menus, all different.


Steak and kidney pie, again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Steak and kidney pie for dinner tonight. We had that pretty well worked out last time, but it turned out to be different today: I had assumed that cooking for 1 hour at 150° would be enough, but although the beef (topside) looked particularly good, so good that I felt I should have made roast beef out of it, it was still a little firm. Longer cooking next time. And I should make a note to make the pieces smaller, not more than 1 cm thick.

And finally, what weight? In the past I made individual pies in these forms:

 
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That proves to take about 230 g of filling. But it was too much for Yvonne: she ended up eating only half. We'll have to find a suitable smaller form.


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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