26 June 2024

Home Battery revisited

 After a full year of operation, time for a checkup.

The App that displays data has been updating and improving.

My spreadsheet says the battery is discharging around 750 Kw/year. That at the current price of electricity means the return on my investment is around 5%. This was what I expected. Since batteries last around 10 years, I'm losing out!

12 February 2024

More gadgets

 My Sony tablet has been running continuously for 11 years. It's still going strong. Batteries wearing out? Oh no they don't!
However, it's OS is old and won't run new Apps well or not at all. So now I have a Samsung Tab A8, not the expensive one in the adverts but mid-range. I don't play Android games, so no problem.
It has some Samsung bloatware, but that can be suppressed. It needed tweaking, mostly to stop the beeping notifications about everything. The battery isn't as long-lasting, otherwise fine.

Having sat on my Sony phone, I also went Samsung for a replacement, the A23. Same comments really.

I do recommend getting cases for these devices.

10 February 2024

The gasman cometh

A year ago British Gas sent a subcontractor to our road to replace the elderly pipes with plastic ones. They dug holes. The holes filled with water.

I live at the bottom of a valley and the water table is about a foot down in winter.


They filled up the holes, apologised, and came back in the autumn. Success, though it took a week.

Path reconcreted, lawns resown with grass seeds, meters relocated outside the houses, £50 compensation for the disruption.

Would I like a smart meter? I already have an electric one. Sure! It's fitted, but after several months isn't online. I contacted them, they claimed to be working on it but I suspect this was a lie.

Smart Home

 It's been a couple of years since I posted about Tech stuff, so let's catch up.

Phillips Hue smart lights use a wireless USB connected Hub. They can be programmed to switch off at night and can be dimmed.

Tuya is a Chinese in the cloud wifi app that can control all kinds of appliances. I use mine for electric radiators and an air cooler. The app takes some effort to understand but is improving.

Oh, yes, I turned off the gas central heating. Another blow against global warming!

So far so good, but then came the home battery saga. My local authority had a scheme that recommended installers for solar panels/ batteries, so I ordered a small 3Kw battery. Delays and more delays followed, and it took almost a year to complete the installation. The company was too busy fitting more profitable solar panels and kept lying to me about completing the job.
The actual system works fine now, it stores excess output from the panels during the day and then puts it back in the evening. It is modular so more batteries can be added later. The app has one remaining bug, it's not calibrated to zero against the solar panels.

Solis inverter and Pylon battery. Yes, Chinese again ..

20 May 2023

 The first Happy Hour at the Rose & Thorn in its new location, across the canal in Rosehaven Laudanum. 3PM SLT, which for First Lifers is Pacific Time.

27 April 2022

Graphics Card

Graphics cards have finally fallen to reasonable prices as the chip shortage eases, so I went for a GeForce RTX 3060 which Nvidia recommended as an upgrade for my five year old 1060.

Will the power supply be sufficient? My CPU+GPU combination is here:

so my 500W PSU is good. 

Next concern: six socket power input, four pin plug. It seemed to only engage to the left? Correct!

Windows came up in an emergency low rez state. Whilst I pondered this the Nvidia driver was presumably reconfiguring since after a couple of minutes it returned with everything done.

My card has a configuration App for overclocking and so on.

So far, no problems. I've been tweaking games up to better graphics

12 April 2021

Ultra Wide!

 My older computer monitor was having trouble synching, so time for a replacement.

The hardware is fine. Like other LG products however it has no manual! Let's run through this using the product page linked above.

The video refers to speakers - this model has none. No problem for me as the computer has an external sound system.
The USB cable supplied has a mini connection both ends, so it won't plug in to USB HUBs or a PC.

The OnScreen Control app is not available via the LG website, I had to Search for a link to download it.
The assembly instructions are of the IKEA kind - a diagram with no text.

LG controls differ widely between models - they seem to be designed from scratch every time! In this case there was a hidden button on the bottom that accessed an onscreen menu.

 My color test screen is an Excel spreadsheet (!!) that has primary colors, on defaults they are a match for the smaller LG monitor next to it.

My Nvidia 1060 copes. It runs at 45C idle and at 70C for reasonable game settings.

Ultrawide is 21:9 as opposed to 16:9 widescreen. Most programs react intelligently to this, in Second Life for example peripheral vision increases.