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A week is a weak is a week is a weak...

September 23, 2008 11:15 AM 9/23/08

So while I have next week off this week is shaping up to be annoying. I’m still working on getting the Cobalt Qube2 to accept the SoundBlaster Live! card under NetBSD 3.0 and my friend in Florida is helping me out there but it’s still being annoying. (Oh and whoever put the sbl* reference in the GENERIC kernel config file but didn’t make sure it worked - bite me.)

Other technical projects include the lighting stuff using the Freeduino, finding a replacement computer for my in-laws that doesn’t cost a fortune, and starting on the black-locust root-ball staff for my friend from Western Illinois.

I will likely take pictures of all the tube amps to put up on E-Bay tonight. I’m going to have to “smoke test” them to make sure they work because older equipment like that goes for more if it works. I can’t decide to insist on local pickup only for these or not. They’re pretty sturdy but I’m still concerned about shipping them.

I need to pick up some of the clean water containers this week to empty the rain barrel into. Thankfully those don’t cost too much and I won’t need to pick them up until the end of the week. I might get a Brita filter and filter all the water before storing it. That won’t solve bacteria stuff but it should get rid of any roof gunk that might have gotten into the barrel. The barrel itself is heavy-duty food grade plastic and was used for food before so the water should be clean enough. It still will need to be boiled if we want to use it for cooking or drinking.

Looked at the idea of putting up some sort of wind turbine at home and the best I could come up with would be two “oreo” style Savonius units on the garage or the anemometer style installed in the roof vent. Regardless if I want to use wind I’m going to need more than that.

I also priced solar panels and it looks like the good ones will cost anywhere from $300 - $600 each. I estimate that if I want to generate a kilowatt of power it will cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of about $4500. I guess I’ll have to start saving my pennies for that one...

The wasps show no sign of returning. Point in fact _all_ the wasps in the area are strangely absent. Makes me nervous. I’ll clean the one vent out today or tomorrow then worry about them if they come back. Though I will likely take someone’s suggestion and spray ammonia in the old nest locations as it supposedly keeps them from coming back to those spots.

Still no luck on getting the second Color LaserJet 2550n to print properly. I might consider swapping parts into the parts printer again and see if I can cobble it all together into one working unit but that’s a last resort as this one is close to working.

I’ll be highly pleased next week if I can get my workshop outside organized enough to start circuit design stuff from scratch and also editing anime music videos. Secondly I will definitely be happy if I can get all the servers into the basement and all the stuff out of the third bedroom. My wife really needs an office space and I’ve owed her one for quite some time now. So really those two actions are going to be my focus for next week. If I get to cleaning out the garden then that’s good too but frankly that can be done on a weekend without too much trouble.

I do have one thing I _should_ do before this week is out and that’s price getting someone to come out and check the fireplace and chimney. I could leave that to wait until next “fat week” but if it’s not too expensive then I’d like to get it done sooner rather than later.

Not much else going on at the moment. I’m basically biding my time until next week where I’ll do a great deal of stuff to get things into shape.

Back on the bike and back to work...




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Comments

nimitzbrood
Sep. 24th, 2008 12:49 am (UTC)
Actually if we're talking steam there's a much simpler solution that you've likely just forgotten - a Tesla turbine:

http://shorterlink.org/4289

Simple to make - simple to maintain - handles both low and high speed pressures - etc.
siliconshaman
Sep. 24th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
I believe the phrase is D'oh! Although, I'm not sure how well a Tesla turbine would marry with a commercially available generator, they generally operate at high RPM's, possibly too much for a standard generator. But I guess a simple belt drive would allow you to step it down into the generators range.
nimitzbrood
Sep. 24th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)
_OR_ you can use a cheap high-RPM generator like...a car alternator. ;-)

I've got a 2500 RPM 120V DC generator lying around somewhere...

Though I'm kind of at a loss as to how to deal with a full 120VDC to charge a battery bank with. :-/
siliconshaman
Sep. 24th, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)
Or that, yeah...[duh again] and sounds like you'd need a step down DC/AC-AC/DC transformer array with a whetstone bridge [or full-wave rectifier] to convert the 120vDC to 12vDC and charge the batteries in parallel... or build a 120 volt battery bank and charge that.

Come to think of it...there are rigs for exactly that sort of thing used on RV's and the like. Don't cost too much either on eBay.

Sounds like you might onto a winner there.

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