Greg
animals brewing
food and drink fiction
gardening general
health history
language music
multimedia opinion
photography politics
Stones Road house technology
Greg's diary
recent entries
Translate this page
Select day in January 2020:
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
Select month:
2019 May Jun Jul Aug
2019 Sep Oct Nov Dec
2020 Jan Feb Mar Apr
Today's diary entry
Diary index
About this diary
Greg's home page
Greg's photos
Network link stats
Greg's other links
Copyright information
    
Groogle

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 Dereel Images for 15 January 2020
Top of page
next day
last day

More electrical fun
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Nat McKay along this morning to take a look at the electrics. Yes, all can be done, probably in about 2 weeks' time.

And not a minute too soon. The RCD tripped again today, not once, but twice. On the second occasion I couldn't get it back on again. Moved eureka and its UPS from that circuit to another. Still didn't work. Finally disconnected the pump in front of the house, and I was able to set it again. Was the pump the reason? It would make sense, but a lot of these things are sensitive to the phase of the moon, so I'll check again tomorrow.


The down side of air conditioning
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

So now the air conditioner is working again, and life is comfortable. But the difference in power consumption is clear. Here the last week:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200115/big/power-consumption-2.png
Image title: power consumption 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 713 x 276, 18 kB
Dimensions of original: 713 x 276, 18 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 15 January 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The last two days show the clear use of the air conditioner.


Elysian replies
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Sent off a fourth reminder to Elysian Energy today, reminding them of the impending deadline, rejecting their broken contract, and specifying my understanding of the situation, to which I will consider them bound if they don't respond:

I reject your written contract and expect you to abide by the telephonic agreement, which is echoed on your web site at https://elysianenergy.com.au/electricity-plans/:

If you supply me power without any further communication, I will consider myself and you to be obliged under these conditions.

To their credit, they did reply this time. They're apparently reviewing the telephone records, as if that would bring any surprises, but they did describe what a “controlled load” is, apparently without noting that it should be described in the contract. And apart from this impenetrable statement, that was all:

Further to the below for the compare website to generate a quote and compare your rates a supply charge is generated.

I suppose I'm going to have to wait for their reply, if there is one.


Mouse issues
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I've had difficulties with computer mice literally for decades. As described a couple of years ago, there are issues with spurious key press events when changing X screens. In the case of the Logitech M705 MARATHON mouse, these frequently result in texts being pasted in unrelated windows. The most embarrassing cases are when I publish sensitive information, like in April 2001, when I accidentally published the password to the FreeBSD-announce mailing list.

But it hasn't stopped. I suspect that it's the mouse driver, but I failed completely to make sense of the code—maybe a reason that the bug has lived so long.

Today, though, I had had enough, and went back to one of the old Jenkins mice that had been waiting for me under screen :0.3. Yes, for the moment things look better.


Another grid power failure
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Somehow Powercor must have felt left out of all the electrical stuff today, so there was another one second grid power failure at 19:39:39.


Thursday, 16 January 2020 Dereel Images for 16 January 2020
Top of page
previous day

Davey visits again
Topic: animals Link here

Kim Stanley is back at work (and she can touch her toes, something that I've never been able to do), so she brought her dog Davey along to spend the day today. I can see this becoming a frequent occurrence.


Old fogey works around mouse problems
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Yesterday I switched mice because of issues when changing screens. Things changed, but they're not fixed. The Jenkins mouse doesn't divulge passwords, but it does frequently select large parts of a window when deiconfiying it. Does this relate to multiple screens? I don't know. At some point I suspect the mouse driver; potentially the mice are noisy (part of being wireless?), and the driver should only accept a “key press” if it stays for more than a minimum period of time (milliseconds?). Maybe I should have another look at that mouse driver.

The feedback on IRC was interesting: I must be the last person using such old-fashioned software, X with multiple screens, let alone networking (something that I use a lot). It's insecure. What, inside your own local network?

Does the bug even have to do with multiple screens? Who knows? But why should multiple screens be old-fashioned? Maybe because there are bugs in the implementation, and the easy way out is to “deprecate” (“to pray for deliverance from”) the feature? That way stupidity lies.

Callum Gibson even pointed me to The real story behind Wayland and X , a video which I haven't looked at yet (45 minutes long). It's by Daniel Stone, apparently an X developer, though I've never heard of him. At the text states:

The X Window System has served UNIX and its derivatives admirably for longer than the presenter has been alive.

The description text doesn't mention multiple screens, though it does state “if you said that X's network transparency is a benefit, please come see this to hear about how that's totally wrong”. I should look at it, of course, if only to understand what constraints gave rise to that claim, but it's not clear that it has much bearing on the present issue.

More generally, I'm used to people telling me that my attitudes are old-fashioned. Sometimes they're even correct, but it seems to me that they're often just finding a convenient excuse for not having to think about my reasoning. Mobile phones, for example. I still can't find the messages that appear on my phone when the display is off. Since Android 9.0 they're at least legible if you see them before they disappear. But they're so brief that I can't even pull my phone out of my shirt pocket before they're gone, never to be seen again. That's progress?

In fact, I'm not an opponent of mobile phones. I got my first phone 30 years ago, before anybody else I knew had one. My issues are more specific, like the problem with the ephemeral messages or interpretation of screens like this:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200114/big/Screenshot_20200114-100202.png
Image title: Screenshot_20200114 100202
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 720 x 1280, 124 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 124 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 14 January 2020:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The content of the message is clear. But which is the one that I just received? When did I even receive the others? Which way round is it sorted?

Aah, an Android user knows instinctively. 10:00 means that it was received at 10:00, just like Saturday, 1 Jun. means... what? Checking with cal confirms that it was, indeed, Saturday 1 June 2019. And Monday, 29 Jul. means Monday, 29 July 2019, so the sort order is (surprisingly) chronological.

But why do they truncate? Why do they omit the year? Why do they omit the date today? Why is it impossible to get a basic Android display that shows seconds? In each case, there's plenty of space. Even the header on the page, showing the time to be 10:02, is too polite to show a date, so I only have the file name of the screenshot (Screenshot_20200114-100202.png) to tell me the date (and, as it turns out, the seconds). That stupidity is what annoys me. Does that make me old-fashioned?


Another grid power failure
Topic: Stones Road house, general, technology, opinion Link here

Another grid power failure today, probably 1 second at 10:27:04. For some reason my system didn't update the database from 10:25:14 until 10:27:58:

mysql> select * from powerstats where tstamp > "2020-01-16 10:25:12" limit 10;
+---------------------+-----------------+------+----------+--------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+-------------------+------+------+------+
| tstamp              | Id              | Pac  | SetPoint | Alarms | Status               | SOC  | VBat | PacGrid | PacBat | PacPV | FromPV | Codes             | W1   | W2   | W3   |
+---------------------+-----------------+------+----------+--------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+-------------------+------+------+------+
| 2020-01-16 10:25:13 | 127.0.0.1:502:1 | 1003 |        0 |      0 | On-grid              |   73 |  267 |       0 |    185 |   818 | 0      |                   |   -1 |    0 |    0 |
| 2020-01-16 10:25:14 | 127.0.0.1:502:1 |  975 |        0 |      0 | On-grid              |   73 |  267 |       0 |    134 |   859 | 0      |                   |  -15 |    0 |    0 |
| 2020-01-16 10:27:58 | 127.0.0.1:502:1 |  871 |        0 |      0 | Waiting to connect t |   73 |  268 |       0 |     77 |   813 | 0      | 00-00 00-00 00-10 |    0 |    0 |    0 |
| 2020-01-16 10:27:59 | 127.0.0.1:502:1 |  888 |        0 |      0 | Waiting to connect t |   73 |  268 |       0 |     72 |   816 | 0      |                   |    0 |    0 |    0 |
| 2020-01-16 10:28:01 | 127.0.0.1:502:1 |  897 |        0 |      0 | Waiting to connect t |   73 |  268 |       0 |     74 |   803 | 0      | 00-00 00-00 00-10 |    0 |    0 |    0 |
| 2020-01-16 10:28:02 | 127.0.0.1:502:1 |  896 |        0 |      0 | Waiting to connect t |   73 |  268 |       0 |     79 |   817 | 0      | 00-00 00-00 00-10 |    0 |    0 |    0 |
| 2020-01-16 10:28:03 | 127.0.0.1:502:1 |  884 |        0 |      0 | Waiting to connect t |   73 |  268 |       0 |     65 |   819 | 0      | 00-00 00-00 00-10 |    0 |    0 |    0 |
| 2020-01-16 10:28:04 | 127.0.0.1:502:1 |   23 |        0 |      0 | On-grid              |   73 |  267 |       0 |   -828 |   851 | 0      | 00-00 00-00 00-10 |  896 |    0 |    0 |
| 2020-01-16 10:28:05 | 127.0.0.1:502:1 |   34 |        0 |      0 | On-grid              |   73 |  267 |       0 |   -823 |   857 | 0      | 00-00 00-00 00-10 |  895 |    0 |    0 |
| 2020-01-16 10:28:06 | 127.0.0.1:502:1 |   45 |        0 |      0 | On-grid              |   73 |  267 |       0 |   -806 |   851 | 0      | 00-00 00-00 00-10 |  859 |    0 |    0 |
+---------------------+-----------------+------+----------+--------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+-------------------+------+------+------+
10 rows in set (0.00 sec)

I can't see that that's related to the grid outage.


Controlling the air conditioner
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

The last few days have shown how much power the air conditioner uses. This concerned me since before we installed the photovoltaic system, and I'm still not happy. On the one hand, it makes perfect sense to power the air conditioner from the PV system: under many circumstances the highest power usage corresponds with the highest generation from the PV array. But what happens if the grid power fails in the middle of the night, where the battery charge is also the lowest, and the air conditioner turns on? It drains the battery, and everything turns off.

There's an obvious solution to the issue: make PV power to the air conditioner dependent on availability of the grid. A simple relay would do it. A refinement would be to override the relay: under normal circumstances a grid power failure would remove power to the air conditioner. That covers the middle-of-the-night scenario. But for the hot, sunny summer's day scenario, it would be nice to override it. Are there no such things available? Yes, says Nat McKay. Today he called me and asked what kind of extension power board I would choose for the 5 slot wide relay.

What? Surely you don't need anything that big. We have 2 slots free, and we're gaining another 4 slots by removing the global RCDs. Off to look, hampered by lack of knowledge of the terminology, but came up with at least a “Finder DPNC Non-Latching Relay DIN Rail, 240V ac Coil, 25 A”, part number 22.32.0.230.4420, which is rated for 230 V AC. Unfortunately the 25 A is correct. I need a 32 A switch, and the next size, which handles 40 A, has four switch contacts. But the 22.32.0.230.4420 has two contacts, presumably intended for different circuits. If we wire them in parallel, that should give a 50 A rating, more than enough. It looks as if we'll have to keep the circuit breaker anyway, since it doesn't offer that function. Time to talk to Nat? Or look further?


Smoke haze eases
Topic: general Link here

The weather has changed again, and the air has cleared up. Here yesterday and today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200115/big/Smoke-haze-4-detail.jpeg
Image title: Smoke haze 4 detail          Dimensions:          4674 x 2669, 1845 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 15 January 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200116/big/No-smoke-haze.jpeg
Image title: No smoke haze          Dimensions:          5311 x 2837, 3940 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 16 January 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 16 January 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 16 January 2020 Complete exposure details

 


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200115/big/Smoke-haze-4-detail-2.jpeg
Image title: Smoke haze 4 detail 2          Dimensions:          1070 x 530, 140 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 15 January 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200116/big/No-smoke-haze-detail.jpeg
Image title: No smoke haze detail          Dimensions:          1082 x 603, 263 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 16 January 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 16 January 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 16 January 2020 Complete exposure details

 


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. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. 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.


Greg's home page This month Greg's photos Greg's links

RSS 2.0 Valid XHTML 1.0!