- Filed under: Uncategorized
- Date: Mar 29,2013
… I just couldn’t help but share this. As a phone guy, it just hits home.
… I just couldn’t help but share this. As a phone guy, it just hits home.
Sorry if this is off-topic, but it’s something I should do.
My Harmonica teacher has started a website with awesome instructional video’s about how to learn the harmonica.
It’ll all in french though. Go to www.cours-en-ligne.biz to check it out!!!
Canada has a shortage of reliable wholesalers / suppliers of VoIP products that has pricing comparable to the low rates that can be found when buying online in another country.
NO MORE ! TechieNATION is proud to introduce CanadianVoIPsupplier.com , a new online VoIP store that just opened this week. All the products are in stock in Canada, brand new, and are being sold at a HUGE discount.
The other day I was brought an external hard drive that just suddenly stopped working. Generally when a hard drive dies, there’s not much to do if it’s REALLY the hard drive.
The first thing I did was take out the drive from the external casing and plopped it in to my hard drive docking station on another computer. It did the same thing it did in the external casing, it started turning, made a couple sounds, then nothing. The disk kept spinning but the computer didn’t notice the hard drive being there AT ALL and I couldn’t hear / feal the heads moving at all.
At this point I usually have one last thing to check before officially called it Dead. My good friend Google. So I put in the model number of the hard drive and describe some symptoms, and it turns out there’s a known issue with this model and ALSO A WAY TO FIX IT!
I ended up reading many tutorials and even watched a few youtube video’s, but in the end I followed the instructions from MapleLeafMountain. Although slightly long winded, it was clear and precise. I spent about $20 to order a part from a local supplier in Montreal that he suggested.
So if you’ve got a broken seagate barracuda 7200.11 hard drive, check out that webpage !! (Mapleleafmountain.com)
My whole life I’ve loved all things remote controlled, and I’ve always wanted a remote controlled helicopter or airplane. As you know, I bought a small and cheap RC helicopter a few years back. That one eventually broke and my friend got me another at Christmas this year. This got me back into RC flying; my research started and my new favorite hobby was born.
As I started researching remote controlled airplanes, I came across something spectacular. Something I’ve wanted my whole live but never knew it : FPV flying.
FPV flying, also known as First Person View flying is when you attach a small video camera and video transmitter to your airplane (or helicopter) which transmits the video back to you on the ground in real time. With the use of video goggles or a laptop, you literally fly the plane as if you were sitting there in the cockpit. (The camera even moves left/right, up/down as you move your head!!) You can also record all your flights. This takes RC flying to a whole new level ! You can fly much further since you don’t need to actually see the airplane from the ground and figure out which way it’s heading.
So I spent many hours on the internet, and found the youtube channel of AltitudeRC which is a small group of Montrealers who are involved in this hobby. Thanks to AltitudeRC, I was able to get myself everything I needed to get involved in RC FPV flying. (Actually I’m still missing the video goggles, those are really expensive) They were really great. For a couple of weeks I was sending almost daily emails packed with questions about which RC plane I should buy, which video transmitter/ receiver I need, which Camera, how to put it all together, etc, etc, etc ….
In the end, I got a SkySurfer airplane / glider from BananaHobby (their customer service sucks, but their prices are good), I got an 800mw transmitter / receiver from DinoDirect (Slow shipping, but can’t beat the prices!) , a micro video camera from FoxtechFPV (they’re awesome) , and an “easy pod” to mount my camera and transmitter to my plane from NG Hobbies (also awesome).
I haven’t yet done any FPV flights, however I have gone and flown my new airplane a handful of times at the park near my house. My first time out was really stressful. The first 2 times I tried flying I didn’t stay in the air any more than 5 seconds per “flight”. After that things started going better. (I say that, but that first day every time I “landed” I had to fix things on the plane so that I could fly it again) There really is a large learning curve to flying RC planes, I don’t think I could have done it as a kid. I’m still stressed out when I go flying since it’s still very new to me, but things are getting a lot better. The park I fly in has lots of obstacles, so I recently figured out that it makes things MUCH easier to simply fly the plane WAY above any obstacles; that way you don’t need to dodge them.
Here’s a video of my first day out with the plane :
Here’s a video of my first time trying to fly on a windy day :
Here’s the video of the first time I REALLY crashed my RC airplane (flew it into a tree) :
And here’s the video of the last time I went flying (after I crashed it into a tree) and decided to try going really high to avoid obstacles : (kinda boring since the plane is too high to see most of the time, but checkout my sweet landings )
For more information about RC flying, checkout the website of the guy who helped me : www.altitudeRC.com .. (actually, I made the site to thank him for all the help he’s given me, but all the content is his )
I came across this video about how to make a wind turbine. He doesn’t go into much details, but it gives a good example of the basics of building your own wind turbine.
I’ve just converted the car seat from my ’96 Ford Escort (which is about to go to car heaven) into a ridiculously comfortable office chair !!!
I’ve been spending lots of time on the computer in the past year as it’s become my job, and my back started to ache on a regular basis.
I’ll be posting pictures here, in the meantime checkout the links below that show other people that have done the same.
Stay tuned for the pictures !
(I haven’t forgotten about the solar installation blog post, I’ve just been busy … it’s coming !)
Hi gang. I spent 3 days in Ontario installing the solar equipment. Although I was rushed and short on time, everything went well ! As much as I know this stuff, I was worried because this equipment is worth so much and I didn’t want to damage any of it. As a result, I called Flanagan and Sun three times to confirm that what I was doing was correct. (What confused me the most was just the proper way of grounding everything, and where to put the breakers. ) As usual, he goes above and beyond. I was literally at the hardware store trying to figure out which cable to buy and called him. He did the math for me and told me which cable to buy on the spot. Thanks Sean !
As soon as I get the pictures and video’s off the camera, I’ll post it all here.
A few years ago I installed a small, 30 watt solar power system at my sisters off-grid home near Kingston, Ontario. This solar system was JUST enough to let them turn on some lights for a few hours every day. This year, they’ve decided to invest in solar power and really take it up a notch !
Step 1: How much power is needed ?
As usual, the first step in setting up a solar power system is figuring out how much electricity you actually need to do what you want. This particular project / upgrade is so that my brother in law can use his laptop WITH wireless internet all day every day from their off-grid home.
Here are the calculations I did and sent to my brother in law:
2 lightbulbs @ 20 watts each for 4 hours a day : 160 watts
Average laptop power consumption is 60 watts (hopefully I’m going a little high here) x 8 hours a day : 480 watts
Total guess of inverter losses while using all this for a day : 30 watts (just trying to be safe here)
Equipment for internet : Modem, Router, antenna, etc (TOTAL guess) @ 10 watts x 8 hours a day : 80 watts
So in an average work day, you’ll be using 750 Watts.
Lets say you get 4 hours of sun per day, you need 190 watts worth of solar panels. (you currently have 30)
Step 2 : Find the solar power equipment you need at the best price possible.
So now we know we need atleast 190 watts worth of solar panels. During our original 30 watt install, we got almost everything at Canadian Tire, but this kind of project goes beyond the kind of things Canadian Tire can supply. Finding a Canadian supplier was very important for me. Customs are a pain, and shipping delays are much more prone to happen when ordering across the border. Mostly though, the price of shipping batteries can’t be cheap, they weigh a ton ! The closer they come from, the better.
I lucked into finding a website of a solar company in Ontario. The thing is, Ontario has no shortage of suppliers for solar power equipment, the problem is finding an Ontario supplier that has pricing that’s comparable to the best deals I could find online. After a couple hours of going from site to site, I came across my saving grace, Flanagan and Sun.
I knew how much power I needed, I knew that I’d make the mount for the solar panels myself, and I knew that I was going to install it myself. I sent Sean (the owner of Flanagan and Sun) an email about what I needed, and then he made me a couple of quotes. He never once pushed me to have him install it. Quite the opposite actually. He’s been happily answering my questions about how I’m going to be installing this. The pricing was excellent. Not only that, but he had recommendations and advise that was very helpful. We accepted a quote for 370 Watts worth of solar panels, 4 x 115 amp hour 12 volt AGM batteries (Which makes for a battery bank that holds 5500 watts worth of power), and the appropriate inverter / charge controller. Flanagan and Sun couldn’t have made it easier for me. They literally put all the parts I would need together into a nice simple quote. (right down to the fuses and the box that holds them) It would have taken me weeks to research each individual part to make sure they all worked together properly.
Here’s the quote we ended up accepting :
2 x AS5M36 Amerisolar 185W PV module @ $666.00 each, Total $1,332.00
4 x MC4 MC4 Wire Connectors @ $30.00 each, total $120.00
1 x MNPV-3 Midnite Solar combiner box @ $86.58 each, total $86.58
2 x MNEPV-15A 15A Midnite Solar Din Rail DC breaker @ $12.48 each, total $24.96
1 x MM1524AE Magnum 1500 Watt, 24V Inverter/35 Amp PFC Charger @ $746.40, total $746.40
1 x SS-20L-24 Morningstar Sun Saver 20 Amp Regulator W/ LVD,TC – 24VDC @ $92.82, total $92.82
1 x BABY-Box Enclosure for 1-4 MNEPV or MNEAC Breakers @ $39.00, total $39.00
2 x MNEPV-20A 20A Midnite Solar Din Rail DC Breaker @ $12.48 each, total $24.96
4 x EV 31A Batteries AGM EV 31A batteries (114Ah at 20 hr rate) @ $163.80 each, total $655.20
4 x BAT_CABLE Battery Cables @ $25.20 each, total $100.80
1 x Inverter Cable… Pair of 5 ft inverter cables. @ $78.00, total $78.00
The only thing we didn’t know was the price of the shipping. This was a pretty large concern for me. I figured it would easily cost $500 JUST to ship the batteries, if not more. I figured if it cost too much, we’d buy everything from him EXCEPT the batteries which I’d pick up myself in Montreal before going to do this installation. I gave him the OK, and asked him to get back to me as to how much the shipping would cost. I didn’t hear from him in a couple of days. I assumed he was busy and it took a little bit of time and effort to calculate the size and weight of the shipment in order to give an accurate shipping estimate. What I didn’t realize was that he had already ordered and gotten everything, but was finding a way to get this to us without it costing a fortune. (I was very surprised that he didn’t ask for a deposit once I told him to get all this equipment together for us) In just a little over a week after I gave him the go-ahead, he had arranged to have one of his employees drive it all the way down to my sisters other (on the grid) home which is over 3 hours away from him for only $185 !! I don’t know what they were driving, but it seems to me like just the gas for the trip would cost over a hundred dollars, then you’ve still gotta compensate someone for spending over 6 hours of time doing the driving.
Step 3 : Plan the installation
In this case, even though this is a much larger installation, it will be pretty easy since there’s an existing setup. I already did all the work on the fuse panel the first time around so I don’t really need to touch that. However, this system is so large compared to the existing one that we decided to not use the parts from the original install (solar panels, batteries, inverter, charge controler) . This is a fresh solar power installation, and we’ll use the existing panels and batteries for something else which we haven’t decided yet. Since we’ve gone from 30 watts of panels to 370 watts, we pretty much had no choice but to upgrade to a 24 volt system instead of the 12 volt system they currently had. (Solar panels above 100 watts in the 12 volt range is rare, and more expensive per watt than solar panels that supply 24 volt power)
Also, at this point we’ve got 4 batteries instead of 2, and they’ll be getting charged much more aggresively than the current setup so we need to move it out of the house for safety reasons (Batteries produce flammable gasses while charging – this wasn’t really an issue before since we were basically just trickle charging them with 30 watts of solar panels).
We decided to house the batteries, inverter, and charge controller in an old freezer which will be outside right where the panels are. The freezer will help equalize the environment, but we’ll need to put a few air vents in it to make sure those battery gasses have somewhere to go. We’re also going to seperate the freezer into 2 sections. One for the batteries, and the other for the inverter / charge controller. The inverter may spark from time to time, and we don’t want the gasses from the batteries to ignite when that happens !!!
The batteries pretty much HAD to be outside because of the way their house is setup (just one room). However the inverter didn’t need to be outside. The reason we’ll be installing it outside is because of the distance between where the solar panels will be and the house. A cable run that will move 24 volts of power 100 feet with minimal losses is expensive, however a cable run that will move 120 volts isn’t. This will save a couple hundred dollars.
Step 4 : Install your Solar Power !
At this point, I’m under a week away from the installation date. All the equipment has been delivered, however I won’t get to actually see it until I’m there for the installation. The only thing that I don’t know how I’m going to do it is mounting the solar panels to the top of the freezer. I really need to see the panels to figure that out, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to use parts from the old solar panel mount for the new one.
Final Words :
I will be documenting every part of the installation and will post updates here as always ! Installation is scheduled for November 27th – 28th 2010.
If you have any questions regarding solar power, please feel free to ask in the comments section. If you’re looking for a supplier or installer located in Canada, contact Flanagan and Sun ! (Please mention that Jason from TechieNATION refered you)