Monday, December 9, 2019

Being sick sucks.

So if you're wondering about Saturday's missing post, that's why.

I've been sick the past few days (and I basically hibernate when sick), and the kids have been varying degrees of sick as well - which isn't fun either.

I'll try to get my Pi4 Desktop post finished for Saturday and get back on track.

Question to debate in the comments: Will a 64-bit kernel on a Raspbian 32-bit userspace help or hurt performance?  I don't know the answer, and might do some testing if nobody has any conclusive data on the topic.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Battle of the Boards: Jetson Nano vs Raspberry Pi 4 (and overclocked)

Shortly after I got my Jetson Nano up and running, the Raspberry Pi 4 came out - and, on paper, it looks like it should actually thrash the Nano for just about everything except GPU tasks.  Does it?

Actual comparisons between those two boards are hard to come by.  The internet is long on spec sheet comparisons and awfully short on real world, head to head benchmark results.  When the Pi4 came out, it had some firmware limitations that hurt performance and thermals, which have mostly been resolved by now (supposedly).  The Jetson Nano comes stock with a massive heatsink that really helps out.  So... how do things stack up in the real world?

I've got my Raspberry Pi 3B+, my Raspberry Pi 4, my Jetson Nano (with the very nice stock heatsink), and, for comparison, Clank and a few other machines.  Let's get testing!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

What Replaces 1:1 Net Metering?

One recent area of interest to me is net metering of homeowner-installed energy generation systems - and what's likely to replace it in the long term.  I'm in the process of designing a solar and energy storage system for my property, and I like to design for the long term - a 20-30 year design life of the installed hardware, with a refresh around then (hopefully) to carry the system for the rest of my life.  I optimistically have another 60 years to live, and I don't plan to move at any point in those 60 years (or, at least, will have an operating home base here), so designing long term systems is an interesting challenge.

Before wading into the waters of designing grid-tied home solar, I sat down and did an awful lot of reading on net metering, the various replacements for it, power grid issues, and all that sort of great evening reading (which I do genuinely enjoy).  There are many problems with net metering, long term, and I expect it's going to disappear within the design life of my system.  It's actively in the process of disappearing in a lot of places, mine included.  So, how does one design a system for a somewhat unknown future?  Sample the likely options and see how one's design fares against all or most of them!

Interested?  You should be!  Net metering is an important part of the future of the power grid - and how it's done has a massive impact on how sustainable power systems will be!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Random Kid Projects: AM Radios, Line Following Cars, and Powerwheels

One perk of having kids is that you have an excuse to play with kids toys (and make them into projects)!  I try to involve them in the process when I can, because it's a good set of skills to learn.

This pile of equipment is the last few projects with my kids (though mostly my daughter) - a line following car, repairing an old little radio, and some PowerWheels (which are, in fact, as cool as they seem like they should be).

What sort of fun did this involve?  Plenty!  And a few custom battery builds!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Solar Shed Part 18: Resolving Water Ingress

I haven't posted much about my office lately, simply because there just hasn't been much to post.  It works - very, very well.  I have most of the quirks worked out, I stay cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and dry in the rain.  Except, my office wasn't always dry, and it took me a few years to realize this.

My office door faces south, and if I had rain coming from the south (which doesn't happen that often), my office was taking on water.  I knew it was a bit wet on the inside, but I didn't realize just how wet a corner (behind some boxes) was getting.  No, that's not a good color to find on your wood.

But, like anything else, I've worked out most of the problems and resolved it - I hope!

What happened and how did I work it out?  Keep reading!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A Tale of a Ural Head

Urals!  Crazy Russian motorcycles with sidecars.  And, sometimes, a source of some crazy failures that just leave you scratching your head.

I've been riding a 2005 Ural for about 3 years now, and I recently ran into some issues that required replacing one of the cylinder heads.  Screwing up a cylinder head is fairly rare, and I'm not even certain how the failure happened in the first place - but such is life with a Russian clone of an old BMW, upgraded slightly through the years, and put into modern service.

You've probably either cringed in pain after that photo or have literally no idea what it is and what it's even supposed to look like in the first place.  Keep reading, and I'll explain most of it!

Yes.  We are whiplashing from Electric Vehicles in the Treasure Valley and Adding an EV Charging Station to repairing an 80 year old engine design that happens to be my daily driver.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Adding a Public EV Charging Station Near Nampa, ID

I've installed a perfectly functional public EV charging station near downtown Nampa!

There's 32A worth of 240V fury a couple blocks off downtown, set up with the EVMatch charging network, and the setup works great!

This has been an interesting, somewhat drawn out process - but if you're looking to do something like this, you'll find a bunch of useful information in here about what the process looks like.

Should you?  Yes.  You absolutely should.