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Comment: Re:Not Actually $3500 (Score 1) 317

by BLKMGK (#49626157) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

Okay, one of the batteries is also used in golf carts, point taken. Generally batteries for off-grid aren't general purpose run of the mill pieces of junk is my point unless someone is just trying to piece something together. Larger cells have more capacity and aren't going to be found in golf carts. The battery you mentioned is more along the lines of what I'd expect - it weighs over 115lbs. Cart batteries are more in the 60-70 range and have a great deal less capacity.

Comment: Re:Not Actually $3500 (Score 1) 317

by BLKMGK (#49626131) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

No, I'm not confused. converting AC to Dc is what they do in a grid-tie system. They're also partially responsible for cutting power in the event of a power failure so as not to backfeed the power grid and kill a lineman. In a system that also utilizes batteries these will be part of the system used to charge the batteries, except that when you buy grid-tie this isn't part of the package. If you bother to read some of the press materials about these batteries you will find mention of some hardware manufacturers and mention of "hybrid" inverters. That will be the gear needed to properly charge the lithium battery pack and to properly feed the home from the battery pack when the time is right or power is lost but NOT backfeed the grid one would hope. See here -> and for ease try searching for Fronius to get an explanation.

There ARE some inverters now that will do this - with lead-acid batteries. I'm betting you will find that these don't use the same charging curve as lithium, if you've ever charged li-po packs for RC use you'll know why (lol). A firmware update might allow these to work and you'll primarily find these used for off-grid homes. Grid-tie seldom have battery packs because the cost nearly doubles and lead-acid batteries must be properly maintained which is a PITA. Oh and lead-acid are often replaced every 5-7 years or so depending upon how many times you've drawn them down too far or too fast and damaged them YMMV.

So yeah, I'm familiar with inverters and what the issues here are. What did you think you could just hook this up like a solar panel and it would charge and discharge properly? I think perhaps I'm not the one who's confused here...

Comment: Re:Not Actually $3500 (Score 2, Informative) 317

by BLKMGK (#49608307) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

Golf cart batteries?! Umm no. Forklift maybe, dedicated Trojan or Rolls Royce batteries perhaps. I'd bet most solar installs in the US aren't off grid and are grid-tied. Pretty sure the grid-tie inverters won't automatically be setup to correctly charge a battery bank either and since these are lithium I'll also bet that most inverters that CAN charge batteries are setup for lead acid and not these. Yeesh...

Comment: Re:Is it the phone or the stupid stuff installed o (Score 1) 484

by BLKMGK (#49555667) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Most Stable Smartphones These Days?

I'd agree except that at least one of my friends is about as non-techy as it gets and I've been much relieved at the lack of bitching since he switched from Adroid. It's been a serious relief!

This guy is techy enough to be getting articles posted to Slashdot but not good enough to figure out the things you describe? Certainly it's possible he's got an issue, and I ran into one myself I couldn't solve. I went to the Apple store, asked for help, and they provided me an answer that solved the problem. It wasn't without pain mind you but I'm simply not willing to have to become an expert at every single thing I run into issues with. I'm not willing to be baited by his stalking horse, not without a great deal more evidence by many more people that the platform has somehow deteriorated.

Comment: Re:The same as ever: Android (Score 0) 484

by BLKMGK (#49553493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Most Stable Smartphones These Days?

My favorite is watching my Android friends bitch because they've worn out yet another mini-USB socket. Or scream because lollipop whatever changed the entire UI of their system and they can't figure out how to do something. If I had a quarter for every time one of my Android toting friends asked ME to lookup something for them because they can't do it as quickly I'd be rich. One friend had me helping them for twenty minutes trying to move apps from their main memory to their SD stick. They had done it before on a different phone (I also helped them) but the UI had apparently changed and they were stuck again. Even better when it refused to move anything I recalled how their other phone couldn't move anything until they deleted crap - sure enough they cleared their web browser cache and freed up damn near a gig of space so they could start moving apps. I'm constantly asked if I can help with this Android quirk or that Android weirdness and I have to tell them to Google it themselves because frankly I just don't mess with Android, let alone who knows what "flavor" is on their particular device, often enough to claim a ton of expertise. I've got an Android tablet, it seldom gets used because it's just a PITA compared to my iPad or 6+. Android isn't bad mind you but it seems to lack the constancy Apple has tried to maintain and users seem to have to dig into the depths more often - it's crazy. When i need something there's usually an app for it and the app usually just works without fiddling. Yes, I'd like a cheaper device, yes I'd like to be able to more easily swap a battery, and sure occasionally I can't do something techy I might like but overall it sure seems to have fewer shortcomings judging from the whining of some friends - several of whom stopped whining after switching to Apple. Funny thing is I have to charge less often too!

Comment: Re:Is it the phone or the stupid stuff installed o (Score 1) 484

by BLKMGK (#49553397) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Most Stable Smartphones These Days?

My iPhone 6+ hasn't been booted in weeks, my iPad Air2 even longer. Occasionally an app will crash but the device itself doesn't have issues. Once upon a time I had an earlier piece of hardware that was giving me fits, an iPhone 4 I think. The solution sadly was to reload it from scratch and reload all of my apps - it ran perfectly after that. If this guy is having this many issues then he's got something dorked somehow and in my experience that will follow him even with iOS upgrades. Time to load it up from a scratch OS install! His supposition that iOS is somehow gotten less and less stable doesn't hold water as neither I nor any of my many friends running iPhones are having the sorts of issues he's describing...

Comment: Re:...and adults too. (Score 1) 616

by BLKMGK (#49533965) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

Sad thing is I know of two kids AND an adult who have come down with Whooping Cough - living in Cali no less. Didn't "believe" in vaccinations but wondered why everyone couldn't shake a cough. Finally dragged them all to the Dr. and found out what it was! Surprise, they are ALL up to date now. All it took was catching a disease that could've been easily prevented to cure this moron of their stupid "beliefs". Damned lucky it wasn't something far worse and crippling.

Comment: Re:Batteries exist (Score 1) 533

by BLKMGK (#49505553) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

Batteries as you suggest can nearly DOUBLE the cost of a solar install. This is why it's so seldom used in more built up areas that aren't facing $100K costs to connect. Batteries are also not maintenance free either. Batteries make the most sense when you're off in the woods somewhere and the electric company wants to charge you the equal of a mortgage to get a power line dragged in. Batteries will make much more sense when they're more cost effective but right now there's a ton of downsides in having them that only make sense when electric isn't easy to get. Using your water heater as a dump load or running things like say pool pumps off of excess generation instead of selling it to the grid at a discount make much more sense IMO.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1, Insightful) 533

by BLKMGK (#49505317) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

The perception of a big bad utility didn't just magically appear. The efforts by the utilities have created this and they certainly haven't done any planning for alternative power - in fact they seem to fight it tooth and nail wherever possible. I'm not discounting what you say are issues and I appreciate the input but understand that there's distrust for good reason. Utilities need to start helping figure this out rather than simply fighting it. Most folks running solar wouldn't mind batteries IMO if the cost wasn't sky high and the additional regs a little less intrusive.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

by BLKMGK (#49505303) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

Umm, why couldn't that happen? Every car on the road with On-Star has a cell modem in it, why not every home with Grid-tie? Atomic Clock? Guess what you can use a GPS signal for?

I truly don't think what you propose is needed, not when a signaling medium already exists called a powerline, but what you propose isn't nearly as impossible as you think it is.

Gried-tie inverters already match up to the grid they're connected to, I see no need for them to have to have knowledge about the larger grid when devices to manage that - including selling excess - already exist at the power company.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 5, Informative) 533

by BLKMGK (#49505283) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

There are already strict requirements that must be met in order to connect a solar system to the grid. The devices that do this have all sorts of requirements regarding what the power must look like regarding conditioning and interesting things like disconnection should power drop in order to prevent energizing an electrical line that a worker thinks is dead because he doesn't expect you to push power. Meters that "run backwards" are also used with grid-tie connections already.

As it stands today in our existing system if an electric producer has excess they sell it to OTHER grids tied to their system, it doesn't simply go to waste. On an island like Hawaii that may not be possible but on the mainland it certainly is and those connections also stretch into other countries like Canada.

In short - most all of your assumptions about how power is just being thrown willy-nilly onto the grid are incorrect and already accounted for. If you think an electric company is going to allow you to (legally) connect without having passed those standards you haven't done your research. Look up Grid-tie to learn more.

Comment: Re:Hell No Hillary (Score 1) 676

by BLKMGK (#49475575) Attached to: Hillary Clinton Declares 2016 Democratic Presidential Bid

Benghazi doesn't bother me overmuch although it does sound like the situation was pretty confused and that security sucked but I don't think the person who isn't making daily decisions about it should be crucified for it. Was there some spinning? Probably. But I'm not convinced of malice, stupidity perhaps. Clinton Foundation - something I have also not researched but have heard rumblings that make me squirm a bit. Now the email server too? It smells and it smells badly of someone trying to hide something. Taken along with everything else to include Whitewater and files mysteriously showing up just after statute of limitations and I simply refuse to buy into this person as someone I want running this country. I'm also not thrilled at all that she's married to an ex-president and I couldn't care less if he's a Dem or a Repub, I think it is a bad precedent. Bad enough we've had father and son! Will I vote Republican instead? Almost certainly not unless they find a sane person to run and I'm not holding my breath. This next election cycle is going to really suck I fear :(

Comment: Re:Hell No Hillary (Score 1) 676

by BLKMGK (#49475565) Attached to: Hillary Clinton Declares 2016 Democratic Presidential Bid

As I stated, it was the bottom link I read and I think it's pretty reaching for a newspaper to think they can simply ask for and receive correspondence. When the legal system or Congress asks for it however that's a different matter.

I have zero doubt that officials occasionally use personal email accounts to discuss things they shouldn't - it's stupid. That is a long ways off from setting up your own server, doing it intentionally and solely on that server, and then DESTROYING anything in that account! Sorry Hillary but as soon as you made that server your "business account" you no longer get to say what is and isn't record copy. If you or I had done something so stupid I have little doubt we'd be charged and convicted of something. I don't trust someone who thinks they're so far above the law as to flaunt requests like that, as a lawyer she knows better.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.