The joys of living in Rural Areas

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AZgl1500
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by AZgl1500 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:49 am

Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:52 am
Came home from work today to a dark house. Power was out for three hours, not sure how long before I got home. No idea what caused it, since it's not windy out. It's raining, but that's normal around here.
The Freezer and Refrigerator stuff should be okay, since the doors were not opened.
we have a rule here, if the power is off, we do NOT open either one of those.

for myself, I have a 10KVA Aux Generator I can fire up manually if needed.
too bad though, that it takes a AuxGen that can handle 50 AMPs startup current to run our HVAC :(

Compressors are dead shorts for about 2 seconds on startup.
My generator can only handle 30 amps startup current.

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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by AndyMH » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:14 am

Are we talking 50A at 115V single phase or is it 3 phase. You could always try fitting a soft starter on the HVAC to reduce inrush current. Note my electrical engineering degree is over 40 years old, probably not the best person to offer advice :)
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by Fuzzy Penquin » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:24 pm

AZgl1500 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:49 am
Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:52 am
Came home from work today to a dark house. Power was out for three hours, not sure how long before I got home. No idea what caused it, since it's not windy out. It's raining, but that's normal around here.
The Freezer and Refrigerator stuff should be okay, since the doors were not opened.
we have a rule here, if the power is off, we do NOT open either one of those.

for myself, I have a 10KVA Aux Generator I can fire up manually if needed.
too bad though, that it takes a AuxGen that can handle 50 AMPs startup current to run our HVAC :(

Compressors are dead shorts for about 2 seconds on startup.
My generator can only handle 30 amps startup current.
Yup, that's Rule #1 that I grew up with (rural living childhood), and I try to get my husband to adhere to it as well, but.....he's a slow learner on that one, along with Rule #2: hot water conservation showers (wet self, turn OFF water, soap up body/hair, rinse self, turn off water/you're done & get out/no loitering). :roll: For a guy who grew up out here, I'm surprised he never learned these two important rules during power outages. :? We didn't have a generator when I was a kid, so we used kerosene lamps for lights, and a free-standing wood stove for heat/cooking/hot water for baths. I can go forever like that. It was simply a known fact that unless you had snow to pack into coolers, you were gonna loose your fridge and freezer items if the power was out for too long. Nothing we could do about that.

Our fridge and freezer items survived last night's power outage just fine, since the doors remained closed the entire time. Hurray for a peanut butter sandwich for dinner, lol. The cats thought it was super fun to play in the house in the dark. We didn't bother with the generator since it stays light out now much later, so we just opened all the curtains and used LED lamps on the floor to illuminate the cats so we don't trip over one. Lol.

Our generator is powerful enough to run the lights, computers/electronics, microwave, and in-wall heaters. But not the big stuff like fridge, washer/dryer, and hot water heater. It was given to us when a friend moved into a place where he wouldn't need it anymore, so I have no idea of it's specs and I'm loath to go outside and look for a tag, because my spring allergies are absolutely killing me as of yesterday. I'm trying to avoid the outdoors right now, lol. The allergy pills aren't helping as much as I'd like.... Ugh, please kill me now.....
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by vansloneker » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:11 pm

Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:52 am
Our generator is powerful enough to run the lights, computers/electronics, microwave, and in-wall heaters. But not the big stuff like fridge, washer/dryer, and hot water heater. ...
I am pretty sure any microwave and in-wall heater eats a lot more power than about any normal and reasonably recent fridge. Like 10 or 20 times as much. Unless you have a freeze-room.
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by BG405 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:13 pm

AZgl1500 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:49 am
The Freezer and Refrigerator stuff should be okay, since the doors were not opened.
we have a rule here, if the power is off, we do NOT open either one of those.
This was a rule I tried to enforce when I was in Kenya; having explained the reasons it still got ignored .. not that there was ever much in the freezer anyway, but it did mean milk had to be used the same day (we were getting it in small cartons, shaped like one of those fancy tea-bags, who knows how it was treated during transportation). Nothing lasted long in the fridge; a cucumber was rotten in a couple of days.

Back in the UK when choosing a freezer (probably before my travels, can't remember), I went for one with the best energy rating (means better insulated) and rated to keep food safe for 24 hours in case of power outage.
AndyMH wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:14 am
You could always try fitting a soft starter on the HVAC to reduce inrush current.
That would be likely a good idea, but could cause extra heating in the starter windings, if these are like the ones in fridges & freezers? Not really sure. Depends on the motor design.
Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:24 pm
The cats thought it was super fun to play in the house in the dark. We didn't bother with the generator since it stays light out now much later, so we just opened all the curtains and used LED lamps on the floor to illuminate the cats so we don't trip over one.
They seem to relish the fact we can't see them, don't they! :lol: Lights are essential, even if a few LEDs here & there. I do have a 3hr rated emergency bulkhead on the middle landing, though. I can also see adequately from the green charging LED .. I could practically read by the ones on my old battery charger. Surprising how well our eyes adapt; from my own observations in really low light (<2 LUX) I'd suspected a while back (but dismissed as my own imagination) that we can register individual photons .. but it has been verified as true. Apparently about 1 in 5 photons make it past the obstacles & cause an impulse.


For outages here, plenty of tealight candles in lanterns (I have a number of them), a couple of kerosene/paraffin "hurricane" lamps, a few 4W fluorescent lanterns & a 13W fluorescent strip with daylight tube wired to a 12V van battery got me through the outages a while back. Had it gone on much longer, I would've hooked up an inverter to power the electronics.

Had a few blips last night, one enough to extinguish the lamp in my uplighter (an 80W clear MV, had to wait in the dark for a few minutes for that to restrike), had to reset the sat boxes & in-house CATV modulators this time as well. Luckily the Acer stayed up via the PSU's internal capacitors, as did the router. Think it's time to check / top-up my 12v batteries .. rescued the 4-way power socket from my old car so can power those vehicle USB PSUs etc. .. and find my 600W inverter for the TV & computer kit.
Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:24 pm
big stuff like fridge
It must be a HUGE fridge! Typically the ones here consume around 100 to 150W whilst the compresor is running. Startup current might be an issue though. Microwaves are generally around 750W or more these days.
ETA: vansloneker beat me to it!
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by Fuzzy Penquin » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:43 pm

vansloneker wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:11 pm
Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:52 am
Our generator is powerful enough to run the lights, computers/electronics, microwave, and in-wall heaters. But not the big stuff like fridge, washer/dryer, and hot water heater. ...
I am pretty sure any microwave and in-wall heater eats a lot more power than about any normal and reasonably recent fridge. Like 10 or 20 times as much. Unless you have a freeze-room.
Well, it does pop a circuit breaker after a minute or less, when you try to use the microwave. And not all of these mentioned things can be run at the same time. So there is some turning on/off of things in order to use another thing.
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by Fuzzy Penquin » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:06 pm

BG405 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:13 pm
AZgl1500 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:49 am
The Freezer and Refrigerator stuff should be okay, since the doors were not opened.
we have a rule here, if the power is off, we do NOT open either one of those.
This was a rule I tried to enforce when I was in Kenya; having explained the reasons it still got ignored .. not that there was ever much in the freezer anyway, but it did mean milk had to be used the same day (we were getting it in small cartons, shaped like one of those fancy tea-bags, who knows how it was treated during transportation). Nothing lasted long in the fridge; a cucumber was rotten in a couple of days.

Back in the UK when choosing a freezer (probably before my travels, can't remember), I went for one with the best energy rating (means better insulated) and rated to keep food safe for 24 hours in case of power outage.
AndyMH wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:14 am
You could always try fitting a soft starter on the HVAC to reduce inrush current.
That would be likely a good idea, but could cause extra heating in the starter windings, if these are like the ones in fridges & freezers? Not really sure. Depends on the motor design.
Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:24 pm
The cats thought it was super fun to play in the house in the dark. We didn't bother with the generator since it stays light out now much later, so we just opened all the curtains and used LED lamps on the floor to illuminate the cats so we don't trip over one.
They seem to relish the fact we can't see them, don't they! :lol: Lights are essential, even if a few LEDs here & there. I do have a 3hr rated emergency bulkhead on the middle landing, though. I can also see adequately from the green charging LED .. I could practically read by the ones on my old battery charger. Surprising how well our eyes adapt; from my own observations in really low light (<2 LUX) I'd suspected a while back (but dismissed as my own imagination) that we can register individual photons .. but it has been verified as true. Apparently about 1 in 5 photons make it past the obstacles & cause an impulse.


For outages here, plenty of tealight candles in lanterns (I have a number of them), a couple of kerosene/paraffin "hurricane" lamps, a few 4W fluorescent lanterns & a 13W fluorescent strip with daylight tube wired to a 12V van battery got me through the outages a while back. Had it gone on much longer, I would've hooked up an inverter to power the electronics.

Had a few blips last night, one enough to extinguish the lamp in my uplighter (an 80W clear MV, had to wait in the dark for a few minutes for that to restrike), had to reset the sat boxes & in-house CATV modulators this time as well. Luckily the Acer stayed up via the PSU's internal capacitors, as did the router. Think it's time to check / top-up my 12v batteries .. rescued the 4-way power socket from my old car so can power those vehicle USB PSUs etc. .. and find my 600W inverter for the TV & computer kit.
Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:24 pm
big stuff like fridge
It must be a HUGE fridge! Typically the ones here consume around 100 to 150W whilst the compresor is running. Startup current might be an issue though. Microwaves are generally around 750W or more these days.
ETA: vansloneker beat me to it!
We can see individual photons??! Really?? That's awesome! I had no idea. I'm gonna have to research that information because that sounds cool.

I've always had good night vision (can walk down an unlit country backroad at night without a flashlight), but my husband doesn't. The cat-seeking LED lanterns were mostly for him, Lol. One cat is black, one cat likes to dart in front of you at bad times, one likes to walk in front of you (same direction you're going) and then stop, and another cat is a large immovable object that you have to be careful not to step on because he's not going to move for you. He's super laid back and just lays on his back in the middle of the livingroom all day. Between them all, it's amazing they haven't killed us. :lol: Beware of cat toys to step on too.... the balls can send you flying.

No, the fridge is just some old normal-sized one that came with the house. No idea of it's efficiency. Just a regular fridge. Probably not very efficient, because my electrical bill is stupid-high, despite all lights being LED, and all lights in rooms not actively being used are off. Hot water heater is super efficient. Everyone claimed our old pellet stove was supposed to be very efficient (small motor powering a small fan and auger), but we saw no difference in monthly power bill after it died and we got two in-wall heaters. So I don't know. House is only 900 sq. feet, so not much to heat up.

Edit to add: apparently red light doesn't mess with your natural darkvision. So when walking around in the dark with a light source, but still needing to be able to still see into the dark without actually lighting it up, use a red light. Can't remember where I read that.
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by slipstick » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:55 pm

AndyMH wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:14 am
Are we talking 50A at 115V single phase or is it 3 phase. You could always try fitting a soft starter on the HVAC to reduce inrush current. Note my electrical engineering degree is over 40 years old, probably not the best person to offer advice :)
He's probably talking about 50 amps at 240 volts single phase, which is what my A/C compressor takes (EDIT - just looked at my A/C circuit breaker - it's 60 amps). House power in the USA comes off the secondary of a 240 volt center-tapped transformer. The center tap is grounded at the service entrance and that line is called "Neutral". The two Neutral to 120 volt legs supply power to lights and wall outlets. All the high power equipment: A/C compressors, electric furnaces, stoves, ovens, electric water heaters, dryers all operate off the 240 volt hot-to-hot legs. I had a device called a "kick-start" installed on my old A/C compressor - not sure whether the purpose was to reduce the start current - all it did was to put additional capacitance in parallel with the motor run capacitor for a short time in order to give additional phase shift to the phase-shifted leg during startup.
Last edited by slipstick on Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by AZgl1500 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:35 pm

AndyMH wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:14 am
Are we talking 50A at 115V single phase or is it 3 phase. You could always try fitting a soft starter on the HVAC to reduce inrush current. Note my electrical engineering degree is over 40 years old, probably not the best person to offer advice :)
My AuxGen is 240VAC single phase, it can handle about 35A starting current across 240VAC ....
the HVAC compressor stalled rotor is stated to be ~55A and trips the 50A circuit breaker on the AuxGen SO FAST the engine does not even whimper, or slow down. It just keep humming right along.

the HVAC air handler motor is 120VAC and idles at ~3.7 amps ( always on ) and jumps to almost 8 amps when the thermostat calls for heat/cooling. ( we prefer Always On for the air handler because it keeps the house evenly cooled/heated no matter what room, or place you are sitting. Turn it off, and there are hot spots, and cold spots )

The whole house has been switched over to LED lighting, so the counter top Conventional Oven at 1500 watts is the heaviest load at 120VAC.... the entire kitchen is on the same damn circuit breaker... ( I could easily choke the guy who wired my house 50 years ago! )
so, you get 1 item at a time,
  • Toaster
    Oven
    Microwave
turn on two of those at once, and the circuit breakers pop!

We can watch Dish TV, so life is good.
We can have all the Hot Water showers we want, as the furnace and HW tank is on Natural Gas.... lucky us.
The kitchen stove top is Natural Gas ( I installed that new 3 years ago, I hate electric stove tops )
We can have Heat in the dead of winter for as long as it takes to get Public Service power back on....

Back when I bought the AuxGen for $999.00 at Lowes Home & Garden, the AuxGen that I really wanted was a 12KVA continuous duty Natural Gas unit with AutoStart... sob, that was priced at about $12,000 IIRC ?

I installed a full NEMA 200 Amp Transfer Switch Panel, to switch from Commercial Power to Standby Power.
It is a manual switch... Up = Public Service, Down = AuxGen

.

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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by vansloneker » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:53 am

BG405 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:13 pm
... a cucumber was rotten in a couple of days.
That is because cucumbers don't like temperatures below 10°C/50°F.
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by BG405 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:42 pm

Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:06 pm
We can see individual photons??! Really?? That's awesome! I had no idea. I'm gonna have to research that information because that sounds cool.
Apparently so. The reason I suspected this is in really low light, I get a similar effect to those night-vision cameras, i.e. a "snowy" image which takes a bit longer to resolve. I can literally see well enough under ONE standard (green) 20mA LED to see the stairs & part of the middle landing. Bright daytime light levels really hurt my eyes, though, especially in winter. I'm practically blinded when the sun is in the same direction I'm facing. Same earlier, whilst waiting to cross the road .. it can be a bit of a hazard.

My two moggies are considered "black" but they aren't really, more a deep reddish-brown with their tiger stripes clearly visible in good lighting conditions. They like to stop halfway down the narrow & steep loft stairs .. and dart between your feet near the bottom of the main staicase :roll:
Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:06 pm
apparently red light doesn't mess with your natural darkvision.
This is why astronomers use them, and also why (until recently, at least, apparently) the Navy used them on their ships. Our rods aren't sensitive to red light & I don't think cats can see red light at all. It's also the reason our use of low-pressure sodium street lights up until a few years ago produced a very visible orange pall in the sky for miles .. if you can see the orange light at all, you can see the colour, unlike with mercury vapour.

As for the photon thing, it's quite noticeable when under the light of a clear MV lamp when there is sufficient restriction of said light. I'm one of a handful in the UK who uses them, both for the yard light & the uplighter here in the loft. A green or cyan LED produces a similar effect.
slipstick wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:55 pm
House power in the USA comes off the secondary of a 240 volt center-tapped transformer. The center tap is grounded at the service entrance and that line is called "Neutral". The two Neutral to 120 volt legs supply power to lights and wall outlets.
That's interesting. I read some time back that US domestic supplies were ususlly derived from a centre-tapped 110-120V supply giving a maximum of 55-60V either side, making it safer. This is how our site transformers work .. I have one, along with a box of 110V 60W bulbs for the lantern. I'll have to put a meter on it to see if this is indeed the case.
AZgl1500 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:35 pm
I installed a full NEMA 200 Amp Transfer Switch Panel, to switch from Commercial Power to Standby Power.
It is a manual switch... Up = Public Service, Down = AuxGen
A contactor (large mains voltage relay) & some way of auto-starting the generator would be good!
vansloneker wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:53 am
BG405 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:13 pm
... a cucumber was rotten in a couple of days.
That is because cucumbers don't like temperatures below 10°C/50°F.
They usually lasted about half a week in the fridge in the UK. I doubt the fridge in Nairobi stayed much below 10°C though .. fridges & freezers there are normally on pallets, presumably to improve airflow.
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by AZgl1500 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:30 pm

AndyMH wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:14 am
Are we talking 50A at 115V single phase or is it 3 phase. You could always try fitting a soft starter on the HVAC to reduce inrush current. Note my electrical engineering degree is over 40 years old, probably not the best person to offer advice :)
Got to thinking on this, and I remember reading in the Rheem manual for my HVAC that it says the warranty will be VOID if a "Soft Starter" is installed on the system.

So, I would like to hear from an engineer's viewpoint, why would that be?

and, IF, a soft starter could be installed, could I do it in a manner where it would only be put to use at my call?
as in, I have now started up the AuxGen and need to run the A/C compressor...

I found this, and it seems to intimate that a 'Soft Starter' will actually enhance the motor's lifetime.
https://machinegeeks.blog/2016/12/13/th ... plication/

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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by AZgl1500 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:27 pm

BG405 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:42 pm
AZgl1500 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:35 pm
I installed a full NEMA 200 Amp Transfer Switch Panel, to switch from Commercial Power to Standby Power.
It is a manual switch... Up = Public Service, Down = AuxGen
A contactor (large mains voltage relay) & some way of auto-starting the generator would be good!
You are precisely correct. My avocation has been in Communications and Standby power systems for petroleum pipeline companies.... so I am used to having those in use, our generators sat up on big concrete pillars to keep them above the 100 year flood lines.. they auto exercised weekly, running for 1 hour, and then shut down.

For myself, here in a residential home, with history indicating power outages to be rare, and if they do occur, average less than 6 hours to restoration. Most less than 3 hours, and many less than 1 hour.

The cost to use contactors exceeded my retirement check's ability to pay.
Also, the AuxGen I could afford does not have the AutoStart feature.
It is also dual fuel starting on gasoline, and can be switched over to Propane.
Propane further reduces its' KVA rating by another 20% which makes it almost useless for a home standby generator.

It can run for 8 hours on 5 gallons of gasoline, and that will more than handle the historical power outages in our area.

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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by slipstick » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:57 pm

BG405 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:42 pm
That's interesting. I read some time back that US domestic supplies were ususlly derived from a centre-tapped 110-120V supply giving a maximum of 55-60V either side, making it safer. This is how our site transformers work .. I have one, along with a box of 110V 60W bulbs for the lantern. I'll have to put a meter on it to see if this is indeed the case.
Wall outlet voltage at my house (neutral to hot) typically runs 120 to 122 volts.
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by Fuzzy Penquin » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:02 pm

BG405 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:42 pm
Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:06 pm
We can see individual photons??! Really?? That's awesome! I had no idea. I'm gonna have to research that information because that sounds cool.
Apparently so. The reason I suspected this is in really low light, I get a similar effect to those night-vision cameras, i.e. a "snowy" image which takes a bit longer to resolve. I can literally see well enough under ONE standard (green) 20mA LED to see the stairs & part of the middle landing. Bright daytime light levels really hurt my eyes, though, especially in winter. I'm practically blinded when the sun is in the same direction I'm facing. Same earlier, whilst waiting to cross the road .. it can be a bit of a hazard.
That's freaking cool. When I get up in the mornings it's still dark out, I don't turn on the lights in order to navigate the house (bedroom->hallway->bathroom->kitchen sink for water->back to bathroom for shower) because it's too early for brightness, lol. There are no night lights, just a single red LED on the tv and the green LED on the microwave (just a zero, too many power outages to bother constantly resetting the time). I can see the cats milling around and the toys they've scattered around. I've never thought about how it looked when I see in the dark, whether it was snowy or not. What I saw was what I saw. I am color-blind and I don't see the blue spectrum. I have no idea if this effects my ability to see photons or not. Can all people see photons? Or just some people with exceptionally sensitive eyes? Daylight in the summer is uncomfortably bright and can be blinding regardless of the sun's direction, but winter light levels are soooo much nicer (dim). My husband, who has poor night vision, says that when facing the sun's direction he sees only a white haze in front of him that completely blocks everything out. Sunglasses are necessary for him. I don't think he has this problem in winter, but since he's not home right now I can't ask him.
BG405 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:42 pm
My two moggies are considered "black" but they aren't really, more a deep reddish-brown with their tiger stripes clearly visible in good lighting conditions. They like to stop halfway down the narrow & steep loft stairs .. and dart between your feet near the bottom of the main staicase :roll:
Oooh, I call that "ghost stripes"; they're visible in just the right light, but otherwise the cat is just "black". My black kitty is a true black with no stripes. She does, however, have white whiskers, paws, chest, and belly, with a white garter belt on her rear leg. Her white paws have black freckles. She's a shoulder-rider, and can leap from the ground up to your shoulder and land lightly without a scratch. She's a tiny ninja. And she's a talker with a huge vocabulary of her own as well as her understanding of what you say.

Thankfully we don't have stairs, as I'm sure the cats would have killed us by now. But even so, we've had to learn how to stop on a dime!
BG405 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:42 pm
Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:06 pm
apparently red light doesn't mess with your natural darkvision.
This is why astronomers use them, and also why (until recently, at least, apparently) the Navy used them on their ships. Our rods aren't sensitive to red light & I don't think cats can see red light at all. It's also the reason our use of low-pressure sodium street lights up until a few years ago produced a very visible orange pall in the sky for miles .. if you can see the orange light at all, you can see the colour, unlike with mercury vapour.

As for the photon thing, it's quite noticeable when under the light of a clear MV lamp when there is sufficient restriction of said light. I'm one of a handful in the UK who uses them, both for the yard light & the uplighter here in the loft. A green or cyan LED produces a similar effect.
I think cats can see red, since they chase red lasers all the time. Or maybe it just shows up as some other color that isn't red (grey? Yellow?). Totally makes sense that astronomers would use red light. I never thought about that before now. I did not know the Navy used red lights in their ships, though. Not sure why they did/do that? Well-lit ship, come out to sun-lit skies.... not much different than going into a regular building and back outside again? But maybe I'm missing something there. Maybe the red lighting was just at night.....

I am so gonna try to find ways to see a photon. Will pay attention to the microwave tonight when we go to bed; it's single zero is green.
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vansloneker
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by vansloneker » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:55 am

I have a string of LEDs connected to a remote switch and in the dark, when the pupils are wide, I can see them glowing just a bit. Apparently there is a current leakage in the switch.
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by Moem » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:54 am

vansloneker wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:55 am
I have a string of LEDs connected to a remote switch and in the dark, when the pupils are wide, I can see them glowing just a bit.
I have that too. It's nice, it makes for just enough light to function as orientation lighting.
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by AndyMH » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:45 am

So, I would like to hear from an engineer's viewpoint, why would that be?

and, IF, a soft starter could be installed, could I do it in a manner where it would only be put to use at my call?
as in, I have now started up the AuxGen and need to run the A/C compressor...
If, as I would expect, the motor in the HVAC is a standard induction motor, I can't think of any reason. Maybe something on the compressor side? Note, it is years since I did any 'real' engineering work.

In addition to the double pole switch you already have so you can switch between the genset and mains power, you would need another DP switch - centre to the power source, then one side of the switch direct to the HVAC and the other to the soft starter which is then wired to the HVAC - so you can switch between the starter or direct power. I suspect your problem would be cost, having already invested in a big enough genset to cope with the starting current, you would now need to buy a starter which I don't think will come cheap. The majority of the market for these is industrial and three phase.

Here in the UK, you wouldn't be 'allowed' to make such modifications to the domestic wiring. Any changes to home wiring must be done by a 'suitably qualified person'. Although I have a degree in electrical engineering I am not judged to be 'suitably qualified'. If I make changes - like I've rewired most of the house, I have to get a 'qualified' person in to check and certify my work. This change to the regs was done in the early '00s at the same time as they changed the wiring colours (from red/black to brown/blue), so easy to spot later changes.
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Re: The joys of living in Rural Areas

Post by AZgl1500 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:49 pm

AndyMH wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:45 am
So, I would like to hear from an engineer's viewpoint, why would that be?

and, IF, a soft starter could be installed, could I do it in a manner where it would only be put to use at my call?
as in, I have now started up the AuxGen and need to run the A/C compressor...
If, as I would expect, the motor in the HVAC is a standard induction motor, I can't think of any reason. Maybe something on the compressor side? Note, it is years since I did any 'real' engineering work.

In addition to the double pole switch you already have so you can switch between the genset and mains power, you would need another DP switch - centre to the power source, then one side of the switch direct to the HVAC and the other to the soft starter which is then wired to the HVAC - so you can switch between the starter or direct power. I suspect your problem would be cost, having already invested in a big enough genset to cope with the starting current, you would now need to buy a starter which I don't think will come cheap. The majority of the market for these is industrial and three phase.

Here in the UK, you wouldn't be 'allowed' to make such modifications to the domestic wiring. Any changes to home wiring must be done by a 'suitably qualified person'. Although I have a degree in electrical engineering I am not judged to be 'suitably qualified'. If I make changes - like I've rewired most of the house, I have to get a 'qualified' person in to check and certify my work. This change to the regs was done in the early '00s at the same time as they changed the wiring colours (from red/black to brown/blue), so easy to spot later changes.
Thank you for your comments:
Public Service came out and removed the electric meter, so everything was dead while I worked on it.

I qualified myself as "the expert" and I made all of the wiring Nice, Neat, and Purty, just like I did when we wired up our Microwave buildings. Everything parallel, and zip tied to stay laid out like I wanted it.

Called up Public Service and said "the electrician said you can put the meter back in now",
and they did, never asked me to see the certification....

kudos for living in the backwoods away from picky city inspectors.

Yes,
Cost is going to keep things as they are, we can enjoy everything except for Air Conditioning for days if need be.

The house has six inch thick sandstone block walls, and the inside temperature is fairly stable even in the summer.... never seen it up over 80°F with Public Service power off.

the real bugaboo with the home, is it was constructed 50 years ago, without the use of a TeeSquare or ruler.... none of the walls are square, doors will close by themselves if you don't latch them back, or block them with a shoe :roll:

so, why did I buy it? My wife was suffering from a leg amputation, in a wheelchair, and we needed 36" wide doors and no steps...... and this house was built for a Vietnam War veteran in a wheelchair, roll in flat to the shower, just a little hump to roll over... fantastic for the need at the time...

oh, the windows are crooked also, wind blows in around the sides of the frames.....
we cover them with visqueen in the winter....

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