Friday, August 6, 2010


Solar Power -
I now have 2 batteries, and am still running a 12V system to keep it simple.
I have 3 sets of 45 Watt Panels connected to the Charge controller (MPPT), running 3 sets of series parallel panels. (Utilizing the HV input.) It works great. I'm still only using Solar for about 1/2 of my home lighting, and charging batteries, phones, laptops, etc. By batteries hit full every day, so I need to move more things over to that system to better utilize it.
I also purchased a backup generator for when the power is out. This happened several times this Summer, and the sump pump runs the battery down pretty quick.

HAM Radio -
I have my antenna mast. Still shopping for my first radio and a base antenna. I joined ARRL. :)

Family tree -
Worked a lot on this, and have made it far. My pro membership is set to not renew in a week, and I'll take a break until at least winter time on this. It's been fun and informative to work on this. I'll have to make a whole new blog to put up info on interesting people I've discovered in my tree. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Solar Power Update

"I can't do it captain. I haven' t got enough power!"
Well I don't have any Di-lithium crystals... But. I do have 4 Harbor Freight Solar panel kits.
I also have my MPPT500HV charge controller on the way. :)
BZ Products Manual for the new charge controller

I have a total of 180 Watts of panels. The panels are going to be connected in parrelel / Series, giving a total array voltage output of up to 75 volts. I am going to keep an eye on the voltage, and I may end up doing 4 in series instead of 3 if the V stays below 75 at all times. (Don't want to overload the controller...) So... This should reduce the loss on the power line by a factor of 3 - 4, and the MPPT should save me about another 12% Efficiency. Not to mention that I will be running a 180 Watt System instead of my 13 Watt.

With this update, I plan on doing all my laptop charging, exterior lights, and possibly work to make some sort of solar powered geothermal cooling system... Down the road. Stay tuned for more mad ideas from The Green Bandit!

Of note - I also want more batteries to store the charge... and am thinking of running my primary power storage at 24Volts with a smaller system setup for 12V power distribution to lower power devices. (I want to try to use 24V UPS units as inverters for the system.)

Anyways... Lots of options. So little time / money. ;)

Monday, April 26, 2010

HAM Radio Liscence

My (now ex) co-worker Josh Trumpie got me interested in amateur radio. After some time and consideration, I decided to study for the certification test and take it.

I was able to pass the test, and I now have received my "Technician Class" Amateur Radio License from the FCC. My call sign is KD8NNZ.

Now I just need some radio equipment so that I can start to practice using it.

Family Tree Updated

I have worked for several weeks inputting information in for my family tree.

I'm not sure if this link works for everyone yet, but you can try it.