&%%%!@## Generator!

I bought a small gasoline-powered generator for emergency backup around the house. We don’t get a lot of power failures here but they often are inconvenient and at night after a thunderstorm. The thing was easy to unload and unbox. Topped up the fluids and gave it a spin and another and another. It would not start. As the weather was marginal for 10W-30, I drained the cold oil and replaced it with 5W-30. Still no joy.

I checked all the usual culprits:

  • fuel was reaching the carburetor
  • spark-plug was pristine
  • switch was “ON/1”
  • machine was on a level surface
  • disconnected the oil level kill switch

Voila! It started! Joy! After a couple of minutes it stopped abruptly. Another pull got it running again and again it stopped.

I fiddled with this thing for hours and never got it to run longer than about 10 minutes. In frustration, I called “customer support” and got put on hold a lot. Finally, I was transferred to a tech who knew the beast inside and out. He walked me through the same checklist I had done to no avail. He then said to disconnect the black wire to the kill switch. I had seen the wire but did not see the disconnect. It was hidden under a thick black rubbery sleeve. I had to put down the phone to have enough strength to disconnect the kill switch and the thing ran and ran… I thought I had it made. The thing could be stopped by turning off the fuel. Unfortunately, there are more than one kill switch: oil, the red rocker switch, and an overvoltage protector… They all grounded that black wire to the spark coil…

To identify which part was causing the problem I volunteered to disassemble the control-panel and isolate the rocker switch and the overvoltage protector one at a time. The front panel came off easily with four accessible screws. The back of the panel had to be removed and that required more dexterity than I could easily muster in the cold. Finally, I had everything exposed. I disconnected the rocker switch and the problem persisted. That meant it was the overvoltage protector. I reconnected the rocker, fired the machine up and it ran and ran even with the overvoltage protector engaged. I called the tech back and we were both at a loss. It had to be the overvoltage protector but it wasn’t…

Next day, I fired up the machine and it died after a few minutes… ARGHHH! I hate intermittent defects.

It’s possible the orientation of the control-panel affects this thing. Upright the problem exists. Hanging out sideways, the problem disappears. Another possibility is that the voltage regulator on the alternator produces spikes randomly witch trip the overvoltage device. I’ve been running with no load. Perhaps with a load the spikes will be less and the problem will be “contained”. To be continued…

PS: Chuckle. After thinking about it quite a while, I tried one more thing. I connected a work light drawing ~150W after I got the machine started. It ran smoothly for 40minutes! I should make a peak detecting circuit to see whether the spikes in output are serious. Otherwise, this generator is good enough for what I do. It’s not designed for winter here or rain in summer but I can compensate by changing oil more frequently in winter and warming it up and giving it a canopy.

PPS: After an exchange of e-mail, the manufacturer offered to send a new voltage regulator and over voltage protection device. Great! The regulator is just under the end-cap of the alternator and the OVP device is on the inside of the control panel. I can do this…

Posted in technology, weather | Comments Off on &%%%!@## Generator!

Why, Iowa? Why?

“President Donald Trump’s trade war with China sent soybean prices to 10-year lows just as new steel tariffs drove up the cost of equipment and devoured the year’s profits.
 
“As soon as the tariffs were put on steel, the cost of a new grain bin went up 15-25%,” he says, pointing toward a massive steel container of corn. “So things are already tight and if you’re thinking about buying a grain bin, you’re probably not going to do it now.”
 
Yet he refuses to criticize the policies of a President who flipped Iowa from blue to red with the help of farmers.”
 
See First soybeans, then shutdown. But Iowa farmers still back Trump
In my family there were a lot of farmers and few of them would have fallen for Trump’s lies. Trump lies about EVERYTHING, folks! Think for yourself. Check out the numbers. You and your descendants are going to pay for Trump’s generosity to his rich friends. He’s willing to beset millions of people just like you to further implement his weird policies. He’s betrayed the country to the Russians. What more evidence do you need that he’s not your friend?

Come on Iowa! Think for yourself. Don’t believe anything Trump repeats ad nauseam. A wall won’t keep out any determined individual or gang. He doesn’t make deals. He breaks them. He’s actively trying to destroy the climate that makes Iowa so productive. Remember the occasional drought? Expect more of them if Trump keeps supporting coal and big automakers and big oil.

Posted in family, food, horticulture, politics | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Why, Iowa? Why?

Words And Misdemeanours

Misdemeanours and high crimes are supposedly what the US constitution sets as limits to presidential behaviour for impeachment. I think the present FAKE POTUS has greatly exceeded his quota:

LIAR! LIAR! LIAR!, TRAITOR, BULLY, PIG (apologies to pigs, some of whom are decent), MALE CHAUVINIST PIG, MISOGYNIST, RACIST, NARCISSIST, CHEAT, WEAK, FOOL, INSANE, WILFULLY IGNORANT, IMPULSIVE, CHILDISH, IMPATIENT, UNSTABLE, EXHIBITIONIST, INCOMPETENT, DADDY’S LITTLE BOY, DRAFT DODGER, ORGANIZED CRIMINAL

I don’t intend to justify each of these descriptions of Trump. He’s demonstrated all to the public for years even before he ran for public office. US electors should be ashamed they were so easily fooled by such an imitation of a man. The Government of PIGS (GOP) should be treated as a criminal organization for supporting this crime of the century. Perhaps the only good thing to come out of this huge faux pas will be a regeneration of USAian democracy with a newer healthier generation of elected representatives cleaning House and Senate and the Oval Office.

The next step is to impeach Trump and if Pence pardons him or continues the insanity, to impeach PENCE. Pelosi will be a breath of fresh air. In one term she can right the ship and pass the reigns of power to a younger generation of good-hearted people.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Words And Misdemeanours

Smartphones Mature

“Samsung Electronics recorded its highest ever profits last quarter, but three months on things aren’t looking so great. The company issued guidance today warning that revenue and profits for the three months ending December 31st 2018 will be sharply down year-on-year. Samsung expects sales of about 59 trillion won (about $52.5 billion), down 11 percent from 12 months prior, while operating profit is set to drop 29 percent to about 10.8 trillion won (about $9.6 billion).”
 
See Samsung warns of sharp sales and profit decline
It had to happen sooner or later. Now that almost everyone and their dogs have smartphones, the novelty has worn off. One should not have to pay an arm and a leg for something that is “state of the art”/old fashioned/old. Since decent smartphones can be purchased for ~$100 and often “thrown in” by service providers, only fools with too much money will spend ~$1000 for a new phone they don’t really need. Gone is brand loyalty or desperation to remain current.

My own smartphone which was nearly obsolete when I bought it and lacks endurance and storage is still good enough to browse the web during commercials, take some pictures or navigate my neighbourhood. As long as it keeps working I won’t be tempted to buy another. No need. Better things to do with my money, like buying parts to repair my ancient snowblower…

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Smartphones Mature

I Tweet, Therefor I Am

I’ve been on Twitter for ages but not very active. I was moved to Tweet today because of the mindless repetition of the “we’ll wait for Mueller” stuff. This time it was from Adam Schiff…

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | Comments Off on I Tweet, Therefor I Am

Electra Meccanica Provides Details On Production Of The SOLO EV

“In 2018, Electra Meccanica produced over 40 manually-built vehicles at their first manufacturing facility in Vancouver, BC and delivered them to customers throughout the United States and Canada. These vehicles were delivered to paying customers and potential customers in efforts to conduct pilot tests for commercial use, as well as used for Global Compliance testing, such as crash tests. The Company revealed an image gallery of the first SOLO EV’s that were delivered to customers during 2018, which can be viewed at Gallery .
 
In October 2017, Electra Meccanica signed a manufacturing agreement with their strategic partner, Zongshen Industrial Group Co., Ltd, to produce mass quantities of the Company’s SOLO all-electric vehicle at their manufacturing factory based in Chongqing, China. This manufacturing facility recently shipped its first two 2019 SOLO EV’s to the the Company’s headquarters in Vancouver for on-road testing. An additional 48 SOLO EV’s are scheduled for shipment from the Zongshen factory to Los Angeles, Portland and Vancouver in the first quarter of 2019.”
 
See Electra Meccanica Provides Production Update for Model SOLO EV’s From High-Volume Manufacturing Facility Nasdaq:SOLO
Now there’s a proper press-release. I guess we are the press…

It appears EMV doesn’t want to over-promise. “first quarter of 2019” is still very vague and far away from delivery to me in Canada… When I schedule something for delivery, there is a date certain that I could tell people. When I ordered heavy items from China, I knew which boat carried them and the date of unloading and clearance at Customs and … I guess good things are worth the wait.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Electra Meccanica Provides Details On Production Of The SOLO EV

2019 SOLO Is Being Produced En Masse

Check out 2019 SOLO – Factory to see the assembly line of the SOLO. The latest EMV update suggests EMV will be able to deliver thousands of Solos in 2019. Amen!

My observations:

  • They really have a great capacity to crank out Solos.
  • The Solo is quite modular so it’s perfect for the assembly line.
  • The supply-chain is working…
  • Sadly, with the addition of air-conditioning and cooling for motor and battery, the front trunk seems to have shrunk. That could impact my ability to hunt/gather/shoot…
  • 2019 will be the year I get my Solo!
Posted in technology | Tagged , | Comments Off on 2019 SOLO Is Being Produced En Masse

Evangelism!?!?

“With the unique exception of white evangelical Protestants, majorities of all other major religious groups have an unfavorable opinion of Trump. Majorities of black Protestants (80%), religiously unaffiliated Americans (75%), Hispanic Catholics (74%), non-Christian religious Americans (73%), white mainline Protestants (52%), and white Catholics (52%) have a negative opinion of Trump. By contrast, almost seven in ten (68%) white evangelical Protestants have a favorable view of Trump, including 28% who have a very favorable view.”
 
See Partisan Polarization Dominates Trump Era: Findings from the 2018 American Values Survey
Puzzling. Why do white evangelicals in USA support Trump? He’s white but nothing about his policies is Christian let alone good, proper, efficient or wholesome.

Take “the wall”, for instance. Would Christ have built a wall?

Old Testament:
Deuteronomy Chapter 3
“And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
 
All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.
 
And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city.”

See? God knows walls don’t work.

New Testament:
Acts of the Apostles Chapter 9:
“And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him
 
But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
 
Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.”

See? The disciples knew walls don’t work. Why can’t white evangelicals see that? Are they blinded by Satan?

Romans Chapter 16:
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
 
For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
 
For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
 
And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”

It’s pretty clear. If you support Trumpism, you are doing Satan’s work. Stop that before it’s too late. Satan always tempts with treats but it’s never good to make a deal with Satan. Wake up!

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Evangelism!?!?

Trumpism Becoming Irrelevant On The Global Stage

“Once again, the Trump administration is pandering to corporate polluters at the expense of those suffering the worst impacts of climate change. From boasting about fossil fuel production to refusing endorsement of the staggering UN IPCC report on the climate crisis, the official US response to COP 24 has been deeply disturbing. Despite this administration’s actions, communities across America are building support from the ground up for transformative climate action. These past weeks, momentum has soared for a Green New Deal, bringing climate change to the forefront in headlines and the halls of power. Trump and his allies can dig in their heels, but the movement for a just transition off of fossil fuels to a 100% renewable energy economy won’t be stopped.”
 
See 350.org on Trump administration’s COP 24 statement
Just as many cities and states of USA are ignoring Trump as best they can, so is the world. While Trump can do a lot of damage in the meantime, a lot of that damage can be reversed by independent action by cities and states, whole industries, individuals, organizations and politicians in opposition at all levels. The world can as well. Just ignore the bellowing from the White House and get on with life. Trump will be gone sooner or later and we can all do the right things needed to leave a livable planet to our descendants.

One thing that still puzzles me is the attitude to impeachment. There is no requirement that a full slate of impeachable offences be charged on the scroll, just a sufficient number in the minds of Congress. Presently, many are treating impeachment as a hot potato to be avoided at all costs. There is a cost to tolerating Trump, continued rampant corruption and bad government. What is it that would lead Trump and his partners to suddenly change their stripes of criminal behaviour before election and after? Nothing. The crimes and bad effects of Trumpism will continue until Trump is stopped, one way or another. Get on with it, Congress. If the House votes to impeach but the Government of Pigs in the Senate refuse, that will be on their heads, ensuring Trump will be out at the next election. The citizens are ready to vote even if the politicians fear to do so.

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Trumpism Becoming Irrelevant On The Global Stage

Cranking Out Solos

Apparently, Electra Meccanica Vehicles has finally understood they have to deliver the goods. They’ve put up a web-page of delivered Solos. They show 39 delivered, some with the USA-configuration with the “third eye”. I guess those are made in Vancouver models. Shortly, we should start to see made in China models.

Posted in technology | Tagged , | Comments Off on Cranking Out Solos

Green Is On The Horizon In USA

“Ocasio-Cortez, along with a growing number of Democratic colleagues, is asking Rep. Nancy Pelosi to create a select committee on a “Green New Deal” — comprehensive legislation for a mass mobilization of people and resources toward solutions to the climate crisis. If Pelosi agrees, the congressional committee could develop a plan to improve the economy and the environment within a year.”
 
See Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’ is a smart plan (opinion)
Things are a bit grim at the moment with Trump and his Government of Pigs gutting just about every environmental regulation Obama brought in but there is hope. With the control of the House back in Democratic hands some of the power to tax and spend is also coming back. I hope the GOP realizes its days are numbered if it doesn’t get back on the wagon. Trump won in 2016 because too many thought Hillary was a sure thing and they didn’t have to vote… That’s changed. The anthill is aroused and dangerous. Everyone knows about solar power and electric vehicles. Everyone knows Trump is the most corrupt POTUS ever. There are several ways to fix that. The GOP could revolt. The Dems could impeach. The voters could do the right thing. Whatever… It’s better late than never to fix what we’re doing wrong with the environment. It’s not enough to control waste. It’s not enough to control poison. We have to control the wanton release of CO2 into the environment. That will require the undoing of a century of gas-guzzling. That will be hard but it’s possible and this is the right initiative to get it started.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Green Is On The Horizon In USA

A Long Way To Go

“California had 8.64 plug-in vehicle (PEV) registrations per 1,000 people in 2017, followed by Hawaii with 5.12, and Washington state with 4.06. Other states with PEV registrations per 1,000 people greater than two were Oregon, Vermont, Colorado, Arizona, and Maryland. Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia were between one and two PEV registrations per 1,000 people, while 25 states were below one. The average for the United States is 2.21 PEV registrations per 1,000 people.”
 
See FOTW #1059, December 10, 2018: California Had the Most Plug-in Vehicle Registrations per 1,000 People in 2017
The numbers are depressing, if you are a “glass half empty” kind of person. The way ahead is clear. It costs less and is much cleaner and more efficient to drive electrically, so what’s holding folks back? Lack of PEVs (Pluggable Electric Vehicles)? Sticker price? The unknown?

Fix that. Get to know EVs. See what’s on the market. Tell the makers what you like and don’t like. For God’s sake, stop buying gas-guzzlers! That will have the biggest effect on the uptake of PEVs as makers will make more.

One last thing. PEVs include hybrids. Those are just gas-guzzlers in disguise if you drive mostly on highways as I do. They cost more and still guzzle gasoline and stink up the place. Even if you drive in the city, hybrids don’t save nearly as much as a BEV (battery EV). If you live in or near a city you have no excuse not buying an EV except there are none on the sales lots. Fix that. Demand an EV or don’t buy any new vehicle. Just do it.

Soon, I will have my Solo EV. It’s coming slowly to market because it’s from a tiny startup short of cash and facilities. It will take years for Electra Meccanica Vehicles to make much difference but I’ve bought my last gas-guzzling personal vehicle. Solo is a special car designed for commuters and errand makers. It just carries me and my personal stuff wherever I want within 161km or so. That’s perfect for how I live. It will do most of what many others do too. It’s inexpensive to own and to operate. There’s nothing holding me back except the slow advance of production in China. It’s being shipped to USA first… Perhaps next year I can kick the gas-guzzling habit. TLW may take a while. I hope she loves mine enough to buy a second Solo.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on A Long Way To Go