Posts by Moz

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    if hedges could act as proximity alarms...

    hawthorn hedges, certainly :)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1074 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come, in reply to william blake,

    if the pole is removed what will the vehicle hit instead?

    Based on the state of our local corner shop right now, they'll hit any old thing. Someone managed to swerve around a slight jink in the road, ignoring the four-way compulsory stop, and somehow swing through 180 degrees and end up going the opposite direction with enough force to shunt a large fridge a couple of metres across the shop... after going through a brick wall. Apparently no-one was hurt, which shocked me given the state of the setup after the incident.

    I sympathise with the four tonne concrete block man. I'd happily put a couple as traffic islands in my street.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1074 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm possibly still just elated at finally getting off the ancient paper-insulated copper in Point Chev

    I'm not even slightly kidding when I say that one of the big attractions of Aotearoa for me is the broadband. Here in Sydney our "transition to the NBN" will involve keeping out cable internet but being able to choose providers. Based on my experience of that with ADSL, we will stick with Telstra because when we swapped ADSL away from them our speeds halved.

    I can also plot recent rainfall here by download speeds. No rain = 80MBits, 5-10mm in 24 hours = 70Mbits ... and on down to more than 50mm, 50MBits. Upload... in theory we get 10MBits, or maybe 40, but in practice 2-3MBits on a good day.

    I have friends over there that whine when their gigabit cable connection only delivers 500MBits. And they're paying so much for it... about 10% more than I pay for what I get.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1074 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage, in reply to BenWilson,

    consider the first quake in Chch to have been a forewarning

    7.1 is a pretty dramatic first warning, especially if it's warning about a 6.2 to follow. Or have I got that wrong the round way?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1074 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Paying for the storms to come,

    Given the likely effects of climate change it might be worth following the landscape with any new infrastructure. Specifically, built it on ridgelines and put the important bits at the top. That way you might still have power when K road is a ferry route

    (I kid, sea level rise this century is very likely to be less than 50m ... but only likely to be less than 10m. Those words have exact meanings when the IPCC use them).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1074 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage, in reply to BenWilson,

    I don't have organised go-bags and stuff, I just have a set of systems that work together so that I always have a month or so worth of food and water available. Plus my "camping box" of all the stuff I need to go cycle touring. Being single means that within an hour I can be out of the house and on the road on my bike if I need to. But I'm also more than 50km from the nearest edge of the city, so fleeing isn't going to be easy. Not having a car actually makes fleeing much easier, I can cycle through traffic jams for the most part.

    But if I stay home I can live for a month on what I have, I'll just be very low on camping gas cylinders by the end of it. Having a 10kg LPG cylinder would make it much easier. And I'm well set up to prey on the local feral pest population, so I could probably keep eating fresh meat for quite a while :)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1074 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'm pretty much surprised by anyone who doesn't have a car charger these days.

    I don't have a car to charge, though, so I'm not sure what good a charger for one would do. Especially in a power cut.

    I do have a 100W solar panel on my sleepout and 12V battery that runs lights and fans and the controller gizmo has USB outlets. Plus enough bike lights and torches to power a small scout troop. That stuff isn't the problem, it's cooking. I have a gas ring and regulator, I should probably pay for one of those "swap a cylinder" things and leave it in the shed just in case.

    That's where a bigger solar setup with a bigger battery would come in. In a storm having to open windows in order to run a cooker doesn't seem like much fun. Although in a decent storm my shed would probably lift off and relocate (it's polystyrene with a thin layer of steel, basically an oversize chilly bin).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1074 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: In troubled…,

    What is it with things like soundcloud and bandcamp that they go to such great lengths to make sure their sites don't work at all if you have any privacy protection enabled? It kinda spoils the experience not being able to listen to even a snippet without signing up.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1074 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage, in reply to BenWilson,

    The line was indeed live at the time and it was just lucky he hadn't shocked himself.

    In related news, I had an electrician round the other day because a circuit breaker/RCD failed in the switchboard. Turns out that whoever installed it not only used a distribution box that was too small so they had to really wedge the wiring in, they also installed things "upside down" - input at the bottom, output at the top. After disconnecting the top wires the bottom ones were still live.

    So is the electrician.

    After disconnecting things he poked around with his tester to make sure it was actually safe. There was some vehement explaining that my setup was not ideal, though. And for a surprisingly cheap fee he spent the time to rearrange everything and give me 4 new RCDs to replace the 2 old ones (because one of the other "features" was that there were two circuits running off each existing RCD).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1074 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage,

    This for example. There are better options with a bit more DIY effort, and I will probably end up buying second hand PV panels because those are cheap and fairly reliable. But the advantage there is that I can run my garage and sleepout off them, charge via extension cord if I need to, so it'll always be there when I need it. All for only $4000, or $160/year in extra interest on my mortgage...

    Of course, nailing that down to survive the sort of storm Auckland just had will be fun. Plus in Sydney we get the famous "hailstones the size of tennis balls" every now and then. But TBH, if that happened to my house the PV would be more likely to survive than the roof tiles.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1074 posts Report Reply

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