Constance Maskell AKA Shorty

Dad’s old friend from when Dad worked at a truck stop outside Albany cleaning tractor trailers. Shorty had polio when he was young and was left at an orphanage run by nuns. He had very little good to say about any nun after this experience.
Shorty had a house that was set up with everything at the correct height for him to reach from his wheelchair. As a kid I was fascinated by the house and the way Shorty would get around. Today I always think that house was someplace off Washington Ave Ext. A squat low building more like a shed than a house, in sort of a butternut yellow.


Jury Duty

I spent most of last week in Fonda, NY for jury duty. Judge Catina and a room full of lawyers. The whole thing confirmed my believe that if you consider everyone an idiot when you meet them you will be pleasantly surprised should you find out otherwise.

I heard testimony from three people two of which seemed very confused. The third was pretty much in control of what he said and seemed to have things together, but I doubt any of these three were actually in the same place at the same time.

On a positive note from that I got a letter inviting me to come down and see the sentencing June 27th. I would like to see exactly how this finishes. Better than any John Grisham novel I have read.

National Greed

NationalGreed01National Greed

Ride the wave. I’m not sure what happened last month but for some reason last month the electric bill was nearly twice it’s usual amount. It’s not the usage that went up it’s the cost of what I used.

These numbers include the delivery charges.
Eleven cents per kWh for March, 761 kWh.
Twenty four cents per kWh for Feburary, 853 kWh.
Nineteen cents per kWh for Janurary, 780 kWh.
Anybody using an alternative supplier and seeing different rates with all costs included?


I went out to check on the shed/cabin

I’ve started calling this a cabin even though it’s just a 10×16 utility shed.
Solar is up and working well with the battery fully charged today. I couldn’t figure out how to get the LED display to work on the front of the Harbor Freight charger until I read a post telling me that little black thing to the right of the LED panel is a button to turn the display on and off. Now it is working.
photo 2 photo 1


No longer in use as of today.

I’ve got Debian Lenny installing on the NSLU2 right now with a four Gig USB flash drive.
Hardware specs:
The device has two USB 2.0 ports for connecting hard disks and uses an ARM-compatible Intel XScale IXP420 CPU. In models manufactured prior to around April 2006, Linksys had underclocked the processor to 133 MHz, though a simple hardware modification to remove this restriction is possible. The device includes 32 MB of SDRAM, and 8 MB of Flash memory. It also has a 100 megabit Ethernet network connection. The NSLU2 is fanless, making it completely silent.
This should make a decent low power server for my weather station and cameras. Its been about two hours and two more to go before it completes.
I used this site for the instructions.

December 31, 2013 and this is pretty much out of service. No fault of the NSLU2 but the weather station I…

View original post 68 more words

Solar Panel Angle

I used Macslab to calculate the angle for my panels.

42.9 Latitude for Canajoharie, NY.

If your latitude is between 25° and 50°, use the latitude, times 0.76, plus 3.1 degrees.

So my angle should be 35.70 for fixed panels. if I adjust my panels twice a year I can get a better charge using the formula below.

If your latitude is between 25° and 50°, then the best tilt angle for summer is the latitude, times 0.93, minus 21 degrees. The best tilt angle for winter is the latitude, times 0.875, plus 19.2 degrees.

Summer 18.897

Winter 56.7375


Right now I have them hanging on the side of the shed at a ninety degree angle.

My idea is to use a pole that I have, a satellite dish mount and some scrap metal for the frame. Unfortunately this will have to wait for spring to really get setup and going. This also gives me the advantage of being able to move this to follow the sun from East to West.

Solar Panel Progress

I used an old battery from the lawn tractor, it was having a tough time turning the tractor over but seems to do okay powering a couple lights until I can get a group 29 marine battery from Walmart.

From Harbor Freight Solar Panel setup December 1, 2013

The panels are on the side of the shed until the weather gets better and I move them up on the roof.

From Harbor Freight Solar Panel setup December 1, 2013

Below is a shot of one of the CFL bulbs that came with the kit, these have a burn life of three hundred hours so I imagine I may have to replace them before next fall.

From Harbor Freight Solar Panel setup December 1, 2013

December 28th and I tried the lights out at night, worked exactly as desired.