Thursday, 18th April, 2024

My obsessions with Lego trains have died down now. Although I am waiting for the IR controller and battery to arrive from eBay to set up on the 1960s train that we have from my wife’s grandparents. The whole 10 AAA batteries needed kind of put me off a bit. With the reviews saying the batteries only last up to 2 hours, and rechargeables aren’t really very good because their voltage is lower than non-rechargeable batteries.

Instead, I’ve just been watching loads of YouTube videos about setting up off grid solar and batteries yourself. Once someone takes you through it doesn’t really look that difficult and you’re not integrating it with the wiring of your house or the grid collection so that simplifies things a lot. My concern is locating the solar panels in the best place and then having the batteries and everything in the garage and how far can I run the cables between the solar and the charger? Voltage drop is the issue and if I use big enough cable it should be fine. But how big is big enough? I’m sure the internet can answer that.

My idea is to then run the computers and maybe radio off of the solar battery. I think the inverter that I’m looking at has a mains backup so that if the batteries get too low it will start charging it from the mains to keep the battery healthy. Probably it’s more efficient if I had some system to switch the computer and users to the mains if the battery gets too low, but that might be more complicated.

I’ve been using my phone and the iOS dictate button to write these recent journal entries. It’s pretty good and I can write a lot more in a shorter space of time. I just can’t be around anyone who can hear what I’m doing.

But will the solar/battery thing just be like everything else and I spend a week or so intensely researching and end up doing nothing whatsoever.

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