Entropy

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JR.
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Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:38 pm

If it is contact oxidation, just removing them and re-inserting will clear the low battery complaint. .... or not.

[edit3 looks like one battery was a trickster... good open circuit voltage, but reports low voltage in use. Subbing in some lower open circuit voltage but good batteries, and no more weak battery reports /edit3]

JR

[edit- BTW my franken-solar lamp only made about two hours on-time tonight... but this is OK since it was overcast and raining all day... I suspect this makes my control baseline environment even more suspect. [/edit]

[edit-2 another 2 hour night but cloudy and raining all day so probably good for the conditions... Sunlight expected today with the cold front moving in, just not quite here yet. [edit2]
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JR.
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Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:21 pm

JR. wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:38 pm
If it is contact oxidation, just removing them and re-inserting will clear the low battery complaint. .... or not.

[edit3 looks like one battery was a trickster... good open circuit voltage, but reports low voltage in use. Subbing in some lower open circuit voltage but good batteries, and no more weak battery reports /edit3]

JR
[edit- BTW my franken-solar lamp only made about two hours on-time tonight... but this is OK since it was overcast and raining all day... I suspect this makes my control baseline environment even more suspect. [/edit]

[edit-2 another 2 hour night but cloudy and raining all day so probably good for the conditions... Sunlight expected today with the cold front moving in, just not quite here yet. [edit2]


[edit4] almost 4 hours tonight and still not clear sunlight today.... the stock units arrived after dark so in a few days I will have baseline comparisons of stock units vs franken-light. [/edit4]

[edit 5] Got first test with normal sunlight... Franken-light turns on 15 minutes later, as expected from stronger 2x solar panels. Both lamps were lit well past my bedtime and both were dark when I checked around 3AM. The franken light has 2x the battery capacity (600mAh vs 300mAh) so I expected it to hold more and light longer. Both having similar on times is unexpected.

I expect the franken-light to do better on cloudy days, but looks like sunny for a while (good) [/edit]
Last edited by JR. on Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:44 pm

Sun is burning full strength today so we'll see if my franken-lamp with 2x solar cells catches fire... :lol:

Rain is still flowing down the rain ditches despite no rain for 24 hours... ground is saturated so we'll see, could be a while.

I want the trench to be dry or almost dry to get it graded properly for pitch (water level is truth in rain ditches).

JR

[edit I just checked and my second drain box on order still hadn't shipped yet, so I cancelled it and paid more for a bigger one that will arrive this coming week.

Still missing 25' of pipe i ordered, I'll try to shake that loose [/edit]
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Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:52 pm

Now about day three of no rain, there is still rain water runoff flowing down the ditch from upstream of me... In the past I have dredged out one neighbor's ditches, but now a year later they are back to mostly swamp mode... Nature abhors free flowing water, and works hard to hold/keep it where it lands.

I shouldn't complain, all the water is helping me identify high spots in the trench I left the last time around because I was impatient to button it up. I am getting impatient again but still waiting for one new drain box for second course of pipe, due in this week. I can repurpose old pipe to finish odd length needed. I have 200' of new pipe in hand.

====

My pool skimmer socks arrived so I am doing a silt filter experiment in the water still flowing in the ditch.. the sock seems to slow it down some, but still plenty of clean water coming through so I am optimistic.

----
Why is customer service such a massive PIA? (rhetorical, it cost money to provide good service. )

After exchanging emails I get the all too common, call or text or chat this number. I decided to try out my new/old phone I bought to replace my now faulty circa 80's POTS phone set. The new/old phone looked clean and promising but noooooo button 4 is intermittent... :oops: I was able to jam it hard enough to call home depot about my missing 25' of pipe.

(To complete my phone repair I just ordered a new/new replacement touch pad about $10 with shipping from canada, so this entropy event file is still open and unresolved).

Pipe delivery shortage service interaction was typically unsatisfying. After the voice menu got off track I hit the "0" talk to a human bail, and got an actual human. She was able to find my order and take my information but had to call a "vendor" (?) to see about getting a replacement section of pipe sent out. I had to wait on the line while she called the "vendor" and when she came back she said she had to leave a voice mail herself ... I asked her if she actially works for Home Depot and she said yes, but could not confirm if/how my shortage would be resolved. She suggested I file a claim with my CC company. :roll:

=====

The results from my franken-solar lamp experiments are decidedly less than definitive. The franken-lamp with 2x solar cells and twice the mAh battery, lights for roughly identical on time as the stock unit. It turns on 15 minutes later at night as expected from higher output solar cell, but otherwise pretty similar.

It appears the internal charging circuitry might limit the charging current to some max current. So the two solar cells in series may only make a marginal difference during low sunlight days, but normal average sunlight levels charge both lamp batteries similarly.

JR
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Re: Entropy

Post by mediatechnology » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:40 pm

Going back to the remote control batteries...

I do have to spin mine every once and awhile too.
I agree with JR that low-current "dry" connections are worse about needing a good spin.
De-oxit does help.

I have a fan remote control that for some reason forces the cells to pop out of the caddy just enough to break contact.
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Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:21 pm

I have decided to take my franken-lamp to the next level. While schematics are all over the WWW but data sheets for the IC in english are scarce. I have deciphered a table of inductor values vs. lamp/charging current so apparently switcher runs at a fixed frequency. My current speculation is that similar performance despite 2x solar cells and 2x battery capacity is current limited by that stock inductor. Since I have another sacrificial parts lamp that I already stole the solar cell from, why not grab a second inductor and parallel them. What's the worst that could happen? :lol:

So Frank II is out there charging as I type, so we'll see if it survives 2x current all day and into the night. If my speculation is correct it could be brighter. I don't know about longer.
========

Despite no rain for 4 days there is still water coming down my rain ditches from uphill of me. The flow is lower enough that I can identify high spots in original trench, and start making them lower.

I have three different mesh silt filters placed in my upper trench so I will get a sense of how much silt/sand they capture up. The water flow is slowed but that is not a big concern. I just want to slow down the silt accumulation that clogged my old pipe.

I cut another 25' section off the old buried pipe and ran the outlet from my sump pump through it with it elevated. A bunch of sand flushed out of it already. The pipe was too heavy for me to drag across the yard before. I had to load it up on my wheelbarrow to move it. Now it is much lighter. :D

Since I don't expect the run-off to stop completely anytime soon, I am only lacking one critical component (a 12" drain box) on order and due in this week, to stick a fork in this turkey and button up my yard.

JR

PS: an interesting (to me) observation about dirty (silt filled) water with clear water. In my front ditch where the open trench dumps into already flowing clear water, I can see some of the heavier dirty water flowing in the opposite direction of the clean water flow. Apparently the heavier water follows the topography of the bottom of the ditch and flows separately from the lighter clean water flowing over it.
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Re: Entropy

Post by mediatechnology » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:52 pm

Does the Frankenlamp use a 4 wire TO-92-ish-looking device? viewtopic.php?f=12&t=654
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Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:32 pm

mediatechnology wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:52 pm
Does the Frankenlamp use a 4 wire TO-92-ish-looking device? viewtopic.php?f=12&t=654
No it is probably an even cheaper package(?)... there are no leads visible and it is mounted to the copper side of a single sided PCB. Perhaps a BGA? The package is round, domed, black plastic, with no visible markings, or leads exposed. Appears to have standard 4 IC i/o pins(?) so I suspect it is the all too common solar lamp switcher chip.

There is a variant on the schematic where an LDR connects between the solar cell output and ground, no doubt to help turn it on/off (guess). I have seen schematics for the same chip with and without the LDR so they probably tweaked the thresholds to save another few cents.

I've seen these ICs for sale on Alibaba for single digit cents.

Pretty impressive engineering accomplishment... I don't know if this is of Chinese origin or just copied, but impressive nonetheless. The last piece of Chinese engineering that impressed me was my neighbor's electric mobility chair that I repaired multiple times before he passed. Again I don't know who they copied that from.

The Frank II solar lamp hasn't burst into flames yet... :lol: I'll post a followup in a few hours. It better be different this time. If not I will be even more impressed.

JR
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Re: Entropy

Post by billshurv » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:39 pm

sounds like a flipchip?

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Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:54 pm

billshurv wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:39 pm
sounds like a flipchip?
COB (chip on board) or Blob chip... cheaper than dirt...

JR
[edit- Frank II survived the operation and turned on about 15 minutes after the stock unit. :D Not obviously 2x brighter but I suspect LEDs are not very linear. Clearly not less bright than stock....

Next question is how long does it light? /edit]

[edit2] Frank II is alive but not well...After some 4 hours the stock lamp is bright and fine, Frank II is already dim... :oops: I worried that doubling up the inductor would double both the charging "and" discharge rates. Apparently the change was asymmetrical... I have learned enough about this. :lol:

Luckily I have 3 more brand new lamps to take Frank's place. Did I mention $3 ea. [/edit2]

[edit3] my inner nerd got my first wish, to see a difference, but shorter on time is not exactly desirable. :lol: If two in parallel does that, lets see what two inductors in series does. As expected light is not very bright, but how bright does it need to be after dark o'clock. I predict this will be my last franken-lamp experiment for a while. Results later but I predict different again.

Finally got a delivery date for my 12" drain (Saturday) so it looks like my trench will be open for several more days. Rain water still draining from higher ground above me and it still hasn't rained this week. Situation normal (for MS). [/edit]
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