John Weiland

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since Aug 26, 2014
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Recent posts by John Weiland

How old are they?
4 days ago

David Baillie wrote:[......  When you have a cold day and the panels have not yet started producing the initial voltage easily goes over the VOC. Most MPPT Controllers can shed extra amps but not extra voltage. ....

David, more excellent information.  Can you elaborate on this effect?  Why, between a cold or warm weather situation with the panels receiving the same solar input, would the cold panels crank up voltage without producing amps (if I'm interpreting this phenomenon correctly)?  Again, forgive me my rudimentary understanding of the forces involved, but without amps, what contributes to controller burn-up without the involvement of amperage?  Thanks!....
1 week ago

Nancy Reading wrote:......
Unfortunately the temperature here is so high I've not got the stove on. It's only about 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahreneit) but that's hot for here! I'm really looking forwards to trying to make some bisuits now! Maybe at the weekend......

Just drooling over all the recipes.....and with the chill entering the air of late!  Now wanting to try a no-egg version to compare to my late father's egg-based recipe.

Just adding for those hot days....Solar Scones!   The solar oven doesn't give them the nice crispy outer 'shell' that you get with a conventional oven or air-fryer, but it does still make a decent scone.
1 week ago
Thanks for continued input on this topic.  Truthfully, the build so far has exceeded my expectations and for our particular uses....buzzing around farm-yard doing daily chores and projects, it's been amazing.  Not being immersed in solar/battery technology, I can't say how this charging/discharging cycling is affecting battery health, but I will continue to monitor the batteries for fluid levels, cable cleanliness, etc.  Just really liking the automatic nature of the charge controller and its interfacing with batteries and panels.

If I were to do this all over again for our purposes in a rural farmyard setting, I would

a)   choose a 48V golf cart.  Many available out there on the used market.....a bit more expensive than a 36V cart, but not by much.  It's not about the driving power....36V has been fine in that regard.  It's more about....

b)  getting a 48V inverter that could run corded 120V power tools along side of our cordless tools.

c)  try to buy a cart that has a lifted frame for better ground clearance.  In our farm-yard, no problems with a standard unlifted golf cart.  But out in pastures and other bumpy terrain, would be nice to have better clearance and plan to do that to our current 36V cart.

d)  The current charge controller is not sold as 'all weather'.  It's positioned under the seat and we are diligent about getting the cart out of the rain, but it just would give peace of mind to know it was built for inclement weather.

Just seems to be a great 'appropriate technology' whether going lead-acid, lithium, or future variations on that theme.
1 week ago
The variations seem endless.  Recently was gifted a small shaker of Bohio Adobo Criollo and have been loving that on popcorn.  But also the more standard nooch +/- seasoning salt.  Sometimes the taste buds call out for a light dusting of chat masala.  Or occasionally Braggs Liquid Aminos....  
2 weeks ago

paul wheaton wrote: ............Overall, I think that if I could do it all over again, I would get:  a standard body club car (not the long body we have now) with seats in the back that fold down to carry stuff.  The straight axle stuff (no fancy suspension) means there are no boots or wimpy axles to deal with.  And because it is something that is built by the thousands, it is designed for heavy use.  The polaris and the bad boy buggies seem to be built as an occasional use novelty.  I do think I would get something that is just two years old instead of 20+ years old.  

Just going back to the OP and adding some follow-up to my project outlined more in this past link:

It's now been several weeks since the install and the system has exceeded my expectations.  Just going over the finances that involved some new, some used additions on the the base EZ-GO golf cart:

Used 1990 EZ-GO 36V Marathon golf cart       $1500.00 USD    (note:  stock configuration....could be lifted and larger wheels added for clearance)
2 "new" (used) 6V 225 Ah lead-acid batteries to replace 2 that were bad     $100.00
New flip-down seat to replace rear stock configuration                                ~$400.00
Used 327 W solar panel purchased locally                                                        $100.00
MPPT solar charge controller, 40 A, 12/24/36/48 V                                          $150.00
Associated wire/charge status meter/multimeter                                          ~$100.00

So this project cost under $2500.00 (wall charger came with the cart) and as noted in Paul's original post, exploits the oddity that golf carts are built with amazing durability given what they are used for.  It's no secret that changes are afoot and city codes are allowing more "street legalized" carts like this on urban roadways, which in turn is producing a new import market for the ~$10-20K range electric UTV.  The durability and user-friendliness of those new vehicles remains to be seen, but in the meantime the usual media outlets for used items typically have a rotating selection of used golf carts anywhere from sub-$1000 to $10K.  I could have avoided the $400.00 flip seat if I had just waited a bit longer and found a cart that already had one installed....the flip seats are pretty common and allow for a small 'truck bed' like platform when needed.  The stock sun canopy was removed and I bolted on angled metal rail (from any hardware store or big box version) to the existing supports in order to mount the PV panel.

The original thinking was that I would just reduce the frequency of charging from our power grid by virtue of the solar panel.  It's been a pleasant surprise that, given our usage of the cart for just shuttling feed buckets, firewood, etc. around the property, I've not needed to plug it in at all.....and typically charges by solar power back to 100% between uses (northern Minnesota USA, .... will see as winter approaches how long this remains the case).  So much nicer than firing up the various gas/diesel vehicles for similar tasks.  As the cart was used and I sense could use some brake/lubrication work, I probably will spring for just hauling it to a local EZ-GO maintenance/dealer for the once-over.  But as a great starter project, it's been fun and useful to boot!

4 weeks ago

Greg Martin wrote:One day later and the 4 have been joined by 7 more.  Is 11 anything to be concerned about? ......

Boot Signal.....  Good preparation, Greg!

11, not so clear to me, but the numbers 4 and 7 individually hold powerful significance in both good and bad ways.  The number 4 can represent balance as between the elements earth,  wind, fire, and water, .... but also note the 4 horseman of the apocalypse.  And recall the idea of actions that will lead to sustainability "7 generations removed", ..... as well as the need for "7 brides for 7 brothers".

Also, soccer phenom Christiano Ronaldo, aka CR7, still wears his lucky 7 jersey.....

How this may impact the successful emergence of a new life form in your yard is beyond me, but I would keep those batteries in the Boot Signal in top shape....
1 month ago
Andy,...the following weblink from UMass-Amherst may be of use:,reduce%20or%20eliminate%20aphid%20damage.

I suspect that the corn leaf aphid is the most prevalent species that you are dealing with.  Unless the plants were stunted, which could indicate infection with maize dwarf mosaic virus, you probably will be able to get by with the removal as suggested already here in the thread or perhaps similar approaches as mentioned in the weblink.  Sound like your should be okay for a small crop which is already tasseling.  Good luck!
Are you sure that Burgerville isn't just planting suggestive recall in the minds of passers by that pumpkin-spice latte season is right around the corner??.... ;-)

Our pigs eat a lot of squash and pumpkin after Halloween....and the 'remains of the day' end up in the manure pile.  The following spring all variety of squash germinates and produces new blossoms and squash in that pile.  That is, until the pigs discover the new fruits.  Sometimes I can imagine them thinking "Hey...didn't I eat you last Fall?!  You taste familiar..." lol

1 month ago
Alternatively, climate change plus wildfire smoke may have indeed selected for a terrestrial Kraken...... and these are its babies!  If you suddenly stop posting, we will assemble the Boots into a zombie apocalypse vigilante force and attempt to free you from the horde.  [Please let us know if you plan suspend posting for vacation so that we don't assume the worst and pull the trigger early....]

1 month ago