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Seva Tokarev

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since Jul 09, 2015
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Minnesota, zone 4, loamy sand
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Recent posts by Seva Tokarev

Benjamin Dees wrote:A 50 gpm pump may be overkill unless you have a fairly substantial creek and/or pond.

I went with Tsurumi, and now, a year later, can't be happier with it.

Yes, I do need 50 nominal gpm. Flow rate quickly degrades as you add head; even in a long horizontal hose, flow rate decreases substantially, and I often use 300, sometimes 400 feet of it.
For that reason, I decommissioned all my 5/8 hoses in favor of 3/4.
With 200 feet of the hose and 30 feet head, I fill 50-gallon barrel in 8 minutes.
11 months ago
Thank you for another valuable podcast. Wanted to share some notes.

I do not think that the conspiracy to artificially shorten the incandescent bulb life is real: it only makes sense in capitalist world; I grew up in Soviet Union, and incandescent bulbs there still had to be replaced rather regularly.

It is correct that DC LED circuitry is much simpler than AC; in fact, you can connect the light emitting diode directly to the battery, provided it's rated for the voltage. I think that's what actually takes place in most flashlights: the only other electric component there is the switch. Take one apart and see for yourself!

After experimenting with LED lights for several years, I have been disappointed with the spectrum, price, and longevity; recently I have discovered GE Reveal LED, and they suit me so far (well, longevity is still being tested). They are not natural spectrum, but produce pleasant looking light (that is the big deal about Reveal trademark.) I suppose they are still subsidized, yet I haven't seen until recently many 570 lumen LEDs retailing at $6 a piece, and those that came close had terrible spectrum, or didn't last, or both.

One advantage of LEDs you missed is that they are not fragile; no filament, no glass.

It would be helpful if someone provided a link explaining the mentioned benefits of near infrared light for vision in particular (something I was totally unaware of); surprises me since I thought infrared is filtered out by cornea, and overexposure to it causes cornea clouding. I take it back, this is the case with 1400 nm and further infrared; looks like near infrared is mostly absorbed in retina but remains invisible since it does not trigger the receptor. Yet the only information I can find on this is about the dangers of overexposure.

I have considered LED as a grow light, but settled on an HPS.

You point on benefits of incandescent lighting during the cold months compels me to maintain two sets of bulbs, incandescent for the winter and LED for the rest of the year.
Welcome to permies, and welcome to Minnesota!

My greatest concern is the amount of heat you would need. Exposed area of your greenhouse would be 1000 sq. ft. Presuming U-factor of those recycled windows to be 0.4, at 80 degrees F temperature difference, it gives 32k BTU per hour, or about 10kW. You would be burning a cord of wood a month just for the greenhouse.

I would start small and see how it goes.

What kind of trees are you going to grow there?
1 year ago
Hi Sune! Welcome to, and welcome to dome building!

I have build two domes recently, small one as a proof of concept and more sizable as a greenhouse.
The concept of a dome is fascinating, but there were a few things I learned the hard way.

In my experience, domes are particularly prone to leaking, because they are all roof.
Top of the dome does not have steep enough slope, so snow will accumulate there.
Besides the wooden frame, there are hubs that connect the beams (I can see them in your picture,) and set of them can cost as much as the wood. My design is hubless (requires twice as many beams cut lengthwise at various angles, and lots of screws,) and I am not sure if I like it more than the one with the hubs.

Standard windows and doors will be difficult to fit, and will cause deviation from the hemisphere shape. (Dome in your picture does not appear to have doors or windows.)

Small house I am planning to build will not be a dome. 
1 year ago
My grandfather in USSR in 1960s had Autotransformer for that very purpose.
As far as I understand, since then more advanced Voltage_regulators became available.
1 year ago

Devin Lavign wrote:
Yes I am referring to the dacha, and no I don't remember the source of the 80% figure as I had learned and researched it several years ago back in 2010. In a quick search I found more than 50% of total agriculture comes from the dacha from a 2004 source, but that does not count in that much of that total agriculture is produced for export not domestic use. But certain dacha crops are in the 80-90% of domestic supply.

Thanks for triggering my curiosity; after some research I found official statistics. Looks like overall share of "household production" is now at 40%, only honey and potatoes (according to this table  being at 94% and 80%, accordingly.

Even now, Russia is still net importer of agricultural products ($24B import vs $18B export, as this article suggests; compared to $60B produced); so, your  "right now...feeding 80% of its population with small scale farming" is even further from being accurate. It's more like 35%, still significant. Also, I don't think "dacha" necessarily implies "organic".

I agree with your point, just the numbers looked a little exaggerated.
1 year ago

Devin Lavign wrote:
Right now, Russia is feeding 80+% of it's population with small scale organic farming.

Sorry about going OT, but do you mind pointing to the source? Being Russian, I am genuinely interested. I think you refer to dacha phenomenon and 80% is a stretch, even in 1990s, when commercial agriculture all but ceased to exist.
1 year ago
To me, the forum became much more usable without all those threads which are popular to many but not me. Thanks a lot!
I just need to make sure I do not run out of pies.
Thanks for the apple and the pie, too!

paul wheaton wrote:
Next, your post here about the ability to ignore topics resulted in a lot of long discussions and the feature has now been implemented as a pie feature.

What is that setting called? I don't think I see it (attached.) Is it "been implemented", as opposed to "being implemented", did I get it right?

paul wheaton wrote:
Are you saying that you set the number of acorns for a forum to zero, and then threads from those forums are still showing up on the page?

I think that's the case, see attachment.
I set acorns to 0 for "soil" forum, logged out, logged back in, then clicked "Rate" again to illustrate that "soil" was assigned zero acorns.

(That's not how I usually access the forums; most of the time, I am using old design and start in )

paul wheaton wrote:
Next, your post here about the ability to ignore topics resulted in a lot of long discussions and the feature has now been implemented as a pie feature.

Thank you, Paul!