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  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installation for DIY Camper

    NEC forbids low and 120v in the same box unless there is a divide in the box to make the interior into two compartments. Besides the chance of a wire coming loose and touching a terminal in the other outlet, the insulation of low voltage wires has a dielectric strength (AKA breakdown voltage) of only about 50v while that on the 120v has a dielectric strength of about 500v (Since it can also be used in a 220v install). So in theory a 12v insulated cable just touching a 120v terminal could have the insulation fail and allow 120v into the 12v wire. Crispy critter time for your LV gear and possibly you. Not cool!

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  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installation for DIY Camper

    MikeH36 is right. It also contravenes code and in case of an accident/fire etc your insurance will be void and you will likely be sued. DO NOT DO THIS!

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  • Scaffold Board Electric Standing Desk

    Here's the trick to using a Forstner bit on site with no drill press. You need a square of ply 1/2" thick, a few inches bigger than your bit, and (ideally using a drill press) drill a hole with your Forstner in the center of it, you can do this anywhere, and not necessarily at where you are going to drill holes, so find/borrow a press for that one off hole. Then on site you clamp the ply to your work piece, (using clamps/double sided tape/whatever works) in the spot where you want your hole, and place the Forstner bit in the hole. The ply will both hold the bit square with your job and stop the bit wandering when you drill!.

    Presumably the poster is in the UK, scaffold planks like that are the norm there.

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  • colinmcc commented on tomatoskins's instructable Compact Dust Collector8 months ago
    Compact Dust Collector

    Nice work, but a lot of work when you could have bought one of these, which would have done the job for $25! I have several sitting on top of 5gal buckets in my workshop..https://www.amazon.com/DUST-COLLECTION-CYCLONE-SEPARATOR-HANDLE/dp/B001397R5S/

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  • colinmcc commented on mikeasaurus's instructable Unusual Uses for Zip Ties1 year ago
    Unusual Uses for Zip Ties

    Although it is usual to use zip ties to bundle/attach cables, I also use them to identify cables in house wiring. For example this lighting switch box has 3 separate switch circuits with the wires going to other switches at five other doorways. To keep the wires organised I place a small coloured zip tie on each end after running the wire, it makes identifying them and attaching to the 'right' switch far easier at a later date.

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  • colinmcc commented on Ace Gambit's instructable How to Build an Electric Ukulele1 year ago
    How to Build an Electric Ukulele

    I hate to be pedantic, but you haven't made a ukulele, you have made a small guitar!

    I apologise! I saw the 6 pole pickup and thought 6 strings... Should have put my specs on! ;-)

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  • SolarEdge Residential PV Solar Grid Tie Installation Overview

    There are no batteries! The inverter turns the DC voltage from the panels into AC at 220V, and synchronises the AC 'wave' with the utility's frequency. It actually measures the utility's voltage as well and generates voltage a few volts higher so the current flows 'backwards' through the meter. If the house is consuming power any generated by the panels gets used directly in the house.

    There are no batteries!

    ???

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  • colinmcc commented on mikeasaurus's instructable 5 Ways to Remove a Stripped Screw1 year ago
    5 Ways to Remove a Stripped Screw

    Grinding paste, sold in auto repair shops for use in grinding valves into engine heads is a fine abrasive. My go to when a screw head is stripping is to dip the screwdriver end in the paste, and then the fine abrasive particles increase the friction and usually allows the screw to be backed out. Since the paste is black, this is a metalworking tip, it would make wood dirty.

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  • colinmcc commented on Chris Project's instructable really simple touch switch2 years ago
    really simple touch switch

    The schematic doesn't show the LED! Neither does the parts list!

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  • Evolution of a ring bender / ring roller machine

    Nicely done.. BTW guitar builders use a baby version of this idea to bend fret wire to match the radius of a guitar neck's fingerboard.

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  • Arduino-controlled Dual Axis Solar tracker

    Nicely done! Simple but effective. BTW, A typo "This bearing then fits snuggly into the caser-cut base of the compartment." Laser-cut...?

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  • colinmcc followed JordsWoodShop2 years ago
      • End Grain Cutting Board / Butcher Block
      • Queen Size Platform Bed
      • Drop-Down Out Feed Table
  • Turn Your Old 2.5'' Or 3.5'' Hard Drive Into Portable

    Google HDD toaster, these are boxes that look like a baby toaster, but you can just drop your bare HDD into the slot. They usually plug into the USB port and each (slot, some have more than one) appears as another drive. Some also act as stand alone HDD duplicators with a copy button on them.

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  • colinmcc commented on bwitmer's instructable Solar PV tracker2 years ago
    Solar PV tracker

    I researched this some years ago and wrote a long article on the subject of fixed tilt angles. I've cut and pasted the most important conclusions and formulas below. Hope you all find it interesting and of use.................................................................................................................................Books and articles on solar energy often givethe advice that the tilt should be equal to your latitude, plus 15 degreesin winter, or minus 15 degrees in summer. It turns out that you can do betterthan this – about 4% better.Fixed or Adjustable?It is simplest to mount your solar panels at a fixed tilt and just leave them there. But because the sun is higher in the summer and lower in the winter, you can capture more energy during the whole year by a...

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    I researched this some years ago and wrote a long article on the subject of fixed tilt angles. I've cut and pasted the most important conclusions and formulas below. Hope you all find it interesting and of use.................................................................................................................................Books and articles on solar energy often givethe advice that the tilt should be equal to your latitude, plus 15 degreesin winter, or minus 15 degrees in summer. It turns out that you can do betterthan this – about 4% better.Fixed or Adjustable?It is simplest to mount your solar panels at a fixed tilt and just leave them there. But because the sun is higher in the summer and lower in the winter, you can capture more energy during the whole year by adjusting the tilt of the panels according to the season. The following table shows the effect of adjusting the angle, using a system at 40° latitude as an example. (The comparison would be a little different for different latitudes.) Each option is compared with the energy received by the best possible ‘Dual Axis‘ tracker that always keeps the panel pointed directly at the sun. Fixed Adj.2 seasons Adj. 4 seasons 2-axis tracker% of optimum 71.1% 75.2% 75.7% 100%In short, adjusting the tilt twice a year gives you a meaningful boost in energy. Adjusting four times a year produces only a little more, but could be important if you need to optimize production in spring and fall. If your solar panels will have a fixed tilt angle, and you want to get the most energy over the whole year, then this section is for you. A fixed angle is convenient, but note that there are some disadvantages. As mentioned above, you’ll get less power than if you adjusted the angle. Also, if you live where there is snow, adjusting the panels to a steeper angle in winter makes it more likely that they will shed snow. A panel covered in snow produces little or no power!For latitudes between 25° and 50°, use the latitude, times 0.76, plus 3.1 degrees.Adjusting the tilt twice a yearFormulas used: The best tilt angle for: Summer take the latitude, multiply by 0.93, minus 21 degrees. Winter take the latitude, multiply by 0.875, plus 19.2 degrees.The best dates on which to adjust and the angle from horizontal:Adjust to summer angle of 24.57° on March 3rdAdjust to winter angle of 62.075° on September 12thAdjusting the tilt four times a yearFormulas used: The best tilt angle for: Summer take the latitude, multiply by 0.92, and subtract 24.3 degrees. Spring and Autumn, take the latitude, multiply by 0.98, and subtract 2.3 degrees. Winter, take the latitude, multiply by 0.89, and add 24 degrees.The best dates on which to adjust and the angle from horizontal:Adjust to summer angle of 20.78°on April 18thAdjust to autumn angle of 45.72°on August 24thAdjust to winter angle of 19.61°on October 7thAdjust to spring angle of 45.72°on March 5th

    RickD72, I agree that the precision isn't warranted for this particular project, but I was actually replying to anjnugteren's question which specifically asked "Is there and equation to calculate the inclination i need to set the panel to for any given place on the world?"On my own tracker I have no problem setting it to 0.5 degs, using a digital inclinometer.

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  • colinmcc commented on phagemeyer's instructable The $120 DIY 12v Solar Power System2 years ago
    The $120 DIY 12v Solar Power System

    Sorry to be pedantic, but a 'transformer' by definition converts AC volts to AC volts, when converting a DC voltage to another DC voltage you actually are using a 'DC voltage converter'. That's a neat converter you used, I might grab one to power a RiPi myself.

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  • The Frugal Man's Solar Shed Project

    "I hooked them up in series - positive to positive (red cable) and negative to negative (black cable). This kept the voltage at 12V."Please change this, you hooked them up in parallel, NOT series. Series would be 24v.

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  • colinmcc commented on IbniH's instructable Air-Lift Irrigation Using Solar Panel2 years ago
    Air-Lift Irrigation Using Solar Panel

    There is no server at our.windowfarms.org can you correct your link please. Thanks.

    But, thanks for the wikipedia link, I never knew about 'air lift pumps' before, now I'm a bit wiser!

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