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"the boy who harnessed the wind"

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by [email protected], Oct 9, 2009.

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  1. Guest

    I really enjoyed that interview. Great story about discovering Google
    after the fact. Although I bet it wasn't so funny at the time. Cool
    guy, and his English is better than our resident edotir. :)

    BTW, I saw that interview immediately after watching an episode of
    Peep Show, the one with Jez's soliloquy about the motivation of HAL
    the boiler. My gawd, that was so funny it bordered on painful. Season
    6, episode 2 if anyone's interested.


  2. are you completely off grid? you power your tv with your windmill? do you
    have satellite tv or cable? i'm not sure if we have "peep show" here, what
    channel is it on? i've never seen a single episode. i watched the episode
    you mentioned on youtube. maybe some of the guys here would like to hear
    jez's poem?

    that's a good one, "hi i'm jez, how's it hangling?". lol. good writing!

    have you ever seen "the mighty boosh"? i only just recently found out about
    "mighty boosh" the first episode i watched was this one.

    it's kinda sick, and there are loose ends in the writing, but at the time i
    thought it was the damn funniest thing i'd ever seen. or, at least the
    brits have more advanced humor on tv than we do.

  3. Guest

    We're some 8 miles from the nearest wires. Solar and wind supply about
    98% of our home energy, the rest comes from a backup generator. 6 meg
    DSL via Ethernet radio (12 mile transmission), with dedicated VOIP for
    primary phone, plus Skype and cell. C Band satellite and the usual
    Internet sources. 5' flush-mounted RPTV fed by HTPC. Recently rebuilt
    that around an MSI Diva motherboard with a built-in 5.1 amp, which
    allowed scrapping the AV receiver that had been suffering from an
    intermittent fault. Very slick having large passive speakers connected
    directly to the PC, and more energy-thrifty than the previous setup.
    You can buy the older episodes on DVD, and get the recent ones via
    Big Boosh fans here. Agree that the Brits tend to be more creative
    with humor in general, although we do have Curb Your Enthusiasm and
    It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Since you like Boosh, you owe it to
    yourself to check out Monkey Dust. And if you enjoy that Brit humor
    applied to political satire, you'd probably like In the Thick of It, or something similar from Oz,
    The Hollowmen Most of that stuff
    is older, but easy enough to get one way or another.

  4. vaughn

    vaughn Guest

    Wow! Whose radio did you use? What freq band? How did you get the height?
    (convenient mountain?)

  5. Guest

    Our DSL costs something like $50 per month. We were pretty fortunate
    to become our local Telco's experimental location for this unit. They
    have a bunch of customers on an old BETRS system, plus some other
    various scattered radio customers like us. A couple of times over the
    years they needed somebody to test out hardware they were considering
    purchasing in bulk. The setup we have now came from these guys

    It can do 10 meg and accommodates 4 POTS lines. But the far end, which
    is in a rural subdivision, only has 6 meg available at residential
    rates. The antenna there is mounted at about 12' on the roof of the
    CO. Radio and VOIP powered from the Telco's batteries, and the DSL
    "modem" powered from a standard UPS. Zero copper on our installation
    compared to people who live in the subdivision, some of whom are miles
    from the CO.

    The antenna at our end is mounted on our garage roof, which is
    something like 1000' higher. Ideal location. Our end is mounted in
    outdoor pole box, and designed to be powered entirely by AC. It has a
    couple of batteries, charger, and an inverter to power the VOIP and
    the router. I mounted it indoors, and bypassed the inverter. It uses
    about 20W now.

    If you have line of sight to somewhere with good broadband, and were
    willing to shop around, you could probably do one of these setups for
    about $2k complete, but it would have to be different hardware than
    ours. Here's our radio, and this is the
    VOIP unit That
    stuff would be pricey, but I think that there are newer VOIP units
    that are only about $50 each, and Ethernet radios that are about $500

  6. Guest

    If it helps, some of these Ethernet radios can do 40 miles with the
    right antenna.
    That's how it is in some places near me as well. In one 12 miles away
    by road, folks have power lines and phone service, but are too far out
    to get DSL or cable. Plus they don't have line of sight to anywhere
    with broadband. One of them wanted to set up wireless Ethernet to my
    place, but it was a non-starter for a bunch of reasons. He had to
    settle for satellite Internet, which is affordable if you can live
    with the limitations.
    Not so amazing when you think about it. There are subdivisions in my
    neck of the woods with thousands of vacant 40 acre parcels, and a
    gazillion more 2.5 acre parcels that will probably never get the grid.
    Most such areas fill in slowly, so there's never enough demand or
    money to run many miles of wire to serve just a few. I predict that by
    the time sufficient density is there in say, 30 years, independent
    power and wireless broadband will be so commonplace that few will want
    the mess of overhead wires.
    Here's how it is near me: thousands of off-gridders of every
    description. All the way from folks living off their vehicle
    alternators, to million-dollar homes. *Lots* of riff-raff, believe me.
    :) Every gunnut "survivalist" thinks he can live off-grid so long as
    he owns a pickup truck and a camo ball cap. :) Down in the valley
    below us where the power lines end, there's a minor threat of the grid
    leapfrogging up the main county road and bringing more development
    with it. The main holdup is the real estate slump.
    Which reminds me - these days one can often do home power more easily
    than good broadband. When we chose our parcel, one of our main
    concerns was to verify LOS to the then current BETRS phone transmitter
    30 miles away, which was supposedly capable of 9.6k. How times have
    changed in less than 20 years.

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