Turquoise Energy Newsletter #151 - December 2020
Turquoise Energy News #151
covering December 2020 (Posted January 4th 2021 AD
Lawnhill BC Canada - by Craig Carmichael

www.TurquoiseEnergy.com = www.ElectricCaik.com = www.ElectricHubcap.com

Month In "Brief" (Project Summaries etc.)
 - Carport - Lithium Ion Battery Assembly - Mini-T-Plug & Socket Shells

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
 - The Coming Years - Tooth Repair Toothpastes - Conspiracy Theory - Small Thots (lots on CoViD and Ivermectin) - ESD

- Detailed Project Reports -

Electric Transport - Electric Hubcap Motor Systems
* Ground Effect Vehicle R/C Model: Thrust and Steering: thrust table and programming; wiring - Battery Balance Charger

Other "Green" Electric Equipment Projects
* 12 Volt Mini-T-Plug & Socket Shells
* Lithium Ion Battery Stacks

Electricity Generation
* My Solar Power System: - Monthly Solar Production log et cetera

Electricity Storage
* Turquoise Battery Project (NiMnOx-Zn in Mixed Alkali-Salt electrolyte) - No Report

December in Brief

   How dull out can it get? On the 6th at 11:30 AM I looked at the power reading for the house solar panels. 0 watts were being produced. The KWH reading hadn't moved since the prvious evening. Nothing at all! That's only 10:42 AM actual solar time, but it was DAYtime. The grid tie inverters were flicking between green and red lights. But the worst days were just after the solstice. On the 24th, just 100 watt-hours were recorded for the day from almost 3000 watts of panels. Judging from the solar panel results as well as from being here, this winter has been about the cloudiest one ever.
   Direct sunlight from above is said to be about 100 watts per square foot. People think it must be awfully dark on, say, Ganymede where it's only 4, or on Titan where (with atmospheric filtering) it's only .1 watts per square foot. According to my solar power system there's even less light energy than those figures reaching my acreage at Haida Gwaii, Earth, in the mornings in cloudy weather in December.
   No wonder I keep my indoor lights 'on' on most days in winter!

   The 8th and 9th finally were sunny and I put up the roof on the carport and much of the frame of the windward end (east) wall. The next three days weren't bad and I put up much of the plywood on the walls. The 13th was stormy, but there was much less wind inside the carport and I covered the last bits of the side wall. The pictures tell the story.

8th: Silver tarp over 1"x8" boards to hold aluminum roofing.
(Tarp to prevent condensation from metal roof.)

10th: Roof finished. (High up a ladder to get a picture - oogh!)

10th: Tarp on roof, some plywood on the east wall.
[all low cost salvaged plywood.]

I cut slots in some plywood bits to enclose the top of the wall and the rafters

East end needs a door.

The luxuriant interior.
(This stack of wood eliminated several small stacks here and there in the shop and garage - Yay!)

   Later in the month I let the chickens roam free, and they think the carport is the greatest place to hang out out of the wind and to sleep at night. This has almost completely dampened my enthusiasm for working on it. I guess I'll have to put the fourth wall on and turn it into a garage with a big door and then rake/sweep/brush out the chicken poop. (My whole "chickenmobile" idea went out the window when I somehow ended up with 13 chickens and a turkey instead of just 2 or 3 chickens. ...The two ducks both disappeared one night. I won't try keeping ducks again except in a protected enclosure.)

   On the 9th I finally got back to the motor/steering controls for the ground effect vehicle model. It finally dawned on me that the reason I was reluctant to start was that the computer with the microcontroller programming software was too far from the woodstove and too cold. I put a small electric heater in that alcove. Much better! (Then I keep forgetting it and running up the electric bill.)
   I found by the file dates that I hadn't touched microcontroller programming since 2017. I changed a wire to a different port for wiring convenience, and changed something in a program to match, and sent it to the "TI Launchpad" board, and after a couple of small hiccups it worked. Apparently I was ready to proceed. And there I left it, again, until after Christmas. But late in the month I got the program written.
   Then I got the "Lithium-ion 6S, 22.2 volt battery balance charger" wired, and charged both batteries. One more thing ready to go.
   The control wiring is next. The "ESC" motor controllers s put out over 6 volts to supply the receiver and servos... and the microcontroller, whose maximum voltage is 4.2 volts. I decided to power the receiver and the microcontroller from 3 NiMH "AA" cells instead - about 4 volts. That way there's no voltages that will blow the microcontroller.

Top and Bottom plates (aluminum with tarpaper, painted plywood)
   I continued working now and then to put together my 36V, 360AH lithium ion battery. I made top and bottom plates for a case, and cut out clamps for the second stack of cells. When the sides of the case are on, all three battery stacks will be held securely in place on the "plinth" by their threaded rod "columns". But when the top and side covers are removed, each stack [when disconnected] can be lifted out separately: 44 pounds is a doable arm lift, but if it all had to be lifted out the vehicle assembled (~150 pounds), some kind of hoist would be needed. I seek to avoid that need. (More pictures in detailed report under "Other" electric projects.)
   Before month's end I cut, drilled and threaded the aluminum clamp pieces for the second stack of cells.

   I also made a bunch of the shells for mini-T-plug 12V connectors. And I designed and made similar shells for the mini-T-sockets. I used them with a 12 volt power adapter and LED aquarium light.

Cosmetic detail: Before printing 1/2 a dozen more sockets, I reversed the screw hole sizes
so the plug and socket screw heads will be on the same side when they're plugged together.

   In accord with my recent item on changing the start of the year to the winter solstice so the months line up with the solstices and equinoxes, an at least equally independent-minded friend said we should celebrate New Year's eve on December 20th. I served a bit of wine and we drank to the new year, but the actual moment of the solstice being at about 2AM we didn't stick around to ring it in.
   10 days later came the other New Year's eve according to the present calendar.

In Passing
(Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)

The Coming Years

   It is gradually becoming plain that our civilization is collapsing. In many fundamental ways, society has been deteriorating for perhaps 140 years, and this has greatly accelerated in the last 20. Family life in western culture has been deteriorating badly, and stoo many of those who become adults are starting out from "broken homes" or with usually absent parents who both work, and from a rather dysfunctional education system. So they start out with a deficit of understanding and enculturation that they should have absorbed as they grew up. It takes too many years into adulthood to become properly oriented and start making good decisions that benefit themselves and all - if it ever happens.

   In the USA those who now have power are almost all in it for themselves and for "profit" and care absolutely nothing for the public they are supposed to serve. ("Greed is the root of all evil." - Jesus, as retranslated in the remarkable book Love Without End by Glenda Green.) And what good will it do even for themselves when the whole society in which they have "thrived" is gone, looted by them?
   The whole US system is effectively fascist because so many in government are also on the boards of the largest corporations and obviously own shares in them, so the economy and the state are one. The overlapping conflicts of interest are mind boggling. Is it a coincidence that these big corporations seem to be the largest beneficiaries of "stimulus" and "CoViD relief" funding? This also applies to the "mainstream" news media, now all owned by five companies and said to have CIA coordination of content. Joseph Goebbels would be proud. The main figures on camera are incredibly well paid to say the things they are saying and omit the things they are omitting. Otherwise they wouldn't do it, because they know full well they aren't being honest with their audience. It has become an act of naive faith to believe what they are telling us about politics, the economy and the state of nations. Almost the entire US body politic is wholly corrupt and it is no longer the slightest exaggeration to call it a Cleptocracy. The wealth of the average American has been mostly annihilated. (At this point, there are signs that this applies to Canadian politicians as well.)

   In preference to ending the CoViD pandemic cheaply and safely in the summer or autumn with Ivermectin, they have kept this effective cure out of sight and discussion while they work hard to bring out a highly experimental and very costly patented vaccine, from which they will reap huge profits by making as much of the population into guinea pigs as possible. There is even talk about making these vaccinations mandatory - with the real objective of charging the most money to the public purse. For some future pandemic (a really deadly one is surely coming sometime) vaccinations may produce the best outcome, but they won't for CoViD. "So what?" they say. "We're going to make a killing!"
   So people are still getting sick and some are dying, and society has been repeatedly disrupted and shut down, including the food supply chain. Our leaders (including many in UK, Europe and Canada) apparently don't care about that. Only the biggest corporations and the banks were permitted to stay open, the big box stores and Amazon taking all the business from all the shut-down smaller businesses, and the banks ruthlessly continuing to charge and accrue interest on all loans and mortgages while so many were not being permitted to earn money to pay that interest. So even the relief funds delivered directly to people ended up going to the banks. There are also the destitute "newly poor" all over Europe. (I presume Canada is similar or trending that way too, but I haven't seen much about it and I'm pretty insulated from it here -- so far.)

   The result is that the world at the end of 2020 is looking quite different from the beginning, mostly because of the overblown and dysfunctional societal reaction to the highly contagious but relatively "mild" pandemic (that could have been over months ago).
   But there are other factors too. Crops have failed disastrously all over the world for two years in a row now. China is buying food from every country that will sell it to them. Just for an example, the USA has sold them a record amount of its soy bean crops and belatedly realized their 2020 crop was dreadful and it has far less in reserve now than it thought for American use. It has been described as an "explosive shortage". Thus China's food shortages have become the world's food shortages. But China is apparently running out of money to buy food from abroad (really? Wow!), and it isn't the only country that's now coming up short on food.

   There is no path from here back to where we were. The bridges have been burned. Tens of millions of people and millions of smaller businesses have been bankrupted. Those businesses will not be reopening, and in that climate, where will all those people find a new livelihood?
   2021 seems set to become a horrific year. Lines at food banks stretch for miles all across USA. Shoplifting - now simply of food and basic essentials rather than high value goods - is way up. Millions of farmers as well as intermediate food supply related companies have been bankrupted. The food banks are running short and it seems to me are almost bound to run out in 2021, and prices in grocery stores will skyrocket. Tens of millions of people are far behind on rent or mortgage payments and are facing eviction. As long as no one in power cares or tries to fix anything (and if there is no chaotic revolt with people simply refusing to vacate), we are likely to see empty houses and apartments everywhere while big portions of the populace are living on the streets. By the end of 2021 there may be further and probably even larger changes. The banks may collapse and the currencies may hyperinflate. The societies we have lived our lives in might be hardly recognizable. With nothing being done to fix anything - indeed the opposite - then if not in 2021, what of 2022 and 2023?
   Beyond that, where are we headed? No one in power has any sort of plan. The present power structures must more or less collapse before new ones can start to be conceived and then implemented. It would seem the world must rebuild from the family and community level up before larger bodies can be reorganized, restructured and rebuilt - in much better forms, we trust.

   It seems inevitable that over the next few years there will be millions of deaths by exposure, starvation and violence. Maybe even tens or hundreds of millions worldwide. My prayers go out to people for happy endings, but for many those may be distant hope. We can only be thankful if the worst comes to the worst that Christ Michael has assured us that this world has a glorious future, and for the individual that mortal death doesn't end the eternal universe career for all those who sincerely desire it.

   In spite of the times, and perhaps moreso because of them, a positive, helpful attitude and making the best of whatever comes will help disclose opportunities to be of service and perhaps even to make things better in the midst of the gloom. Fear not! In good time humanity will pick up the pieces and build a better civilization from the ashes of the old. Happy New Year!

Tooth Repair Toothpastes

   There are at least two toothpastes now that will cover dips in tooth enamel with a glassy layer, protecting it and giving the enamel a better chance to regrow.
   One is Premio toothpaste from Japan, with hydroxyapatite, AKA "Apagard". This is apparently the best one. I have only been able to buy it on Amazon. (complete with Japanese labeling)
   The other is Sensodyne Repair and Protect, with calcium-sodium phosphosilicate, AKA "Novamin". This is easier to get, but reputedly not as good.

   If your teeth are generally in good shape, enamel can regrow. I know from a personal experience. When I was a young electronic technician, someone said that technicians used to strip wires with their teeth (tools have improved), and that eventually this wore a groove in their tooth.
   Just for amusement I tried it one day. But I was horrified on looking in a mirror that there was a big slot in my top left front tooth just from doing it few times on one occasion! Over the months I noticed that it was filling in. In a year or two (or was it longer?) it was entirely gone. Of course there was good tooth enamel on both sides of the slot.
   The very worst thing for your teeth, also from personal experience over over time including just one period of 2 or 3 years when I was drinking rootbeer, would seem to be fizzy drinks, alcoholic or not. The acidic carbon dioxide bubbles probably penetrate deep into tooth enamel, greatly weakening and softening it. Following that was the only time I ever needed a whole bunch of fillings, with a huge dental bill. In the two decades since then I've eaten lots of sugar without needing more than a couple of fillings - and those weren't so long after the whole bunch. (Note: I also tend to avoid acidy/sour things like vinegar and lemons.) It's been about 10 years since I've had a filling done. (hmm... or maybe 15 or more?) I don't think good teeth and fizzy drinks are compatible.
   I know I have about four cavities now. Three of them were in fact caused by less than ideal dental work. I have been filling them with Dentek Temparin (over and over - it only lasts a while) and if they haven't shrunk notably, they haven't grown either. But now I'm trying out the Premio toothpaste instead and will see if they, or some of them, can be eliminated or reduced to "inconsequential" without more dental work. (The one that wasn't from dental work appears to be shrinking.)

Conspiracy Theory

   Often the mishaps of September 11th 2001 are used as an example in denigrating "conspiracy theorists". There are of course people who see conspiracies where none exist - I've even been half convinced of more than one for a time, here and there. Then, there are obviously some real conspiracies. We can safely point to the "GM Conspiracy", for which several big companies were convicted in US supreme court in 1947. (...after over 2 decades, and then with token penalties for the immense transportation infrastructure damage they had done. No one was hung or went to jail.)
   But 2001/09/11 has to be the worst example imaginable. To believe there was no conspiracy is to believe that two airplane crashes that took down three of the world's tallest and strongest buildings, plus whatever hit the Pentagon budget office, destroying the records and killing those investigating the missing 2.3 trillion dollars that Rumsfeldt(SP?) had so recently announced to the news, were all simply tragic accidents that coincidently all happened on the same day.

   President Bush apparently thought it was a conspiracy: He said that it was a deliberate and completely unprovoked attack "on America" that came right out of the blue. Within hours they were all sure who had masterminded this conspiracy and how and where. (No proof was offered except to repeat the name "Osama bin Laden" over and over again on the news.)

   Who could believe that the disasters of that day were just a series of horrific accidents? So might we say that obviously there was a conspiracy? It's really a matter of what conspiracy theory we choose to believe about it.

Small Thots

* In considering three-phase "Y" circuits, I considered that with each phase being 120° from each other, the voltage across two lines should be 2 * sine(120°) of the voltage of one line to neutral. An electrician however once told me it was the square root of three times that of a single line. That didn't make much sense to me, but I thought I had heard it before. Well, a quick check showed it doesn't make a whole lot of difference which calculation you use:

sine(120°) * 2   = 1.7320508
Square root of 3 = 1.7320508

* "The CoViD pandemic has killed more small businesses than actual people." - Atlantis Report (youtube)

* In a rather impassioned tone at a senate hearing, Dr. Pierre Kory, a man of impressive credentials, one of a group of distinguished physicians and intimately familiar with treating CoViD19, after nine months, describes Ivermectin as "of miraculous impact ...and I do not use that term lightly..." ... "If you take it you will not get sick." "...any further deaths are unnecessary." He says there are almost 30 studies all showing how effective it is, and he pleads with the NIH, CDC and WHO to recommend it not only to critically ill hospitalized patients (who by that point are likely to die regardless), but for early treatment and prevention. Indeed it is astonishing that they have withheld the one known, and by far the most effective, cure for all these months, resulting in countless needless deaths. Are there any responsible, caring adults in these medical regulatory establishments? And why are Canada, Australia, Europe and so on complicit in this? Who all owns shares in Pfizer etc. that they want to see no other cure for the pandemic than a costly new patented vaccine? Obviously the senator who opened the meeting does. He attacked the esteemed doctors' qualifications and "political" motivations at the opening of the meeting before they had even spoken. The hypocrisy is jaw dropping.

Dr. Pierre Kory's Ivermectin speech at senate hearing:

More on that hearing:

*  Corbett Report on lockdowns and agendas, with footage of WHO spokesman begging world governments not to use lockdowns as a primary method of controlling the spread of CoViD19.

A Couple of Written Reports



* Ivermectin prevents CoViD19, and also cures it. But I wonder... it's a medication, not a vaccine. As far as I know, it won't confer permanent immunity. So does one just take it and take it maybe for years, or wait until one has CoViD? Once one has the virus, the body will gradually start making whatever it needs to confer immunity. The Ivermectin can then kill the virus fast enough to prevent serious or life threatening illness.
   But now I hear the highly experimental and suspect vaccine is only good for one strain of the virus, and people will have to have shots every year to reduce their chance of getting each new strain of CoViD - just like influenza vaccines.

* Caught in passing: Ivermectin (presumably meaning those who created it) was said to have won a Nobel prize in (?)2005.

* December 30th: Egads! I just saw a video saying that Ivermectin has been banned in South Africa, with criminal penalties for its use. And someone else said this same country has recently received 5 billion dollars in US aid for infrastructure repairs. It's missing. No one is able or willing to say where it went. It all sounds like extreme corruption.

* The world's first heart transplant was performed in South Africa. People hated South Africa for its "apartness" between the races policy with white minority rule. Now that the black majority is in charge, many of the more talented people of all races have left, the modern infrastructure is crumbling and the white people are being exterminated. Which was worse? How long before nothing distinguishes South Africa from "typical" underdeveloped sub-Saharan African countries?

* White people settled the Cape of Good Hope area before blacks started arriving. That makes them the indigenous people there. (But they soon brought slaves, whose progeny among other black immigrants are now the great majority - 85%.) It appears that soon everyone will be gone except the blacks.

* It is already well known that taking vitamin D (fat soluble) greatly increases resistance to CoViD19 (as well as to cancers, which kill a lot more people).

* A study from Argentina with high doses of Ivermectin seems to show there's a critical level in the bloodstream that really helps if reached. It also showed that those taking the same amount of Ivermectin had different levels in their bloodstreams. Taking Ivermectin with foods higher in oils seemed to play a part in increasing the absorption. Vitamin D is also fat/oil soluble.
   The usual dose for Ivermectin is 200 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. For certain parasites this is doubled (as it was in the Egyptian study). The Argentinian "high dose" study was 600. Such high doses are likely to have side effects.

* Along with hours long lineups at food banks, shoplifting of basic foods like bread and rice and sanitary products is way up in the USA. With no employment and no income, people are increasingly going hungry. (per Washington Post) Not to forget the shortages showing up here and there in grocery stores.

* I tried to order some Ivermectin pills from China to have some on hand in case CoViD passed this way. I thought the bottle saying "for pets" would make it through okay. The post office in China returned it to the store. "Cannot deliver to Canada".  There is no doubt that this is a Canadian edict, not Chinese. It would seem those in power would rather see us suffer and die rather than to have us not take a dose of the very experimental - and costly - new vaccine with potential long term side effects. Why would this be?

* Years ago, the US congress voted that they could legally do insider trading in stocks - you know, the same as they sent Martha Stewart to jail for, they have given themselves permission to do with impunity.

* I wonder how many members of the US congress and their friends in the media and around Washington have shares in Pfizer and Maerck (or whoever), who are bringing out these pricey new vaccines? Is that why average income in Washington DC is so much higher than anywhere else? Is that why the US "Fed" keeps pumping up the stock market, why it must never be allowed to drop? Is that why Ivermectin is never mentioned and it can't be obtained?

* Why has Canada just gone blindly along with whatever the USA says for so long now? (Thank you Jean Chretien for keeping us out of the invasion of Iraq! I think that was about the last time we didn't.) Justin Trudeau looks more and more like a fat corporate puppet.

* A Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD, HMD, who seemed to know a lot about it, says he'd rather get CoViD than the vaccine. It's less risky.
  He said they apparently won't be more effective than influenza shots at best. At worst they may cause long term health effects such as allergies, autoimmune diseases and liver damage. And he said that vaccines using messenger RNA react to make new genetic material in the body and have never been licensed for human use before.

* Vaccine conferring permanent immunity to bacteria such as smallpox seems much more worthwhile to me than annual vaccinations shooting at a moving target such as influenza viruses, which one suspects CoViD vaccine will probably prove to be.

(Eccentric Silliness Department)

* Is "thank" the past tense of "think"? "I thank Dave's idea would have been good."

* Or would that be "thunk"? "I thunk last night and came up with a plan for driving in the post." Thunk.

* Or is "thunk" the past tense of "thank"? "I thunk him for his help."

* And where does "thonk" fit into all this?

* English has two too many meanings for "to".

* In "anticipate" may we presume that "anti" really means "ante" as in "before" (rather than "anti", against) , and "cipate" might mean something like "think"? (Well, I'm no Latin expert.) So ante-cipate would mean to think of beforehand. This leads us to the thought that another word should be "postcipate" - to not think of until after it has happened. Another word for that is "Oops!"

* If botanists study botany, what do analysts study? How much do they retain?

* Having grown up in the "Bugs Bunny" era, this picture somehow tickled my fancy:

   "in depth reports" for each project are below. I hope they may be useful to anyone who wants to get into a similar project, to glean ideas for how something might be done, as well as things that might have been tried, or just thought of and not tried... and even of how not to do something - why it didn't work or proved impractical. Sometimes they set out inventive thoughts almost as they occur - and are the actual organization and elaboration in writing of those thoughts. They are thus partly a diary and are not extensively proof-read for literary perfection, consistency, completeness and elimination of duplications before publication. I hope they may add to the body of wisdom for other researchers and developers to help them find more productive paths and avoid potential pitfalls and dead ends.

Electric Transport

Ground Effect Vehicle (1/4 scale model)

   Having a ten pin header plug, I arbitrarily assigned the first 10 pins from a header strip on the "TI Launchpad" MSP430 prototyping board. (And I'm writing down every detail here really in order that I have it all worked out myself before I start wiring and then programming the controls.)

1. Vcc
2. Gnd
3. Gnd
4. no pin
5. port2:3 (N/C)
6. port2:4 = Left Ducted Fan - PW output to its 'ESC' Motor Controller
7. port2:5 = Right Ducted Fan - PW output.
8. port1:6 = up and down 'throttle'/power control - PW input 3 from radio control receiver
9. port1:7 = side to side 'steering' control - PW input 4 from radio control receiver
10. Rst  (N/C)

[9th] I measured "Vcc" to be 3.5 volts. The datasheets say the absolute maximum is 4.1 volts. Evidently it must be regulated down from the USB connector's 5 volts. So, to power it I would have to cut a USB cable, use the wires, and hope the board could take the radio receiver's "5 or 6 volts or so". I'll just hope that the 5.0 volt USB regulator will handle that okay unless I find out otherwise. (Well, I have spare "TI Launchpad" boards.)
   But what about the signals? If those 6 volt signals from the receiver were too high for the MCU it might blow. Sure enough the MSP430G2553 datasheets said absolute maximum input voltage is "Vcc + .3 volts". That's 3.8V. Things were simpler in the 1970s when virtually all logic circuits were 5.0 volts. We know that dropping the MCU voltage makes for lower power consumption, but why on Earth did radio control makers to go up to, vaguely, "5 or 6 volts or so" when 6 isn't compatible with much of anything including most 5 volt logic circuits and USB? I wonder what my ducted fans actually put out? (They power the receiver. ...Turned out to be over 6 bolts.)
   It looked like radio control gear inputs would take as low as 2.4 volts, so the MCU's output levels should be okay, but I would have to put in diodes so that the receiver outputs could only pull the voltage down and not up. Luckily the MCU has programmable pullup resistors, so it's just two series diodes on header pins 8 and 9. (So I won't be using pin 1, Vcc, at all. Instead, feeding the power via the USB port which we presume has a voltage regulator, that we hope will take whatever the R/C gear gives it.)
   Well, I guess that covers the wiring.

   I looked at the spec sheets for the ducted fan "ESC" motor controllers. It said they would shut off the motor if the signal was lost. That should be the built-in solution to the problem, but it doesn't happen. Instead they go to full throttle. So I suppose the receiver keeps outputting a signal, "0" (full throttle), when IT loses the signal from the transmitter. So the fan control doesn't know the transmitter signal has been lost.
   And I looked up the pulse timing again: 1 mSec is 0, fully OFF (or fully "ON" for the fan motors for some bizarre reason), 1.5 mSec is 0.5 or "half way", and 2 mSec is 1.0, fully ON (or fully "OFF" for the ESCs). Frequency could be 44 to 50 Hz, so about 20 milliseconds between pulses.
   One day in there I made up a 16*16 position table on graph paper for thrust 0-15 at every position up-down and left-right of the joystick.

[26th] I started in the the actual program for the microcontroller to run the two motors based on the joystick positions. I entered the table into the source code file.
   I decided to have Timer A "tick" every 100 microseconds. So a 1 millisecond pulse would correspond to 10 ticks, and 2 mSec would be 20 ticks. So really there would only be 11 divisions between full off and full on. (Hmm, maybe I should make it 67 µSec ticks? Yes - it all works out better.)

[27th] I finished the first draft of the program code and ran it through the assembler again and again until it assembled successfully. (There were a lot of mistakes. The assembler aborts showing only the first one it finds. Most opcode mnemonics are different from all the Motorola processors I used to use and mostly more obtusely named, some expected instructions don't exist or are done in a different form, and even the addressing modes are mostly expressed differently! And everything is cAsE SeNsItIvE! [What is this, "C"?!?])  Of course successful assembly doesn't mean it'll work right first time, so there's doubtless considerable troubleshooting to be done before live trials.
   Using this assembly language contrasts most unfavorably with the structured assemblers with easy and flexible syntax I myself wrote for 6809, 6502 and 680x0 back in the 1980s and 1990s, which gave assembly language most of the best features of higher level languages. Here we are almost 40 years later without those same capabilities -- that one guy could create almost 40 years ago. But I can't see myself taking the time to divert into doing it again. Maybe for ARM RISC processors (Raspberry Pi & others)? Hmm... nope! The programming world will have to just suffer with the pathetic assembly language tools it has. Me along with it.

Typical assembly language:

mov Glub(R14),R15    //exacting syntax. "move" won't work.)
jnz IsntZero7             //branch if not zero
IsntZero7:                //one of zillions of worthless labels. Each one must be unique)

Carmichael version:

R15 = Glub(R14)     |or move Glub(R14),R15  or  mov Glub(R14),R15
doequal                   |branch if not zero to end brace
}                            |No silly labels were needed

[28th] Well, the programming wasn't the only thing left. I wired up the lithium-ion battery 'balance' charger for the two packs of 6 cells, 22.2 nominal volts, that powered the ducted fans. I hacked an 8 pin header down to 7 pins with the plastic edge chopped down to fit the balance charger's 7 pin socket's somewhat different alignment protrusions. It will at least be hard to put it on wrong. I put on a "T-plug" to connect the charger to the battery's "T-socket". Then I put an "XT-30" plug to connect to a long cord to the power. (If I used two plugs the same, I'd be bound to plug the wrong plug into the wrong socket.) I used a very long cord from the power supply to everything else in case the craft would be outdoors while charging, with the power supply inside.

- I hooked up a power supply set to 23.4 volts, or 3.9 volts per cell.
- It started charging at the supply's maximum 2 amps. Since the cells were 6 amp-hours, presumably the current should drop to nothing at least within 3 hours. [from 11:45.] Current dropped to an amp within 1/2 an hour -- partly because of voltage drop in the long cord.
- I raised it to 24.0 volts and the current went back up to 2 amps (current limited @ 23.8V) for a while, and the voltage on each cell went up to 3.88 and rose from there. (24.0V is 4.0V per cell. Maximum allowable is 4.2V. That's uncomfortably close IMHO. OTOH it doesn't seem they'll take a full charge at a much lower voltage. Or maybe they will but more slowly?... and maybe that's better for them? OTOH 2 amps should be nothing for cells that can put out hundreds of amps.)
- By the 45 minute mark current was dropping again as the cells headed to 3.94 volts, perfectly balanced to within my limit of measurement, 10 mV.
- At the 1 hour mark they were 3.95-3.96V but current was still 1.2 amps. Apparently even at that voltage they still had a ways to charge.
- In less than another hour they were at 3.99-4.00V per cell and drawing only 100 mA. I decided to call that charged and disconnected the power.

- Then I put the other one on, but I dropped the supply to 3.98 volts. It charged up similarly, but ended sooner at about 3.96 volts per cell. I upped the voltage to 4.00 for a moment and it went back to drawing an amp. But I stopped it there.

   Several days later the cells still each read ~3.99V on the one battery and ~3.95V on the other. But I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean much extra charge in the first battery. Once current is being drawn all the cells will doubtless drop to ~3.7V almost immediately.
   (For continuously charged solar power batteries I'm sure it would be best not to charge them much higher than 3.8-3.9 V/cell or so. Wherever it is, they should pretty much stop drawing current entirely when they reach that level.)

   Now I have two charged batteries ready to fly.

[31st] I still hadn't tackled the radio receiver/microcontroller/dual motors control wiring. I didn't like the idea of radio control receiver power being "5 or 6 volts" (coming from one of the motors) to power my 3-1/2 volt microcontroller. I checked the voltage from the "ESC" motor controller: 6.16 V. Worst case! Even if I cut a USB cable and powered it through the 5 volt USB port, over 6 volts just might be too much. And the signals from the receiver might also be 6 volts, which would probably blow the microcontroller when it was powered from a lower voltage.
   In the evening I glanced at a four "AA" cell battery clip I had lying around and it occurred to me I could probably power both the microcontroller and the receiver from about 4 volts with three NiMH "AA" cells. The microcontroller would handle that, and with the same power source, the receiver's signals couldn't be too high a voltage. As long as the receiver and the canard ("elevator") servo ran okay at the lower voltage, that should work. I could leave the power pins from both motors disconnected, since I was connecting them to the microcontroller via my own cable and not plugging them directly into the receiver.

   Hard to believe a[nother] year has gone by without having got the model flying. It doesn't bode well for a full-size manned version. (...which I confess to being very nervous about the prospect of flying. My greatest fear in that is of flipping it over and drowning because I can't get out. I keep thinking about how an emergency exit might be made, or some way to make it flip over again.) Bur at this point it seems likely I'll never build it even if the model work fabulously. Not unless I get development funding to hire a team.

   I can't see that testing the model could be very far off now. Assuming the controls work and that I don't need to add a rudder, there are just a few small details left to attend to. (Hopefully with no more devils in them!)

Lithium Ion Battery Stacks

   I made a base for the three stacks of 120 AH, 36 V (10-in-series) batteries from a thick aluminum sheet. I bent the edges over to make it stiffer, and smoothed the edges off with a file. Then I drilled holes in it to hold the threaded rods that screwed each stack together. I mounted the first stack.
   With that done it occurred to me that I would never want to lift the finished case with all three stacks, which might be near 150 pounds. Each individual stack is liftable, but to move the whole thing at once would require some hoist. My friend Tom was having that problem with Nissan Leaf batteries. I want to avoid it. Nothing like starting a plan and then realizing it should be changed.
   But if I kept the base but didn't put any nuts underneath, it could still work. The threaded rods would stil go through the holes in the base, keeping the bottoms from sliding around. If a top cover had holes in the same places as the bottom, it could be put over the top ends of the threaded rods to hold them all together. Attaching sides would hold the top and bottom together, securing the stacks of batteries without nuts underneath the bottom plate. Removing the top and sides would allow the stacks to be lifted out individually.

   A change that would be necessary would be to have an individual bottom plate under each stack to hold the inner plastic plate against the bottom cell to prevent it from expanding when being charged. (My little quadcopter batteries with nothing but the soft wrapping have blown up like balloons and don't fit properly in the quadcopter!)

I made a thick sheet aluminum base to hold the inner acrylic
plastic piece firmly pressed in place, but it bowed out. So the
plastic would too.

So I used two pieces of angle iron instead.
(The plastic plate can be seen between them.)

I also made this transparent plastic piece to keep the top of the main "plus" side clamp from getting bent
back, which bends the flexible metal connection tabs on the cells. Doubtless if flexed back and forth too
much, they would pretty soon break off. (All the others butt up against the module above, so the top clamp
is the only one needing other protection.)

[30th] I cut, drilled and threaded the pieces for the clamps for the second battery stack except for the balance charger holes and the main connection bolt holes.

Other "Green" Electric Equipment Projects

12 Volt Mini-T-Plug & Socket Shells

   I had been meaning to make some more plug shells and to design shells for in-line sockets as well. When I plugged in my large aquarium light for the first time since 2016, it just flashed and didn't stay on. If I plugged it in and out repeatedly occasionally it would stay on. The power cord connectors were backward: the 12 volt wall adapter had the large female that is usually on the appliance and the light had the one usually on the power adapter.
   I cut the plug off the lights and connected the wires to a power supply. They flashed on for an instant exactly the same way! That was when I realized the problem was with the light rather than the adapter. Then I discovered a tiny black square on the top of the black panel. It was a touch-sensitive pad to turn the light on and off! I am chagrined that there was no label on this very inconspicuous touch pad. Not seeing it or not realizing it had any significance led me to conclude falsely that the unit wasn't working, and there being no other access, to cut the wires. (I suppose I should have thought that it must have had a switch somewhere. I didn't.)

Socket shell (R) is just a bit longer than the plug shell (L)

   Anyway, I rewired it with mini T-plug and socket, made another shell for the plug, and designed a similar shell for the socket using the plug shell file as a template which needed surprisingly little modification besides lengthening it by 3mm. The screws on the socket ended up on the opposite face from the plug. It worked fine, but I swapped it around.

   Then I made files for the printer to print six of each at a time and made them. Inventory!

Electricity Generation

My Solar Power System

Month of December Log of Solar Power Generated [and grid power consumed]

(All times are in PST: clock 48 minutes ahead of sun, not PDT which is an hour and 48 minutes ahead. DC power output readings - mostly the kitchen hot water heater for some months, then just lights - are reset to zero daily (for just lights, occasionally), while the others are cumulative.)

Solar: House, Trailer  => total KWH [grid power meter reading(s)@time] Sky conditions
Km = electric car drove distance, then car was charged.

30th 1142.12, 316.40 => 2.62  [79346@17:00] Gosh, some actual sunshine for a while between the clouds and jet trails.

01st 1142.72, 316.71 => 0.91  [55Km; 79385@23:00] Clouds and storm.
02nd 1143.38,317.11 => 1.06  [79406@17:00] Wind, clouds, occasional sun in AM, 9°.
03rd 1143.53, 317.18 => 0.22  [79427@17:00] It doesn't get much darker; and lots of sprinkles too.
04th 1143.90, 317.34 => 0.53  [79450@21:30]
05th 1144.45, 317.61 => 0.82  [79481@17:30] Clouds, fog.
06th 1144.88, 317.80 => 0.62  [40Km; 79519@21:30] Mostly clouds, but the sun appeared (if dimly) for a bit.
07th 1145.36, 318.01 => 0.69  [55Km; 79551@20:30] Clouds with drizzle all day, then the stars came out. Thanks!
08th 1146.80, 319.01 => 2.44  [79569@16:30] Wow, SUNNY most of the day! (Quick, put up the carport roof! - mostly done.)
09th 1147.57, 319.73 => 1.49  [79606@20:30] Sunny morning, hazy later. (Carport roof done! Didn't slip off roof in frost.)
10th 1148.28, 320.14 => 1.12  [79631@17:00; 55Km] Sun made an appearance for a while. (Carport wall framed & 3/4 sheeted.)
11th 1149.81, 321.09 => 2.45  [90Km; 79671@17:00] Sun again!?! (One wall sheeting bits done.)
12th 1150.06, 321.19 => 0.35  [55Km; 79726@17:00] Not much sun today!
13th 1150.21, 321.23 => 0.23  [79760@16:30] Even less. Wind, storm.
14th 1151.08, 321.91 => 1.55  [79791@19:00] Some dull, hazy sun. Storm after dark.
15th 1151.57, 322.14 => 0.72  [55Km; 79819@17:00] Cloudz again
16th 1152.87, 323.03 => 2.19  [79858@23:00] Yay, sunshine!
17th 1153.04, 323.10 => 0.20  [45Km; 79880@16:00; 5 loads laundry] No sun at all
18th 1153.62, 333.42 => 0.90  [79928@17:00] Sun for a while in PM - perhaps too late to do much.
19th 1153.75, 333.47 => 0.20  [60Km; 79966@16:30] Clouds, clouds... blue sky at sunset.
20th 1155.20, 334.21 => 2.19  [45Km; 79996@16:00] Sunshine again!
21st 1156.69, 335.15 => 2.43  [80026@17:00] Winter Solstice! Sunny all day. Happy New Year!
22nd 1157.45,335.57 => 1.18  [80060@17:00] Sun AM then clouds
23rd 1157.55, 335.58 => 0.11  [80109@18:00] WOW!
24th 1157.64, 335.59 => 0.10  [80139@17:00] Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse!
25th 1158.40, 335.98 => 1.15  [80171@16:30; 40Km] Merry Christmas!
26th 1159.11, 226.34 => 1.07  [80208@17:30]
27th 1159.58, 226.58 => 0.71  [20Km; 80251@19:00]
28th 1160.35, 227.05 => 1.24  [95Km; 80304@21:30] A bit of sun in the morning. Full moon.
29th 1160.96, 327.34 => 0.90  [80330@20:30] wind, clouds and cold.
30th 1161.33, 327.42 => 0.45  [80367@18:00] clouds and sprinkles.
31st 1161.90, 327.71 => 0.86  [55Km; 80424@25:30] more clouds and sprinkles.

1st  1162.71, 328.14 => 1.24 [80451@18:00] A bit of sun in AM.
2d  1163.02, 328.34 => [80491@16:30] Rraaiinn.
3rd 1164.57,329.37 =>   80534@17:00] Some sun today!

Daily KWH from solar panels. (Compare December 2020 with November 2020 & with December 2019.)

(Each Day)
November 2020 (12 panels)
December 2020 (12 panels)
Dec. 2019 (12 Panels)
(Went away for Christ-
mas from 23rd)
















Total KWH

Monthly Tallies: Solar Generated KWH [Power used from grid KWH]
March 1-31: 116.19 + ------ + 105.93 = 222.12 KWH - solar [786 KWH - used from grid]
April - 1-30: 136.87 + ------ + 121.97 = 258.84 KWH [608 KWH]
May  - 1-31: 156.23 + ------ + 147.47 = 303.70 KWH [543 KWH] (11th solar panel connected on lawn on 26th)
June - 1-30: 146.63 + 15.65 + 115.26 = 277.54 KWH [374 KWH] (36V, 250W Hot Water Heater installed on 7th)
July  - 1-31: 134.06 + 19.06 + 120.86 = 273.98 KWH [342 KWH]
August 1-31:127.47 + 11.44+91.82+(8/10)*96.29 = 307.76 KWH [334 KWH] (12th panel connected on lawn Aug. 1)
Sept.- 1-30: 110.72 + 15.30 + 84.91 = 210.93 KWH   [408 KWH] (solar includes 2/10 of 96.29)
Oct.  - 1-31:  55.67 + 13.03 + 51.82 = 120.52 KWH, solar [635 KWH - from grid]
Nov. - 1-30:  36.51 +   6.31 + 26.29 =   69.11 KWH, solar [653 KWH - from grid]
Dec.  - 1-23: 18.98 +   .84* + 11.70 =   31.52 KWH, solar + wind [711 KWH + 414 (while away) = 1125 from grid]

Jan.  - 6-31: 17.52 + ------* + 10.61  =  28.13 KWH, solar+ wind [1111 KWH from grid]
Feb.  - 1-29: 56.83 + ------* + 35.17  =  92.00 KWH, solar + wind [963 KWH from grid]
* Now the solar DC system is only running a couple of lights - not worth reporting. So there's just the 2 grid tie systems: house and "roof over travel trailer".
One year of solar!
March - 1-31: 111.31 +   87.05 = 198.37 KWH solar total  [934 KWH from grid]
April   - 1-30: 156.09 + 115.12 = 271.21 [784 KWH from grid]
May    - 1-31: 181.97 + 131.21 = 313.18 KWH Solar [723 KWH from grid]
June   - 1-30: 164.04 + 119.81 = 283.82 KWH Solar [455 KWH from grid]
July    - 1-31: 190.13 + 110.05 = 300.18 KWH Solar [340 KWH from grid]
August- 1-31: 121.81 + 83.62   = 205.43 KWH Solar [385KWH from Grid]
Sept.  - 1-30: 110.68 + 65.09   = 175.77 KWH Solar [564 KWH used from grid]
Oct.  -   1-31:   67.28 + 42.55   = 109.83 KWH Solar [1360 KWH from grid -- Renters!]
Nov.  -  1-30:   35.70  + 20.79  = 56.49 KWH of Solar [1301 KWH from grid]
Dec.  -  1-31:   19.78  + 11.31  = 31.09 KWH Solar [1078 KWH used from grid]

Things Noted - December 2020

* How dull out can it get? On the 6th at 11:30 AM I looked at the power reading for the house solar panels. 0 watts were being produced. Nothing at all! That's only 10:42 AM actual solar time, but it was DAYtime. The grid tie inverters were flicking between green and red lights.

* On the 8th the sun finally came out and there was more solar made than any other two previous days of the month. But still not much: shadows - bad angles - hardly 7 hours total of daylight, and all with the sun very low.

* Once again it seemed to be absurdly cloudy through December. In addition to the general gloom this made for the least solar power made since I started recording it. In December 2019 I turned the solar equipment off for safety when I went on holidays on the 23rd, so there was virtually the same this year in 31 days as in 23 days last year.

* At some point I'm going to quit recording it all, but it will be interesting to see what this spring and summer bring. If summer 2021 (surely there will be some sunshine!) makes less than cloudy summer 2020 then we might figure the panels have been gradually losing capacity. If it's more, it was probably just the weather.

Electricity Storage (Batteries)

Turquoise Battery Project: Long lasting, low cost, high energy batteries

   Wow... With everything ready to make what should be the best cell so far... yet again... Sorry, no report!

Haida Gwaii, BC Canada