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jetzi

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Everything posted by jetzi

  1. Who cares about parking, does it have a mooring??
  2. jetzi

    WIFI

    OK thanks I understand. So devices need the capability to aggregate certain bands, you need to know in advance what bands your network uses and ensure that the device has the capability to aggregate at least two of the common bands your network uses. I could just scrap the idea of 5G and focus just on finding the best 4G modem (as in, one that aggregates the bands my network is most likely to use). Good to know, won't try to add a reflector. What I'm getting at though is that if you are comparing the "roof mount" vehicular antennae with the "mast free space" antennae and the roof mounted ones work better, you COULD mount the roof ones in the middle of a circular steel disc say 1m diameter on top of a mast to get the best of both worlds. Just looking geometrically, I feel like a vertical "pole" type antenna mounted at as close to the same height as the mast as possible - likely meaning as tall as possible - (so that the electromagnetic waves strike it as perpendicularly as possible) intuitively seems like the ideal configuration. I know this is from the thread you linked rather than advice, but for the record I have tried EE and Three, and EE is just a significantly better network in every way but particularly coverage, speed and customer service. I wouldn't consider Three as an option.
  3. jetzi

    WIFI

    A flat reflector then - something to mimic a boat roof while still allowing for the height gain to avoid having the signals pass through trees and such on their way from the tower. I'm quite happy to erect a 5m mast, but still, 3m is better than 2m and 2m is better than 1m - we don't have to aim to double the gain specifically. Yeah I realise they're very different. What's very frustrating is that most WiFi access points operate on two bands - 2.4GHz and 5GHz, the second of which - annoyingly - is often abbreviated to "5G" which collides with the other abbreviation for 5th generation cellular technology. All the network operators in the UK operate 5G(eneration) at 3.4G(igahertz), except Three which lists it as 3.6-4GHz. I hear that they are also rolling out "sort of 5G" at 700MHz which has higher penetration and better distance. However 3.4GHz doesn't have a "name" like "n78" or "B20" that are listed as the supported bands, which makes me think that either no manufacturers are making equipment for the UK's fledgling network yet, OR what the networks call "3.4GHz" is actually n77 = "3.3-3.8GHz" or something, unfortunately I don't understand what this really means so I don't know how to judge. All I know is that I haven't found a 5G modem that lists "3.4GHz" as a supported frequency. What do you mean by "pair channels", is this the MIMO thing, having info coming over two different frequencies? If Three uses only B20 is it actually the modem's "fault" that it can't be a multi channel unit, or is it just the fact that Three doesn't support multi channels?
  4. jetzi

    WIFI

    I guess you could mount a parabolic reflector under the antenna like a satellite dish pointing straight up? And still put it up on a mast - im convinced that in most boating conditions mounting the receiver high is the most important thing, particularly when dealing with higher frequencies, because their penetration through trees and buildings is weaker. Speaking of frequencies, can someone help me understand the UK frequency bands. Most networks operate 5G on 3.4GHz (with the exception of Three which operate on "3.6 to 4GHz" - implying that they bought all those bands??). However it seems like no 5G devices support 3400MHz, and when looking at the WiFi bands, 3.4GHz doesn't even seem to feature as a name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5G_NR_frequency_bands What gives here, what should I be looking for when trying to find a supported device? What limits a device from supporting say n78 = 3.5GHz and not 3.4GHz, is it the physical size of the antenna or a software limitation or something else?
  5. jetzi

    WIFI

    Yeah, currently that's what I have, with my Poynting antenna with 5m cables, on top of a 2.5m pole such that the cables are fully used, connected to the Teltonika RUT955 Cat 4 router inside the boat. My uplink isn't really adequate for Zoom so I am trying to improve this situation in any ways I can - a taller pole, with shorter cables, is one thing I want to try. I don't specifically want an "external" router, the plan would be to mount it in a waterproof box at the base of the antenna, so I have the minimum cable length. What you say makes much sense, I think I should probably drop the 5G requirement and just look at the higher LTE categories. I'll rarely have 5G anyway and as long as the 4G is fast enough 5G is probably just overkill. Yeah it would have to fold down to enable cruising, like my current mast does. But I didn't see the directionality mentioned, that's probably a deal breaker. Thanks! That's very interesting, obviously just goes to show how rare 4x4 modems and routers are that they can make a business out of adding external antenna ports to them! Side question, when they talk about LTE categories, is that a capability of the network's masts as well as the consumer hardware? That is, is there such a thing as a Cat 4 cell tower and having a 4x4 Cat 19 router won't provide any boost in this case?
  6. jetzi

    WIFI

    Good to know that I can just use a router as a modem only, but it's such a pity that you can't get 5G modems (or at least 4x4 LTE ones). I don't really want to pay for all those features that I don't need and leaving 420 quid waving around outside on the top of a pole seems a little risky. When you look at the netgear 4G modem-only I linked above, it's only 70 quid, so that kind of makes me think that the modem by itself can't be very expensive. They market this is as a failover second WAN for broadband connections, so I was hoping there would be something similar, just with higher performance. It says with the cheap one "You would need two 2×2 MIMO Antenna with this router" - is two 2x2 antennae the same as a 4x4? It doesn't say what LTE category it is, and since I'll be on 4G most of the time that's probably more important than 5G. Or does 5G automatically mean it supports the highest LTE category? Are you sure about that, the Poynting Omni 904 (available March 2022 they say) says it is 3dB and 8dB omni-directional. It looks like quite a beast, being 1654mm tall it's pretty much a mast by itself. Also no idea how much it costs, might be ridiculous.
  7. jetzi

    WIFI

    Thanks @IanD for some really helpful advice. I read through this and your other post and it was very enlightening, but I wonder if you could help me with some specific questions about my situation? I want to get a 4x4 MIMO 4G/5G modem that supports the higher LTE categories (EE has Cat 6, 9, 11, and 19 apparently) I specifically want a modem, i.e. not a modem/router combo, a) I can mount it outside on top of my mast minimising the cable between antenna and modem and b) I can install a separate firewall device between the modem and my LAN, perhaps even with 2x WAN inputs going to independent masts/modems/antennae/networks! It's my bread and butter, so I'm willing to spend a grand or even two to get the best possible connection. My download is mostly fine, but when on Zoom people say I cut out often, so I think my upload is not up to scratch. The closest I can find is Netgear LB2120 - 70 quid here - but this is only LTE Cat 4, doesn't support 5G and is only 2x2. A lot of "industrial" 4G modems are only Cat 1 or Cat 4 LTE. And 5G modems don't seem to be available yet. It's also really hard to search for 5G modems because Google thinks I'm talking about 5GHz WiFi and keeps showing me modem/routers! The Poynting antenna you recommend seems good but is only 2x2 MIMO (I currently have the 1st gen one of those and a Teltonika RUT955). There's a really amazing looking Poynting antenna "coming soon": OMNI-904 which is 4x4 MIMO with 2 medium gain (3dB) and 2 high gain antennae (8dB). But is an integrated 4x4 antenna actually the way to go? I have a hunch that it would get better performance to have 4 separate (SISO?) antennae and put them on 4 separate masts at different locations. A lot of "industrial" 4G modems are only Cat 1 or Cat 4 LTE, I think to support IoT applications. And 5G modems don't seem to be available yet! I'd really appreciate any recommendations, or even just what I should be searching for!
  8. Ah I noticed the "private mooring" sign on the wall. I wonder if it is legitimate and how long it is.
  9. Fascinating maybe im just looking too far south. Even given its distance from London the price seems low considering that prices everywhere have rocketed since the pandemic. Is the area rough?
  10. Something doesn't add up! Private mooring you say? Ad says niwt about mooring. Given that its on the towpath and the house only looks 10' wide im skeptical you'd get an end of garden mooring on that? The price is unbelievably low though. It does say "guide price", perhaps it is being auctioned for much higher as usual (though it doesn't say that either).
  11. I think it is also generally inadvisable to mix different metals like copper and aluminium components in one system, because of the potential for electrolytic corrosion, so if possible it might be a good idea to replace those copper bits with plastic. Not that I followed that advice with my install, I have an eberspacher D4 hydronic, I think the eber heating chamber is aluminium, but it feeds a coil of my copper calorifier. Not to mention steel radiators.
  12. I've never really fully agreed with the philosophy that all the charge sources (and load) have to be "smart". While it's definitely good to go "belt and braces", the only real reason for that is to add another layer of protection. If your "BMS" (using that term loosely to include the entire system, not just the "brain") has at least 1 and preferably 2 independent layers of temperature protection (plus added to that the human operator's common sense and understanding of the temperature limitations) then really I think it's enough. Besides, we're not (yet) fast charging with super high amp boat recharge bays like EVs. We're mostly talking about a tiny (C/10?) trickle charge coming in from some winter sun at or around zero. If you are a liveaboard with decent alternator or generator output you might want to charge as fast as possible in the cold, but in those cases you need to apply common sense and a battery heater (backed up by the aforementioned low temp BMS charge cutoff). Yeah, if you imagine the daily yield curve over the whole year, it forms a rough sine wave right. In my case, the peak between about April/May and about September/October yield is way more than I can use, and is truncated by the size of my battery, so tilting won't help at all for 6 months of the year. For 2-4 months of the year (March/April and October/November) the solar provided is "just enough" and could benefit from tilting sometimes (more panels would probably be almost as effective). Then for the last 2-4 months of the year (November to March) solar is basically useless and tilting would help a little, but never enough to rely on. So I figured that tilting is quite a lot of mechanical complication to add to your mount for only 2-4 months of benefit. If you have a permanent mooring then it's different probably, but if you have to physically change the tilt all the time, honestly it's more faff than I can probably be bothered with. If it was automatic though, that would be different... and a fun project!
  13. Ah yeah, you just left off the "h" before, as Nick said. Still, 1.4kWh for a day is really really good (2.4kWh is a good day for me in summer!). The most I have got recently is 0.46kWh, that was middle of last week. I reckon your tilt is probably the thing that make the difference. have 1500W of panels but they are not on a tilt. I decided to rather just add more panels and leave them flat, my controller and roof still has capacity for 2 more panels which I think I might add since they are so inexpensive. But really I think to make a difference I should add at least a one axis lateral tilt.
  14. I might be wrong about this, and you shouldn't do it, but I think that LiFePOs can tolerate really slow charging at low temperatures (which for the size of most people's PV array on a boat, on a day below freezing, it surely would be
  15. It's nice to have separate disconnect relays for load and charge for this exact scenario. Disconnecting the charge relay when below zero is a relatively easy thing to build into the BMS. I don't have the battery heater on standby all the time (I'm also using the motorhome film to heat). I only put the heater on if I'm about to put charge into the battery and it's feeling chilly. Heating things with battery power is generally a bad idea, and if you are going to heat the battery to stay above zero 24/7 even when you aren't charging, you're going to reduce the usable capacity a lot. My heating is currently a manual process. But it would be cool to detect when the voltage is higher on the charge side (and hence the BMS can detect that we're trying to charge) and turn on the heat, then reconnect the charge relay once up to temperature. Seems like quite a lot of fuss for relatively minimal benefit in automation, but it would be one less thing to have to "know" about operating the battery. 2.8kW in November?? What's the total theoretical size of your array, I would have thought it would need to be well over 10kW of panels to get that much in winter.
  16. Is the long chamber open for use? UsuallyI find that when there are pairs of locks, one has been semi-permanently closed.
  17. Thanks @mrsmelly, if you've managed to take a 70' boat through then definitely worth a try! I wonder how many other places I have prematurely abandoned hope of exploring based on the lengths given in these guides. I should perhaps post my map to the forum to get a review, I'm sure it must be riddled with such mistakes.
  18. Really, I have seen several sources that give the length of Thorne Lock at less than 62'. I know that it is often possible to get a longer boat through a short wide lock diagonally, but an extra 3 feet seems like it would be pushing it? From https://www.canalnarrowboat.co.uk/boat-handling/canals-lock-sizes/ Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation Keadby to Bramwith is restricted by Thorne Lock to length 61 foot 8 inches, beam 17 foot. From Bramwith to Rotherham maximum craft size is length 229 foot 8 inches, beam 20 foot. From Rotherham to Sheffield: Length 61 foot 6 inches, beam 15 foot 3 inches. From https://www.abnb.co.uk/useful-information/lock-dimensions 61ft 6in Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigations From https://canalplan.uk/place/2fd1 This is a pinch point. The normal maximum dimensions for a boat on this waterway are 61 feet and 6 inches long, 15 feet and 6 inches wide and 16 feet high (the maxium draught are unknown), but to pass through here the maximum dimensions are 61 feet and 8 inches long and 18 feet and 4 inches wide. And Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stainforth_and_Keadby_Canal Maximum boat length 61 ft 8 in (18.80 m)
  19. I'm making a map of the possible places I can take my 65' narrowboat (without craneage and within reason - I'm not including the River Medway for example as it would involve going well out into the Thames estuary) One thing I'm not sure of is whether I can reasonably include the northern rivers/canals - to York, Leeds, Wakefield, Market Weighton and Rotherham (Sheffield canal). This is because at 65' there is no transpennine route and so it's necessary to go via the Tidal Trent around Trent Falls. I haven't found a guide on the forum (please point me to one if you know of one!), but a number of people have mentioned making the journey. As far as estuary crossings go, is this something that is feasible for an inland water narrowboater to consider (with proper preparations of course, even hiring a pilot (with VHF) if necessary)? I'm not planning on doing this trip any time soon, but I am curious to know if it's possible.
  20. Does "going to float to avoid stressing batteries" simply mean to reduce the alternator output voltage to roughly equal to the voltage that you stop charging at, such that and volt drop from loads would be compensated for by the alternator? Wow, really that low?? The data sheet for Winston Thundersky talks about 2.5V being the rock bottom (beyond which the cells are damaged) but I have set all my shutoffs (even the emergency one) much higher than that. Is that because your loads are at a high C value (similar to how you use a higher voltage for your top cutoff due to charging at up to C/2) I think my system is unusual in that I have a big LFP battery (640Ah) relative to my charge/load capacity. My maximum semi-continuous load is about 220A or so (washing machine on heat - I'm limited by my use of Tyco BDS-A relays in my BMS which are rated at 190A, so I dare not load them more than that) which is C/3, and my maximum charge is probably only about C/5 or so (if I'm full sun I can get about 80A and I only get a maximum of 50A from my alternators). So I'm probably justified in my taking an extremely conservative approach with my cutoffs.
  21. Is there any chance of an offside mooring opposite the top lock landing?
  22. Oh yes, it was just a wibbly connection, but it can have quite serious consequences tripping various relays, so I really do need to make a more productionised build before I can let it loose on my battery. It was just weird that it would happen without anything touching it. Yeah I think adding a moving average is a good idea. How many samples / seconds do you calculate the average over? Why would you want to log to EEPROM first, to reduce writes to the SD card / whatever other permanent storage? Would it be to save power, to save on wear on the memory, or something else? Where does it go though... Have you got a server running permanently that receives this information? I was thinking of either whipping out the SD card periodically to check out the data or to just write it over in a cycle so that I can diagnose issues of they occur. But a better option would be if I could write to permanent storage, but then I have to either connect the BMS to the internet or I have to have a local data store permanently running.
  23. If any gotchas do spring to mind I'd appreciate any forewarning! My arduino is driving the one relay no problem, so I'm going to expand it out to include the other 4 relays next week when I'm back at the boat. I still need to add some useful buzzer feedback, temperature sensors, battery warmer, and I want to add SD card logging as well. So actually yeah, still a long way to go. But if I can get it at least operating the tycos based on voltage ASAP then I can sleep a bit easier
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