Goal Zero Disappointment

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As you may remember, I had a Goal Zero Nomad 20 portable solar panel. I loved it the few months I had it, and I used it all day every day.

Then one day, it died. Under warranty, with good customer service and friendly staff, the manufacturer sent me a  replacement.

Happily, I took the new panel out of the box and plugged in one of my two Guide 10 power packs.

Nothing. No charge light. I check the cable and when I touch it, the charge light comes on, let go, it goes off. Intermittent (bad) cable.

I emailed the manufacturers and they want me to check all this stuff. “Yeah, it all works, except the bad cable”. I know a bad cable when I see one.

So now, customer service doesn’t seem so good, but really, the problem is on my end, I don’t feel motivated to go through the motions of  getting another panel.

I’m very very disappointed (I should type “very” a bunch more times in this sentence). I woke up at 4 this morning, thinking about it.  I got up and decided to write about it here..

I figured those cables were the weak  point before I bought it. They are permanently attached and cannot be removed/replaced. Plus the storage pouch stays full of all these cables that never get used. I only used one, sometimes two. It would be a better design if there were jacks that you could plug the cable you need into, instead of an octopus of cables coming out of a box. The jacks could be very strong. The cables could be  easily replaced. It would be far superior. Although I must point out that it wasn’t the cable that failed the first time, it was something in the electronics.

I  bought a new connector, and am ready to cut the bad one off and solder the new one on. I guess I should do that today, but I think I’ve “fallen out of love” with my Nomad 20 solar panel I want to find a new model and manufacturer, something more durable and with a better design.

Like I said: I’m very very disappointed and I should type “very” a bunch more times in this sentence.

This is a rare Sunday post.  I didn’t post Thursday because of a massive dog mess that I woke up to and had to clean up. Then Thursday afternoon I dropped my motorcycle off to get a new tire and had to leave early Friday morning to catch the bus to work, hence no Friday post either. Now it’s Sunday and tomorrow we’re going to Costa Rica! I’m off work till April 9th!

Sure do wish I was taking my solar panel with me to Costa Rica, Costa Rica is a good place to have a solar panel.

The You Tube Game

This weekend I invented what I call the YouTube Game

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It’s a fun game you play by yourself. Here’s what you do. First of all, get your best sounding headphones and plug them into our YouTube device. I was on my phone.

Think of a song you really really like.
Find it on YouTube.
Listen to it on your headphones.
Enjoy it to the max.
While the song is playing, scroll down below and find another song you really really like.
It can’t be the same song by a different artist and it can’t be the same artist.
When the current song has finished, (skipping to the end is against the rules), play your next song.
Repeat.

The game is over when:
There is no suggested song that you really really like.
There is no suggested song that is by a different artist or song title.
Every suggested song is one that you don’t really really want to hear at that particular moment.
The batteries on your device die or your internet drops out. (it happens here)

When any of the above happens, you win!

You must keep playing till you win!

I played for a couple of hours Friday night. It ended for me when  every suggestion was Ozzy Osbourne. I covered a wide range of excellent music that I hadn’t heard in a long time before I got to the end. It was fun!

Try it!

Have a good week!

Dead Kindle?

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I think my Kindle died. Took it out to read and the display was like it is in the picture above. I tried to reset it yesterday, but couldn’t see it to read it. I can see the screen change behind the partial wallpaper that seems permanent.

I’m already looking for used new ones, but my wife says I have too much electronics, I should just get an app for my tablet… She has a point, but the screen, THE SCREEN! Tablet can never beat that Paperwhite at the beach. Plus, the Kindle is inexpensive enough to take in harms way, like the beach or pool. My tablet is my lifeline to the planet!
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This morning I put it on “deaf mode” so that it talks to me. I’m going to try a reset it today, but I’m afraid my Kindle is dead.

But, on a brighter note, IT’S FRIDAY!!!! Supposed to rain this weekend, but I don’t care.

Experiment results

With the exception of last Tuesday, when my tablet totally died, My solar panel was able to maintain a usable charge on my Nexus 7.

My next experiment is to compare the time it takes my solar panel to charge 4  AA batteries compared to the time it takes the wall charger to  charge 4 AA batteries.

Today is a holiday  here, our first since July. It’s good to have an extra day off. It’s Remebrance Day. A day to remember our Veterans

I got a part time job as a real estate agent. Now I have to pass the test and get my license.

Have a good week!

Goal Zero – Nexus 7 Solar Experiment

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I have a Goal Zero Nomad 20 watt solar panel and two of the Guide 10 power packs.

My experiment is: Can I go a week without plugging my Nexus 7 tablet into AC power and only use the solar charger?

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I haven’t had the tablet plugged into the wall since Saturday night / Sunday morning. Yesterday was cloudy and I didn’t get a good charge on the power pack, therefore I didn’t get a good charge on the tablet. (I charge the power packs with the solar panels and charge the tablet with the power packs.) I can also plug the tablet directly into the solar panel, but don’t usually.

So it’s looking like this experiment is going to¬† fail. I’m down to 11% power on my tablet as I type this.

Hope for a sunny day today!

New Casio G-Shock Watch

I got a new watch, a Casio G-Shock. My old watch, which I got in 1982 (for $40, which was outrageously expensive to me) is not a G-Shock, but I’m sure I recall the first G-Shocks were identical to my watch

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My Casio has been a very good watch. I’ve been through several high end, dive watch/computers that have all failed, and the Casio has always been there, my faithful backup.

Now, even with a new battery, sometimes the display goes blank and I push a button and it comes back to life, but needs to be reset. So I got a new one.

Lets see, 1982 to 2014, that’s 32 years. So if I get the same performance with this one, I should be good, watchwise, till the year 2046!

HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND!!!

Experimenting With Weather Apps

I currently have three weather apps on my Nexus 7, 1Weather, Accuweather, and Intellicast. Weatherbug was in the running, but has been eliminated because the widget consistently quits working.

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I like Intellicast quite a bit, but it wants to search for your location every time instead of just loading your default location. I’d like it if you could change the default view instead of it opening to the map every time. Difficult to navigate. But it is definitely the coolest weather app I’ve found.

1Weather boasts that they’re #1in the world, but I don’t know who says that, probably just 1Weather. Simple and plain (plain meaning ugly), easy to navigate. However right now it says sunny and it’s raining.

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Accuweather is ok, something bugs me about it that I can’t quite put my finger on. I’m going to say it’s probably the best overall, good display and good widget. But it’s not the one I like best.

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I would love to be made aware of whichever weather app you use and your thoughts on it.

Work today, don’t wanna go. Have a good one!