Solar Allotment Shed

Not A Solar Bird House
Not A Solar Bird House

 

I had a kit for a solar powered shed light. The receipt was still in the box, and it was over 4 years old, so I wasn’t sure that it would work, but I thought it would be worth a try.

It was a fairly simple build, just required a couple of screws and no wiring; so I installed it on my allotment shed. The back of the shed faces south, and is also where my bird house is, so I installed the panel on top of the bird house, as it has a good angle to catch the sun, and I placed the light inside.

I wasn’t surprised when I connected it up, that it didn’t work. I figured that the two rechargeable AA batteries that come with the kit would probably be completely discharged, and I wasn’t convinced that they would take a charge, but I left it switched off, and in theory charging for the next week. Then I tried it…

I’m really chuffed. I was prepared to get some replacement batteries if I’d needed to, but it doesn’t look like I will.

I’m rarely down on the plot after dark, but it is good that I can have a little artificial light in the shed on the more gloomy days.

Apple Watch – iDon’t Think So



My emails and RSS feeds are full of Apple news this morning. With the launch event of the Apple Watch (and other things including new MacBooks) yesterday, technology news is abuzz with this new gadget.

I won’t however be buying one. With a price range of between £299.00 & £13,500, I feel priced out of the market. I know Apple has always focussed on a premium product and has always achieved record sales. I have no doubt they will do the same with the Apple Watch, however if I were to spend this much money on a watch, I would do so on one that would hold its value and perhaps be something that could be handed down to future generations, and not one that will be replaced by the latest model in 12 months time.

I also struggle to see why a smart watch brings me something that I don’t already have with a traditional watch, mobile phone and/or tablet. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mobile tech, it makes my life easier both inside and outside of a work environment and I’m often an early adopter of a new gadget, however I have yet to be convinced of the case for a smart watch of any manufacture.

Similarly, why would I want to charge my watch every night? I want a watch that will run and run. I own several conventional watches that use the power of sunlight or a spring that recharges by movement to tell the time, and in use never need to be “charged”. Whilst I can appreciate a Smart Watch is a far more powerful device and uses more energy, I don’t need that, so I’ll stick to charging my phone each day and leave my watch to look after itself.

So, sorry Apple, I won’t be an early adopter on this occasion. I remain to be convinced.


Moving From iPhone 4S To Moto G

Around the end of 2013 my iPhone 4S starting playing up; struggling to find a signal, not recognising the SIM card. Unfortunately it then got very wet, when I got caught in a downpour with it in my pocket.

I was in the market for a new phone. My first choice was a replacement iPhone, the current models 5S or 5C were my choices, but money’s tight and they weren’t a option, so I started looking at Android and Windows alternatives. I looked at Samsung Nokia and HTC, but again, although cheaper, price was an issue. I finally settled on a Motorla, Moto G.

The price was right, about a fifth the price of the iPhone, but would it be as good?

Price aside, and I question the notion of the premium product being so expensive in Apple’s case; would my new Moto G be as good, better or a false investment?

Here’s my view after a couple of months use of the Moto G.

Continue reading “Moving From iPhone 4S To Moto G”