Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

Studio wired

I feel like it has been a long time coming. But when I really think about it, we moved into a trashed homestead 7 months ago. We have made tremendous progress on numerous fronts.

Nevertheless, today’s big success is the proper lighting and wiring of my studio.

I have had a solar-recharged 12-volt grid-independent electrical system for about 5 years. The primary motivation was for my short and long range 2-way radios; my HAM gear. All of these radios run on 12-volts.

You either run them on automotive-compatible systems, or you buy separate power inverters to turn you electrical grid power into juice they can use. That decision was the tipping point to have some independence from power deliveries, which can be spotty in the boondocks I choose to inhabit.

The top photo is with all the lights ON. In the second one, the grid lights are off. All lighting is from my 12-volt system. LEDs are a huge breakthrough in lighting efficiency. I can run these at almost no cost, after the purchase price has been absorbed.

The laptop computer on the desk is currently without its battery. I run it about once a month, charge it up, then set it aside for preservation. The monitor to the right is now on the 110-volt grid, but I will get around to taking it off someday. All the rest of the illumination is from my two deep-cycle lead-acid batteries.

The globe in the right-hand corner is a new addition to my studio. It has USB-powered LED illumination that I will incorporate into my system soon. Way-too-cool to not have when it is easy and convenient. I REALLY DIG having the world right there for easy reference. I am a bit of a global socio-politico-economic freak, and this is a really cool tool.

In a digital world, it is often just a bit refreshing to have antique analog meters. I garage-sale traded for the voltmeter and ammeter on my 12-volt electrical panel. The modern Anderson-power-pole panel has room for expansion, though I do not yet have any plans for it.

It is important to monitor battery-powered systems, and the antique analog panel not only meets that need, but it suits my old-time fuddy-duddy personality … also known as appreciation for timeless quality that used to be the pride of every workman.