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'[EE] Nerd-friendly remodeling tasks'
2007\03\23@162310 by Marcel Birthelmer

picon face
Hi all,
since I know there are a number of kindred spirits on this list, some
of whom have built their own homes from the ground up, I'd like to get
some ideas for my own humble abode.
The situation is that I just bought a duplex (signed all the papers
yesterday) that I will be sharing with my sister (one unit for each of
us, and we each get a 1-car garage). The building is probably a 50s
issue. The power outlets have no grounding. There seems to be some TV
cable that was pulled through the floor, and maybe some phone cabling
somewhere. In general, the units are in pretty bad shape, and there
will be a lot of work to do no matter what, so while I'm at it, I'd
also like to geek it up a notch.
So far my ideas revolve around laying Cat6 everywhere along with
properly grounded power. There will be some closet space dedicated to
a switch, and I'll have a storage server of some sort in the garage.
Other than that, what are some other fun things people have done/thought about?
The only real concern (aside from cost) is that I should be able to
perform the modifications myself. In particular, that probably rules
out laying fiber, since from what I've read, it's very difficult to
terminate properly.
I'd appreciate some suggestions, and also any worthwhile advice that
someone who may have faced a similar situation might have!
- Marcel

2007\03\23@164504 by David VanHorn

picon face
Definitely on the cat6, and pull two.
I pulled a scanner antenna coax, fed from a distribution amp as well.
Didn't bother with phones, I have a 2 line 5.6 GHz cordless that works
nicely.

My equipment room (laundry room) has heater/AC, water heater, a windows PC
running echolink on a 440 MHz link to a repeater, a linux PC running IRLP to
a different repeater, a VHF and a UHF repeater, repeater controller, some
VHF packet stuff, a 100 AH battery, 55A charger, two gigabit switches,
lightning detector and GPS (Boltek) and other odds and ends.

:)

2007\03\23@164722 by Bob Blick

face picon face

> So far my ideas revolve around laying Cat6
> everywhere along with
> properly grounded power. There will be some closet
> space dedicated to
> a switch, and I'll have a storage server of some
> sort in the garage.

I routed all phone and network cable to a closet and
although it works well, be aware that the normal
clutter in a closet will tend to make everything run
hotter than normal. Plus being an enclosed space, I
would not run anything that consumes more than a few
watts per device. I currently have a DSL router, 16
port switch, wireless router, burglar/fire panel and a
small UPS in the closet, and there is a small but
noticeable amount of heat released when you open the
door. Forget about putting a PC in there.

Cheerful regards,

Bob


2007\03\23@202644 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
As long as you are pulling CAT6, I would include some really low tech wires
like cheap 4 wire phone cable or the like for use with remote thermostats,
PIC serial or other stuff that doesn't have a network connection included.

Also, lots of insulation to keep down the heating/cooling bills and now that
you are a homeowner, unless it is in the frozen north, you should find that
P.V. Panels are effectively free:

http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/solar/panels.htm

http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/solar/case1.htm

I think the above are all solid, proven suggestions... And now for something
different:


On a south sunward wall, between windows, install a vent chimney in the wall
or on the outside of the wall with ducting in the wall.
http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/spac.htm#Vent

And on the north facing wall, perhaps a cooling tower.
http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/cooltower.htm

And put in a woodstove for heat.
http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/woodstoves.htm

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2007\03\23@221624 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
Marcel,
Congratulation for your new home!
My own opinion is that using CAT6 or CAT5 is not so important than
having a loving wife around and a few childrens yelling at you...
:)

Vasile

On 3/23/07, Marcel Birthelmer <spam_OUTmarcelb.listsTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\03\23@222338 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Fri, 2007-03-23 at 17:26 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> As long as you are pulling CAT6, I would include some really low tech wires
> like cheap 4 wire phone cable or the like for use with remote thermostats,
> PIC serial or other stuff that doesn't have a network connection included.
>
> Also, lots of insulation to keep down the heating/cooling bills and now that
> you are a homeowner, unless it is in the frozen north, you should find that
> P.V. Panels are effectively free:
>
> http://www.massmind.org/techref/other/solar/panels.htm

I once read a study that determined that the manufacture of a PV panel
ended up using MORE energy then it will produce in it's lifetime. Anyone
else read that story?

On a similar topic,
http://omidr.typepad.com/torque/2007/03/toyotas_prius_i.html

I haven't been able to confirm this story elsewhere, but I have always
said that a hybrid car is NOWHERE near as good for the environment as
everyone claims it is. Basically you are simply diverting pollution in
your neighbourhood to the areas where the power plants are located.
Considering much of the US uses coal for power, this is often not a very
good thing.

I'm sick of people looking at how "good" something is for the planet,
without considering the WHOLE life cycle of the item. Often, the use of
the item is just a percentage of the total effect the manufacture and
disposal of that item has on the planet.

TTYL

2007\03\23@225031 by Bob Blick

face picon face


Herbert Graf wrote:

>
> On a similar topic,
> omidr.typepad.com/torque/2007/03/toyotas_prius_i.html
>
> I haven't been able to confirm this story elsewhere, but I have always
> said that a hybrid car is NOWHERE near as good for the environment as
> everyone claims it is.

Only if you believe the Hummer lasts 300,000 miles and the Prius just
100,000 miles. Personally I've owned both GM and Toyota vehicles and I'd
say the numbers should be reversed.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

2007\03\24@003728 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> Marcel,
> Congratulation for your new home!

I should have said that as well...

> My own opinion is that using CAT6 or CAT5 is not so important
> than having a loving wife around and a few childrens yelling at you...
> :)
>
> Vasile

At every chance, put down the CAT5, pick up the kids and smile at your wife.

I have a lovely family and a desk full of old projects that I will probably
never get to. Just as it should be.

Screw this, I'm going home.

---
James.


2007\03\24@003931 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Fri, 2007-03-23 at 19:50 -0700, Bob Blick wrote:
>
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> >
> > On a similar topic,
> > omidr.typepad.com/torque/2007/03/toyotas_prius_i.html
> >
> > I haven't been able to confirm this story elsewhere, but I have always
> > said that a hybrid car is NOWHERE near as good for the environment as
> > everyone claims it is.
>
> Only if you believe the Hummer lasts 300,000 miles and the Prius just
> 100,000 miles. Personally I've owned both GM and Toyota vehicles and I'd
> say the numbers should be reversed.

Not really. Remember, the battery packs have a limited lifetime. While
the rest of the car would probably be fine (although, at 100k miles some
things will need replacing) the battery packs will likely be EOL. I
believe that is where they are getting their 100k mile number.

Nevertheless, while that article may be a little "out there", is there
ANY doubt in your mind that the total energy to make, use and dispose of
a Prius is FAR more then other petrol or diesel only cars with similar
fuel economies (and yes, they do exist, have a look at the small diesel
cars in Europe, 4.4l/100km is a COMMON figure).

My point however stands: people must consider MORE then just the energy
use of something being used, the energy needed to make the item and
dispose of it MUST be considered.

TTYL

2007\03\24@004347 by Jake Anderson

flavicon
face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> As long as you are pulling CAT6, I would include some really low tech wires
> like cheap 4 wire phone cable or the like for use with remote thermostats,
> PIC serial or other stuff that doesn't have a network connection included.
>  
Perhaps some decent sized cable? run ~36V for all your low voltage
applications?

2007\03\24@005554 by Brian B. Riley

picon face

As a person living off of  the grid for 18 years I think I am in  
position to comment on a number of statements you make in your webpages.

You make the comment that it makes more 'cents' to be on grid solar  
than off ... a large number of off grid installations are done in  
locations where there is no power and running the grid to the  
location will cost up front $5K to $20K, which was  the case for me.  
I have done computations every couple of years and compared against  
having the grid extended to my location and paying a minimal electric  
bill monthly, I am still over $10K ahead.  Even with the advances  
that have taken place in the technology grid-tied PV would require an  
outlay on my part of $20K right now and even with net metering I  
couldn't begin to make that back in any reasonable time. Meanwhile, I  
have power 24/7 and have never been without, as opposed to some of my  
neighbors down the road who have had a over half dozen outages in the  
last three years several of them for periods beyond an entire day.

You also make statements that battery systems contain toxic  
materials. But you neglect to mention that the most toxic substance  
involved, the lead plates of the batteries is also one of the most  
heavily recycled materials. I am just starting on my third set of  
batteries. and each of the two times I had no problem getting them to  
a recycler. Recycled lead only requires only 5% as much energy to  
reprocess as the same amount produced from raw ore, they are quite  
happy to get it back.

---
cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
  <http://web.mac.com/brianbr/>  Tech Blog
  <http://www.wulfden.org/TheShoppe.shtml>
   Home of the
      K107 Serial LCD Controller Kit   FT817 Power Conditioner Kit
      Tab Robot Laser Tag Kit            MSP430 Chips and Connectors
      Propeller Robot Controller         SX48 "Tech Board" Kit




On Mar 23, 2007, at 8:26 PM, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>> {Original Message removed}

2007\03\24@090731 by John Ferrell

face picon face
Congratulations!

I prefer the strategy of providing access to all services rather than
solving the immediate problems. If you need to open a wall for any reason
consider an access panel rather than sealing it up. It is best to decide on
your plumbing strategy in advance of problems. Where do you draw the line
between self service and seeking outside help?

Instead of sealing every thing up, keep things accessible. Cat 6 is only
today's spec. Removable panels and reliable connections are a must.
Maintaining building codes is also a must. It is a matter of long term
safety. If you have to replace any power wiring be sure to think it through.
Bigger is usually better but it is more expensive and more difficult to work
with. Try to stay legal as well. Proper grounding is a safety issue as well
as an economic issue!

Wireless devices and power line communications do not work as well as hard
wire. However, wireless devices provide good lightning isolation!


John Ferrell    W8CCW
"Life is easier if you learn to plow
      around the stumps"
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2007\03\24@113553 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Jake Anderson wrote:

> Perhaps some decent sized cable? run ~36V for all your low voltage
> applications?

I use a 24V 1mm red-black wires, all around home, together with Cat5.

--
Ciao, Dario
--
ADPM Synthesis sas - Torino

2007\03\24@122807 by peter green

flavicon
face
part 1 1258 bytes content-type:text/plain; (unknown type 8bit not decoded)



> -----Original Message-----
> From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu [piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu]On
> Behalf Of Jake Anderson
> Sent: 24 March 2007 04:44
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [EE] Nerd-friendly remodeling tasks
>
>
> James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> > As long as you are pulling CAT6, I would include some really
> low tech wires
> > like cheap 4 wire phone cable or the like for use with remote
> thermostats,
> > PIC serial or other stuff that doesn't have a network
> connection included.
> >  
> Perhaps some decent sized cable? run ~36V for all your low voltage
> applications?
i don't honestly see much point in doing this unless you are say adding battery backup or solar power or similar to the supply as well. your just adding a high loss cable run (remember if you double the voltage and keep the cable size the same you cut your power loss by a factor of 4 )and yet another conversion step in the path from mains to device.
--
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.17/731 - Release Date: 23/03/2007 15:27




part 2 35 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
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2007\03\24@150142 by PICLIST

flavicon
face
If at all possible, I would not think about running various types of cable at
all. Run conduit from accessible but relatively hidden places in the house
(unfinished basement, crawl spaces, ceilings of closets, behind cupboards, etc.)
to where you might need the connections. Then fish a string through the
conduits. When you need a wire somewhere, use the string to pull it and another
string through.

Cold air ducts are often good places to run the wires. Officially they may be
designated as plenums, so special rules exist for fire safety some times. A
conduit may be sufficient to satisfy the plenum requirements.

Wiring technology changes fast. CAT3 became CAT5, became CAT6. Fiber is becoming
more common, etc. Do you want Coax for cable TV / Satellites? You can be
guaranteed that if you run some wires, you'll soon enough find somewhere where
you want more, and most of them will remain unused.

With conduits available, you can easily get what you want to where you want it.

{Original Message removed}

2007\03\24@185549 by Jake Anderson

flavicon
face
part 0 44 bytes
his is a multi-part message in MIME format.
part 1 945 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=windows-1250 (decoded 7bit)


>> Perhaps some decent sized cable? run ~36V for all your low voltage
>> applications?
>>    
> i don't honestly see much point in doing this unless you are say adding battery backup or solar power or similar to the supply as well. your just adding a high loss cable run (remember if you double the voltage and keep the cable size the same you cut your power loss by a factor of 4 )and yet another conversion step in the path from mains to device.
>  

Mains stuff scares me ;->
I'd rather have one mains device with stepdown converter with some heavy
guage wiring (>3mm^2) then all i need to put my "magic device" in is a
7805 or a switching equivalent.

Personally I feel all power is going to go to being DC anyway. 50/60hz
AC is on the way out, give it 200-300 years and we will all be running
500V DC circuits into our homes, you want AC 240v buy a converter.



part 2 35 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
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2007\03\24@191410 by Carl Denk

flavicon
face
And when you pull wire into the empty (or other wires already) conduit,
pull a string with it. Then when you want another wire in that conduit,
just pull the new wire, and of course another string for the next time. :)

PICLIST wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2007\03\24@201119 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Thanks for pointing out another point of view. For users off the grid, off
the grid power is cost effective, of course. I'm also pleased to hear that
lead acid cells can be recycled, I did not know that.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2007\03\24@201518 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> And when you pull wire into the empty (or other wires
> already) conduit, pull a string with it. Then when you want
> another wire in that conduit, just pull the new wire, and of
> course another string for the next time. :)

That is worth repeating.

---
James.


2007\03\24@230446 by Orin Eman

picon face
On 3/23/07, Bob Blick <.....bbblickKILLspamspam.....sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>
>
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> >
> > On a similar topic,
> > omidr.typepad.com/torque/2007/03/toyotas_prius_i.html
> >
> > I haven't been able to confirm this story elsewhere, but I have always
> > said that a hybrid car is NOWHERE near as good for the environment as
> > everyone claims it is.
>
> Only if you believe the Hummer lasts 300,000 miles and the Prius just
> 100,000 miles. Personally I've owned both GM and Toyota vehicles and I'd
> say the numbers should be reversed.

A bit late replying here, but I just remembered to look up the primary
use of nickel (dig down to the original web site to see rant on nickel
production and polution).

Approximately two thirds of worldwide nickel production is used in
stainless steel.  Batteries isn't even on the chart - probably buried
in the 5% other chemical uses.

(Numbers I saw go by - worldwide production 1.3 million tonnes, Toyota
for batteries, 1000 tons.  Units are close enough assuming the pages I
saw the numbers on used the right ones anyway.)

Orin.

2007\03\26@095525 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
As long as you lay 2 cat6 cables to each location, you'll likely be
happy with it for years to come.  It'll be cheaper and faster than
wireless, but a lot more work.  Quite frankly, when I moved into my
current house I simply went with wireless.  My hubs only go to 100mbps
anyway, and wireless is fast enough for the internet which is what the
network is used 95% of the time for anyway.  The only drawing back is
transferring large GB files from computer to computer, and at this
point running cat5 through the ducts would be a better (faster,
cheaper) choice than running it everywhere.

If you get plenum rated cat6 you can wire it through heating ducts
(which you may or may not have).  The plenum rating indicates that if
it overheats or catches fire then 1) it is fire resistant so unless
heat is constantly applied it will self extinguish and 2) smoke from
the plastic is not terribly toxic (well, as smoke goes).  Don't run
mains through ducts though - only low voltage cabling.

Others have mentioned pulling a low voltage source as well - I'd avoid
that.  If you must you can use the second cat6 cable for DC voltage.
Ideally, however, you'll simply consider power over ethernet.  I
suspect that the costs for PoE are going to drop significantly over
the next few years.

The second cable can be used for phone, sensors, rs-485/232/etc,
power, or even as the rope used to pull some later cable.  Don't worry
about fiber - there's no use for it given that you can run gigabit
ethernet over cat6.  If you think you need 10G ethernet, consider that
your average computer can't run that fast so it's largely useless
except as in interconnect between routers and such.

When I finished a basement I also added coax everywhere.  Never used
all of it, but it was very handy when I wanted it.

Also, adding extra cat6 cabling will not increase the value of your
house.  Most people don't need the speed and wouldn't know what to do
with it, and geeks largely want to have it set up differently than
previous geeks set it up.

Spend most of your time working on the mundane but more frequently
used areas of the house - doors, kitchen, yard, etc.

-Adam

On 3/23/07, Marcel Birthelmer <EraseMEmarcelb.listsspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\03\26@120430 by Aaron

picon face


James Newtons Massmind wrote:

>I'm also pleased to hear that
>lead acid cells can be recycled
>  
>

Absolutely!  Next time the battery in your '92 Civic goes bad, visit the
nearest auto parts store.  They will be happy to sell you a new battery
and charge you extra if they don't get the old one back!

Aaron

2007\03\26@123102 by Alex Harford

face picon face
On 3/23/07, Herbert Graf <mailinglist3spamspam_OUTfarcite.net> wrote:
>
> >
> > Only if you believe the Hummer lasts 300,000 miles and the Prius just
> > 100,000 miles. Personally I've owned both GM and Toyota vehicles and I'd
> > say the numbers should be reversed.
>
> Not really. Remember, the battery packs have a limited lifetime. While
> the rest of the car would probably be fine (although, at 100k miles some
> things will need replacing) the battery packs will likely be EOL. I
> believe that is where they are getting their 100k mile number.
>
> Nevertheless, while that article may be a little "out there", is there
> ANY doubt in your mind that the total energy to make, use and dispose of
> a Prius is FAR more then other petrol or diesel only cars with similar
> fuel economies (and yes, they do exist, have a look at the small diesel
> cars in Europe, 4.4l/100km is a COMMON figure).

Yellow Cab in Vancouver uses Priuses, and they have reached over 300k
km's (200k miles) on their original battery packs.  They also need
less maintenance for things like brake components because they use
regenerative braking.

www.grist.org/news/maindish/2005/08/02/sainsbury-cab/
http://www.hybridcars.com/component/option,com_joomblog/Itemid,0/joomblog_task,blog_view/joomblog_contentid,12222/

I highly doubt that a Hummer's drivetrain can last 300k miles.

Alex

2007\03\26@123207 by alan smith

picon face
Dusk sensor outside for controlling external lighting
 
 Run your lighting circuits to a central area, so later you can control each light (and outlets?) by relay control...poor mans home automation.  Sure its more wire right now, but later on, its nice to have that.
 
 As someone else mentioned....two pairs of coax all routed thru a central distro point, so you can either feed from or feed to an entertainment center.
 
 Add a coax/power for a remote camera by the front door


---------------------------------
Be a PS3 game guru.
Get your game face on with the latest PS3 news and previews at Yahoo! Games.

2007\03\26@141610 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Mon, 2007-03-26 at 09:30 -0700, Alex Harford wrote:
{Quote hidden}

But how old are these 300k cars? Cabs are driven ALOT more then your
average car. I wouldn't be surprised if these 300k cars are 2 years old,
or less. Time is a very important factor with batteries.

For a "normal" driver, 20-25000kms a year is "normal". So to get
160,000kms would take lets say 6-7 years. Show me a rechargeable battery
commonly used that after 7 years of use is still useful? I've seen very
few. NiCads usually are finished (and sometimes leaking) after about 5
years in my experience. NiMH, similar number. Lithium Ion are worse,
often after 3 years of regular use the batteries become almost useless.
Lead acid is the best in my experience, but even with them, after 7
years of use most lead acid batteries are too far gone to be of much use
anymore.

I will be VERY surprised if the battery packs in a 7 year old Prius are
still in good enough shape to be useful. I guess we'll see.

TTYL

2007\03\26@144803 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> I use a 24V 1mm red-black wires, all around home, together with Cat5.



I thought about it, but I was worried about running cables that could carry
enough current to be useful, and the possibilities of fire/noise/RF.  Fuses
and breakers are ok, but I prefer small local power sources.  The equipment
room has it's own power system and battery, and the radio room does too. No
need to intertie them.  If it pops up in a special circumstance, I have long
powerpoled cables.

2007\03\27@014101 by Ed Reed

picon face
I know this is getting way off topic but I really feel the need to say something on this.

I've been a Prius owner for going on three years. I bought my first one because of my long commute. My first Prius already has over one hundred thousand miles and I just bought my second. Now, as one who has actually reached that milestone, Toyota has not made me replace the batteries. They only say that the warranty on the batteries is for that length of service. My service department has told me as long as they continue to work without any noticeable loss in efficiency then there's no reason to replace them. There's no telling when I will have to replace them. Now, as for the other claim about diverting pollution, the EPA has already said that hybrid and/or electric vehicles, when all consumption is considered, create nearly 90 percent less pollution then the average standard internal combustion vehicles. Electric power plants certainly create pollution but the regulations that govern them are far stricter than that of a regular car. If the same regulations applied then re!
gular cars would be so expensive the average person wouldn't be able to afford one. As new 'green' forms of electric energy are added to the grid it gets even better. So anytime we move our consumption and pollution away from regular cars and trucks to the main power grid we are producing less pollution and not by just a little bit either.


2007\03\27@065448 by Breesy

flavicon
face
"the EPA has already said that hybrid and/or electric vehicles, when all
consumption is considered, create nearly 90 percent less pollution then
the average standard internal combustion vehicles"

An important thing to note here is that they are talking about true
hybrids, which are powered electrically unless the ICE needs to start
because of a long trip/forgot to charge/big hill etc.. In many respects
Prius's are not true hybrids but ICE's with an electric regenerative
braking system... I believe the main reason for its fuel consumption
figures, is its size, shap, efficient engine, low friction tyres, etc..

Ed Reed wrote:
> I know this is getting way off topic but I really feel the need to say something on this.
>  
> I've been a Prius owner for going on three years. I bought my first one because of my long commute. My first Prius already has over one hundred thousand miles and I just bought my second. Now, as one who has actually reached that milestone, Toyota has not made me replace the batteries. They only say that the warranty on the batteries is for that length of service. My service department has told me as long as they continue to work without any noticeable loss in efficiency then there's no reason to replace them. There's no telling when I will have to replace them. Now, as for the other claim about diverting pollution, the EPA has already said that hybrid and/or electric vehicles, when all consumption is considered, create nearly 90 percent less pollution then the average standard internal combustion vehicles. Electric power plants certainly create pollution but the regulations that govern them are far stricter than that of a regular car. If the same regulations applied then !
re!
>  gular cars would be so expensive the average person wouldn't be able to afford one. As new 'green' forms of electric energy are added to the grid it gets even better. So anytime we move our consumption and pollution away from regular cars and trucks to the main power grid we are producing less pollution and not by just a little bit either.
>
>  
>  


2007\03\27@072231 by Jake Anderson

flavicon
face
Breesy wrote:
> "the EPA has already said that hybrid and/or electric vehicles, when all
> consumption is considered, create nearly 90 percent less pollution then
> the average standard internal combustion vehicles"
>
> An important thing to note here is that they are talking about true
> hybrids, which are powered electrically unless the ICE needs to start
> because of a long trip/forgot to charge/big hill etc.. In many respects
> Prius's are not true hybrids but ICE's with an electric regenerative
> braking system... I believe the main reason for its fuel consumption
> figures, is its size, shap, efficient engine, low friction tyres, etc..
>
>  
Its fuel consumption is about 1L/100km better than a Mitsubishi colt,
and its price is about $20k-30k more.
A diesel car of about the same size and performance achieves the same or
better fuel economy.

2007\03\27@140322 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 27, 2007, at 4:22 AM, Jake Anderson wrote:

> [Prius] fuel consumption is about 1L/100km better than a Mitsubishi
> colt, and its price is about $20k-30k more. A diesel car of about
> the same size and performance achieves the same or better fuel economy.
>
Um, I'm not enough of a car person to spend a lot of time defending my
choice of car, but just to be clear, this would be the "mitsubishi colt"
"not made for the american market" and the diesel cars "not legal to
sell in California", right?

My Prius was about $26k out-of-pocket; you're saying you can get a
Colt for $10k or so?  The prices I saw on  UK mitsubishi site say
closer to 10k pounds. (7.5k to 16k)  (of course, I don't claim to
understand car pricing.  If I were a tad more cynical, I might suspect
that the Prius carries a price premium just so potential buyers can
get their "of course I didn't do it save MONEY (I'm so wealthy that
I don't need to save money); I did it because I CARE about the
environment" conspicuous consumption quota in.  Nah.

It's interesting that people are mentioned "small old efficient cars"
that are reported to get about 30mpg.  I don't think I'd call that
"efficient" (closer to "average" ?)

BillW

2007\03\27@152521 by Orin Eman

picon face
On 3/27/07, William Chops Westfield <KILLspamwestfwKILLspamspammac.com> wrote:
> It's interesting that people are mentioned "small old efficient cars"
> that are reported to get about 30mpg.  I don't think I'd call that
> "efficient" (closer to "average" ?)

And the current Prius is NOT a small car.  Currently classified as mid-size.

It is true that it gets a lot of its efficiency from its shape (at
highway speeds) and small engine.

Orin.

2007\03\27@181610 by Martin Klingensmith

picon face
30 is significantly above average in the US.
--
Martin K

On 3/27/07, William Chops Westfield <RemoveMEwestfwTakeThisOuTspammac.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> It's interesting that people are mentioned "small old efficient cars"
> that are reported to get about 30mpg.  I don't think I'd call that
> "efficient" (closer to "average" ?)
>
> BillW
> -

2007\03\27@190950 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
On 3/27/07, William Chops Westfield <spamBeGonewestfwspamBeGonespammac.com> wrote:
>
> On Mar 27, 2007, at 4:22 AM, Jake Anderson wrote:
>
> > [Prius] fuel consumption is about 1L/100km better than a Mitsubishi
> > colt, and its price is about $20k-30k more. A diesel car of about
> > the same size and performance achieves the same or better fuel economy.
> >
> Um, I'm not enough of a car person to spend a lot of time defending my
> choice of car, but just to be clear, this would be the "mitsubishi colt"
> "not made for the american market" and the diesel cars "not legal to
> sell in California", right?

Now that the US has USLD (ultra-low sulfer diesel) -- something Europe
has always had, diesels are a nice option.

My wife's Jetta wagon (far bigger and more comfortable than a Prius,
with a turbo-charged 110 HP engine that can actually climb the
mountains we have here in Colorado with ease) weighted in at 37 MPG on
a recent trip to/from Las Vegas from Denver (over the mountains,
twice) at roughly 70 MPH.  I waved at the Prius drivers as I flew past
them...

The Jetta's engine sadly didn't meet the newer EPA requirements for
diesel passenger cars (which are flawed in numerous ways... the US is
really hung up on NOx and particulate emissions from CARS, but allow
busses, commercial trucks, and everything else diesel powered to spew
them - the joys of corporate political pressure and buying power to
purchase politicians), but Jeep will be putting a Mercedes-Benz 3.0L
diesel powerplant in the Grand Cherokee this year, amongst others that
meet the new requirements... even as they had to remove the older
Italian-made diesel engine option from the Liberty lineup, which was a
VERY popular option.

Generally, various technologies will make the passenger "car" diesel
engines meet the new requirements, along with ULSD.

Oh, did I mention the Jetta wagon was also cheaper than the Prius, and
the interior is the spitting image of an Audi A4?  :-)  Too late, the
EPA didn't like them, so you can't have one... glad we got ours when
we did!

> My Prius was about $26k out-of-pocket; you're saying you can get a
> Colt for $10k or so?  The prices I saw on  UK mitsubishi site say
> closer to 10k pounds. (7.5k to 16k)  (of course, I don't claim to
> understand car pricing.  If I were a tad more cynical, I might suspect
> that the Prius carries a price premium just so potential buyers can
> get their "of course I didn't do it save MONEY (I'm so wealthy that
> I don't need to save money); I did it because I CARE about the
> environment" conspicuous consumption quota in.  Nah.

There's a great bumper sticker floating around here locally...
"Your Hybrid isn't saving the planet, it's just making you feel better."

> It's interesting that people are mentioned "small old efficient cars"
> that are reported to get about 30mpg.  I don't think I'd call that
> "efficient" (closer to "average" ?)

Depends on the size of vehicle you need/have to drive.

In mountainous areas like Colorado, buying the smallest engine in any
car, is a sure way to become a really annoying slow speed bump when
headed up the West side of the hill toward's the Eisenhower Tunnel on
I-70... with the roadway being at altitude (loss of power - a lot of
power!) and a very steep climb, you're just in the way if you have a
small engine in your car, and usually a hazard to traffic... unless
you're willing to downshift and red-line the small engine all the way
up the hill.

All of your road-mates who live here, realize this (possibly from
previous mistakes) and purchase appropriate engines in their vehicles
for conditions...

And, of course, if you need to TOW anything regularly -- the higher
overall torque ratings of most diesels and reasonable highway mileage
numbers, make them excellent pullers...

Nate

2007\03\27@193114 by Jinx

face picon face

> Now that the US has USLD (ultra-low sulfer diesel) -- something
> Europe has always had, diesels are a nice option.

Hopefully in this country that will be encouraged

"Tax cuts for small diesel cars on the cards"

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10431252

2007\03\27@195055 by Bob Blick

face picon face

--- Nate Duehr <TakeThisOuTnateEraseMEspamspam_OUTnatetech.com> wrote:

> There's a great bumper sticker floating around here
> locally...
> "Your Hybrid isn't saving the planet, it's just
> making you feel better."

I take it the creators of South Park have the
residents of Colorado pegged pretty accurately? The
altitiude probably has something to do with the
attitude - the air is naturally cleaner up there.

Los Angeles has a lot nicer air now than in the '70's
- Thanks to the EPA and CARB.

If I'm stuck in traffic I'd rather be behind a hybrid
than a diesel.

Biannual smog tests are also pretty effective. Last
time I was in Oregon it seemed every other car had
somehow "lost" its catalytic converter.

There's a lot more to hybrids than fuel economy. They
make city air cleaner. And the fuel economy is real -
it's not just tires and aerodynamics.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

2007\03\27@200024 by Herbert Graf

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face
On Tue, 2007-03-27 at 17:09 -0600, Nate Duehr wrote:
> In mountainous areas like Colorado, buying the smallest engine in any
> car, is a sure way to become a really annoying slow speed bump when
> headed up the West side of the hill toward's the Eisenhower Tunnel on
> I-70... with the roadway being at altitude (loss of power - a lot of
> power!) and a very steep climb, you're just in the way if you have a
> small engine in your car, and usually a hazard to traffic... unless
> you're willing to downshift and red-line the small engine all the way
> up the hill.

It's funny, on my latest trip to Austria I rented a Skoda Fabia wagon.
It's a smaller car, think subaru imprezza wagon size. It had a 3
cylinder, 1.4L Turbo diesel (a VW engine). Certainly doesn't sound like
a powerful engine, only 70hp, and it's 0-60 was quite horrible (I
clocked about 16, probably could have squeezed another second or perhaps
two with practice, but certainly no more then that).

That said, I drove up to the observation point on the tallest mountain
in Austria (http://www.grossglockner.com). The road was long, steep and
wound up the mountain like a snake. Despite such a small engine, I never
felt much of a lack of power, third and fourth gear the whole way up,
except for some of the hairpins where speed alone made me go down to
2nd.

It just kept going up that hill, despite the steepness, despite the
altitude. It REALLY proved to me how much better a diesel car can be.

I drove that car for roughly 3300km in total, including two days of
about 10 hours driving each. I was never uncomfortable, there was lots
of room. At one point my mom wanted to pick up a garden table from a
store. Looking at the box she was convinced we'd have to go back home
and get the trailer, I assured her it would fit. It was tight, but it
fit, she was amazed.

Coming back to North America I realized how backwards we are when it
comes to vehicles. For some reason we North Americans are completely
oblivious to HOW GOOD diesel cars are these days. It's a shame.

TTYL

2007\03\27@215617 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:

> That said, I drove up to the observation point on the tallest mountain
> in Austria (http://www.grossglockner.com). The road was long, steep and
> wound up the mountain like a snake. Despite such a small engine, I never
> felt much of a lack of power, third and fourth gear the whole way up,
> except for some of the hairpins where speed alone made me go down to
> 2nd.
>
> It just kept going up that hill, despite the steepness, despite the
> altitude. It REALLY proved to me how much better a diesel car can be.

They generally have a lot of torque at low rpms, that's why they are so
nice for towing and in the mountains. (Maximum power is just one data point
of the engine performance.) But they are not so good at accelerating --
that's why you probably won't see a diesel in a Formula I car anytime soon
:)

Gerhard

2007\03\27@223013 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2007-03-27 at 22:55 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> > That said, I drove up to the observation point on the tallest mountain
> > in Austria (http://www.grossglockner.com). The road was long, steep and
> > wound up the mountain like a snake. Despite such a small engine, I never
> > felt much of a lack of power, third and fourth gear the whole way up,
> > except for some of the hairpins where speed alone made me go down to
> > 2nd.
> >
> > It just kept going up that hill, despite the steepness, despite the
> > altitude. It REALLY proved to me how much better a diesel car can be.
>
> They generally have a lot of torque at low rpms,

See, that's what really got me, it was GUTLESS below about 2500rpm. I
always thought diesels had great torque on the low end, but not this
one. Can't explain it, but from 2500-3500 she was great. Fortunately the
gearbox was designed with this in mind and she was very drivable,
despite the small power band. Being a non "common rail" diesel her
redline was 4000rpm, above 3500rpm she again became pretty gutless and I
barely was able to get her right to the redline.

Despite all this, I didn't miss any performance really, aside from
moving my normal mental shift point from 2500rpm (which is when I shift
on my car) to 3500, she was very drivable.

> that's why they are so
> nice for towing and in the mountains. (Maximum power is just one data point
> of the engine performance.) But they are not so good at accelerating --
> that's why you probably won't see a diesel in a Formula I car anytime soon

I don't know about formula 1 (not a fan), but diesels have done VERY
well in racing lately, Le Mans being an actual win for a diesel. The
annual Dakar rally has had diesels for a while now, and they are always
very competitive (no overall wins there though yet).

I envy the cars Europeans have access to. TTYL

2007\03\28@041645 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>It's funny, on my latest trip to Austria I rented a Skoda
>Fabia wagon. It's a smaller car, think subaru imprezza wagon size.
>It had a 3 cylinder, 1.4L Turbo diesel (a VW engine).

Sounds like it might be the same engine that was in a VW Polo rental I had
recently. When stopped at an intersection it was that quiet while idling I
could have sworn the engine had stopped. It did let you know it was there
when getting along at 60mph, but without being excessively noisy.

2007\03\28@041809 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>that's why you probably won't see a diesel in a Formula I car anytime soon

I wouldn't bet on it - with Audi diesel cars winning at Le Man and the
American Le Man series ...

2007\03\28@042648 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> > It just kept going up that hill, despite the steepness, despite the
>> > altitude. It REALLY proved to me how much better a diesel car can be.
>>
>> They generally have a lot of torque at low rpms,
>
>See, that's what really got me, it was GUTLESS below about 2500rpm. I
>always thought diesels had great torque on the low end, but not this
>one. Can't explain it, but from 2500-3500 she was great.

I used to have a VW Polo Estate Diesel, 1.9L IIRC, which had nice low end
torque. The wife managed to damage it, and because of its age became not
economic to repair, so replaced it with a Ford Focus 1.9L diesel. The Focus
doesn't have the same low end torque that the VW had, I suspect it is
designed to be more of a performance engine. When pottering along at 30mph I
have to be 1 gear lower on the box than the VW for the engine to be happy.
It does have great top end speed though, had it up to 125mph recently in
Germany with the foot not quite pedal to the metal, so may have got another
5mph out of it.

I suspect this difference is part of designing the engines to be better
replacements for petrol ones, so that performance differences in terms of
acceleration and top speed are less noticeable to the "average" car buyer,
and hence the diesel becomes more attractive, instead of being treated with
scorn as a "tractor" or "London taxi".

2007\03\28@043714 by Chris Emerson

flavicon
face
On Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 06:16:08PM -0400, Martin Klingensmith wrote:
> 30 is significantly above average in the US.

But a UK gallon is about 20% larger than a US gallon, so that'll make
the US numbers look worse without the correction.  30mpg in the UK is
about 25mpg in the US.

Chris

> On 3/27/07, William Chops Westfield <RemoveMEwestfwspamTakeThisOuTmac.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > It's interesting that people are mentioned "small old efficient cars"
> > that are reported to get about 30mpg.  I don't think I'd call that
> > "efficient" (closer to "average" ?)
> >
> > BillW
> > --

2007\03\28@044454 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
On 3/27/07, Bob Blick <bbblickEraseMEspam.....sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>
> --- Nate Duehr <EraseMEnatespamnatetech.com> wrote:
>
> > There's a great bumper sticker floating around here
> > locally...
> > "Your Hybrid isn't saving the planet, it's just
> > making you feel better."
>
> I take it the creators of South Park have the
> residents of Colorado pegged pretty accurately? The
> altitiude probably has something to do with the
> attitude - the air is naturally cleaner up there.

Not really... but they're good at pointing out a lot of American
society's taboos in general.

> Los Angeles has a lot nicer air now than in the '70's
> - Thanks to the EPA and CARB.

Los Angles is an overpopulated hell-hole, mostly.  Lived there for a
few months, can't believe people enjoy being that crowded in.

> If I'm stuck in traffic I'd rather be behind a hybrid
> than a diesel.

See above.  Over-crowding and over-ubanization leads to such concerns.
Getting "stuck in traffic" is a daily concern in Los Angeles and a
few other so-called "major" cities, and everyone caught idling on the
freeway twice a day is probably a major factor in L.A.'s pollution
problem.

Any city (not just L.A., but this is an L.A. example) that has an AM
broadcast station that gives traffic reports every 7 minutes and has
an entire division of the state-wide Transportation Authority
(CalTrans, if I remember correctly) devoted to the issuance of
"SIGALERTS" (significant traffic alerts) just so people can get home
within 2 hours of dinnertime... is grossly overpopulated.

("Major city" usually translates well to, "over-populated for no good reason".)

Plus, were you behind a 1st or 2nd generation diesel (Mercedes-Benz
80's car) I'd agree with you -- but not something modern.   And not a
truck or a bus, as mentioned previously their heavy-hitter lobbyists
get them special treatment.

A properly operating 3rd generation diesel passenger car engine will
rarely if ever put out any visible smoke, and out here... that's our
test... visible smoke, and/or high NOx emissions, and the engine/car
doesn't pass annual (maximum 3 years instead of annual on brand new
cars) inspection and repairs (and a fine if repairs aren't undertaken)
are required.

> Biannual smog tests are also pretty effective. Last
> time I was in Oregon it seemed every other car had
> somehow "lost" its catalytic converter.

We have those here, too.  We were once the 2nd or 3rd worst city for
"airborne contaminants", e.g. visual particulates, and we were way up
the list on other nasty stuff including Ozone.

Denver sits in a valley that naturally creates its own temperature
inversion when cold air sits on top of the "bowl".  The smog tests
have worked here too, at the detriment of safety (they replaced annual
vehicle safety inspections with smog inspections, and now we're a "no
fault" insurance state and you regularly see vehicles with broken
lights of all types, and brakes that squeal so loudly you can tell the
vehicle's brake pads wore all the way down months ago), and we didn't
have to ban diesel passenger cars.

> There's a lot more to hybrids than fuel economy. They
> make city air cleaner. And the fuel economy is real -
> it's not just tires and aerodynamics.

Remove the Prius' low-rolling-resistance tires (required for safe
driving in serious ice/snow conditions, prevalent pretty much
everywhere for at least some portion of the year north of what...
about 38 degrees N latitude?  HALF the U.S.) and it matches the fuel
economy of the small diesels.

Prius owners here get virtually the same mileage our diesel does, in
the winter... and they gain a small advantage in the summer -- IF,
they don't use their air conditioners.

The truth of the matter is:

Any worker who technically *could* work from home *should* be working
from home.  Politicians offering tax breaks for people spending big
bucks on Prius'es should be offering businesses tax incentives to keep
workers from driving (if they don't have to) in the first place,
especially in overcrowded cities like L.A.

So anyway, some background on why I hate L.A. is probably in order...

My intense dislike of L.A. really stems from the insanity of living
with stuff like this:
http://www.seismo-watch.com/EQSERVICES/NotableEQ/Jun/0628.Landers.html

I was there for that quake, and realized how stupid it was to live in
such a densely populated area so prone to such seismic activity...
lots of people are going to die there someday, and we the taxpayers
will be paying for that rebuild... same as New Orleans, except
Californians will be even more demanding that it be done right-away.

So it's not personal, Bob.  I just hate the place.

Add in that I'm a private pilot and found the SoCal airspace just as
congested (and ridiculously dangerous as the roads, even under the
watchful eyes of some of the country's best Air Traffic Controllers),
and I got far away and vowed never to return.

I loved the practice in scanning the airspace around the aircraft,
working quickly with ATC, and general fast pace, but realized the
whole makeup of the city was a recipe for major disasters, long-term.
It already is one, when it comes to pollution.  They shouldn't be
enacting tougher vehicle pollution laws, they should be trying to find
ways to keep you all from driving so much in the first place.

Nate

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