Magnetofunky - Transcripts

The Next Wall To Climb

Episode Transcript. Length - 37:24

Image: A DIY DC current meter, made by Electronoobs AKA Vladimir Espinoza, a mechanical engineer from El Salvador with a cool DIY Electronics website and YouTube channel...

Magnetofunky No. 152. It's Friday, December 27th, 2019.

[intro theme]

Hey. Larry here. This week it's all about the second round of testing the 100W power plant, nothing post-Xmas, no end-of-year navel gazing either. The music is a curated mix of fresh Rock tunes from Japan...

[song] - 00:45

Ok, that was Black Heart - Keritsu, J-Rock band from Tokyo, formed in 2005, but since 2013 the members are on hiatus dedicating their work to other projects, but they made a casual surprise show this year. BTW, these tunes were all curated from the free MP3 stacks at Reverbnation...

This is a laid back (and often explicit - you bet your ass) weekly international podzine of extremely eclectic music and progressive politics, with a focus on energy independence for the 99%. My podpage is The Twitter is @Magnetofunky.

[Grid Theory] - 05:44

Run-40 Rule

In Grid Theory,

Last Sat. I went to the Berkeley shop for a volt amp meter, but they were sold out of the little digital panel meter like I already had, but they did have these tiny mini-digital volt-only meters for a few bucks each. One can go onto the 'B' side battery banks, while the V-A unit goes on the 'A' side, and I'll see if IT screws up the fan motor or the laptop. Meanwhile, these units are really cheap online - plenty under $10, even $5 from China, but I found a store with an East Coast warehouse with a 3-pack on sale for about $12 total. I'm supposed to get it just after New Year's...

The question of the external current limiter screwing with the charge controller output seems silly because the controller is my smart charger and needs to read the battery, so I took it off and replaced it with a straight line to the switch.

Anyway, while prepping the next chart, in considering the 600 and 1000W systems, I got my latest crazy idea that if I never intentionally discharged the 'A' batteries by running the thing half a day in one direction, but instead did the equivalent of 'rapid cycling' - focus on the voltage and use the '40-80 Rule' which originally meant keeping lithium batteries between 40%-80% state of charge, but modify that to 'run 40' or 'run 50' for a SLA battery, which would mean whenever the run side hits 12.20V or 12.12V, flip it.

Depending on the length of cycle time and the size of the load, it might not stress the batteries (deep cycle batteries are supposed to be tough enough for this). To deal with the eventual losses from this back and forth, I'd add that portable foldup 40-60W solar kit with its own controller that can trickle charge or straight charge one side back to full.

So, by Xmas Eve I finished the chart and made replacement clip leads with the last of my 18 gauge wire the 2nd round of time test will measure coefficients of resting the batteries between phases and straight flipping---[bell]

Anyway, Xmas day testing in a bit...

[Back To The Stage] - 09:05

Ok, Back to The Stage, continuing the fresh J-Rock set with I'm Yours And I'm Hers - SHOKA OKUBO BLUES PROJECT (formerly BLUES SISTERS/RESPECT), a Blues / R&B/SOUL band out of Tokyo. Shoka sings and plays guitar, little sister Momiji sings lead vocals and plays Mississippi Saxophone. They fell in love with the blues after being exposed to B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, Aretha Franklin, and the movie "The Blues Brothers!" Check out their CDs on P-Vine Records in Japan...

Next up it's Sing it all our days - SECONDLADY, Punk / Rock band in Osaka, whose song 'Someday' was featured back in show 41 two years ago.

Then it's postlude by Tokyo rock band FLOWER FLOWER - that's Yui on vocals and guitar, Mura-Jun on keys, Mafumafu on bass, and Sacchan on drums. They have a full album out called "Jitsu" and a mini album, "Iro".

[songs] - 10:31; 13:46; 17:27

["Geeknotes"] - 00:00

Geeknotes: 01/01 - New Years 2020 Great Highway Polar Plunge World Naked Bike Ride, SF, 01/04 - Slingshot issue 131 article Deadline and first reading, Long Haul infoshop, Berkeley...

Hey, Geeknotes!

Ok, I haven't gotten my Baby Yoda fix yet, so Merry Impeachmas and Happy New Charges, and how about Impeaching Pence now before he becomes the #HolyPOTUS?

Anyway, amidst all the corporate media's horse race election coverage, I haven't and still ain't watching any of the Democratic Thunderdome debates. Oh, I check out the highlights, and I'm already familiar with the platforms of my favorites (plural), I'm just not wasting time on the DNC-approved format, where we're supposed to judge them based on how they handle GOP talking points, for example, and I'm real tired of the played out basic frame: we pick a Democratic candidate like we're sizing up a potential spouse who has to be perfect before we fall in love, while you select a Republican like you're interviewing a company boss for a damn job, and the boss can be unpleasant, full of crap, a total scumbag, but if he (or she or they) promises you a decent salary, possible promotion and promises not to treat you as bad as the people who didn't get hired, you're supposed to say 'gimme mine, I don't like them anyway'.

Well, anyway (is that too many anyways? Well anyway), next year, with the California primary in play - along with all those campaign ads in Feb. I won't have to watch online - the tsunami waves of 2018 and 2019 is about done with ebb phase, and by spring we'll see how irrelevant the GFY-GOP makes Impeachment, especially if Speaker Pelosi is still holding the Articles (and maybe holding another round of hearings) by MLK Day...

Anyway, here's a couple happennings next week:

01/01 - New Years 2020 Great Highway Polar Plunge World Naked Bike Ride, 10:30 AM - 3:30 PM, Intersection of Lincoln Way & Great Highway, on the northwest corner, SF

The Riptide Bar on Taraval hosts this event. Bring your bikes, trikes, skates or scooters, whatever human powered mode of transport at 10:30 am. The rides are clothing optional, but as always you ride as bare as you dare. That is, swimsuits, wet suits, body paint, latex gear, whatever you choose for you own comfort and modesty level. Please be covered riding to and at the meet up spot. You'll ride down the Great Highway to Taraval crossing and onto the beach for the Polar Plunge, which will take place at Noon. Coool...

01/04 - Slingshot issue 131 article Deadline and first reading, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Long Haul infoshop - 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley

Slingshot is a radical, independent newspaper published in Berkeley since 1988. They're accepting articles, photographs, art, letters, review, etc. to be published in late January / early February.

Many radical topics are of interest (economics, environment, identity politics, DIY, anti-represssion, resistance, etc.) — they suggest you write about stuff you’re involved with, know about, or are passionate about. Because they only come out every 3-5 months, the best Slingshot articles are analysis, not pure news updates. For more info, go to

If you have promos, pluggers, gig info, an art opening, etc, send me an email. The address is And bands, artists and poets - download links, no attachments, please, and no promises...

[Grid Practice] - 26:18

Back to Third Base

Ok, In Grid Practice,

Xmas day I topped off the 'A' batteries and attached the V-A meter to the board quick and dirty style with duct tape, and the little voltmeter went on the 'B' battery bank. I ran the system with the inverter idling, then with the boombox, and just like before with the other ammeters, the A-to-B flow was extremely slow, barely any movement on the charge side voltage. I flipped the sides without changing the meters and again, the 'B' side immediately started slowly discharging as the 'A' side (that was at 12.8V) almost immediately registered a bump to 12.9V.

So, no current meter with the extra resistance from a shunt can go here, not with the charge controller. So, back to the clamp meters, except that only a tiny percentage of them are DC current - all the cheap ones are AC/DC Voltage, AC Current. This is where a small hitch becomes a wall to climb...

Well, only two ways to do it - buy it or build it...

What I'm looking at starts around $40 and mostly brand names, like Extech or Fluke, which does have DC Current clamps for $200 and up... Anyway, the only local model on Google shopping pops up to a marine supply store for $120.

I did find plenty models online that aren't Fluke prices - fr example, the Hantek CC-65 AC/DC Current Clamp - prices range from $75 here or $45 in China, or the UNI-T UT210E Mini AC/DC Current Clamp. I saw one on eBay for around $40 down in the LA area, and for under $20 in China (well, after seeing that video of Chinese citizens - not the Red Army - abusing and stomping a six year old Uyghur child, who's parents were both in a re-education camp, broke his hand. Did they kill him?) Now, I've given China a little slack because they haven't rolled the tanks across Hong Kong so far, but this kinda shit is as bad as red hats who feel good about brown babies in Xmas cages. Anyway, if I buy one it'll be local so I get it faster...

The build it option just so happened to come up in the video that mentioned the Hantek, by a cat with the handle Electronoob, who built his own clamp meter. He put up a video, schematic and parts list - minus the fancy 3D printed case, I could probably get the parts I don't already have for about $20-25. This is a calibration instrument, not something to half-ass, but it's not as complicated as the signal generator I built. Well, the Berkeley shop is closed till the first Mon. of the new year, so no climbing that wall at all for now...

But there is one last thing I tried - on another energy forum a guy said he was getting DC current readings from a cheapo AC current clamp. Another spotter suggested that if there was sufficient ripple in the DC flow the cheapo clamp would pick it up and give a ballpark reading, but with the system running the boombox the clamp wouldn't even read the current from the laptop power cord. No convenient hole in the wall, and that's it for now - the system works but I can't test it yet, so I end the year on third base, which is still a damn sight better than when I started this podzine...

[One More Tune] - 31:45

Ok, for this week's One More Tune, we close out with SASRISE, a ROCK / POP / FUNK Singer Songwriter in Tokyo. This tune is the SASRISE Theme, a sampler of Psychedelic Thrilling Pop Rock. Check out the link to her Soundcloud page - Nice...

[song] - 32:06

Well, OK.

[Closing] - 35:20

Hey, this show is a 1223studios joint.

I'm on Internet Archive, Spotify, Tunein, Stitcher, Google Play, iTunes, PlayerFM, Listen Notes, Podknife and Mixcloud. Show notes are on the podpage. Send email to

If you like the show, tell your friends, and, you know, if these criminal mofos game the Electoral College again (on top of the voter suppression and vanishing polling places), and the red hats think in 2021 they can step up the Undeclared Civil War pace of standing their ground over a dozen dead brown bodies, by then most black and brown folks might just shift from not expecting, to always expecting a sorry excuse for a dateless wonder with an extended clip come to take his grievances out on some mud people. When the outcomes of these tragedies starts to flip, and the ongoing concern becomes that immediate crisis, some of you red hats can take your predictable outrage and tiki-torch cries for 'Law and Order' and shove it sideways...

Show themes "Rocket Power" & "Spy Glass" by NY musician and composer Kevin MacLeod. Some additional audio from

Next episode is set for Friday, Jan. 3rd, 2020.

I'm Larry, trying hard to stay chill at my garrett in the Mission, and this is Magnetofunky, from San Francisco, where we go through, not into, the darkness.

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