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InfoAge power update

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  • evan@snarc.net
    Here s the latest on the museum power situation, based on Fred s report at the InfoAge staff meeting tonight. (For list newbs: Fred is the director of InfoAge,
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 9, 2013
      Here's the latest on the museum power situation, based on Fred's report at the InfoAge staff meeting tonight. (For list newbs: Fred is the director of InfoAge, where our computer museum co-resides along with several other groups' museums.)

      He expects the transformer that we need to cost around 40-50K installed. More assessments are still arriving.

      This might be covered under the town's insurance because they own the facility.

      InfoAge's board may have other ways to get the money quickly.

      FEMA, the power company, and local pols (and possibly our state/federal-level pols) may be involved.

      A major NJ university is seeing if it has an appropriate transformer that it could just give to InfoAge.

      The actual work would only take a week or two by licensed professionals.

      While we're at it, InfoAge will eliminate some of obsolete electrical infrastructure on campus that's been sucking money.

      So that is all that I know. There is no timeline. Some people are expressing confidence that it'll be solved and back to normal within a few weeks or maybe a month or two. Others are more pessimistic, or realistic, depending on who's asked. :) Nobody truly knows.

      Someone suggested InfoAge build a windmill, or get wave/tidal power from the adjacent river, so that we'd have a compelling energy exhibit and be more self-sufficient......

      Meanwhile we in MARCH will continue spending most Sundays working in our storage area. We're making good use of the downtime.

      Other groups such as IXR are lucky because they're in standalone buildings that are easily powered by small generators. MARCH's museum is in a large building that cannot be simply converted.

      Oh, that reminds me of another thing. A suggestion was made that while InfoAge is changing transformers anyhow, it might as well invest in switches (I forget the technical term for what kind of switches) which would allow easy conversion to generators during any future power outages. Everyone liked that idea.

      MARCH officers are considering VCF East backup plans, because we don't know if the power situation will impact us at that time. We will probably make an announcement about that in the next few days. Stay tuned....
    • Dave McGuire
      On 01/10/2013 12:53 AM, evan@snarc.net wrote: ... Wow. I cannot even quantify the suckage. :-( ... These are called transfer switches . They are expensive.
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 9, 2013
        On 01/10/2013 12:53 AM, evan@... wrote:
        ...
        > So that is all that I know. There is no timeline. Some people are
        > expressing confidence that it'll be solved and back to normal within
        > a few weeks or maybe a month or two. Others are more pessimistic, or
        > realistic, depending on who's asked. :) Nobody truly knows.

        Wow. I cannot even quantify the suckage. :-(

        > Oh, that reminds me of another thing. A suggestion was made that
        > while InfoAge is changing transformers anyhow, it might as well
        > invest in switches (I forget the technical term for what kind of
        > switches) which would allow easy conversion to generators during any
        > future power outages. Everyone liked that idea.

        These are called "transfer switches". They are expensive.

        My generator is still available here, should you want more wattage.

        -Dave

        --
        Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
        New Kensington, PA
      • William Donzelli
        ... I would err on the pessimistic side, and plan on moving VCFeast further into the year (just keep in mind other major events, like MIT Flea, the Sussex
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 10, 2013
          > So that is all that I know. There is no timeline. Some people are
          > expressing confidence that it'll be solved and back to normal within a few
          > weeks or maybe a month or two. Others are more pessimistic, or realistic,
          > depending on who's asked. :) Nobody truly knows.
          >

          I would err on the pessimistic side, and plan on moving VCFeast
          further into the year (just keep in mind other major events, like MIT
          Flea, the Sussex hamfest, various other big days).

          It may take a long time to get a new transformer. I was just at a
          storage place in Changebridge, next to a utility storage yard - and
          the place has been raped of every transformer and gizmo, and is now a
          big parking lot. I bet this is a common site all over the Northeast,
          probably well into the Midwest. I would also bet that the companies
          that make transformers are completely slammed with backorders. A small
          museum probably does not have the pull that a power-sucking warehouse
          or factory has, and they may make Infoage wait. Keep in ming that
          transformers will continue to fail over the next year or so, as the
          ones weakened by the storm give up.

          You may want to call up some of the transformer companies and ask what
          a realistic leadtime might be for the product Infoage needs.

          --
          Will
        • evan@snarc.net
          ... I know you would. :) ... That is an option we re considering, among others; please stay tuned... ... Fred & co. are on that.
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 10, 2013
            >> I would err on the pessimistic side

            I know you would. :)

            >> and plan on moving VCFeast further into the year

            That is an option we're considering, among others; please stay tuned...

            >> It may take a long time to get a new transformer.

            Fred & co. are on that.
          • William Donzelli
            ... Make sure they actually *get* this information. -- Will
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 10, 2013
              > >> It may take a long time to get a new transformer.
              >
              > Fred & co. are on that.

              Make sure they actually *get* this information.

              --
              Will
            • evan@snarc.net
              ... He s working with professional power engineers, FEMA, and JCP&L. He doesn t need me to point out the obvious.
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 10, 2013
                >> Make sure they actually *get* this information.

                He's working with professional power engineers, FEMA, and JCP&L. He doesn't need me to point out the obvious.
              • William Donzelli
                ... OK, thanks. -- Will
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 10, 2013
                  > He's working with professional power engineers, FEMA, and JCP&L. He
                  > doesn't need me to point out the obvious.

                  OK, thanks.

                  --
                  Will
                • Brian Schenkenberger, VAXman-
                  ... FWIW, the transformer outside my home which blew up during Sandy has not yet been replaced as well as others in the area. I think we are all run- ning on
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 10, 2013
                    William Donzelli <wdonzelli@...> writes:

                    >> He's working with professional power engineers, FEMA, and JCP&L. He >
                    >doesn't need me to point out the obvious.
                    >
                    >OK, thanks.

                    FWIW, the transformer outside my home which blew up during Sandy has not
                    yet been replaced as well as others in the area. I think we are all run-
                    ning on borrowed time.

                    --
                    VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

                    Well I speak to machines with the voice of humanity.
                  • joshbensadon
                    I think the Vintage Computer Museum needs a nice steam powered generator. How many MIPs can you get from 1 cord of wood?
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jan 10, 2013
                      I think the Vintage Computer Museum needs a nice steam powered generator.

                      How many MIPs can you get from 1 cord of wood?

                      :) J
                    • Jeff Jonas
                      ... We ll have to collaborate with Dan Lieb for that: the shipwreck museum collabortes with the Pine Creek Railroad, so a steam locomotive is POSSIBLE but we d
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jan 10, 2013
                        --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, joshbensadon wrote:
                        > I think the Vintage Computer Museum needs a nice
                        > steam powered generator.

                        We'll have to collaborate with Dan Lieb for that:
                        the shipwreck museum collabortes with the
                        Pine Creek Railroad, so a steam locomotive is POSSIBLE
                        but we'd have to put it on a treadmill to generate electricity.

                        > How many MIPs can you get from 1 cord of wood?

                        Ack! The smoke and ash and soot!
                        Check vintage-ads for the clear advantages of
                        clean burning ANTHRICITE coal!
                        I'm unusure if we can get samples from the
                        Anthricite Museum in PA.

                        Even then, a cluster of new low-power microcontrollers
                        will beat big-iron for MIPS-per-watt :-/

                        *shudders* at the thought of a heap-o-Arduinos
                        powered by 9v batteries.
                      • s100doctor
                        ... Actually, there s a number of steam and old-engine organizations in say a 100 mile radius of Infoage, which would include west PA and NY state north of NJ.
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jan 13, 2013
                          --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Jonas" wrote:
                          >
                          > --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, joshbensadon wrote:
                          > > I think the Vintage Computer Museum needs a nice
                          > > steam powered generator.
                          >
                          > We'll have to collaborate with Dan Lieb for that:
                          > the shipwreck museum collaborates with the
                          > Pine Creek Railroad, so a steam locomotive is POSSIBLE
                          > but we'd have to put it on a treadmill to generate electricity.

                          Actually, there's a number of steam and old-engine organizations in say a 100 mile radius of Infoage, which would include west PA and NY state north of NJ. Some have their own grounds, acres with resident equipment and facilities, and with members who have their own equipment. Most of these guys have kilowatt-class stuff, but some have tens of KW or more.

                          It's not unimaginable for InfoAge to host such a group which would include some kind of vintage power generation - if InfoAge decided it fit within their mission and Camp Evan history. I imagine the WWI Camp Evan generated its own power.

                          Entirely my opinion of course, I'm not an InfoAge or MARCH officer. But I've spent time visiting such organizations and attending their shows. Technology is technology, I'm a technologist.

                          Web sites like smokstak.com have event calendars. Anyone interested can see what's coming up and attend accordingly, they are inexpensive. Upcoming is a show Jan 19th in Bangor PA (north of Easton) on the 19th. Long Island in particular has a lot of old power generation stuff and groups that operate and own it.

                          Herb Johnson
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