when i arrived in belmont around 12:30pm, my father was in the middle of relocating his amateur radio station to the bedroom, so he could continue charging up the battery with the 50W solar panel from the southern facing winter. but he seemed to have hurt his back and went to lay down. even though there was sunlight in the room, it wasn't enough, and the meter only showed 1.5W worth of generation. so i decided to move the battery outside and charge it out in full sun. the 50W panel managed to generate around 30W. when i switched it out with the 100W panel, it made 60W. throughout the day i would go outside and relocate the panel so it was always facing the sun.
i had a plain zongzi with sugar for lunch. earlier i'd filled up the feeder and birds were coming back to feed. i saw a goldfinch again, not sure if it was male or female, could be the same one i saw last week. juncos, white-throated sparrows, mourning doves, cardinal, and house finches all visited. one white-throated sparrow did something i'd never seen before: it crouched down and started making an alarm call, that momentarily drove all the other birds into a tree. not sure what it saw to get it so distressed. there was also a squirrel that somehow managed to get onto the suet feeder. i went outside to chase it away.
my pixel 3XL glass screen protectors arrived today. after having used the frame method of applying a screen protector on my father's moto G7 phone, i bought a kit that used a plastic frame as well. while cleaning the phone, i noticed a small nick mark on the left side. this damage most likely came when i smacked my phone with the set of keys hanging from my belt clip. i remember checking the phone at the time but didn't see any damages, but apparently that wasn't the case. it's only on the bevel, not the screen, so there's no danger of crack propagation. i think once my case arrives (friday apparently) i'm hoping it'll cover up the blemish. as for the screen protector, i didn't do a good job and still managed to get some dust grains underneath the glass film. i used the guide stickers to secure the protector before lifting it back up and used the dust absorber sticker to remove most of the dust. there was still a few small pockets but i did an adequate enough job to live with it. as for the screen protector, it's exactly the same size as the screen itself, so just a tiny fraction of misalignment causes the edge of the screen to peek through. it's only noticeable if you take a very close look, shouldn't affect daily usage.
in the late afternoon when there was no more sun to be had to further charge up the battery, father relocated all his radio gear to the bedroom, where one of the few southern facing window in the house could continue charging up the battery the rest of the week. with a full battery everything seemed to be working now and we didn't experience the same problem we had before where the charge controller would shut off from the current surge. 12.4V seems to be the bottom limit before the amperage would overcome the controller. so all seemed fine until my father was playing with the TYT tranceiver radio and managed to overload the controller again. so whatever problem we had before was still there. maybe the controller was busted. wasn't the end of the world, radio would still power if we directly connected to the battery instead of through the controller. weird thing was it worked before, but not anymore. my father continued testing the radio and discovered 2 things: with the radio now connected directly to the battery, the controller was still showing a current draw whenever he transmitted; and transmitting at high enough power still shut off the controller, even though the radio wasn't connected to the controller anymore (though the controller as still hooked up to the battery). it was my father who finally figured out the problem. earlier i noticed the nearby LED clock would flash 12:00 whenever my father was transmitting on high power, the radio was generating enough interference to mess with LED clock. so could it also be interfering with the electronics inside of the controller? this whole time we'd been setting up the antenna right next to the controller. to test this theory, we relocated the antenna so it was further away (10ft). sure enough, when we transmitted on high, the controller didn't shut off like before. so it wasn't a current surge issue, and had nothing to do with the battery itself, it was also because of interfering radio waves.
although it was a sunny day, and the graph line was a perfect bell curve, there was a faint trace of hazy clouds that capped our production by a few kWh. tomorrow looks to be a day of rain but after that we should experience 5 continuous days of sunshine. it's already the 17th and we've yet to reach the 300kWh mark (we're currently at 296.49kWh for the month of february). at this rate, i'm not sure if we can beat the february record which was set last year 2019 with a production of 656kWh. we'd need at least 9 days of 40kWh+ production to beat it and with just 12 more days left in the short month of february, that's going to be a real challenge.
at 5:30pm kevin came home. i turned up the heat for him, after making sure he didn't leave to go get groceries. with the leftover pizza from
when sunset came around, i went outside to test the night sight capability of the pixel phone. the non-night sight photos were more accurate, but the night sight ones were more dazzling, bringing out details the eyes couldn't see. especially the sky, which was a dusky blue, but seen through night sight it almost looked like daytime.
after dinner i returned home by 8pm. from the outside i noticed all the lights in my kitchen were turned on. turns out kevin was still making dinner. he always makes two portions, neatly packed into plastic covered containers he got from the dollar store. i finally asked him about it tonight, he said one is for lunch tomorrow, the other is for later tonight. apparently he practices some sort of casual fasting where if he isn't very hungry in the evening he'll forgo dinner. that's why sometimes around 8-9pm i'll hear him back in the kitchen microwaving something. apparently that's his dinner.