Episode-2381- Listener Calls for 2-14-19 — 7 Comments

  1. I’m not entirely sure how Patreon works.  Based on what Jack said, each Content Creator has something similar to a WordPress page on Patreon?  And if people pay each month, then they are able to access content there that doesn’t exist on the Content Creator’s main website?

    I’m just thinking if someone has their own site, it should be very simple to do something like Jack does with recurring payments on PayPal.  Another option is a monthly recurring subscription with Stripe.   So what is the purpose/benefit of going through Patreon at all?

    I’ll try listening to that segment again, maybe I’ll pick up something I missed.


    25A, 12V DC digital timer.  It’s only 300W so you have to be mindful of your pump.

    A small inverter (150W) has ~0.2-0.4A idle draw so that might be doable as well.  Assuming your 100W panel has 4hr worth of 100% exposure (i.e. makes 400Wh, 33.3Ah at 12V) the 0.2-0.4A parasitic draw will use up 4.8-9.6Ah/day or ~14-28% of how much energy the solar panel generates daily.

    • Lots of loss on that inverter, a ton really.  Could go to 2 panels and you’d be in like flin though.


      The 300 watt limit is no big deal you’d never go with a pump that big in this system.  Even a Danner 2000GPH only draws 87 watts according to my Kill-A-Watt thingy.  Something like this can run a small system when you just need to lift water an not push it far, in fact that can easily run a few beds and if you plumb your ebb and flow beds common (one siphon) you could then still run some wicking.  2 pack so you instantly have a spare, ALWAYS HAVE A SPARE.

      They draw about 38 watts, says 33 but the meter says other wise.  How much solar would  you need to run that pump 15 on and 15 off, ie 12 hours a day?

      Thanks for the help here.


        Better option I think.  It doesn’t have a clock, you just turn a couple screws to adjust the on and off times.  I bought one recently with the intent of experimenting with it.  Not sure what draw the device takes when doing nothing but it doesn’t look like it would be much of consequence.

        But I don’t know if something like that is needed.  If the tank is partially or completely buried under ground and has either shade plants or mechanical shade then it should remain cool enough for most fish.  In this case, a simple raft aquaponics system could be that shade.  And as long as there is a decent amount of surface area and it is outside with the occasional breeze to move things around there should be plenty of oxygenation going on.  I once had a small “pond” on my porch made in a wash tub with no pumps and plenty of plants (surface and submerged).  In the middle of the summer in the piedmont of NC the water never got warmer than maybe 75 despite the occasional days well into the 90’s.

        A simple solar panel connected directly to a pump could add to the circulation during what would typically be the hotter part of the day… although that might be a bad thing since you would be mixing up the natural stratification of the cooler water at the bottom of the tank where the fish will want to be.

        I think the best reason to do that would be if you’re going for an ebb and flow system…  in that case you could either plumb in a large enough tank mounted up high that would fill up during the day, but it would probably require a big tank and since it would be up in the air it may get dangerously warm.  So back full circle, I’d get a marine battery and switch like the link above and do the math to find the most efficient pump.  Might be a bigger pump that does the job quicker or a small one with little draw, but then needs to be on longer.  Also.. advantage of using such a relay switch is that you wouldn’t need a bell siphon, just a drain hole significantly smaller than your pump. Add an overflow drain as well.

        I may be wrong about some things.  I do have quite a bit of experience with planted aquariums and small pond systems and a little bit of experience setting up a simple 100 watt solar powered pump in my camper for the faucet.  But I’m pretty sure these things would work.  I bought one of these relay switches myself last month with the intent of rigging a simple indoor aquaponics system rigged to an aquarium tank.  My thinking was that such a solution would be quieter than a bell siphon.

        • I would want to play with it before trying to explain it on air but I do love this idea….

          “Also.. advantage of using such a relay switch is that you wouldn’t need a bell siphon, just a drain hole significantly smaller than your pump. Add an overflow drain as well.”

          Yea so say you put in a stand up pipe at top level that is like 1 inch.  Then a 1/4th inch over flow, you could even put a swing valve on the discharge side of the low pipe and use it to control the discharge.

          15 on and 15 off would give you 2 bullet proof cycles an hour.  As long as there was other surface agitation (and there should be) you have no O2 concerns.  You could use solar here with your DC timer but this would work quite eloquently with ac and this simple timer

          Lastly though on thermal gradient, I have found it to be almost non existent.  All readings I take in my systems tend to be within 2 degrees or less of each other. 

          My AC design here would need a second pump but it would be small for surface agitation only.  That is redundancy which is great, 2 is 1, 1 is none.




  3. So I’m a software architect. And I completely agree that Patreon, and Facebook for that matter, are very simplistic systems.

    The ‘my f’n customers(!)’ problem is something I’m working on because I want this stuff OWNED and controlled by the small business owner. Part of my solution is DIRECT customer communication (in real time) via smart phone apps so you can have things like signups for events and regular or one-off sales (example: someone decided they don’t want their cow, or you had some extra unexpected eggs, push em’ to your customer base with a button push) as tracked/controlled push events.. 

    And yes, most coders can’t complete projects. =)

    But I’m an exception. =p


    I think maybe I need to focus on this and make it happen, sooner rather than later.

    • Sorry that was very poorly written.

      tldr version – time for me to start designing & coding

      <watch this space>