on the edge

computers & technology, books & writing, civilisation & society, cars & stuff

Greg Black

gjb at gbch dot net
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If you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.

FQE30 at speed


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Worthy organisations

Amnesty International Australia — global defenders of human rights

global defenders of human rights

Médecins Sans Frontières — help us save lives around the world

Médecins Sans Frontières - help us save lives around the world

Electronic Frontiers Australia — protecting and promoting on-line civil liberties in Australia

Electronic Frontiers Australia


(Coming soon…)


(Coming soon…)


(Coming soon…)

Software resources

GNU Emacs


The FreeBSD Project

Thu, 04 Nov 2004

Solar battery charger

I’ve found time to play with the solar battery charger now. I was a bit surprised to find that it came with a fitting to plug into a cigar lighter socket, as though all cars have the lighter socket active at all times. Checking the cars here, two activate it in the “accessories” position and the BMW—which is the one we care about here—requires the ignition to be “on”. So that’s a minor hurdle.

However, quick work with a lead and a couple of alligator clips has fixed that—I now have the solar panel sitting on the dashboard where it will attract my attention so that I disconnect it and stow it safely before attempting to drive off.

Now, it’s a matter of waiting a few months to see if it does anything useful. If the battery is still cranking strongly in 12 months, then I’ll know that the charger does work and by then it will have paid for itself. Must put a note in my diary to check. So, for now, it’s all good.