Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Chainsaws (for around the home)

as it happens I have the occasional use for a chainsaw. Back in 2010 my lovely wife wanted one for the cutting trees in the yard but wanted an electric one. I think she was pleased / surprised when I put up no resistance (indeed encouragment) for her to buy an electric one. It was $99 and has been a "bottler" as we say in Australia.

I was cutting up a tree that I had to fell in the back yard of my new place and while I used the petrol one (that's Gas for Americans who don't realise that Gas is not actually a gas, or benzine for my European readers) to fell the tree and cut off the major branches I soon had the desire to drag it all closer to the house and use the electric to chop it up (firewood and then take the scraps to the dump).

The little (Bunnings) Ozito is a champ. It starts when you pull the trigger, and the oil feed just simply works. Indeed it sliced through green tree log with almost exactly the same speed as the Petrol one (which actually has a new chain that was first used on this exact day) even though the chain on the Ozito has cut down a few trees.

This is the thickness of the trunk of the "Californian Pepper Tree" I cut down and then cut into chunks with the Ozito.

And this is the little Ozito cutting down a small palm in the back yard of where my wife and I used to live.

Now I appreciate quite a lot of King Wang followers sledge the electric chainsaws as being gutless or being tethered to an electrical outlet. Its obvious that the electric supply need is there, but let me have a go at answering about the gutless part of this.

The little Ozito has a 1800W motor and a 14" bar. Being electric it will probably always put out a consistent power (as long as you have consistent power). Now lets assume that the motor is something like 80% efficient, that would still give us about 1,440 Watts of power (or for the maths challenged 1.4kW).

This is a new Husqvarna petrol chainsaw which I believe is comparable to my electric in many ways:

First note the difference in price ... $99 for the Ozito and $649 for the Husqvarna ... sure you can get a Ryobi for less (my Ryobi is about $210 right now, but you can bet it won't last you as long as either the Husquvarna or the electric).

Then you'll observe that that Husquvarna rated output is 1.5Kw which is actually quite close to the power output of my electric. I'm willing to bet that the Ryobi is less (as they aren't even willing to publish that).

However the petrol chainsaws power output is likely to fall to lower with a few issues:
  • motor wear over time (as the rings wear)
  • quality of fuel (did you get the premix right?)
  • is the air filter blocking things?
  • did you use ethanol (polluted) fuels, what is the octane?
  • is the fuel filter blocked at all (does it choke or bog down)
While the electric will be about the same over its service life (and came with a spare set of carbon brushes when I bought it (I'm still on the first)).

I've had the little Ozito now for about 6 years. It stays in storage with no fuss. A quick pull down and clean prior to storage is ideal, but compared to the petrol all I have to do is clean the blade (not drain the fuel system). A lazy operator may just put it away, as the bar oil constantly supplied may be enough to protect the bar and chain during storage. I usually spray the chain all with a round of Lanox (or WD40 if you don't have Lanox) ... For occasional use its really hard to knock the electric.

Now one of the reasons my wife wanted an electric chainsaw was that she has been involved in forestry most of her life. She has a Masters Degree in Forestry and her father owns a wood cutting business. So she knew well that while out in the forest you may not have power, but around the home (or the business place) that electricity was far more reliable. She's struggled with starting petrol chainsaws before and knows that you tend to struggle during the starting, and stink of fuel oil after doing a job.

My petrol chainsaw is a Ryobi 42cc one (so similar in some ways to the Husquvarna above). It is a bit temperamental to start and if the fuel filter is blocked (from say, letting the fuel dry out in it while in storage) then all bets are off. If the carburetor is a bit blocked or the plug oiled up then it will be a bitch to start. You may need a can of this handy:

No such problems with the electric. Indeed the only thing negative to say about the electric chainsaw is the obvious thing - it needs electricity.

So if you're cutting down / sawing up stuff in the urban / suburban areas then I reckon that you'll be glad you bought an electric too.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Bitcoin ski jump

Back a while ago (2013) I wanted to put $1000 in to see where it went. But I was unable to actually buy any ..

Then there was the Mt Gox disaster ...

In February 2014, Mt. Gox suspended trading, closed its website and exchange service, and filed for bankruptcy protectionfrom creditors.[6][7] In April 2014, the company began liquidation proceedings.[8]
Mt. Gox announced that approximately 850,000 bitcoins belonging to customers and the company were missing and likely stolen, an amount valued at more than $450 million at the time

So I'd say that if I had been able to buy some, and hadn't had my coins stolen that looking at the latest bubble that I'd grab my cookies and profit take, to enjoy the ride down before the crash which I reckon is due ...

right about now. So lets see how wrong I am

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Camera Related Illness

In a previous post I'd identified a number of Camera  Related Illnesses.

Recent conversations have put me in the position to recognise another;

Gollum Syndrome:

This affliction causes a pathological fear that using the camera exactly as it was designed to be used will cause harm to the camera. In particular people freak out when they have to change lenses (when it is an interchangeable lens camera) or that mounting a lens for which the camera was designed (such as a 300mm lens) will cause the camera to spontaneously break.

TREATMENT: I believe this illness to be untreatable in the context of modern city living, perhaps being conscripted as an army photographer may assist.

DISCUSSION: this illness is exacerbated by (or perhaps dependent upon) being a sheltered city person without the faintest clue. Anyone who actually uses their cameras for nature photography (not visits to the Zoo) quickly discovers "shit happens" (like field changing a lens, or a mild sprinkle of rain) and the camera still works. If the photographer request trauma counselling :- slap them.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

semi abandoned cottage

I was out for a drive the other day (to see what I could see) and found the gorgeous cottage situated in about the most wonderful spot you could imagine. Great views and great location geographically speaking. Right on the edge of the plateau, so moist (unlike further west) and "very changable" atmospheric weather (ok, I mean it rains a lot)

I get the feeling it was built in stages as money arrived and needs expanded (a familiar story) and has some very interesting curved roofing over the veranda ...

From the back it was equally compelling ...

and you can see a hint of the weather I mentioned approaching. You can see (looking carefully if you load that picture up) that the back wall not only seemed to have been an internal wall at some stage, but shows sign of that same curved roof in the top of the wall over by the door.

Inside that window (in the old section) we see a little of the decay of semi-abandonment

... as it apparently still used by someone (I assume stockmen) occasionally.

Looking at the exposed tin roof, with plenty a gap, you can be sure it will be as cold as a "witches tit" in there and a place by the fire prized when the winter winds and drizzle are happening ...

Still, people were poorer then and life was tougher.

Time passes and things pass into history. Its sad to see things pass, but then that is the way of things. It is our privilege simply to witness them...