There are some things over the years that I have moved towards, and of course, the reverse moved away from. One thing that is a constant for me is flashlights. I have always had good flashlights in part because our first house in Cincinnati had frequent power outages. Our second house didn’t, but our house in Indiana did. Finally, in recent years our home in the Kentland’s had several long power outages. The last one, upon our moving, actually led us to acquire a whole home generator. That has only been used twice since we got it, but both those times were a blessing!
Adding solar power to the roof, reduced our exposure to power outages even further, now we are only at risk at night. Our solar array can cover 100% of our energy needs on a cloudy day! It did add some complexity to our solar array being installed. The other thing that I found interesting because there was money directly changing hands for the generator installation, the paperwork with the county and state got done a lot faster than with the install of Solar (no money involved at first).
I am considering a solar panel and a switch so we can add solar power to the boat. The solid roof has enough room on it (I measured) for two arrays that would generate around 2kw. That should suffice to allow the systems of the boat to recharge. We would keep the generator for running the AC, but it would reduce the cost of ship power considerably.
The reason for my starting a technology post in the reality of low-tech flashlights is the change in flashlights recently. There are many still shipping with AA, AAA, C or D batteries. You put new batteries in, and you have light. But there are now much more that come with rechargeable batteries. That seems logical to me; I have three flashlights that I now use a lot more because I can always plug them in and charge them!
Back to the reality of cool tech! I mentioned recently that the crowdfunding success Structure had released their new software Canvas. One of the reasons Canvas is so cool is that it lets you use your iPad (with the structure attachment) as a room scanning 3d scanner. I played around with it for my office, and it was amazing. I am going to make a 3d map of our entire house. The company behind the structure sensor and the Canvas software is Occipital. They, like a few other Kickstarter campaigns, have not only earned my loyalty, but I use the products all the time.
When something is bag worthy, it means not only do I use it at home, but I make a point of carrying it with me and using it in other places. I have two bags; one is for our boat. That bag tends to be things we use on the vessel, and I don’t use anywhere else. The other is my day to day work bag. There are quite a few crowdfunding projects that have made it into both of those.
1. Go-Plug, it is the actual carry to the boat bag! Plus it has a greatly extended life battery that can be used with the devices carried in the bag!
2. Camorama (360-degree waterproof camera) is a formerly crowdfunded project that is now sitting in my boat bag!
3. Occipital’s Structure Sensor (I take that with me to work from time to time)
4. Prynt, I take that to the boat to print pictures taken by my iPhone, while boating!
There are others; I will do a cool tech update on more former crowdfunding successes soon. In part, because from time to time I do post somewhat negative or cautionary tales, I do also want to share the joy of success!
If you build it, you hope the use it! If they use it, you hope they can’t put it down! There are a number (first four detailed above) of crowdfunding projects that have become go-to tools for me. They have become bag worthy!
Cool Tech Wanderer…