Further to our discussion at Rustik today here are some links to the Murraylink high voltage direct current electricity transmission link.
Also 'Murraylink HVDC Light Interconnection: Victoria - South Australia' ABB Power Technologies/AB Power Systems - pdf file accessed 25/6/2017
Peter, Len, Terry and I turned up at coffee this afternoon
We had some further discussion around using Facetime which can be only used between two Macs of one form or another. Either wifi or the mobile network can be used but using the mobile network would incur a charge depending on how long the call was and the users plan and how much data was left on the plan. For example a 1 hour call would use approximately 150 megabytes of data. If the call triggered the need for more data capacity then worst case for Telstra, $10 would be required for 1gb. This compares with $60 being required for a mobile voice call for one hour. Skype. Duo or Messenger would give similar results. Wifi is generally of much greater capacity and 150 mb would not impact it very much if at all and would be virtually free.
Terry showed us a new usb flash drive with 256 mb capacity costing $26
Peter gave us some information on the NBN
Len gave us some interesting information about the interconnector to South Australia. Some people (me included) envisaged lattice steel towers with wires on them which might fall over in the wind. Actually there are 180 kilometres of two high voltage dc cables from Red Cliffs in Victoria to Berri in South Australia, very securely buried in the ground and completely safe from all the bad weather that could be thrown at them.
Since the discussion yesterday strayed onto nuclear power, check out this link to Bill Gates Travelling Wave Reactor, a fourth generation large reactor due to commence construction with a Chinese partner by 2018 (Fact Sheet: The TWR: Bringing Nuclear Technology to its Fullest Potential.)
For a number of reasons the chance of such a large nuclear plant in Australia in the foreseeable future is about zero.
However there is great interest around the world in the development of small modular reactors (SMRs)
One that is expected to be at the construction stage shortly is the Nuscale version. It uses third generation technology as do most of the others, probably in the interests of getting something to market sooner rather than later.
Nuscale expects 1000 of these units to be in service by 2035. Their website is worth exploring. It is a possible candidate for use in the NEM in Australia at some stage. Fourth gen would have enormous benefits eg no need to refuel in 60 year life time and all the reasons mentioned in Bill Gates article above plus weapons grade plutonium almost non existent and added safety of being buried. It needs a breakthrough in materials technology.
A discussion on safety, non proliferation, security etc is included in the excellent 344 page Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report of 2016, available for those with the endurance to read it at
David, Terry, Peter and myself met at Rustik on the 25 May at 3pm . Len was an apology and Brent was en route to if not in Canada.
Consensus seems to be that the afternoon was decided as our meeting time at our last Techsavvy Talks meeting.
We discussed the Grattan report (refer previous post) into the difficulties facing the NEMO with the currently unworkable arrangements of state governments doing their own thing and the commonwealth making add hoc decisions about building more taxpayer funded generating capacity all with no coherent policy.
Peter* brought an interesting article on tyre pressure monitoring which would be very useful for those with expensive tyres as I found out recently.
Next meeting - fourth Thursday at 3 pm at Rustik!
*Vinen, N and Simpson, L (2017) Keeping Track of your Tyre Pressure without leaving the car Silicon Chip p 48-52 (Link is to preview only)
Les has recommended the following article as a a preread before this week's coffee catchup at Rustik.
Here's the article from the Grattan Institute - Powering Through - How to Restore Confidence in the Electricity Market. It has links to a podcast, the full report and more at the bottom of the article.
There's a bit of confusion about the time as Les's email said 3 pm which is the time he'll be facilitating the conversation at Rustik. Bev heard 10.30 am - which is in the newsletter and on the calendar on the website - so wil be at Rustik at 10.30 am just in case someone arrives then!
Clare, Peter, David and Les met at Rustik for discussion over coffee on Wednesday 26th, discussing LTE Broadcasting which Telstra has been trialling and will be rolled out nation wide next year. It is basically aimed at high quality video or multimedia services for mobile devices including smart phones and tablets although obviously the content could be cast to a TV receiver from your mobile using a Chromcast or similar device. Telstra is a very early adopter of the technology and the content to be provided is not fully decided but could range from sporting events to first release movies. It will obviously require devices capable of receiving 4G LTE–B transmissions. Late model Samsung and other devices should be ok but Apple products are doubtful at this stage. Maybe a software update could fix late models. LTE (Long Term Evolution) and the trend of mobile communications technology were also discussed. Both Telstra and Optus appear to be looking ahead for new products and services to replace existing ones in life after NBN.
Reading: Wright, M (2017) #MWC16: LTE-Broadcast: coming to a device near you Telstra Exchange/Network https://exchange.telstra.com.au/mwc17-lte-broadcast-coming-to-a-device-near-you/ (accessed 24 May 17)
David, Len, Peter and Brent and myself appeared at Rustik this morning circa 10.30 am.
We talked about the requirement of the NBN for a VDSL2 modem which would likely be provided by an ISP, who may also provide a wifi router as part of that. Experience suggests the wifi router provided by the ISP may not meet everyone’s needs for speed and security. We explored some of the offerings available and found the Google wifi particularly interesting in terms of security and adequate speed (throughput around 100 mb/s) as well as ease of setup. Google wifi was released overseas late last year and is much in demand. It is not yet available in Australia. Another interesting one not yet available is the F-Secure SENSE. It is to be released around the middle of this year. Both Google and the SENSE need to be continuously on line for updating of security patches and offer protection against a wide range of possible intrusions. Google updating is free while SENSE will cost $8 per month. Both of these claim to protect home networks including any IoT things which are very vulnerable in some cases.
Discussion was general and ranged across things like high frequency radio and ‘ham’ radio generally. We also learned something about life on Willis Island. A pleasant hour quickly passed. Not much to say really, just a pleasant conversation between three people with similar interests.
About 'Tech Savvy Talkers'
An optional group for members of the Tech Savvy Talks group who worked in technical, engineering, scientific and related fields who like to meet together to raise discuss of interest over a coffee at Rustik Cafe on the alternate fortnight to our regular meeting. The group usually meets on the 4th Thursday at 3 pm.
'Tech Savvy Talkers' enjoy an extra get together each month, meeting at 3 pm on the fourth Thursday for coffee and conversation at Rustik cafe:
- Our U3A
- A - E
- F - O
P - Z