Friday, 26 April 2013

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Just had a bit of a rant on one of the forums while I was looking at what tablets are available.

Why oh why do the manufacturers keep bringing out otherwise great "mobile" devices (tablets, netbooks etc) but insist on not supplying 3G mobility?
Internet marketing 101 ... find a customer need and fill it 
 .... is it so hard to figure out from all the forums what the customers' top wants are, in mobile devices? 

So I too, ... like so many others, ... will continue to wait for (in my case) a
9~10", 3G, brand-name tablet (Nexus, Asus etc), with 128GB or better, 1080p with HDMI, USB Host, 
SD (or microSD) , fast CPU, decent battery run-time, a half-decent camera 
and of-course WiFi and Bluetooth
 .... did I miss anything?
Oh yes ... and while I'm on my wish-list, 
how about a Windows OS that doesn't price the device off the market but does work properly, 
does run real windows apps and doesn't reduce the battery to a molten mass in a few short hours!

Lastly it all needs to be well under the $1,000 mark, preferably heading toward the $600~$800

Read the forum comments and reviews

The closest thing yet (Apr2013) - just WXGA not full HD (1080i not 1080p)

Differences in resolution explained
I like this summary ...
In digital electronics there is a thing called "sample rate conversion". You can think of TV pixels as "samples" of the picture. It is possible to convert from any sample rate to another, both higher and lower than the original. In TV land this is termed "scaling", but it means the same thing. All broadcast TV is either 720p or 1080i. The TV set can display whatever by proper scaling, which is done in the TV set itself. The resolution of the screen is called the "native resolution" of the TV. Anything coming in, no matter what (480i, 480p, 720p or 1080i) must be scaled to the native resolution of the set. However, the information content (resolution) in the result cannot exceed that of the original source. If the native resolution has more samples than the source, the picture will have equal resolution as the source; if it is less, then the display will have less resolution than the source. Since 1366x768 has more samples than 1280x720, that format can be displayed without loss. However, it is not as many samples as 1920x1080, so the set cannot display a 1080i picture at full resolution, When the manufacturer claims 1080i capable, it means the set can ACCEPT 1080i signals, it doesn't mean that they can be displayed at full resolution. Until recently, most sets did not exceed 1280x720 pixels, and some plasmas were as low as 1024x768. None of these could display 1080i without loss of resolution. Even older CRT sets which would scan 1080i on their picture tubes would not actually resolve all the pixels; they weren't as good as the 720p sets that succeeded them. The situation is very confusing and marketing people are taking advantage of this.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

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Got an MS Access automation question?

Can't get an Access form or formula to work?

Cant' get some Access VBA right?

Got a database problem to solve but can't quite figure out how to go about it?

Want to do some fancy Access forms, fields or lookups?

I use VBA extensively, to perform some fairly complex system integrations and automation of data Extracts, Transforms, Loads and Informs, using  Access, Excel, Word, Outlook and a range of legacy applications.

Ask your question in the comments and I'll see if I can solve it for you.

Excel questions here

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Latest update on TRYING to Network our
SAMIL River 5200TL-D Solar Inverter

Firmware versions

  In response to my Question to Samil ...

Can you please clarify/verify the firmware versioning, as it appears our new inverter has a later version(v1.10) than what is contained in the RAR file you sent me(v1.2)
(The original inverter was v1.02)

As an aside, the new inverter (running firmware v1.10) continues to mis-record values on a sporadic basis just like the first unit;

One sunny day (about the same amount of sun as those either side of it) the inverter decided to record 0.04KW for the day!
On three occasions now, it appears to have not reset the previous days total and continued to accrue the subsequent day’s generation to effectively have double the normal value on the second day!

I haven’t even bothered to try and re-connect it via WiFi/LAN to log the data as it will not stay connected to the network long enough to be worth my time!
Regards Colin

The Samil response was ...
 Hi Colin,
The v1.2 is the latest firmware version which fix the power record issue.

I admit that the R&D is working on the wifi dropping off randomly issue right now.
The temporary solution I recommend to J is to monitoring his system via the VIplant, which is a more stable firmware.

My reply was of-course ...
Thanks M
I may have a go at the firmware update this weekend then.
I must reiterate that there is ABSOLUTELY NO POINT TRYING TO USE VI-Plant because THE INVERTER WILL NOT STAY CONNECTED TO THE NETWORK let alone communicate with ANY monitoring solution!
It physically stops communicating until you reboot it 
Regards Colin

Saturday, 20 April 2013


Got an Excel automation Question?

Can't get an Excel formula to work?

Cant' get some Excel VBA right?

Got a spreadsheet problem to solve but can't quite figure out how to go about it?

Want to do some fancy Excel filters, lookups or formatting?

I use VBA extensively (and an occasional recorded macro!), to perform some fairly complex system integrations and automation of data Extracts, Transforms, Loads and Informs, using  Excel, Access, Word, Outlook and a range of legacy applications.

Ask your question in the comments and I'll see if I can solve it for you.

MS Access questions here

Friday, 19 April 2013

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Adding a hyperlink from a worksheet in one Excel workbook to a specific sheet/cell of a worksheet in another workbook .... 

how hard can that be?

Easy right?

Sure ... every forum says so ...
Just add the formula
=hyperlink("c:\path name\spreadsheet.xlsx#SheetName!$A$4","Text to display in cell to click")
You can even use UNC paths  
=hyperlink("\\server name\share name\path name\spreadsheet.xlsm#Sheet!B10","Click Me")

Sooo easy ... except when you consistently get  "Cannot open the specified file" each time you click the link

Make sure you have removed any previously applied hyperlink BEFORE creating your hyperlink formula!
Select the cell with the formula in it, right-click and select "Remove Hyperlink"
NOW (re)create your correctly formed hyperlink formula in that cell (as per all the many forum examples) and BEHOLD! it will probably work now!

If for some reason there is a failed pre-existing hyperlink attached to the cell, it must be completely removed before applying the cell-formula based hyperlink.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

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April 16 2013 update to: 

Ongoing experience of TRYING to Network our
SAMIL River 5200TL-D Solar Inverter

 A very brief update to say I've now had two other Samil owners email me to share their similar stories with me.
To one of the senders I replied ...

It’s nice to know its not just me!
I too have been rung by MikeZhang and have this MASSIVE email trail between us.

He has taken my early reports to the devs and I too got told to use VIplant instead of the browser solution ... despite me explaining at-length that the inverter won’t even stay on the network long enough to use VIplant ... quite apart from my having already set up an account and tried VIplant with total non-success.

In short it doesn’t seem like they want to recognise they have a problem and keep telling me to upgrade the firmware using  “the latest” rar file which they emailed me which I can’t seem to get through to them appears to be an EARLIER version than what is on the replacement inverter I had swapped-in by my installer!!!!

Am I frustrated ... you bet I am!
Having paid as much as we have for a supposedly “automated” system which I have to manually record each day and even then with the second unit every so often it records some totally erroneous daily value like 0.04KW on a sunny day or conversely 53KW+ on a partially cloudy day when the best “real” value I’ve ever seen is like 39.37KW on a totally sunny day!

I can only hope you are right and with more voices Samil will finally try and fix the shonky firmware!

Do stay in touch and I’ll try and update the blog when I have new info

Please Tweet/Facebook/G+ about my blog to get the info out to other Samil owners

I take it you did see all the pages I put up with all my research and findings?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

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SAMIL Generation Statistics 

for the first three months

  • Lost 3 days production (i.e. 94% of month available for generation)
  • Achieved 97% of predicted generation for the month
  • Achieved 73% of historical daily usage
  • Lost 4 days production (i.e. 86% of month available for generation)
  • Achieved 75% of predicted generation for the month
  • Achieved 57% of historical daily usage

  • Lost 0 days production (i.e. 100% of month available for generation)
  • Achieved 112% of predicted generation for the month
  • Achieved 84% of historical daily usage
  • 1st quarterly power bill (not yet containing a full 90days solar generation) was reduced from the typical $850~980 down to $67-17
  • Solar repayments for this period $952