Nintendo shut down the Wii U online service, so no more Call of Duty Ghosts online play for moi. There were still a few of us, and most of us were pretty old! I played regularly with a guy in Scotland, two others in England, a few in France, including a woman, a few in Germany, an 80-year-old from Arkansas, a guy from Pennsylvania and another in Canada.

It was fun, but it was pretty addictive. I made it up to 127th in Team Deathmatch. Before I knew they were shutting the service down on April 8th, I had as my goal to make it to 125. That would have required another month or so online. But I did manage to complete my other goal, which was to earn the "gold" camo on all the weapons. Finished that last week with just days to spare. Of course, none of that is available now. I thought at least there'd be a local profile on the box, but I can't find it.

If you search for COD Ghosts Wii U online play on YouTube, there are a few videos where I appear. (ActionDave79, Hey, I created that handle over a decade ago!) I was surprised, but I guess it's a thing on YouTube.

So now my afternoons are free. I got some cable connector adapters today, so I figured I'd go play prepper. I bought a Nebo 100W solar panel from Woot on special for $149 (regularly $299). I couldn't really test it with the Bluetti EB3A because they use different connectors. I've ordered some "real" solar panel connectors (MC4?) but today I have an adapter that converts the 5525 DC plug that came with the Nebo to the DC 7909 the EB3A uses.

I needed to discharge the EB3A to get it to charge, so I plugged in one of my three or four Makita 18v battery chargers and charged a couple of batteries. There's cloud cover overhead, but once the EB3A began discharging AC, it indicated it was receiving power from the solar panel. Highest I ever saw it get was 48 watts, but it is pretty cloudy.

Anyway, charged all the batteries that I thought needed charging. None was particularly low. But it drained the EB3A to 85% capacity. It's back up to 96% right now, but the panel is only putting out 14 watts now. I don't expect that to improve with the decreasing sun angle and the clouds.

But I was browsing around Amazon and spotted a "used" 100W Nebo panel (I guess someone returned one) for $119(!), so I snagged that. I'll have to buy another set of MC4 connectors to rig both panels up.

And just because I'm a dumbass, I went ahead and bought a Bluetti AC70. It was on sale for $450 and gets good reviews. It pairs well with the EB3A, which may be being discontinued? It has about 700 watt-hours of power and a 1kW AC inverter, so it can handle bigger loads or run for longer times than the EB3A. It's bigger, but it's not huge by any means. You can use it as an UPS, but we don't really need that. But it's nice to have "just in case." I figure if nothing else, I can drag it out on the back patio and plug in the oscillating floor fan and set it on high and see if it blows the mosquitos away!

Who knows? It's 110vAC wherever you need it, as long as you're not powering a large load. You can do some trickery with resistive loads (lower the voltage and increase the amperage) to run an electric griddle, but if anything requires stable 60hz, best to stay within the thousand watt limit.

And I got a nice email from a woman at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Standards Information Center, who explained battery connections weren't their jam. But she did send along a bunch of info about a manufacturers' association and the Cordless Alliance System, which I will be looking into.

I sent her a thank you email and told her I appreciated it and the work she and her colleagues were doing.

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Originally posted at Nice Marmot 16:28 Tuesday, 9 April 2024