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What is "Smart" with electric goods?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by ericmark, 8 Oct 2021.

  1. Mottie

    Mottie

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    Yeah. Our first remote control just changed channels in rotation and had a sort of 'clacker' inside that sounded like a spring loaded mini-hammer. It was nicknamed ‘the clicker' and even nowadays we sometimes say ‘where’s the clicker' when we are looking for our multifunction TV remote!
     
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  3. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Our first was wired, plugged into an octal base (like a valve) at the back of the set and only had on/off plus volume up/ down. Channel change was via a turret tuner on the actual set itself - no problem, there was only a choice of two channels (sometimes).
     
  4. Mottie

    Mottie

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    Our video recorder was remotely wired too. It split in half - the tuner remained at home, the VHS tape side went into a carry bag along with a battery and a wired camera and we had a portable (just!) video recorder.
     
  5. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    There was nothing 'portable' about my first video recorder + wired camera (a Betamax one, bought in 1980). Quite apart from the size/weight of it all, there was no provision for battery operation!

    We still have some videos created using it of the first months of my elder daughter's life (born 1980) but once she became mobile it all became a bit difficult, because the camera lead was probably no more than about 2 metres long! We did get enterprising at times, with the recorder on a trolley in the garden, with a long mains extension lead :)

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  6. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Around that time I bought what was an expensive, top of the range JVC 7700 recorder, which had a port to plug a camera in. Years after I scrapped it, I bought the matching camera quite cheap at a rally, which had been from RAF Scampton's equipment store. Good camera, but very bulky - I still have it stashed away.
     
  7. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Indeed. I bought the (Sony Betamax) recorder in 1980 in anticipation of my daughter's birth and, if I remember correctly, I did not get much change out of £1,000 (1980 £s). I also have both the recorder and camera stashed away somewhere, although goodness know whether either would work - the beat videos have long since been 'converted'!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  8. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    Fuzzy logic is another nonsense marketing favorite..probably surpassed by smart.
     
  9. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Indeed. Perhaps the 'fuzzy' is a reference to the mind/brains of the marketeers :)

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  11. FrodoOne

    FrodoOne

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    Yes.
     
  12. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    Nothing. Absolutely nothing is "smart" about them. They do nothing more than record usage at a variable (up to 48 1/2 hour slots/day, plus some "firstX units/month are Y rate, then it changes to Z rate" type things. We've had multi-rate metering for many decades - "Economy 7" and related tariffs are just a special case where the number of rates is 2. And in theory they can report usage and cost rates via the in-home network - but again, that's not "smart", it's just a simple hard coded "transmit this list of information" thing.
    Perhaps "smart" refers to the suits of the snake oil salesmen who managed to sell this to the government ?

    Unfortunately, it looks like too many compromises were made in the specs for the meters - to the extent that some of the claimed benefits (e.g. mass remote monitoring of end user supply voltage for the DNOs) simply didn't work (in that case, the measurement accuracy requirement was insufficient for the DNO's use).
    And I'm sure we've all heard some of the interoperability problems - in part caused by the politicians putting barriers in place that prevented key bits of the industry talking to other key bits in a way where some of these issues (as well as the specification gaps above) could have been spotted and mitigated.

    But the fundamental purpose of "smart" meters is demand side management - otherwise known as keeping the lights on when it's the "wrong sort or quantity" of wind blowing by persuading people to use lecky when it's convenient for the windmills rather than when it's useful to use it. And if that fails, by bringing back 1974 in a more fine grained manner.

    I would go out of my way to buy an explicitly "not smart" TV. You don't need a long memory to know that last year's model can quickly become "used to do something but no longer does" regarding any of the features it has. iPlayer is one system that's changed, and out of support TVs were stuffed - where "out of support" has no definition other than "manufacturer gives a s**t about something sold last month".
    Mum has a "smart" TV and it's smart features are never used. We don't even use the "press button and say what you want" as I've found it pretty useless at understanding the basic Freeview channels by name. She can manage to press the buttons for channel numbers, but that's it. The only reason she has a "smart" TV is because it's near impossible to buy a large screen that's "basic" - and we got her a large screen because of her poor eyesight.

    As above, we've found it pretty useless with Mum's TV. From memory it works with some channels, but can't cope at all with others.

    You would assume wrong. It might be possible to set that up, but it's neither default nor built in. And as to setup, all the installer will do is connect an "in home display" (IHD) to show you useless numbers.
    As an aside, the industry has a figure called TTD - time to drawer, the typical time it takes before the useless IHD is consigned to the back of a drawer and never looked at again. Apparently it's only a few weeks.

    I have yet to see any reliable study of long term savings from having a "smart" meter. There are figures for that honeymoon periods where it's novel, but I suspect that once the TTD expires, any behaviour changes disappear. But in this respect, there is nothing whatsoever that the "smart" meter will do for you that a cheap clip on "energy" monitor won't tell you - and the cheap energy monitor will actually give you more useful (real time) information.

    Yes, the lecky meter is the hub because it has an effectively unconstrained power supply. By contrast, the gas meter is required to run from a battery for 10 years or more.
     
  13. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Well I have - I made good use of it to watch and to reduce my own consumption, though perhaps I am an exception?
     
  14. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    As has been said, "watching and reducing your own consumption" does not require having a 'smart meter' - there are plenty of simple and cheap ways of doing that.

    Speaking personally, the system I have had in place for several years allows me to monitor my electricity consumption (and changes therein) in far more detail than any (current) 'smart' meter can - which perhaps makes what I do even 'smarter'?

    Kind Regards, John
     
  15. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I can monitor a socket from my computer, Car_battery_recharge2.jpg shown it what my smart charger uses, handy as I know when battery has fully charged, but for whole house simply too many items switching on/off to make any use of the information. I have a clamp-on ammeter connected to a display, which does show when wife has put the kettle on, but in real terms all power together is of little use, and the device was issued well before the smart meter by Scottish power and until we changed provider it was used to assist with estimated readings, so annual correction was only a few pounds out, it used my broad band to connect, so if broad band went down Scottish power got no reading. But it was only a few pounds out at end of year.

    So rather pointless having a Smart meter unless it does more, and it does not seem to do more.

    Coms is a problem, I know with my mother the social services installed a monitor to show when mother in bed, when door opened, and she had a panic button, this was connected to normal phone line, but when mother knocked phone off rest it stopped working. So I also had a camera in the living room which also showed temperature and had sound, when the monitoring station phoned to tell me some alarm had be raised, I would use Pet cam to see if she really needed me.

    The problem is these devices need a human interface, seems the hub had been put where it could be seen and my mother could hear it, they had not realised there was a non cordless phone for emergency use in case of power cut.

    Be it a light, TV, or any other device, it is the human machine interface (HMI) which determines if it can really work. I have to admit Sky Q works well, and Freeview is a complete waste of time. I do also use free to air which works quite well, but does need rescanning from time to time as programs arrive or go, it does not auto update like Sky Q, Neither does it have voice control like Sky Q. Moel y Sant freeview transmitter has 52 channels less than Moel y Parc that I use to use, so with so few channels don't know why they bother.

    But voice control seems to be taking over, great when not sure how to spell some thing. But watching the adverts for smart meters it seems they can switch lights on and off by clapping ones hands, which I don't believe, and even if it did question is would all the local chain saws also work ones lights?

    Since I don't think it will turn my lights off/on, I wonder about the rest, I simply don't believe anything the adverts say.

    The problem with Smart is some times the devices do some thing unexpected. I set my central heating schedule upload_2021-10-11_2-7-4.png only to realise the boiler was running when not really cold, and found it had added bits to the schedule. Weekly Schedule.jpg I don't think that is a very Smart move.
     
  16. plugwash

    plugwash

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    It enables a greater range of tarrifs, which have a potential for being one component in addressing the situation where customers have no incentive to use power at times when there is lots of power available.

    Exactly how those tarrifs will be structured is an open question. For a while I saw a bunch of people praising octopus's agile tarriff but afaict the recent crisis has driven agile customers back to conventional tarrifs.

    I do wonder if with the rise of solar and EVs, we will reach a time when power in the middle of the day is cheaper than the middle of the night (I expect the evening to remain the "peak" time for power).

    OTOH I hear there is quite a bit of money to be made on octopus's "agile export" tarrif at the moment.

    It also potentially allows individual properties to be disconnected for load-shedding. Rather than turning off whole neighbourhoods at once. Of course the powers that be are keeping very quiet about that feature because they don't want to discourage adoption.
     
  17. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Yes, you can buy extra monitoring equipment if you are so minded, but the Smart Meters make it so much easier to monitor your general consumption and consumption at specific times of day and include BOTH energy sources, entirely passively - or at least that was the case, when they were first installed and the worked.

    It seems the energy companies lose interest in Smart Meters, once you have had them installed, not caring whether they work or not - just so long as you can tick the SM box.
     
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