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About Peta

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  • Birthday June 11

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  1. I have reduced the price to what seems to be a going rate. Hope to sell to make space.
  2. 24 degrees typically in July. Sometimes 28 in August. September is around 25 because there is less penetration of the sunlight. Slab inside where no sun shines stays between 15 and 20 degrees. Several days of no sunshine means it cools down a lot.
  3. Good to see that there are a few people here who share my own concern for living sustainably. A few things that I think might be useful. Firstly, I need to say that I am in Canberra, 600m above sea level and 200km from the sea. We have very cold winters and hot summer days with cool nights. Summer has almost still air. Spring and Autumn have the most wind. Days are generally sunny and cloudless with very few full cloud and rainy days. Rainfall comes in short bursts during Spring and Summer. I bought a north facing passive solar designed house from a friend 12 years ago. It was built in 1984 when most builders and designers knew little about energy efficiency. I have spent the last 8 years making improvements. Here is what I learned and did. The biggest problem with the build was that the house was designed for cross flow ventilation and had large sliding doors in the North side and many opening windows on the south side. For some reason the bedrooms located on the Western side had narrow windows on the west wall. A pergola with grapevines and wisteria was on the north side and no eaves there. There were eaves on the South side and none on the east or west. The west wall was bare and double brick. The rest is brick veneer and dark coloured. To correct these problems, I first attached trellising to the west wall and planted Virginia creeper on it which grew rapidly to cover the wall with its own inbuilt 50mm air gap between leaves and the wall. The first Summer I lived here temperatures in the rooms on the west wall were over 32 degrees at sunset. Now they are rarely over 28 degrees on a 40 degree day. The next thing I did was to replace the sliding doors. They were built from cedar and single glazed. The timber had warped leaving a gap of up to 15 mm between the fixed frame and the door. This let insects and hot or cold air through. Also the sealing around the windows and door frames was not very good. Any breeze could be felt - leaving unsealed gaps was standard practice in building then, I understand. Replacing the sliding doors with a fixed double glazed window and a new uPVC double glazed French door meant that I was able to seal the gaps and air leakage reduced to almost nothing there. I did a similar thing with other windows - retrofit double glazing and sealing. I replaced two other opening windows that leaked air with fixed ones on the south and west. The other opening windows I had new frames made for the opening part and a built in seal to stop air leaks. Overall this (slightly expensive) work has produced the greatest benefit. Next challenge was to do something about the heating. Heating was from a wood heater. I had a very large pile of wood from a giant tree that had to be removed because it was overhanging powerlines. That wood lasted 5 years. However, wood heating is good when you have a wood supply and someone around during the day to keep it going. You do have to be tolerant of dust and very dedicated. However, my lifestyle changes once my son went to university and then to live overseas. I took on jobs that require longer hours and travel. This does not work well with a wood heater. The house was designed to isolate the large room where the wood heater was located and this meant a lot of doors and therefore dead spaces. Add to this that any decent artwork or (heaven forbid) sensitive audio equipment, including records were not going to survive. The photograph shows what I did once I removed the wood heater. The heater was right where the equipment is sitting in the middle of the wall. Essentially, I got back a quarter of the room by making this change. - Removing the wood heater and making some space for some audio equipment. After the first summer of over 30 degree evenings, I installed a medium sized reverse cycle airconditioner. It worked ok to moderate the summer temperatures and heat the house to remove the chill when I could not keep a fire going. However, the summer heat was a problem. With cool nights getting down to 15 degrees or even less it should be possible to cool the house by ventilation. Without a sea breeze this did not happen by itself. I installed an opening "roof window" that I control via a remote. I open it in the evening and, because it is at 3 metres there is a convection airflow from windows though the open skylight. Venetian blinds and triple glazing on the glass keeps the sun out in summer and lets it in when I want it at other times. This bit of work means that I rarely use any cooling in summer - only when there are extreme days and hotter than average nights. Maybe 5-10 days a year. Adding a screen/security door helped in Summer too. It improved circulation of air through the "solar vent" created by the skylight. Drawing large volumes of cool air over a slate floor means that the floor gets close to the lowest morning temperature wherever the breeze moves. A good thing. Old sliding door being removed New Glass double glazed unit New uPVC french door. total seal and very secure window. Also using Starfire glass A note on the double glazing. In Canberra the key to double glazing is to take into account our cold sunny winters and hot dry sunny summers. On the South side the ideal glass is a low-e type that provides a good thermal barrier. No sunlight gets through in Winter so the lower transparency of the low-e type (around 70-74% transmission) is therefore not an issue. On the North side it is a different story. I want the most sunlight in during the Winter and using a type of glass called StarFire gives me a bit less than 92% transparency with the dual layers of glass. Overall this is around 20% more warmth let through. The glass is more expensive but worth it over a lifetime of maybe 30+ years. Payback period was 5 years. Of course the dollars are part of the story. The comfort of having a warm floor to walk on in the middle of winter - even early in the morning - is priceless. In late June and early July the sun penetrates to nearly 4 metres inside the house. The days may be shorter but the warmth on a sunny day is amazing. I frequently have 23+ degrees inside at 6 PM in the winter. Actual slab temperature (dark slate is 24 degrees when the air temperature is a little lower in July. I measured this with an electronic thermometer after dark about 6 PM. Outside temperature was 8 degrees on stone pavers at the same time. To further improve the thermal efficiency of such large areas of glass, I installed Duette honeycomb blinds inside to provide a screen from outside and also noticeably reduce the feeling of cold from the windows. Be careful choosing installers. Most will not fit them flush with an architrave and leave gaps for cold/warm air to circulate - almost defeating the purpose. Specify before ordering. Duette blinds adding to the insulation Summer and Winter Pergola What to do about the pergola? Wisteria was breaking the structure and 35 years of weathering meant it needed to be removed or replaced. Given that the pergola had to go and that there is a problem with a fixed shading system like a pergola - fixed shading shades symetrically when you need less shade in September and early October and more in March and early April. Therefore I replaced the pergola with some retractable awnings that I can adjust to provide heavy shade out to 2 metres past the windows in Summer and retract them whenever I choose. They are relatively expensive but work far better. I will post some photographs. In the works is another little experiment. A "solar pergola" that will be half a metre wide and at 11 degrees angle covered in solar panels. Solar panels are hail proof and provide good shelter like proper eaves but are actually no more expensive than traditional roofing materials. Then they also generate electricity. All I need is to get a tradesperson to build the frame for me - It might not be before January now. The old Pergola No pergola but replaced with a retractable awming. Hot water I wanted to have solar tube hot water for the simple reason that it is so nice to have the sun heat the water for me. I arranged installation with a reputable supplier and specified two unusual things. First that the tubes be angled at 50 degrees and secondly that the "booster" be the existing instantaneous gas heater that I could turn off and on via the inside controller. To help with that, I also wanted an indoor display showing the tank water temperature. Why monuted at 45 degrees? It is to maximise winter sun and minimise summer sun. The opposite of what you do for solar panels. Summer sunshine usually boils water heated by the tubes when there are many hours of sunshine at a high angle and fails to heat the water enough when there are fewer hours of sunshine and a low angle. The secret is to angle to collect the sun best a t the lowest angle and thsi means that the sun at a high angle hits a smaller target. The calculation of angle goes like this. Get your latitude. In my case about 34 degrees. The sun moves 23 degrees lower than this in Winter so raise the tubes to 34+23 =47 degrees. A couple of degrees makes little difference. At the equinoxes there is a reduced heat (ie hitting at an angle of 25 degrees) but more daylight which more than adequately compensates. In Summer it hits at an angle of 68 degrees and reduces the amount of boiling and venting of hot water in the tank. You really need to convince most installers that this is the right thing to do. Solar hot water tubes at 45 degree angle ... that is all I have time for now. If anyone is interested, I can add some more to this post to cover water storage, micro climate, energy efficiency and solar/battery. Essentially, I am paid by ACTEW (gas, water and sewerage) after selling my spare electricity and using my own plus gas for cooking and heating in the depths of winter. Finished interior with low power consumption audio equipment consuming about 50 W without the TV on and 80 W with it. Just the old Marantz Pre processor used 55 W.
  4. Speaker Apartheid

    Possibly wise to remember that people do try to dumb down discussion about high quality music and its reproduction. Lowest common denominator communication is known to sell more things. I suspect that is where the idea comes from that xyz brand/model of speaker is best suited to abcd type of music.
  5. I have both and use the Antipodes DX. That says it in a nutshell. You do get what you pay for and there are diminishing returns on investment, as always. The Antipodes is much more sophisticated and better sounding. You need to listen to them to understand because any words i use to describe the differences are subject to what you think those words mean - not being cute here but that is the reality with high end music reproduction. Beyond that the support from Antipodes is a totally different thing to Auralic. I found they know what they are doing and can influence Roon to fix subtle and complex problems. The take the time to do that. In some ways you pay for this in the purchase price. Roon is changing all the time and something that works "flawless" now can break tomorrow. Both work and have their limitations. Try running 2400 albums on an Aires Mini and it chokes (for 2 days in my case). The Antipodes DX and later models will breeze through the indexing and metadata attachment. Then there is the issue of what you want Roon to do... I want it to do less than is on offer so disable large amounts of it. A slower processor will not handle the DSP part of Roon anywhere near as well as a faster processor. You pay for faster processors ...
  6. Z Wave?

    Sorry to be confusing. I was talking about Hue using zigbee and a gateway controller to link into the Homekit protocols. Poor sentence construction.
  7. Z Wave?

    Wise move. From my own experience Fibaro and Vera controllers are not up to the job. Integrating sensors is a classic pain in the ... By comparison the Homekit ecosystem works together and does what it should without ridiculous techo stuff required. Australia's different power and plugs mean that there is a delay getting Homekit gear here but it definitely looks a brighter future. Downside ... you need to dedicate an iPad or Apple TV to run Homekit. It uses the Zigbee protocols and gateways like the Hue deliver their excellent lighting through Homekit. My thoughts anyway
  8. Item: Orpheus Aurora 3 speakers with the better sounding and prettier curved cabinets. Specially selected by Kiat Location: Canberra Price: $1,000 Reduced 50% because I want to sell to make space. Item Condition: Near perfect Reason for selling: Making space and not used so much now Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: These speakers perform exceptionally for the price. Sound stage is precise and you get solid and pinpoint location of instruments, voices (male and female ranges are consistent) and there is a depth and breadth that you can "feel". The speakers were specially selected by Kiat at my request and negotiated through the late Kingston Hi Fi here in Canberra. In my opinion the matching made a significant difference in the sound image quality. I bi-amped these speakers with two Bel Canto Ref series (500S and 150S) with great results. I have spikes but did not use them on my slate floor. Good cables help bring out the detail and I can vouch for bi-amping producing better detail. Suggest also that using a subwoofer for below 80Hz will improve mid bass definition. I tried these with the rear facing bass reflex ports closed and open and recommend having them open and using a subwoofer to take away the lower bass load. It made quite a difference to the stability of stereo imaging. Power handling is at least 200W per channel but efficiency is high so even 20W should be enough for listening to music. Orpheus is a sister company to Duntech who should be well recognised around this place. I have held onto these because I wanted to set up another room but have turned that into an office. The speakers I replaced them with cost 4x as much and are more subtle in the upper ranges and tighter in the mid-bass. Not a significant difference in stereo imaging. Doing dual duty for music and home theatre was no problem at all - the Aurora 3s are possibly better for the movies. The speakers are about 25 Kg each so if you are not in Canberra the only way we can get these to you is for you to organise your preferred courier (Pack n Send do well but it is your choice) and I will take the speakers to them for transport. I have original boxes but they have been damaged by insects in the shed and they probably need to be wrapped up in protective materials to protect the excellent finish in jarrah veneer. BTW the veneer does not fade in sunlight. Talk to me about these speakers. Be warned that I will be sad to see them go. They got me loving my music again. Pictures:
  9. Love to pick over some of your classical items there. I will be back in town next weekend so lets get together ...
  10. The Antipodes DX is significantly better and significantly more expensive. The support for Antipodes is first class the support form Aires is third class. Business practices follow the same lines.
  11. In answer to a question ... Yes it does Have Darbee The accessories have never been unwrapped. Original packaging as in the picture. Australian delivered. Bought by myself from the local supplier. It also has the region switching kit that allows you to read
  12. Item: Oppo BDP 105 Blu Ray and multi disc player in first class condition Location: Canberra Price: $800 Item Condition: Excellent with original packing Reason for selling: No longer used Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Well known product that works well. No longer used for streaming and I stream movies now from a NAS and streaming services. I will send this via Australia Post or any other service we agree upon. Pictures:
  13. Yes a waste indeed. I tried it to see if I could use the Oppo as a preamp and it could up to a point. The biggest sticking point was gapless playback not working. Of course that could be different now.
  14. Roon

    I beg to differ by way of detail. You can tell Roon to not Prefer Roon for metadata. Only thing is you need to do that per album. Ie 23,000 or more of them ... I saw some way of doing it in bulk on the Roon forums but even then you have to change that setting for albums you add - about 20 in a good month for me.