Challenging times demand time for a change!

New “UK” launch

It’s been a challenging time for businesses generally, and particularly in the United Kingdom, with Brexit in many cases adding cost and time to trading, and Covid-19 restricting travel and networking.

So it seemed an appropriate time to launch a new varient of the Yellows Best Limited website, now additionally utilising “.co.uk” as a signifier of commitment to our home market location.  

Keeping Customers Operational

The new YellowsBest.co.uk promotes the same blend of Services and Solutions for “Keeping Customers Operational”, but presented in a different and modern single-page layout, making it particularly mobile device-friendly where ‘vertical scrolling’ is more appealing than using the traditional ‘horizontal tabbed’ layout.

We hope this provides Customers old and new with a welcome alternative, though the original YellowsBest.com will continue to be maintained, along with it’s associated blog for ‘informal’ views and news updates.

Assisting with your requirements

It would be interesting to receive feedback as to how useful you may find this additional site, and whether there is anything else you’d like to see featured.

Of course, @YellowsBestLtd online content ultimately serves the purpose of highlighting the types of services and solutions we can provide. Customers may therefore be prompted to get in touch to discuss their specific requirements, which we can usually assist with.

Rest assured, if you use either contact address:

enquiries@yellowsbest.co.uk

enquiries@yellowsbest.com

we’ll receive your message and will be in touch by return. We look forward to hearing from you! 

eTrike Conversion Project

More fun going electric

With the combination of moving to a more sustainable future along with a fitness drive encouraging people to be more active, one thing growing in popularity is the “eBike”, which supplements the efforts of the rider with a low speed assistance from an electric motor.

eBike

This means you don’t need to be young or super-fit to enjoy getting out and about, with good speeds and longer distances very achievable. And if you want a challenge, you can always switch the assistance off!

Ebikes come ready built to ride away, but an existing machine can be converted.

The three-wheeler challenge 

Given the benefits to two-wheeled cycling from going electric, a similar upgrade to an existing 3-wheeled recumbent trike was called for.

eTrikeOriginal
eTrike awaiting conversion

In principle, this is ‘simply’ a matter of adding an electric motor and a battery, which is indeed what was done, but there were a few challenges along the way.

Step 1: choosing the electric motor location

The first major decision to make when converting or purchasing any electric cycle is the location of the motor; there are three options: front-wheel, rear-wheel or bottom-bracket mount. For the Trike, with its two small forward wheels, front mounting is not possible. The rear option would require the replacement of the wheel with one with a hub motor, and anyway this can be considered an inferior location given that the motor drive is separate from the rider’s push of the pedals. 

Consequently, a bottom-bracket motor was selected, which confusingly on a recumbent trike is not a ‘centre mount’ because it is located at the front, ahead of the front wheel.

Step 2: Motor selection

There are now an expanding number of manufacturers of electric cycle motors, but some of these are only built into new bicycles, and others are prohibitively expensive kits. However, some very affordable Chinese products are available via AliExpress. The selection of the Tongsheng 36V 250W Tsdz2 model from pswpower was made.

TSDZ2
Tongsheng Tsdz2

Given the restriction in the UK of a maximum speed of 15.5 mph for powered assistance and limit of 250W, this unit is perfectly adequate for the intended task.

Step 3: Bottom Bracket ‘special’ fit

The ‘Bottom Bracket’ is the place on all cycles which enables the pedals to rotate, with bearings facilitating the movements of cranks. However, there are many ‘standards’ of different manufacturers models, so getting a motor to fit in place is not necessarily straight-forward. The existing Trike had what is known as an Ashtabula or ‘American’ one-piece crank’ (OPC) Bottom Bracket, whereby the cranks for the pedals on each side are formed from a single unit and uses a 51.3mm bearing cup pressed into the frame.

OnePeiceCrank
American style one-piece-crank


CrankRemoval
Removal of the cranks

Unscrewing the crank retaining nut was aided by use of a Park Tool HCW-18 spanner. One of the pedals was taken off, the bearings teased out, and the crank fed out. Then a brass drift punch bar helped to hammer out the mounting cups from each side.

The difficultly then came that the mounting shaft of the Tsdz2 motor is smaller than the bottom bracket diameter, and is also offset. Fortunately, there is a perfect conversion solution to this problem already available, called the Eccentric BB adapter. This converts the Ashtabula empty shell to standard BSA size 34mm diameter (68mm width), but also is asymmetrical mounting which perfectly accommodates the offset motor shaft. This though is somewhat tricky to source; eventually located at Luna Cycle in CA, USA.

eccentricBBadapter
Eccentric BB American to BSA adapter

Fitting the adapter required careful insertion either side, being a close fit and needing gentle assistance with a mallet, also ensuring that the rotation of two halves lined up.

BBadapter
Eccentric Adapter in place

But once fitted, the motor was slid in and the offset mounting ensured that the shaft located without difficulty or fouling of the frame. The retaining bracket was fitted to the motor and secured with two M5x16 bolts, and then the M33 retaining nut was screwed into place and tightened using the special ring spanner tool supplied with the motor.

MotorInPlace
Securing the Motor

The fixing block was then attached with an M8x40 bolt, and the motor assembly secured in place using the bridge-plate, needed to prevent the possibility of the motor rotating in the crank when being powered in operation.

Step 3: Cranks and pedals

The cranks then fitted to the motor spindles either side. The supplied 170mm long parts were too long for the recumbent machine, being designed for a standard bicycle, and hence a pair of 152mm cranks were sourced, which matched the length of the original ones, which being an all-in-one unit couldn’t be reused. Neither could the pedals, which were a different screw size, and so standard gauge replacements were fitted.

CrankFitment
Fitting the Cranks

These feature a reverse thread for the left-hand side, which therefore was secured by anti-clockwise rotation, whilst the right hand naturally secures clockwise. 

Step 4: Battery fitment

Next came the addition of the 36V 13Ah Lithium-Ion power source. There are various types that can be used on standard bicycles, including down-tube or top-tube units, and bottle-type, but the recumbent trike doesn’t have space for any of these. Instead, it was necessary to add a rear carrier, mounting over the rear wheel, to house a rack mounting battery purchased through eBay from 167-tradeworld-uk. This wasn’t a completely straight-forward fit, as first the rear axle position had to be slightly centralised to accommodate the brackets, and then 16mm pipe clips were needed be added to the frame behind the seat for attaching the front stays to secure the rack. This ensured that the rack didn’t slide or rotate forwards or backwards in use with the weight of the battery.

Rear Rack and Battery

With the rack secured, the purpose-built battery housing was screwed in place on the lower row of the carrier. Then the battery was slid into place and secured with its key lock. Charging of the battery can be made in situ, though it can also be removed for this purpose. This was fully charged using the dedicated mains / 36V power supply adapter.

Step 5: Display mounting

An important part of the electric conversion system is the incorporation of a display, which connects the power and controls the cycling assistance, whilst also providing useful data such as speed, distance and charge remaining.

VLCD5 Display

For this project, a VLCD5 display was chosen, ideal for the purpose. Due the limited room and mounting options, given that there are no high up handlebars or top tube on the recumbent trike, the display was mounted centrally on the low steering crossbar. This was secured via the two horizontal attachment loops, thus in use being positioned between the rider’s legs.

Optional remote button control

The optional remote button control was additionally located on the left handle grip, though this was subsequently found to be of no practical use in operation.  

Step 6: Wiring up

With all the main components in place, all that was left was to make the various wiring connections, starting with linking the battery to the motor. The battery came with an XT-60 socket, whereas the motor has 4mm bullet connectors. Also, due to the forward mounting location of the motor, a cable of approximately 1m was needed to link the parts, converting the connection types in the process. 

Next, the speed sensor was fitted to the left-hand rear wheel stay and accompanying magnet to the spokes, by means of cable ties. This is the means by which the control unit calculates and therefore displays the speed and distance travelled.

Speed Sensor and Wheel Magnet

The attached cable contains a splitter which is used to connect to both the display unit and also optional front and rear lights. Chosen for this purpose was an AXA Echo 15 switch for the front, and a Lynx rack mounting e-bike red LED for the rear, both of which fortunately accepted the 2.8mm mini spade connectors on the wiring harness.

Front and Rear lights

This combination cable was again too short to link the display with the sensor, so an additional 1m speed sensor extension N58B cable was added, this having the required 6-pin male/female connectors to plug into the splitter cable and the corresponding motor connection.

Step 7: Powering up and Configuring

The final step was to switch on the battery using the key and control panel with a press of the power button, and then set about configuring the system parameters.

Display switched on

The wheel size was set to 20 inches, and the distance measurement to miles. The i-button on the display module cycles the modes from ODO (total distance), TRIP, AVG (speed) and TIME. The +/- buttons increase/decrease the selected assistance level from ECO (minimum), TOUR, SPEED to TURBO (maximum).

The front and rear lights can be switched on and off with a short press of the power button. The rear battery light can be additionally manually switched on.

A long press of the power button switches the display off.

Finishing up and testing 

To finalise the build, some cable sheaths were added to tidy up the wiring, and cable ties secured all the leads. The original flag (useful for visibility for such a low-down vehicle) was cable tied in position against the rear rack.

eTrike complete with Flag

The eTrike frame was adjusted for the right seating position. Now was time for a test ride! 

Completed eTrike project

The completed machine performed perfectly well, providing, as most electric cycles do, assistance from a stationary start up to the legal maximum of 15.5 mph. Pedalling effort is still required by the rider, but the effect is to ‘flatten’ hills (and reducing the need for gear changes), making the experience less strenuous and more enjoyable, maintaining a greater average speed and achieving longer ride distances.  

In conclusion, the eTrike conversion was relatively straight-forward, once all the necessary component parts had been identified and sourced. Since recumbent trikes are a somewhat specialised form of cycle, and tend not to be alike, then it is to be expected that a degree of customisation is required to achieve the build of a suitable electric conversion.  

Your transformation projects

@YellowsBestLtd assists customers in developing their business and improving and maintaining their infrastructure. Should you have any requirements or plans, please get in touch to discuss how we may be of assistance. 

Mobile Evolution and the Extinction Event

When Giants ruled … mobile communications

A long time ago, great “Dinosaur beasts” of Mobile Communications were supreme.  The beginnings were in the 1970’s with the launch of a Motorola handset weighing 2kg. This was followed by other barely portable products with huge batteries such as the Nokia Talkman. Only for the ‘new adopters’ who had to be in touch all the time.

Then came the ‘Bricks’ 

From these humble beginnings, soon a range of solid, reliable but ‘bricklike’ big and heavy phones appeared, like the Nokia 2110 and the Motorola Dynatac 8000X, as featured in the 1987 movie “Wall Street”. Designed for upwardly mobile business people.

Diverse expansion 

Then came a period of rapid expansion with a diverse range of more affordable products to suit wide consumer tastes. Various forms, colours and accessories became more and more important, with slide phones like the Nokia 8110 as featured in the 1999 film “The Matrix” and flip phones like the Motorola Razr, providing a ‘Star Trek’ appeal.

Feature explosion

An expansion of more and more features to make mobiles do more fuelled the explosion of product ranges. Cameras and music players were added to increase the functionality of these increasingly sophisticated and compact pocket-sized devices, such as the Nokia 6230.

6230
Nokia 6230

A glance at the 2004 Carphone Warehouse catalogue shows how varied mobiles had become, with the top 10 dominated by Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, Siemens and Motorola as the biggest manufacturers of the time.

2004 Carphone Warehouse “Top 10”

‘Tyrannosaurus’ functionality heavyweights 

For a while, the king of the land was the bulky, terrifyingly expensive but impressive (for its time) Nokia Communicator, offering phone, text, email and even fax. Opening up to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard, the range started with the 9000 which appeared in the 1997 film “The Saint” and had evolved by 2007 into the even more powerful E90.  

LegacySmartPhone
Nokia E90 Communicator

Extinction Event: The Death of the incumbents

But then came biggest shock to the world of mobile communications: the launch of the first Apple iPhone on 9th January 2007.

Like a meteorite striking the earth, this shock spelt the end for many mobile types which couldn’t compete with the sudden demand for ‘touch-screen’ devices using apps.

Indeed companies like Nokia, once the biggest of them all, couldn’t adapt and died a death, as well documented in the BBC documentary “The Rise and Fall of Nokia

Survival of the fittest

The ‘smartphones’ from Apple and later Android-based from the likes of Samsung became an increasing hit, wiping out much diversity and seeing a seismic shift away from many form factors to the now standard “slate” style of device.

Apple iPhone 4
Apple iPhone 4

Some ‘featurephones’ as they came to be known have lingered on, and in recent years companies like HMD global, who under licence have taken some iconic Nokia designs such as the 3310 and made a successful relaunch. Diversity is now finally creeping back with new variants such as the ‘folding’ Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2.

Your Paradigm shifts

Any memories or stories to tell? @YellowsBestLtd would be keen to hear your thoughts and experiences of sudden technology ‘paradigm shifts’. Let us know if we can be of any assistance with your future solution or services requirements. 

Legacy Transmission & Line Codes

Before Fibre, there was copper!       

It’s almost difficult to believe that not so very long ago (ok, going back maybe more than 50 years) there were no optical fibre or digital transmission paths of any flavour of technology providing our communications infrastructure.

Analogue FDM

From early to mid 20th Century, an extensive core copper cable network was rolled out, based on analogue FDM (frequency Division Multiplexing) over coaxial pairs, with the valve-based technologies occupying a lot of space and consuming much power. 

Digital PCM

The late 1960s saw the introduction of digital PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) sampling at 8kHz. The ITU-T (International Telecommunication Union – then known as CCITT) standardised 30-channels at 64kbit/s in a 2.048Mbit/s multiplexing system, using 8-bit A-law algorithm (the USA adopted 24-channel 1.544Mbit/s with μ-law algorithm).

Problems with high bit-rates

The higher bit rates gave rise to crosstalk interference problems on many existing cables. Also, data signals transmitted as voltage levels in unipolar NRZ (Non-Return to Zero) format are not self clocking and have a significant DC component, wasting power. Bipolar RZ (Return-to-Zero) type AMI (Alternate Mark Inversion) coding prevents the build up of the DC-component for longer distance and addresses the issue of data containing multiple ones. However, long sequences of zeros still present problems with a lack of transitions causing difficulties maintaining synchronisation.

Introduction of Line Codes

Line Coding of the format mB-nB was introduced to overcome these issues. Initially 4B3T (four Binary, three Ternary) was used. This encodes each 4-bit input group into a 3 symbol output using the three states of positive, negative and no pulses.

e.g. ‘0000’ is coded as ‘+0-‘

This improved efficiency in terms of bit per symbol over AMI, which itself is an example of a 1B1T code. Improvements in transverse screened cables were also made. However, transmission problems with high-speed digital data were still encountered due to unsuitable copper cabling which needed to be addressed.

PDH Higher Order Multiplexing

By the late 1970s, the UK had adopted the ITU-T recommended PDH (Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy) of E-carrier higher-order multiplexing at 8Mbit/s, 34Mbit/s (in the US, T-carrier at 6Mbit/s, 45Mbit/s) and 140Mbit/s. 

The lower rates of the E-carrier system adopted HDB3 coding, which replaces 4 ‘0’s with ‘000V’ or ‘B00V’ (or in the US for T1, B8ZS coding which replaces 8 ‘0’s with ‘000VB0VB’).

CMI (Coded Mark Inversion) was included in the ITU-T standards for higher-order PDH at 140Mbit/s PCM (as well as SDH at 155Mbit/s electrical STM-1). This is a 1B2B type of NRZ coding where a ‘0’ is represented by ’01’ and a ‘1’ as an alternatively ’00’ and ’11’, with +V and -V representing the coding levels.  

The advantage of the coding is it makes clock recovery by the receiver simple and for maintaining synchronisation alignment with a long sequence of ‘0’s or ‘1’s.     

Line Coding examples

Optical fibre systems

From the beginning of the 1980s, early optical-fibre multi-mode systems operating at 850nm were deployed, and later single mode at 1300nm, using the PDH multiplexing capacities. 

Typical of long-haul PDH optical-fibre systems, the 2 Mbit/s, 8 Mbit/s and 34 Mbit/s ‘Dynanet’ products from Nokia have ITU-T G.703 compliant digital interfaces using the HDB3 code, but using an optical transmission Line Code of 5B6B. This is another type of mB-nB code, where in this case 5 bit data words are coded using 6-digit code words

e.g. ‘00000’ being represented as ‘100111’. 

As well as its use on electrical systems, CMI Line Coding has also been popular for use on short-haul optical-fibre transmission such as ’tactical’ fibre optical systems operating at 2 Mbit/s.

SDH / SONET – A different approach

For optical SDH systems, STM-1 and above, scrambling is employed instead of line codes to ensure the incoming bit stream contains sufficient transitions for maintaining synchronisation. This works by combining the data signal with a pseudo-random bit sequence generated by a scrambler polynomial generator.

i.e. with a sequence of length of 127, the generating polynomial is 1+x6+x, leading to input data ‘00000000001111111111’ being scrambled as ‘11111110000001000001’.

Optical PDH still serving

In most cases higher-order optical PDH has been decommissioned, but optical transmission at 2Mbit/s is still in operation for many low-data rate applications, where costly replacement with SDH, WDM or carrier Ethernet would bring no advantage. An example product is the Nokia DF2-8 which continues to offer reliable access services, particularly in the Utilities and Transportation industries.

DF2-8 – TA 21518

Copper systems still in operation 

Though core copper electrical transmission systems have now been discontinued, much of ‘last mile’ telephony and related broadband connections are still copper access. For extended data transmission applications, copper systems are still deployed and maintained. Such products include the Nokia DSL2i copper line equipment (including power feeding repeaters) using SHDSL (Single-pair High-speed Digital Subscriber Line). This uses TC-PAM (Trellis-Coded Pulse-Amplitude Modulation) which is a 4B1H Line Coding, since translates 4 binary digits into 1 Hexadecimal (16) levels. It improves range, especially when used with regenerative repeaters, and improved ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) compatibility. 

ACL2i PF GEN – T65580

Feedback and assistance

This has been a necessarily very brief run-through of legacy transmission and some of the Line Codes employed. @YellowsBestLtd would be keen to hear your experiences and knowledge of transmission systems and performance of Line Codes. If we can be of any assistance with your solution requirements, including both new and legacy technologies, then please get in touch

Lessons from the ‘Lockdowns’ for Business

Seeking the ‘new normal’

Most workplaces have seen some considerable disruption over the last year due to the restrictions necessary to deal with the global Covid-19 virus pandemic. Hopefully things are going to get easier over the coming months. But before we race to ‘get back to normal’ (if that’s indeed possible), let’s consider some unexpected benefits we might want to hang onto.

Work is what you do, not where you do it

Commuting has always been a drag. The time wasted driving, not to mention the cost, in order to reach an office in which documents are written, emails are read and replied to, and phones calls are made. Or instead, various ‘productivity’ applications are used. All of which could be done from home. What is needed is a ‘mind-shift’ to recognise that “I’m off to work” can mean engaging in an activity rather than physically travelling somewhere. 

What’s the point of an office?

The broad acceptance that an office is where ‘work happens’ is due to the familiarly of their existence over a number of years. Once upon a time there were good reasons why work had to be so: people needed the facilities they provided, including main-frame computers, desk telephones, fax machines, printers, typing-pools (yes, really – people once didn’t type their own documents!) And memos – remember those ‘internal mail’ envelopes? But now, with laptops and mobile phones and broadband internet, it’s no longer critical to all share the same space.

People ‘like’ keeping in touch

The reality of the office is that it’s no longer a critically functional resource hub, but there are some social benefits over working remotely. It’s a place to meet and greet, share ideas and stories, help each other and generally contribute to high morale. People enjoy discussing last night’s TV or the football. Lasting bonds and relationships are formed, sometimes even being introduced to future partners. Not sure all employers would see this to be their ‘role’; the social side can of course be achieved in other ways. Anyway, flexible remote working offers the opportunity for better work-life balance.

Meanwhile, bosses like collecting their workers in one place as then it’s easier to ‘manage by walking about’. There’s a trust element: how can the staff be really hard at work if they’re not visible, aka ‘chained to the desk’. But following McGregors’s ‘Theory X (authoritarian) and Theory Y’ (participative) style of management, you either micromanage them because they’re not motivated, or trust people to take pride in their work and get the job done. So forcing people into an office isn’t the answer to productivity. Rather, pick the right people, train and support them, give them ownership of their tasks. Let them work where and when they need to. Use performance reviews as a tool (not a chore) to keep on track and set rewarding goals.   

Quantity or Quality

The crazy thing about the 9-5 office culture is people vary between not having enough time to get a job done, and piloting a desk ‘looking busy’, because they’re supposed to be ‘in’. Flexible working on the other hand recognises that people have lives with things that need scheduling from time to time, around varying business demands and commitments. Allowing people the discretion to manage their work-life balance means better motivated and focussed staff who will put the extra effort in when needed. Or else, managers need to take strong decisions on appropriate resources and team composition. Working ‘smarter not harder’ certainly doesn’t mean forcing everyone into an office and making them work all hours.

Meetings expand to fill the time available

It seems like ‘work’ to spend hours in meetings showing each other an endless supply of presentation slides. Discussions often arise involving only a few participants while others wait passively. The reality is very little is accomplished that couldn’t have been better reviewed remotely, in one-to-one conversations or communicated more broadly via team or company-wide bulletins.

Keep your germs to yourself!

Due to the emphasis on ‘attendance’ (perhaps ingrained in people from their school years), there’s often a culture of ‘bravely struggling in’ when ill with a cold, thus almost guaranteeing the sharing amongst all colleagues. Above all else, the pandemic has shown the sense in keeping people separated to reduce the spread of illness. 

Better for you, better for the environment

Not everyone can work from home, and certain tasks can’t be done remotely. But it’s time for a re-evaluation of what journeys are ‘necessary’ and what are the most productive work patterns, both in terms of getting the job done (without sitting in traffic jams for hours) and maintaining a flexible, motivated workforce. Not least because of the unsustainable effect on our planet’s finite resources and impact of climate change due to limitless business activities and excessive travel.

Are you ready for the ‘paradigm shift’?

@YellowsBestLtd we’d be interested to hear your thoughts and feelings about the changes brought about by Covid-19, and how you see habits changing for the future. Will you be rushing back to the office, or reaping new flexibility from remote working? Please get in touch, and let us know how we can help with your continuing business requirements. We look forward to hearing from you.

Season’s Greetings

It has been an unexpectedly challenging year, unprecedented times indeed!

Unfortunately, it seems likely that we will face more difficulties ahead. The global pandemic still needs to be beaten, and the U.K. leaving the EU will result in unpredictable trading conditions.

Having just celebrated our fifth anniversary, YellowsBest looks forward to continue working with our partners and assisting Customers’ businesses through the uncertain times ahead.

We wish you all the best for a safe, seasonal celebration.

Celebrating our fifth anniversary!

Five years of successful trading! Thanks to all our Customers and Suppliers.

@YellowsBestLtd has been in business for five years.

5 years of trading
5 years of trading

Our aim continues to be “Keeping Customers Operational”; understanding requirements and fulfilling them by providing a range of management services and solutions, including:

  • consultancy, for business development, sales and marketing
  • technical support, onsite engineering or 24/7 NOC remote assistance
  • systems supply, including legacy IT servers / workstations
  • spares for infrastructure, such as telecoms and CCTV cameras
  • repairs at module and component level, e.g. LED displayboards, PSUs
  • value recovery through reverse logistics, resale and recycling

As we continue to move forward, we’d very much like to understand what other services and solutions we can provide to our existing Customers, as well as what would be of interest to potential clients. We’re always keen to enhance our range of #business services, increase the #enterprise infrastructure we support and expand our mix of #sustainable solutions we offer for supply and maintenance of new and legacy #technologies and products.

Please get in touch to discuss your challenges; whether you’re implementing new systems or maintaining existing infrastructure to serve your operational business needs. We look forward to hearing from you.

Solar Power – eCharger project – UPDATE #2

FIX & UPGRADE – Restoration and increase of Solar Panel energy production

Project Re-cap

The project from 2 years ago, detailed here, built a solar energy charger using these system elements:  Solar Panel, Charge Controller, Battery, Inverter. Last year, an upgrade was performed to increase the batteries to provide more storage capacity, as described in Update #1.

Solar Panel Failure

The system has operated satisfactorily for almost exactly 2 years, but then it was observed that no energy was being produced. After investigation, it was discovered that the solar panel had developed a fault. The panel was a flexible’ model, and by slightly bending it, energy was intermittently produced. Hence clearly there was an internal breakdown of connectivity. 

Solar Panel Replacement & Upgrade

Since a replacement was needed, it was decided to purchase a more robust, ‘fixed (i.e. non-flexible) solar panel, which has a solid frame and securely mount onto a brick wall. Taking advantage of the overall lower cost of fixed vs flexi panels, it was decided to opt for an increase to 100W for the replacement.

RatingInformation
Rating Information

This will bring the advantage of producing more energy during sunny periods, which will compensate for the need to mount the panel on a wall where it receives slightly less direct sunlight hours. 

100W Solar Panel
100W Solar Panel (mounted)

The installation of the replacement panel was relatively straight-forward, using ‘Z-brackets’ to affix to the wall.

zbrackets
Z Brackets

It came with MC-4 connector terminated cable ‘tails’, which were plugged into the existing positive and negative connections.

Connector Block & MC4 tails
Connector Block & MC4 tails

Power generation was resumed immediately, with an extremely healthy 4A (roughly double of the previous 50W panel, as expected) confirming the success of the remedy. 

Charge Display
Charge Display

Conclusions

Alas, it transpires that the originally chosen ‘flexi’ type of solar panel is not very ‘robust’ and consequently is only warranted for 1 year. It is somewhat disappointing that only such a short life-span is achieved, especially since it had been mounted on shed-type roof without experiencing disturbance or damage. 

Happily, the replacement ‘fixed’ type of solar panel is warranted for 10 years, so should operate for a considerably longer time. And given that like-for-like it is less expensive, then it is concluded that this should be selected to ensure maximum lifetime and collection capacity for the same outlay. 

@YellowsBestLtd we are always looking to expand our portfolio services for #business development and #enterprise support, and increase the mix of solutions for #sustainable systems and maintenance of new and legacy #technologies and products for our customers. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements; we look forward to hearing from you.

Securing Remote Access During COVID-19

Given the current unprecedented situation restricting normal business operations, resulting in revised working arrangements including home working, consideration should be made of the preparations and processes organisations need to take.

Consequently, we recommend joining the following Webinar by Vysiion and Radiflow, Thursday 2nd April 2020:

If you miss this event then please get in touch so we can discuss your interest and requirements.

@yellowsbestltd our mission is to assist with ‘Keeping Customers Operational’. We’re keen to provide #solutions and #services to help your business survive and maintain your systems – let us know if we can help!

Keeping yourself and your business safe …

It certainly is a troubling time with the rapid spread of the Coronavirus sweeping the world.

It’s no exaggeration that for most people, nothing quite like it has been experienced in living memory. There’s a lot of confusing information around and the advice seems to keep changing on a daily basis. This graphic found posted on twitter by @TheLoff provides a sensible guide to being careful …

Businesses in general are also experiencing an extremely challenging situation, testing the most robust of #BusinessContinuity plans. Again from twitter, this summary posted by the @Cabq Economic Development Department, provides an overview of the tips and resources they have put together for businesses and organisations navigating through the Coronavirus …

@yellowsbestltd our mission is to assist with ‘Keeping Customers Operational’. We’re keen to continue to provide #solutions and #services – let us know if we can help!

Most importantly, stay safe!

Further reading and advice:

WHO – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

NHS – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

GOV-UK – COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses

Coronavirus: How to track the virus spread across the world as cases reach 180,000 via @CNET