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 An Old Game Is Back Again
Elkad 3k posts, incept 2009-09-04
2023-09-13 21:33:27

Those little plugs that keep kids from putting keys in the outlet?

I bet properly scam marketed you could sell them as "preventing power leakage in your home, which also ionizes the AIR!". "reduces power bill!". "install yourself!"

Every statement technically true, but actual savings would not be measureable beyond the atomic level.

Then just source the regular child-safe ones, gin up some new packaging, and sell for 10x the price.
Latviski 235 posts, incept 2008-02-22
2023-09-13 21:33:37

Awesome ticker. I totally get this but sadly, as Karl pointed out, many dont and its a form of predatory fraud imo.
Thanks for writing this.
Tickerguy 198k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-09-13 21:34:22

Amusing reply to my entry on NextKaren where I directly went at one of these dudes (and then, AS A THREAD but not a reply, posted this -- which apparently he hasn't found yet.)

"What are you an engineer or something?" smiley

BTW the problem Ee4fire pointed out with these sorts of power supplies has basically disappeared; a large part of it was EU regs that require 0.9 pf or better at 100% utilization of the power supply at rated load and no less than 82% efficiency anywhere across the load curve. Since nobody likes designing things twice while that's not a requirement here -- except to get an "Energy Star" rating, where both efficiency and power factor must comply, and the power factor requirement is the same for Energy Star as it is for the EU as a whole (funny how they both wound up in the same place eh? smiley)

"Anyone wearing a mask will be presumed to be intending armed robbery and immediately shot in the face. Govern yourself accordingly."

Quik49 15k posts, incept 2007-12-11
2023-09-13 22:34:11

For fuck sakes....

How many more dumass generations will it take to get back to....

If it sounds to good to be isn't.

A sucker is born every day.

Cliche mode off.

2 + 2 =5
Jhh 14 posts, incept 2012-11-07
2023-09-14 09:10:29

Thank you once again. I feel like you are watching my life. Maybe a slightly different reason to most this time though. I've just moved back into the family business - precast concrete, with a large onsite batch plant, some big electric saws, extruders and other power hungry devices.

To help get some independent utilisation and usage rates/timings/patterns, I've installed some power meters (Shelley 3em - seem nice so far) in a bunch of breaker boxes around the site and noticed that most of our power factors were quite low. This is not surprising as the loads are mostly large motors (I was expecting it as it is itemised in our bills).

I had researched and understood the practical side of power factors, but not yet realised the billing implications - I thought we paid for that difference and it was on my list to figure out what to do. Thanks to this post, I now know.

We are billed in KWh, and I had learned from discussions with various solar installers that the power company will come and "assist us" if it is too much of an issue. I didn't understand the linkage. Interesting to understand why now. Thank you.

Doladin 150 posts, incept 2022-01-15
2023-09-14 09:16:30

If we were a homogenous country with patriotism and care for the country and its citizens, many people would voluntarily ensure power was used efficiently.

In Australia, people used to be the same with water use (given we are quite a dry country)

Instead, we are full of parasitic invaders and the average IQ has dropped accordingly. People waste electricity, water, food, and generate a lot of rubbish. I know for a fact this was not the case 2 or more generations ago.

In South Africa, where they famously were running low on water, it's understood that the melanin enriched inhabitants thought that the treated water coming through the plumbing was so good given, like a virgin mountain stream, that taps were not even bothered to be turned off.

I loathe seeing so much waste. Then again, people like me aren't rewarded for being efficient - we get lumped with the same service and charges according to the lowest common demoninator that I call my neighbours and compatriots.
Supertruckertom 7k posts, incept 2010-11-07
2023-09-14 09:16:55

Are there any worthwhile devices for residential uses that would be installed such as whole house surge protection or slow start motor kits on AC heat pumps, well pumps or other large loads?

Just paid off a 4 ton York heat pump and I want it to last as long as possible.
Fall Service checkup is Scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Preparing to go Hunting.
Ebt 361 posts, incept 2018-12-22
2023-09-14 09:17:06

"20%? Utter and complete horseshit."

I just checked to make sure I didn't remember it wrong. It's 21.0% less usage for Aug/2023 compared to Aug 2022. I'll scan and email you the bill if you want.
Boredfree 1k posts, incept 2021-09-15
2023-09-14 09:17:12

Hucksters noted how easily the public was to convinced to take an experimental injection and guessed the time was right to rehash all the old scams.

Might be time to package rocks and sell them as magical tokens which will: keep you safe from covid, reduce your power consumption and turn your ICE vehicle into a Tesla/Toyota, give you a 45 minute erection and allow you to eat carbs without gaining weight.

$19.95 plus S/H

The problem is most people want to point a finger rather than their thumb when dealing with challenges.
78rpm 20 posts, incept 2023-08-07
2023-09-14 09:17:27

A few years ago I had an old GF visit for a few months. She wanted a waxvac for ear wax removal. So I bought 2 (just pay extra shipping lol). They didn't work, wouldn't lift 1 drop of water off a saucer. They quickly refunded the money and didn't want the "defective items" back. This was back when cohabitation was a 2nd degree misdemeanor and she was overly paranoid. Turns out it was a beneficial law ...

The ad I saw for w*****ave* reminded me of wax***. 50% off, 60 day money back guarantee no questions asked. The standard guarantee was 30 days which doesn't give the victim a chance to return it if it "doesn't work". 60 days does.

I watched Fight Back with David Horowitz for over a decade. Market-ticker is a supercharged version of that experience. I hope it continues another decade or more (with a 4 year break starting 2024).

Anyone interested in more information on "The real truth behind household power savers" ....

It is amusing that a recent comment was made by "Karl".

Reminders of scams are always appreciated,if it's a overhyped plug-in or a under tested "medicine". Thanks.
78rpm 20 posts, incept 2023-08-07
2023-09-14 09:17:41

@Quik49 P.T. Barnum has been connected to "a sucker born .." in the mid 1800s. There have probably always been gullible people as long as there have been people, or at least the last 2,023 years.

Unfortunately people speaking truths like Ignac Semmelweis or Galileo are rare.

There probably always will be a need for people to broadcast the kind of things you see on market-ticker.
Radiosity 1k posts, incept 2009-03-05
2023-09-14 09:56:32

Guys, I solved the energy problem!

So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tickerguy 198k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-09-14 09:56:26

@Ebt - comparisons y/o/y are worthless in the general sense especially when HVAC is involved. You have to correct for degree-days for starters, and then it gets more complicated as its not JUST degree-days, its ALSO cloud cover (which nobody has decent stats for you can use.)

If you want to try to validate that this thing "works" there is an easy way to do it. Turn off all non-reactive loads (incandescent lights, water heater, etc.) at the breaker panel so they cannot queer the results. Turn ON all your reactive loads (refer maybe, but the big one is the HVAC.) Go outside to the meter and using a STOPWATCH measure consumption in kWh recorded over a fixed time with the unit NOT plugged in, making sure you give it enough time to get a statistically-valid measurement for the percentage change you believe is in play (10x is a large enough oversample to be VERY confident, 5x is reasonably confident.) Then, with the HVAC still running, plug in the "magic" unit and do it again.

Here is why its important -- my current month consumption .vs. last year is absolutely flat. BUT, I KNOW the HVAC system is pulling almost-exactly 20% less power. Why? Because my utility company gives me consumption in kWh ON AN HOURLY BASIS and I have from my own control system both metering on many loads but also exact time in which things happen (e.g. HVAC is in "cool", and for how many seconds across a given time period.)

One very, very accurate such period is when I go to bed, because I intentionally drop the temperature of the house by 3 degrees. The unit has to run for about an hour and a half to do that, continually, assuming it starts at the daytime setpoint. Further, since I just went to bed there are no other loads beyond minor parasitic ones (e.g. the 2w that the line-powered smoke detectors consume and similar stuff) so it is ALL the HVAC plant. Well, all I have to do there to validate that indeed it is more efficient is look at the month PRIOR to when it was changed out on the hourly graph during that same hours as I go to bed roughly at the same time every night, find the single-hour spike and divide. 20%, and there's so little pollution of the data set that I'm absolutely SURE what I'm looking at. And my collected data from metering devices on my own matches EXACTLY, within reasonable instrument tolerance, what the utility gives me on those graphs. Thus I KNOW that KUB's data is correct.

OK, so why is last month's bill flat .vs. last YEAR, when the old system was there? Because that 20% delta was offset by other things, such as my kid doing a lot of climbing and trips with her b/f and then she comes home and runs five loads of laundry, which hits BOTH heating water AND the dryer. That absorbed the ENTIRE HVAC change! If I HADN'T changed it I would have seen a LARGER bill this last month .vs. last year.

As another example, the DAILY usage here over the last month has a 100% range! Why? Because there are days that I was here alone, I took a shower but otherwise did not use the hot water heater (its gated on use) and didn't wash or dry clothing, nor run the dishwasher (which uses hot water, obviously.) Thus only the espresso machine, the computer rack which is always on and the HVAC were loads of materiality and it rained that day, so the HVAC load was much reduced. On the other hand three days earlier Sarah ran three loads of laundry, it was a cloudless, sunny day and I took TWO showers (I did a crap-ton of yardwork in the afternoon and got NASTY) plus ran the dishes and such on top of it. Even though my instrumentation says BOTH days had equal average outdoor temperatures one had DOUBLE the power consumption of the other!

If you can't control for these things and without instrumentation at the sort of level I have here you can't then you have NO WAY to run a valid comparison. Instrumentation IS THE ONLY WAY.

@Supertruckertom -
Are there any worthwhile devices for residential uses that would be installed such as whole house surge protection or slow start motor kits on AC heat pumps, well pumps or other large loads?

Just paid off a 4 ton York heat pump and I want it to last as long as possible.
Fall Service checkup is Scheduled for Thursday afternoon.


First, a QUALITY whole-house surge suppressor installed AT THE PANEL is always worth it in a modern home. Why? Because damn near EVERYTHING has a DC power supply and a microprocessor, and the manufacturers go cheap on the margins in the power section because not doing so costs money. Siemens makes what is arguably the best split-phase (residential) units that are sold in the market today under their "First Surge" line. They have various models but the difference between "pretty good" and "excellent" is so small you're NUTS not to buy the FS140 unit (excellent.) This should be installed at the main panel. They claim you "should" use the top two breaker slots but the difference between top two and any of them is not large in terms of actual protection (there IS a difference in certain situations but we're talking about the extreme margins here -- mine isn't and I'm not concerned about that at all.) The science on this is a function of propagation and activation time as the busbar has low enough reactance to be a non-factor; in fact if the difference is more length left on the leads on the device or further down the busbar you're better off with the busbar as it has less reactance than the lead wires do -- not a big difference, but a difference.

As for a soft starter yes, those are useful too. MicroAir makes good ones; you have to buy them based on the horsepower (or tons in the case of an AC) of the motor in question. These are only useful in the case of an older-style non-modulating condenser outdoors (or a well pump which is a straight induction motor.) Modulating condensers, which already use an inverter drive, are neither compatible with nor would they benefit from it.

"Anyone wearing a mask will be presumed to be intending armed robbery and immediately shot in the face. Govern yourself accordingly."
Bkmiller 1k posts, incept 2008-08-30
2023-09-14 13:21:52

Missed this article yesterday, Tickerguy. Well put! I remember debunking this shit back in the 1980's, while working for the power co. This scam was perpetrated big time back then, targeting the medium-sized commercial power customer (e.g. - large retail establishments).

Around here, the utility does the power factor correction on the distribution lines with switched capacitors. No itemized power factor charge appears on the bill for any customer class. Power company does it to maximize their infrastructure utilization.
Burya_rubenstein 2k posts, incept 2007-08-08
2023-09-14 18:02:35

I got my 800 watt generator working. (Still working on the 2200.) The 800 is almost certainly enough to run the fridge, but I'm not sure it's enough to start it; the 1500 watt inverter goes BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP for a bit on startup. Maybe one of these would help here.

However, i3detroit currently has several boxes chock full of capacitors in its Graveyard. So it's hardly worth it for me to buy one.

I also have a grinder that when I turn it on, spins up, then goes CLICK, then finishes spinning up to full speed. Would that be for switching a cap in and out?
Tickerguy 198k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-09-14 18:03:55

Probably not on the starting; has to be matched to the compressor and likely there already is one inside.

On the grinder I'm surprised it's capacitor start - most aren't as they start on zero load and it's more complexity to have the centrifugal switch.

"Anyone wearing a mask will be presumed to be intending armed robbery and immediately shot in the face. Govern yourself accordingly."
Jpg 887 posts, incept 2009-03-23
2023-09-14 20:54:08

Tickerguy wrote..
There are some utilities that are trying to get demand charges into residential service.

Arizona Public Service (as one might imagine, in Arizona) has had that for at least 40 years.

They've got several variations of time-of-use billing.

"Back then", the meter monitored one-hour-average-demand 24/7; they're currently down to suppressing/charging demand from 4 PM to 7 PM Monday-Friday (residential).

Use it at the wrong time, 1 KWH will cost you close to $19, with sales tax.
Tickerguy 198k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-09-14 20:54:52

@Jpg we have a TOU option but its not mandatory, and it makes utterly no sense for most people. Now if you DO fit the profile it would, but the penalty rate is quite high and the "off peak" rate not low enough to make it worth it.

But TOU metering is not the same thing as a demand charge. That's a whole different kettle of fish if you've ever paid one as a commercial user....

"Anyone wearing a mask will be presumed to be intending armed robbery and immediately shot in the face. Govern yourself accordingly."

Jpg 887 posts, incept 2009-03-23
2023-09-14 21:17:58

The rate described in the link I supplied is both TOU and has a demand charge.

They also have a rate that is TOU only without demand charge, and another that is a flat price per kwh, any time.

The choice is up to the customer.

They really don't want two million people shutting-off the AC in the morning when they go to work, and then turning it back on when they get home, when it's 115F.
Tickerguy 198k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-09-14 21:18:02


Fuck that shit; that's outright confiscatory. Why the hell would anyone choose THAT plan? I can think of only one way to make that work -- essentially "bank" HVAC via some storage mechanism and essentially "go dark" between 4-7pm, so as to effectively disappear consumption wise during those hours. If you could make it happen RELIABLY it would save you money. One fuck-up and you get buried.

The TOU peak/off-peak doesn't provide enough of a discount off the flat price to be worth it. Same problem with it here. Now if it DID then it would be, but its not.

I get it that the problem comes for them with the A/C in the summer during those hours. I'm not stupid. But the incentive is not enough.

"Anyone wearing a mask will be presumed to be intending armed robbery and immediately shot in the face. Govern yourself accordingly."

Burya_rubenstein 2k posts, incept 2007-08-08
2023-09-15 10:59:47

$19 for a kWhr makes it worthwhile to use your own generator during that time. For that matter it almost makes muscle power competetive.
Raven 15k posts, incept 2017-06-27
2023-09-16 09:27:00

Meanwhile in India

Mission Complete

The truth is just too powerful to know. Those who hold the truth suffer more than those who believe the lie. -The Hall of Tears
Flappingeagle 5k posts, incept 2011-04-14
2023-09-16 14:15:06

For several years I have thought about keeping a list of the scam products that come around on a cycle every few years.

Here's an example. Copper bracelets and copper infused bandages/braces for knees and elbows. I know you all have seen them advertised, they seem to come back around every 3 or 4 years.


Here are my predictions for everyone to see:
S&P 500 at 320, DOW at 2200, Gold $300/oz, and Corn $2/bu.
No sign that housing, equities, or farmland are in a bubble- Yellen 11/14/13
Trying to leave
Tickerguy 198k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-09-16 14:15:15


Which I debunked, instrumented, right here on the forum.

"Anyone wearing a mask will be presumed to be intending armed robbery and immediately shot in the face. Govern yourself accordingly."

Krzelune 17k posts, incept 2007-10-08
2023-09-16 17:21:53

but that was in tinfoil. smiley

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