Author Topic: What is the forum all about?  (Read 15865 times)

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What is the forum all about?
« on: June 08, 2010, 04:43:56 PM »
Fieldlines is a web forum where anyone interested in producing energy from renewable source can visit and discuss their interests.  Our members share their enthusiasm, inventiveness, and ingenuity with each other, in a hobby that is challenging and rewarding.  If you want to get involved, you are warmly welcomed to read through as much of the discussion as you can, search for your topics of interest, and bring up new ideas and questions you have.  There is a community here, of sorts, that has grown up over more than a decade of sharing experiences and advice.

The board was sponsored and hosted by Forcefield, a small business in Fort Collins, Colorado that sells magnets, wind turbine kits, parts and plans.  The board originally was for "technical support", but grew out of sheer popularity to become an essential place to visit if you are interested in turning renewable energy into a hobby.  A lot of what happens on the forum (visible and invisible) is done by volunteers and its own members (like these FAQs).

To be frank, the majority of members either dabble with, or are thoroughly addicted to building wind turbines, and of all different kinds and sizes!  Solar and hydro round out the mix of renewable energy sources, and you can even get in touch with folks who are knowledgeable about bio-fuels, natural gas conversions, well you name it, somebody's built it.

We all had to start someplace, so do not be afraid of asking a question that is "too dumb".  Sometimes new questions are a bit too broad to be answered, or the person asking hasn't done enough research.  Please don't be offended - we aren't.  Even when that happens, usually the "newbie" is offered a few places to start his search.  May a long and rewarding education follow this first footstep!

It also may sound like the usual yada yada yada, but let it be said that signing up to the site just to expound on your brilliance or prove how your new idea is much better than the tried-and-true, is no fun for the rest of us, and usually doesn't get much support.  This does happen from time to time, so I thought I'd mention it.  The best experience is practical experience, and getting out there, building, and making equipment work, is the best way to prove your ideas. 

It is so satisfying, in fact, that you run the risk of becoming addicted to it: creating your own energy from scratch.

(What follows is copied from the posting guidelines.  I thought it would be suitable here, too.)

Homebrewed Electricity -- This section is for anything related to producing your own electricity, with the exception of free energy/overunity/perpetual motion. These topics are forbidden on this board because we think it's a waste of time and has no chance of working.  There are plenty of other places to discuss that and no area for it here.  Homebrewed Electricity is divided into the following sections:

Wind -- It's all about slowing down the wind and turning that energy into electricity.  Most folks are discussing home built systems although discussion of commercially manufactured systems is certainly welcome.  Specifically here, we'll discuss the turbine itself, and their towers.  Discussions about controls, batteries, inverters etc...  have another section (see below).

Solar -- electricity from the sun (photovoltaics).  Specifically...  electricity!  This is not the place to discuss anything to do with solar heating systems (see remote living/heating for that stuff).

Hydro -- electricity from moving water.  Again, this is about hydro electric systems.  Please don't post here about well pumps or anything like that -  there is a section in remote living for that.  Please don't post about generating electricity from your urban water tap or your rain gutters!  It won't work and it's been discussed plenty before!

Other -- electricity from stuff not mentioned above, including back up generators powered by fossil fuels or other means.

Storage -- storing electricity in batteries, flywheels, fuel cells, etc.  Mostly, the discussion here should be on batteries because not much else seems to work very well.

Controls -- Once you've made some electricity it needs to be usable and controlled.  This is the section to talk about charge controllers, power inverters, metering etc.

Remote Living -- for stuff related to more sustainable living. Most of the postings here are from folks who live 'in the sticks' ~ many off them are off grid.

Housing -- building and maintaining homes.

Heating -- heating and cooling your homestead.  This includes all types of heating systems including solar.

Light -- lighting issues for homes.  There will be talk of different alternatives... and when it all fails, perhaps somebody will tell us how to trim your lamps trimmed and burning!

Water -- water systems for remote homes, including plumbing, and waste.

Transportation -- Here we'll discuss transportation.  Hopefully most of it will have to do alternatives to the norm, including electric cars, alternative fuels, you get the point.   If you're just confused about how to replace the water pump in your Ford truck, this is not the place.

Newbies -- If you are new to the board and unsure whether your question has been covered before, or unsure of your terminology, this is the place to put it. We may also move questions to here from other sections and visa versa.  The newbies section is really less for folks who are new to this forum, and more for folks that are new to the subject matter.  If you are curious about wind or solar energy but don't know the difference between a kW or a kWh, then odds are the posting should go in newbies.

Product Reviews -- Share your opinions or experiences.

Reviews -- This is for your reviews of renewable energy/remote living related products, and the companies that sell them. Let others know about your experiences, whether good, bad or ugly.

The Pub -- This board is the place for all that stuff we used to hammer on for being off topic. Remember, it is a Family Place. Jokes, links to stuff, whatever

The Pub is a place to discuss stuff that would be otherwise off topic.  So long as it's fairly polite just about anything goes in here. 

Notices -- This is the area for notices, so you wont find 'questions' or pleas for help here and probably not much advice.  You will find stuff for sale, opinions about products, user diaries...  The subsections are listed below.

Polls --  On the old board we could attach polls to stories or new topics, this is no longer the case.  Polls go here now - you can setup a poll where folks can vote or provide information about themselves and their systems.  Let's keep it on topic though ~ if you're interested in  polling to find out who the next president will be, there are better places than here!

Classifieds -- sell your renewable-energy-related stuff.  If it's unrelated to our topics, it will be deleted. Vague postings looking for "investors" for a "new technology that will change the world" with details that 'can't be disclosed yet' fall into the 'perpetual motion' restriction above.  All classified postings must include contact information and the more detail the better.  We are more patient with postings here from regular users of the forum.  Folks who sign up, and make their first post here in classifieds will be scrutinized.
Commercial operations can post classified ads- ONCE for each individual item, which should be one of a kind or surplus. Repeated postings are not allowed, they must be individual items for sale. "Cheap inverters for sale" would be deleted. "Surplus Trace U2512" would be OK. And if your company sells inverters, it is NOT OK to keep listing each one in stock--instead contact us for a link.

User Diaries -- This is for YOUR stuff, which should (please) bear some relation to the topics of our board. 

Site News -- This is the area for us (the admin and moderators of the board) to notify users about site news/changes etc.  Hopefully, it's usually good news.

So have loads of fun with it all.  Please be respectful and nice.  Abusive postings will be deleted.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 11:51:42 PM by JW »
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024