SETI@home – Jan/Feb 2018

January was a quiet month for my SETI@home efforts, compared to last month, due to 1) nothing going wrong at my end, 2) the project not giving me a full quota of work, and 3) the credit for work being low.

At the beginning of January I saw my best efforts for this SETIing period, as far as figures are concerned.

seti_jan_feb_top_host
My top host peaked at 43K.
seti_jan_feb_user_average
…and my RAC went over 100K… it’s always nice to see that!

Point 3 above basically means that even if all my computers are on and working 24/7 from one week to the next, the credit for those weeks might vary, hence the plummeting graphs above. A good way to confirm this happening is to compare my efforts to others around me on the UK leader-board as per the graph below.

The green line shows my efforts; gaining places with my switch to Linux on my two main rigs, and the regular dips showing the Tuesday server downtime. This graph shows RAC positions 2nd-6th for the past month.

Since I monitor my week-by-week electricity usage I’ve calculated that my average usage for this SETI-season of mine (November-March) is higher than the last, so I’ve cut down this past week and hopefully I can rein in my average usage by the end of March, but I have no idea how chilly February might get.

Another factor that has swayed my decision to cut down is because January has seen me (re)take 9th place and BOINCstats inform me that there are more days until my next overtake (of someone who no longer participates) compared than until the end of March when I power everything down proper. This is strikingly similar to how I ended up last year, but again it’s affected by point 3) since credit for work is low.

Table showing my position (9th) compared to 8th, Total Credit, RAC (Recent Average Credit) and Days Until Overtake

Economy 7

One thing my brother mentioned yesterday though, that has got me thinking, was Economy 7. For those that don’t know, Economy 7 allows for electricity being charged at a lower rate for seven hours, usually during the night, whilst paying slightly more for daytime usage. It’s ideal for those using storage heaters for example, but for those who can be flexible with their electricity usage it’s also a way to save money. Per kw/h seems to be around half that of a typical day rate. I’m wondering how switching to Economy 7 would affect what I’m currently paying for electricity, either if I run computers 24/7 or change to running the bulk of them for only the 7 hours of Economy 7.

It’s not a straightforward switch though; one has to get their meter changed. Apparently you’re supposed to also get it changed when you switch back, but I know people don’t always do this or are on a standard service with an Economy 7 meter. I would be concerned I’d end up with a Smart Meter if I made the switch to an Economy 7 meter.

Either way, I can’t be bothered to do the calculations right now 😉

Since I expect things to remain quiet I’ll likely next report on my SETI@home progress around the end of March when I mothball everything for the summer months.

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