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The question in question has been reopened and closed but is still need to be open so more answers can be given. I will gladly read even if it is hypothetical and upvote.

I have a question about my Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange post: Can solar cells be wired to produce 120 volts AC?

This doesn't answer my question really. I was hoping that someone whom has experience in solar design could get a chance to answer before it was closed by the same person who answered it in such a short time? Thous gaining reputation with out any other valid answers could be given seams like cheating and left me without the input from other experts who did not even have a chance to look at it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I have to agree this one closed rather too fast, especially when the OP was communicating and able to clarify his question. \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 23 '17 at 22:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ You still can edit your question to clarify what you're looking for, and then nominate it for reopening by community review. As it stands currently, it is not an appropriate question for the site. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Nov 24 '17 at 2:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dave if this was closed as unclear, why is it a generic off topic close reason? If it was unclear enough for you to mod hammer close it, how was it clear enough for you to answer it? \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Nov 24 '17 at 5:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaveTweed It does seem a little inappropriate to me for a moderator to both answer and close a question. \$\endgroup\$ – duskwuff Nov 24 '17 at 6:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby I have noticed that usually when I close a question using a custom close reason, the generic off-topic reason is displayed instead. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Nov 24 '17 at 18:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @W5VO when non-mods close with a custom off-topic close reason, it auto-posts a comment with that reason. It should be the same for mods, if not, mods should report that as a bug, no? \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Nov 24 '17 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby I think the rule is that at least 3 people need to agree with a specific close reason, otherwise it stays a comment? I can't find specific mention of it on meta.SE. David may have seconded Brian's close reason: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/341481/… \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Nov 24 '17 at 19:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby: "It should be the same for mods" -- it IS the same for mods; I closed it using the same reason that Brian did. Why do you think otherwise? \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Nov 24 '17 at 19:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaveTweed When you closed it, the close reason listed was "his question does not appear to be about electronics design within the scope defined in the help center." instead of the custom close reason. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Nov 24 '17 at 19:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaveTweed because the close message said off topic with no reason, yet you say op needs to clarify (aka unclear), and there is no comment by Brian stating "voting to close as off topic because xyz". And I was responding to W5VO's comment. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Nov 24 '17 at 19:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby See here for an example of what it looks like when a mod closes a question using a custom close reason : i.stack.imgur.com/CezJQ.png \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Nov 24 '17 at 19:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ha. Well, that doesn't help OP or others figure out why it was closed. I hope you'd agree. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Nov 24 '17 at 19:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaveTweed I sympathise with you here, you did not do anything wrong... but that said, and being a devil's advocate, I'd have to say it had the air of "Here is your answer... now go **** off." However I know that was never the intent, and this can all just be chalked up to "an unfortunate series of events". Let's move on. \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 24 '17 at 19:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @duskwuff I'd say that would be inappropriate for anyone with VTC powers, not just the mods. \$\endgroup\$ – Dmitry Grigoryev Dec 7 '17 at 13:25
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It does indeed seem unfair.

Dave thought it was on-topic enough to answer, for him, but closed it for everyone else to answer. This sends conflicting messages.

Fortunately a question can be reopened by the same community that votes to close it. It seems that is what will happen to your question. Of course, this assumes that everything else is good with your question. It already had a close vote from a non-moderator before it was closed.

I think one of the problems here is that a moderator is not allowed to vote for closing. They can only close. I understand that a lot of moderators would really like to be able to cast a vote instead of using the close-hammer.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 YA that's a valid point, MOD should be able to vote too. \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 24 '17 at 15:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trevor and pipe - relevant moderator close-vote theory: meta.stackexchange.com/a/41333/161579 \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Nov 24 '17 at 16:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @W5VO thanks, mine was just a general comment. I don't know enough about the MOD tools to comment further, or to risk stirring up trouble, which is the last thing I want to do. I'm impartial. \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 24 '17 at 16:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trevor That's fair. Stack Exchange is almost 10 years old, and the philosophy of moderation has definitely evolved over time. A lot of weird site quirks have an intentional reason, but that doesn't mean that everyone (users and moderators alike) agree with them. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Nov 24 '17 at 17:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem here is that the question was answered. It was correctly closed. It was incorrectly re-opened. \$\endgroup\$ – Lundin Nov 29 '17 at 11:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 from me thanks for your input \$\endgroup\$ – Procreator Dec 3 '17 at 5:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin not really \$\endgroup\$ – Procreator Dec 3 '17 at 5:44
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To clarify: the mistake made here by the moderator was to answer the question.

It was correctly closed. Then it was incorrectly re-opened, likely because of this meta post. And now it is correctly closed again.

The question has a vague specification of a whole project - it is far too broad. As such, it could only be answered in general, vague ways. The Stack Exchange concept is to have questions with limited scope that can be answered without writing a whole essay. Broad questions also open up for discussion or debate. Summary here.

Please note that a question is closed - not deleted. The purpose of this is to give the original poster a chance to fix it. As soon as the original poster edit a closed question, it pops up in a "re-open review queue" where other users with user moderator previligies will review it and vote to re-open if appropriate.


Now as for how to fix the question: narrow the scope and state which is the specific problem you are trying to solve. There has to be a specific problem to solve - questions that ask for some vague, theoretical discussion cannot be salvaged.

Make a simple example circuit and ask how it could be completed to give the desired result. Or do some research about solar cells and clarify the specification: which components will be used, what is the result you are hoping for etc.

Also try to ask one question per question. If you come up with a new question which is related to the problem, then post a new question. Link to the old one if needed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The question is "How do I build a solar kit that I can walk into a hardware store and buy?" I suppose it can thus be looked at as "too broad", but for me it fall into the "how to I use my stuff" category. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Nov 30 '17 at 14:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's the nature of the site. 5 people are all it takes to close a question even if it's on topic. But no, this question is not too broad and should not be closed. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Dec 2 '17 at 7:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 from me thanks for your input \$\endgroup\$ – Procreator Dec 3 '17 at 5:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ From the EE FAQ linked above: "Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much." This certainly applies to "how do I do my whole, vaguely/strangely specified project". The fact that 6 experienced users and 1 diamond moderator has voted to close is enough to indicate that the question is poor. \$\endgroup\$ – Lundin Dec 4 '17 at 9:09
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Your revised version of the question no longer has anything to do with the moderators. Note that this time the question was closed by 5 ordinary users.

One reason it got closed may be that you state a very unusual and seemingly silly requirement, but refuse to justify it. That makes it sound like it is indeed silly, religious, and arbitrary. People won't take you seriously that way, and they don't want to waste time answering what may well turn out to be a X-Y problem.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 from me thanks for your input \$\endgroup\$ – Procreator Dec 3 '17 at 5:45

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