Friday, December 23, 2011

Coffee / Charger / Cold'N More / Snow!

I just got back from spending a week in Odessa with my family and yesterday when I stopped by the legion to get ice before coming home Dave handed me a box that was sent to me by The Foots. Its a Coleman camping coffee maker that works like an electric, but it doesn't use electricity. That's good because most of the electric coffee makers draw about 1500 watts and even if you have some solar you about have to run those coffee makers off of a generator. This one just sits over a burner and works like an electric one. Its slower than electric, but not bad. Took about 20 minutes to make 10 cups. Thanks Bigfoot & Littlefoot!

I took some iron, the alternator and new motor to Odessa and Ring and I constructed this new charger there. Unfortunately we didn't get 100% finished so I can't use it to charge the batteries on cloudy days. I could sure use it today because it is cloudy and there's a 30% chance of snow tonight. BTW when I got home yesterday it was sunny and was actually T-Shirt weather until the sun started setting. I guess I should have finished the charger then, but was busy doing other things. Now its too damned cold and windy to do it so I may have to try and get the jeep up next to the battery hut if I have to recharge them because of lack of sun. The propane bottle I was using ran out in the wee hours of the morning so it was pretty darned cold getting out of the rack this morning. Fortunately I only had to switch from the empty bottle to a full one. The oven isn't cutting the mustard too well in here because the temp is dropping, but hopefully not below 55 degrees or so which I can handle.

Did I say its COLD here? Online says its 40 degrees, but the thermometer in the It'll Du said it was 31 degrees over an hour ago and I think the temp is actually dropping. I'd put the wind at about 25 MPH and gusting to about 40. There's a 30% chance of SNOW tonight. Tell me it isn't true! I hate that stuff!!!

While in Odessa I managed to pick up this 750/1500 inverter at Harbor Freight. Ring had a coupon for $35 for it and I think that was about half price. That should open up the way to running a fridge if I ever get one. My neighbor's new fridge has a defrost cycle on it that is a real watt hog so he is going to have to keep the one he was going to give to me. Looked like Bigfoot was going to be able to get me one, but that fell through so now I'm back to square one on that. My other neighbor still has the one he wanted to sell me, but he got burned on the price of it and wants the same amount if he sells it to me. Its pretty  rough and $300 which is about $200 more than I'd pay so I'll keep looking.

And finally what's left of a batch of BlackJack Fudge I made while in Odessa. Needless to say it went over big. Its a real easy  recipe and probably doesn't take over about 10 minutes to make. Consists of a 2 pound bag of powdered sugar, 1 pound pack of semi sweet chocolate chips and 8 Oz of Black Jack or your favorite bourbon. You mix the powdered sugar and bourbon well and then heat the chocolate chips in a microwave until they are melted and then mix that with the sugar booze mixture and pour it in a greased pan of some type. A 9x12 works out about right and it sure is good. Especially with pecans in it, but Misty is allergic to them so I had to leave them out of this batch.

 Update... Its been snowing here some over the night and this morning. Had to get out and sweep the snow off the solar panels because they weren't charging at all. At least now they are a little. Technically the inverter should have shut down because the voltage was down to 11.39. I thought the inverter I am using cut out at 11.5, but I guess it is 11 instead. Looks like if I want power tonight I'm going to have to grub up some creosote where I can get the jeep to the battery hut to charge the batteries or bring the charger in here and try to get it finished where I can use it instead.

BTW for you who are or will be relying on solar keep in mind I'd have to have setup a ladder and gotten on a roof if they were roof mounted. Having the panels close to the ground is a BIG benefit at most times. (Easy to get to to keep them clean)


  1. Hi D: Sorry you're dealing with the cold..I'll keep praying that the sun comes out for you...


  2. Terry. I don't think that's supposed to happen until next week some time. :(

  3. You gonna fix that generator next time you get the chance??? huh??? huh???
    Actually, sounds like me,,put off, put off, do it tomorrow,,,etc...

  4. That is a neat coffee maker. I have never seen one like that before.

  5. tffnguy,
    Thanks for sharing in your blog. May you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    Stay Warm and take Care

  6. Seems like the desert is welcoming you home with some snow. Hope that does not materialize.

    I have never seen a coffee pot like the one gifted you by the Foots. Kind of neat looking.

    Stay warm, at least you are not in the Dungeon anymore.

  7. TnT, Yeah I sort of reckon I will when the weather warms up. Either that of bring it in here to finish fixing it. At least no more welding is needed.

    DD, I'd never seen a pot like that before either until I saw the one they have at their cabin, I guess they figured I liked that one so good that they'd get me one.

    Thanks Joe, I also hope you and everyone else has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    MsB, I sure don't want any snow, but of course don't have any say in that. You are right. For now its a warm 64 degrees in here and the dungeon would have been about 32 degrees I guess.

    Just got an email from my neighbor and he said SB Store is out of propane and it will be about a week before they have any more. Of course it could also be that someone just doesn't want to get out in the cold and fill bottles to. In either case I'm glad that I HOPE I have enough to get me by until they start filling again. I hear that BBMI is going to start selling propane before long so that should help a LOT!

  8. Hey Tffnguy...if you set that coffee maker base lower on the range, by removing the grill, but leaving 1/2" os so above the flame, it should make in 10 minutes or so.



  9. Oh....and thanks for your excellent posts. Good to be able to stay up to date with the neighborhood while we are up here, longing for the next trip to South Brewster Co.

    Merry Christmas to you, dude.!

    Foots fam.

  10. Bigfoot, I tried that earlier this morning and it still came out to about 25 minutes. I'm thinking I'll heat the water before I pour it in the maker and I figure that will super charge it. Hope so anyway. It doesn't take but about 3 minutes to heat the water in a pan. I'll just warm it up and not to boiling. It isn't a big deal waiting anyway. It isn't like I don't have time. ;)

    BTW I just updated this thread with a picture of the solar panels covered with SNOW. :( Had to get out and sweep them off to get them even charging a little. By night fall I'm either going to have to use the jeep or finish the charger to charge the batteries or do without power tonight.

    Merry Christmas to you'll to.

  11. Was at SB store this morning. They were filling propane tanks. Said they had managed to get some yesterday afternoon and had plenty now.

  12. Just Me, I'll tell Robert when I see him, but they have changed the hours they will fill them to 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM I think it is and then 3:00 to 5:00 PM I think. At any rate there was only 4 hours to get them filled per day when they fill them. I couldn't have gotten there more than 5 or 10 minutes late Maybe 11:05 or 11:10 the day I went in to fill mine. I didn't know about the hour change and the kid said it was too late. Needless to say I was really PISSED! They went ahead and filled them.

    On another note I got the gas powered charger going and its charging the batteries as I type this. :)

  13. Hope you stay warm. I love snow, just got 16" here. That's probably causing you problems now.

    Have a wonderful holiday season!

  14. repsychallblues, I'm staying warm enough. It got up to 68 in here earlier so I turned the oven down to 150 degrees and its 66 in here now. Still comfortable with a jacket on. I'll put the oven back on 200 degrees if it gets much cooler. If it snowed 16 inches here you would likely find me in DEEP MEXICO or further south.

  15. Be careful heating with that stove, I don't want to come down and find a corpse in there.

  16. Bkid, I've got a monoxide detector and smoke alarm. About the most that could happen is OD'ing on BlackJack fudge. ;)

  17. Oh yeah... And this trailer rolling over a few times in a wind storm or crashing on a hot rod V twin powered go cart.

  18. 18 degrees in the It'll Du at 8:00 am. That was fun! NOT