Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Man's Got To Know His Limitations

Dirty Harry (Magnum Force 1973)

Limits of his equipment that is. NO Ladies I'm not talking about that kind of equipment! I'm talking Off Grid stuff!

The cables are here now and still its supposed to be Jan 6th before its installed (If not sooner???) Anyway the road in front of here is now fine powder and I have a new road coming in to the property which I plan to use to make a circular driveway out of. Its also fine powder. I felt for the guys operating the heavy equipment and they could easily win the program Dirty jobs because the dust was covering them. Don't know how much they make per hour, but I'd say it isn't enough!

Now for the limitations... I was up about 5:45 this morning and turned on the light and this computer. They were on about 15 minutes before the inverter shut down because of low voltage. That hasn't happened in like for ever, but it happened this morning. I went out about 6:15 and fired up the gas powered charger so I could get everything working again and it promptly ran out of gas so with flashlight in hand I hunted down the gas jug and added gas to it. Ran the charger for about 20 minutes and while that was running I came in and got on line. After the sun came up good I went out to investigate to see why that happened. It was evident right off the bat. All the dust from the construction had laid down a thick blanket of dust on the solar panels and they just hadn't gotten enough sunlight to make the power to keep the batteries up. That and there wasn't enough wind to generate enough power to keep the batteries up either. Of course me watching 3 movies yesterday using the laptop, 22 inch monitor and stereo for sound didn't help much either. That and playing the stereo for a couple of hours after that to listen to music on pretty well drained the batteries.

As a side note I made it to Study Butte early this morning to take care of business and get enough supplies to last me at least a week. I didn't see so much as one state trooper or Sheriff's deputy the whole time I was there. On the way home I did see a convoy of three sheriff's pickups headed south though. I suspect by now though there are troopers and deputies everywhere down there. At least now I can dodge all of that now.


  1. Tffnguy

    Yeah, I know how you feel about the invasion of law enforcement. Spring break is murder down here. We had two hundred thousand people just on one beach alone one year. Half of them were thugs and gang members from San Antonio and Houston. I just stay home and if I go anywhere its early in the morning when the spring break idiots are hungover.

  2. just in the nick of time, good to hear about you.

  3. Under normal circumstances, how often do you have to clean the solar panels?

  4. captaincrunch, it wouldn't be so bad if they actually stopped people that appear to be drunk, but the revolving door deal they seem to have setup is BS. They will pull people over for just about anything and from what I hear that includes dirty license plates. How convenient for them since most people driving the ranch roads not only have dirty vehicles, but dirty license plates to.

    Nick, you sure need to change the text color on your blog! I and others can't even see the text without highlighting it.

    DD, I usually don't have to clean the panels very often unless there's a heavy dew or light rain. Maybe once every couple of weeks) That usually allows the dust to stick to the panels and then after they dry I take a large paintbrush and dust them off. The dust was so heavy on them this time from all the construction that I'm going to have to get after them with Windex though. Just dusting them didn't do the trick.

  5. BTW Just had a visit from Allen Hair and his wife. Was good to see them again and he said they will probably come back by between now and the end of the cook off.

  6. It is good to run deep cycle batteries all the way down once in a while. Arn't you far enough away from the Cook-Offs to be outa the cop zone?

  7. David,

    I've been talking with the family since Dwight and I got home, we're trying to get together for your New Year's Eve Party. I'll let you know more as it comes together, wondering if tenting it for a couple nights will be possible that time of year, we may have to see. More later, hope all is well.

  8. Frann, I know and rapid discharge seems to do better than slow discharge, but the inverter only cuts out at 10.5 volts so that is in no way near full discharge. The time I fried a set of jumper cables on just 4 batteries did wonders for the batteries, but to rapid discharge all 8 would probably be something I wouldn't want to be close to. (similar to a nuclear melt down)

    Dale, your guess is as good as mine on that. Wish I was psychic enough to know in advance. Looks like the dungeon isn't going to be a backup because the bunks are now disassembled and so is all the insulation in it. If the weather is nice tomorrow then the rear partition will be disassembled and all the material will go towards the new storage building. (That's another thread though) I guess we may be sleeping in/under/on the top of this trailer that night. ;) At this point I see about 30 people being here with you'll, at least 6 maybe 7 women sleeping inside and us guys freezing our buns off sleeping outside in tents or where ever.


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