Monday, January 31, 2011

Not Liking This!!!

Too Damn Cold for down here!!! Its time to head south for drinking water, a shower and supplies for the cold spell. I probably won't be getting out much for a while so plan to stop by Frann's place and check on her progress. Its supposed to be in the low 80s today I think. They seem to change the forecast often though so WHO KNOWS???
Ice on the inside of the windows in this trailer. :(

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Automotive LEDs for Off Grid Use

While Frann and I were in Alpine Wednesday I caught her looking at the LED lights in AutoZone while we were picking up parts. I'd been thinking about checking into LEDs made for automotive use, but that seems to have expanded a lot since I last looked at them well over a year ago. Anyway she decided not to buy any, but I spied one set of two that was left so decided to try them. Price for a 2 pack was $19.99 which I figured wasn't bad at all if they put out decent light. (They do!)
Note this pack says that they are 12 LED, but it happens that both of them had 15 LEDs each instead. Evidently wrong packaging or they upgraded and didn't bother to upgrade the packaging? It also shows that they were supposed to come with a LED switch, but there wasn't one in the pack. Maybe that was a trade off? (More LEDs, but no switch?)
The first night I ran one off of the battery I have in here to keep my Zune charged with and I brought another 12 volt battery in to run the other one since I was using them on both ends of the living room. The next day it dawned on me that it would be nice to have them wired to the overhead lights where the existing light switches would work on them so I mounded them on the sides of the 2 overhead lights in the living room. I removed one of the bulbs from each light receptacle because I didn't want to use the watt hog incandescent bulbs that were in them, but kept them where if the switch is set for both sides then the LEDs and remaining incandescent lights will both work in case I needed more light for short periods. I did say that the incandescent lights are WATT HOGS didn't I. Running those for long periods at night kept the battery low so I quit doing it. Now I have more than enough light ALL night long if I cared to use it.
The LED receptacle comes with a swivel attached so you can point them at different areas which is a good thing. The light they put out is high intensity white light so they do put out a lot of light and they are nade to disperse the light rather than having a bunch of lighted dots showing up where they shine.Best part is that it is white light rather than the yellowish light the incandescent bulbs put out. Like I say they put out a lot of light and they make life in here a lot better at night, but I figure it will take one more pack (2 Lights) to get all the light I want.

These are running off of a single battery in this trailer, but they pull such a small amount of wattage that they could be burned 24/7 with no problem with the little solar I have hooked up to that battery. For that matter when I get two more lights that wouldn't be a problem either and probably the same could be said even if I ran 8 lights off of that battery.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Driving Lesson For Dummies (Toruists)

Twice in the last week I've come near being creamed by jerks that fail to yield to me making a left hand turn from 118 to the ranch road coming up to my place. They ignored that I had the turn signals on well before making the turn and I even tapped the brakes a couple of times before ever getting close to the turn. First time was a mega motorhome towing a car and just now was a new Cadillac Escalade.

Now... I don't know what the laws are in other states, but in Texas a car coming up behind another car that is about to make a left hand turn is supposed to yield to the car making the turn and only proceed after that car has turned.  Is it that these tourists are from states that have different laws or is it that they just have a lot more $$$ than brains? That is a very dangerous practice and IF I hadn't broke off the turn this time I'd have likely gotten a new vehicle out of the deal IF I'd survived. Needless the say the jerk got the bone as they recovered from nearly hitting the bar ditch and then sped on by.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Just ThinkingI / Carpet Driveway

I've been thinking about this for years, but as of yet have not tried it. Less chance now because if I had the right vehicle to use the engine from then I'd probably be using it to save gas. (Provided the rest of the car wasn't totaled.)

You might think that all of the energy used by burning gasoline in your car goes to making power to run it. That is far from being the case. The way it works is only about 1/3 of the energy is used for that. 1/3 is lost through heat which is removed by the radiator and 1/3 is lost through exhaust and goes out the tailpipe without doing anything other than polluting. Also while you are driving there are several other things that can cut down on efficiency. Like the weight of the vehicle and the engine having to work to keep it moving and buck the resistance from the wind it pushed in front of it.

This works the same for any internal combustion engine (car engine, generator, lawnmower and so on) EXCEPT for a diesel engine which is about 1/3 more efficient than a gasoline engine. That is because the diesel engine produces far less heat than a gasoline engine does and that savings goes toward making power. Therefore I'm leaving diesel engines out f this equation. However, burning propane in an internal combustion engine is much better for several reasons. (the first being that it is far less polluting and the second is that the engine stays much cleaner and requires less maintenance because the oil doesn't need to be changed as often because of the cleaner burning fuel.) Propane also has pretty near the same energy per gallon as gasoline so no big lost there.

Now with that behind us here is my idea and what I some day hope to start working on.

My idea is to route the antifreeze water mixture through an inside coil / fan unit to provide some of the heating inside during the winter and possibly a heat exchanger in the summer to run an absorption (refrigeration system) for cooling the inside of a cabin or what ever. At the same time use a heat exchanger on the exhaust system for heating water for various uses. It could also probably be routedthrough a boiler to provide steam for a small steam turbine for extra power to run other stuff. (Generate extra power, or run a refrigeration device for cooling.)

The actual output of the engine could be used to run a generator, refrigeration system and alternators to charge battery banks from when the engine isn't running. To get the most out of this I'd need a very efficient small car engine converted to run on propane. Not only would the engine not have to over come the drag from pushing a vehicle down the highway and wouldn't have to be pushing all of the wind a vehicle has to push while moving.

This is not something a person would want to use all the time UNLESS they run a generator all the time, but it could have its uses quiet often when you need a lot of power, heat and so on at the same time and should make it economically with a minimum of pollution.

 Occasionally I need to do some work on the falcon (Like now needing to do brake work). I just never can get in to it too much when it calls for crawling under the car. Now I'll have a place to work on it and it can be swept off when needed for a semi clean place to work. This is the carper RN left on his last visit and it had been in their house until they put down a simulated wood floor. Here the carpet is actually turned upside down with the pile in the dirt. I got this idea from my uncle who more or less paved in front of their house with carpet doing it like this. Its been there for many years and darn near as hard as concrete. There its gumbo mud, but I think the same effect will happen here. The carper pile gets pushed down in the dirt. Then it gets wet during rains and once dried it would take a bulldozer to pull it up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


First off CRS. For those younger people who don't know what CRS is... Well it stands for Can't Remember S__T. I think that's a condition mainly owned by older folks, but I have seen younger folks with it a time or two. Now it also stands for Congressional Research Service (which is probably another BAD thing because we all know what happens when Congress researches something.)

Anyway my first attack is that I forgot to take my shaving kit along this morning when I went south to fill the propane bottles and to take a shower. No I don't shave anymore, but that kit has my deodorant, bath soap, quarters for a shower, toothpaste, tooth brush and a few other items. I usually put the kit in a plastic bag with my clean clothes, but this morning I left it sitting in the floor here. Fortunately someone had left a nearly new motel sized bar of soap on top of the shower partition so at least I had bath soap (even if it wasn't to my liking) Also fortunate that I had enough spare quarters in my pocket for the shower.

Now when I got to BBMI to take the shower one of their employees was working on one of the toilets and had the shower/restroom door wide open. It was still in the 30s and there is no heat in there other than what comes from people taking hot showers so I decided to put that off until later. I had breakfast at BBMI restaraunt and Frann came in so we sat and BS'ed for a while before I headed to the SB Store to get the propane.

I headed for the SB store, got propane and filled the falcon with gas, That came to $83.00 on the nose, but I actually got charged for 15 gallons of propane even though I only had two 7 gallon tanks. I'm still scratching my head on that because one was not totally empty and I watched the meter as it barely barely read 14 gallons when the guy finished filling the last one. Of course gas is $3.40 per gallon there which is about 15 cents a gallon higher than it is in Presidio and maybe 25 cents higher than in Alpine. So much for the so called low cost of living down here!

Second case of CRS came when I was ready to go back for a shower. I found myself going down the hill out of SB headed home before I thought "HAY! I haven't had a shower yet!" Yep... pulled a U-Turn (broke the law by crossing the double yellow lines) and went back over the hill to get the shower. That was when I discovered the first case of CRS! Sure glad the second case of CRS wore off before I got too far out of town!

Third case of CRS was when I decided to clean out the Fridge and see if it would actually start working again now that the battery controlling the low voltage to it is at MAX. I cleaned out the freezer and forgot to clean out the ice box part and after walking about a quarter mile to dump the spoiled food out away to keep the Coyotes away from here I thought to myself. Now why didn't you clean out the rest of the box? That took another trip, but hay! I guess I need the exercise? So far there have been no more cases of CRS today, but the day is far from over. Just give me time.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Damn Spam!

 Anymore I get floods of spam on my various email addresses dealing with my site. Lately its been love letters from Ukrainian ladies? AND emails written mainly in Chinese advertising Viagra and the other medications that are supposed to do the same thing. I guess the Chinese think that since I have so many Ukrainian  women hot for my bod then I'll need plenty of medication to make sure I can handle them. ;)

I REALLY HATE SPAM, but it seems now days there is no stopping it. I even tried to remove the Google ads from this blog, but found out it only removed me from getting any $ for allowing it (as if I ever did) Now the ads are still appearing anyway. If you are thinking about adding them to your blog think twice. Evidently once added they are there to stay.

I can add filters to block most spam, but spammers keep getting smarter and keep making it harder and harder to block their spam. For instance blocking all of the crap Chinese spam is almost impossible because of the Chinese alphabet and it changes from message to message.

The bad part about all of this is that on my web site I have forums.and the forum software sends out notifications to my members when there is a new reply to a thread they are watching and to notify them they have private messages when that happens. Now some times the big ISPs decide those messages are SPAM and start blocking mail from my mail server. I have to duke it out with them to get them to quit blocking it. Its amazing that they can block legitimate American grown mail and let all of the spam through. Also funny that blogger sends out notifications the same way, but those never get blocked.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Solar Care/Solar Keyboard Light

These are a few things that make life a lot easier here at night. Note the Windex, Paper towels and Paintbrush first because these are just maintenance tools. The 4 inch paint brush is used to keep the solar panels (Including the solar cells on the lights) dusted off. Usually required at least three times per week to keep the solar charging at the most. Dust around here just collects on them and can degrade the electricity made. After a heavy dew there will be dust cobwebs on them to boot. Occasionally because of bird poop and when the brush doesn't work too well its time to go for the big guns. Paper towels and Windex to clean them. (Maybe once per month.)

The solar lights I put out each morning to charge and move them inside at night and they are almost as effective as candles. That means not having to use the inverter to supply lighting unless I rally need a lot of light (which is seldom)

Also note the Rayovac AA battery pack. Those are standard batteries, BUT they will recharge and discharge daily for months before needing to be tossed. They are much cheaper than NiCad batteries and there is much less garbage footprint by using them for a long period of time instead of once and chunking them. I don't know if the same goes for any other brand of batteries, but I have used the same batteries in the spotlight in the next picture for 5 months straight with them being charged and discharged daily for that length of time. Its a fact that the Chinese NiCad batteries that come in the cheap solar lights don't have a very long life span in most cases and American NiCads can get pretty expensive so why not take the cheap way out for cheap Chinese lights?

Note the cheap Harbor Freight solar spot light sitting upside down on the top keyboard. All I did with it was to remove the spike from the bottom because it lays on its side during the day to charge and sets on the solar part at night so it can be pointed at the keyboard I use on the laptop. With no other light on in here at night it lights up the keyboard well enough to easily type so cuts having to run the big litght off of the inverter which uses the battery bank. Those lights are designed with a ball joint under the solar part so the light can be faced in any direction, but the solar module can be turned to face the sun. That makes for a great base at night because it allows pointing the light downward like I have it to illuminate the keyboard. It will last well over night (I think I've forgot to charge it at least 2 days in a row and it was still working on the third night) That was with two of the Rayovac batteries in it. Those solar spotlights can be had at Harbor Freight for under $10 when they are on sale. Under $18 if they aren't on sale. Next time I'm around a HF store when they are on sale I'll likely buy another three to really help out with lighting. They are 3 LED lights.

As for the new battery bank configuration it is working very well. For one I have stopped using the 22 inch monitor to watch movies at night and don't use the sound system, but I still watch them on the laptop screen which can still be seen and heard pretty well from the couch. I watch movies until 10:30 or 11:00 each night and then shut down everything. The bank still has a decent charge in the morning when the sun is high enough to start charging again and I can use the laptop to be online in the mornings now without ever running the charger. I can run the laptop all day if I care to and the bank is still fully charged by noon. The other solar lights in the first picture supply enough other light in here to make it comfortable and they also get charged during the day.

Oh and just wish'in


Thursday, January 20, 2011

4+2 and not 8

I've been having trouble with the batteries every since the wind genny went south so I don't know if that caused this or its just something that cropped up at the same time. It was getting to where even though the batteries were topped off and no power was being used after about 10:30 they would still be down enough by sunrise to cause a power outage. That meant running the charger early in the morning just to be able to get online. I was feeling a good bit better yesterday so spent most of the day isolating TWO batteries that were pulling the other 6 down. Not only that, but two more of the batteries were only about 85% and if I'd kept them on the bank with the other 4 batteries that are almost perfect then they would pull them down. I decided to go ahead and use the 4 good ones as the main bank and use the two 85%'ers as a backup, but not tied in to the main bank. This is actually working out pretty good though because I still run the charger to watch movies on the semi big screen at night and the next morning the batteries still have a full charge so no down time or having to run the charger in the morning. Now I'll be looking for some other source for used batteries.

The weather has been crappy here all day today. High wind, blowing sand and cold, but at least it was mostly clear. I went south for a much needed shower and had lunch with Frann at the BBMI before heading home. Got a message that her Jeep had conked out and she needs parts so I'll take her in to the AutoZone in Presidio tomorrow to get the parts. Cross your fingers that we don't have problems with the falcon!

 Presidio Trip
Pictures Frann took on the trip.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

College Closings (Including Odessa Collage)

Now this is not right! Think of the jobs lost among other things like the economy of the cities the collages are in. I say they need to cut the law makers salaries to balance the budget. OC has been around for as long as I can remember!

Article from KWES TV Odessa

AUSTIN - Four Texas colleges, including Odessa College, could close as part of a plan to save money.

The Associated Press is reporting that Odessa College, Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, Frank Phillips College in Borger and Ranger College would close as part of a plan to slash $145 million in state funding for Texas community and junior colleges. Those cuts are in a draft spending plan released Tuesday by House lawmakers.

Odessa College Board President Walter Smith told NewsWest9 Tuesday evening that the news came as a shock. He said the board would be working to get more details on the plan on Wednesday.

Smith also said Odessa College has been making lots of progress lately with growing enrollment and the passage of a voter-supported bond issue last year.

Smith said he knew that budget cuts would be coming, but they had no idea state lawmakers were considering closing entire colleges. He also thought that the community would rally behind OC to keep it open if the budget proposal advanced any further.

We will have the latest on this developing story on NewsWest9 at 10. We will also be working to get more details on this plan on Wednesday.

Monday, January 17, 2011

El Crap'O

Started coming down with some kind of bug late yesterday afternoon and by last night I felt like warmed over death. Woke up at 4:00 AM and had to make a run to the out facilities. No fun at all! Managed to get back to sleep after that and expected to feel as bad this morning as I was last night, but fortunately I feel a little better than then. Not to say I feel good because I don't. I still feel plenty crappy. All this is making me think I need an indoor backup for the It'll Du for cases just like this. Perhaps a plastic liner for the indoor facilities in here? Not room for the potty chair that is still stored in the dungeon.

Today? Its 62 degrees right now and supposed to get to 76. Its partly cloudy or should I say mostly cloudy with high thin clouds which isn't going to be real great for solar. Still no wind to test out the wind genny though. Too bad I don't feel good enough to start working on the storage building again. Would probably be a good day for it.

Wind Genny Update
Looks like using the diodes won't let me save the wind genny after all. There is more than enough wind that it should be putting out a fair amount of juice, but it isn't. It acts like it is in Lock Down Mode which means that there is a direct short somewhere in the system. Its not impossible that it could be in the wiring coming from it, but I suspect that the winding in the generator is fried. Its too windy and I don't feel like setting the extension ladder up to check that so now I guess I'll be waiting for another no wind condition and when I feel a lot better then I do now. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

She's ALIVE!

Well maybe Genny is? I managed to scrap two diodes from the mangled battery charger that got run over by a semi and it looks like I may get the wind genny back on line before long. First I need some wind though to test it out. The red arrows mark the diodes.
It was a beautiful afternoon and I started out with a jacket then shed that down to a long sleev t-shirt. It was black and and it got too hot for that so I eventually shucked that. Hay I need to get started on a tan early.
I went like this for a couple of hours and it was really comfortable. Unfortunately things change here quick though so now the oven is on to keep this place warm. Its supposed to be warmer tomorrow so I may put on my speedos and try for more tan.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dive Bombing

Went in to SB this morning and did laundry, gassed up the falcon and filled a 5 gallon jug for the charger at the same time. Nearly had to take out a bank loan to do that. Gas was $3.30 something per gallon! :( Met Frann at BBMI for lunch and then headed home. I hadn't been here long when I heard a real ruckus outside so went out to investigate. A squadron 6 of the bad boys below were making a high to low dive coming from the west and dived low enough to turn to the south and fly between Black Hill and 9 Points Mesa (considerably lower than the top of 9 points.) They would disappear behind Black Hill as they passed through there.  It was really something to see as they followed one after the other at probably about a quarter mile between each of them. Once they cleared the north end of 9 points they gained altitude and meandered off in the distance heading northeast.. First time I've seen this before.
More than likely they would have been dropping the HUGE aerial bombs in a real exercise.

BTW its 54.5 degrees right now and dropping. Full sunlight (Clear) is good, but I think its supposed to be COLD again tonight. It wasn't supposed to get over 47 degrees today though.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

High Tech Foot Warmer

I think this stuff is catching. ;)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1/11/11 Cold, Cloudy, Windy & Crappy!

I guess the subject line pretty well says it all, but I'll add a little extra. May or may not add pictures later. Probably not because I don't see any beauty in Crappy. However, if the sun comes out and it warms to the 80s and the wind quits blowing then I might. Not looking for that to happen though because I think the high is only supposed to be in the 40s.

Well I guess I lied about not posting pictures. The clouds are breaking up a little and I actually see some blue sky in small patches. The pictures? Well... last trip to Study Butte and a trip to Study Butte Store someone had left the battery powered shower on the bench there for the taking. I picked it up along with a couple of LAN cables which I don't need now, but may later for some reason or the other. The black barrel is the one Frann gave me and I'd about decided to put it on top of the It'll Du/Shower for a gravity feed shower since I now have the pump that I used to the shower dedicated to supplying water to this trailer in the warmer parts of the year. I've been thinking I needed another pump for the shower though because 20 or 30 gallons on top of the It'll DU/Shower would be a darn heavy weight. I'd probably need to reinforce both to handle that much weight.
Now that I have this pump I've decided to keep the barrel on the ground like I did using the old blue container and that will simplify the process a lot. I won't have to use a splitter from the pump on my water tank and a long hose to pump water up to the tank on top of the It'll Du, I can use the two wheel dolly to move the black barrel back and forth between the water tank and shower to keep it  filled and won't have to reinforce the out buildings.

I checked out the electric shower after I got it back here and it works. It works off of 4 D cell batteries though and I don't plan to be buying a bunch of those batteries just to take showers. I still have the two golf cart batteries that never came around as far as using them on the battery bank, but between the two they will make a good 6 volt battery. I plan to use those as a power supply for the shower pump since it is 6 volt and I also have a 6 volt light that I will run off of those batteries to. I have a small 6 volt solar panel to keep the batteries charger to 6 volts so I should be good to go with this setup for both showers and lighting in the It'll Du.

Just had a visit from John Wells and he dropped off the other half of the Diego Burger he got at the Starlight Theatre and couldn't eat. I'd jokingly posted on his blog to bring me the other half and danged if he didn't do it. Now I know what my lunch is going to be.
 Now earlier this morning I'd gotten an email from Frann saying her and her neighbor were going to be here around 1:00 for her neighbor to pick my neighbor's brain about some electrical stuff. She says stuff like that is too boring so I suspect her and Hell Dog will hang out here while her neighbor is visiting my neighbor? Its 2:40 now and they haven't shown yet, but if they show real soon I'll split the burger with her since it is a whopper and I probably can't handle the whole half by myself. Then again I'm sure getting hungry smelling it so they had better get here quick!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Is that Rain I hear?

Yep... will post more tomorrow.

 Icy puddle left under the door step.
Note the dusty web covering the solar panel. They are all like that so I'll be out dusting them off after they dry out good. This also happens to panels in high places (Like on roofs) so if you have panels on the roof you better have a good ladder to get to them after rains because they will also need to be dusted or cleaned. This can cut back on the output more than you would think.

It only rained for maybe 10 minutes so didn't have much time to wash the falcon, but it did help some. Unfortunately it didn't help at all inside it. There is still plenty of dust in it.

The prediction last night was for a slight chance of rain (which I got), but the wind prediction was for 15 to 25 MPH wind. No doubt that was WRONG! I'd guess more like 40+ because this trailer was rock'in and roll'in pretty good and that was with the wind out of the north and just hitting the back of the trailer rather than one of the sides. Note my door mat that was under the door before the big wind. That is a HEAVY mat and it was a good 10 feet from where the wind blew it from. I haven't started looking for other stuff that might have blown away yet. That will come after it warms up some. One good thing is that it is supposed to be mostly sunny today. I guess another good thing about the small rain was that the wind started dieing down about the time it started and it was more or less a calm night after that.

I rode in to Alpine with my neighbors yesterday and found a ball of cotton twine to use for wicks for candles so I'll be able to melt down all of the left over wax from candles I've used up and make more from it. I may go on the hunt for wax and start making my own.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Off Grid Do's and Don'ts (Terlingua)

I made it 36 hours without running the charger after disconnecting the wind genny, but its totally cloudy and semi dark here now. (Has been off and on for days) going from cloudy to mostly cloudy and then fairly cloudy. This spurred me to write about this.

Don't expect that if you have enough solar to do a good job in the summer to expect it to do the same in the winter.

Don't expect to get much good from a wind generator. (Unless you have a large generator and massive battery bank)

The wind conditions here seem to be mainly in the day light hours when you don't really need it if you have sufficient solar to do the job. Only on rare occasions do they work to your advantage. (like on cloudy days and at night) Not to say you shouldn't have one because the times it works probably makes it worth while.

Figure on about double the solar than what you would need in the summer and probably considerably more batteries than you think you would need to deal with the winter conditions. (If you plan to have the same lifestyle year round)

Keep a lot of candles around for the winter nights. They also put off a very small amount of heat with the light, but don't expect them to do much in the way of heating large areas. It would take a very small well insulated area for you to notice any difference. See tip below for an emergency heater.

A sun tracking system could offset the need for some extra panels, but that could be expensive unless it is a manual deal where you go move the panels several times a day. That can be a drag and its easy to forget and in that case it is working against you instead of for you.

Emergency Heater tip.

While I was in the Army we were taught that a heater can be made out of a one pound metal coffee can, a roll of plain white toilet paper (not the loose fluffy stuff or scented!) Use something like the old styled Scott tissue. Also a bottle of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (No higher percentage!) You don't have to use a coffee can you can use other type cans, but the roll of toilet tissue needs to fit firmly inside it with no space between it and the wall of the can. the roll also needs to be at least a small distance below the top of the can and a coffee can comes out just about right.

First you remove the cardboard tube from the inside of the toilet paper and place the roll in the coffee can. (all the way to the bottom with no paper sticking out) Then you pour about four ounces of alcohol onto the paper to saturate it. Best to keep a couple of pie plates handy one turned upside with the can setting on the bottom and the other to place over the flame when you want to extinguish it, Also keep it away from anything that will catch on fire. Once you've done that light it with a match and it will help a lot in small well insulated spaces, but will only marginally help in large areas. (Maybe a hand warmer.) should last over the night.

Also while I was in the Army one not so bright sergeant and private decided to use gasoline instead of alcohol because they didn't have any alcohol and both wound up with severe burns. Never do that!

Reason for this tip is if you ever run out of propane on a really cold night it could help a good bit if you have a small area you could set it up in. (Maybe a closet?) Should keep a 6 x6 area semi comfortable if it is insulated well enough. Would also need a small amount of ventilation, but this heater doesn't put out carbon monoxide.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

RIP Genny

Spent all morning troubleshooting batteries because I'd been having problems with them going down way too soon (as the friends who were over here watching movies can attest to.) Not only that, but the charger kept bogging down and dieing. I disconnected all of the solar panels and wind genny and tested the voltage off and on several times through the morning and this afternoon. None were showing signs of much voltage drop. Basically as they have always been. I started connecting up all of the panels about 2:45 and then it came time to connect up the wind genny. As soon as I connected the positive side there was a sharp arc and flash. Looks like one of the windings in the alternator has gone to ground. I don't plan to try and repair it or get it repaired though because it just doesn't put out enough steady current because the wind isn't steady. However, right now it would be nice since its partly cloudy and very windy.

Note all the charge controllers. They were given to me by my nephew and I had intended to use them on the solar panels and use the big controller I got at Harbor Freight for the wind genny. Looks like now I'll use that for the panels and use one of the smaller ones for the battery in this trailer. Maybe more panels will come up later to use the rest on.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The NYE 2010 Party / NY 2011 after Party Party

The party went over good, but a lot of people didn't show up. Some showed up pretty late and I guess all total there was probably around 40 or maybe more there. Nick showed up and did some singing and playing the guitar later on. No one got out of line during the party and I think everyone had a great time. Nick, JustMe (Julianne), Dave Secor, RN, Sunny, Zano, James the surveyor and myself came back to the trailer and sat around outside by a fire BS'ing until it got too cold (until well after midnight) Then came in and watched a movie until the inverter cut out. I tried to start the charger and had problems when it over revved and threw the belt. Some of us got out and tried to find it, but never did so that pretty well shut down the party here around 3:30 or so. Nick had left a t-shirt for me in the It'll Du and suggested I change the name of the It'll Du to the name of the tavern on the shirt. I think I'll pass on that though. It doesn't have a pocket so I may use it for a flag?

All I can say to those who left from the Legion early is you missed one heck of an after party party.
 T-Shirt Nick left in the It'll Du.