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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Battery Bank Update (not really but yes too)

..Ice hardly looks as imposing as described in the book..

..when having battery issues many times speed is of the essence. Which is why it was important to go away for a week, read ‘a clash of kings’ (watched the first season of ‘game of thrones’ and could not wait for season 2)..then go get caught it a purple rain…Darkness, entertainment and lack of desire can no longer be reasons for not finishing off our ‘oh so close’ projects.. back at it! The banks are still on different charges now and use has been low..with the levels being fine I need to get out and buy some new diagnostic gear in order to proceed..or batteries. We have talked some more about buying a new and larger battery bank and installing all the panels we own (we have 300 watts still at Ma’s)..first some more gear and tests…(I hope these batteries have been studying their multiplication tables for the flashcard tests!..groan).

..sorry to bring up tv (which I generally hate) shows again but they do a good job on the translation of ‘game of thrones’..I hope the 2nd book is as good on tv. I hope the batteries are good too…more than the series actually…the book series not the batteries…I will stop.

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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in fun

 

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Railway Tie-Formers

..we did an old switcheroo on the railway ties. We were sad that we did not get ge to play more with the railway ties before the snow flew so we were outside trying to decide what to do and we chose to ‘pull some of these railway ties around’…

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image..an hour later we had a sheltered outside roost for the chickens. We were going to put our tuck cap as the roof (and still might ) but we could not lift it alone so the roof is the excess railway ties. Needless to say it is solid. This way the chicks can get out like normal, still keep to their usual haunts but have an extra area to stay dry. We are going to further junkify it with some vapor barrier so the chickens have some windows to allow some more light and heat in…we figured if the ties were doing nothing we might as well offer the chickens an incrementative improvement…plus A* thinks the railway tie roof roost makes a great dance stage for celebratory (and tired back) dance! Hehe..terrible shots but you can blame the winter cause the freekin sun sets so early…
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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Construction

 

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Fresh Tracks

Winter is the best for hiking and seeing animals tracks(usually)..I always snap some shots when I see them to try to identify what the animal might have been. These tracks were a day or 2 old..with the dramatic increase in temperature the track loses detail due to melt but there appears to be a claw mark on one. Too soggy to really tell what type of animal left the tracks but I do know that heavy snowfall followed by warm weather causes soggy rainboots.

Also easy to see there are no hunters in the area thanks to the snow so we jaunted down through the woods for a change. Beats the muddy road and filthy dog paws!

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Posted by on November 26, 2011 in Animals, Wildlife

 

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Back to the Shack

..away for some training for a couple of days this week..I am really not used to being in the big city anymore and I was literally counting the hours down near the end. Big cities are (once again) nice places to visit but I don’t think I could ever live in one again. I have only seen 4 dogs here and 2 of those were owned by homeless people…I was downtown so I guess that is to be expected since most people are in condos and apartments. Not to mention how difficult it must be to track animals there. Hehe.  Our place is no mansion or anything but the silence speaks volumes…which reminds me, hunting season is almost over..it’s getting old walking the dogs through the subdivision..back to the trails soon!

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Posted by on November 25, 2011 in Philosophy

 

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Snow Day Near Miss

do not adjust your image..it is mostly white...

..the snowstorm started too late in the day so A* did not get a snow day off from school..too bad. We did take precautionary measures and parked the car at the 1/2 way point of the driveway though to be on the safe side…let the season of shovelling begin! …this officially ends the gardening season unless that snowball tree I planted last winter finally starts growing.

Yes, for the record it did snow but we don’t consider it having snowed unless A* gets a day off..so when I go cross-county skiing later I will have to use my vivid imagination.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in Construction

 

SOWH

..slightly obsessed with headlamps. Ok, I bought another petzl headlamp to replace the broken one which I have had for years The light never let me down until I decided to stand on it so I felt obligated/motivated to get another one. This one is a TIKKA xp2 and it has many newer features. Where my old one had an on switch this one has 2 light levels, flashing light, built in diffuser, red light ( to keep night vision..perfect for meteor showers and star-gazing) and it will stay on for 160 hours off of 3 AAA batteries. sweet!

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image and it also has a sweet LOUD whistle..A* likes that as she is always worried about coyotes…and coyotes hate whistles. Yes, it slices, it dices, it juliennes..Ronco should really think of purchasing the rights to this.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Construction, lighting, Purchases

 

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Stupid Stapler

Disappering staplers. Gone. We are not going to be burning this wood this season but rather than take chances I covered it over with some even thicker vapor barrier. Just enough for the tops really..and we put some hay down on the garden boxes and used some more vapor barrier over top. Just enough to keep some of the cold out. Now that we are all done the stapler will proabably show up now..someplace obvious too that is gonna drive me crazy..like attached to my car keys..I hope not.

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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Construction, Gardening, heat

 

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Stop That…

I asked for snow for Christmas..stop it! Too early..and speaking of too early someone on my ride home from work had their Giftmas lights and blow-up snowman on…that it too early too.

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imageI know it will stop snowing..hard to tell in the shots…no I am not a Grinch..but I would like to punch Jack Frost in the nose.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in fun

 

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Fixing broken stuff

In a past life I just would have thrown out this headlamp which was not working properly. The light keeps shutting on and off so rather than toss it I figured I would fix it. The switch was not working since the crack developed when I was standing on it so I disassembled it. The switch was out of place.

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image So I gutted it and crazy-glued it together..works fine all apart after glue so I put it all back together and it works..as good as it did before. Not well enough..so after 10 years the light is kaput. Hehe..A* and I have a motto these days ,if we cannot make it worse then we might as well try to fix it…a small example, sure (and a failure at that)…but at least now I finally have an excuse to upgrade my headlamp without the guilt of already having working light. In reality I guess that would be getting a new one. Into the evergrowing electronics frankenstein vault with the old and to the store for a new!

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Construction

 

Maintain the Bank

..3 of my 8 batteries are having issues..took them out of the mix and put them on the rose rug of shame so these batteries can take some time out to think about what they have done..bad batteries!! BAD!

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image11.69 was the reading I got with the voltmeter ( without getting into the extra complication of temperature)..11.69 is considered a fully discharged battery for all intensive purposes…Batteries are freekin odd..12.65 is full and 11.89 is empty. Stupid if you ask me. I like 100% for full and 0% for empty..but that is just me and I didn’t invent electricity or batteries.
imageThe spot charger that we use is not the best as it only charges 1 way ( when batteries typically need 3 types of charges to reach full )..but I hooked it up anyway and applied a charge for a couple of hours. I am afraid of taking a reading so I avoided it..I like putting off bad news until I cannot avoid it any longer..by the way does anybody know if Stephen Harper won the election in the spring?

Even the ‘good’ batteries are not up to where they need to be but I will leave that for the solar panels to recharge. The jury is still out on them. This reading was taken shortlly after I reconnected the good ones after I took the ‘bad’ ones out.image

I really think these batteries are screwy the more I think about it..I don’t usually think about how much power we SHOULD since when it is there it is doing what it is supposed to do but this bump has made me revaluate things. Each battery is rated for 108amp hours x 8 batteries…so theoretically I should be able to run  2 CFL lights at 2.5 amps draw for 346 hours..we are nowhere near that when our charge is ‘full’..nowhere near. Sure, some of that is lost in converting to 120v from 12v but still. Anyway we will see whats up..we both knew the day would come when these batteries would be toast but I was hoping for 40 more years.

 ..also in case anyone wants to learn more this is where much of my quick info comes from: http://marine-electronics.net/techarticle/battery_faq/b_faq.htm

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in power

 

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