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Tag Archives: offgrid blog

On the Level

I actually think I used that title before…or stole it from another blog..oh well.

We had some delivery and excavation work done today..3 tandem loads of topsoil delivered and a mini-excavator to spread it all over the yard to create a lawn that can actually be mowed…there are too many dips, crevasses and exposed rocks to really use a lawn mower now so we have been using a whipper snipper..not to mention the fact that anytime one of our friends comes out we were constantly worrying someone was going to trip or roll an ankle..so levelling seemed like the right thing to do.

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..the railway ties from the picture are part of our yucky temporary deck/house entrance..as we begin to build our new deck we still needed a way to get into the house..
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..and only 1 hour later we have a level lawn..a couple of hours later and we had a load of topsoil delivered too..but before we get to that we need to spend some time with a rake getting rid of the bigger rocks so that we do not duplicate our old rocky ‘lawn’

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In the next day or 2 our guy doing the work ( who also is the same guy who hauls dirt out of our ‘driveway’ area ( which is where the fill came from(cuts down on delivery costs)) will be back with the HUGE excavator to pull up some stumps for us so next year we can have a big garden..finally!

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Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Construction

 

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Book Clearance

..even with my kindle readers we seem to keep amassing books..if amassing is a word. A local 2nd hand bookstore has an amazing selection and with a $2 price tag it makes them hard to pass-up..so out with the read and in with the new..

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..or we start refilling with the 2 massive boxes of books in the attic..the other keepers.
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Once we actually put up our other brackets we should have ample room…for more clutter. Hehe..we have a pack-rat mentallity but have space issues but we have gotten much better than when we had a house that was 3 times bigger with a double shed.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in todo

 

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Water Perch

We bought a rain barrel but we have not quite gotten around to installing the rain gutters…but in the meantime we will use it as a cistern for when the pump runs out. We already have a water splitter so (after a minor adjustment to the hose) we mounted the rain barrel on top of the wobbly woodpile..

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So, we fill it via the hose then turn off the line inside so it does not overfill..then when our pump runs out of water the pressure in the water line is lost…so then we switch the line inside back on and the water from the rain barrel begins to flow into the inside water line..a gravity fed system. Wanted to try this out for a while..an outside cistern is out of the question for winter months but something similar to this (or this) can flush a toilet around 40 times..or wash 500 hands. A system like this could be useful for anyone in emergencies too..as long as the cistern was high enough (in this setup it is not high enough for our hot water as the heater is mounted high up).

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..and some random shots of yard, Ma and her chicks and the pups on a hike around the loop.

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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Construction, Purchases

 

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Solar Sound System

Long ago in a house faraway we owned a massive component stereo..it was a Sony and consisted of a DVD player, tape player, cd player, VCR, reciever and massive speakers. I loved the stereo but it was a power hog..we knew if we wanted to go offgrid there would be no way to power it so around 4 years ago I bought this little 12v reciever. It had great reviews with professional sound quality but it was a power sipper…So, I got rid of all my space taking gear..and took my rear speakers and this reciever as my ‘pumping stereo’. For the last 3 years we have had it hooked up in a myriad of places but the bookshelf is where is is going to life forever..so instead of just hooking it up to a car battery ( which we kept on the window sill ) we wanted a long-term sound solution that did not cramp our window. The idea is to use a 12v (5w) panel to charge a battery which runs the stereo ( on the other side of the house ).

SO, without too much thought or preparation I started. A* was out for the day so it was a perfect time to start hacking the place up..and I started with a saw to the ceiling( yellow handle, the reciever is the silver thing(power and volume..complicated!!)):
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..not pretty but I wired the panel to go in through the vent. The battery is in the attic for the winter but when spring hits I am going ot have to change locations for everything cause it will be too hot and it will kill the battery life. Perched at the top of the ladder I had a tough time getting the panel attached to the side of the house..precarious( I nearly fell over backwards as I was screwing the panel in)..don’t worry though cause if I fell I had Jango and Loki below me to cushion my fall.
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I needed some strand wiring for the battery to the charge controller so I made some with some excess wiring from the shed.
Finish making the cables…
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Bring everything to the attic..attach the panel..I attached a 12v light to make sure I had a current to signal that everything was attached correctlyimage
..and it works(as well as the ‘charging’ indicator). Now to connect the stereo. I feed some 16g wiring into the ceiling hole..
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So, moving on I head back downstairs and connect the wire to the stereo. Turn on the stereo and turn on my iPod..this way once I connect it upstains (again) the music will start blaring.
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..reseal the hole for the cable…
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..I marked the + of the wiring with red tape, connect the wires to power the stereo..and ‘RIde of the Valkryes’ starts pumping out..SWEET!
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…and the working rig after cleanup. Now we can pump tunes whenever we want without fear or running out..a long term solution ( until the spring when it changes )..we also had some car speakers donated to us too..sometime in the near future I am going to set these up under the eaves of the house so we can have both inside and outside speakers which we will be able to turn on/off inside the house..we need louder music outside..especially for gatherings(coming 2014)!

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Construction, solar

 

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Park and Drive

A little too much snow predicted for overnight so we parked out at the main gate where the actual road is to avoid getting stuck. Amazing that this is one of the first times we had to do it all season…it does not bode well for the rest of the season as we await the dropping of the other shoe. Hehe, truthfully we could have driven out in this, we got about 15cm. The red lights from the shot is A* starting the car in the distance as I pass the halfway point of the drieway.

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Posted by on January 14, 2012 in snow

 

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Battery Box Stained

Well, the ‘soon to be battery box’ got a stain job with the remaining door stain today. We also picked up a piece of wood for the top of the box…we had some pieces of wood here for the top but none of them were large enough. image

The wood for the outside of the box are all scraps and in different states of being sanded and planed…so there are some gaps that need some painting so it is all dark from the outside.
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Tis shot was after the first coat of stain before I  went at it with a small brush, Now for hinges, the top and retrim…and the base for the batteries.

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..we are undecided how we want the flip-top to work..either 1 door or 2 but we should know soon..We REALLY want the box done so we can begin renovating in the area where the batteries are currently housed. SOON!

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Construction

 

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On a Roll with Bathroom Flooring

The flooring we bought has been hanging around getting in the way so we decided to stop doing hurdles in the entryway with it and just install it instead. We bought some cheap stuff but it was a type that was tear/rip resistant at least. When we were renovating our old house we put in new vinyl flooring in the kitchen and mid-install we ripped a hole in it…bummer. the most timportant things for an install like this is is going slow..we took out everything not nailed down and put it convieniently 2 ft outside the door of the bathroom..you never know when you might need to wash your hands in a non-working sink when installing flooring so 2 ft away from your cramped workspace is perfect. Heheimage

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Out comes the bathroom sink, after some effort..in comes the flooring we cut after we measured the pattern out on the flattened flooring in an even more cramped living area..it is not easy finding a 10×12 free space in a 24×24 house.

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I did not want to disconnect the heavyweight cast iron tub so we resorted to a flooring shimmy as I would tilt and A* would feed and fit the flooring.

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A highy technical and extra patient A* does a final trim around the terlet then around the baseboard area where the fit is too tight….and done!

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Tile someday but done sounds pretty nice. We are 1/3 of the way through wood stove season then it is onto landscaping season so inside jobs need some attention! We hope.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Construction, flooring

 

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