Sunday, August 28, 2016

More Prep, why is there always so much prep?

This weekend Crys was at the Great Basin Fiber Fest makin money and visiting her long time friend Sarah.

So I did a little bit around the place. Our running joke is that Crys will never know what she finds when she gets home. :D

So I mowed the chicken yard, which involved some pretty involved repairs on the mower. I also prepped for about 10 yards of concrete work. I wanted to pour a parking pad at the east end of the house and a pad for the brick kiln for pottery. I never order less than a full truckload of concrete. I just make up a bunch of forms so we can be sure t empty it. :D

In this case I prepped the parking pad and and the kiln pad is easy. In that case I made sure to make a way to form up a 2' sidewalk along the garden bed. That should take care of any extra concrete. :D

It's always a bit of a challenge to find enough to keep myself busy on a home-alone weekend. I think I did good this time.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Parts On Order.

This week I ordered the final assembly parts for the dome greenhouse. We got the 8mm polycarbonate panels a good while ago and then got busy with survival things like solar installation and drinking.

To put the panels onto the dome takes either a willingness to do regular maintenance or a commitment of capital for maintenance free parts. We almost always elect to work overtime and buy things we won't constantly have to mess with. It tends to leave more time for important things like gardening and drinking.

So I went here:
to get "H" channels, "U" channels and neoprene washer installation screws. They also sell the 8mm Polycarbonate. It was a significant chunk of change but the idea of having to scale the outside of the dome every few years to reinstall greenhouse taps to the seams irked me.

They have a bit of a lead time, not scheduled to arrive until about 3 weeks after placing the order but we always have plenty to do, so why not?

This left the question of how to properly weatherproof the hubs (where the polycarbonate sections come together). What we settled on is to purchase enough round electrical box covers (steel) with a center hole and a 4" diameter and put cut up yoga mats under them for insulation and to stop air/water ingress/egress. The inside of the plastic hubs we used for assembly have a center hole so I can use a 4" bolt with appropriate washers to attach them. I think it'll work well.

The nice place, Gempler's, that I got the channel from does ship by truck, and often has a coupon to save 10% to 15% off their already decent prices.

I also ordered a couple of temp activated vents to install. With our rather impressive winds I didn't want to go with a vent that lifts off the surface. I got them here:
because Amazon does a decent job of carrying lots of stuff.

Of course this is motivating us to put up my old/cheap hoop greenhouse. It's made from hog panels and rail road ties. :D I think I might go to FarmTek and get some of the decent plastic greenhouse panels they sell along with the appropriate H and U channels for that. It'll be our starter and test bed.

One thing always leads to another.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Summer fun.

At the beginning of summer we prep the hammock area for fun and frolic.

For Crys' birthday she got an enduro, Suzuki DR200. Used of course. 

Here's our brother Daniel, enjoying the fire pit.

Then we found a Honda CRF230, so we can go riding together, used as well.

Here are mom, dad, Crys, Autum and her friend hunting geodes by the house.

This would be Autum and Crys and I out hiking around our neighborhood.

This is Autum on our big hike up the drainage from our house. 

This is Crys, on our walk to the old granite quarry in Limekiln rec area.

So this is the new inverter set up. Sexy huh? From left to right: Main battery bank disconnect/rapid shut down breaker; just above that is the solar panel rapid shut down breaker; just below that and a smidge to the right is the charge controller; and the rest of that huge thing is the actual inverter stack. 

This was solar panel installation day. We went from 9 panels to 24. My mom and dad helped that day, it was fun. I started pulling the old panels down before the sun came up and we finished up at about 5:30 PM. 

All installed and damed glad of it.

Now we have 6,250 of solar panels up. 6 parallel strings of panels in series strings of 4. Even on cloudy days we get more solar than we did out of the old setup on the brightest day.