Life at the end of the road

October 3, 2008

I’m going on wee holiday!

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:05 pm

Apart from one shower around 7:00am when I was just about to feed the pigs it’s been a bonny day here at the north end. I’ve seen several showers passing down both the Inner Sound and the Sound of Raasay as I did the school run and both the Cuilins and the Torridon hills had their first dusting of snow but we’ve been bathed in sunshine most of the day. So much so that I foolishly decided to touch up some rust spots on the old girl. My old Land Rover is in pretty good nick considering she’s 22 years old and gets well used. I’ve got detailed records and receipts going back 16 years but that doesn’t stop the dreaded rust even though I regularly underseal, paint and waxoyl it. There’s a few bubbles on the ‘B post’ just under the left hand lower rear door hinge that I wanted to deal with before the winter and as usual these ‘little rust spots’ always turn into BIG holes when you start looking for good metal.

What was a tiny bubble became a larger and larger hole in my quest for solid steel to weld to and it soon became apparent that the hinge was going to have to come off. These hinges are held onto the B post by 2 long 8mm phillips screws and in my experience it’s not even worth trying to remove them. The nuts are in such an awkward place that it makes using a socket nigh on impossible and the large phillips head screw invariably rounds off so I wasted no time on even trying and just drilled the heads off with an 8mm drill.

That’s the two screws on the left and it took my all of two minuets to drill the heads off, once the hinge was out of the way I continued digging and scraping before treating the affected area with ‘Jennolite’ a phospheric acid based treatment then primed the treated area prior to fabricating a new piece of ‘B post’ out of a bit of old washing machine. Once that was made I primed that then left it all to dry proir to welding the new piece in.

Finishing off the hydro

Whilst that was drying I set about tidying up the wiring from my hydro turbine. The turbine is 470m away from the battery bank and whilst it’s been running for over a month it was only wired temporary at the battery bank end as I wasn’t even sure that the small 48v switch mode charger was even going to work. Well it seems to be working just fine putting a steady 1.75amps into my 1000ah 48v battery bank. Now I know that that does not sound like allot but it’s 24/7 and every little helps! So I made a box up to fit the sockets and meters that would come straight off the 230v output of the turbine.

I spent the rest of the day making that box on the left with the two sockets at the bottom. It has a volt meter fitted just above the sockets that reads the output from the turbine and space above for the frequency meter and battery volt meter that are currently on their way from China. The small black box on the top is the 48v charger and the big white box on the right is my ‘Trace SW 4548e inverter/charger’. Hiding behind the armoured glass screen at the bottom left you can just see the yellow tops of the 24 fork lift truck batteries that make up my 1000ah bank. And by the time I’d finished doing this it was dark and too late to complete the Land Rover and I’ll not get near it again until Monday because I’m off to spend the weekend in Glasgow with my boy and two of his pals. We’re going http://www.calmac.co.uk/qe2-cruise-on-mv-saturn.html to watch the QE2 on her last visit to the Clyde with a load of other ‘anoraks’ so I may be blogless for a day or two! The QE2s last visit to the Clyde is a bit like Elton John’s final gig as we went to see its final visit to the Clyde last year as well! I won two tickets last year “To view the QE2 on her 40th anniversary and final trip to the Clyde ” My employer www.calmac.co.uk

was doing a similar cruise last year on MV Saturn and ran a prize draw for 15 lots of 2 tickets. To be honest the last thing I wanted to do was spend my valuable time on an old ferry with a load of ‘steamer dreamers’ watching some old ship steam down the Clyde but the draw was free and and I could always give the tickets away. However after actually winning the tickets and not even being able to give them away hearing a few snippets on the news about the QE2 and doing a bit of research on’t net I started  to warm to the idea and decided to take my boy. It would mean missing a day from school but I wrote to the head who gave him the task of doing a project on it as they were doing transport as a topic at school and off we went to Dunoon to board MV Saturn on a rather damp grey evening. Once on board however the weather improved and we joined a HUGE flotilla of boats escorting her down the Clyde to the open sea. There was even some dude on a jet ski wearing a kilt! which was no mean feat as it was far from calm, even had it been calm the wash from the dozens of craft of all shapes an sizes would have meant a rough ride for the hardy jet skier. The pair of us had a great time and it really was worth the effort so much so that when I heard about this other final cruise this year I would have bought tickets had I not won them yet again!

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