Life at the end of the road

May 19, 2009

Lifeless at the end of the road

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:40 pm

Just a quick hello to say that I’ve been at deaths door of late and whilst it’s still no longer wide open beckoning me through it, it still a little ajar 🙂 OK I know it’s probably only ‘man flu’ and most women would have just got on with life but hey I’m a guy! I think I probably left you on Friday up a roof and since then not a great deal has happened. I was up early on Saturday making new jets for the nozzles of my mates ‘Harris Turbine’

M10 button head socket cap

M10 button head socket cap

The original 4 nozzles were designed for a 30m head and since we’ve increased the head to well over treble that the nozzles are far too large at 1/4″, 5/16″, and 3/8″ which is roughly 6, 8 and 10mm. I can’t be exact about the head because my gauge only goes up to 10 bar and it’s way past that so it must be over 100m of head at least. The advantage of running it at this head is 1, it requires much less water to deliver much more power. 2, it’s much less prone to drying out in the summer. 3, as it’s way above the tree line it’s much less prone to blockage in the autumn.

modified nozzle, insert, old nozzle

modified nozzle, insert, old nozzle

First of all I drilled and tapped the old nozzles M10 x 1.25, then I got some M10 stainless steel, button headed socket caps and drilled a 3mm hole in one and a 4mm hole in the other. Before inserting them with ‘Locktite’ on the threads I tapered the base with a larger drill to improve the flow.

Harris 'pelton wheel'

Harris 'pelton wheel'

I only did two as it was more case of finding the optimun size before either having some proper ones made locally or buying the genuine ones from ‘Harris’ in California as I think the smooth taper on the back is quite critical at these pressures. Once that was done and the original 5 bar PVC hose replaced for 10 bar rubber/stainless wire hose I set off tohttp://www.uniquescotland.com/raasayschool/index.html to fit it. Though by now I was feeling decidedly wobbly on my legs and had to leave the difficult job of repairing a leak in the pennstock pipe some several hundred meters up the pipeto my mate.

bleeding the pennstock

bleeding the pennstock

With the leak repaired and the pipe bled we settled on running it on both the 3 and 4mm nozzle which gave us around 300w. The  single, original 1/4″ (6mm) Harris nozzle producing almost 700w! which is a bit of a waste at the moment as surpluss power just goes into heating the inverter/battery shed so we left it running on the two small ones for the time being and I contemplated making a 5mm one 🙂

Sorry ladies

And I really must apologize for all that technical woffle to all those who have no interest in it also to all the experts who know much more about it than I and must be laughing at my somewhat random approach. Anyway, with that whirring away and another satisfied customer happily watching his volt meter I headed home to Arnish and My pigs. Bramble and her 7 wee wains were needing cleaned out, there’s not been a drop of rain since they were born and the wee monkeys have not stepped over the threshold of the ark yet. With mum happily grazing in a far corner of her field the swineherd and I went in the ark to remove both bedding and piglets, try as we might they would not go through the door but instead kept charging round and round the ark in circles and when I finally caught them and forcibly ejected them they were not impressed.

Bramble

Bramble

Making loud squealings which brought mum thundering over whereupon they hurried back inside and mum firmly planted herself between ‘two legs’ and her litter.

'Sure it's nice out here'

'Sure it's nice out here'

It did however have the desired effect because pretty soon they were out on their own and have over the last few days barely been back inside ( or so I’m told 😦 )

It’s not swine flu honest

At this point I really started to go downhill and went to my bed at 18:30 without dinner and sleeping right through until 10:00am. Of course I woke up, and feeling a little better went straight up the roof  again to try and finish painting it, which needless to say was not a good idea so after several near disasters I came down. The rest of what to most people on Raasay would have been a beautiful and sunny day was to me a bit of a blurr and I was in my bed shivering at 17:30. The night was long and filled with nightmares of me having caught swine flu from a postcard from Mexico and given it to all my pigs who had to be slaughtered! However as soon as the world began to stir the sane person of the household picked up the pieces by getting a doctors appointment for me in Portree and apologizing to a customer who would now not be receiving two fine piglets.  Me I just laid in the back of the Land Rover moaning as befits any guy with the ‘man flu’ We could not even take wifey’s much more comfortable car as the battery had totally and suddenly failed so I had to suffer my heavy duty ‘off road’ suspension for the 50 mile round trip. The doctor gave me a thorough going over with out mentioning the ‘F’ word once which even in my state almost made me smile, simply putting down ‘viral infection’ on my sick line. Every time I have ever been to the doctor in my entire life apart from broken bones, foreign bodies in my eye or decompression sickness I’ve been diagnosed as having flu but not today, this guy had obviously been on a ‘customer care course’ 🙂

That’s it really, I got home went to bed plagued yet again by nightmares caused by headaches or headaches caused by nightmares I’m not sure which but I did manage a poached egg this morning before going back to bed, which is just where I’m going right now 🙂

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