Life at the end of the road

January 16, 2011

Barmy weather :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:26 pm

Or is it balmy 🙂 whatever you think about climate change, be it man made or natural, be it CO2 induced or sunspot activity. Weather you think we’re heading for another ice age or ice melt, unless you’re a half wit who buries his (or her) head deeper in the sand than I, you’d be pretty hard pressed not to notice that the weather has gone fairly t1t5 up of late. Even yours truly who never reads a paper, seldom watches TV and only ever listens to Radio 4 on a ‘week on week off basis’ has noticed that we’ve had more of our fair share of natural disasters of late.

Now I’m not going to start waffling on about what we can and can’t do about this because in my own humble and unscientific opinion it’s not actually a great deal. Well apart from buying a house on a hill a long way from anywhere and paying off all your debts 🙂 Climate change screwed the ancient Egyptians and Lord knows how many other civilizations long before the advent of the spoked wheel let alone the rush to burn fossil fuels. Cutting out long haul flights, reusing carrier bags and catching the bus may slow things down a little, if indeed, as many eminent scientists claim the problem is influenced by man, but at the end of the day all we’re doing is easing our conscience and putting things off for a year or two 😦

Right enough it’s stopped me flying at all, I don’t even posses a passport, I’ve reused my carrier bags for years, buy as little air freighted stuff as possible and drive a 24 year old vehicle. This however is a personal choice more to do with trying to keep the local and UK economy afloat than save the planet, though I think the two often go hand in hand :-)    

Anyway, enough of that minor lecture, as I say the weather has most definitely gone bonkers, only a couple of weeks ago we were cut off by surprise  snow in November and now, in the second week of January I’m having to sleep with the bedroom window open because it’s too hot !!! Three weeks ago I went to bed with socks, jumper and a hat on !!!! and I rarely even open the windows in the summer let alone January.



Look at the temperature graph there, it barely got below 8 degrees throughout the night, in fact it was actually colder during the day !!


When I did eventually get up however I crept outside, fed the pigs and then did some tinkering with my 200w Navitron water turbine, the one formerly known as the XJ14-0. 2DCT4-Z 🙂 The bearings had arrived yesterday from and I wanted to fit them.

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I chose to dispense with the original open greasable Chinese bearings in favour of sealed European ones, a similar one to the 6203 on the left already having done several trouble free years on my mates Harris turbine. Both bearings and a seal, delivered by first class post including VAT at 20% were only £14 🙂

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I pressed the bearings onto the rotor, drifted the seal into the end plate then assembled the alternator in the vice.

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Then I made up a couple of brackets out of some flattened 15mm copper pipe to hold in the dump load,

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the original having been just ordinary steel. Once that was bolted down with M4 stainless bolts I seal the dump load wiring with silicon.

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That was it just about finished really, the turgo runner still needs fitting, as does the nozzle but I’ve yet to paint the runner with zingard.html or something similar and I cant fit the nozzle till I work out exactly where I’m going to put the turbine 🙂

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After that I stuck my cordless drill on the end and spun it up, 150v for around 1000rpm, looks good to me 🙂

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That took me nicely up to a late Sunday breakfast after which I headed up the hill to clear some more birch.

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Using the Husqvarna ‘42 Special’ on the left instead of my trusty ‘Stihl 026’, the Husky/Stihl debate will no doubt still be raging even as the last climate change sceptic is consumed by a melting glacier 🙂 However I’ve had my Stihl now for over 16 years with nothing other than a few chains and spark plugs so no complaints on the reliability score. However having just started using this Husky I can see how people like them, it’s very quiet, free revving and light compared to the Stihl but the Stihl does feel more solid. Anyway, I’ve only used it for a couple of hours so time will tell which I prefer, at the moment they’re neck and neck 🙂

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And if you’re in any doubt that the weather has gone barmy then just take a look at this, a birch in bud on the 16th of January, now I’ve been cutting birch for firewood for 21 years and never seen that 😦

That was about it really, all in all not a great deal achieved, though I did get everything ready for taking Ed and George to Dingwall tomorrow 😦

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