Life at the end of the road

June 13, 2012

Starting to flap :-(

Filed under: Croft house for sale, daily doings, listers, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:05 pm

Talk about struggling to get in the house for 21:00 of late, today takes the biscuit 22:20 before I got through the door, and even the the sun had hardly set. It has been yet another peach of a day, ranking an all time number one in the holiday weather stakes, barely a drop of rain the whole three weeks off. I mean why would you want to go anywhere if you lived here with weather like this 🙂 OK, perhaps a weekend at Rockness would have rounded it off nicely but my festival days are over, A until we build the house and B until wifey finishes using the old Thomson Glenelg as here ‘packing station’ for the ‘Arnish Eggs’ venture 🙂 Three years we’ve had this fine caravan and only now is she making new curtains for it 🙂 Well ‘black out’ ones just so she can use her egg candler, still they’ll be handy for a lie in if we ever manage to make another festi 🙂

Not that I’ve actually seen a great deal of the sun this last couple of days, stuck as I’ve been in Cyril’s shed. To be honest I’ve really enjoyed tinkering about with my batteries and inverter but it nearly killed me. So much so that I slept right through until 7:30 this morning and awoke feeling like I’d been hit by the 1.5 tons of lead acid batteries that I’d moved the day before 😦


Well from what I remember I arose early and got stuck into moving all my ‘power station’ from the old stable into the old byre. The reason being the old byre, or Cyril’s shed as I call it is within the area of the house that’s for sale. It’s only a few meters away but what an epic it’s been.


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First job was to move the Trace SW4548e inverter, the sophisticated piece of kit that turns 48vDC into 230vAC and much more.

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So after preparing a sturdy bit of 3/4” ply to mount the 63kg lump I took loads of pictures and got on with it.

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A good sturdy batten was screwed in position just to rest the inverter on, trying to hold 63kg whilst screwing into the wall is a recipe for disaster 😦

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Once the Trace was firmly screwed to the plywood and all the light weight AC and DC wiring done it was time move the 24 2v traction cells.

The first four nearly killed me, they’re only 53Kg but an awkward size with nothing to get a hold of and the 20m hobble to their new home was just too much.

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The wrong shape for putting in a wheelbarrow, and not having anything else I move the next twenty by quad and eventually restored power by 21:00.

The generator start and run relays still needed sorting out but I’d had enough and called it a day.


Like I said, it was a late start, and at three minutes to midnight I’m too fecked to tell you about it so I’ll finish this off later and just leave you with a ‘taster’


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So where was I, well starting to flap because I’ve literally only got hours to go before I’m back at work 😦 It’s just after 6:30am now, the sun has already raced around the earth from Bracken at the gate to high above Calum’s house opposite.

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And no I’m not a member of the and I do know that the earth goes around the sun, it was just a figure of speech 🙂

Anyway, as I said I spent most of the day setting up my Lister SR2 to start automatically via the Trace SW4548e inverter and managed it just fine with only a few minor hiccups. The major one being that that one of the terminals on RY7, the ‘run relay’ had broken off as I removed it,

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and of course I never noticed it until the 63Kg lump was mounted on the wall and I was about to hook it up.

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Luckily I managed to solder a tail onto the broken spade, and what’s more, to my surprise it held 🙂

The ‘bombproof’ Proven

The one thing that I did not get done, and by the end of Tuesday it became apparent that it wouldn’t happen this side of me going back to work was move the wind turbine controller. I had in fact disconnected the Proven 2.5Kw early on Tuesday morning and just let it spin free, something that you just couldn’t do with a lesser turbine. It may have been OK to run it ‘off load’ for a day or so but I really needed to get it hooked up to a battery bank of some sort, ideally the one feeding the Trace.

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Not being sure just how I was going about this I spent an hour or so making two six volt batteries into twelve volt ones then adding in an old 24v forklift bank to make up 48v and load up the turbine.


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Later on in the day I found 30m of 25mm square armoured cable and hooked up the controller to the Trace, that’s the cable bottom right and it will just have to do until next ‘week off’ as I’ve still mountains to do today.

The egg man cometh

For today is wifey and the ‘Arnish Egg Company’s’ big day as the inspector is coming to check out the hens and ‘packing station’.

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Consequently she was working late on the ‘black out’ curtains using my mothers 50 year old Necchi Supernova Julie 534 sewing machine. Solid alloy base and weighing a ton they just don’t make them like this anymore 🙂 I remember her getting it and wearing (reluctantly at times) many a garment made by it. I also remember getting a few roastings for using the oil can and screwdriver supplied with it on some of my own projects 🙂

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Not wishing to get in the way I went wandering over the hills by ruins and old peat cuttings towards Brochel with the dogs and shotgun.

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Good job that we were not relying on me to provide supper though

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for despite covering miles and returning late


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we never saw a thing 😦

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Anyway, that’s it, it’s after 7:00 and I’ve got a mountain of stuff to do up here in my little ‘bubble’. Apparently there was a presentation yesterday at the village hall all about the new development at Sconser and our hybrid ferry but I’ve been so wrapped up in my own stuff I forgot about it 😦


  1. Don’t you wish now that you had one of those switch mode inverters instead? I can hold them up against the wall while screw gunning them in place. I don’t regret leaving Xantrex one bit. I am just waiting to get hold of those light weight lithium ion batteries as well.

    Comment by Arild Jensen — June 13, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

    • Morning Arild,

      still not sorted out my potentiometers yet 😦 I really do need to find some kind of adjustable 60v power supply. Must say that the SMA inverters are much easier with the separate stainless steel bracket 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 15, 2012 @ 5:21 am

  2. Morning, Paul

    What a day it was yesterday! We walked from Arnish to Fladda (admiring the pipework and the tank-on-the-hill) then up and over to the path to Kyle Rona. Just amazing, long-distance views from Skye to the Torridons to Sutherland beyond and the Western Isles. Very nearly made the end of the island but then saw the time and came back. Bought some of your eggs – will be boiled for breakfast. Saw the top of your new barn from the road, and I think, glinting in the sun from the path down to the schoolhouse.

    Have a good day – looks good again.


    Comment by Sue — June 14, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    • Morning Sue,

      think wifey saw you you on the road, you certainly had a great day for it, back at work now so I’ll probably see you soon ?

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 15, 2012 @ 5:22 am

      • See you on the 9.55 ferry tomorrow (Saturday) for the return home (unfortunately).


        Comment by Sue — June 15, 2012 @ 7:38 am

      • Morning Sue, hope you found Calandar 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 17, 2012 @ 6:34 am

  3. Most of your photos of wildlife are taken in early morning. Are you hunting night owls? Does Molly know how to point?

    Comment by drgeo — June 14, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    • Morning DrG,

      I am a ‘morning person’ 🙂 Molly ‘point’ don’t make me laugh, I have a job just avoiding shooting her, shot a pigeon yesterday and it was the devils own job stopping her and Charlie tearing it to shreds. Looked pretty funny though, between the feathers floating down from the sky and the ones they’d ripped out the place looked like someone had had a pillow fight 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 15, 2012 @ 5:26 am

  4. I’m curious – does walking help relieve your back pain Paul? I find I am much less stiff if I keep purposefully walking plus doing simple stretches to ease the lower facet joints/strengthen the spinal muscles. Mind you, mine is not ‘pain’ – it’s more stiffness and discomfort if I stay fixed/seated in one place too long.

    Comment by Carrie — June 15, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    • Morning Carrie,

      no the walking doesn’t help I always get a bout of pain after a march with my dad 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 17, 2012 @ 6:36 am

  5. never saw a thing but perfect beauty, wow.
    i know you’re the biggest and the strongest and the most indefatigable, but i’m not. so i got myself a little handcart. it has earned its keep — and would for anybody with a bad back as well — 50 times over.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — June 17, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

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