Life at the end of the road

December 2, 2012

DNS server not responding :-(

Filed under: daily doings, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 4:03 pm

It’s been a pure peach of a day up here at the ‘north end’ and, as you probably guessed, I got on line Smile Yup, I tootled over to the ‘Old Schoolhouse’ at Torran to do some maintenance on the renewable energy system there, and the satellite link had started working Smile I was overjoyed, got my order confirmation off for the super efficient, triple glazed Internorm windows. Had a read of all your lovely comments on the blog and the complaints on the Q sat Facebook page, cheers guys. Uploaded the blog as you can see and was well and truly pleased with life.


Well, you would be wouldn’t you if you could look at this from your desk whilst working on a computer Smile As well as that I checked over the battery bank and Harris Hydro turbine.



This 24v pelton turbine has four nozzles, only three of which are used, configured with three different sizes, 3mm, 6mm and 8mm. It’s been running since the summer on just the 3mm jet for a couple of reasons, one being lack of water and the other being all the good work put in by the solar panels on the roof. Shortening days and plenty of water had me switching it onto the large jet this morning which pushes the output over 600w.



The turbine is actually capable of producing around 1kw but rest of the system has not got the capacity to shed the combined output of the solar panels and hydro if the batteries are fully charged and all loads were turned off. An unlikely scenario but it could happen, and if the surplus electricity cannot go anywhere it becomes heat then possibly fire Sad smile


007  006

The excess in this system is diverted into heating the thermal store and is controlled by that PWM (pulsed width modulation) controller on the right. On the end of those wires below it is a 1Kw 24v DC immersion heater plumbed into the thermal store.



A couple of weeks ago it was holding steady at around 14 degrees but lack of daylight has reduced that now to 10 degrees, still well above the ambient water temperature, which I’m guessing will be around 5 degrees at this time of year.

So with me once more ‘connected’ to the outside world I headed home on the quad to make the boy his breakfast, it was 11:30 and I figured he’d be stirring by now. Not that I’m pampering him, just that I was getting ready for a ‘top up’ too, the cracked Arnish egg I’d had for number one breakfast was running out Smile



Try as I might, I could not clear this drain on the way home so left it, with a mental note to return with a long steel bar, it would appear a large rock was wedged in below the track.

After breakfast it was back to the firewood and the ‘Loggit’,



spreading an old tent flysheet on the ground first to catch the wood chips as it makes excellent bedding for the hens.



Then it was into the barn to clean out Jamie Lea’s bed and muck it out, pigs are very clean but she ‘dumps’ at the far end of the barn if the weather is bad Sad smile In the past I’ve put a gate across so she couldn’t get over that end, more to stop her damaging stuff than anything else. However after cleaning all the carp out of the barn so there was nothing for her to break I removed the gate, only to discover she now uses it as a toilet, which to be honest aint that bad. It’s good manure and far easier to clean up off a concrete floor than a muddy field Smile

018 019

That done I even managed to coax the boy out to help me cut more,



stack the wood and clear up the chips. Right enough, he disappeared pretty sharpish after feeding the pigs at 15:00 but he’s not a bad lad Smile

I made a huge pan of chilli for dinner, figuring we’d have it with rice tonight and baked potatoes on Sunday, then at 18:30 we took a quad each and trundled over to


to get ‘online’, me to blog and stuff and him to catch up on Facebook.



First job though was to check the TS, 30 degrees, not bad hey, a rise of 20 degrees in seven hours Smile The joy of seeing that was short lived however when I went to fire up the laptop, the Dudes iPod wasn’t connecting and my Lenovo had a big exclamation mark over the signal strength bars Sad smile The ‘trouble shooter’ telling me ‘DNS server not responding’, I was not a happy bunny. There was no point phoning my many friends at Q-Sat because ‘we can’t discuss it with you because your not the account holder’, I don’t want to fecking discuss it, I want you to fix the friggin thing, why do I have to be the account holder???? are you afraid that he might come home to find his expensive system working??? This was the pish I got off them the other day and I had to phone my mate up, who phoned them up and then they phoned me. Of course they told my to ‘re boot’ (which I’d already done) and wait 15 minutes for them to phone back (which they didn’t), OK, I gave up after only 17 because I’d already been there an hour but daylight is precious and I had stuff to do. Having already run up a phone bill of over £150 last month I couldn’t be bothered going through it all again so drove home in a huff.

I am becoming very unimpressed with the service so far dished out by Q-Sat, I’ve a Tooway dish and modem in workshop and I’m seriously thinking of making a switch. To be honest the only thing that’s stopped me is the lack of internet to actually find out what to do Smile

Another sad loss

Sadly I cannot phone up John Mackay in Sleat now for advice, because he died suddenly the other day from a heart attack. I was staggered when I heard the news just hours ago, I was actually looking for his phone number in the West Highland Free Press on Friday and singing his praises to the engineer at Q-Sat. I did not know John that well but he installed my satellite broadband system here last year and my mates at Torran. He was a thorough, tidy, courteous and excellent tradesman, working well into the evening to finish both jobs. I had been working that day so didn’t get home until late and he was still labouring at the schoolhouse. Having missed the ferry he refused a bed for the night but did stay for dinner and a ‘wee dram’ whereupon I got to know him a little better.

My heart goes out to all his family right now as I know just how they feel.


weather 011212



graph 011212



  1. just asking are you on Tooway we signed up with Avanti when we move up so with them for the next 8mths but every one say we should have gone with Tooway any ideas

    Comment by rob — December 2, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

    • Hi Rob, have just taken over customers and so far my experience has not been good 😦 I’ve been thinking of switching myself for a while as I have a Tooway dish and modem, however things have been a little hectic of late and I’m hampered by not being able to get online 😦 To be honest my only gripe with the old Avanti was the 8Gb monthly limit, it was fine until my boy got an i pod.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 2, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

    • sorry had not read your blog for a few days when I asked the question. You have so much on at the moment you should not even have replied so sorry to hear your news love to all

      Comment by rob — December 2, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

      • No worries Rob, glad to have you back 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 3, 2012 @ 9:05 am

  2. Glad the Dude is up and aboot again! And Molly —is it my imagination, or is she looking more trim?

    Comment by drgeo — December 2, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

    • Hi DrG,
      yup Molly is on a crash diet 🙂 but I’ve just left her at Jessie’s whilst the Dude and I head sowf so by the time I get back she’ll be ’round’ again 😦

      Thanks again for all your support.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 2, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

  3. I love that view from your office Paul, certainly 100 times better than the view I have from any of the windows in our house!
    Had a wee day out today down to Annan to visit relatives, stayed pretty much on freezing point all day but the views across the countryside where brilliant, I don’t think anything compares to seeing the Scottish countryside in the winter sun! Got back around 7pm and it started snowing here around 9pm, still falling and no doubt the travellers in the morning will have to set off early.
    I hope the weather is kinder to you during the days ahead.
    All the best and as always love to all,

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — December 3, 2012 @ 3:51 am

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