Eight PM exactly here on Raasay and I’m just digesting one of Munro’s excellent steak pies purchased from our very own shop. The pie, as with all the Raasay stores meat comes from Munro’s of Dingwall http://www.munrodingwall.co.uk/Home.aspx and like all their products is the best of quality. Normally we’d be eating something local our from the croft out of the freezer, but my lack of ‘home time’ this last year has meant that, apart from the odd pig we’ve not butchered anything since before last Christmas. Sure that is going to change very shortly, we’ve still got one Soay sheep roaming the hill and a Tamworth pig with our name on it
Anyway, it’s been another pure peach of a day, though I still managed to stay in bed unusually late, 8:30 this morning before I stirred so I missed what must have been a magnificent sunrise. Once I was out right enough I wasted no time and got on with leading the five ‘wee boys’ back onto the hill, then rushing back in to see if the Hallaig had left Oban. Sure enough she had and for the rest of the day I was checking on her progress via Marine Traffic . com http://www.marinetraffic.com which for some reason plotted her progress much better than Ship AIS http://www.shipais.com/showship.php?mmsi=235099235 . With her dieseling up the Sound of Mull in excess of 9knts I went off to Torran School to ferry some gear in and out for a friend. The starter solenoid had finally died on the Yamaha and the Honda was still pishing out fuel from the carburettor if not switched off. The Yamaha, and the Honda in fact both have ‘pull cords’ but they’re not for the feint of heart.
Nice bit of path work there from my mate Donnie at DDK, must have been laid on that hill there for almost ten years now and still looking great. This path, road and dyke building must be in the Macleod blood
With the dirty linen lifted I returned home to continue ‘tinkering’ with the 200w Yangzhou Shenzhou that I’d bought in the Navitron sale some time ago. These wind turbines really are carp but this one was so cheap that I thought I’d give it ago. I’ve already replaced all the bearings and balanced the blades but the next thing I want to do is replace their notoriously rubbish charge controller with a simple ‘bridge rectifier’ and ‘diversion load controller’.
The rectifier, which converts the three phase AC produced by the turbine into DC is simple enough to make from three diodes like these.
Finding the Parts for a Multi-Phase Bridge Rectifier
Pictured above is a 35A rated Bridge Rectifier (28.5 x 28.5 x 11.5mm) (available from the REUK shop) with legs (terminations) of 6.3 x 0.8mm dimension. Wires (10 AWG for these 35 Amp rectifiers) can be soldered on directly, or more easily crimp connectors can be used which are pushed onto the legs of the bridge rectifier and then squeezed with a crimping tool to hold them firm. Bridge rectifiers such as the one illustrated are available from a couple of pounds each, and suitable crimp connectors for just 20 pence each.
These little diodes can produce a lot of heat so the secret is a good ‘heat sink’ and guess where I found one
Next job was an unscheduled one, cleaning out the oil stove, something that has taken me almost twenty years to get right. The ‘burner pot’ of our stove gets carbon deposits on it which used to take me hours to remove. Now I just build a bonfire and throw the pot in the middle.
It works really, really well, removing all the hard baked carbon without effort or the damage caused by files, screwdrivers, scrapers and hammering that I used to use.
More work on the Chinese wind turbine followed including extra paint on the tail and converting a rusty 2.5” pipe into an adaptor so the turbine could be mounted on a scaffolding pole.
The Hallaig arrives
All the while I was in and out of the house checking Hallaig’s progress from Oban, then around 16:00 when she passed under the Skye Bridge I reckoned it was time to finish off. So after fitting the stove bowl, giving the turbine mount a lick of paint and gathering the family we headed south. We caught sight of her passing to the north of ‘the Red Rocks’ east of Scalpay as we got to the end of ‘Calum’s road’ but that was it until we arrived at the old pier.
I guess it was around 17:30 when she silently cleared our old berth
and just fifteen minutes later when she arrived at our new one.
There was a great turnout to meet her as she quietly berthed at the end of the pier.
Young and old, two legs and four
Familiar faces from the yard, for once not telling me to ‘mind the paint’
Ferguson’s flag flying, just as a reminder that she still belongs to them and the bell in position by the wheelhouse door, that probably went on as she left Port Glasgow
Sadly, we still had animals to feed before dark, and darker it was getting as we headed home
passing at least four stags during the eleven mile drive. This one at Glame appears to have a notch out of his ear and was all on his own, a smaller chap half a mile to the north having collected four or five hinds.
By the time we reached Loch Arnish the sun had long since sunk behind the Storr, I fed the pigs, the wife made dinner and that was that
More great pictures here on Davey’s photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/raasayweb/