Life at the end of the road

August 26, 2014

Scrumpied :-)

Filed under: daily doings — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:35 pm




Well, that’ll be a flagon of Norfolk’s best going down a treat Smile We arrived home this afternoon to find this beauty on the doorstep so I decided to forsake the medication for the rest of the day to sample it. Now this will be the proper stuff, oaky, smoky and ‘flat as a witches tit’. We’re fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of the odd flagon once a year when friends visit from ‘cider country’.

Camilli motors, or ‘is karma trying to tell me something’

Well, it’s been a strange month to say the least, first I was given a Land Rover Discovery which indirectly led me to having a sore back. A week grubbing about under two old vehicles in the pishing rain whilst I put the 200TDi from the Disco into the ‘Old Girl’ doing me no favours at all. Then, with the trusty old 1986 Land Rover in-between MOT’s and with me in no fit state to do anything about it I was given ‘The Mule’,


a cracking Volvo 940 estate that’s been my mate’s trusty steed for nigh on ten years. I was kind of tempted to keep ‘The Mule’ but wifey couldn’t see over the bonnet and RWD isn’t ideal on ‘Calum’s road’ in the winter. The 2.3 turbo charged petrol engine making ‘Calum’s road’ feel like a regular trip to ASDA and not the I:4 single track epic that it is.

As if having two vehicles given in a month wasn’t enough I was then offered a Range Rover!!!! Now I have to admit to having a serious ‘soft spot’ for the old ‘Rangie’, I had two in the early eighties and swore I’d never have another Land Rover. There was something about that V8 petrol engine that ‘pressed all the right buttons’. Sure it only did 18MPG but that was better than a petrol Land Rover, a hundred times more civilized and if you were really careful it’d manage 22MPG.


After having resurrected the 1984 Range Rover from it’s 8 year slumber with little more than some petrol and a battery I have to say that I’m seriously excited about it. Methinks that this is the perfect project for my retirement, by then it’ll be forty years old and probably ‘as rare as rocking horse 5h1te’ Smile

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In days gone by I made a good living out of buying and selling used cars but now I prefer to operate on the barter system and am quite convinced that ‘one good turn deserves another’ or ‘what comes around goes around’ is a far better philosophy Smile Consequently I gave ‘The Mule’ to my mate who’d given me the ‘Disco’ and paid for the ‘Rangie’ in pork and eggs, as well as the 50p Smile

Solar powered at last

Apart from my lapse into the world of second hand cars I’ve been busy on the solar powered front. The hen shed has at last got some panels on the roof thanks to my son.

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I’d got some solar panels that had been changed because they’d ‘yellowed’ in service, they were from a trusted and quality Chinese company called Yingli with the output was guaranteed, so at £90 for a 230w panel I just had to get some. The panels arrived on Thursday and the Dude on Friday so I wasted no time in getting him up on the roof sorting them. They had a different style of connector on them to the MC4 that I use so I changed the two end ones. There were 10 panels of 230w giving a voltage in excess  300v DC when wired in series.

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However, over the weekend, in-between collecting Range Rovers we managed to get the ten panels up on the roof of the hen shed, with him doing the work and me shouting Smile

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Well, that would be me up early and taking my son to school but after that the ‘Indian summer’ had me beavering about doing stuff.



Moving Ellie into the field with Rocky and Jamie Lea for a start.



I’ll really miss her when she move to Sleat, Ellie is a very ‘people pig’, she loves company any really appreciates a good scratch.


Well, it’s 22:18 now and I’m wrecked, so I’ll leave you with today’s pics cos I’m off to bed.














  1. Nice re solar. Good price. Bimblesolar? Hope you using an MPPT not PWM? Give me a shout on email if you want to know more as my Victron work may come in handy for you…

    Comment by Panomphaean — August 26, 2014 @ 9:44 pm

    • Hi John, yes, it’s MPPT via the ‘Sunny Boy’ though the PWM is very good for ‘diversion loads’. We’re now scheduled for dry dock in October, so hopefully it will be Bute. I will keep you posted.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 26, 2014 @ 9:50 pm

      • Look forward to it and solar talk. Flat panels in summer the max I get is x6 panel rating.

        Comment by Panomphaean — August 26, 2014 @ 9:56 pm

      • Diversion loads. New one on me so I’ll need to research that! Like you I use an MPPT and an inverter. A cool feature of my inverter is power assist , so if using my 1kW Honda genny for the boat and I suddenly pull an AC load greater than that, the Victron Multiplus kicks in on a fast seamless switch over to power assist the genny, so adding the geeny 900 watt continuous rating and the 600 Watt continuous rating of my wee inverter – I suddenly have 1500 Watts available. Saves buying a bigger/more expensive genny for short term loads.

        Comment by Panomphaean — August 28, 2014 @ 7:20 am

    • Hi John,
      Good price. Bimblesolar?

      Aye Bimble indeed and they’re all first class panels with an OC voltage in excess of spec as confirmed by the hen lady who was reading the Fluke for me on account of my lack of glasses 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 27, 2014 @ 10:22 pm

      • My pal has bimble stuff on his caravan and also got the rated output just fine. I see what you mean now by diversion loads. Just the option as I have on my MPPT to dump excess if needed away from batteries to a sink such as heater etc. My wee setup on the boat doesn’t get anywhere near excess;)

        Comment by Panomphaean — August 28, 2014 @ 7:27 am

      • Hi John,
        re the ‘diversion load control’ not quite the same as the one on your MPPT they’re PWM which in my application is much better as it’s DC. Hence you can just use one large resistive load, in my case a big DC immersion heater and divert the excess ‘softly’, so if you only have an excess of 200w then that is all that’ll go to your 6kW or whatever heating element. Doing this via a relay means you have several relays with the hysteresis gradually overlapping. This is how my dump loads work at the moment but it’s far more complicated than the PWM one I fitted at the Schoolhouse. To be honest I’m really very impressed with ‘off grid’ MPPT controllers that cost an ‘arm and a leg’ and are quite unreliable. I have friends with Outback, Midnite Classic and Morningstar MPPT’s and they’ve all failed, some of them twice. All my MPPT is via regular common or garden ‘grid tied’ inverters working at higher voltages and with much larger heatsinks. The problem I suspect is lack of proper R & D in the relativity tiny ‘off grid’ market. Nowadays with everyone and his dog having solar panels on the roof they have to be reliable. Sure MPPT is better, much better in fact in some circumstances but if you have enough space on the roof then I think extra panels and a PWM controller make more sense. Me I will 50/50, 2.3kW ‘AC coupled’ and 2,3kW straight to the batteries with a PWM to divert excess into a large immerser in the bottom of the thermal store, There will also be a smaller AC heater at the top of the tank operated via frequency sensitive relays. The Sunny Island inverter altering the frequency slightly as the batteries become fully charged. Well, that’s the theory anyway 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 30, 2014 @ 3:10 pm

      • Hi Paul, Thanks. I’ve a lot to learn about your off grid set up. I guess we can call yours macro off grid and mine micro. I’m sure my MPPT is just DC and so the load output is DC also. I look forward to speaking to you more if you get down here in October. As I mentioned in email I think an interesting point now solar has come down in price is that you can also look at east/west orientation to alter the shape of the harvest curve, particularly in winter where the MPPT will outperform a PWM. Of course I’m limited by area on the boat compared to you so maiximising the harvest throught panel and MPPT efficiency is easier than finding more space for panels.

        Comment by Panomphaean — September 2, 2014 @ 9:53 am

      • Hi John,

        I’m sure my MPPT is just DC and so the load output is DC also.

        Yes John you’re right but I think you misunderstood me, or perhaps I didn’t explain myself well enough. PWM controllers set in the correct mode can divert DC power gradually as the solar output increases. MPPT controllers cannot, they can only be programed to operate a relay who’s values you can set. The relay is then usually used to power AC loads via in inverter. And yes of course when space is at a premium they are far superior.
        Look forward to seeing your setup in the flesh one day.

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 2, 2014 @ 1:11 pm

  2. PS If you mail me the panel specs I’ll calc voltage change due to temperature…

    Comment by Panomphaean — August 26, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

  3. How time flies – it seems like no time since you packed spare nappies and took him to sea with you and here he is up on the roof fixing things! Bet you didn’t see that coming!

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — August 26, 2014 @ 10:17 pm

  4. great pics as always Paul, The one with the new house, shed, chicken house and wind turbine shows how much work has gone in and how amazing it will be when finished, truly a idyllic spot, i am fair envious!!! Back on shore next week from Angola if Grants about i shall be in Rassay and pop up with a bottle of pain killer!!!

    Comment by v8mbo — August 26, 2014 @ 11:43 pm

  5. Hooray on the sale of the house! Try not to get so tired that at the end of the day you retire to the wrong one! So many changes!

    Comment by George Leddick — August 27, 2014 @ 2:15 am

  6. Great pics as always Paul.

    Comment by Andrew — August 27, 2014 @ 6:44 am

  7. Why is Ellie moving to sleat?

    Great pictures of your ‘estate’ you now have a range rover for the estate lol.

    Comment by Alistair — August 27, 2014 @ 7:41 am

    • Morning Alistair, Ellie is sold to a chap at Camuscross.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 28, 2014 @ 5:36 am

  8. The old Range Rovers are already considered classics and going up in value, there’s one going up for auction at Brooklands with a guide price of over £60k! look after it and it could BE your retirement 😉

    see you in October.

    Comment by Zak — August 27, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

    • Hi Zak,

      rumor has it that it will be Garvel this year 😦 It’s been so long since I’ve had a meal at the Victoria 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 27, 2014 @ 10:10 pm

  9. Epic pictures, truly beautiful landscape

    Comment by veloce77 — August 28, 2014 @ 5:54 am

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