Only 19:45 tonight and I’m in the hoose, this will be my new attempt at regularly updating the old blog, I hope you appreciate it I could be out stalking mink, painting the barn floor or just enjoying a braw evening,
instead I’ve come in early to ‘fill you in’ with the latest ‘doings’ from the ‘end of the road’ Seriously, I’ve missed you all
Anyway, it’s been a lovely day up here for the most part despite the shaky start, which as always begins with a trip up to the hens for ‘roll call’. Not that I actually know how many are left of the 80 or 90 we had not that long ago. However, you can soon tell if the mink have been about by the disposition of the chooks. Even if none have been taken they’re a little jumpy when one is around.
The trap I’d set the day before yesterday had been entered and the bait eaten, sadly it hadn’t ‘sprung’ so it had escaped. Still, at least I was in the right area with it, so having run out of ham I reset it with some smoked fish.
Set just by a gap under the fence I covered it with bracken, not so much to hide it but to make it less open and more tunnel like, apparently that’s what mink like.
The Forester clutch
The previous evening, after we’d all sobered up we got on with finishing off the clutch on wifey’s Forester.
As you can see it’s pretty ‘feckered’ The job itself would normally be quite straightforward if you ignore the workshop manual which tells you remove all manner of unnecessary items. It says remove the gear lever gaiter and centre console when you can simply disconnect it from below. It tells you to remove the anti roll bar links for no apparent reason and it also says you can remove the outer CV joints by hitting the inner race with a hammer, ‘aye right’.
I fixed the shaft in a vice and belted the inner race with a very large hammer until I was blue in the face and even smashed the ball retaining cage In the end we removed the outer joint and replaced the damaged ‘boot’ by sliding it down the shaft. I figured that as the broken bit of cage had sped off across the workshop at the speed of light, it was obviously very hard and would take no harm with a bit missing None of this would normally need doing when replacing the clutch but one of the boots had a split in it and as it’s an MOT item it seemed stupid not to change it.
Eventually the Dude and I got it sorted and by 21:00 last night it was off the axle stands and heading down the road with me at the helm. Only a mile or two but enough to check it out, it would get a proper test today delivering our trusty Thomson Glenelg caravan, but more of that later.
Back to today
This morning I had another visit from this dubious pair
That will be Yang and Alex, Alex is making a short documentary for his MA in something media related. Yang, from Anshun in China was helping him out and they were both assisting yesterday when I refitted the stator in the wind turbine. I’d been making some modifications to the frame of the turbine to allow me to adjust the ‘air gap’. When I fitted it in March I’d made it too wide and performance has not been as good as it should. Modifying the frame in such a way that extra nuts could be fitted under the stator enabled me to ‘set’ the stator truer into the frame and close up the air gap to 3mm without any danger of it fouling the rotor when hot.
The Aurora ‘Power One’ wind inverter
We did all that yesterday and typically there was hardly a breath of wind once the turbine was back up so I wasn’t able to make any adjustments to the inverter. I recently bought a whole pile of bankrupt stock wind ‘bits and bobs’ for a fraction of their worth. Included in this bounty of electrical wizardry was an Aurora Power One 3.6 wind inverter. Unlike the SMA inverters I’ve used in the past the Aurora has a 16 point power curve that can be easily programmed with their software. The SMA power curve is only 5 points and it’s the most user unfriendly complicated piece of 5h1te I have ever used!!!! Having spent hours, if not days trying to get to grips with the ‘Windy Boy Setup Tool’ and ‘Sunny Data Control’ I thought it was just me being wooden, well it’s not, the stuff is quite clearly ‘not fit for purpose’. The Aurora software by contrast is ‘plug and play’, glitch free and a pleasure to use. In fact I’m often to be found out in the shed with my laptop tinkering with the settings.
The one on the right of the screen is the one from the Proven/Kingspan manual, on the right is the current table I’m adjusting with the software. The idea is to extract as much energy as possible at a given speed/voltage. The manufacturers table is a good starting point but local conditions can be optimized by altering the various set points.
Sadly, I find this fascinating and often sneak into the shed to have a play with it. This would be virtually impossible with an SMA inverter and SDC.
The beauty with the Power One inverters is how low they can actually connect to the grid. The SMA’s will not connect until the incoming DC voltage exceeds 230V, Power One inverters can connect as low as 50V!!! Of course that’s pretty useless as there’s actually very little energy in these light winds however you can see from my table above that I’m extracting power at 120V. OK 10W isn’t even enough to run the inverter but by 130V we’ve overcome the 40W the Aurora uses and we’re feeding the grid (or house in my case).
After that, and with the Subaru out of the way we got a second coat of paint on that part of the barn floor.
I’d run out of paint when doing it last ‘rest period’ so was determined to get it done before returning to work tomorrow.
The trusty Thomson
Next job was to give the Subaru a proper testing and take the trusty old Thomson to it’s new owners. I have to say I’ll miss it, we had some cracking times in the 1970 caravan. Many a sesh at Rockness, Belladrum and the Wickerman, sat watching the world go by with a pint of vodka and orange for breakfast.
I lived in it for three months at South Shields when I went to college and latterly wifey used it as her egg packing station until the house was built. The new one just aint the same, everywhere I went with the Thomson people would stop me and say “we had one of those when we started caravanning”. Sure the new one has a shower, toilet, fridge and built in double bed, but it just aint got no character The ‘Lunar Chateau’ certainly doesn’t have a loyal following like http://thomson-caravans.proboards.com/index.cgi and http://www.thomson-caravans.co.uk/index.htm and https://www.facebook.com/groups/thomsoncaravans/
Well, the clutch got well tested and we dropped her off in the village and said goodbye.
Progress at the distillery
Taking the ‘low road’ home I was kinda surprised to see what was going on at the Raasay Distillery.
First off, the hotel wing had vanished!
and much was going on.
No sign of the mink when we got home,
but he had been busy,
well, it was like I said to the wife, ‘at least they ate it’! normally the wee feckers just kill them!