Life at the end of the road

April 15, 2017

Baltic for Easter :-(

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:48 am

Awoke to a fresh dusting of snow on the Storr this morning and it’s only 5 degrees outside !!!!


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OK, it is still April and 23 degrees inside the house despite the heating being off but it rarely got this cold in winter. Just typical really innit, all the great spell of weather we’ve had in February and March, then come Easter and it’s pure Baltic.

Clearing up

The physical effort of yesterday had left me aching like I’ve not done in a long while. My regime of taking it easy, doing exercises  for my back every morning and just taking one Tramadol in the morning had paid off. I’ve not had any bother with my back for months. The spell of ‘Tirfing’ up the 15M Hutchinson mast had ‘put paid’ to that though so on Friday I was a little less ‘physical’ and just pottered about clearing up initially.


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Of course Calum the Kubota KX71-3 helps and makes light work of removing the ‘gin poles’ from the mast.

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These I marked at the ‘point of balance’ for future reference, bolted together and swung out of the way in a place where they were easy to lift and swing back into position without having to move the digger again.


Whilst I was there I stuck the 9” bucket on and dug a hole for a strainer post for the 12’ gate that’ll be going here. Again, Calum made light work of a back breaking job.

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The hardest thing I did all day was mix the concrete for the two gate post but even that wasn’t too much of a chore, my son loaded up the trailer from my ‘stock pile’ with the machine Smile Every household should have at least one small digger Smile

The day was far better than predicted but yet again the ‘April showers’ were ferocious but came with plenty of warning.

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This one actually just missed us as it headed in a WSW direction towards Torran.


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This one later did not and was laden with hail.

April 14, 2017

She’s flying at last :-)

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid, wind turbine — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:37 am

Almost 22:30 and I’m yawning big style so the chances of actually finishing this tonight are pretty slim. Still, I’ll make start at describing the day’s events, though I’m sure most will find them quite dull. I was up early right enough but then started blogging and got distracted for a couple of hours. Truth is, every time I thought about going out a shower came along and dissuaded me, so it was 8:00 before I went out proper to do the pigs and hens.

The Proven/Kingspan 6kW

Sure the priority was to get the turbine up and as usual it ‘got complicated’.

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For a start the blades needed an extra hole drilling in the root to match the holes in the spring brackets.

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I had to do a little ‘reworking’ of the ‘top hat’, a plastic cap the fits over the slip rings and allows the brake cable and electrical cable to pass through without fouling each other.

When the turbine is fully assembled with the blades on, the blades hang downwards toward the ground. Prior to fitting the blades though, the alternator is the ‘heavy end’.


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To keep the thing orientated reasonably to fit the yaw cover we anchored the rotor end to the digger blade with a ratchet strap.


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Joining the cables at the bottom of the tower was done inside a waterproof box using compression glands and  some fancy terminals that I acquired off an old Proven.


Sure enough, couldn’t keep my eyes open last night, or closed this morning so I was up at 5:30 and ready to outside clearing up yesterdays mess. Not that that’s happened yet. It is pretty uninspiring outside and the forecast is once more for ‘April showers’ with XC actually predicting worse than yesterday, though that could be spectacularly wrong from recent experience.

 The big lift

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Once all the covers, blades and springs were on, checked and then double checked we started to lift the 15m long Hutchinson mast. This is a much, much sturdier and heavy affair than the tapered CU tower of the 2.5/3.2kW turbine and requires more serious kit. A 3.2T Tirfor for a start and the gin poles are almost as heavy as the 6.5m mast on my old 2.5. By rights the Tirfor wire should be doubled through a pulley like this,


15m mast

but that needs a 40m wire and mine is only 20m. This put me at a disadvantage right away as it would require double the effort. Still, we had a plan to use the digger and the Ifor Williams tipping trailer to start it off at least. By far the heaviest part of the lift is the first part up to around 45 degrees. This worked really, really well until around 30 degrees when the trailer ram stuck up so the last part of the lift was very hard work indeed.

I had initially planned to use the Warn XP9500lb winch to lift the mast and the Tirfor just as a safety but somehow that plan got thrown into the ‘long grass’ due to over confidence. By the time the trailer failed the gin pole was too high to get the winch attached to it. Ah well, I’ll know next time, it was valuable experience Smile


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The turbine was finally up around 8:30PM

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and I just left pretty everything but my tools ‘as is’ so I’d better go and clean up now, it’s 6:30 and looking decidedly promising outside now Smile

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