Life at the end of the road

November 30, 2019

Another ‘peach’ :-)

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:12 am

Well, that’ll be the last day of November here, Orion was framing the bedroom window once more with even sharper clarity than yesterday. Countless stars filled the clear sky yet there wasn’t a hint of any frost and the car thermometer told me it was 3 degrees Centigrade!!! My third Chinese weather station in 5 years having died in a September gale. I really should buy myself a decent one for Christmas, it’s more entertaining and less distracting than the TV which still lurks in the corner of the room, even though neither myself or Molly ever watch it, truth is I’m not exactly sure how to switch it on Smile Whatever happened to knobs and switches on appliances and radios? I often listen to the Radio, especially when working outside or in my shed and have resorted to changing radios rather than stations cos they’re that frigging complicated to tune!!! I kid you not. I’ve five of them, three Sony’s, one Makita and an unbranded digital one. The Makita is the only one I can actually tune, it has a big black knob and has the buttons set to Radios 1,2,3 and 4. Of the rest I’ve two on Radio 2 and two on Radio 4. It is actually easier to move rooms or Radios than use the friggin pre sets or tuner. Me dear old Mum must have had the same problem cos I got three of the radios off her when she died Smile

More generator woes

Now, I don’t have any issues with generators, probably cos I’ve lived off grid long enough to know that you need a decent one and you need to look after it. In the thirty years I’ve lived at the North End I’ve never been without power and the truth is I’d probably shy away from a grid connection even if it were possible. I draw great satisfaction from not having any utility bills and being independent. Well, that is until I’m asked to provide two of them to prove where I’m living and not laundering money Smile 

Other folk living ‘off grid’ don’t seem to be so lucky in the generator department, me I’ve had three (for the houses I’ve lived in) in thirty years and they all still working despite having a combined age of 132 years. I’ve got neighbours on Raasay that have had half a dozen in the same period and are continually having problems. Such has been the case with the builders working at Brochel, they’ve gone through three in as many months!!! The latest one being a brand new Stephill SSD6000 which has NEVER worked, a reflection on the company that installed it rather than the excellent Yanmar powered generator itself.

SSD 6000 generator

I had been working on it until late Thursday, leaving the builders ‘in the dark’ and promising to sort them out on Friday. The injector on the single cylinder diesel engine did not appear to be ‘injecting’, fuel was getting as far as the union to it but no further suggesting a faulty or blocked injector. However, as the generator was brand new I was somewhat reluctant to delve any deeper for fear of voiding any warranty. Armed with a name and number for the manufacturer I left the builders searching for a B&B and went home to ‘mull it over’. Whatever was wrong with it would most likely require a new part and that wasn’t going to be on Raasay until next week at the earliest.

P1150892 IMG_1391

After making enquiries I found a 6kVA petrol belonging to a friend and loaned to another, it was at Torran about a mile down the track. Not straight forward cos I had to make several phone calls and leave Facecloth messages online at ‘stupid o clock’ but at ‘first light’ I headed over in the Mule to get it. Of course it wouldn’t start and I had to drain excess oil out of it, clean the spark plug and air filter, etc.etc.

With the SDMO SH6000 petrol generator running sweetly I headed to Brochel and tried phoning Stephill, for reasons unclear my phone on 3 and the builders phone on Vodafone wouldn’t work despite both showing 3 or 4 bars. Well, it was still early and I’d a job to do in the village so I took my phone down there and spoke to a very helpful chap at Stephill.

P1150893 P1150896

Traffic was quite heavy on the way back in the wife’s Subaru which had, amongst other things broken the alternator drive belt. This wasn’t good cos the battery was pretty flat and crawling along behind these tups was making it even flatter Smile Luckily I had my wee ‘starter pack’ with me so clipped that onto the Subaru’s battery to keep it running.


I gotta say, I’m severely impressed with this tiny Noco GB70 ‘booster’ which I bought on a friends recommendation some months ago. It is small and light enough to fit in a jacket pocket, albeit a large one, yet it will deliver 2000 Amps, enough to start a large diesel engine. I kid you not, I’ve done it several times. It also has a USB port so you can use it to charge phones, laptops or whatever. My son even took it to the Belladrum festival weekend for that very purpose it’s so small and light. I purchased it when Phoebe the Daihatsu’s battery failed, a new battery was £70 and with the car still useable but destined for the scrappy I put the money towards this starts up to 8lt petrol and 6lt diesel engines it says and I can well believe it. Starts a V8 Range Rover and TD5 Discovery a treat in the coldest of weather.

The tups were being ‘put out’ to get on with the business of making lambs, traditionally, at least for as long as I’ve lived on Raasay, they’ve been let loose on the 4th of December. Dunno whether it’s a sign of climate change or a ploy to fool/miss the ‘lambing snow’ but last year and this they’ve  gone out a week early.


I guess that was just about it really on the daily doings, when back at Brochel I removed the injector and pipe then swivelled it round to test it on Stephill’s instructions. Sure enough, fuel was getting as far as the injector but no further. I then installed the SDMO petrol genny in the shed using the Stephill plug and flashed it up.


The big Victron 48V Quattro 5kVA inverter sprang into life and started charging the very flat batteries.


That was it really, it’s 8:00am now and time to feed the pigs, I went out at 7:00 and someone with a torch was already halfway up the Storr in the dark!!!


  1. Morning Paul, yes a cracker of a day, we used to have the cheap weather stations like you but about 5 years ago changed to a basic Davis and it’s survived here, plus you can get spares for them if necessary

    Comment by ex Quarryman — November 30, 2019 @ 9:35 am

    • Aye Les, methinks this time it has to be a Davis.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 30, 2019 @ 9:45 am

  2. Do companies not run these things when they install them? I had a new 4kw compressor fitted last year and the guy ran it for half an hour to make sure it was fine.

    Comment by artimaginguk — November 30, 2019 @ 9:40 am

    • I honestly think the ‘bunch of clowns’ that fitted it couldn’t have tested it, they’re electrical installation was first class but the generator has been fitted by a halfwit. It’s in the wrong place, dark, jammed in a corner with the exhaust pointing towards the house and oil tank!!!! The battery pack is situated so close to it as to render maintenance exceedingly difficult and it is sat on a paving slab that has been cut into for bits and already one has cracked!!!!!

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 30, 2019 @ 9:50 am

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