Life at the end of the road

September 2, 2020

An abortive fishing trip :-)

Filed under: daily doings, How I, life off grid, listers — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:46 pm

So much for staying in bed and taking it easy, 8:00am and already I’ve pulled a tourist out of a boodly ditch. Still, I did manage to do it without bending down or straining in anyway, though I was greatly pi553d off. Having got the ‘knock on the door’ at 21:00 last night when I was in bed engrossed in the sinking of U-550 off the east coast of America. Then followed a poor night’s sleep worrying about said tourist but it all worked out just fine in the end. COVID making this exceptionally late in the year for notching up the first ‘halfwit in a ditch’ of the year. Actually, now I come to think of it, it’s not the first, that prize goes to a painter and decorator in a Peugeot van but I don’t hold him in the ‘halfwit’ category, at least not in his driving Smile

There then followed a period of just pottering about and seeing how my replacement batteries were doing. My Mate having kindly done the lifting for me yesterday whilst I supervised.

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Once he’d dropped the 3 x 53kg 6V batteries into place I carefully reconnected them. It’s not a ‘two minute job’ by any means, the entire house and system needs shutdown, all the sensors and cables for the charge controllers and DC cabling for hydro and solar inputs. Once that was all back in place I set the four controllers to ‘Equalize’ which basically overcharges the batteries to ‘balance them’. You can see ‘controller 1 at 60.3V

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and the replacement now at a respectable 7.1V. By the time I got too them this morning they were back down to a little less than the other 13 batteries but I guess that’s to be expected. I’m sure it’ll take a few days to properly equalize and I can tell from my meter in the kitchen that the whole bank is now much healthier than it was.

BIG DC isolators

Yesterday whilst awaiting the arrival of my ‘muscle’ sorry Mate I made up some 400A DC switches to isolate my battery banks. These are something that pure expense has stopped me from fitting to any battery bank I’ve ever installed, relying instead on a simple large fuse with knurled nuts. Reliable DC Isolators of this kinda size are rare as rocking horse pooh and about as expensive as gold! Sure you can get so called ‘marine’ ones for less than £15 but in my experience these things are seldom up to the continuous high currents found in ‘off grid systems. Anyway the hybrid ferries use gigantic motorised ones rated at 400A and these need replacing just about on an annual basis because the motorised gearbox fails.

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ABB will not supply the parts needed to repair them so we change them out at around £900 each when they break (there are four!!!!). Me, I keep the old ones, pull them apart, bin the motor and gearbox, remove one of the three poles, fit a handle and use them as fantastic isolators for the largest of battery banks Smile Two of the broken three pole switches making three excellent neat DC ones with lovely big tinned copper contacts Smile

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After all, if they can safely disconnect this bank, they can do mine at home hey Smile

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As well as pottering about in the shed I also did some fruitless mushroom hunting, the planned risotto getting demoted to a chicken curry, you gotta have shrooms in a risotto hey Smile Still ‘wee dug’ and I did have a lovely stroll through the Arnish birch wood soaking up the summer smells and finding long forgotten ruins.

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It’s a truly magical place down there and one of the best and most private of place for wild swimming,

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which I really must get back into once this rib repairs Smile

Back to today

My ‘muscle’ turned up again this morning and we both took the Mule over to Brochel, ostensibly to do some fishing down a chimney (all will become clear in a later episode Smile ) but it was too windy so we went for a stroll to the Brochel Loch instead, after first leaving our ladder and fishing rod by the house Smile

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Abandoning the Mule at the start of ‘Calum’s Road’ we strolled west towards  the waterside. The heady scent of heather and bog myrtle infusing ‘heavens breath’  . Yup, despite the near gale force southerly wind the autumnal scent of heather and crushed myrtle was unmistakable on the nose Smile

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There was more, I started cleaning out the inside of the ‘Old Girl’ as a precursor to doing some wiring to make an attempt at starting the 200TDI. I also set about slightly repositioning a fuel filter on my Lister HR2 generator and replacing a crushed diesel pipe.

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