Life at the end of the road

October 29, 2020

More of the same and indoors at last :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Land Rover — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:39 am

4:27 now and as yet I’ve failed to capture the awesome 95% full moon heading for Portree with Venus sitting in the sky above it https://www.farmersalmanac.com/full-moon-dates-and-times Apparently it’ll be a Blue Hunters Moon and will fall on Halloween.

The next full Moon will occur on Saturday, October 31, 2020, at 10:49 AM ET, and is known as the Full Hunter’s Moon.

This full Moon will fall on Halloween night in all time zones, something that hasn’t happened since 1944, making it a super fun rare treat. And because it’s the second full Moon in the month, it also earns the moniker of “Blue Moon” (one of two definitions). That makes this full Moon a mouthful: a rare Halloween Hunter’s Blue Moon!

Probably why my enthusiasm is returning and I’m once more rising at ‘stupid o clock’, today being a ridiculously early one even for me. Though I gotta say, the awesome heavenly bodies and everchanging cloud about them were ample compensation. Probably pay for it later right enough by falling asleep before nine pm but I live alone and the ‘wee dug’ is quite happy to let me on ‘her bed’ at such an hour Smile 

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At some point in the not too distant future I’m gonna have to disturb her to retrieve my clothes right enough but she’ll have warmed them nicely as well as depositing white hairs all over them and the bed Sad smile 

I know it was Wednesday yesterday cos I just Googled it but really it was pretty much the same as the rest of the week so far, me messing around with Land Rover whilst trying to dodge frequent and heavy showers. The clock changing nonsense has unsettled me, the dug, pigs and hens and the one thing I really ‘got stuck into’ (the Landy wiring) has been thwarted at times by the boodly rain but not enough for me to start another project less weather dependent. What I really should be doing is replacing my tired 800Ah Rolls batteries with 1000Ah of forklift traction batteries sitting in the shed just crying out to be working. Alas I’ve not quite worked up enough of the elusive enthusiasm to tackle that job just yet, but I do feel it is not that far away.

I suppose it got a little closer when I actually moved the traction cells from the trailer into the shed on Tuesday. Whilst that did improve the likelihood of a battery bank exchange it also meant that I could move the digger and trailer away from my shed door, which was my second task of Wednesday, the first one being to collect my tools and ladders from next door.

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Beaten

Yup, I’d finally given up on ‘The lumb’ which for those not following my dull life is the blockage in my friend’s chimney that I’ve been trying to clear for months. My many and varied crackpot schemes having come to nought Sad smile The internal avalanche of rock and rubble has finally beaten me and I’ll be passing it back to The Oxford Building Company who will more than likely take out the blockage through the gable end. A major task indeed but I’ve seen much of their other work and they are well capable, if not a little too far to go ‘home for lunch’ Smile

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It was whilst heading over to get my gear that I noticed a Type 23 frigate what turned out to be HMS Kent https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Kent_(F78) . Dunno what she was doing there but whatever it was, she moved little and was there for most of the day.

Having donned my all in one waterproof Andy Pandy suit I then spent several hours outdoors in the pishing rain underneath the ‘Old Girl’ making exhaust brackets and checking all the oil levels, of which there are many on a Land Rover, most of them requiring a different type and viscosity of oil Sad smile

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And finally,

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with Calum the Kubota, trailer and batteries out of the way

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I got her in the shed, a sure sign that the weather will now vastly improve.

As for the rest of the day, much of that was spent looking for my boodly phone which I’d managed to convince myself was either in the shed, over at the Schoolhouse or on top of a fence post out in the pishing rain, after two days of fruitless searching it turned up under the bed!!!! Well, it’s 5:30 now and whilst it’s pitch black outdoors, the waxing gibbous moon having been lost behind  thick  cloud, it is light in my shed Winking smile I’m off.

October 28, 2020

Wrestling with Satan :-)

Filed under: daily doings, How I, Land Rover, life off grid — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:34 am

Not got much in the way of enthusiasm this morning peeps but then I’m only half way down the first strong cup of coffee. Once more it’s lashing down, this time, like me, without the same enthusiasm as on previous days. Still, it is wet and forecast to get even wetter, though yesterday it was actually a pretty nice morning, the deluge not arriving until later.

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First thing I did after the morning feeding round was go and investigate my closest hydro turbine as the voltmeter in the kitchen was lower than it normally is first thing in the morning. The house battery bank is nominally 48V but having lain overnight with both turbines putting out a combined 1.6kW it’s usually just shy of 60V. Yesterday morning it wasn’t even 50V which is what I would expect were I relying on solar alone. Meters in the ‘power station’ that is my generator and battery shed confirmed that the Stream Engine was only producing a couple of hundred Watts so Molly and I went to investigate.

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Sure enough there wasn’t enough water going into the header tank due to the intake being partially blocked with fallen leaves. An all to familiar occurrence on this turbine surrounded as it is by birch, hazel and hawthorn. Soon had it cleared right enough  but the cold water took my breath away, it was much chillier than the last time I unblocked it at the start of the month.

As ‘wee dug’ seemed to be enjoying herself I decided to wander over to Torran. Molly has got to an age where she prefers to lie in the car all day rather than go walkies but yesterday she seemed to have reacquired a little of her former youthful bounce.

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So, in the forlorn hope of collecting the odd late ‘shroom we cut through the enchanted birch woods towards the golden aspen of Torran. Calling at the Schoolhouse on the way to refuel with a strong black coffee with my Mate who had just returned from his morning swim in Loch Arnish. Sure the fresh water burn that powers my hydro was much colder than the sea but still it must have been boodly cold.

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Specially considering the amount of fresh water that had gone into the sea these last few days. The Torran track was noticeably filled with trenches and washed gravel left by the torrents of rain.

Smokeless Smile

As the forecast showers showed no sign of arriving I decided to continue with trying to sort out my spaghetti  like wiring by trying to make some sense of the confusing array of colours.

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I had managed to run two new cables through the chassis and terminated them in junction boxes at either end. Now it was just a matter of deciding which ones to marry to the originals. Not too difficult in theory as I would just use the international standard for the 13 core cable used on tow bars for the lighting and the 7 core cable could do the other stuff like fuel gauge, rear wash wipe, heated window etc. I would have plenty of spare wiring so I could double some of these up for the higher current of the wiper and heated window.

It’s one of those jobs that requires much more ‘thinking’ time than actual ‘doing’ time and isn’t helped by my chaotic working practices and poor memory.

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I seemed to spend most of my day looking for things I’d just put down and still have not found my phone yet Sad smile Still, I was pleased with my progress despite the best efforts of ‘Lucas Prince of Darkness’ to thwart me. https://www.ntnoa.org/LucasSmoke.htm

The function of the wiring harness is to conduct the smoke from one device to another. When the wiring springs a leak and lets all the smoke out of the system, nothing works afterward.

Starter motors were considered unsuitable for British motorcycles for some time largely because they consumed large quantities of smoke, requiring very unsightly large wires.

It has been reported that Lucas electrical components are possibly more prone to electrical leakage than their Bosch, Japanese or American counterparts. Experts point out that this is because Lucas is British, and all things British leak. British engines leak oil, British shock absorbers, hydraulic forks and disk brake systems leak fluid, British tires leak air and British Intelligence leaks national defence secrets.

Remarkably I got most of the legally required circuits for the lighting working despite the demon Lucas. Right enough I had to order a new rear fog light switch but at least I never let out any of the ‘Magic Smoke’ for now Smile

https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/155680/lucas-prince-of-darkness

Come the afternoon I had to abandon the ‘Prince of Darkness’ due to the pishing rain so turned my attention to the 1200kg of forklift batteries nestling on my trailer.

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The 24 cells had been sitting there for a couple of weeks now awaiting the arrival of my enthusiasm. The crate was just too heavy for Calum’s boom and dipper at the height and distance required to lift the whole crate off the trailer bed. Consequently I’d parked it near the shed they were going in, planning to lift them off in two or threes at a time.

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However, it was now so wet that I didn’t want to risk slinging the slippy plastic casings with wet strops so I lifted all 24 off by hand and put them in the generator shed to await yet another bout of enthusiasm which may arrive sometime around the next full moon Smile At least now I’ll be able to move Calum the Kubota and Ifor Williams out of the way. Perhaps then I can continue my work with Satan in the dry shed Smile

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