Life at the end of the road

November 25, 2021

Free at last :-)

Gee, it feels wintery today but that’s relative to the weather so far. Sure enough, the first dusting has finally arrived on the Storr

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but it is late November and the temperature has stayed above 4 degrees all day. That being the case I didn’t actually venture outdoors until 8:00AM being put off by the seemingly never ending grey dawn that refused to let the weak wintery sun through it’s funeral veil. Eventually I did manage to summon up the enthusiasm for the ‘great outdoors’. No doubt encouraged by two desperate wee dugs, Molly for the back of the Land Rover and Bonzo to steal the pigs breakfast. For today I’d decided it was time to put them out on the hill.


Marmalade, Jiffy and Spotty wasted no time in exercising their ‘right to roam’ on the hill and Bonzo was soon competing for the crumbs Smile

Routine Maintenance

After our customary walk disturbing a few deer along the way I figured it was time to do some of the routine jobs that keep the lights burning at Sonas. Whilst it is greatly satisfying to be energy independent, not having utility bills or power cuts it does come at a price. Whilst my power supply comes from many sources, wind, hydro, solar and Mr Lister the generator they all need some kind of regular maintenance. The solar rarely, the hydro occasionally, the wind annually, the genny every 500 hours (around 3 or 4 years) and the batteries monthly at least. In fact my biggest single regular expense is deionized water, using around 25litres every two months. Sure I could cut that by making my own when I have excess power but to be honest is it really worth the effort. At one time I used to use rain water collected in a large oil tank I’d cut in half but I stopped that some years ago after accidentally knocking over a clear 25lt drum of deionized water one very cold morning some years ago. The drum which had been sitting outside during a particularly cold spell was completely liquid and the moment I kicked it over it froze solid in an instant before my eyes. The entire drum of once water becoming solid ice in a fraction of a second Surprised smile Of course I was flabbergasted so rushed indoors to ask Mr Google and Mrs YouTube, apparently it’s cos the water has no impurities in it and it needs a knock to get the ice going. Whatever, after that I figured deionized water was the real deal Smile

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Firstly doing the main bank for the house


followed by the spare one in the Bunker. This being a completely spare system independent from the main house supply with its own inverter and solar panels. Sure in the years I’ve lived here I’ve never actually needed it but it’s my ‘lifeboat’ in the unlikely event of something major failing in my regular power supply. It can be brought instantly online by throwing a switch that changes supplies.


Like the generator transfer switch above it allows switching instantly between the grid and generator (system 1 and system 2) without having to reset all the clocks and timers in the house.

With all my batteries topped up and yet another 25lt container emptied I turned my attention to the HR2 Lister generator that was needing the air filter cleaned.


It’s an oil bath type filter and I’d noticed when lagging my exhaust that there were lots of glass strands floating about afterwards so I reckoned a good clean and oil change would do it good. Then I turned my attention to the exhaust pipe outside, putting an extension on it so it wouldn’t dirty the window of the shed. How sad am I Sad smile

Low boost pressure

Next job was to fit a new intercooler to the ‘Old Girl’ as my boost pressure wasn’t anywhere as good as it used to be, barely reaching 6psi when it should be around double that. Having done all the normal things like hoses, clips, checked the exhaust and inlet manifold gasket I figured it was something to do with my intercooler, possibly gummed up with years of lying at Tayside Land Rover I had to go down to the village so figured I’d fit the intercooler before altering the fuel pump just to see what it was like before doing any mods. The intercooler was an uprated Alisport one that fits in the same place as the old one .


It being a very straight forward job to replace without any need to remove or drain the coolant.


It was just a matter of removing the four top bolts off the radiator/cooler mount and undoing the hoses. The entire cooler then just lifts out and the new one fits in the same place, simples and yes my boost has returned Smile Now I just have to decide whether or not to tweak the pump, probably will do just to see what happens Smile


Jiffy and Spotty out on the hill, Bonzo checking them out from the other side of the fence.

Anyway, it’s after 21:00 now and past my bedtime so I’ll fill you in with the rest of the day’s doings tomorrow at ‘stupid o clock’ Smile There’s a big blow on the way, the wind already freshening and veering north westerly.

1 Comment »

  1. Ahh good to see the pigs out and about again… something right about that.

    I suggest you might be better off producing your own RO-DI on demand. A spur off your water treatment will save on some pre-filter costs and you won’t have to store it. My RO filters have lasted 10 years given that I look after them. But I guess you’ve already dabbled in all this before?

    Ah you’ve reminded me.. I need to change the intercooler in Trigger (yes I name them so I can keep track of the buggers!) which I have in the garage just not got round to it. I think the battery might have had it though as she’s tough to start at the moment.

    Comment by Matt — November 29, 2021 @ 9:23 am

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