Life at the end of the road

November 28, 2021

The quest for more power :-)

It’s almost December so it should be cold, so why am I so surprised that is is? Probably cos my memory is so boodly poor I can’t actually remember how cold it should be. The bitter north wind certainly makes it feel much colder than it actually is right enough, the temperature may have been hovering around 3 degrees but the wind chill taking it well below freezing if my weather station is to be believed. Anyway, it certainly looked cold this morning, not that I could see anything outside but a sharp hail shower just before dawn served to give me a clue.


Eventually however I manged to tear myself away from the comfort of the kitchen table. Though in all honesty it was more to do with Molly’s whining and Bonzo’s expectant look than any desire to greet the day. The sunrise wasn’t until 8:33 and whilst I couldn’t feel it, I knew the wind was gonna be icy. Still once wrapped up in my many layers it wasn’t as bad as I thought.


It still wasn’t fully light as I left Molly in the back of the Land Rover and headed up with Bonzo to feed the ‘Three Musketeers’, Marmalade, Jiffy and Spotty.

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Once they were fed outside the croft Bonzo and I followed the road to Number 2 (Calum’s old house) and then continued upwards and eastwards through the birch wood. Leaving Arnish far below us as well gained more height and lost the shelter of the stunted trees.

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At the top of the saddle that is formed between the two highest points of the eastern extremity of the Arnish hill,


lie the remnants of an old wall and few ruins. Difficult to discern amongst the dead bracken the wall continues southwards

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a cliff above my old croft at Number 3 forming a natural boundary. This flat area below the cliffs being the site of an old peat cutting.

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With the wind at our backs we continued southwards along the ridge past my ‘Emergency water supply’ in days gone by. This little peaty puddle right at the very top of the hill behind Sonas and Number 3 once served as a back up for when I ran out of water in days gone by. It was only ever used in the height of droughts in May and June and was so acidic that it leached the copper out of the pipes. Also it was so high above the old house that all my taps leaked due to the pressure and whilst it was unfit to drink (even by my standards) it did provide water for flushing the toilet and bathing.

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My own current water supply being nearby, I checked it before we took the path down to Sonas and a well earned bowl of muesli.

The Land Rover boost pin

The first job of the day was to have a go at giving the Old Girl a little more fuel when the turbo is working. The intercooler I’d fitted yesterday from Allisport came with instructions on how to increase the fuelling under boost pressure by reorienting the boost pin pictured below.


With the bigger intercooler allowing more and cooler air into the turbo it seemed a logical step. Sure I’d read loads and seen plenty videos on YouTube of how to various mods to the Bosch VE pump but many of these come with the risk of increased fuel consumption, black smoke and emissions. Turning the boost pin slightly to provide more fuel to complement additional air provided by the larger intercooler however seemed a safe option and could always be put back to original if it went pear shaped.

Fuel pump adj

So I gave it a try and then took the ‘Old Girl’ down ‘Calum’s Road’ for a test Surprised smile wow, what a difference it made, hills I’ve been lumbering up in second gear for years now accelerated up in third Surprised smile

Aurora Wind Interface

Having squeezed some extra horse power out of my 200TDi I figured I’d have a go at coaxing more useable kilowatts out of my smaller wind turbine. My 3.2kW Proven wind turbine was somewhat eclipsed when I installed the 6kW one but due the the size of my off grid inverter I’ve never been able to fully utilize the potential of the extra power available due to the 9.5kW limit of what I can safely ‘dump’. So rather than risk expensive ‘magic smoke’ from my inverter I’ve just used the 3.2kW on the hill behind my house for space heating the bunker via a large DC resistor.

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It works but it pretty inefficient, so after yesterday’s tinkering with the Aurora Power One inverter I decided to utilize that grid tied inverter and feed the power into my Outback GVFX off grid inverter back up supply as this had proved itself during the previous day’s power cut. However despite the strong winds it never really produced much power. The ‘Wind Interface’, a device that rectifies the incoming turbine ‘AC wild’ input into DC and ‘clips’ it at 600V seemed to be preferring to dump the voltage to the DC load in the bunker at too low a wind speed. Consequently it worked but not well so I fitted a spare Aurora Wind Interface I just happened to have lying around. That too seemed to prefer the DC load Sad smile I then tried a different value resistor


that I just happened to have Smile Once again the Aurora seemed to be clipping the voltage too early so I then fitted an SMA Windy Boy Protection Box that I happened to have too Smile

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This worked a treat allowing me to utilize a 400w dehumidifier in the bunker rather than the much less efficient DC dump load.


The dehumidifier taking any moisture out of the atmosphere as well as providing some worthwhile heat to reduce the work of the air source heat pump that provides my UFH Winking smile 

The first gritting Surprised smile

You know it’s getting cold when the gritter is out, sure enough when Bonzo and I went walkabout

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we found more signs of winter, little patches of salt left by the gritter, the first ones of the winter.


  1. So does someone live at no.2 ?

    Comment by Caroline — November 28, 2021 @ 2:11 pm

  2. Paul, by an amazing coincidence I was about to order an Allisport intercooler for my TD5 tomorrow!! They seem to get great reports, but I’m not sure whether to order an EGR delete from them as well..what do you reckon?

    Comment by George Rankine — November 28, 2021 @ 9:42 pm

    • Morning George, well Allisport certainly are great to deal with and make a really good product. I would recommend them for the intercooler, gotta be better than the plastic and alloy thing you will currently have. As for the EGR, dunno about that as I’ve no experience of removing one but everyone seems to do it, can’t see it doing any harm. Though a friend of mine once fitted one to his Saab and it turned into a bit of an epic when the manifold exhaust studs sheared off 😦 Be interesting to see how you get on, could be a Disco mod in the future 😉

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 29, 2021 @ 6:58 am

  3. Love the scenic photos at the start… Wish I had somewhere that nice for a walk in the morning!

    As I’ve said in t’other post … lots more mods can be made. The Td5 can be tweaked better with an ECU upgrade and the EGR delete plus intercooler than the 300tdi. But that comes at a cost. Used to do these back in my Landy garage days which made ‘testing time’ great fun…

    I’m afraid I’ll just have to look at the pretty things on the walls and admire the words as I have no clue how you string this stuff all together chap. I’d love to learn but me and the angry pixies don’t often get on!

    Comment by Matt — November 29, 2021 @ 10:04 am

  4. Hybrid “old girl” next tune up. Battery pack in a trailer 🙂

    Comment by Andy — November 29, 2021 @ 11:40 am

    • Nah Andy, the Old Girl will remain a dirty diesel but I’m on the lookout for a REVAi G-Wiz with knackered batteries 😉

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 30, 2021 @ 6:31 am

      • Crikey, think I would attempt to make my own diesel first from a combination of surplus leccy, acidic lochan water and chanterelles. Those twin boreholes, featured recently, were not you sampling for lithium ? 🙂

        Comment by Andy — November 30, 2021 @ 8:52 am

      • Hmmmmm Andy, I’ve yet to find a person that has anything good to say about a G-Wiz 🙂 Seriously though it’s a perfect vehicle for me, well in the summer at least. Silent so as not to disturb the wildlife, free to run, no MOT or tax required and I’m hardly going to hold any other road users back on my way to and from work 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 30, 2021 @ 8:57 pm

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