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Friday, December 29, 2006

Preparing for the New Year

Now that Christmas is behind us, and the new year is dawning, it's time to get back on track with projects. There's the split level "L" shaped "bunk beds" to build in the boy's bedroom, but first I'm going to insulate and panel the room, since it's 2F outdoors and they are a bit chilly. We also need to acquire and install a Solar Force Piston Pump from Conergy, a 6hp Listeroid veggie/biodiesel battery charger from Belleghuan Ltd., and a MPPT Charge controller for the solar panels. Ambitious projects with funding still tenuous. The wind tower will be raised once the weather warms up, so we will have up to 1000 watts of juice flowing into the battery bank when the wind is favorable. Our goal for this year is 80% home grown food, and to can extra for the future. We will keep you posted on our progress.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord, we want to take a moment and wish you a very merry Christmas, a happy new year, and share with you a blast from the past that is especially dear to us (thank you Ron, for the reminder). Nothing like family, a wood fire, and home cooked, home raised food to bring cheer when there is so much uncertainty in the world. Nothing, except having Jesus in our heart. In his words in Matthew 25:40,

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

So share the holiday season with someone, for everyone is our brother.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dharam's Veggie-Bus is done!

He had an uneventful trip home, by way of Woodhenge, unless you count the fact that his rebuilt alternator wasn't charging. Pulled in at 10vdc on the battery bank. Long term results will be posted here. He dropped off a propane stove and a recumbent exercycle for us at Woodhenge (future projects), and picked up batteries and cables for the house battery bank for his bus.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dharam's Veggie-Bus Conversion - Continues

Dharam has returned, and the conversion picks up where it left off. A new connection plate was created for the heat exchanger, with 90 degree elbows, since there was not room for the old one which was straight up. The pipes would have kinked in the space above the tank. It's in the 20's (F), and with snow on the ground, makes life interesting for an outdoor conversion.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Solar Powered Lighting

We recently blogged about a LED headlamp on our Eco Tips page , but since we are so enamored with this item, I felt it should be mentioned here as well. With 6 brightness levels, and two strobe levels, it gives a very flexible compromise between battery life and brightness. The LED's are constant brightness units, so no dimming with battery discharge. I've used it for walking, reading, and computing (on my solar charged laptop) in the dark. My batteries are rechargeable NiMH AA's, and with over 100 hours of light per charge, it will be a long time before I need another set. I've decided to bundle the headlamp, 4 NiMH AA's, and the solar charger, and make it available to our readers for a few dollars more than it cost me for the individual components, as a service to you. The total comes to $99 including S&H in the USA. The little money we make on this will be used to keep projects and info coming your way.

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