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Author Topic: Useless Projects  (Read 9631 times)
Mandella
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Reply #140 on: June 25, 2018, 11:17:17 AM

@Nerfdalot

I love what you've done to make that limited space feel more woodsy. I bet it's a nice shady area for weekend cookouts.

@Polysorbate80 What kind of critters is that fence to keep out? Seems low for deer, but kinda heavy duty for rabbits.

Also, you hate honey??? Who hates fresh honey???
Polysorbate80
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Reply #141 on: June 25, 2018, 11:22:51 AM

It's an 8' fence to keep out the deer and elk, I'm standing on one of the hops barrels holding the phone over my head for the panorama.

I just don't like the taste of honey.  Maybe because my parents used to forcefully home-remedy dose me with it when I was ill as a child.
Mandella
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Reply #142 on: June 25, 2018, 11:54:25 AM

It's an 8' fence to keep out the deer and elk, I'm standing on one of the hops barrels holding the phone over my head for the panorama.

I just don't like the taste of honey.  Maybe because my parents used to forcefully home-remedy dose me with it when I was ill as a child.

Well, whiskey honey and lemon do make a great sore throat remedy.

Solar update: Finally got all the components delivered (I would take a picture, but it's boxes on a pallet under a tarp). The thing I thought I would have the least trouble sourcing of course ended up being the worst. The steel piping for the rack mount is too long for me to carry with my truck, but too small a batch to make the local guys happy with delivery -- plus I am in a really bad place to get a truck in and out of. I finally got it done by having a relative in the plumbing supply business.

Now though we're in the beginning of summer in the south. Plus 90 degree temps with knife cut-able humidity, and every day can go from sunny and baking hot to crashing lightning to sunny and post rain sauna in less than an hour. Several times a day.

In fact, this is why I'm sitting here posting this right now, watching the storm blow by outside..
Polysorbate80
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Reply #143 on: June 25, 2018, 12:20:09 PM

Maybe if they'd added the whiskey part I'd appreciate it more today  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?
schild
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Reply #144 on: June 25, 2018, 12:26:25 PM

Paelos, why did you go for an xarcade over something more... mobile / svelt?
Polysorbate80
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Reply #145 on: June 25, 2018, 12:30:39 PM

That was me.

I've already got a ps/4, xbox one, pc and tablets for mobile.  As for size, I wanted a cabinet, and specifically one sturdy enough to handle the abuse my 10-year old son puts out.  He's...not gentle with things a lot of the time.

Yeah, it was overpriced, but it's 500 pounds of ain't-going-nowhere and reasonably well put together.  I've got no complaints other than my middle-aged back can't stand at it for hours without pain.  I need a good stool for it.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 12:34:15 PM by Polysorbate80 »
schild
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Reply #146 on: June 25, 2018, 12:39:00 PM

Xarcades can take a beating, but if you ever upgrade, just get a Japanese candy cab. They're fiberglass. Weigh nothing, on wheels, have wheel locks, and are literally made to take a beating from old angry salarymen that smoke.

Also, they're seated height.

But yes, that does fit "500lbs of going nowhere."

Edit: get Windjammers and Nightmare in the Dark for your neo geo emulator. thank me later.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 12:41:01 PM by schild »
Count Nerfedalot
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Reply #147 on: June 25, 2018, 11:41:27 PM

Yes it's now a wonderful place to grill, or just hang out. Especially on days like Saturday when we had a break from the 90+ heat and had a cloudy breezy dry day with a high of 79. Absolutely perfect.

Yes, I know I'm paranoid, but am I paranoid enough?
Polysorbate80
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Reply #148 on: July 16, 2018, 11:20:32 AM

Garden Renovation 3:  It's Just a Big Hole.

Seriously, this post is about nothing but a hole in the ground.

Temperatures jumped from the mid-70s to the mid-90s and will probably stay that way through July and August, which means the top foot of soil will be baked hard as a rock.  Rather than hammer through that with a pick this fall (been there, done that, don't want to do it again) I started the new pond while it's only moderately horrible to dig.



This is what I've got to work with. Oh, and a bunch of these:



I'LL SEE YOU IN HELL! 

After applying foamy insect death and clearing out the space, I find that unless I tear out a lot more plants than I'd like it's not going to be as large as I originally hoped.  Won't have room for any castles  Heartbreak



So, roughly 8' in diameter, maybe 2 1/2 feet deep.  That's about 900 gallons of water, and you'll notice it's in full sun.  All day long.  If I don't want all that water to just evaporate constantly, I'll need to add shade.



This is an ornamental plum.  It's the most compact full-sun tree the local nursery had, about 14' tall and 12' wide when fully grown.  Anything larger risks being an eventual danger to the house or the the waterline on the other side of the pond. I'd have loved something like a Japanese maple, but the sun would fry it.

So I started digging.  I feel bad about digging up so many of these: 



Science fact for the day: earthworms estivate when the ground gets dry.  They roll up in little balls, secrete mucus around themselves, and hibernate until the conditions approve.  Lots of these little guys out in that soil.

Several hours of digging and trying to avoid dehydration ensue.  This guy is STILL no help at all.





This is the hole basically done, there's a little cleanup to do.  The shelf in the rear will stay to hold the fish planter.  I've had plants in it for years, but I'm repurposing it.  The little dude in the photo is a fountain, he'll be spraying water into the fish's mouth.

I have the pond liner but I'm reluctant to lay it in place yet.  Long-term direct exposure to the sun is bad for it, and I'm reluctant to fill the pond right now--it feels like wasting water.  But, I will have to fill it to test for leaks before I start mortaring in stones to cover the liner.  I'll probably get the tree in place, lay stone outside the pond to the edges and then leave completion until it cools off some.
Samwise
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Reply #149 on: July 16, 2018, 12:55:37 PM

Won't have room for any castles  Heartbreak

My pond is only 5' across, so your 8' lake definitely has room.   Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Mandella
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Reply #150 on: July 16, 2018, 01:17:31 PM

Glad to see your latest project moving along. Me, I've been waiting for the one towable auger in a twenty mile radius to come back in from its last rent so I can dig twelve damn holes. It's been over a week. The holes need to be twelve inches across and four foot deep, so I *really* don't want to do them by hand in 90+ weather and steambath humidity.

On the good side, more time to build roads in Exiles, I guess....
Polysorbate80
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Reply #151 on: July 16, 2018, 01:41:11 PM

Won't have room for any castles  Heartbreak

My pond is only 5' across, so your 8' lake definitely has room.   Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

Robot Pirate Island demands a Castle Dong-esque scale structure  why so serious?  Also I've got another water feature that isn't in the photo, it's a small statue of a girl pouring a wine jug.  I plan to elevate that one on some stonework and aim the stream into another repurposed planter, which is shaped like an old wine amphora.  Takes up space.

I can't wait to see which cat fucks up and takes a spill into the pond first once it's done...
« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 01:44:18 PM by Polysorbate80 »
Samwise
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Reply #152 on: July 20, 2018, 01:18:05 AM

Remember that bar project I was talking about doing a few months ago?  I finished it!



Gonna select a few whiskies to bring in to the office tomorrow so we can do a proper christening during happy hour.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Polysorbate80
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Reply #153 on: July 20, 2018, 10:31:43 AM

Excellent!  Did you do any kind of storage/shelving/whatever behind there?
Samwise
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Reply #154 on: July 20, 2018, 11:55:57 AM

There's space for two levels of shelving in the base, including holes drilled for shelf pins, just need to haul out the table saw and produce some appropriately sized plywood rectangles that I can drop in there.  Probably do that this weekend and bring them in to the office on Monday.

Oh, see that foot rail there?  Assembled with parts from Lowes, cost about a tenth what you'd pay for an "industrial style black iron foot rail" that looks exactly the same, and I didn't have to do any pipe cutting/threading to get everything to line up (which I was really sweating until I figured out how I could build it to have a little play in it).  The flanges and tee couplings are 3/4" and the long pipe that forms the actual rail is 1/2", so the outer diameter of the rail slides right through the inside diameter of the two couplings, and end caps on the rail are just thick enough to keep it in place.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Samwise
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Reply #155 on: July 20, 2018, 02:19:07 PM

Ready for the grand opening!


"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
RhyssaFireheart
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Reply #156 on: July 20, 2018, 02:28:05 PM

That base turned out really nice, Sam!  I like how it gradates towards lighter at the top, then the nice dark bar top.  Well done!  Thumbs up!

Mandella
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Reply #157 on: July 20, 2018, 02:29:13 PM


Oh, see that foot rail there?  Assembled with parts from Lowes, cost about a tenth what you'd pay for an "industrial style black iron foot rail" that looks exactly the same, and I didn't have to do any pipe cutting/threading to get everything to line up (which I was really sweating until I figured out how I could build it to have a little play in it).  The flanges and tee couplings are 3/4" and the long pipe that forms the actual rail is 1/2", so the outer diameter of the rail slides right through the inside diameter of the two couplings, and end caps on the rail are just thick enough to keep it in place.

That reminds me of what I found a couple of days ago looking for coat racks on Amazon:




Yep, for $32.00 for Prime customers you can have a pile of scrap pipe and a busted gauge and faucet. You get to assemble it yourself too!

I'm in the wrong business....
Trippy
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Reply #158 on: July 20, 2018, 02:32:18 PM

Ready for the grand opening!
What's the one on the far left? It feels like you need an Ardbeg 10 or something (i.e. a "peat bomb") as well.
Polysorbate80
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Reply #159 on: July 20, 2018, 04:36:01 PM

New bar demands Mai Tais.  I prefer the Royal Hawaiian’s recipe, except with a full shot of white rum rather than just an ounce, and a vanilla-ish dark rum like Koloa if you can find one.
Samwise
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Reply #160 on: July 20, 2018, 08:08:31 PM

Ready for the grand opening!
What's the one on the far left? It feels like you need an Ardbeg 10 or something (i.e. a "peat bomb") as well.

That one's from Seven Stills.  I woulda brought a peat bomb to round it out, like you say, but I don't own any since I don't like em.   awesome, for real

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Polysorbate80
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Reply #161 on: August 31, 2018, 09:26:40 PM

NameIt Round 2: Nekkid Fountain Girl

The pond has been largely done for a couple weeks, but I've been waiting on temps to cool down.  Since we're down in the 70s again, I can fill the thing without wasting water.

I've got one fountain in place and plumbed; li'l wine girl needs a name.  Something appropriate for conversation around children, please:



As is typical of females everywhere (apologies ladies, don't murder me) her, um, rear plumbing channel was too small to accept tubing  Ohhhhh, I see.  I had to step the 1/2" line from the pump down to 3/8" inch to fit. 

I also had to put in a stronger pump.  The orginal pump was solar-powered, with battery storage.  At 500 liters/hour, it wasn't strong enough to push the stream into the amphora out in the pond. 

The new pump is 1500 liters/hour, also solar-powered but with no battery storage.  None of the Amazon vendors sell one that size with a battery, citing bullshit reasons.  Mostly they don't want to ship that much 12v battery.  I could build my own waterproof storage box, wire in a couple deep-cycle marine batteries, and pick up a 100-watt solar panel from Home Depot and run this shit all night, but that's a project for next year.

Stepped down to 1/4", it'll hit the amphora, but then I decided that I didn't need it cluttering up the pond and took it out and went back to 3/8" tubing (yes, I'm fickle.)  At that rate of flow, it'll turn over all the water in the pond in a couple hours.  That should keep down mosquitos.

I'll get pics of the whole thing up when I have the second fountain running.  That one will need minor surgery--it's got 3/8" tubing already in the fountain, but the concrete constricts it too much to get the hose barb in.  I'll need to remove a little to get it plugged in and running.
Mandella
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Reply #162 on: August 31, 2018, 10:01:25 PM

"Sunny."
Polysorbate80
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Reply #163 on: August 31, 2018, 10:16:30 PM

Not bad :) How’s your own large-scale solar project coming along?  Ever get the machinery needed?
Mandella
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Reply #164 on: September 01, 2018, 11:27:08 AM

Not bad :) How’s your own large-scale solar project coming along?  Ever get the machinery needed?

It's finally moving along. Should have something to post pictures of after Labor Day.

Foundation prep is almost as irritating as trim work, for expense/time vs. visible progress.
Samwise
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Reply #165 on: September 01, 2018, 01:03:20 PM

Wine girl reminds me of a nymph.  Calypso?

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Chimpy
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Reply #166 on: September 01, 2018, 01:12:44 PM

While not quite the same level of dedication as you guys, I am embarking on a project to gut and re-drywall/insulate the walls in my garage.

The ceiling drywall was hung in the wrong direction, not taped, and sagging; and the outer walls are covered with peg board that is 40 years old and thus, almost useless for hanging anything on.

So probably next weekend I am going to tear out the existing material.

Went to Menards this morning to find out if I buy material today can I delay the delivery and they said "yeah no problem" so I can get the 11% rebate on  purchases which will save me about $40 off their already cheaper than most other places prices. I hate Menards but for most generic building materials they are just so much cheaper.


'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Samwise
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Reply #167 on: September 01, 2018, 06:25:03 PM

I have a project question: anyone have a Glowforge or other laser cutter and if so what're your opinions on them?

My general read of the situation is that there exist laser cutters that are much cheaper, but they also require a lot more maintenance, whereas a Glowforge (while more expensive and annoyingly cloud-bound) is better for someone with less free time to spend fixing their broken tools.  I've been eyeing them for a while and might pull the trigger soon.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Mandella
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Reply #168 on: September 08, 2018, 03:37:28 PM

Okay. Progress report on "Solarize the Woods 2018." Gonna be image heavy.

First thing I did was to cost myself more time and money by trying not to (won't be the first time). I've used one of these



plenty of times to dig fence posts and such. One man operable, not too expensive to rent. Took over two weeks to get one though, since the rental situation here sucks and it was high summer with every DIYer in the county trying to get one rented for our summer projects.

Anyhow, turns out what is perfectly fine for a six inch fence post does not work at all for a twelve inch wide four and a half foot deep hole, at least not in the rock mixed with red mud base I've got to work with.

So, after another week of trying to price local construction to dig these twelve holes I need for the foundation, I decide once again to do it my own damn self, somehow. So I rent (after another two week wait) one of these.



I have never operated a skid steer before. I have to tell you that, if you are any sort of nerd at all, you cannot strap yourself into one of these things without feeling like Ripley from Aliens. You don't drive these machines, you wear them. Duel configurable joysticks too -- it's basically the best VR game I've ever played.

Anyway, couple of hours later and the holes are dug, and sadly with no alien to fight I return the Bobcat and get ready to really get to building.

Actually, two more weeks of mixing and pouring concrete later, I'm ready to get to building.



Helper dogs for scale







Now, time to unpack the box of panels and finish the install!!!



Uhm. Yeah. Forklift damage that was hidden from my inspection by the shrinkwrap piled around the bottom of the box. Fortunately it's only one panel, and I should be getting a replacement next week.

Went ahead and installed what I had, leaving the last row off until I get the last panel in (and to make it easier to install a last minute J-Box on the rack).



Still a lot of work after this, but less heavy lifting. Need to get it all wired up to the house, and I'm going to do a bit of siding replacement at the same time, but I hope not to have as many delays on this part of the project as the last.

So there we go, the future is now, in my woods.
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #169 on: September 08, 2018, 03:46:24 PM

20 panels, I assume in the neighborhood of 300 watts each? Any battery storage?

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Mandella
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Reply #170 on: September 09, 2018, 12:53:01 AM

20 panels, I assume in the neighborhood of 300 watts each? Any battery storage?

--Dave

Little short of that at 260, giving me about 5200 watts total. Around here that can translate as around 35000 watts on the best days in the summer (and of course, nothing on the worst). As a point of reference, we have a relatively light electricity footprint already with only about 15 or 16 kilowatts a day average residential use.

No battery to start with, but planning on adding some in the near future. I would love to get a couple of Tesla Powerwalls, but we'll see.

Batteries are an interesting issue with solar. The money people will advise you to just forget power storage and sell your overage back into the grid (which we will be doing here too). It's really more economically sound as far as return on investment than to nearly double the cost of your install by adding batteries. But, no batteries means no backup, and out here we can lose power for days after a bad storm. So I'm planning on adding *something,* just so I'm not caught in the irritating position of having kilowatts of potential power during a sunny day but no way to get to it during an outage.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 01:04:31 AM by Mandella »
Polysorbate80
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Reply #171 on: September 09, 2018, 07:03:06 AM

That looks spiffy; were you able to wrassle all that metal tubing around yourself or did you draft help?  I think back to putting up the kids' play structure one-man style and holy shit was that awkward to do.

The guys I paid to put up the second lean-to on the side of my shop used one of those bobcats to dig the post holes.  Worked great except they had some trouble with the pin holding on the auger.  They redneck'd something to hold it on and still got the job done.  OSHA would disapprove, but everyone came out with the same number of fingers and toes.  I did get a laugh when they were apologizing for "killing" the rosebush that was right next to where one of the holes needed to go.  Apparently they've never tried to actually kill one before.  It's alive and thriving despite having a big chunk of its roots torn out.

I'm in the Pacific Northwest; solar is too weak for a big chunk of the year.  I do hope to install a windmill at some point--and by install, I mean "pay a professional to do it".  Not a DIY-er scale of project for me...

Before I get to that will be a standby diesel generator.  A home-sized unit is only a few thousand, plus the modifications to the house's electrical system (but the windmill would need the same ones anyway) and I already keep the fuel on hand.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #172 on: September 09, 2018, 10:12:53 AM

I'd advise enough battery to keep your refrigerator and furnace (assuming it isn't a heat pump) powered reliably in the winter, about 4 8D or 6 4D (easier to wrangle without equipment). Full "what grid?" battery storage gets pricy, but those plus a 24V inverter to turn it into something useful should only be a few grand. The difference between a little power and no power is huge.

If you want to get fancy, you'll take those off the main breaker box onto their own emergency circuit. You'll need to install a disconnect to keep it from energizing the grid lines anyway, splitting out those circuits at the same time will make things easier, you just put the disconnect between the emergency circuit and the main bus.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Mandella
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Reply #173 on: September 09, 2018, 12:12:32 PM

That looks spiffy; were you able to wrassle all that metal tubing around yourself or did you draft help?  I think back to putting up the kids' play structure one-man style and holy shit was that awkward to do.


There is a "funny" story about that. I'm kinda a DIYer to a fault, but my son-in-law was over and he offered to help me lift that first long pipe up on the scaffolding so I said sure. But I was so focused on watching what he was doing that I didn't watch my own feet and I stepped right off into one of the four and a half foot deep holes I had just dug. Scared the shit out of him, my wife, my daughter, the dogs, and my grandkid all standing there, but shielded by the power of embarrassment I was fine. The pipe I was lifting even fell into the hook on the scaffolding so it didn't come down and bash my head in.

So anyway for the rest of the install I made sure nobody else was around.

Quote from: MahrinSkel

I'd advise enough battery to keep your refrigerator and furnace (assuming it isn't a heat pump) powered reliably in the winter, about 4 8D or 6 4D (easier to wrangle without equipment). Full "what grid?" battery storage gets pricy, but those plus a 24V inverter to turn it into something useful should only be a few grand. The difference between a little power and no power is huge.


That is exactly the sort of thing I am researching at the moment. As I mentioned our power needs are relatively modest -- heat is propane, as is oven/stove and water heater. Anything that can keep the freezers and well pump going (and maybe a little extra for the computers and all) would be just fine for emergencies.

Are you solarized too then? This is my first time playing with this sort of thing, and I welcome all advice and links to good deals and technology I should know about. Of course, already committed and invested in the panels and hookup, but I'm still in the decision making stage on energy storage solutions.

In fact, I'm planning to head into the Big City in the next few weeks and talk to a Tesla rep about Powerwalls, in case I want to go biggish money. Two of them would give me well over 24 hours of average use, but would also run me over 12 or so grand, so got to think about that.
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Reply #174 on: September 09, 2018, 12:28:01 PM

You should look into standard lead-acid battery systems for storage. Sure they take up more space than the Li-Ion stuff, but they are still a lot less expensive. Looking at where your installation is, it doesn't look like you are hurting for space. You could just build a little shed to keep them in.


'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
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