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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  General Discussion  |  Serious Business  |  Topic: Useless Projects 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Useless Projects  (Read 8201 times)
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #175 on: September 09, 2018, 02:46:57 PM

I rigged up solar for my little RV, which kept my computer, a WiMax modem, and a little fridge working just fine. About 1/10 the scale of what you're doing. But I've done a lot of research into something about 4X the scale for a bigger RV.

Lead Acid is by far the cheapest dollars per watt hour solution at residential scale, especially if you're not going to be drawing from it very often. PowerWall is way too expensive if you're on grid, it's advantages all come from the tolerance for repeated discharge and low weight. Lead acid will only last a couple of years if you're cycling every day. If you want a true 24 hour buffer, you're looking at about 10 8D's, or 16 4D, either way about $2k. There are other solutions (the most efficient being banks of 300 pound 2 volt cells), but they tend to be more expensive, nearly impossible to handle without equipment, and again, not really needed if you aren't cycling daily.

You'll need to replace them every 5 years or so, but it's a standard commodity-grade size that will be easy to find alternate sources for. 48V setups require keeping them in banks of 4 and slightly more expensive inverters and chargers, but will more reliably handle startup loads for things like freezers and well pumps. Higher voltage is even better, but then they start getting *really* expensive.

You can also go with 6V golf cart batteries, which are cheaper per watt hour and common as dirt.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Samwise
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Reply #176 on: September 09, 2018, 02:59:42 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.

A friend of mine built an off-grid vacation home in the mid-2000s with a shed full of lead-acid batteries as his powerhouse; they aren't as small or long-lived as lithium, but being cheap means he can replace them as needed.  He built and tuned a monitoring system that manages power usage and temperatures across the battery bank and alerts him when a particular battery is hitting the end of its usefulness.  It's pretty cool.  Curious whether with advances in batteries over the last decade he'd do it differently if he were starting from scratch today, though.

"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
MisterNoisy
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Reply #177 on: September 14, 2018, 08:19:37 PM

Lately, I've been fucking around with the more 'constructive' elements of locksport - I'm about to send out a bunch of challenge locks (made from brass rim cylinders I bought for $1.20 each from a local discount building supply outlet) with custom security pins - just chuck the pins in a Dremel clamped to a workbench and hit them with needle files and an Xacto razor saw and you can make some fun stuff.  Also, cashiers give you weird looks when you show up at the register with 30 door locks and nothing else.

Also about to start making myself some custom lockpicks with pinned/epoxied wood handles out of 301 stainless feeler gauge stock - it's sort of like making knives, just smaller.  :D
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 08:22:08 PM by MisterNoisy »

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Polysorbate80
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Reply #178 on: October 03, 2018, 02:42:47 AM

I was home Monday afternoon for one of those lovely "Hey, we'll be there between Noon and 5pm to fix your DSL" appointments (turned out they had me hooked up to a bad port in their system, they could have fixed that without ever coming to my house) when I get a call from my wife:

"Hey, you're home this afternoon right?  The electrician is coming by at 3pm to see about installing that chandelier!"

"That" chandelier was purchased with gambling winnings in Vegas this spring and has been sitting around waiting for installation since then, because I didn't really want to climb up and install an 80-pound chunk of glass and pointy metal bits on a second-story ceiling.  "Sure, I'll be here" sez I.

2:50 pm, another call.  "Hey, can you put up the scaffolding for the electrician?  I kinda told him it would be set up."  Twelve feet of scaffolding is a bit more than a 10-minute setup job, thx  Ohhhhh, I see.

I'm barely into it when the electrician arrives, and we unpack the two boxes containing the light fixture.  First thing we find is that he's a bit confused by the mounting point.  It's not something he's familiar with, not actually surprising since the light is an import.



Ok, I guess next step is to see what we've actually got in the ceiling to mount it to.  A standard light box will only support 50 pounds, but our contractor did know we planned to swap the old hallway chandelier for a new one later, so hopefully he used the right mount...



Scaffold up, you can see why I'm not super happy about working 12' in the air lifting heavy things over my head



We're in luck--partially.  The box mounts over a crosspiece, not next to it like a normal light box.  I don't know if that's a 2x4 or a 2x6; knowing my contractor and how he tended to overbuild I suspect it's a 2x6, but I can't confirm it.  Popping into the attic I find that there's no access to that small portion of the roof unless you're a 10-year old gymnast.  I could drill through the box next to the wood to peek up past it, but there's not a real need.  On a short span like the width of a hallway, a 2x4 is sufficient to support the kind of weight we're talking about here.

The only bummer is the hole already drilled partway into the wood to accommodate the old fixture.  There's still at least two inches of wood up there, so it could accommodate a lag hook, but thinking about it any hook that close to the ceiling will be a nightmare to actually wrangle the chandelier on to--there's a limit to how far it can tip sideways.

Electrician goes home for the night to think about mounting options, I head to Home Depot to look for 36 LED candelabra bulbs.  The only ones they have in sufficient quantity are either daylight color and/or 40/60 watt equivalent.  The 40 watt equivalent are 300 lumen, so we're talking 14,000+ lumens.  The glass is colored and opaque, though, so it might be tolerable.  I bite the bullet and buy ~$100 worth of bulbs.

On the drive down (it's 40 miles away, but the only hardware store open after 6pm) I have time to think about the mounting issue, and I Junior Engineer a solution:



What we're looking at here is two 5/16" lag eyebolts, inset at a slight angle to reduce the footprint.  Capacity, 250 pounds each.  Between them is a 1/4" Grade 8 bolt and locknut, shear strength just under 4500 pounds. The doubled-up washers and spacers are only stainless, but they're just to prevent lateral shifting.

This is where I mention that this chandelier suddenly has a lot more sharp pokey bits than I remember, and I'm wrasslin' 50+ pounds of metal over my head solo in an OSHA-unapproved manner while cursing non-stop. Luckily only one minor injury, the only bandages I can find are my son's Star Wars band-aids



When in doubt, send in the Wookie.  Chewie would understand my pain.

Next day, electrician is back for the wiring hookup.  I could do it, but if several thousand dollars of chandelier blows up, I want someone else to take the wife's ire  awesome, for real 

Oops, minor snag #2:  I mentioned it's an import?



Darn Euros and your non-'Murican wiring codes.  We have to look it up:  Brown is hot, blue is neutral, ground is still ground.

It's finally up, breaker is flipped, nothing goes up in flames.



It is a little brighter than the old one, but still a tolerable level.  With the colored glass it's rather like having the sunset through that west-facing window all the time.  Installing a dimmer woud be the next logical step -- they were supposed to put one on originally, but somehow this kind of shit gets overlooked by the contractors  swamp poop  LED dimmers will only handle 300-ish watts of power, but at 4.5 watts/bulb we're still within the limit.  It's certainly better than having that thing sucking 1,440 watts of juice every time it's on.
Draegan
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Reply #179 on: October 03, 2018, 10:56:05 AM

I'm about to embark on a new project now that fall is here. I live on the side of a mountain and there a lot of rocks. You can see in the firs picture a large collection of them and I am waiting until the ferns die until I can haul down some more.

I'm going to build a 2ft fake retaining wall just above the smaller rock line.






Straight across you can see there is about a 2 foot or so height between the rock line and the "top of the hill'. This will be a multi year project as I get time to do it. It's pretty long going across. Should be fun?

« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 10:58:50 AM by Draegan »
Mandella
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Reply #180 on: October 04, 2018, 01:22:58 PM

@Polysorbate80:

I am totally envious that you own your own scaffolding. I always rent, or more usually construct some horror show of ladders and scrap lumber.

Also, how much are you paying that electrician to stand around and watch you work?

 awesome, for real

@Draegan:

That is a very relaxing looking back yard. I really like those ferns as ground cover -- wish our climate here was more conducive to that sort of vegetation.

I'm also envious of your rocks. Not that we don't have plenty of rocks here, but not pretty ones that you'd want to use for edging.

Okay. We do have nice ones in the creek bed, but I'd have to haul them up from the creek bed. What I am saying is that I wish I had nice rocks just laying here within easy reach.

It just occurred to me I may be lazy...


But speaking of me, just got the line for the underground cable trenched out, and I'm sitting here waiting for the replacement panel to be delivered today. I really hope to be drawing power by two weeks from today, hopefully sooner.
Polysorbate80
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Reply #181 on: October 04, 2018, 05:33:29 PM

The scaffolding wasn't too expensive from Home Depot, a few hundred I think.  It's a little narrower than some units since it's meant to fit through doors/halls, so it's a little unsteady without the outriggers.  You certainly wouldn't want to put a third level on without them.  They fucked up and sent me the large outriggers instead of the shorter indoor-friendly ones I ordered, so I use it with wheel locks and a prayer if there's nobody there to counterbalance the other side  ACK!

After the discussion the first day, I had everything up and ready to go before he was able to get back the next afternoon to hook up wires.  He wasn't there that long, and these guys are reasonable for electricians.  And not getting the finger pointed at me if the electrical goes south is worth the money  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?
Draegan
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Reply #182 on: October 05, 2018, 07:32:25 AM


@Draegan:

That is a very relaxing looking back yard. I really like those ferns as ground cover -- wish our climate here was more conducive to that sort of vegetation.

I'm also envious of your rocks. Not that we don't have plenty of rocks here, but not pretty ones that you'd want to use for edging.

Okay. We do have nice ones in the creek bed, but I'd have to haul them up from the creek bed. What I am saying is that I wish I had nice rocks just laying here within easy reach.

It just occurred to me I may be lazy...


But speaking of me, just got the line for the underground cable trenched out, and I'm sitting here waiting for the replacement panel to be delivered today. I really hope to be drawing power by two weeks from today, hopefully sooner.

Yeah that pile of rocks was just 30-50 yards up the hill. Luckily i just have to drag them down!

I think I'm going to start tomorrow morning but I'll have to take a break and coach my daughters soccer game.
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #183 on: October 05, 2018, 09:45:04 AM

I can't help but think there's a way to solve both problems at once....

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Mandella
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Reply #184 on: October 05, 2018, 02:17:26 PM

Team building exercise!!!

 Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?
Chimpy
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Reply #185 on: October 05, 2018, 11:33:54 PM

I did the demolition of the shitty sagging ceiling drywall and shitty 40 year old pegboard walls (and fiberglass insulation) n my garage last weekend. My new drywall/insulation is being delivered tomorrow and I am going to hang the sheets on Sunday. Tomorrow morning is re-doing a bit of the electrical in prep and then putting in the insulation.

I have some before/after pics of the demolition on my phone. Will post them at some point when I have time.


'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Draegan
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Reply #186 on: October 07, 2018, 11:43:54 AM

I can't help but think there's a way to solve both problems at once....

--Dave

Good idea in theory but they're all 5 years old. They can't pick up the rocks of the size I need!

Update:

For reference it's about 2-3 feet in height. Closer to 2 than 3.





Alot less digging than I thought. The issue here is that I need a lot of back fill to fill in the slope and the wall. At first I was going to use dirt but my land is so rocky there are very little places I can just dig up dirt. So I'm using rocks.

Yesterday I did about 2 or so hours work and today I added an extra layer and backfilled a lot of rocks. I hope as I work to the left the slope is a lot more steeper and there will be less need for as much back fill. We'll see. Luckily there are so many rocks it's just navigating the large hill above me. I got a few cubic feet of rock in the time it took me to haul 1 cubic foot of dirt.
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