Apocalyptic Homesteading (Day 1279)

Hello Everyone!

Starting early in the day, Cleaning pickle barrels, De-worming dogs, Testing batteries & Gridless musings!

Alright, I am running about two hours and twenty-two minutes behind schedule with my writing routine this evening... because I fell asleep late this afternoon and just woke up a little while ago. I guess that I needed the rest... but whoa getting in a six hour nap was not exactly on my itinerary for the day.

Somehow this morning (after waking before dawn and playing catch up with my daily writing) I got outdoors and made the most of my time getting stuff done... before the stormy weather arrived. Given how dark the sky was it was a surprise that the weather stayed as nice as it did... especially since the radar showed a massive storm rolling through the region.

Although everything is a bit of a blur at this point in the day... I spent much of the morning cleaning out the lidded pickle barrels that I got yesterday... and also washing those garden hoses (that I had soaking in bleach water) as best that I could. For the most part my main two hoses are the only ones that proved to be difficult to get very clean... so I wound up stretching them out along the road to let the rain wash them off even more.

As far as the pickle barrels go... I think that once I scrub them out really well with bleach water that the small amount of 'pickle mold' (and the smell) that they have in them will disappear. I keep debating on whether or not it would be better to use vinegar to wash them out... but so far I have just been spraying them down with water, letting the lids soak and leaving the barrels uncovered so they can air out.

I am still unsure exactly what all that I am going to pack into them... but I have been thinking that they would make for really good storage for all my bedding and whatever clothes that I will immediately need to have on hand while camping. Of course, later I plan to use one of the barrels to store water in... and the other to possibly use a 'worm house' (for composting) but during the moving process I figure that I may as well cram as much stuff into them as possible.

Anyways, I did a bunch of other little things today like starting the dogs on some de-wormer, cleaning the corrosion off the battery terminals for my volt meter, replacing its battery... and testing some of the old true deep cycle batteries that are out here. The voltage readings that I got on the batteries were less than encouraging (and the batteries appeared low on fluid) so I am unsure if they will be worth salvaging... but I am going to hook up at least two of them to my solar rig and see if they will take (and maybe hold) a charge.

Those batteries being some very old six volt golf cart batteries means that I will need to wire two of them together to make twelve volts... but given their condition I am unsure just how balanced that they will be. I doubt for my little solar rig it will matter all that much... but it would surely be better if I had a way to charge each battery separately before hooking them together in series as a twelve volt circuit.

With the way that my solar rig is designed to give maximum 'live' power during full sun periods (and tends to go into float mode rather quickly) I think that even if those old batteries are not ideal (as far as energy storage goes) they should be able to handle the kind of 'flash charging' that my setup does. In other words... as long as I can take the thirty odd volts coming off my main PV panel... squeeze every watt that I can from it... then pull a few amps off the batteries to run my three hundred watt inverter for three hours to run a fan... during the hottest part of the day... I will be happy.

It is far from the most ideal setup but honestly I do not need the system to do much more than that... and trickle charge a phone and some small five volt powerbanks. The only other major things that I need to do with the solar rig is charge my 20v (and 20v/60v flexvolt) battery packs for my cordless tools... which honestly are the best batteries that I currently own for storing energy.

All in all, I can hopefully get grid power turned on at the site and not have to rely on the solar rig... but I really do like how fast (and how well) those direct DC to DC chargers work when it comes to charging those cordless tool batteries. The battery charger itself even runs a good bit cooler... because it lacks the electronics required to convert AC power into DC power inside the charger itself... which of course means the battery pack does not get quite as hot while being charged.

Okay, I got a bit sidetracked on that topic... but suffice it to say that I am doing my best to have all my basics covered in regards to electricity at the new place. Having learned the hard way back when I first began writing these daily entries (two thousand six hundred and eighty-seven days ago) I do not want to ever struggle with having at least the bare minimum of electricity again... just to have sufficient lighting at night or keep the handful of gadgets that I need charged to remain charged!

My big concern at the new place is going to be cellular connectivity... and I am really unsure if running my old 800/1900 MHz cellular repeater is going to be sufficient. There are plenty of trees that I could use to get my larger four band repeater's antenna high enough... and far enough away from its amplifier... but I am really unsure on being able to consistently power it given that it draws a lot more amps than the older repeater.

There is the fiber (and maybe coaxial) broadband there which are located both at the power pole... and at a stub out on the southern border of the property... but I have not gotten around to investigating what it would take to get service enabled. By and large, I am just looking at putting in a small four by four inch by eight foot tall (or equivalent) pole near the new RV power pole... and placing a weatherproof box on it to house the modem and/or router in.

I am still unsure what the best approach with all of that is going to be... but I have also been thinking that it would be nice to have a very tiny shed that could act as an enclosure for all the telecommunications and internet related gear. Since the whole area is a cellular 'dead zone' I have even been tinkering with the idea of putting a cellular repeater near the road (in a kiosk) so that people in the area can always pull up near it... and get enough of a boost to make a call or send and receive text messages.

Well, I have rambled on enough for one evening... and failed to write about most of the stuff that I was wanting to write about. Suffice it to say that it was a very productive day, I ate a lot of food, sorted through a good bit of my gear... and have noticed a marked increase in my overall morale... and general attitude in regards to my next adventure... which is quite welcome given that the clock is ticking and I have a bare two weeks left here to do everything!

On that note, I hope that everyone is doing well. Ta ta and ciao for now.

I slept through today's sunset but yesterday's was neat looking!

Thanks for reading!

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Cheers! & Hive On!

All content found in this post is mine!

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