Category Archives: Off grid tips

This section looks at equipment and knowledge useful to off grid life.
If its posted here it’s real and it’s hopefully useful. That’s my promise to my readers.
If you make, sell, research anything that might be of interest to my readers, send me a link in the comments area. I’ll have a look and it doesn’t cost you anything. Even better, send me your product to test … far superior to a mere PR release. Really. And yes. I will return test equipment. Or. If you donate the equipment to the site, we will use it for free giveaways. Remember, our tests are sometimes designed by engineers.
This is my attempt to wipe some of the BS off the web. Can one man stand against an army of PR hacks. Stay tuned.

Need coffee? a 2 minute wood stove lighting trick

The two minute wood stove

I start the wood stove in my studio every morning. Over the years I’ve developed this lazy boy technique. Rolled up paper? Nah. Fussy kindling? Who are you kidding. I need coffee. But I have to light the wood stove first.

I use wood pellets and a propane torch. For a written overview follow the more link.

Continue reading Need coffee? a 2 minute wood stove lighting trick

Lithium vs Lead acid: a charge profile primer

How lead acid and lithium batteries charge

Recently I was asked if lithium batteries( lfp) accept more voltage from solar panels than lead acid batteries (fla). The short answer is No. But, they do accept more amps! You see as your batteries charge the peak voltage limit is hit and then amperage begins to taper.

The formula you need to remember is voltage X amperage = watts. In battery charging amperage is key.
The formula you need to remember is voltage X amperage = watts. In battery charging amperage is key.
Amperage is the key

Continue reading Lithium vs Lead acid: a charge profile primer

More mushrooms ma’am

Chanterelle mushrooms in hand
Chantrelles, fresh picked from a pine forest.
Chantrelles, fresh picked from a pine forest.
Living off grid is so tough

Tonight for supper it’s chanterelle mushrooms picked from a white pine forest, heavy cream and garlic over fresh turned potatoes. Beef steak (filet mignon) marinated in an organic soy sauce and hot chili for 24 hours. Sides of steamed fresh corn on the cob and yellow bean / hot pepper salsa.

Blueberry pie for dessert (store bought, sorry).

Man, this off grid life.

The wacky wonder of wallpaper

Wallpaper. experiment #1

When I went to buy wallpaper I went to a shop that sells recycled bits. They had wallpaper paste, wallpaper brushes, wallpaper trays; all donated. And two enormous bins of wallpaper. Very few with two rolls to match.

Tools of the tacky trade. Whoa. he's on an alliterative apocalypse.
Tools of the tacky trade. Whoa. he’s on an alliterative apocalypse.

A pair of volunteers, lovely ladies of a later generation than even mine, hurried over when they saw I was looking at the various bits and bobs with my typical expression of puzzlement when faced with a new to me technology.

Lovely laughing ladies

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Bokashi test 2

Testing Bokashi in a muldering toilet design
(or Poo digestion: phase 2)

Problem:

For my primary material management I use an envirolet toilet (muldering toilet in a plastic box). But just before Christmas the cold weather meant frozen material had formed a mountain and plugged the exit.

For the remainder of the winter I use a Sawdust Composting Bucket Toilet. This is a trigger for my interest in Bokashi.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: the envirolet test

Continue reading Bokashi test 2