Posts by figaro

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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

    Got my old Kawasaki running today. It's a long way from being roadworthy but could be ready for summer. Also got a garage sorted out courtesy of the local council. £45 a month ain't too shabby I thought. The huge 650 amp battery I got from a decommissioned generator has taken a full charge too. Dunno how long it's sat in that plantroom, at least 7 or 8 years we reckon, but it looks A-ok. Project Solar Generator is go! Sure it's the wrong type of battery, being more suited to hard starting than prolonged low amp draw, but it's so powerful I don't think that's going to be a problem. And hey, it was free. Not only that but there's a second one waiting for me to pick up, too!


    Got a job interview tomorrow. Much more money, better working conditions and free use of the company vehicle. If I get the job I really will be celebrating...

    Well, I got an interview next Tuesday. It's air conditioning I do, by the way. The role is troubleshooting new a/c installations in posh houses, and it's worth 3 grand more than I'm getting now, so it all sounds good. The big thing for me though, is that I can use the company van for personal use, and that'll save me a fortune cos I'm leasing a car for personal use at the moment.

    Had to go to the office for a bollocking, apparently my timekeeping is becoming a bit tardy (the fact that every route into and out of London has roadworks on it seems to have passed them by...). Never mind, eh.


    Soo, while I'm sat there being spoken to like an errant child, an email hits my phone offering me a similar job for considerably more money. Nice!


    I'm sat in a plantrooms with a big mug of tea, firing off somewhat inventive CVs to all and sundry. I'm not alone, there are 3 other engineers here too, all of us over 50 and behaving like children. I should have done this year's ago!

    Maybe they are running their engine every day - I'd say with only two batteries to run a fridge you'll kill them in a short time. May be OK in the summer as long as you've got mainly sunny days, but a couple of dull days and you batteries will be running on empty. I'd want something like 1000 amp/hr of batteries and 500watt solar to run a fridge most of the time ...


    That helps a lot, kind of gives me a number to aim for.


    I've got loads of time to sort this out, hopefully I'll be getting a boat later this year but my plans changed when I kissed a bird at a party, and now I'm moving in...


    The boat is now a backup plan rather than a sure thing, but I still want to get it right. And like most of us it'll have to be done on a very tight budget.


    In the meantime I'll be getting a garage with no power (for my bike, not me...) so I thought I'd cobble up a portable power pack. I just happen to know where I can lay my hands on a couple of big deep cycle batteries, and I've got a charge controller, cables, switches, etc on the way. I just need an inverter and a solar panel for cheap, then I can start playing. If anyone knows of a cheap/secondhand source of solar bits and bobs I'd be happy to hear from them.

    The problem I'm having is this; I work out the watt hour ratings of things like a TV, laptop, phone and tablet chargers, lights, etc and everything is hunky dory, I'm looking at a 1500 watt inverter and one or two batteries, anything that doesn't require a high starting current is fine. As soon as I add a fridge or microwave or heater it all goes doolally and I'm into 5kw behemoths, a dozen or more batteries and enough solar panels to cover a rugby field:(


    Most of the narrowboat setups I've seen use a couple of decent batteries, a 2kw inverter and a couple of medium size solar panels, but no matter how I rejig my figures I can't get down to anything that small. Either they ain't got enough kit or I'm doing something wrong.

    Can anyone explain (in layman's terms please) the differences between pure sine wave inverters and modified sine wave inverters? Judging by the relative price difference you'd imagine there'd be a huge difference, but various people I've spoken to don't seem to think the difference is that great. Unfortunately none of them can tell me why, either...

    Well I'm looking forward to it. I'm already bald and don't have a pension, I'm quids in!


    Plus, if you'd tasted the food I've cooked over the years you'll realise I could survive on anything...

    No, the device just wouldn't work with it.


    Doesn't matter, the EE card still works out cheaper than even the most basic domestic broadband package, and it works a treat.

    I'm about to give up my shed, and it's giving me the heebee-jeebees[panic]


    I built that shed with my bare hands (and power tools, natch), all 35' x 12' of it, with lights, power, running water, heating and carpets. Yes carpets. How the missus expects me to cope with an 8ft square shed that I have to share with her sons I don't know. SHARE? I DON'T SHARE!


    So I've hatched a plan, I'm gonna rent a garage off the council! Gotta have somewhere to park my beloved motorbike, so I may as well make it comfy. I need a calor gas heater to keep warm, but I'm working on a portable solar power pack to provide lights and power.


    I'm serious about my man caves, dontchanow...

    That's what I did, and the people at giffgaff tried to help; we tried 3 sims and none would work. I tried contacting Netgear but they couldn't help either. Very odd.

    I tried giffgaff in my mifi device but it wouldn't work at all, we couldn't work out why, the unit had already used an O2 sim (what giffgaff uses) and was completely unlocked. They sent 3 different cards but none worked. Very odd. So I ended up with EE but not as good a deal as the op's. £20 for 15gig. I'm gonna have to look into this.

    I went swimming. Got to pool found loads of young woman lounging around, and one young blokey swimming lengths in a manly manner.
    I'm a fat, older lady, who hasn't swam for well over a decade; but I did used to be a triathlete.
    I felt very noticeable hobbling to the pool, but got in and started to swim. After overtaking manly man and looking to do so again, he got out and left me the pool all to myself. 



    I like that!


    I find myself surrounded by youngsters in my job, I'm in my fifties and my workmates are all 20's and 30's, and I've worked out the only thing they can do better than me is run up and down stairs. Which is great, cos they get to carry my tools...

    I can recommend mifi devices if you can afford one. I've got a Netgear Aircard car wifi unit with a pay-as-you-go sim card in it, currently an EE card but I've just got a giffgaff card cos it promises to be a bit cheaper (not used it yet though). Certainly with the EE sim card I get really good wifi just about anywhere, but it's not all that cheap to use, so you have to be careful about what you download. The EE Eagle unit costs about £70 but there must be cheaper ones about, and probably plenty of secondhand ones on ebay.