Monday, April 5, 2010

Meetings of Equals..

You know.. Ok.. maybe you don't –Grin-

there's a certain comfort in hanging out with people that understand you and don't question your sanity.. well.. not more than they do their own  -Grin-

In Pahrump Nevada at the moment, and have had the great fortune to be parked with a group of like minded souls..  There's Brian and Stella (his furry companion), Bob and Homer (HIS Furry companion), Kate and Mutt (Her furry companion), Wayne, PJ, Charlene, Cheri (and her NEW as yet unnamed furry companion).  with recent departures of Brian K ( and Dina, his furry companion) and Paul.

We all think the same to a great degree.. all seem to be interested in similar things, and above all we ACCEPT each other unconditionally!!  it’s a wonderful thing to know that you can be just who you are and not have to worry about being judged!  I’ve searched for that kind of thing for a long long time!

Probably will hang here a few weeks, then work my way closer to Fresno Ca.  Bikes unloaded, towns 2 miles away, and I'm in open desert with snow on the mountains both to my east and west…   to steal a quote from Charlene.. Life just doesn't get any better than this.. at least until tomorrow!

Past due update :)

First off, my apologies for not being more regular here.. there are downsides to having regular internet capability!!  rather than write up posts, I do active email and other things.. that may change over the summer while I’m working as a camp host in California.  I’ll try to be a bit more regular in the future!

Lets see.. the last post was about a windy day and how to spend it, so that's taken –Grin-  today it’s still windy (though it did stop between now and then)  it’s rainy and on the cold side.. 

I’m currently parked in BLM land just outside of Pahrump, Nv.  Ended up Fleeing from Arizona when it started getting to warm..  but thats getting ahead of myself here!

I left the slabs area in Ca to head back to the Phoenix area for a family function.  My mother was being given an award in the town the family has lived in for ages, and wanted to make sure that I was there for the celebratory dinner!  it was a wonderful night.  One of the Arizona congressmen that serves that area was in attendance, as well as the Maricopa county Sherriff, in addition to many years worth of town Mayors.. dinner was ok, but the company was great :)

After that, Ran to my friend Johns to install the second solar panel on the roof of the truck, then escaped to Nevada :)

Solar Upgrades!

howdy folks, Passing on info about my power system in the truck, While going through the winter in Quartzsite and the Slabs, I started to consistantly run into lack of power issues.. with the winter sun staying lower in the sky, the amount of power my little 60watt array just wasnt cutting it on some days to even charge the laptop back to full power, and that got really frustrating to me.  So after talking with some folks about options for power, I decided to bite the bullet and spend money I didnt want to in order to upgrade my solar system.

This is what I ended up with.

1) a pair of Trojan T 105 batteries, 6 volt by 225 ah, wired in series to make it a 12v storage system.

2)  BZ500 charge controller, Able to handle up to 500 watts of panels, is an MPPT controller, so can boost the amount of charge it delivers to the batteries

3) 2 205 watt solar panels from  They have a Phoenix warehouse, so I saved on shipping charges by driving back to Phoenix to pick them up myself.

While deciding on the equipment I would get, I was also trying to determine a mounting method to keep them on the roof and hopefully undamaged by freeway speeds and trees!  I initially considered putting up brackets and sheets of plywood and mounting the panels to the plywood, but something about that just never really sat well with me.  I could see the plywood wobbling back and forth in the wind going down the freeway, and I couldnt think that would be good for the panels..

One day.. THE day that I was going to buy the wood and work on mounting them with my friend John, I just happened to be floating around in the Isles of Home depot, and came upon the chain link fencing section.. I had talked to a welder at one point about using Angle iron to build a rack for me, but he said that the round pipe would be much stronger than angle iron.. so here I am in Home depot, looking at the selection of fencing pieces.. and low and behold I had my solution!

I picked up enough pieces there to mount the panels on the roof using fence poles, and the various connectors they use in fencing!  then headed to my friends to begin the work.

It took us a little bit to figure otu exacly how we wanted to do it, but in an hour or so had one panel mounted on the roof and ready to roll.. for the sake of prudence, we only mounted one to make sure that the way we had done it would be fine, and I kept the second panel in the back of the truck.. Well, the mount worked just fine, and for the first time I could be stealth parked with full power in the city!  It Is so nice to be able to have the radio on, or watch a Dvd and not have to worry about recharging the system without running the truck!!   I let that one set a couple weeks, then with no modification, mounted the second panel using the same setup.. now, on a sunny day, from a half charge on my batteries, I’m at float level by 9am :)  and with today being cold and rainy in heavy clouds, I’m on the pc, with the radio on, and the charge is reading 13.0v.. not at float, but maybe later in the day I’ll get there..

To celebrate, went to a goodwill store and picked up a 450 watt microwave.. have only used it a couple times, but if I’m in sun, the panels do a good job of keeping up with it while it’s in use!  so my life is getting a little more convenient.. Since I’ll be working over the summer, one of my early checks will go to a 12 volt cooler, so I can have more variety as well then :)

Overall, I’m doing well, sometimes restless still, but it’s even harder now to imagine going back to a conventional life :)