Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Small achievements building toward success

That's the way to do it! Today of note were several achievements in an otherwise dismal, dreary, wet day. I'd like to be able to claim major success but I didn't do anything major. The major stuff all accomplishes itself as it's all reliant upon the small but insignificant steps.

The first thing I did was to make a coil out of some wire, put my new permanent magnet inside and run 6v from 4 D cells through it. The magnet did twitch. Clearly I need to find some copper tubing slightly larger than the magnet in order to wind enamel wire around it. That should allow the magnet to slide easily and should give years of use. I just have to wind the appropriate number of coils around it.

The next success was more basic and less exciting though vital. I tried my old angle grinder without success. Banging it I could get a few spins from the motor before it stopped. I had a brainwave and changed the other carbon brush. I"d already changed one because it was broken. Voila! The thing worked when I plugged it in. Clearly that problem has been solved for the moment. The other one has a problem based around a loose connection. When I need it, I'll tighten that connector.

Lastly, I hunted around in the bushes on m'lady's 4 acres and found a nice piece of steel. It needs some de-rusting but cut with the angle grinder and welded, It;ll make an excellent bottom for my battery compartment. Unlike the hillbillies, I'll drill holes for water drainage. I'll also see about putting a lip over the door to stop water penetration.

The final solution to the power and cooking problem is, unfortunately, going to have to be a gas cooker where the microwave is currently situated. The microwave is rusted and beyond salvation. I"ll have to install an extraction fan - probably a 12v fan running off my small battery. I could run that through the window I blocked up or put a roof vent. On the whole, the window seems more accessible. I thought long and hard about other solutions but this seems to be the only one that makes financial sense. To spend $3,500 on lithium batteries, $300 on a generator or $500 on lead acid batteries to run the microwave or $40 on a gas cooker. That's $10 cheaper than buying a replacement microwave. The big bonus is because I've already done the electrical work, I can still use electrical appliances when plugged in. There's also nothing to say I cannot later just remove the gas cooker and install solar arrays, generators and solar panels.

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