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Re: Halfapint's Getting Some Land

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:18 pm
by Halfapint
moab wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:59 pm
Just for a little perspective that may help. We pay around $400 a month for our power bill. Here in socal. And we live in an 800sqft home. The electric company turned private some years ago. And they, of course, have raped the consumer ever since. Just another reason we are moving. Very few can afford to live here anymore. At least in a decent neighborhood.

I really love your resourcefulness. And your terrific attitude. My wife and I are hoping to move back to WA to the Granite Falls area in the next 6 months. I'm from Darrington. And miss the mountains dearly. You've got a great homestead going on. And I love watching it unfold in this thread. Keep writing. We are listening. :)
Thanks Moab! That’s nice to hear! When you make it back up here let me know let’s grab a drink. There’s a great community of ZS005 guys/gals up here.

Our power bill is with my grandparents, they have a near 3k sq/ft house, their bill is about $400 in the winter running the electric heat. I’ve been trying to get them back on wood, they have central wood heat, but with this virus and my grandpa having COPD it’s nit worth the risk.

I’ve been collecting 18650 batteries and plan on making a huge power bank and running a bunch of small 800-1500w wind turbines, and one larger 3+kw turbine.

WA is nice because it has the cheapest electical power in the country. But our fuel prices are some of the highest.

Re: Halfapint's Getting Some Land

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:32 pm
by EBuff75
Halfapint wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:18 pm
I’ve been collecting 18650 batteries and plan on making a huge power bank and running a bunch of small 800-1500w wind turbines, and one larger 3+kw turbine.
You might look into old battery packs out of hybrid cars to use for your solar project. You can check around on the web to find info about doing that, but it's a reasonably inexpensive way to put together a sizeable battery. They won't have as much storage capacity as when they were newer, but it's likely to be a whole lot easier than building your own.

Re: Halfapint's Getting Some Land

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:51 pm
by MPMalloy
moab wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:59 pm
We pay around $400 a month for our power bill.
:shock: x ???

I pay under $90/Mo, including heating & cooling.

Re: Halfapint's Getting Some Land

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:05 pm
by Halfapint
EBuff75 wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:32 pm
You might look into old battery packs out of hybrid cars to use for your solar project. You can check around on the web to find info about doing that, but it's a reasonably inexpensive way to put together a sizeable battery. They won't have as much storage capacity as when they were newer, but it's likely to be a whole lot easier than building your own.
I’ve looked at them and Edison bstterys. So car even buying the 18650s I need, it’s cheaper. I get the batteries for free, or pennies. I’ve got nearly 2k good ones. Either wish and eBay I can make up the amount I want and get them for not much more than pennies.

Yess it’ll take time to make the packs, and I’ll have some issues, but I figure if I do batches of 100 I’ll have a pretty good bank. That won’t be too much off the others. It’s still a possibility to buy some ans sell the 18650’s but I don’t know.

Re: Halfapint's Getting Some Land

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:03 am
by JayceSlayn
Halfapint wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:05 pm
EBuff75 wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:32 pm
You might look into old battery packs out of hybrid cars to use for your solar project. You can check around on the web to find info about doing that, but it's a reasonably inexpensive way to put together a sizeable battery. They won't have as much storage capacity as when they were newer, but it's likely to be a whole lot easier than building your own.
I’ve looked at them and Edison bstterys. So car even buying the 18650s I need, it’s cheaper. I get the batteries for free, or pennies. I’ve got nearly 2k good ones. Either wish and eBay I can make up the amount I want and get them for not much more than pennies.

Yess it’ll take time to make the packs, and I’ll have some issues, but I figure if I do batches of 100 I’ll have a pretty good bank. That won’t be too much off the others. It’s still a possibility to buy some ans sell the 18650’s but I don’t know.
You may have already known about or consulted Battery University, but if you haven't: it is the best place I've found on the 'net for learning about batteries. One suggestion I'd have for the cobbled-together battery packs: try to only put matched sets of batteries in series with one another. Ideally you'd match them by actually testing each battery's characteristics, but ones you've bought from the same lot are probably close enough to be considered "matched". Having batteries with different characteristics in parallel is also problematic, but somewhat less so than in series. Ideally, the entire battery pack would consist of only matched cells, but as you said: for the price you're getting them at, and lowered expectations of a home-brew system, you'll probably be just fine.

Re: Halfapint's Getting Some Land

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:44 am
by Halfapint
JayceSlayn wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:03 am
You may have already known about or consulted Battery University, but if you haven't: it is the best place I've found on the 'net for learning about batteries. One suggestion I'd have for the cobbled-together battery packs: try to only put matched sets of batteries in series with one another. Ideally you'd match them by actually testing each battery's characteristics, but ones you've bought from the same lot are probably close enough to be considered "matched". Having batteries with different characteristics in parallel is also problematic, but somewhat less so than in series. Ideally, the entire battery pack would consist of only matched cells, but as you said: for the price you're getting them at, and lowered expectations of a home-brew system, you'll probably be just fine.
Actually I haven’t looked at them, thank you. It’s goingbti be a process, charge them all take maximum voltage and plug it along with the others into an online sheet and it’ll tell you which goes with what. That a very crude explanation. I’ve find lots of research on it. There’s a guy on YouTube that has some great videos on premise batteries, homemade batteries, how to wire, what you want your batteries to look like, all kinds of stuff.

Re: Halfapint's Getting Some Land

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:58 am
by Halfapint
Random update:

I took a month off work (voluntary) airlines arent doing well and I have the money to try and take the time off. Filing for unemployment if I get it cool if not oh well.

Been doing projects like crazy. The better half decided she was tired of the slope once we walk out of the trailer so she took it upon herself to level it. I had gotten some free lumber (to my surprise it’s treated). We used that to make a staggered retaining wall with rocks and backfill. It’s up to about 3’ now and she built a beautiful rock retaining wall on the sides. So far it’s looking good and holding well.

I’ve been building raised garden beds for my mom so she doesn’t have to bend over and well word go out and I’ve literally been making these things non stop. I ordered a few pallets of 2x4s and found used and new corrugated sheeting. The rusted ones seem to be going for mor than the new (shrug). Also told a friend about charring the wood shou sugu ban style. With the burnt wood and the rusted.... errrr patina finish these things are selling for 3Xs the amount of the others.

Anyways other than that. Been doing lots of dehydrating and food storage. Got myself a commercial vacuum sealer (not chamber but next one down). Took all my rice, bean, and lentils out of the bulk packaging and broke them down to 4lb individual packs, with individual O2 absorbers. Cash n Carry has (in my AO) 1.39/lb pork belly. I puked up just under 50lbs of it and have it in the sous vide and sealed in brine, for a few days before being smoked then sliced and wrapped. Some extra thick for ramen, others thick for bacon.

We got the garden mostly prepped still only doing about 1/5th the garden. But we are planting lots of native plants that can be harvested. I want to move to a complete raised garden with hoop houses on top. With dug in greenhouses. Depends if I can break through the hardpan. If I can’t then rocket mass heaters with steel drums for mass heaters will take its place.

I’ve been working with some local arborists. They have no places to take their cuttings since hard waste is limited. And people aren’t waiting the wood. So I’m charging them nominal fees to take the rounds. And I’d the branches are under 2” I’ll let them dump for another nominal fee and I chip them (my chipper will run all day non stop with 2” branches anything bigger and it starts to big down) or if they have larger stuff I ask them to rent a large chipper and just chip it at my property. I’ve made a nice penny and I’ve got close to 20 yards of chips and over 20 cord of wood. If I get more wood I’ve told the arborists I’ll split with them the profits if I can sell seasoned wood. That won’t be for a year or more obviously, but gives them an excuse to keep using me since they will pay a very small fee to dump and they can come anytime they want, I’m hoping they continue.

That’s about it. Projects continue. If I can get pictures uploaded somewhere without having to fuss I’ll start uploading again.

Re: Halfapint's Getting Some Land

Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:03 am
by MPMalloy
Halfapint wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:58 am
Random update:

I took a month off work (voluntary) airlines arent doing well and I have the money to try and take the time off. Filing for unemployment if I get it cool if not oh well.

Been doing projects like crazy. The better half decided she was tired of the slope once we walk out of the trailer so she took it upon herself to level it. I had gotten some free lumber (to my surprise it’s treated). We used that to make a staggered retaining wall with rocks and backfill. It’s up to about 3’ now and she built a beautiful rock retaining wall on the sides. So far it’s looking good and holding well.

I’ve been building raised garden beds for my mom so she doesn’t have to bend over and well word go out and I’ve literally been making these things non stop. I ordered a few pallets of 2x4s and found used and new corrugated sheeting. The rusted ones seem to be going for mor than the new (shrug). Also told a friend about charring the wood shou sugu ban style. With the burnt wood and the rusted.... errrr patina finish these things are selling for 3Xs the amount of the others.

Anyways other than that. Been doing lots of dehydrating and food storage. Got myself a commercial vacuum sealer (not chamber but next one down). Took all my rice, bean, and lentils out of the bulk packaging and broke them down to 4lb individual packs, with individual O2 absorbers. Cash n Carry has (in my AO) 1.39/lb pork belly. I puked up just under 50lbs of it and have it in the sous vide and sealed in brine, for a few days before being smoked then sliced and wrapped. Some extra thick for ramen, others thick for bacon.

We got the garden mostly prepped still only doing about 1/5th the garden. But we are planting lots of native plants that can be harvested. I want to move to a complete raised garden with hoop houses on top. With dug in greenhouses. Depends if I can break through the hardpan. If I can’t then rocket mass heaters with steel drums for mass heaters will take its place.

I’ve been working with some local arborists. They have no places to take their cuttings since hard waste is limited. And people aren’t waiting the wood. So I’m charging them nominal fees to take the rounds. And I’d the branches are under 2” I’ll let them dump for another nominal fee and I chip them (my chipper will run all day non stop with 2” branches anything bigger and it starts to big down) or if they have larger stuff I ask them to rent a large chipper and just chip it at my property. I’ve made a nice penny and I’ve got close to 20 yards of chips and over 20 cord of wood. If I get more wood I’ve told the arborists I’ll split with them the profits if I can sell seasoned wood. That won’t be for a year or more obviously, but gives them an excuse to keep using me since they will pay a very small fee to dump and they can come anytime they want, I’m hoping they continue.

That’s about it. Projects continue. If I can get pictures uploaded somewhere without having to fuss I’ll start uploading again.
:clap:

Re: Halfapint's Getting Some Land

Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:05 am
by Halfapint
MPMalloy wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:03 am
:clap:
Thanks buddy! Lots of work around here! It’s been nice being able to focus on it. Last couple days I’ve slacked due rains. But the rains re good it’s conpacking the dirt on the level area we’ve made.

The fiancé decided she was going to slice her knuckle open. Nice deep cut. Learned that first aide kids are not in the house. So after 30 minutes of digging through totes I realized it’s atill in storage. Off to the store we ran right before they closed. Got everything I needed to treat it better, then got the real packs.

Re: Halfapint's Getting Some Land

Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 11:46 pm
by quazi
Ouch, a $400/month electric bill is pretty rough. I had my highest electrical bills in the last few years at about $300/month earlier this winter. I really need to get a wood stove.

Raised garden beds sound great. We have tall wire benches as part of our plant nursery, and as the high tunnels get sold out we put peppers, tomatoes and melons in pots on them. Not having to bend over is really great, and weeding is very easy. Have to water them a lot more often but it's worth it IMO (water being cheap and abundant here).

Re: Halfapint's Getting Some Land

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 12:32 am
by Halfapint
quazi wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:46 pm
Ouch, a $400/month electric bill is pretty rough. I had my highest electrical bills in the last few years at about $300/month earlier this winter. I really need to get a wood stove.

Raised garden beds sound great. We have tall wire benches as part of our plant nursery, and as the high tunnels get sold out we put peppers, tomatoes and melons in pots on them. Not having to bend over is really great, and weeding is very easy. Have to water them a lot more often but it's worth it IMO (water being cheap and abundant here).
Yeah, the grandparents (errr grandpa) likes it warm ish in the house, 70° in winter. They stopped burning wood to heat it a few years ago. But their heat, water, well pump, and range are all electric. The majority of it is heat though. Once we installed the wood stove it dropped CONSIDERABBLY.

Yes. Raised garden beds are awesome. I helped my buddy make one and now he’s selling them. $250 a pop for 10’ 6” beds. That allows you to buy 12’ boards and metal. Cut the boards and metal at 18” and buy 5 8’ boards for your ribs and end pieces. You end up with about 3’ of wasted board but that was the best I could find. All in all after you purchase the screws and linseed oil, you can make them for under $80 per box. I think you can get about 6-7 boxes done before having to replace the 5lb box of 3” screws.