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Tim Clark

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since May 02, 2015
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Recent posts by Tim Clark

I have actually been thinking about using a cement septic tank as a cistern. I want to know what sort of nasties are in the cement that a multi stage filter won't handle first tho.

Would you have this sort of set up in mind?
4 years ago

Eric Hammond wrote:I can highly recommend the simple pump well pump with the linear bearing link drive solar motor. Works awesome. Mines a 24 volt. Its a slow pump like about 1 gallon a minute or less. You fill a large reservoir tank with a float switch and then plumb a booster pump inline to a regular pressure tank. Then viola, running pressurized water.

You must be looking over my shoulder while I devour YT vids Eric. My main challenge is that the tank will have to be inside to prevent freezing. Maine winters are a tad rough.

I was just talking to my folks yesterday too, about incorporating a rain catchment system into the plan as well. The same set up of series plumbed 55 gal drums (or 250 g totes) would just as easily serve as a well res. A 12 or 24 VDC RV pump would handle the pressure side of the loop.

First I have to drill the well to see what the depth is. My neighbor's well is about 40' and we'll be maybe 50' down hill from him. We're coming home for the 4th so right after I wanna try my hand at dousing and see what I can learn from that.
4 years ago
Thank you gents!

Maybe we can hook up Dan. My wife has her immy visa and we'll be home for the 4th. We'll be settling near Newport, if you're in the neighborhood. With a little lead time, I'll even fire up the smoker and get some pulled pork going.

Good advise Steve. And yeah, the LA's are my first option for now. Maybe if I win the Power Ball I can upgrade to the latest gee whiz gizmos.

The MPPT I bought has (I think) a 100 V rating and I want to run 3 250 W panels in series to get me close to that (90ish VDC). I will invest in over sized cabling (w/o getting crazy) to minimize line losses. Eventually I'd like to have an array in the 2500-3000W range with a battery bank that will give me some room to use (occasionally) a tablesaw, etc on a small project, especially if I'm in float mode and have the watts to burn. I'll have a gas genny for the big jobs.
4 years ago

Cassie Langstraat wrote:For us, facebook's main function is to get people TO

Total noob to the permie way of life, but...

If the goal is to drive traffic to permies then shouldn't the FB community page be called PERMIES? Or some variation thereof that would give the impression that the page is for the site/forum/community of permaculture and world domination rather than Paul personally since he has a personal page.

Agree with purdy much everyone here. Especially like the photo posting idea with short descriptions of "Paul at the Permies compound/lab, etc. doing ________." And of course links back to permies for the freebies like the recent cheat sheet is the bait to ensnare attract a whole new group of folks who might join the permies army. I'd share the page with both of my FB friends for that alone.

To answer the how'd they get 200k Likes? Q, a lot of them are bought (or more accurately BOT) likes. A quick giggle search will unearth multiple sites that will register a big pile of Likes on your page, for a fee. Its my understanding its NOT kosher with the FB beasties tho, so well, you know, maybe don't go that route.

Just my 0.02 kopeks
Thank you. We're in Ukraine at the moment and won't be stateside until July or so and we don't even have a lean-to on the lot yet.

I'll keep your contact info handy and be ready to order next year for sure.
PLEASE say you're going to have more cuttings next year!!!

I'm way out of position for this year, but you have EVERYTHING I want to plant and and couple things I hadn't considered. I have been researching online all winter in anticipation of my wife getting her immigration visa so we can FINALLY get ourselves to Maine and get our homestead started.

I wasn't sure of figs would grow this far north and am thrilled to see you have them going in Wiscy.

Put me down for at least a half dozen of Blk currants, grapes, kiwi, pears, elderberry and figs.

Geez I hope yer not a Badger fan.

1) If you want to expand later, you'll either be replacing all your components, or buying capable enough components up front to handle your eventual needs once more batteries and panels are added; I would be inclined to the latter.

YAHTZEE!! Given my current finances that's how I'm going to have to proceed.

And DAYEM them Go Powers ain't cheap either!

And yes, LA batts are going to have to do me for the foreseeable future until I can upgrade. The plus for them is they're cheap and I can stash them and put em into service when the old bank has dropped off in performance. Sam's has Duracells for ~$85 each. Oddly enough they have a MUCH better Amphr rating than the other more expensive ones.

Thisun is a real cheapo, I know, but it does handle 24 vdc. If it holds up for a year I'd feel like I got my money's worth and could save up my kopeks to get a better rig. And if it doesn't puss out on me I could always use it for speriments on the vawt rigs I want to tinker with.

This one might be more robust and the input & outputs can be customized. For a little more $$ they have a 48vdc model too.

Thanks for pointing that inverter voltage out. I totally missed that. I do want to at least run 24 vdc to reduce losses at the inverter.

I don't want to return to the Little House on the Prairie days, we're not Luddites. A small fridge at least and a small to medium freezer to keep my harvested chickens ( many of which can be harvested as needed), pork, beef & homemade dairy and produce-some of which we plan to sell- that doesn't can or dehydrate to our tastes will be needed. When friends and family come to visit I don't want them to even notice there's no grid involved until I tell em. What they will notice is the absence of a ton of useless gadgets.

I do agree with only cooking what you need for the day. Processed foods? BLECH!!! They will be banished from our larder. As we expand our food production we'll start making our own ketchup and mayo and BBQ sauce, the sauce IS the boss, ya know.

So can I assume the Renogy controller is a reliable unit? If so I'll get my first component on order right off.
4 years ago
Thanks fellas.

Right now our consumption will be minimal. We'll be starting out in a camper with a fridge and a couple lights, the laptops & mobile phones and maybe some TV in the evenings. I'm thinking next summer before I can put up anything livable.

I'll get a better working number for kwh when we get Stateside in a couple months and can put hands and eyeballs on some data tags. I do have a little money to work with but that $2k up front price tag just to get the grid on my side of the road is over the top. Looking at prices on the web I can get a working PV system for less than that and it'd be spread out so the sticker shock ain't so bad. I figure for the camper I can get by on a system with two 250 w panels and expand it over the following few months to that 2000-3000 w system mentioned in another post above.

I suppose I should mention that I used to work as a lectrician in my youth and still remember how to keep the magic smoke inside the wire. I won't kill myself or burn the ranch down.

Right now I'd like to get some input from the collective on the components and see what I can do relatively quickly and add to as I go.

I like the looks of these panels and I'm getting the impression that Renogy makes good stuff.

This MPPT looks like it'll do us for a while.

And sticking with the Renogy line I found this inverter.

I'm ready to pull the trigger on the MPPT or the Inverter right now and will start grabbing a panel a month after that, I might bite the bullet and go for 2 panels first then nab some batteries.

I know to NOT use automotive. I see lots of folks use the golf cart 6v. Do I understand right they're deep cycling like the marine (trolling motor) batteries I see everywhere and have used in the past? Is there any reason not to use a 12 v marine deep cycling batt? I handled a lot of Optimas in my final years in the USAF and know they're pretty solid units and would be willing to spring for them. The marine units are going for $200 each at Sams right now, but Duracell GC batts look reasonable.

For now I simply don't have the jack to go for forklift batteries, but I sure would like to some time down the not too distant future road.

4 years ago
Howdy folks!

My first post here as I didn't see an Intro thread. I'd seen quite few of Paul's vids and finally decided to pop in at Permies after watching his scythe sharpening vid.

I'm planning to go off grid since I just don't wanna fuss with all the crap and expense (like $2k +) of getting grid power onto the property and hooked up to the as yet unbuilt house. I'm scoping out the major components for a PV system and would like some feed back on a few things, if anyone would be so kind.

We'll be building as energy efficient as humanly possible. The property is in central Maine on a gently sloping, SE facing, 7 ac lot that is now a fallow hay field, so no trees to interfere. We're wide open to the south. The house will be positioned accordingly and within about 100 feet +/- of the forest on our north boundary.

I'm planning a 24 x 24 two story with basement (1728 total sg ft 1152 sq ft of living space) and as much glass on the south face as I get fit in as well as an atrium/solarium ground to roof for winter salad growing and passive solar heat. Thinking about TM options for storing all that free heat too. Will also be installing an under floor heating system using a wood fired heater (a dbl barrel stove) with LPG back up. Eventually there will be solar air and water collectors built and put into the mix as well as a DIY VAWT or two. Winter is windy in Maine.

The only major electron eaters will be the well pump, fridge and freezer all of which will be new and energy star rated. I'm aiming for 1kw/day or less. Sorry if that's the wrong unit of measurement, still spooling up on this deal.

I found a few things on Amazon that looks like it will easily suit my needs (and wallet) and allow some expansion.

-TRACER 3215RN 30A MPPT Solar Charge Controller
-DECEN 1000W 24VDC/110VAC Peak Power 2000W Off-grid Pure Sine Wave Solar Inverter or Wind Inverter 60Hz

And I'm liking the 250W PV panels they have as I can buy a couple at at im and expand as I have money.
RENOGY® 250W Watt Monocrystalline Black Solar Panel UL Listed

At 4350 each I could only buy 1 at a time, but I'll be in a camper using very little electricity until the house is up and we'll have a generator to run the power tools.

Would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.
4 years ago

Leah Sattler wrote:I think my favorite part would be the quiet part. I despise intrusive noise. I think it was in one of tolstoys books where there were one or several bits about the quiet meditative work of mowing with a scythe. its seems it could be a peaceful repetitive, satisfying and healing sort of work. maybe I am just being a bit dramatic/romantic though

You're probably thinking of Anna Karenina. The estate owner spent a day with his professional farm hands mowing hay in one chapter of the book. I always wanted to have a go at scythe mowing that ever since (trying) to read that book. I gave up after getting about half way through the book. I kept falling asleep because of the plodding pace of the story line.
4 years ago