John McDoodle

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since Dec 25, 2015
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fungi tiny house transportation
If only you knew what I been through...
ontario, canada
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Recent posts by John McDoodle

I'm currently working on making/fabricating an ATV/UTV 5ft snow plow, made from the curved bottom side of an old furnace oil tank.  I have made several things from these tanks which have to be replaced every 10 or so Years here legally in Ontario, so they are relatively easy to find for cheap or free or at the scrap yard.  I will post some pics soon, I'm still working on the the project but I'm also documenting the process. 
2 months ago
I was asked to share one of my projects to this thread.  Specifically my DIY VAWT.  I re-use and repurpose stuff all the time, but this one turns a couple of old bicycle wheels and some scrap pvc into a wind turbine, plus some steel for the frame. 

Here's a link to the project, I don't think I have any new photos onnmy new device, but I should do an update on this project soon anyway. 

https://permies.com/t/59633/Home-DIY-Vertical-Axis-VAWT

2 months ago
Joel I also use a Lincoln mig pak 180, currently on 110v with .35 flux core wire.    your photos look so neat and organized compared to my mess inside the pole barn.  Good news is I just refurbished some large steel locking tool cabinets and I'm starting to organize a bunch of my own stuff.  The barn isn't mine and half of the junk inside belongs to my stepfather, who is also my boss.  As much as I'd like to clean and organize lots of the stuff inside, ultimately half of it it his, and he's quite the hoarder when it comes to organizing or throwing stuff out lol.  That being said im impressed by your work area photos and the organization I see there, so I've recently installed the DIY refurbished large tool cabinets in an effort to help organize my own part of the madness, my own tools and things that i like to take care of.  Mostly i just wanted to say how good your work area looked in the photos, if I hadn't mentioned it previously.  its inspirational lol.  Also you originally asked about heat, I just might hook up one of my home made rocket stoves or wood burning stove or something this winter so I can procrastinate less about completing projects and such in the Canadian cold
2 months ago
the LP gas hot water tank is barely 2 yrs old, 40 gallon, it has a built in thermostat and I keep it dialed in about half way, temperature wise, which i prefer for my showers.  the tank is super efficient, 65$ canadian in propane (100lbs) gives me at least 3 months of hot water in the summer! and turns itself off an on with the temp setting.  in the winter i was previously burning 65$ in only 3 weeks using the tank plus a gas fireplace.  however when I'm not using the fireplace, the LP gas lasts for several months, and the excess heat wouldn't be going out the chimney if i recirculate hot water.  it would be going back into the tank.  it seems to me the hot water to air heat exchanger would be far more efficient and self regulating as far as water temps, whereas the fireplace only had 3 settings, low med hi constantly burning fuel, with zero thermostat setting.  i would have the air blower fan and pump only on when needed, if i need any pump at all.  otherwise perhaps only a fan on a thermostat, and if a pumpless thermosyphon would work i might just add a shutoff valve for summer time.  my 400 sq ft is poorly insulated , basement level, half underground, like a micro earthship, my concrete floor is about 3-4ft underground, which you might consider geothermal but in Canada the frost can go 3ft down give-or-take, just not likely when its being heated.   the listed 57,000 btu is about twice what i should require, even in a Canadian poorly insulated dwelling.  my geothermal floor only keeps me cool in the hot summer, it doesn't help at all in the winter, infact i use interlocking hi density floor tiles year round because of the otherwise cold floor.   i would rather be overkill an be able to shut it off, or have it regulated via thermostat, rather than not have enough heat in January.  last year i burned my own free dead wood but I'm not always around to keep a fire stoked.  2 yrs ago i had the LP fireplace but it was too inefficient and fuel hungry.

i love the efficiency of the LP tank and if i could use the one appliance for both the hot water and residential heat, i'd be a happy camper.  i've already decided this is what i want to do this winter, and that's why i've spent money ordering parts online.  i just need to figure the most efficient way to put it together with as minimal cost and maintenance as possible, for a humble frugal DIY Canadian guy like myself.  its already cold here, today it tried to snow in the middle of the afternoon, and were getting frost on the pumpkins at night.  i should have had this done by now, but I'm utilizing small electric plu- in heaters temporarily until the coil exchanger and pump arrive from the USA/Ebay later this week, or early next week.  by then I'm hoping to know wheather or not pumpless thermosyphon is a good low maintenance possibility.
2 months ago
a photo of the exchanger I have ordered to use in conjunction with my 40 gallon LP gas hot water tank...
2 months ago
hi
I've ordered a 3.5" thick 12"x12" water to air heat exchanger (boiler rad coil) because this year I'm going to try to use my efficient LP gas hot water tank to also heat my tiny dwelling.  my living space is only 20x20, and less than 400 sq ft inside.  the heat exchanger is supposed to provide 57,500 btu (with a certain water and air flow rate). 

MY QUESTION: can I use a thermosyphon to circulate the hot water to the exchanger?  I can mount the coil rad exchanger immediately beside the tank if need be.  I have ordered a small hot water circulation pump, but I'm all for the thermosyphon if it will work, being much less maintenance.  also my LP tank does not rely on electricity, I'm sure the blower fan will require electricity, which I have, but if I can circulate without electricity or pumps, I will.   my tank has pex lines on top, and it has fittings on the side also, near the top and bottom both, which I figure I could use for a thermosyphon...?

heresa link to the exchanger coil rad ive ordered
https://badger-pipe.com/collections/water-to-air-heat-exchanger/products/12-x-12-water-to-air-heat-exchanger-1-copper-ports
2 months ago
hi
I want to say garlic.  here in Canada some people plant it in the fall and harvest it in  the spring, but some people also grow it through-out the summer I guess?  I'm not sure but I think garlic counts as a cold hearty root crop.
2 months ago

Mario Lazetti wrote:Cool project. I was looking for something similar and found the pedal-a-watt system which is somewhat comparable. I like the price point of this, thanks for sharing.




I'm glad you enjoyed it.  I call it the doomsday generator because it's made from 90% free salvaged junk and sometimes in certain scenarios you make due with what you have on hand.  I also enjoy sharing and building these contraptions, and if the power ever goes out, it's good for emergency.  I have wired a household outlet directly onto the ceiling fan alternator recently, which I haven't documented, but it makes it easier to plug in things such as the shop light in the recent video.   I think this could be used to supplement a small offgrid or emergency power system on cloudy days, and charge batteries only when the solar isn't keeping up.   That way you can use the batteries with an inverter to power things, and not have to pedal while you are running the electricity via battery/inverter.   But it's also amazing to me that I can plug a 110 v appliance like the shop light, and power it directly as well with no rectification or any other diodes or inverters, as I demonstrate in the video above. 

  Anyone with money can certainly purchase a similar device, but on doomsday you might not have power, or Internet, and money might be only useful for toilet paper in a collapse scenario.   Personally I just enjoy recycling and repurposing junk, learning and saving money, plus providing a simple DIY video for my followers and other people interested in offgrid and alternative energy. 

I still have yet to try charging batteries or rectifying the current to DC for charging battery banks, as intended, but if I get my hands on a bridge-rectifier or accomplish anything further I will make an update. 
🙂
5 months ago
here's the latest video of this project.


6 months ago
I still haven't uploaded or edited the video clips yet, but I'm quite happy with the ceiling fan alternator.  So far the only thing I've had to buy is a handful of ceramic magnets.  I got the exercise bike and the ceiling fan for free/scrap
6 months ago