Sergio Santoro

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since Mar 27, 2011
Nicoya, Costa Rica
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Recent posts by Sergio Santoro

Dillon Nichols wrote:If you want to throw money at the issue, a polished stainless drum would be a drop in and quite expensive visual upgrade..



Hmmm... I've seen them. You mean that those drums are what they look like before they get painted and used? I was hoping that they could look like that after removing the paint with fire and buffing them with some tool.
7 months ago
Hi,

I haven't read every single post on the topic, but let me address the elephant in the room, in case no one else has. The unpainted oil drum that sticks out of a rocket mass heater is not exactly pretty.

I'm thinking of using a mass heater as part of a temascal. For those who don't know, a temascal is the precolombian equivalent of a sauna. It's practically a mud igloo. Mine won't be larger than 22' in diameter, so I don't need the bench and all that. Plus, I live in the tropics. I just need a small, toasty environment. Anyway, the folks I live with, are not exactly the same as me or anyone in this forum, and at the thought and sight of these oil drums they started to complain. Does anyone have any suggestion? For example, if I covered the drum with cob, wouldn't it still be pretty darn hot for that small a space?

Thanks.
7 months ago
OK, check out this video. Gonna make some pop corn while waiting for the comments.

1 year ago
So, you guys are saying that the white quinoa is not the unhulled version of the red and black?

I could have tried a long time ago. Anyway, now here we find all three kinds in the store. I am interested in the beautiful flower plumes, but if it's anything like amaranth, I don't know how the newly sprouted seeds can even sustain their own length and weight. They are the most delicate kind of sprout I've ever seen. Am I germinating them in too much light or something? I'd rather have them grow stalkier and stronger.
3 years ago
Wow, new look! I hadn't been here in a while.

So, I'm having a battle with fleas here. I live on a farm in Costa Rica. It's very damp during the rainy season (now). We have two dogs. One of our cabins is infested. The lady living in it doesn't want it to be sprayed with carcinogenic crap, and I don't want the dogs' blood to be full of preventative chemicals, if I haven't seen a single flea on them for months.

She said some exterminators that came here last year and treated our place with that fungus that eats insects from the inside told her fleas don't need to live on dogs. They just feed for some time, but for the most part they make their nest in damp places. In our case it's all the cracks between the cabin walls and the porch floor, that are now canyons thanks to the many earthquakes we get.
This lady tried with DE and said it doesn't work. I don't know how she's applying it, but she does do a lot of internet researches. So far in this forum I read about feeding the dogs a teaspoon of ACV every day, as well as feeding them brewer's yeast, except we get it from the US for our salad and it's really expensive.

Can somebody please help with my situation? With dogs running out into the forest on some expedition every couple of weeks, they are bound to bring home some parassite or other. Also, with those cracks around the cabin, it's like having an empty hotel for fleas. Any help is welcome.
3 years ago
I just took a look at the solar kiln, and it seems like an interesting alternative. I'll read about it later.

Hans, what do you mean with "not on a slope"? That the solar collector can be horizontal, or vertical? I'd imagine horizontal, like a glass coffin.
4 years ago
Even if I were to replicate the same model, or make the actual one true to the design, I need advice on the material. The transparent sheets are all cracked under the sun, starting from the screws (with washers). The silicone thing is all brittle and air and bugs come in from everywhere. I also couldn't find a bug-proof way to seal the door. I think I used some fridge door rubber thing. I could use polycarbonate for the transparent panels, but wouldn't a smooth surface reflect part of the light-heat?
4 years ago
Here is the rear of the monster.
4 years ago
Hey, thanks for replying, and sorry for the confusion. The solar collector is only the top slide of that triangular greenhouse thing. Whatever you see painted of a brick color. There is actually a black-painted sheet of corrugated zinc roofing 2" below the transparent panel. The hot air gets inside the chamber from a slot on the top left (looking from standing in front of the door), which is the same size as the screened opening at the bottom of the slide. Yes, there was a wall made of cardboard I made to remedy a mistake made by the guy who helped me make it; then it fell in (you can see it at the bottom of the greenhouse thing inside), but I saw it wasn't affecting the operation much. The chimney is a faux wall on the right-hand side, however, I didn't have enough wood (all the material was donated and on a budget), so I made a half wall that turned into a chimney pipe that I painted black and moved back to the sunny side for a passive solar chimney effect. I am keeping the dehydrator under my solar panel rack to protect it from the rain and excessive sun. I am aware that all my changes jeopardized the top-draft design. Someone told me top-draft is not indicated for the Tropics anyway. Thing is, when the sun is not shining, all activity stops, while I was of the impression that some draft would go on by inertia.
I still like the top draft, because it allows me to have a fan pointing down. A fan at the bottom might get dripped on by my pineapples.
4 years ago