Saturday, November 14, 2009

Closing out Week 2

The old adage of "Hurry up and Wait" is still true, even in our retired years. We have made arrangements to have a concrete Patio poured sometime. We negotiated the deal last Sunday and he wasn't too specific on when he'd get at it. Possibly this Saturday or Sunday or maybe next weekend. It seems that he had another job partially committed for this weekend. Well, we called his number and as usual, we get the answering service. Since we haven't heard or seen him, I'm not assuming that it will be next weekend.

Does it really make any difference to us? Not really, other than once we get it done, we are free to leave should someone want to rent our lot. Of course, with the large number of vacant RV lots in the park, there is a very small chance that someone would want to push us off. Show me greenbacks and we can rapidly pack. (We're so new to the park that we're not really locked in to any activities.) Our biggest loss would be a fixed mailing address so that I can buy some more stuff on eBay.

A year ago, we upgraded our solar system and we love it. This past summer, we replaced the OEM batteries with four 6 volt golf cart batteries that we're happy with. Now to further extend our boondocking time, we're wanting to replace the lights with lower power LED lights. We've tried 4 or 5 products and the verdict is so so. We're using 3 salvaged LED lights from a Walmart Christmas sale string for a night light in the bed room. It works great. (Sandy even said it was too bright until I relocated it to cover it up some.) We have purchased 3 multi-LED assemblies with so so results. One was a 24 LED flexible string which is much too bright for a night light and not bright enough for general use.

A second purchase was a bulb assembly that is a replacement for the common single filament brake lamp. It has 12 LEDs and has plenty of illumination, but it is almost a spot light, so it really doesn't cover too much area. The third purchase was a 36 LED bulb assembly that is almost sufficient for general lighting. It is probably a bit weak for reading, but otherwise is more of a general flood lamp. The problem with it is that it has an MR16 base (two pins a quarter of an inch apart.). But I like it otherwise. We have made a base for it so that I can plug it into our normal wall fixtures. (I'll probably order more of these or perhaps a similar bulb assembly with 48 LEDs.) Finally, we are waiting on a fourth assembly which has 18 LEDs, 12 out the front and 6 around the base. Hopefully, it will work in our shower fixture where the illumination is off of the side of the bulb. If we're able to use only LED lamps for illumination, we can probably reduce our lighting load from 8 amperes to more like 0.5 amperes. That really translates into more computer time!

This morning we went to the club house for sticky rolls. I guess they were okay, but I though $1.75 a roll was a bit on the high side for a park service. They did taste good. Yesterday, we went to the Friday morning breakfast, thinking I could have my pancakes again. Well, pancakes are only served every other Friday, so I had to settle for an omelet. I guess in the future, we'll go every other Friday.

While I rant and rave about using or living on solar, I have to admit that on Wednesday, we threw in the towel and enabled the battery charger again. We were not getting enough sun to fully charge the batteries in a day, so back to using the power company. If you have been watching the weather maps, a series of fronts have moved into the southwest, so for almost a week, we have not had full sun shine. Even when the thermometer was hitting 90 degrees plus, the sun was partially obscured by light clouds, enough to seriously affect the solar charging rate.

However, the outside temperature of 70 degrees sure feels good!


1 comment:

  1. Gene, If we were visiting you, we would go the opposite Fridays. Actually, Everett would probably go for both omelets and pancakes (if he got up in time). I've never been much of one for pancakes (waffles, on the other hand--I'm there!).

    It is great to read your blog and keep up with your travels. I am almost caught up on all the postings since you started this at the last computer rally.