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Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #1 
This thread will be a work in progress.So far we have earth moving done and a 40 foot container on site.Will be solar powered and water will be hauled in by truck.I will update as things progress.
So Wednesday about 430 pm N picks up the rental skiploader.Thanks to holiday traffic we arrive at the road to property,2.3 miles long,at about 1030 pm.N gets to work,will work all night on that...This access is pretty straight but horrible condition,4 wheelers only.We need to get a semi truck with a 40 foot container down this road,other 2 access roads are either too steep,or too tight in corner on a hill to get in that way.

At 530 AM I go meet mover.N continues the non stop work to get us prepped in time.With wind and rain guy shows at 725 AM.Of course container guy not happy as we are 30 minutes early,the HORROR.Container guy was a total jerk,hence why we will be working in very bad weather.Paid 1500 for container,300 USD to move it.We paid mover $450 for service above and beyond expected. He did NOT want to come out in this weather but nephew brings him business so did it as a favor to nephew as we were in a tight spot.Another mover had been a no show twice for me already.He gets the thing thru two tiny gates and we head out in pouring rain and high winds,still clear where we are going though...

About 0930 AM Thanksgiving holiday day we arrive at property and unload,N did a fantastic job on the road,and raindrops just starting as he unloads across the street because pad wasnt ready in time.Thats cool though,we can drag it into place.Truck leaves and gets thru the pass going home a few hours before it was closed down by snow.

Much more to follow....Any and all comments welcome,a bit off topic,your life experiences in homesteads,whatever,its welcome on this thread.I dont believe in such a thing as thread derailing,I like all as in a conversation over coffee type thing.[comp] [thumb]


Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #2 
This is what I posted on Bobs thread,

John suggests I get mine started,so here we are.I posted this...Gives an idea where I come from on making our own power,and how its coming about with the help thing from nephews.N is the nephew star in this show so far,but others are helping too,Like the nephew that loaned me his 4 wheel drive dodge diesel truck that came in VERY handy as you will see as I get this story posted.
Absolute work of art Bob.

As for batteries,lots of options depending on needs.If offgrid or power outs common,like I have,batteries sure are nice.For costs,ebay et all can find used batteries.I got mine,2 years old,for 1/6th the cost of new.Someone had bought from a hospital that had a backup they replaced every 2 years,and they only ran very short term and for routine testing.For me,not having batteries doesnt make sense.Again,thats ME,for others this may not be the case,like Bobs setup.

My latest battery source is free from my nephew.He does warehouse demolition and gets car sized sealed batteries free from massive UPS systems,hence I now have a free source of batteries.Also I get all the copper wire I could ever want free.Shelving to make into panel mounts ,free but for the cost of welding wire.Teaming up with him at my desert property,his additions to the system,my used panels and paying for the solar controllers,we get a vacation property we can both use for dirt cheap.

Cheapest used panels Ive seen here in southern California USA have been 33 cents a watt.Those were pullouts from somebody upgrading from an older system of 100 watt panels to much larger ones.When i bought mine they were 1-2 dollars a watt used.I have a bunch of them awaiting deployment.

Point being,if you are mechanically inclined you can make a darn nice system for very reasonable costs.And if you have it all done professionally you can have one very very nicely done system at a good price IMO.

Now,regarding payback....whats the payback on your new car? For the price of one new car you can have one heck of an awesome system professionally installed thats going to last decades with some upkeep,may have to replace some controllers or inverters along the way,but dang,I just love the stuff.Find me an item ,any item,with better build quality and durability than a top tier solar panel,good luck,they are just superbly built quality items.

The nephew offer came my way when he did some dirt moving at my offgrid place.Like 4 days serious earth sculpting,I paid for tractor rental,he ran it,has done that since he was a child.Literally did 10,000 dollars easily of work for the 1200 we spent renting equipment.Told him in return he had unlimited lifetime access to the property.In turn,he was so excited by that that he came up with the offer to go all in with me on the solar.We are currently just gathering up the parts,then its a few days there to put it on the roof of the 40 foot cargo container thats the linchpin for all we will be doing there.Im trying to find my 7 gallon bucket loaded with solar controllers at the moment,its around here somewhere.[rolleyes] Then we pretty much have what we need.

Solar electric,dang but I love it. [biggrin] And not because Im a flaming greenie,I just like the concept...makes me feel good making my own power.

Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #3 

Girl,my Diva of a  GSD, likes the view.Snooky,husky mix,is a no show for pics as usual.

N gets to work on the pad,its going to get quite involved,which is nice for me.N doesnt like doing earth moving unless he goes all in on it.A real pro.He will flatten 216 x 70 I reckon here....Its just above freezing with a goodly amount of wind.

Work til evening,make steaks,go to bed.Next morning it snows.In the evening the left front tire comes off the rim and seriously damages it.Great.

He gets some work in,in the snow and mud.

Rain is unusual here,snow we go years and years to see that.We got both.Oh,and strong winds too in the freezing weather.It was something else. [rolleyes]

Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #4 
Off comes the tire.BIG damage on rim,inside and out.

Break 2 ratchets trying to remove rim.In the end a cordless impact wrench gets rim off.

He fixes it with a pipe wrench and dang if it holds air,it worked.4 hours later its back on tractor.Meanwhile Im floored on what he did,tells me its not the first time he has done just this thing.AMAZING.

Now some serious dirt moving!Serious mud which is good and bad at same time


Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #5 
Dirts really moving now...

Pulling dirt down hill for back filling and building out flat area.He will end up adding 5 feet of dirt to a large portion of it.

Really making progress!


Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #6 
Moving container...hook up

And get stuck here.Slight incline on road and container started plowing into dirt.Note the white marker? We will hook Dodge to tractor and with 8 wheel diesel power combined will unstick it and pull it past marker,that white stick out past the bucket.Wish I had a pic of the diesel 'train',both Dodge and Tractor bouncing up and down,then getting traction,gets a grip and pulls like a charm.Pretty cool.

From there its a straight tractor pull into position.This nice flat area here used to be the side of a hill.Amazing job by N.

And its there.Trust me its level,rest of desert isnt


Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #7 

Love the Cummins diesel 1997 1 ton 4WD Dodge.Used to be mine,after I retired from working sold cheap to nephew T,it was/is his dream truck.Last year of the non electronic Cummins engine,its one tough truck.He is a mechanic at UPS and can do the expense and upkeep it needs that I no longer need or can reasonably afford,I can stay home on the mtn I live on when its snowing now,before I needed that capability.

Remember,desert is not level,pad is.A few pics along the way


Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #8 
Some assorted pics from the site.Its 2.5 acres...I paid about 12000 USD for it about 25 years ago.

What kind of rock is this?From orange to black,breaks like slate.Is it slate?

These red cactus are going to move into the garden

Build a road higher up for water truck and tank pad


Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #9 
4th day,lets wrap it up.Fix road nice and pretty

Load it up

Thanks N. AND Happy Birthday too! Did you enjoy the 4 day tractor demo your kind Uncle arranged for you? [biggrin]

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Posts: 2,448
Reply with quote  #10 
Thanks for sharing. I can only wish I had the open space to play with.

I would ask that you please reduce the size of any posted photos so they are no larger than 1,000 pixels tall or wide. Some of these pics are almost 3MB in size and with such large pictures, I will soon have to upgrade and pay for more space on the server. Below is a link that could help you if you don't know how to adjust the size of your pictures. Some software can even adjust the size of many pictures at the same time.

Greg in MN

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