Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chainsaw Mishap

The other morning was brisk in my opinion. But that didn't stop me from jumping out of bed and practising some of my old high school's carpe diem! I headed outside to find this greeting me.

With temperatures like that, I knew it was going to be a little more difficult to get myself, and things moving.

It was agreed that Donna would again do a load of laundry, which would allow me to also punch up the batteries a bit. I had re-wired them so that instead of having my Interstates in series and my Trojans in series, then combined in parallel, I have the Interstates in parallel, and the Trojans in parallel (each brand giving me 6 volts at 400Ah), and then the two banks in series to give me 12 volts. Clear as mud? Maybe to someone who has tried to cipher out the same situation. In any case, I want to see if there is a difference in performance with this new wiring arrangement. It made for shorter cable runs in my battery box, which can never hurt.

Just for so, I decided to count pulls on the starter cord of the generator on a morning like that. It was exactly 80. At around 60-70 I wasn't sure if it would ever start, but I reminded myself that pulls 1-3 felt much heavier than the subsequent ones, so I must have been making a small difference.

With the generator pumping up the batteries anew, and Donna pumping water for laundry, I decided to get merciless with the spruce trees shading my panels. Enemy number one was a large spruce that we had incorporated into our water line. With great care, I set up the ladder and cautiously made a notch designed to ensure the tree would fall to the side of the stump without the water line. As you can see, it was a bit amateurish, but my intention was right.

But then, the party was over.

After a moment of swaying in the correct direction, she slowly reversed course and started to come back towards my side of the line. I exited stage right, and watched with some bemusement at the carnage that ensued. Tie wraps (zip ties?) popped along the length of my water line as the tree came to rest. As soon as it stopped moving I rushed back in to cut the tree away from the line, relieving the downward pressure on it.

I must confess that it took much less hassle to repair the situation than I expected. I grabbed a bag of tie wraps (I try to keep two or three bags around for just such emergencies - they are outstandingly helpful!) and with some pulling and yanking got the line back in place.

I spent the remainder of the day felling any spruce trees that looked like they would be shading my panels within the next few weeks. I have to assume that as the sun gets lower in the sky, its descent will be decelerating as it approaches its nadir.


I still have a number of trees to cut - perhaps today will be their day - but it sure goes faster, easier, and more fun when I have Donna around to help out! For once I found myself on the other side of the camera, so I can record a fraction of the work that she does to help this venture succeed!

 

2 comments:

  1. You may want to help ease the health burden on your readers by avoiding blog-post titles like "Chainsaw Mishap" (good sense at least told me that the "mishap" couldn't have involved horrible injury, or you wouldn't probably be writing the post in the first place... nevertheless).

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    1. That's my attempt to exploit sadistic S.E.O. techniques. There has to be loads of people out there searching for "chainsaw" + (insert disturbing term here). It couldn't have been THAT bad - my mom didn't phone to complain yet!

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