Thursday, November 28, 2013

Settling in

I went with a great suggestion my brother gave me, which was to use tin ceiling panels as the heat shield for the stove, although it was a little flimsy, and so had to back with a sheet of aluminum. The stove is sitting on a floating steel shelf, so that wood and newspaper can fit underneath. After a few nights of unbearable heat and open windows, I've gotten used to the routine. On sunny days, though, the sunlight through the windows is enough to heat the whole house. I have yet to see my breath when waking up or coming back from work. Maybe it won't be the same in February, but this little stove has been doing more than I had ever hoped.

Under-counter shelving next to the stove.

The trunk I have been lugging around with me for over 7 years finally has a home. It slides out from under the bookcase and then the front flips open to reveal the drawers. 

I was actually surprised how simple in was to make these shelves. Just ran vertical, and then diagonal cuts on the table saw, then when the table saw broke (nothing to do with these cuts, I promise) used a miter saw to make the diagonal. Then ripped the wood into 4 identical strips, and voila. 

Becoming un-tethered.

The lights are on and the house is officially off-grid, which meant I could finally take the extension cord out of the living room window. Almost 2 months in, and no major issues as of yet. There are still wires to be run, lights and switches to install, and the more detailed monitoring system still needs to be installed. Still, there is an outlet and 2 lights, which means I am set for winter. Anything else is bonus. I have also started to turn off my fridge. Although I feel like the system could handle it even after 4 cloudy days, I am using my fridge like an icebox, freezing soda bottles of water and ice packs outside at night. Works like a charm.

Testing out the first AC outlet.

Drilling out blank switch plates I was able to install dc switches. 
I blew out the dimmer switch that came with this lamp when I tried to remove the transformer and rewire it for dc. I have another dimmer switch ordered, but for now there is the toggle one dangling from the bottom.

I am in love with these mono-point ports, which were from a 12v track system with just no transformer installed.

The label from one of my two solar panels.

I still have wiring to do, and one conduit remaining that needs wiring run through it, but I thought any of your DIY-ers might find it useful to actually see what all the components look like, and how much space they take up. This all fits into less then half of the nose of the trailer.

My dad made me this amazing adjustable stand for the panels.

Eventually these will be used instead of the sandbags.