A Homeowner’s Guide to Enhancing Safety and Security on a Budget

Modern homeowners place a premium on security and self-sufficiency. Knowing that you can retreat to your private space when you need a break from the world can bring great peace of mind. But how can you create a safe property—without breaking the bank? This guide tells you how it’s done.

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Field Testing the OKMO 1000W Portable Power Station

OKMO has kindly provided me with their 1000 Watt Portable Power Station to test out and review. I was a bit skeptical of the unit at first since it was priced a little bit less than most of the competitive models. I was pleasantly surprised by its performance!

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Setting up a MEP-802A Military Genset for Portable Power Needs

A good friend of mine bought a MEP-802A military genset recently. It so happened I was looking for ways to power a 240V arc welder and some larger 120V shop tools well away from any grid power hookups. I was considering renting a diesel powered welder / generator, but it turns out the military genset worked great instead.

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Do It Yourself Home Energy Audit

Winter is here. Much of the country is experiencing windy bitter cold days that can sap the energy right of not only you – but your home as well! But on the bright side, you can actually take advantage of these frigid days to conduct your own DIY home energy audit. And it can cost you nearly nothing once you know where to look!

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What is a Solar Generator & How Does it Work?

A Solar Generator is a term for a device that can convert solar energy from the sun into electrical AC power. Most Solar Generators use one or more solar panels to generate DC electrical power. The DC electricity is then converted to AC electricity with an AC power inverter.

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How to Cut a Timber Frame Mortise & Tenon – Part 1

We use a variety of tools to see what works best for cutting Mortise & Tenon joint into some old timber beams.

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I have been working on a building a new base for an old pool table to put in our basement. The table was picked up for free because the original base had been ruined. We decided to cut some timber frame beams and build a new base for it with Mortise & Tenon joints.

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Solar Generator – Final Version and Final Design Updates

The finished large solar generator featured in our DIY How To Build a Solar Generator series. If you are getting ready to follow our video tutorial and build your own solar generator, make sure you watch this video first so you know about the design updates!

In the video below we go over the solar generator features, solar panel kit specs, and our DIY battery bank expansion units. In addition, we show how to upgrade / improve several aspects of the original design including a higher power AC power inverter (3,000 watt continuous, 6,000 watt peak), fully waterproof external switches, mounting improvements, and a better way to store accessories inside the solar generator main case.

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Solar Generator – New Updates

Our DIY solar generator how to series has been really successful with lots of great feedback!  I have had at least 20 – 30 subscribers mention in the comments or emails that they have built one of these units and are very happy with it. Even several people that initially were not sure they would be able to build it, have later told me they successfully built one.  Thanks for the great feedback, I always love hearing from the people that have built them!

I just posted another video to YouTube with some additional updates based on  my own usage of the solar generator, as well as a couple changes due to parts availability. We needed to switch to the 3,000 watt inverter, as the 2,000 watt version we originally used in the how to videos is no longer available. I also will be upgrading the external switches to a water proof version. Finally we will be reinforcing some of the higher stress mounted components, such as the high current quick connector with epoxy instead of hot melt glue.

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Adding Solar Power to a Camper or RV

We purchased an ’86 Travel Villa 29′ fifth wheel camper as an inexpensive means to travel out west with our dogs. The camper is an older model, but it has served us well. After building the solar generator, I have found that I  always want to bring it with us when we travel as we typically boon-dock without hookups.

I have decided I would like to add a dedicated solar power system to the camper. This way the camper will always be ready to go, and the dedicated solar panels will also keep the camper’s existing deep-cycle battery topped off when not in use.

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