My favorite ways to re-use common materials & scrap to make handy tools and shop aids. Disposable plastic drinking straws, caps to spray paint, and the stubs from zip ties. Let me know in the comments what handy shop tools you have created from scrap!Continue reading Favorite 3 Shop Hacks for Tools Out of Recycled Materials
We live in an area that is home to lots of groundhogs, also sometimes called woodchucks, whistle-pigs, or land-beavers. They can be a nuisance in the agriculture world because not only will they eat crops, but they also dig large tunnels for a burrow. Their burrow can be up to 50 feet long and usually have 2-5 entrances. These holes are generally cleverly hidden in tall grass right along road and paths, and big enough to injure people or animals that accidentally step into them or even damage equipment.
The result is these critters are often shot to control their population.
I had mentioned to one of the neighbors that we might try eating one sometime. I had read that they are pretty good.
Well the other day, the neighbor brought one up to the porch that he had just shot. I wasn’t going to waffle now, so Groundhog was what’s for dinner!Continue reading Groundhog Instant Pot Soup Recipe
Note: The original design of this solar generator used a 2,000 watt inverter. We have upgraded it to the new 3,000 watt model in the latest version along with several other improvements. Before you build the solar generator following our plans, be sure to watch the new intro and updates video below for the changes!
I started looking into some of the largest portable solar generator units on the market because the idea of a completely silent generator that can run large power loads while never needing gasoline is a really cool concept. Whether you want to run a portable table saw, or go tailgating / camping where the noise of a standard generator would be irritating, we will show you step-by-step how to build a weatherproof indoor/ outdoor solar generator!
Solar Generator Build – Quick Links
Part 1 – Component Overview – (current step)
Part 2 – Component Testing
Part 3 – Mounting Internal & External Components
Part 4 – Wiring the Solar Generator
Part 5 – Plexiglass Cover & Design Updates
Part 6 – Solar Panel & Battery Bank Expansion
After seeing what was available, I found myself wanting to design my own solar generator for many reasons. For one it will be a lot cheaper. Second, I can add several features I wanted to add that are not in to the manufactured units. Finally, because it will be an enjoyable project!
By building your own, you will learn all about small off-grid solar setups, and also be able to fix the individual components if you ever have problems with it down the road. You can also easily modify the plans to build a permanent style off grid solar power setup for a cabin or camper.
Loading your tractor tires with windshield washer fluid is an easy upgrade giving more traction, better hill stability, and additional weight / ballast. This is also helps with using a front end loader. I decided to use windshield washer fluid since it is inexpensive, easy to obtain, will not freeze, and will not corrode the wheels like calcium and some of the other wheel ballast options.
I have posted an update to the Kubota B20 restoration thread in the forum. This update includes details on the broken steering column and the front axle oil leak, both of which I discovered during the first run / engine break in. More photos and details in the forum post!
Next up is finishing up the wiring and then finally painting the hood & front loader.
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.
Video progress update!
First startup after initial 30-minute run-in and head bolts re-torqued. Now starting to apply load to break in the engine and seat the piston rings.
This is the first time the tractor has moved under its own power in many years! Entire chassis has been split, separated, cleaned up, restored and painted.
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.
In this update to our DIY Solar Generator how-to series, I am going to show you how to build an acrylic Plexiglass cover for the inside of the solar generator, so that we can store things like jumper cables inside the case without worry about shorting out or damaging any of our wiring connections. I will also show you some updates and improvements that I have made since the original videos, including a way to automatically disconnect the solar charger from the battery when the solar panels are unplugged. This will keep the solar charger from slowly running down the battery while in storage, without having to remember to turn on or off a disconnect switch. I will also show you a better solution I have found for the solar cable wire including heavier gauge cable, for less cost, and a built in cord wrap.
In the video below, I demonstrate driving a modern 2 wheel drive, front wheel drive vehicle on some hilly unplowed snowy roads. I also will show why in some circumstances traction control can limit your ability to climb or get unstuck. There are certain situations where turning traction control off can actually help.
Continue reading How to Drive in Snow on Hilly Roads