Solar Generator – Battery Bank & Solar Panel Expansion

This is an update to our DIY How To series on How to Build a Large Solar Generator.   In this follow up post, I will show you how we can use the quick connects designed into our solar generator to expand both the solar charging capacity, as well as the battery bank for increased run times.

A lot of the feedback was asking how to expand the solar generator to an even bigger capacity system. When I designed the base unit, I wanted it to be very easily expandable using quick connects. There are two areas where we can easily do that with our system:

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Prepping 101

Prepping is a nickname for the act of preparing.  Preppers is a label used to describe those who like to prepare for the unknown. This post will give a broad overview of the various components to a good, versatile survival plan, and hopefully start the wheels turning on your own preparation plans. A good strategy will also be beneficial to you and your family during everyday life, as well as actually save money.

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Converting a Ford Power Stroke 7.3L Diesel Engine to Vegetable Oil

Most diesel engines are capable of running on a wide variety of fuels. Several years ago I converted my 2002 Ford F250 with a 7.3L Powerstroke diesel to run on waste vegetable oil. The design was a collaboration of my own ideas combined with those of Jason Crawford’s. Since that time, Jason Crawford has continued to innovate his design, which was later to become the Vegistroke™ available from Biofuel Technologies.  This is an overview of my original conversion for those that are considering building their own conversion, or just curious how they work.

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Earthminded RainStation Rain Barrel

The Rain Barrel collects rain water from the roof and its drainage system. The water it collects is not potable, and should not be used for drinking or cooking without filtration & disinfection.

Besides the ability of providing a source of emergency reserve water, the rain barrel provides a great source of water to use to water your lawn and garden.  Any way to reduce your dependency on the utilities is a great thing. The rain barrel is one such way to reduce that dependency and save money on your water bill as well. Continue reading Earthminded RainStation Rain Barrel

Alternative Energy

Our technologies have developed at an astounding rate over the last 200 years. Also astounding, is how rapidly we are becoming completely dependent upon them. Electricity was not even widely available in homes until 1910-1920. Now, when the power goes out for more than a day or two, people often leave their homes and stay with family / friends that have power.

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Strikeforce Fire Starter

I decided to test out the UST StrikeForce Fire Starter. This is the best quality flint bar and striker we have seen. The outer construction is made of very sturdy ABS plastic and inside it contains a very large 1/2″ diameter flint bar. The striker is made from a thick piece of hardened steel. Together they produce nice large and very hot sparks.

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Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife

The Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife [22-41463] is a good quality, versatile survival knife in the sub $100 category. This particular knife is considered to be the among the best bang for your buck when it comes to survival knifes.

We selected the Coyote Brown version  for our review. The knife is well made and feels very sturdy in your hand. The rubber over-mold offers good grip in dry and wet conditions, though we have noticed the rubber over-mold can get nicked up with use, and is the first part to start showing wear. We don’t feel this will affect its performance for its intended use and it is mostly cosmetic damage. Even using the included sheath will overtime damage the overmold as can be seen the photo below. The grip itself is shaped nicely for a positive and secure grip in several positions.

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