Solar window heater update

I’ve been fixing the window box heater. It’s been working OK over winter but not to its maximum. I’ll rebuild it over Summer and add a temperature control so that it only comes on when the air temperature in the box is over 20°C. I’ll use thick glass as the cover instead of thin perspex as glass traps more heat. I’ll also make the whole box fit the front windows much more closely. That’ll mean making it longer, potentially doubling it’s length. This box was originally made for the chook run to warm that over Winter but it was too effective so I had to take it down. It is made from scrap and has coir flute as its backing and thin Styrofoam as insulation. I know how well it works and I’ve got much better materials now so it’ll be a real furnace next Winter. I also learned how to improve its heating ability. First, I repositioned the inlet

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The switches are here!

It took a while, but they are here… switching circuits for the rainwater. Once we connect one of the rain tanks to the kitchen and toilet, we can slash our town water even further without the need to bucket the rainwater in. Along with a couple of float switches, there boards will let me wire up circuits that will monitor levels in the tank, toilet cistern and a small reservoir tank that I’ll be putting in for the kitchen. That will keep the small tank and cistern topped up with rainwater, at least through winter. That means a huge reduction in out town water use! Things will be different in the heat of Summer but I’ll work a way around that too. One step at a time.

My super cheap fermentation indicator

Sometimes, you just don’t have the gear. I lost my airlock the other morning… It’s somewhere around but will probably turn up along with all those misplaced pens… I was making Beet kvass – a delicious, easy to make ferment. So… I got to thinking how to make an airlock, then realized I didn’t need one for this short time ferment. Airlocks are used in fermentation to let the carbon dioxide produced by the anaerobic bacteria out of the system while preventing oxygen from getting in. But, I asked myself, is there any reason to let it out? What did I do? I merely squished the bottle a little with my thumb, expelling some air. Then I tightened up the top. The result is a slight indent in the bottle that fills out when the CO2 is produced. When you see the indent full, that shows that the fermentation has worked and the CO2 has pushed the bottle back to

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A dodgy bit of electronics for sure.

On the weekend I picked up a whole lot of electronics from a garage sale. Amongst them was a 55 Ah battery, this case and cable. 55 Ah is the size I use in the solar system and its usually best to match sizes to eliminate charging troubles. Luckily this battery has a little bit of grunt left and after a long, slow recharge, in it went. We’re up to 275 Amp hours via Instagram