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Monday, February 23, 2015

frugal living 19


FRUGAL LIVING 19

UTILITIES

ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES

One of the bad things about living off grid is that you can’t have a lot of electrical appliances.  One of the good things  about living off grid is that you can’t have a lot of electrical appliances.  You don’t need as many as you think, and when every watt counts, you’ll give up both unnecessary ones ( electric carving knife, deep fat fryer ) and what you thought were necessary ones ( microwave, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, 60 inch flat screen with X-Box game console ).  Actually, thanks to both semi-truck drivers, Chinese mad dog capitalists, microchips and the propensity of young and old alike to live in their cars more than their homes, your list of sacrifices will be pretty short due to relatively new 12v electrical appliances.  Okay, granted, a 12v vacuum is like a two inch mouth with the suction power of a 90 year old prostitute, but in theory it will clean your floor on a sunny day.  And while 12v televisions are barely bigger than your cell phone screen, hey, at least you can still watch a little TV and barely use more electricity than a very efficient light bulb.  You can still get some refrigeration, even if it isn’t much more than a 1920’s ice box ( the last one isn’t 12v.  You can in theory have a regular fridge by converting a chest freezer [ they sell a converter unit to knock down the power draw ] and having about $500 in solar panels, or you can just use actual blocks of ice [ to make ice in the summer, for about 200 watts, get the book Sunshine To Dollars ], but you can forget those crappy 12v fridges sold to truckers as they take a lot of juice ).  Actually, with a grand in panels you could have both a microwave AND a modern fridge, and it would be prudent to buy all the Chinese panels you can while they are still cheap at $1.50 a watt, but you don’t NEED all that much.  It can be a future luxury ( like, in the future before the wife divorces you ).  For now, living on almost no electricity.

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When I went off grid, they had just started offering bayonet bulb LED lights, TV was just changing over to digital and they were just introducing “netbook” computers to replace “notebook”.  Depending on how you look at it, I was either very lucky in having new and improved choices, or I had to waste a lot of money upgrading.  The incandescent bulbs that RV’s came with draw 18 watts each.  Within a month or three of moving, a cloudy Fall met with 30 watts of panels, those bulbs and two high amp batteries and I was in the dark.  I’m talking, it was cloudy for two weeks or possibly three.  Let me tell you, and Birkenstock wearing, Volvo driving, armpit hair braiding tree hugging stupid son of a bitch who ever theorized that candles are good illumination never lived with them as their sole light source.  I was lucky at the time to have a reader who clued me in to the new bulbs, which more than anything else ensured I’d never need to light another candle ( they use four to five watts each, and are brighter ).  Shortly after that, I bought my new computer which used 30 watts of power compared to my old 60 watt notebook ( the old one also had no USB slots, which in itself assured its eventual demise-try using floppies anymore, and I’ve NEVER had luck with recording CD’s ).  And the prices were a lot better than ever, although this would more than likely be my last Windows machine which is quickly pricing itself out of dominance by demanding ever shrinking time frames between obligatory OS upgrades-I’m liking the look of Google Chrome a lot these days, and by passing docs around in PDF I can say goodbye to Windows word processor.
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20 comments:

  1. http://aattp.org/terrifying-new-bullet-designed-for-maximum-suffering-introducing-the-r-i-p/

    I bet this new technodazzle bullet kills bad guys
    73% deader than my wheel weight metal
    waterdropped 260 gr SWC @ 800 fps 45ACP

    ReplyDelete
  2. ok, a little pricey upfront but you can get efficient 12v fridges... this one can be a fridge or a freezer, your shoice (just not both at the same time) http://www.compactappliance.com/FP430-Compact-EdgeStar-Portable-Refrigerator-Freezer/FP430.html?cgid=Appliances-Freezers-Portable_Fridge_Freezer

    I have used one on my boat.. they run about 30 - 50%of the time depending on surrounding temps, so in the Pit of Doom it would be more efficient... if it ran 12 hours a day (which is calculating high) it would use a little over 60amp hours... if it had additional insulation or surrounding air was lower temps then it would run a lot less.

    Like I said, pricey, but you can have a fridge for anything *vital*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Compared to a full size fridge, about half the cost perhaps. So in the great scheme of things...

      Delete
  3. You can read "Sunshine to Dollars" online for free at:
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwCDki0jowhAY3MzTjRtaXZUUGc/edit?pli=1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool, thanks. Save $15 or whatever it is now

      Delete
  4. "The sucking power of a 90 year old prostitute." True brilliance oh fair haired one. I try to avoid electrical appliances. Haven't had an electric can opener in 12 years, no carving knife, ect. I do have a fridge and a microwave but I'm on commercial power.

    The biggest factor in affordable solar power is definitely eliminating use. Folks could live so much cheap if we adopted some simple principles. Barring restrictive zoning ordinances like minimum home size (800 sg. ft. here is still larger than most folks need but far from a McMansion). Non carpeted floors eliminate the need for a vacuum, use a couple throw rugs where needed and take them outside to beat clean the old school way. Wood and solar heat, insulation and shading to reduce A/C needs, Wood or gas cooking. Think about an old boxwood stove on a covered porch for warm weather cooking and water heating or I have a cast iron hibatchi grill that is about 18"X10". I could cook with very little wood and not have to heat up a whole stove.

    You covered refrigeration. My plan is to run a deep freeze off solar and make ice for a good cooler for fridge needs. You covered lighting too. Not much power needed for a few hours a day. Use natural light as much as possible.

    I lean more towards the tiny cabin/house idea than the camper though, mainly because its easier to insulate a building (think shed size) Less than 200 sq. ft. with a loft would give you all the room one or two people would need. Plumbing could be as simple as a grey-water drain from the kitchen sink and shower area and the old bucket for the black stuff. In a shed you could basically just build a closet for a shower/bathroom. Bucket could be used in the same space. Plumbing could be another bucket in the loft for gravity feed. Just carry a gallon of hot water and a gallon of cold upstairs and you have a 2 gallon shower. A small kitchen area with some counter top work space and a few cabinet. A woodstove in the living area. Sleep in the loft.

    I'm rambling so I will stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carry UP TWO gallons!!!???? The humanity!

      Delete
  5. not a comment, just a side note.. when clicking on the amazon ad above, I can see the bisonpress in the URL showing the referral... but then I searched berkey filter and bought that... but I could not see the referral anymore in the URL.. hope you got the credit.

    Long live the hair!

    ReplyDelete
  6. re: "Carry the bucket of hot water up stairs...".

    This is a job for a foot pump! You could get hurt or spill the hot water on you and the stairs.

    Upper levels, loft, attics, are nice storage spots and make inspecting the underside of roof for leaks more frequent and likely. A small water tank over head to hold the pumped-up warm water (6 gallons! A real shower!) lets gravity do the work when you want the water to flow. A 12v pump for the greatlysolarendowed who pine for their re-po'ed McMansion.

    How does water get hot? Solar is the cheapest, but can be trouble if it gets cold enough to freeze. Heat-exchanger from an engine that charges a battery bank is worth while on a boat, electric can be okay if you have a surplus of electricity and all battery banks are full. Static genset exhaust can be a source of heat to harvest, but good exhaust heat exchangers (stainless steel) are expensive(a non-issue to boat fitters). Heat-exchange from wood stove. Propane is too useful and convenient to use for bulk-heating water, unless you have no alternative.

    Agree completely that JobOne is consumption reduction, but not so much that there is actual suffering, at least not until the world actually collapses from its' own weight.

    pdxr13

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But I think one must be wary of embracing luxury as necessity.

      Delete
  7. Googled "dental pliers for pulling teeth" James, and came up with some good results. Here's what appears to be a nice basic kit for $40.00.

    http://www.overstock.com/Health-Beauty/Dental-Orthodontic-Equipment/22376/subcat.html?gclid=CL3G2Pbd-sMCFQeUfgodhQYAcg&featuredproduct=9230914&featuredoption=13352870&cid=202290&kid=9553000357392&track=pspla&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=16398497-000-000&ef_id=Urpn2gAABDBJIjcl:20150224135524:s

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think anyone will agree that $40 is well worth not using regular pliers.

      Delete
    2. If you ain't got something to kill the pain you'll not be using any kind of pliers. Any ideas? I know powdered cloves works to some degree but for serious stuff I have no idea.

      Delete
    3. YES! You DON'T want to use regular pliers or locking pliers to pull teeth! You want the kind that grip the rounded surface and allow a good angle. Molar pullers are specialized tools. Regular pliers tend to crush the tooth, breaking it into difficult fragments. Woe to those people over 30 with teeth that are solidly fused into the jaw or skull, and praise the pulling of mobile bleeding-gums diabetics teeth.

      The point is to pull the tooth out in one piece, leaving nothing but a bloody socket that needs a good cotton roll stuffed in it and a caution to the patient to keep the mouth slightly open for a couple days and DO NOT APPLY SUCTION for any reason for at least a couple days. You want a nice scab to clot up in there under the cotton roll.

      Prophelaxis of antibiotics after a pulling is not a bad idea if you have them. Oral infections are life-threatening.

      pdxr13

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    4. I'd imagine it is back to whiskey for pain relief/antibiotics.

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    5. I think that one of the guys in youtube used Oragel as a painkiller? You probably want to pick up "Where there is no dentist" (Available as a PDF download somewhere) or similar publications before you even try it. This is thinking more in terms of post collapse dentistry, even though I don't have the funds to visit a dentist now in the pre-collapse.

      Delete
    6. Where there is no doctor and dentist should be mandatory print books for everyone.

      Delete
  8. It's $16.00 at Amazon James. You can get it used for $11. Might be able to find it at Alibris for even less? You can download the pdf and print it out for free at work. And in case it's not obvious to all, do so when the boss isn't around :D

    http://www.amazon.com/Where-There-Is-No-Dentist/dp/0942364058

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought both years ago. Think about POD, also. Might be cheaper, even with shipping. I'll admit, forgot about works xerox.

      Delete

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