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Thursday, February 23, 2017

your own infrastructure


YOUR OWN INFRASTRUCTURE

My usual article consists of pointing out problems, then running about in circles screaming like a Junior High gaggle of girls about how we are all going to die, and that you probably deserve it since you’ve done something to piss me off.  Well, today is your lucky day.  I shall throw a few solutions your way.  You are certainly welcome.  I was just pointing out how the infrastructure we see falling apart is more than bridges and reservoir dams.  It is everything you don’t think about such as financial systems that makes your job possible, or the eighteen wheeler delivering your food.  Yes, it is ALL falling apart.  The proof is in the pudding and I’m sorry most pudding looks like baby feces.  There are certain things you can’t help but be effected by.  Your money, which unfortunately must be saved for not just the rainy day ahead but the whole monsoon season,  will quickly lose value.  Yes, you can stash some silver bullion, and you’d be retarded not to as it is the inflation proof way to pay your property tax, but that isn’t the same as stashing cash for months of unemployment. 

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Your job will be gone soon, and a small second job, even self employed, isn’t really the answer, not long term.  Short term, you’ll need it.  You can undercut all the big companies if you stay out of debt.  Long term, NOBODY will have money and earning a living in the modern sense is toast.  The answer is not to earn more but need less.  Just like it is now.  Food, sure, you can garden as much as possible.  And you should, both for supplemental calories from legumes, potatoes and corn, and for nutrition.  But again, long term, you won’t be where you are now.  You’ll relocate to a spot where the tribe has both farmland and a defensive communal structure.  I’m assuming here that most of you won’t be so far removed from civilization that you’ll be okay on your own.  So, forget long term money and forget short term total calories from your present location.  That is what bulk wheat is for.  Those infrastructures can be replaced by you with simple food storage and with a reduction of monetary needs.  Replacing law enforcement infrastructure is already covered by every other blogger out there, their nipple rings chained to their AR-15 to better their orgasmic climax. 

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Yet, there are certain aspects of the infrastructure you can easily, cheaply replace.  Water, sewer, power ( heating and cooking, mostly, with adequate lighting ).  No, not with a $200 Chinese electrical generator.  Number one, if you can’t drop serious cash for a rice burning gennie ( Honda for sure, perhaps Yamaha although I’ve not gotten feedback on that one-perhaps Amazon? ), do not own one at all.  Chinese crap is usually but not always crap ( computers and solar panels-stuff without too many moving parts-seem to do good ), but some of their crap is far worse crap than any of the other crap.  And number two, hello!  Noise discipline, AND money.  Plus gasoline storage.  No, passive is far better.  First off of course, you don’t do anything else before you insulate.  Without that you are blowing toxic smoke up your own ass.  This isn’t exactly cheap, but it isn’t break the bank expensive either.  Do you remember my trailer insulation?  It looked like crap, with egg carton squishy foam stapled to the ceiling, all north windows covered in foam and blankets or comforters, the skirting done in pink foam board, and tin foal covered bubble wrap in tight quarters and the south windows.  It was nearly free with trash picking and thrift store items and helped immensely on keeping warm. 

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Your insulation of course must conform to Wife Hen Circle Competitive Extreme Sports Rules, meaning it will be much more expensive than my $150 ( or whatever it was-that’s ballpark on a 32 footer ).  But that is not the point ( shut up, you make way more than me, anyway ).  The point was living in the trailer prior to adding insulation was nearly impossible off grid.  Your home will be too unless you insulate ( and don’t cry into your beer.  You could do it cheaper by using just two rooms or the garage ).  As you’ll also remember because I know for a fact you should have been paying attention, we had a four hour limit on our propane use every day.  In winter.  The sun would come up and we’d remove the covers off of the east windows.  Even in single digits outside, it took little time for the inside temps to go to fifty.  The sun went down at four, we got four to six hours of heat.  90% of the time we could do four hours maximum.  On a four thousand BTU propane stove, we barely used over one five gallon tank of fuel per month ( in December and January ).  All thanks to being well insulated ( and only being 250 square feet ).

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Sorry, but that will be YOUR future.  Only, perhaps without the propane use.  The reason I did it so cheap was that aesthetics were of zero concern to me, after going a couple of winters freezing my balls off ( you try bathing in fifty degrees ).  If I had to construct interior walls for insulation and looks, not only would the trailer been much warmer, it would have also been much more expensive.  Perhaps you could glue rigid board to the interior walls and cover with drywall or shelves?  I’m not sure how one could really insulate a conventional home frugally.  But you must do it.  Even just one or two rooms, or the garage ( the garage would be easy to construct another wall inside, plus flooring.  Remember, outside stick built with fiberglass, middle foam board, another wall up against that also fiberglass insulated.  Alternate lumber so the heat cannot escape through nails and touching wood.  Fill up most of the attic with whatever insulation.  Triple it! ). 

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Tomorrow we continue with south facing passive solar, rocket stoves, a well or rain catchment, composting toilet and LED lighting.

END

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10 comments:

  1. I sprang for this Yam inverter
    https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-EF2400iSHC-Starting-Portable-Inverter/dp/B00AYUWDZG
    My wife has health issues that need clean electrical power. I thought, what the H, if buying go on and get one large enough to power a freezer. We prep for economical reasons because we both will likely die in a long term grid down situation. That generator is quiet, you can carry on a normal conversation standing right beside the thing. The duty cycle on the Yam was better than the Hon at that time not sure about that now.
    Nice hair!

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    Replies
    1. I've just always been impressed with Honda, from past experience. Not sure who has the best quality-I just assume Honda. YMMV.

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    2. I was listening to Jack Spirko on the survivalist podcast. he's full of himself but I've got plenty of time when I'm driving to listen to whatever.

      Long story short. He said there is a way to hook up an inverter to your car and you run your car as a generator to power say your fridge.

      That might be worth looking into. At the moment I'm struggling to deal with other more pressing problems.

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    3. Cheaper and quieter than a genie. Along the lines of what I've read from others. If you get the time and are still interested, I can look through my book collection for the guys name and you can check out his website.

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    4. #1 priority for off-grid energy use: Know How Much You Are Using, all the time. People make better decisions when they know instant/daily/weekly power use of each thing and how that requires/uses limited input of solar/genset/battery power. Fer instance, I have a standard kitchen refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen using 120v grid power (awesome!) that needs about 125W every hour all year. That's 3KW every day, which is something like forty-cents in pdx from PGE. No problem, because it's huge and convenient, self-defrosting with inside lights. But, if the grid went down, it's just an insulated box to be buried in the yard. No way am I going to run a generator or an inverter to run this POS for any amount of time beyond needed to feed the neighbors the barbequed contents and declare that I'm hungry like them and we need to start collecting water with tarps.

      What I am going to do is keep the 4 cubic foot and 2 cubic foot rocker-pump refer's going on battery & solar, and use the ammonia refer (6 cubic feet) in the trailer that can run on propane (or not as efficient as the rocker-pump models, on 120v ac simulating a propane flame)as a temporary overflow fridge to store food "windfalls". The freezer compartment in the trailer gets really cold (-10F at half-cold setting), so is good for cold-packs to use in styrofoam coolers. It's big enough to put 8 pints of Ben & Jerry's chocolate ice cream in and keep hard, but that's an unlikely windfall WTSHTF.

      If a person was trying to get "barely good enough" juice for a powered medical device like a CPAP (which most people will not need when they lose enough weight from actual lack of calories) and a minimal string of LED lights, they need to know how much those items use. Get a Kill-A-Watt from the local library and measure the device on and using, as well as when off (charging?). Some medical devices are 12v DC devices that use a wall-wart power supply to step-down and rectify the grid AC to the DC needed. This is good, because you can skip that step and give the machine DC12v directly from your house battery. No need to run an inverter, in that case.

      The best case to shoot for is an "Intermittent" grid with blackouts and brownouts, which will allow you to have a small battery bank to run essentials for a few hours, then recharge the battery bank when the power comes on at 4AM for 6 hours, like in Baghdad. Repeat until you can escape from the obviously-failing place. Better will be running your own infrastructure of charging with quick-charging from a generator and slower/much-cheaper charging from solar pv. Idling your car as a source of 12v is BAD_BAD_BAD for any period of time beyond the very-shortest "emergency". The efficiency is TERRIBLE with a tiny 1L 3-banger and bad 5x that with a 5L V-8, not to mention that extended idling is hard on an engine meant to be running on the road. Do something else to charge your cell phone battery other than idle a vehicle, even if you have to start a 6500W 3600rpm roaring Chinese genset that attracts zombies (put up the solar panels!).

      Batteries are a big expense. If you have loads that are low-current and don't run much (LED task lights), you can get away with few and inexpensive batteries (lead-acid deep cycle, golf car models on-sale at big-box store). As our list mom has mentioned, LED lighting is the finest use of valuable battery power, much cheaper-better-safer than candles/kerosene/propane for lighting in your well-insulated mobile Hobbit Hut. If your HH is of the older-cheaper variety (as it should be), it is pre-wired to use power-guzzling incandescent 12v bulbs. This is fine, because that means the wiring greatly exceeds the current needed by LED's. Lots of people might just replace the bulbs they use the most first, then the bulbs they use less (in the closet?) with LED's that have the same base mount. Find out what kind (like type 1157), and order the correct variety from ebay/amazon/alibaba/etc.

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    5. 12v LED bulbs aren't getting much cheaper, or increasing all that much in lumens like they used to. You might as well just order them now and be done with it.

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    6. LED bulbs for a whole RV interior (stock lighting) can be had for less than $50. They are too bright already, if you get the "high-output" kind. My preference is strip-lighting that can be dimmed with a PWM controller to use less power and not be blinding (or surgical-bright, if you like that). To get access to the circuits, pull them out and ID them during the "massive re-insulate and seal" phase of rv fixing. Might as well upgrade the super-lame 12ga "primary" wire from the battery on the tongue to the breaker/fuse box/"converter" to 2ga+ copper and install a bunch of Cat6 inside as well before MRAS. -pdxr13

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  2. Cooling is my problem.

    My roof is well insulated. However this just keeps the heat in.

    The work around post collapse should it occur in the near future is to sleep under the deck in summer where it's cool and inside during winter. Not a great plan but a plan nonetheless

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    1. Perfect plans are for Yuppie Scum. BTN, those are our plans.

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    2. Cooling with ventilation - allow the hot air out at the top, and pull more and cooler air in at the bottom. Obvious, and probably something you already have set up, but the more you can make the box air tight except the incoming and outgoing flows the better it works - you can also add solar powered fans and attic vents that you can seal off when you do need to keep heat in during the winter. JM2C

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