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Posts Tagged ‘the off grid project’

PostHeaderIcon Sunjack USB LED Camp Light Multi Color Daisy Chainable

Sunjack has sent me two of their remote control, multi color, daisy chainable USB LED camp lights. These lights are really cool with many different color combinations and a remote control. The LED lights are powered through a standard USB port so they are very versatile.

I have worked with Sunjack products before and actually used some of their products while trying out these LED camp lights. I used the Sunjack folding solar panel to charge up their USB portable power pack. The power pack I then used to run the LED camp lights while out camping and tenting.

I like the fact that these LED lights have so many colors. I was expecting maybe a four color LED light but I was surprised to find all the colors of the rainbow when I connected this to power.

Sunjack USB LED Camp Light
Sunjack USB LED Camp Light

The remote control is easy to use. You can turn the LED camp light on or off, set colors or choose a program. The programs cause the LEDs to cycle through the different colors at varying rates.

I have been using these multi colored LED camp lights literally everywhere since I got them. We use them in the off grid tiny house on wheels at night for extra living room lighting or for mood lighting. We have also taken these hiking, camping and fishing. Everyone who has seen them loved them instantly and ask me where they can get one.

Sunjack Multi Colored LED Light
Sunjack Multi Color LED Camp Light

These USB powered LED camp lights are daisy chainable which means that you can connect them together in series on a single USB port.

Another cool feature is that one single remote control works for multiple LED lights. Just point the remote at the LED that you want to control.

Sunjack USB Camp Light
Sunjack USB LED Camp Light In Tent

These amazing lights weigh only 2 ounces so they can easily be packed and taken with you on camping or hiking trips. With an equivalent light output of a standard 40 watt light bulb and a 7 foot power cord these are powerful little lights and convenient for hanging up in trees or inside your tent.

Sunjack Daisy Chain LED Camp Lights
Sunjack Daisy Chain USB Camp Lights

You can run these off the USB port of your computer or use a portable power pack like I do. With the Sunjack 8,000 mAh USB power pack I can run one of these for days before I need a charge. And with the Sunjack folding solar panel I can recharge the pack on the go at any time for free.

You can find the Sunjack multi colored USB camp LED light on the Sunjack website here:
Sunjack USB LED camp light
Or buy on Amazon Here: Sunjack on Amazon

See the full video review I did on YouTube here: SunJack USB LED Multi Colored Light Daisy Chainable

While you are over there on YouTube please subscribe to my channel and watch our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.

PostHeaderIcon Building A Free Goat Fence Out Of Pallets

My friend from YouTube, Trucker Buck, and I have entered into a sort of business together. We are getting two Nubian milk goats. So now we are scrambling to build a goat proof fence to keep them in place. We also have to build a shed for them but that is another day.

I have a mess of Euro pallets that are all the same size and shape. These are perfect to build a goat fence with. They are 47 inches high when stood on end so they are the perfect height for milk goats.

I used the garden tractor and trailer to haul over the pallets as we worked. The trailer holds 5 to 6 pallets at a time which is way better than hand carrying them over to the work area.

We lined up the pallets and used scrap pallet frames to fasten the pallets together using deck screws. Deck screws are stronger and made to last outside in the weather. We placed a pallet frame, which is a sort of 1 by 4, inside the framing of two pallets and screwed it in place. Two frames per pallet gives us a very strong fence.

Some T posts driven in along the line help keep the fence from falling over and will stop the goats from pushing the fence out of place.

We started on the side of the fire wood shed, which is also made of pallets. The fence extends a ways out and then we made a corner using an old 6×6 post I had laying around that was the perfect length for the job. We screwed the corner pallets into the post to make a very solid corner.

To make the gate, we used a single pallet and some scrap 2x4s as framing for the gate. I had some hinges and a latch on hand already so we used them on the gate.

Making Pallet Wood Goat GateBuilding a pallet wood goat gate

We managed to get the second wall of the fence up and in place before we started to run out of day light. We will continue on the fence and then the goat shed tomorrow.

Pallet Goat FencePallet wood goat fence

You can watch the video for the day’s work here: Building A Goat Fence Out Of Pallets

While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.

PostHeaderIcon Plumbing IBC Tanks Into Rain Water Harvesting System

I have connected a 275 gallon IBC tote to my off grid tiny house on wheels as the main water supply. I have a second water tank next to it waiting to be placed into the system. We will have 550 gallons of rain water supply with the ability to expand our capacity later.

I bought all the plumbing to connect two large IBC water tanks into my off grid tiny house water system months ago. I only just got the rain water shed ready for us to set up the tanks inside. Chris helped me drag a second tank into the shed and put it next to the first one.

Chris has been insulating the shed while I was working on the plumbing and wind turbine wiring earlier. Then we both put in the last two pieces of plywood on the walls in the back corner so that I can set up the two IBC totes where they are meant to stay.

I put down four cement blocks under the framing of a wood pallet first. Next came the 275 gallon water tank on top. This tank did not come with a metal frame so I have to build a frame around it myself to keep it from collapsing. Then I can connect it to the tiny house rain water system.

When connecting the PVC fittings and plumbing, I realized that I was running out of PVC pipe so I ran into town for another piece. Later, as I was gluing all the fittings together, I accidentally put a piece in the wrong place. With the PVC cement, you have one second before the bond becomes permanent. I realized the very second that I put it into place that it was wrong but then it was too late.

Plumbing IBC tote into tiny house

So I was off to town again for a 59 cent PVC coupling to repair my mistake.

I got all the pieces put together finally. I used a flatbed trailer to assemble the fittings to the IBC tanks so that I got the same angle on the pipes for the two tanks.

Next I took the whole thing inside the rain water shed to try it out for size. It fits perfectly. So I propped up the pipe assembly with some boards to keep the pressure off the Gator Locks on the IBC tanks. Then I connected the Gator Lock fitting onto the main rain water tank.

Finally I removed the water line that feeds into the off grid tiny house from the 20 gallon tank we have been using and put it into the new system. I turned on the main valve to the IBC tank and heard the water gush into the new pipes.

Fortunately there were no leaks at all. The off grid tiny house on wheels now has a larger rain water supply. No more hand filling a little 20 gallon tank every two days. Now we pray for rain to fill up our tanks.

Plumbing IBC Totes In Tiny House

Melanie was working in her flower bed all afternoon. She put rock borders around the inside and outside of the new flower bed. Then she transplanted some of her flowers that she grew from seed into the new flower bed. When the plants grow up this is going to be a very pretty flower bed.

Chris has been working out by the wood pile dismantling the remains of the old RV porch and wood stove shed. He has been removing the sheet metal from the pallets that were the porch. The pallet wood goes into a pile for later processing into fire wood for next year’s heat. The sheet metal goes into another pile to be recycled. Chris has been working quite a bit out by the fire wood pile getting us ready for heating the off grid tiny house and water shed next winter.

You can watch the entire video of today’s work here: Plumbing IBC Tanks Into Rain Water Harvesting System

While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.

PostHeaderIcon Connected Wind Turbine & Plumbing Rain Water System

I finally have all the plumbing supplies necessary to connect the 275 gallon IBC totes to my rain water system. Chris and I are finishing the rain water shed so that we can install a second IBC tote water tank and connect the plumbing. I also connected the wind turbine to my off grid tiny house battery bank.

Long ago someone sent me a wind charge controller with a dump load connection. This is simply a solar charge controller with a large solenoid connected to it. When the voltage reaches a certain point, the solenoid is turned on which sends the excess power to a dump load.

I screwed this wind charge controller to the wall above the off grid battery bank and then connected the controller to the battery bank. Last I connected the wind turbine to the charge controller inputs. Now when the wind is blowing I will get a little bit more energy into my off grid battery bank. With all the trees around here I will not get very much power from the wind turbine at any given time due to the turbulence of the trees. But when you are fully off the grid every little bit helps.

Unfortunately when I connected the power to the charge controller, the dump load was turned on. This is because the MPPT solar charge controllers have the battery bank in absorption mode. The voltage for absorption mode is too high for the cheaper solar charge controllers to it turns on its dump load. I have to later open it up and see if I can adjust the dump load settings inside to a higher voltage.

Chris and I finished the back wall of the off grid rain water and battery shed. Chris had been finishing the insulation as I worked on the wind charge controller. By the time I was finished with the charge controller he was done with the insulation.

Connecting Wind Charge Controller

Next we put up the last two pieces of plywood on the wall back there so that I can put in a second IBC tank for our off grid rain water supply.

I bought the plumbing to connect multiple water tanks many months ago already. I had it all planned out ahead of time. I have PVC quick disconnects with valves so that I can remove a tank from the system on the go without disrupting the water supply to the tiny house on wheels. Each tank will have its own valve and quick disconnect. The only problem was that I did not have a fitting for the large 275 gallon IBC totes. I had ordered some “universal fit” ones off amazon a while back but after paying it showed that it was coming from China. After a month of waiting impatiently, I received them only to discover that they did not fit anything I have at all.

So I waited and put the project back on hold again.

Someone in the comments on YouTube suggested that I get a Gator Lock fitting from TSC to fit my 275 gallon IBC totes. They told me to ignore the threads on the fitting and just put the Gator Lock right over the top of them and lock it on and it will work. So I immediately ran out to TSC and picked up one. It fits! Now I can finally finish the plumbing on my off grid rain water system for the tiny house on wheels.

Gator Lock fittings

Now all I have to do is to lay out the plumbing in place, cut the PVC pipes to fit between the totes and glue it all together.

I connected all the fittings that go from the IBC tote to the PVC lines. There are multiple pieces that have to go together in order to reduce the Gator Lock down to a one inch PVC pipe but it will be worth it in the end. I used teflon tape on all the threads before hand tightening them all together.

Next I cut the PVC pipes to fit inside all the connectors, valves and fittings to try it all on for size. I am dry fitting it all together first to make sure I get it all right before I begin to tighten or glue anything.

Connecting PVC Pipes To IBC Tote

Watch the full video of today’s work here: Connected Wind Turbine & Plumbing Rain Water System

While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.

PostHeaderIcon Tying Up Grape Vines & Growing Fire Wood Pile

I am tying up the grape vines on the other side of the garden so that I can train the grapes to grow along the wires neatly for a better harvest. Chris is working on the fire wood pile out back. And Melanie is beautifying her flower beds around the off grid homestead this year.

Melanie made some awesome pizza rolls from scratch and we tore it up. We loved it very much and not a piece was left over. Melanie is very amazing in the kitchen. She gets and idea and just makes it herself.

I got some T posts at TSC so that I can string up the grape vines off the ground like the pros do. This will prevent pests and disease and allow the grapes to get more sunlight which equals more and better grapes.

Chris helped me line up the T posts in a straight row with the other half of the garden. When we had all the posts lined up, then I drove them in using a post driver.

Next I got some scrap electric fence wire and ran three strands between all the posts. This gives the grapes three levels to grow on. I had to wrap the wire tightly around each T post so that it would not slip down later on under the weight of the grapes as they grow heavy.

Then I was able to tie up the grapes off the ground using Jute Twine. I used this all natural fiber so that it is gentle on the grapes and it will slowly rot and fall off after the grapes have been fully trained onto the lines. This will allow the grapes to continue to grow unhindered later.

Tying up grape vines

This is a tedious job and takes quite a bit of time but it is very much worth it in the long run. You have to take a random chaotic mess of grape vines and decide which one goes where. Then attempt to untangle them all and try to form each vine into place without breaking the fragile bark. But I got them all done just before it was time to head off to church for the night.

Chris has been working in the fire wood piles. He is sorting out the various types of wood depending on what needs to be done. Some needs to be spit. Some needs to be cut with the chain saw. And some needs to be cut with the chop saw. He has been stacking the fire wood in the wood shed as he works.

Melanie is laying rocks around the inside border of her new flower bed. She loves using the rocks as borders out along the gardens. And we sure do have enough of them around this homestead.

Melanie Working Flower Beds

Watch the full video of today’s work here: Tying Up Grape Vines & Growing Fire Wood Pile

While you are there, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.