Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SOLAR INSTALLATION DAY AT SLAB CITY 2013

DSC_0035

TONIGHT’S SUNSET IN SLAB CITY (no color enhancement needed)

Gets dark early here in California but also gets light earlier in the morning as well.  Had the normal list of confuselments this morning.  Snow Birds know what I’m talking about here.  Having just packed up the rig again come’s the usual, ‘where’s my socks', ‘have you seen my headphones’, ‘can’t find my towel’, ‘where did I put my shoes’, ‘did we bring the flashlight’, & so on & so on.  Always takes awhile to get settled in, develop a routine, & get things organized again.  Just about when things are up to speed & running well it’s about time to head home & reverse the whole procedure again.  Am I complaining??  Nope just happy to be back on the road going somewhere:))

DSC_0036

DSC_0024 DSC_0021

DSC_0023

SOME SLABBERS OUT FOR A MORNING WALK & THE LAST ONE IS SOLAR MIKE HIMSELF

Did I mention the big batch of oatmeal raisin cookies Kelly baked up a couple days ago.  Best ever.  Cookies for breakfast, lunch, & supper works for me:))

DSC_0037

DSC_0040 DSC_0002 

THE ROAD LEADING OUT OF SLAB CITY PAST LEONARD KNIGHT’S SALVATION MOUNTAIN

DSC_0046

A SHOE TREE STANDS ALONGSIDE THE ROAD

Unhooked the Jeep & drove the few hundred yards to Solar Mike’s SUNWORKS.  Mike was right out there to greet us.  Talked some solar talk & decided on a system which would be best for us.  Last time we had 2 130 Watt solar panels & this time we will have one 240 Watt panel.  Last time a 2500 Watt inverter & this time a 1500.  All our outlets will be live.  I knew our two 12 volt batteries were not the best.  When we bought the rig almost half the cells were down & I have had to monitor & add distilled water to them about every 3 weeks.  Decided to go with 2 new Trojan 105-RE 6 volt deep cell batteries.  Last time in the Damon we had 4.  For our needs this system will probably be more than adequate.  We are not big power users.

DSC_0054

MIKE IS DECIDING ON A SPOT FOR OUR 240 WATT TILT-ABLE SOLAR PANEL

DSC_0055

MIKE DECIDES ON WHERE TO LOCATE THE 240 WATT PANEL

DSC_0080 DSC_0088

CHRIS STARTS WORK ON THE PANELS FRAMEWORK & THEN INSTALLS THE PANEL ON THE ROOF

DSC_0076

MIKE EXPLAINS THINGS AS HE GOES ALONG

Mike’s right hand man Chris showed up at 9 & the two of them were soon hard at the installation.  Chris built the framework & mounts for the solar panel & installed it on the roof.  Mike concentrated his efforts on the wiring, mounting, & set up of the controllers.  Chris mounted the Inverter in a side bin.  There is a fair bit of work to these solar installations with wires having to be run from the roof down through vents & snaked through cupboards etc to be tied in with mounted control panels.  Old batteries out & new batteries in.  And all new wiring.  I was qualified enough to help Mike lift the solar panel up to Chris on the roof.  Yaaaay me:))  And Pheebs of course was on her best behavior as usual helping out wherever she could.  Mainly just putting smiles on people’s faces as they came & went from Solar Mikes today.

DSC_0092

PHEEBS IS ALWAYS RIGHT THERE READY TO HELP WHEN NEEDED

DSC_0099 DSC_0095 DSC_0026 DSC_0089  DSC_0070

STRAW BOSS

DSC_0005 DSC_0031

MIKE’S OFFICE BUS & SHOWING US HOW THE CONTROLLERS WORK

DSC_0052 DSC_0082

MIKE’S GOING TO TOWN CAR & SOME TECHNICAL TALK GOING ON

DSC_0063 DSC_0061

The installation took all day.  Like I said there is a lot of work involved in a solar installation.  I just basically sat in a chair outside under a Mesquite tree, took a bunch of photos, relaxed, & may have even caught myself a few zzzzz’s.  We did take a Jeep ride around the Slabs & to me things looked even worse than the last couple times we were here.  Not as many people as before it seems but the trash & litter left behind will make anyone shake their head in disbelief.  There is a fine community of people here & anyone coming to Slab City must come with a very open mind.  Yes the trash is appalling & the living conditions primitive but there is a soft underbelly to to the Slabs.  You just have to look for it in it’s helping & togetherness people…….

DSC_0072

I SPENT A BIG PART OF MY DAY RIGHT HERE RELAXING FOR A CHANGE

DSC_0064 DSC_0066

PHEEBS & MIKE’S DOG GRANNY GOT ALONG JUST FINE

DSC_0098

KELLY PUT IN SOME OF HER TIME READING

Sun was going down when the fellas finished up & we still had to find a place to park for the night.  Chris gave us directions to a place near him & not far from Solar Mikes.  We will be back in the morning & Mike is going to check out a few electrical things in the rig for us.  We may leave after that or we may stay one more night.  Always a good idea to hang around a day or two in case there are any bugs in the system.  But we just may head on out & show up in Borrego Springs for a bit too.  Where to from there I have no idea……………

DSC_0049

DSC_0112 DSC_0051DSC_0114 DSC_0111DSC_0106 DSC_0117DSC_0120 DSC_0102 DSC_0116

A FEW SIGHTS SEEN ON A SHORT WALKDSC_0030

SUN WAS GOING DOWN WHEN THE FELLAS FINISHED UP THE INSTALLATION

Again it was a warm night as I took Pheebs for a walk through the large Creosote bushes.  A rippled cloud cover wasn’t enough to block the Moon from shining through casting a gentle light across the desert floor.  In the direction of the Chocolate mountains to the East I saw a streak of light come out of the sky & streak earthwards.  I knew right away what it was.  I had seen it before here at the Slabs.  Two slow moving & blinking red lights in the far distant sky told me they were military Marine helicopters based out of Yuma.  The Chocolate mountains is where their live fire range is located.  Watched as a shower of lightning fast fire came from the direction of one of the red blinking lights.  The gunfire & rockets were being fired at targets on the ground.  But no sound except for the occasional low muffled chop chop of heavy helicopter blades cutting the night.  One of the Choppers departed the area & came our way.  Couldn’t see it in the night sky, no blinking red light.  The sound got heavier as the invisible sky bandit flew towards us.  Even straining my eyes I could not see it as it passed low overhead.  Maybe, just maybe I thought I may have seen a slightly dimmed fuselage in the Moonlight…………..

DSC_0042 

OUR NEW SPOT FOR THE NIGHT 

GROANER’S CORNER:((  16 Ways of Knowing You're in the Desert

  1. You no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water.
  2. You can say 110 degrees without fainting.
  3. You eat hot chilies to cool your mouth off.
  4. You can make instant sun tea.
  5. You learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.
  6. The temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly.
  7. You discover that in July, it takes only 2 fingers to drive your car.
  8. You discover that you can get a sunburn through your car window.
  9. You notice the best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
  10. Hot water now comes out of both taps.
  11. It's noon in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one person is out on the streets.
  12. You actually burn your hand opening the car door.
  13. You break a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m. before work.
  14. No one would dream of putting vinyl upholstery in a car or not having air conditioning.
  15. Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"
  16. You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.

-------------------------------------------------------------
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
(James Herriot)
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.

16 comments:

  1. Oh the Slabs. Sure doesn't look good. Maybe more 'fulltimers'.
    Love Mike's 'Towncar'.
    Not bad for a day's work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the colorfully painted rig. If I had my way we would see more things like that on the road. But them I like "art cars" and even bumper stickers.

    I might fit in at the slabs, but I too would hate the trash.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats on getting converted to green solar power. Those LED lights should help stretch those watts quite a bit.

    Sounds like you had a fun day.

    I could relate to that groaner after all my years out West. I thought for sure I would die there.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice that you got that all done and are ready to go. Hang out there and then off to Borrego springs, have fun.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mister A
    Your inverter is it set up live all the time ??
    How do u turn it off when not in use and or u plug in to shore power
    Looking up your GP unit I see no remote on\off will that not drain your battery's if left on Any photos close up would be nice
    I have a 225w setup with a MPPT unit I was wondering how he set it up to go with live plugs
    Joy your day

    ReplyDelete
  6. Job well done...Slab City looks quite colorful...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I didn't have vinyl nor did I have air conditioning for 14 years while living in Phoenix. I certainly don't recommend that but you can survive. Now the two fingers on the steering wheel may be optimistic. I had a very thick quilt like cover that I put over the steering wheel and it was still to hot to hold onto for any length of time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds like it was a smooth install, hope it all check out with use. We have never been to the Slabs but have enjoyed your tours over the years.

    ReplyDelete
  9. nice to be solar, again!! did you say 'cookies?'

    ReplyDelete
  10. Glad to see the solar installation finished. Would love to know which controller he used. Enjoy the rest of your California time.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow that looks like a lot of paranormal activity in that last shot. Look how many orbs there are in the shot!

    ReplyDelete
  12. It looks like a very interesting place, although I was never tempted to go there.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your inverter appears to be a 1750 from the picture you took, and not a 1500 as you reported... That's good as the extra 250 watts will run one more TV... In reality, it will make the system stronger... And you didn't say what kind of charge controler you had installed... That is the heart of the system since you don't want to overcharge those expensive batteries...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy to hear that you were so "uplifting" today, Al. Very inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Glad you got your solar installed so you and the "bunch" can do some serious boondocking...That's what you love!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Arizona, much of which receives more than 300 days a year of sunshine, should be the poster child for a thriving solar industry. Today, the state is the second fastest growing when it comes to solar. solar panels for sale

    ReplyDelete