Thursday, April 8, 2010

Off To Massachusetts

Having worked some on installing the solar controller and wiring up the solar panel, I tested it yesterday and it was great to see the meter registering 3 to 4 amps as the sun came out from behind the clouds. For now, I'm planning to use the panel up against a sawhorse, positioned to catch the sun -- and not mount it on the roof. Several friends (and my brother) set it up that way and like the versatility.

We packed up and headed out today -- still winterized -- to visit our daughter and family in Merrimac, MA. We've set up a nice little parking area off their long driveway so Penny (the Vizsla) and I boondock out there. It saves a lot of hassle since Jen has an old cat and Penny is terrible with felines.

The trip down was uneventful -- aside from the fact that our running lights still do not work. It was rainy and foggy the first hour and while not dark enough to require lights -- they would have helped from a safety factor. Next week's project.

The site here, as you can see in the photo, is pretty wooded so the use of solar is going to be iffy. Right now, the leaves are not out so there's hope -- but the forecast is for rain. I'm on a limited electrical budget and monitoring the battery with the new controller. I ran the old furnace with the blower for just a bit and saw an immediate drain. Fortunately, the catalytic heater is cranking and should take the chill off. Penny plants herself about a foot from it.

Being further south, the birds are more plentiful and active. On a walk with the dog just before dark, I saw about a dozen or more species including a lovely pileated woodpecker. Hope to do some serious birding tomorrow or Saturday at Plum Island.

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