Winter Storm Nadia is Naughty.

I remember years ago in first grade our school taking two vacation days in February to celebrate the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln, February 12, and President George Washington, February 21st.  We would work on crafts centered around both presidents and display them the entire month of February.  Today, schools celebrate Presidents’ Day, which complete robs the importance of these two presidents who were models of what a president should do and behave like.  Plus, 2 days off from school with presidential arts and crafts for a month, what more could a first grader ask for during one of the bleakest winter months?

On Abraham Lincoln’s 210th birthday, N. Idaho was hit by Winter Storm Nadia.  Unlike the snow apocalypse the media might make you think it is, the snow storm was a forgotten normalcy we faced since we moved to N. Idaho.  I plowed 7 hours yesterday and could not keep up with the falling snow.  This morning the sun is out and so will I, but today I will cut the final paths that will get us out of our snowed-in off grid, toasty, bungalow.  Enjoy the quick video I made during the rush of yesterday.  If you are snow bound today.  Perhaps, my old blog post on Spokane’s worst snow storm and preparing for such an event will help encourage you.

It Really Works… Introducing the Bicycle Generator.

For the past few months, I have been trying to build our own bicycle generator.  Soon it became a sort of obsession as I tried to take an old exercise bike and convert it to a human powered generator.  These past few weeks, I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  With help from a follower of this website, author of Random Thoughts [of an engineer] who pointed me in the right direction.  A bicycle generator, producing 6 Volts cannot charge a 12 Volt battery.  The Volts are like force and force the current Amperes through the system.  A 6 Volt generator couldn’t push its way through a 12 volt system.   It would be like a snowball trying to push back an avalanche, well maybe not that extreme, but since it’s winter, I needed a winter simile.

I tried to use a 24 Volt alternator, but that too failed.  The physical human force to power it was beyond our physical limits for any measurable amounts of time.  I tried using a small DC charge controller which could not be integrated into the system.  I debated buying a DC booster and went with an extra DC motor added in series instead.

Unfortunately, I have little to know knowledge of electronics. However, I plan to do another post and video about the deceptions on the Internet concerning these so called bicycle generator plans, and how people believe certain laws of physics don’t apply to them.  That is fine if people want to create their own religion, but please don’t put blueprints on the Internet and claim they work when they don’t.  I wonder if the authors who wrote the bicycle generator article actually built the bike. Hopefully,  they’re not spreading false information because they want a “blog article” paycheck even if it means their is no factual basis in the article.

Moving on… How do you like the music?  This song “I Believe You” comes from a used record I purchased years ago, Made in America, 1981.  I finally got to play it with a record player I received for Christmas.  I grew up listening to Karen Carpenter, and I love her voice.  To avoid a copyright strike on YouTube, I altered the song 4 different ways. First, I placed a slight echo, next I upped the bass, I sped up the tempo by 15%, Lastly, I added a slight reverb to give it an auditorium feel.  I have learned that altering older music for people to listen to online has been called VaporWave.  I am not a big fan of it and didn’t push this song so far out that it would be almost unrecognizable.  Plus, like electronics, I know even less about mixing music. If the video gets taken down by YouTube, it will disappear here as well until I can find another song to replace it.

Update:  The video was flagged as copyright infringement by YouTube’s algorithm within a few seconds of the first of the upload. So, I had to pick an open source song completely different from the one I had.  All that work mentioned above wasted.

 

 

Kioti Tractor Box Blade Implement Setup (when I can get to it)

My first sunny day of Spring Break and I wanted to be prepped for summer projects.  I had to disconnect the Winco generator from the Kioti tractor and reattach the box blade.  However, due to winter still hanging on, I had to work a day to clear a path to even get to the box blade attachment.  I stored the box blade under the roof of the old derelict cabin, the cabin we hope to bring down when we can afford to build a barn shop.  After this sunny day, we entered over two weeks of steady rain.  I came down with a terrible cold and was immobilized from working outside in the rain and eventually I had to unhook the box blade and place the generator back on to recharge the battery bank.  I had never needed to use a generator in April before since we moved here 7 years ago, but the skies were so dark and gray.


Currently, I am fighting another chest cold and doing my best to stay on top of my busy schedule at work, but today I am resting a for a bit.  I think I have been burning the candle a both ends.  Yes, pun intended, see our candle special below.

In this video I toy with a new technique, split screens, I am learning while using the free open source Blender software.  I use a combination of Movie Maker and Blender.  Blender to do overlays and split screens.  Movie Maker for captions and syncing sound.  Hope you enjoy the video.

Yes, I made more work for myself storing the box blade where I did, but I wanted it stored in a place that was not exposed to the elements and this was the only place I had.  Once I have a new shop, things will be less chaotic.

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