Over the past year or so, our batteries for the solar power system have been deteriorating. This winter, I replaced just one of the eight 6 volt lead-acid batteries, in the hopes that it would improve operation until I could apply a fix in the spring. It worked for a while, but then other batteries in the string began losing their capacity to the point of the system going down nearly every day for a few hours before the sun rises each morning. I decided to bite the bullet and install a whole new string of batteries. On researching, it appeared that it would make sense to replace the old lead-acid battery technology with newer Lithium Iron Phosphate technology. Not only are the new batteries considerably more compact and lightweight for a given capacity, they should also last much longer and require little maintenance. I decided the replace the eight batteries comprising the 48 volt, 200 amp hour lead acid string with two Lithium Iron battery packs of 100 amp hours each. This matche
With a cold front approaching, I decided to run up to the Ranch to winterize the water pipes before the sustained 20-degree days hit us later in the week. I rinsed out our 200 gallon water tank that we use to haul water from the standpipe in Seligman to our Ranch. After loading up the tank in the truck, I headed for Seligman. There had been reports that the standpipe in town had been modernized to accept debit cards for thew water that is drawn. But upon arrival to the standpipe, I found that people were inserting quarters, and found a note on the control that said the new system was "still not working". Luckily, I had a fist full of quarters in the truck that I save for carwashes, and things of that nature. When it was my turn, I used the quarters, and filled up the 200 gallon tank. It cost about 20 cents per gallon, so $2.50 to fill the tank. I hauled the water up the hill and parked on a small slope near the LittleHouse to help get all of the water out of the tank.
After a very long wait (with disease, inflation, and supply problems affecting the nation), we finally were able to put together a trip to install the tongue and groove ceiling at the Little House. We had put this off during the pandemic, because supplies were very hard to get. Then when lumber was available, the cost had more than doubled from pre-pandemic times. Finally, after waiting it out, the prices of the 8-foot tongue and groove pine boards at the home center had dropped from nearly $15 per board to a little over $8 per board. I searched the store's online site for a location that had a large enough supply. After seemingly found a store nearby, I put in an online order for them to pick a little over 100 boards from the 150 they said were in stock. Shortly later, we received an email telling us that the order had been cancelled, because they actually anly had 30-something in stock, and most of them were damaged in some way. So we went to another nearby store to look for