Posts

Installing the Ceiling in the Little House

Image
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

Winter Storm at the Ranch

Image
 We had a pretty good winter storm come through at the Ranch in late February.  Here are some photos from our security cameras after the snowfall.

January 2022 Visit

Image
 I went up in January to do battery maintenance at the cabin.  I found that the first battery in the string is failing.  I think I will try to replace just this single battery for now.  I know that's not the preferred path to take, but we are saving for a new set of Lithium batteries to replace our 8 year old lead acid battery bank.  So we'll see if a single replacement will give us some improvement. This picture shows the battery voltages for each of the 8 6-volt batteries.  The top number in each figure is the voltage after a full charge cycle, and the figure at the bottom is the voltage after a discharge that brought the bank below the low voltage threshold.  Notice on the upper right hand battery that the voltages are significantly lower than the other seven batteries.  That is the battery that needs replaced.

TV Antenna Cable Install

Image
  TV Antenna Cable Install by rdpecken on Jul.08, 2020, under Communications For the past few years, we have had an external beam TV antenna mounted on a post outside of the cabin. Pointed at Kingman, roughly 60 miles away, we receive most of the TV channels available from there. Prior to this, we had DirecTV installed, but gave that up as we recognized that we really didn’t watch many of the channels that were on there. Each trip to the Ranch would find us crawling on our backs, poking the antenna cable up through a small hole in the floor. Then when we left for the Valley, we again had to crawl under the cabin to remove the cable. If we left the cable laying on the ground, it would have been susceptible to cattle stepping on it, and rodents chewing on it. So on the last trip up in June, we installed some underground PVC conduit from the antenna location to the LittleHouse. After running some RG-6 cable through the conduit, we terminated both ends with Type-F

New Security Cameras

Image
  New Security Cameras by rdpecken on Jun.02, 2020, under Communications Some time in the past year, our grey-market Hikvision security cameras stopped sending emails to us when they detected motion. We traced this problem down to virtually all major email providers requiring a new method to send emails in order to improve security of their email system.   Front Porch Because these were grey-market cameras, we could not update the firmware in them to implement the new security protocols. So, for $75, we bought two new security cameras that supported the new cctv protocols. They work fine so far, but we need to play with the settings a bit to get them to only send pictures when there is serious movement, rather than any minor change.   West Side We also found that the WiFi router we have had up there for many years is starting to flake out, so we have a new router to install on our next trip, as well. It’s not a problem for the cameras, but the WiFi internet was

Ceiling Insulation for the LittleHouse

Image
  Ceiling Insulation for the LittleHouse by rdpecken on Jun.02, 2020, under Insulation Wow, it’s been a while since we’ve done any work at the ranch (other than normal maintenance, such as battery maintenance…) Now that we have finished our kitchen remodeling at the house down in Mesa, we have the time and resources to begin work again at the ranch. The first major project to start back up is finishing the insulation inside of the LittleHouse . We started work on the ceiling insulation in April, and continued in May.     Foam Insulation Board Installed At the start of the project, there was just the bare sheathing under the roof to make up the ceiling.     Bare Sheathing   The first step was to install rafter venting panels, to allow the hot air to rise up from the bird boards to the peak of the roof. This should keep the ceiling cooler in the summer, and prevent moisture buildup in the winter. They were kind of difficult to install, due to the 45 degree bend at th

Plumbing Maintenance

Image
  Plumbing Maintenance by rdpecken on Oct.26, 2018, under Plumbing Selfie at the Ranch Tara & I made a trip up last fall (Oct 2017). While we were there, we noticed that when the outside faucets were turned on, they leaked from various places . On the West end of the house, water would gush out of the anti-siphon valve on the top of the faucet. On the East end of the house, water would trickle out of the valve stem, near the handle.   Leak spots We returned to Mesa, and attempted to find replacement parts. There were none to be found locally. I was looking for replacement anti-siphon valves and replacement o-rings for the valve stem (or packing bushing). I was not able to find anything that would fit. I went on Ebay and found the correct anti-siphon valves. They were installed and worked well. But I was still unable to find the correct size rubber o-rings for the faucets. I even went so far as to buy another faucet (but not freeze proof) to see if the o-ring on