Upgrading Solar on the Vome

So the time has come to show some more of the VOME build out.  SO, here’s another “how did” video and a little introduction.

I wanted to increase the ability to charge my house batteries in lower light levels, without unpacking the folding  panel and just the overall redundancy the extra panel would provide.  Spending time in all kind of places presents challenges for using solar.  Out west in the desert areas it’s a sure thing you can find the sunshine you need.  The shade of a forest is a different story, no different book.

I mounted the panel from my old van on top of the VOME near the rear since the rooftop real estate was a bit crowded.  My plan was to leave room for expansion, and now we expand.  Let’s look at what I did and “how did” when it came to mounting these on a fiberglass roof.  But first consider the roof is actually two “skins” an outer one and an inner one.  The problem this presents is I can’t get to the outer skin from inside to install a backing plate.  That’s why I’ll be using a fastener called a well nut.IMG_20160813_100404.jpgHere’s a video that explains how these fasteners work… Kayak Fishing – Hardware Installation Options, Rivets and Well Nuts.  Now that you’ve seen how they work let me also point out they work to provide a certain amount on isolation from vibration.  IMG_20160813_100415.jpgThe one I’m using here is for a 1/4″-20 bolt and required a hole that was 1/2″ in diameter to allow it to be inserted.IMG_20160813_100512.jpgUsing stainless steel bolts and washers to anchor the brackets on the panel to the roof.IMG_20160813_113348.jpgNotice how as you tighten the bolt it not only expands in the hole to grip it also seals against the roof.  Because there is only rubber in contact with the fiberglass it will not try to wear it’s way out.IMG_20160813_113457.jpgThe outcome???

Well I’m satisfied.  The electrical outcome???

Well turning on everything I could and with the sun playing hide and seek behind clouds the buss voltage bounced happily between 13.1 and 14.2 volts.

This allows us to be more independent in our travels and adventures.

“Get out, Be safe, Go adventure.”


Scotch Eggs

So I saw this recipe on the James Townsend and Sons website where they make it look so easy and decided I gotta try it.  So here we go!  Let’s mince up some ham, country ham and fresh eggs would be better since they don’t require refrigeration.


While four eggs are on to hard boil I started on mincing the ham.  In this case I’m running some packaged city ham through the grinder to create ham mince.  This could be done by hand with knife and mashing tool.  But, today I have solar panels to work on and utilized some tools for shortcuts.   😉

Doesn’t that look nice?  That’s about two cups of minced ham.
I added one egg.  Next time I use city ham with “water added” I’ll be adding two eggs.  The egg is just a binder for holding the ham together.
Now wrap the ham mince around the hard-boiled eggs for a coating of about 1/2 inch or so.
This is the setup, today I’ll be using the rocket stove with the same trivet I use in my Dutch oven.  The trivet raises the pan to help reduce the hot spot in the middle.
Lessons learned here?  Make sure the oil or other cooking medium is up to temp before putting in because you’re gonna be rolling these and setting the ham coating fairly quickly.  Also, take the extra time to be sure your cooking surface is actually level.
There ya go…  Nice brown Scotch Eggs.  I added no salt, pepper or other seasoning.  The ingredients are simply minced ham and eggs.
And here’s what they look like on the plate.
Sorry, close to the last bite.  I hope you enjoyed.

So until we cook and dine again…

GOLD ! ! !

We just got back from another small adventure. And while putting together the pictures from two different cameras I saw these and remembered I didn’t show you our gold expedition.  While it was not a lot to get excitited about it, was relaxing, and fun.  Plus we did find some very fine gold flakes!

Libby and Layla enjoyed the time playing in the creek.

DSCN3774This certainly was a beautiful setting to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Now down to business.  We set up our mini-sluice and got started digging holes.DSCN3765Ok, so digging the holes to try and reach the bedrock where the black sand and gold would be settled was not so relaxing.  Brenda and I took turns digging and processing the raw materials.DSCN3768So the mini-sluice is set and working…  This was the second most cool part.  The first part of course is working down the “concentrates”.  You see that’s what you end up with after it goes through the sluice.

We both wanted to play in the sluice since it was helping to concentrate the “good stuff.”

The outcome???   We found several small flakes of very fine gold and the confidence that we could do this.  We will soon be “penny-aires” at this rate!!!

This was about getting out enjoying each others company in nature and doing things that others have never tried.  How much gold have you found lately, hmm?   We also met some folks that were real helpful with hints and tips.  Which goes to show that there are many communities full of folks that want to share their knowledge and experiences.

This was just a short post, during the same short time we collected geodes in another stream and camped with an old friend in the Cherokee Nat’l Forest.

Now that i’ve posted this back to work on what I was really doing…

Until next time…

“Get out, Be safe, and Go adventure”