Category — OFF-GRID 101

Pro-democracy protesters go off-grid to evade police crackdown
by TECHSTAR on SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 - 0 Comments in OFF-GRID 101

Firechat, Instagram, Whatsapp  outflank vicious government  crackdown in China

Going off-grid to beat Communist breach of charter

HONG KONG (CNN) — It was 10 PM on Sunday and 22-year-old Michelle Li, a dancer, saw Facebook updates of police tear gassing pro-democracy protesters in downtown Hong Kong. Within minutes, she followed online postings to the protest site itself — and soon had tear gas fired at her as well.

Only then did she peel her eyes from her mobile device. “While we were waging battle, we screamed out news to each other,” she tells CNN. “But before and after, I’d update people on the internet.”

It’s a high-tech response to a high-stress situation. Armed with top-of-the-line phones on some of the world’s fastest mobile networks, Hong Kong’s young protesters are able to organize themselves at a lightning pace older generations of activists could have only dreamed of. (more…)

The ultimate bachelor pad on wheels
by WRETHAOFFGRID on SEPTEMBER 27, 2014 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY, MOBILE, OFF-GRID 101, PEOPLE, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, SOLAR, WRETHA

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Brett Sutherland built the ultimate bachelor pad on wheels to suit his need for a home, balancing cost with useability without sacrificing style, this is one of the best looking tiny homes on wheels I have seen. Brett didn’t care for the tiny homes he had seen before, he felt like they were too cramped for his liking, wanting lots of head room for air flow, especially in his bedroom loft area, the design he created looks great and is very functional, there is lots of air movement as well as light. (more…)

New hybrid generator
by TECHSTAR on SEPTEMBER 23, 2014 - 0 Comments in OFF-GRID 101

UK Digger and Tractor manufacturer, JCB has launched its first hybrid diesel-electric generator set, supposedly intended for the off-grid market. But it does not allow for renewable energy inputs.

JCB claim to have developed an “intelligent,” hybrid generator. Based on the QS generators, there are 24 high-capacity, deep-cycle battery cells stored in the base of the unit. The batteries are charged by the generator itself during periods of higher load, when the engine is operating most efficiently. (more…)

Greedy power companies in Queensland
by NICK ROSEN on SEPTEMBER 21, 2014 - 0 Comments in OFF-GRID 101

By David French – journalist on the Queensland Times (a greedy newspaper)

RATHER than embracing change, the owner-custodians of Queensland’s power industry have treated it as a cash cow. They have milked the assets for cash, failing to invest in generation, and over-investing in distribution. Those lurks ended, now they are going to hive off the poles and the wires.

At the same time the overall industry has been the domain of engineers and unions, none which (generally and sadly) is particularly well versed in understanding the characteristics of markets.

Let me help all participants with a few facts: (more…)

Bobbage bridge update
by WRETHAOFFGRID on SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 - 0 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, WRETHA

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Strange name for a title, Bobbage, well if you have followed me for any length of time, you will know that Bobbage is what we call the thing that PB (Primitive Bob) does, he takes things that most would toss in the trash and makes the most wonderful (and wondrous) things with it. Today we will talk about the bridge he is building for us.

This isn’t just any bridge, not a small garden bridge, but one that will not only take foot traffic, but will hold up to trucks driving across it, one at a time of course. :) (more…)

Looking for Real Families living off the grid
by NICK ROSEN on SEPTEMBER 10, 2014 - 6 Comments in OFF-GRID 101

alaska bush peopleThe success of Alaska Bush people on Discovery TV has pushed off-grid living up the agenda. But its another example of choosing off-grid people because they are half-crazed and will say things the media love.

We are looking for Real families – who do not talk like Jess Ventura – who live TOTALLY off the grid – away from the system – using guns rather than washing machines, solar panels and not cellphones.

Please send photos now – contact nick@off-grid.net

Cheap portable solar power setup
by SHANNON on AUGUST 31, 2014 - 1 Comment in ENERGY, OFF-GRID 101

$700 energy gather and storage

Take your power anywhere

The chatter about solar power and energy storage over the last few years, might make you come to the wrong conclusion that such systems are neither portable nor affordable.

But testing out an off-road, off-grid solar power setup, we recently came to some interesting conclusions. Like many who read this, we like the outdoors but our kids tend to destroy the calm with their demands for the comforts of home. To tell you the truth, I believe that every single camping trip I’ve ever been on has been in the rain, so I can understand why bringing along some of the comforts of home can be attractive. Unfortunately, those “comforts” might include things like the laptop, a television, or a refrigerator. Going beyond this, what happens when the comforts of home are taken away by power outage, whether by storm or blackout?

This tends to happen regularly at my place in the highlands of Majorca’s Tramuntana mountains, such as last night when we lost power for a few hours. Candles only go so far, and do nothing for the refrigerator, laptops for work, cell phones for communication (the local cell tower has backup power) or the electric shower. A cheap Chinese 800W generator is a little over $150, not to mention fuel costs. On the other hand, depending on how much power you need, a small solar power system and energy storage could be all that is required. (more…)

Get to know your property before you build
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 23, 2014 - 2 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, WRETHA

wind and rock

OK, you have purchased your land, you are all excited about getting your off grid homestead going, but before you set your first post, before you lay your first board, there are some things you should do first, taking these steps will help to insure your place will be the best place it can be.

The first thing you should do is walk your land, especially if there is acreage concerned, you need to get to know your land as best you can, pick out more than one potential spot, then camp out on your land, as often as you can, for as many seasons as you can. Try to be there during rain, wind and such. The reason this is important is you NEED to know where the winds blow, the direction, you need to know how the drainage works, you don’t want to build where it’s going to flood. (more…)

Living and building off grid on the cheap
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 16, 2014 - 4 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, WRETHA
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Dimensional lumber, nearly stacked and ready for their second life….

Going off grid on the cheap, it’s possible to do, but you should be creative and flexible, the property was the biggest expense, buying a property with “issues” made that expense much less than it could have been.

Our property’s issue was the access, it has a seasonal creek that runs across the front/bottom of the property, so driving up on the property is tricky if not impossible. We didn’t mind, the rest of the property was great.

One of the things we do to build cheap (sometimes free) is to constantly be on the lookout for free materials to recycle or re-purpose. It’s not the same as going to the lumber store and buying what we need, we often are gifted with material that would normally go to the dump at odd times, this material has its issues, the lumber is rough, has nails, screws and other hardware, sometimes ends of lumber are rotten, damaged or cut off, as I said, you need to be creative. (more…)


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