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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 231 total)
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  • in reply to: off grid in australia #68586
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    Why not use state of the art long lasting micro-hydro generators?

     

    in reply to: off grid in australia #68584
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    Yes, it would be best to wash all the rocks, gravels, and sand first.   Then it is gray water.  It has microbes and chemicals that sand will not remove in it.  For the rest of the way to drinking water it has to go through filters down to 1 micron and activated charcoal.  Then to a UV sterilization light, and pumped on to the pressure tank.

    in reply to: off grid in australia #68571
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    We’ve now been off grid over 17 years.  Within 8 years there were no debts.  Everything self done with a lot of gumption.    Still need to go to the nearest town with stores about weekly, but I am now 65, and on SSA retirement.  Sweat equity and solar power did it, otherwise we would have to eat garbage ‘food’.  The Earthship only grows enough vegetables year round for one person, in reality.   Land line with half ass ‘high speed’ internet all bundled with Dish TV, and propane for heat, plus maintenance and replacement when necessary.  It is really  necessary to have some links with other people, and to have a source of income, and many talents, with energy to spare.

    No island for me at the rate of sea level rise, and the fact that the Atlantic La Palma Slide tsunami and the Pacific Cascadia Event are both due.

    in reply to: off grid in australia #68569
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    to the original poster, that is camping out, with its own regulations depending on location.  Usually there are time limits even if you own the property, unless you’ve put in a septic system.  Some experimental Earthships have solar toilets, but need a second system for cold and cloudy days.  Some places would accept a non-electric composting toilet.

    in reply to: off grid in australia #68570
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    Real Goods has various size micro-hydro generators, or you could just Google .  No dams, and if it is your side of the stream, and flowing fast enough in all seasons, free electricity with less hassle.  Hard to find land like that.

    in reply to: Whats the best wood cook stove? Opinions? #68459
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    I have two Boxwood Stoves from Harbor Freight that cost me 280 plus venting, which cost about the same, or more.  They have worked well as wood stoves heating and cooking.  In summer or above 40*F we use a Sun Oven .

    Definitely don’t have the room or money for one of those old time kitchen wood stoves!

    in reply to: Are you really off the grid? #68460
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    There was a thread with a similar title before.  Roaming……..roaming……..  that is all I got and turned the cell phone in.

    Yeah, I don’t like more towers or even ANY of the grid monstrosities.   All of them with ugliness and weaknesses.  From old phone and power lines to bursting water mains and overloaded uncomposted city sewage, or blowing gas lines and crashing oil bomb trains.

    in reply to: DIY water purifier #68457
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    I made a filter in high school Biology.  Swamp water into a coffee can with a hole in the bottom.  Fine sand bottom with courser sand above, then small pebbles to larger rocks at the top.  Then I added one drop of tincture of iodine to a glass, stirred a minute then drank it.

    We use screen pre-filters for my catchment tank.  It goes by DC pump with a switch, through a very good filter, if pure water is needed.  Otherwise the water is used for all the gardens.  Gravity to waterers, and hand watered.  I learned not to use plastic tubes for drip irrigation from their twisting tendency.  Not enough room for the spirulina method.

    Apparently beast felt too censored and left.  I was gone because of a forced computer change because of an antivirus virus.  Lost all the contacts and favorites.  Now I am back.  The old vet with all solar and Earthship in CO at 8,878′.

    in reply to: Perpetrator or Victim #68458
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    Yeah, keep everything out of sight and ready for action.  I would not like living in an area that requires motion detectors, game cameras and the like that use more power, battery or inverter.  Further complications to simple living.

    in reply to: Where to Learn Sustainable Living? #67929
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    The first thing I did was have only one child at 39(1988).  Then read the book “Earthship” and the Solar Living Sourcebook from the local library(1993).   Then a few more books, and a lot of effort over several years(1997-2000).  Our eco-footprint is 1/20th the American average.  We may have 9 more years to reduce emissions 90%.

    in reply to: Earth Ship #67919
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    Locally, there was a “pogo stick” used.  Basically a 4″ ball beater run by a 20 hp. compressor.   I bought a 22.5 lb (equivalent to a 35lb) Bosch Demolition Hammer with a 5″ square compactor face in addition to the chisel.   Initial compaction was best done with me pulling the decomposed granite in hard by hand.  I got good inflation this way.  Then more dirt and large rubber mallets, then small sledge hammers, then the 8lb. sledge.  Then fill several times with the Bosch giving road base type compaction (in fact I used it below the first course for more soil compaction).  Every other tire, every other course was soil-cement filled(2K PSI tested) with vertical rebar scraps that overlapped 9″,  As each course was packed, 2x10s and ripped plywood screwed to the tires on the outside and expanded metal lathe screwed to the tires thru large washers or plywood scrap pieces, all leveled with a laser level marking the rebar with nail polish and hand leveling from there.  Into this was poured soil cement, with aluminum cans after the 3rd course in the voids and half tires formed. They also had rocks and metal scrap put in for non-weakening fill.  The top where tires didn’t show was scratched with a notched trowel.  The next day the forms were taken off and a new course or continuation of a course started.   This allowed weatherproof and stable construction.  I have heard of tire walls falling, and seen them way out of line and plumb.   I used a 7 1/4 x 11″ w/2 horizontal rebar tied in to bent over vertical pieces with a 2×8 greenplate on top inside or outside flush.  I used gradually decreasing tire sizes and went from a 1′ in 16′ radius to 6″ so straight bond beams could be used.  I used real concrete at  the major beam bearing points and bond beams and top 1″ of dyed concrete floor with 1’x1′ cuts to simulate tile(slip formed).  Slip form garden walls with cans and rebar verticals and two horizontals.  I used a 2×6 with 2×2 15* ripped key with holes for the rebar, on the long wall section.  Catchment came through the top course with plastic small  bubble wrap taped around for contraction/expansion, and 4″ ABS drain from galv. gutters with screens to the 425 gallon tank inside on a platform.  The roof plywood had several coats of acrylic roofing with screen strips laying in at all joints.   The darkest color they had was tan.  The catchment system eventually gets ice blocked every winter but the water lasts for the gardens.  I use an insulated roof vent rather than less insulated and kind of useless skylights.  The main thing about it is that it needs a way to dehumidify with vents or an electric one allowed for with the solar or wind, or combo system.  Also, it is a mistake to use anything but modern new windows for the front wall.  Any more questions, I visit on occasion.

    in reply to: Inverters for Computers #67917
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    I have had no problem with the high quality modified sine wave inverters running the computer for 15 years.

    What has damaged them is surges from lightning through the cable or phone line welding and pitting the mother board.

    So now, when severe storms are coming I unplug from the wall the DSL/telephone connection in addition to turning off the power strip.   I have had no problems with most electric motors, but a few cheapies can’t take it or make noise.

    For my guitar amps, I have a selectable pure sine wave inverter.   The home stereo runs fine on modified sine wave, as does the well pump, heater fan, TV and DVD/VHS players.  When I was building, modified sine wave (twin DR2424s) ran Skilsaw, drill, jig saw, router, table saw, and cement mixer with no problem.  I haven’t even had the problems that are supposed to happen with adapters or AC to DC chargers for cordless equipment.

    in reply to: Earth Ship #67909
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    I became interested when I read the book in 1993.  Seven years later I finally built mine.  I used my experience to make it safer, stronger and faster.  Much of it can be had from the books, which are secretive about soil-cement.  You should also read about concrete.  I can’t write a whole book worth of instructions here.  After you read the three Earthship books, the concrete estimating book, and the solar living sourcebook by realgoods.com, and get the right land, then I can help with specifics.  It [b]is[/b] a [b]lot[/b] of work.  A step at a time, with extreme vigor and determination, artistry, and eventually you have a place to live that is unlike the usual ugly tract home or wasteful custom frame/log or brick/block home.  No electric bills or water bills, gardens of year around food, self heated, and just all around the coolest and most eco of all construction.  Freedom and independence at its epitome.

    in reply to: want to start a village #67646
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    I once had a site promoting that which I thought at the time would be sustainable and nice; Earthship Villages. Built and lived in by intelligent strong people, with some having enough capability to manufacture batteries, solar panels, generators, inverters, and other power equipment to use. Plus the ability to protect themselves from hostile outside groups.
    Growing their own food, recycling everything, keeping the population constant or near so. Growing in the Earthships, using aquaponics, raising rabbits, chickens, outside grain and woods, with pasture, orchards— a regular utopia, connected to other villages by radio or satellite. The sum total of human knowledge with each village. Kind of a high tech agrarian society with bartering food, manufactured items, education, labor, and child care.
    That was before I found out about the probability of going worse than PETM. Then I thought of underground fortresses with GenIV nuclear grow lights, a good aquifer, and similar living arrangement except underground.
    The outside villages would eventually lose all their outside growing, unless they went nomadic toward the poles. Even then time would run out for them. As it would for those underground who would have no survivable surface for two hundred thousand years.
    So one hope is to reduce emissions 90% within a decade and hope as we live through momentum and the 400 year cool down, almost all after a rapid die-off period.
    Another hope is for a geologic incident which reduces population through economic meltdown or loss of a season of growing globally.

    in reply to: Single women living off grid #67623
    Dustoffer
    Participant

    Self sufficiency and local bartering are in the future.  Overpopulation is pushing everything, and who knows when the tipping points will be crossed for this biosphere.  Then there is peak oil, water, soil, and food.   https://peakfood.co.uk/what%E2%80%99s-peak-food/

    Our government for some treason reason, seems to want to make it worse, and have hurt millions of people.

    For those of us who can see ahead, off grid is the only way to go.  Sure there is some sacrifice, and a lot of hard work—that’s the way it is.  We want to try to survive the future, and to the future, and, with me, even make the future survivable.  :)

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 231 total)