Friday, October 30, 2009

First Taste Of Winter 09'

Live here in the mountains.

Thursday early morning the front slowly crept through the Davis Mountains ,bringing with it a little snow and sleet , and some wind.

Low temp Thursday here at the cabin 27 degrees

High 43 degrees.

Low temp Friday 32 degrees @ 5:05 am.

Current conditions : 4o degrees @ 10:45 am ,Winds NW @ 15 to 20 mph and sunny.

Got second trailer load in on Wednesday night and unloaded .

The moving progress steady and working out quite well.

Some shots from Thursday morning.

Actually my first taste of winter this year.

The first thing we woke to that morning 27 degrees and light snow.

A look to the North.

Tom's first taste also. (click the html code for pic)

I belive he really enjoyed this little dusting from the clouds.

We went out for a little drive about and came up on a flock of wild turkeys walking the road.

With a few more friends.

Thanksgiving reminder for sure. (html problems again just click the link for pics)

Been having a blast this week , But need to keep moving forward to keep up with the sechuled for June departure from the coast.
and that's the way it is !

Monday, October 26, 2009

Back Home for 1 Day

I'm Back,

A few new shots from a place in Texas.

If you can find it !

We saw this critter on the way up,

If ya got a real truck , you just might make it !

Another view going down , to rough going up to shoot .

All it takes is a little skill ? or maybe some nuts .(lol)

This little piece of heaven is in Texas.

Some of you folks may see something in the far background , It has a name and its a mountain south of Alpine. (comments welcome)

This is about as high as you can drive a truck in Texas.

A private view not many people have ever seen.
Sorry html giving me some problems , just click the code for the picture.

border=0 alt="" src="">

My friend throw's a rock towards Old Mexico 100 miles to the South.

Like I said this is "Elevation"

Glad to be back on the air .

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Moving Day Sucks , But Could Be Worse !

Been dreading this day since we signed papers on our home .

Many Thanks and kudos to the friends that got tough and helped us dig out of our little place by the bay.

It's kinda sad to leave this little seaside home , But we Got a go ! Time for a change of scenes.

Our daughter's last year at school here , Then out west to 6000 feet for good.

My wife just took some shots at random but wanted all , to see my plants , I try not to buy plants because I have that green thumb , they were all started from cuttings or from the sick plant section at HEB for 50 cents each.

This was crucial step to getting out to the mountains , and a chance to thin down the inventory for a little more conservative lifestyle. So I look at this as beneficial to our health and well being in the future ! Going to try and make early service today , So see ya later!

I had this little place fixed up real good for our lifestyle.

When I went outside that morning the condensation from the humid coast line gave my Nikon hell . Because that's not fog it was my lens fogging up !

There were about 70 potted plants aboard the plant trip to my brothers home, his place looks pretty good now!

The place looks bare now,

Brisket was cooked the Friday before moving the big stuff

13 pounder and ready to hit the smoker for 18 hours.

Hard to get everyone interested in working your ass off !!!

The really heavy stuff . The piano has been in my wife's family for 75 years and my daughter made sure that no one dropped it !

The attic was a curse ,I think the boxes were reproducing while the where up there as I don't remember there being so damn many of them , Thanks to the many friends and the chain gang style , it was not that bad , I was in the attic , Tom on the stairs , Brian , Billy and Brad on the ground helped this nightmare come to an end !

My younger Brother and his son.

The U.T. Texas /Oklahoma game was going on at the same time the brisket was done , So we all kicked back popped some cold ones and watched Texas kick the Red Sea back across the Texas border till next year . final score : Tex 16 / Okla 13 . And Buy the way , just in case ya wanted to know

Living the right way , Our friends , and the way they responded when we needed a hand ,
It's Gods way of lending a hand and leading us to a better place ,Below shows just how much .

I told ya them boxes were making love up there .

No we ain't done , Just taking a break between loads

Thanks ,Kathy and Tom (i know i met a friend for life), Heika , Brian , Brad , Billie , Dustin , Leonard , Without your help this would have been a bear .
and that's the way it is

Friday, October 16, 2009

Here's Your System OGT.

1750 watt system Mod Sine Wave

Inverter 1750 watt

The XPower 1750 offers 1750 watts for 5 minutes.1500 watts continuous. 3000 watt surge. On-off switch; 3 AC outlets; LED bar graph displays output power.Only 0.4 amp DC idle draw. Overload, over temp, and over voltage protection. Low voltage alarm and low voltage cut-out. Heavy duty stud connectors for use with BC10-2/0 battery cable. 1 year warranty
I-XPOWER 1750: $335 shipping $18.00

Battery Bank. 6 volt X 6 = 675 amp hours reserve. 3 strings of 2 @ 225 amp hours per string @150.00 each =$ 900.00

Trojan B-T105-RE
B-T105-RE: This "RE" model has a 5 year warranty. 65 lbs; 10 3/8" x 7 1/8" x 11 3/4" tall; 6v 225 ah
Trojan T-105-RE Batteries & accessories: $150.00 each

Charge Controller

Morningstar Tristar Charge Controllers
45 amp model for 12, 24, and 48 volt Systems

Morningstar’s TriStar Controller is a three-function controller that provides reliable solar battery charging, load control or diversion regulation. The controller operates in one of these modes at a time and two or more controllers may be used to provide multiple functions. The Controller is UL listed and has a 5 year warranty.
Key Features and Benefits
• Large heat sink and conservative design enables operating at full ratings to 45°C. No need to de-rate.
• RS-232 connects to a personal computer for custom settings, data logging and remote monitoring and control.
• DIP switch provides user with a choice of 7 different digital presets and custom settings via RS-232.
• Fully protected against reverse polarity, short circuit, overcurrent, high temperature, and overvoltage.
• Larger power terminals and conduit knockouts . Extra space for wire turns. Fits on power panels.
• Connecting battery sense wires and optional remote temperature sensor will improve control accuracy. Constant voltage series PWM algorithm increases battery capacity and life.
• 3 LED’s to indicate status, faults and alarms. Optional meter displays extensive system and controller information, automatic self-test and reset capabilities. Meter connection via RJ-11 phone jack.
• Pushbutton provides manual reset and stop/start battery equalization or load disconnect.
C-TRISTAR 45: 45 amp controller: $165
(shipping $12

Solar PV Array 2 X $595.00 = $1090.00

UL Listed 25 year Warranty Polycrystalline Silicon Module
High Efficiency; High Reliability; High Safety
Mitsubishi has applied leading-edge technology from its space-related applications to terrestrial systems to create high performance photovoltaic power-generation systems for an astonishing range of installations. Mitsubishi has successfully produced the first cells that do not require solder coatings. This accomplishment is a milestone in the development of environmentally friendly composite materials.
Solder free; Black surface field structure; Anti-reflective coating; with MC4 multi contact cabling.

7.25 amp each, you could add 1 panel per year until your solar charge amps work for you needs,

All these are avaliable at Backwoods Solar.

I consider this a economy system for a small budget

Price for this , materials only with no cabling = $2500.00

Solar panels carry a 25 year warranty.

Battery's carry a 5 year warranty

Charge Controller a 5 year warranty

Inverter a 1 year warranty.

You would need to have a generator and battery charger for this system. Until more solar amps are added for charging.

and that's the way it is.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hey Off Grid ! Your Anwser.


The system design is just an example of a "backup" system the typical D.I.Y. could build himself with not much cost involved .
The components selected are matched to the system capacity ,

The larger inverter would require a much larger solar array to charge a much larger battery bank and much more dollars later ya got a Big System !

Look at the backup system and what it would be used for. Temporary grid outage , these generally last a few hours no longer than a day in most cases ,You would have 5 amps @ 120volts that has the ability to recharge each day to full battery capacity with each days sun , giving you CFL lites , computer , modem and small lcd tv , and no more just the minimal to get bye on.
you got only 2 125 watt panels to charge 4 battery's running a 600 watt inverter(5 amps) with built in receptacles ,simple and for the cost its a real deal.You could also use this every day to trim a little off you electric bill each month

What you need to understand is the ability to recharge what you have is what makes it renewable .
also for this example cost out lay up($3200.00 ) front to go from a backup system to a good reliable 1500 watt system (12 amps 120volts)would double or more ,inverter $850.00 to $1200.00 ,battery's upgrades to meet expected demand from larger inverter would double again to 1200.00 or more, because this is where you decide to up grade the battery system to better battery's so instead of $600.00 you jump to $1800.00 to 2000.00.
To charge to larger bank would require triple the solar watts to 750 watts or more 6 125 watt panels , again triple the cost $3500.00.

Now ya got some money here and would need a qualified installer to put it together 1200.00 inverter , Battery's 2000.00 ,P.V.panels X 6 = 3600.00 plus charge controller and additional cabling necessary the system cost have gone to 7200.00 plus installation add 1500.00 .Now your reaching 8500.00 plus.

just increasing the inverter wattage output dose not upgrade the system.

hope this helps


Saturday, October 10, 2009

600 Watt Back-up Renewable P.V. 120 volt system.

Today I have taken the time to give an example of a small backup P.V. system

This is for information only , If your handy and understand proper use of basic tools and safety procedures , You can assemble this and be online in a couple of days.

A Small True Sine Wave Inverter can solve the problem of a few low-wattage appliances that require only true sine wave power, without upgrading your whole-house inverter to true sine wave. A small inverter can be dedicated to just the computers, a computerized sewing machine or recording equipment. Newly designed for heavy-duty industrial and commercial applications, the Samlex Cotek 600 has two, on board, GFCI protected outlets. Equally robust, the Sure Sine 300 must be hard-wired. Both models offer extensive electronic protection against reverse polarity, overload, short circuit, over/under voltage, and over temp. Two year warranty.
600 watts continuous, 680 watts for 3 minutes, and an 800 watt surge. Includes battery terminal lugs that you crimp to 4 gauge copper wire that you provide. Use a 100 amp fuse in the (+) battery cable. No load current consumed is 0.87 amps. Do not connect to an AC breaker panel. On board load controlled cooling fan. Rated operating range:0° to +30° C (+/-10%). Input voltage: 10.5-15.0. 12"x7"x3" 5.4 lbs, UL Listed
I-SAMLEX COTEK 600 12 volt....................$395 (shipping $10)

(This inverter dose not come with a built in charger , denziel)

Solar panels :
UL Listed 25 year Warranty Polycrystalline Silicon Module
High Efficiency; High Reliability; High Safety
Mitsubishi has applied leading-edge technology from its space-related applications to terrestrial systems to create high performance photovoltaic power-generation systems for an astonishing range of installations. Mitsubishi has successfully produced the first cells that do not require solder coatings. This accomplishment is a milestone in the development of environmentally friendly composite materials.
Solder free; Black surface field structure; Anti-reflective coating; with MC4 multi contact cabling

MF125UE-125 watts Amps 7.23 @ 14.4 volts

Open circuit voltage = 17.3

Price $ 595.00 x 2 = $1090.00 + shipping

XANTREX C-35, Charge Controller
C-35 35 Amps; 12 or 24 volt
3-stage voltage control
Series for Solar
or Diversion for Hydro or Wind
2 year warranty
Size 9" x 5" x 2"
Built in terminals accept wire size up to 2 gauge
CONSTANT CHARGE VOLTAGE: Most advanced control method has 3 stages: full solar charge to Bulk Voltage you set as maximum, then tapers off charge in Absorption mode, just enough to keep batteries at, but not exceeding, the bulk voltage you set. After one hour at bulk voltage, a lower Float Voltage takes effect to prevent overcharge.
DIVERSION CONTROL: XANTREX C35, C40 & C60 can be used as diversion control for wind or hydro. To set up as diversion control, order air or water heat diversion resistors.

BATTERY EQUALIZATION: Higher voltage automatically equalizes batteries once a month, or can be started manually anytime, or disabled for sealed batteries.
OPTIONAL DIGITAL DISPLAY of both charge amps and battery volts, plus counts amp-hours of charge since last reset. Highly recommended.
C-35DD Charge Control & Digital Display: $210
(ship $12)


Electric Vehicle or Golf Cart Batteries are easier to lift at 65 pounds each, size 10" x 7" x 11". These are a popular and economical battery for home power systems. This mass produced consumer battery has the best price per amp-hour of any quality battery.
Each battery is 6 volts, made of three 2-volt cells in one unit. Six-volt batteries are series connected in pairs for 12 volts, or in strings of four batteries for 24 volts, or 8 to make 48 volts. Then several of these is 4 to 6 years. 12 month warranty series strings may be parallel connected to add more ampere-hour capacity. Each series string is rated 225 ampere hours, so two strings are 450 Ampere-Hours, 3 are 675 A.H., 4 are 900 A.H., 5 are 1125 A.H., etc. Interconnect diagrams are supplied. Life expectancy.
FREE ACCESSORIES included with Trojan batteries are the Battery Book, and a glass hydrometer. Distant customers call for pick-up locations near you, usually at no shipping cost.
B-T105-RE: This "RE" model has a 5 year warranty. 65 lbs; 10 3/8" x 7 1/8" x 11 3/4" tall; 6v 225 ah
Trojan T-105-RE Batteries & accessories: $150

4 x 150.00 = $ 600.00 = 450 amp hour string $600.00. plus shipping if any.

Backup System basic hard parts = Inverter = $395.00 SAMLEX COTEK 600 WATT 12V
Shipping $ 10.00

XANTREX C-35, Charge Controller $210.00
Shipping $12.00
Trojan T-105-RE Batteries & accessories: $600.00 local pickup

125 watt panels 2x 595.00 $ 1090.00

The accessories for connection of system add $250.00 estimated

basic setup cost =$ 3200.00 D.Y.I.

Installer price add $850 00

I designed this in about 30 minuets and it will be dependable for backup power for basic needs , CFL lighting , radio , small lcd tv , computer and modem ,

This is not a Hard Wired system , (2) 5-15 N.E.M.A. gfic receptacles are built in the inverter and designed for corded devices only.

This system will operate for up to 7 hours at 80% max ratted wattage (about 4 amps@ 120 volts) without charging. Conservation is key in an emergency blackout.

cheers !


Friday, October 9, 2009

Can "You" go Off Grid ?

The site will soon become an education on renewable sources, water harvesting, electricity , food , establishing a seed bank and survival in mountain terrain ,

This is the first step to going off grid , Deciding how comfortable you want to be. I could live only off the land using candles made from paraffin , cooking on a wood stove or ground pit , But I'm more advanced than a cave man and have an education.

I have been a rural camper my entire life and know how to start from scratch in most all conditions , I can harvest meat and fish , grow essential vegetables ,collect water and build shelters .fire is in my blood so is cooking.
Thank You very much mom and dad , For letting my brother and me join
"The Boy Scout's of America" for 10 years for our lives !

More about harvesting the sun for electricity .

It's expensive on initial outlay .but remember your going to have your own power plant on "Your Property" so when your neighbors complain about energy cost's and black outs , you just say , O'ya ? didn't hear anything about that ?

Below is a basic worksheet to calculate your daily electrical usage .

This same worksheet is on line at :



Start by finding how many watts each appliance needs. Be sure you use watt figures from special energy-efficient appliances recommended for solar electric homes, like compact fluorescent bulbs and solar-electric designed refrigerators. Do not add appliances that should be propane fueled.

Then multiply listed watts of each appliance by the number of hours per day, on average, that appliance runs. This gives watt-hours per day for that light or appliance. Do this for each appliance. The total for all appliances is your total watt-hours needed each day.

Figures below show some appliances commonly used in independent solar homes. insert your own daily hours for each and add other appliances not listed. Refrigerators come on and off on demand by thermostat, so running time per day is not known.


Microwave oven, average size 1260
Microwave, small, with timer knob 900
Food blender or processor 200
Toaster 1200
Clothes washer, standard 700
Clothes washer, efficient (Staber) 200
Vacuum Cleaner 550
Electric blanket 180
DC power bed-warmer 60
Refrigerator/freezer, 15 cu ft energy star 1500
Small apartment refrigerator,
4 cu ft 1000
12/24 volt RV NovaKool 4 cu. ft. with added insulation 250
10 cu ft freezer, standard 1000
10 cu ft Crosley Chest Freezer 500
Window air conditioner, smallest 660
Ceiling fan, AC 60
Ceiling fan, 12/24 volt DC 5 - 20
Water well pump, 120 volt AC 100 gal/day 1000
Water well pump, DC 100 gal/day 100
Standard 60 watt light
(not recommended) 60
Compact fluorescent bulbs equal to 60 watt incandescent 15
Computer 100
HP Lazerjet printer in operation 90
19" color TV 85
20" LCD TV 120
32" LCD TV 140
50" LCD TV 160
Satellite receiver 20
Quality Stereo 40

Note from Denziel :
If you understand ohms law you can design your own system from there website.

Commercial electrical construction experience is required for proper code correct installation of your system design ,

A typical DIY can usually build a simple 600 watt backup or emergency supply system .This is a 5 amp supply good for limited use of computer, modem and some CFL lighting and small lcd tv. Usually this is from an inverter with built in 120 volt N.E.M.A. 5-15 duplex receptacle and extension cord with a 3 way adapter and recommended for temporary use in emergency

The system listed in my last post requires extensive experience to assemble , install , operate and maintain.

As this system will be installed during new construction of the home with no grid power connection to the property. I have control of entire design top to bottom .

The first project will be construction of battery bank slab and housing before 1800 pounds of battery's arrive on site.

For the next 6 months post's will be about self sustainability , new construction , and total off grid "Green" living . Composting and greenhouse design and construction. Rain water harvest and storage . Also water purification for drinking. food storage and preserving. canning and gardening tips for high elevations.

For you folks that think I just talking , understand this ! I've been on this course for more than 15 years and my plans are already in play at this time.

My site will soon be a go to site for information from an experienced mountain man .

I am a man of my word as my reputation precedes me in the region I will soon call home again .

This post will remain up until we make another move on infrastructure construction at 6000 feet.

cheers !


stayed tuned for more

Come here only for the truth and to be informed from experience in life !

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Solar has been designed to meet expected needs !

This is the final design on the solar only portion of the renewable electrical system for the mountains.
This is not a system a typical home owner can install by yourself.

If interested you can try a local contractor and see if he has "TREIA"
(Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association)
class 1 design and installation certification.

Charging System

REC 220 watt PV panels

Solar array only. These panels are rated at @7.7 amps , voltage 28.7 full sun ,
and open circuit voltage 36.0

Uncompromising Quality
The REC AE-US Series is a high-quality series of solar modules designed to meet exceptional standards for system and module performance.
• REC manufactures its own silicon, wafers, cells and modules and does extensive quality control throughout the complete production process. REC can be depended upon to provide a secure, steady supply of modules that are manufactured to the highest standards of quality from beginning to end.
The REC AE-US Series utilizes:
• 60 high efficiency, multicrystalline 6.14 inch (156mm) square cells.
• Specially treated tempered glass that provides outstanding performance in low-light conditions.
• Glass is rated to withstand 3/4 inch hailstones at 120 miles per hour. The modules are designed to withstand heavy snow and wind conditions.
• The easy-access rear junction box has built-in bypass diodes to minimize the effects of shading.
• The laminate’s Tedlar backing and anodized aluminum frame ensures many years of peak performance.
Quick Installation
Multi-Contact Solarline 2 MC4 locking connectors allow quick and easy inter-module connection, and system installation. The MC FlexSol double-insulated output wiring provides for safer array wiring, and makes the REC AE-US Series compatible with the use of transformerless inverter technology. This insures that the REC AE-US Series is ready today to work with tomorrow’s inverter technologies.
Environmentally friendly Products & Processes
The REC AE-US Series generates reliable and environmentally friendly electricity. The cell and module production processes are designed to maximize recycling and reduce environmental impact. REC polysilicon is manufactured in the US (Moses Lake, WA and Butte, MT). REC wafers, cells and modules are manufactured in Scandinavia.

Price = $ 660.00 X 8 = $ 5280.00 @ 100% = 62.1 charge amps full sun summer @ 24 volts)
@ 80% = 49.6 charge amps (cloudy or winter)

Battery Bank


Part #
B-4-KS-25PS 4

Amp-Hours 1350

dc volts = 4

weight 315 lbs


This new generation, deep cycle, flooded lead acid battery offers high capacity and heavy duty plate grids which resist positive plate breakdown. The plates are double insulated with glass mat and polyethylene envelope, eliminating the possibility of separator misalignment, cracked separators, and shorting.

Each 4 volt cell is built into its own lightweight container made of durable polypropylene. The cells are then assembled into a tough outer container with a removable lid. Even if this outer container cracked, acid spills are prevented and the battery still operates. The individual cells are bolted together allowing the battery to be disassembled and the cells individually removed for easy on-site installation.

Price = $1150.00 x 6 = 24 volts = $ 7000.00 plus shipping.

This is the heart of the system.

Rated at 3200 Cycles at a 50% Depth of Discharge. Ten year warranty: three years full warranty; and then seven years pro-rated warranty

Inverter: 24 volt x 3500 watts AC @ 120 volts


input volts dc 24

output watts 3500 ac

note from denziel , (ac/watts 3,500 @ 120 volts = 29.1 countious amps single phase max . So with an inverter draw @ 25 amps ac = battery discharge rate per hour = 125 amp hours.)

Cost $2295

weight 60 pounds
FX Inverter with optional covers
Left side- FXACA
Right side- FXDCA
VFX/FX Turbo are true sine wave inverter with battery charger and 60 amp automatic AC transfer relay. Output is 2000 to 3600 watts continuous. Surge of 70 amps AC for 1msec each. These inverter can operate alone, or with up to eight together. No-load power used is 3 watts when in automatic sleep-mode (on loads on); or 20 watts if programmed to keep AC on full time. Peak efficiency is greater than 90%. The FX series is completely sealed against dust and moisture, the die-cast aluminum housing protects and cools with the externally mounted fan for greater battery charging results..
Battery charging current ranges from 35 amps to 125 amps depending on the model.. Automatic programmable generator start is included.

Battery Meter
Outback MATE system controller, optional accessory, connects to the FM60 as a remote control. MATE duplicates the built-in control panel that comes with the FM60 and FM80. MATES can also program and remote control Outback inverters, from a location 300 feet distant. MATE includes a RS232 computer port for data logging.


Maximum Power Point Tracking
To Boost Solar Amps
For 12 Through 48 Volt Batteries
Can also charge 12 or 24 volt Battery
from up to 72 Volt PV Array; not to exceed 150v open circuit
Multi-stage charging: Bulk, Absorption, Float, and Equalize.
60 amps of DC output current to charge batteries at 12, 24, 32, 36, 48, 54, or 60 volts DC. Regulation voltage is adjustable from 13 to 80 volts DC.
Maximum Power Point Tracking Since the control can boost output current, solar input equal to 48 amps of charging is maximum recommended for the FM60 (maximum rated output: 60 amps) and 64 amps for the FM80 (maximum rated output: 80 amps).
Use higher voltage PV array with lower battery voltage -like charging a 24 volt battery with a 48 volt PV array- reduces wire size and power loss, while increasing the distance possible from the PV array to battery. Accepts any array voltage up to 72 nominal volts and matches to any lower battery up to 48 volts.
The four-line 80 character, backlit LCD display standard on the Outback FM60 and FM80 displays the PV system's performance. It is also used for easy programming and monitoring of the system's operation. Terminals accept up to 4 gauge wire.
Outback MATE system controller, optional accessory, connects to the FM60 as a remote control. MATE duplicates the built-in control panel that comes with the FM60 and FM80. MATES can also program and remote control Outback inverters, from a location 300 feet distant. MATE includes a RS232 computer port for data logging.
C-FM80 Outback Charge Control...............$680 (shipping $15)

The system I have selected will produce enough electricity to operate at 10 amps ac continuous without charging the battery's for 13.5 hours until 50% discharge state of battery bank is reached.

The system will have a generator with auto transfer switch to recharge until sun is back to full brilliance.

Generator 6500 watt Koler @ $2200.00

The system materials cost $13.000.00 plus freight and install

Standard code correct electrical construction will be performed by me.

estimated cost for electrical installation $ 2200.00

materials $ 2300.00

Total cost outlay for initial installation investment $ 22.000.00 - 30% federal tax credit= $ 6600.00 = $15.400.00 after tax credit in 2010.

This is considered an " Active conserving home " system with a life expectancy of 25 years or more with proper maintenance.

This should be good for my family until cold fusion has been realized and made practical for consumer usage.

I predict this to evolves in the next 20 years , cold fusion fuel cells for energy needs on a residential level.

To some the cost is outrageous and to other's a necessary part of life ,what ever you opinion is ,In today's world of uncertain conditions it's a real deal to me.

There will be more to come .