The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165433   Message #3979557
Posted By: Jon Freeman
28-Feb-19 - 08:22 AM
Thread Name: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life - 2019
Not done anything in a while but yesterday’s project was a solar pond pump kit for a pebble pond. There had been a low voltage pump in this location for years but it had been abandoned as the pond clogged up with increasing frequency. Anyway an oak tree has since been lopped, the area is clearer and the changes may or may not be enough to make the difference.

The old system was in a mess though and I wasn’t prepared to check the wiring and redo/replace as needed for a “may/ may not be OK now” and said to mum, the only thing I was prepared to try was a solar kit. She bought a cheap one.

That job turned out more complicated than I’d anticipated as having got the kit, it I realised that the very small panel intended to be ground mounted on a spike was not going to get much sunlight. It can get quite bright but the bungalow soon blocks the sun when the sun is low. I decided the best answer was to mount the panel near the top of what remains of the oak tree – say about 12-15 ft.

That probably would have been easy for most but I get nervous even a few feet up (and I only needed to be 3 or 4 steps up to reach) and the step ladder had to be close to the edge of the pebble pond. It might sound odd but it became a case of getting one of the 4 coach screws for the (rather big but the best I could find) bracket in and coming inside and settling down for ½ hour before doing the next one.

Fitted and working it looked quite good late afternoon yesterday. Unfortunately today is very grey, the pump hasn’t started and there’s no chance of seeing how things might work out in more typical days.

There is one change already that I might look into making if things look ok and I can find out how (I can run to soldering, ohms law, playing with PICs, etc. but my electronics are not up to much) though. The pump runs on battery backup until it drops to certain level of charge. That in itself is good but is not all I want. I’m not interested in the pump running in darkness (and it ran till 9pm last night) when no one is around but would like to reserve whatever charge is in the battery for better cover when the weather is just overcast. So maybe some form of switch the pump side using a photo cell in future?

The bits for a new PC (mentioned in another thread) should arrive this evening. I’ve just realised I didn’t order a dvd drive but may well install from USB and forget about that. I’ll probably do the build tomorrow. And am likely spend a bit of time scratching my head – hopefully not for the build but I’ve not yet worked out a plan where I’m sure how I’m going to replace the existing PC with this new build.