Thursday through Sunday, October 8-11—Golf, Photos, and Another Project

I played golf Thursday afternoon at Coronado, walking all 18 holes. Oscar, the name of the remote controlled, robotic smart golf cart I use makes it pretty easy to walk. And Coronado is a short executive golf course, though quite challenging.

I really want, and need, to take more photographs, but seem to have all sorts of excuses. I am anxiously awaiting birds migrating into or through our area. I did get a bit of a photo fix on Friday as Dan Olson and I patiently worked on his computers to find lost edits of photos from his and Pat’s trip to China last fall. The edits were lost when migrating the photos from an external hard drive to a MacBook Pro, and then to an iMac with external drive. Gratefully, we were able to find all the edits, and he made some amazing photos on the trip.

Work on a new project, a portable 200-watt briefcase solar system (BCS), will initiate soon. This is to be a slow, deliberate process, something somewhat unfamiliar to me as I usually charge ahead, flying by the seat of my pants! The BCS will facilitate boondocking and/or primitive camping, where I must have electricity (either AC or DC) to run the CPAP. Of course, if in the motorhome, the generator could run all night, but it is loud. And, the battery bank must be recharged daily if not using the generator but rather using the battery bank and inverter.. And, anyway, I wanted a project to work on. Great friend, Wayne Bodenhamer, has been working with solar for many years, and he and I would talk solar for hours at a time. Thus, with the boredomness of Covid-19, a great opportunity to build a solar system emerged. I probably went about this the wrong way, but below are the items purchased towards completing the system.

  • 2-HQST 100 watt Monocrystalline Solar Panels 
  • Epever MPPt 20A 12V Solar Charge Controller 
  • 30-foot 10AWG Solar Extension Cable 
  • Solar Panel Adapter Cable to DC 5.5\mm x 2.1mm 
  • Y Branch Parallel Adapter Cable Wire Plug Tool Kit for solar panel 
  • 25-feet red and 25-feet black 109 AWG wire 
  • Anderson power pole connectors
  • Ratcheting Crimper for Anderson-type power pole connectors 
  • 20 Amp resettable fuse circuit breaker
  • Self-sick square rubber bumper pads
  • 3-inch long stainless steel hinges
  • Stainless steel sheet metal screws

There are a couple of other items needed, including a stand(s) for the solar panel(s) (I will use scrap PVC pipe) and a couple of lugs to attach to the cable from the charge controller to the battery bank. 

Over the course of the weekend, I planned the briefcase setup of the BCS, and after much deliberation decided to used masonite with a foam foundation for the charge controller module. Thus, most of the weekend was spent gluing into the bottom of the briefcase the foam foundation using scrap foam from various package delivery containers, and developing a pattern and cutting the masonite to fit inside the briefcase on top of the foam foundation.

Ripping file folder from the inside top of the briefcase
Making a pattern for charge controller platform
Attaching the pattern to scrap masonite
With a little cutting here and there, the masonite fits inside the briefcase
Masonite ready for final fitting
Cutting foam blocks for masonite platform foundation
Foam blocks installed in corners of briefcase. Additionally, a square piece of foam was glued to center to offer more complete support
Finished masonite on foam supports

On Saturday morning, a slight tightening of my upper chest and throat occurred, and resembled the same symptoms I had before the mild heart attack in July 2014. However, similar symptoms occurred in November 2014 when I was diagnosed with reflux. Symptoms continued Sunday; Kay and I kept a careful watch and I opted not to go to the ER.

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