Sunday, May 17, 2009


Have bought myself a generator .. yer, I know, hypocritical capitulation. I still hate them – or rather the “noise” of them - shat-shat-shattering the silence of the sunsets - but was finding that the solar panels weren't quite keeping up with demand – the weather of late has been clear, balmy Autumn days, with occasional days of overcast and rain, or scattered cloud - aannd, in my defence, try to only run mine during the day to charge the battery(ies) - candles by night.

Was, as is often the case these days, fairly lucky on the financial side of things.

Had been keeping my eye out for one for some time, seen a four stroke over in Minlaton for $980, but that was out of the question, then the local Progress Association held an Easter Fair at the campground. The usual “cakes and home-made jams” sort of thing, but also held a raffle. Fourth prize was a little 2 stoke generator, so bought two tickets at 2 bucks each, then prayed mightily that I the first prize which was a huge 4 footX3 foot framed print of a painting; nor second, which was a GPS navigator (already have one of those); nor third, which was a “Patchwork Quilt – cot size” – and thought it odd that a bed-cover came before the generator (which was still in its box, and had the price-tag on it - $323.00 .. heh). Fifth prize, an Easter Basket; Sixth, a Voucher; 7th, Carton of beer; 8th, two bottles of wine.

Didn't win anything, though did sidle up to the rather vague housewife who did win the Genny, to see if I could negotiate to buy it from her, she directed me to her husband (a rather large, florid, farmer type of person) – but he wanted to keep it for when he went out roo shooting. Mmm, oh well.

I found out that it had come from a hardware store up in Ardrossan. Had an appointment in Minlaton to get the stitches out the following Wednesday (April 15) so decided to do a round trip up to Ardrossan first to have a look at the generators. There are TWO hardware stores in Ardrossan, though there is only one “Main Street” .. heh. Yep, said the first hardware store, the Genny for the Easter fair came from here – but it was our last one, and we won't be getting any more. Changing brands, and the next lot won't be here for a week or so.

Went to the next Store, and spotted a biggish, garish, orange-plastic-encased Four stroke, pure sine wave generator for $399-95. Um, think I, yep, have 400 in a “reserve” bank account, but THAT'S ALL. Had to have a serious think. Decided to think further on it. Drove back to Minlaton for the Doc appointment later that day, decided to have a squizz in the Hardware store there and, lo and behold, hidden on a bottom shelf behind some other stuff - I spot a cardboard box. Little 2 stroke Scorpion generator. Umm. Had a handwritten texta tag on it. “Sale price $149-00”. Sooo, WTF, I only live once, might as well try to make the most of it. Only had $142 in the card account, so said that I'd put $140 on card, and give him $10. He gave me $5 change so, there ya go.

Now have access to a more-or-less reliable source of 240 volts.

On the other hand, am finding that all is not as rosy as it seems.

While the little generator is running well, and still easy to start – have been doing some sums.

The 240 volt out-put is only “modified” - not pure – sine wave, and varies between 230 and 260 volts so there is no way that am game to plug the laptop directly into it since delicate electronics tend to have canniptions if not cosseted.

Am, basically, back to plugging the computer into the inverter and drawing power from the battery via a 240 volt charger. Can't afford a decent 6 amp charger (mine out-puts 2 amps/hour) and the “inverter-converter-computer” array seems to draw much more that 2 amps/hour, which flattens the battery. Therefore have to run the generator for 20-400 hours to recharge the van battery.

Two-stroke fuel is roughly $1-40/litre. The tank holds 4 litres and runs the genny for 5 hours. That's almost $1-00 per hour.

Coupled with the fact that the longer I spend on the internet, the quicker my $20-00 USB re-charge disappears. So don't expect any major increase in activity on Womby's drivel for the foreseeable future .. heh.

Sheesh, city people whinge about the high price of “convenient” electricity.

They wanna try making their own.


John L said...

I'd have bought the genny too.

JahTeh said...

What stitches?

I thought I'd caught up on all the news but I missed that.

As for writing, you've led an interesting enough life for at least three books or for quick money go for the good old bodice-ripper pirate romance.