10Nov11

10Nov11

So, I think internet is even more frustrating when I have it available, but it doesn’t work than when I don’t have it at all.
🙂

Anyhow, I’m in Les Cayes now. Had a productive day down here, sort of.

Got one inverter fixed. It was the little 1000W one that I had originally intended for Mission of Hope. Turns out, it blew a fuse internally when we tried putting it in their office. So, after scavenging some parts, their old inverter ended up running again.
Now, this one works too. Though it was a pain to solder in a new fuse. Seriously, what engineer thinks it’s a good idea to solder in a fuse where you have to disassemble the whole unit to even know it is broken? Bad design. But, it works.

The larger inverter, an old Trace 3624, is still broken. I replaced a blown diode, but there is still no power getting to the control board. That means I’ll have to disect the unit even more, and I probably can’t do that until I have a place to myself for a couple days and the right motivation. I’ll have parts everywhere and will need to not be disturbed.

The battery charger, which had a capacitor explode while it was at Bonite’s in Jacmel, seems to be functional without the cap. Since it’s a big electrolytic, I’m guessing I’ll have some issues if I look at it with an O-scope, but I’m not terribly worried about it right now. I was able to use it as a DC power source to simulate a battery bank for testing the inverter. It will be great in that role for now until I can get a new cap of the appropriate size here.

Now, the small BUV, which I also worked on today, is another special piece of equipment. The gear sproket on the engine’s drive shaft “floats” loose and pulls the chain off the rear axle’s gear. Pa Bon. (Not Good). Worked on it for a while today, but it’s stuck pretty good. Will work on it again tommorrow, but I was getting frustrated now. Gonna end up with a ruined (though cheap) pair of channel-lock pliers cause that’s all I can find to hold the sprocket while I try to pound it into place.

Tomorrow I’m gonna head out to Savanette. Dr. Jay and the team won’t get to Les Cayes until 2-3 pm at best, so I’ll have a good working day out there beforehand. I want to try to get some solar panels charging a battery and running the little inverter just to prove we can make power there.
It is very sad to me that this site has been without power for so long. It was my first site, but we installed a “fantastic” all-in-one unit that has caused us nothing but problems. It was a perfect storm of issues, including the lister generator not being a good enough voltage/frequency to charge the batteries, but we’ve never had good, consistent power out there.
Although, in thinking about it, I have to say that it worked for at least a month. Or, God just provided us power exactly when we needed it. Cause in the “Maiden Voyage” video from the May 2010 trip, we used the inverter’s power for running the chop saw. The generators were all non-functional that day, and the inverter worked great.
So, I guess it has worked at times, just not the majority.

I also have to clean up a bit tomorrow. Now I’ve got the inverters and stuff laying around. I’m still thinking about the idea of putting up a workshop.
I’m trying to Dimension it out now, but I want to be able to work on the truck indoors, have a workspace, and have a “living/sleeping quarters.”
Probably has to be 12′ high in the garage, at least 24′ to park my truck with good working access, and maybe 24′ the other direction? That’s about the same sqaure footage the Sutton Family has for 2 adults, 1 child, and 1 on the way.
Looking at building techniques too. I’d love to do wood for construction speed, but I’m thinking it won’t be on a secure compound, so I’ll have to make it secure in and off itself.
Saw a good idea with shipping containers recently, so I’m investigating.

Also, please pray for the travelers with Dr. Jay’s group tomorrow. There was a disturbance today in Aquin. The barricades were finally lifted when the UN showed up. Pray that they do not cause issues with the team’s travel tomorrow.

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Now I find myself playing lots of Freecell. Minesweeper is tedious with a trackpad. Solitaire is old. Worms and Scorch3d both need multiplayer to be fun. And I left my hard drive in Grand Goave for the girls to watch movies while I’m gone. Therefore, be prepared that I may continue with a “stream of conciousness” type blog, where I just keep writing my thoughts until internet comes back on.

I have to thank God for all he’s done for me. He’s kept me going when I’m lonely, broke, or just otherwise incapable of continuing on my own. I barely keep track of money, though I might enter my receipts into my spreadsheet tonight since I’m thinking about it. Though, by barely I mean I keep track of my receipts, but that only works at stores that give them.
I’ve also gotten to the point that I’m not worried about charging people for materials as far as wire and other small stuff. I’ll still ask people to buy their own solar panels, inverters, etc, but as long as God keeps providing, I’m not gonna worry about the consumables.
It’s been sweet though. I came down with what I thought was a reasonable amount, and apparently it has been. I’m still going. I spend some on gas and materials, and then God provides through someone else I meet down here. It’s been awesome. I’d tell more stories, but I don’t like calling out donors. I appreciate all the donations, but I don’t need to announce everyone’s name here, God will be faithful as we are good stewards of his money. That applies to those who have supported me as well as to the ministry here.

I’ve also had people around when I need them. I’m a rather social person, so I do get lonely when there’s not people around. For that reason, I am really digging being in Jacmel for weekends. If I keep that up though, I may have to but a moto for those trips. I would probably break even after about 16 trips to Jacmel from Grand Goave. Seems like a lot, but if that is my “home church” and Grand Goave is my “home” it is not unlikely to make that many trips between the too.
That said, if I get a moto, I’ll be looking for motocross equipment. Not cause the moto’s here are fast, but I just figure that about the best way to gear up for riding here. I’d at least want to always wear knee/shins, gloves, helmet, and a jacket or something to protect my arms/chest. Kinda takes away the open-air feeling, but I’d rather not see a haitian hospital from the patient’s view.

I think Josh is coming down in early December, and I’m super stoked about that. No offense to anyone, but I’m looking forward to hanging out with just him again if it works out. We had some great times on our road trips in the past, this will be another great time together.

My mind has wandered quite a bit lately. Sometimes it has been straying into an american mentality of “what should I buy next?”
So I start thinking of guitars and all. Unfortunately, I am also realizing how greedy that seems to be. I need to get over that mentality. It hit me a lot when I was an engineer. I would get bored, so I would go to the pawn shop or hardware store and buy something. I don’t like it. There’s worse things to do, but it’s not good.

I’m also really excited about the “”Kwegslist” idea. Joshua Lansford is ready to go and is working with Jewish Mike on the hosting end of things. If anyone else is interested in helping, he is setting up a git repository for multi-user editing, so contact me and I will get you involved.

Some other ideas that I could use some help with:
(1) This is an open invitation. Anytime a mechanic would like to come to Haiti, I have plenty of places that will gladly have you. Be warned that most cars are diesel (except mine, Chevy 3500, should feel right at home). But, if you are a mechanic and willing to come, I will set up a schedule to work at various places, provide all the basic tools I can, and provide some details about the vehicles prior to your arrival so you know what you are in for.
Spare parts are hard to come by, so understand that you may have to diagnose, teach me (or someone else) how to install, then we’ll ship in a part when we can.

(2) I want to work on handouts for my electricians course. I still plan to hold it, and it will likely be in January. BUT, I need to have handouts ready ahead of time. I will get the information together, but I would like to have a couple people to help.
1 – with pictures/graphics, nothing fancy, just getting the point across in pictures [hint, hint, Nate, I could use a graphics guy that understand electricity]
2 – with reviewing my content for accuracy from an electrician’s perspective [i’m figuring Bruce and Chris are on board, am i right guys?]
3 – Sometime late December/early January, I’ll need help actually making packets of the handouts. I’m sure I’ve got some people in J-town that will help with that.

(3) Some E.E. out there: Please consider coming up with your best solution for a switching voltage regulator. Input Voltage up to 85V, Output Voltage around 30V. Input Current up to 1.5A, so output in the 4.5A range? Let me know if you’ve got thoughts.

(4) Can someone see if there’s a Battery Charger out there that specifies an input voltage range down to 90VAC? The power from the grid is terrible around here.

Wish List for Josh’s trip:
-Computer Speakers. (Please, pretty please bring these)
-If possible, 2 sets. I will go on my dashboard, Rullo style.
-2 Guitar Cables, about 10′ should be fine.
-Combat Boots (en route to our house from Dan Kennedy)
-Taser (seriously, I’ll have Dan Kennedy look into this one for me)
-Guitar Strap
-Spices (whatever sounds good with rice, beans, pasta and chicken, cause that’s what we eat here.)
-Rainx for my truck’s windshield
-240Volt Plug. L14-30P. Talk to Bob Orris maybe. Could use 2 of them.
-240Volt Plug. Don’t know the part number, but it’s a 3 pin, looks like an oversize standard receptable. 240VAC, 50A. Need 1.
-Insulated Screwdrivers (2 piece set from Harbor Freight. Trust me, they’re the cheapest and they work just fine).
-3/4″ PVC, Electrical Sweep turns. Talk to Jeff Blue or Bob Orris. I’ll get the rest of the pipe here, but if I can get the corners that’d be great. Get about 10 for now to see if they’ll work right.
-Another Electrical Meter (Penelec Style) from in my room.
-If we can, I’d like to order another 2 water meters from Utility Supply Group. I don’t have internet to do it though.

Long term wishlist: (stuff that takes research probably)
-Car Stereo. All I have is radio right now. I’m open to any upgrades. FM Transmitter, New receiver that includes an Aux in Jack, Instruction on how to hack my current setup.

-Someone please look into an A/C kit for my truck. It’s a 1999 Chevy 3500. It did not have an A/C factory installed. Is there a kit to put one in, and how much does it cost? I don’t need it often, but anytime it rains hard enough to put up the windows, I almost have to stop cause the windshield fogs.

-Do they still make “The Club” or something for car security? Was just realizing that all my security measures are based on the car NOT being stolen outright, which would be the easiest way to get the stuff. Could use some thougts on that.

Stuff to buy in PAP:
-Tire
-Security Light or two
-Flood Lights for outside of Truck
-Ground Rods
-Ground Wire

Stuff to buy anywhere:
-Profile 1″ – 3 sticks?
-Konye 1 1/4″ – 3 sticks
-Rebar, 3/8″ – 1 stick
-3/4″ PVC, 3 sticks

Future Projects:
-Rewire truck
-Lights for BUV’s
-Hack the truck stereo
-Finish Shower Curtain Rods at Kay Militon
-Fix Plumbing at Kay Militon (install cheque valve)
-Check in with Tommy in Jacmel for electrical usage

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