Browsing "Electric Blanket"
Apr 19, 2011 -

Cold Snap

Last night was COLD. It apparently hit minus 12. I went to bed at 11 and within five minutes of turning off the electric blanket I was shivering, and that’s while I was under three heavy blankets including a down comforter! I decided to take a chance and sleep with the blanket on all night.

Next thing I knew, it was 9AM (!!!), I had two cats curled up tight against me, and I was snug as a bug. Love that little 12V wonder! I’m glad I now know I can sleep with it on all night if I need to. I wouldn’t do that when boondocking, but when I’m on shore power it’s more cost effective (and quiet) than running the furnace off and on.

Now, I’m waiting for things to get a little warmer (and less slick) before I go out and do my fliers. I need to do all six routes today since Jody and I are road-tripping again tomorrow. It’s going to be a long day, but the sun is out so if the wind cooperates the job shouldn’t be too onerous. I finally have my routes laid out in the most efficient way possible so my goal is to shave fifteen minutes off each to finish all six in four and a half hours instead of six hours.

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Alberta, Appliances, Canada, Electric Blanket, Finances, Nice Folks, Social, Technical, Travel, Weather, Work    No Comments
Mar 20, 2011 -

Cold and Rainy Eugene Morning

I awoke to dampness. I haven’t been able to run the dehumidifier in forever and look forward to entering a drier climate in the next week or so.

It was a nice day yesterday, being in such a great spot (I will be sharing pictures of it!). I spent a few hours at Starbucks in the morning, went home to work on some projects, and then treated myself to lunch at Chile’s. I discovered this restaurant chain back in Regina in ’08 and have never had a bad meal the few times I’ve been able to eat at one. I made a note in my private journal from back then at that the $25, including tax and tip, that I spent on the ‘Margarita chicken with a bottomless glass of strawberry lemonade was some of the best money I’d spent recently at a restaurant.’ So, I decided to see if that meal was still available. It was and the review still held, but not the price. It was only $15 for that meal here!

I was due for a Walmart run, so I went out in the afternoon to run errands, then I came home and crashed with embroidery and movies (and cats).

I really didn’t watch my battery usage last night, running an LED light for hours, charging the laptop, and plugging in the electric blanket for several hours. I went to sleep with the battery voltage around 11.8 and woke up to it being 12.3, not bad considering that I was up almost two hours earlier than yesterday in much greyer and wetter weather!

I’ll be rolling out of Eugene sometime around noon. I flagged down a security car on the way to the Starbucks this morning and caught the same guy as the night I pulled in. I let him know that I am leaving today and made sure that it’s okay to hang out for a part of the day.

Miranda’s due for an oil change, so I’d like to have that done today but none of my leads can fit me in, so I may have to wait a bit longer. I’m getting antsy to have this done, but we’re not at the critical stage yet.

So, I’m off to the Oregon coast for a few days! I have no idea what internet access will be like there, but there is a Starbucks in Florence. At $1.50 for a coffee, it’s a reasonable temporary solution for getting online.

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Appliances, Batteries, Boondocking/Dry camping, Cats, Communications & Electronics, Dehumidifier, Electric Blanket, Electricity, Internet, Nice Folks, Oregon, Personal, Social, Solar Panels, Technical, Travel, USA    8 Comments
Mar 19, 2011 -

24 Hours on Solar

When I got home from the Starbucks last night, I crashed. I had the furnace bring the temperature up to about 25 then turned it off. I watched a movie on the laptop while running an LED light for embroidery, made supper (baked pasta smothered in oodles of cheese, yuuuuuum), set the laptop to charge in the inverter, and curled up with an ebook. It started to get chilly around 9 and I decided to retire to bed and my electric blanket instead of wasting both power and propane. I read till almost 11, feeling very cozy and warm, and turned the blanket off being going to sleep.

I’d unplugged the laptop before going to bed and checked the battery voltage; it was hovering between 11.8 and 12.0, which is a reading I don’t like to see until two nights of boondocking, and I hadn’t run the blanket yet!

I woke up around four, plugged the blanket back in, and slept for another five hours (two sleepless nights will do that for you!) with the blanket on.

When I finally got up, it was to an overcast day with sunny patches.

My solar array was pulling in just over 3 amps and my battery voltage was sitting at 13.6, which I consider a full charge but the controller doesn’t; it won’t start pulsing until I hit a voltage of 14.0. Imagine that, waking up after a night off shore power all snug and cozy in a climate that still requires me to heat and having a fresh start to my power usage!

And, just like that, the self-renewing nature of solar charging finally made its impact. It’s now okay to ‘run down’ my batteries every day and I will get a do-over every morning, even if it’s overcast. And I use so little power during the day that even on overcast days I’m likely to have enough power for the evening. It’s still much too early to make an predictions, and I desperately need a battery monitor to take some scientific measurements, but I’m suddenly very excited about heading out to the Oregon coast tomorrow for a few days of ocean-side boondocking!

Solar Power For Energy

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Appliances, Batteries, Electric Blanket, Electricity, Solar Panels, Technical    8 Comments