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Saddling Up

Where does the time go?  7 days a week X 12 hours per day = 84 hours.   I should have plenty of time to get all the piddling things on my to-do list accomplished.  It really doesn’t work out that way though.  The first 5 hours of my shift which begins at 3am are in total darkness.    Starting about 7am and running for the next 2 hours, the gate is pretty danged busy so I am constantly in and out of the RV.  One good thing about all this time spent inside the RV is getting caught up.  Plenty of time to write blog entries, catch up on what is recorded on the DVR and roll some cigarettes.

Loading the MEP 002A generator in to the DTB.

Usually by about 10am, I am ready to venture outside for some piddlin’.  One chore on the list for over a month now is getting the military surplus MEP-002A generator up to speed.  I am still waiting on some replacement parts to come in that do not affect the overall performance of the generator and I am still trying to trace down some pesky electrical problems.  I have managed to put 10 hours on it and it runs and generates power just fine.   One of the things I wanted to do this week was to get the diesel generator transferred to one of the DTBs.

As you remember, this generator is destined to power up the Terlingua Project until we can save up enough pesos to get electricity.  I am going to tote it out there in the DTB and it wasn’t hard to find somebody coming through the gate with a small utility crane.  After being here for 8 months, we know just about everybody.  Colt got it hoisted up and in the DTB in no time flat.  He would not take any cash for his efforts but Miss Kathy did lean out the window of the Old Girl and give him a pack of Reesey cups.  These young boys rarely turn down anything to eat.

MEP-002A secured in the Desert Tan Baby (DTB)

I strapped the generator down and moved the DTB over to the back side of the pad where it would be out of the way but still accessible. It was still just mid morning so I thought ‘ Why not run it up for a few hours and see how it does?’  I never know when I will need a back up generator since we are boondocking 100% off the grid here. I had already wired in a 50amp RV outlet to the generator to it was easy business to hook the Old Girl right up.   Miss K was running one AC unit and the TV, satellite box etc so it was a good way to load the beast and let it work for awhile.

One thing I like about this generator is the full set of gauges.  it allows you to dial in the voltage, swap between single phase and three phase, monitor the battery charge, make sure it is putting out 60hz and it shows you per cent load of the generator output.  With all the various and sundry items on the RV running plus the one AC unit plus the microwave it showed about 19amps being used which was 40% load capacity.

Running at 100% load

Tuco the Dog and I busied ourselves with some piddling in and around the RV and then I heard the generator grunt and really start working.  WTH?!?!?  A quick glance at the gauges showed near 100% usage and over 34amps being consumed..

I headed for the door of the Old Girl to see what Miss K had fired up in there to run her own generator torture test.   I knew what the answer was full well before I ever cracked the door open.  It was the one appliance on the Old Girl that made generators cry, it was the one thing that required a mini-nuke reactor for power supply,  it was the one thing that dimmed the lights in small towns within a 10 mile radius when you fired it up.  Yep, I am talking about Miss K’s pride and joy—- the Keurig B-70 Platinum Single-Cup Home Coffee Brewing System.  Of course, I was right.  Nothing makes an electrical circuit scream like that Keurig.  Was I gonna say anything?  Not on your life.  Miss K with no coffee is way more than I wanna tackle on my best day.

End Note: Burn Down the Trailer Park by Paul Thorn from the So Far,So Good cd.

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