Okanogan 14x24 by a lurker :)

Started by Oljarhead, September 21, 2009, 02:53:09 PM

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Quote from: OlJarhead on September 26, 2017, 08:08:40 PM
Aims manual says 1/0 for the 4000watt inverter when 24v and up to 3 meters.  So if I go 3 feet I will be Good!  Now just need to check lengths I need before ordering the flex cable I want
They also sell them in different lengths but the prices seem pretty steep.


Crap!  The cold has arrived and I have not blown out the water lines at the cabin!  Just saw it's down to 25F...I think it will be fine though the hot water heater may be blown again...shoot I need to get there ASAP!


So I arrived on Thursday afternoon to discover a rat made it into the cabin!  It's been years since I started this build and this is the first time they made it in.

Rat ran across the rafter tie and made this small hole.

This had me wondering....

First step was to find how they got in.  I figured it out and put in new screen and some foamed in steel wool.

Then I found the bugger dead.  Guess the poison worked!

With the rat gone and the hole plugged I removed all the insulation that was R19 on the north wall and placed the vent board and refilled the bays with R21 bats that I'd planned on placing anyway.

Even put that light in finally!

With this work done I can now finish the ceiling.  I've been waiting to get the insulation done so maybe the rat did me a favor?

Next task was to start working on the insulation in the porch.  I couldn't get 19.2" insulation for stuffed 1" foam board on one side

With the narrowed bay to fit R21 for 16" walls done I stuffed R10 rigid foam in to the ceiling to take up the extra space.  Once the R10 foam and the 1" is all in place I'll put in R21 bats to give me an R31 ceiling in the porch :)

Next project, which I plan to do at the same time is to remove all the batteries, cut down the copper bus bars and reposition, then build a battery box and install the vent fan.  Once done I will no longer have to worry about hydrogen venting :) and can completely seal up the room!

I've also ordered 3' and 4' flex cables for the inverter and batteries to disconnect.  I'll put the inverter and charge controllers inside the cabin (other side of the wall) and clean up the wiring.

And I'll take the meter seen here, and place it inside the cabin as well.

That should take place soon but first I plan to install the new solar panels THIS WEEKEND!  Can't wait!


Spent the weekend at the cabin :)

Got more paneling done :)  One more row above the rafter ties on the south side and I'm back to 'easy' work :)  Can't wait to hit the peak!

I'm liking it :)

Got the first of the rails up.  Two more to go but I can now get some panels on the roof!  This was a major challenge to do alone (my help bailed).  I ended up putting some plywood on the rail (bottom) for the ladder to rest on so it didn't push the rail down when my weight was on the ladder (tabs hitting the rail and putting more force on it)....didn't get a pic sorry!  But I need longer ladder hooks for the roof as the ones I have crush the ridge vent.  I will need much deeper/longer ones so I can bring the ladder up the North side to finish off some venting.  But I wasn't going to stop now.

This was a major pain!  I was not happen with the rails.  They are NOT one man installation.  This panel is sorta just resting between some clamps...couldn't hold it and secure at the same time without more arms....

Necessity is the mother of all inventions right? 

And it worked!  One down!  5 to go!

2nd panel went up easier.  Maybe 20 minutes with my ratchet strap trick :)

Noticed I had some issues inside the heater.  I'll have to pull off the lexan and fix some tape that has come loose.  It's putting out a lot of heat though.

First three panels up!  I can now hook them up to the charge controller and get it working.  So if I don't get help fir the next three I can at least add some charging power to the system with these.

Those are 305 watt 24v panels so will considerably boost my charging power considering the old panels are 205watt 12 volt panels :)  Even with just these panels I should be adding about 25amps so pretty much doubling my power....the next three triple it!

Now if I could only find some help...my helper who said he would be there this weekend was no where to be found.  The next two rails I 'may' be able to sort out alone but I'm not sure how I'm going to secure the panels up there alone....unless I get my tractor back :D


One issue I had that MUST be corrected is that my CSUN305-72P-M156, 4BB, panels are 50mm thick NOT 40mm....the clamps for the panels are 50mm clamps!  d* d* d* ??? ??? ???

Not sure how that happened but I have asked Iron Ridge to help me sort the issue.  With luck I can have new clamps shipped to me ASAP and I can go out and put the correct ones in.


Got back to the cabin this weekend for a quick trip to deliver the tractor and blow out the water lines.

The solar heater is working great even if I haven't completed the install yet (story of my life lately). 

Rats ate more wiring than I had realized so $800 later the tractor is back and ready to plow snow none too early!

Love these parting views of the cabin!

So much work, so little time but my new motto is 'little victories!' :)

Saying goodbye to the place.  I was there just overnight as my wife has been at her mom's all week (her sister has leukemia) and I thought I'd better be close to home.


Hey Jarhead! It's looking good!

I am chomping at the bit now for the spring to come ...

Glad to see that you're place is still coming along good


That light dusting of snow just makes it gorgeous..!

What is the plan to keep the snow off the panels mounted on the peaked roof?


Thanks Guys,

The panels?  the 45 degree angle will help a lot I believe.  The roof never usually gets much buildup at all except on the porch where it can get 12-18" deep where the two meet.  For the most part though, it's gone as soon as the sun comes out (on the 12:12 pitch, not the porch) so I'm not too worried.

Is there anything you can do?  I can't imagine but am open to ideas ;)

Gary O

Luv the pics, the place, the gorgeous entry...and the tractor

I shalt covet thy tractor
I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson


With the snow we've already had (a few inches this week I guess -- but I wasn't there) I'm coveting the tractor too! :)


Hey Jarhead do you have a link to where I could check out your photo's?   You were just starting on your build last time I was around. Would love to see how it all turned out.  [cool]


Hate to say it but since Photobucket bombed on us I don't have many online now.  Just the last few posts I think.

I may yet get something going but haven't at this point.

Sorry! and welcome back :)


Looking at your last couple of pics it looks like it turned out real nice.  [cool]


Hmmm thought there were more but here are a few of my latest.  I've been working on the porch to get it insulated and finish the interior paneling but I've also not been there in the last month or so :(

First run of paneling above the collar ties after removing the rat and fixing the insulation (replaced all the old remaining R19 with R21)

Finally up to the ties on the south side.

And above them on the north :)

using R10 rigid foam to fill the top of the rafter voids in the porch and then will stuff R21 under that.  This should give me a decent ceiling in the porch but I also need to finish the battery box and install the vent and fan before going too far.

So much to do but so little time


Looks great so far. Noticed your window isn't done with the finished trim. None of my windows are done and we have been in for 3 years. Going to my place in January to just finish up the windows. My wife is tired of old bed sheets and nails for curtains.


Ah Yup ;)  But I do have the wood finished for them....does that count?  d*


Was 14F degrees when I headed up the hill to the cabin! Colder here and dropping fast but I have the generator running and both the heater and woodstove going.

Winter storm warning in the forecast so we'll see how much snow comes down but with luck it won't be too much before we come back Friday.

Took two hours to get the cabin above 40F but it's warming up and should be a comfy 75F by the time I crash for the night.

On a side note the batteries were so cold that at 100% charge they were only 24.3! The generator is set to come on at 24v and I'll leave it hooked up and ready to run when I leave so with luck the batteries will stay charged up. I'll open the door to the porch when the cabin warms up too which will warm up the batteries and maybe I'll get more insulation in there. If not I'll do it this weekend. One way or another I need to get that done though because with these cold temps the batteries just can't keep up with cabin power demands without the generator running. So I better get with it soon!


Spent the weekend at the cabin and did some wiring work on the solar power.  I've replaced the old stiff cables I originally installed with flex cables to the battery bank and inverter.  I also replace the cables for the charge controller.  Now I can install the new breakers for the new charge controller etc and wire in that darn lightening protection!

Looking cleaner now :)

New 4AGW cable to the controller (replaced an old battery cable)

Tied down each battery string to the same stud on the bus to eliminate any distance issues with strings not equidistant from the draw/charge.

Close up.  I was seeing a slightly different usage on the string furthest from the draw so this should solve that.

Next I climbed up to the roof and cleaned some snow off, then fished out the cables from the 3 new panels and attached them to the 10agw cables that go to the Midnight Solar Combiner box (not installed yet)

Still have snow to remove but I'm hoping this will help the remaining snow slide off in sunny weather.  If not I'll work to get the rest off the panels so they can generate power once connected.

A future change to the solar heater will be to raise it to 90 degrees (straight up) so it will no longer collect ice and snow.  It won't be as efficient as it is now when the sun shines but it will always be able to generate heat instead of having to melt it off first.  I took the time to install a back draft damper in the bottom duct also because I noticed a strong reverse draft at night.  This should now stop.

Did a little more insulation work but must now finish the battery box and install the vent before finally plugging all the drafty holes off (don't want hydrogen build up).

That's where the damper went.

Still have some wiring to clean up but at least installed the new rocker panel to allow switching 12v systems on and off seperately and moved the 24v-12v converter as well as the Magnum Research Auto Gen start switch.  Once the box is done and all is completed in here the panel, meter and remote switches will all go inside.

Still haven't decided whether or not to put the inverter and controllers inside.  Just not sure about that yet.

Was a great weekend at the cabin, though cold and got some plowing done too.


Could you move the roof solar panels to the other end of the roof?  There is no porch roof below that.  The porch roof is probably holding back the snow so that it doesn't slide off as well.


Nope.  You see I have 3 more to put up there which will extend over that section.

Just need one of those avalanche snow removers for the roof I think ;)


So I've finally settled on what I'm going to do with the floor!  I'm going to nail down planed pine boards (with some character in them, at least I hope) and not make T&G.  I will however biscuit join the ends and plan to keep them to 2, 4 and 6 foot lengths (random) and random widths.  I will be nailing down with Tremont nails (old world nails made today) and then treating with dark Tongue Oil (first coat) and then just Tongue Oil (both mixed 50/50) from the Real Milk Paint folks :)

Now to start yanking out all the 1" stuff I have and planing it down to make it mostly smooth.

Of course I still have much else to do too but this is a start on the process (I've ordered the nails and Tongue Oil).

Also, I plan to start felling trees to thin them out on the property, if I get at least 60 logs in the 12 to 18 foot range that are at least 9" at the small end then I plan to mill them into D Logs and make a Butt and Pass cabin for guests.


Since photobucket is done I'm thinking of doing something of my own (a cabin blog if you will) on the build since we lost all the pics in the posts and if I have to edit, I might as well do it blog style :)

But for now I'll post some vids of making the solar can heater for those interested ;)
At first I tried using a beer coozie to hold the cans which I'd seen others do.  It doesn't work well.

Then I came up with a new method...no coozie but a leather glove but first some fun ;)  A few of the 'spin outs' for you.

and now, for the truly bored (or those really wanting to know how I managed to successfully drill out 238 cans for my heater...

more to follow


I like the video idea  [cool]

Wow 238 cans... :o


Correction!  289 cans.  I had to redo the math on that one after watching one of the videos.  LOL so ya, a LOT of cans!