Bigsurkate Battles Power and Cellular, and is winning…

I have been struggling with power AND cellular issues, so I’ve been doing a little troubleshooting, lately.  On the solar power issue, I’ve resolved that.

Somehow or another, although my dog sitter denies ANY involvement whatsoever – really, no one else was here, using power, or opening up the power unit – but in any event, somehow or another, my battery was run down to 9 v. not enough to run the inverter or the charge control.  When I returned home from Quartzite, the power switch to the PV panels was turned off, so no charging from the sun the whole time I was gone, or just about anyway.  It was on when I left.  I got an expensive high zoot 6-12-24 v. battery charger that is damn smart, as well as expensive.  Today we put it on the solar battery for four hours and got it charged up enough to run the inverter and charge control, so now I am running the gennie to run and charge the solar unit, so my house is on 24 hour power again.  That is really nice.  I had brought out all my back-ups – candles, oil lamps and battery operated lights, yesterday.  I put them all away today.

As to the cellular booster, I asked Rock Knocker to rotate it, as I could see it was not pointing in the right direction.  That’s when we discovered that coaxial cable connecting the outdoor antenna to the indoor box, which then connects up to the indoor antenna, was completely severed through.  Lord only knows when that happened – which wind storm or whatever.  That certainly explains my internet problems!  Anyway, now it is only a matter of going to Radio Shack or similar to see about getting a new connector.  Rock Knocker says a whole new 50′ length of coaxial, but I seem to recall there is a connector that can simply be screwed on to the old piece of coaxial.  If I could surf the Internet, I’m sure I could find it.

So, one system down and one to go.  Then I have photos of the snow Friday, new Missy photos and stories, and the usual tales from the top of my mountain, where life is always interesting!

10 thoughts on “Bigsurkate Battles Power and Cellular, and is winning…

  1. Sorry, you may not be able to see that I guess….but Radio Shack will have the stuff you need…

  2. Ah, pioneer life. Sometimes it sucks. Nonetheless, always vicariously thrilling to read Kate the Conquerer, and how smart in tracking down all the troubles and the one by one fix. Good show, you and RKi! I’m wondering that if no one touched the switch, it’s either a) a lie, or b) possibly some internal safety (the times we are living in) that because the coaxial got nipped, it shut down without notice or request. That was one big storm that weekend, half why you headed out if memory serves. I actually wrote a whole blog on miserable piece of crap hotplate that reaches a certain temp & shuts off! To protect me! Of course useless for boiling. But you may have a similar safety shmafety thingy going on with your equipment. So glad you’re back on, systems go. xxoo

  3. Coax is not that easy to fix Kate. And being that your so far from Radio Shack who wants to make two trips. Go to Potters Electronics in Seaside and take the broken cable with you. They will put a new end on it and test it.

  4. Thanks, Trey. I’ve done it before, but not with cellular. If that doesn’t work, I will certainly try your suggestion! You are a gem.

  5. We just had solar panels installed last Friday. They won’t be turned on for ten days, around the 18th I think. I guess I need to read up more on how the system will work. We won’t be relying strictly on solar, like it appears you are though, so shouldn’t have charging problems. Sounds like you have an interesting life up there! Love reading about it. We lived in Monterey while going to the Post Grad School there and loved it, love the whole area up there.

  6. I lived on solar on Clear Ridge, it was interesting, chiefly an interesting nightmare. Godawful owners too typical of Big Sur’s with property, assuring me I’d have all the juice I needed from solar. And I was such an innocent. Solar panel way too small and lost in shadow; back up generator needed half the day (and run on costly Big Sur gas prices); ancient leaky battery; half light and partial from either system; a propane refrigerator that nearly killed me twice and they refused to replace. And a very high rent. I lasted 6 months there.
    So I love hearing you working it out so that it’s done right! A friend, there were more than one with glowing tales, told me his friend in the Santa Cruz mountains ran a big house, two kids, all solar, all kinds of equipment on it, never used a generator. But stories abound. I think it’s an uncertain set up that for some mysterious reason no one’s worked all the bugs out of in many decades. But it is a stunning, incredible, delish thrill not to pay a utility company. Which is its chiefest appeal. I am rooting for you, good Kate. If anyone can make the obscure functional it is you.

  7. I know. A form of hope-filled insanity. I think it was actually closer to 4 months before I booked. Part of my mistake was assuming it typical of solar and you had to be enterprising and exhausted and there it was, the adventure afoot. In truth THAT system was so stupidly, cheaply, thoughtlessly arranged –for failure. Being older and wiser, I’d now know what to check should I ever tread that path again. And knowing Kate, she’ll have the best set-up in town once the bugs are out.

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