Category Archives: Projects

What I’ve Learned From Raising Chickens

For about two years I’ve been hearing my unusually big rooster crow, often hours before sunrise. I feed him well, look after him and enjoy his company, but after an unsuccessful year of raising chicken, thoughts of silencing him have crossed my mind. This year, I had a new plan and, once again, had put my hopes into this massive rooster.

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Killing & Butchering a Pig – How It’s Done Without A Gun

A week ago, Hellmut the pig saw his last morning. I had no intentions of keeping him as a pet and the time had come to kill and butcher him. This was not something I had done before, so I was glad that one of the local Barrier boys was keen to help out. Here is a recap of what turned out to be a quick and clean job with photos and thoughts on the experience.

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Clean Energy, Clean Water & Clean Clothes

Since yesterday, I have been gazing through the glass panel of my new
washing machine. Observing each different operation cycle of this beautiful machine with a happy sense of accomplishment and fascination, and monitoring how the respective washing cycles affect my off-grid power and water supply. You see, I lived without a washing machine for four years, so today is special indeed. Continue reading Clean Energy, Clean Water & Clean Clothes

New On BENIsLAND: Hellmut The Pig

I got back to the Barrier on Tuesday, after an unexpected trip to Town. While I helped a mate and got heaps done for myself in Auckland, I must admit that I still feel rather exhausted. We left on the barge on Sunday, got to Town at night, drove to Whangarei in two fully laden trucks. One was overheating, so the 3 hour trip took like 6. We unloaded the trucks on Monday morning, and I headed back to Auckland to get me some supplies.

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The Great Barrier Island Rockfishing Blog

My new blog, http://www.fishing.benisland.com, is solely dedicated to Rockfishing on the Barrier. Check out my stories, detailed articles, the how to section, images and recipes. Tell me what you think. My short-term goal is to share experiences with other landbased enthusiasts, and to publish informative articles that are both entertaining and helpful. Continue reading The Great Barrier Island Rockfishing Blog

Solar Power System Design – Part III

In Part III of Solar Power System Design, I like to discuss the wiring diagram of my new off-grid photo voltaic system in some detail. I disclaim once again: This, following articles and downloadable material to which I link to, shall NOT be treated as advice, instruction or a form of guideline for any sort of power system. The reason why I share my experience with you is basically because I found it difficult to find similar articles that were comprehensive enough. Furthermore, my intention is to offer useful information to anybody who is interested in setting up an off-grid solar power system, so that they can make better informed decisions and understand concepts involved. After all, a sound working knowledge of your off-grid power system is required even if you don’t do it yourself.

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Back On The Barrier

I embarked on a trip to Auckland (Town) on the ferry with my car last week. The plan was to purchase a complete photo voltaic (PV) system and various other things that had either ‘broken’, like my gum boots, or things that I always needed, like a crimping tool. Taking advantage of a special deal (during a fraction of a year) for residents, it cost 320 NZD for a return trip for myself and a vehicle. I also took out the passenger and rear seats to maximise loading space. My next vehicle will definitely be a true 4×4, one with a transfer box and low gear, van.

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Quiet & Sunny Sunday

After four days of torrential rain, thunder storms and gusting winds, it’s so great to relax on an extremely quiet and very sunny Sunday. Other than acknowledging and enjoying the peace and serenity, I worked on my garden projects. I’m expecting to yield about 50% more produce than last year. Basically, it’s really easy:

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Solar Power System Design – Part II

I’ve been contemplating about what to buy for the last month. Its worthwhile to view installed renewable systems and talk to the owners about pros and cons. There is a lot of bullshit published on the Internet, the vast majority being copy and paste articles which are neither detailed nor discuss alternative solutions.

As mentioned in the Part I, the design of my Power System depends vastly on my budget. Ideally, the main focus will be the power requirements, but like anything else I’m doing on BENIsLAND I cannot afford what I want nor what I need. This project will also be a compromise, and I explain my rationale for each electrical component in the following.

This, following articles, including downloadable material to which I link to, shall NOT be treated as advice, instruction or a form of guideline for any sort of power system.

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