Category Archives: Projects

Gas Water Heater

A few Sundays ago I finally got around of installing a gas water heater (califont). Now I can have hot showers whenever I want to. So far I was relying on some odd 50 meters of hose filled with water that I lay into the sun light. It worked fine, the water got warm quickly. However, the number of cold showers I had to take kept increasing. On overcast days or when getting home late from work there were only two options. Either have a cold shower or none at all. That’s history now, I’m not only having warm showers these days, I’m having hot ones… hehe Continue reading Gas Water Heater

Solar Power Baby

Well, it certainly took a while, but I’m finally running on solar power. Bought, or as they say in New Zealand, brought a 190W 24V mono-crystalline solar panel and a 30 A MPPT solar controller last week, when I was in town, and hooked it up the other day. So far, so good. Panels are getting quite affordable these days and you can get a good deal for your buck. Prices are between 3-4 NZD per Watt. My 190 W (24V) panel had a price tag of 551 NZD and the MPPT solar controller was 330 NZD (rated at 30 Ampere; on 12V it can run two of these panels, on 24V it can handle almost 4. Continue reading Solar Power Baby

Sunsets and Gardening

We had some calm and sunny days over the weekend, so I took it pretty easy on Sunday. Well, that was the plan. Take it easy, do some gardening and write an update for BENIsLAND. However, my generator just refused to start up. I cranked her and cranked her and after 30 or so times, I sat down and thought about what could be wrong. Then I cranked her another 30 times or so, before giving in.  Continue reading Sunsets and Gardening

Wharf to Wharf; Great Barrier Island Marathon; Sponsor Ben

Come to Great Barrier Island and challenge yourself. Run or bike a full or half a marathon from Wharf to Wharf. From Port Fitzroy to Tryphena, via the unforgettable Forest Road. This is an event and experience you will remember for a lifetime. I am going to do the marathon bike option and you can sponsor me.  Continue reading Wharf to Wharf; Great Barrier Island Marathon; Sponsor Ben

Daily Section and New Project

–There is a new section called Daily; have a look

Well, it has been quite a cruisy week, fires every night, hmmm that’s about it in terms of cruisy; it rained a lot, but has been milder wind and temperature wise. There is mud everywhere and it doesn’t help that the sole of my gum boot has come off partially. So yeah, gotta stock up on them. I haven’t really done that much other than clearing some paths through the bush and collecting, cutting, splitting and stacking up fire wood. I’m amazed to see how fast you can cut with a conventional hand saw…  Continue reading Daily Section and New Project

Doors on Fire!

I mean Doors and Fire. It has been blowing 35 knots for the last few days and gusting up to 50 knts, frequent showers, on Monday some hail for a little while; but I have also been quite productive. My mate Jonah came around on Sunday – his land rover is fixed again – and he gave me a hand picking up my new doors and putting them in.  After a bit of cutting, hammering and making it fit, the doors were securely in place. Continue reading Doors on Fire!

No wind; I’ve got Internet again…

First things first, this week I tried every day getting an Internet connection going, but it appears that with all the overcast weather, rain and wind, that I shouldn’t bother trying. It only seems to work when we have clear skies.

Yeah, tough week for Beni, I can tell you. I worked Mon-Fri at a renovation site, at a nice lady with manicured, beautiful gardens. In return, I get to take some double doors, windows and some odd, left-ofter building material like planks, copper pipes etc. And a 4×4 truck to bring things onto my site. Continue reading No wind; I’ve got Internet again…

Homebuilt 12 Volt Generator Part II

48$ NZ got me a 6/12 V battery load tester including delivery, and it finally arrived from Christchurch a couple of days ago. These units perform both a simple voltage and a discharge load test on a battery. They do a pretty good job of identifying weak lead acid batteries and I thought it would be quite handy to have one. Continue reading Homebuilt 12 Volt Generator Part II

Homebuilt 12 Volt Generator Part I

My soon to be home and for that matter all of Great Barrier Island doesn’t have any reticulated electricity or water supply. So basically, individual households are living off the grid and utilize a combination of alternative energy systems – such as solar, wind, water and fuel-driven generators – to produce power. With this respect, communities like Great Barrier Island should be regarded as a model to strive for. Continue reading Homebuilt 12 Volt Generator Part I