The Lab

Top photo: Luc Viatour CC BY-SA 3.0

Normally the back room in our house isn’t a very useful room. In fact it usually just causes a lot of frustration. We put the clothes washer back there because it was the only place other than the kitchen where we could get to a drain, but the floor is very sloped so neither the washer nor the utility sink it drains into sit flat. Also, the room isn’t insulated well, the exterior door is made of cardboard and the pellet stove that acts as the only source of heat in that room is… fickle. So basically we just do laundry out there and worry about whether or not the pipes are going to freeze, i.e. not very useful. But not anymore.

Now it is the home of my not-so-secret lab (I like to think of it like Dr. Horrible’s). It started off slowly and innocently, like many evil labs do, with batteries:

536 Amp Hours and 392 pounds of 12 volt AGM lead acid batteries to be precise

Then I gained some tools and a useless assistant:

Hello Igor. (It’s pronounced eye-gore!)

Then I started adding closed circuit security cameras:

Otherwise known as a backup camera. Thanks Tracy, Michelle and family!

And finally, I put together my greatest creation…

It took 2 months to figure out how to get those green and yellow LEDs in the middle of the blue box to turn on. Had to buy a debugging cable from the Netherlands to reset the thing to factory defaults (it’s the inverter and the charger in one box).

A WORKING OFF-GRID ELECTRICAL SYSTEM!!! Muah ah ah ah… Some would say I’ve almost become a real electrical engineer 🙂

With how much of this I’ve gotten off of Craigslist, it seems like a miracle I’ve gotten this far. I still need to add the emergency shut off switch (mad scientists don’t need them) and the solar panel controller but since I don’t have solar panels yet it isn’t much of a loss. Hopefully we’ll get the carpeting pulled out in the next week or so. That way I can start installing this stuff soon. Allison should be posting something about the flooring situation soon.

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