Author Topic: "living off the grid"  (Read 3692 times)

Stan

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"living off the grid"
« on: November 25, 2006, 10:16:46 PM »
For Canadians (or Americans living close to the border).

I just found an article in our local paper call "Stroud's Off the Grid".  A guy named Les Stroud made a documentary about taking his family off the grid in Northen Ontario.  It airs starting Tuesday, Nov. 28 and is showing on the OLN Canada network.  That's channel 411 for Bell Expressview customers.  Doesn't say what time.
Stan

unimogr

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Re: "living off the grid"
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2006, 01:42:19 AM »

I don't have ExpressVu and I can't seem to get OLN on the rabbit ears, but if there is another Ontario person who is able to make a copy of the show I'd love to see it and I'm sure there are other people in the area with the same problem and we could probably work out a system to forward the tape to the next person once we've watched it.

Jason

Stan

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Re: "living off the grid"
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2006, 10:40:12 PM »
OK, watched "Stroud's Off the Grid" last night.
First some background.  I took my family up to Dawson Creek in 1976, and bought a quarter section 25 miles out of town, end of the road etc.  Refurbished an abandoned log (badly built) house and raised sheep for 7 years.  I know of what I speak.

This show was of very poor quality.  These people never did move onto their "Northern (Muskoka) acreage" and lived in Toronto while this was being filmed.  They were what we (in Dawson Creek) called "city folks with more money than brains".  They didn't have a clue what they were doing.  They bought land with no water on it and for over a year couldn't find any!!!!...They started to refurbish a "tear down" home in October!!!!!  They bought a $20,000 sawmill to cut a few 2x4's and 2x6's to frame inside rooms of the 20x20 foot home......They bought what I estimate at least $20,000 worth of solar panels, batteries and wind generator plus inverters and assorted equipment galore to energize this dinky little shack......What a waste of 1 1/2 hours watching this.  The only reason I kept watching it was in the vain hope it would improve.  Something farmers all over the world do every year with their crops.

I'd give the film 3 thumbs down.  :-[
Stan

mobile_bob

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Re: "living off the grid"
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2006, 10:55:45 PM »
i havent seen the program but i will take your word for it

this is precisely what i find wrong with publications such as homepower magazine, and for the most part mother earth news
they have sold out to their advertiser's

the last home power magazine i bought a few years ago, chronicle'd  an "offgrid" home in northern california,
if i remember it was a 6k sq/ft monstrocity, with over 100k worth of solar, batteries and you name it, all to support an all electric  lifestyle.
this is not offgrid in my books! even if there are no power lines to the property!

the sad thing is every part of their system had a full page advertisment in the magazine, i guess what the newbie is to gather from the article was
forget it if you don't have a million dollars to invest.

i know a magazine cannot exist without advertizers,just as tv cannot exist without them, but good grief

wish there was a program or a magazine that truel met the classical DIY type of offgrid homestead, now that i would watch, buy or support.

even junk yard war's which i liked had a stocked junkyard to support the show, i guess we want to be entertained and not educated

on the other side of the coin was

that dude in alaska that lived for nearly 40 years by himself, and built his homestead was pretty cool
as was the series 1873 on pbs

i guess most of the good ones are on pbs, guess we need to lobby them to produce a program on offgrid homesteads, maybe they could get it right.

bob g
otherpower.com, microcogen.info, practicalmachinist.com
(useful forums), utterpower.com for all sorts of diy info

Stan

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Re: "living off the grid"
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2006, 03:58:57 AM »
I agree...this Stroud guy didn't even do any of his own work, he hired contractors to do everything!  He stood there in front of the most modern, expensive set of DC/AC collection equipment mounted on his wall (it looked like the panel off the space station) and admitted he didn't know a darn thing about it, as he read from one of the manuals.  What's he going to do in the middle of some winter night when he's snowed in, at many degrees below zero and something lets the smoke out?

Stan

mobile_bob

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Re: "living off the grid"
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2006, 04:37:00 AM »
"What's he going to do in the middle of some winter night when he's snowed in, at many degrees below zero and something lets the smoke out?"

he is going to cry like a little girl, a shivering, crying little girl, thats what he is going to do.

bob g

otherpower.com, microcogen.info, practicalmachinist.com
(useful forums), utterpower.com for all sorts of diy info

biobill

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Re: "living off the grid"
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2006, 02:16:11 AM »
Quote from: mobile bob
if i remember it was a 6k sq/ft monstrocity, with over 100k worth of solar, batteries and you name it, all to support an all electric  lifestyle.
this is not offgrid in my books! even if there are no power lines to the property!

   I'm with you bob, They'll never 'get it' going at it that way. I spent my first year or so in my present home without electricity and it taught me lots about thinking outside the box. That first solar panel and the Die Hard deep cycle was an unbelievable luxury. The system has since grown considerably but its still smalll compared to most installations these days. I always looked at things a little differently than the energy use charts that the solar merchants use. Instead of figuring how much you need to do what you want, I figured, this is what I've got, what can I do with it.
                                                             Bill
Off grid since 1990
6/1 Metro DI living in basement, cogen
6/1 Metro IDI running barn & biodiesel processer
VW 1.6 diesels all over the place
Isuzu Boxtruck, Ford Backhoe, all running on biodiesel
Needs diesel lawnmower & chainsaw

rcavictim

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Re: "living off the grid"
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2006, 05:52:04 AM »
I heard from a friend who saw the show and made a tape copy for me, that there isn`t enough power to make any smoke.  It was described to me that this Strouds dude has a 450 watt wind turbine mounted on a TV tower (nothing more than a toy) and three 150 watt solar cell panels.  He got sold wayyyyy more lead acid batteries than he can float charge and if he ever fully loads his 3 kW inverter he`ll have to leave the cottage for a month to let the batteries partially recover.  Those batteries won`t give much service life at partial charge all the time.
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