Unexpected gift from Big Brother!

Neighbor D kindly made a special trip to the crappy little town nearest where we live for the sole purpose of letting me fill propane bottles.

And so now…

Both stations and all spares are full. For the moment: We’re moving into the genuinely cold part of winter, so this is going to be a thing for the next month or six weeks minimum. By mid-February I can usually start backing off refilling empties, since of course I don’t need them full in summer.

And it was a propitious moment to get a text from Big Brother saying I had an incoming package. I had no idea what it might be…


Hm. And then I had no idea whether this was going be a case of “Thanks!” or “um, thanks.” First, I am NOT putting a big metal pole on the Lair to overtop the roof: My stuff hasn’t been significantly hit by lightning in over five years now and I really prefer to keep that streak going. And also I really don’t want to have to dig yet another ditch for yet another run of conduit.


But it looks like it’s going to be more the first thing. Solar powered and wireless, this could be useful. I’m going to start working tomorrow to see if one of these big lengths of iron well pipe will work, whether I can mount it to the other side of the woodshed to get what passes for clean wind down in my hollow, how far will it transmit to the display, what hardware I need to score Monday, and probably et cetera. Thanks, Big Brother! Looks like fun.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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5 Responses to Unexpected gift from Big Brother!

  1. bob says:

    Almost bought one of those a couple years back then decided I had no real good reason to put in a squirrel amusement park when I had no good way to charge them admission. Happy New Year

  2. Ben says:

    Your plan is probably best, assuming that the radio link is strong enough.

    Keep in mind that the mast you use need not be conductive. Schedule 80 pvc (big box electrical department) comes to mind.

  3. Norman says:

    IIRC, 1 1/2″ galvanized conduit is 1.900 OD and will fit inside 2 inch Schedule 80 plastic pipe, with a little space for epoxy to keep them together. As long as the steel conduit is contained entirely within the plastic pipe it will be insulated so it won’t be a grounded conductor (assuming there’s no water in whatever hole the Sched 80 is in to act as a conductor; internal plugs are available for Sched 80, and some PVC cement will weld it in place).

    Both Sched 80 and galvanized conduit are available in 10 ft and 20 ft lengths.

  4. Just Waiting says:

    Joel, what kind of fitting are you using to tap the 2 tanks together? Could you post a closer pic please? Thanks

  5. Joel says:

    It’s called a bypass regulator…

    https://i2.wp.com/joelsgulch.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/IMG_6393.jpg?w=1000

    Found very commonly on RVs (and very old mobile homes) where a single larger bottle wouldn’t be practical. Easily available on Amazon in bewildering profusion.

    I’ve had reasonably good luck with this one.

To the stake with the heretic!