Quads And A New Lifestyle

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by cashonly » Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:42 am

very nice, the landscape in your pictures, i see it in american movies (and australian)
it is very diferent from where i live, romania. if you need help i offer my services :)
These pretzels are making me thirsty!

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by xman » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:27 pm

Been real busy with work of late but last week the family and I went down for 4 days, it was a long weekend out here. We have just about finished clearing the scrub where the duck and quail enclosure will go. It's been a job in progress for a while now but pulling out the old truck with the 4 X 4 and then clearing the ground around where it stood just about has the area done.
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The pine trees in the front two rows of the forest will form the fence posts and I'm using the pine trees themselves as cover from the eagles we have flying around all the time. Sorry about the pic being long range but I'll take some more when the fence is up and the duck/ quail roosts are built and in place. The logs in the paddock are ones that didn't burn in last years burn off fires we had and I dragged them out ready for chainsawing for this year's firewood.


This picture shows the view of the valley and creek from the house. To the left of the tire pile is the area my mate and I cleared last year. This year we will clear the right side. I'm being a bit smarter this year and cutting the trees and scrub down now so they will be dead and ready to burn by August when we both take a week off work to burn off.
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Here is what we got up to last August, the left side of this fence was cleared. The right side of the fence goes this August. Beside the fence is the scrub I have poisoned about a month ago. It is ready to burn as soon as the fire season is lifted and burn off time begins, it should be in the next couple of weeks I hope.
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The fence is now gone, again, this has been a job in progress over many months. I have removed about half a kilometer of this fence so far and have about 2 kilometers to go. This fence went up the hill towards the house, that is the part I have removed, and goes virtually down the middle of the property to the back fence. It is a fence that serves no purpose other than being a tire hazard because it is mostly flattened and has two strands of barbed wire and 4 bare strands of wire making up the fence.
My youngest son hard a fence removal.
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My son and I went for a quad ride to the back of the property and then started walking to find the back fence. We haven't been here before as the track and the quad at this point are about 1/2 kilometer away. this is the back fence behind the rock formation.
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And to the left of this picture.
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Sort of hard to really see this rock formation but it is round lucky stones and quartz melted in what looks like brown glass. I might take a sample of the rock and get it analyzed, I've not seen rock like this before.
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Just a couple of other pictures I took on this walk into the bush my son and I did looking for the back fence.
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Well that's about all of interest at the moment until next time.

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by Geeba » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:37 pm

I do still miss the vastness of Oz... I can look out my window and see my back fence.... if I told the Mrs I wanted a quad bike to find it I dont think she'd approve... :lol:

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by xman » Sat May 02, 2015 8:45 am

Well I finally got around to starting the pool table / amusement room extension. After watching it rain for two days, it was finally going to give me a go of a few days without rain.
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I got a few other jobs done like put up one of the wind generators. I'm learning real quick no sun, no power so maybe it may be windy?. This wind generator is good for 400 watt or 33 amp @ 12 volt which is the maximum I get out of all 4 solar panels I have hooked up at present on a perfect day which doesn't happen here at this time of year. The max I am seeing is 18 amps as we approach winter here. This is when solar really suks. Just to give you some idea. It takes 7 amps to charge up two rechargeable Ryobi batteries for the drills etc and takes 3 hours. To run the pump to pump water from the house tank up to the water tower take 16 amps and takes 4 hours to fill. To run the Xbox and the 51cm LCD T.V. takes 18 amps per hour. To run around 5-6 light bulbs at night takes 5 amps per hour.
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Speaking of light bulbs I have found better than i was using and are in the process of changing them all over. I was using Phillips Tornado CFLs with ratings from 5 watt to 15 watt like these...
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Not bad lights. Quick to come up to brightness, easy for me to get and price is good but wattage used versus light output is what I'm after. I come up with these and I'm very happy.
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They use slightly less power but come on immediately. The ones I'm using are 5, 7, 9 and 12 watt versions and are the "cool white" variety as were the CFLs I was using. They are substantially brighter than there CFL counterparts of equal or slightly more wattage but the light is uniform. Best of all no poisoning from the CFL gas should they break as these are LED and that can't be a bad thing.
The outside of the bathroom wall needed repairing after I cut it open to get out all the shower piping when I realized I wanted it all in another wall of the bathroom wall. These things happen in the pleasing process of "thou who must be obeyed" as all you married guys would understand.
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All done.
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It was worth it I think looking at the near finished bathroom internals.
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Just waiting on the glass wall, finish painting, put the ceiling fan in and she's done and "she'll" be happy.
Mushroom time by the way. Pity I hate the ground hugging pieces of fungus because they are everywhere in the forests at the moment.
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That's it till the next visit. ;)

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by professor_jonny » Mon May 04, 2015 8:31 am

Those new Philips led's are quite good we have been using them to replace cfl's and incandescent lamps in cow sheds for ages.

the cfl create high voltages to start the arc and create stray voltage that effects cows.

people often omit them as they think that because there is not a 100w in the range and think they wont be as bright as normal but we tested them and found them to be brighter than incandescent equivalent by heaps.

One thing I would say is buy the ones the mrs likes as you are stuck with them for 10+ years :-)

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by xman » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:37 pm

Been swapping over at the CFLs to the LEDs and enjoying the power savings and brighter lighting. The rooms have gone from 8watt CFLs to 4watt LEDs and not only are the 4watters brighter, they come to full brightness immediately. I have done heaps on the pool table room lately as I have been back down twice since the last post. Window went in...
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Internal drywall went in...
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We got a slab for the vehicles...
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And I painted all the walls making it looking more like a room...
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That was the 1st visit.
The next visit was to do the floating floor through into the pool room so all the floor in the house was the same. This was not easy. I had to pull up a lot of the existing floor and feed in new flooring so there would be no join. Add to this the pool room slab was slightly higher than the house slab by about 20mm so it had to be ramped up to appear to be all the same level. Ow and when you lay these floors you are supposed to go from right to left and as the house floor was already in place, I had to continue from where it ended going to the right.
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My ever reliable 2TB Xbox on the unfinished second half of the floor...
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And near finished. I ran short of flooring by 2 boxes of flooring panels. :x
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I did a bit more clearing of the scrub in the creek behind the house. The creek is now ready for burning nearly...
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I also cleared around the front driveway and put a few reflectors on the sides because I am getting real pissed off driving right past the entrance when I go down late at night and the place is fog bound.
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The large overhead bridge is going over the river so it won't be long before I can come in this way not matter what the river height. At the moment I rely on the automated river height sensors that are set up the river and I have a link on my PC to see if the river is flooding. If it is too high, I know to go down via the coastal road.
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Well that is all I have ATM. Until next time.

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by xman » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:28 pm

I went down last week and finished of the floor of the pool table room. Also added the wood framing around the metal posts and beams. The room just needs the false ceiling like the rest of the lower level of the house now.
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I also was finished building the log trailer so it went down for the start of it's hard life dragging logs. The idea of this trailer is it can be dragged by the quads, buggys or a car, anything with a tow ball actually. You jack up the front of the log and it sits over the axle where it is strapped to the axle using a tie down strap. You can then drag the log without the front end of the log hitting everything hanging out of the ground. The other end of the log just drags on the ground. This has advantages. The end dragging has a braking effect so it doesn't push you down hills if you need to drag the log downhill. Because the majority of the log is off the ground it is much easier to drag. As the majority of the logs I'll be dragging are in amongst other trees, it will be quads doing most of the dragging. Most of these logs I want to move are taking at least 4 men to lift the whole log so that gives you some idea how heavy these logs can be and they need to be moved a couple of hundred meters.
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As you can see, it's getting cold lately. It is hitting 0c regularly and the firewood pile is going down.
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I haven't quite finished this farm project but it is near complete. It is exactly the same as this one I made in 2001 seen here except instead of being mains powered it will be solar powered....
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What it does is charge batteries. It has a smart charger that charges batteries and once charged it drops the current to just a trickle charge so as to only keep the battery topped up and not destroy it by over charging the battery. This is the mains powered smart charger I'll be using after I removed it from it's original case...
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As I said, I want this to be solar powered so the transformer seen here needs to go and be replaced with a 12vDC to 24vDC buck inverter as that is the voltage the charger uses to power it after the transformer and 12vDc is the battery power I use at the farm from the solar panels and batteries...
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A solar powered smart charger isn't that hard to find for quad batteries, ride on mover batteries or car batteries but what makes this unit different is it can do up to seven batteries using the one smart charger or at least it will when I'm finished building it. As these smart batteries chargers are not cheap, what I want is one that steps on from one battery to the next up to seven and then starts over again at the first battery. That saves me needing to buy seven smart battery charges. The charger charges each battery for about 6 hours and then automatically steps to the next battery. This is the part I need to made, the stepper unit itself...
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That is the drawing of the stepper board I designed. The art work of the PC board after I drew it onto the copper cad board and the etching powder I add water to so as to eat out the copper that isn't drawn in blue. What is blue will be the copper left that makes the tracks that conducts the power on the board. It will be a printed circuit board.
The board goes in the etching solution and after 15 minutes you can see the board slowly being made as the solution eats away at the un- covered copper on the board....
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After there is no bear copper left, it comes out of the etching solution, is washed and I sand the board with wet, fine wet and dry sand paper and the board is ready for the components to be soldering in once all the holes are drilling in the board for the component legs etc.
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This is the real old school way of making your own PC boards. They are not perfect because you litrallt draw it all freehand but it is better, much better than using pre drilled boards with tracks that you cut what you don't want. It is also handy when you want just one board or as a prototype to test if the idea in electronics actually does what you want before having a larger batch professionally made. I know this circuit works, it is exactly the same stepper unit that I made in 2001 and has never been turned off since in my garage at home I use for charging batteries on. I figured I would at most make two of these units to keep all the farm's machines batteries fully charged but I now have a few other people interested in buying some so I now need to have them made for me I guess. The stepper board can be used on any battery charger, it makes no difference. It is the stepper board that makes this idea appealing to people that have multiple batteries in vehicles they want to maintain the batteries in such as a collection of show cars that are garaged for long periods of time. The board is near complete with all the components soldered in but wasn't at the moment of writing this post. I will show the finished product here when it is finished. Hope some of you found this interesting. It is a hobby I have done for many years before it was all made ever so easy.

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by professor_jonny » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:20 pm

it looks like you left a track of one of the coils of the first relay unless I'm missing something?

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by xman » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:17 am

Arr that would be the F/U relay position you are talking about. :lol: You know, 'future use" that we often see written on PC boards after what looks like a mistake made during board production. However in this particular I did do it like that on purpose. I wasn't sure whether I would use that PC board to mount a relay for cutting power to the buck inverter when the sun went down or not so I drew it in there close enough to the buck inverter's supply lines just in case. I don't want the buck inverter powered when the sun goes down on the solar setup so the idea was to have a relay either drop out or energize when the solar panel isn't giving out power. I wasn't sure either to use a single or double pole relay. A single would cut the buck supply, a double could cut the buck's supply and power the clock enable pin on the 4017 IC causing the counting to stop as well till the sun came up again so the unit wouldn't step on without charging the battery it was up to when the sun went down originally.
Here's a couple of trail cam shots I took last week I forgot to add also...
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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by xman » Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:05 pm

Been heavily into back burning lately and the creek for the fish dam is all but cleared now ready for the dam walls to go in. Also cleared a couple of acres around the house location so as to form a fire break should a bush fire come through.
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Not much left in the creek now.
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I have since been through with the chain saw and chopped up what was left and burnt it. Last week the place was hit by big rain and I suspect the ash to be all gone now as well.
My workshop needed a bit of loving so some shelves and a bench went in. This is across the front of the workshop. I now need to build the one that goes the length of the shed.
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A couple of pine trees were dropped from the front forest and I now have a simple retaining wall. This will allow me to back fill so the area in front of the workshop has a landing for the quads and other machines to park instead of directly in front of the house. I'll back fill it mainly with logs and put dirt over the top so the retaining wall should be cool to hold the pressure till the ground normalizes.
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I've also started installing the internal false ceiling so as to get rid of the "industrial" look of the insulation.
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I hope to get a lot more of this roof in place during this next week I go back down. I also am looking at clearing and burning of the tea tree at a place we call Grassy Flat. It is not far from the creek I have been clearing and is about 4 acres in size. No trees to clear here but dense tea tree that once cleared, will expose the native grasses. This area was used about 70 years ago as the location for miners huts of the miners that panned for gold from the creek. It should be quite nice once the massive tea trees are cleared and burnt.

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by xman » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:14 pm

I have nothing really to add at the moment. The last week I worked at the farm, I damaged my knee real bad and it is not getting better real quick. I have been making stuff here in Sydney to take down and I'll put some of these projects up soon but nothing right at the moment. It's been about 5 weeks and I so miss the place with it's wildlife, not to mention it's peace and quite. I'm one of those people that can handle my own company as it gives me time to clear my head. The place has really taught me what I really like in life and it isn't consumerism. Anyway, when I have something of substance I will continue this post. This post is by no means dead. Just my knee is at the moment. :cry: Please be patient even though it is near killing me to be.

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by Nextelhalo » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:57 pm

Farm is looking great Xman, get that knee fixed up or go buy a new one.
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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by xman » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:26 am

Nextelhalo wrote:Farm is looking great Xman, get that knee fixed up or go buy a new one.
I wish it was that easy. It isn't the joint but the tenons that control the slight sideways movement your knee actually does.

Just out of curiosity Nex, have you been to the Gas Monkey Bar and Grill in Texas or maybe the New Gas Monkey Live venue?. I am a massive fan of there Fast And Loud show on cable T.V.. I live in hope they find time in there show to build up a bad arse Pontiac GTO as in the Aussie Pontiac GTO. Last week's show here was the green Scat Pak '71 Barracuda Hemi with the 2015 Scat Pak Hemi engine inplant that Richard and the boys stole out of the 2015 Scat Pak prototype that Dodge lent them to trial. I find it a "not to be missed" show for any petrol head as we are called out here. Somehow I don't think gas head quite fits. :lol:

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by Nextelhalo » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:49 pm

Havent been by they're shop but they are 300 miles north of me in Dallas. I'll be honest I"m not a big fan of them only because they've gone so mainstream and big. I was walking around the grocery store yesterday and saw a Gas Monkey Garage shirt being sold by the Wine/Beer isle. Now these guys however I do like and they are always competing and talking trash with the Gas Monkey Guys, they've got a good little rivalry going. They too did a Hellcat swap into an old Mopar with the drivetrain coming out of a Hellcat Charger that was going to be crushed anyway.

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by xman » Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:14 pm

Shouldn't be to much longer before I get back down the farm. Looking at the dates here it seems it's been nearly 2 months. Taken a long time to allow the knee to heal but it is much better, not perfect but much better. Been doing a lot here for the farm so the time hasn't been wasted but as always, what appears to be perfect here requires adjustments to work properly down there. I have a small network to install in the farm house. Not on the inter web down there yet but I want it ready for when we hook up a satellite which is available in the area. I figure with a network I can at least hook a few things up. I've made up a few wall plates for plugging things in without needing cables laying on the ground. Here's a couple of examples..
This one has a 12vDC lighter socket for charging the cordless drills, laptop and basically anything that uses this type of a socket used in your car. It also has twin USB charging ports. I'm using a lot of USB powered stuff now like tablets etc and having wall plugs for USB charging around the house should be pretty handy. The USB part is from a car USB charger so this whole panel just needs 12vDC from the house batteries to work....
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A bit more going on with this plate. It is the plate that goes near the car radio that has been adapted to be the house sound system. The radio is a 4 channel 55 watt per channel amp as well. It also plays USB mp3, radio and has a 3.5mm input but no blue tooth. Bit pissed about the no blue tooth bit but I got some adapters that work blue tooth sound nicely anyway. As for the plate. The 4 coloured RCAs are the four channels leading to the speakers set up around the farm house. The USB ports are for charging and to power the USB powered blue tooth to 3.5mm adapter. The plug in the top middle is for the radio ariel connection. Directly under that ariel plug is a blue LED to show power is present and lastly, the 4 pin XLR connector is for the radio's power wires. 12v hot, 12volt ignition and ground with one circuit spare....
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This plate goes near the table in the lounge room area. It has a HDMI plug for plugging in tablets etc and supplies the HDMI up to the projector. A lighter socket for anything like the laptop charger that could be used for charging the laptop while using it for the video source. A USB charger port for charging a tablet while it is being used to supply a video signal and lastly a 3.5mm sound plug in case the blue tooth sound connection gives issues connecting to the radio that is about 7 meters away incidentally...

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These plates were all blank plates to start with much like this one however this one has two holes dremelled in it already but this is just to give you some idea...

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Lastly I bought these off the shelf. Finally something I could use without heavy modification. They are for supplying mains power, in my case 220vAC. These are Australia's standard wall power sockets by the way except this one has an extra switch in the middle. The two outside switches kill the power to the socket below each of them like all our power wall sockets have here. The inside switch is a totally independent switch. I'm using this inside switch to turn on and off the inverter that actually supplies the 220vAC that is converted from the house's 12vDC. At the moment if I required the 220vAC, I needed to go into the battery room and turn on the inverter so I had 220vAC at the sockets. This way I can hit the middle switch to turn on the inverter and have 220vAC ready to use at the sockets. I'll have a couple of these type plates connected to each of the 4 1000 watt inverters. It isn't perfect as if you turn any of the middle switches on, all the wall plates on the circuit will have power to them but I can live with that. Better than what I've been doing up till now....

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Well that's about it. I thought I better put something down to show you guys this post isn't dead, it was just my knee. :lol: Looking real forward to getting back down so I can add something a bit more exciting but this is about the best I can do until then. You'll have to excuse me boys, sorry 'bout that. ;)

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by asbo » Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:39 pm

Those sockets :D
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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by cashonly » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:16 pm

cant wait to see the house.

how far is it from where you live?
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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by xman » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:29 am

asbo wrote:Those sockets :D
You think I butchered them?. Not sure what to make of the picture. Is that a picture of disgust or OMG?. :lol:
cashonly wrote:cant wait to see the house.

how far is it from where you live?
I have taken pics of the house, well the lower level. I haven't really done much with the upstairs yet. I did originally do the up stairs for the kids but they use down stairs mostly now. I did have like a small lounge room at each end of the up stairs with beds between. Now I'm thinking make less bedroom space and more storage.
The farm is 2 1/4 hours away. 212kms by freeway and rural road. It's at the lower end of what we call "The Southern Highlands". It does very occasionally snow there, about 3 days a year at best.

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by asbo » Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:56 am

No I meant that's the first thing I saw in my head when I looked at them, like this:
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It might just be my weird mind :D

As for the ones you made, good job, no butchering there imo :)

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Re: Quads And A New Lifestyle

Post by professor_jonny » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:30 am

Not going to put in c-bus and automate everything ?

I use to program e-bos home automation and if I built a house I would put a product like that in it all runs of 12vdc and has power saving options like dimming light automatically at 10pm and lights that turn them selves off if no one is in the room, handy if you are on solar or are into power savings.

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