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thomas rubino

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since Apr 14, 2013
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cat pig rocket stoves
13 acres in extreme rural Montana 100% off grid since 1983. Solar and micro hydro. Summer time piggy farmer. Restoring 2000-04 Subaru outbacks wagons for fun and a little profit. Not quite old enough to retire YET but closing on it fast... until then I must occasionally leave Paradise "home" and run large construction cranes on union job sites across the inland northwest. I make (Well try) A-2 A-2 cheese, I love cooking with my wood smoker for everything! Would not live anywhere else but rural Montana ! My wife Liz runs "Rocks by liz" a successful Etsy store and we have a summer booth at the Missoula peoples market. We currently breed and raise persian cats but are about to retire all the girls and let them be happy kittys for the remainder of their days.Oh and my biggest thing is... I LOVE MY RMH !
latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Recent posts by thomas rubino

Mike ; That's way cool!
I did not see any contact info on the artist?  
Would love to contact them.
3 hours ago
Hi Gail:
Let me give you a little guidance about solar.
I have lived off grid with solar since 1983. In my opinion, do not buy an all in one setup. They generally are to small to be upgraded and they ALWAYS charge too much for them.
Basic's you need to start) A solar panel,  Just enough 12 gauge household "Romex" cable to reach from battery to panel.  A deep cycle battery... that is the most basic things you will need.  
A charge control is really nice but you can live without one (at least while your system is small)  
A pure sine wave inverter will give you 110 outlets for cool stuff like chargers. Again you can live without one but sooner or later you will want one.
Now this is a down and dirty setup ... no fuses , I'm sure others will think you need a complete safe setup before you start... its up to you. I lived 3 years with one panel , one piece of Romex and a sears diehard battery.  Never burned anything up...

Here is an item number, to a solar panel at Ebay. 180 watts $175 delivered.  I have bought many panels from this company, all top of the line.   1- 180 Watt 12 Volt Battery Charger Solar Panel Off Grid RV Boat 180 watt total
   Item # ( 272812576939 )
fred480v  Feedback percentage of 99.7%



6 hours ago
Hi Sam; Welcome to Permies!
Boy sure bad timing for that storm to pop up right when you oiled the driveway!

I'm guessing that a fish hatchery might sell baby fish you could restock with.
If the lake upstream has a healthy population then is your inlet deep enough for fish to move thru ?
I don't know if it is legal but a little hand excavating might make things easier for them.
There's always catch and release yourself... or...
Maybe some fish food sprinkled leading to your pond...   (I'm joking)

Could it be  the turtles / birds and occasional gater  might be snacking on your baby fish ?
8 hours ago
Not sure how well this is going to work but it was $42.00 on ebay. I'm going to give it a go this spring.
Probably not such a good idea...
Notice the scratch marks on Santa's cheek!
1 day ago
Moose nap time with her toys.    The cats are just not sure what to think of this "Thing"
1 day ago
Welcome Flora:  Sounds like you will fit in around here !
1 day ago
Hi Michael;  
Sad that you don't get to build a batchbox RMH at this time, but yes you can help your existing stove with a barrel and bricks.
A double barrel is perfect.   One way that works well if your a welder... is drill and insert / weld multiple pipes from end to end. These pipes catch the heat and a fan placed behind helps move it thru your shop.
Another option (helpful if your barrel has a removable lid) Is partially fill the upper barrel with brick. leave plenty of room for heat flow and be sure the lower barrel can hold the extra weight.
Dry stacking brick around your stove will also act as a  heat sink.

Nothing will come close to what a batchbox could do, as far as amount of wood needed or exhaust emissions.  But all good things come in time...  
I have used Paloma, propane on demand water heaters since the 1980's.
My first was a small ph-5 model!  I loved it as a single guy. I traded that one in for a ph-12 model in the 1990's.  We still have it and it still works flawlessly.
I would use nothing else.  I believe that when the kids were here it may have used more propane (teenage showers).
Now that it is just the two of us nothing could be finer! All the hot water you want but no extra!   The endless hot shower!  As Judith mentioned, they require pressure however our gravity water hits the house at 125 psi... so we got the pressure thing covered!
Only maintenance I've done, is to clean the inlet screen of debris (gravity water) and remove the outer cover  and blow off the dust.  If you don't do the dust blowing they will give a dust explosion from time to time...  not really that dangerous , but  loud and scary!
1 day ago