Monday, March 02, 2009

Technical Technicalities

Right now we're in them middle of Tech Tips II. Last year we learned a lot about solar panels, water purification, batteries and other technical things. This year we've focused on electricity, alternative power sources, hydrodynamics, and lightening protection amongst other things. The first few days we talked a lot about electricity: transformers, inverters, surge suppressors, etc. I'm in way over my head. I just look at the stuff and wonder if it comes in pink.

On Friday we got to go on a little field trip down to the shop where we learned how to adjust the regulator on a propane stove. Stuff like this will be handy to know when we are living far afield, but Dennis and I both know that we will definitely need more techy help when we actually move into a tribal area.

Here we have Dennis using a manometer to gauge how much propane is entering the stove.

There I am with my hand on a giant screwdriver. I was twisting the regulator valve open and shut until it was at just the right amount. Do you see the guy in the gray jacket? He's our teacher, and he's laughing because when I wasn't looking he screwed the regulator valve way open and the force of the gas spurted water out of the manometer when Dennis turned on the burner.

Just so you don't think we're crazy, I've included this picture of burner flames. The front one is a nicely regulated propane flame. It is blue with just a hint of yellow on the tips of the flames. All the individual flames are nicely shaped and spaced. You didn't know that there was an art to a nice flame? I didn't either. The back flame in the picture is a natural gas flame on a poorly regulated burner (I think). See how the flames are crazy-wild and they are half blue, half orange? That is the kind of flame that will scorch and blacken the bottoms of all your pans. I'm thinking we had lots of that kind of flame in Jungle Camp.


Jean said...

You sure are getting the practical side. What's next?

Your generation are very adept at learning computers and electronic gagets so this stuff ought to come pretty easy.

Kate said...

Are you taking extensive notes? Or do you have tech support in the wild? :)

pat ve said...

I am looking for a pink computer.

Glidewell Family said...

Way to go sister! That's what I thought of Tech tips II! This class is for Husbands only! I always wanted a pink solar panel gizmo! By the way you looked totally board out of your gourd!