Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our last meeting before we leave

Dr. Kellerman held a meeting to go over the important items of the trip, before we take off for Guatemala.  I am looking forward to the trip and think we should be able to get our busy schedule of work done.  I think we will be able to get our busy schedule of work done and with the tools we will leave behind the people of the area should be able to continue to build solar panels, if they decide the panels will work for them.  I hope the solar hot water heater works out well.  I will continue to take solar energy classes at ICC during the spring semester.  The solar energy is much easier to install when you do not have to worry about it freezing.
These are the two students that will be making the trip to Guatemala.  Andre, the student on the right, has the main duty of filming the entire project. One of the important jobs is to document what we are doing and using that film to help sell this project to others once we get back to ICC.  We are going down there with what we think we will see and what we think we can do and that is all based on having never been there.   The more information we bring back the more ideas we can get from other people about what we might be able to do in the future to improve things for the people of the area.  Ben, the student on the left, will do what ever we need him to do, gather information, build solar panels, work on plastic bottle walls, and be a good ambassador for our school and our country.  Like any trip I have nothing much to do now but to wait until we leave.  This is the part I do not like, the waiting to leave.  I have my bags packed and weighed, so that is done.  I had that done a couple of days ago.  I am glad we have a driver taking us to the Chicago airport.  It makes everything so much easier.  I guess the next post will be from Guatemala.

Monday, December 26, 2011

new post from my new phone

I guess I can post things from my phone now.  I will also have to learn how to do pictures and other things that you can do with a better phone.   I am slowly  joining the 21 century.  But I have a lot to learn.

My new smart phone

I am going to see if I can post something on this blog using my new phone.  I need to learn how to live in the new world that electronics has created for us.  I still can not see me walking around with a phone stuck to the side of my face but I will need to learn how to use it because we are going to give up our land line as soon as we move to Silver City.  The only people that ever called me was the nursing home and the Red Cross.  My mother is dead now, so the nursing home does not call.  I have been to China and can not give blood until July and we will move, I hope, so they won't call either.  I don't call people but now I have a new phone and I have to learn how to use it.  We shall see how that goes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ready to solder copper

I just finished checking out the soldering torch for the Guatemala project.  It should work just fine and will run off of Mapp gase and Propane.  We should be good to go for the solar hot water heater.  Looking forward to starting that project for the school.  I have my two bags full and will now pack the clothes in the carry on.  We are taking a jig saw, a cordless drive, some hand tools, hole saws, and just about everything we need to start to work on January 2.

Friday, December 16, 2011

rufino's welding teacher

Jeff Joos, ICC welding technician, helped teach Rufino Caniz how to weld.  They built the cat bench that we hope to sell to raise money for the school in Guatemala.  Jeff is a very good welder and placed second in the American Welding Society Professional Welding Contest.  I competed in that contest several years ago and I like to tell people that I was in the top ten for a while.  I do not tell them that I was the seventh person to weld in the contest.  Congratulations Jeff and thank you for all you did to help Rufino.

pipe fittings

This is a better picture of the pipe fittings we will probably need to install the solar hot water heater.  The closest one is a male thread to sweat fitting and we will use that to going into ball valves and the water heater.  Behind it is a female thread to sweat that we may need to go from the PVC piping to the copper tube.  The four other pipe fittings are a 90 degree elbow, a coupling, a tee, and a union.    I will bring down some solder flux, solder, sand cloth, and tubing cutter. 
I picked up a few more tools for the trip. This pretty much takes care of the money that I had for the Guatemala project.  The rest of the supplies I get will come out of the material funding that I have in my account.  I will also have to weigh items and make sure that I do not have more weight than I can pack in a suitcase.  I still need to get the good quality high temperature caulking for the soda can collector.  In this pictures is a cordless drill accessory kit, a uni-bit set, a drill bit set, a Bosch hole saw, and a Bosch jig saw.  The one item I really need to get is a good heavy pair of tin snips so we can cut through the heavy tin on the roof of some homes.  I also need to make sure we can get on the roof.  I don't want to have to stand on some ones shoulders to get up there.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

copper fittings for hot water

If we are going to hook up a solar hot water heater we will probably need so copper piping.  In this picture we have tephlon tape, fuel, sand cloth, unions, tee joints, couplings, solder, sweat to pipe female, ball valve, sweat to pipe male, and 90 degree elbow.  We are going to try and start on a solar hot water heater if we can get the proper copper fittings and fuel.  We will see how this goes.  One nice thing is the weather. Solar hot water is easier to do when it does not freeze.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Need to find out what type of electric plugs they have in Guatemala

I hope the electric plugs in Guatemala are like what we have here in the USA.  I will need to find out.  I think they are.  I think.

coffee cups and a fan motor

Pictured here are the ICC stainless steel travel mugs that I will be taking to Guatemala in a few weeks.  John Vogelsang donated them to the coffee project.  I was thinking about how it is amazing the way people have offered to help with this project.  After I thought about it a little longer, I would be amazed if people did not help. We are from the Midwest and people from the Midwest are nice and I work at a college, where it is our job to help people and to try and improve someones life.  I should not be surprised that people are offering to help in some way.  
Also in this picture is the 8 inch duct fan and temperature control.  The duct fan will move more air and help to dry the coffee faster.  The fan control will shut the fan down if the air temperature drops too low to properly dry the beans.  Once the air temperature gets high enough the fan will turn back on and start to dry the beans again.  At least that is how it is suppose to work.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

getting more tools for the trip.

Here is a picture of the cordless drill and a multi-meter that I will be taking to Guatemala.  I was able to get this equipment because of a donation from one of my followers.  I thank them very much for their help.  I plan to wear one of their tee shirts so that we can use it as product placement while we are filming what we are doing in Guatemala.  The cordless drill came with two batteries and a flashlight.  I have used it at work so and was pleased with the results.  I think the two batteries will keep us working all day.  The multi-meter will allow me to check the voltage and amperage of some of the pumps and electrical motors. I will be able to gather information that we can use when we ask for donations for a gasoline/welding machine.
I am also taking a propane torch because we are going to try and install a solar hot water heater.  I am not sure how much of this project we will get done but I plan to make sure people know how to solder copper so we can start if needed someone else can finish.  Solar hot water will be easier to do there because it does not freeze.  Oh, did I mention the weather would be around 90 degrees and then drop to just below 70.   We also need to know if we can get a caulking gun or if I will have to bring one.  I am going to bring some caulk because I want to make sure we have some supplies to start on projects.  If we have enough equipment to start and be able to teach people what to do we should be ok. 
This is a picture of the soda can clamp that I made out of a piece of PVC pipe.  I cut the PVC in half long ways and glued some sand paper inside.  The PVC pipe will open up around the can and when you grip it with your hand the tension is enough, with the sand paper to keep the can from spinning.  I then drill three holes in the bottom of the can using the drill and a uni-bit.  A uni-bit is a multi diameter drill bit that you push through the can until you get the hole the size you want.  You then cut the top off the can using a can opener.  The cans are glued together and form a tube.  The tube of cans is painted black and collect heat from the sun.  We had 180 degree air coming out of the solar collector a few weeks ago.  I will get a 110 volt fan and temperature controller to use so that we can maximize the out put of the solar soda can collector.
You use a can opener to cut the top off of the soda can.  Some types of can opens work better than others.  This one is a good one.