So this was a different sort of weekend. Cindy had two of her girlfriends she used to hang with in the early 2000’s staying at the house for a girl’s weekend. I decided to give myself a break and not mow grass. It looked only mildly shaggy at this point so I decided to leave well enough alone. After going to get coffee mid-morning I returned home to find her friends had arrived, Carrie and Pida. They both seemed very nice but I had stuff to attend to so I kept out of their hair.
One of those things was replacing the bushings on the front wheels of the tractor with bearings. I had replaced the bushings a few months ago and one of them had failed already. Supposedly these bearings were a better long term solution that didn’t require steady reapplication of grease to keep functioning. The first side I replaced went very smoothly. The second side did not. The inner bearing was getting hung up on the spindle and would not slide all the way on, despite my hammering the shit out of the wheel via a 2×4 and hammer.
When I pulled the wheel off the bearing remained on the spindle and it was jammed on there tight, I couldn’t get it off. After about 20 minutes of hammering and prying with various objects I finally got that bearing off but the process wrecked it so I put one of the old bushings back on the inside and a bearing on the outside. It will be interesting to see how that combo works out.
The girls left for most of the day to go cruise around Naples, Carrie and Pida moved out of the Naples area a long time ago so they wanted to see how things changed. While they were gone I worked on various things. One of those things was really frustrating me, the generator. All three of the girls planned to stay out in the RV over night. I hooked up the big generator to the RV late morning so it could power the AC to cool things down in there. It was working as it should.
Well when I went out there later in the day to check on things the generator was still running but when I went inside the RV it was hot, meaning it popped the 20A circuit breaker on the generator. I reset it a few times only to have it pop within 60 seconds. Damn it. So later in the day I came up with an alternative plan to try to power the RV AC via home power, using the 110V well equipment circuit which is beefier than the other home circuits. To do so I had to do all sorts of makeshift extension cord runs to other locations to power the well equipment and the chicken coop.
So after I was done I hooked up the RV and it seemed like it was working, however by the time I walked out to there to verify, the breaker had popped already. I was getting really frustrated as I felt like I HAD to get this working so the girls had a comfortable place to sleep that night. I then did some more thinking about why it was popping as I have successfully run the RV on generator and house power before. I then realized that when I hooked up water to the RV via 250 feet of garden hose I also turned on the electric water heater. That had to be the difference.
So after turning off the heater I once again reset the house circuit breaker. This time when I walked out to the RV the AC was still blowing strong, I had finally got it working. But, I was still not sure why the generator was not doing the same job. So during my trouble shooting of the generator I wound up bringing out my volt meter, I was curious what numbers it was putting out. When I hooked up to one of the 110 outlets I was reading between 150 and 160 volts! WTF??
Back during the hurricane last year when I tried hooking up the generator to the coop circuit it smoked the UPS out there. I never gave it much thought as to why but now it was coming together. I think the generator has been outputting this type of voltage for a long time and I have just been lucky that the devices connected to it could tolerate it. When I checked the 220V side of the generator it was reading 300 volt+, geez. Ok so this is a problem.
So my knee jerk reaction was to just say f it and I bought a higher capacity Westinghouse generator that can support 7500 continuous watts, a full 2000 more than my old Troybilt. My thought is with my new Generlink interface to the house bigger is better. Plus this model has a bunch of cool features not found on 13 year old units.
Despite buying the new unit I was still interested in finding out how to adjust the voltage of my Troybilt down in case I wanted to sell or give it away. I found it has no voltage regulator like some units do, instead the output is solely controlled by engine speed. Later in the weekend I ripped it apart and through some repositioning of a tension spring and adjustment on a set screw I was able to get the output right around 120 volts. Basically the generator was just running too fast but as I said, I think it has been that way for a long time. One of the nice things about the new unit is it has an output meter display built right into it.
I did get some time on Saturday to go out for a ride. It was a fun time on my little Mten3 that concluded with me following a car around the park that was exhibiting odd behavior. However the end result of what looked like shady behavior at first, circling the park repeatedly with intermittent stops, I think was actually two lazy people playing Pokemon Go.
On Saturday night Cindy made a nice dinner that we all enjoyed. I split my time between hanging with the women and my computer, consuming four Zima’s along the way to help my social interactions. Somewhere around 10:30 I headed back to bead while the girls headed to the RV. I felt a sense of calm that they were able to sleep in a climate controlled environment.
On Sunday morning I headed out for another ride, this time from home on the 18L. I wanted to take my new wheel into the swamp, which is always a tough test. I knew the swamp would still be pretty wet but we had not had consistent hard rain for awhile so i thought it wouldn’t be too bad. Wow was I wrong. The swamp was a wet, muddy, and overgrown mess. I only ventured maybe a mile in before four foot high grass and thick patches of mud made me turn around.
During the morning Cindy and her girlfriends had fun in the backyard doing an impromptu workout. I later put the video clips together for a video that is on Cindy’s channel.
The girls headed out early afternoon. Cindy and I did a quick run to Rural King to add some semblance of normalcy to the weekend. The rest of the day I kept myself busy until our 8PM EUC live stream that was without audio/video problems for the first time in a month.
I have a very busy week in front of me.