Saturday, November 16, 2019

Solar Man - Week Three and the End of it.

Purely Fiction? - Part 7 of ? A continuing Story
Part one is at this URL
Part two is at this URL
Part three is at this URL
Part four is at this URL
Part five is at this URL
Part six is at this URL

OK, what have I forgotten?

There is always something and I bet I will remember just when it is needed. Age takes its toll on memory brain cells. Mine seemed to be working OK, but the problem was that I was making the decision and observation. Now I had to finish everything on the week three list. At the end of the week, I would be ready for the trip.

Checking my email and text messages, everything was going well with my family. The base station radio setup had been temporarily setup and they were ready to greet my arrival at the end of the week.

Our location was in an elevated area, so with the small tower for our VHF / UHF antenna and base station radio, communications had been checked out to thirty miles using the same equipment I will have in my van. Having all the radio equipment gave me a warm feeling and we would be as connected as possible. No needs for the internet or cell phones.

In the future I was sure that the radio equipment I had purchased and stored up would add greatly to our and the community I hoped to create security. I was thinking about getting a digital system, but didn’t have the time. Once I got to my new home, I could put up my low frequency equipment. Using that, I could monitor Ham Radio communications all over the state and surrounding states. If conditions were good at night, I could monitor traffic and communications as far north as Main and Canada. If I used higher frequencies, I could monitor global communications. My wind up AM / FM radio could be used for really local conditions. It’s fun to be a radio head I thought.

From my new home I would have a picture window of the Super Grand Solar Minimum.  I would be very remote but well plugged into the system.

Never in my eight year old Ham Radio mind would I have ever thoughts the thoughts I was thinking now 68 years later.

My electronics goes back to being eight years old. I was a model airplane nut of the worst kind which eventually let to the radio controlled types. That's when I started building my own receivers and transmitters and servo systems. I never turned back from electronics and Ham Radio was my next step and Guglielmo Marconi became my hero. Then on to other things like radar and radio communications and eventually an interest in radio astronomy.

My coming trip was planned for Sunday. The reason for that was that there would be less traffic. There would be one final cell and email communication and that would be that everything was OK and I was headed their way soon and the exact date and time. They would have to go into the city to receive that last communication.

The List

  • Put the CB some place in the van where I can grab it. Also the magnetic antenna mount.
  • Pack the freeze dried food in the van one day before the departure
  • Pack up the trailer two days before departure
  • Make sure the batteries and the gas were well stored and secured
  • Make a small trip with the trailer connected to the van
  • Be completely ready of the Sunday evening departure
  • Dump house keys into box and be sure to lock up the house
  • Nap and sleep all day if possible before starting the trip
  • Leave lights on so it looks like someone is home
  • Make sure I have drinking water for the trip. Snacks too
  • Make one last visit to one of my trusted neighbors, and thank him for looking out for the farm until the new owners arrive.
  • Purchase any food I could at the local grocery store and put in the trailer using any cash I had left over.
  • Check all the local radio stations for any bad local news or news that would cause problems with my trip.

I had no TV or cable as we hadn’t had that for years as there was nothing but garbage and senseless trash to be seen. To get around living in the country, we finally invested in a cell tower router. I would take that with me, but it would be useless where I was going.

In the last week things were getting noisy around the farm. The police and the sheriff’s department were completely overloaded and people were taking their security in to their own hands. I could hear gun shots throughout the night. Strangers were walking up and down our really out of the way road during the day. I slept with my pistol next to me and slept lightly as our dog George who owned the farm and was our alarm system went with my family. I was all alone and it didn’t feel good. The radio stations were recommending that people stay home at night. Talk radio was full of comments about food prices and shortages as well as all the crazy people on the streets. I was so glad that I didn’t live in a subdivision, apartment or in the city. Still our farm was not really far enough away from the city. As I slept at night I often thought I might have waited too long to head for my new home.

The problem had been the farm sale and the need for money that had kept me here longer than I wanted. I really felt that the country had a minimum of six more months of what you could remotely call stability. The coming 2021 / 2022 winter would be the clincher as our power infrastructure would probably fail and there would be few crops harvested. At the end we decided not to close out our bank account and pay for the coming expenses with my debit card which would be really large. I went to paperless on my bank account.

In addition to the Super Grand Solar Minimum, there had been a huge uptick in volcanic eruptions. Many of these Vulcanian type eruption were violent and ejected large amounts of ash and gas. The problem was that the ash and gas was injected into the upper atmosphere where it circled the globe and caused more cooling. The Katla volcano  and others in Iceland were acting up which could cause real problems in Europe.

Now I though all we need is a couple of large earthquakes. The New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Cascadia Subduction Zone came to my mind. In the back of my mind I was telling myself that thing were progressing at a much faster rate than I had thought they would. Was the cooling not a 400 year cycle but something much longer and more energetic?

It was now time to pack my van with the freeze dried food that I had stored in our barn. The van could not hold all the food, and I had to put two large boxes in what I thought would be spare room in the trailer. The trailer was already packed and covered so more rearranging. The batteries, solar panels and extra fuel were tucked away safely. The fuel was in the back so I could get to it and safely away from me and my precious freeze dried food. I tried as best as I could to balance out the trailer so there not a large load was on the back of my van.

Going out to the greenhouse, I looked around until I found a timer I had used to turn on and off nutrient pumps. This I brought back to the house and would use to turn on and off a light so it looked like there was activity after I was gone. I really had many fond memories growing in my greenhouse, but my new solar one would be even more fun. It was fashioned after greenhouses that were used in China. Actually, I thought that this one was no longer mine.

One of the main problems with any greenhouse is cooling and warming. Standard types that did that efficiently would take huge amounts of power in the Super Grand Solar Minimum. The Chinese solar greenhouse was much more efficient and required little or no power. At our location, ours would even use the earth and water for warming and cooling. There was even a place to grow mushrooms.

The property we had selected was especially selected to build our earth home and solar greenhouse. It had to have a rising elevation of at least 20 feet, have at a minimum a seventy five foot wide crest and run east and west for about 300 feet. We were building on the south side and would use shipping containers in series for the actual part of the house. My oldest son who was a mechanical guru at most anything had come up with the design. The south side would have a slopping design that would allow the sun in during the winter and we could close it off during the night or during very cold periods. We would also grow in this part. My wife was looking at miniature fruit trees. Some of the water like for baths would be used for the indoor growing. All the welding and cutting equipment would be powered by our gas powered generator. I was looking forward to getting there as I could be another helping hand even if an old one. We also had an old reliable Yanmar diesel tractor that didn’t use any electronics or a computer. All the excavation equipment would have to be rented. Connecting three large shipping containers was not going to be easy. We had picked out three of them that had been used to transport food so they were insulated. My son had actually added more in the design. 

There was one more thing I wanted in the design, and it would be a radio and communications room that could also be used for observation. This would be on the far left side of the house and overlooked the road that led up to our home.

It was to be my window to the Super Grand Solar Minimum. Then there were the chickens and other animals to worry about.

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