True Color, Part 26
by Chiggers Stokes, Special to Forks Forum
For all the mistakes I’ve made along the road to electrical independence, I have exercised some genius in hitching my star to local machinists, fabricators and merchants that could prop me up with their expertise and engineering. Legendary men of steel like Ron James and Roger Whidden squared off to keep current flowing through my micro-hydroelectric scheme.
I have so much invested in my alternative energy schemes over the years. But a shortcut to electrical independence was engineered by Alan Quigley of Forks Auto Electric and I took custody of my new baby last week. I named her Quigley Wiggly.
About 10 months ago I brought unto Alan Quigley an engine off a pump I blew up and some scrap steel. I asked him to build me a stand-alone home power source using this junk that I drug into the middle of his busy shop.
A tip about Alan is that if you can get your foot in his door far enough to make a pile of junk on his floor, he is going to have to deal with you. I started the pile on his floor almost a year ago, a $130 2kw inverter from China, likewise 16-foot jumper cables for $20, two 100 amp/volt meters for $20, each, likewise made in China.
But thank American engineering of Bob at Far West Hydraulics for the engine mount plate for $40. Mixed into the mess was an old generator cart. $761.86 dollars later I walked out of his shop with a genset that totally acts as a back up power station or startup, alternative energy scheme.
And, as long as I am detailing expenses, let me tell you about the two great maintenance-free deep cycles for $20 each, Bob Stark, sold me. “Bargain Bob” as Stark likes to be called, is the only vender in Forks who told me to my face, that my writing is boring.
So I hope his ears perk up a little in me sending clients his way. Bargain Bob occasionally sells new batteries out the front door, selling the trade-ins out the back door. You can take it from me that Bargain Bob is never too busy selling a $1,500 carbine or trying to match a fitting to keep a city project from flooding to answer any questions you might have about the specs of the batteries he sold me.
I think Bargain Bob’s number is still in the Forks phone book so you can call him up at two in the morning and ask him about batteries or if he is enjoying Chiggers’ writing anymore than the last time he visited the subject.
Add Alan’s bill of $531.86 for the fabrication, engineering, research and development, heavy copper wire, quick connects, new tires from Bargain Bob, paint and 12 volt, 3kw alternator with voltage control.
The bad news in all this is that when Alan introduced me to my new baby, the Quigley Wiggly, he told me that this was the last one he was going to father. He was clear on this point. No more building gensets!
Features of the Quigley Wiggly:
Charges 20 amps, 250 watts while at idle.
Can charge 140 amp hour battery bank with little more than one quart gasoline
Battery bank and inverters detach from unit and can be carried to any location without genset
Top of carriage is designed to receive three more deep cycle batteries
System has stud points to attach external charging such as solar or wind and meters amperage and voltage, with discrete meters reading charging and discharging systems
2 to 4 kw inverter draws 0.8 amp at idle. Smaller inverter draws 0.1 amp.