Work From Shed – 2/27/2024

If you haven’t figured out from the other posts yet, we’re building a house. One of our concerns when we started building the house was doing our best the be there for questions and to document the build. We’re very fortunate in our careers that we have some flexibility for that. Actually, I have a bunch of flexibility. As a software developer, if I have power and a connection to the Internet, I can really work from just about anywhere.  If we’re being honest though, there is a bit more to the formula. But I’ll start with the basics.

Danelle and I purchased and assembled a Lifetime Shed that is approximately 8×8 feet. We had some solar power equipment from our property, “Waterfall“. We sold the property and the equipment was just sitting around. This would solve the power problem and shelter that I didn’t mention before. My co-workers have started calling it “creepy shed” when I’m working out there.

First, the shelter and the power.

This is the back of the shed with the solar panels on a custom ground mount form that we built. See in the foreground that we built the form with cinder blocks going through the wood. There are 2 blocks on each side. The goal is to prevent this from flying away in a heavy wind. A few months later, its still working as planned. There are four one hundred watt solar panels that are connected to the inside of the shed through a hole I drilled. I’m not too concerned about the holes or perfectly sealing them as the shed isn’t air tight.

Inside the wooden thing are two 100 amp hour 12v batteries that provide the base for when the sun isn’t shining or I’m drawing more power than is being generated from the sun. Seven years in the batteries are starting to show their age, but have always provided me a full day’s power for working. It probably helps that I don’t work back to back days giving them a chance to catch up on the power I’ve used.

The black device on the wood is the solar controller. It gets input from the solar, regulates the power and sends the power to the batteries which are also connected. Then it has output going to the long silver thing. That is my pure sine wave inverter used to turn DC into AC power. There is an extension cord from this to my folding table desk to power an overhead CFL light, docking station, monitor, laptop, and a 4G router that I use for Internet. When its warm, I also run a box fan. This is more than 400 watts, so I’m drawing down the batteries all day. Now that I say that, I might need to bring out a LED light to make the power stretch even farther.

Per the 4G wireless router, I purchased a prepaid 12 month data plan from Mint Mobile.  The sim card slides into the router and I have 20Gb of wireless data available every month for working. I would have used my cell phone, but the hot spot only has 6gb of data a month and it wasn’t enough. This was the most affordable plan for me.

Now I can work on site and be available to document the construction and answer questions when they are not sure about what we want.

Hogan Haake

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