The solar panels are up!
And they’re connected to …
And everything was going so well. Ha, I kid. This whole climbing around on ladders thing has been a pain in the rear from the get-go. I thought drilling and installing the long steel rails was an arduous process, but it was nothing compared getting the panels drilled and mounted. I lost track of how many times Jef and I had to put the panels up, mark the holes, bring them down, drill the holes, put them up, discover that the holes don’t line up, try to fix the holes, discover they still don’t line up, and so on and so forth. Each time a panel went up or down Jef hoisted an awkward 17 lbs over his head while perched on a ladder 8 feet in the air. What a trooper.
So the panels are finally up. Yesterday I started installing the combiner box (where 12 small cables from the solar panels feed into one box and come out as 2 large cables), and just after drilling mounting holes in the high top I thought, “Hey, maybe I should make sure the cables will fit in the connectors for the box.”
They don’t. I tried a variety of crazy and creative ways of making them fit, but in the end decided to just throw out my fancy schmancy $80 C-Box and just freaking make one. A pelican case and some waterproof cable connectors are en route and with any luck by early next week Gypsy will be sporting a very DIY, but very waterproof combiner box on her roof.
While we wait for the men in brown to deliver the goods, Jef and I have busied ourselves with the other end of the electrical stuff.
Whoopee! Our first crimped cable! And—it works! For me this is huge because I’ve never done anything like this before. Six months ago all this electrical stuff was total mumbo jumbo. Turns out all you need to do is look things up on the internet, wrap your brain around it, have a few conversations with people smarter than you (not an electrician from Home Depot), buy the tools, and have at it! … And be careful.