Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cable Hack with Sugru

I have been on Whidbey Island for about one month now.  I have been applying for jobs - substitute teaching and others.  I am finally online for the Coupeville school district.  Now it's just a matter of someone calling in sick and me being the first to find the job at the online service or get the call from office staff.  Fingers crossed!

So, I decided it would be a good time to talk about some of the things I've found for or done to my tiny house.

When I moved, I had to switch from a landline phone (I had free Wi-Fi at Riverside), to a phone and internet provider.  I can keep costs down since I don't watch cable TV and I found a pretty good package from Comcast.  The only hitch was that I now had a fat coaxial cable to run into my house, instead of a tiny phone line.  I looked around for some kind of secure outside mount/plate.  No luck.  Besides, I REALLY did not want to put a hole in my house.  I was temporarily running the cable through the office window (as I had done with the phone line), but I couldn't close the window very well.  Then I found a FLAT coaxial cable section (about 6 inches long) at Ace Hardware - advertised as something to use for doorways or windows!  BINGO!  I secured it on the outside with cable clips and ran it through the screen.  The window can close sufficiently well now - I don't think I'll have much trouble come winter.
I sealed the screen with Gorilla tape and that white stuff around the cable is this terrific stuff I found at the Daily Grommet, called "Sugru"!
It is a moldable silicon that comes in a variety of colors.  The perfect product for life hackers!  In 24 hours my cable will be well adhered into place with a waterproof seal.  Of course, the tape is not waterproof, but I'm thinking that the Sugru will help the tape stay in place.  And the Sugru stays flexible.

With winter coming, thoughts turn to heat, even though this tiny house holds any heat well with the windows closed and sunny days keep it toasty, cloudy days have started.  By evening the house gets cool and rain makes it feel damp, so I turn on my heater.  Four years ago I stopped using the propane RV heater that was built into my house.  I did not like the noise of the blower and I did not want to use so much propane.  I experimented with a tiny electric fake wood stove.  I love the ambience, but the cat hair is hell on the small fans!  Then a friend suggested I look at Envi heaters.  They are convection heaters - no loud blowers or fans - and have a very clean, low profile.
I have the heater in the main room and it does a great job of keeping things dry and warm.  In three years I've never even had it past mid-way on the control dial, although I think it gets colder here on Whidbey than it does in Brookings.  We'll see.  Anyway, this heater takes up very little space and uses very little energy.

As you can see, it is not more than a couple of inches deep.  Not enough room for cats to jump on top!  The exterior stays cool to the touch and it is SILENT.  Now, I also have a tiny oil filled radiator in my office, because the air does not flow into it very well.  I seldom need both units on at the same time. 

I have been using this combination of heaters for about three winters and my highest winter electric bill was about $27.  If you are looking for a cheap, efficient way to heat, I would highly recommend an Envi Heater.

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