a day at American Girl

Some odds and ends.

egg ring

just cracked popped out of ring done a bit of stray egg fried egg sandwich

The other day I wanted to cook up some eggs to go on a bagel. My frying pan is small but too big to control an egg or two. I started thinking about steel or silicone egg rings but balked at the price.

I ended up test-driving a widemouth mason jar lid ring and it worked pretty well. Lightly oiled the ring, cooked, wiped off ring.

cactus seed bread w/cheese


Standard no-knead recipe with these alterations: whole wheat flour, cactus seed, 1oz grated cheese, 0.5g baking powder

troubleshooting a solar generator

A nearby camper has a small solar generator thingy that reportedly wasn’t charging correctly from solar. It would show charging status but never move beyond 3 out of 5 charge bars.

The market segment is rife with solar charging issues but it was reported to have MPPT. Hmmm. It was night when I took it in so I read the manuals (gasp!)

  • Ctechi G240N
  • 240Wh LiFePO4
  • 200w PSW
  • 100w panel limit, 24v max.

I plugged in a 19vdc source and it started slurping up about 90w out of my house bank. Further testing would wait until tomorrow.

The next morning I sat out the owner’s Renogy 100w suitcase and plugged it in. I could see the charging indicators working, so that’s something.

Then I put a little inline meter/display between the panels and the box. The box was running the panels very near Voc and making ≤10w. Weird.

I tried a couple different configurations then for some reason it started working. Hard to tell from the pic but the panels were running at 16.76v making 54w. Later I saw it climb to 59w. I wanted to unplug it to test a theory but it stayed pinned at Voc the rest of the time I had it. Luckily 10w was enough to get it charged to 100% SoC.

I started reading Amazon reviews to see if anyone had seen this behavior, and a few mentioned a manufacturer update that fixed the solar. One referred to a video which I will link below.


  1. solar charging really can be hobbled at times; apply the update if possible
  2. the “five bars” state of charge indicator will be nearly-useless because of LiFePO4’s flat voltage curve. 1 bar means nearly flat, 5 bars means full, and 2-4 means “kinda charged, go ahead and use it”

kettle corn trainwreck

kettle corn in wok First attempt at kettle corn was very nearly inedible. Next time I will try popping kernels, decanting, carmelizing sugars, and mixing back in the popcorn. Not the real way but might be less disaster-prone.

BLM Ranger visit

2nd time at AGM and first time I’ve seen a Ranger here. They were friendly enough, making sure everyone knows about boondocking rules.

My 14d is up on the 19th, so I’ll do a relo then. I have a package coming into Yuma on the 20th (?) so might stealth a night to pick that up and reprovision.


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