Solar Powered Thermometer

While salvaging some junk equipment we scored two cool digital thermometers that are solar powered! It’s a great idea. No batteries to replace. The thermometer only needs to operate when there is light so the fact that it only operates in the light is fine. Smart design!

On that same salvage we also got two large triple pane heavy windows. I’ve not figured out what I’ll do with them, perhaps they’ll become more cold frames to extend our growing season in the spring and fall. They are tempered glass so no cutting them!

Outdoors: 62°F/58°F 3″ Rain
Farm House: 66°F/59°F
Tiny Cottage: 71°F/68°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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5 Responses to Solar Powered Thermometer

  1. pablo says:

    Okay, I’ll bite. Why can’t you cut tempered glass?

  2. Pablo, the way tempered glass is made is you create your glass piece, drill any holes, cut any cuts, heat it (again if it is now cold) and then cool it rapidly.

    This creates a tension differential across the surfaces of the glass vs the interior of the glass which is in compression. By doing this you’re creating a tension beam that is far stronger than ordinary glass. This is sort of like tensioned reinforcing in concrete and steel for planks in a parking building or skyscraper.

    The catch is if you break that tension film at the surface of the glass the interior breaks free since it is under compression. Cutting, drilling or scratching it all break the tension film. When the interior breaks free the glass dramatically breaks into a million little pieces as the induced flaw flashes outward along the surface.

    I have cut, drilled, melted and flamed a lot of glass for making windows, aquariums, pipets and other interesting projects. Glass is great stuff. When I was a child my father made blue glass in the bottom of a sand pit where he was cooking meat. It was very pretty, blue, iridescent and almost like antique glass. He ran a household vacuum backwards as a blower through a pipe down into the pit to get high temperatures when building the bed of coals in the pit.

    Note that this is my theoretical understanding of tempered glass. While I have used quite a bit of tempered glass, I have not tempered glass nor have I tried to cut tempered glass in this universe or in the movies. I have broken tempered glass, by accident. Messy, messy, messy. :)



  3. Hmm… now that I think about it I wonder if I may have figured out a way to cut tempered glass… gotta find a plasma torch… I’ll keep you posted.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Walter, how do you know all this stuff, and where do you find good salvage to pick thru? Its hard to find good scrap up here in Franklin county.However I have family in CT and she gets me stuff on a site called freecycle its all over up here too but the good stuf is where there is an abundace of money

  5. Anon, I don’t have a formula or place for finding stuff, I just keep my eyes open.

    The latest group of finds which included the digital thermometers, several glass doors, mirrors and a whole bunch of high efficiency electronic ballasts for fluorescent lights were out behind the local supermarket. I was walking one of our dogs after shopping and saw the stuff by the trash bin. So I went in to the store, found the manager and asked him if I could salvage the stuff. He was overjoyed to have me take it. It saves him disposal costs and he said he was glad to know it would get used rather than disposed of in the landfill.

    Another time we got a couple of nice metal sinks – someone had put them out on their front yard with a free sign.

    Before that we picked up two bathtubs to use as feeders for the pigs, one from a free classified ad and another from a dumpster. The previous owner of the latter also had a lot of plastic pails from plaster as they were redoing the interior of their apartment building. He started saving me the pails which are very handy and clean.

    Keep your eyes open. Watch dumpsters. Watch yards where people put out free stuff.

    As to ‘knowing stuff’, it just sort of accumulates with doing lots of different things over the years. I also read a lot – winter’s are long and dark. And, now ah days, Google is a friend of mine. :) If I don’t know something I need, such as fiberglass which I’m just learning about now, I Google and usually find articles other people have written on the topic or at least on a related topic. I wish we had the internet when I was a kid!



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