Sorry guys. Should be doing something substantive here pretty soon. A number of things have ganged up on me to keep me buried in alligators; way past "up to may ahem in" or "up to my eyes" as I usually say.
Today part of the alligator mob IS connected with being off the grid. My AC power for the house has been going fritzy; and we need 110 volts AC for the phone answering system (which, of course, runs off 6 VDC - but which blows if you try putting 6VDC into it from your batteries. Done that- for years; killed at least 8 systems - has to do with different grounds between house and phone line.........) and we need the 110AC to - charge the laptop computer. Which, of course, uses 24VDC- hard to get from 12V, anyway.
So I've spent the day without phones, ran the laptop battery down to 5%- finally gave up and devoted all my time to troubleshooting the power system. So far- decision 1) it's the switch; inverter seems to be shutting down because not enough DC current is getting through. Replaced the switch; twice- uh, nope. 2) it's the inverter getting old and cranky- replaced inverter with backup (I have TWO) - uh, nope, still starts, dies, regardless of inverter.
Now, I DID already go through the "sequential unplugging" process that is normally the first step; looking for some attached device or branch line that is causing the problem - didn't find any.
But- that's what it is. Somehow, I must have missed a step in the unplugging process; because now the problem is isolated to some part of the downstairs line. Phone is back; computer is charging- ultimate cause not yet ferreted out. But I'll be able to sleep, anyway.
There's the thing about being off grid, again. You do have to rely considerably ON YOURSELF to fix problems. Can't call up ConEd and complain- it's not their problem.
Fine for some. Pain in the neck regardless. But there IS a substantial personal satisfaction when you personally find the blankety blank blank problem- and FIX it. Feels good.
Halfway there; got a ways to go.