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smileypete last won the day on November 24 2014

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  1. The ratchet ring spanners can be handy where access is tight, some have swivel heads too: These can be handy too:
  2. I'd just do a bit every week or two with the solar. Edit: The numbers don't sound too bad at all, 1220 to 1236 is about 20Ah for that size batt (200Ah?), which isn't miles away from what EQ charge was put in. I s'pose it's possible the EQ process stirred up some denser stratifed acid from the bottom of the cells, contributing to the rise in SG. Of course the fully charged cells will be gassing away as they don't need that extra charge.
  3. There's no requirement to change the T&E on that age of boat (not required for private BSS, RCD doesn't apply) Though there's a miniscule theoretical risk of breakage, in practice I'd expect you'd be more likely to get hit by lightning while on the tiller. So I'd probably leave the T&E as is if in good condition, unless it's a ££££ refurb designed to appeal to fussy buyers - 'experts'? . Fine stranded wire is not without its issues when used with normal electrical bits. (use bootlace ferrules or else possibly hello smoke and flames )
  4. Not a lot in it really but with series it saves getting MC4 splitters.
  5. Measure the DC resistance of the grider across the L and N terminals of the plug (when unplugged, lol ). That'll give some idea of the instantaneous startup current of the grinder, using amps = volts/ohms. After a few milliseconds it'll drop due to the inductance of the motor windings, then drop further as the grinder spins up - due to 'back emf' from the spinning motor. With a cheapo non-LF inverter I'd make sure the surge rating exceeds the instantaneous startup current....
  6. tracking?
  7. Just a quick headsup: Most 'MPPT' in this price range are in fact PWM, but this solar controller checks out as a genuine MPPT: Youtube linky: Charge voltage is fixed at 14.7V which may be a little high for some, though not high enough to properly charge or equalise traction batts, but will give them more than a tickle. Max solar input is 50V. Found a couple of links for these on Ebay: Not as good as the latest Tracers and may be not as reliable, but possibly a good budget option for a small setup.
  8. Try giving the engine a good rev once warm to see if it kicks in. Normally with a cheap A23 Lucas type alt you can try and 'flash' a 12V 8 watt bulb between +12v and the alt's lamp connection to see if this helps it kick in. But this could smoke some jap alternators! So the more supporting info given in the first post, the better the advice will be. Sometimes a few pictures may help.
  9. Sorry for late update... Might be possible to use the existing 100W panel to eq the batts then, just use a double pole switch to connect it to the battery side of the PWM with a blocking diode if needed, and of course a fuse at the batt end. Another way would be a double pole relay if you're happy to do it automatically, might be possible to run the relay from the load output of the MPPT if it can be set for a fairly short time. Of course the batt levels need a close eye kept on them too...
  10. One thing about lithiums is that the prices are falling thanks to volumes going up. So after say 8 to 10 years a replacement pack for a car should cost less than the original. I guess a good BMS (batt management) for lithiums might bleed off a bit of charge down to 90% to stop them sitting around at 100%, though self discharge will do this eventually. There's a few people on youtube making homebrew 'power wall' type batts for their solar homes.
  11. What capacity in litres are you looking for, what's the min and max you can go to?
  12. Why not do both if you can for redundancy. I've seen transparent plugs 13A around which could help give a visual check that the N-E connection is OK: There's even ceeform sockets with a clear base too:
  13. Don't think I'd use a cheapo pump as the primary pump, maybe as a cheap additional backup. After some experience I've had decent results with Johnson cartridge pumps and the Rule wedge shaped float switch, the switch needs a basket of mouse mesh over it though. After many years of use, the switch once or twice got stuck in the 'up' position, maybe a light smear of silicone grease on the pivot would help there. I think the Rule switch I have is one of the early mercury ones not the later ones (ball and microswitch?) which could be less reliable. The mercury ones are off the market unless you can DIY one somehow. For a leaky wooden bote I'd have a smallish but reliable pump and switch for everyday bilge grot, then a high capacity pump on separate switch and ideally separate power source, possibly even alarm too if neighbours are around and happy to help. The high capacity pump could be mounted a little higher up from the usual grot level and would deal with unexpected levels of water ingress or failure of the former pump. There endeth the sermon, also try the lumpy water forums like 'cruiser forums' and 'woodenboat forum' for advice.
  14. Could also be underfilling if they're delivered to the supplier empty of electrolyte. Thing is people rarely correcty check the levels on delivery (if ever!) and record the inital S.G. I s'pose that's another factor in favour of sealed cheapies.
  15. Reading between the lines Richard already has a 100W 18V panels and is planning on a couple of 165W 36V panels which will be hard to mix and match with the existing. So I'd prefer to leave the existing install as is and install the new panels and MPPT along side. Tracer do at least a couple of ranges (A and BN series) with programmable output voltage: The cable size between panels and MPPT isn't so critical so 4mm2 will be fine, being the minimum size for domestic solar cable. But if 6mm2 can be had for the same price, why not? For the cable between MPPT and batts best use the fuse and cable size recommended in the MPPT manual, failing that the 'amps divided by three' rule of thumb will do for cable size if the MPPT is reasonably near the batts. Identical panels can be put in series provided the max (open circuit) voltage is around 20% below the max input of the MPPT, best not to cut things too fine there. For 310W of panels a 20A MPPT should just scrape by for a 12V system, though of course a bigger one will allow some room for future expansion. At a very rough guess I'd expect 310W should more or less cover 70Ah to 100Ah of daily use on a 12V system in high summer and around 60Ah on most days of spring/autumn. Out of interest when the Trojans are equalised at the recommended voltage, what current do they take?