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      Changes to our Site Chat   05/04/17

      Invision Power Services Inc, the developers of our forum & chat software will be retiring the existing Chat functionality of the site as of May this year. (You may read more about this here) As such, we are in the position of finding an alternative solution given we believe that our chat functionality still has a place on Canal World. We're currently trialing out new "Chatbox" software on the site which you may view both via the bottom of the main page or by clicking "Chatbox" at the top right of the page. We appreciate the design & functionality is different though we welcome your feedback. 


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nicknorman last won the day on April 13

nicknorman had the most liked content!

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About nicknorman

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    Electronics, gliding, motorbikes

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  • Occupation
    helicopter pilot - retired
  • Boat Name
  • Boat Location
    Fazeley Mill Marina, Tamworth

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  1. Bear in mind that a fundamental difference between a GI and an IT is that with the former, no power passes through it (except briefly, under fault conditions) whereas with an IT, all the power you are using passes through it and thus it must be rated for the maximum current you could take, normally 16A for a standard inland shore supply. If you want to fit a smaller IT, be sure it's protected by an appropriately rated breaker.
  2. I think the 12v versions are of the same quality, just more expensive per watt hour.
  3. Having had 2 sets of cheapo leisure batteries that didn't last long despite a exemplary charging regime, we now have Trojan T105s and I'd never go back. They are still at full rated capacity after 3 years (admittedly leisure, but frequent) use, whereas the cheapo s started losing capacity after 6 months or so. Trojan, US battery and Crown all seem to be similar quality, the latter two perhaps slightly better but a bit more expensive. There is also Rolls. The 6v Trojan T105s are usually the best value due to their ubiquity in golf carts, but the downside is they are non-standard size and you are stuck with multiples of 225AH. With your inverter I'd say you want 2 sets ie 450AH. Being American they have unfortunately become significantly more expensive with the loss of value of the £. They do require a high finishing voltage (14.8v, temperature compensated) and occasional equalisation at 15.5v so make sure you have the ability to do that.
  4. Our Trojans require no mollycoddling except for watering a couple of times a year. But then we do use our boat as boats are intended to be used - for daily cruising, not as a cheap substitute for a house. <taking cover> So they rarely get less than 8 hrs charging a day, and of course on shore power when we are in the house. So far they have been vastly better than the cheapies we had previously.
  5. Yes this has been amply demonstrated by Mike, although prior to that I'm not sure we realised just how bad it was to repeatedly use a battery for several days without recharging. For your last para it depends on usage obviously, but in winter with the long evenings of satellite tv (the recording box takes a fair bit of juice), we like to have the boat well-lit (albeit with LEDs), electric blanket on overnight, kettle, toaster, coffee machine in the morning, we can get into the 50s before I start the engine, so we wouldn't have to try too hard to get to the 40s%. But certainly one could use 60% of capacity over 2 days and perhaps, with subsequent good charging, that won't lead to sulphation.
  6. Well no, it is neither a limit nor a target, it's just a ballpark rule of thumb SoC below which it's best not to go too often. That said, according to Trojan's figures, you can get the best life in terms of the maximum overall AH extracted over the life of the battery, by going to 40% SoC on every discharge.
  7. But bearing in mind you previously lived in a paper bag in the middle of the road, it was a major step up.
  8. Yes if you are going to take it down to 50% SoC then all the above discharging methods require the same amount of calculation. If you don't want to go to 50% you have to "do it properly" as I described! Although the point about the capacity setting on the BMV is accepted and I suppose you might want to adjust that to reflect the current capacity.
  9. Welcome, yes just to pick up on john6767's point, the grand union into Birmingham was originally a narrow canal but had wide locks retrofitted in the 1930s (I think) so the bridges can't all take 14' wide boats, even before considering any headroom issues. Of course you might be able to have it craned in, but if you can't go anywhere on the boat, what's the point, you might as well get a static caravan?
  10. Yes you could do that too, but I don't think it's any easier. You would note the SG DoD (100%-SoC), multiply it by the nominal AH capacity, and compare to the Ah acutally taken out according to the BMV. So if you had 440AH nominal capacity, taken down to 50% on the SG, that should be 220AH. But if the BMV only showed 110AH taken out, you would have 110/220 ie 50% of nominal capacity.
  11. That is a way of doing it, but it seems a little complicated and doesn't take account of CEF. Surely it is simpler to start with fully charged batteries (fully charged as you describe), BMV and Smartgauge both showing 100% SoC, then discharge normally, to a reasonable state of discharge but the more the merrier within reason, say down to 50% SoC on the Smartgauge. If the BMV is also showing 50% then you have batteries at their rated capacity, but presuming the BMV shows a higher SoC you have lost capacity in the proportion of DoD (not SoC) indicated by the BMV to DoD (not SoC) indicated by the SG. So let's say you had 50% SoC = 50% DoD on the SG, and 75% SoC = 25% DoD on the BMV, the actual capacity compared to the rated capacity set in the BMV is 25/50 = 50% of rated capacity.
  12. No I meant what I said (for once!). A Smartgauge in conjunction with an AH counter like a BMV allows one to know the actual capacity of the batteries, pretty effortlessly, by comparing the Smartgauge's actual SoC with the BMV's theoretical SoC. there is no easy other way.
  13. I'd go for a 12v fridge if you can stretch to the cost. A fridge is a pretty important thing and if it's reliant on an inverter, the chances of having a warm fridge and mouldy food is increased, although to be fair a decent inverter should be pretty reliable. The other stuff you describe is less important and doesn't need to be used 24/7. When looking at inverters, be sure to check out the idle power consumption which is very variable. We have a Mastervolt Combi that uses about 0.75A when idling, and that is not in any sort of power saving mode. I think Victrons use more unless you go for the power saving modes, which can be problematic. Small, cheap inverters can use more power idling than a top notch big one. For monitoring, the Victron BMV is fine as an AH counter but the addition of a Smartgauge will allow you keep an eye on your batteries' capacity (recent issues with calibration not withstanding). For a leisure boat I'd be inclined to start with ordinary leisure batteries, maybe go for AGM once you have got the general idea about looking after batteries. Solar is great if you intend to spend days tied up, but most people using their boats only for leisure tend to cruise every day so perhaps the roof clutter and ugliness isn't justified for your needs. edit: just checked the datasheets, the Victron 3000 inverter uses 20w doing nothing. Our 2500 Mastervolt Combi uses <9w. So the Victron left on permanently will use >20AH per day more. Why would you want to buy a Victron?
  14. If there are any other road users, which where I drive there often aren't. And not all the laws, just the ones that discourage a collision. So a driver not having insurance or an MOT or licence, who is speeding, is driving with excess alcohol, doesn't necessarily impinge on an ability for me to exceed the speed limit safely. The driver who is fully compliant with the law except forgetting to drive on the left, or who carries out an emergency stop in front of me whilst clutching for the binoculars having seen a lesser spotted sparrow in the hedgerow, well maybe not - these being typical hazards around where I drive! But this wasn't really my point, which was that if you are going to break the law, it is a good idea to know which laws you are breaking and to what extent, and what the likely penalty would be. The cliché "ignorance of the law is no excuse" applies.
  15. Err no I didn't say that, although I agree you probably would although there's a fair chance that the drone and or you would end up in the Atlantic. There are plenty of places and ways in which you can "get away with it" - by complying with the relevant laws. But I don't really know why I'm telling you this as you are only interested in pisstaking, not imparting useful information.