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smileypete last won the day on November 24 2014

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  1. Volt/Ammeter meter ?

    To date the main options for reading current appear to be: - Something like a UK supplied NASA BM1 or BM2 made for the boating market which also has an amp hour counting SoC gauge (use with great care!) - The wireless VA meter which reportedly works well. - The meter mentioned a couple of weeks ago where there is a built in isolator. This means its shunt can go in the negative or positive and it can read both directions. - A handheld clamp meter such as the Uni Trend UT210E which can be had for about £30 from Amazon - An old school analogue meter where its shunt can go in the positive or negative. Some of the single direction 100A ones have a good enough scale for reading tail current, I s'pose two could be used for both directions, running off the same shunt. - A single direction ammeter where the shunt must be in the negative, probably not worth it these days with the other options available. - The older bidirectional ammeters which need an external isolated supply for reading both directions. Again, a bit too fiddly nowadays with so many other options available. Some product links... Wireless meter: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-120V-300A-Wireless-Volt-Ammeter-Power-Meter-battery-Charge-discharge-capacity/172278832577 Meter with built in isolator: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-100V-500A-Voltmeter-Ammeter-Charge-Discharge-Isolation-current-tester-12v-24v/172733947168 http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-100V-200A-Voltmeter-Ammeter-Charge-Discharge-Isolation-current-tester-12v-24v/182623244034 Clamp meter: https://www.amazon.co.uk/UNI-T-UT210E-Current-Meters-Capacitance/dp/B00O1Q2HOQ Typical 100A analogue meter: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-100A-Current-Ampmeter-Analog-AMP-Panel-Meter-Ammeter-Gauge-85C1/202025021524 Only thing to watch is that some meters need the shunt purchased separately, the cheap ones tend to use a 75mV shunt and the more expensive marine meters a 100mV shunt, the meter needs the correct matching one or the reading will be waaay out.
  2. Backboiler question

    I kinda covered that in post #43, trapped air will kill gravity circulation stone dead so a 'self bleeding' system is very useful. I don't think so really, a domestic system has bottom entry and exit, usually on startup the hot water evenly fills the top of the rad and then spreads evenly down. I expect the top backboiler exit was above the bottom rad tapping or at least close to it. Trouble is only say 2% of boat backboiler systems are like that, the rest follow the usual layout with stove at front. What works very well for your sample of 1 will not work for the other 98%. TLDR; I posted a sample layout, if people want to do it differently, that's absolutely fine by me. But if it underperforms then what can I do, I tried my best... ETA: probably well worth doing a diagram anyway, it's likely to be a fraction of the time spend on installing and will help identify booboos. Even a sketch on paper is much better than nothing...
  3. Designing 12v charging system from scratch

    I reckon once people properly get the hang of 'tail current' then it's not a huge step to correctly set up an amp hour counter and understand it's shortcomings. Trouble is some (most?) canal or riverboat owners want a 'fit and forget' type box with no instruction manual reading needed, and so their batts die slowly or not so slowly in the meantime.
  4. Designing 12v charging system from scratch

    Haven't read every reply in detail but here's my thoughts: Somewhere in another topic I suggested three main scenarios for batt ownership: Plan A for most (95%?) of boaters would be decent brand leisure batts. Plan B would be Trojans but only if they can be provided with the correct charge and EQ voltages, and required maintenance and monitoring. I expect this needs a genuine long term interest, hmmm... Plan C is to use a less common battery make/type/chemistry/desulphators etc, but then you may be the guinea pig on that one. I guess most second home type boats fall into Plan A, and most off grid liveaboards move towards Plan B at some point. Sounds like the OP is firmly 'Plan A' at this point and using the boat while moored in a marina with a shoreline and I guess will stay that way through the winter. So the initial step might be best to get some decent brand leisure batts (Numax, Varta, Banner) and a modest charger to keep them topped up, I made a suggestion for a charger on the other topic: Later on when circumstances change might be a good time to think about battery monitoring (Smartgauge? ammeter?) and possibly a decent solar setup if warranted. A lot may depend on how much the inverter will be used when off grid... I guess you could split 'Plan A' down between those having very modest electrical demands or very occasional use off grid, and those with large inverter expecting something akin to a shore based lifestyle while off grid, with the majority in between somewhere.
  5. Clarke pot belly stove (small one)

    Not really worth it IMHO when a multifuel stove with a similar size 'footprint' is a little more: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Warranty-5-5KW-Efficiency-Burning-Multifuel/dp/B008KG4JH6/ref=sr_1_3/259-7586861-8188407
  6. I never said it did. Having wasted a goodly amount of quality time on bl**dy Peukert and a certain persons obsession with it, I'm reluctant to answer further... I'm sure the assembled experts can work something out on the centering thing...
  7. Johnson cartridge pumps are good, the ribbed pond hose seems to last OK on a typical narrowboat and is much more flexible than the usual braided stuff. Modern float switches 'mercury free' appear to be pants as the reviews seem to suggest they don't last long term, no cheap and easy way out of that one I'm afraid. I s'pose you could get an industrial mercury tilt switch for £20ish and build it into some sort of tilting float arrangement...
  8. Battery chargers

    I would say 99% of canal and river boats have a 12V pump and some 12V lights (or 24V of course), so my general advice should be appropriate. If on a mains supplied mooring 24/7 with such a boat, then yes, you don't neeeeed a £££££ charger, but.... If people have some wierd and wonderful setup, chances are they don't need advice.
  9. Battery chargers

    Sure you can buy a decent 12V power supply for buttons these days, plenty for LED lights, 12V fridge and water pump; but most (98%?) of boaters want something 'fit and forget' and are prepared to pay for it.
  10. Backboiler question

    If it was then I can't see how a gravity system would work at all in the first place. Seems to me domestic rads heat evenly along the top even with fairly little flow though them. But if people prefer one way instead of the other that's fine by me... How did you get on with piping up your rads into the system?
  11. Backboiler question

    Yeah I'm just thinking that if there's some space to one side of the gravity rads then they can be swapped round to change the heat output in different locations, in case the more distant ones aren't giving out enough heat. With a diagonal connection it might be more tricky if all soldered in, with connections one one side it might just mean undoing the compression to 1/2 BSP that connects into the rads.
  12. Backboiler question

    Sorry for the late reply... I s'pose 15mm should work OK for the 'tails' off the main run if we're talking about several small rads running off a smallish back boiler. Some people put the flow and return at diagonal corners for the gravity rads but I doubt this makes much difference, and might make it trickier to change the radiator later on for a bigger/smaller one if need be.
  13. Use self drilling 'tek' screws to drill and cut a thread, then replace with identical thread stainless ones if and when... I think the light tek screws go up to 5mm steel, not sure what most builders use for decks these days...
  14. Battery chargers

    For just keeping a few leisures topped up on shoreline a 10A or 20A Numax\Electroquest one should do: https://electroquestuk.com/chargers/leisure-battery-chargers-marine-battery-chargers/fully-automatic-marine-leisure-battery-charger-12v-10a https://www.tayna.co.uk/Numax-Commercial-Battery-Charger-20A-P6139.html
  15. Good grip boating shoes or boots.

    Wrap your shoes in chicken wire? (I'm surprised Mr Bizzard hasn't suggested this... )