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Dr Bob

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About Dr Bob

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  1. Thanks cuthound. I have sync'd the BMV almost each day when I consider it full. I will get the manual out and look at the F3 setting. I am sure it is not set properly for battery type etc but will have a look tomorrow. I'll also have a look at your link. Interesting. ....the pub is calling.
  2. A bit more data for anyone still interested and before we go off to the Dog and whatsit up the road in Dadlington. Last night (from 7pm) we used 50 Ahrs - as read from the meter. I think this is pretty much what was used based on the inverter on for 13hrs (7pm to 8am) running between 1.7A and 5.1 A out depending on whether the fridge was cooing- and the TV/rasp pie/hard disk plus the usual water and toilet vacuum pump - plus 1 coffee from the coffee maker (80A) for a minute. From that I think the current flow over the shunt seems not too far off. At 8am the voltage was 12.55V with the inverter on. I turned off everything for 20 mins and then the voltage at 20 mins rest was 12.66 (the coffee machine had just been run when it was at 12.55V). Assuming the volt reading is correct (BIG ASSUMPTION) then that says I was 90%+ SoC which is in line with the amps used overnight (again assuming it was near 100% at 7pm the previous evening which I think it was near as the solar had been very good from 3pm to 7pm). All this however is a pile of c**p if the voltmeter is inaccurate. I did notice however that the 12.66V on the BMV was the same as the 12.6V on the MPPT controller. I then started the engine at 9.00am. The current in on start up was 81A which fell away to 60A in the first 20 secs. It then settled out less than 40A after a minute. I think it is a 90A alternator so does that sound like it is working as it should? By 9.45 the Amps had dropped to 15A so if we roughly estimate the amps put in (ie draw a graph of amps v time and look at the area under the curve ) I would estimate maybe 15A went in. As only some of this would be converted to 'charge' then maybe we got circa 10A of our 50A used back. In this time however the amp hr counter had gone from -50A to +3.6A. To me, I think the meter is showing the Amps out and Amps in ok, and the voltage ok but something is wrong with the Amp hr counter. I experienced this on our old boat with a BMP monitor that seemed to ok on voltage and amps in/out but the counter would add up for half an hour or so then jump back to the fully charged amp hr setting. I assumed the current meter is the actual current over the shunt but the Amp hr counter was a function of these number plus what it made up itself trying to compensate for Pukhets equation or whoever it was who made this topic so complicated. This boat seems the same. Amps hrs out seems fairly accurate but amps hrs in seems a bit of a fantasy. (I will check to see if there are any wires not connected to the shunt but I suspect it s ok as it seems to be the Amp hr in counter that is telling lies). A final comment on the solar. The solar mppt was showing it on 'adsorption' when the engine was switched off, so the voltage on the mppt was 14.4V (thats what it is set to) - but the voltage on the BMV was now different at 14.21V. At this stage I had circa 10A of solar coming in but there was 5-8A being used by the various chargers etc. Not sure why the solar wasnt on float. Ok, so what can I conclude from all this - and all your inputs. 1) I think the alternator is charging ok at the start with 80A immediately. It seems however to have far too low a float voltage which cannot be adjusted. I will check the voltages across the alternator and the batteries etc. Sounds like I may need a new alternator.....and maybe a higher current version. 2) I must be getting near my 100% SoC (ie 95%+) given the 'voltage at rest' but this is probably due to the solar - so ok for another month or so. 3) The solar mppt is set for 14.4V in 'adsorption' but less than 14V on float. Should I increase the float voltage to 14.4V or even 14.8V? That seems to be the cheapest way to get a bit more charge into the batteries. Ok, Dog and whatsit is calling ........
  3. That is what I was thinking and why I posted the thread. ...and I am sure this was the case...when I reset the counter the previous day. Not a clue. It is just the original alternator. I will do some checking of voltages over the weekend.
  4. Plastic Deckboards

    Beware of any 'recycled' polyethylene applications for boards etc. Polyethylene comes in all sorts of grades and stuff for structural use needs to be high density , low melt index, good stress crack resistance and good UV stabilisation. The easiest polyethylene to recycle is plastic milk bottles which are designed to be very stiff (so very thin sections) and have incredibly poor stress crack resistance and no UV stabilisation. Recyclers just use it as it is PE and so make product that are basically useless if a long life in the sun is needed. Anyone buying this type of product should try and find out what type of recycled PE is being used. This is not always easy. PE is a great material but not for structural decking boards.
  5. Plastic Deckboards

    I would recommend you NOT to use polyethylene as your flooring material for deck board. I have spent a large part of my career in a senior technical capacity for one of the UK's largest PE supply companies. It is not the right material. As others have said: -it cannot be painted. Paint will not adhere to Polyethylene without flame or oxidation treatment. - it creeps. I'd be interested in the spec sheet for the product you were thinking of and in particular the density and melt index of the PE used. Creep happens over a long period and it will look awful. Maybe UHDPE (ultra high density PE) would be ok but that would be very very expensive. Not mentioned by others are 2 key properties: - resistance to UV. PE is not UV resistant and will degrade in sunlight. This can be offset by the manufacturer of the sheet adding UV stabiliser but this is expensive and if it is a 'cheap' product then it is likely to have very little stabiliser. A 'cheap' product may last a year or two, a well speced product may give 5-10 years but not more. For 10-20 year performance you need a cross linked system ie a cured resin (epoxy, polyester etc). - stress crack resistance. This is linked to UV resistance and is basicallly slow crack growth which causes crack failures over a year or so - particularly where there is stress on the product. People are using PE as the basis for WPC - wood reinforced plastic - which is basically wood fibre embedded in Polyethylene. It does work but it suffers the same problem as a above but does last longer. UV stabilisation, creep and stress crack resistance are still big problems. Polypropylene is not a good idea as it's impact strength is very poor at low temps - so drop a hammer on it when below freezing and it could crack. We have buffalo board on our newly purchased NB which is now 15 years old. Buffalo board is light years better than PE would be. Maybe other things are better but keep clear of PE. PE is also very flammable.
  6. The alternator is the original on the Beta 43 from 2002. I think it is a 90A one. There is also an engine battery alternator. When the engine is started it has been around 40A for the first 4 mins or so with the SoC around 90% so i dont think it is far off in initial current but the tail voltage seems low. I will have a look tomorrow and report back.
  7. thanks Nick ...and Cuthound. I am not sure. I have not yet done a deep dive into the engine bay to check out the terminals, but will schedule this for the next time I get down there. I seem to remember on the yacht we lived on for 3 years had a similar problem of 'jumping' amphrs in or out - and that was wired up right. I tend not to take much notice of the amp counter other than what has gone out overnight. I do understand what you are saying as I did install one correctly in the past. I will check. I am just using the voltage on the battery monitor for the voltages, but it does seem to tie up closely with the voltage on the MPPT controller. I have no idea how accurate the voltage shown is and if it is worth quoting it to two decimal places. Ok, some good input so far. Now I know I cannot use the amps in to assess SoC with the low charging voltage. ......so is my Tail voltage ok? Should it be 14.4V and if so, how do i get to that. Can you adjust the alternator output?
  8. ......and the pub was a cracker ...the Globe at the top of the Ashby. Food was excellent and the Timothy Taylor, not a bad pint. Dont care about the batteries this evening.
  9. Guys, I want to try and understand where I am with my batteries and SoC. Apologies for the long post but keen to understand the data I am looking at. There were 3 * 110 Ahrs bog standard cheap lead acids when we bought the boat (63ft 2002 NB). “Almost new” said the broker but no receipts. Guess they are probably less than a year old but seemed to be ok in the first few days (and certainly not poor). We then added 3 more 110Ahrs, that was a couple of months ago – so we now have 660Ahrs. Since then we have cruised most days between 4 to 8 hrs and also have 2*100W solar panels with an MPPT controller. We've done at most 7 days on shore power. The SoC has never dropped below 80% (??????) based on amps counted out on the battery monitor and the voltage 'at rest' which I am guessing (probably badly). I am interested to see if this 80% is just a figment of my imagination (given Tony and Wotever's comments to me in previous post)!!! So some real data. On Tuesday pm I assumed we were 100% SoC after 5 hrs engine running and then 3 hrs of strong sun. Tuesday night we used approx 50 Amp hrs according to the BMV battery monitor and the voltage in the morning was 12.50V (but taken with a small current draw alternating between 1.7A and 5.2 A depending on whether the fridge was running (240V via a Victon inverter). I have not tried a 'at rest' voltage as the inverter is always on so I am assuming the 12.5V is slightly higher and could be 12.6V at rest. This seems to suggest I was nearly at 100% SoC on the Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday we ran for 5 hrs but then it was cloudy but I assumed we were almost full and reset the amp counter to zero. Thursday morning (today) the Amps out were again 50Ahrs and the voltage with inverter and fridge was 12.48V. I turned everything off and after 10 mins the voltage was 12.55V. Ok, maybe 85% SOC?? but would the voltage have been higher if it was at rest for an hour? Thursday I did a bit of monitoring viz Time Voltage Amps Amp hrs 8.00am 12.50 -1.7 -50 (not quite at rest with inverter on but no fridge – but coffee machine had taken 80A for a few mins not long before) Engine on 8.15 8.35 13.58 30 -40 10.00 13.67 16.1 22.8 10.45 13.71 13.9 33.1 11.15 13.87 10.8 47.7 11.45 13.88 8.3 46.4 12.15 13.89 6.5 49.9 14.05 14.00 4.6 58.5 Engine off, but strong sun 14.10 14.15 4.7 58.9 gave up and went to the pub. All the above were measured with the inverter on powering the fridge and a variety of laptops, tablets and phones charging. I have a few questions on the above data: I was expecting to see the amps stabilise at 2% of battery bank (therefore nearly 14A) and hold steady for 45 mins once full. Problem is that the voltage never got to 14.4V (or 14.8V etc). Can the Amps be used at these lower voltages to determine SoC. The charge is coming from the engine alternator, I think a 90A one – Engine is a 2002 Beta 43. Should Voltage be higher in the float stage? Not a clue how to alter it. The Ahr counter is interesting. It starts at -50Ahrs (what I think I used last night) and then went positive by nearly 60Ahrs – which suggests 110Ahrs had gone into the battery. Even if you reduce this by 20% you still get 90Ahrs which is a bit above what I thought was in the batteries (from the voltage at rest – or not as it was). The solar continued to charge most of the afternoon at 9-10amps or so, with 5A being used by the inverter – voltage shown was 14.1V. On the MPPT controller it shows that the Adsorption voltage is set at 14.4V and the Float at 13.6V. I assume these settings were put in by the installer 2 years ago. Should I set the float higher? I assume the 14.1V measured is the 14.4V less the drain from the inverter. With a battery bank this size, what is the likely voltage at rest if the voltage with say a 2A drain is 12.50V. Any guesses? Did I ever get to 100% SoC? Tomorrow early I will look at the Amp hrs out overnight and the voltage at rest (with everything off for at least 30mins).
  10. New 3 mobile internet 100GB

    Yes, we will leave it to mid Sept and then head off down the south oxford.
  11. Daniel, thanks for the info. We are sold! We are up to the Ashby for a few days and will go down to the Basin on Sunday/Monday.
  12. ....but the 'be nice' approach will never work. First, do not appoint a 'half-competent solicitor'. Only a good one or even 'the best one'. We bought a £140K sailing yacht from a UK broker 12 years ago (buying a Spanish made boat). Ours was fine. One of my friends saw it and ordered another a year later. That boat was a mess. Big problems in the build (grp layup). It was the last one the Spanish company made before selling/transfering its moulds to a Brazilian company. The build was so bad there was a significant problem with the strength of the keel (a big safety issue). If it was me, I would have sued the broker (a UK company) under the sale of goods act. The owner however decided on the 'be nice' approach and ended up (after a year of being nice) accepting an offer to pay £30K more and get the keel fixed!!!! If he had sued the broker (also a friend) then he would have forced him into bancruptcy (although assume insurance cover is there?). The broker would then have had to sue the manufacturer - although not sure if the manufacturer was going bust. In your case, try and work out who is the manufacturer and what is the supplier chain. Get your solicitor to work this out. The problem here is we are talking big sums of money. Trading standards will do zip. ZIP!! They are not interested unless there are multiple complaints. Talk to a good solicitor to find out what he thinks. Be nice, and they will just laugh at you. I have seen this first hand and it does not work. However it may be the only way if a lawsuit means companies go bust and hence no recourse. This is one of the problems of buying a new expensive boat that the uninitiated buyer does not realise. Whereas the sale of goods act covers 'all' purchases, it doesnt help when a 'return' due to 'not fit for purpose' will bancrupt the company supplying. We bought our first NB this year, and went for a 15 year old used boat........not chancing buying a new one again!!!! Too much to go wrong .......and no confidence in who you buy off going bust!!!!! So glad we have an old boat.
  13. Your purchase is covered by the Sale of Goods act 1979 which means it must be fit for purpose. Obviously too big for the small claims court so you must take legal advice which then will probably mean getting a surveyor (or two) in to verify the problems. Do this asap - the faster the better. It sounds like you have a real case so the legal and survey costs you incurr should be paid if the case is proven. The sale of goods act 1979 means that if you can prove the defective item is not fit for purpose, you can demand your money back ......and not just get it repaired. One big issue for Sale of good act problems is safey. If there is any safety issue (think about it) then this is a killer in any court action. This act does not seem to be used for purchases when the purchase price is high, ie cars .....or wide beam boats, but it still applies. Your solicitor can advise. Find one that specialises in Sale of goods problems.
  14. Yes, well done. I would give you a greenie if I could but I cant as it doesnt give me the option.................Well done!
  15. Music in Pubs

    We were in the Barley Mow tonight (somewhere Rugbyish) and god the background music was loud. Some women came over about an hour after we got there (and just as we had started to eat) and turned it off - my god was it quite then. Shame, it was a good tune when she turned it off but pretty awful apart from that. I do like folk violins but not too many of them around.