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Everything posted by magictime

  1. I checked with the Smartgauge chappies last year and they advised me to use the 'carbon fibre' setting.
  2. My solar controller and BMV battery monitor also display voltage readings (and all three always agree).
  3. Thanks. No sign of that though, and I've been looking at voltage readings in conjunction with the Smartgauge state of charge reading all along and they've always seemed pretty much in agreement - 12.1 or 12.2 volts at the '50%' mark (typically with a draw of a few amps).
  4. I'm not sure they did point it out actually, but yes, I was aware that according to their data sheet, the batteries should have 'only' had 86% of their rated capacity at 0C - i.e. 372 Ah at the C20 rate. Clearly they didn't have anything close to that though, or I'd have been seeing more like 180+ Ah counted out following a full charge before my Smartgauge hit 50%.
  5. Well... I held off contacting them until early February, because I wanted to be sure the batteries had had a good few full charges and the Smartgauge had had plenty of opportunity to learn to read the state of charge correctly. I got a speedy reply asking if I had a 12V or a 24V setup; I guess they were hoping I'd say 24V, as that would have explained the symptom quite nicely! Then a couple of pretty fruitless exchanges where they were basically re-stating the claimed capacity and I was telling them that's not what I was seeing. Then I stopped chasing it for a few months as the availability of solar power meant I was having no day-to-day issues, and it kept slipping my mind. By the time I got back in touch - August I think - the guy I had been emailing had left the company, and so it took a while to pick up the thread with new people. Then there was some to-ing and fro-ing where they were trying to persuade me to jump through the hoops of the warranty claim process, while I was quoting chapter and verse on the Consumer Rights Act, insisting that since I'd alerted them to the fault within 6 months, there was a legal presumption that the goods had been faulty from new and that I was therefore entitled to a replacement or refund simply as a matter of my statutory rights. They never explicitly conceded this point, or even that the batteries were faulty, but one way or another they did finally offer a full refund.
  6. Just over a year ago I ordered some Leoch Pure Lead Carbon batteries, after a discussion on here, and I think I said I'd let everyone know how I got on with them. Much more recently I was asking for people's experience of the typical difference between batteries' nominal capacity and their actual capacity; this is a follow-up to that too. Unfortunately I don't think I have anything terribly worthwhile to report. I got what should have been a 432Ah bank of Leoch PLCs fitted late last year, but very quickly got the impression that their actual capacity was not as advertised; following a full charge, I was seeing about 110Ah-120Ah counted out by my BMV before my Smartgauge showed a 50% state of charge, suggesting an actual capacity of 220Ah-240Ah or so. Long story short, after many, many emails back and forth and a bit of heel-dragging on both sides, I've just managed to return the batteries for a full refund. I've just fitted a new bank of the same size - the cheaper Leoch Superior Lead Carbons this time, as a like-for-like replacement wasn't available - and they do seem to have the advertised capacity. So it seems reasonable to assume the other ones were just faulty in some way, rather than that the manufacturer is routinely overstating capacity. But one year on I still have no experience of a non-faulty set of lead carbon batteries to share, I'm afraid.
  7. Thanks, I'm glad I asked! It contains mono ethylene glycol, and that's all I know. A quick Google doesn't provide much in the way of a definitive answer - I think it's the type called 'universal' but still not sure about mixing?
  8. Hopefully this is a simple enough question... I normally buy pink OAT ready-mixed antifreeze from Halfords, but today I'm stuck with this from B&M. No mention of formulation but it claims to be 'suitable for all engine types' so I guess it's intended to be a 'universal' style. Is it going to be okay to mix with the OAT already in my central heating header tank?
  9. Thanks all. So it doesn't seem like there's any general perception that batteries' capacities are routinely overstated (to any great extent) by manufacturers. Hmm. Just wanted some more input really as someone whose opinion I generally respect was sharing his very negative view of this (that it's not uncommon for batteries to have maybe half the claimed capacity), but then I suspect he generally only finds himself dealing with batteries when they're either faulty or on their last legs, rather than just performing normally.
  10. Without getting into the specifics of my own requirements and/or experiences with batteries, or tangents about how batteries' capacity drops with time and misuse, or about how only half of a battery's capacity is really useable, etc., I'd be very interested to hear people's answers to this question: In real-world use, how does the actual capacity of a brand new 12 volt lead acid battery typically compare to its nominal or 'badge' capacity? Would you expect a battery badged at, say, 200Ah actually to provide 100Ah (or very close to it) before dropping to a 50% state of charge (if discharged at the appropriate rate, at the appropriate temperature, etc.)? Or is it generally the case that badged capacities are to be taken with a large pinch of salt and the real capacity can be expected to be X% lower?
  11. Thanks. It's not just getting back home though, it's knowing that if I had any post-op complications it would be the team that knows my case that would end up looking at me. (Minor-ish complications are quite common, e.g. cerebro-spinal fluid leaking, and major ones obviously potentially very serious. If I started having symptoms of a stroke or something I'd want to be bloody sure it was the LGI I ended up in.) I think both my consultant (the surgeon) and the radiologist who has jointly led my treatment are firmly based in Leeds, but I'll certainly be asking about all this if and when it comes to it. I think there's a stoppage between Slaithwaite and Huddersfield actually, but yes we have considered going that far. Trouble is, with the C&H out, we'd then have a heck of a journey to do to get to Leeds when the L&L route is next available - which we'd probably still want to do before surgery actually happened, for the reasons mentioned above. I think it's just a case of "watch and wait" now. Obviously the sudden, indefinite L&L stoppage neatly illustrates why it was reasonable of us to consider it essential to make that journey sooner rather than later, but the situation's changed and I think it now makes sense to just not panic and see where we are when things start moving on either front (medical/stoppages).
  12. Hmm... The thing is, would my consultant (or me!) actually be happy with me being discharged after surgery on the basis that I was then catching a train back to Newark, and having to get back from there if I had any complications. I suspect not. I'm just going to have to play it by ear. The canals may re-open before surgery is scheduled, or I might have to put it off for a while, we'll see.
  13. Yeah not sure it's for me! We've done Keadby to Cromwell over two days, and have the charts, but the northern bits sound a bit intimidating.
  14. Effectively yes, because if you could get the other side of the Rochdale or Huddersfield, the Calder and Hebble is out. And I think there are stoppages on those two anyway.
  15. You're not seriously suggesting that even if I did have a date for brain surgery intended to prevent a further bleed, I still wouldn't be within my rights to move my home close to the hospital, because the treatment still wouldn't strictly speaking be "urgent"? Was that really CRT's intention when drafting their advice (not 'rules'), do you think? Or the government's intention when saying that only "essential travel" is allowed? Anyway, the point is moot now because, as has been pointed out, the L&L is closed from Wigan to Bingley.
  16. Thanks! We must have just missed you - we moved on to the Erewash early in December. We were on the Nottingham and Beeston for ages before that with the Trent in flood. Thanks, yes, we've talked to CRT and they didn't raise any objections. And yeah hand sanitizer at locks, and no stopping to visit shops etc.
  17. Thanks. Yes, I remember - the Trent had imposed its own ban on travel!
  18. Thanks - I hope so too! This will be the 5th attempt at fixing the issue (only the 2nd open surgery, but I've had three less invasive procedures too). Hard to stay optimistic sometimes.
  19. I'm not worried about being able to get to the hospital to attend an appointment (I could catch a train). I'm worried about my home (my boat) being sufficiently close to the hospital that when I have my surgery, I can safely get back there to recover and know that my consultant and his team are nearby in case of any complications. Yes, I knew I was taking that risk, but I think if anything I feel a bit better for the balance of opinion being what it is. The objectors have basically just pointed to the word 'urgent' in a non-exhaustive list of examples of essential travel written by CRT. Exactly! And exactly! Yep all booked for tomorrow, thanks.
  20. After four weeks moored at Westport Lake, and with no end in sight to the current situation, we've come to the conclusion that we should probably consider a journey to Leeds (or nearby) 'essential' in our current circumstances. Number one concern is my health; I should have been having a CT scan now-ish in preparation for brain surgery (another attempt to fix the problem responsible for my haemmorhage in 2017), and although this is on hold for now due to Covid 19 I want to be sure I'm close to the LGI when things start moving again. Arguably this isn't 'urgent' (yet), but with the Calder and Hebble not an option for the foreseeable future, and a stoppage on the Stainforth and Keadby ruling out even the Trent as a route north, we're one unforeseen L&L stoppage away from ending up completely cut off. Plus I don't know how quickly the ball might start rolling on my surgery when the Covid situation eases in the hospital. So, if you spot us en route, please know that we haven't taken the decision to travel lightly and we aren't just enjoying a nice holiday. I must admit I'm already stressing out about being judged by people along the route who might assume we just don't give a damn. (There does seem to be rather a lot of this around at the minute.)
  21. Interesting, thank you. It might (might!) be that the staining there is a separate matter from the leakage, then. However, that staining is cosmetic and not my main concern. My main concern (to reiterate) is that water drips out below gunwale level on to the dinette cushions after heavy rain (mostly below the opposite corner of the window, the bottom right), which suggests to me that quite a bit of water is finding its way in from outside and staying mostly out of sight between the steel cabin and wood lining. How very dare you!
  22. I understand the concern and I hope I've been quite careful not to go beyond the facts of the matter, and to be quite clear that this is only one person's experience. But at the end of the day, it's just a review, of the sort that any small business must surely nowadays expect to be out there on the internet somewhere (if not on their own Facebook page!) There's a consumer perspective here as well as a business perspective, and I've essentially posted the comment I wish I'd seen before spending £2000+ on these things, under a title that would have drawn my attention to it.
  23. How odd that older rain deflectors were closed and newer ones are open. There must have been some logic behind the introduction of this 'flaw'! Anyway, the consensus seems to be that the issue is most likely a poor seal between wood frame and steel, rather than between steel hatch and cabin, so that's a step forwards.
  24. A couple of people requested some more pics, plus some of the exterior, so...
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