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ivan&alice

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  • Gender
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  • Location
    London

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  • Occupation
    Software Developer
  • Boat Name
    Butterfly
  • Boat Location
    London

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  1. ivan&alice

    LED halogen replacement bulbs

    Thanks Jen, I will get this when I redo the lighting. For now, the LED replacement bulbs I bought are working a treat. I used to notice a small voltage drop of 0.1 - 0.2V when switching on the halogens, these replacements are just as bright and cause no voltage drop. I've had the lights on when charging at 14.1V and with the battery run as low as I allow it to go (12.1V) and they have held up so far. They don't vary in brightness like the halogens did when pumps kicked in. As pointed out, this might be maltreatment that will cause them to die quicker, but I'm going to treat them with total disdain until two of them pop and I will have used up my spares. I'll then reassess how long they lasted and whether or not I'm ready to install something better. I love them - really my only criticism is that they give off a relatively harsh, clinical bluish-white light. The halogens looked a little better, but not 10 times better which is what they were costing me in leccy.
  2. ivan&alice

    Replacing engine coolant

    1. Thanks, I have heard that you can't mix the different types. Are they more than just "red" and "blue"? If I start from scratch, i.e. empty the coolant and maybe flush with water, which is the best kind for my engine? Any recommended brands? (Would rather spend more on this for a better product). 2. I measured my skin tanks from inside the engine bay, they look like they occupy the whole of the face of the swims. I worked them out to be 36 litres each, plus the 7 litres that according to the manual are in the engine, plus the estimated 2 litres of the calorifier loop gives 81 litres (18 gallons). That seems like a lot more than yours - I probably overestimated on the skin tanks by taking the external measurement? As for the mix, the engine manual recommends 33-50% mix, so I plan to err towards the 50% side so that any dilution will still end up with a strong enough solution. This is such a brilliantly obvious idea I have no idea how come I didn't think of this. Now all I have to do is find a freezer 😂
  3. I topped up our engine coolant today with fresh water and it struck me that I don't know how long it has been since the coolant was changed, nor what kind of antifreeze was used or in what ratio. Since we are about to hit some really cold temperatures I think it would be best to drain the cooling system and replace the coolant. Note that we will live aboard throughout winter and run the engine twice a day, occasional weekends away notwithstanding, so this isn't really "winterising" in the same sense as those who store their boats. My engine is a Beta Marine 38 (Kubota BV1505) 1.5 litre. (The information plaque is illegible but the engine model is stated on the original Black Prince specification sheet, and it looks like the picture, except it's blue instead of red.) According to the manual I downloaded, this engine has a coolant capacity of 7 litres. I presume this is the volume of the coolant in the actual engine as skin tanks surely vary and in some applications don't exist, right? So I measured the external size of the skin tanks inside the engine bay which came out at 1250x480x60mm each, which would be a maximum of 36 litres each! Secondly, there is a calorifier fitted, and as far as I can tell it's a closed pipe circuit with no header tank or any clear way to empty it and top it up. I had a quick look at antifreeze on Amazon (where else) and it seems there are two main types - red and blue. This one says it is specifically for boats, if that makes any difference. This leaves me with a few questions: 1. What is the best antifreeze to use? 2. How can I calculate how much I need? 3. Should I try to change the calorifier circuit as well? 4. What do I do with the old coolant?
  4. ivan&alice

    LED halogen replacement bulbs

    Yes we do use the lights with the engine running, as @ditchcrawler points out it's dark early in winter so we use it to charge. When the engine is on we use the leccy liberally (including when cruising). We don't have any shore power or inverter power though as yet. I've ordered the LED units (halogen replacements) and I won't try to be careful with them, at least until the first one or two failures. I'll report back if they blow quickly! In the long term I'll install nice regulated LED lighting throughout, but this is a cheap attempt at making our demands on our iddy biddy battery a little lighter.
  5. ivan&alice

    LED halogen replacement bulbs

    The halogens dim slightly whenever high draw items kick in (e.g. drain pumps), even if the alternator is running. This has always been the case even when the battery was brand new. So it seems to me to be quite corellated with the voltage dip. Or perhaps as we have just 1 cheap 110Ah battery it can't push out enough current to run multiple things at once. I don't know much about brands of this kind of equipment, just wanted to make sure I was on the right track with a 12V DC to 12V DC regulator. Could you recommend a regulator (or brand of regulator) that wouldn't be risking it? We run the whole boat off 12V so it might be worth it for us to get a large, efficient 12V DC regulator that we can use for our entire 12V circuit?
  6. ivan&alice

    LED halogen replacement bulbs

    Ah interesting. Yeah when certain pumps kick in (looking at you, shower waste pump) the halogens do tend to dim a little. But yes, they are pretty cheap, the ones I think I've settled on are a pound each (and the 5 pack gives me two spares). https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07DKYVDGY Whoever installed the electrics was obviously of the opinion that it was OK for halogens. That said, I have blown one so far in the last 3 months! Are LEDs much more sensitive to voltage fluctuations? Alternatively, I could buy and fit a voltage regulator to the lighting circuit - something like this perhaps? https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y52C65W For now I'll get the 5 pack for a fiver, and if I lose two of them I'll install a regulator and I'll still have all my lights on.
  7. ivan&alice

    LED halogen replacement bulbs

    The product is LED units that fit into the "2-spike" or "Bi-Pin" (I don't know what it's officially called) halogen fittings. That way you can keep your halogen fittings but insert LED replacements and save 90% of the leccy. Similar to those fluorescent, LED and halogen bulbs they make in the bayonet incandescent bulb form factor, so you don't have to replace your household lighting.
  8. Our lighting is mostly LED at 0.2A / 2.4W each, except for 3 halogen ceiling lamps at 1.67A / 20W. Since one of the halogens just blew I am thinking of replacing them with this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077Z1T5DD I don't see a name on the housing or the bulb for the type of fitting, but it looks exactly like the picture. Is this "2-spike" halogen fitting standard or is it possible to buy the wrong thing? These are 2W versus the 20W of the original halogens which sounds like a yummy saving. Does anyone have any experience with these or recommendations for or against? Any particular brand/model of halogen replacement bulbs you'd recommend?
  9. ivan&alice

    12v electric for wifi

    Took a look at your link, the important bit is this: Power Adaptor Input: DC 12-24V USB-C Output (DC): 20V/3A, 15V/3A, 12V/3A, 9V/3A, 5V/3A This is a list of the profiles it supports. 20V * 3A = 60W, so this would definitely charge your laptop (assuming that the specs posted by the manufacturers of these devices are legitimate - those cables look a little thin for my liking!) The one I have supports the following: Input: DC 12-18V (Max) Output: USB Type-C Power Delivery: 5V/9V/12V/15V-3A, 20V-2.25A (Max) So you can see its maximum output of 20V * 2.25A = 45W. I see that the Macbook can accept an 87 W charger. So neither of these would charge your laptop as fast as a 230V mains charger, but they both should charge it. The one posted by @Robbo is a whopping 90W, the highest I've ever seen on a USB C charger. That does 5/9/12/15/20 max 90W, so that implies 20V/4.5A max. That theoretically would charge your laptop at maximum speed. Personally I'd almost be nervous to use that one!!
  10. ivan&alice

    12v electric for wifi

    Do you usually get 4G where you are? We've fought with 3 and they changed the SIM card, saying that it could be faulty, but no real improvement so far. It could be that they don't have enough capacity in London. USB C is supposed to make everything really easy, but in practice there are a number of different "power delivery profiles" that are supported by USB C chargers. That's why a phone charger won't charge a laptop, even though it has the same port. USB C devices request the profile that they want, and the charger responds either by supplying that profile or denying the request. It's tricky, and you'll have to familiarise yourself with the USB C documentation to fully understand it. You have to see if the profile your laptop specifies is supported by the charger. Suffice to say that I run an equivalent machine off the USB C cigarette lighter transformer I posted, and I am quite sure it would charge your MacBook.
  11. ivan&alice

    12v electric for wifi

    I'm on EE, 40GB / month for 22 GBP. Connection is fantastic, but runs out quickly. Mrs is on 3, unlimited for 20 GBP / month. Connection is slow and spotty, even in London, but at least it never runs out. Very very disappointed with the quality of the connection to the 3 network. Unfortunately on a 12 month SIM only contract. I actually feel rather scammed. We haven't roamed anywhere we have no reception at all (yet) but I have been on a train in some areas where I have had no service even on EE, which is worrying. A day or two of no internet would be a problem for us. Given that we need a reliable permanent connection for work, I want to make absolutely sure that we have done everything in our power to ensure the best possible internet connection. To me that means two networks for redundancy and a hugemungous high gain external antenna. Ah i see it has a USB plug on the end. Cheap as chips though, so could happily chop it up to get to the wires if you need non-USB 5V. Thanks for the link.
  12. ivan&alice

    12v electric for wifi

    Could you link us / give us the model of converter you're using? Don't know about 19V, but regarding laptop charging, decent modern devices will be charged by USB C. I bought 4 of these for around the boat, they work amazingly well if you have a USB C charging device - super fast, 45W / 12V = 3.75A max. They seem very efficient, don't get hot. We use these to charge all things USB. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0777JBKYZ
  13. ivan&alice

    12v electric for wifi

    12V only here. We live and work aboard permanently and don't miss 230V, with the exception of the missus' 12V hairdryer with which she is most displeased. What is everyone using all this high voltage for? I think I can boil the argument down to this: If your boat has an inverter constantly running anyway, then it might be simpler to just use 230V to 12V transformers for your wifi/mifi. Those are the folks with 230V fridges or other always-on devices (possibly including TV and sound system for those who watch a lot of TV). If not though, the wifi/mifi is an always on device, for which you wouldn't want to run an inverter if that's all it was powering. Hence I'm definitely planning to use 12V for this (at the moment, we just set up a hotspot on our phones... but I want to get a high gain MiFi antenna for when we're roaming the countryside). I can't imagine needing 230V constantly if you have a 12V fridge. Most other devices (power tools, cooking equipment, hairdryers, etc) you'll only ever need for under an hour at a time and probably not every day. So why not just turn the inverter on when you need it? If you can time their usage for when you have the alternator/genny on, so much the better. I'll look into a inverter if and when we get a washing machine. That and the hairdryer are the only things that I can currently think of as stuff we'd want to power with 230V. I'd also be interested in recommendations for an efficient 12V DC regulator device.
  14. 200 both ways. VAT is 20% I think? so on 700 it would be 140. Oh, and you have to take out a temporary membership for a tenner. Thanks - is that 250 for 5 days, or for 7?
  15. Seems like there is very minimal availabilty on the Lee and Stort. I took your advice and contacted the Aylesbury Canal Society. They quoted me 200 GBP for cranage and 50 GBP per day hard standing ex VAT (and you don't pay for standing on the cranage days). DIY. Electricity and heating not included. I plan to have her out for 10 days (I want plenty of time to deal with any issues that might arise), so that will be 500 standing + 200 cranage + 140 VAT = 840 GBP. Does this seem like a reasonable price? I figure I can then decide to DIY or not to DIY. If I decide to book a contractor, would I need to give a lot of notice for this as well?
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