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dmr

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dmr last won the day on December 13 2017

dmr had the most liked content!

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About dmr

  • Birthday 01/16/1957

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    on the boat
  • Interests
    Narrowboats
    Life on the cut
    Engineering (Engines, Electronics and Software)
    Walking the dog
    Drinking Beer

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Engineer
  • Boat Name
    Vox Stellarum
  • Boat Location
    Winter on the K&A, Summer on the cut

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  • Website URL
    http://

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  1. Most boat alternators are really only automotive alternators and not totally suitable for running flat out for any length of time. Most will manage but will be running at the top of their temperature range. This is probably the hardest you have worked your alternator. It might die very soon. But, once some paint and general crap or whatever has burned off it will probably settle down and manage to cope for a few years. Diode failure is the most likely cause of death, though loss of varnish from the windings is also possible. Make sure the belt isn't slipping as this makes smoke and also puts more heat into the alternator. If you can open up the alternator and clean out the dog hairs etc. (I think I can see a fair bit of crap in those ventilation slots) Carry a spare alternator. My domestic alternator runs shockingly hot, the last one was good for about three years and eventually died from slip ring wear. There are a few alternator controllers than sense alternator temperature and reduce or shut down charge current as required. ...............Dave
  2. dmr

    New SmartGauge with shunt

    I think Balmar have been selling the Smartgage for some time, possibly even with a Balmar logo on the case. I'm a bit surprised nobody has done something like this instrument sooner, making a copy of the Smartgage algorithm is certainly not trivial, but I suspect its a whole lot easier when there is a shunt available. I think the two wire only approach is what made the Smartgage really clever. .............Dave Yes, it looks like two or more displays are possible. Manual says it turns off the backlight after 24 hours so looks like I will have to press a button once every day. I don't think it does full data logging of volts and amps (over a period of a few days), that really would be the dogs bollocks. .............Dave
  3. dmr

    New SmartGauge with shunt

    This looks like the bees knees but not quite the dogs bollocks. Its sad that it can't handle the shunt in the positive battery cable and has only one display but I think I would be willing to redo my battery box wiring to accommodate one of these. In fact I think I will get two, one to permanently display Amps and one to display State of Charge (if this can be done). I wonder if this was developed with the consent and technical input from Gibbo or if Balmar did it in isolation? I does render the old Smartgage pretty much obsolete. ........Dave
  4. dmr

    Planning to take the plunge

    Except in Stoke on Trent, the outskirts of Liverpool, inner city Manchester? CaRT are rapidly removing the towpath cycle barriers so motorbikes on the towpath must now be ok ???? 😀 ...............Dave
  5. dmr

    Planning to take the plunge

    Its maybe a bit over priced, but likely not by much. Proper boats by proper builders are a minority interest on the cut so the seller is probably willing to wait a while till the right buyer comes along. There will be a few people who really want a boat like this and be prepared to pay for it. ............Dave
  6. dmr

    Planning to take the plunge

    Winter boating and cruising can be lovely, why do you need a winter mooring and a flat? Either put the flat money towards your "Europe" boat or rent a flat out for some extra income. Minimum CC requirements are to move every two weeks which is not difficult and the water tank needs filling every week or two anyway, so gently moving through the winter makes sense. The mud on the towpath is the only drawback, especially with dogs. ..............Dave
  7. dmr

    Planning to take the plunge

    If you want to CC and explore then get a 70 foot narrowboat with a tug deck and engine room, then exchange it for a dutch barge if and when you go to Europe (or if you can afford it have two boats). Find a nice second hand boat. Don't even think about specifying a new build till you have several years boating experience. 68 ish foot would be much much easier to handle in locks but if you enjoy a challenge and wan't to develop good boating skills then go for 70 foot. Most dogs will learn how to live on a boat without getting too much in the way. ...........Dave
  8. dmr

    Planning to take the plunge

    There are lots of widebeams on the K&A, and even a couple of "small ships" but it can get a bit stressful in a few places. 9 foot is a bit of a no mans land, not much wider than a narrowboat but still unable to cruise the narrow canals. 14 foot is just too wide for a canal boat. You would be unlikely to get to Birmingham, lack of dredging, off side vegetation, and even a bridge or two will likely stop you. If you want a wide canalboat then about 12 foot is probably the best compromise. Ask yourself.....are you really going to go to Europe?? or is this just a half baked dream? Get a boat for what you really are going to do. Loads of people get a 57 foot narrowboat (rather than 70 foot) so they can go up North but likely never get beyond the Shropshire union and Trent and Mersey. Two people and two dogs will be fine on a narrowboat. Two people and 5 GSD's has been done, 2 people and 7 lurchers has been done. A suitable sofa will fit on a narrowboat, "Captains chairs" are very popular but not compulsory, a sofa is much nicer. Some bits of the North are rather better than anything in the South. ...............Dave
  9. Many years ago I lived and worked in Southampton and we did propose a weekend at Sandy Balls campsite, just to be able to make some silly jokes really. We were into semi wild camping, campfires, music, lots of drinking, and maybe even a few drugs 😀 so when we investigated further we decided it was not perhaps the right sort of campsite for us. ...............Dave
  10. Is that a village? I thought it was just a campsite in the New Forest. I always assumed it was named after the owner who was some sort of naturist., ..............Dave
  11. dmr

    Cost per kw/h

    Read this: https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Datasheet-Lead-carbon-battery-EN.pdf I sort of trust Victron. I note that their cycles vs DoD figures are just about identical to a standard Trojan, and they are not exactly boating about the sulphation performance either. .............Dave
  12. dmr

    Cost per kw/h

    The Leoch Lead Carbon is an AGM. I don't know much about these, so how much of the improved performance is from the carbon and how much from the AGM? The link from WotEver is to sealed batteries of some sort. So in both cases if we do get sulphation how do we fix it if we can't equalise? And I keep seeing mention of thin plates which sort of goes against everything we believe in. Hopefully mtb is going to be the forum ginny piggy ..........Dave
  13. dmr

    JD3 oil pressure

    Its about 45 when cold. When hot its speed dependent and can be as low as 15 to 20 at idle (450 rpm). A good 15:40 is correct but I would avoid cheep stuff, this is a proper heavy duty engine with some hefty moving parts and deserves a good oil. It likes the modern oils rather than API CC stuff, but Morris advised me to avoid some very high additive oils. It does take a while for the oil pressure to get up and the engine sounds unhappy before the pressure is up. This is probably a bigger issue than John Deere anticipated due to the slow tickover speed. Malpas online do an equivalent filter with an anti-drain back valve that fixes this problem nicely, but you will need to think carefully about what this does to the dipstick reading. ...............Dave
  14. dmr

    Cost per kw/h

    Have just wasted a bit more time on the www learning about these things. They do look pretty good and are based on good scientific thinking. Disadvantage appears to be a bigger voltage reduction as they discharge. Not many people making them yet so maybe prices will fall when there is a bit more competition. I suspect the specs might be a bit over optimistic, but for anybody thinking of lithiums I would suggest to wait a year and see how these lead carbons evolve. ................Dave
  15. dmr

    Cost per kw/h

    Victron/Battery Megastore (on eBay) say this: Item description Victron Energy. 106Ah C20 (10,8V). Tests have shown that our lead-carbon batteries do withstand at least five hundred 100% DoD cycles. (Several manufacturers of lead-carbon batteries claim a cycle life of up to two thousand 90% DoD cycles. ). .............Dave
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