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Everything posted by dmr

  1. 1200Ah is over the top and a luxury but it might be nice to fill the battery box up ๐Ÿ˜€. There are two cases (that I can think off) when a big bank would be good. One is an engine failure, it would be good to have a few days in reserve to get time to go and buy a little generator, or get one delivered etc. We did have an injection pump failure a few years ago and were very lucky that mtb was nearby and lent us a genny pretty quickly, but can't bank on that. The second case is the real heatwave spells that are going to get more common. A drawback of a proper engine room is that it makes the boat much too hot in summer. We don't have enough solar to live on so the option of going several days without an engine run would be good. Charging should not be an issue as usually the bank would be moderately full so just need topping up. Doing a propoer lithium install is a big project so the cost of an extra few hundred amp-hours is probably not a big deal. Had a bit of a diversion today. While doing our first run with the Zeus yesterday the TravelPower died (burning smell from the black box but turned it off before the smoke came out) so this morning was spent getting it out and having a look inside. I can maybe fix it but think its better to drive the whole lot down to that Mr Cox tomorrow, the generator is just about due a new set of bearings anyway. It's tempting to think that this somehow relates to the Zeus but Im convinced it's not, unless one believes that machines have feelings and the arrival of newer technology upset it. Cheeesegas was not too impressed by the electrolytics in Zeus so here is what the TravelPower does, a set of joined together plastic plugs between the capacitors and a cable tie round the whole lot. (i've pulled the plugs out a liitle to get the photo).
  2. Haven't been on a bus for years....except for a quick trip from Stourport to Bewdley in the summer, the bus driver was having a bad day and scared the life out of me, its safer to travel by boat. Its very tempting just to buy a 500+ Ah lithium with CANbus and drop it into the batterey box but it does not use the space well....though the wasted space could take some 56lb weights to restore the trim. However if I made my own system from EVE cells or similar (plus BMS) I could just about squash in 1200Ah ๐Ÿ˜€and configure it as two batteries to get some redundancy. I am thinking about this, its not urgent, but if I do go the DIY route will be seeking advice from you.
  3. I have resisted bus systems and other technology on the boat, its too close to been back at work, and as off grid liveaboards I don't want to be too dependant on high tech electronics though its hard to avoid. Some low tech redundancy is also good. I would be tempted by a RPi system but finding the time is difficult. Cost saving is not everything and DIY is good, its nice to get to really inderstand things and making them is a good way to do this. Anyway the Zeus is the first step in the bus direction.. I have some Victron stuff but the solar controller predates some of the more advanced features, and I will be getting the new DC-DC charger when it becomes available.
  4. No, we are a low tech sort of boat so no bus systems, though am likely to be going that way before too long. Currently have Trojans but plan is to get some sort of lithiums that can talk to the Zeus on CANbus. Another option is to use the Victron BMV or the Zeus amp-hour counter to control "allow to charge" but I think CANbus is the way to go.
  5. Was some of the Peaky Blinders also shot in Liverpool near the docks? there is an old industrial bit just off the canal that I thought I recognised in some of the Peaky Blinders episodes?
  6. ???? The Peaky Blinders did that and that was in Birmingham?
  7. We found a couple of spaces up the basin, no "reserved for boat name" signs so maybe empty or maybe the residents had gone boating. Its mucky water up there now and silted. We took the nearest spot, didn't fancy going in too far. A hire boat went to the end and got very grounded, we used to turn up there easily. It still feels reasonably safe there. The right hand side in the photo was a bit laddish/druggy and looked to be colonised by crusty boats. We also passed a "boater community" on the offside near Dunham so maybe Peel are losing control just like CRT. We had a walk over to the Castlefield visitor mooring (is this the hairpin?) and they were full of what looked like long term moorers and it was not where I would choose to spend a night. I suggest that hoping to find a spot in the basin just up from the Wharf pub is still the best option. We've had some really good visits to Castlefield and it is so sad to see it going downhill.
  8. Can't remember and we did not venture in very far but from the photos I think it was possibly near the bakery and I did go there, very good bread at "almost London" prices just like the beer ๐Ÿ˜€
  9. The Zeus is up and running and charging my batteries right now with a limited field duty cycle to keep the alternator cool. I have not yet installed the alternator shunt or alternator thermistor and there are in-line fuses dangling on flying leads, but my Amazon fuse boxes have just arrived so will tidy up tomorrow. I am struggling a bit with the app but as my backgound is PC engineering software I find all mobile phone GUI's very non intuitive and frustrating. It does look good and comprehensive and can even do a top off charge on Lead Acids, so the Trojans can be really happy for the last bit of their lives till I go lithium. A firmware update was painless. Much more detail another day.
  10. The last couple of visits there has been an empty "for sale" boat right outside the bar and a couple of other boats looked unoccupied, we have breasted up and this is partly why I don't want to pay ยฃ25 .... for a breasted and not fully secure mooring. Note that the Rochdale and Peak Forest routes are both currently closed though the Rochdale might be open before too long with a bit of luck. Dunno how the HNC is doing.
  11. New Islington only really work if you plan to go up the Rochdale as its two (wide) locks up from the top of the Rochdale 9/Ashton canal. If the plan is an overnight stay while transiting the Bridgewater then all of the moorings mentioned here (except Castlefield itself) involve doing the Rochdale 9 which is not a trivial thing. As I've said before, we use New Islington as a stop before going up the Rochdale so arrive in the afternoon, head for the bar, and leave New Islington just before first light. This avoids paying the mooring fee. The beer comes to much more than ยฃ25 but is a better investment.
  12. New Islington is good, most of the moorings are not secure but it feels safe due to the huge number of trendy yoing professional walking up and down. I've heard that its ยฃ20 or ยฃ25 per night but half suspect that this is an enterprising local who cons boaters into handing over some cash. ๐Ÿ˜€ The bar on the corner does good beer but at "almost London" prices. Sadly the Castlefield area gets seedier and seedier everytime we visit, a real missed opportunity to make a little version of Gas St Basin.
  13. The installation is taking a bit of effort, retro fitting/upgrading into a limited space is difficult. The captive thermistor connector is a pain as it won't feed through the existing cable hole, so had to empty out the cupboard/wardrobe and drill a new hole in the bulkhead, then thought I would tidy up some other wires. Need to get a couple of fuse boxes from Amazon/eBay but can maybe get an improvised install working tomoro. Will then report back on how it goes. The LED would have been better on the top rather than the bottom. The alternator harness was just a couple of inches too short, a longer harness would not add much at all to their manufacturing costs. I would like a lot more detail and background in the documentation? are feature ins and "allow to charge" active lo or active hi etc. can the "allow to charge" be shared with other things like victron?
  14. Yes, a beer sounds like a good idea. The arguments here are just going to get useful threads shut down. There are a couple of posters on this forum who have a "reputation" and I have met them in real life and found them to be good people. There are also one or two here who I hope I never meet.
  15. The boat next door has just got himself a full re-gassing kit, but in our case the door seal is going and some of the plastic interior has cracked so I think a new fridge is in order, its done a good job and easily earned its keep. We have several sets of the "bare wire" style LED lights, they look pretty and are good night time safety lights. These are the ones that have a big USB plug with a button and sequential presses select various flash modes. This is a bit tedious so we just leave them on. These lights have various fade in and out modes so they must be doing a very high frequency switching to implement the dimming? and for this reason I suspect they use quite a bit less current than the simple always on LEDS. I need to confirm this.
  16. I do need to work out where those amp-hours go. The fridge is 14 years old now so pobably not the best. The router is always on, as are a few LED fairy lights but thats all only milli-amps. My laptop is on most of the time but its efficient. I suspect my wifes very old Macbook is a factor but whenever I measure it I don't find a problem. We don't use the inverter much at all, the washing machine runs of the TravelPower when the engine runs. I've only had the ability to count amp-hours for a few weeks so have not done a really good study yet.
  17. We use just over 100Amp-hour each day, I just don't know where it all goes ๐Ÿ˜€. Solar is not the answer for us, already too much boaty infrastructure on the roof and we spend winters in the Calder Valley where it rains every day and the sun sets at 2pm. My plan is to have at least about 600Ah of lithium and be able to charge at about 100 amps, so could easily go three days between engine runs. This is an "hour per day" approach, I want to generate a days worth of electricity in an hour of engine running. Currently have 720Ah of Trojans and when they are due for replacement it will be lithiums. The Zeus is expensive but its key to doing a proper lithium system.
  18. The end of the Adverc, it has worked well for our 15 years of owning this boat, but things move on. Goliath, I like wires, they're almost as much fun as beer ๐Ÿ˜€. Now that we don't move quite as much as we used to its more difficult to keep the batteries in good condition, so I think Lithium is on the horizon. I don't like the "drop in hybrid" approach so I hope that this is the way to go.
  19. A "friend of a friend" never went to the pub because it was much cheaper to stay at home and drink his homebrew (all by himself).
  20. A lot could be done. I think a common scheme is to simply look for significant differences between Alternator and Battery volts. Even with a huge current anything more than a volt or so (or even less) should indicate a fault. Zeus could monitor its supply and sense wires, though it probably doesn't, there should only be a very small difference. If an alternator shunt is fitted the potential for correctly handling volt drops is increased. I suspect the problem with all these things is avoiding false alarms. We've just got a new (new to us) car with all sorts of electronics including an anti-collision system. Trouble is it goes off all the time, even a big puddle upsets it, and all the beeping and flashing lights are very distracting when there is already unusual road conditions. Going off at a slight tangent, as this forum does, assuming the Zeus mico controller is the bluetooth module itself then that looks like a very interesting device, a decent micro-controller with built in Bluetooth and very low power consumption. I've done a quick www search and suspect that using it might have quite a learning curve. The development board is electrically and physically compatible with the Arduino, but the software is not.
  21. Right, I've "wired" myself into a corner here. I've finaly replaced the less than ideal alternator output wire with a nice new one, 35mm crimped and soldered ๐Ÿ˜€ . This has significantly increased the alternator output current so its now its running much too hot even with the Adverc unplugged. So I really need to push on and get the Zeus running tomorow so that I can charge at a controlled current. (or mess about with a short term long alternator wire). Here is a photo of the alternator harness. Nicely made with free cable ends for me to shorten, terminate or extend as I see fit. However the thermistor is a sealed up unit with a very long cable leading to a proper waterproof connector. This cable is much too long for me. I can probably "loose" the excess behind a wiring panel but otherwise will have to cut and join the twin cable, no great effort for people with an electronics background but might be a pain to some users. The thermistor is potted in an 8mm copper tube terminal (just like Victron do but they use 10mm?). The 8mm hole will bit most batteries but those with big 10mm Lithiums will have a problem. However its not going to fit onto the alternator very nicely. Alternators often use 10 or 12mm fixings. I can probably do some careful profiling and get it behind one of the alternator body screws but this is a potential issue. Crap photos, table is full of tools and wires so took these on the dogs sofa blanket. The Zeus has separate supplies and grounds for the alternator drive and electronics power. It does support Lead Acid as well as Lithium and many people believe that LA's need an accurate absorption voltage. Thinking about losing the positive battery sense, this is slightly related to the issue of a lithium BMS disconnect, but while that only gives a short duration inductive peak the loss of the sense could give a long duration over voltage from the alternator. I hope that the software within the Zeus is clever enough to spot this and shut down the field drive. It would be good to have a lot more technical detail about what the Zeus does, I hope this is going to be available before too long. Some American companies are a bit prone to compulsive secrecy so I hope Arco are not one of these.,
  22. I agree with you ๐Ÿ˜€ If we wanted to be really pedantic about shunt wiring we could say that the Zeus ground should go to the "loads" side of the shunt, but the sense has to go to the battery post, so the sense Will go negative wrt ground by the shunt voltage, plus any cable and connection drops.
  23. The Zeus has two power supplies, it takes the high current alternator drive from the alternator output post, and the general electronics drive from either the battery directly or via the ignition switch. It must be low current consumption as it has an option to be permanently on to drive its own amp-hour conter (though there is no obvious sign of this in the app). Arco say that even a difference of millivolts between the ground and the negative sense wire can damage the Zeus. Lots of electronics does like input signals below the negative supply but this is stiil something they should have protected against.
  24. This two wire approach is normal, Adverc do it and I think Sterling do it too. The ground wire carries any current that the Zeus uses and the cable and any connections could have a small volt drop. The sense wire measures the voltage at the battery and will have almost no current flowing so is not subject to a volt drop. Think about the separate sense connections on a shunt as an extreme case. The Arco appears to use so little current that a separate semse wire might not be essential but its still a good idea.
  25. I'm installing the Zeus now, but while I have access am doing some wiring upgrades and tidy up first. I needed to contact Arco yesterday via email. The good news is that they responded quickly. They pointed out that the battery ground and battery negative sense must go to the exact same location (identical voltage). It is Not ok to connect the ground to a busbar and the sense to the battery terminal as any voltage difference can damage the Zeus. The installation instructions are ambiguous on this and do sort of infer that its ok.
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