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Tom and Bex

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About Tom and Bex

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    Emergency Care Assistant
  • Boat Name
    Diesel & Dust
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  1. A lot of good information there and anyone considering a lithium install would do well to read and make sure they understand all the points @Dr Bob is making. Particularly the point that the emergency disconnect is just that - for emergency use. If it activates at any time then something in your system has already failed and needs urgent further investigation. I'd also just like to point out that in addition to MP we also control charging based on voltage and tail current when alternator charging, although our solar charging is purely voltage based and therefore set more conservatively. The Nordkyn site is certainly a good source of information about system design, and we did copy several aspects of our system from there. The advantage of separate charge and load disconnect is the batteries will still charge back up (on solar if away). That way they'll not sit at very low soc (with the parasitic monitoring current drawing them lower) if they're allowed to get too low such as if we're away and left stuff on, or don't hear and/or react to any of the low SOC/voltage/cell voltage alarms!
  2. Not really. That's the bit that wears first as you push the bow out and motor away from the bank, pushing that corner (start of swim) into the shallow water. Hire co said it's very very common on their Llangollen based boats for just that small section to wear and need work, sometimes after just 3 years or so.
  3. Our 2006 ex-hire boat will be needing shore plates in the not too distant future. Was advised by surveyor when we bought it 3 years ago to keep an eye on it as wear edge was getting close to the weld bead - still nearly 10mm to go though so think surveyor was being overly pessimistic! When speaking to hire co about it, they said not unusual to have to shoe their Llangollen based boats twice during their 10 years on the hire fleet!
  4. I think that's just standard ambulance speak. Still regarded as a patient even if no treatment given, and even if no 'patient' is found when we arrive on scene. Condolences to his family and friends.
  5. As has been touched on above, a survey is only required for fully comprehensive insurance - 3rd party insurance which is all that's needed to get a CRT licence does NOT require a survey. Depends on your view of risk, but I consider the risk of fire and sinking on our boat acceptably low not to bother with fully comprehensive insurance, and I'm happy that the condition and maintenance of our boat is sufficient to reduce that risk to an absolute minimum. Out of the 1000's of boats on the waterways, it's only a tiny tiny number that come to any harm. And yes, losing our boat would mean losing our home, and no we can't afford to do that, but I consider the risk to be so small that it's a risk I'm prepared to take. Good luck with your project. Boats don't generally make financial sense anyway, particularly project boats, but the satisfaction of rescuing one is worth the effort in my view.
  6. We need to know a finish point so I can plan how to get to work at Moreton in Marsh on Monday and Tuesday. I'd be surprised if the dates were to change, it's always on the late spring bank holiday weekend. I think it more likely to get cancelled than have a change of dates.
  7. I was wondering thre same. Been very quiet on this subject this year. I have the actual challenge dates off work, but currently working on the Monday so will need to try and swap some shifts, or find a mooring for a few days with parking.
  8. I understand the maths, but the OP just stated gates, and your post suggested a pair of mitre gates counted as 1 gate. I haven't bothered to read any CRT report or press release so can't comment on what they do or don't say.
  9. We needed something that could take external antennas and was good at picking up weak 4g! We have an expensive external aerial 10ft up in the air and just about struggle to pick up 0-1 bar of 4g signal on ee. On a (very!) good day we get up to 1.2mbps download, and 0.3mbps upload😥 Our previous mifi work worked well at our last mooring, but got nothing here, even with the external aerial. Our current router also has the option to plug handset in and make voice calls over standard mobile network which we make good use of considering the complete lack of mobile coverage here!
  10. We're not obsessed with 80%. I consider we have fairly robust protection, and just charge as and when. On our recent 10 days cruise, we switched our alternator controller off every other day, so ended up charging to 100% every 2 days or so. From what I've read, charging to 100% is ok, so long as it's not held there which on a boat in constant use it won't be. Our charging is set to 14.0v, but batteries seem to not get there until over 80% so not seen the need to go any higher anyway. I wish we had a base load as low as that! Ours seems to be about 1-1.2A, and that's without the back boiler pump that draws about that on its own! And that base load does not include our monitoring and protection (BMV, BMM8v2, ISDT BC-8S, battery balancer, motorised switch, and bi-stable relay driver), all of which are connected prior to the shunt, but I suspect (hope!) are quite low. We find our BMV gives fairly accurate soc even after 3 months. Last time when I watched it approach 100% after 3 months of not being near, the BMV reached 100% and I estimate the batteries took another 20-25Ah, so well within 10%. I did have to slightly tweak the settings the first couple times to get that though, but still worth it for reliable, easy to understand soc. Mostly I don't really get hung up on what the batteries are doing, and just charge for 2-3 hrs every 2 days in winter. Not had any recent alarms so must be doing something right! The soc % on the isdt facing me as I go into the bedroom is a good general guide, if it's down in the 30's I know I need to charge soon, if in the 70's the batteries are fairly well charged! That's about all I need to know!
  11. We've got a Huawei router which we've done just that on. Usually takes a fairly standard size 12v plug on the power lead anyway, most of our 12v stuff uses the same size so no problem finding a lead to charge stuff, plug router in etc. All our 12v stuff runs direct from the batteries (via appropriate fuse) including router, blue ray DVD player etc. No problems so far in 10+ years, 2 boats and an array of different charging solutions and voltages. Have been known to look at back of stuff in currys etc to see what input voltage is, as usually only info available from manufacturer website is 230v adaptor. We' even tend to try any appliance with a fixed input voltage in the 9-15v irange direct fron the boats 12v supply. So far only issue was our tv (15v input) switching off when (old lead acid) batteries were getting low, and high power use such as macerater toilet was used. Probably could afford to replace the odd item with amount saved not buying 12v to 12v adaptors! As to cheap 12v led lbulbs though.....
  12. If this is correct and CRT count a set of mitre gates as one 'gate', then taking the figures fron the op I make it an average of 26.8 years which sounds about right. Makes sense as you wouldn't plan to replace a single gate on a pair of mitre gates, surely they'd always be replaced as a pair?
  13. Apologies about this long post, but just catching up and wanted to reply to a few points. Didn't realise when I started this post it would end up so long though! My Arduino based alternator controller handles thiis by operating in float if battery temp is 0c or below. Battery remains connected to boat loads, and alternator. In float mode, alternator supplies loads, but aims to keep amps in/out battery as close to 0A as possible. It does this by taking info from existing shunt. Just to clarify, I don't have a LA in parallel. Alternator controller and other charge sources are set so overcharge should not occur. High voltage disconnect is purely a last ditch safety system and has so far never activated. Wouldn't say it's overly complicated though. I haven't provided any protection to charge sources if disconnected due to HV event, but consider a fault would have already occurred by that point. Only difference really is my use of alternator controller to solve alternator charging problems Having read your later posts as well, I think you should just connect then up in parallel to your existing LA bank, set your max charge voltage to 13.9 (or 13.8 if you want ti be conservative) and just start using them and benefiting from your investment If you used an automatic switch such as motorised BEP switch already discussed, or even a simple relay, you could use the above device to set an over voltage protection of 13.9, and under voltage protection of 12.2. Then just use and forget about them. With the low charge currents you talk about you'd be extremely unlikely to overcharge them just charging to 13.9v and terminating at that voltage (which the over voltage protection would do if your charge sources didn't). You can over think these things sometimes (I know I did when installing mine!). Surely the ability to charge at high rates is one of the big advantages of Li over LA? Seems a shame not to be able to benefit fron thiis. The simple BMS @Dr Bob and I use (BMM8v2) activates low voltage disconnect at (from memory) 2.5v, and completely shuts itself down at 2.0v preventing any parasitic drain on completely flat battery. That's why we decided just to leave it permanently connected and let it do its own thing. If well balanced to start with, it really doesn't take very much to keep them balanced. Ours had drifted a bit after 3 months, but we often charged to 100%, and it's only in the top knee as you get above 95% that it really stays to show. We often charge our 320Ah bank at around 80-100A which is also higher than others here. Good to see it shouldn't be too difficult to modify. I thought most alternators could probably be modified without too much difficulty, our A127 certainly was (although we've already had to replace it due to burnt out rotor!). But surely comparing cell voltages at end of charge is all you need? As long as all cells reach the knee as closely as possible at your charging currents what more is needed? We probably charge at higher currents than others here, and haven't noticed any difference in which cell reaches the knee first whether charging at 90A via alternator, or 10-15A via solar (in summer!). I think the balancing is overplayed. If balancing every charge, it really should only be a very small amount so even with fast charge, time shouldn't be a problem. Our alternator controller had option of output to warning light, but I preferred to keep it as visual indication of excitation and controller actually working as it should. Have therefore kept ours wired to D+ (and one side of the brushes), with the reg connected to the other brush. Completely agree. On our 320Ah 20% just seemed to much capacity to waste. Having said that, we rarely seem to get above 70% at the moment, but that's through choice, at least we have the option to use the full amount. I'm also of the opinion charging to 100% doesn't do much harm, it's storing them at that long term that doesn't do them any good. Ours were up around 100% quite often in summer. As in my reply to Nick above, from reading around its time keept at 100% that does the long term damage vs charging to 100% as such. Agree you will get better life by only charging to 80%, but by how much? Even regular charging to 100% they should last many years. I tend to agree that cells seem to drift slightly quicker if pushed to 100% though, but that's not based on any actual evidence. Our alternator controller has CANbus interface for voltage, current, and SOC, but not having any CANbus devices no idea what information it would use or how it decides what data is relevant! Tom
  14. I wish we had a fuel boat operating in our area?
  15. Thanks for replies. Had to get one fron Cambrian house, Birmingham in the end! CRT customer service were useless, and just said they're aware of a backlog of cards and couldn't even give list of stockists. We do have a porta potty but prefer not to use it for various reasons. Thought we'd been organised by ordering cards in advance, and shop has always had them in when we've been there as well. We have used Copt Heath before when Lapworth is broken, but their pricing and the 5-6hr round trip puts us off, particularly in this weather. Anyway, all sorted now! And we're won't need to think about emptying our tanks for another 6 weeks or so..... Unfortunately it's just offices and they don't do pump out cards. That's what we were told when phoning them anyway! I believe 2 x 400L! Ex Black Prince boat. Only way we can do it at Lapworth is have an extension pipe screwed into offside fitting so we can quickly swap between tanks. Pumpout hose at Lapworth won't reach to far side otherwise. Only just enough time on one card, but certainly saves money! Best value is Hawne Basin though - £8 for both tanks, and thorough rinsing.
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