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Posts posted by nicknorman

  1. When you say “check”, I’d agree but the thing to check is your policy document. The thing not to do is to phone or write to them and ask if it’s OK. Faced with an “unknown” question, the default answer from a risk averse organisation such as an insurance company, will always be NO regardless.

  2. 12 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

    This is why I usually suggest that you take the suspect on off and get it tested. I am sorry I got sidetracked by the Rev counter terminal delivering half-wave rectified pulses.

    I’m not sorry because it made me think about it properly! But having done so, I wouldn’t really describe the waveform as half wave rectified. That implies a sine wave with the bottom half lopped off. Whereas in fact it is more of a square waveform with the bottom part a diode-drop (say 0.8v) below 0v ie around -1v and the top half a diode-drop above battery voltage ie around 15v). Looks like this, there’s some noise presumably from the other diodes switching.



  3. 16 minutes ago, 170968 said:


    Yes I'll definitely order a new one and do as you say



    Perhaps you're right. I was just fiddling with it (testing voltage) and it started working: 14.4v at the battery, the battery/ignition light went out, and the rev counter is working. However, I turned the engine off and on a couple of times to be sure and now whilst everything else is working, the battery/ignition light is flickering and dimming, rather than going out entirely. What does this point to?


    Could be the alternator slip ring brushes. If you remove the drive belt, turn on the ignition, and rotate the alternator by hand, the warning light should be on steady. If it flickers, it means the brushes are worn out and barely touching the slip rings. If rotating the alternator doesn’t make a difference I would just try wiggling the wiring between the engine and the control panel to see if you get a reaction in the flickering. Could of course be something to do with a multi-way connector between the engine wiring and the panel, which is often found on modern engines, although I have no specific knowledge of a Nanni.

  4. We fitted some RGB led tape via a controller that limited voltage. We then fitted quite a lot more white LED tape fed direct from the battery/alternator/charger. I was a bit concerned about feeding them with 14.4v when cruising, but several years later they are still fine, possibly because the copper tape is good at conducting the heat away from the little current limiting SM resistors. Whereas some cheapo led bulbs I got for the caravan are most unhappy when the voltage goes up a bit towards 14v -  they struggle to dissipate the heat.


    So in summary, it’s likely that LED tape fed directly from the battery will be fine.

  5. 12 minutes ago, enigmatic said:


    I'm a CCer (obviously didn't make that clear enough in my original post). But then there's usually only one of me on the boat, not two people or.a family or two people and five dogs and a hobby than generates a lot of waste. Talking generalisations, theoretically those people could be charged more too. And the fake continuous cruisers who are never on their unfinished project boats apart from the fortnightly move could demand lower fees for barely using facilities!


    Whacking up CCer costs in excess of those paid by people with actual year round moorings (whilst continuing to keep the availability of moorings in most parts of the system at hen's teeth levels) who can still CC if they want to might work from a revenue raising perspective, but I don't see it as actually making things fairer, and I don't see how they can pull it off without the market prices for moorings everywhere going sky high anyway and the people who don't use the system much also being affected. Even those of us that only bought the boat to go to a different place every week can just pay for ghost moorings we never use. And yes, obviously that means enforcement would still be needed to stop people hogging a visitor mooring in a much nicer place than their paid-for mooring all year.


    A lot more available liveaboard moorings (especially in desirable areas) would be a better idea to raise revenues in a way which actually helps boaters but I think the CRT face other restrictions there...


    But the thing is, no system can perfectly cater for every individual’s specific circumstance. As a generalisation, CCers cost CRT more than permanent moorers. So despite your specific circumstances, you might just have to suck it up. Same for me, I have to pay council tax on our house, most of which goes to schools (I don’t have any children) and social services (never interacted with them). And it costs me a lot more than an CRT licence. Poor me, it is so unfair. Otherwise known as “that’s life”.

    • Greenie 3
  6. 4 minutes ago, matty40s said:

     A law must have specific parameters to be broken. A loose guidance of perhaps 20km, or 20miles(although nobody at CRT will give a definitive answer), whether that be range or distance perhaps. This may be overlooked in case of breakdown, lockdown, meltdown or paddy ashdown, not even touching on the schooling of kids or being near a hospital for treatment, is not an enforceable law.

    Wishful thinking and a little naive in my opinion. Well, of course some laws have specific parameters that can be measured, speeding and drink driving spring to mind. But many (most) laws are less precise, hence the need for trials and juries.


    The law says that if you want a licence, you either need a home mooring or

    ii)the applicant for the relevant consent satisfies the Board that the vessel to which the application relates will be used bona fide for navigation throughout the period for which the consent is valid without remaining continuously in any one place for more than 14 days or such longer period as is reasonable in the circumstances.


    So if the board (which is now CRT) is not satisfied with the above, you don’t get a licence. No licence = no boat on the cut. Seems pretty clear to me.


    Bona Fide says to me that the applicant wants the licence mainly to go boating, not to live in a spot convenient for work and school at a fraction of the cost of a land-based dwelling. Bona Fide indicates intention and honour, not “I’ve signed up to this, now how much can I wriggle and scream to get out of my obligations”.



    13 minutes ago, enigmatic said:


    Do we? More than people permanently moored in a private marina with its own facilities, certainly, but many other liveaboards with permanent moorings rely entirely on CRT facilities either at their mooring or nearby.


    They don't drink or shit less than me (I presume most couples and families manage more!) and they don't spend time on EA waters either!

    Obviously if you have a CRT permanent mooring then an element of your mooring fees goes to the use of the facilities. There are of course some private moorings that don’t have their own facilities, but then again how many of those have planning permission to be used for live aboard? Very few, I suggest. But yes that doesn’t seem to stop people from exploiting weak enforcement and permanently living aboard, dodging paying council tax and thus expecting society to subsidise their existence. Not a personal attack as I have no idea whether your mooring is a residential one or not. We are talking generalisations.

    • Greenie 3
  7. 3 minutes ago, George and Dragon said:


    As a non liveaboard with a home mooring I don't want to see genuine continuous cruisers penalised.

    “Penalised” is an emotive word. The facts of the matter are that CCers cost CRT more in terms of rubbish disposal, elsan disposal, fresh water and possibly wear and tear on the infrastructure.


    Whether you think that it’s fair that a group who costs the organisation more, should pay more, or not, is of course a matter of opinion. But currently I am struggling to think of a justification as to why they shouldn’t.


    In our marina there are a majority of boats that never, or very rarely leave it. But they all have to have a CRT licence. Money for old rope is the expression, and their licence fee is close to 100% subsidy for those who spend all their time out on the system using its facilities and resources.

    • Greenie 1
  8. 1 hour ago, Athy said:



    So, droughts, storms and heavy rain are recent inventions?

    I rather think that our canals were built to withstand such conditions.

    Hmm sarcasm is never a good argument-winner. No droughts, storms and heavy rain are not recent inventions. However droughts, storms and heavy rain are all relative terms. A drought is a period without rainfall. How long is not defined. A storm is a period of very strong winds. The maximum strength of which is not defined. Heavy rainfall is a period of prolonged heavy rain, the maximum amount of water falling out of the sky per hour and overall duration is not defined.


    So as you imply through sarcasm, these are not new concepts. However, the severity and frequency of these events is increasing due to climate change.


    The climate is a chaotic system which is why accurate weather prediction still evades us despite use of supercomputer models. Like any chaotic system, a small perturbation can have enormous repercussions.


    Unless of course one is a climate change denier, in which case I would lump you into the same group as those who vehemently believe in their imaginary friend (god) or even those who think Scottish Independence would be a good thing. Strong beliefs firmly and honestly held, that have a complete absence of any factual basis. Also known as irrationality. Humans are unfortunately very good at that. 

    • Greenie 4
  9. 17 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

    No because the return is via a main negative diode, just like the charging current for that phase, so it is half-wave rectified for the W terminal and with the positive diode in circuit for the actual output of the phase is full wave rectified.

    You’re right! I was looking at it relative to the centre of the star, but relative to the B- it is as you say.

  10. Yes the alternator regulator is just trying to maximise the output at low revs by stuffing the full battery voltage across the field/rotor. Around 4 to 5A is about right.


    A well designed regulator such as the chip I use only puts in a small field current until it sense the alternator is spinning fast enough, then it ramps up the field current. No-one said a Balmar regulatorwas well designed! American - all brute force and no finesse!


    I would strongly advise you to have all connections on one battery. Mixing between 2 batteries sounds like a really bad idea.


    Anyway, surely the Balmar has an IGN input to turn it on and off - it’s designed to be permanently connected to the battery with the IGN input telling it when to turn on. I’ll have a look at the data sheet…




    yes, you connect it permanently to the battery, and use the ignition connection to turn it on and off via a switch (very low current). Or you could use an oil pressure switch so it comes on automatically after the engine starts, avoiding the need for a manual switch (see page 4 of the manual).

  11. 41 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:


    I think it will be half-wave rectified by the relevant negative diode, as it is on 9 diode machines, so spouted a bit of duff info this morning.

    But that pic is of a 9 diode machine and the W is connected directly to one phase of the stator winding, so it must be AC.

  12. 9 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

    I don't know this for certain, but if it is a six diode machine (and I am by no means sure all Beta 43 alternators are) …


    I hesitate to say Nick might be wrong but alternator terminals are not pure AC output. They are half-wave rectified AC, so pulsing DC. He is correct that the DC voltage reading will be pretty meaningless value wise, but it usually rises a bit as the revs rise. I prefer to use the Hz scale if your meter has one, and that should rise and fall with revs.



    Beta 43 has been around for a long time so nothing is certain, but the owners manuals I’ve seen show a 6 diode starter alternator and a 9 diode domestic.


    As to the W terminal, as far as I’m aware it is just connected to one of the stator phases and as such is AC. Maybe there is an alternative way of doing it but the only way to get 1/2 wave rectified output would be for it to have a dedicated diode. Here is a random pic from the internet showing W is one phase of the stator and thus AC.




    With a 6 diode machine it’s worth bearing in mind a few things: there is an “on /off” connection normally operated by the ignition switch. It needs 12v on that to tell it to wake up and start working. The warning light circuit is just that, it doesn’t play any part in getting the alternator going as it would in a 9 diode machine. And the field current comes from the B+ terminal which initially comes from the battery before the alternator is spinning fast enough to be “self-sustaining”.

    9 hours ago, robtheplod said:

    thanks nick.. my alternator is wired directly to a battery combiner, which has two outputs, one to the starter and one to the bt battery., so it charges both.. not orthodox i know!  this would explain not seeing any 12v on the 12v post on the alternator....



    Has this ever worked properly? I would have thought there needs to be 12v on the B+ terminal to get things going. I would try connecting starter battery directly to B+ and see if that makes it work.


    Also check you are getting the “12v wake up” signal on the IGN terminal of the alternator when the ignition is turned on.

  13. The voltage on the W alternator terminal is AC, so if you try to measure it with a meter set to DC you won’t get anything meaningful. 

    Although it’s a 6 diode machine, chances are that if the warning light is extinguishing at fairly low revs, and the starter battery voltage rises ditto, that the alternator is ok and it might be the rev counter or the wiring/multiplug. Anyway, what is the AC voltage on the W terminal?


    Edit: just re-read your post, you say 0.5v on the alternator positive. Are you sure? Alternator positive is connected to starter battery positive so it will be at the same voltage. Unless eg the battery isolator switch is off or faulty. When you say 0.5v, what is that relative to?

  14. 28 minutes ago, steve.sharratt said:

    I have just swapped out my 12v alternator (to starter battery) for a 24v Alternator (to leisure batteries).  My starter battery is LA and the leisure are LiPo4.  All is working well but now I have no charging system to my starter battery.  My plan is to add a DC to DC charger and as I already have Victron components, I am looking at the Orion TR 24/12 but the wiring diagram shows it working in conjunction with the alternator.  In my case I just need a simple battery to battery connection (i.e - and + from leisure to Orion input and output to starter - and +).   Seems logical but I thought I would check.


    Note: Sometime in the future I will look at reinstalling the starter alternator (and have dual alternators) but I have a vintage engine and this will require some engineering.

    As far as I can tell, the Orion tr 24/12 is not designed to charge a battery. It is designed to produce a 12v supply to run 12v equipment from a 24v supply. As such there is no bulk/absorb/float “smart charger” functions, it just outputs a fixed voltage. Which is not really what you want.

    I think Sterling do a B2B that is a 24v to 12v charger. Or another solution, if you have an inverter, is to use a small mains 12v battery charger. It doesn’t take much out of a battery to start an engine, so it shouldn’t take long to recharge.

  15. 2 minutes ago, dmr said:

    Its the off load voltage that gives the state of charge, so its ok to see a lower loaded voltage as long as this "bounces back" to a good unloaded voltage, but then again its possible that the whole 50% thing is a huge myth and misunderstanding and then nothing goes wrong if you take the batteries below 50%. I think I'm in a minority with this thinking and even the batteries suppliers say 50%, but then thats in their interest.


    If taking mine down to 40%, or even a bit less, gets me another day without running the engine then Im ok with that.

    According to Trojan’s data sheets, the maximum total Ah extracted over the life of a T105 is obtained when they are cycled down to 40% SoC.

  16. 1 minute ago, Goliath said:

    That is my cut off point too 12.2 to 12.3      at rest. 

    The most common I’ve seen stated is 12.06 for 50% discharge but I feel uneasy about that figure. 

    so here is my simpleton question, is it ok to draw a load on the batteries if it takes them below  50%, if the batteries are know to bounce back again with no load?

    I imagine it’s ok for brief periods, as the starter battery works in that fashion. 

    so as an example domestic batteries show 12.30v at rest and then with a heavy load drop to 12.15v, Or 12.20v dropping to 12.05v. 


    Yes. It is the rested voltage that indicates the %SoC. The fact that the voltage dips below the resting voltage corresponding to 50% under load is not relevant and does not indicate that the batteries are below 50% SoC. It is the actual SoC, not the  voltage under load, that is relevant. And in any case, 50% SoC is just a rough rule of thumb, not some precise figure below which the batteries expire!

    • Greenie 2
  17. 1 hour ago, 170968 said:


    The remote port needs to be brought to 2.9V. There's another port next to it which has a positive current. They ship with a small link cable between the two. I'm not sure what voltage is at the terminal and I'm not sure where to poke my negative probe to find out! It does however say in the instructions that you can use a switch between these two to turn it on and off.

    I think it depends on which model of MPPT you have. I was thinking of the ones that used the Ve.direct port but it sounds like yours has a dedicated on-off input. I would thus simply pass the wires from the 2 ports that are currently linked, via the BMV relay contacts. (And remove the link of course). No need for a fuse. If the input is designed to work on 2.9v, don’t connect it to 12v!

    1 hour ago, 170968 said:


    There seems to be a disagreement on whether you need to fully charge/discharge the bank now and then. Do you?


    No I don’t think it’s necessary. Worst case scenario is that some capacity is lost, but that is reversed by a full discharge/charge cycle so it’s not a big deal. Haven’t noticed any such thing yet, but then we have 600Ah and generally it cycles between about 80% and 50%. I think the occasional full charge up to 100% (to synchronise the BMV) tends to wake the batteries up and delete any “memory effect”, but I can’t prove that! I aim to do that once a month.

  18. 42 minutes ago, 170968 said:


    Speaking of the red wire, do I need to put a fuse in the control cable between the Victron MPPT and the Victron BMV-712? I'd like to set it up like yours, cycling between 2 states of charge. If so, what fuse rating would it require?


    Another question I have: is it OK to cycle my batteries between quite high SOC? For instance, between 60% and 90%. I'd like to always have a large reserve pool, if it doesn't damage the batteries.

    I think the Victron MPPT remote on off has to be pulled up to battery voltage to turn on, left floating or at battery negative to turn off. In that case you need a wire from battery + to the BMV relay com, and a wire from BMV relay NC (or NO, depending on what you are trying to achieve) to the MPPT.


    Any connection to battery + needs to be fused, so it would go battery+ to fuse to BMV relay Com, with the fuse close to the battery+. The aim being to not have any length of wire that could short to hull etc that is not protected by a fuse.


    Yes 0% is 10v but I try to avoid going below 12v. There is very little Ah between 12v and 10v


    As IanD says, just stay away from the voltage knees. We do tend to store our boat in the marina at 50% SoC but that is just because we can! When out and about I tend to charge to 80% but that could just as well be 90 or 95% I think. Voltage only goes above 13.6v (3.4v/cell) after that

  19. 2 hours ago, Pete-T said:

    Following a full days cruising (approx. 6hrs) and despite minimal use of lights and other electrical equipment (no tele.) during the evening, my domestic batteries are very low the next morning to the extent that my fridge warning light is on and the Eberspacher will not start due to low voltage. I've checked the batteries with a multi meter and they are registering 12.5 volts. Are there any other power saving measures anyone can suggest (turning off the inverter for example?) to make the batteries last long enough for the Eberspacher to come on?

    Presuming you  mean the batteries are 12.5v in the morning ... and the fridge is a 12v fridge then...

    You may have a problem with the installation of the wiring for the fridge. The thing with 12v wiring is that there is only 12, or 12.5 volts to start with, and so any small loss of voltage can be significant. Voltage can be lost in the resistance of the wiring according to the equation "voltage lost = current x resistance of the wires". The thing with fridges is that when the thermostat kicks in, the compressor motor starts and there is a big surge of current such that, if the wiring is inadequate, the voltage drops below the minimum. Might only be for 1/2 second but that is enough to trip the fridge low voltage warning. Fridge wiring has to be surpsingly beefy, eg 6 or even 10 mm^2 conductor cross sectional area, to ensure small enough voltage drop in the fairly long run from batteries to fridge and back.


    So if the battery voltage really is 12.5v at the time, but the fridge is tripping on low voltage,  you are losing voltage somewhere. Most likely in the long wires but also could be a poor contact in the battery isolator switch, the fuse, the battery terminal connections etc.

    For the Eber, one should remember that the glow plug takes maybe 25amps whilst the thing is firing up, and again voltage drop in inadequate wiring or a bad connection somewhere can easily drop too much voltage. Check the voltage actually at the Eber 12v input whilst the thing is firing up, compare to the battery voltage at the same time. If there is a significant difference, that is your problem.


    Beta 43 from within the last 10 years at least, has a pretty large alternator - 175A or so. Although of course it may or may not be working properly. This is why good monitoring of the electrical system is important as electricity is invisible and the engine panel meter only shows the engine battery voltage which is completely separate. Without adequate monitoring equipment, you can have no idea what is going on!


  20. 3 minutes ago, Goliath said:

    Don’t mean to railroad this thread but I still find this all hard to do/follow. 

    It’s really difficult to get a Rested voltage living aboard and using appliances. 

    and then others too have told me if your batteries will come to rest to 12.8v then they’re already shagged. 
    And they ought to be resting at that 13.somethingv


    No, fully charged and fully rested (so as to get rid of any surface charge) they should be 12.7 to 12.8v. When you stop charging it takes quite a long time for the surface charge effect to dissipate, before that the voltage will be higher, so the best way is to discharge say 1% of capacity, then leave for 10 mins, then measure the voltage. But really, if you want to know whether your batteries are fully charged, the only way is to apply 14.4v or more and keep that until the current has subsided to 1 or 2% of capacity.

    • Greenie 1
  21. Yes you need to reach a charging voltage of at least 14.4v (14.6 if the batteries are cold) and maintain that until the current has subsided to 10A or preferably less. Which can take 8 hours or so if the batteries are in a low state of charge.

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