Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bad battery goof

6AM - The bad battery goof!
A couple of days ago while Camped at Son Dave's home, we plugged Mr. Sunny's solar battery bank into the 120 volt AC power. We were all very surprised to find that our batteries were NOT getting charged!

Immediately we figured that the problem was our Model #2012 Xantrex Inverter/Charger. Had the Xantrex gone bod? So, we checked the Xantrex out and it was working fine! What could be wrong?

Well, after inspecting the cable connections to the battery bank, the culprit seemed to be some stuff that I had bought about a week ago. I thought that this stuff [a thick grey liquid in a squeeze bottle] was for increasing conductivity between electrical connections. But in re-reading the product description I found that it was to "prevent" conductivity between connections. This liquid is an INSULATOR! Wow!

After removing this stuff from the cable connection to the Xantrex, everything seemed to work fine. The batteries were getting charged.

Batteries not holding a charge.
One of the first things that we check each morning, is our little TriMetric meter which is mounted on the wall panel behind the computer workstation. Lately, the TriMetric has been showing a much larger Amp Hours needed for a complete recharge.

We decided to take a specific gravity reading of the battery bank using a hydrometer that is carried onboard MsTioga. The specific gravity readings were low! Wow! We have pretty new deep cycle batteries! What could be wrong?

Well, it turns out that I must have put this grey insulating liquid on several battery cable connections! Just forgot about that. So, this morning those battery cable connections are being cleaned off.

Later on we plan to go over to Son Joe's home which is only a few blocks away from our Nite Camp. We will use his 120AC power to charge and equalize Mr. Sunny's solar battery bank!

9AM - Reader Marilyn.
Marilyn, a Reader who lives in the City of Santa Cruz has asked to meet MsTioga! Isn't it wonderful how popular is MsTioga? No wonder, since MsTioga is the most powerful, best equipped RV in the history of the World!

While talking with Marilyn, we learned that she has the same birthday as as George! November 27th! Isn't that something?
Reader Marilyn of Santa Cruz.

12 Noon - Battery equalization.
Over at Son Joe's home in Santa Cruz, Mr. Sunny plugged in his shore cable and completely charged his solar battery bank. Then he did an equalization charge for 30 minutes to balance out the specific gravity in the battery cells.

We do not believe in doing a massive equalization for several hours. That causes the batteries to cook. We cannot do a complete equalization in only 30 minutes. Many daily 30 minute equalizations are required for that.

Our solar panel charging system is capable of doing these equalizations. But not here in Northern California with the present cloudy days. So we will do equalizations daily when Sun conditions are right, and keep a close eye on battery condition.

3PM - City of Seaside.
The TiogaRV Team has decided to spend the nite in the City of Seaside, California! We have made an Afternoon Camp next to a city library. Our Hawking WiFi booster antenna looked for a free WiFi access point, and found the one in the library!

6PM - Nite Camped.
After sooooo many years of making Nite Camps, it is somewhat easy to find places where it is not likely to be bothered by local authority. Our Nite Camp is in a commercial neighborhood. Near us are body shops, auto mechanics, stuff like that.

On the stove is Pesto Tortelloni, purchased at the Trader Joe's in Santa Cruz this afternoon.