Sue from No Problem got in touch yesterday to explain their no-show on Thursday afternoon. Then we caught up on a walk over to Fleckney.
They’ve chosen to go hi-tech, with AGM batteries (Absorbed Glass Mat) instead of the more conventional lead/acid. These, although dearer, are reckoned to be more rugged and durable.
We’d noticed, over the last few days, a marked drop-off in performance from our batteries. I check the electrolyte levels every couple of weeks, and hadn’t noticed any problems, but evaporation of the electrolyte is only one symptom of a failing battery. Recently we’d found that occasionaly the heating would come on first thing, then shut down due to low voltage after 15 minutes or so. And the fridge would be off in the morning as well.
So today I decided to investigate a bit deeper. The levels were all fine in the cells, and with all 4 batteries connected up were delivering 11.6 volts. Isolating each battery in turn showed #1 at 10.2v, 2 and 3 at 12.0, and 4 at 11.3. So we’ve got one that’s definitely knackered, and another that’s suspect.
The industry recommends that all batteries in a bank are changed at the same time. Now I believe that if you can demonstrate that you still have viable ones, why change them. (Thinking green, as well as economical!)
# 1 and 4 disconnected.
Further checks overnight and in the morning should confirm my feeling that 2 and 3 are OK, so I’ll only replace 1 and 4.
In Sue and Vic’s case, they need to swap the lot as you can’t mix lead acid and AGM in the same bank.
Walking around the area I’ve taken numerous photos, but am often disappointed that I can’t show more of the landscape in one picture. I have both Google’s Picassa 3, and Serif’s Photoplus 9 installed on my laptop, but neither of them have the capability to “stitch” several photos together to produce a panorama.
So I had a mooch about on the old interweb, and came across Autostitch. At only 1Mb to download the demo version, it was get-able, even on my appallingly slow connection.
I’m very pleased with the preliminary results, this is 3 pictures I took yesterday from near Saddington looking south.
The application is clever enough to stitch the frames together using common features automatically, and also adjusts the brightness to compensate for any variations.
Look out for more panoramic shots in the future….