Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Just a mile…

Woke up this morning to the rain bouncing off the roof, so left it a while before stirring. By half past eight Meg was getting increasingly restless, so we braved the elements on a short walk. Nasty stuff, heavy rain and a strong wind.

By 10:00 though, it had started to brighten up, and at 11:00 we cruised the short distance to moor near the Whitchurch Arm in bright sunshine.

I went off to do some local shopping, there’s a Co-op on the Wrexham Road in Chemistry that’s somewhat nearer than the shops in the town centre, just getting back as the sky darkened and we were treated to 15 minutes of heavy rain and hail.

Through the cratch boardDSC_0133
It rained fairly on and off till about 3, then it cleared giving me a chance to get a bit of wood we’d acquired sawed up. Then Meg walking, after which she needed a “bucket bath”, as the paths around here have turned into mud. The bucket bath involves a mop bucket full of canal water, with Meg’s fore and then aft legs being dunked in it to get the mud off. As you can imagine, not her favourite way to spend her time….

I’ve got a bit of shopping to do up in the town tomorrow, then we’re going around the corner to Whitchurch Marina to pick up three new leisure batteries I’ve ordered. The ones I fitted in the spring have bit the dust, only holding a quarter of their charge. They charge quickly, but discharge quickly too. Monitoring usage shows that my 440 (nominal) amp hour bank only delivers about 40 ah before the voltage dips below 12V.

This is the same symptoms I had with the previous bank I replaced it because I thought they’d lost capacity through sulphation. This can’t be the case with these, they’ve only been on 8 months!

I bought one battery in Nantwich, just to check that I’ve not got an unmonitored discharge, but that one 110ah unit quite happily runs everything overnight, which is more than the other four is now capable of doing.

I’ve got a Sterling A-to-B charge controller fitted, which takes the output from both alternators and boosts it for the domestic bank. Voltage rises to 15V on the high charge rate, and I’m wondering if this has damaged what were cheap batteries.
I’ve adjusted this down to a maximum 14.5V now. I hope this new set lasts a bit longer!

Oh, Adam, thanks for the comment. You’re right, I’d completely forgotten about the New Marton Locks! Doh! Mags is disappointed now, she was looking forward to putting her feet up till February! I‘ve not told her I‘m thinking of dropping down onto the Montgomery for a while…. 

Better day tomorrow, according to the forecast. Fingers crossed.

Locks 0, miles 1

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