A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over- complexity

My videos are on these two youtube channels visionontv 3,832,876 views and undercurrents 22,689,976 views

 

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Entries with tag 12v battery .

A simple guide on how to use boat batteries

The only time you can get a “true’ish” reading is after they have been sitting without charge in or out for a few hours. The rest of the time it's a “ruleofthumb” reading, you need to get used to this.

Don't go lower than 12.2v if you want your battery’s to last any time and 12.4v would be sensible cut off point to extend their life.

If you have limited power generation you need to run your battery's on full rather than empty. Otherwise your paying out big time in a year or less. It's normal that everyone wrecks their first set of batteries. Learn from this for the next set, this is a first step for new boaters.

You're living on a boat not a house, you can't just turn the lights on without thinking about all the above. The sooner you get used to this the sooner you can let it drift to the back of your mind.

Happy boating, my your lights shine bright and your laptop be fully charged.

Ps. Ignore anything beyond this as it’s likely to do more harm than good. Pss. Does not apply to geeks.

More info http://hamishcampbell.com/en/home/-/blogs/basic-boat-12v-electrics

Basic boat 12v electrics

Basic boat 12v electrics

I see so many people with battery issues thought I would do a basic post.

Battery state is a bit of witchcraft, you can get an idea of charge by using a volt meter after leaving the battery’s for more than 3 hours with out use.

State of Charge (v)
100% 12.7
90% 12.5
80% 12.42
70% 12.32
60% 12.20
50% 12.06
40% 11.9
30% 11.75
20% 11.58
10% 11.31
0 10.5

While the battery’s are on charge or after use you will not get a valid idea.

Try not to take your battery’s lower than 12.00v If your battery’s are low recharge them as soon as possible, the longer you leave them flat the more long term life you lose.

Solar panels will help for long term battery health, give the battery’s a rest for a day to come to full charge every few weeks to care for them.

How to use a volt meter

Every boater needs a volt meter to hand. You don’t need an expensive one though spending a bit more will likely get you more robustness. http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/digital-voltmeter

Read the instructions of your volt meter.

To use turn the dial to 20v DC then put the red probe (pin/stick) onto the plus and the black probe onto the negative terminals of the battery. You can scrape the terminals if they are dirty to get a good connection. This should give you a volt reading in the range of 10-15v see my last post for what this tells you.

*** Be careful of placing any metal objects that could connect the + and – on the battery or wires as this could course a fire and will spark alarmingly ***

To get to know your battery’s you should do this often at different times of day for a while, if you care for your battery’s they will care for you.

Solar speck - Broad Beam canal boat

Was asked to speck out basic solar for this boat. They don’t use a lot of electricity so a small set-up would help keep there battery’s topped up and healthy and they could add more latter if needed.  

As it has so much free roof space might as well go for framed panels as they are cheaper. Would need to check the panel size and space around the mushroom vents and find a way to get the cable into the boat to the battery box.

Depending on the cable run, for a short run to the battery’s I would recommend this basic simple 12v set

http://www.bimblesolar.com/offgrid/12v/12v-165w-20amppt

For longer cable runs this one might be better.

http://www.bimblesolar.com/offgrid/24v/24v-165w-10amppt

The advantage of 24v is less voltage drop from long cables the disadvantage is complexity, you are mixing 12v and 24v so could be messy if fixing things with out experience.

You would need to make some custom cables and connectors and secure the run from the panel to the battery box. http://www.bimblesolar.com/extras/6mmcable this cable will allow you to add more panels with out re-wiring.

 

10 days at Balcombe Protection Camp

Photo: Katherine Stanley

(DRAFT)

My experience at the camp was over all positive, and came away feeling that fracking is a completely winnable campaign.

I went to the camp to spend a week making media about the people, issues and organising of the #fracking protest camp. In stead of this media/video making, which am very good at I spent 10 days living on the camp trying to sought out many core issues.

* the dysfunctional camp meetings

* the draining camp fractions/dynamics/power struggles

* the tech tent

I will start with the tech tent, when i arrived the camp had no working solar power and all battery were charged (by grid electricity - fossil fuel) offside and driven in by car each day. No care was taken for the effective life of the battery’s so they were disintegrating rapidly by being excessively discharged each day. With 12v battery’s it is much more efficient (and safer) to run the camp on native 12v then use fragile/inefficient and potently dangerous 240v inverters as was happening.

The tech space was being ripped apart and trashed (by persons unknown) every night, leading to the problem that nothing permanent could be built or sustained, this lead to all the competent people leaving this core space. Each day new equipment would arrive and by the next day it would be broken, the solution was to then order more new equipment, the tech spending was spiralling out of control.

When equipment was ordered it was always the wrong type because of the politics/opacity of shopping - this was very damaging as it lead to more equipment failer and the strong possibility of electrical fire. This repeating power politics and unspoken agenda’s was the root of many issues.

I spent much of my 10 days on this problem, and by the end of the time we were charging all legal/camp/media/visiter phones on 12v solar power and had finally ordered the equipment to run the wider camp on solar power.

This was on order when I left:

Core permanent power for the tech tent

100w 12v x2 semi-flexible solar panels permanently affixt to the roof of the south facing tent

water/shock profer controller x2

strong water prof connectors

heavy duty cabling

Then we had politics - Experimental event charging (this was a political choice rather than technical)

1x250w 24v glass facing solar panel 

Voltage regulating Controllers to bring this huge 24v panel (20KG metal and glass) down to the 12v needed

This experiment system saves around 50 in cost but is a HUGE problem as its heavey and frigile if it is mixed up with our 12v set-up as this will lead to equipment failer and possibly fires.

The camp is in a permanent state of chaos with out some one in the space to mediate this chaos, and at time the will not be, then this experimental system has to be (at a minimum) installed/looked after in a physically separate space to the core stable power set-up.

Is saveing a small amount of money worth adding to this chaos?

Because of camp politics this essential equipment was not ordered.

GOOD CAR “cigarette lighter” connector banks x2 (branded)

6x double 5v USB car adapters (branded)

3x laptop 12v power supply’s with tips (branded)

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