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Old 17 June 2006, 12:25   #1
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Cunning plan for battery charging

A simple idea which is probably not new nor especially clever but thought I would share it anyway as it does a useful job

The battery in my RIB is a pig of a thing to get at and even worse to get out. Took me an hour and a half last time, you can't get both hands to the battery and try undoing 2 nyloc nutted bolts you can't see (arm in the way), with only one hand.....

Emptying the bilge (and often half the boat!) after rain takes its toll on the battery over time as does faffing around with electrical things on board tilting motor up and down etc, and I wasn't happy with just using crocodile clips from a charger on to the battery, potentially having sparks six inches from the fuel tank seemed like a dumb idea

Also having a battery charger sitting out in damp conditions at this time of year wasn't a good idea, and I sure as hell wasn't sitting it on top of the fuel tank so some way needed to be found of charging it from the garage.

So I have made up something as per the photos. Basically a short permanent hard-wired connection to the battery and a closed female connector (this was a 240V 10 amp one which can only be connected one way round) which will be cable-tied securely out of the way when not in use. The male part of this connector is on 10 metres of 2.5mm2 twin core cable which runs in to the garage, and a similar connector on to the charger sitting on the bench. Another connector fitted to a short lead with a set of croc clips on the end lets me connect those to the charger for charging normal batteries in the garage.

Was a bit worried about voltage drop on a long bit of cable but no problems there I am getting over 14V at the battery even from my little old Davenset charger (probably older than I am!) so it should charge well enough. You can even sit the seat down on top if it is tipping down with rain, though I will be leaving it off when I can to allow ventilation.

Before anybody comments on it yes I know the rest of the wiring is a mess and that is on the list of things to do, blame the builder/previous owner (not sure which)!
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Old 17 June 2006, 16:37   #2
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Did you want to have the battery and fuel tank in the same compartment ? fuel vapour being heavier than air, oh and the battery master switch too. I wont' judge, just not sure its a good idea. I know its a jockey seat and room limited but if you have problems accessing the battery then a winter job might be to move the battery elsewhere in a new GRP box.

Pete
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Old 17 June 2006, 16:51   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7
Did you want to have the battery and fuel tank in the same compartment ? fuel vapour being heavier than air, oh and the battery master switch too. I wont' judge, just not sure its a good idea. I know its a jockey seat and room limited but if you have problems accessing the battery then a winter job might be to move the battery elsewhere in a new GRP box.

Pete
Not if I had been designing it from scratch but that is how it was built I guess, it didn't come direct from Humber and I don't know who actually screwed everything together, possibly even done by the original owner if it was not fully assembled when shipped down here. I'm not very happy with it either but I'm happier than I was when the fuel tank breather was p*ssing fuel everywhere, which is what it was like when I got it! There are a lot of things that need changing and the electrics ideally want ripping out and starting again from scratch which may yet happen. I am fussy about things like electrics and there are a lot of poorly secured things which aren't well protected against chafing - no signs of any problems but just not very well put together IMHO.

There isn't anywhere else to put the battery at the moment but when I get a second jockey seat to go on behind (which will be as soon as I find one that doesn't #kin cost 400!) I plan to be moving the battery and master switch in to the compartment underneath that. It was one reason why I wanted to be damn sure there were no sparks in there with any charging arrangement!
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Old 17 June 2006, 16:59   #4
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oo-er that not the normal battery placing for that consol. Usually in front end of consol thru access hatch on front face down from the windscreen.
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Old 17 June 2006, 17:33   #5
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Originally Posted by wavelength
oo-er that not the normal battery placing for that consol. Usually in front end of consol thru access hatch on front face down from the windscreen.
Got a photo by any chance Dave?

Not sure this battery would fit through the hatch on the front of the console but that may be why it is where it is - I am pretty sure it is not the original battery so this may be a bigger one. I must admit I hadn't thought of trying to squeeze it in at the front
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Old 17 June 2006, 18:43   #6
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You could solve the problem of your bilge draining your battery.

Fit a solar pannel to the top of your a-frame to power a small pump - float switch activated. It can then drain your boat whenever there is enough water to trip it ... no drain on battery, and no water sitting for long periods of time in your boat. Does not need to be a big pump as it can take all day to do its job.
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Old 17 June 2006, 19:39   #7
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You could solve the problem of your bilge draining your battery.

Fit a solar pannel to the top of your a-frame to power a small pump ....
That kind of assumes there is plenty of sun to hand . Correct me if I'm wrong Stephen but is the sun kind of a limited commodity down your way
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Old 17 June 2006, 23:02   #8
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Originally Posted by AndrewH
That kind of assumes there is plenty of sun to hand . Correct me if I'm wrong Stephen but is the sun kind of a limited commodity down your way
Actually I think sunshine hours here are probably rather more than in your neck of the woods much of the national telephone network (mountain top rebroadcasting sites) is powered by solar panels as are many many miles of electric stock fencing on farms.

Andy, I like the idea! Long term I hope to find somewhere to keep it under cover but that definitely has merit

Of course if the sodding hull had a drain bung at the lowest point of the bilge, i.e. like all boats of this type should have, then it wouldn't be a problem

WHO decided not to bother with that I wonder, when designing it?
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