Saturday 17 November 2012

A Little Update

So what have I been up to in the last month?

Well during the half term holidays we took our selves off to Cambridge and stayed a few days on Midsummer Common.  While there we met up with fellow bloggers Brian & Diana of Harnser.  Not being backward in coming forward and know their plans to visit "The Backs" I blagged a ride for me and Deb.  This is a very rare treat as the lock Jesus Lock is closed to access for much of the year, and our boat is too big to get through.

I did a little time lapse of the trip.

Again this is a first cut of the video and when I learn how to drive the video software I will enhance it a bit more.  This is Harnser's blog of the trip.

On the boat I have been fiddling with stuff.  I had been suffering with charging problems when using the generator.  The problem was that I was only able to get 70 of 120 amps of charging because I had to have the Weak AC tab set which seems to limit the maximum charge to about 2/3rds of maximum.

A bit of trawling on the forums came up with the suggestion that the voltage was the problem causing the Weak AC and if you look you can see the voltage is down to 216v on charge load.  A bit more reading and I discovered I could alter the voltage output of the generator using a tiny trimmer on the AVR.  So armed with jewellers screwdriver and the Victron software on the PC I turned the trimmer a fraction I do mean a tiny little amount and whoosh it went up to 270v.  Eventually I managed to tame it to 235v which was not easy on a running vibrating generator.

The result of the over voltage was:-
1 fried Sky satellite box
1 fried DAB radio
2 fried switch mode power supplies for phone charging

Note to self.  Unplug everything not needed when messing with voltage regulation!

Ho Hum!  The good news is the charger can now be run with the Weak AC de-selected and I now get a full 120amps of charge reducing of course as the battery voltage comes up.  When I have paid for the damaged items to be replaced I will be saving money on diesel and wear and tear on the generator as it now does in 4 hours what it previously took 12+.

I'm now in the process of installing some Cat5e cabling for some future CCTV ideas.  As regular readers might realise I have a habit for gadgets and CCTV and video streaming and time lapse, in fact anything.  The Cat5e will assist in developing this interest / project.

In the meantime I'm messing with live video streaming on this server.   Vaughn is a live streaming video community but the plan is to stream direct from the boat without using a 3rd party server.

Other things I meant to blog about but didn't.

A bug zapper.  I have to admit I bought it not expecting much.  IT'S BRILLIANT! this zaps flying and landed bugs, of which we get a lot of on the river in the summer.  Not only is it entertaining, it saves having the pollute the boat with nasty smelling bug spray.  On that, there is no way the moderen stuff  as good as it used to be.  Whatever did the job in the can before has been removed from the formula.  I suppose some more bloody EEC directives are to blame.

To save arguments as to who will get to play Zap The Bug I will buy another one next year so we have one each.

The other one is this.

In the shot you can see the light emitted which is pretty impressive and in the lens reflection you can see the LED's that make up the light. (Talented photography?)

It's a solar charged and only switches on when its dark and detects motion. Linky  I'm very pleased with it.

Sometimes you buy these things on a whim and they really exceed expectations.