Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bloody electronics

Windows is the epitome of electronics... Yesterday it worked, today it didn't. Electronics are just like Microsoft's increasingly ghastly and increasingly obsolete operating system (of which I am not the world's greatest fan). Of course, I speak of my solar charge controller.
As can be seen, the panels are wired in parallel, putting power into the charge controller. The charge controller puts power into a battery and also into my two CPU fans. Those are currently roaring away at their full 12 volts. The battery came from Radio Shack in their going out of business sale.
I should have bought more wire in the Radio Shack going out of business sale but thought I'd leave it until the next week. Sadly, that turned out to be too late because by the time I returned, several weeks later, there was just tumbleweed blowing around where they had been.

Today I took a quick trip to Lowes (hiss, spit) to get myself some wire and some more metal bar to out over the upper windows of the front door. I did see other things I could use too but as it is unlikely that I will even get as far as the front door, today, I didn't get them.

The battery is a gel cell. I will probably mount that under the bus at some point just in order to avoid a battery fire, should the battery catch fire. Interestingly, my solar controller says it'll work with lithium cells as well as lead acid. That might well be a route worth trying but again, under the bus and shielded such that a fire won't cause problems.

At 5ah, there's not much power in the battery but there should be sufficient in order to operate my fans. Interestingly, the controller will cut the fans off until the battery has sufficient power to run them. There's a cut off point and a cut on point. I gather they can be adjusted manually. That sounds really promising!

I looked at the manual and found an interesting setting. If it's set to 24 hours, the fans come on when it's light and go off when it's dark. I like that. There's a time delay setting that delays fan start until so many hours have passed. The instructions are bloody appalling. Even wearing glasses I can't read the teeny text. I had to find my jeweler's loupes in order to read it all.
I'm sure you can read it easily by simply enlarging the page. For me, that wasn't so easy as I had not scanned the images into my tablet. Needless to say, having set the battery to gel cell and the time delay, I decided to leave the other settings pretty much alone. I might tinker with them at another point.

One of the interesting things about this charger is that it has a pair of USB charging ports. Those might come in useful at some point.

While working on the wiring (which was extremely simple) I used one of the snap off blade knives. I'd bought it years ago but had never used it. Under very gentle pressure while cutting the web joining a figure 8 cable, the thing just disintegrated. Fortunately I didn't cut myself but I will be sticking to craft knives in the future.
I have no idea when I bought this knife. I vaguely remember buying it because I couldn't find my craft knife. I have no idea where I bought it either though I do know it must have been at least 6 years ago.

As I suspected, I never had time to work on the security bars. I have them ready to work on tomorrow between the two halves of my split shift. I'll probably cut them to size then spray them on one side. That should pretty much take up my free time.

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