Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The mystery deepens

Returning from a rough day at work when I spent most of the day feeling ill, I found that the postman had delivered my new wiper switch and the wires I had ordered. Feeling like the living dead, I went to the bus and tested my wiper wiring with a spare battery. Interestingly, the wiper motor functioned. I pulled the old switch out and replaced it with the new switch - or so I thought!

Dashing outside, I turned the bus batteries on and dashed back to the drivers seat to find the switch didn't make anything happen. I moved the common wire further along the row of live contacts behind the switchboard. The wiper sprung into life. It seems one pair of contacts behind the panel is dead. Heaven knows why. 

Eagerly I fastened the new switch into place whereupon to my astonishment it disintegrated in my hands. It was then I realized I'd been trying to put the old switch back in place. I told you I'd had a rough day! Anyway, switching them back, I copied the wiring connections from the other switch and everything worked as it should with high, low and park.

Having done that, I went to my charge controller to look at the readings for my $20 eBay 10AH SLA battery. It read 12.7v. The little warning triangle was showing, indicating something is amiss. Having seen the results from the 5AH battery which have been excellent (I bought that in Radio Shack) and the questionable results from my generic (but costly) eBay battery, I'm inclined toward not buying more batteries on eBay. Like as not, it was a used battery sold as new. 

I cannot recall the source of my two 7ah batteries that don't seem from furst glance to be very good. I couldn't find them in my eBay history. I doubt they were Radio Shack because they're not branded as such. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I think I bought batteries that had already gone bad or didn't survive the journey home.

That all levaves me with a nasty taste in my mouth; rather akin to the current British situation where people voted for Brexit believing the stories they'd been told who then found out that Brexit would give its instigators unlimited wealth and power while returning the rest of the country to a level of poverty not seen since the Black Death.

So, where to now? I'm rather inclined toward getting a timer controller to give the fan brief bursts of 10 minutes running every hour during daytime with a thermostat so it doesn't come on in cold weather unless specially initiated. I'm also inclined toward picking up Harbor Freights 35AH battery even if it doesn't really fit my steel ammunition box. 

The wire arrived for the bits of wiring I want to do. Now I can start wiring up my CPU fan air circulation system. As for the door lock, there's no immediate plan to wire that into my battery. That's a more long term plan. 

Latest developments also mean a change of plan. I'd been going to put individual USB sockets and voltmeters for each battery in my battery array. Now those I've ordered are no longer suitable. That's about $25 down the drain so thank heavens I ordered cheap stuff from China. 

If I hadn't had so many wrong turns to investigate, I'd have completed my bus project a year ago. Still, I'm not one to follow the crowd. As they say... somebody that follows the crowd goes no further than the crowd. Somebody that follows their own path will find themselves in places nobody else has seen. 

My weekend task, having fixed the wiper will be solely to sort out the 12v house battery system. It will have input from both solar panels plus input from a potential external power supply. After that it's a case of continuing the tidying with a potential excursion to working on a wind turbine using the cheap and rather suspect Chinese generator I bought.
I'll say right now I think that generator is worthless junk. Still, it's worth a try. If I can put a six inch bar across the spindle then I can attach rotor arms and blades which are easy to fabricate. I have a feeling fir the low normal winds nothing I add will make it generate much power. That feeling is why I've not bothered so far and still might not.

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