Friday, October 5, 2018

Getting Things Buttoned Up

4 Series 32 AGM's and the charger
After all the electrical work on the boat prior to going to Canada, in the end it didn't make a hill of beans difference in the performance of my electronics.  Almost everytime we were done fishing an area I had to turn the master switch to the jump position to get the outboard motor started.  Of course hindsight is 20/20 and admittedl I was probably too smart for my own good!  Thinking I could solve all of my problems with some rewiring and a boost circuit, along with the assumption that the AC voltage at the docks could be bad, like they were at Fisherman's Cove, I was loaded for bear!  As you might have read, I rewired the power to the console area, added a new power distribution methodology, cleaned up my boost converter, yet still it was like I did nothing.  In the boat I added a USB charging port for charging things such as cell phones, my Ipod, and other things.  It has a  built in volt meter so I can easily monitor the battery voltage at the power distribution center, and there is where my first clue appeared.  Normally battery voltage should stay above 12 volts however the voltmeter showed 11.6 and it was falling.  In about an hour it was down to 10.5, low enough to cause major problems.  I even brought a special AC voltage booster for the power at the docks but the plug in voltage at the docks was adequate to assure a good charge.  Even so after about 4 hours, I was in trouble.  Add that to the fact that power went out the night before our last day and therefore it was really a problem as the low battery from the day before didn't even have a chance to charge fully.  On top of this, I had to keep the power on to run the baitwell pumps to keep our minnows alive.  Well I made it through the trip, inconvenienced but still got back to the landing.  The discussions started centering around whether or not my main "house" battery was starting to get a weak cell as it sure acted like it.  Once home I charged everything up then removed the house battery and took it to Pete's and had him load test it.  Yep, it is weak for sure.  Well this would explain everything that was going on for the last 2 months.  So I run series 31 AGM's as they are truly maintenance free and because they are in the floor do not require any maintenance on the electrolyte. In addition, I always keep my onboard charger plugged in as it has a maintenance mode to keep the batteries healthy.  I called my dealer as these batteries are about 39 months old, they have a 36 month free replacement and I assumed a pro-rated formula after that.  NOPE, 36 months, that's it.  I explained this issue has been going on a while, I guess if I would have checked in May it would have not cost me anything.  Frankie's stated they would talk to the Interstate Battery rep and we will see what they can do.  In the mean time I needed a good battery so I bought a replacement ...... $360 ... ouch!! I trust Frankie's will do everything they can for me as they always do, but a warranty date is a warranty date.  Interesting as I put in the new battery and connected it the positive cable sparked when it touched the terminal, that's not necessarily good.  I found the source of the current draw and put a switch in to shut off certain parts of my electronics without affecting my pumps and other safety features.  All the stuff I did a month ago is still a great idea, but honestly, may have not been necessary.

Getting the pig going!
We go home on Friday night, September 21st and on the next day, our neighbor Tim had his annual pig roast.  He gets about a 230 pound whole hog and has a specially made pig roasted where he first brines the whole carcass before putting it in the smoker and pouring the smoke to it.  It takes a good 12 to 18 hours to completely cook it however it is quite delicious, especially with his own homemade barbeque sauce.  This year along with the food, he had entertainment, our old neighbor Bots and his band called Blues Driver.  They are pretty good but admittedly I really didn't know many of the songs as I am not much of a blues fan!  I still appreciate good music and they did an outstanding job for sure.  This weekend will be getting caught up around the house as we had our first freeze a week ago so everything is changing quick.  I need to replace the vacuum system on my new lawn tractor as I am not raking nothing!  The boat still needs to be put together and the lawn needs fertilizing, sprinkler system blown out, trees trimmed and the average high is only in the low 50's.  I have talked to Bill and it looks like we have a trout fishing date set for the 12th.  I am hoping to get back on the river this weekend but we'll have to see.  Last weekend was my good friend Big Dave's son's wedding in Alma.  We drove home that night and I got my first speeding ticket ever.....damn.  Oh well not much one can do about it.  I am also trying to get my new mud flaps to fit my truck, getting ready to pull the ice shack.  My 45th class reunion is on the 13, no rest for the wicked, as they say!!

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