Batteries and Balls . . .

I woke up to the delicious smells of Jan baking Christmas cookies, candy canes and chocolate chip, so the day was off to a good start.

And coffee and a few cookies (we did have to test-eat a few), I spent an hour on the phone going over some things with Chris Yust on her C and C RV Insurance website. And if you need RV or auto insurance, be sure and check them out. They did a great job with my windshield replacement earlier this year.

After working on a few other things, I drove into Columbus to pick up our prescriptions at Wal-Mart,, as well as a couple of other things. I stopped off at the hardware store to get a spray bottle to spray vinegar on the rig roof to help remove the drilling mud, and also three conduit rings for the case of my new transfer switch.

Cable Ring

The case just has three 1-1/4” holes for the shore power input, generator input, and power out cables, so I need something to shield and cushion the wires.

Transfer Switch 1

Transfer Switch 2

It’s amazing how much smaller these units are now than in 1999.

After I got back from Columbus, I went next door to talk to Randy about his electrical problem. I have about come to the conclusion that this problem was almost certainly caused by whoever wired up the solar system, and possibly because he ran out of wire.

Here’s a photo of the engine battery bay.

Randy's Monaco 1

The solar system output comes in from the upper left on the red wire which goes to the positive terminal on the engine battery. The black tape-wrapped bulge is an inline splice. The large red cable runs from engine battery positive terminal through the wall to the positive terminal of one of the house battery banks, thus tying the two systems together. So both battery sets are being charged by the solar output.

He then rewired the isolator system, so that rather than being between the engine batteries and the house batteries, the isolator is now between the two banks of the house batteries. But since the two house banks are connected together by another cable, the isolator does nothing.

The real mystery is why the power converter output was left unconnected. Did he think that it wasn’t needed anymore since the rig had solar? I don’t know.

Tomorrow Randy and I are going to disconnect the batteries and the shore power and try to get things rewired halfway right. We’ll see how it and the weather goes.

Later after supper, I changed over the hallway fluorescent fixture to LEDs. I can do the change out for little more than the cost of one new bulb, much less two. And the light is brighter and whiter.

LED Replacement Lights 1

2 ea Super Bright COB White Car LED Light 12v

It only took about 30 minutes, and that included taking a call from Nick Russell.

First thing I just pulled the plastic cover off the fixture, exposing the bulbs.

Hallway LED Upgrade 1

Next just remove the bulbs and discard them.

Hallway LED Upgrade 2

Then just squeeze and pull the ballast cover off, exposing the wiring.

Hallway LED Upgrade 3

Clip away all the wires except for the two black and wires coming into the fixture from one end. Cut these two off as close to their connecting points on the ballast (the circuit board), and strip the ends. I did not remove the ballast because it was riveted on and I would have had to break it to get it out. Too much trouble, and not necessary.

Hallway LED Upgrade 4

Peel off the backing on the self=adhesive strip on the LED’s and mount them in the fixture. Then connect the two red wires from the LED’s to the black wire in the fixture. Now connect the two black wires from the LED’s to the white wire in the fixture. You can use wire nuts, solder, crimp, whatever floats your boat to make the connections.

Hallway LED Upgrade 5

Now ty-wrap the excess wire together and tuck it away as you replace the metal ballast cover strip that you removed earlier.

Hallway LED Upgrade 6a

Put the plastic cover back on and you’re done.

Quick, easy, and cheap. Three of my favorite things.

When the time comes, I’ll see how many sets it will take to replace the four 4ft fluorescents tubes in the two livingroom/kitchen fixtures.

Tomorrow Jan will be wrapping presents and making her famous sausage balls for Brandi’s Christmas party Christmas afternoon. So more good smells and maybe a couple of samples.


Thought for the Day:

In order to train a dog you must be smarter than the dog.