Daily Archives: June 7, 2017

Rushmore Not . . .

Last night I was thinking that, although I now could start the generator, I  still didn’t really know if it actually worked, you know, generated.

So this morning I decided to do a full test on the generator and transfer switch. Going outside, I extended the generator, and while pressing the Start button, I touched the solenoid wire to the power lug and the generator started right up.

I had realized that when I started it up the other day,, I did not press the Start button, but just used the solenoid wire, and that was why it took 5 or 6  tries for it catch. As it turns out,  there is a sequence of 9 different things that happen with the press on the button.

Generator Start Sequence

So with the generator running I went inside to wait for the transfer switch to change over.

And I waited.

And I waited.

And I waited.

Since I recently had replaced the transfer switch, there was also a question of about its function too. So to see if it made any difference I went outside and shut off shore power, and then came back inside.

And waited.

And waited.

And then it dawned on me. I had turned off the output circuit breaker on the generator while I was working on it. So back outside to flip the breaker back on.

And by the time I got back inside the rig, I had power. So we’re good to head south now.

I have not yet been able to figure out what the actual problem is. It could be a broken wire, or it could be a problem with the controller board not sending out the start signal to the solenoid.

In many cases the wire might be the most likely problem. But in this case the wire goes right into a wire harness encased in a cover and comes out about 18” later and goes into the controller housing. So with no damage obvious to the harness, a bad wire is not high to the list.

And, according to Cummins, a new controller board is $995.00. So my temporary-for-now/permanent-maybe idea is to use a remote starter switch from O’Reilly Auto Parts to start the generator from inside while I’m also pressing the Start button.

Bosch Remote Starter Switch

Once I determine where the problem really is, which may not happen until we get back to Houston, I’ll decide how to proceed. If it turns out to be the controller board, I’ll see if I can get one cheaper than $1000. If not, the aux starter switch will become permanent. But since I have two blank switch positions on the dashboard panel I may wire it in permanently. We’ll see.

About 1pm Jan and I head south back down to the Mt. Rushmore area for a couple of more touristy things. And our first stop was at the Dinosaur Museum, located right next door to the Reptile Gardens.

DM 1

DM 2

They did have a large number of both skeletons and mockups.

DM 3

A pteradon.

DM Pteradon

DM 5

A Dimetrodo

DM 6

Mr. T-Rex himself.

DM 9

This is the skull of a SuperCroc. At over 40 feet long it could swallow any of today’s gators and  crocs whole.

DM 10

Two of the Sea Lizards.

DM 8


The next two are ‘Not-Dinosaurs’. But I guess they had the skeletons so thety put  them to use.

This is the ‘Short-Faced Bear’ which only died out about 11,000 years ago.

DM 7

This is the Smilodon, a sabre-toothed cat that also died out at the end of the last Ice Age, about 11,000 years ago.

DM 11

A very nice visit.

Next up was our visit to the Mt. Rushmore itself. We decided to first drive some of the scenic loops and stop at the monument on the way back. But finally coming back about 6pm, it was raining hard so we decided to bypass until tomorrow. in fact it rained on us a good bit while we were on the Needles Highway.

So tomorrow we’ll visit the monument, and  then drive the Wildlife Loop. So I’ll wait until tomorrow to post all our Rushmore stuff at one time. But I will leave you with this photo.

MR 2

There were black storm clouds silhouetting the monument, really making it stand out.

Coming back into Rapid City, of course it stopped raining, so we decided to have dinner at Millstone Family Restaurant on La Crosse. Highly rated on Yelp, it was good for us also.

We both had the Soup & Salad Bar, Jan just getting a salad, while I also got a cup of the Corn Chowder.

Millstone Soup & Salad

For her dinner, Jan got the Chicken Strip Dinner.

Millstone Chicken Strips

I got the Double Cheeseburger with Bacon, as well as a bowl of their other soup of the day, Bean N Ham.

Millstone Burger

And as per Yelp, everything was really good.

Passport America, Save 50% on Campsites

As I said, tomorrow we’ll revisit the Mt. Rushmore area, and then if we have time, the Dinosaur Park where Jan visited when she was in the 2nd grade, and also the South Dakota Air & Space Museum out near Ellsworth AFB.

A busy day.

Thought for the Day:

I’m Stuck In That Awkward Stage Between Birth And Death.