Mains on demand

April 10th, 2008

I now have a working inverter/charger on the boat! Back at Easter I started a big electrical upgrade of the boat, fitting new batteries and some new internal wiring. But I was hamstrung by not having the right terminals on the cables to the inverter. I called around Cambridge’s extensive range of electricians’ merchants (“electrical wholesalers” to use the jargon) and eventually found one firm, Hedley & Ellis, who were prepared to help. Unfortunately, their giant crimping tool (a thing about the size of a large pair of boltcutters or a tree lopper) was out on hire. It returned yesterday. Today I cycled into town with about 10kg of copper cable in the bike panniers, got the terminals crimped on for the princely sum of £5, and then this evening I’ve wired it all up.

And it works! The batteries charge quite rapidly, and I can now run the generator in economy mode (where it adjusts the throttle according to the load) which should hopefully save me quite a lot in petrol.

Probably next weekend I’ll fit the SmartGauge battery monitor and split-charge system so I can charge the domestic batteries from the engine, and after that I’ll have to do something about the wiring spaghetti on the kitchen wall!

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