More Shenanigans or How Do I Really Spend My Days

I wrote this over the last two days.

I have a 12v heating pad on my bed and it is probably the only thing keeping me from becoming a frozen board by morning.  During the last few days I have come to understand that the current for this heating pad is not going through my Victron Battery Monitor.  I figured this out by watching the current draw and the voltage, as I turn on the heating pad.  The current does not change, but the voltage does.

That’s bad. My initial reaction was to do nothing, but this morning, after stirring the pot a bit on Cruisers Forum, I decided I should do something about it.

Why?  Inquiring minds want to know?  Because I used a positive lead that also powered this red light that is under my bed stand and over the fluxgate compass.  So now, what bothered me even more was that if the heat pad was not going thru the Victron Battery Monitor,(it tells me how much power is left in the batteries and how much I am using at any given time)

It meant that the supply line was not coming from the main distribution panel, which could also mean that it is not going thru any circuit breaker.  That’s a problem.  While I put fuses on most things I add, I want everything to go thru at least one of the distribution panels and its respective circuit breaker.

That also allows me to know that when I turn everything off, everything is actually off and with no power going to it. Critical when I leave the boats for longer periods of time.

Now as to why there is a red light, in a 2 ft. by 1 ft. night stand is a good question. The most likely reason I can come up with, is that the first owner saw the need to put the little people down there to navigate and provide better information for the fluxgate compass, as it surely needed it.

I guessing the little people escaped once I got to Ireland, because I have never seen them.

But that’s clearly a whole other story.

So, I decided, how hard can it be?  I crossed the Atlantic; this shouldn’t take more than a half hour.  Whenever you think something shouldn’t take more than a half hour, pack a lunch and probably a dinner too.

Now, 5 hours later, I’m done.  I’ll just give you the highlights, which included:

  • Spending an hour to out back together the Japanese 12v DC outlet, including spending at least 20 minutes putting a little bolt in backwards and not understanding why it didn’t tighten anything.
  • Spending an hour trying to get a too fat a wire thru too small a hole, then a different wire, then too many shenanigans to mention; before finally drilling another hole.
  • Getting everything all back together, turning on the circuit breaker only to see a draw of 0.7A when everything was off. Knowing there was nothing plugged into any of the 12v outlets, I quickly checked the propane solenoid, and thank god, I had left it on and it was the culprit.

So after all that, but now, I turn on the heating pad and it’s not clear that I have corrected the problem.

It’s not clear because even though it is raining and of course cloudy, the solar panels still put about a quarter amp into the batteries and I have no easy way to turn that off.

Tonight, we shall see what we shall see.

Nothing Changed!

Once it was dark, by 16:30, it was clear that absolutely nothing had changed.  No current being registered  on the Victron.

I decided to start watching a new Korean Drama.

So this morning, after my tasty breakfast of lemon meringue pie and coffee, I decided to tackle the elusive heating pad again.

I realized that I had just changed the load source and not the ground and the Victron was measuring through the ground.  Duh

This time it only took me an hour.  But I sure am glad I had made that larger hole yesterday, otherwise I’d still be around with it.

Now, I wish I would have thought to wire in an indicator light.


I really wrote this for the folks on Trawler Forum, but thought some of you may like.  Please tell me one way or another.



Author: Richard on Dauntless

I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge. Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey. I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around. My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between. I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist. After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life. Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal. Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit. But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.

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