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.
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 f..ing 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.