Tag Archives: traction batteries

The Battery Train

22 Feb

Apologies for the ongoing reference to the railroad. It just seems to fit..and keeps on fitting. Do read on and look at the pics – maybe you’ll see what I mean.

Yes, my sexy new traction batteries are installed at last, working well and living happily in their new roller coaster carriage of a battery box. Well made, strong, dead functional and just puts me in the mind of one of those little pit trucks – hence ‘the battery train’ – fitted with sturdy runners underneath and (genius) a roller skate wheel. Need to add a bolt to secure in the ‘away’ position just in case of any unexpected head-on collisions.  As if…

All six batteries sit comfortably in the space where the old four 110 truck batteries used to be but this time I can roll them out for maintenance. Check it out…

Now you see them…100_1577

Now you don’t…100_1576

Neat eh?

Guided tours available, with tea/coffee and bacon sarni thrown in, just get in touch. **

It would be impossible to get above them to top up – there’s no way I could lift them and it is Very Important (been drummed into me, this fact) that they be regularly checked and topped up as necessary. It was a sizeable investment so makes sense to take good care. And I will because it’s easy to get at them; quite a luxury in the confines of a traditional narrowboat’s rear end. So to speak.

So big thanks go to my good friends who have made this happen for me. Where would I be without you? Sunk mostlike.

These new batteries can be discharged to 30% (unlike their predecessors which would only go down to 70%) and should give me days and days and days of 240v through the inverter when unplugged and out on the riverbank. Without having to run the engine.

I have yet to test this out but hopefully will. Soon. I have high hopes.

I hope to be off out for a day or two,  to make sure I can still drive the boat after all this time of being static, by way of a bit of a shakedown cruise. And if all goes well I might just move on to the Lea for a while by way of a change, subject to a successful recce.

It would put me closer to work so save me time and money, which has to be a good thing. And anyway, I’m desperate ready for a change.

Time frame is, as ever, a little unclear/flexible and will depend on crew, weather, mood…. the usual suspects.

Spring is around the corner though – despite snow and freezing temperatures being forecast for the weekend – so feeling right. And I know this because I see snowdrops, Hydrangea, wildlife behavioural changes and various other tell-tale signs. 100_1579


BB will be back soon, sure to let you know if/what/when and how.

** Just kidding…


4 Jan

The wreckage of my personal train smash has now been well and truly sifted through, analysed and moved off the line. So life can now get back on track.trainsmash

I am working on it.

There’s a lot of re-evaluating and re-balancing going on and I suppose a new year is as good a time as any to be doing this. Although maybe it should be an ongoing process. We all tend to take for granted what we (think) we have. Even me.

Yes me, the past master – or perhaps I should say mistress – of the low maintenance relationship.

As I thought, Hobo, life afloat and friends have sustained me and I have made it through silly season relatively unscathed. And I thank them and my people for that.

Hobo has contributed in unpredictable ways and not just the nurturing kind as expected. Or maybe not so surprising actually, she’s always been rather fond of spending my hard-earned. It’s a boat thing.

She grabbed my attention, demanding focus (and a tidy sum of money) when the last two remaining batteries of a previously four strong inverter bank gave up the ghost.

Lucky for me, a good friend from my Hartford days was able to help and has acquired for me 6 x 2v single cell traction batteries for no more than 4 x 110’s would cost. He has for now disconnected the inverter so I can sit on shore power for the time being. And once the new battery box is built and fitted, he’ll be back to wire me up, re-set the inverter and change my life forever. Power-wise that is.

I first saw these beauties in South Africa – it was love at first sight. Apart from looking dead sexy, in a nerdy sort of way, they really deliver.100_1557

I’m expecting more available power for at least twice as long and a possible life of 15-18 years!! They are actually guaranteed for 4 years, provided the maintenance is done and recorded. We’ll see about that – looks a bit onerous to be honest.

Anyway, watch this space for progress. Be sure that Boatnerd will keep you posted.

And all the best for 2013.