Sunday, October 7, 2018

Hampton - linverter/charger day

Note the short fingers, somewhat of a challenge with a cross current
While Ann did the laundry, I played electrician. The Downtown Hampton Public Piers has one washer and one dryer. Ann made full use of it this morning. I keep remembering the advice from our dock mate at Key West when he saw our laundry cart, "Why wash so much, just wear the same clothes every day." Well, that's Key West for you. We like clean clothes.

All I had to do was swap out the old Prosine 3.0 with the new Xantrex Freedom XC 2000.  The connections for AC and DC were already there, just unattach and reattach, simple. The first challenge was to mount the unit which sounds simple but it had to be positioned so the AC and DC connections could be reused without adding extensions. That required a side-ways mount, still okay but the heavy gauge DC cabling had to be twisted 180 degrees to fit the new lugs. That took a little doing and then came the AC connections. You used to have screw terminals but no more. Now it's quick snap terminals that took a while to fathom how to operate. The manual was a study in obfuscation. I eventually figured it out by trial and error.

Hoolie's evening walk. That's the space center in Hampton. Worthwhile if you haven't been. 
Once everything was attached, it was time to run the wire from the remote control panel to the main unit. I always thought that was going to be the longest part of the installation and I wasn't disappointed. Running wires on a boat is the bane of my existence. It is never simple, it is never quick and it involves unnatural physical positions that I was going to pay for Tuesday morning. After several hours, I managed to get within one foot of the unit but to no avail. The only access hole was jam-packed with thick cabling leading to the old inverter and the genset, no room for the smallest wire.

Okay, just drill another hole - but where. The back side of the wall was covered in wiring and it was 5:00 by then, time for wine! The good news is that the inverter/charger is working and we again have AC while underway off the batteries which are charging anyway from the alternator. Other than short bursts of using the microwave for reheating things for lunch, we mainly use it to power a 400-watt heater for defogging the windshield. We had a 200 watt 12V heater but that was not enough. Our 1500 watt heater was too much. The 400-watt unit keeps the windshield clear in the rain or fog.

Our goal Tuesday is to reach Coinjock and have their rib steak dinner. They have aged beef and we've always enjoyed the dinner. Looking ahead, we have to find a spot to sit out the expected Thursday heavy rains and wind. We would like to reach RE Mayo but that may be too far, we'll see.