Friday, 16 November 2018

Slow Progress

The trailer project has been moving very slowly.  I attribute this to the heat and patience.  The temperature during the last few days has exceeded 30C and who wants to work under a metal roof in those conditions!  Jan has been inside cuddling the air condition whilst simultaneously complaining about the heat.  The air conditioning unit loudly rumbles on the roof, which probably isn’t surprising as it’s approximately 33 years old.  Now is NOT the time to replace it.  The price of air conditioning repairs or replacement skyrockets in these conditions.  It will have to last until next winter when the air-con companies will be desperate for work and price accordingly.

My patience with the trailer project is a mixed blessing.  A decade ago I’d have rushed in making many errors but completed the project quickly.  Now I find myself working very slowly thinking three times and measuring twice.  That’s the positive aspect.  The negative is the sands of my life are slipping away.  I need to get this done and start using the trailer.

Over the last few days I’ve been working on the 12V power distribution box.  After some thought I decided it needed to be constructed in a removable box.  Hopefully this will make it easier to install or remove for maintenance.  I’ve settled on the layout.

The three power meters go across the top.  They are for:

  • Power into the battery from the vehicle via the DC-DC charger or from the 240V charger.
  • Power into the battery from the solar panels
  • Power from the battery to the consumables

In the top right is the Projecta combined DC-DC charger and MPPT solar controller.  Underneath it is a cheap 1000W 240V modified sine wave inverter for charging camera batteries, etc.  Below the right Watt Meter is the battery cut out regulator which will disconnect the battery should the voltage drop below 12.2V.  This is to protect the expensive AGM battery.

Below the Watt Meters will be five switches for consumables and a fuse box.  The plan is to make a front panel from a piece of sheet aluminium


In the base is a threaded stud on a dark red mounting block.  This is the main positive connection.  The black block with the clear plastic top is the negative busbar.


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