13 January 2018

Electric Friends



The chain of consequence effect. 



Back in the summer during the brief phase of Captain Flashheart having a really shit milestone birthday (it's mid June if anyone feels the uncontrollable urge to spoil her this year) the battery charger decided to shit itself. And by shit itself, what we mean is, put up some error light that meant it no longer charges batteries but sits there doing fuck all in a cupboard. Thanks to Xantrex, you useless-bag-of-four-year-old-shite. 
This means that plugging the shore power in will result in pretty much fuck all happening. 


Never Mind. Boogie Nights is equipped with wind and solar, we're good thanks. No need for mains power anyway. oh, er, except for in winter that is, we need heating. We'll casually save up for a new charger that may or may not happen at some point in the next six months...

The weeks ticked away, late November arrived and the temperature dropped. Finally after consecutive days in single figures, it was time to dig out the shore power cable, heater, dehumidifier and electric blanket. 
To bypass the broken battery charger, the shore power cable comes through a hatch and an adapter is plugged into the end of the 240V 16Amp cable and converts it to a domestic 13Amp British plug socket. 

Noisy bastard


The heater, the same noisy-bastard-kickspace 3 Kilowatt fan heater that has been used for the past two winters gets positioned back in the galley floor area and the same adapter block gets plugged in. 

But then, the captain added fairy lights (because December is the festival of lights) and an adapter and the balance of power tipped. 


pretty lights


it was the fairy lights wot dunnit
The captain was just preparing for a late night dog emptying trip ashore when the distinct smell of hot plastic assaulted the nose. The adapter for the lights, which also had the other multiway adapter plugged in had started to melt.
The 3kw heater was humming away in its aggressive little way, like a prolonged raspy Marge Simpson ARRRRGGGHHHH and the pretty fairly lights twinkled away outside. Oblivious to the impending blazing inferno. 

this kind of image flashed past the captains eyes
Pic credit: Andrew Jack

It was all quickly unplugged and allowed to cool down. 
The adapter removed and everything plugged back in, it was super-duper, thanks for asking. 

Fast forward two more weeks. 
Now you'd think the captain would have learned to trust her spider sense by now, but she flirted with bullshit again and almost got burned again. What's that burning smell...

slight discolouration
 The socket and adapter didn't look overtly discoloured, but it was too hot to touch initially.

hot pin

singed socket 
cracked and brittle plastic



the adapter and socket were fused together and had to be prized apart.

So, the whole lot got consigned to the naughty corner and the captain went shopping. City Electrical Factors Fareham were visited and whilst they don't sell the adapters pre-made, they do sell the bits to make the adapter with. 

shore power adapter
The adapter is usually used for plugging the sander in or other power tools when working on the boat out of water and where the only power source is shore power. (not usually for the boat heating.)

So, the 3kw angry sounding heater that pushed the 13Amp socket beyond it's working limit has been removed and a lower powered silent radiator brought on board. 
It's on the lowest setting, it's using just 800watts and along with the dehumidifier which is running at around 330watts Boogie Nights is sitting happily at 15 degrees again. That's a massive power saving. 

low power consumption

it's quite tall though
oh, but now the Air Breeze wind turbine has decided to stop spinning and we're still no nearer to replacing the faulty battery charger. 
Looks like the captain is going to be sparky McGrue for a while longer yet fixing failing systems. 



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