Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter Solstice

According to WeatherUnderground, the sun was "up" for 3 hours and 40 minutes today. In reality, we had snow coming down and dark clouds during our daytime. For the next six months, the days will be getting longer now that it is officially winter. Today's snow was heavy and wet and I almost needed to chain up just to plow our driveway. The most challenging part was just connecting the plow as the truck wanted to slide sideways. And this was just in our driveway. We need some real winter temperatures. It was an almost tropical 29°F today.

Things are pretty quiet around here. Still going to the gym a couple of times per week even if it's just to use the treadmill. I picked up the programming cable for the dual-band HT radio and using a free software package called Chirp, I set up the local repeaters plus the NOAA weather channels. There isn't a lot of activity during the day but enough for me to play around with. Still trying to get familiar with the repeater guidelines. Such as announcing that you're tuned in and listening or how to answer. There is another active ham in the area that has a call sign really similar to mine so I always need to use the phonetic alphabet for the last two letters of my call sign. I'm also starting to learn CW aka morse code as it is still used as the requirements are much more achievable here in Alaska.

I finally got around to installing the cables for the four golf cart batteries from the trailer. I then used the "smart charger" to do an equalization. With the garage temperature at about 40°F, that meant a charging voltage of around 15.6 VDC. The "smart charger" is designed for a 60 amp-hour battery and not the 430 amp-hour bank. But it eventually got it done though it took a few days. I then topped up the water in all of the cells again. None of the cells were very low (i.e. no plates showing) but between all four batteries, I added around 48oz of distilled water.

I'm finally done with the IPv6 video and it is now uploading to YouTube. I have it embedded below though I should warn you that the production value is modest, the target audience is pretty small, and it's almost 3 hours long.


Trobairitz said...

29˚ and snow, yep that is the heavy wet stuff. Bet you are hoping for a drier snowy new year.

We woke to freezing temperatures with freezing fog. Hooray for the days getting longer.

redlegsrides said...

That poor battery must have been wondering what was taking so long.... ;)

RichardM said...

Heavy, wet snow. Ugh...

But today was nice and sunny though sunny is a relative term as the sun hit a whole 6° above the horizon. But it was clear and cold!

RichardM said...

Yep, abusing the battery charger. I thought about topping it off with the regular charger 1st but figured that the other one will eventually get it done. And it did. 15.7 VDC during the equalization cycle.

Steve Williams said...

29F. It's colder here. But we have a lot more light. I'll take the light.

I live a simple life in terms of vehicle batteries. One little wall wart Battery Tender at work allowing the Vespa to sip electrons. The cars -- who cares. I drive until they die and then get another.

Another example of my technical and mechanical irresponsibility.

Hope this message finds you and your family well, warm and happy on Christmas morning!

RichardM said...

Today, it barely made it above 0°F but that usually means clear skies. That battery bank is from the RV and is old school flooded lead acid golf cart batteries. Most of the other vehicle batteries are AGM starting batteries. The current decision is the Ural battery. It’s only two years old but when it’s cold, it barely turns the engine over.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you and your family had a merry Christmas.