Thursday, January 28, 2016

Kill A Watt, Electricity Usage Monitor

I've been wondering how my boat's battery charger was performing - in terms of amps drawn - and so today I dropped by local Frys Electronics store and picked-up a P3 International product, called a Kill A Watt, model P4400 (max current: 15 amps)

My charger (installed in 2014) is a Professional Mariner, ProSport 12 Heavy duty Marine Battery Charger, 12A, 12/24V, 2 Bank Charger...and I've left is disconnected while away from the boat - and I've been wondering what amps it would be drawing if I left it connected while away.

The batteries were showing 11.8 volts when I returned Wed. night - having last visited the boat in July of last year - that isn't too surprising.

Tonight, I have the charger connected, and the Kill A Watt monitor is showing a draw ~2.53 amps (with a little bit of fluctuating, up to 2.6 amps at times).  The battery voltage is showing 12.7, after about an hour)

I'll continue to use the monitor over the next few days - but will remove it before leaving (it isn't a marine-grade piece of harrdware - so, not willing to leave it in place)

I also looked at a few solar panels today (at West Marine and Frys Electronics) - and may install one on Saturday - as a backup battery charging device. A wind generator will be added later this year.  My biggest concern is making sure the bilge pump has power whlie I'm away for long periods of time.

On a side note, this is a decent discussion of battery charge basics

Monday, January 11, 2016

better satellite internet connectivity for the near future?

worth keeping an eye out as more information becomes available...

Redmond antenna startup Kymeta raises $62M from Bill Gates, others

"Kymeta creates a new solid-state way to find and lock onto signals from orbiting satellites, a feat in the past was accomplished only with large, physical satellite dishes. The point of the technology is to bring down the cost of satellite connectivity and make it so portable that a plane, boat or car can connect to the internet."