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 > Your search for posts made by 'landyacht318' found 280 matches.

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RE: Misread Trojan Battery Manual

Well if Trojan is recommending a 10 to 20% rate when charging regarding solar, one might assume they are thinking a stationary off grid situation and that solar is the primary if not sole recharging source. A discharged battery can certainly accept way more than 20%. I've seen my flooded 31 rated at 130 amp hours take 65amps from my alternator which is 50%. My paired 27's could easily suck up 90+ amps when my alternator belt would start squealing. I did not take SG readings often on my previous pairs of group 27 batteries rated at 230 amp hours fed by 198 watts of solar, I wish I did. But now I have the same wattage feeding only 130 amp hours of battery and the same general overnight usage. With some tweaking to my solar voltage setpoints, I expect to get a respectable lifespan from my battery in my usage, and a better return on investment than my previous sets of batteries which had larger capacity and were cycled shallower, daily. Is this due to the voltage setpoints being tweaked in response to SG readings, or due to the Solar coming closer to a 10% rate, or some combination of both? I know not. I have my suspicions and of course I want those to be right. We all use and recharge our batteries differently. I cycle mine 30 to 50% each and every night and my solar makes up for 90% of the overall supplied recharging current, and I feel that lowering my capacity to approach this 10% Solar recommendation will have me spending less money on replacement batteries in the long run. I have no generator, and rarely plug in. Time will tell. BUt in the OP's linkm a well respected battery manufacturer is recommending a 10 to 20% via solar, and an oft touted spec on this and other forums is just ~5%. or 1 watt per 1 amp hour of storage. The 5% figure is certainly easier and more practical to meet. I certainly wanted to believe when Mine could barely reach 5% that it was enough, but I never really got more than 2 years from a pair of batteries cycled daily. Now I've got closer to 10% by having lowered my capacity, and want to believe this will be better in my uses, and cost less in the long run, and it does still have enough capacity to meet my needs. Everything is a compromise. Data that backs one's choice of compromise gives the warm and fuzzies. Perhaps warm and fuzzies are worthless. Time will tell. Regarding float voltages, I consider in my use, float voltage to be 'Storage' voltage. I'll lower it to 13.1 if/when I stop cycling my batteries daily. I set my float voltage as a 'finish' voltage and above my Absorption voltage and only by this method does my SG approach baseline daily.
landyacht318 07/22/14 12:01pm Tech Issues
RE: Misread Trojan Battery Manual

Well there have been many a general rule recommendation here that 1 Solar watt per 1 A/h of capacity and that is only about a 5% rate. This PDF trojan is recommending twice that. Their plug in charger's recommendation is 10 to 13% of the 20 hour capacity. Any solar is better than no solar, but is 5% enough to "maximize your battery life" I Wonder how much of a difference it makes in the long run.
landyacht318 07/21/14 05:41pm Tech Issues
RE: Misread Trojan Battery Manual

I've not seen this particular Link before. I like the "tips on how to maximize your battery life" at the bottom: As a general rule of thumb, the total amps from your PV panels should be sized between 10% and 20% of the total amp-hours (Ah) of the battery pack. I deliberately lowered my battery capacity so that my solar can just barely reach 10%. 198 watts for a 130 A/h battery I've taken some minor grief here and there on this forum for employing this strategy.
landyacht318 07/21/14 04:46pm Tech Issues
RE: My Screwy 31

Monday dipping, when 1.5 amps were required to hold 15.3v. Ambient temp: 82.5F 1.275 on 2 cells, 1.280 on the 4 others, temp compensated. Gave each cell a bulb full of distilled h20 using Hydrometer to transfer, the 2 furthest apart cells, took 2 bulb fulls each to top up. 'Bulb full' equals the same volume required to read the float properly, so not much. Switched all loads to AGM, Cranked Solar ABSV and F up to 16v for the 31. 6.2 amps needed. 10 minutes later 3.8 amps needed 5 minutes later, 4.3 amps needed. ??.... End EQ. Took no SG reading. Gonna rest the 31 and cycle the AGM tonight. Reset ABSV to 14.4 and F to 13.6v for the AGM for rest of day. Charge controller now transferring 0.2amps to hold AGM at 13.6F. 198 watts of Solar capable of 10.2amps at 3 Pm @ 32'N. Am using all solar excess to use and charge this laptop, other 18650 and 14500 Li-Ion cells and Nimh AAA's, run 5 muffin fans, stereo, and cranked compressor fridge up a few notches till the sun lowers though, it is already 33f inside of it.
landyacht318 07/21/14 04:26pm Tech Issues
RE: My Screwy 31

500 cycles would be nice. The battery is taking 1.6 amps to hold 15.3v right now, but my lower back is not cooperating and I will not be busting out the Hydrometer today. I took it down well below 50% a few times this last week and needed some Schumacher assist.
landyacht318 07/20/14 06:25pm Tech Issues
RE: 100 Watts Solar with Deep Cell 31s or Trojan 6 Volts

Good points Almot. I am not aware of the lighting characteristics of cheap controllers. Mine (BS 2512i)is solid for bulk, slow blink absorb, fast blink float. My wording should have been... just because the charge controller indicates a full charge, does not mean the batteries are 100%. If the goal is to get the solar controler to indicate a full charge, I could get there a half hour after sunrise every day, and replace batteries several times each year. I could brag about the 1/2 hour and not mention the necessary replacement, and do a serious disservice to anybody less than informed and reading about such results. An Extreme example for illustrative purposes, but one must be wary of all internet claims. Cheap controllers might not allow absorption voltage adjustments. If said controller only allows 14.4v on a battery that needs 14.8v, the full charge indicator means very little, and the observer should be made aware of this, rather than place blind trust in any given and perhaps very well marketed product, and claim excellent performance, when all they can realistically claim is they experienced no failures, yet, and the system Seems, to be perfect. Trojan's PDF lists a 10 to 13% bulk rate, but does not say this is a recommended minimum. Besides, Solar ramps up slowly and does not conform to any of the usual charging profiles which apparently assume a flick of the switch charging source delivers instant bulk amps to a battery resting somewhere below 80% SOC. Regarding my own apparently Acid starved Screwy 31, well I wont be replacing it, when necessary, with another 31. However my previous house bank, 2 27's which were cycled shallower hardly gave me an excellent lifespan either. Their location made hydrometer dipping a serious inconvenience, and I remained ignorant of how my Solar was actually doing replenishing them daily. I trusted my soothing blinking green light on my charge controller way more than I should have, and want to make others aware that they can be making this same mistake. If I get a year of daily cycles from this 31, I'll have a better return on investment than I did with 2 different sets of 2-27's. I believe, in my situation/usage that higher wattage to capacity ratios, and having figured out the voltage setpoints and durations on this screwy 31, will yield better return on investment. But I can't say for sure until December. Lately I've been taking the poor thing to 40% or below nightly, making it work for me, and I have not been having enough Solar wattage or time to see much of my blinking green light, not that I believe it anyway. I do believe that higher solar wattage to capacity ratios will always make the batteries happier for longer, but the person who sizes a system to replace only the capacity removed, +10%, and only cycles them for a week or 2, and then goes home and plugs in, will likely never notice the difference another hundred + watts will make. Perhaps the timespan of the outing requiring daily replacement of overnight usage should be factored into recommendations. Each battery user is going to use/cycle their batteries differently and this difference requires different recommendations. There are few absolutes in life, yet many make well worded statements in absolute terms which can easily do a disservice to the Novice who takes them as gospel, and perhaps worse, repeats them as gospel, convincing others to follow the same path. To the OP, in your case I'd go with GC batteries over the 31, and if 100 watts of solar is all you have to recharge during your outing, then look it is as negating some of your usage, but that when you get back home, you should have a good method of insuring you can return those batteries back to maximum Specific gravity before storing them.
landyacht318 07/14/14 04:25pm Tech Issues
RE: 100 Watts Solar with Deep Cell 31s or Trojan 6 Volts

If only the charge controllers blinking green light did indicate a full charge. Guess it does not really matter much if you get to go home and plug in. 100 watts on a pair of t105s cycled more than 20% every night is not going to work well after 2 weeks. Negating overnight usage and proper full recharge are not the same thing
landyacht318 07/13/14 11:08pm Tech Issues
RE: Common Xplorer Problems/Fixes?

You got to tell G to stop abusing that poor door! Just kidding. The striker on the door's frame could have got pushed further in. You need a big honking Star or Torx bit to loosen it properly, though vice grips can work, but you will need to file down the teeth marks afterwards. There is a pretty good range of movement on the striker bar on the frame. Usually the door bushings wear out, causing door sag meaning the door catch is too high to catch the striker bar. See if lifting the door when closing it helps. If so, loosen the striker bar and move it down a few mm. Run a sharpie around it beforehand so you can see in which direction you move it. Pretty easy adjustment really. Hardest part is finding the right size torx Bit to fit proper, but the Vice grips work pretty well. Try and tighten it so the teeth marks are not on top of the striker bar/ stud. Says the guy with teeth marks on the top of the striker bar..... The lock mechanism on the door catch itself has this weird plastic junk on it, originally to reduce noise or something. It gets all tore up over time and does not allow the door to close properly. I had to spend time with a razor and a pair of needle nose vice grips to remove it entirely and allow free movement of the mechanism. White lithium grease or some graphite spray on the mechanism a few times a year will be necessary. The fuel sending float could have gotten stuck. On newer GM vehicles one possible cure is putting a Bottle of Techron in the tank to free the mechanism. This worked on my Dad's '06 Audi A6 too. Do check the connection at the fuel tank. Does the temp gauge operate in the normal range? If not there is a voltage limiter in the dashboard cluster than can be replaced. When it goes bad or feeds the wrong voltage, usually both fuel and temp gauges will either read high or low together, or not at all. If the temp gauge reads normal I'd not suspect this. The incline or decline starting issue could be related to the fuel gauge and if so, points to the connector at the fuel tank as a likely culprit. It should be facing forward up near the body near the top of the tank. There is also a ground for the pump on one of the cross members in the area, be sure to unscrew this, file all mating surfaces shiny and retighten. Its location is there on an unmodified Dodge anyway. Pull the connector apart, and look for corrosion or heat damage. Lots of light needed to see for sure. Helps to clean things up as there should be some dielectric grease stuffed in the connector, but since you had a few different people replace that pump a few years back, maybe they forgot the grease and corrosion has ensued. See if turning the key on and off a few times before cranking the starter affects this hard start behavior when on an incline/decline. Could be the check valve in the fuel pump assembly. There are aftermarket check valves you can install elsewhere to hold the fuel pressure for easier starting. You can install these anywhere on the feed line. Do not have to drop the tank to do so. Good luck, feel free to call.
landyacht318 07/11/14 10:21pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Screwy 31

Ahh thanks for the elaboration, I should have not needed it though. :S My Solar controller's controller has a "charge efficiency" screen, which I leave at Auto adjust, and it is now claiming 99%, which of course I do not believe. I have the option to set it to another number, down to 80%. I just did a dipping for grins. It went into 15.3v Float/finish mode an hour ago, and currently taking 1.9 amps to hold 15.3v. 1.270, 1.270 and 1.275 on the 3 easy to access cells. The other 3 require too much effort. I am doing the EQ every so often to max the SG out, more so than to even out the readings between the cells. This battery has raised my eyebrows a bunch since late November, thus my 'Screwy' moniker. I was not wanting to believe USbattery's 15.3v finishing charge, but SG really tanks after a few cycles without it. Perhaps we should start a poll on how long before I need to replace it. The voltages I need apply daily after each cycle to approach near max SG, would seem to indicate I am an excessive shedder of positive plate material. Still meeting my needs though, and I'm gonna keep going with it till it cannot.
landyacht318 07/11/14 06:13pm Tech Issues
RE: My Screwy 31

The reading on the float was 1.270, the reading on the thermometer on the base of the Hydrometer was saying to add 18. I was able to feel the heat coming off the hydrometer. The amps it was taking at the voltage setpoints were higher than I am used to seeing. The vigorousness with with it was bubbling was much increased. I only applied 16v for about 20 minutes max before dipping and saw the 1.270+18. The difference from all previous observations in this thread, was using the Schumacher, and starting the recharge cycle with a lower initial SOC. Previous readings were all from solar alone taking it to float voltage, and then solar alone taking it to 16v or whatever EQ voltage I chose throughout the progress of this thread. Overall last night voltage dropped no lower than normal and seems to be accepting normally expected amperages to hold 14.9v as I type this. No schumacher assist today, just solar. CEF = ?
landyacht318 07/11/14 04:27pm Tech Issues
RE: My Screwy 31

A mid week dipping. More data, a few unexpected results. I never did a 16v eq cycle since last post about 10 days ago. I've just been working the battery pretty hard, the last 3 nights cycling it to 45 to 55% SOC. 14.9 ABSv and 15.3F. Mostly seeing 15.3v for a few hours each day, but a few days where the fridge cycling and clouds kept bouncing voltage off the 14.9 Absv. Early This morning, at about sunrise, it was saying 68 amp hours from full, 11.8v under a 2.3 amp load, when I turned all loads to my other battery, plugged in the Schumacher and set it to 12 amps. I left the solar connected to the 31 to add to the Schumacher current. About 4.5 hours later it was at 15.5 volts, taking 5.5 schumacher amps. The solar was not contributing, being over my 15.3v float setpoint. I unplugged the Schumacher and then the Solar took over and 6.5 amps were required to hold 14.9 ABSV. After 2 hours it went into float requiring 4.2 amps to hold 15.3v. These amp figures were much higher than I am used to seeing to hold these voltages. I think the Schumacher just rockets past the mid 14's basically skipping the common absorption stage, acting more like a manual constant current charger. I was not monitoring it during this stage. After another hour or so, it was still taking over 3.5 amps to hold 15.3v. The monitor was of no use, as soon as it hits float voltages, it reverts to 100% and 0 amp hours from full. Being used to seeing 1.3 to 1.8 amps to hold 15.3v, and with the sun lowering, and with errands to run, I decided to give it about an hour of 16v. I reprogram the solar controller setpoints to 16v ABSV and float and 7.4 amps are required to bring the battery up there and hold it there, ~1.4 amps more than I've ever seen required to hold 16v. After 15 minutes of 16v, the amps required to hold it dropped by only 0.2. My plan previous to this was to wait until it it took only 3.2 amps or so to hold 16v and call it good enough, and not bother checking SG and just get on with my errands, but not seeing the amps drop I bust out the Hydrometer and expect to see numbers well below 1.270. I assumed the lack of time held in the mid 14's was responsible for seeing the higher amp numbers I was seeing to hold my regular setpoints. So I pop the one 3 gang cap, and the cells are bubbling way more vigorously than I have ever seen before. Practically like a seltzer water whose cap was recently removed. Hydrometer reads 1.270, all three cells, and the thermometer says to add 18! Electrolyte nice and clean, not cloudy at all. The ambient temp was no where near that much hotter than previous readings, perhaps 4 to 5 degrees f at most higher than precious readings, low 80s maybee, but the battery certainly was. Touching the Hydrometer confirmed that the electrolyte was pretty dang warm. I forgot to bust out the IR gun and check the battery temp as I was a little alarmed at the bubbling. I immediately ended the 16v eq cycle, reset the ABsv to 14.9 and float to 15.3, and the controller went into ABsv mode and was taking nearly 4 amps, soon after, the marine layer moved in and not enough sun was available to hold 14.9v. The amps the battery was still taking lead me to believe the battery was not fully charged, but the SG said otherwise. The voltage it is holding now under discharge, lead me to believe the battery was not fully charged. Not sure what to make of this data or behavior. The Schumacher recharge appears to have thrown a monkey wrench in my expectations and usual results, compared to a solely solar replenishment, a instant ~15% recharge rate vs a 4 hour slow ramp up to ~10% rate.
landyacht318 07/10/14 08:47pm Tech Issues
RE: Amp Hours - Are you Right Sized? Post your Charge Method

I think BFL13's coined term of progressive sulfation is an apt one for the Op to realize. Without returning to a true 100% every so often, doing 50 to 90's or 50 to 80's day after day results in less and less capacity available, and at some point the batteries are screaming for a true full 100% recharge, yet are just fed the same regimen of 50 to 90 again and just say 'screw you buddy, I'm done" and take a nose dive, and the battery discharger points fingers everywhere but back at themselves. Reaching that true 100% is difficult, and obviously time consuming, and if on a generator, a big waste of fuel. I have 130 amp hours, I reduced my overall house capacity from 230A/h, as I only use 30 to 50 A/h a night on average. My 200 watts of solar, which is not going to increase, works much better feeding a single petulant 130 amp hour battery than it did feeding 2 115 AH batteries in parallel. While I am not impressed with the peculiar recharge requirements of this particular battery, if I only get one year of 365 cycles out of it, I will be ahead of my previous sets of 2 27's in parallel which I never got more than 2 years from. And so far, since I have figured out what this battery requires to reach near 1.275 daily( cycled nightly) by solar alone, I expect more than a year from it, but time will tell. If solar is to be the primary recharging source, increase the ratio of solar wattage over battery capacity, is my recommendation. I think that many get a large capacity bank and then just enough solar to replenish what they use, and pay no attention to the minimum bulk recommended recharge rates of the battery manufacturer. Perhaps if their outing is not a long one, and they get to go home and plug in for a few weeks then it is not a big deal. While Solar is not going to be like the flip of a switch grid powered charging source, a higher solar wattage ratio to battery capacity is going to get the batteries up in the 90% range earlier, giving them more time to approach that 100% area for the rest of the day, as well as counteract usage during the day. The person who sizes their solar array only to replenish their overnight capacity removal, is eventually going to have a starving battery bank. Pull out the Hydrometer or remain ignorant. Lesser amounts of solar can be thought of as possibly negating usage, but not as a proper recharging source, not after a certain amount of cycles. My current battery wants a 10% rate and my solar can just barely reach this. 200 watts of Solar to 130 amp hours battery. I think the usual 1 watt of solar to 1 amp hour of battery capacity is way too low. The 5 to 13% of capacity one sees listed on AZ wind and sun forums might be too low as well in RV usage, perhaps not on off grid stick and brick. My previous batteries had a recommended minimum ~18% rate and my solar was not even meeting 50% of this requirement. They used a lot of water, they got low, they performed badly even before they got low, and were replaced well before they should have been, or so was my thinking at time of replacement. We often see the same recommendations spouted as gospel. There are large differences in requirements between the person who uses their batteries for 2 weeks here and there and the person who cycles each and every day. We'll always see somebody claim a certain amount of years from a battery bank, but what is important is not years, but the number of cycles that the batteries lasted for. The person who got a respectable amount of cycles from a battery bank was doing something right. The person who left their converter to hold them at 13.6v for 44 weeks a year and brags about longevity.... sound and fury, signifying nothing
landyacht318 07/09/14 06:46pm Tech Issues

Regular Conversion vans are designed as people/family movers, not camper vans There will not be any extra battery, 110 vac receptacles unless the previous owners has added some. There will be some extra wiring for lighting and the TV's. Older gel coats on weathered fiberglass might not be the best place to test VHB tape. There are usually some wood runners sandwiched into the fiberglass top which can take a screw OK. Mechanical fastening a solar panel will likely require removing the ceiling interior panels. The 5.9 dodge might eeek out 16mpg highway at 65mph.
landyacht318 07/09/14 02:03am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Ventline Northern Breeze Fan has a mind of it's own

Wire up an external speed controller: http://www.amazon.com/Converter-12V-36V-Controller-Adjuster-Driver/dp/B009HKFAIQ/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1404804554&sr=8-11&keywords=dc+motor+speed+controller
landyacht318 07/09/14 12:39am Tech Issues
RE: 12V battery question

Peukert effect. 2 batteries in parallel to spread the load means more total capacity. The higher the loads, the greater this effect
landyacht318 07/07/14 10:27pm Tech Issues
RE: refridgerator cooling fans

I have a tiny 40 MM 6 cfm 0.03a muffin fan on the inside of my 1.8 cubic foot fridge, blowing into the freezer compartment, and it works great at keeping the temps inside even, and cooler at the same setting. Does not make it use less electricity, just givems me more overhead to crank it up if I want, and cools down items placed withn faster, and keeps all internal box temps within 3 degrees of each other. Without the fan my IR gun shows a spread of nearly 20 degrees from the warmest to the coolest spot. Computer/ Muffin Fans vary widely in how much air they move for noise made and current consumed. So not get a sleeve bearing fan for a horizontal mounting location. Shop around, don't just goto radio shack. http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l1/g36/Fans.html http://www.newegg.com/Case-Fans/SubCategory/ID-573
landyacht318 07/07/14 10:20pm Tech Issues
RE: Charging GC2 with Rogue MPPT Solar

I have a Bluesky 2512i with the IPN pro remote which allows me to adjust the voltage setpoints, and durations and threshholds. I can set the time at absorption voltage, but I also can set the "Float current" I used to think this was: Ok I'll let it have 4 amps at 13.6v, but basically when I set it at 4 amps (per 100A/h) as soon as it took less than 4 amps to hold acceptance voltage it would revert to float mode. So it basically reverted to float mode immediately upon reaching ABSv, and the batteries were chronically undercharged. Now I have it set at 1 amp, and 14.9ABsv or 2.5 hours at Absv, and once it requires less than 1.3 amps( 130 amp hour USBattery group 31), to maintain 14.9v or 2.5 hours have passed, then it goes to float mode, which I have set at 15.3v. But I cycle my batteries daily and I consider the "float" stage as a 'finishing' charge stage, and even with a few hours at 15.3v a day, the SG does not return to baseline on this particular petulant 12v USbattery after 7+ cycles. For storage, not cycling, I would set float to 13.1v as recommended by USbattery. Does USbattery give a specific charging algorithm for their GC-2's? I've been going with this PDF from USbattery, and 15.3v is mentioned more than once. http://www.usbattery.com/usb_images/charging_instruction_2011_3.pdf
landyacht318 07/07/14 09:08pm Tech Issues
RE: Wiring a refridgerator vent fan

A member here, Pianotuna, has recently added an internal fridge fan and lowered internal temps by 5 degrees and subsequently lowered the T-stat setting needed to maintain that lower temperature on hius absorption fridge I employ a small 40mm Sunon 0.03 amp ~6cfm fan inside my 1.8 cubic foot compressor fridge and notice similar benefits. At only 0.03amps I leave it to run 24/7. External fans should not be needed with a well setup absorption fridge in non extreme ambient temps. Well set up meaning not too much space behind the condenser, and a baffle so that normal convection currents cause adequate airflow over the condenser. I've seen links on this forum to diagrams of proper condenser airflow on absorption fridges, but cannot find them now. Perhaps somebody has the link bookmarked. You can add a snap switch which will activate the fans at 110f and turn them off at 90f: http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-US/products/products_a_z/furnace_ignition_control_gas_valve_ignitor_thermocouple/Pages/snap_disc_fan_and_limit_controls.aspx Do note that while many will lump all these computer fans together, they actually vary extremely widely in their performance. Some make very little noise and move a respectable amount of air for little electricity consumed. Others, not so much. Do note that Sleeve bearing fans, the cheapoes, do not last long in a horizontal position. You want dual ball bearing or fluid dynamic bearings in this orientation. If you do not want to worry about a temperature snap switch, or do not really have a concern about a 0.05 amp draw, this fan moves 53cfm for 0.05 amps and is very quiet doing so. This is the fan I have put onto my compressor fridges condenser, pushing air instead of pulling it, and it draws half the electricity as the provided fan, makes less than half the noise, and has a high static pressure rating, so the condenser's restriction in front of the fan blades is of little consequence, and fridge performance improved after this modification. http://www.noctua.at/pdf/infosheets/noctua_nf_f12_focused_flow_web.pdf Make a shroud so that all the air moved from the fan blades is expelled out the roof, and your fridge will behave better. IMO, too many people go through the motions of adding a fan, without optimizing the benefits from doing so. Positive displacement so no preheated air is recycled = Huge benefits.
landyacht318 07/05/14 05:42pm Tech Issues
RE: Simple voltage limiter

Yeah I saw those smaller cheaper versions. I have Amazon prime, ordered it Saturday, arrived monday afternoon, that was worth a couple extra dollars to me. Kind of like the display. Been running it for 24 hours now, rarely at top speed though. I got a mostly unhelpful, yet prompt, response from silverstone about the heat generated at the hub. Chingrish. Says it will last 20 month and that computer power supply is 12 volt.
landyacht318 07/02/14 02:25am Tech Issues
RE: Installing 12 v power port; Question

Best to avoid a 12v power/ciggy plug altogether whenever possible. They just waste the battery by making heat, and powering that annoying inverter alarm.
landyacht318 07/01/14 12:07pm Tech Issues
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