Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sending from the box van

(this was posted to the Vandweller's Yahoo group)

I am sending this from my box van, via WiFi, powered by solar energy,
having driven here via biodiesel. This is progress.

I bought an automotive/marine style fuse box from West Marine for
US$28. That's my distribution block.

Last night I actually got some computer work done, via the big 220Ah
battery. It got down to 12.5V by the time I was done. After a few
hours earlier this morning, it was up to 13.5V.

Some more data:

The lappy uses 2-2.5A when idling, 3A when the disk is running or a
CPU-intensive task going.

My USB WiFi card sucks power even when the PC is asleep. I guess the
driver for it doesn't understand sleep mode.

The laptop uses 3.5A to charge up its internal LiOn battery when it is
asleep or off. With the thing on, AND recharging at the same time, AND
the USB WiFi card on, it sucks 5.2A total. That's what it's doing
right now.

In dead thick ocean fog at 10AM, the controller is pulling 2.9A of
juice out (I'm assuming that's the maximum available since I'm drawing
5.2A now). It seems to be rising very rapidly so pretty soon I'll be

Hah, battery down to 12.8V. But if the solar amps keep going up, then
it should only take an hour or less to top up this battery! And this
is only one battery-- I haven't made the interconnect cable to hook up
the other one yet.

No luck at the boneyards-- none of the boneyards around here seem to
have dead RV's. One guy says he doesn't even bother dismantling them;
he sends them straight to the crusher.

All in all, though, it's going very well.

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