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Everything posted by Carlos

  1. Usually I just bring up politics, gun control, or religion, and the subject changes itself! But seriously, just click the "edit" button at the bottom of the original (first) post, then click into the subject field and type as usual.
  2. Hah! Good old Harbor Freight. They seem to only randomly get things right. I once bought one of their medium utility trailers. The bolt heads were metric, and the nut heads were SAE. But they fit together. Their ratcheting crimper for 18-10 wire also has bad dies. I don't recall the details, just a few connectors pulled out before I realized my buddy was using that. A proper set of dies makes all the difference. In fact, the rest of the tool is probably unimportant. I was lucky to get into telecom long ago and learn about crimping. As Jack said, soldering small wires is fine because the inertia is low so they won't break. They are also small enough for good flow. Soldering a large connector properly requires specialized tools, including an oven. Taking a torch to a large wire/connector and flowing it that way may or may not work. You can never know since you can't see the area where the faults would be. On the small connectors, if you ever need to do them, look at self-sealing Dolphins (no stripping needed), or end cap crimps. Again, not my opinion...there are standards bodies for all this stuff.
  3. That is a pretty good approach. Excessive in my opinion, but safe. Just one minor note--per standards, you should put a through-crimp and self-sealing heat shrink on the wire, and move them away from the joint. Then solder the wires, then put the crimp OVER the solder. The reason is that soldering to the crimp itself creates a weak spot and/or vibration point.
  4. If you test it by pulling hard when you first crimp it, they may fail, and you go back and do it right. I've never seen one fail after being done right and being in service. And like I said, I haven't seen one of the caps or Dolphins ever fail, even on initial test, because it's almost impossible to do those wrong.
  5. I'm sure the fact that it results in less warranty repairs which are very expensive wouldn't have anything to do with it. Or that the standards bodies pretty much demand it.
  6. There's always one. Every vehicle standards body agrees on crimping (done right). The National Marine Manufacturer's Association says you should crimp. The American Boat and Yacht Councils says the same. Both say that if you have some reason you want to solder anyway, you must also crimp over it for durability. No boat comes from the factory with soldered connections. I've never seen or heard of any RV with soldered connections. When a car manufacturer had to do a harness repair on my friends vehicle, guess what the official documentation from the manufacturer said to do? What can go wrong with solder? I had an old Honda trail bike catch fire under my butt because the soldered-on battery terminal was mechanically sound, but electrically unstable inside. You couldn't see it, but the cable was kind of floating in crap that sort of carried power, but got really hot doing so. The soldering process had created a void and it got worse over time. I had a boat with a weird electrical problem that would come and go. A soldered connector had caused some slight jacket damage and hardening of the cable and jacket so water got in and corroded the wire. The end looked good, but six inches in the wire was powder. My dad taught me how to work on electricity and electronics, he was a solder guy. When he moved from CA to FL and a very corrosive environment in a slip in the ICW, he started having solder connections just fall apart. The solder was more easily corroded than the wire. I've never had a good heat shrink waterproof connector fail in any way. I've had a few of the cheap junk butt connectors fail when first tested, and you remove/replace it and start over. I've never seen the end crimps, caps, or Dolphin splices fail out of thousands I've encountered in my job. The instant-sealing Dolphins are great for small wires on RVs. I used a few for my battery monitor and other signal wires. https://abycinc.org/blogpost/1678504/293794/Does-Your-Boat-s-Wiring-Meet-ABCY-E-11-Standards--Ed-Sherman Another common misconception dictates that the best of all connections is a soldered connection. However with stranded wire, the solder bonds the individual strands together, making a solid, inflexible wire. ABYC standards prohibit soldering as the sole means of making a connection because the newly solid wire is subject to cracking or breaking through vibration and flexing. A more practical solution is to use a crimp connector described above. Wires should never be joined simply by soldering and taping (or heat shrink); however, if solder is used, use only 60%/40% rosin core or solid solder, soldering after the butt connector is crimped. Acid core solder as used in plumbing may never be used in any electrical wiring.
  7. That's why you only use safe methods like eBay/Papal, and the like. It also works the other way. I did a Paypal deposit on a 28' cabin boat, then picked it up and paid the rest. Turns out they lied about the condition in ways that were not obvious when I first looked. Paypal got 100% of my deposit back, which more than covered the repairs. If I'd paid cash, I would have had zero recourse.
  8. Some men have had to have one removed for medical reasons. I still think it works.
  9. LOL, nobody is confusing a nomadic RVer with the Mongols motorcycle club. Though the mental image of a bunch of retirees in leather jackets on electric scooters attempting to terrorize the RV parks has brought me great amusement.
  10. Yeah, nearly every thread that has new activity now is a necro-thread.
  11. Well, that's a specific club with a specific believe and mission, not a term. I'm sure he doesn't speak for all of them, but one called me a name after I said I didn't believe the same things he did.
  12. Hopefully with less thievery! I've actually run into real gypsies at the first grocery store coming into town, trying to pull scams on people in the parking lot. I was shocked they still existed, and would be in AZ.
  13. Wait what?? None of those numbers add up. Or are even close. 13.5*30=405 120*3=360 Neither of which is "just under 1000 watts." A single 60x40 panel is around 300 watts.
  14. No, please definitely do not do that. Don't mess with one thing being "not quite right" by making yet another thing not right.
  15. Hah! Well, there's a line there between smoke and poor operation... Ray made a good point and I'm going to inspect my trailer to see what they did. It's worth a look.
  16. Each 7" brake uses just over 3 amps, and the larger 10-12" brakes use 4 amps. It would be useless to run #10 wire, particularly in the dual-run configuration. The idea that they get uneven power if wired down just one side is an interesting theory that I like. The rating on #14 wire in that situation is 15 amps, with the voltage drop over the ten feet across the axle being 0.21v. I'm not sure how to quantify that into braking differences. Using #10 results in a .08v drop. Total drop from the vehicle to each individual drum on a 25-ish foot trailer with dual runs would be .38 with #14 or .16 with #10. Self-sealing crimps and a GOOD crimp tool are critical, as you said. Crimping the self-sealing connectors with those thin crimpers breaks the waterproofing. Now I need to go check how my trailer is wired.
  17. And no power. Also unacceptable. The only other source of power is bringing in propane with a helicopter. But I don't know the details, as I didn't install it. I'm just a good troubleshooter. Even if I don't know the product, I can usually find the problems.
  18. 48v is what the telecom equipment requires. The panel inputs come into a bank of controllers which need to output 48v, and I think the input is around 55v nominal, but that day it was well over 60. Which the controllers couldn't dump, and that's why we had to jump on a helicopter. The site is at the top of Estrella mountain and serves a bunch of companies, SRP, public safety (DPS), radio trunking systems, ISPs, etc.
  19. This grid is much larger than 10x8. No idea how it's composed. Look at the wires running to it, they're not exactly phone wire.
  20. No, that's just what they told me was up there. I was just working on a problem with the charge controllers. Basically the panels were so cold, but AZ had so much sun, that the controllers couldn't bleed off the excess voltage. It was causing the 48v gear to shut down for safety. I put a household heater on a remote switch so it could be used to kill excess power. Oh, and the site is SRP-sponsored, the panels could very well be experimental, who knows. It would have sucked to cook off this many batteries!
  21. No problem, happy to help. I've worked with electricity all my life.
  22. The closer you get the panels to facing the sun, the more power they make. I'm not sure by how much, though. Also, will you want to get up there and tilt them to face the sun every time? If the sun is low in the sky, and the panels are flat, they will produce much less than they do facing the sun. If you're far North in the winter, you'll get very little from them unless you do tilt them. And of course, dirt/buildup will reduce power, so they have to be cleaned.
  23. Carlos

    Road side Assistance

    Always read the contracts you're agreeing to. There are details like this in every company's terms of service. Our Amex covers towing, but when the Jeep needed to be towed I knew that we had to pull it to within 1/4 mile of a mapped road (still dirt, but not on a trail). If I had told them the disablement had been on a trail, it would not be covered.
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