Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I don't spend a lot of time on docks with BIANKA. The boat lives on a mooring in the homeport and usually on the anchor or mooring when cruising. Though sometimes I splurge for an overnight stay here and there to re water or get provisions etc... Then there was the recent cruise where I entered a harbor at 9:30 at night tired from a ten hour sail where a lot of hours where at the helm. I was not in the mood to try and deal with anchoring and did not want to disturb the other boats by firing up the generator to recharge the batteries. So I tied up to a marina dock for the night. The good thing about it I'd be able to plug in the DUAL PRO 4 charger to charge and balance BIANKA's 8A4D AGM batteries that make up the 48 volt propulsion bank. So that's what I did. As soon as I'd finished plugging in I went to bed exhausted.  A couple of hours later I woke up to answer natures call and noticed steady green lights on the charger which meant that all four batteries were fully charged.  Glad to see that. Then a few hours later when I woke up again I noticed that one of the batteries had a single red light on. This indicated that the battery was only 30% charged. This was not good but, I still tired thought I would deal with this in the morning. In the morning the light was still on indicating the battery was only partially charged. There were two possibilities as I saw it. One I had a battery that went bad during the night or that something was wrong with the cable from the Dual Pro charger to the battery. I was hoping for the latter to be the issue and it was.
I used my instrument panel at the helm to first  check the individual battery voltages and found they were all very close. So it looked like the battery was fully charged. So my attention shifted to the battery charger. I thought it might be a bad connection on the battery but, as I touched the fuse holder that the Dual Pro has in line I felt it somewhat warm. It turns out that the fuse was not seated all the way and had become loose enough that a bad connection occurred triggering the charger to interpret this as a poorly charged battery.

At first everything looked normal:
But, as I started to check the holder it just came loose:

I had not actually fiddled with this holder since I installed my instrumentation panel at the helm. Which must have been over a year ago. But, obviously I had not seated the fuse properly back then and it had finally become loose enough to make a bad contact. I reseated it and the charger reacted normally. If you compare the picture below with the first fuse picture above you cane see the difference in spacing on the left side of the fuse:

This all goes to show that sometimes what looks like a major problem might not actually be so bad. In fact it might be just a little thing like a bad contact on a fuse that is the issue.

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