One of the last chores of the season – Done!

I’m not talking out of turn, I think, when I say that Big Brother keeps forgetting I’m not an electrician. He has said so himself. On my best day I’m a sort of self-taught handyman. On my worst days sparks fly and things that should stay up fall down. I barely know how to make most things work, and when I get them to work there’s always a good chance it could have been done better.

So when on Sunday a commenter said,

Anything bigger than 32 gauge will be more than enough, although you’ll probably want 24 gauge or larger for mechanical strength, so they don’t stretch or break while pulling them.

I thought, “That sounds right, but BB is always after me to use large-gauge wire on DC. I should play it safe and keep doing what I’m doing.” But then BB himself, having read that comment, saw me coming and emailed,

Joel, the person who said that your new meters only need small gauge wire is exactly right (as long as they are the only thing connected to the wire) That’s why I sent you that hank of multi-conductor telephone wire. Basically wire the meters straight to your battery bank each on one twisted pair of wire.

So if you use that wire, the drill you have will be fine.

Okay, so that changed things, possibly more than he intended. If I used that wire, I could come up through an existing hole in the floor and didn’t need to fish wire through the wall at all. Just pry out a caulk plug.

meter1
It works! I’m always pleasantly surprised when I wire up something like this and it works.

Anyway, fortunately I had left means by which I could pull new wire through the conduit for once, and soon I had new small-gauge wire inside the cabin and ready to wire to my new meters.

meter2
And there you go. Doesn’t really mean anything now but there will be winter mornings and evenings when this will be information of great interest to me.

And anyway I’m just pleased with myself that I got it done. Working with electricity – even at very small amperage – and crawling around under the cabin are two of my least favorite things. Put them together and it’s a chore I’m glad to finally be on the right side of.

meter3
Further, the old one won’t go to waste. With the addition of a couple of alligator clips this’ll be screwed to the powershed wall as my permanent battery-checking voltmeter. Better than that redneck analog meter I wired up for the purpose years ago.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to One of the last chores of the season – Done!

  1. Mark Matis says:

    Woo Hoo!!!

    Now it’s time to wait for the smoken sparken spitzen flamen…
    }:-]

  2. Ben says:

    Bravo! Encore, Encore.

  3. Judy says:

    Ben – I’m not sure Joel wants to do an encore, but I think a congratulatory adult beverage might be just about right.

  4. coloradohermit says:

    Nicely done! Did Laddie help?

  5. Tennessee Budd says:

    Bravo, Joel!
    Fortunately, I grew up redneck, so my folks or one or another family member was generally around to teach me how to do whatever it was that needed doing. Despite that fact, there are lacunae in my experience & knowledge, & I’m at times forced to do something I don’t know much about. At such times, it’s always a great pleasure (and relief) when I can do so without letting the smoke out of something, causing a gnashing of gears, or having something heavy crash to the ground. (I’ve long ago accepted that I’ll probably bleed while performing any task.)
    Well done!

  6. s says:

    If the new wires are 24 or 22 AWG, they will probably melt and open if they ever get pinched or otherwise shorted. It would be safer to put a 2-amp fuse in the +lead from both battery banks to the new meters. Big batteries can provide extremely large currents into a short.

  7. Joel says:

    They both have 2 amp fuses.

To the stake with the heretic!