Sorry, that’s a really bad pun… It is the truth though… The Iota DLS55/IQ4 battery charger died today. I am not sure what caused it to go. Yesterday I fell on the stairs at the trailer, pulling on the shore power cord so hard that I destroyed the outlet it plugs into (on the house side) That might have thrown a spike or two into the cord. That’s not too likely though… The charger was in a bad place. It was one of the first things installed and everything was built around it. It might have simply overheated from lack of air flow. There’s not really any way to know but it seems plausible… I also had some bedding fall in front of the area, blocking most of the place where air could get in. Grrrrr….
I’m not too worried about the cost – I’m selling some possessions so the extra money will offset any expense that might occur with replacing the charger. No biggie… But there were some lessons learned…
1) Serviceability… Even though things were cramped, I still was able to get the battery charger out in less than 5 minutes. That part made me smile. At least I didn’t have to tear out any work.
2) Air space… I am going to relocate the charger to the front side of the bulkhead to allow for more air circulation. It will also make it easier to work on. The only downside is the need to make sure the positive connection to the battery is kept safely isolated.
3) That damn green LED… As much as the Iota is a nice little unit, that friggin’ little blinking LED will keep you up at night! It is on continuously when there is a full charge, slowly flashing during slight discharge, and blinking really fast after a heavy load. If I locate the charger in front of the bulkhead, the blackout curtain will block the green light. If I am sleeping, I don’t give a rat’s rump about the exact condition of the battery.
4) By locating the charger forward, a power switch can be added ahead of the charger in case I want to run off the batteries and not charge at the same time. (ie when using the microwave). I kept the charger connected full time with the inverter and battery and that never hurt anything. I’ve always wanted a way to shut off the Iota charger and it doesn’t have a built in power switch. I plan to use a heavy outlet strip to accomplish this.
Thankfully the inverter is working fine. (I had to run out and shut it off after this post ’cause I forgot and left it running!) The inverter should be okay because I seldom ever put a load on it unless the microwave is kicked in. It’s very unlikely to overheat. Heck, it’s seldom ever even turned on!
So, at least this little problem turned out to have some positives and yielded a chance to do a better job of locating the charger. It will be in a more convenient place with even easier access and no damn green flashing light. With a low of 61 degrees, I really miss camping tonight! 🙁
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