Eric the car guy is a you-tube star. Which is somehow very satisfying for him, I am sure.
Occasionally, I get a ‘look-at-me’ sent from him. Yesterday, I did. It was on battery maintenance. I knew most of it but he also showed how using his multimeter to measure stray ‘leaks’ across the top of the battery, one could find battery loss even while the battery just sat. Put the positive lead on the positive terminal and place the negative anywhere on the top of the battery’s plastic casing and – even tho there should be no charge – THERE WAS!! I went out to look at my batteries and had anywhere from 3 volts to nine volts discharging across the top of each battery!! That was a shock.
OK, the voltages are varying and are likely measured in nano-amps but that is NOT the point. The point is that damn batteries are weird creatures. Just when you think you have them figured out, ZAP! They get you. THAT is how batteries age and die, I guess.
Eric suggested using a solution of washing soda to clean the tops which I did but that did not help at all. I was near some WD40 and so I gave that a shot and the runaway voltages stopped! Who knew!?
“Does it matter, if it is only milli-amps?” Probably not. My solar array is pumping in gobs of juice these days and so what if I ‘spill’ a bit. Everything is fine. Still, it is weird to discover yet another way in which OTG electrical systems can go rogue on you.
I heard from a reader yesterday who is planning on doing something OTG in future. He’s 61. Time to make the move. Another reader (mid 50’s) is already up this way and looking around. He’ll find something I am sure. Has the exodus begun? No, I don’t think so. If there is ever to be a mass migration from urban to rural I think there will have to be a catalyzing event. Moving without a strong nudge just isn’t in our nature. A body at rest tends to stay at rest. A body in motion tends to stay in motion. The fellow already up here has been motor-homing for awhile and so he is a body-in-motion and breaking that primary and inherent inertia seems to be the biggest step. He’s done that. He’ll make it.
“Was it like that for you?” I like to think I am different but I am not. My need to change places and have an adventure could have been sidelined by the TV and my comfy cul-de-sac chair. I seem to recall sinking deeper and deeper at one point. But the BIG family trip we took the kids on through N.A and Europe by motorhome started me moving again and once moving, the cul-de-sac lost all appeal. So I, too, needed a catalyzing event. I am grateful for having had one.
In other words: waiting for it to happen will NOT make it so.
“Maybe I prefer just the dream…?” Nothing wrong with that. Talking to the guy still at the planning stage reminded me of how much fun it was to plan, learn, dream and take baby steps. In retrospect I would suggest that 25% of the overall reward was derived simply from the dreaming stage. I have no problem with that nor even limiting it to that. But getting going, actually making the move, putting physical energy into it..well, that is when it starts to take on a life of it’s own. That is when the adventure gets a little scary and the adrenaline starts to flow.
And, in the beginning, when the energy starts to flow, it is usually a bit misdirected, varying, random and rogue efforts like the little leaks across the battery. The key is to eventually direct that energy through the proper terminals and power up what needs powering up. If you don’t, your battery can go dead on ya from simply leakage across the casing while doing nothing but sitting there.
Like that metaphor, did ya?