A Little Restraint Needed

I woke up to a decalibrated battery monitor that claimed I was at 100% capacity and pulling in 13.0A. Both it and the solar array monitor claimed that I was at 10.5V.

My first thought? Damn, I need to do some carpentry.

I went outside and, sure enough, the batteries had shifted a little from all the wind yesterday (bad enough that I felt so queasy I went to bed at about 9PM after taking a Gravol to help me sleep!!!). The shift was enough to loosen one of the top butterfly-type nuts on the batteries. These are the ones that keep giving me grief, so I need to find a better option for them.

Anyway, the batteries were sitting at about 12.4V and a quick flick of the wrench got everything nice and tight again. I didn’t use much power yesterday and we will have sun today, so I’ll be able to recalibrate the battery monitor shortly.

After installing my new batteries in Suffolk, I restrained them the way I did my old pair, but I removed the wood when I got here to make it easier to keep tweaking the setup. I’ve now learned that it really doesn’t take much to move those heavy suckers and that they should be restrained at all times.

We’re supposed to have sun all week, so I am seriously considering taking the batteries out completely and moving the fuse and shunt to a more accessible location for checking connections. The hiccup is that I am severely limited by the length of my cables and I put the fuse and shunt where they are because there was no more obvious place to put them. So it might just be exercise for exercise’s sake, but I’ve conceded that my battery bank setup is never going work for me and will continue to cause me grief.

Anyway, not a huge deal this morning, especially since I’m very well rested. 🙂


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  • Do Google and Ebay searches for “Self locking nuts” and “Aircraft nuts”. This will find specialty nuts designed for high vibration conditions. They are expensive and the trick will be to find them in small quantities. You don’t need fifty of them at $3 each! Of course the first thing will be to determine the size of the nut and remember the positive and negative nuts might be different sizes. The safest way would be to take the old nuts with you on your shopping trip.

    If there is an airport nearby there might be a parts place nearby or your favorite O’Reillys might have them as well as they are used on race cars.

    They come in various designs, the kind we used had a nylon insert that gripped the bolt. Others have fiber inserts and others an integrated lock washer.

    Here is a place to start your research:


  • Thank you!

  • This is what we used. Our engineering department determined they were the best for our application. I have no idea where you could buy them.


  • I can get those CHEAP on Amazon!!!

    I’ll take one of mine to a store to get the size and then I’ll try your Nylocs. Anything’s got to be better than what I have!

    Thank you!!!

  • […] never did get to recalibrate the battery monitor since the big winds the other day because I’ve needed to use an inordinate amount of juice to […]

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