Better Solar Battery Bank

| July 6, 2019
solar battery wiring tight
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

I built a solar powered backup battery a couple years ago, but decided to make a better solar battery bank. I originally thought I needed more room for more 12v lead acid batteries when I built the last version. I never added 12v lead acid batteries, because LiPo batteries started looking appealing, and did not want to waste time or money on increasing amps, with more lead acid batteries. They are also quite heavy.

The lead acid batteries I have, still have plenty of life, so I decided to re-use them. The new version is more compact, and better insulated against weather.

solar battery internal fitmentsolar battery wiring 2solar battery wiringside view of wiringsolar battery wiring tightold vs new side by sideold vs new top viewtop view of switches

I re-used 4 12v 7AH and 1 12v 8AH battery. I secured them into an internal holder, made of plywood. The internal holder protects the batteries, prevents movement, makes the carrier more rigid, and gives me a place to mount my screw block terminal for a cleaner wiring job.

The battery box is tactical ammo box, from Harbor Freight. On its own, its somewhat flimsy and unimpressive, but the dimension were perfect for 5 12v lead acid batteries. Its also waterproof, and has a nice little ‘top compartment’ for protecting toggle switches from the elements. The wiring is nice and clean, and fairly straight forward. All wires go to their respective polarity on a terminal block.

Three switches run three different plugs. Two of those switches run waterproof cigarette lighter sockets, which is how I am attaching the solar cell during the day time. A third switch runs a dual 5V 2.1A usb port, although this one, with a voltage indicator built in, would be the better option if I didn’t already have a mini digital voltmeter.

When we are car camping, or experiencing a power outage, we are able to comfortably power a automotive immersion beverage heater, a small USB fan, 6' led lights, and an inverter when needed.

This reduces the need to start the car and burn fuel, and lets us keep phones, GPS, watches, bluetooth speakers, and headlamps fully charged.

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Legal Lead Ammo

| July 5, 2019
lead free 22
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

The California statewide ban on lead ammo is now in effect.  Sure condors and other critters will continue to choke on old wheel balancing weights, trash, and lead fishing weights, but that’s because the lead free movement isn’t really about the environment, its about gun control.

In California, I can hunt a variety of small game using Crosman .22 cal 14.3g lead hunting pellets 500 pellets runs $6.28 on Amazon or 1.256 cents per pellet.  However, it is now illegal for me to use lead 36g 22lr ammo to hunt anything. If it sounds stupid, its because it is.

lead free 22

So what gives? Certainly its not environmental concerns driving this type of legislation, or we’d see more effective legislation protecting the environment holistically.  In addition to the statewide lead hunting ammo ban, background checks for ammo purchases are now a thing.  The government will most definitely be keeping tabs on your ammo sales.

I went through a background check at Dick’s Sporting Goods, and bought 2 boxes of lead free CCI COPPER-22 ammo for my 22lr. *At 8.99 for each 50 round box, that’s 17.98 cents per round, a stark contrast from my average 3.5 cent lead 22lr rounds.  The process was made more simple for me, because I had given them my patronage and bought firearms through them, before they got on the anti 2a political band wagon.  I did not have to pay 19 dollars for the background check, which would have made the purchase of 20 dollars worth of ammo twice as expensive, and a deal breaker.

The combined legislation effectively increases ammo costs more than 4 fold, decreases the availability of ammo as there are way less lead free options, adds a burden of background checks, and effectively taxes the law abiding citizen a $20 fee to legally purchase ammo.

The laws do nothing to curtail gun violence, they arguably do nothing or next to nothing for wildlife, and they encourage legal gun owners to break the law and buy ammo where its less restrictive and less burdensome.

The laws do seem to do one thing, and that is to help pacify an anti-gun voter base, that keeps our legislatures at the helm of an otherwise great state. But its never enough for them.

For more on the BS about lead, read for yourself here

*I also want to be clear, that I am not criticizing CCI, they are producing a product to satisfy California’s small game hunters. It is understandably more expensive than lead.

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