Rob Gray :: ontheroad :: wothahellizat :: wot1 :: diaries :: issue-028


7 Aug 2000

When I first installed the batteries and saw the size of the cables I realised that there was some serious power at play. I had various fuses throughout the system to protect the wiring but thought that a fuse directly on the battery terminal would be a good idea. I decided that it wasn't important enough to do for a while. That was until today.

I was head down and bum up installing some freshly cut plywood in a cabinet when I smelt something strange. At first I though it was just the newly cut timber but then realised it was something different.

On extracting myself from the cabinet I immediately spotted the problem. I had been using two jumper leads to connect one of the winches to the 12v battery, it was a temporary measure that I had disconnected from the winch a few hours before. As a "safety" technique I usually clip one of the leads to the handle of the other so the metal jaws of the two cannot touch. I've been doing this for years but this time the jaws slowly pressed though the insulation and the two leads shorted.

The insulation was dripping from the hot wire and smoke was wafting to the ceiling.

Somehow I managed to unclamp the leads and relaxed thinking I had fixed the problem. A bit premature as it turned out.

The leads were overlaying each other in several places and the heat had caused the insulation to melt through so, by now, they were shorting at several places. The only thing to do was remove the leads from the battery, that's the battery in a difficult-to-get-at location under the truck and the leads are extremely hot, to hot to touch.

Eventually I found a rag and managed to clamber between the chassis and body to remove one lead, but what if I had not been there or the battery housing had been finished and therefore enclosed and even more difficult to get to.

A fuse is required and it should be located as near as possible to the actual battery, right on the terminal if possible.

Unable to find an on-terminal fuse holder thingy I made my own by bolting a fuse directly to one of those battery connectors with a wingnut design for attaching a lug.

Fig 1. Fuse mounted directly to battery connector.

18 Aug 2000

I've been spending most of my time on fit-out lately, here's a couple of shots from the lounge room, through the kitchen and down towards the bath and bedrooms.

Fig 2. Righthand side of the kitchen.

Fig 3. Lefthand side of the kitchen.