2017 June 03

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June 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Good evening! Partly clear and 61 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a west-northwest breeze at 10 mph. The dew point is 43 degrees. Not a terrible evening, cleared out a bit after those persistent northern clouds pushed south for a while a few hours ago. 

Today was a fairly successful. Got my oil changed and had breakfast at my parent’s house and spent some time with my niece. She is growing fast, now that she’s at something like 15 months old. Already knows a ton of words. I’ve always changed my own oil but it’s sometimes a pain to find oil to the Dexos2 specifications, and I always have trouble getting off the filter. Because my truck uses six quarts of oil, it always is expensive to buy that sixth quart, so it ends up costing basically the same for the professionals to do it as myself. And I don’t have to get coated with oil or return it to the store. I sometimes i used to burn the oil to perk up campfires in the wilderness but six quarts is a quick lot of oil, and gosh it can stink at times and certainly anything that doesn’t burn up could pollute the water accidentally. So it’s not a great idea. Synthetic oil does burn good though I must say. At some point I might go back to changing my oil myself but with modern oils and engines, I don’t change my oil but every 7-8 months although maybe six in the summer when I drive a lot more. Those engine oil life systems make it easy to keep track when you need to change the oil. 

Wired up a new light for under the rear seat of my truck, so I can find stuff easier under the seat while camping after dark. I often lose stuff under the seat. I still need to get a light bulb for one of the sockets (I used the old sockets from the license plate lights after the rear end crash a few years back) and a switch but I should have that ready for tomorrow. 

Later on I went hiking at Harvey Mountain to the Blueberry Patch and later to the lean to at Harvey Mountain State Forest and Beebe Hill. I thought about camping at that lean to – little known but quite nice in part because it’s very underused. I thought about camping there tonight but I didn’t feel like all the packing for one night. Harvey Mountain was beautiful, covered with pink flowers, some lady slippers and mountain laurel. Birds were chirping and very spring like. Beebe Hill Fire Tower was okay but the time I had climbed it, clouds had creeped in and things were rather glary. I need to carefully clean the oil off the lens or my camera before I use it again. I have gotten finger prints on it I think. 

I decided not to take the Thruway but instead the remnants of old Albany Post Road and Pleasant Valley Road. Some pretty interesting old homes and historical towns as you go through East Chatham and Old Chatham. Some of the road is rerouted by the Thruway but a lot is much more scenic than the toll expressway. You might describe me as a Shunpiker. Even when free expressways exists, I prefer country roads except when they have exceptionally slow speed limits or go through the big cities. 

Sat out back for a while, had burgers for dinner. It was nice evening, wouldn’t have been half bad for camping. I can smell smoke from one of my neighbors campfires. 

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 50 degrees at 4am. Five degrees below normal. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light west after midnight. In 2016, it got down to 61 degrees with heavy fog and fog and shallow fog and patches of fog and mist and cloudy skies. The record low of 36 occurred back in 1947.

Waxing Gibbous Moon tonight with 67% illuminated. The moon will set around 3:26 am. The Full “Strawberry” Moon is next Friday night with mostly cloudy skies expected. Still Saturday might be good for observing the nearly full moon. The sun will rise at 5:18 am with the first light at 4:44 am, which is 23 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 8 hours and 49 minutes of darkness, a decrease of one minute and 4 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have showers likely, mainly after 2pm. Increasing clouds, with a high of 66 degrees at 6pm. Eight degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 55 at 6pm. South wind 3 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. A year ago, we had heavy fog, fog, shallow fog, patches of fog, mist, cloudy skies and a high of 84 degrees. The record high of 97 was set in 1919.

In four weeks on July 1 the sun will be setting at 8:36 pm, which is 8 minutes and 18 seconds later then tonight. God willing, that will be the second night of my Independence Day Weekend Moose River Plains and trip. In 2016 on that day, we had thunderstorm, thunderstorm rain, hail, rain, heavy fog, fog, mist, cloudy skies and temperatures between 85 and 58 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 81 and 60 degrees. The record high of 99 degrees was set back in 1913.

Looking ahead, 50th Gas Up in Gallupville is Next Saturday, Eat Your Vegatables Day is in 2 weeks, Latest Sunset of Year (8:37 PM) is in 3 weeks, July 1st is in 4 weeks, Cow Apprechiation Day (Moo?) is in 6 weeks, Hottest Time of Year Ends (83 Average) is in 7 weeks SAD!, National Lasagna Day is in 8 weeks, Last Sunset After 8 PM is in 10 weeks, National Dog Day is in 12 weeks, Lowville Cream Cheese Festival is in 15 weeks, Friday the 13th (October) is in 4 months, Beaver Moon is in 22 weeks, Cold Moon is in 6 months and Election Day 2020 is in 40 months. Hopefully goodbye Trump! 

I’m tired. Good night! 

Map: Otter Lake

Map: Otter Lake

Otter Lake is a 282 acre, class A lake found in the Town of Forestport in Oneida County, in the
southwestern Adirondack region of New York State. It is located off of NY 28 and is near the hamlet of Otter Lake on your way up to Old Forge. There is a public parking area and car top boat launch on the south-eastern tip of the lake.

To access it, you must go north of the lake on NY 28 to Lake View Road, and drive all the way around the lake on Lake View Road, until you reach the southern tip.

Workers Want A Green Economy, Not A Black Environment

"Don’t get me wrong. The USW supports job creation. But the union believes clean air pays; clear water provides work. Engineers design smokestack scrubbers, skilled mechanics construct them and still other workers install them. Additional workers install insulation and solar panels. Untold thousands labor to make the steel and other parts for wind turbine blades, towers and nacelles, fabricate the structures and erect them. Withdrawing from the Paris Accord diminishes these jobs and dispatches the innovators and manufacturers of clean technologies overseas where countries that continue to participate in the climate change agreement will nurture and grow them."

I’ve discovered that adding the low voltage battery disconnect (LVD) is key for maintaining a happy and healthy accessory battery in my truck. Previously, the accessory battery was electrically isolated from the starting battery, which allowed me to run down the battery without worrying about getting started, but nothing protected the accessory battery from overdischarge. Dropping a rechargeable battery’s levels down too low means the chemistry is irreversibly changed and the plates have sulfur collecting on them, which limits the ability to recharge. The alternator also has work much harder and longer to recharge a totally dead battery compared to one that is discharged to a safe level of only 50% charge. Battery life is much longer when you don’t overdischarge the battery, so that 50% consumed, actually can be longer then 80-90% consumed after a few deep discharges. A good deep cycle battery should be able to go into the 75% range safely, but why risk damage when one can disconnect it at a higher voltage? Moreover, you have to leave a bit of battery voltage above the danger range, to keep the low voltage disconnect powered, even though it only uses about 70 milliamp (which can add up over time).

nycmap $id

A low voltage disconnect is a combination of a electronic device and electro-mechanical relay that monitors system voltage, and if voltage drops below a certain level for a period of time, the relay opens to disconnect the load from the battery. This keeps the battery from overdischarging. On my truck, I use a BlueSeas 60-amp LVD ($50 on Amazon), which was a nice integrated unit that has both the voltage monitoring circuitry and a 60-amp relay built into the unit, and come with a wired remote for overriding the system or changing the targeted voltage. Read the instructions carefully on wiring the remote – they are a bit confusing. I have the remote hooked up, but I have yet to use it. There are other models out there, but most of them have a separate disconnect controller and relay, and aren’t as elegant.

The low voltage disconnect on my truck is always monitoring the voltage of the accessory battery. As long as the voltage is at 12.1 volts or higher, the relay (switch) inside it remains closed and supplies power to my truck cap lights, inverter, CB radio, dash camera, and all other accessory loads I have connected to it. When the voltage drops to 12.0 volts for more then 30 seconds (a delay to avoid disconnects on temporary high start-up loads of inductive loads like electric motors or the starting of the inverter), the relay opens, disconnecting the load. This means that the lights in the truck cap, inverter and all accessory loads are disconnected. That can plunge you in the darkness, but it also spares the accessory battery. You can always hit the door unlock button, or hop in the truck, and have interior light to get the truck started again.

nycmap $id

The low voltage disconnect is constantly polling the battery voltage. When you start the truck up, after 30 seconds of voltage over 13.5 volts, the load is automatically reconnected to the battery, automatically reseting the inverter, turning back on the lights, and other load you have connected. The delay in reconnecting the load is good for the alternator, because it gives it a chance to start recharging the low voltage – a high amperage drain – before you put even more load on it from the accessories.

Prior to the installation of the low voltage disconnect, I relied on both the inverter faulting out for low voltage, and keeping an eye on the battery voltage to know when I should recharge things. But that was a hardly a perfect solution. The inverter wouldn’t raise a fault until 11.8 volts or so, which is closer to 75-80% discharge, and would beep but allow the battery voltage to fall well into the danger range for low voltage, before finally disconnecting. Other loads wouldn’t be disconnected at all. The inverter would chirp and beep when the battery voltage was low – a rather annoying alarm – and require a full reset by reaching down and turning the power switch on an off. Left parked for an extended period of time, sometimes predatory loads from the various USB ports and other minor electronics would discharge the accessory battery below a safe level. It was far from an ideal situation.

nycmap $id

The low voltage disconnect does it’s job, silently. It disconnects the load when the battery voltage is low, without any further prompting or annoying beeps or alarms. It reconnects the load when the engine is powered back up and the battery charge is at a safe level once again. It works without fiddling with it or monitoring the voltage yourself. It’s a good safety measure that I would recommend for any rechargable battery-powered application.

Good morning! Happy Saturday. Finally the weekend! Next Saturday is 50th Gas Up in Gallupville. Mostly cloudy and 63 degrees in Westerlo. There is a northwest breeze at 11 mph. The dew point is 42 degrees. The skies will clear around 1 pm. Not a really nice morning but having a nice breakfast with the family. 

Today will have a chance of showers, mainly before noon. Partly sunny, with a high of 67 degrees at 4pm. Eight degrees below normal. Northwest wind 11 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. A year ago, we had rain, mostly cloudy skies and a high of 79 degrees. The record high of 97 was set in 1925.

The sun will set at 8:28 pm with dusk around 9:02 pm, which is 43 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly cloudy conditions and 61 degrees. There will be a west-northwest breeze at 11 mph. Today will have 15 hours and 8 minutes of daytime, an increase of one minute and 5 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 48 degrees at 6am. Five degrees below normal. Northwest wind 6 to 11 mph becoming light west after midnight. In 2016, it got down to 61 degrees with heavy fog and fog and shallow fog and patches of fog and mist and cloudy skies. The record low of 36 occurred back in 1947.

As previously noted, next Saturday is 50th Gas Up in Gallupville when the sun will be setting at 8:33 pm with dusk at 9:07 pm. On that day in 2016, we had mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 74 and 47 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 77 degrees. We hit a record high of 96 back in 2008.

Getting my oil changed this morning and having breakfast with my parents and niece. Not sure what I’m going to do later, I have some stuff to do around home and then maybe if it clears out I might go hiking or camping. Toying with the idea of camping up at that little known lean to on Harvey Mountain. I don’t know, it’s still fairly cloudy at this point. I’m also not sure if I want to drive that far as I hate driving on the expressway. 

Adding to my growing flag collection, I bought a Gay Pride, rainbow flag. It is gay pride month. I like color and celebrating diversity. I just wish people om the political extremes would be more tolerant of people who are different then themselves. 

Cleaned up that plastic box I found on the street earlier this week and it will be perfect for camping. I found that it even fits my pots and pans and will help keep things much more organized for camping. I think I will keep some of my kitchen supplies in it and leave it in the kitchen so I have less to unpack after camping each week. 

That said, my kitchen needs a good cleaning. Maybe this afternoon or tomorrow. I don’t know how it got so dirty but everything could use a good scrub. 

Enjoy your Saturday, hopefully weather will get better before long!