2015-03-20On Thursday afternoon, Dave-K1JGV and Marty-KA1YFV of the Buildings and Grounds Committee discovered that the 12-Volt battery system at the clubhouse is in need of some work.  There are four batteries that exist inside of a “dog house” type structure behind the clubhouse close to the electrical closet side.  A rat/mouse nest was discovered inside sitting atop one of the batteries.  After the fuse holders were cleaned and fuses were replaced, it was determined that the batteries have reached their end of life and no longer hold a charge.  Lack of maintenance is partially to blame.

Contained within the clubhouse electrical closet is a couple metal enclosures attached to the wall which were originally built by the late Bill-K1IBR.  One box is the junction of the 12-Volt wiring system via a +12 VDC and ground terminal block.  The wires from the batteries outside, a 5-Amp trickle charger, the DC light bulb on the ceiling of the electrical closet and the 2m and 900 MHz radios on the clubhouse wall all terminate here.  In addition, another set of wires run to the second enclosure which contains relays for the emergency floodlights on the clubhouse ceiling that activate via relays automatically when commercial AC power is lost.

The temporary solution implemented by Jeff-N1ZZN and Rick-W1RJC of the Technical Committee was to take a spare 20-Amp power supply sitting on the radio room desk and install it in the electrical closet.  The leads that run from the wall radios to underneath the clubhouse and then up to the metal enclosure in the electrical closet were removed and instead connected to the temporary power supply which is currently sitting on top of the security camera system PC in the electrical closet.  The trickle charger that is meant to keep the batteries charged has been unplugged to prevent further damage.

The Technical Committee, in conjunction with the Buildings and Grounds Committee, will need to come up with a plan to replace the rotted “dog house” structure and batteries.  In the discussion between Rick and Dave, it was agreed that it may be best to get a similar container and battery that we currently have at the repeater site.  That current setup is also fairly new, having been setup by Brad-W1BEP a couple years ago.  Perhaps the membership will want to put this on hold until the building extension is completed at some point in the future, so that the positioning of the battery system for the clubhouse can be worked into the plans.  Dave recommends placing it on the south side with proper ventilation and a way to maintain a reasonable temperature of about 40 to 80 degrees.