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Brian and Brandelyne

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Everything posted by Brian and Brandelyne

  1. Absolutely it helps, thank you and nice setup! Brian
  2. I just spoke to Dick, one of the owners at KTT, he said if you are having issues and are unhappy to call them and they will get you information on how to get the covers repaired or replaced. Brian
  3. Is this a temporary application or permanent? I have seen some people put temporary surface coatings for trips to AK but this looks like the permanent stuff. Did he just do the front of the trailer and the dog house? Thanks, Brian
  4. Thank you for this post. We are waiting on an LE II build with a similar setup. So you are saying you have 340W of solar panels and in full sunlight you only recovered 10% each day? I am guessing you have the Zamp solar charge controller? I am hoping their move to the Victron Solar Charge controller and adding 60w of solar (for a total of 400w) will perform a little better than that. Also, I will be supplementing my solar with a portable, dual-fuel 2500w generator as required. Again, thank you for the post. Brian
  5. Patriot - did you use the "stock" Oliver receiver or did you take the 1.25" off and replace it with a 2"? Really like this setup and while we normally carry our bikes under the truck topper, this would be a nice option to explore. Thank you for the detailed post. Brian
  6. John & Wen, How old were your KTT mattresses when the were falling apart at the seams? We liked laying on the Totcha but didn't like sitting on them. We thought about ordering KTT direct from KTT but your comment doesn't make me feel good about that. Brian
  7. John, This is a great post and it Colville NF caught my eye as well. I have been out there MANY times with the USAF Survival training school. Did my initials Wilderness Survival course out there and then several follow up "Exercises" where we were testing new survival electronics. Other people tested other things but electronics "was my thing" in the AF so I got to test the latest GPS, Radios, e-maps, etc. Talk about sleeping on the ground and things getting "buggy", there are many creepy, crawly, growling things out there in that forest. Brian
  8. I could be tempted by a Monte Cristo #2 from Habana, but other than that, I have essentially given them up. Brian
  9. Very nice map and have experienced this as well. There is a stark difference between EC and WC. I was doing a communications project many years back and we came up with a stat that said, over 1/2 the US population lives within 50 miles of the coast! That means there is a lot of unoccupied land in the center. Thanks for the reference. Brian
  10. Ron, Great report, we are picking up in March! Seems like forever from now. We are over in Western TN, near Paris. If you are ever passing through and need a driveway to overnight, we have connections and will host you guys. Best to you and your wife and we sincerely hope you get to visit all sites, and more than you ever imagined. Brian & Brandelyne Paris, TN
  11. Steve, We have placed our order for our LE II and I am still on the fence about the omni-directional antenna and the "new" placement on the back of the trailer. Is your antenna on the back and are you generally happy with the performance (now that the polarity has been corrected on the amp)? I have been working in communications all my life and to move an antenna from a perfectly "quiet" area up front to back behind the a/c where motors and fans are running (radio hates motors and fans), and also where the A/C can physically block signals, makes little to no sense. Only thing I can think is that they were trying to cut down on the wire run from the front to the back of the trailer. I would like to have it in the off-chance that we have weather coming in and there is a TV station close enough to provide weather reports to augment our normal suite of communications devices and weather data. Thanks for your input. Brian
  12. Agree, we are getting into the territory of too many apps to do similar things. However, that being said, the Victron security does not obviate the need for a pass code on the batteries nor does it prohibit it. They (the batteries) are independent because BT was designed into them and as you mentioned before, someone in your campground can just look at and make changes to your batteries. I don't even like the fact that my batteries will be advertising their presence to anyone with a Lithionics app on their phone. I will secure access to anything I can secure access to, just like locking my trailer when I leave. I won't be using my hull number or my license plate number either. I think the access is a good tool in the tool bag but we have to keep the tool bag secure. A Smart Shunt would be a nice option but I think access to the batteries obviates the need for that as it provides the same information. Brian
  13. Steve, you might be in the cheap seats but you won't be in a cheap travel trailer...looking forward to seeing you there. Brian
  14. We won't have the trailer until March but I will see you there in '24. Brian
  15. We are going to the Overland Expo East in VA next month and look forward to seeing Oliver there. I really like the Kimberly, hopefully they don't steal me away from Oliver! We will not be camping as we no longer have a trailer. We still have the option to tent camp but I don't see that happening on this trip. Brian
  16. We will be picking up in March and attending the Rally in May as well. Brian
  17. We love it there, my wife's Aunt and Uncle live in ARCO, ID (I know, who does that?). We towed through there in 2020 but it was full (and we had a 30' trailer) so we camped just down the street. Brian
  18. I use these ties all the time on my tower and antenna cables. They are UV proof and releasable! Grip Lock Ties (kf7p.com) Not saying this is the only source for them, I shop with KF7P often and he is good people. Brian
  19. John, I agree, it is not that difficult to install one but, with the current system, I don't know that there would be much added value by doing so. Of course, if I was designing an all-Victron suite, it would include a Smart Shunt, Inverter/Charger, and MPPT Solar Charge Controller. But I'm not... Brian Paris, TN
  20. Steve - I don't disagree with anything you have stated here. Right there with you. IMHO FWIW - a move to Victron should have included all components. Brian
  21. SeaDawg - understandable, basically they can work together to provide the end user with information though they don't "work" together in that sense of the term. It also depends on what you mean by "controlling battery functions". The lithionics interface is one of the best I have seen for staying informed about the health and performance of your batteries. The Victron app is going to tell you how your solar system is performing. Keep in mind, when someone says Victron app with respect to an OTT, they are only referring to SOLAR. Victron makes many, many more products that could be used but are not currently going into the OTT. One such product is the Inverter/Charger. OTT uses the XANTREX PRO series, a very good product on its own, but does not show up in the Victron or Lithionics App, it has it's own app. So, if you want to fully understand a 2023 "Electrical System" you should have an App for the Victron Solar, Xantrex Inverter/Charger and Lithionics batteries. And, to be clear, the Victron Solar and Xantrex Inverter/Charger have remotes on the wall so you don't have to have their apps to get the information but if you want to check detailed battery information, you will have to BT into the battery and check it out. Here is a good (the drawing gets a little tedious) video of how the Lithionics battery app works. Here is a video on the Victron system for the 2023 models. Significant point to note, Xantrex used a PWM charging method, Victron uses MPPT. I won't get into those details here but suffice it to say, MPPT is more efficient (and usually costly). I prefer MPPT on all my solar chargers. Cheers, Brian
  22. The 2023 EII will have a Victron Solar Charge controller replacing the Zamp controller and it will be Bluetooth capable. That will give you access to your charging parameters and most of the battery information that you would want/need. You can also access the Xantrex Pro 3000 via BT and get inverter and battery information from there. Accessing at the Battery level is good because you can get fault codes and check the individual battery health and temp. This would not be something I would do often but if BT access is there, I want it to be access protected. I have seen many Victron systems that incorporate the "Smart Shunt" where they are very clear that every ground has to be connected to the shunt in order for it to report accurately to the controller. Since some batteries are not close to this shunt, I have seen things like tongue jacks and powered stabilizers wired directly to the battery and not being reported by the smart shunt, even while in use. Oliver doesn't use the Smart Shunt so direct access to the batteries could be helpful in identifying parasitic draws, albeit fairly insignificant. It can also be helpful, since the batteries are in parallel, to see if both batteries are healthy. The bottom line is, most everything will be connected soon and we will have to choose which path we will take when assessing our power reserves. Options are a good thing as long as they don't drive the prices up to where we can no longer afford to have them. Brian
  23. John, All good questions. First and foremost, this will not open your phone up to hackers if you do not do this. That said, it can open you up to your neighbor exploring your Victron and making changes, even shutting it down. I just want to lock down anything that has settings that can be changed via remote app. I work in IT so that might just be me saying don't look at my stuff and don't change my stuff. Has this ever happened? My guess would be yes but I don't know of any cases where batteries or solar have been hacked and manipulated. I can say, when I first saw the Lithionics app demonstrated and it showed all the batteries within BT range it concerned me. The guy doing the demonstration said, you might have to know your battery's serial number if there are a lot of them around. Yikes. (being the paranoid IT guy). Just passing a new feature along for the consideration of others. Brian
  24. I was always curious as to why this was not done early in the release but am VERY happy they are incorporating it now. Brian
  25. Very nice! My wife and I met in Ouray on a 4x4 expedition (FJ Summit) and I learned she had her General class. When she heard I was an Extra class (from the 20wpm code days) she had to get hers so I coached her into taking and passing the test first time. She is not as active as I am but not shy on the radio either. Brian AF1US
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