Well, today we finally made it down to town after being stuck up the mountain for five days because of the snow. Luckily we had plenty of food and were not too short on the vino either although it was getting dangerously low! Gasp.
Anyway, this one of those rather rambling posts but the story that follows is all based upon one of these small and cheap solar panel trickle chargers although being in Spain we bought ours from Amazon UK here and for less than 12 pound (sorry can’t find the pound symbol on my Spanish Laptop!) you can’t really go wrong.
If you do not drive your car or battery powered hover craft or battery powered personal helicopter at least every few days then you may find, as we do, that the battery goes flat. Especially if the weather is cold. As we had not driven the car since the weekend when we went to go out it was as dead as a proverbial…umm……I am informed it is a Do Do or a Doornail. Why is it Doornail?
So, you may ask, if you have a cheap solar trickle charger to stop a battery from going flat why did the battery go flat.
Well, because I am stupid and have not taken it out of the box yet!
Very stupid in fact. It took me ages to shovel snow from under the car and repeatedly rock it back and forth, back and forth so that I could jump start it. After heaving and pushing and digging for what seemed like the whole morning I finally got it in the right position. A final push and I was rolling down the hill. Clutch pedal down, in to second, gear turn the key and release the clutch pedal.
Nada. The battery was so dead the poor cold thing did not even have a spark of life in her bless her. So, get the battery out of the car with my freezing hands and trudge back up the hill it is. On with the electric battery charger (yes, it is run by solar panels, it gets convoluted doesn’t it?) we have in the house and after 30 mins or so it was restored to a low powered but self sufficient enough life to work for my second jump start attempt.
The daft thing is that we have two of these trickle charge solar panels. One is used to charge a battery we have in the house that is connected to a DC pump that runs our water and I installed it weeks ago. I had to drill holes in the stone that makes up our rustic house, insert rawl plugs, drill a tidy hole through the wooden window frame so the cables (which are really long) could run inside to the battery and all manner of fiddly things.
To keep the car battery from going flat all I would have had to do was use the supplied suction cups, stick the panel to the windshield with said suction cups and attach the crocodile clips (supplied) direct to the battery or use the cigarette lighter option (also supplied) and simply push it in.
Anyway, they do keep a car battery topped up and stop them from going flat, even in relatively un-sunny weather, it’s just a shame I didn’t connect it to the car battery that is actually on the car.