need for a second car charger
Friday, June 10 2022
location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY
Gretchen went to an estate sale this morning that she'd been given insider information about, and that meant she had lots of stuff to look over that hadn't been looked over by anyone else. Among the things for sale was a pedal-powered pipe organ similar to one at the Twenty Ninth Pond cabin that we used to go to. Such organs are rare, and when Gretchen messaged me saying it was only $100, I told her to definitely buy it. But then it turned out that it was too big to fit in the Forester, but by the time I told Gretchen to unbuy it, she'd already left the sale. The organ will probably end up at our house in Hurely, since there's no suitable place for it at the cabin, which is disappointing. (I was hoping to clone one of the good things about Twenty Ninth Pond.)
Gretchen would be spending all of next week at the cabin, and, since we had so much to hault there after her visit to the estate sale, we decided to drive there in separate cars. Gretchen left in the early afternoon with Ramona as her passenger (she only had room for one dog).
Meanwhile in the remote workplace, I finished some work in the actual customer-facing codebase that would present build information (some of it produced by my Azure DevOps build pipeline) to the customer so that they could tell this information to support staff to help with debugging. After that, I had relatively little left to do, and could leave for the cabin at 4:00pm. I'd filled the back of the Forester with bluestone as well as an office chair and an L-shaped desk pillaged from the old Red Hook office. But I still had a passenger seat for Neville so he could be my co-pilot.
I was listening yet again to Christian radio for much of the drive up, mostly because such an absurdly Medieval worldview fascinates me. How can such people compete against people who don't waste all their time appealing to non-existent magic? While there was a little news about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there was none at all about Thursday's amazing and highly-newsworthy prime-time House select hearing on the January 6th 2021 insurrection (something that I admittedly didn't watch).
At the cabin, Gretchen was relaxing out in the unscreened part of the lower deck. Temperatures were in the low 60s, and she'd abandoned her plans of going for a swim down at the lake.
My Friday-evening task was to get started installing a new 20 amp/240 volt car-charging circuit. This circuit will terminate with a NEMA 6-20 outlet next to the big 40 amp/240 volt outlet already in place. That outlet is great when the generator is running, but the charger attached to it draws too much power to work reliably when powerd by the SolArk inverter. The new circuit will use about half as much power as that, which will allow us to charge the car two to four times faster than we can with the 120 volt charger. And, since a 20 amp circuit requires thinner conductors, I'll be able to affordably run cable to the top of the hill in the driveway above the cabin and have another charging location up there, which will make it possible to drive the Bolt to the cabin even when winter weather is a little treacherous.
Today's work consisted mostly of using a masonry bit to drill through the cabin's thick concrete foundation wall. This took awhile, but went faster than I remember it going when I installed the first car charger outlet. Since the masonry bits are all too thin to make a hole wide enough for half-inch PVC conduit, I then I had to let the bit flail around at various angles to remove concrete from the sides of the hole at various depths. This took awhile, but eventually I had just enough room to push a piece of half inch PVC all the way through. The plan now was to reduce the diameter of the PVC pipe just enough so that I could rotate it into the hole in the back of metal outdoor outlet box, a technique that worked great when I installed the first car charger outlet. If I did that, I wouldn't require a threaded PVC fitting, which would require enlarging the hole in the concrete (shallowly on the outside of the wall) even more.
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