Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Batteries

As most of you have seen WE have been having major problems with our batteries once again. This seems to happen every few months and it is a complete frustration in our lives as I am sure that it is for you as well. In order to get the video signal from the game drive vehicle back to the Final Control WE encode the video then modulate that data and finally amplify and transmit that modulated signal. This requires three large energy intensive systems that all run on 220 volt AC current, which is supplied by an inverter. The inverter is powered by batteries which are twice as big as a car battery. The video/audio transmission equipment on the game drive vehicle is very power hungry and so WE use 8 of these batteries mounted behind the ranger's seat.

This whole battery problem is caused by a relatively difficult issue to resolve, and that is the fact that WE destroy our batteries because we over discharge them and, we don't charge them enough before we use them again, which reduces their capacity fast. This is a known problem which is hard to fix because our schedule is what it is and the gaps of time between drives are too short.

This basically means that every few months WE have to replace a whole set of batteries which is expensive. However, Peter Braat is working on a method of charging which will hopefully keep the next set for a year without them being destroyed.

WE have bought a new set and will be picking them up from Nelspruit in the next few days. Then WE will be back to proper three hour drives and night drives as well. Thank you for being so patient and understanding about this problem and rest assured in the knowledge that WE are doing everything within our power to get back to normal as soon as possible.

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