Report of July 4, 2016 Plishner Site Trip

David Molter and Steve Plock went to the Plishner site on July 4th to work on the Radio Jove antenna and to measure the length of the Azimuth data cable. They report:

When we first entered the bunker, the lights did not come on. We found the batteries sitting at 11.6 volts and the inverter cut off because of low battery voltage. There was standing water in the bunker up to 2 inches deep. The charge controller showed zero amps of current. We went out to the Solar array and saw that the solar panel wiring was disconnected from the feedline. The wire nut showed evidence of arcing and the insulation was burnt back on the feedline. We stripped the wires back and put on a new wire nut. Note: this connection needs to be in a weatherproof box.

We saw that the reconnected charge controller was reading 11 amps. We reset the inverter and it kicked off in 10 seconds. We looked into the inside sump and saw it was full. We unplugged the sump pump and the inverter stayed up when reset.

We checked the outside sump pump and heard it running. There was no water coming out of the discharge, so we unplugged the outside sump pump. After a couple of minutes of scooping water off the floor, we plugged-in the inside sump pump, which pumped the sump down and stopped.

We opened the cover to the outside sump and found it full of water. The pump would run but no water showed at the discharge outlet. We jury rigged the spare sump pump and got 2 feet of water out of the outside sump before the inverter kicked off because of too low battery voltage. We did not have enough battery power to: (1) vacuum up the standing water in the bunker, or (2) get enough water out of the outside sump to figure out why the pump will not empty the sump. We suspect that the hose came off the pump outlet.

We measured the Azimuth data cable. We also drove in the last pipe for the radio Jove antenna, but we did not pour cement around the post. The outside sump cover is not completely covering the sump. The spare sump pump is still in the outside sump, jury rigged to a hose.

The outside sump needs to be pumped out and the regular pump recovered and fixed. The bunker needs to be emptied of water.

Submitted by Dave and Steve, edited by Dan Martin.

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