Boomershoot Mecca has solar power to keep the Wi-Fi going year around. Some of the batteries were over five years old and weren’t holding a charge. Some were three years old and I wasn’t too sure about them. I purchased four new sealed batteries and replaced all the old ones over Thanksgiving.
The batteries don’t handle really cold temperatures well and there is no heat at Mecca. At times it gets well below zero so I put some scrap insulating foam board underneath and on top to retain a little bit more heat until I can make something a little more permanent for the winter.
I brought the two year old batteries home, charged them, and did some tests. They have about 70% of their claimed storage capacity. I took them back to Idaho earlier this month for use at a different site.
Brother Gary, his dog Roscoe, and I took them the last 0.3 miles across the field on plastic toboggans over a few inches of snow:
The other site is underneath the power tower you see at the top center of the picture. It is a Wi-Fi relay station to get Internet service from Mecca to brother Gary’s house. The batteries there have been working for a couple years but were a little marginal in terms of recommended capacity. As they aged I was concerned that one dark and extremely cold January the batteries would fail. Putting in additional batteries now will ensure it makes it through this year and I won’t have to make the trip across the field on snowshoes over four feet of snow pulling 100+ pound batteries. I will test their capacity each August or September when access is easy by driving across the field and replace them as needed.