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 > Your search for posts made by 'BFL13' found 1049 matches.

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RE: Solar float mode: Necessary?

BFL.... how do you determine 'full' when battery is under some random load? Must be unattended for proper use of RV. (IMHO) Probably need a battery monitor connected to the controller. This is the reason I frequently bring up what a benefit it is to have a controller with a variable absorption time. Still if the mark is missed it is better to remain in float vs off. I got that now, you meant float is better than off while there is any sun at all. I determine "full" by comparing my AH counter with my hydrometer reading "Baseline SG" . Once in a long while for the SG part as a cross-check of the AH counter. The AH counter needs a reset every so often--do it when at full by SG reading. there is no set and forget for all summer--you have to adapt to the weather. Last summer we discussed how my batts were losing water in the long days at Vabs, so I had to drop to Float, trying 13.2v at first, but this was too low for also running loads so I made it 13.6v. Which was noted as being what converters do too while camping on grid--do 13.6 instead of 13.2. EDIT- BTW, I am reverting to "lurker status." Thanks everybody for all the help with my questions on how to keep the RV working right!
BFL13 12/26/15 07:26pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar float mode: Necessary?

There is some confusion in scenarios here. I am saying you first need to get to "full" before you drop to "float" --unless there is enough daylight left that you will still get to "full" at float before dark. If you will not get to "full" before dark at float, stay at Vabs longer so that you will get to "full" Some days you can't get to full even if you stay at Vabs till dark. Some days you can't even get to Vabs before dark. You have to play each day as it comes, with the object of getting the batts to full each day, or as high as they can get short of full.
BFL13 12/26/15 05:44pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar float mode: Necessary?

If using a controller w/o float, if you drew AH from the fully charged battery and there was still sunlight, I would expect the charge to (resume in order to) keep up. Albeit at 14.4v, not 13.2. The controller is kicked back into "Boost" when the battery voltage gets down to 13.2. You could run some loads late afternoon and only get down to 13.3v. Of course there is loaded voltage being lower, so it also would depend on how big the load is.
BFL13 12/26/15 05:19pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar float mode: Necessary?

IMO float is good in all conditions. Most alternators drop voltage with time based on heat or are controlled by the main ECM. Does "all conditions" include when you will be doing an "incomplete recharge" by dropping to float, when you could have reached "full" before dark if you had stayed at Vabs?
BFL13 12/26/15 05:12pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar float mode: Necessary?

"Charging it fully in Bulk and Absorb mode without Float would mean unnecessary heating/boiling - it's better to let it finish the last 5-10% in Float." It is better but not always possible on solar if dark gets there first. It could be necessary to leave it at the higher Vabs till the batts are full, and then drop to float or as the OP suggests let night-time do that anyway. IE it is more important to get to full than drop to float at 90% and never reach full that day. It is all situational. Each "user" needs to keep an eye on what his situation is at the time and place and adapt. Having a Float option on the controller lets you adapt to more situations.
BFL13 12/26/15 04:34pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar float mode: Necessary?

It is mostly for when using the solar to maintain full batteries when you are not camping in the RV. Also, when camping you can be in a situation where you get to Absorption Voltage (Vabs) early in the day, and you spend a long time at Vabs before dark, while the batteries "lose water." In that case you might want to reduce to a float voltage after a shorter time at Vabs
BFL13 12/26/15 10:14am Tech Issues
RE: Low voltage at atwood rv heater, help please

From posts a few years ago, there were examples of the 6300 running at up to 21v ISTR. Means it has an internal fault.
BFL13 12/25/15 02:52pm Tech Issues
RE: Low voltage at atwood rv heater, help please

Okay. I am following the very simple diagnostic there BFL13, and am seeing my converter is bad. Darn. I cannot find any fuses on the unit besides the bladed 12v fuses for various circuits and the 120v breakers. Remain hopeful I'll find one after moving a few things to get to the back of the power converter unit and find it is blown. The two 30a fuses will be on the fuse panel (front upper left on mine), not on the unit, off by themselves, not part of the collection of 12v circuit fuses. Replace both if only one is blown.
BFL13 12/25/15 02:03pm Tech Issues
RE: Low voltage at atwood rv heater, help please

Sorry again, that's a series 6300, model 6345 specifically. The 1997 is a different unit than this. This one is a 1992. Whichever it is, the 6xxx models are similar. You can use the above links to find yours and that troubleshooting step by step will also apply to yours pretty much. To get by in the meantime, I agree with the others, just use any battery charger you can grab and get your battery back up to speed until later on you can solve the converter problem (Replacement options --stay away from the 7300 upgrade and the Ultra/WFCO upgrade--choose the PowerMax or the PD upgrade instead for a better converter for the same or less money)
BFL13 12/25/15 01:47pm Tech Issues
RE: Low voltage at atwood rv heater, help please

http://www.parallaxpower.com/archived-tech-docs Go to Magnetek and it opens to a list of converters--go down to the 6500 section and check the links to see if anything there helps. the 6300 section has the link to "diagnostic" which might also help. http://d163axztg8am2h.cloudfront.net/static/doc/a4/16/7e62f5ee2c6fab2e7219f9686a4f.pdf
BFL13 12/25/15 01:27pm Tech Issues
RE: Low voltage at atwood rv heater, help please

I see you have a 1997 rig, so yours will be a 6300, not a 7300 converter. The 6300 has a somewhat different fuse panel, which is "split" between things that run straight from converter or battery and things which need the battery to act as filter (like the "monitor lights" panel often found in the range hood) for the "dirty" DC 12v power the converter makes. Also it has a battery charging section. ISTR there is a relay that can be stuck which cuts off the battery charger, and ISTR you can bang on it to get it working again, but Not sure. some folks here know how to troubleshoot those 6300s. I have a 7300, so no help there. I'll see if they still have a 6300 trouble shooting guide posted.
BFL13 12/25/15 01:19pm Tech Issues
RE: Low voltage at atwood rv heater, help please

You seem to have a 7300 or an older 6300 converter like the one shown in the photos here: http://hornerfamily.com/powermax.html You see the blue and white wires to the fuse panel "lugs" (which have set screws to hold the wires. The blue is from the converter, there is a white from the battery and a white from the converter to the "negative lug" Meanwhile, there is a positive lug with the battery positive (red wire) to the panel too over on the right side lower down . The two 30a fuses to check are just by the blue wire lug Hard to figure a scenario where the converter is on (hums), but you don't get the 13.6v output at the lugs, assuming the wires are connected ok. (try tightening the lug set screws?)
BFL13 12/25/15 01:00pm Tech Issues
RE: Low voltage at atwood rv heater, help please

"...10.6 reading when plugged into shore power. Furthur testing at the rv power distribution panel/fuse panel gives me a similar reading when I test from the blue shore power line attached to the 12v panel to the white ground input coming from my house battery..." The converter (some of them) has a blue (positive) and a white (negative) wire which is the Dc "12v" output to the fuse panel. With shore power plugged in, that should provide the converter with its 120v AC input and the blue and white output should be about 13.6v DC. The battery also supplies "12v" to that fuse panel and the converter charges the battery going the other way so at the battery posts you should also be seeing 13.6v when shore power is plugged in. Your converter is not making any "12v" so all you are getting for "12v" is a dying battery doing that. The converter may not be getting any 120v input even though the rig is plugged in. Or it is but has an internal fault so no 12v output. On the fuse panel or on the converter itself, look for two 30a DC fuses. If they or one of them is blown, that is one way this can be happening. Those are "reverse polarity" fuses which blow if you hook up the battery backwards. The battery will still run lights ok backwards but the fans will rotate the wrong way.
BFL13 12/25/15 12:18pm Tech Issues
RE: Question on Number of Solar Panels

Your batts need to get to 100% every so often or they will be ruined by sulfation. You can't get them to 100% using the generator--not enough time. That leaves taking them back and forth with you during the winter visits, keeping them above 50% while there using the generator and a portable charger. After you get home use the charger to get them up and then use a battery "maintainer" to keep them fully charged. In the other half of the year, you could use "some solar" at the location, if you find the winter routine is a bother to do it all year. If there is a security from theft risk at the location, you could do the whole thing with portable everything--solar, charger, batteries. Some folks have it all in a utility trailer they tow back and forth. Just plug the "cabin" into the utility trailer "power set"
BFL13 12/24/15 04:59pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar Advice Needed - Renogy Solar Suitcase Install

Yes the non-propane fridge uses a lot of AH. We have a 3.2 cuft 120v fridge in the TC. The trouble off-grid is the fridge is on 24 hrs a day but the solar is only "on " during daylight hours. Our fridge draws about 4.5 amps when it is "on" which is about 2/3s the time in 24 hrs. So that is 4.5 x 24 = 108 x 2/3 = 72AH So add whatever the rest of your things in the rig draw, say 28AH, so you need to find 100 AH a day to stay even. Here in May, I have measured that 130w lying flat will haul 56AH, so to get that 100 AH a day haul you would need about 100/56 x 130 = 232w lying flat. At 49.3N Lat in May on a perfect no-clouds day. So the OP's search for more solar than 240 lying flat is understandable. Arizona in January is not the same as here in May. Everyplace is different! BTW, to go off-grid (often we will have 15a shore power so no problem), I add the 255w panel to the roof of the TC (lying flat) and add two more batteries. There are two T-1275s in the TC and I put two 6s (from the 5er) into the truck bed ahead of the left side wheel well and leave linking wires hanging over the truck rail, then slide in the camper. Then I bring up the dangling linking wires from the batts I can't get at anymore, to join wires from the house batts inside to make a four-battery bank. After that it is all down to the weatherman how it goes. (No room for a generator (dog crates instead :) ) The 7-pin charging from the truck is really lame so we pray to the sun god Kon Tiki in hopes the fridge can stay on for the week away off-grid before the batts get down too far. Lesson is---keep the propane fridge if you can!
BFL13 12/23/15 05:38pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar charging with some shade

I am not sure the OP has confirmed that front panel is Mono. I thought so from all the big white spots on it. If the Mono is confirmed by the OP, I wish JiminDenver would comment, in case I didn't use his results right. By now, the poor OP probably wishes he never posted the pictures. :)
BFL13 12/23/15 11:38am Tech Issues
RE: Furnace draws down aux battery when plugged into 110

Normally the furnace runs off of 12 volts from the battery. It's the converters job to recharge the battery. Likely the converter can't keep up with the 12 volts draw from some reason. Either the converter is defective and isn't charging the battery properly or the battery is defective and isn't accepting the charge. Actually the furnace will run with no battery at all as long as it is getting "12v" from the converter. Interesting idea about whether the converter can run the lights (they get brighter when he plugs in shore power), but maybe not enough to run the furnace (or the furnace in addition to the lights) The furnace only draws about two light's worth though. I am not sure my notion of a 6300 split DC panel where part of the panel isn't working is a valid idea or not.
BFL13 12/23/15 11:20am Tech Issues
RE: Furnace draws down aux battery when plugged into 110

The converter works the lights but not the furnace or battery charging. The battery with no converter runs the lights and the furnace. Is this one of those 6300 converters with a split DC fuse panel and a separate charger section? If so, you can have a stuck relay that gets the battery charger working, while the rest of the things (lights fans) that don't need battery as filter work or as well have only the battery direct side of the panel working with no battery as a filter to run the furnace and other sensitive items (range hood monitor, fridge, WH 12v side.) Or I am all mixed up, not for the first time! :(
BFL13 12/22/15 06:59pm Tech Issues
RE: Z bracket panel mount question

Some (all?) panel instructions say never drill more holes in the frame or it will weaken the frame. So if you go the side route, you need more holes. If you line up the bottom holes with the roof struts and you can't, you need new holes. You can beat all that by having the roof attachments (rails, eg) to the struts and then you can space the existing holes in the panel to anywhere along the rails. That still leaves how to get the panel off the rails without so much trouble. Depending on your set-up, you can use the two-bracket method or leave the bracket on the panel and undo from the rails Which saves you from ripping up the Dicored roof attachment the other way with Z brackets.) "It depends" (as usual).
BFL13 12/22/15 05:34pm Tech Issues
RE: Furnace draws down aux battery when plugged into 110

You do not have a bad converter!! Stop right there. Hang onto your wallet :) You said the lights are brighter when plugged in, so that means your converter is ok, but your batteries are not getting any converter "juice" to charge them up, and they are very low so things are getting bad if you are not plugged in and on battery only. the mystery now is why the battery 11v can reach the lights (fuse panel) but the converter cannot reach the battery to charge it. the other mystery is why can't the furnace get its "12v" from the converter when you are plugged in, but instead gets its "12v" from the dying battery that is not getting charged. New one on me--maybe others here can see what it could be.
BFL13 12/22/15 05:11pm Tech Issues
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