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 > Your search for posts made by 'BFL13' found 2049 matches.

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RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

I disagree with Almot on using an Eco-W with the 12v set-up. I would use a Solar30 PWM controller as previously mentioned. I have used both and am familiar with their features and performances. IMO the $35 Solar30 would do as well or even better than the $108 Eco-W. You must use MPPT with a 24v set-up, so I would use one Eco-W per 24v panel like JiminDenver is doing now (and me too with one panel) rather than spend big bucks on a fancy MPPT controller that has enough amps room to run a whole array and/or has a bunch of features that I don't need like being able to attach it to my laptop. That is based only on the money difference. The expensive fancy one does no better getting the same amps to the battery. It is all very personal and situational. Also there is a lot of snobbery among controller owners like a guy who has a Buick to go to the store to buy a loaf of bread will sneer at the mere Chev owner who does the same thing. Each gets his loaf of bread ok, but the Buick guy gets to feel smug too! :)
BFL13 07/28/14 05:33pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar System Advice/Feedback for new Truck Camper

To clarify, the Eco-Worthy 20a MPPT controller works well, but it does have a rated 42v Voc input limit, which should mean it can only do one 24v panel at a time, and cannot do two 12s (22v each) Somebody is getting away with running two 12s in series and it did not eat the controller, but I don't know if that can be expected or is a fluke. My Eco-W and 230w panel combo performs according to ambient temp which also affects panel temp very much. This is normal for MPPT and you get fewer amps to the battery when it is hot out. The panel gets Isc whether hot or not, same as a 12v panel does. The difference with PWM and 12s is that you keep getting that Isc to the batteries even when it is hot out, but with the MPPT you have a different action, where now you get your amps dependent on voltage which drops in the heat, so When cool out, I get 15.5a with MPPT compared with 14.5a PWM, but when hot out, I get 13.5 with the MPPT instead of 14.5. (as observed at different times on average) So I like to get the "expected amps" all the time and it seems to be hot out when it is nice out, which is when solar works, so generally speaking I would prefer PWM for when and where we camp and not MPPT. That means if I have a choice of 12v or 24v and want 240w, I would take two 120s and PWM over a single 240 and MPPT every time. Except if there is some very good reason (money, roof space) to take the single 240 instead of the two 120s. I found the cheap $15 ebay 20amp controller I had works very well but has no adjustable set points. For $35 I found the Solar30 controller to be superb. It has 30 amps so it can do more panel wattage, it has adjustable absorb and float voltages, and it has a built in ammeter--very neat feature! The Eco-W MPPT has adjustable float and absorb voltages too and is proving to be trouble free as reported by JiminDenver a couple years ago. It is hard to recommend any combo of panel/controller when panel prices are so different all over the map and where shipping can be a killer if you can't pick them up yourself from the factory outlet. ( a solar dealer has to pay shipping, so that means you do too if you buy there) It is horrifying still to see otherwise reputable general hardware/auto stores selling little solar kits or portables for horrendous prices like $300 for a 60watt job ($5 a watt!) when a real solar place here sells 12v panels for $2 a watt. You can sometimes find better prices than that too. You have to feel sorry for all those people who are buying those things, but the worst is any local RV dealer's store, where they want say $700 for a 140w panel plus some stuff worth maybe $50 in a kit, and at least that much more to install it for you!! But people are going for that. Amazing.
BFL13 07/28/14 02:36pm Tech Issues
RE: Converter/Charger Voltage vs. Battery Voltage

I am not sure of the SOC of my batteries, since the converter didn't drop to storage mode, I assume they are charging I don't have voltage loss from my wires. I remove the ring terminal from my batteries and use my multimeter to check voltage at the ring terminals and it reads 14.8 volts. When I connect the ring terminals to the batteries, I use the same multimeter to check voltage at the same ring terminals. The only difference is that now they are bolted to the battery terminals. The voltage reads 13.6. The voltage only drops when the wires from the converter are connected to the batteries. I am not sure if this is because the batteries aren't at 100% charge or if it indicates sulfur on the plates or some other problem. Thanks for the help, Fred This does not indicate anything wrong with the batteries. The "only difference" is not so much that they are now connected, as that now when connected the wire has current flowing in it, and now you see the voltage drop. No current, no voltage drop. The amount of voltage drop is related to the resistance of the wires (pos and neg together total) and the amount of current. More current more voltage drop on the same wires. So everything is normal, except you have a larger voltage drop than you should for that much current, indicating too much wire resistance. No problem on shore power- it will still work ok, but if you want faster charging, less generator time when off grid, you should : -rewire with fatter wire -move the converter closer to the battery bank (so shorter wire) -move converter and use shorter AND fatter wire.
BFL13 07/25/14 06:27pm Tech Issues
RE: Gray tank capacity - two seperate tanks

We have a 2012 Palomino TT with a gray water capacity of 74 gallons which is great. The problem is it is two separate tanks - one bathroom and one galley. Our issue is that we fill the bathroom tank in 2-3 days between my wife and I taking showers, etc. The galley tank is used very little since we always do our dishes outside with plastic tubs. We have been using buckets to drain some of the bathroom gray water and then dump it into the galley sink. But what I would like to do is either plumb the tanks together somehow or use some sort of a pump system to run the bathroom gray into the galley tank. I'd like to make the process of transferring the water as easy as possible. Has anyone else tackled this issue and, if so, what did you do? Thanks. Some have added a valve at the terminal where you attach your hose for dumping, which gives you control there. That allows you to leave both grey tank valves open so they can "share." Some rigs have two dump locations though, so that wouldn't work. Also note that galley grey is nasty stuff compared with the shower/sink grey water so you will get nasty grey in both tanks that way.
BFL13 07/25/14 09:08am Tech Issues
RE: Inverter whine - exceedingly high pitched

Do you get that noise with no fan too or just with the fan on? Fans are an easy do it yourself fix. Go-Power has somebody make their inverters, which may have changed since 2006. (Xantrex used to have a 1750w MSW inverter that was re-branded by several others, eg.) You can ask Go-Power (Carmanah here in Victoria) tech support about it. Inverters have come down a lot in price since 2006 especially if on sale, so it is not a killer to get a new approx 2000w MSW for under $200
BFL13 07/24/14 06:11pm Tech Issues
RE: Fortunately, I did not have a pair of 6v batteries

It was a just punishment for being such a notorious PD idolater instead of being a PowerMax owner :)
BFL13 07/23/14 06:03pm Tech Issues
RE: Batteries took a poop, going six volt.

Lower SG is for sure meant for a "storage" battery such as with a UPS back-up set and not for deep cycling action, so for an RVer you want the straight 105s not the REs. Scroll down to the SG vs Application table http://www.engineersedge.com/battery/specific_gravity_battery.htm
BFL13 07/23/14 04:33pm Tech Issues
RE: Batteries took a poop, going six volt.

ISTR the REs are for shallow cycles as with solar and not so much for deep cycling as with golf cars and RVs off grid doing 50-90s, but I am unsure if I have that right. If correct then you want the straight 105s if you intend deep cycling. Somebody here must know the correct story on that, or you could ask Trojan to be sure.
BFL13 07/23/14 03:48pm Tech Issues
RE: 7 Pin Connector corrosion issue

I got the connection corrosion problem in the truck's end where the Chev version comes in two parts for some reason. The corrosion was hidden between the two halves and not at the pins end you can see, which were ok. Had to take it all apart. That led to more fun where Chev wire colours don't match the 'standard' 7-pin colours plus you have the mirror image problem with the two halves. Sort of an IQ test which I was mostly failing. Got fed up and replaced the Chev thing with a standard one piece 7-pin connector :) That, I am able to understand!
BFL13 07/22/14 06:58pm Tech Issues
RE: Brake Adjustment or Controller Problem?

Sounds more like the "tech" who did the brakes screwed up not adjusting them right etc. If possible, IMO, take it back and complain to the supervisor or owner of the business and get it done right this time for no charge.
BFL13 07/22/14 06:43pm Tech Issues
RE: HD DVR dedicated inverter

Not mentioned is ISTR the OP has a special 12v situation for running 12v inverters at all. The rig's 12v all comes from the DC-Dc power supply gizmo off his 24v system including battery bank, so the question there is how much can it do before being overwhelmed by loads? EG, a rig might normally have a "55amp" Dc converter or a battery bank that can do 55 amps (or more) to run the rig including the inverter(s) The OP's set-up or the now famous Niner/mena/Mex power supply used that way must have some limits for how may amps it can run at a time. So how much of a load could the OP do on any inverter he uses from that 12v power supply? Makes sense to use a separate inverter off battery when on shore power if you have those reboot issues with your regular inverter's transfer switch delays.
BFL13 07/22/14 05:11pm Tech Issues
RE: A G M Batteries

It is a specialty situational thing whether the AGMs would be worth it to YOU. Besides the situation where you cannot get at your batteries for hydrometer and water level checks easily, making AGMs better, the other thing that really came to light in previous threads here was (as mentioned above) little voltage drop under heavy load. This comes into play where you have only room for say two batteries. With Wets you could need four batteries to run your 2000w inverter that runs the microwave , toaster, kettle, etc. You could do it with two Wets except the voltage drop with two batts, once they get below 75% SOC can make the inverter alarm sound. With four Wets you can run all that till you are down to 50% SOC with no inverter alarm. You will recharge at 50% anyway, since you are a good RVer. :) Now the deal is, testing by members on this forum shows that you can get the no-alarm down to 50% with only two AGMs, so you don't need four batteries when space is limited. That does not mean you can run the high amp items as long as with four batts, since that is an AH issue, but only that when you do run them , you can run them at lower SOC. Since the whole point of inverter- powered microwaving , toaster, kettle etc is to be able to do that early in the morning long before campground generator hours would let you do that, and it is early morning when your batteries are lowest, you want to be able to run that when down to 50%, and if you only have room for two batts, then AGMs will let you do that. However if you have room for four batts, then you can get both the 50% operation AND have lots of AH in the bank to run the things longer.
BFL13 07/22/14 04:37pm Tech Issues
RE: Prodigy Brake Controller Problem

Not a Prodigy, but some related info to add here. ( I will update my old thread on my controller problem once I have completed testing) My Voyager 9030 was showing all proper lights including the red orange green for gain so there was nothing apparently wrong. However when I tried the manual slider with no truck braking, no braking from trailer. ( I had not been doing this test often enough, so it seems I had been going for months with no trailer brakes, just the truck's.) Note this truck's manual says over 2000 lbs trailer you must have trailer brakes (The Law may have a different weight, so go by the Law of course.) The trailer is near 10,000lbs so the truck actually can do another 8 thou over that 2 thou and I didn't really notice, including on steep hills. Good thing too, when you might need that extra if your trailer brakes/controller go out on you. OK, so trouble shooting story. Went over everything several times and decided the trailer brakes must be ok since the breakaway system engaged full braking ( Trimetric showed 12 amps for brakes and it would not move when towed a little with the 7-pin disconnected) Checked both ends of the trailer 7-pin and after some confusion (more on that) it was ok, so now we are into the truck. Much back and forth trying things with the controller wiring and truck 7-pin, very frustrating, turned out to be intermittent low 12v power to the controller. By this time I had bought a replacement controller which was not as good but was on sale so I grabbed it. Hopkins "Impulse" time based, has a digital readout. So wiring that I had to check the adapter wire set that goes from the controller's four wire plug to the truck's socket (different adapters needed for Chev, Ford, etc) so I had the Chev one already for the Voyager. I cut and spliced the four wires at the controller end to the adapter and plugged in, no joy. Got the controller fault code SC which means the brake wire is bad, or bad magnet or 7-pin connector bad on blue wire. Checked all that again, no joy. Also it chattered and buzzed badly when manual pushed. Undid the four wire splice on ground and 12v pos wires and jumpered to battery direct with standard jumper cable set. Bingo! It all worked properly. Tried it with only the ground jumpered, no joy. So the 12v pos was guilty! More snooping at the truck's end where the controller adapter plug goes into a "Trailer 6 Pin" socket. Turned out there was only 2 volts on the positive pin in the 6-pin socket (of which only four pins are used) plus that was intermittent. Could not figure out from the truck's diagrams in the manual which fuse works that 6-pin's positive and all fuses checked ok. Very frustrating all round. Fix chosen was to take out the whole thing on the floor (by left foot) which has that Trailer 6-pin socket and on the back of the whole thing is a fat red wire I tapped into and jumpered to the black controller wire, and still used the 6-pin plug for the other three wires. Ta da! The Hopkins now acts right while parked. I have not taken it for a test drive yet to see how well it controls and I will also swap the Voyager back in to see if it works now too. I did have a reply on the old thread that the Voyager has a weakness where over time it loses its gain oomph due to a part wearing out, so that might also have been happening. (it is ten years old) We'll see when I get a chance to do that testing and I will update that old thread then. Meanwhile for this thread, my lesson is that it might not be the controller or the trailer but the truck and that might be hard to find. Hate to have to pay somebody to do that--it took me hours of several days to chase that one down where it was intermittent and in an obscure place. :(
BFL13 07/22/14 10:44am Tech Issues
RE: Parallax 7355 dying?

Yes you can use an ordinary battery charger and get your 12v from battery and 120v from shore power/generator. Check the two 30a reverse polarity fuses on the DC fuse panel.
BFL13 07/21/14 05:58pm Tech Issues
RE: Smashed Solar Panel Still Works (sort of) Question of Rain?

Thanks, that would explain why all the bits of glass are still on the panel instead of lying on the ground here and there. The bonding must be some sort of clear glue. So, those with portable panels propped up, take note! Anchor them. :(
BFL13 07/19/14 08:29pm Tech Issues
RE: Removing Dark Marks from 'Rubbing' RV Cover?

Bleach is ok to use on "rubber" roofs. Good for all those little black mould spots your get over winter. Could work with your streaks. BTW, I had a cover on the trailer one time, but it was a bit loose I guess, and it wore through the edge of the roof in a couple places. Nasty. Had to tape those edges there. No more covers for me, thank you!
BFL13 07/19/14 06:56pm Tech Issues
Smashed Solar Panel Still Works (sort of) Question of Rain?

Last year I sold a guy here my two 100w panels that were surplus. He set them up as a portable stand deal for the pair, works great. Yesterday we had a big wind squall and it flipped over his panels and one panel hit a rock really hard. Oops. The damaged panel has all its glass shattered/cracked into little tiny bits like a broken car window, but still all bits in place covering the cells with a really bad spot more opaque where it hit the rock. Also the cells in the bad spot have a bulge there while the rest of the panel is still flat mwith cracked glass everywhere. Ugh! Taking out the multimeter set to amps, the good panel as aimed away from the sun a bit, got 4 amps (out of 6.3 rated if aimed right) The damaged panel in the set got 2 amps! He got 6 amps total from the set as it is now with the damage instead of 8. (rated for 12.6 aimed right) I ASSume if he cleared away all the broken glass off the cells he would get full output, where the cracked glass acts as shade. However, what would happen if it rains? Does the glass protect against the cells shorting out if wet? Can the glass be replaced with window glass to keep the rain off? Price of glass may not be worth it, but just like to know if that would solve the problem for now. Thanks for any info on that. Meanwhile, take heart, your panels can take a licking and keep on ticking :)
BFL13 07/19/14 06:33pm Tech Issues
RE: 100 Watts Solar with Deep Cell 31s or Trojan 6 Volts

I meant - to get to Bulk/Absorption transition, or Absoprtion voltage, whatever. Yes, it's better if it not just gets to Abs point, but also completes the prescribed stay at this voltage, timer-based or current-based. In my system it goes to Float very soon after it has reached Abs voltage, timer is seldom triggered, so to me "getting to Abs" and "getting to Float" is almost the same. OP will probably get some PWM, so it will be a little different. Generally, the State of Charge (SOC) of the battery when you get it to Vabs depends on the charging rate and that voltage. For a fixed voltage, and the same battery size, say 14.4v, the higher the charging current during Bulk, the sooner you will get the battery to that voltage and at a lower SOC. Lower charging current to get to the same Vabs means you spend more time in Bulk and get to a higher SOC before reaching Vabs. ( That will be slower and longer generator time than if you used a higher charging rate--your tapering amps in Absorption will still be more amps than the lower charging rate amps for a time there, so you are still faster until amps are the same at some SOC up there nearer the end) So on solar you have low amps and usually a decent sized battery bank, so you will not get to 14.x until your SOC is quite high, probably in the 90s percentage. Meanwhile, your Absorption Stage will usually end at about 97% SOC regardless, and go to Float. So with a low charging rate like solar does, your "window" to be in Absorption is quite narrow between 90 something when you get to Vabs and 97% when you trigger Float. However some controllers have no Float to trigger, so they just stay at Vabs until dark once they reach Vabs. Others have a timed Absorption Stage like two hours so they could go past 97% before dropping to Float. Others have adjustable Float and Absorption voltages. If you want a longer Absorption stage, you can make your Float voltage the same as your Vabs, so it will stay at your Vabs until dark.
BFL13 07/18/14 06:13pm Tech Issues
RE: Combining Dissimilar Battery ah?

Hi John, I believe the most often quoted specification is one bubble per second breaking the surface of the electrolyte, for equalization. I understand that! Where I am not clear is how as little as one bubble per second has any relevance to charging as opposed to stirring. Equalization is stirring, right? My belief is that a temp-comp charger will not bubble your battery. HTH; John Confusion here between de-stratification (stirring) and de-sulfation (charging) All temp comp does is adjust the voltage to the temp. The voltage used remains the same "value" "Gassing voltage" for wets is 14.x so your temp comp will just make that voltage different. ( The temp may may also make the battery's gassing voltage different, so chicken and egg thing going?) A way to de-stratify is to stir by charging at high voltage and cause bubbles which do the stirring. (Another way is physical agitation) However that stirring is not the objective of charging, but only a by-product. The bubbles can be the objective if the batteries are charged but stratified. The charging desulfation is to return the sulfate to solution which takes higher voltage to keep the current flowing (the current does the charging) It happens that you get bubbles at those voltages, but getting bubbles is not the aim, getting more current is the aim. So you get past "gassing voltage" but the bubbles are just an indicator you are up where you need to be for charging (your volt meter would tell you that too) There is no "fine tuning" needed with Wets to get the most current with no bubbles yet (bubble threshold? :) ) AFAIK AGMs have more of a fine tuning charging voltage restriction spec so the gas can combine ok without out-gassing.
BFL13 07/18/14 05:51pm Tech Issues
RE: Sp.Gr. of Golf Cart 6v batteries

Trailer came with 2 6v US2000 golf carts last fall. No idea what their actual age is. Tried to take care of them with full re-charge the day after ~50% depletion (~12V) with Prog. Dyn. 6280, and later with built in tiny solar during storage. Added larger solar and Rogue MPPT a month ago. Started doing Rogue's equalize at 15.3V for 2 hrs every few weeks then. Finally got a half-way decent Sp. Gr. meter (glass tube with bobber) today and measured Sp. Gr of the battery cells: all three cells of Battery #1 (+12V terminal) are ~1.285, all 3 cells of battery # 2 (-12V terminal) are ~1.275. Temperature is 19C. Roque is in float mode at 13.1V. No idea how accurate this Sp.Gr. meter is (auto store special), but at least it's consistent. All cells of the same battery give the same reading. So what does it mean? I think both batts are fully charged. But should I be concerned that one has a slightly lower sp.gr.? It doesn't matter that one is 80 and the other 75 when they are that old. Those both indicate your batts are in good shape for the shape they are in. Suggest mark the batteries 1 and 2 with sticky tape or something, and keep a note of what the SG is now (call it your baseline SG for each battery) In future you can compare readings you get with baseline to see if they could do with more charging or if you are "there" and can quit. Ignore RJ on this topic! :) He is saying that ignorance is bliss. Hydrometer owners know that can be a "fool's paradise." RJ is not a fool, so it is strange that he has chosen this attitude. My three year old 6s, one pair of Interstate GC2 XHDs (232AH) and one pair of Exide 135s (226AH) today measured 1.300 in all cells of both pairs after some really nice days we are having this month on solar. No equalizing, just reach 14.8v daily, then drops to 14.4 for the rest of the day. The two used Trojan 12v T-1275s I got last year and "restored" are banked with the four 6s and are also doing nicely with their SGs at or near baseline. (The T-1275s take more charging than the 6s so to get them to full baseline means the 6s sit there losing water for a time with them getting to baseline SG earlier. I choose to just add water to the 6s and let the T-1275s "catch up" rather than lower the Float voltage so the T-1275s never get there while the 6s do. (One of the issues with mixing battery types, but easily overcome in this case.)
BFL13 07/17/14 05:53pm Tech Issues
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