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 > Your search for posts made by 'BFL13' found 2059 matches.

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RE: when should a powermax pm4b drop into float mode

"i let the pm rest about 5 minutes, then did a bench test with no load… it quickly rose to 15.2v., and dropped to 14.15 at the 15 minute mark. so i connected it to the other 215 bank, which were at 12.76v, and it quickly rose to 15.13v, and then 15.18 over a couple more minutes. ... it was late, i was tired and hungry, and perhaps a little tipsy by this point, so i shut ‘er down for the night." You almost had it and turned back!!! Drat. OK it seems there is something wrong with the R of the first pair but the second pair might be ok and provide "normal" results. Maybe. Please do it all again using that second pair. You want to see that 15.13ish last past the 15 min for a good while, then all being well, reduce your Vabs (as now thought to be) so your "boost" (as now thought to be) is 14.8 instead of 15.13ish. Maybe then it will do 14.8 till amps taper and stay at 14.8. Never know until you keep at it. What is different about the first pair from the second pair is a question that must be answered. More detective work!
BFL13 09/15/14 08:25pm Tech Issues
RE: CO Alarm issue - battery charger?

I agree that to see if it is battery gassing, just yank the battery. Modern converters don't need a battery to make clean 12v, so run on shore power, no battery, and see if your alarm still goes off. Our LP alarm, no CO alarm to it, is 12 years old. Works great. Only time it acts up is when there is a true low 12v voltage issue. Never had an actual gas alarm issue. The LP alarm is right in front of a floor furnace register and next to the cold air return. Also we have dogs (often blamed for gassing! :) ). It is below the propane stove too. Never had a gas alarm.
BFL13 09/15/14 06:00pm Tech Issues
RE: DC Voltage issues

Just had the same sort of slide problem and found similar numbers doing checks. It turned out to be the slide switch itself which has contacts inside it that were going bad. It seems this is a common problem. Replaced the switch and all is good. All the battery power passes through the switch on the way to the motor. In addition, the switch input neg wire came from a connection to the frame. This connection was corroded. Unknown whether that was a poor contact, but cleaned it all up anyway. We had the earlier version of the Lippert switch and the new one has different wire colours. Lippert website has the diagram on how to match up the wires going from old to new.
BFL13 09/15/14 08:27am Tech Issues
RE: My Screwy 31

If you are nervous about obtaining a DW, remember the saying, "He who gets cold feet will not have a warm back to put them on." Failing getting a DW you can always get a Border Collie. They will each give you that same "look" knowing they are much smarter than you can ever hope to be. Even so the Border Collie will let you share the bed to keep warm no matter what, unlike the DW when you are sometimes sent to the dog house! Is this off-topic or what? :)
BFL13 09/14/14 07:52pm Tech Issues
RE: when should a powermax pm4b drop into float mode

BFL wrote: "On recharge you must allow some AH for heat when figuring your SOC. The Trimetric uses 4% but this might not be what your batteries do at the time at your charging rate. The Trimetric AH comes out fairly close on cross-checking when you do get the batts to 100% as measured by hydrometer." this seems to confirm what i have been considering, concerning the excessive gassing of my 430 Ah bank. before i installed the pm, i was using the peak 40 amper for all my charging. it would run for about 4 hours, rising to 14.8 - 14.9 volts, and holding steady at 40 amps for about the first hour, and then begin to taper. it would then hold its voltage, and amps would taper over the next few hours. all normal, yes? however, this was all taking place when the batts were already between 90 and 100%. for i was charging at ~12.6v batts (~90% soc)(~ -22Ah). and if in fact 90% soc is when the charge current drops to about 5a per 100Ah capacity; so ~21a on a 430Ah bank; at 14.8v, and a little higher at 14.9v, then where did all those extra amps go??? for you can't put 40++ Ah's back in where only 22Ah's were removed... this has bothered me for months now. AND this is why i originally thought i was going thru way more Ah usage than i should have been, according to simple pre-calculations and actual real time usage. so it seems to me all those extra amps the peak was pounding into the batts were turning into heat and boiling the batts. and charging at 14.9v at 80+ degree temps would only exacerbate this. having said that, i still don't understand why the peak's amps didn't taper faster? is it because there was still a considerable voltage spread between charger and batts? and is this the issue with trying to top charge a large bank, and why it takes soooo long? First, 10% of 430 is 43. Check my ugly graph and see that the 35amper gets to 80% on 220AH before tapering starts. (that is with a Vector that "trips" at 14v so your charger would trip a little later than that into the 80s. But the basic thing is the same, so now look at what a 20amp charger would do on 220. You go out to the right and it hits the curve at a higher SOC about 85% so yours might be near 90% at 14.8v. (20 amps on 220 gets you the same curve as 40 amps on 440) So throw in that you are using 14.8v and the ugly graph is for 14.5 ish so the batts will accept more amps per SOC than that 5amps per 110AH at 14.5 marker I use. Now throw in that the Trimetric "full" is maybe 97% SOC so your zero AH count starts down from 97 instead of 100 when you are doing your 10% = 43AH. So after you get all that straight, anything left over could be AH lost to gassing more than the Trimetric allows for. :)
BFL13 09/14/14 10:08am Tech Issues
RE: when should a powermax pm4b drop into float mode

Do not confuse battery voltage and charger voltage. You can have the charger voltage at 14.8 and the battery voltage at 12.1 and now you have a good "spread" (voltage difference) so amps will flow. You need enough spread to allow at least as many amps to flow as the charger is limited to (being "current limited " by design as indicated by its amps rating) So you get constant 75 amps till the battery voltage rises near the charger's voltage. Once the spread in voltages gets too narrow to allow the 75 amps, amps will taper. As battery voltage rises with rising SOC you see fewer and fewer amps as the spread narrows. See my ugly graphs for what that looks like. OK now for the tricky part. When actually charging you have the wires from charger to battery and the voltage should be the same at each end of the wires, but they are not the same. You have voltage drop which is more with higher current. So you cannot measure charger EDIT voltage vs battery voltage END EDIT with a meter while all this is going on. The meter readings you get are a sort of average between the two as they try to equalize their difference, with also the voltage drop difference playing its part. As SOC rises the voltage spread narrows but so does the voltage drop because amps are tapering so eventually when the batts are full (accepting no more amps) the two voltages are the same at each end of the wires and that would be the charger's voltage if it is still on. great explanation. thank you! i can picture the voltage as a slowly tapering conduit (like a long cone) thru which the amps flow. as the voltage spread decreases, the cone narrows (stenosis in medical terms). the wire from charger to batt acts as an umbilical cord. It was great until I said current instead of voltage about measuring charger vs battery. I am editing that post.
BFL13 09/14/14 09:38am Tech Issues
RE: when should a powermax pm4b drop into float mode

I've looked at all those graphs and they are point in space theory. ... They were plotted from observations of the amps showing on the Vector chargers and the time using my watch. I got the idea how to do that from Barre's book (sold by Randy) on all this stuff. My Trimetric amps read-out shows the same amps as the Vectors show, which is a cross- check on the amps reading correctly. When plotting the profile for the PM3-100 and Paramode (when I had one of those) I used the Trimetric for the amps reading, since converters don't come with an amps read-out. To get a good plot you first need to know the SOC at the start of the recharge, such as 50%. You get that from the battery spec such as 12.1v and 1.19 SG or whatever it is supposed to be. You cannot trust the AH reading on the Trimetric as to how far down from "full" it is to get your starting SOC because the Trimetric method of measuring "full" is not for 100% SOC, it is for some amount you pick less than that for your settings. However, the AH count is useful as another cross-check that you are in the ballpark. On recharge you must allow some AH for heat when figuring your SOC. The Trimetric uses 4% but this might not be what your batteries do at the time at your charging rate. The Trimetric AH comes out fairly close on cross-checking when you do get the batts to 100% as measured by hydrometer. I am seeing the batts (four 6s) reach "full" to their baseline SG late in the day on solar when solar conditions are good. By then, the Trimetric is showing the AH count has gone "over" by about 10-14 AH into positive AH past zero. So I reset the AH counter to zero at dusk to get the AH zero matched with when the batts are truly full, ready for the next cycle. IMO going "over" like that indicates the 4% allowance for heat is not quite enough for what I am doing, so that is why it needs a reset.
BFL13 09/14/14 07:54am Tech Issues
RE: when should a powermax pm4b drop into float mode

I certainly hear what you are saying but why is it that I see 45+ amps at 13.7 volts on my so called 60 amp constant current chargers after they drop back (Iota and PM) while I see 35 or less as soon as my voltage based old 9200 drops out of boost? I get faster charging in 2 hours and even rethinking my very old WFCO when I think about it. Perhaps this is related to how at higher amps you get to Vabs sooner at lower SOC and then amps taper. If the 60 got there earlier and then tapered, its tapering amps would be higher at first than the tapering amps from a charger that got to a higher SOC by using lower amps in bulk, so by the time amps tapered they would be lower since the SOC is higher. See my ugly graph with the three charging rates posted early in this thread somewhere
BFL13 09/13/14 10:53pm Tech Issues
RE: My Screwy 31

You are adjusting to less solar for six months by some reduction on consumption and some increase in 120v input. I am looking at double the consumption in the cold months with furnace on and lights on more and no intention of reducing other consumption, so that is on top of less or no solar. This means a vast increase in generator/charger time or shore power time for the next six months. You can add all the panels on the roof you want, it does no good in the dark or under overcast skies. Waste of money. Solar is for when you have some sol.
BFL13 09/13/14 10:26pm Tech Issues
RE: when should a powermax pm4b drop into float mode

Sure confusing. I miss the Iota guy explaining the difference between constant current versus voltage based units. My PM4b hauls ass with current/amperage in the normal mode as did my Iota. Other so called voltage based fall flat after a few minutes and don't deliver current. I have a fleet of campers so get to check them all but not an EE like some of you so I just go by real world testing with my trusty Trimetric monitors. I do like the idea of this new unit. To a question asked above about amp draw on generator, I would think that would be at max amperage (I think it was a 75 amp unit) and regardless of the voltage it would be the same 9 VAC draw regardless if it were delivering 75 amps, regardless if the voltage was 13.2 or 15.5? The VA draw in 120v from the gen is related to the amps draw from the charger at the particular charger voltage. the VA draw at the max amps of the charger will be the highest when the voltage reaches the high set point just before amps taper. Once amps taper the VA draw drops off rapidly. the VA draw at 75 amps and 13.6v would be less than with 75 amps at 14.6v. The PD converters see that by the way they are rated for watts at 13.6 for their rated amps output, but at 14.4 they cannot quite do that many amps and taper down to where they canat maybe 5 amps less than rated when in boost. the PowerMax and Iota types do the current limited max amps at their boost voltages so you get that run of constant amps. Unfortunately somebody decided to have them drop their voltages for the absorption stage so you get low amps for then, while we would prefer if on generator to keep the voltage up at that high level until the batts are full before voltage drops to a Float level So that is what we are all playing at with these other gizmos, trying to get a charging profile we like. IE maintain max constant amps for the Bulk, and maintain max voltage for the Absorption.
BFL13 09/13/14 10:14pm Tech Issues
RE: My Screwy 31

With less daily solar something has to make up the difference or you will fall behind. If you don't run the gen longer or find shore power more often or for longer, what's left? It's not the battery's fault if it gets behind for the next six months.
BFL13 09/13/14 08:41pm Tech Issues
RE: My Screwy 31

There is no way around it. Days are getting shorter from now on with the sun lower during those days. AH haul from solar will decline till 21 Dec then slowly get back to what they are now at Equinox 21 March. Meanwhile plan to use more time on generator, before turning over to solar only, to get to "full" until 21 Dec then you can walk back a bit on gen time each day till you get to where you are now.
BFL13 09/13/14 07:59pm Tech Issues
RE: Winter solar battery charging when you can't add water?

In theory you can arrange it right to leave them on solar and all will be well. OR for no nail- biting for seven months, you can take them home and know they are all right.
BFL13 09/13/14 07:24pm Tech Issues
RE: My Screwy 31

"One thing to note is that it is now requiring higher amperages to hold both 14.9Absv 15.3v than it did a few months ago, and the solar is struggling more to hold 14.9 ABSV, and 15.3v is lasting a lot less per day. The sun is less strong of course, but more amps are being required to achieve the same battery voltage as before. So the battery is aging. How much capacity has been lost is unknown, but I am going to keep working the SOB, and when it goes, it goes, and I'll let you all know when it does" It is also getting colder at night and there is less time during the day it reaches and stays at the temps it did a couple months ago. There is a lot going on right now, so don't assume the battery's age is a factor IMO. EG, we are near the Equinox when panel tilt = Latitude and the sun is lower all day than it was recently. Makes a big diff to your solar daily AH haul. Then thrown in that the batts are colder than they were. They need higher voltage to get to the same place now than they did in July.
BFL13 09/13/14 07:14pm Tech Issues
RE: when should a powermax pm4b drop into float mode

Do not confuse battery voltage and charger voltage. You can have the charger voltage at 14.8 and the battery voltage at 12.1 and now you have a good "spread" (voltage difference) so amps will flow. You need enough spread to allow at least as many amps to flow as the charger is limited to (being "current limited " by design as indicated by its amps rating) So you get constant 75 amps till the battery voltage rises near the charger's voltage. Once the spread in voltages gets too narrow to allow the 75 amps, amps will taper. As battery voltage rises with rising SOC you see fewer and fewer amps as the spread narrows. See my ugly graphs for what that looks like. OK now for the tricky part. When actually charging you have the wires from charger to battery and the voltage should be the same at each end of the wires, but they are not the same. You have voltage drop which is more with higher current. So you cannot measure charger EDIT voltage vs battery voltage END EDIT with a meter while all this is going on. The meter readings you get are a sort of average between the two as they try to equalize their difference, with also the voltage drop difference playing its part. As SOC rises the voltage spread narrows but so does the voltage drop because amps are tapering so eventually when the batts are full (accepting no more amps) the two voltages are the same at each end of the wires and that would be the charger's voltage if it is still on.
BFL13 09/13/14 06:01pm Tech Issues
RE: when should a powermax pm4b drop into float mode

I doubt the new PMBC will have PFC below that 75a rating. None of the other PM chargers do. That was all about the converter still being able to run on a 15a circuit. A non PFC 60amper can run on a 15a circuit. eg the PD 80amper needs a 20a circuit, which means 12wire instead of 14 etc. I have lost track of the main objective here or it is changing :) IMO the thing to establish first here now is whether the mod-PM75 can charge a 50% SOC pair of batteries by doing 75 amp constant for longer than 15 minutes at the high voltage setting such as at 14.8. Or find out what it will or won't do and if you can adjust it some more to get it to do what you want.
BFL13 09/13/14 01:13pm Tech Issues
RE: when should a powermax pm4b drop into float mode

The Honda 2000 is limited to about 1600VA IIRC. Not sure what surge it can take on start up of the big amp chargers where you get that initial in-rush of 120v. You do have to get the gen running and warmed up before plugging in a big load or it will conk out (engine conk not breaker pop) Beware of the PM specs as shown here and there. There can be typos on the tables and also the specs are very particular for the circumstance. EG the 100amper first showed it drew 16xx watts (forget exact number) at 108v. But what would it do at 124v that the Honda is at? Why pick 108v for the rating anyway? Weird. I know they got that from WFCO which has a PF corrected 100amper 68100 (Mr Wizard on here has one of those) (PM made WFCO clones under licence at first before moving out on their own.) So IMO the 75amper will draw more VA from the 2000 gen, at least on start up, than you would expect. I know my Honda 3000 limits me in how many chargers I can run at once, and you just have to live with that or get more gen. I have posted many times that your fast charging time limit starts with your gen limit so you have to be sure your charger will run on that size gen, allowing for any PF and that gens are in VA, not watts like they are rated at. Can be very misleading all round. ISTR lately PM shows 1440? but
BFL13 09/13/14 08:34am Tech Issues
RE: Inverter recommendations

The voltage sag when the water pump came on was enough to shut off the inverter (10.5a shut off? ) powering the TV. Use fatter wires from inverter to the DC panel battery lugs so there is less voltage sag (because fat wires have lower resistance than thin wires over the same length)
BFL13 09/12/14 07:37pm Tech Issues
RE: How loud are 2?

Never mind air conditioning, one gen has its limits. EG my Honda 3000 can run a total of non-PF corrected chargers making 130amps. Turn the chargers up to 135 amps total and the Honda conks out. So two 2000w Hondas in parallel (available in the States but not in Canada) could do more amps of charging than one 3000. So, IMO, OP should get the two 2000s and use one at a time if that is all that is needed, and use both as required.
BFL13 09/12/14 07:30pm Tech Issues
RE: Looking for info on Trojan BT-105 Batteries

"B" means "blemished" in the solar panel world. Means it still works, but has a bent frame or whatever. Like "scratch and save" at the appliance store. No info whether that applies to the OP
BFL13 09/12/14 07:20pm Tech Issues
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