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 > Your search for posts made by 'BFL13' found 2050 matches.

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RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

btw, a happy face is this... : plus this... ), lol. That's exactly what I typed except for the addition of a o for a nose, and for some unknown reason when I submitted the post the face was changed to that ghastly one you saw. To my knowledge I did not do anything to make that happen. I'll try one again :o). If this happens again I'll have to stop trying to use happy faces. Lose the nose :)
BFL13 11/27/14 06:42pm Tech Issues
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

Thanks to both of you for more great info. I really am an ignoramus regarding both electricity in general and especially regarding Rv electrical systems. I'm not new to Rving, having owned both a 5th wheel toyhauler and small class A in the past, but both of those where bought used with a pair of 6 volt batteries in place. The prior owners said both electrical systems worked perfectly and battery life had been excellent so I paid little attention to what the components were and simply tried to keep the batteries well watered and well charged. Everything went very will - ignorance really can be bliss sometimes! :o) So a lot of the terminology and abbreviations I've encountered on this thread are new to me. The latest - what is C3, C4, etc.? Just to be sure I understand the manual operation of the Boondocker BPCM, do you mean if I want to do a 3 mode charge, the voltage would need to be manually set for each mode and each mode started and stopped using a switch, manually setting the bulk, absorption, and float modes each time a charge is done? Or can the voltage for all three modes be set in advance, the charge started, and it would cycle through all three modes without further input needed? I suspect it's the former, but just want to be sure I fully understand one before I purchase it. I do plan to call Best Converter on Monday. Could I either replace the WFCO with the Boondocker or can both be used, each one doing some functions, like the Boondocker for charging and the WFCO for float mode and/or the converter function? Sorry to be so painfully uninformed. Once again, I greatly appreciate all the assistance I've gotten on this forum. Hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving, except you Canadians but only because it isn't your Thanksgiving Day. :o) Btw, thinking of Canada, I know a whole lot more about hockey than I do electricity!! Mike I don't know how to get rid of those faces - they were intended to be smiley faces but they were changed to what's in the post, whatever those are intended to be. The three charging stages are Bulk, Absorption, when charging a battery up, and then Float when that is done and you just want the battery to stay charged. The BPCM does the first two by itself with the voltage you set (14.8v say) Now the battery is charged up, so you don't want to leave it at 14.8 so you manually dial that down to say 13.6 if you are going to leave it on as your converter. Now some converters are also called "three-stage" but that is not the same thing at all. These stages are just three different voltages. The 14.4 stage is like the 14.8 as above and the battery will do Bulk and Absorption at that. The 13.6 is the normal operating voltage to run your RV as when on shore power. The 13.2 is for when not using the Rv but just for keeping the battery charged and is the Float stage. You can use the BPCM as your converter and unplug the WFCO as long as you remember to change the BPCM down from 14.8 to 13.6 once the batteries are charged up. Or you can shut off the BPCM then and only ever use it at 14.8 while then leaving the WFCO to run the rig at 13.6. You can use a timer on the BPCM so it is running at 14.8 for three or four hours and then it shuts off by itself, leaving the rig on the WFCO at 13.6. Now you don't have to be there for that. You will want an ammeter that can read up to 100a DC (at least) to make this all easier so you know what is going on like when to shut off the BPCM or dial it down to 13.6. You can't tell from the voltages at the time you are charging them what the battery state of charge is. You would have to use rough and ready rules of thumb like noting when the batteries reach 14.8 and then let it run for another hour and then drop to 13.6. That will get you by until you can get an ammeter.
BFL13 11/27/14 02:55pm Tech Issues
RE: Roll Up Solar Panels / Ogre MPPT Controller

Once JiminDenver nails some panels to his roof he will need a new hobby! Buying and selling solar stuff every few months only works well if you have portables. :) Now listen, I'm already having a hard enough time mounting the gear and losing the early and late power. I'll probably keep a portable just to take advantage of those times. Plus the systems are getting a good enough response that if I find more cheap panels, I'll just make some more and sell those too. :) There's always the Persian rug business.
BFL13 11/27/14 09:40am Tech Issues
RE: Battery Charger

Black & Decker and Stanley automotive chargers are now made by Baccus Global. The B&D VEC1093DBD has been discontinued. The web site does show a 25 amp charger Model #BC25BD. It appears that it is not yet available. The picture shows one that goes to 40a with 110 engine start. Only has a "recondition button", not seeing an Equalize button? That would make them more like the older Vec1093A model instead of the D models The Stanley seems to say it picks its own charging amps rate, which I would not like. I would want to pick that. The Schus are just weird according to some reports on here about their charging profiles. Not a lot to choose from.
BFL13 11/27/14 09:34am Tech Issues
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

The PMBC with the adjustable option and the BPCM are "manual" in that you set a voltage with the knob and it stays at that voltage until you change it. It is also "manual" in that the unit stays on until it is unplugged/switched off unlike "automatic" chargers that shut themselves off when they think the battery is charged up (usually at about 97% SOC, so not really "full") So it can act as your converter if you like because it stays on. So the procedure with low batts is to set say, 14.8v, and the battery voltage climbs to 14.8v (Bulk stage) while amps are constant at the rated amps (55 or 60, 75, 100, 120 whatever you bought) Then it does Absorption stage at 14.8v while amps taper for as long as you like. While camping on generator that might be to 90% SOC. (That is when your amps are down to about 5 amps per 110AH of battery bank if you have an ammeter, so at 10 amps on a pair of 6s or 27s) Now comes the manual part--you have to shut off the PMBC. If you leave it on till the batteries are near full at 97% then now you can A. dial down the voltage to 13.6 and leave the unit on as your converter, or B. turn the unit off and let your actual converter do the 13.6 on shore power. If you ever want to Equalize at 15.5v, operate the rig on its own converter at 13.6v, disconnect the battery bank from the rig's 12v systems (take wire off battery or use the "battery disconnect switch" if any) , and now use the PMBC on the batteries at 15.5v. Amps will start at about 4 amps on a pair of 6s and taper during the time you do the equalization. Equalization ends when the SG stops rising per hydrometer. Shut off PMBC and reconnect battery bank to rig. Out of the several options mentioned IMO pick the BPCM size you like from Randy. 15.5 is what your batts want for equalization so you don't need the 16.5 of the PM version. Randy offers a three-year warranty instead of two years. You get excellent tech support if needed. You know exactly what specifications your unit will have. It costs more than the boatandrv older version but the PM newer version would be the same or more than Randy's. I would get the 75 instead of the 60. Repeat--the pair of 6s or pair of 27s can take 75 amps Bulk no sweat and no harm, and if your gen can run the 60, it should be able to run the 75 with its PFC. 15 more amps for $10. And if you ever went to four 6s you would really want that extra 15a. You won't get any more amps by running the WFCO and BPCM together with the WFCO at 13.6v. If you got the WFCO to run at 14.4, then they would add their amps for most of the Bulk stage.
BFL13 11/27/14 06:46am Tech Issues
RE: Keeping Batteries Charged in Winter

Here's to keeping my batteries healthy through the winter. I have them in a heated garage, wired in parallel, and attached to a trickle charger. I'll keep an eye on the water level every couple weeks, and fill with distilled water as needed. I've learned much from these forums. Thanks, everyone! http://i.imgur.com/8wI5exEl.jpg The weaker battery will soak up most of, if not all, of the charging current. Even if it does, does that mean the stronger battery won't get enough? The usual story is that with all the power from the float charger, each in parallel will get what it needs and be ok. Where you get trouble is leaving the two in parallel with no float charger.
BFL13 11/26/14 05:22pm Tech Issues
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

Sorry but much of this is new to me. What is PFC? Thanks. Power factor correction. It means your generator uses less power to run it than without PFC. Which means you can run a bigger amp PFC unit on the generator you have before maxing it out. Also means you can plug the 120v into a 15a circuit and not need a 20a circuit to run it like you do with high amp (over 60a) converters that are non-PFC. So you could run the PFC 75 amper with about the same generator power as the non-PFC 60 amper and the 75 is only $10 more than the 60 in this case.
BFL13 11/26/14 09:37am Tech Issues
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

All valid concerns. I don't have the power interruption issue. I only ever use it as a portable charger off my Honda. The warranty return issue with shipping is the same with the other brands (at least with Parallax) so you have to pay the shipping on spec to them and hope they will accept it as a warranty problem once they have seen it and then reimburse. Awkward when shipping across the boarder is so much.
BFL13 11/26/14 09:31am Tech Issues
RE: Paralleling Power Supply Units Made Easy ???

BFL, what sort of switch did you use? Thanks! Cheap and easy, good to 100a. I use them here and there. One did fail where it stayed open, had to replace it. Some guys use a fuse as a switch where they just take it out of its holder. http://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/keyed-battery-master-cut-off-switch/A-p8105033e
BFL13 11/26/14 09:19am Tech Issues
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

It was indeed the thermistor that went on my nautilus 15 amper a few weeks back. I pulled it apart, and there it was, all cracked and crumbly. So I salvaged a few parts, then tossed it. On mine it was possible to drill out the legs of the thermistor where it goes in the circuit board and put in a new thermistor, which you can buy at an electronics store. That was only because RT1 was clear of other components so my clumsy work could not destroy anything nearby :)
BFL13 11/26/14 08:17am Tech Issues
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

Good info from Randy. To clarify, was that for the adjustable 75 amper being PFC? I assume all the PMs of every size and model have upgraded thermistors now from what he said there. So there is no need to spook folks who might want a PM product about that anymore. If you have an older model PM3 and are worried, you could take the lid off, note the thermistor (called RT1 on the circuit board near where the 120v comes in) by its number on it, and then find out from PM or Randy what the new ones have to see if it is a different thermistor. If you have a smaller thermistor than the latest version has, then you should be ok as long as you avoid hot restarts and connect to the battery first before turning on the unit's 120v input. (turning on first lets the thermistor warm up and lose its value against inrush, then as you connect to battery you get the big inrush and no thermistor protection---oops) That only applies to using the unit as a portable charger. When installed like a converter you are already connected to battery when you power on.
BFL13 11/26/14 08:12am Tech Issues
RE: Paralleling Power Supply Units Made Easy ???

If I understand Salvo's recent posts, deliberately engineering in some extra voltage drop would be very helpful. From my original post in this thread: "The idea is to parallel them by first connecting the + and - leads from both psu's together, to a single + and - lead, which is, in turn, connected to the load/batts. The belief is the voltage drop over the leads will compensate for any minor fluctuations in voltage output of the two psu's. This will, allegedly eliminate the need for a more sophisticated arrangement, including diodes and such." Note, this may only apply to units with adjustable cv and cc settings. If you are operating the power supply in a constant current mode for charging, and the batteries are connected, you will be fine. If you disconnect the batteries while in this mode, the voltage will assume some unknown state depending on load current demand and you will probably damage some electronics. Just an FYI... That reminds me of the warning with some (all?) solar controllers to never have them connected to the array without being connected to the battery or you could damage the controller. Always connect battery first, disconnect battery last. Important when you have solar and are swapping batteries around, when you could have a time there with no battery and the array still connected. I have a switch in my array to controller wiring to easily turn off the array before disconnecting the batteries for that reason.
BFL13 11/26/14 07:51am Tech Issues
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

I have to laugh a little. Every time I come back to the converter threads its the same thing. jrn is or/isn't recommending this or that (like he has street cred or something) I buy a lot of stuff from Best and its always correct and as advertised. Randy is straight up. He doesn't do the shows, though I think he should, but always available. Our fleet is nearly complete and not a better source. Yes. Have you had to do any "hot restarts" (on purpose or not) with your new adjustable? If so any problems? Has Randy mentioned anything to you about this thermistor issue as to whether it exists in the production models like yours? It may only be something in the prototype I got two years ago. I really like my PowerMax
BFL13 11/25/14 11:03pm Tech Issues
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

You said you were asking Errin the PowerMax guy about those PMBCs so we are waiting to hear what he said. I thought the reference you made to $160 was from him but that now seems to be from boatandrv? So now I am lost too! :) Ain't this fun? Meanwhile we are waiting for Randy at bestconverters (who is a PowerMax dealer among other brands he is a dealer for) to answer the email about the thermistor issue that may or may not still exist with those units. It will all get sorted out eventually I suppose. Yes, the $160 price (before shipping) was from Boats and Rvs, although it isn't totally clear if that was for the version with the higher voltage option. I'm waiting for clarification which should come tomorrow. Mike Boatandrv is not PowerMax itself which has product units that boatandrv does not seem to carry. The link to the PMBCs previously shown was to PowerMax itself and the "contact us" Errin is their sales guy. It appears that boatandrv sells the previous line of PowerMax units, not the latest line. I don't know who sells those. That is why it would be interesting to know what Errin has to say on that. Randy at bestconverter sells the latest line but has changed them a bit to his own specs.
BFL13 11/25/14 09:37pm Tech Issues
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

You said you were asking Errin the PowerMax guy about those PMBCs so we are waiting to hear what he said. I thought the reference you made to $160 was from him but that now seems to be from boatandrv? So now I am lost too! :) Ain't this fun? Meanwhile we are waiting for Randy at bestconverters (who is a PowerMax dealer among other brands he is a dealer for) to answer the email about the thermistor issue that may or may not still exist with those units. It will all get sorted out eventually I suppose.
BFL13 11/25/14 09:16pm Tech Issues
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

Who knows what version boatandrv is selling? They certainly don't! lol. And yes, it appears errin has an arrangement with his distributors, such that he sends out the units from florida, and credits the retailer. Boatandrv is a sort of simple internet transit business whereas Randy has a shop and employees where he modifies/makes his own version of PM products. That means Randy knows a lot about the product. BTW, what is the state of play re the old and new PMs that you were going to try and return? That process should clarify a number of things.
BFL13 11/25/14 08:04pm Tech Issues
RE: Should I Change My WFCO Converter?

extortion... i love it! :) http://www.boatandrvaccessories.com/powermax-pmbc-55-12-volt-55-amp-converter-charger-with-cables.html That is not the latest PMBC from PowerMax itself of course.(Eg note that 14.4 vs 14.8 on the non-adjustment version) We still want to know what Errin charges for the latest versions with the optional external adjustment (and maybe the voltmeter? and on/off switch? and carrying handle?) Or will you be sent a Randy version instead as though by magic? I very much doubt that Errin will sell for less than what Randy does since the wholesaler has a policy not to undercut his dealers.
BFL13 11/25/14 07:46pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar - Upgrade or replace outright?

It depends how accurate your AH need figures are. I got 56AH a day at 49.3N in May with a 130w panel lying flat on sunny days. Your 100w total system would almost do that now at that place at that time of year. My first solar controller was an ASC 16 amper. It did a good job although it is a "shunt" type which shuts on and off once it starts controlling , instead of the more modern "series" type which holds the voltage while amps taper. You have all sorts of options here to add to your system, including keeping what you have and adding another panel and a second controller (about $15) on eBay and paralleling the new controller and the ASC on the battery bank to get more AH per day. Or you could start over with all new gear.
BFL13 11/25/14 07:30pm Tech Issues
RE: Opinions on my battery charging profile (solar)

Do you think I should ditch my 14.9V every 3rd day idea and go back to a more typical 15.5ish volt equalization on a 30 or 60 day basis? Or maybe even just on demand? Set the controller to 14.8 and when the batts get there, confirm batt V with a multi-meter. Adjust controller V so that Vbat is 14.8 at the batts. Then anytime you want to use the inverter, turn off solar, start the inverter, and then turn solar back on.
BFL13 11/25/14 07:14pm Tech Issues
RE: Opinions on my battery charging profile (solar)

Only if Robin Williams (RIP) drives back out of the lake in Alberta on his bicycle to save the day!
BFL13 11/25/14 06:45pm Tech Issues
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