The trimetric has an Ammeter, no?
How many amps were flowing? Some PD amperage will go to feeding DC loads, the rest should go into the battery and be read as +48.X amps or so.
Takes a while for voltage to rise when the batteries are at 55%
It takes my single 90AH Northstar AGM when drained to 50%, about 35 minutes at 38+ amps before reaching near 14.5v, at which point amps taper.
When amps taper to 0.4a, at 14.5v on this battery, I consider the battery fully charged.
Sometimes my battery monitor agrees, often it is 1 or 2AH out and that 1 or 2Ah can take one or 2 hours more at absorption voltage before amps taper to 0.4 or less.
Blindly believing the trimetric is not wise. they drift with accumulated cycles. Best thing to do is reset them when specific gravity is maxed out, and lower the total capacity as the batteries age, or watch the AH from full display instead of the % remaining.
When the batteries lose capacity, and the trimetric reads 55%, the batteries could actually be well below 50% as they are no longer ~160Ah, but perhaps 140, and might not have started the discharge cycle at a true 100%.
When these group 24's fail, 6v GC-2s are real deep cycle batteries and nearly the same footprint, just taller and will yield 2x the total cycle life, all factors being equal.
But since you will have ~65 more AH total capacity with them, the depth of discharge will be less, so they will last even longer.
The design of your lamp's reflectors plays a huge part in which LED and its layout, will be acceptable.
Generally LEDs do not work well with the reflector and the LED chipsets are best off when all of them point in the direction where light is desired. The flat boards with multiple LED chipsets.
I've been impressed with the 5730 chipsets, much more so than the 5050's. I prefer the single Cree emitters behind a projector lens the most. But these are super directional.
The Sailor's peeling those green banannas are hardly dimwits, and are dang impressed with the taste.
One guy who has all the special tools for precise capacity measurements says that at cycle 765, his 400AH lifepo4 bank is still delivering over 400AH
Post 5136 on that linked page thread, page 343.
Northstar AGM datapoint.
No upper limit on charging amps.
I feed my depleted 90Ah AGM battery at 40 amps, or 65 amps if I combine charging sources, or whatever it wants from a cold fast spinning alternator.
Closing in on 300 deep cycles, and deep is below 60% in my book, and add another 150 shallow cycles to ~85%.
I like a battery which can accept huge charge rates when depleted without worry. But absorption stage still takes hours.
I recently ran a test to see how long it took to get from 80% to 100% when held at 14.5v.
It took 3.5 hours to return 18 amp hours and for amps to taper to 0.4 at 14.5.
If I had accumulated 10 deep cycles without a high amp recharge, this would be 5 to 6 hours to taper to this point.
On boaters forums, the Gel battery owners are claiming the longest lives, but their entire charging system is calibrated to not exceed the gel parameters.
And no matter what the 100% recharge is still needed, and 80 to 100% is going to take hours.
This is likely my last lead acid battery for deep cycling. I got my eyes on 4 100AH Lifepo4 cells.
My vehicle came with an analog Ammeter. When my alternator failed in early '06, I did not know it until the wipers moved at half speed. A voltmeter would have made the failure obvious. The OEM analog Ammeter moving 1/32" to the left went completely unnoticed, perhaps for 150+ miles of highway driving.
An Aftermarket tachometer now resides were the OEM ammeter once did.
I've been planning on upgrading the 11' parallel alternator charge path as it is a doubled 6awg jumper cables crimped before i had the proper tools for doing so. I could then just unhook the original/OEM ring terminal from alt(+) and run hall effect sensor by battery switch, and see total alternator amperage as desired.
I already have a 500 amp deltec shunt and battery monitor counting amps into and out of battery, but I cannot safely see it from driver's seat.
I was wanting to measure overall alternator output So I can collect more data on how fast it heats up at different vehicle speeds/loads, and part of those loads are intended to easily be able max it out, like a blower motor on high and headlamps and additional lighting.
So for my intentions the hall effect sensor on the positive, close to the alternator encapsulating both parallel circuits would fit my desires.
Granted once my curiosity was satisfied/ data collected then total alternator amperage would not be as informative as just alternator amps into the battery.
But just seeing amps into the battery on the dashboard next to my voltmeters would still be highly desirable.
Again not wishing to derail your thread, and looking forward to your reports on the device in question.
Certainly an option.
I currently have two parallel circuits taking different routes to the battery switch, the original path would allow some portion of that to bypass switch. Some Vehicle Loads like the lights and blower motor would not get measured if the sensor was near the switch though.
Don't want to derail thread.
thanks for posting
Whenever I have a technical question, and think Who I could possibly ask.... who would have the answer and good input along tangential topics to it, there you are, either on this forum or answering Emails directly.
I'm really in no better financial situation than yourself, and don;t know how to return all the favors you have given me by sharing your knowledge.
If you get this far North, No motel 6 needed. No bus needed, I can make the border to pick you up.
I'll feed you a good meal, You can have my bed, I'll set up my tent, and no diagnostics needed, :)
You already helped me to figure out how to diagnose or prevent anything along those lines.
It would really suck to not have that brain of yours to access, so stick around you old obtuse curmudgeon.
All the best.
The screws basically are on the horizontal plane, a little downward.
Since original screwholes in steel were rusted out, and I did not want to drill all new holes every 4 inches in fiberglass, lifting it and moving it backwards a bit were my solution.
I lifted it from the inside with a hydraulic jack.
I also removed some fiberglass from the bottom lip and on the leading edge to get it to fit tighter up there with less sealant required.
the screws in front are trying to penetrate steel at a ridiculous angle. pretty ineffective.
I now have threaded brass inserts submerged into homemade fiberglass rope ~ 3/4 inch diameter dry, saturated with epoxy along leading edge, and stainless pan head bolts pulling roof down tightly over windshield.
Might have to back them out a bit and get some silicone grease.
The O rings used were too small/ tight and they had so much friction they felt tight, but the end cap could be wiggled.
I want to get a flood pair to replace the halogen fog lights that are my reverse lights which are on my trailer hitch.
Fiberglass is pretty flexible.
I lifted mine in the back about 7/16 inch over what the conversion company did, which was to allow it to rest in the gutters so that one had to clean leaves and detritus out with a specially designed tool with a Z type shape.
I'd say it was Designed to fail, but that would imply they thought at all.
I have two of the spot beam ones that come on with my high beams. There are dozens of rebrands of these using the same housing, some better than others no doubt some actually use Cree emitters, many likely do not.
The endcaps were not torqued very well. The dry O rings were causing the screws to bind. They would have leaked for sure. They needed some spit and polish, but I like them.
Drivers on the other side of the road, who do not lower their high beams in time, do not like them. They are as bright as my sealed beams getting 14.5v at the h4 connector, on high beam.
The instant on to full brightness factor is nice.
I use them carefully.
They are illegal to use on road in the US, but headlamp and vehicle safety lighting is not really enforced. Look at all the nimrods putting HIDs into halogen reflectors and thinking they are cool and can see better when they come off as fools who can't see any better, and worse cause excessive glare to other drivers driving the opposite direction
The mounting bolts are not very strong, and they will rust shortly after being breathed upon.
I have a few photos of mine already uploaded to PB
Yes, mine is a dodge, but I believe if you see roof gutter rust mostly on them, it is because there is more of them floating around.
Here is the convoluted upper rail and gutter cross section of a Dodge.
I imagine the fiberglass roof is made one piece in a mold, I am not envisioning any benefit of having 2 pieces and making a seam, not in something the size of a van roof.
If you buy a van and cut the roof off, I'd recommend treating any rust and repainting it. When cutting out the steel, I'd recommend painting the edges of the bare steel. Use stainless steel fasteners, but predrill the holes vacuum out the shavings run the screws through the steel to cut the threads, back them out and paint the holes.
Leave enough room so that the fiberglass roof is not resting on the roof gutter bottom, partially blocking some of its width.
My roof, with nothing attached to it weighs about 220Lbs.
If cutting the steel roof with a cut off wheel, protect any of the vans paint from sparks which will sear into the paint and cause little rust boreholes in the paint.
Interesting, landyacht! Does that mean that if I got a single-layer roof I could have fiberglass glass in some wood to screw cabinets to, and to support solar? That might he nice.
What is with the gutter rust? I see a lot of that. Is it due to the screw/bolt holes? And/or the lack of air circulation where too nany surfaces come together? (=Is the rusty worse under the top where it is hidden?)
I really do not have experience with other fiberglass roofs to know how they are constructed. I have many rope cleats into the wood runners, but also have some White oak strips holding up some white panelling to also firm up the roof.
Cabinets, suspended? I think not. I only feet safe using 3/4 inch #10 coarse thread wood screws into the wood .
My framed solar panel's corner feet/supports, I fiberglassed to the roof after sanding through gel coat. The other solar panel is a stick on unisolar pvl-68.
I worked in a boat yard for a few months, fiberglassing molds and such. There is lots of room for imperfection in the process, and the workers sniff too much fumes. There could be much variation in where they place the wood from roof to roof.
One can't really see how it is constructed until one removes all the interior from it, and even then some of the wood and foam came as a surprise to me.
The roof gutter rust is the Van killer. When they attach the roof sheetmetal to the walls there is a whole bunch of folding and body filler and spot welding going on. Once moisture gets inside, inbetween these layers, the rot begins and festers, and one can only hope to slow it down. When the conversion company used drywall screws, well drywall screws will rust before your eyes if you breathe on them. So mine had the double cause eating upwards from the water trapping gutters, and downwards from the born to rust screws they decided upon using to hold the roof to the steel.
Condensation from living inside is also an accellerant of the rust.
Th gutters trap dirt and contaminants which eat the paint. Keeping them clean, parking so that overnight condensation can drain rather than pond, and waxing the gutters can really slow down the rust. BUT, many fiberglass roofs have a band making it extremely difficult to actually access the gutters to clean and wax them. Basically they were not built with longevity in mind.
I had my fiberglass roof removed completely twice to repair rust and repaint. other times I just lifted it enough to access the rust and treat it. That option is pretty much closed now. My rust battles are being fought in full retreat.
My fiberglass roof is a 'tv' top conversion van roof. In the back 2/3, it has ~ 3/32" of fiberglass on the top surface, then ~ 3/8" of foam, then another 3/32" of fiberglass..
Below this they used 4 inch wide strips, 5 of them, about 9 inches apart of OSB particle board and glassed than in with 3/32 more fiberglass.
These OSB strips hold a screw from underneath nicely. I've reinforced the underside/ ceiling with Oak and insulated it with 1/2 inch isocynate foamboard insulation.
The front 1/3 is just 1/4 inch of fiberglass, fiberglass matt, or perhaps just fiberglass sprayed into the mold with a chop gun. No foam, no OSB wood, just the convoulted structure and 1/4 inch of fiberglass to give it some rigidity.
Exactly how these roofs are constructed will vary.
I would NOT walk on ine without plywood up there to spread the load.
The original conversion van maker decided that coarse thread 3/4 inch drywall screws into the sheet metal roof was 'JUST FiNE'
My battle with roof gutter rust is a battle I am destined to lose, but it is a battle i still fight.
Thankfully I can get epoxy to bond to properly prepped steel and aluminum, and have rebuilt parts of the roof gutter.
But this effort is also futile, in the long run.
Those pics look more like dirt rather than massive gel coat cracks. get a ladder and some spray cleaner and have a better look. try and feel for soft spots.
Fiberglass is good stuff, Better than steel for long term durability.
Especially when they use freaking drywall screws and whisper the 'just fine' mantra which apparently soothes the human soul.
I think maybe the finicky nature of AGMs is being overstated. They will benefit - a little - from a heavy charge occasionally.
The manufacturer flatly states more initial charge current is better.
Without the ocasional high amp recharge, the time it takes for amps to taper to 0.5% of capacity takes much longer, especially, and more so when accumulating many deep cycles back to back.
While I have a thin plate pure lead Northstar AGM, not a lifeline, I can easily notice when too many low and slow solar only recharges has tanked performance,( voltage drops much lower for AH removed under a given load) and a high amp recharge to a true 100%, is the resetting cure. I deep cycle nearly daily and have a battery monitor at my right hand and this behavior is overwhelmingly obvious. The high amp recharge is Key.
100% recharges are of course important even at a slower rate to achieve them, but when the cycles are deep on these high$$ AGM's, so is the initial charge current as it needs to get that electrolyte a migrating through the glass matting.
Disregard the necessity of an occasional high amp recharge at the cost of the longevity of your expensive AGM battery.
Read the lifeline manual regarding charging parameters, more than once.
And lifeline allows and recommends EQ charges, they just call them 'conditioning' charges since 'Equalization' freaks out the masses when typed near the letters 'AGM'.
Scroll to page 19, read and reread:
You have a 650$ battery bank, do not disregard the manufacturer recommendations as to proper recharging.
Low and slow solar only recharges, on back to back deep cycles, even to 100%, will have these batteries fail prematurely.
The less deep the cycle, the less important the high amp recharge becomes. So claims of longevity without this data point are not much value.