Well initially when first turned on the amp draw would be 6.2. After the pad had cycled on for a while and heated up the circuit, the ciggy plug voltage would drop current consumption to the low 4 range. With The powerpoles the amp draw started at 6.8 and stayed at 6.8.
Perhaps this extra 2.6 amps was the straw which broke the camels back. The side of the pad which failed is the one which sees more abuse, and honestly half the pad is still good enough, but it has not been very chilly, as far as chilly goes.
I'll probably dissect my current pad after I decide on a replacement. I might go with the same make and model and just call it 30 dollars per winter and hope it lasts 3 years.
I wonder If I can retask the controller for something else.
Well the specs claimed a 6.2 amp draw, but due to the increasing voltage drop as the connections heated up, the current dropped along with the voltage.
My powerpole modifications made it a steady 6.8 amps which is not 50% over the baseline 6.2a, but perhaps the engineers expected the voltage drop and the resulting drop in amperage too.
But since they recommend these for truckers and they say to turn on the mattress heating pad a few hours before turning off the engine, they would have to figure in battery charging voltages making it to the ciggy receptacle. Even with 2 volts drop across the ciggy plug from 14.4 that leaves 12.4v which is all my ciggy plug was ever really fed. Could there really be so little overhead engineered into such a device?
I am not accounting for the 5 feet of 18 awg cable I cut off between controller and ciggy plug. Certainly the voltage across that 5 feet between plug and controller, which I did not measure, was also significant.
I hate to be one of those people fishing for what I want to hear and dismissing any opinions that do not do so. What I want to hear is that the failure was likely caused by 3 winters of use and abuse my my 220 lb frame wearing out the wiring. I don't want to hear that I have to artificially limit the current by planned voltage drop into a replacement pad or risk premature failure.
I wonder if I can determine if the failure was wear and tear related, or if it was induced by me reducing the voltage drop through a shorter circuit path and elimination of one of the poorest ubiquitous connectors ever designed.
That extra 5 feet of 18 awg wire was always in the way. I was glad to be rid of it. I'd hate to think its elimination was the cause of the failure.
I wonder what the life expectancy is for such a device.
I'd consider 120v models now that I have a Quiet PSW inverter, but I really liked this 12v unit, while it lasted.
Last night was kinda chilly.
An hour before climbing into bed I, plug my 'watts up' meter inline with my mattress heating pad, crank it up to 7, check out the amp draw, and see it is only half of normal.
Sure enough, I climb into bed, and only half the mattress pad is heating up.
I have a suspicion that perhaps this failure was caused by something I recently did to the product.
What I did was remove about 5 feet of 18 awg wire from between the controller and the Ciggy plug, and the Ciggy plug itself, and replaced it with a 45 amp Anderson Powerpole connector at the end of 10 awg wire. Voltage drop went from over 2 volts, to 0.2 volts just by eliminating 2 ciggy plug receptacles and plugs. I say 2 ciggy plug receptacles as I was plugging the mattress pad's heating plug into an extension cord into which I could easily insert the 'watts up' generic meter inline and see how much Juice I used overnight.
What I also found interesting, is that the Ciggy plug, which I had earlier thought to be of a better design than most others, has no Internal fuse, like most every other ciggy plug I ever opened. I assume the fuse has been moved to inside the controller itself.
When the ciggy plug receptacles warmed up, and the voltage drop increased to over two volts, the amp draw lowered to about 4.2.
After the powerpole swap, the amp draw had increased to 6.8 amps, and the mattress heating pad heated up much faster, and all was good in my microcosm.
Until yesterday, when only half the mattress pad worked.
So was this failure induced by me minimizing the voltage drop, or just co-incidence and the failure is due to 3 winters of sleeping on the pad and breakdown of the wires inside?
I assume there are no serviceable parts inside the blanket itself and that is where the failure lies. Concur?
I'd rather not spend 90$ on a new one, but it has been a nice luxury the last few winters I'd rather not live without.
Does not that engine call for a 5w-20?
With motor oil opinions, you will get the Oil is oil guys, and the others.
Supertech oil is made by Warren Oil. Not sure who formulates motorcraft.
This thread should be interesting.
I use a quality synthetic, although I'm sure a quality conventional oil would do just as well in my usage and climate for less money. But a 15$ difference spread out over a year means little to me.
At first when I saw the promariner I saw right where 180$ could be saved.
Then I remembered how on my particular vehicle that for some unknown reason, the engine computer will cut back the voltage to 13.7 well before the house batteries are back above 80%.
I now have installed 2 small voltmeters on my dashboard, one on the house and one for the engine battery, and they have been enlightening.
Even at a steady highway rpm of ~2000, I can watch the voltage fluctuate between 13.7 and 14.8. My voltage regulator is in the engine computer.
I still wouldn't pay 180 dollars to keep the voltage steady.
I use manual switches. I now have three of the Blue seas Mini series.
One for the Ignition, one for the loads, and one for the solar. But of course setting any of the 3 switches to 'both', parallels the batteries.
In the OP's situation, I like the idea of another toggle switch and perhaps a beefier solenoid/contactor. Perhaps instead of taking juice from the engine battery, hook the lead from the engine battery side of the solenoid, directly to alternator(+) stud.
Isolators with finned heat sinks are to be avoided in my opinion. Heat sinks mean wasted energy.
I like the Blue seas ACR's for simplicity and durability. If i were to start over, it would be with one of those.
What brand of AGM battery?
While agms are clumped together on this forum as to what charging current requirements should be attempted to be met, if one finds the manufacturer recommendations, one will find a much wider variety. Some want all the amps you can give them, others say to limit bulk current.
Once you find the manufacturer recommendations as to voltages and currents, then specific charger recommendations can begin
I now have more T10 194/168/921 cob style bulbs than I have receptacles.
The reason I have so many is I wanted more light that was less blue. I like white white light, not blue white, and warm white LED's just do not do it for me, compared to warm white from a halogen anyway.
All my purchases were from Amazon, and I got to say the variability in the bulb color was disheartening. Some bulbs from the same batch were a different hue, and sometimes individual LEDs on the cob were different on one side than the other. Sometimes I'd find a bulb or 2 that were the right color and nearly bright enough, and then order a bulb from same maker/seller but which had 4 more 5050 SMD's, and they would arrive and be blue, and seemingly no brighter.
While I utilize some of these t10 bulbs in the t10 fixtures, my lighting solution was t20 cree based bulbs in a modified 99 cent store gooseneck lamp. They have a hood to shield my eyes from the intense light of the Cree bulb, and I can easily aim them were needed, or point them at the white ceiling for ambient light.
I was so impressed with the t20 cree bulbs, I ordered 2 more from the same seller, and they sent me bulbs which had a blue heatsink, which gives me the unwanted bluish tinge. They are considerably brighter as they are driven harder at .2 amps vs the earlier .12 amps. I did not return them in time
I have a 25ghz PWM dimmer to use on these, well it works on most any of the LED bulbs I do have. A 12ghz pwm dimmer made some of these Cree bulbs whine audibly.
I do have some MR11 warm white LED's, now unused. These would knock out some TV stations, even when they were coming in at 75%+ strength.
Most notably channels 7 and 11 and 13 (actual). Turn on the light and instantly those channels disappeared. These bulbs do not respond to the PWM dimmer. They stay at full brightness, then just shut off at somewhere around 9 volts.
My overwhelming hatred of advertisements means I do not listen to radio, but I suspect these bulbs would cause massive interference.
I have very few LED failures, even at high 14's charging voltages.
Ok, thanks, if this is just a stratification issue, it will be easy enough to test for with some tipping or other physical or electrical agitation.
I am not particularly impressed with the voltage under load right now, for the amp hours removed.
11 amp hours from full
4.3 amp load
I had not considered stratification as the sole reason for this behavior. I remember your tipped '27's, I had some Wallyworld 27 that never required water, and did not stand up long to nightly cycling, though the one delegated to a fully charged engine starter at 2 years, lasted 7 years.
I really try to mix up the electrolyte with a couple vigorous bulb ejections before I bother focusing on the graduations on the float. Perhaps I overestimate the flow and the mixing going on.
I have not noticed any significant water use since I've been using this 31. But I am giving it a few hours of 14.0v plus per day, and do notice bubbling when I check SG while it is still charging in the mid 13's late afternoon.
I have another BlueSeas switch on hand to divert solar from one battery to the other independent of load, I just need to install it.
Once I do that I can perhaps better observe how the just the physical agitation of driving mixes the electrolyte and SG readings under the same recharge regimen, and independent of vehicular load or alternator charging variables
First off let me say I am not stressing over this. It's just a battery, it is only money, it is meeting my overnight needs, but it is displaying strange behavior, and I am curious as to why.
So the battery in question in a USbattery Group31 flooded deep cycle rated at 130 amp hours. I bought it late November last year.
I am cycling it nightly, anywhere from 25 to 70 amp hours, averaging in the low 30's. Recharging is primarily done by 198 watts of solar, sometimes assisted by short duration blasts by the alternator, and occasionally recharged with a 2/12/25 amp Schumacher charger on various settings.
Anyway I have before taken SG readings when various tools indicated they were fully charged and found levels alarmingly low.
I did some rewiring to allow this battery to be recharged independently and isolated and let the Schumacher do whatever it wanted with it a few different times, and this was kind of scary going up into the 16 volt range. However it did get the SG back up into the green at 1.270 or above.
After this treatment, the battery seemed to perform better in terms of overnight voltage held for the same amount removed, and I've been playing with my solar voltage setpoints and monitoring SG every few days (dropping daily) and averaging low 30's overnight amp hour removal.
Anyway the solar yesterday was not quite able to make my amp hour counter return to 0 amp hours from full, so I switched all loads to my other battery and put the Schumacher on the '31 on the 2 amp setting, and it went all happy green light on me quickly. My inline meter said it was taking 2.4 amps at 13.43 volts. I put a 50 amp load on it to drop voltage below 12.6 and restarted the Schumacher. Within a few minutes it had gone all happy green light again, and I left it alone. 6 hours later it was taking 0.4 amps to hold that 13.43. 8 hours after that and the Schumacher was cycling on and off, giving it about .25 amps for about 5 seconds then nothing for 15 seconds to hold 13.43v.
I removed the Schumacher. I waited 4 hours. No loads on battery at all. Voltage reads 13.23.
I bust out the hydrometer and take readings on the 3 easily accessible cells. 1.225, 1.220 and 1.225. Ambient temps in mid 60's battery case reads 64.5f.
This was after a dozen or so bulb squeezings to stir electrolyte, and to get all bubbles off the float. The electrolyte is clear.
Perhaps my Hydrometer is inaccurate I think, so I bust out my plastic one I trust less, but it concurs with the Turkey baster Hydrometer pretty much exactly on all 3 cells.
I bet if I cycle the battery to 50% tonight, then set the Schumacher loose on it tomorrow, it will get the SG back upto the greens.
I just find it bizarre that this battery can refuse any more charging current at acceptable voltages, holds high resting voltages as if fully charged, yet when a SG reading is taken, it is very low.
This seems to me as if this battery likes to be exercised harder and recharged at a higher rate with higher than normal voltages. That shallower cycles and lesser recharging currents make this battery appear to be fully charged, but the SG of the electrolyte says otherwise.
Yet it still meets my overnight needs even when the SG does not get back up into the greens.
I've never monitored SG on any other battery so closely so have no real basis for comparison. My experiences with this particular battery have me curious as to what is going on in there, and perhaps we can all discuss this and fill in some blanks.
I've been using the BlueSeas product for over a year now. It is well built. I've bent the USB plugs 45 degrees unintentionally more than once.
I use it a lot, using it right now.
When charging my Sony mp3 player and listening to music there is a charging humm. This product's humm is much less than other devices I have tried previously. I put a ground loop isolator on the stereo mini plug cable for the humm cure.
There is a small parasitic draw.
This thread can easily devolve into righteousness, as if every bulb performs the same in every housing.
Anybody who spent good money on LED's retrofits, has a reason to believe that these bulbs are indeed an improvement, whether they are, or not. It depends on the reflector and how any retrofit particular LED bulbs utilizes the reflector as to how it actually performs.
How many humans do you know who revile their purchases? If they researched it and believe it to be a good choice, their brains will do everything possible to reaffirm their purchase.
There are adequate chances that the LED retrofit bulbs are indeed an actual improvement in terms of overall lumens, but are those lumens aimed where best interpreted by other drivers? How many who do, even care?
Looks brighter to me, thank you very much, purchase justified.
Once again, expenditures must be justified, and who better than to justify those expenditures than strangers on the internet.
Unfortunately, there remains this fact that incandescent housings are designed around a intense filament light source, and multitdirectional LED's firing in the best parody of 360 degrees is not going to adequately project enough light in every direction, to other drivers, as they are expecting in every housing..
My 1157's Incandescent signal lights are easy to access.
I am well aware of all the current offerings of LED 1157 retrofits.
No thanks. For me there is no benefit, unless I am trying to show others that a regular incandescent bulb is just so beneath me. Cromagnon or neanderthal. This wine smells funny. Ewwwwwwww
I'd rather insure adequate voltages make it to these original bulbs, and that the bulbs themselves are fresh, and that I have backups on hand. and know how to reach them with minimal fuss
Be honest with yourself after installing any LED bulb into your incandescent housing. You obviously want to see an improvement, and your brain has been programmed to release seratonin and endorphins on a perceived positive result, key word being "perceived"
Actual, is a whole different level
See Consumer economy, part A
Be honest with yourself, and judge the retrofit LED light from all angles, before justifying your purchase, and trying to get others online to help you justify the purchase.
I'm not saying all LED retrofit bulbs In INcandescent housings are worthless, just that there is little reason for the purchaser of LED retrofits, to not believe for a microsecond, that the light output is correct at all angles, in all situations, and that the person driving behind you will make allowances for your running lights, which looked just like brake lights, so it was not obvious when you were actually braking.
If you believe that a simple LED retrofit bulb, is without question , an undoubted improvement, then that is what you want to believe, and you might as well line up with all the menstruating women as you try to irrationally claim that it is just how you 'feel' and therefore it must be right.
Because all men are such pigs. OMG!!!!!
I guess if adding panels is an option, then making it easy to add panels is paramount. A Junction box wired to the charge controller with oversize wire, will make add-ons simpler, and more likely to occur.
Rewiring to accommodate more amperage or just to eek out more volts, is a PITA.
I'd shoehorn in as much wattage as you can fit in the space available and not worry about price as much.
You'll never meet the minimum bulk current requirements for your large battery bank, but there is a lot to be said for offsetting one's daily usage by some factor, So I'd aim for that.
I tried an 1156 Cree LED in my reverse lights, and they were not visible to other drivers at any angle but directly behind in daytime. Obviously results will be different in different vehicles.
I do have some non flashing side marker lights that call for 194 incandescent bulbs with the t10 wedge base. I happen to have a bunch of LEDs that take this same base for my interior lights, so I tried some in these housings. The brightest LED's I had were too bright and too pink. I tried dimmest RED colored LED bulb in this light is perfect in intensity and fills out the reflector well from all angles, and the light is red, not pink.
So get the LED's the same color as the reflector housing. Makes a big difference in light color and the amount of light filtered out by the lens.
In that photo, the brightest blue white LED was only about 25% brighter than the red led when inside the red colored housing, but is about 90% brighter when unfiltered.
The two Red led's account for almost a 1 amp savings over the 194's IIRC.
Higher voltages then make it to my other incandescent signal bulbs, which is also increased since I removed the headlight current from my headlight switch.
My Vehicle might be old enough to drink, but my lighting, interior and exterior, is as good or better than stock.
Many who 'upgrade" to LED's retrofits in incandescent housings are possibly inviting more issues than just hyper flashing of the signals.
The Incandescent housing are designed around a filament light source and project the light from that to meet all sorts of visibility requirements. Not just from straight behind the vehicle, but from all angles.
We will no doubt get posts by those who installed LED's and say they are brighter and better.
I see LED bulbs all the time retrofitted into incandescent housings. Usually the brake lights are pinkish, blindingly bright or too dim, and there is not enough difference between running lights and brake lights. At angles not directly behind the light might not even be visible at all.
If an accident occurs, and the lawyers get a hold of the fact that LED retrofit bulbs were used inside of incandescent housings, well the lawyers get rich, and most everybody else get's screwed.
The Only advantage I see to using LED bulbs inside incandescent housings is if one abandons the car on the side of the road with the hazard lights flashing for a day or 3.
I do like the instant on and off. I might parallel some red led bulbs inside my housing next to the incandescent just so they illuminate quicker when I step on the brake.
Probably won't make a difference as the person behind me is invariably on looking at their phone more than the road and their surroundings anyway.
And to Those that put HID lights into halogen housings. You are dangerous to yourself and everybody else on the road, and I despise you and your blue light and aim flatulence in your general direction.
I know it is no Francis Freas.
It does seem to be holding a higher voltage, at least so far. It's been getting some exercise the last few days.
I might just have to save the Schumacher for EQ sessions, as it seems every time now, to do sky high voltages.
I wanted to test SG again later today, and being partly cloudy, I plugged in, put it on the 12 amp setting, came back 90 minutes later and it was feeding the 31 11 amp at 16.4 volts, and I unplugged it. Not sure of the SOC at startup, as I unintentionally reset the amp hour counter last night.
The solar was then able to do about 4.5 amps and 4 amps was required to hold 14.8 initially. I took a reading on the 3 easy to access cells at this point. 1.250. Temps low 60's.
Envisioning Mex's pallet of warrantied 31's, I just rinse the hydrometer off and walked away.
A few hours later the solar had them at 15.3 taking 1.2 amps. Took another reading, 1.265 to 1.270 on the 3 easy cells.
Right now, under a 7.6 amp load( charging laptop battery), battery reading 12.38v. 9 amp hours from full according to my monitor.
12.29v under a 10 amp load( fridge kicked on)
Fridge kicked off, unplugged laptop, 2 amp load, voltage 30 seconds later 12.51v
Reading 10Ah from full
Turn off most everything. 0.3 amp load, 12.59v and climbing.