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Open Roads Forum  >  RVing in Mexico and South America

 > not about Mexico , problem with charging batteries

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John & Angela

Full Timers in Canada, USA and Mexico

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Posted: 06/24/12 10:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bromley wrote:

John & Angela wrote:

That would be called a language barrier. Did you explain it in Spanish or have someone explain it for you. Don't confuse a language barrier for not having a clue. JMHO


No it wasn't a language barrier, My Spanish isn't very good , but even a friend that is a Spanish electrical engineer tried to explain she just got a confused look from the CFE employee "engineer".


Good morning Bromley. It just sounded like one of the classic daily sceenarios I deal with both in my job and where I live with a variety of european non english speaking tourists. This time of the year we have lots of Yugosloavian, Swiss, Spanish, French, Russian, Dutch, German (lots of German) coming through. Trying to isolate or describe a problem is always fun and miscommunication abounds. Overall usually a positive experience but along the way lots of pointing and hand gestures. I am functional in 4 languages but need about half a dozen more to cover the tourist season here.


2003 Revolution 40C Class A. 2002 Vanguard 22 foot Class C. Diesel smart car as a Toad on a smart car trailer or pulling a 2009 Timeout Tent Trailer.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but rather by the moments that take our breath away.

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The Western States

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Posted: 06/24/12 10:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get a digital voltmeter so you can check the battery voltage for yourself. Easy to use and cost about $5 in the US. If the battery voltage is less than 13V with solar OFF then the converter is not charging. It could be CBs, fuses, battery disconnect or bad converter. If the battery voltage is less than 13V with the converter off and good sun then the solar is not working.

But be careful if you also start measuring 120V AC.


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Bob


Turtle-Toad

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Posted: 06/25/12 01:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm sorry but I seem to be a little confused. I'm reading questions and answers about inputs but nothing about the output. An operational 12VDC/120VAC system consists of Solar Cells, Charge Controller, Batteries, and an Inverter. This is all a stand-alone system needs.

If it's used as a back-up to an existing 120VAC system it would also have a 120VAC/12VDC converter to float or charge the batteries when the external AC system is available. There are purpose built Inverter/converters that handle both functions, eliminating the need for two separate units.

I haven't heard anything about an inverter in this system or what the symptoms of the fault is. There is mention of cloudy conditions (which can cause low batteries and output) and low solar charge (which can be caused by either the cloudy condition or the fact that the batteries are nearing full charge)

There is also the problem that most Converter/Inverters are programmable and capable of remote control. They also need to see certain conditions before they will "turn on".

All in all, there isn't enough information given to form any kind of conclusion. Any attempt to troubleshoot this system with the information given is what we in the navy used to call an 'Easter egg hunt', you just keep replacing things until the problem goes away.

The troubleshooting has to follow a logical sequence to determine the exact failure. Most inverter/converter manufacturer's websites will show the correct procedure. All it takes is a Digital Volt - Ohm meter and a basic understanding of Ohms Law.

As to the terminology, the person that said that Mexico didn't have amps is obviously not an electrician! Ohms Law, like gravity, works in every country. And if you don't understand Ohms Law then you're not an electrician!

If you desire, and can provide some basic nameplate data from your system, I can set you up with a step-by-step troubleshooting procedure that you can either follow yourself or, better yet, have your local electrician follow. We can do it either here, via a PM, or through e-mail.

In any case DO NOT go out and buy a new unit just because it 'appears' to not have an output. Find the problem first!!!


Turtle & Toad, On the Road
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