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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Xantrex Truecharge2 Reliability?

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landyacht318

Near a large body of salty water

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Posted: 11/04/19 12:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

New( or Uncycled slightly aged) Flooded batteries behave a bit weird in the specific gravity department in my experience. I've had SG refuse to climb on new uncycled GC batteries. I had to drain and recharge them before it rose to acceptable level, and now 3 years later and much abuse later the owner reports no issues and my hydrometer revealed only ~1 hour of 16.2v after a few hours of 14.7v was required to max them out right where I first established them after that initial deep cycle.

It was not just a matter of stratification either, that first weirdness dipping them as i was moving them around, tipping them and also charging them upto 16.2v. The SG refused to get much above 1.260 until I deep cycled them then recharged them fully, then 1.275 on all.

Likewise I could not achieve a full charge rested voltage on my Spanking new NOrthstar AGM until I took ~50% from it and then charged it at 25 amps until full, Then it was 13.06v full charge and stunned
and scared me with the quickness at which it would crank my engine.

I'd say 14.7v them until amperage stops tapering, then drain them to 60% or less, then 14.7v them for as long as it takes until SG no longer rises. If it is still too low then 16.2v. if it still does not respond suspect your hydrometer is reading low.

KNowing maximum specific gravity when new and fully charged is wise, but also record the ambient and battery temperature, and note the interior cell gets warmer than the two outer when charging and the thermometer on hydrometer should register this if you allow enough time for electrolyte heat to move the thermometer level.

I've also seen few new batteries have the same exact level on each cell, so the low cells when topped up later on, will appear to read weaker than teh cell which seemed to be filled highest at the factory. Noting the low cells from the factory can remove a bit of the 'WTF?' readings later, on after watering is required.

As BFL states, as long as it is precise/repeatable and compared to itself in future tests, it can be inaccurate. Its just that initial maxing of specific gravity required to figure out what it the maximum is, and that might or might not require 16.2v, but I would say that it does require at least one discharge cycle on new flooded batteries.

I think Mex once recommended an initial conditioning charge of 14.0v for X amount of hours on flooded GC batteries to 'cure the plates' or some such.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 11/04/19 07:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Direct from factory lead acid jars need about 25 discharge and recharge cycles to reach full capacity.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

jseyfert3

Wisconsin

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Posted: 11/22/19 10:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I got an OTC hydrometer finally. The first one the float was broke, so Amazon had to send a replacement. I haven't yet checked the batteries, I will do that this weekend.

I decided to go with the PowerMax 60 A converter. I could see it was just a simple 3/4 turn trim pot. I opened it up, which was super easy as they didn't bolt anything to the cover, and upgrading that to a nice multi-turn external pot will be cakewalk, as it's a single sided PCB. Also with the exception of the control board, everything is big beefy through hole components, so if anything breaks it shouldn't be terribly hard to troubleshoot and repair. Which is good, given how upgrading the voltage adjustment pot will void the warranty.z

I'll check and likely equalize my batteries later this weekend, now that I have the converter and hydrometer.

This is probably my last post in this thread, but I just wanted to update for those interested. I'll post under the "DIY Upgrades" forum once I actually get my setup installed in my TT.

Thanks again for all the suggestions and information!


2015 Rockwood Mini Lite 2306


BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 11/22/19 06:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The older PowerMax adjustable voltage models with their external knobs on top to work the pot inside, have wires from lid to pot on a circuit board inside. Those wires are very short so it is hard to take the lid off and set it to one side without breaking the wires from their CB connections.

If you do the mod proposed, use long wires from pot to lid knob.

I still warn that you can get in trouble where the pot on its board is connected here and there, so you might miss a connection when trying to swap it out.


1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
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2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas
See Profile for Electronic set-ups for 1. and 2.

jseyfert3

Wisconsin

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Posted: 09/30/20 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wanted to close the loop on this as I hate reading threads without endings. Soon afterwards, we decided we'd buy a house and things got busy. Between that and then COVID, we got out just one time this year and the batteries sat without getting hooked up or equalized, though I didw watch the voltage and charge a few times.

We finally left on an 8 night trip. Before we left I did two partial cycles (one around 20 Ah, one almost 50), and fully charged before leaving, checked all SGs (1.275-1.285), and topped up water.

Three nights in the batteries where somewhere around 50% based on voltage measurement about 15 minutes of no load. Load the prior night was the fridge gas solenoid, phone charging, and some background sleeping noise over the camper speakers. Heater probably only ran once or twice all night.

I decided to top off with the generator and set the PowerMax 60 to 15.3 volts unloaded (48 °F right now), hooked it up and the batteries sank all 60 amps since it was voltage limited.

Still have not upgraded any camper wiring yet, I have some 4 AWG connecting the batteries and also going to a battery connector I can tuck in the battery compartment. To charge with the PowerMax I have more 4 AWG from the PowerMax to another battery connector, simply pop the lid, hook up, and plug in. Hopefully I'll get the actual wiring all finished here in a few months, winter should be a good time to work on that.

MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 09/30/20 11:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"winter should be a good time to work on that".

Do you have a garage? Full absolute shade in Feb is demanded here. I would love to find a manageable free-standing umbrella. for me, not the work.

But I tolerate hot a lot better than cold.

jseyfert3

Wisconsin

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Posted: 09/30/20 02:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not a garage, but soon we'll be storing it in an unheated barn. So while cold, there won't be snow or wind, and I could get a propane radiant heater for outside work and electric space heater for inside work.

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