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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #11  
Old 08-25-2009
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iamflagman iamflagman is offline
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Originally Posted by Scott Peterson View Post
ok, so with a new tester in hand I have discovered to following... 120v outlet for the battery charges appears to be fine on both outlets but I plan on removing the cover to inspect further.

However I found that one the the battery boilers is outputting 20volts and the other is out putting 1volt.

Based upon this finding I am thinking that the 24volts of batteries cannot get fully charged since the system is only outputting 21volts maximum. Then factor in that there are other items using part of the 21 volts and this would explain why my batteries drained.

So i think the solution is to get an iota 55 amp charger to replace both the batteries boilers? Also i did look at the Xantrex but considering my budget and the fact that I can run the generator at the same time the engine is running i figure i would pass on this for now. Sound Correct?

Also does anyone know if i will need to replace the cables that I currently have before installing the iota?

sanibel, thanks for the feedback i did get a Bluebox and seems to be fairly complete.
Scott,

The battery charger(s) should only put out between 13.5-14 volts +- you have one that at 20 volts is putting out more than it should and will boil the water out of the batteries and the other is not putting out any voltage. The way that the battery bank(s) in your 'Bird is wired no matter how many batteries as long as there are equal number 2-4-6 8 batteries will still only put out 12 volts not 24 or more volts. Some of the other brands of coaches use a 24 volt system to start the engine with but are stepped down to supply 12 volts for the accessories.

Read these threads;

Wanderlodge Owners Group > Mechanic's Corner > Electrical > Electrical Technical Articles

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Originally Posted by iamflagman View Post
These links are for technical articles found in;
Welcome to the RV Resource page!
http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/index.htm

The 12volt Side of Life
(Part 1).
House battery bank wiring, Part 1

The 12 volt Side of Life
(Part 2)
House battery bank wiring Part 2, plus Inverters and Solar panels
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2009
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Mine were putting out zip and 16 volts. You do not have a 24 volt system, but two twelve volt batteries in parallel which gives double the amps, not double the volts. Trash the chargers while there is still some hope for your batteries.

You can connect the Iota to the same cables. My wiring was a bit of a mess so I made a 3 post terminal block - common negative, genset hot and house hot - and hooked the chargers into that. It is the thing with the boots in the pic. Genuinedealz now carries these at a decent price on eBay. I figured if one ever crapped out, I could switch the wires easily and have a spare charger either way.
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2009
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Default Battery Boiler

Thanks Rick. I unplugged the charger and retested it. It is outputting 20 volts on AC and 7 to 11 volts on DC. Does this charger seem like it is unsafe to use?
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2009
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An AC voltmeter expects a pure 60 cycle sine wave. The battery boilers will have a nasty sawtooth wave and will confuse the ac meter. You are interested in the DC voltage, and unless you are running a convenience store, 7-11 isn't going to cut it.
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  #15  
Old 08-25-2009
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Default thanks for the help

ok, both chargers are out and I placed an order for the IOTA 55AMP.

Sanibel, i like the setup and seems like i will have a lot more space with the new chargers. Is the Red cable coming in the back of the storage box the wire you ran from the genset to the terminal block for the Guest charger? Also, looks like you have a fuse in a yellow jacket, if so what is that used for? I like your setup and will likely "borrow" the idea as it makes since to have an easy method of adding/switching the charge units.

John Finn, great documentation i have not made it all the way through but I like the diagram. It helps to see the block diagram, as it has cleared up my misunderstanding that some of the lights ran on the 110v system. I noticed that you have a 12 volt fuse panel listed in the diagram, any idea where this may be located on my 'Bird as i have not located it yet?

One thing i do not understand and this i am sure is just my basic lack of knowledge... With the tester connected directly to the cables that connect the chargers to the house batteries (not the charger cables themselves), so i am reading the volts coming from the batteries the tester reads an output of 24volts of AC. Is this just a because i have it on the wrong setting or do the batteries output both AC and DC voltage?
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  #16  
Old 08-25-2009
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Check the setting on you multimeter. I think your trying to read DC on your AC setting.
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  #17  
Old 08-25-2009
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You did not mention it, but I would HIGHLY recommend getting the IQ4 thing on your charger. It is very important. It is what separates the "battery boilers" from the men. If you do not understand the multi-stage or smart charger, you need to review Battery 101. It is really important to understand the basic physics of the thing. In a nutshell, it packs as much charge in as your batteries can take then efficiently brings them up to full charge and keeps them healthy over the long term. With a multi-stage unit, you'll get much more juice out of them over a much longer period.

I had a big hot from the batteries to the old chargers and a big neg also. The BC cables were joined with a clamp and gobs of tape to the bus cable. I junked all that and ran the bus wires to the new terminal block. Mounted the new Iota charger and cabled it to the appropriate terminals. The little Guest charger is only 6 amps so it outputs thru the red weenie wire with a fuse to the third terminal. I then ran a new #4 cable from the genset under the bus to the 3rd terminal. This one you can see coming thru the back wall and is wire-tied to the original cables. I sleeved it with a piece of hose where it goes thru the bulkhead to protect it from chafe. The small charger black is run to the same neg post and the genset battery is grounded to both the frame and the genset.

There are tons of fuse panel on your Bird. Behind the headlights is a main place, but there are others sprinkled thruout the bus. Fortunately most of them are circuit breakers, not fuses. They look like little silver boxes all mounted in a row.

Batteries are just DC. You cannot measure them at all using the AC setting.
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  #18  
Old 08-26-2009
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Default So much to learn, so little time...

Thanks John, I did not order the DLS-55 with the IQ4 included but will make sure that i get this included since it can be purchased as an add on.

Yes, I was doing the readings on AC not DC, never a good thing to let an amature do the job. I did go back and test the second charge on DC and it is only putting out .8 volts.
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  #19  
Old 08-31-2009
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ok, i have my new iota 55amp charger with IQ4 installed and working great. It is amazing to see the voltmeter actually reading something now.

One big lesson learned is look before you drill. While mounting the iota i drilled through the back of the storage box into one of the heater lines. I was able to get this fixed but made the job alot harder then it needed to be.

thanks for all of the help.
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  #20  
Old 08-31-2009
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Scott the IQ4 works with two IOTAs. You do have two don't you???
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