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

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  #21  
Old 01-11-2011
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WestySKPs WestySKPs is offline
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Hi All,

We are fully tooled up and ready to crank out some cables. Crimper and all other tools needed for cabling were delivered by Santa. John at SolarSellers.com has a great selection of supplies and was the best price I could find on Quick Cable supplies. The heat shrink and c-clips came from Waytek. Welding cable ordered from Wesbell Wire and Cable, one of the few places with decent prices that also sell by the foot. Left-over stuff, if there is any, is coming with us to BATB. Stop by if you want a sample.

I have been talking to our Wanderlodge Obi-wan a lot about a few changes and wanted to get some input from the group:

One of the two cables coming off of the existing switch goes to the starter, the other goes to the inverter. The cable that goes to the starter then connects to the collection of shunts, which is also the positive feed to the house. What is the reasoning behind running the house connection through the starter instead of directly from the battery bank? We are trying to isolate the starter so I can fuse the house and inverter with a 300-amp fuse block for each. The starter will be on a separate HD switch, no fuse. Is there much of an advantage of the Class-T fuse over the ANL-type in this application?

I have narrowed the switch choices between the Blue Sea 3000-series and both the 700 and 720 series from BEP Marine. I really like the installation convenience of the BEP Marine line, including the 720 for the starter side and the 701 for the house and another 701 for the inverter. Plenty of these available, they are reasonably priced, and take up a lot less space than the Blue Sea HD line. Has anyone on the forum used or have experience with BEP Marine products?

There are a couple of cables (Thanks Gardner!!!) that currently bypass the existing switch. I traced them and found one leads to the positive jumper terminal right next to the Racor and the other goes to the three CB’s also next to the Racor. Would there be an issue with making the second a switchable connection, from the house leg?

The battery pan part of the project is also progressing. I removed much of the scale with a cheap grinder I got from Harbor Freight. The pan is welded on both ends, to support arms bolted to the frame/ engine cradle. The plan is to cut the metal in between the supports and use an air chisel to separate the remaining sheet from the support. This will give us a flat, sturdy foundation for the new pan to be bolted. I have a POR-15 Super Starter kit to prep the compartment. The instructions say temp must be between 50-90 degrees, 80% humidity. It is quite a few degrees colder than that here for the foreseeable future. Didn’t expect that.

I know I am WAY over-thinking this. Just want to get it right the first time.

Thanks, again, guys for all the help!!!

Mike
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  #22  
Old 01-11-2011
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Mike Make sure you use disposable everything when using the por-15. It takes a long time to wear off your skin
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  #23  
Old 01-11-2011
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Mike,
I posted a schematic of a system I used to isolate my starting and house batteries. Advantage over a Blue Sea Systems isolator is cost, scalability and modularity. It is in a recent inverter thread began by mevans

I like the kill switches you propose.... The BEP products have a good reputation. I still like Blue Sea's best, but either are quality items. Blue Sea also makes quality buss bars, fuses and much more.

Doug
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  #24  
Old 01-11-2011
Friday1 Friday1 is offline
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You probably already thought of this but here goes: In your original pic it showed battery cables going over the top of each other + on top of and touching - cables. Re route them somehow to keep them seperated. There is alot of amps and fire power in a battery bank. Safety first.

-Rick in Ohio
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  #25  
Old 01-11-2011
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Mike in Ohio,

LOL!!! Looks like another opportunity to permanently paint an “L” on my forehead. The kit does come with gloves and a lot of warnings. Have any first-hand experience?

Rick,

That was one of the big reasons we wanted to rework the cables. Even with my untrained eyes, it looked a little scary. With the current 12V batteries and switches mounted on the same heat shield as the current switch, it looks better to go with two batteries on three separate strings, as opposed to the current three batteries on two strings. With the battery terminals so close together, I would like to use the threaded posts instead of the SAE (?) posts. It keeps all cabling a few inches further away from the neighboring battery’s opposite pole terminal.

Doug,

Our house and start batteries are one and the same. We have an alt batt switch which combines the back six with our front genny start battery, but that is controlled by an uber-solenoid I sorted out when we first got the coach (Thanks JW!!!). There are plans for a separate house bank of batteries later. I just have a lot of learning to do before we tackle that project.

Here are a few reasons we are leaning toward the BEP switches:
1.They easily lock and connect together using 708 Terminal Links and supplied connectors.
2.All components, with the exception of the 721 switch, share common dimensions like Lego bricks. This allows for a very clean installation, using a much smaller footprint than the Blue Sea switches
3.The switches come with back plates and can accept connections from all 4 sides, while the Blue Sea switches are open on only three sides.
4.Cost: At about $20 per 701 switch, we can actually isolate each battery (6 switches) much more cheaply than three BS 3002 A+B switches.

Concerns we have with the BEP system:
1.They do not have a Class-T fuse holder. Only an ANL. If we cannot use their fuse holder, the real estate benefits are reduced.
2.If the house and inverter loads exceed the continuous rating of 275 amps on the 701 switch, again, bigger switch and more space needed
3.Will the 708 Terminal links be beefy enough to take the load of an engine start? I have a good source for plated solid copper extrusion. Just need to know what size is needed. If we need to use lugs and cable, even more space is needed, benefits over Blue Sea decreases further.

Again, I am sure I am over-thinking this. Just not my expertise and am learning in the process. Measure twice, cut once.

Mike
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  #26  
Old 01-11-2011
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Mike, Do you have 6 4d batteries and 1 group 31 for the genny? On my 90 I split em 3 and 3 and made 2 banks with a Blue sea A,B-A&B and off switch. (I forget the part #)That way we would dry camp with 3 and always have 3 to start the coach and run the gen to charge em and alternate them to get even usage. This worked much better after nixing the bat boilers for a truecharge 40 3 stage charger per the advice of Shane Fedeli. AND Yes I do have experience with the por-15 and we'll leave it at that!
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Last edited by Icefixr66; 01-11-2011 at 06:26 PM. Reason: additional info
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  #27  
Old 01-11-2011
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Mike in Ohio,

We have six 12V group 24's and a Group 75 for the genny. We are planning on doing something similar to what you did, maybe with six switches/ three A+B switches. This way we can isolate each battery. The tray being fabricated includes 4" sides with 4" dividers, allowing for a single battery to be physically removed from the array without having to replace it to keep the other five from shifting. We have a Freedom 20 inverter/charger that replaced the old setup about 10 years ago. There was no fuse added between the inverter and battery bank, another reason we are updating the cabling (Thanks, again, JW, for ID’ing this!!!)

I will make sure to visit the facilities before using the POR-15.

Mike
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  #28  
Old 01-11-2011
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wear rubber gloves and use a wooden stir stick
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  #29  
Old 01-11-2011
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Mike,
I, for one, have never understood the reasoning behind taking house power from the starter end of the circuit. Electrically it is as good a place as any to tap power from, but from a 'point of failure' perspective it seems to add more connections between the house circuits and battery.

As far as the house and inverter load through the switch, if you have a 275 amp steady drain on the batteries there is a problem. Starting current is another story.
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  #30  
Old 01-11-2011
davidmbrady
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Mike,

On the POR15. Take the lid off the can and stir with a wood stirrer. Put the lid back on. Don't drip any paint in the paint can groove. Drill two 1/8" holes, one in the lid and one at the top of the can, 180 deg apart. Plug the holes with small sheet metal screws. When it's time to paint. Remove the screws and pour the POR15 into a plastic Tupperware container. The hole in the cap serves as a breather. Put the screws back in and the POR15 will stay fresh and uncontaminated. When applying, use a decent quality, but disposable nylon brush. Brush one direction only. Don't over brush, just two or three swipes. If too thick, thin with POR15 thinner. I highly recommend the thinner. Two thin coats are preferred. Re-coat within the time spec written on the can. Try hard to keep the dust down - douse the floor with water, etc. Have plenty of fresh air available. If you're not happy with the results, POR15 is readily stripped with Klean-Strip Aircraft Paint Remover, part no: QAR343. If done right, POR15 can glisten like a fine porcelain finish.

Last edited by davidmbrady; 01-11-2011 at 09:09 PM.
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