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Old 06-08-2016, 12:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by LB_3 View Post
Do any of the EEs have any preference for a 3.3v relay?
First, thanks a lot for the thread. I am researching the same topic as you .

On your question, you don't need a relay but a level shifter since this is a low current application. That is just a transistor and a resistor. Here is an already made one for less than cost of cup of coffee

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12009

Despite what it says, it should work fine for 3.3 to 12 volt conversion too.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:49 AM   #16
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Awesome! Now I have a new tool to add to my limited electronics inventory.

Ok sparkies, my next big electronics hurdle is how to throttle the power from the alternator. Lithium batteries can accept hundreds of amps and alternators have no inherent current limits which could spell disaster. I really don't want to melt my alternator, weld the battery isolation switch closed, or start a fire. I think the power cable is only 4awg so I can probably get 50 amps through it safely if I can't route a larger cable.

I thought about trying to reappropriate my current PWM solar charge controller but it's only rated for 30 amps and it's designed more as a voltage regulator than a current limiting device.

So far the only things I've seen that can do this that aren't space heaters are DC motor controllers and some PWM circuits built by the quacks in the HHO community. Seriously, go to a search for HHO controller and tell me we can't become billionaires selling Brawndo to the masses.
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:10 AM   #17
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My Interstate Lithium Battery Adventures

It may not be of much help to you technical gurus, but I noticed Roadtrek had put out a YouTube video on the technology they use:
https://youtu.be/LH507_7rSZE

Edit: I wish Airstream had someone like this on their development team!
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:12 AM   #18
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Hi LB_3,

Please take lots of photos or videos of your install.
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:40 AM   #19
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Hi LB_3,

Please take lots of photos or videos of your install.
That's the plan but I've got a couple projects ahead of the battery upgrade so it may be some time before I get going. I started the thread early because I know there are several of us doing some research in hopes of taking advantage of the 30% tax rebate that ends this year. And of course, the hive mind is pretty powerful and could keep me from making dumb (expensive) mistakes.

Interblog doesn't like it when I leave the Interstate in pieces beyond a weekend so it's important that I have everything ready to go before I get started on a project and do it in distinct stages with minimal loss of functionality in-between. So to that end I generally start collecting parts early.
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:47 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by UKDUDE View Post
It may not be of much help to you technical gurus, but I noticed Roadtrek had put out a YouTube video on the technology they use:
https://youtu.be/LH507_7rSZE

Edit: I wish Airstream had someone like this on their development team!

Wow! Great video find and the first time I've seen Roadtrek be open about their technology. Normally they are very secretive and just tell everyone "trust us it works". Notice the battery box has two positive leads that would allow the several charge and discharge paths that LB_3 discussed above.

Based on the new thread I added yesterday about the interview with Bob Wheeler, President of Airstream, I'd say Airstream is going in another direction by introducing a larger motorhome later this year.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/1803438-post.html

It will likely be a spin off of a Thor Class C, which are big sellers and appear to a wide customer base than the Class Bs like the Interstate. Looks like 2017 will be a banner year for new RVs.


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Old 06-08-2016, 10:54 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LB_3 View Post
Awesome! Now I have a new tool to add to my limited electronics inventory.

Ok sparkies, my next big electronics hurdle is how to throttle the power from the alternator. Lithium batteries can accept hundreds of amps and alternators have no inherent current limits which could spell disaster. I really don't want to melt my alternator, weld the battery isolation switch closed, or start a fire. I think the power cable is only 4awg so I can probably get 50 amps through it safely if I can't route a larger cable.

I thought about trying to reappropriate my current PWM solar charge controller but it's only rated for 30 amps and it's designed more as a voltage regulator than a current limiting device.

So far the only things I've seen that can do this that aren't space heaters are DC motor controllers and some PWM circuits built by the quacks in the HHO community. Seriously, go to a search for HHO controller and tell me we can't become billionaires selling Brawndo to the masses.

Look to the marine industry. Victron makes DC to DC converters and Balmar makes battery charge regulators specifically for alternators.


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Old 06-08-2016, 11:11 AM   #22
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Looks like Roadtrek employed some pretty good engineers. Now they just need to hire some better interior designers and cabinet makers.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:12 AM   #23
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Thanks again Lew!
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:44 AM   #24
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Hi LB_3,

Please take lots of photos or videos of your install.
We will. I'll also be fashioning a series of blog posts on it, similar to what I did for our solar install, but perhaps in more detail. I try to find the sweet spots of supplying people with good information while at the same time not overloading with a lot of info on builds that we might be the only Class B owners on earth to undertake.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:12 PM   #25
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Looks like Roadtrek employed some pretty good engineers. Now they just need to hire some better interior designers and cabinet makers.
Seems to me, it is easier for us to duplicate their electrical system in our Interstates than trying to fit our nice furnishings, in their unit.

I am trying to nail down the components they used and then figure out one to stuff it all in our units.
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Old 06-08-2016, 03:00 PM   #26
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It looks like they used GBS battery cells in their battery box.

The alternator regulator looks like it might be this device: http://www.defender.com/pdf/ARS-5.pdf
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Old 06-08-2016, 05:35 PM   #27
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It looks like they used GBS battery cells in their battery box.

The alternator regulator looks like it might be this device: http://www.defender.com/pdf/ARS-5.pdf

Agree that is a Balmar regulator, he says so in the video. Not sure which model. But look closer at the top of those batteries. They look more like one of the CALB brands as seen at bottom of this web page.
http://www.ev-propulsion.com/battery-choices.html

The GBS batteries all have the unique four screw connections.


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Old 06-08-2016, 06:15 PM   #28
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I only noticed the light blue color. I didn't realize that CALB had any color but grey.
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