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Old 11-09-2013, 12:27 PM   #43
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Upon further research it looks like the type W may be better cable with a few more layers of protection in the jacket. Rated to 2000 volts vs 600.

The entertainment cable is still pretty good quality stuff though.
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:23 PM   #44
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Made a bracket to give the unit a flat surface to mount to in my center console/lower dash. I'm going to mount the shunts directly behind the unit. One is for the incoming alternator line and the other is outgoing to starter battery. They infer the charging to the house batteries by the difference.

I also cut down the enclosure for the unit by about an inch to make it fit my space. Hope I don't want to return it! Lol

Because the unit will be sandwiched into the existing space I won't be able to reach the top bolts for the unit. So, I made keyhole slots to slide over bolts that I welded into the bracket. Then I will secure the bottom with regular bolts since I can reach those. That will lock the unit into the keyhole slots securely.

The blue tape is to keep metal shavings out during fabrication.

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Old 11-09-2013, 07:04 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by CA_Tallguy View Post
I ended up ordering 2/0 "entertainment cable"

Entertainment Stage Lighting Cable 2/0 Awg

I hope this to be the "extra flexible" spec with 1290 strand count. This is the carol "super vu tron" brand and is sure sounds swell based on the name LOL. I believe this is either type W or very similar to it.

For now, I am goi to go with the anderson SB 2/0 connector - same size as sb175 but will take 2/0. I can upgrade connector later if I really feel he need, but I want to get moving on install.

Guess I will also order some type T fuses.
You only need the class 'T' fuse on the positive line, placed within 18" of the power source (the closer the better). 300 amps should handle the 2/0 cable.
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:37 PM   #46
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Need a good 4 pin connector for probe wires for voltage drop and battery temp from the trailer side. I can use towing connectors however I worry that someone, someday might mistake it for an actual towing connector. Any ideas?
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:15 PM   #47
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You only need the class 'T' fuse on the positive line, placed within 18" of the each power source (the closer the better). 300 amps should handle the 2/0 cable.
Fixed that for you.

The alternator and each battery/battery bank are power sources, unless some diodes are added. So I believe that would require 3 fuses, 1 fuse may already be on the TV though (plus I would get 1 or more spares).
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:25 AM   #48
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...make it fit my space. Hope I don't want to return it...
Very very brave Now put a splash shield on it for when your passengers laugh while sipping coffee like some of your readers


Mouser is a good source for some things, check with the big houses before throwing money into the web, near instant cheap shipping and often beats web prices.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #49
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I ordered my anderson connectors from mouser but didn't think to look there for the 4 pole connector. Will have to go back and check. I'm in the position of knowing what I want but not knowing what it is called. I'm close to going with a 4 pin round towing connector because it is so perfect other than potential confusion as an actual tow connector.

On fuses, I think that I will use the truck factory 140 amp fuse for the time being on the alternator side. Then a class T back in the trailer for that battery bank, and I guess one more for the starter batteries.

Part of using the truck fuse will be using the first 6 feet of cable from the alternator toward getting to the charger unit. Well, I will intercept the charging circuit on the output of the fuse and then go through the firewall as I have a nice access point within a foot. Then it is off to the unit and back out with 2 leads - a lead for the starter bank and trailer bank.

Looks like my alternator negative is simply grounded to the block. The instructions talk about running the negative straight to the charger. Need to decide if that is the right course or if I will simply ground the charger to the chassis as well. Will call the maker and ask but please provide opinions! With that wiring, the unit won't have any power without the alternator running, and that may be the idea. They provide a way to run 12v through the unit to "excite the alternator" if it is looking for 12v to know it should start.

Similarly trying to decide about the negative lead to the trailer. I know it has been suggested in this thread to use the same wire gauge as the positive and that is currently what I am planning for. But I do wonder if I can just ground to the chassis near the rear bumper as everything else on the truck seems to be just using the chassis. I'm wondering if even my starter is and if so I am suspicious of the small gauge wires from each truck battery that seemingly provide the entire ground to the chassis. More investigation is needed.

The install diagram shows negative from alternator directly to he charging unit, and I don't think it is grounded. Then it shows the trailer and truck battery negatives tied together. So maybe I need to run that 2/0 for that.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:20 PM   #50
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Very very brave Now put a splash shield on it for when your passengers laugh while sipping coffee like some of your readers
Lol I do have a "splash guard" in mind but mostly to conceal the unit in the dash as it looks like a high power audio amplifier that some juvenile delinquent might want to steal. Also, I want to protect the area on the edge where the power input and output terminals are. The unit itself seems fairly protected from spills. The main housing is unibody heat sink edged aluminum with a panel that screws in the top center. There is a big vent for the center fan though, so that is going to be the weak point. There are also two side fans to cool the chassis heat sink fins and they are fairly isolated from the main unit aside from a tiny hole in the chassis for wires into the circuit board.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:47 PM   #51
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Oh, looks like there is a beefy ground to the block from each starter battery in the truck.

The negative lead going into the Sterling charge is only 6awg and the alternator wiring is pretty skimpy too. Probably going to have to beef up the alternator wiring if it going to be running hard.

But the 6awg ground lead into the Sterling unit seems like it is going to force me to break the "same gauge for pos and neg" goal at least near the charger unit. How much would it hurt me if I used 2 or 4 awg for ALL the connections close to the unit? If I switch to the 2/0 quickly a few feet from there, under the truck, for the run to the trailer, will that be ok?
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:25 PM   #52
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The more I think about it, it seems problematic if the Sterling charger unit takes the ground from the alternator without this also being a ground to the chassis in some way, or the negative post on a battery. The charger certainly needs to tie into a common ground or it can't charge. They provide a 1 foot pigtail of 6awg and as I said the diagram seems to show it directly tied to negative from alternator. I'll verify with the maker but I'm almost sure it has to be grounded as well.

Still the 6awg they provide in the pigtail vs the 2/0 wiring on the positive side is a question to address. I'd love to use lower gauge wire in the cab as I said as running 4x 2/0 will not be very fun. I know, I know, bigger is always better and safer, But I need to know If maybe 2 or 0 awg will suffice (first jump on a few leads will be to/from the shunts, mounted directly behind the unit).

The main lines that NEED big wire are the trailer leg, and perhaps also from the alternator since the existing wire is maybe only 4 gauge. But the alternator run is pretty short too.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:29 PM   #53
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Ok, here's my current thinking...

2/0 positive from trailer to charger

2/0 negative from trailer to negative post on truck battery

2 to 4 awg for positive alternator to charger (truck currently 4 awg) via shunt

2 to 4 awg for negative alternator/chassis ground to charger (truck currently 4 awg)

2 to 4 awg for positive charger to truck batteries via shunt

That will result in just one fat cable into the truck cab.

Voltage drop is 3.3% at 16 feet and 50 amps with 4awg. I'm figuring 16 feet from the alternator to the charger and back out to starter batteries. The starter battery side isn't boosted.

This setup still leaves me with a thinner lead on the ground to chassis coming out of the unit which means the current going back to the trailer is mismatched between positive and negative for that 6 to 8 feet between the charger and truck chassis ground.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:04 PM   #54
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Oops the calculations I was making were at 12 volts but the alternator should be putting out around 14

At 14 volts I can carry 100 amps over 4awg for 8.5 feet with 3% drop. (Thinking about max alternator output to the charging unit and that cable run.)
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:57 PM   #55
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Here's the crimper I bought for the project... Seems to work well so far on battery cables for the truck. Just have to convert awg to mm2 when choosing the right die. 16 tons of pressure! This is a decent quality Chinese tool. Harbor freight has one but smaller so the dies don't get as large. This wasn't much more expensive than the long handled manual crimpers, and probably the same price or less than a decent brand of one of those.

Here it is on amazon...
http://amzn.to/1dZhoLy

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Old 11-14-2013, 07:23 PM   #56
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The wire arrived! Holy cow... My size 13 shoe is in there for scale.
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