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Old 07-15-2016, 08:31 AM   #15
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Hi Al,

Just to recap, after disconnecting red and black clamp leads from batteries I then went to the converter and voltage was 13.6v and then outside measuring volts on red and black battery clamp connectors was 0.2v.

So this leads me to think that my converter may be ok since I am getting 13.6volts at the panel.

I can't figure out why when I connect the batteries up the voltage drops to 11.9v at the panel.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:01 AM   #16
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Sounds like bad battery or batteries. I dont think I have ever seen batteries read that low. Pull them and take them where you bought them or another dealer for the brand. Sounds like the converter is sensing shorted batteries after a few seconds and shutting down.

Al
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:22 AM   #17
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Thanks again Al.

I've got another call into Randy at Bestconverter for further advice too.

What I just don't understand is if I'm getting 13.6 at panel (good!) why am I only getting 0.2v downstream at disconnected red/black clamp battery connector? That should be 13.6 too.

I wonder if there is some sort of "cut off" in the converter if it senses "no house" batteries, which might explain my 0.2v reading at that end.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:29 AM   #18
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Sorry, I misunderstood.

I thought the batteries were registering 0.2 volts.

At this point, everything is still in the mix. If you have a known good battery connect it up to the trailer and see what happens. IF you have a known good other charger, connect it up in place of the converter and see what happens.

Is your switch a pushbutton electrictronic one or a rotary mechanical one?

Again, if it is pushbutton electronic it may not work properly unless it is connected to batteries. IF it is rotary mechanical, you have a bad connection somewhere.

Al
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:54 AM   #19
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I just looked at your schematic

You have an electronic disconnect switch with the converter built in to the distribution panel.

1. The converter is built in to the distribution panel and is only connected to the batteries in USE mode.

2. The switching is done by a relay controlled by the electronics in the panel.

3. There are two 5-amp fuses on the body of the relay that presumably control power to the control panel. You should check these.

One of the fuses is on the battery side of the relay. This gives credence to my concern that the control circuit may not function properly with the battery disconnected. The fact that you measured 11.8 volts at the batteries and at the converter originally says the relay was closed. If the relay contacts were bad you would have seen a higher voltage at the converter.

The two most probably scenarios, in my opinion are:

1. The converter is bad and when presented with a load, shuts down.

2. The batteries are bad and present too large a load to the converter. It is putting out maximum current but unable to charge the batteries above 11.8 volts due to a shorted cell. I have this as less probable because I would think under those circumstances the fan would be running full time in the converter, but that may not be how the converter operates.

Substitution is your friend. As an alternative you could take the batteries back and have them checked/charged where you bought them or at a related dealer.

Al
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:45 AM   #20
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Hi Al,

My disconnect switch is a rocker-type switch by my door. It is an Intellitec BDO(?).

I did check the relay and I see it has 2 fuses, both good. The relay I'm looking at is a black smallish black plastic thing that has a giant red cable attached to both sides, the fuses are on top of the relay. I think I'm looking at the right thing???

I will probably start with different batteries first and talk with Bestconverter.
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:55 AM   #21
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If you have two receptacles for your shore power cord on the outside of your trailer (I don't know if you do or not on that unit) try the other receptacle. There is a transfer switch on the back side of your converter that transfers the power and it is common for that switch to fail and not recognize the current from the receptacle. If you have only one receptacle, it's probably a moot point.

Good luck.
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:47 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylev View Post
Hi Al,

My disconnect switch is a rocker-type switch by my door. It is an Intellitec BDO(?).

I did check the relay and I see it has 2 fuses, both good. The relay I'm looking at is a black smallish black plastic thing that has a giant red cable attached to both sides, the fuses are on top of the relay. I think I'm looking at the right thing???

I will probably start with different batteries first and talk with Bestconverter.
The switch then operates the relay, although it's not clear how it operates. IT may be as simple as 12 volts from either the battery or the converter is used to power the coil of the relay and connect the battery to the distribution panel and converter.

A set of good batteries (or even only one) could verify that the converter is OK.

Al
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:15 PM   #23
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Connect the meter to battery terminal to see what voltage it shows.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:35 PM   #24
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It's a latching relay. Pressing store side of the switch makes the relay disconnect battery from coach.

Pressing use closes the relay. The red light only means 12volt power is on the trailer side of the relay, open or closed.

Plugging in to shore power with the converter active and the relay in store will light the red light, but will not charge the batteries. That is the problem with this setup.


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Old 07-27-2016, 10:23 AM   #25
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Crazylev, you're not going crazy. I have a 69 Overlander and I'm having a similar type of problem. I read the train above and the most important parts are that you confirmed that you have 13.6 VDC output from the converter and that you have 11.6VDC at the battery. Exactly like my 69. The battery and the converter are fine. We both did the same WRONG thing. We bought a converter that just puts out 13.6 VDC. We need the 3 stage converter. This unit has a 14.8, 13.6 and 12.? VDC output that float based upon the needs. Or you can augment your battery with a small $12 solar panel from Harbor Freight, another 10 bucks you get the regulator and whalla the battery charges. I went this route because I'm too cheep to throw $300 down the drain because those who sell these converters won't take them back for the upgrade to the better unit.

Oh by the way I went with a 80 watt output converter so that doesn't have anything to do with this problem.

Good Luck

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Old 07-27-2016, 11:48 AM   #26
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Since I last wrote, here is what has happened:

First, does anyone want to buy a slightly haunted 19' AS International? (Just kidding.)

And thanks for the replies.

My last post was on July 15. On July 16, I went out to measure the batteries and they were now reading 12.3 volts I ran a test connecting the battery clamp connectors to each battery separately. Converter output good too, still 13.x. On both batteries individually I was getting 12.3. So I put everything back together in battery compartment.

A few other observations: The day(s) before July 16, I noticed my water pump seemed kind of sluggish sounding. I know my trailer. However, on July 16 when I took my readings and did all that. Now not only is the pump sound like it is up to it's normal speed and sound, I also hear the occasional fan inside the converter go on and off, periodically.

And I didn't do anything!!! All seems OK.

I decided to take both of the Interstate batteries home and put them on a battery-Minder for a whole bunch of days. before doing that, I read the voltage of the SITTING for 8+ hours batteries. 12.3 each!

One battery is off the Battery-Minder now, let it sit overnight, then read 12.7v!!! The other is still charging.

So I now have a new theory: When I bought the batteries, they were not charged properly, even though they read 12.x when I got them, and needed to be re-energized, maybe something the converter wasn't able to quite handle????

From what I've read, reading voltage is only part of the story and that a load test should be performed, which I plan to do someplace.

Will keep you updated...
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:32 PM   #27
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Yesterday I brought the batteries back to Interstate battery place.

Before that, I had both batteries on a Batteryminder for several days each. Again after resting for a day, the voltage read 13 volts for each battery at the terminals using multimeter.

At the battery place, a technician used a hydrometer(?) in each of the cells. Each cell read that there was only 65% charge in one battery, and 75% in the other battery.

When I asked why the reading from the terminals would be 13V, and only be reading 65% and 75% when using a hydrometer, his answer was that he likes going by the "old school" method of measuring the cells. He told me to leave the batteries over night so he could fully charge them, which I did.

I went to pick up batteries, and the technician performed a load test in front of me. This was kind of an old looking machine that connects to the battery terminals. His voltage on the machine with no load was a little over 13V.

He adjusted a knob to reflect the cold crank amps(?) of my batteries (550) pushed a button, and the reading with load was 10.5 volts. From what I've read, the reading should be at least 9.6 volts, so it appears that they both tested well.

So now I am back at square one. Again, maybe when I bought the batteries back in May, they were never fully charged somehow. But now that raises a new question as to why my BatteryMinder didn't sort of top off the batteries. AND why the discrepancy between voltage read at terminals with meter versus using hydrometer.

Head spinning...

Jonathan
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Old 08-29-2016, 09:12 AM   #28
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Just an update: we were out last week for a few days, and with generator running my converter dc output was once again reading ~12v.😡😡😡
I went and ordered a pd7355 replacent from bestconverter along with a small monitor gizmo that will help determine status of charging. I think i drove randy from bestconverter insane with all my ??? And what ifs. I'll install new converter this week and then move on to my next new problem: why my fridge/freezer only cools on AC😫😫😫
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