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Old 06-05-2011, 03:02 PM   #1
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New and worried...

a couple of weeks ago i noticed something odd. when my 2010 19' bambi with factory insalled solar package was plugged into shore power the battery percentage displayed on the sunexplorer monitor always read 100% now it does not ,it flickers between 95 and 100%. when i unplug from shore power it drops to between 65-70% displayed. the cigarette lighter voltage meter in the dc outlet reads 13.6 volts when plugged to shore power and when unplugged from shore it reads 12.9 volts. the sunexplorer monitor reads a point lower than the dc volt meter all the time plugged or not.the rig is in full sun. the use/storage button is appropriately on. i do not get what has happened, if it is the sunexplorer monitor gone bad or something more sinister. looked under the dinette seat and when plugged in it says fully charged and checked the agm batteries disconnected and they say they are full charged. any ideas appreciated.the micropulse also indicated that the battery was fully charged plugged and unplugged.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:25 PM   #2
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I wish I could help you with a really awesome technical answer, but no such luck. What I can tell you, though, is that I do not trust my tiny little solar panel to charge my batteries. Also, like yours, my monitor always reads a higher charge when plugged into shore power than when not. When I put new house batteries in a couple years ago, that the monitor read higher then than now. That's probably because the batteries are aging.

I'm sure someone will chime in soon with some more technical info. In the meantime, I feel your pain. I plan to stay tuned. Hopefully, some light will be shed on the subject.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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i thought when plugged into shore power the sunexplorer should read 100% in the battery % left value and it used to remain more weeks at that number after being unplugged then slowly reduce over time and i would plug the shore power back in. now as soon as i unplug the battery % value drops to the 60's immediately. baffling to me something is going bad. yet the plug in dc voltmeter shows 12.9 volts with the sunexplorer volt value showing 12.1 when measured unplugged. i hope there are some chime ins.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:23 PM   #4
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does the trailer come factory equipped with a appropiate charger for the AGM batteries? 13.6 sounds like what is coming from the charger, and the meter will read 13.6 when plugged in no matter what state the battery is in. how long has it been plugged in? it sounds to me like the battery may be failing. I assume the 12.9 with the solar charger plugged in is from the solar charger. 12.1 is low for a fully charged flooded cell battery. I do not know, but would think, that a AGM should be higher when charged. Bottom line is to check and see if your system is set up correctly for the AGM or if you need another stage on the charger for AGM. 13.6 sounds high for a maintence charge on an AGM.did the tra iler come with the AGM battery? On jy older trailer just leaving the system plugged in to shore power boils the flooded cell battery out fairly quickly.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:06 PM   #5
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Not sure, but I think that the factory does not change out the Parallax converter/charger when they upgrade to AGM batteries with the solar package.

If you DO have the P-lax unit, I would change it out to an IOTA DLS55-IQ4 as soon as possible. The IOTA has the closest charging profile to what AGMs (and especially Lifelines) prefer. They are very picky about their charging voltages and you will definitely reduce the effective life of the AGMs with a charger that does not match closely to what the AGMs prefer.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:03 AM   #6
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thank you for all input. the rig came with the p-lax 7300. the trailer had been on shore power for at least a week and just disconnected on 6/5 in afternoon. this morning the voltmeter plugged into the cigarettte lighter plug read 13.1 volts and the sunexplorer read 12.1 volts with 60% lof battery charge left. i believe the solar system is continuing to charge as evidenced by the 13.1 volts at the plugged in volt meter i am planning on changing the charger because of things i have read re to the p-lax and the agm set up. could it be the the sunexplorer monitor is just not working?. the oter issue being uneducated about chargers when i go to an rv center for the upgrade do i tell them what charger i want or do they have to tell me what would best match the system i will not return to the mesa,az service plac as they have not been effective,break stuff unrelated to their repairs,etc and too far.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:41 AM   #7
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what about just switching to a flooded cell battery. does the AGM really offer any extra capacity for solar application? I put in a couple of Interstate deep cycle flooded cell and they seem to have a lot of capacity. I would rather replace them every couple of years than to worry about AGMs and changing converters.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
what about just switching to a flooded cell battery. does the AGM really offer any extra capacity for solar application? I put in a couple of Interstate deep cycle flooded cell and they seem to have a lot of capacity. I would rather replace them every couple of years than to worry about AGMs and changing converters.
The reason that almost every solar charging system uses AGMs is their very low internal resistance. This utilizes the full capabilities of any solar charging system to keep the AGMs properly charged very quickly. Plus, you never have to worry about filling them or the corrosive effects of outgassing that you get with liquid cells.

IMHO, the longer service, ease of use and quicker re-charging certainly outweigh the costs of giving them a proper converter/charger. For a supposed quality, high-end trailer like Airstream, the factory should include a proper 3-stage charger with these units !!!
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:36 PM   #9
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Michele ... my gut reaction to the monitor not showing 100% when plugged into shore power is that there is a problem with the converter. Silvergate had a similar issue and ended up replacing a failed converter. Go with Lewster's recommendation on converters ... that's what we are going to do if/when our converter fails. I would have both the converter and the solar monitor checked since the two monitors don't seem to agree on the battery charge. Have you tested the battery charge at the battery?

Check this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...lem-76558.html

And this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...wer-44977.html

Good luck! This kind of stuff make me crazy!
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:53 PM   #10
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i am gonna get the dls-55/iq4 and have the sunexplorer monitor checked. thanks for the feedback cause it feels like a steep learning curve for me.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:29 PM   #11
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charger replacement update

the rig is at the rv place today. they took a look at the current p-lax 7355 set up and said i can't use the iota dls55-IQ4 because the p-lax is one piece and there is not enough room in the space it is in to properly fit the iota set up with the circut breaker stuff. i was surprised because i thought it would work. they did say that the converter is putting out what it is supposed to so it is looking more like it is the sunexplorer monitor no longer reading battery powere/level correctly. i wish i was better versed in this stuff . the as is still at the shop they are trying to figure out couple other issues maybe better luck is to be had with them. i do want to do right by those agm batteries and the tch said he felt tht between the trickle charge the solar gives and the p-lax charge it "should" be enough or will it?
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:47 AM   #12
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went back to drawing board and spoke to the guy at bestconverter, what a wonderful help. he directed me to the pd4655 as it is the replacement/upgrade for the p-lax bottom part of the power center and is the kit for that replacement/retrofit soo now i just have to get the service center to ok the job and get the unit to them. there is hope. thanks bestconverter.com
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