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Old 07-15-2007, 09:57 PM   #1
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Unregulated DC-Honda 1000i

The manual states"Tha DC receptacle should ONLY be used for charging 12-volt automotive type batteries. The DC charging output is not regulated".
So I guess when using this "feature" one must use a volt meter and check the bat voltage every so often? Is it possible to overcharge a battery? Seems as my solar panels have a controller to turn off the juice when necessary. It works fine when plugged into my univolt (honda 1000i to univolt).I just see a posibility every so often that this DC charge would be beneficial. How about you spark chasers chiming in!! Thanks DG
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Old 07-15-2007, 10:42 PM   #2
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dg...

do u have a univolt or more modern multistage converter?

yes it's possible to overcharge a battery, but why not just plug the airstream INTO the genset...

let the converter control things...

i've got the dc battery adapter too but would only use it to juice up the automotive battery if needed.

it is better than using a 'jump start' with many modern cars/trucks.

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-15-2007, 10:56 PM   #3
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That's a great little generator but I would not use the charge function except in a pinch if not voltage regulated. It would be better to buy a separate charger and use the 1000 as a power source. Many people even have problems running a 60 Amp converter from the 1000 so keep that in mind too. They are great for their size, and I really like the Honda.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:30 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input. I was thinking of getting a "Battery Tender" for all around use at the vinyard and hangar to be used with the honda.
but I noticed that their $70 unit only puts out an amp and a half. Kinda weak but maybe I'm missing something there,
So Randy when I get my new charge set up from you I'm thinkin I need to stay under a 60 amp converter. Now when hooked up directly to the univolt ( by passing all the other trailer AC wiring) the Honda just plugs along at idle and the univolt just humms away and charges the batts. So going to a wfco charger will significantly reduce my gen run time- recharge time? Thanks again for all your posts on this forum. DG
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:39 AM   #5
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There is nothing wrong with the Tender except the Batteryminder has better features like full time desulfation and customer support. That is my opinion.
The Honda 1000 will struggle in the boost mode with any converter above 55 Amps. Again, my opinion and experience.
The WFCO is a good unit and well regarded in the industry as is the Parallax and Inteli-Power but you have to understand that I can't recommend one over the other except to tell you we have less returns from WFCO and Parallax than Inteli-Power, but those numbers change and inteli-power is doing pretty well. On the other hand, if you are vigilant and disciplined, the Inteli-Power is nice that you can try and out think it and over ride the charge voltage if you dry camp. The success rate with that is about 50% before I get a call and each time they say they try and top off their batteries before gong to bed or a hiking trip in the morning. If one camps in the RV park and has the PDI with charge wizard, leave the stinkin button alone.
I know this was a little more than you asked about but I want everyone to know that these things are not battery sitters but they do a pretty good job if you let them do their thing.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:19 AM   #6
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I have the 12v charge lines for the Honda, and it is good to charge a dead battery on the tow vehicle, but not to just let it sit on the battery for hours and days. To charge a dead battery with the honda at 8 amps, still will take most of a night to do.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:00 PM   #7
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Last week I installed a Link 10 monitor in our Bambi so we could get a handle on power usage and monitoring charging.

Watching charging current from our Honda 1000i I noted that the initial charge was in the 25A range with the batteries down at about 50% (2 grp 24 Interstates, 82AH each).

By the end of the first hour the charge rates was down to about 11A, by 3rd hour 5A, 4th hour 3.5A.

On the initial connection to the Honda, the overload light would occasionally come on for several seconds while the Parallax 7355 converter handled the initial high battery charge rate... depending on how deeply discharged the batteries were. As well if some accessories, such as fantastic fan, water pump etc were on, the Honda would trip out. I'm guessing if you Parallax is outputting something in the 25A+ range, it will result in an overload condition on the Honda.

What happens (which I didn't know before I installed the Link 10) is that the Honda's red overload indicator comes on for a few seconds. If it is still overloaded after about 5 seconds, it disconnects output to the receptacle and the overload light turns off. Since the generator still runs, unbeknownst to the generator owner, the generator continues to hum along but isn't supplying output until you stop and restart it!

This is interested since, say it goes into overload at a 30A charge (talking battery charge rate here). If the voltage is in the 13.7V range, that would mean the Parallax is outputting about 410W. Don't know its efficiency, but I would assume that means the load on the Honda might be in the 475W range, so not sure why the Honda is overloading.

If the batteries are down pretty low, then sometimes I switch off the eco mode on the generator while I connect the umbilical to the trailer, then turn eco back on after about 30 seconds or so since the charge rate peters off a bit.

Thankfully now I know what the heck is happening all the time battery wise with the Link 10. Based on charge rates over time, it probably makes sense to just run the generator for 2 hours a day (maybe less), and just use a solar panel for topping up (next years plan).

Back to the original question... I wonder if hooking up the Honda with the unregulated connection isn't going to overload the Honda anyways. If doing so I would want to know how much current it is charging at and based on that over time, figure on only doing a direct charge for a certain length of time... maybe an hour say to prevent the battery overheating.

Also since the Honda DC output is only rated at 8A, wouldn't you want to use the trailer converter running off of the 120V output since it will charge the batteries faster using your trailers converter? As noted above, I am charging the batteries initially at about 25A with the Parallax 7355.

As a matter of interest, the fridge fan uses up about 25AH a day on a 'warmish' day. With 1.5 hours of tv watching and the usual pump on, occasional fans on, minimal lighting we are using up about 35-40AH a day. We can put back about 1/2 of that with 1 hour of generator time and about 75% if the generator is run for 2 hours instead.

Any thoughts from anyone on the above mentioned overloading.

PS. Anyone know the CEF (charge efficiency factor) for the Interstate SRM-24 batteries? Need this for accurate programming of the Link 10.

Thanks
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:08 PM   #8
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I had my Honda plugged into the hummer univolt with a #12 gauge 10 foot long extension cord.This bypasses all the other trailer wiring, reducing the drop voltage. I'm only wanting to charge the batts not run the trailer, and not tweak the campers in the surrounding sites.
And DAVE- Thanks for that great post!! You gotta dig this site don't ya.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorgunner
And DAVE- Thanks for that great post!! You gotta dig this site don't ya.
You bet! I've learned a ton on here from so many great people, and hope I can return the favor with whatever knowledge/experience I can provide.

I should also mention something I didn't realize before I installed the Link 10, and that is if you throw the disconnect switch while connected to shore power or the generator in our discussion, it 'appears' to make no noticeable difference, however it in fact disconnects from the battery which makes sense. However if someone hits it by mistake they don't notice a thing. Lights work etc, however now you have your generator running but it isn't charging the batteries... good to know! I always check now to see what is happening on the Link 10 whenever using the generator.

PS. I'll be posting a detailed report on my Link 10 installation along with numerous install photos plus some usage notes shortly which hopefully should be helpful to others who live without hookups.

PS2. I don't know a thing about univolts LOL
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:22 PM   #10
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I have the Yamaha 1000 and plug the Airstream right into it. It charges the batteries through the converter built into the Airstream.....and my generator runs off propane. No issues yet charging the batteries.
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Old 07-16-2007, 04:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campadk
[...]
PS. Anyone know the CEF (charge efficiency factor) for the Interstate SRM-24 batteries? Need this for accurate programming of the Link 10.

Thanks
Your Link-10 is very similar to my Xantrex Battery Monitor (install mentioned in this post). The factory CEF default is assumed 90%. It has an automatic CEF calculation mode that regularly kicks in under certain conditions, so it's essential that you get your charged parameters set correctly for accurate reporting. These you can set to match your charging system, so the monitor will "know" when the batteries are charged based on increasing charge voltage and decreasing charge current.

But, certainly the single-most critical parameter to set is the battery capacity (factory default assumes 200 Ah). Xantrex defines it this way:
Quote:
Battery capacity in amp hours (Ah): the capacity at a 20h discharge rate and 20 degrees C (68 degress F)
But Intersate doesn't provide this particular rating. They give the following:
Quote:
SRM-24
12 Volts - Deep Cycle/ Cranking
BCI#: 24M/10
CCA: 550
MCA: 690
RC: 140 minutes
Dimensions (in): 11 x 6.875 x 9.5
Weight: 46 lbs.
Hours @ Ampere Load: 16.4@5; 4.6@15; 2.3@25
The published _Ampere Load_ ratings look farily linear to me, so it might be reasonable to estimate the 20A rating by averaging the 15A and 25A rates:
Quote:
BATTERY CAPACITIES IN Ah (for 2 batteries):
16.4 x 5 (x 2) = 164.0
4.6 x 15 (x 2) = 138.0
2.3 x 25 (x 2) = 115.0
@ 20A load (~) = 126.5 (for 2 batteries)
So, I set battery capacity = 126 for my two SRM-24 batteries. Elsewhere I set the observed charging parameters. I also set the discharge floor at 50% declared amp-hour capacity, which gives some meaning to the "fuel gauge" bar graph / time remaining modes that I can understand.

It seems to work for me (so far).

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 07-17-2007, 07:18 AM   #12
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Hi jd,

I think I set the Link 10 to 160 AH (2 X 80AH) since the battery AH rating is based on the discharge current you are using not the 20A rating.

On average, our discharge rate is well under 5A... at peak it might be close 10A but for very short periods, otherwise it is more like 1 or 2A. If we use 40AH a day then the average is actually 40/24hrs = 1.67A. So then we use the battery AH rating at the 5A rate which is 16.4Hrs @ 5A = 82AH.

I used 80AH since the Link 10 only goes in multiples of 10AH in that range
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campadk
Hi jd,
I think I set the Link 10 to 160 AH (2 X 80AH) since the battery AH rating is based on the discharge current you are using not the 20A rating.
[Disclaimer: all this information is regurgitated from Xantrex publications. I'm open to further education... ]

I think you may be out-foxing yourself, and trying to do some of the work your monitor is supposed to do. The Ah rating is intrinsic to the battery, not how you intend/expect/actually use the battery. It is the capacity at a 20-hour discharge rate. I.e., if you know the constant discharge current that will take your battery from full charge to 10.5V in exactly 20 hours (at 68 degress F, according to Xantrex), then you can calculate you Ah rating.

So, aside from continuously measuring the current flow in or out of the battery, your monitor accounts for the instantaneous discharge current and tells you something really useful: actual state-of-charge and estimate of how long the battery can support the present load (until it needs charging again). The state-of-charge is that percentage of full reading, much like a fuel guage in a car.

By estimating a higher Ah rating than the battery really supports may lead you to discharge your batteries more deeply than you think, possibly shortening their service life.

Hope that doesn't sound argumentative! I'd sure be nice to just upload battery profiles into the monitor, specific to your bank composition. Perhaps I'll send an inquiry to Xantrex with the SRM-24 specs and see what they have to say...?

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 07-17-2007, 02:44 PM   #14
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Hi jd,

I checked the Link 10 manual, and although a bit on the vague side, it does as you mention, say the AH rating to use is based on discharging over 20 hours. I believe you are basing the AH rating on a 20A rate instead of 20 hour rate... that is were we have some confusion, and thus your AH rating is lower.

I take it the CEF somehow comes in to play to calculate efficiency when you start drawing higher currents. I understood the CEF however to be an indicator of charging efficiency though. ie you may put back in 50AH, however due to loss to heating and resistance, only 45AH will actually be available to take back out of the batteries.

If the battery is somewhat linear at the lower rates, and the battery is rated at 16.4 hours @ 5A then that would equate to 20 hours @ 4.1A, which in both cases is 82AH which is what my understanding of the rated AH for these batteries.

So this would explain why you figuring on a lower AH rating, since you are using a 20A rate not a 20hour rate.

Makes sense? Or did I mess/misunderstand something.
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