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Old 12-09-2007, 04:40 PM   #1
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1966 30' Sovereign
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Good converter, no DC power in 1966 Sov.

Hi,
My battery suddenly stopped charging. I changed fuses and the Univolt converter to a xantrex 40Amp. I am getting DC power out of the converter but the battery is still not charging. I canno't measure any voltage on the battery terminals or on any of wires in the fuse control pannel. What could be wrong?
Thanks,
Cris
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:00 PM   #2
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1. Check fuses again. They can look OK but be bad.

2. If you haven't had power since you changed out the Univolt, check to see that you properly connected the ground path (negative 12 V) of the converter to the shell AND the fuse panel to the shell. The univolt had the negative battery lead isolated from ground through the ammeter copper resistance plate (did they have those in the '60s?), so it's easy to make an error and not get that side properly connected.

If you look at the photo and top diagram in this post http://www.airforums.com/forums/488661-post1.html it may help. Yours may not be the same, but it might give you a clue as to how Airstream designed the electrics in the vintage years.

Zep
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:10 PM   #3
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Dead Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristina1966
Hi,
My battery suddenly stopped charging. I changed fuses and the Univolt converter to a xantrex 40Amp. I am getting DC power out of the converter but the battery is still not charging. I canno't measure any voltage on the battery terminals or on any of wires in the fuse control pannel. What could be wrong?
Thanks,
Cris
Three things come immediately to mind...just to get the easy ones out of the way. Assuming that fluid levels were checked if it is appropriate to that battery......
First, how old is the battery and is it charged regularly?
Second, were all of the terminals and charge hook ups correct?
Third, have you tried another charger on the battery?

These items may sound simple but when the battery itself will not put out any charge there is a good chance it is fried, and cross connections and age/maintenance are the big killers of batteries.

If you put a pretty stiff charge on it (50 amps or so) for five minutes and then 10 amps for an hour, and you still cannot get voltage accross the terminals the battery is probably terminal. If there was a set up or wiring murphy the use of a different charger would demonstrate there is a problem in that area if the battery now hold a charge.

There are some forum members that have forgotton more about batteries than I know, I will be curious to hear some opinions...or resurection methods. One other thing...was anything left on? If a full discharge happened often enough it would certainly shorten the battery life. I once had adead battery due to a light left on for week or two.

While I think of it, did you check for voltage on both sides of the fuse with the battery hooked up? You should get power from the charger when going from hot side of the fuse to ground even with a dead battery. Actually you should get a reading from either side if the fuse is good. Check your panel ground and the inline fuse (assuming there is one).

Good luck, I hate buying batteries, my last two were free, but I still hate buying batteries.
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:14 PM   #4
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Fuse Panel

Zep...good diagram, brought back memories of converting the univolt into a boat anchor. I still use that same type of fuse panel. The ground is critical on that type (I know first hand form the pre-wfco days).
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:44 PM   #5
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Thank you everyone for the replies. Here is an update. I replaced all 4 fuses. Still no charging. I use the voltimeter to check for power in the fuse panel. No power at all in any fuse. This problem happened before I changed the Univolt to the new converter. I was hoping it was a converter probelm but now I know that it isn't.

The lack of power on the hot fuse I don't understand. If there is power in the connection between the converter and the DC wires, how come there is no power on those wires as they reach the fuse pannel?
Cris
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:36 PM   #6
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Christina,

Have you looked the entire length of the + wire from the converter to the "hot fuse"? There may be an inline fuse holder that is defective. I am beginning to suspect a grounding problem. How is your converter connected to ground (shell)?

Zep
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:55 PM   #7
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Ground wire photos

Hi Zed and all,
I am attaching some photos to show how I wired the converter and the layout of the fuse panel. The ground (green) appears to be attached to the bottom of the 1st fuse.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:44 PM   #8
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Cristina,

I traced the wires as good as I could. I had to guess the battery wires coming through the grommets--if I got them wrong, let me know.

Red is (+) and blue-ish is (-) or ground.

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Your green wire looks like it's attached to + to me. When you trace the wires, do you agree that all of the circuit under the red is connected together? First thing I'd do it disconnect the green wire the comes from the bottom of the left fuse and see if you then have any battery voltage measureable on the fuse bus. You may have reversed your converter connection.

First Comment. The yellow in my photo is on a wire that doesn't seen to connect to anything. Where does the red wire connected to the top of the third fuse come from?

Second comment. Get a $7 battery plate and holddown strap (actually two long threaded rods that hook into the plate, with a strap to go over the battery) and tie that battery down. Right now! I only say this because after breaking two batteries on a rough trip into Saline Valley, I had a long couple of days of pouring baking soda water into the rear compartment of my Caravel and washing it out. Also, if the battery can move around and winds up shorting itself to the shell, you've got a major fire/explosion hazard.

Even better, get a $11 battery box from WM and put the battery inside it. I know it's a total pain (the box is too tall get take the battery out without taking the box out), but at the expense of having to take out a couple of screw to get the whole shebang out, you'll really protect your compartment from splashes of battery acid.

Zep
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:28 PM   #9
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I agree with Zep, those green wires are going to the hot.
But we are missing the picture of where the white, red and blue from that converter is connected to the elbow or fuse box or whatever.
It looks like that trailer might have been set up for a second battery, thus the second red lead to a fuse, possibly the second battery white wire fuse is being used now as that red jumper. Newer generation hardware there, smaller and no rust.
Green is seldom ground in trailers or automotive, I don't think.
Perry

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Old 12-10-2007, 11:19 AM   #10
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Converter and fuse panel update

Here are some updates from your inquiries (thank you again!)
1-Wiring on the converter. I am attaching a photo of the wiring. The old Univolt converter had a red wire connected to a "positive Battery", a blue wire connected to a "positive load" (and a white wire connected to the ground). The new xantrex has 2 screws for the wires, one say positive and one say negative. I connected the red on the "positive" and the blue and the "negative". (and the white on the ground screw). I am now wondering if I should have placed both red and blue wires on the "positive".
2- zed, your tracing is perfect. The yellow trace does not go anywhere and it is the red wire from the converter.
3- I traced the wires from the converter into the panel and am attaching a diagram. (dashed line is white wire). As you can see in the picture, the red wire from the converter goes to fuse 3 (this is the yellow trace done by Zed). The blue wire from the converter goes to the bottom of the fuse 4. When I use the voltimeter to test the converter wires at the fuse box, I get power (+ on fuse 3 and - on fuse 1). So, this narrows the problem to the section between the fuse box and the battery.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristina1966
Here are some updates from your inquiries (thank you again!)
1-Wiring on the converter. I am attaching a photo of the wiring. The old Univolt converter had a red wire connected to a "positive Battery", a blue wire connected to a "positive load" (and a white wire connected to the ground). The new xantrex has 2 screws for the wires, one say positive and one say negative. I connected the red on the "positive" and the blue and the "negative". (and the white on the ground screw). I am now wondering if I should have placed both red and blue wires on the "positive".
2- zed, your tracing is perfect. The yellow trace does not go anywhere and it is the red wire from the converter.
3- I traced the wires from the converter into the panel and am attaching a diagram. (dashed line is white wire). As you can see in the picture, the red wire from the converter goes to fuse 3 (this is the yellow trace done by Zed). The blue wire from the converter goes to the bottom of the fuse 4. When I use the voltimeter to test the converter wires at the fuse box, I get power (+ on fuse 3 and - on fuse 1). So, this narrows the problem to the section between the fuse box and the battery.

The red wire should go to the fuse panel, to probably a 50 amp fuse, since it's the main power feed from the converter.

The blue wire, should also go to the fuse panel, since that is the charge line and can have 12 volt power, to and from.

The blue wire will provide power to the trailer batteries when hook up to the tow vehicle, therefore it must go to the same place as the red wire, "BUT" thru another 50 amp fuse. The blue wire will also allow the tow vehicle battery to be charged from the trailer, "IF" the trailer 12 volt cable is plugged into the to vehicle, and the trailer is plugged into city power.

At this point, put the red and blue together, "AND" ground the other terminal.

That should take care of the problem.

Andy
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:06 PM   #12
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Hi Andy,
Did you see the word document attached with the wiring diagram? Are the blue and red wires on the fuse panel in the right place?
- The red wire from the converter goes to the 3rd fuse which does not have a wire coming from it.
-the blue wire from the converter goes to the the 1st fuse which then goes to a red wire to the battery.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:15 PM   #13
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Cristina,

The red wire on your converter is the + power lead and you've connected it to the "nothing going nowhere" yellow fuse. If you check the voltage on fuse 3 (yellow) you will find 13.4 V from the converter. Now you just need to jumper that over to the + bus.

Don't worry that your Univolt had three wires. That's where the confusion comes from. You only need two wires.

You should connect the red wire to some point on my red trace. The best way to do this, since you have a fuse in space three (the yellow spot), just connect a heavy wire from the bottom of fuse 3 to the terminal block at the bottom of your photo (the thing with all the red traces going from it to the right).

You should connect your blue wire to the terminal block where all your white wires are (those that are under my blue trace). I think you've already done this, but I can't see the blue wire in the photo.

zep
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:19 PM   #14
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Hi Zep,
the trailer came with this wiring and it worked temporarily. Looks like it was not done correctly. I will do the changes you suggested and post the results. Thank you so much!
Cris
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