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Old 08-31-2015, 05:30 PM   #1
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More phantom load information

Today, with nothing else to do, I made another set of tests on 12 volt electrical loads which are on, when you think they are off.

I re measured my propane detector. My past measurement showed a load of 0.06 amps (60 mA). My test today showed 0.076 amps (76 mA) with the green light showing. My Fluke meter today is more sensitive than the Tri Metric I used for the past test.

Then I though I would look to see if the inverter had any power draw when off. Unfortunately, I have two different inverters and could not easily measure one without the other, as they both come from the same cable and are very hard to separate... they are under the front bed. But, the bottom line is that my two inverters, both "off" take 0.02 amps (20 mA) all the time. Apparently that keeps the remote electronic switching operational.

So, one more reason to totally disconnect the negative lead to the batteries when you are not using your trailer for about a month or more. That is assuming you do not have a 3 stage smart converter/charger installed and operating 24/7.

To complete the calculation, 0.076 + 0.02 = 0.096 amps. lets call it 0.1 amp. 24 hours x 0.1 = 0.24 amp hours a day. Does not sound like much, but in 30 days it is then 0.24 x 30 = about 7 amp hours lost. That is close to 10% of one of the standard group 24 batteries that Airstream supplies. Little loads on constantly do add up.

The Store/Use switch does NOT shut these loads off.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:29 PM   #2
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Thanks.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:29 PM   #3
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I wonder if phantom loads is what is causing my problems. I have the 3 stage converter but it will not ever get to the third stage. The LED on the converter is flashing rapidly and my voltage meter reads 13.6 volts. All this while on shore power or while on generator. Never gets to stage 3 or meter reading 13.2 volts. I have brand new batteries. I do have the factory 1000 watt inverter although we most likely would never use it. I am tempted to disconnect it it the batteries. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mrprez View Post
I wonder if phantom loads is what is causing my problems. I have the 3 stage converter but it will not ever get to the third stage. The LED on the converter is flashing rapidly and my voltage meter reads 13.6 volts. All this while on shore power or while on generator. Never gets to stage 3 or meter reading 13.2 volts. I have brand new batteries. I do have the factory 1000 watt inverter although we most likely would never use it. I am tempted to disconnect it it the batteries. Any thoughts?

I have two different PD 3 stage converter/chargers both feeding a pair of 6 volt golf cart type batteries in series. When plugged into line power, both will go into the float mode and 13.2 volts but it can take a day or even more to happen. Then they just sit there at the 13.2 volts unless a large load is put on them.

I don't think the inverter or the propane detector should cause the unit to not go into the float mode, but I am at a loss to know why it does not happen on your system. You could try disconnecting the inverter, but again, I doubt it will change things. Let us know if you locate the problem. It is one I have not run across.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:38 AM   #5
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Yep, about midnight I got up to check and they were at 13.2 volts. So, not sure if there is a problem or not. We will be on batteries for two weeks, and will see how these new 6v batteries behave. Has to be better than the ones the trailer came with.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:37 AM   #6
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It does take a long time to go to float voltage and if your batteries are new, they take some time to fully form and adjust to life... I swear batteries have some human characteristics, they certainly are not totally linear. So, lets hope you have no issues with the new system. I think you will be fine.
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:38 PM   #7
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I'm thinking of adding a tracker device which will have it's own battery/capacitor, but will also sit on the circuit. That too would suck down power over time - but I guess you want it there working in case the AS gets stolen!
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:09 PM   #8
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testing prop det load w/MMtr

Idroba…seems you mentioned in a recent propane thread, temp relocation due to forest fires. I hope you and yours are all safe.


newbie here. We recently purchased new 2014 FC20 from a dealer 5/2015 and have the overnight maiden voyage under our belt. Use has been very limited pending retirement this Dec. Storage has no shore power. When I was at the AS late August I noticed the batts were dead with switch to store. I removed the batts and after a charge at a local tire store and a follow-up eval at an Interstate distributor, both said things were fine, but after two weeks I’m reading 12.4V and slowly ticking down. The batts are in my garage so I suspect I have the dealer abused batteries syndrome. Big surprise after reading all the threads. Welcome to the club I guess. Glad we got a great deal.


Getting to my question, when the batteries are installed I’d like to follow your lead on determining the propane detector load and possibly disc. the neg batt connection for storage. Is the load test accomplished at the detector or can I test at the batteries? I well versed on AC, but DC is new to me. Can you explain how/where you tested this load? My MMtr manual indicates for DC Ma (red+ to Batt-) & (bla- to device +) I presume with the batts connected. I assume there is a way to test this at the batt’s.



Also AS manual= disc/remove batts for winter/longer storage, but in the propane detector section says, do not disc batts apparently as the detector needs to constantly burn off debris and if disconnected may sound the alarm until this is accomplished. Attwod has not responded to my inquiry. AS... it’s just safety disclosure. Thoughts…advice appreciated


Bob.


p.s. I just stumbled on the 20-footers thread. Way cool. I've not seen many responses for FC20's except you.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:39 AM   #9
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Bob, Thanks for your concern about the fires. Two years in a row now I have had to leave my home, but have come back to everything ok, other than burned forest all around me. I was out 16 days this year.

To measure very small currents I go directly to the device itself and put my meter in the current path by breaking one lead to the device and having the power go through the meter in series with the device. On virtually all digital meters you can use either the red or black lead on either side of the disconnect, one way will display a + and the other way a - but since we know it is really a load effectively we can ignore the + or - and just use the number. Thats what I did with my propane detector, I took it out (4 screws) and put the meter in series with one of the leads, let it turn on to stabilize until the green light came on, and then read the number. I actually have put a switch on mine directly so I can turn it off when I wish to. It only seems to take about 2 or 3 minutes to stabilize and the green light to come on. As far as I know, if the green light lights, it is working correctly. I don't worry about it, if it fails, I would replace it.

If you try to test it at the batteries themselves, you will probably get other errors as there are a bunch of little things which could be drawing at the same time. When you disconnect power the Sony radio in my 2014 goes into what I call the "disco mode" with flashing lights and messages, all of which take a lot of power. Then there can be some leakage into the converter/charger, the light in the Store/Use switch, possibly the amplified sub woofer and some standby in the inverter. So, measuring one thing at a time by breaking the power lead to it will give you the best information.

The reason I recommend total battery disconnect at the negative terminal of the battery when in storage for over a month, is that all the little loads add up to slowly depleted batteries over several months of storage.

You might like to read a couple of other posts I have made on the subject of batteries and their life and storage.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...ml#post1602327

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...ml#post1602338

I hope some of that helps you a bit.
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:10 PM   #10
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idroba, thanks so much. This time last year we had settled on the 20, but planned to by used in the spring 2016, after retirement. We were watching the for sale listings, but hadn't started to read the forums until late March of this year. I remember the two threads....the wrench and the freezer both stuck in my head for some reason. Thanks for the chart and refreshing my memory with the two threads. They make so much more sense now. Thanks too for the info on the propane detector. BTW where did you install the switch?

In May we had an "if you build it they will come feeling" logged on and found the new 2014 fc 20 on sale. It wasn't on the dealer's lot a couple of months before when we looked a used 2014. In two weeks we sold the VolvoXC and pop-top, researched and bought the TV and the AS...what a whirlwind...used it once to make sure as best I could that everything worked ....hadn't even had time to read the manual yet. Still haven't figured out the blueray/cd player... So the learning curve has been steep and we truly appreciate all he feedback everyone has provided.

Retirement is about as imminent as the new batts and I think we'll seriously consider the 2 X 6's.

BTW was your inverter an upgrade/aftermarket? Our manual shows optional and I don't believe we have one.

Thanks again, this helps much more than a bit.

bob
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruizinDux View Post
Also AS manual= disc/remove batts for winter/longer storage, but in the propane detector section says, do not disc batts apparently as the detector needs to constantly burn off debris and if disconnected may sound the alarm until this is accomplished. Attwod has not responded to my inquiry. AS... it’s just safety disclosure. Thoughts…advice appreciated


Bob.
CruisinDux,

Welcome to Airforums.

idroba has addressed the question about how to measure the current.

Just FYI, I have disconnected/removed my batteries for winter storage. My propane detector has not beeped or complained in any way.

My trailer is a year older than yours so maybe the detector is different, but its more likely the same.

Enjoy the trailer!
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by CruizinDux View Post
BTW where did you install the switch?

Still haven't figured out the blueray/cd player... So the learning curve has been steep and we truly appreciate all he feedback everyone has provided.

Retirement is about as imminent as the new batts and I think we'll seriously consider the 2 X 6's.

BTW was your inverter an upgrade/aftermarket? Our manual shows optional and I don't believe we have one.
I installed a long shaft toggle switch on both my Sony Radio and the Propane detector. I got the switches at ACE hardware (big ones). They are installed through the wood panels next to the radio and the propane detector.

Have fun figuring out the CD/Radio/Television system and how to make it all work together. If you have the original manuals and supplements which came in the big vinyl bag with the trailer, you should find a single supplemental sheet on how to make them play together... but even that is a real PITA.

My post #18 on this thread may help with the necessary battery box modifications needed for the two 6 volt golf cart batteries.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...-124829-2.html

The inverter was and is an option. There will be special outlets labeled inverter only if you have one, and a switch panel (black) somewhere. Mine is in the kitchen area.
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Old 09-21-2015, 04:33 PM   #13
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Thanks idroba. I've looked for the dual dupes so I don't think I have the inverter option. Thanks too for the info on the toggles and stereo.

I read the link re the batt box last night and will keep it as reference. I noticed in the bb3 picture two jumper battery post connections. Is this double up standard (looks like hot to neg needed for the series connection) because you're doubling the volts? My 2X12 connections have the same two cables for the pos to pos and neg to neg.

bob
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Old 09-21-2015, 04:39 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=SSquared;1686625]CruisinDux,


Just FYI, I have disconnected/removed my batteries for winter storage. My propane detector has not beeped or complained in any way.


SSquared, thanks. Good to know re the detector. The heads up is appreciated.

Bob
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