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Old 12-03-2023, 07:24 AM   #1
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2018 26' Flying Cloud
Spokane , Washington
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Battery Disconnect?

Hi Sparkys!

Yesterday, I tried to install a disconnect switch on my main negative terminal, which I bought on Amazon. I wanted a "simple" solution to the parasitic draw problem and was hoping to isolate the batteries from the Airstream.

However, regardless of whether the disconnect switch was in the ON or OFF position, the Airstream was being still being powered by the batteries.

Thoughts? Comments?

2018 Flying Cloud 26
Updated lithium batteries (2 x 100ah AoLithium)
Stock 1000w pure sine wave inverter
Stock solar panels (2 x 90watt)
Updated Solar charge controller - PVCM40D-MPTLi
Updated converter - WF-9855 (with 2023 firmware)
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Old 12-03-2023, 07:32 AM   #2
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As I am looking at the picture above, I'm also wondering if the black wire going between the 2 batteries (to link the batteries in parallel) should be wired directly to the battery and NOT through the disconnect. Could that be my problem?
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Old 12-03-2023, 07:59 AM   #3
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Yes, the way you have that wired you are still getting current from one battery. The short black cable needs to be moved to the other side of the disconnect. It looks like maybe it will reach to the clamp bolt, you might have to rotate things a bit. Or just use another screw in the terminal top post.
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Old 12-03-2023, 08:01 AM   #4
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Thanks ITSNO60.

If I moved the black wire going between the 2 batteries (to link the batteries in parallel) directly to the post (instead of through the disconnect), should that fix my problem?
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Old 12-03-2023, 08:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgpuzio View Post
Thanks ITSNO60.

If I moved the black wire going between the 2 batteries (to link the batteries in parallel) directly to the post (instead of through the disconnect), should that fix my problem?
Yes.
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Old 12-03-2023, 08:36 AM   #6
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Since the batteries are wired in parallel, disconnecting one still leaves the other in line.
The simple solution for you is to use a disconnect on each battery.

I confess I can't seem to take the easy path. I tend to go all out. I remade the jumpers between the batteries so they'd leave room to open the filler caps without disconnecting anything. All new cables were #2 AWG marine wire with new crimp terminals and double adhesive heat shrink.
I used a Blue Sea battery switch which was designed to select either of two batteries. I have it wired (think) reversed. In other words the battery neg. goes into the output terminal, then the converter and inverter are fed from #1 and #2 positions. When "off" everything is off.
I did a post about this a while back.
https://www.airforums.com/forums/blo...sconnect-3036/



An unexpected advantage of switching the negatives (besides they're longer) is that even though the jack is wired to the battery, when the negative is off, the jack doesn't work, so it reminds me to turn on the converter before driving away. (or the breakaway won't work either.)
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Old 12-03-2023, 09:24 AM   #7
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Thanks all, especially @ITSNO60 and @SVTRIDE for the quick replies.

I moved the cable and the disconnect now works perfectly. No power in the AS when the disconnect is active (turn knob left)!

I have read about people adding another disconnect on the solar charge controller, indicating that you don't want power coming into the batteries when the batteries are disconnected. To accomplish this, I removed the in line fuse (as shown the picture). I would appreciate comments on if this is necessary and if this approach essentially accomplishes the same goal.

I added pictures for other AS newbies and a link to the disconnect for others who may want to add a simple disconnect in the future.
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Old 12-03-2023, 09:33 AM   #8
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that you still may see some power in your system because of the solar.
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Old 12-03-2023, 09:37 AM   #9
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@jeffb831

I have read about people adding another disconnect on the solar charge controller, indicating that you don't want power coming into the batteries when the batteries are disconnected. Based on a conversation with tech support at Atkinson Electronics, I wired the solar charge controller directly to the batteries. Stock wiring was to a bus bar in the DC panel.

1. When the batteries are disconnected, is it necessary (or advisable) to disconnect the solar charge controller??
2. And, if I wanted to do this, would removing an in line fuse (as shown the picture) on the solar charge controller accomplish this??
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Old 12-03-2023, 09:54 AM   #10
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Since yours is wired directly to the batteries, removing the fuse would disconnect the solar from the system. You may want to add another disconnect if you find you are doing it more frequently because fuses aren't meant to be switches.

As to whether or not it advisable, I did add a switch so I can "turn off" the solar when working on things and so that things don't try and start/run when there is a little power or power is fluctuating but may not be enough to run for a while, causing "brown-out" like conditions.
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Old 12-03-2023, 10:00 AM   #11
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@jeffb831 Thanks! Understood.
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Old 12-03-2023, 12:35 PM   #12
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Thanks @Mollysdad.

I have seen and appreciate the blog/post you made about this. When and if I bring the batteries inside the AS, I will probably install a more thoughtful disconnect and monitoring system.
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Old 12-10-2023, 05:03 PM   #13
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I have found that type of battery disconnect is difficult to get a disconnect. Check to be sure it is disconnected. (They seem to like to come back on after you turn them enough degrees to off).
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Old 12-11-2023, 10:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITSNO60 View Post
Yes, the way you have that wired you are still getting current from one battery. The short black cable needs to be moved to the other side of the disconnect. It looks like maybe it will reach to the clamp bolt, you might have to rotate things a bit. Or just use another screw in the terminal top post.
Why do they use clamp bolts on certain wires and lugs on others?
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Old 12-12-2023, 06:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Projet2907 View Post
Why do they use clamp bolts on certain wires and lugs on others?
To get everything to fit? The clamps also have more surface area for heavier loads.
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Old 12-12-2023, 09:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgpuzio View Post
I have read about people adding another disconnect on the solar charge controller, indicating that you don't want power coming into the batteries when the batteries are disconnected.
I'm a rookie here, but the manual for my charge controller (Renogy) says to always connect to the batteries before connecting the panels to the controller. Seems like a disconnect at the battery defeats that?

They don't explain why, it's possible they're avoiding an arc when you touch the batteries.

BTW, what brand batteries are those? They fit in the battery box! I've never seen a screw terminal into the post of a battery. Usually the posts are soft.
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