Checking the "float" feature of a Power Converter. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-17-2015, 07:42 PM   #1
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Checking the "float" feature of a Power Converter.

Does anyone know a simple method to check whether or not the "float' battery maintenance feature is working on a power converter or a Battery Tender?

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bill Nolen View Post
Does anyone know a simple method to check whether or not the "float' battery maintenance feature is working on a power converter or a Battery Tender?

Thanks,

Bill
I suggest that you read the information in Battery Tender's web site.Battery Tender - Float / Maintenance Charging

Or you might try to read this,. http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/U.S...2011-12-13.pdf
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I suggest that you read the information in Battery Tender's web site.Battery Tender - Float / Maintenance Charging

Or you might try to read this,. http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/U.S...2011-12-13.pdf
Whew! Byron, Thanks for the reply...however the information contained in the two links is more than my simple one-cell brain can follow! Plus, no where could I find a method to test the float feature. It might be there but i couldn't find it.

But, again thanks for the suggestions...

Bill
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:48 PM   #4
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From the second article above, Float = 2.17 volts per cell = 13.02V constant.
Maybe...
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:37 AM   #5
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still learning....

I have a three stage charger instead of a converter....

when the charger is "charging" my panel meter reads 14.1V
after a period of time (hours/days depending) meter reads 13.3V and stays there indefinitely

yesterday I turned the charger off...meter stayed on 13.0V

I then ran the furnace (the power hog) for half an hour....while running the meter read 12.0V.....when I shut the furnace off the meter climbed back up to 12.5V....a check with the hydrometer gave me a reading of 100% charge.....sorta tells me that 12.5 was maybe 12.59 if I had a four digit panel meter

I have read that 14.1V is probably not enough voltage to bring my batteries right up to their full capacity ( I've read from 14.4 to even 15 is suggested to FULLY charge deep cycle battery banks)....but that's all that this charger will put out

yep, still learning...all the time
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:36 AM   #6
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I use one of these in one of my 12v outlets when the Scamp is parked. I constantly check the voltage. That will tell you what the charger is doing or at least the voltage at the battery. Your converter onboard should read 13.6v. Left at this volts, the battery will OVERCHARGE.

My B. Tender I've noticed "floats" at apx 13-13.2v.

The Battery Minder I have has a "Maintenance" mode that goes into "desulfation" mode periodically. Does it work? Dunno...sounds good though .
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Old 11-18-2015, 08:53 PM   #7
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Thanks!

Jim, Francois, and Darrel, thank you for the information!

The only 12-volt test equipment I own is a cheap comanation 12-V and 120-V teat meter.

To determine the amount of 12-volts flowing into a battery, would letting the current flow thru the test meter (set on 15-volts DC) into the battery give me a correct reading?

By that I mean...disconnect the positive wire from the converter and hold one of the test meter probe's to the disconnected wire and the other probe to the battery positive post.

Would the test meter melt? Or should I just buy a new Battery Tender or Battery Minder?

Bill
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:07 PM   #8
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NO... You need an amp meter, that's entirely different from a volt meter. Doing what you are asking will, at a minimum, blow a fuse in the meter, or burn it up.


A useful tool is a multi-meter with a DC Amp-Clamp built in. You can measure amps by putting the clamp jaws around a wire. Be sure it is a DC amp clamp though.
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bill Nolen View Post
Jim, Francois, and Darrel, thank you for the information!



The only 12-volt test equipment I own is a cheap comanation 12-V and 120-V teat meter.



To determine the amount of 12-volts flowing into a battery, would letting the current flow thru the test meter (set on 15-volts DC) into the battery give me a correct reading?



By that I mean...disconnect the positive wire from the converter and hold one of the test meter probe's to the disconnected wire and the other probe to the battery positive post.



Would the test meter melt? Or should I just buy a new Battery Tender or Battery Minder?



Bill

DONT DO THAT. It will fry the meter. Just check the voltage with a digital voltmeter (cheap one at harbor freight) and if the voltage is around 13.2volts then that is what you want. Don't equalize you batteries unless they are wet cells, not AGM's.

If you can set the meter for DC AMPS and you have a 10amp full scale setting, then that will give you the amps flowing into the battery, but a battery with no load will not be pulling much if at all. No point doing that.


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Old 11-18-2015, 09:25 PM   #10
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Garbonz, Thanks for the warning! I'll forget about doing that!

Of course, it would give me an excuse to buy a better test meter!

Bill
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
NO... You need an amp meter, that's entirely different from a volt meter. Doing what you are asking will, at a minimum, blow a fuse in the meter, or burn it up.


A useful tool is a multi-meter with a DC Amp-Clamp built in. You can measure amps by putting the clamp jaws around a wire. Be sure it is a DC amp clamp though.
Thanks Bob, I had overlooked your message!

I believe I have wasted enough kind people's time just trying to save a few dollars.

Sad thing is that I had a almost new AC/DC multi-meter with a clamp attachment. I don't remember whether or not the clamp would work with DC, as the only time I used the meter was to use the clamp for AC. I gave the meter away last year because I never used it!

Thanks again Bob,

Bill
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:07 PM   #12
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meters....

my panel meter cost me all of about 5 bucks??? it only does one thing: measure voltage of the whole system....(it's visible from anywhere all the time)...it does not measure amps in or out but it gives me a good "feel" for what's going on (gaining or losing)....at rest (no load on) if it's reading 12.6 the batteries are full or close to it....and if it's reading 12.2 I'm almost empty and it's time to shut things down / seriously ration power because I don't want to draw my batteries down below 50% (somewhere around 12 or 12.1) for longevity issues. When the sun hits the solar panel and it's reads 13.5 or more I know I'm gaining....it's certainly not an exact science (unless you spend a few hundred bucks on a very good permanently installed unit that will tell you everything, volts and amps in or out) but for now it works for me.....if you get one try to find one with two digits after the decimal point...even better info....

still learning every day
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:42 AM   #13
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There IS a cheaper alternative that does both of what you want. I own one of these for my hobby in flying model planes/helis. But we use this to plug into our electric motors etc to see how many Amps/Watts it's pulling. It also gives the minimum voltage during the test etc. Good stuff for us as we know if we're running to large of a prop etc.

Never tried getting it to 150Amps...that's ALOT. But I HAVE seen it hit 88A!

It works. BUT, without any electrical knowledge, I'm not sure I'd recommend it. There will have to be some connectors made up for it. Not sure it would be worth it for a single test. If we lived closer I could help you out. But I just wanted to throw this out as a cheaper alternative to some of the high $$ meters.

http://www.amazon.com/T-Trees-Meter-...ds=watts+meter

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Originally Posted by Bill Nolen View Post
Jim, Francois, and Darrel, thank you for the information!

The only 12-volt test equipment I own is a cheap comanation 12-V and 120-V teat meter.

To determine the amount of 12-volts flowing into a battery, would letting the current flow thru the test meter (set on 15-volts DC) into the battery give me a correct reading?

By that I mean...disconnect the positive wire from the converter and hold one of the test meter probe's to the disconnected wire and the other probe to the battery positive post.

Would the test meter melt? Or should I just buy a new Battery Tender or Battery Minder?

Bill
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:47 AM   #14
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Francois, I believe I could afford a $5 meter!

Where did you buy your meter?

Also, what size solar panel did you install on the roof of your trailer? When I installed a solar powered gate opener for my driveway gate, it came with a 7 or 10 watt solar panel that does a great job of keeping the gate battery charged.

I have an extra solar panel of that size, that I though about installing on top of my battery box.

Would that be worth the effort?

Bill
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