Bigfoot 17CB, Installed 2nd Batt, Link 20 tomorrow! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-13-2008, 08:51 PM   #1
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
Ontario
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Hi;
My 1993 Bigfoot 17CB came with a single 24 size battery on the tongue. I couldn't easily put a 2nd one there so I put it in the locker under the passenger side locker (Starboard) of the front Dinette. It only needed about 6' of dual #8 gauge wires to get over to my Magnetek Distribution Panel (With my new Progressive Dynamics Converter to replace the POS Magnetek unit!).
Very simple mod, as I used a piece of nylon rope to secure the battery in the compartment joining the rearward one which holds the jack handles, wood blocks and other setup stuff! By a very strange coincidence, when I drilled the holes into the front panels to fish the wires from the Port to Starboard side, the wire went EXACTLY along the channel and I was able to grab it with long nosed plies, WITHOUT my usual multiple tries, cursing and (you know!)! Wow!
Tomorrow, I'll mount the Xantrex Link 20 double meter shunt on the back of the Magnetek unit and wire it in.
I should then be able to monitor all the magic numbers to ensure that all is working well and I'll know when to run my Genny, or plug in when I'm boondocking!
Contrary to some 'Doom and Gloomers', the Progressive Dynamics PD9260C has not overpowered my single battery, and should now work even better with about 170 AHrs of battery load.
All in all, I'm pleased.
My Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend is coming up in 2 weeks and we will be boondocking. This extra battery and monitoring will be great!
Mike VE3EQP......>
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Old 06-14-2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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I really like my Link 10 for when I'm boondocking (single battery). I predict you'll like that mod, although a little pricey.
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:15 AM   #3
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I have been looking at the Xantrex Link 10 & 20. I plan to install some type of digital monitoring of battery vitals.

I have the following questions:

1) Why the Link 20? When one wires two batteries in parallel, isn't it still one bank?

2) Do you guys like the extra monitoring that the Xantrex Link system provides? I could purchase separate volt meter, amp meter and shunt for about half the money.

I'm a gadget person, so the Link 10 looks interesting. Thanks, Dean
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:33 PM   #4
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
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Dean;
I found the Link 20 (new!) on ebay for a good price, since they are a discontinued item.
I have the 2 batteries in parallel, BUT each one has it's own shunt in the negative lead. So, in effect, I am current monitoring each battery.
What a voltmeter/ammeter won't tell you is what the 'real' energy is left in the battery! The Link 20 looks at the amp hours of each battery and indicates a time left at the existing load. It also corrects for varying loads and uses a 'Peukert' equation to calculate remaining capacity even when the 20 hour rate is exceeded. Drawing an excess of the 20 hour rate makes the battery seem smaller than it is - it's not a linear thing!
So, basically you have a Fuel Gauge for your batteries, far superior to a simple voltmeter reading.
Even the charging rate is seen by the unit and calculates the Efficiency Rating of the batteries - i.e. how much overcharge AmpHours is needed to completely charge the batteries.
Some of this data is saved in memory - Highest current draw, deepest discharge level.
All very neat stuff to a gadget and electronic freak - me!
And, when boondocking, you KNOW if you can run all night without charging first!
This coming weekend is our Ham Radio Annual Field Day so I will give it it's first real test and see if all that I told you is really true!
Good luck.
Mike VE3EQP.....>

Quote:
I have been looking at the Xantrex Link 10 & 20. I plan to install some type of digital monitoring of battery vitals.

I have the following questions:

1) Why the Link 20? When one wires two batteries in parallel, isn't it still one bank?

2) Do you guys like the extra monitoring that the Xantrex Link system provides? I could purchase separate volt meter, amp meter and shunt for about half the money.

I'm a gadget person, so the Link 10 looks interesting. Thanks, Dean
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:48 PM   #5
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Mike,

Thanks for the feedback and the explanation on the Link 20.
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Old 06-22-2008, 10:29 PM   #6
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Name: Per
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Dean:
For the past few years I've been using two group 31 deep-cycle batteries (total of 260 Amp-hours at 20 Amp per hour rate) with a Xantrex Link 10. It works as if there is one bank, and does an exceptionally fine job of telling me what's going on.

I would guess that the single shunt setup presumes that the batteries are wll matched (same type, age, etc.), otherwise the Link 20 would be needed to give individual readouts for each battery.
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:28 AM   #7
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I use a link 10 that came off a failed project at work, works great for 1 battery. Probably overkill, but the price was right. it's been in for 3 years no no problems so far
Joe
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