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cityside
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 12:07 pm    Post subject: batteries no charge Reply with quote

OK all you smart guys. Please spend a minute helping a dumb guy avoid spending the whole three-day weekend grumbling and cursing.

Main battery is doing great but my two auxiliary batteries (in "Patience," my '89) won't hold a charge and won't recharge when the engine is running. They will, however, take a charge from trickle charger when I plug in to outside power and will hold said charge for a few days.

The first auxiliary battery, under the driver seat, powers the stereo and apparently the door locks and alarm--or, i should say, it powers them occasionally.

No, I haven't tested the batteries yet, but i will tomorrow. And I'll be checking all the connections, of course. But if the Waldemars and Buckos of the westy world have a tip or two to speed me on my mission, I'd be glad to hear them.

Thanks in advance. You're the best
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tikibus
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my .02's is a grounding issue.

I really not that versed in electrics...
If it tingles the fingers, its hot...
Big tingle...
Exclamation

Nothing better than being tossed across a photo studio when a 2400 w/s pack lets go ist full charge with your finger tips in the way.
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bucko
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How did you wire up these two aux batteries? Did you use a schematic that was posted here on this site? Did you use a relay?

If you have 3 batteries tied into your single alternator, that alternator is going to work overtime to charge all 3 of them.
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cityside
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Previous owner installed the extra batteries about four years ago, and I presume he did not go to any extra expense. there are relays all over the place and I haven't sorted them out yet.
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bucko
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be of great help if you could snap a photo of the wiring of these aux batteries. This way we could study them to see if the problems in this wiring.

A search on "dual batteries" or "auxillery battery" should yield many threads on this. There are also several pictures and schematics to be found on this as well here on previous threads.

Here is one:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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singlewc
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: batteries no charge Reply with quote

cityside wrote:
OK all you smart guys. Please spend a minute helping a dumb guy avoid spending the whole three-day weekend grumbling and cursing.


Simple. quick check, before you get dirty, and start to grumble and curse, <g> is to do whatever you do, to be thinking that everything is charging, such as relays, or switches that you would know about.

If you are now running the engine, and thinking that all the batteries are being charged, measure the voltage at each battery. Gotta be 13.5V, or they won't charge. If its 13.5V and maybe a tad more, they should be charging, and you have battery issues.

If any of them are less than 13.5V, now its time to dig into the wires, and get to that cursing thing Smile

No solutions there, but an easy test to find out which direction to go it.

John
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cityside
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You answered the question I was trying to ask.
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backcountrymedic
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seem to remember when seeing your aux. battery setup that it was a bit oddball. Seems like your best bet would be to return the wiring setup to as stock as possible, and then make any mods you're interested in. That way you can track any problems down a bit easier.

Cheers!
-Jared
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cityside
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As singlewc suggested, I tested and found power not getting through to the auxiliaries except from the trickle charger.

Haven't had a moment to decipher the connection from main battery to auxiliary yet.

Would "weak" alternator cause this type of problem?
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could, but if it were, your primary battery would also show a low voltage while charging. Your system should have some kind of device to isolate the batteries when the motor is stopped. This device will put all batteries' positive poles in common while the motor is running, and the voltage measured under charge will be roughly equal at all the batteries while the motor is running. So if it was a weak alternator, your primary battery would be in the same low-charge state as your auxiliaries. The fact that your primary gets charged and keeps its charge well enough to start the motor, and the others can take and hold a good charge from your grid charger, suggests the batteries are all OK but aren't being ganged up while the motor is running. So it's the isolator system that seems most suspect. But we don't know yet what exactly you're using. There are many ways to do it. It could also be as simple as bad connections at the auxiliary batteries, or their ground cables.
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backcountrymedic
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished installing the Yandina 100 battery combiner that msinabottle has installed in Winston (Rob- thanks for your help and advice). Pretty simple install, and works like a charm! Links the batteries up when running, or when plugged into the trickle charger; isolates them when everything's off. Cityside, if you picked one up, it'd be a simple thing to get your system up and running again, even if you didn't want to redo your whole setup. I'd be more than willing to give you a hand at the upcoming campout. If you do decide to order the combiner, you should call vs. trying to order online. Their website isn't very user-friendly for online ordering. Once I made the call, I had the device in a bit less than a week.

Cheers!
-Jared
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Last edited by backcountrymedic on Tue May 29, 2007 6:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 9:26 pm    Post subject: Yandina! Reply with quote

It's Rob, to my friends--so I'm Rob to everybody here but one person, and he doesn't probably know who he is. Only person on the Samba who ever flamed me...

Yeah, that thing's wonderful. Once I realized what it was doing, I cheerily dismantled the entire VW system and just did it all with 21st century technology. It's really neat to see both batteries charging after even short drives--and the Yandina also takes the DC current from the Schumacher battery charger I've got hooked up to the hidden socket under the sink that charges and tops off both batteries whenever Winston's hooked up to city power.

I wish I could claim that I invented ANY of these brilliant ideas--but I didn't. Just made what other people suggested work, and wrote how.

Best!
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backcountrymedic
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Only person on the Samba who ever flamed me...


Who would do such a thing? Time for a blanket party! Very Happy

Cheers!
-Jared
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