Electrickery for camping - Page 16





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  1. #301
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    I have had a few problems re "lost earth" eg. lights flickering while indicators are on!!
    Sure thing was to look for a loose earth! - problem sorted!
    I, personally, would earth the negative wire as frequently as possible. This will sort out the negative side completely when doing fault finding. All readings will be taken to earth (the closest bare metal), leaving only the positive to sort out!
    Rgarding the auxillary batt, ccts connected to that batt will be loose (not installed in/to body of vehicle) making it viable to measure returning current - in the negative line!
    It also makes sense to measure the current leaving the positive terminal to power the cct than to measure the returning current flowing back to the negative terminal!
    But that is just me!!!!!!!!

  2. #302
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Chris, As everybody else has already stated many times, Excellent post and thread! I have followed your diagram and installed three VA meters to monitor my system (Ctek dual, deep cycle bat and solar). I am now on the first trip in the Karoo with this setup but am noticing something very strange, at least for me! Once I switched of my vehicle I expect the VA meter connected to the Ctek to immediately show zero amps while the fridge VA meter will show the current consumed when the fridge runs. I notice however that the ctek VA meter still shows amps. When the fridge runs more or less the same as the fridge but sometimes much less. The question is where does the ctek amp reading comes from. There is no solar panel connected so my logic tells me the current must come from the main battery? If this is correct my main battery is being consumed. Surely this is not supposed to be. Any comments or explanation will be appreciated. I am also not really sure how the ctek dual actually works in terms of logic.

  3. #303
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by rodkeyser View Post
    Chris, As everybody else has already stated many times, Excellent post and thread! I have followed your diagram and installed three VA meters to monitor my system (Ctek dual, deep cycle bat and solar). I am now on the first trip in the Karoo with this setup but am noticing something very strange, at least for me! Once I switched of my vehicle I expect the VA meter connected to the Ctek to immediately show zero amps while the fridge VA meter will show the current consumed when the fridge runs. I notice however that the ctek VA meter still shows amps. When the fridge runs more or less the same as the fridge but sometimes much less. The question is where does the ctek amp reading comes from. There is no solar panel connected so my logic tells me the current must come from the main battery? If this is correct my main battery is being consumed. Surely this is not supposed to be. Any comments or explanation will be appreciated. I am also not really sure how the ctek dual actually works in terms of logic.

    Wild guess is that the ctek does indeed pull Amps from the main battery until the main battery voltage reaches the cut off voltage probably around 12.7 V. Should not be a problem.

  4. #304
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    That is what I also thought. Ctek just sees that voltage is high enough and therefore use it.

  5. #305
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Thanks Chris,a very constructive write up, i have a question for you, i do want to have the fridge running directly from the solar panel, 130w panel , for 80 watt -12 to 24 volts fridge,i do not want to use the car or second battery, can this work during daytime, in other words there is no batt. Power on such a setup. Can it work, if not, could it be that the fridge does not work with fluctiating voltages?

  6. #306
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Reccepops View Post
    Thanks Chris,a very constructive write up, i have a question for you, i do want to have the fridge running directly from the solar panel, 130w panel , for 80 watt -12 to 24 volts fridge,i do not want to use the car or second battery, can this work during daytime, in other words there is no batt. Power on such a setup. Can it work, if not, could it be that the fridge does not work with fluctiating voltages?
    Hi Reccepops

    Sadly ChrisF does not frequent this forum anymore. He is still on the Hilux4x4 forum.

    In your case I would recommend an MPPT controller as a minimum in which case with sufficient panels you will be able to run your fridge without an battery.

  7. #307
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Jaws, I am not member of Hilux 4x4 forum. Is there a way to get my question to ChrisF?

  8. #308
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaws. View Post
    Hi Reccepops

    Sadly ChrisF does not frequent this forum anymore. He is still on the Hilux4x4 forum.

    In your case I would recommend an MPPT controller as a minimum in which case with sufficient panels you will be able to run your fridge without an battery.
    Thanks Jaws , much appreciated...

  9. #309
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    I have a dual battery system in my vehicle with a NL split charge solenoid. Now I want to add a 3rd battery to the mix. 1st battery vehicle only, 2nd for lights, charging phones etc, gps and accessories and winch, 3rd dedicated to fridge only.

    How do I charge the 3rd battery? Can it be hooked up to the 2nd battery in parralel? Or do I get a dc-dc charger? I will have a solar panel on the roof so I am considering a dc-dc that can switch between alternator and solar.

    So the question is: can I add a dc-dc charger to my system without damaging the alternator? Do I connect the dc-dc charger to my first or 2nd battery?
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  10. #310
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    guys - just want to say thanks for all the posts here - reading this thread has been amazingly informative as to how little I actually know, and how much there is to learn.

  11. #311
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Jaws, I checked the voltages during the weekend. The Ctek pulls the main battery volts down to 12.4 which seems too low for my liking. Does anybody know at what volts the Ctek isolates the secondary battery from the main one?

  12. #312
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Supposed to disconnect at 12,7V.
    There have been cases of 250's that do not disconnect and keeps on running the main batt down.
    Eggie.

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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Very good article indeed! I note that this was written some time ago. Is there an update to this? I just bought an Afrispoor trailer, already rigged up with auxillary battery but now need to do the wiring from my tow vehicle. I am definitely not the DIY type as I have 10 thumps and would like to have the installation done professionally. Any recommendation where this can be done in the Pretoria area? Further more I need to buy the battery still. Is this lead crystal battery still the way to go or are there better options today?

  14. #314
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudi Botha View Post
    Very good article indeed! I note that this was written some time ago. Is there an update to this? I just bought an Afrispoor trailer, already rigged up with auxillary battery but now need to do the wiring from my tow vehicle. I am definitely not the DIY type as I have 10 thumps and would like to have the installation done professionally. Any recommendation where this can be done in the Pretoria area? Further more I need to buy the battery still. Is this lead crystal battery still the way to go or are there better options today?

    Updates would be in the form of new contributions (if any).

    As far as battery choice goes.
    Safest to say is: There are other options, even if lead crystal is still a good option. Lots of happy users, and a few mishaps (as with anything). There is no "one battery is best" answer.
    Eggie.

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  15. #315
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisF View Post
    this unit ?






    Bought it from 4x4Direct.

    They are commercial members on this forum, and have a physical store in Brackenfell where you can buy a LOT of the stuff in my photos ....

    http://www.4x4direct.co.za/shop/

    I have a concern regarding the connection of the amp meter. The amp meter needs to be connected in series with your output, right? Now if you look at the thickness of the wires of the amp meter, what is the use of having thick cables all the way from the battery to the fridge, but inline this little piece of thin 0.25mm wire is connected in the main supply line. Help me with an explanation please.
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  16. #316
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by jorsman View Post
    I have a concern regarding the connection of the amp meter. The amp meter needs to be connected in series with your output, right? Now if you look at the thickness of the wires of the amp meter, what is the use of having thick cables all the way from the battery to the fridge, but inline this little piece of thin 0.25mm wire is connected in the main supply line. Help me with an explanation please.
    The cables you can see are actually the sense wires that go to a current shunt.

    The shunt is so short that the maximum volt drop across it at maximum current of say 50Amps is only 50 mV ie 0.05 of a Volt.

    Remember that volt drop on a cable is proportional to both the cable diameter and the cable length.
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2016/04/01 at 08:06 AM.
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  17. #317
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    The cables you can see are actually the sense wires that go to a current shunt.

    The shunt is so short that the maximum volt drop across it at maximum current of say 50Amps is only 50 mV ie 0.05 of a Volt.

    Remember that volt drop on a cable is proportional to both the cable diameter and the cable length.
    You do get these units that does not have a shunt. I bought one on bidorbuy for testing purposes and they are rated for 10Amps. I will not be putting close to 10Amps through those wires.

    If you bought the ones from 4x4Direct, they do have shunts and Fluffy's comment is valid, if you bought them on ebay, bidorbuy etc, some of those do not have a shunt and I will not try to measure anything higher than maybe 3Amps.

    Does your meters have shunts or not?

  18. #318
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by MThompson View Post
    You do get these units that does not have a shunt. I bought one on bidorbuy for testing purposes and they are rated for 10Amps. I will not be putting close to 10Amps through those wires.

    If you bought the ones from 4x4Direct, they do have shunts and Fluffy's comment is valid, if you bought them on ebay, bidorbuy etc, some of those do not have a shunt and I will not try to measure anything higher than maybe 3Amps.

    Does your meters have shunts or not?
    The 10A ones are actually quite fine with the internal shunt. Not ideal, but quite acceptable.

    For some reason this forum is anal about cable sizes and volt drops. I think it's time for a thread to strip all these old wives tales from our midst.
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  19. #319
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    The 10A ones are actually quite fine with the internal shunt. Not ideal, but quite acceptable.
    "Not ideal but quite acceptable"......agree....I just think that the imported stuff is rated at the absolute maximum with no safety/tolerance margin taken into acount. This generates heat and if this heat is not dealt with effectively it will influence the lifespan of the electronics. That's my opinion, I might be wrong.....but willing to learn from the more experienced.

    If I build something myself I try to stay below 80% of the rated capacity (except where it will influence the design negatively or cost increase is high).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    For some reason this forum is anal about cable sizes and volt drops. I think it's time for a thread to strip all these old wives tales from our midst.
    This might be handy.

  20. #320
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    The cables you can see are actually the sense wires that go to a current shunt.

    The shunt is so short that the maximum volt drop across it at maximum current of say 50Amps is only 50 mV ie 0.05 of a Volt.

    Remember that volt drop on a cable depends on both the cable diameter and the cable length.

    phixed.
    Eggie.

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    - apology to Edward Langley.

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