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Magnum Smart Battery Combiner questions


Smitty77_7

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Have been playing with our Solar Panel system, testing individual panel output, and changing a few of the program perimeters of the MidNite Classic 150 Controller. In this process I turned of the Classic 150 multiple times, as well as turning on/off individual panel circuit breakers that feed the Classic 150.

 

During this process, I turned off the MS2812 Charger. Had this off for several days.

 

Yesterday I noticed an item I knew was powered by the chassis battery, was acting as if it had low power. So I went to turn on the ignition and look things over, and not enough chassis battery to do so. I used the Battery Booster switched, and got the engine fired up. Letting it run for about 30mins. (Not enough to charge it from being low, but all that I felt I should subject our neighbors too:)!

 

I then waited about 20 minutes. And took a reading of the chassis battery and it was 11.94V. Went in and turned back on the Magnum Charger, waited to confirm it was in Bulk mode, then went out to see what I could see in the battery bay.

 

The Smart Battery Combiner (SBC) was reflecting Disconnected Low Voltage, via the LED. I power readings at the Power Terminal Block (where the Main/Aux(Chassis)/Common wires feed in/out of the SBC). Main was 13.51V and Aux(Chassis) was 0V, nada!

 

I decided to power everything off - sort of like CTRL-ALT-DEL:)! Turned off shore power, turned inverter, turned of Classic 150 Controller, then manually turned of the MS2812 Inverter/Charger at the unit. Waited about 5 minutes, then re-powered everything back up. Retook the readings at the SBC Power Terminal Block. Got about the same readings, except the Main was 13.53V on this reading. Still nothing for the Auxiliary/Chassis.

 

I poked around chasing down wires the best that I could, looking at all of the inline 25A blade fuses that I could find. Dang if they did not all look good.

 

So, I'm now asking for advice on what to check next.... All has been working well for about three years. Figured I 'goosed' something while I was playing with the Controller. Oh, and I do have a stand alone battery charge now on the chassis battery, to get it back up to full charge. (To the best knowledge, this battery has only been down below 12V one other time, and that was about two years ago at a repair shop. This is a good quality CAT 8D 12V Starter Battery with 1500CCA. It is three years old as of January. Suppose it could have gone bad on me, but doubt it... Actually hoping to get 5-7 years out of it, and try to maintain it accordingly:)!).

 

And TIA for both reading all of this background, and for any tips on what to chase down next:)!

Smitty

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What are your 3 - SBC set points set at? Did you try the "wiggle" test? Turn them all all the way over and back a couple of times then reset your set points. You realize it only goes down to 12.5v low, right? Once your chassis battery is back in the green it may just kick on and you should get a reading from the AUX.

 

My first guess... depending on what you mentioned as being powered by the chassis battery... sucked you a little drier than you thought and put your battery below the disconnect?

 

It's possible it could be an issue with your SBC... especially if you were "hitting" it with your solar controller repeatedly.. but that's an "iffy". You might swap the main and aux leads at the SBC terminal and check the AUX leads again. If you're getting current back to the house then you're SBC unit should be fine.

 

Possibly you're chassis battery is just not holding sufficient charge?

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Thanks Yarome - I'll let the charger perk overnight. And then start checking things out again in the AM...

 

And for full disclosure, my thoughts were along this line. Then I said that I should at least see some power going to Aux/Chassi (Vs Main) on the SBC. We'll see what tomorrow brings...

 

Sort of strange, that if I go too low on one of the batteries being supported off of the SBC (As it could be either Main, or Aux (In my case, Main = House bank and Aux = chassis.) that the unit can't supply power to it... Seems like that is when it would need it the most:)!

 

Smtty

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Then I said that I should at least see some power going to Aux/Chassi (Vs Main) on the SBC. We'll see what tomorrow brings...

 

Sort of strange, that if I go too low on one of the batteries being supported off of the SBC (As it could be either Main, or Aux (In my case, Main = House bank and Aux = chassis.) that the unit can't supply power to it... Seems like that is when it would need it the most:)!

 

Smtty

 

Ya woulda thunk so, hu. ;) You won't get any juice at all if that leg is under/over voltage. Their SBC isn't quite "smart" enough (can't tell the difference between full house batteries and a charge source) so it isolates the battery. In the event there is no charge source, your house batteries could "bleed" into your chassis battery.. or worse.. a disconnected hot wire situation goin on under your hood. Then you're really up a creek.

 

That's a bit oversimplified and would only apply under certain conditions.. but there is 'some' method behind the madness.

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Well, no cigar:)! Have a for now fully charged Aux/Chassis battery. Main/House batteries are being maintained in Float mode, via the Magnum Charger.

 

SBC Status light is not on at all. The Dis-Connected light is solid, indicating Low Voltage.

With Multimeter:

-Aux/Chassis reading 12.90V

-Reading the Power Terminal Block for Aux/Chassis - still reading 0V

-Reading the Main/House - reading 13.53V

 

So, I'm going to trace the wire lead back from Aux/Chassis, and see if missed an inline fuse. (Schematics show one is in line, 25A, and I did check one, but due to poor access I could have been checking the Main/House fuse by accident... Has to be from the positive feed of the Chassis, battery, as the Common ground of the Power Terminal Block covers both batteries...

 

(And yeah, I'm typing this out here, as I'm also trying to just sort it out in my slightly election debate damaged brain:)!)

 

Back out and into the depths of the tight quarters of the battery sub bay:)!

 

Best,

Smitty

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A few battle scars later, replaced a blown 25A blade fuse from Aux/Chassis.

 

Now getting SBC Status of Green (means it sees power from both sources), and a solid Disconnect of Yellow for Low Voltage.

 

So, checked the Chassis battery which two hours earlier had been at 12.90V after being charged all night with a stand alone charger. After sitting for two hours, of which one hour included the dash radio (left it on as background noise for the dog, as we went for about an hour bike ride). DW also lowered the Automation front shade, which is run off of the Chassis battery too - we were down to 12.1V. IMO, that is too far of a drop in two hours with the normal parasitic chassis draws, radio, and one lowering of the dash window shade... Concerned I may have toasted my 3 year old CAT 8D 1500CCA starter battery(:!

 

Going to recharge it back up with the standalone charger, and see how things go for awhile...

 

Want to see the SBC behaving the way I'm used to, and see if it will keep the chassis charged up.

 

I'm guessing I fried the fuse with all of the on/off cycles I did with the MidNite Classic 150 as I was changing things around. At one time, all 5 of my Solar Panels (5 panels) Circuit Breakers were off - and the DW put them all back on at onetime. (I usually turn them on one at a time, about 20-30 second a part, to let the MidNite see the power and adjust accordingly... may not have been a factor, but it is how I usually do things:)!).

 

We'll see how the chassis battery behaves, and if the SBC is back to normal.

 

Best to all,

Smitty

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IMO, that is too far of a drop in two hours with the normal parasitic chassis draws, radio, and one lowering of the dash window shade... Concerned I may have toasted my 3 year old CAT 8D 1500CCA starter battery(:!

 

I'm guessing I fried the fuse with all of the on/off cycles I did with the MidNite Classic 150 as I was changing things around. At one time, all 5 of my Solar Panels (5 panels) Circuit Breakers were off - and the DW put them all back on at onetime. (I usually turn them on one at a time, about 20-30 second a part, to let the MidNite see the power and adjust accordingly... Smitty

 

Yes, it is. You might take it in and have it load tested to rule that possibility out. There may be something else in play so always good to rule out the simple stuff first.

 

Glad you're back up and running though. I thought you had mentioned in your OP that you had already checked the fuses so I didn't mention that. My bad.

 

With a MNC 150 turning all of the panels on at once shouldn't be a problem. I guess anything is possible, but more than likely, when taking readings... somewhere along in there something got shorted by accident... even just for a brief moment.

 

Appreciate you posting the follow-up. It'll undoubtedly be of benefit to some other SBC user.

 

~ Cheers

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I think I did not let the chassis battery charge long enough to recover. And then on my first reading, did not let the battery rest enough after turning of the charger. So feel the 12.9 related reading was too high.

 

After charging overnight. I turned off the charger, and waited about 75 minutes. Then took another reading every hour for 6 hours. From 12.55 - 12.57 at each reading. This was a chassis battery that I did not bother disconnecting, so some load/draw was in play.

 

I'm going let things simmer for a few days with the Magnum Charger back on over this time. I'll then turn off the charger and let it sit overnight. And do a few readings over an 8-10 hour period.

 

I'm sure I did not add to the batteries life letting it get down as low as it was, but looks like it will live to start the coach I hope for a few more years...

 

Best, and thanks for your thoughts!

Smitty

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  • 10 months later...

Pulled the coach out of where we park it in non travel mode today. It has been plugged in this full time with the MS2812 and probably due to where it's parked, 3-4 hours sun (Well, between many, many days of San Diego area clouds and rain!) hitting the 1200W of Solar.

 

The engine really turned over slow, but did start. Drove around for less then 15 minutes, and parked in front of the home where we prepare of travel blast off. After about two hours, I had time to check the electrical system. The house batteries indicated 100% SOC.

 

Checking the Smart Battery Combiner, I noted:

-Status Light = Off (No power)

-Disconnected = Yellow Blinking (HVD High Voltage Disconnect)

 

A battery reading of the CAT 8D MF Chassis Battery, indicated 12.6V so between ~95% + or - 2%. The 20 min drive would have put some power back in, but not much.

 

Had to go run some errands, and about 3-4 hours later, I took a mother reading, and the chassis was down to 12.47V, and now the Disconnected = Solid Yellow (LVD Low Voltage Disconnect).

 

For tonight, I've hooked up my Battery Tender to the chassis battery. Sometime tomorrow I'll skin my arms up again and get back into where the inline fuse is (A real PITA where it ended up, of course, and I've never had such a time inserting a blade fuse!!!), pretty good bet I've blown another fuse.

 

=======

 

OK - So if I find the fuse is blown again, now the second time with the last time being February of last year. Any tips on what I should be looking for?

 

We have the MidNite Classic 150 feeding power into the house batteries. When on shore power, the Magnum MS812 charger is sending in Lifeline values for charging. I've looked over all of the wires last year, and all connections seem solid... so don't think it's a connectivity problem.

 

So if I'm sitting in peak sunshine on the solar with the MidNite sending in bulk charge levels. And then I plug in to shore power and the MS2812 Charger kicks in too - any chance this could cause the inline fuse to the SBC to say 'Enough!'.

 

Any other tips on what to suggest would be great. And I suppose at the very least, if this is going to be an annual or so event, I should try to get that inline fuse to an easier location to swap our the fuses!!!

 

Best to all,

Smitty

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Confirmed it was the 25A fuse again. Two times in 4-5 years is I suppose not a pattern, but puzzles me what the combination is between the MidNite Classic 150 Controller and the Magnum MS2812 charger that's causing the fuse to burn out. Or maybe it's some other connection problem that I've not detected...

 

Think I'll contact Magnum tech support next week, as they have been very helpful as well as generous at talking at a level I semi understand:)! Then may also reach out to MidNite, as they've been helpful in the past too.

 

Of course, I could always just shut the Classic 150 off when I'm going onto shore power, and just leave one charge system in control...

 

Best to all,

Smitty

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