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Old 12-06-2014, 07:43 PM   #61
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ependydad...worst case get a 10 buck digital meter at home depot or amazon and at least you can read the volts correctly...since 10th of a volt matter..you really need digital. Best case...spend the $60 bucks at amazon for the AC/DC clamp meter and you can actually see what is going on with your electrical use in the camper.
Caution...get this one below if you want the AC/DC amp readings. MANY cheaper ones say AC/DC clamp meter but ONLY give AC amp readings. There are a few others on Amazon that with do the AC/DC amps...but check back before buying any of those to confirm they will do what you want.
Once you get the new battery on a charger...take a volt reading while it is charging...you should get a reading between 13.2 and 14.5 volts. This will confirm your charger is working properly. Then take it off the charger and take a reading... after waiting 24 hours. That will be the real state of charge of the battery. 12.6 or 12.7V is full.
Here's the Amazon meter GLJ was talking about:
http://www.amazon.com/Auto-ranging-D.../dp/B001VGND88
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:56 PM   #62
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Thanks, camaraderie- I've just ordered this one from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000X5...A39WJT90MMXLA5

I wasn't ready to spring for $60 at this point though the clamp on ones look useful.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:26 AM   #63
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Yer welcome...understood. You've got what ya need for the basics and you can even do penetrative DC amp measurement with it if you really need to. Have fun!
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:32 AM   #64
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I feel like this is the never ending "hey, imma idiot@ thread.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:42 AM   #65
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^^^Dressed as you are in your avatar..is that not a forgone conclusion?^^^
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:53 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
^^^Dressed as you are in your avatar..is that not a forgone conclusion?^^^

Hey, I'm a triceratops!
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:57 PM   #67
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Ok, I received my $15 digital multimeter today (the craftsman that I linked to above). The battery was showing a resting charge of 12.48:
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Per the Trojan Users Guide, this appears to be about 80% charged:
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I then plugged it into my cheap charger:
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It measured 14.8 but slowly increased up beyond 15 (every 4-5 seconds it increased by 1/100th; yes, I stood there for a while!):
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I don't really know what that means.

Per the users guide, I seem to be looking for a charge of 14.8 (at least?):
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:23 AM   #68
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Well...yer off to a flying start! Good.
Basically... when the battery is discharged below 80%...you want a charger that will go into bulk charging mode at about 14.8V.
Then..after it is charged a while...no more than a couple of hours etc. the voltage should ramp down into the low 14V range IDEALLY.
Then, once the battery is nearly fully charged...the voltage should drop to about 13.2 volts and hold there till you remove the leads.

The above is ideal. It IS not good for any battery to charge over 15% except on a controlled EQ cycle....which you were not attempting. So...you are using what looks to be a fairly cheap 10amp charger..can't see the brand model from the pix... and it is not well controlled if you are getting over 15V. What I would do is open the pods so the water/vents are exposed and insure that water levels are fine...and have some distilled water on hand as 15 volts will boil it off if it stays at that level.
I suspect you will find that the voltage falls into the mid-14V level within 15-20 minutes...which is FINE for bulk charging even though 14.8 is your ideal.
If it stays at over 15V for more than an hour...or if it EVER gets to 15.5...stop the charging process and get a new charger.

Assuming it drops back into the mid 14V level...you should next see a slow decline into the 13.2-13.6 V range after a few hours. If you're not there by 8 hours...turn off the charger refill any water needed and close it all down. Check the resting voltage 24 hours later and you should see 12.6 or 12.7 V

Finally...a little over 15V for a little while is NOT a problem. It is only a problem if you continue to see that an hour later!
Can you provide make/model number of your charger so I can see what it CLAIMS to do?
Best...
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:40 AM   #69
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Doug, good advice from Cam, I think your going to be okay, Sure wasn't any 7 volts the analog was reading. I think your well on your way. Being an IT guy do you have an excel program for a trip log that you developed?
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:57 AM   #70
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X2 what Camaraderie said. The voltage from the charger must be higher than battery voltage in order to "push" current into the battery. But as it was mentioned, too high for too long will "boil" off fluid and damage the battery. Oh, the best way to measure the state of charge is to get yourself a good hydrometer to measure the specific. But you are getting good advice on how to check it with a meter. Besides, looks like you needed a meter anyway
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