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Old 02-19-2016, 08:31 PM   #1
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Battery compartment wiring makes no sense, at least to me??????

Equalized my house batteries today. I removed all the cables as I don't think the battery disconnect does a total disconnect. For some unknown reason, there are 3 positive cables going to one post, one of which connects the 2 batteries. At the other battery, there are 2 positive cables, one of which connects to the other battery. Why 3 positive cables and what does the battery disconnect really disconnect? Also, when the battery disconnect is off, it appears that the converter charger is still charging the batteries.
When I attached my clamp-on amp meter, it made even less sense!
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:50 PM   #2
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The red lead on the right probably goes to the engine bay for the emergency start.
the three red leads on the left are probably:
1) jumper to second battery (obviously)
2) lead to disconnect/charger-converter
3) lead to generator for the starter.

The small red lead - not sure, but you could chase all of them to get a positive id.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucemc View Post
The red lead on the right probably goes to the engine bay for the emergency start.
the three red leads on the left are probably:
1) jumper to second battery (obviously)
2) lead to disconnect/charger-converter
3) lead to generator for the starter.

The small red lead - not sure, but you could chase all of them to get a positive id.
Thanks,
The small red lead going to post of 3 is for my solar 100 watt Renogy solar suitcase 100 watts. Hardwired a anderson connector to the outside by the wheel well. The other small red wire is from the Xantrex Battery monitor shunt, not very visible.
The positive cable coming in to the second battery in the middle of the photo must be the main one coming from the alternator thru a solenoid relay, right?
Why is the Battery monitor showing 14.5 volts with the battery disconnect in off?
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:31 PM   #4
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Thanks again, this will give me something to work with. Tomorrow I will test and see which cable goes where. The cable from the Alternator and the Converter/Charger should be on the far left along with the cable joining the positive. I can make the generator the one in the middle then with the adjoining cable.
I suppose all the positives should be on the left side battery and only the adjoing cable in the middle, but you can't put 4 terminal end connectors on one post. Not long enough. I could use the post connector that I have the solar and battery monitor on for one of the cables.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:19 AM   #5
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Found out all four positive cables go on the lower left with one going to the other battery. Wow, I hope they all fit. Maybe that's why the clamp-on amp readings were wacky!
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:28 AM   #6
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I found on our new Sunseeker that the battery disconnect doesn't disconnect from the charger/converter, so the voltage is always 13.1 (when plugged in) unless the charger is doing an equalize. I've yet to monitor the resting voltage with it unplugged...

Have fun following the cables!
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:44 AM   #7
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Thanks Brucemc, it's all making sense now.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:46 AM   #8
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Just remember that equalizing takes unusually high voltage to excite the electrolyte. The bubbling of the electrolyte is what dislodges the particles on the batteries plates. Each manufacture recommends a specific voltage and time for this process to be successful. With Trojan (that,s what I have) they recommend 15.5 volts until the specfic gravity on your hydrometer stops rising. My batteries show 12.8 volts 12 hours after a charge with no load (there on a bench for the winter).
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Old 02-20-2016, 02:52 AM   #9
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Just remember that equalizing takes unusually high voltage to excite the electrolyte. The bubbling of the electrolyte is what dislodges the particles on the batteries plates. Each manufacture recommends a specific voltage and time for this process to be successful. With Trojan (that,s what I have) they recommend 15.5 volts until the specfic gravity on your hydrometer stops rising. My batteries show 12.8 volts 12 hours after a charge with no load (there on a bench for the winter).
Thanks for the numbers. I was equalizing each battery for 120 minutes at 15.7v at the solar controller and showing 15.4v on the Battery monitor. My SG battery tester broke after I tested them prior to equalizing. Will pick up a new one tomorrow.
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Old 02-20-2016, 02:51 PM   #10
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Might consider tagging the cables for future reference.
Most clamp on meters do not read DC current from batteries only AC line current.
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Old 02-20-2016, 05:14 PM   #11
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Making Sense now

Went to Napa and bought a top terminal mount and attached to positive post. Ran the Converter/Charger cable to it along with the Solar input from the controller along with the battery monitor shunt power connection.
Attached the cable from the alternator, Battery cut-off/Generator and battery link to the screw post. I tried attaching all four cables to the screw post and barely got them on with great difficulty. It totally blocked access to the battery caps preventing easy checking of water levels and SG. So that's why I purchase the top post terminal connector. All the values on the clamp-on amp meter now make sense.
Things learned
Battery cut-off and generator are on the same cable. However, the cut-off doesn't prevent use of the generator at any time.

Converter Charger will charge the house batteries when plugged in to shore power regardless of cut-off switch position.
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Old 02-20-2016, 05:36 PM   #12
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Nicely done...neat & clean now!
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Old 02-20-2016, 06:04 PM   #13
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If anyone has the Bigfoot Jacks they will also have a positive connection directly to the battery
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Old 02-20-2016, 06:16 PM   #14
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If anyone has the Bigfoot Jacks they will also have a positive connection directly to the battery
I have BigFoot jacks and when I attached the alternator cable from the relay to the battery, the BigFoot panel lit up. I believe there must be some relays and solenoids inline as the engine being on will trigger the BigFoot alarm if the jacks are down and the lights stay on while the engine is on. I'm charging my batteries right now, but later I can check it more thoroughly and disconnect that cable marked alternator and see if that affects the levelers.
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Old 02-20-2016, 06:55 PM   #15
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On mine (2016) one of the red cables to positive is marked Bigfoot Jacks. I just got my unit and haven't examined it any closer
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Old 02-20-2016, 07:17 PM   #16
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On mine (2016) one of the red cables to positive is marked Bigfoot Jacks. I just got my unit and haven't examined it any closer
Mine is a 2016 also, but probably an earlier build than yours. Since there are so many variations of the 12v electric, it's no wonder that FR doesn't give out diagrams and schematics.
Curious, can you take a photo of yours? I'd like to see how your battery cables differ. Always a learning experience here on the forum.
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Old 02-20-2016, 07:45 PM   #17
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I sure will. I'll be out in rig in a bit. Mine was built in December 2015 picked it up last week. And your right about different variations
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:40 PM   #18
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Ok here's a pic of my battery wiring. On left positive post is converter positive cable and battery positive cable. On the positive post on the right is the power jack positive cable. Of course the small positive wire in the center connects the two batteries.
Correction unit was built January 2016.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:45 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by sgtlm17 View Post
Ok here's a pic of my battery wiring. On left positive post is converter positive cable and battery positive cable. On the positive post on the right is the power jack positive cable. Of course the small positive wire in the center connects the two batteries.
Correction unit was built January 2016.
So mine was wired like yours is. The Power Jack cable on yours was what I thought was the alternator/ leveler as my bigFoot panel lit up when attached to the battery. It was in the same location.
So where does the alternator make it's connection to the house batteries for charging and engine battery boost when needed? I would still think it's the power jack cable with relays and solenoid.
Challenging isn't it?
Joshua Cavitt, feel free to interject at any time.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:09 AM   #20
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forgive my ignorance, but with the shunt wire (the wire between the two batteries) does that make both terminals in effect the same? could you not connect a couple of your reds to the other terminal? Maybe I'm not understanding the problem. If so, please ignore.
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