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Old 09-10-2014, 07:07 PM   #1
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Dead battery / unknown reason

Just got home after four days on Vancouver Island, all with full services. Plugged in to AC unless driving.
Backed the trailer into the driveway and disconnected and within minutes the propane detector was sounding. Couldn't smell propane so I checked the monitors and battery indicated RED and dead.
Plugged the trailer in, which stopped the propane detector and battery is now charging through the converter.

Only thing recently changed is I connected wires to the positive and negative posts on the battery. They terminate in a combo male/female connection that was not connected to anything ( goes to solar panel, when connected ).

Any suggestions on how to proceed? Figure tomorrow, after charging all night, I'll disconnect and later use my hydrometer.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:36 PM   #2
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1st thing I'd check is for a short, ohm out the new wires, to each other and then to ground.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:41 PM   #3
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Thanks.
I removed the wires for the solar panel. On charge. Given that I did the wiring, that is likely the culprit.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:38 AM   #4
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Glenn - with that Coleman solar connector removed from your batteries, check and make sure that it does not conduct from the negative and positive ring terminals you put on it. Did you use that LED attachment to cover the ends? It is possible that LED got fried and was letting current flow directly between your battery's terminals.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:40 AM   #5
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IF you have a 3 way fridge, any chance it got switched to 12V?
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:44 AM   #6
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No 3 way fridge. If problem persists today, I'm gonna drop by ETI tomorrow.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:20 PM   #7
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Isn't there an RV place near Pemberton in North Van Glenn?
ETI is a ways away.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:26 PM   #8
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I'm heading for Rock Creek anyway.
And North Shore RV is a pain to get in to. Access is off the back alley and there are always cars and RVs parked in the alley. If you go there you have to scout it out first.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:25 PM   #9
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Glen, what do you have in the way of batteries. This is the time of year when batteries go south (and early spring too). If you have a single 12V check it. If you have dual batteries I doubt that both have failed.
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Old 09-11-2014, 02:21 PM   #10
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It's a three year old Trojan TMX 27.
Was on charge overnight ( through the converter ) and after unplugging for two hours I'm getting 12.63 on the voltmeter. Later, I'm going to check cells with hydrometer.
I removed the wiring for my solar panel, which may have caused a short.
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Old 09-11-2014, 02:52 PM   #11
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Its taking a charge. That's a good sign, battery wise.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:13 PM   #12
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Got out the hydrometer after about four hours off charge. Got at least 12.75 in all cells. Going to take the genset with me, just in case. Going to pick up another 40 watt solar panel ( $99 again this weekend at Can Tire ).
Can Tire Q&A recommends Coleman 8-in-1 Solar Panel Hub to connect the two panels, but then a search of their site can't find the product. Not sure how to go about this. Can I just connect the two panels, each with alligator clips and controller, to battery? The answers on their site haven't helped ( or I'm really dense ).
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:27 PM   #13
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Hope it all works out Glen. Isn't the Rock Creek Fall Fair this weekend? When I was 5 years old my dad decided to go farming . He was looking at a place near Westbridge but we moved to Ellison instead. Kettle River Recreation Area is one of my favorite Parks. I like riding my bike along the railway into town and going to the market for ice cream. As my mum used to say "little things please little minds". I used to work for BC Parks and was involved in the planning for that park.

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Old 09-11-2014, 08:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Can Tire Q&A recommends Coleman 8-in-1 Solar Panel Hub to connect the two panels, but then a search of their site can't find the product.
That hub is just a connection block (maybe with diodes that you don't need), but you can buy it at West Marine if you want; you can also just wire up something which is effectively the same, and you don't need it to have eight legs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Can I just connect the two panels, each with alligator clips and controller, to battery?
Yes, but other discussions have raised the concern the controllers will confuse each other - I think this is a concern mostly with smart controllers, not the simple on-off things that cost $20. Sorry, I don't remember what you're using...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
The answers on their site haven't helped ( or I'm really dense ).
I think the density issue is more likely in the Canadian Tire staff...
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Old 09-12-2014, 10:20 AM   #15
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Glenn, I think ultimately you will want to connect the 2 panels together and then run one line from them into one controller. It looks like the Coleman controller is rated at 7A. I am surely no solar expert, but at 7A rated, the included controller should be able to handle 2 of the 40W panels if the panels are connected in parallel to double the current flow and keep the voltage output the same. Those push together connectors that Coleman uses should make setup fairly easy once it is wired correctly. You just have to be careful about polarity with them.

I found this answer to the same question on the Canadian Tire site: "Answer:
It is better to run the panels in parallel, through one single charge controller for more efficient charging. It may be more practical to handle a single 80W panel in a portable setup. Less wiring can also make things simpler.
by SunforceProducts 1 week, 2 days ago


Apparently Sunforce makes the Coleman solar gear, so they might be a good source for questions.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:20 AM   #16
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Read that, just don't know how to do it. The hub that Sunforce also makes is about $30 and doesn't show up on a search of Can Tire. It's compatible with my level of electrical knowledge.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:06 PM   #17
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I can help you with it. I might even have connector that will work for you. I'll PM you later.

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Old 09-12-2014, 12:16 PM   #18
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Thank you. Hitting the road in ten minutes so I'll be slow to respond.
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Old 09-12-2014, 06:02 PM   #19
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I was rushing out the door this morning. I had a similar pair of cells from CT with a 2 cells to one line to the controller setup. The cells were smashed in a sudden windstorm at Moab and I saved all the connectors. I just checked them. Unfortunately I cut the incoming lead too short to be usable But, as has been said previously, a 2-1-controller setup works just fine.

If you don't get your battery drain issue resolved you're welcome to swing by my place and I'll take a crack at trouble shooting it for you.

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Old 09-12-2014, 10:25 PM   #20
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Many thanks. Just been driving and setting up so far today.
I had this clever idea ( maybe ) which I will try tomorrow. I have a "cigarette lighter" splitter ( two female to one male ). The panels included the same type of connectors. Just have to see if they mate up.
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