Charging starter battery

Discussion in 'Frankia' started by BritStops, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. BritStops

    BritStops Trader BritStop Owner

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    Hi,

    Realised this winter as the van was standing for a while that the starter battery wasn't being charged by the solar panel. Put the van on hook up and found it also wasn't charging from the mains.

    I thought once the leisure batteries were fully charged, then the system started trickle charging the starter battery? (leisure batteries are charging fine from both solar and EHU).

    Is there maybe a fuse/relay/what-have-you, that I could locate and check?

    I'm sure I remember seeing something once about the after-market chargers that you can fit can muck around with the Frankia charging block (or something).

    It's a 2005 740 Ducato-based Frankia, btw.

    Any ideas, chaps?

    Steve
     
  2. BreweryDave

    BreweryDave Funster Life Member

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    Steve - some do some don't - depending on age and electic box. Ours didn't - so had a battery master (or battery mate) fitted. Only about £50. It a small box wired into both the engine battery and the 12v leisure system which then allows the engine battery to be charged when on ehu and will keep it charged via the solar too after it has prioritised the leisure battery's. Sorted(y)
    Eddie vanbitz stocks them.
     
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  3. BritStops

    BritStops Trader BritStop Owner

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    Cheers, Dave!

    Yeah, it was the battery master type of thingy that I thought could do damage to the electric box on the Frankia. Sure I read something somewhere about that. Quite happy to fit one, but don't want to risk buggering the whole electrics.

    The van's driven regularly most of the rest of the year, but the battery didn't seem to like standing for a couple of weeks in the freezing cold. S'pose the real answer is that we should just get out and use it despite the weather!

    Steve :Smile:
     
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  4. keith

    keith Funster

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    I'm sure you can find plenty of places to stay Steve. :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
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  5. BritStops

    BritStops Trader BritStop Owner

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    Should've expected that, I guess! :rofl:
     
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  6. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    Just put jump leads from leisure battery to van battery. The van battery will get charged slowly. Sorted :)
     
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  7. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Our Autoquest didn't charge the starter battery automatically so I used one of the Lidl Ctek-alike chargers (which they just happen to have on special at the moment) before I fitted a battery charge manager. My notes Here.
     
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  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    If that has an Electroblock control that it should charger the engine battery, slowly.
     
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  9. BritStops

    BritStops Trader BritStop Owner

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    OK, just done what I should have done in the first place before posting my first post :RollEyes: - went outside to the van and checked what electric thingy we have. It's an Electroblock EBL 269-2.

    So Brian confirms what I thought, in that it should be charging the starter battery as well as the hab batteries.

    So before I get a Ctek, or Ctek-alike, or Battery Mate, I just need to know if there could be conflict between one of those and the circuit on the Electroblock.
     
  10. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    The EBL should be float charging the starter battery but the leisure batteries take precedence. The charge to the starter battery is small (probably 2 amps if it is the same as earlier EBLs) so it is not really sufficient to recharge a flat starter battery. If you have a Schaudt solar regulator installed (LR1218) and plugged directly into the EBL with the correct wiring harness, this too should float charge the starter battery from a solar panel.
    If I understand your first post that the starter battery has previously been charged (maintained) by the solar panel then there is obviously a fault. Whether this is a fuse or a fault in the solar regulator or EBL is hard to say.
    I would email Udo Lang at Schaudt and explain the problem. He will tell you what to check.
    Udo.Lang@schaudt-gmbh.de

    Regarding the use of an auxiliary charger to restore the starter battery, I would have thought a Ctek would be OK. I use one to maintain the car's starter battery without disconnecting it from the car's electronics. Ask Udo about any potential risk to the EBL when you contact him.

    Don't fit a battery master / mate link as your existing EBL set-up should be doing the job.
     
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  11. BritStops

    BritStops Trader BritStop Owner

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    Thanks for that, Philip! Added detail to what I thought was the case. I suppose I'm not absolutely sure the solar panel was charging the starter batter in the past, as we were on the move quite a lot. Also, we rarely hook up, so haven't really had occasion to check the charging of the starter battery via the mains.

    I've just emailed Frankia, as I've had great service from them in the past, to receive an email by return saying that all queries must from July be made via a dealer. Yes, I know it's not July yet... :RollEyes:

    I'll whizz an email off to Herr Lang and hope for the best.
     
  12. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Udo is really helpful and speaks good English. He has supplied me with wiring diagrams, advice and spares in the past.
    Do you know which solar regulator you have and how it is wired? If so, I might be able to advise whether it should be charging the starter battery.
     
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  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    It's not rocket science here, just put a voltmeter on the starter battery, if it's not over 12.5V after hook up for a day or two it's either dead or it's not being charged or both.
     
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  14. BritStops

    BritStops Trader BritStop Owner

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    Maybe not not to you, Brian, but to me it's some kind of crazy amalgam of rocket science, brain surgery and alchemy. Wish I was more scientific, but I'm more of a Humanities guy. To prove this, I actually do have a voltmeter, but didn't think to use it! :blush:

    In my defence, however, the battery was dropping below 12.5v according to the control panel when the van was left standing (either on hook up or left on solar). After a decent drive yesterday, it is now reading 12.5v. To me this suggests that something is amiss either in the Electroblock or between it and the starter battery?
     
  15. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Our solar panel charges both batteries through the Elektroblock for most of the year but when parked up on our drive in winter only receives enough sun to keep the leisure battery charged. I keep an eye on it and simply plug the EHU in for 24 hours every few weeks so that the starter battery is topped up from the mains.
     
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