Control Panel problem - engine battery readout

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by magicsurfbus, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    I have an '05 CI Carioca 656 with the factory-fitted ArSilicii TTK.D10F/CP5L22 Control Panel above the door. It's a fairly basic item which uses lines of four LEDs to indicate battery charge, tank levels etc.

    When the van is on its storage site I top up the engine battery via a 10A fused split relay charger linked to the leisure battery, which in turn links (via a charge controller) to a solar panel on the roof. This arrangement has worked fine, and the engine battery was displaying all four lights on the control panel when I picked it up from storage the other week.

    However, once we started using the van, the Control Panel has constantly displayed a flashing red light for the engine battery, as if the voltage is too low. This couldn't be further from the truth - I measured the engine battery voltage at the terminals with a multimeter after 24 hours at rest and it was 17+ Volts. We've had no problems starting the van, and the fridge still works on 12V so the panel's not cutting power to other devices when driving.

    I've removed the Control Panel and unplugged it from the van's electrical circuit for a few seconds to see if it would reset, but it didn't.

    Does anyone know what's going on here, or how to solve it? Have I maybe exceeded the Control Panel's maximum voltage setting and scrambled it?
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    First problem:

    If you really have 17V on a battery you are in deep poo.

    I think that you have either measured the solar panel direct or your meter is useless or you are not using the meter correctly, maybe having it on AC volts.

    So sort that first or you don't have anything to make a judgement on.
     
  3. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Fair point - I've just got a second opinion from another (less crap) multimeter and it's giving me 13V, which is basically a healthy engine battery.

    The original query still remains - why is my control panel telling me otherwise? The only difference in my treatment of the battery has been to use a charge-controlled Leisure Battery as the power source for topping up, via a split relay charger that prevents either battery from draining the other.
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I can only guess that the connection from control panel to started battery is compromised, maybe by the split charge relay. If leisure battery high enough to pull in the relay then starter battery reading good, otherwise bad.
     
  5. gj1023

    gj1023 Read Only Funster

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    I have a Carioca 15p and had the same problem with mine. I found it was a lead out of the charger under the passenger seat. All I did was tighten the screws the leads attach to.


    Gary
     
  6. thehutchies

    thehutchies Funster

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    Funny you should say that...

    I was doing some routine testing on our van last year and I was getting a reading of 17V from the batteries when the engine was running.

    After a little cursing, panicking and dashing around like an idiot, I realised there might be a short circuit between the earlobes.
    I changed the battery on the multimeter and it read a lovely 14.4V.

    Always remember that instruments can lie :Doh:
     
  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    dont bin the meter.....stick a new battery in it !

    i've had some wonderful readings due to an almost flat meter battery......always far too high like you, 17v/19v at the battery.
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Bugger ! beat me to it :Doh:
     
  9. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    hilldweller: The split relay charger is only temporary whilst in storage - it's always disconnected and stowed away before the engine is started. The last time it was connected the engine battery showed four green lights on the control panel. After disconnection the fault developed.

    gj1023: I shall look into the charger compartment and see if there's a connection problem.

    Obviously time to check the multimeter battery by the sound of it too.

    Thanks for all the tips so far folks.
     
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