Electrics,oh dear!

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by barearse, May 15, 2013.

  1. barearse

    barearse Funster

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    O.k folks,be gentle with me.Been a funster for 4 months now and only asked one other question!Where to start,my comprehensivley equipped old Merc,"Matilda"since you ask.(I fancied Astrid but that's another story)Anyway she came with everything but instructions,so,re zig panel.It has a three way switch with two little diagrams.One looks like a caravan and cannot remember what t'other one depicts.Centre possitition on switch I took to be off.(As you do!).When I hook up to mains,lights come on if I've left them in on pos.(Keeping up?)If I flick switch to right,needle on dial goes up to 13.7 or so.However,when I flick to left needle is low.I need to know whether she charges batteries automaticaly when I hook up,or whether I have to move zig switch over to left or right?With switch in centre (off? )position I am able to use the 240.v.plug sockets.:helpsos: Yours .
     
  2. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    I'm no expert but if it's anything like the panel on my old van, one position switches the 12V supply to lights etc. to the vehicle battery (and indicates its charge) and the other position to the van's leisure battery. It has no effect on the supply of mains electricity to mains appliances.

    Without knowing which way you've got your switch I can't really say what's wrong but I would guess that the low reading is the charge in your leisure battery and that it's not charging (or holding a charge) properly.

    Your van may or may not have a mains charging unit for charging the vehicle batteries when on mains hook up.

    Tim
     
  3. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Hi barerase,

    On an old caravan with a Zig unit, I was caught out thinking that my leisure battery was being charged, whilst on hook up, parked on the driveway at home. It wasn't until I got to my holiday destination in North Devon, that I realised the switch had been in the "car" position all the time, instead of the "van" position, so the only charge it received was from the drive down. :Doh:

    On Zig units, you have to switch over manually to whatever battery you are using/charging. Some modern charging systems switch and charge automatically.

    HTH,

    Jock.
     
  4. DesRes

    DesRes Funster

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  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    A bit of good advice: Get a voltmeter or multimeter.

    Then you can answer these questions properly. Measure leisure battery off charge, put on charge, if voltage rises it's charging. Simples.

    If you don't have one then invest no more than a tenner on ebay or maybe Maplins.

    Under 11V battery probably had it.

    Under 12.5V not on charge.

    12.5 to 14.5 it's charging.

    Over 14.5 and you charger is killing the battery.
     
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  6. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    Absolutely! I've had an old cheap analogue meter for over 25 years now and it's an incredibly useful tool in situations like this.

    Tim
     
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  7. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    Hi Jock, are you sure your van has a mains charger unit? Not all do (like my old Swift Sundance). If you're not sure, measure your battery voltages when on and off mains (without the engine running obviously). If no change, then no charger.
     
  8. steevie

    steevie Funster

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    and as an older caravan, it may have a charger, but not still working. I recently upped our 12v charger from the 2 amp one it has had from new, to a heavy duty 15 amp one. I got it from ebay, new but never fitted, and still in box for £30. I think that size would be around £70 normally. And you cant live without a multimeter.:thumb:
     
  9. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Yep, definitely had a charger thanks, as when plugged in on the campsite, the battery recharged and showed a reading.

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
  10. barearse

    barearse Funster

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    Electrics cont.

    Thanks to all for words of wisdom,will get the multi meter thingy manana.To DesRes in particular,the p.d.f. is most useful.Mine does not look like C.F.8 but tells me more than when I looked up Zig homepage.Cheers!:Smile:
     
  11. barearse

    barearse Funster

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    Zig zag!

    Just been to have a shuffty,it's a Zig E 4!:Eek!:
     
  12. DesRes

    DesRes Funster

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    You're welcome BA, just had a search for "E4" but no hits.:RollEyes:
     
  13. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    In the absence of a photo, is your E4 unit pictured >>Here<<?

    Regards,

    Jock.
     
  14. barearse

    barearse Funster

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    Zigger zagger!

    Afternoon Jock,sadly no it's not.I think during the course of my enquiries the answer seems to be that no,the unit doesn't self select on plugging in.So,I will flick switch to #2 (with little picture of caravan )and hook up and see what happens.As I said earlier,she has all the mod cons but the only instructions are for the boiler.Judging by this web site I know it's not just me so that's a small comfort.Thanks to all,doubtless there will be a next time!:thumb:
     
  15. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Afternoon to you too. :Smile:

    I've had 2 x zig units in different caravans, and neither were self selecting on hook up. I had to physically switch to whichever battery I needed to be on, ie, on site it was "van" battery, and if touring, it was "car" battery.

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
  16. SandJ

    SandJ Read Only Funster

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  17. barearse

    barearse Funster

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    Zig Zig Sputnik!

    Evening fellow tin tent dwellers.An update to anyone following my gripping charger saga! Within 1 hour of hooking her up to mains,the needle on gauge #2 (caravan drawing ) has shot from glum in the red @ 9 to a dizzy nearly 13! Where will it all end? Don't some bright spark (pun) pour water on my simple pleasure.:Angry:.So excited I could crush a grape!:Laughing:
     
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  18. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Ah, next tip for you. We experienced FUNsters buy our grapes ready crushed, just need a corkscrew.
     
  19. DesRes

    DesRes Funster

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    Sharing the stoke dude...:Cool:
     
  20. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Told you. :Wink:

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
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