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Old 07-18-2010, 01:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Wingding View Post
Ok, here is where we are today....

I have traced the solar wires from the roof to a panel before the bedroom.
There are two red leads and white leads.They come from the roof and disappear through the floor. I am guessing they end up in this black box above the batteries.

Now the question is {that's if I am where I belong to make the correct switch}
which wire is it and where to put it.... ?

...Im guessing it has to be attached to the far right terminal for the chassis battery...? But there is more than a few red wires attached to it....

Am I right so far or am i heading down the wrong road.....?
Wing,

If the inner red wire is the one that had the 14V (coming from the solar panel) and the outer red wire goes to the positive battery terminal - whether house or chassis - it appears to be wired correctly. The black box is a charge controller and it should not overcharge your batteries.

As to why your batteries exploded, I suspect something else must have happened because while a constant 100 watts might cause your batteries to boil dry eventually it's just not enough energy to detonate them. (I'll continue to follow this thread in case someone wiser can show me my error.) Something else like a dead short drawing hundreds of amps. If the battery compartment were sealed, some spark might have ignited an accumulation of hydrogen from the battery-charging process; but at least on my Alpine there's plenty of air circulation.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:59 PM   #16
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Luv2go, thank you.... I will monitor that...
Im not sure but there is a red light that will stay a steady solid red when the sun is out and the battery is taking a charge.
I notice now it blinks on and off with no batteries hooked up.

Im not sure but when the batteries have a full charge, will that red light just shut down? {Thats if it's working properly}

Or is there a way to take a reading to see if the charge stops when the house batteries are full?
I know I was reading something about the vanco #19 light being on when a charge is being applied... }I'll have to go back and read that}.... I went through 41 pages of the 61 on the alpine threads looking for a old thread i thought I remembered someone having the same problem but could not find it however I remember reading something about the vansco module and the #19 light up on it. Something that either means your taking a charge or not. I'll have to look that over again.

Either way i guess I am going to have to see what that red light means on and off and how to know whether the solar voltage is shut down when the house batteries are fully charged...
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:15 PM   #17
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Winding,

I sent you a PM with my phone number, give me a call if you can.
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:52 PM   #18
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Wingding,
Now that you have posted some photo's it appears that you have the same set up that I have. Mine is a 2004. Your solar panels appear to be the same as my (100 w) factory. The solar controller is the same with red wires on the left two posts and the white on the right. The metal box compartment in the rear of the battery box is also same. My solar fuse is #17 (three rows over from the left and second fuse down) This may be not the same on yours, as you know WRV seemed to shot from hip when wiring. You could pull the fuse and see if you can find the wire with an continuity meter that ran from the fuse to the chassis/house terminal. I could see where my wire is hooked up after the fuse, but it's too hot right now. If you need to know I could check it out when it's cooler.

Hope is helps. At least it's an Alpine owner to another Alpine owner!
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:01 PM   #19
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Wingding,
I see you posted after I started to answer your post. The red light shows you that the solar panel are producing juice. During the daytime the red led light is ON at night the red led light is OFF.

As Info both Dale and I have the same monitor so we know exactly what is going on with our batteries. I mention this because right now it is mostly sunny and my 100w solar panel are making 3.1 amps.

PM Dale, He will straighten you out.
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:50 PM   #20
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Wingding,
I see you posted after I started to answer your post. The red light shows you that the solar panel are producing juice. During the daytime the red led light is ON at night the red led light is OFF.

As Info both Dale and I have the same monitor so we know exactly what is going on with our batteries. I mention this because right now it is mostly sunny and my 100w solar panel are making 3.1 amps.

PM Dale, He will straighten you out.
I'd like to add, most charge controllers work like a thermostat - on (red light) when charging, or off if no charge is needed. They don't have an intermediate stage, so when the battery is fully charged they alternate on and off - and you see a blinking red light. Sounds like it's working properly.
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:24 PM   #21
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Wingding:

How is your troubleshooting going?

Here is the manual for your charge controller. From what I can gather by reading the manual, your charge controller is operating correctly, as F&D ABQ suggested. According to my interpretation the manual, if it is working correctly it will not apply constant 14V to a fully charged battery as I theorized in an earlier post, it will go up and down between 13.5 and 14.3V, the more batteries connected the slower it will go up and down.

It says when there is a bad battery connection (you have an extreme example of this when the batteries are not hooked up) the LED will blink on and off (ASC Note 7 on p18). Voltage with only the panels connected should be between 14 and 15V (ASC Field Test Procedure Step 2 on p22).

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Old 07-19-2010, 01:57 PM   #22
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Stewart you are the Man ! Thank you very much !!
Now that's something I could really use.

Well so far, we have found the solar wire was on the wrong terminal.
With that now corrected, I am in a waiting mode for the new batteries to arrive... So I havent been able to put your very excellent information to test yet....
About the only thing I need to get my hands on now is that Onan Equinox inverter operator's manual... The thing is about as rare as hens teeth... whats worse is only a handful of us have one of them...... {I dont now if thats good or bad... But i have a pretty good idea that the Xantrax is way better.... just a hunch... but a good one at that! Figures id get that dinosaur....
I also want to thank both D&D Rich and F&D ABQ, All you information has been extremely valuable in helping me understand the entire solar circuit and operation.
It goes without saying that phone call to you Dale was worth it's weight in gold.... a lot of great technical information anda better understanding of the batteries in relation to the charging system
You have all helped a "greenhorn" better understand certain principals of the Alpine and motorhomes in general !
When I get the new batteries I'll leave a final thumbs up {hopefully} for this particular thread.
Thanks and Peace to all !
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:15 AM   #23
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Wingding,

Rather than patching your Equinox, you might want to spring for a Pure Sine Wave inverter-charger. Don Rowe has lots of them, as well as an info sheet that will tell you more than you want to know about the breed. Several Alpine posts indicate that the Xantrex RS series is less than perfect. I have a very knowledgeable friend (an Amateur Extra) who says that Magnum Energy makes good stuff and is actually helpful when you call them. They make both modified sine wave (like the Equinox) and pure sine wave (like the Xantrex RS series.)

Any idea why your batteries exploded?
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:37 AM   #24
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Well... as far as the 2 starting batteries blowing the tops right off...
I know what it was not... It was not a direct short.... I had all the metal hold down strips removed... and there was no arc to be found anywhere...
This is what I do know.....
The solar cell was hooked to the chassis batteries.....
I always remember a hissing sound like the battery was always being charged..
I remember the smell of battery acid coming from that compartment.. It was rather strong...
Could the chassis battery somehow boil to a point where it left a cloud of gas that could be ignited with a spark?
Or could the batteries have frozen at one time or another and when plugged in created a situation that would have them explode with a charge then placed on it??

I guess I do not have a definite answer.... I can only speculate what might have happened...
But i can tell you, This was not a minor explosion... It truly went up like a grenade,pieces everywhere...
I need to look into frozen batteries more... I had the motorhome stored in a very cold part of the country....
It might have something to do with that. {frozen batteries and charging}
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:03 AM   #25
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I don't know about frozen batteries either, but it does sound as though you had a hydrogen gas explosion.

Very much off-thread: A Navy buddy told me that during a nuclear weapon loading exercise a bomb had been fully hooked up to the aircraft but the lugs were not engaged. When the bomb truck was lowered, the bomb came with it; the pullout wires were extracted, and they heard a hissing sound because the internal thermal batteries had been initiated! Fortunately it was a trainer weapon.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:06 AM   #26
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I have a 2003 Pace Arrow 37A. I know the solar panel has output, but never lights the LED on the A/C vent and I can't find where it connects to the AUX batteries. Anyone have a diagram, or know the wiring route to the batteries? There is no small wiring at the batteries.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:15 AM   #27
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I have a 2003 Pace Arrow 37A. I know the solar panel has output, but never lights the LED on the A/C vent and I can't find where it connects to the AUX batteries. Anyone have a diagram, or know the wiring route to the batteries? There is no small wiring at the batteries.
Max,

I recommend you repost this in the Fleetwood owners' forum. Not too much chance Alpine owners will have a Pace Arrow wiring diagram. While you're in that forum, search "This Forum" for "solar" - lots of posts there already.

Personally, I'd just abandon that panel and spring for a real solar system, with a couple of hundred watts worth of panels and a charge controller. In fact I did, years ago. That panel on the roof air conditioner is probably not even capable of keeping up with the parasitic loads on the batteries in storage.

Frank
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:43 AM   #28
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Thanks. I thought I was in the Fleetwood group. Good advice though.
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