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Old 02-09-2014, 10:25 AM   #15
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Before anything else is done, I will check the converter an batteries as you suggested. One quick question: should I disconnect the batteries from the converter before I check it?
NO...you need the converter to have a load to work into. You may get a reading from the batteries if the converter is NOT working but THAT reading will be at the 12.7V level or below provided you've not been charging them with the alternator in the last 24 hours. Anything over 13.2V should serve as proof that the converter is operational.
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:41 AM   #16
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He now has 6-volt batteries--what should be readings be on them?
He should first test them as a connected whole 12V battery. Assuming that his initial tests on the converter and wiring indicate proper charging operation...then the next step is to fully charge the batteries overnight and let them rest for 24 hours DISCONNECTED so there are no parasitic loads to impact a reading.
Then...if the batteries as a pair read BELOW 12.6V it is time to see if one or both are the problem. disconnecting the -/+ jumper between the batteries...one would then test each battery and expect a voltage of 6.3V or slightly more from a full capacity battery in good shape.
Usually batteries in pairs age together unless there is an actual individual cell failure in one of the battery... this would show up on a voltmeter pretty obviously as a measurement in the 4V range at best. Checking fluid with a turkey baster type hydrometer (10 bucks) can pin point the cell. One bad cell however can take down both connected batteries...so as WA8 suggests...it is a handy tool to have in your kit to be able to measure all 6 cells and insure they are aging slowly and together without needing to disconnect anything.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:15 AM   #17
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That little breaker was the culprit actually there are 3 small breakers. Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:16 AM   #18
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There was a small breaker that was tripped. Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:50 AM   #19
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There was a small breaker that was tripped. Thanks for your help.
Probably the most common cause and has happened to most of us. Too bad they don't seem to mention this at PDI.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:59 AM   #20
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He now has 6-volt batteries--what should be readings be on them?

Camper33 has a good suggestion--many systems have a small breaker with a minute reset button--if it is tripped, none of the 12-volt system that feeds thru the breaker will work.

Trojan T105s are very good batteries and have served me well for years. I also cleaned up the battery compartment and rewired thru a terminal junction strip that uses small terminals to connect the system into a master feed that comes thru #4 cables to the junction strip. This has solved much of my corrosion problems at the battery posts--and each of the strip terminals is fused. I got the entire setup from a mobile electronics (professional car stereo shop) as they are the only ones I found with flexible #4 cable.

Battery problems are very irritating--and won't improve until you identify the basic problem. You have new batteries and a new converter--the repair guy you are using to diagnose is not doing a good job, it would seem.

Good luck.

Joe
Flexable cable can also be found at a welding supply. Welding lead is made of finer strands of copper and is flexable. Also carries voltage better.
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