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Old 02-25-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
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MH converter charge both house AN engine battery?

I tried a search on this, but didn't find direct info...

On our '88 Winnie Super Chief, there is a dashboard 3-way switch - on one position, it's labeled "Momentary" - I know that one applies house battery power to the engine battery for starting in case it goes dead - the center position is unmarked, but SEEMS to simply isolate the house batteries from the engine battery - and the 3rd position position is "dual", and appears to link house and engine batteries together so the engine alternator will also charge the house batteries when the engine is running.

What is NOT clearly spelled out in the "dual" position, is whether it will ALSO allow the engine battery to be charged along with the house batteries from shore power or on-board generator, thru the MH's 12 volt power converter when the engine is NOT running? Does the solenoid in the "dual" position perhaps only engage when the ignition switch is on - and NOT physically/electrically connect the batteries if the ignition switch is off and the engine not running?
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:46 PM   #2
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Gary, On my 83 switching over to dual plus turning the key to ACC the converter will charge both....
Just measure the engine battery voltage before and after when doing the above.

Jim
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:26 PM   #3
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At least on yours, and probably mine as well, seems to indicate that the ignition switch determines whether the converter will charge both batteries or not - I wonder if there is potential danger to leaving the switch in the acc position for significant time to charge the MH battery - or if a hi-amp output converter like the one I just installed might damage anything in any of the acc position circuits? I can't think of anythong offhand, but would hate to damage the engine alternator or something else in the process.

When there's less snow, I can check it out direct at the battery - or perhaps checking at the cigarette lighter in the dash might tell as well - then too, there's the voltmeter in the dash as well that will read out house or engine batteries as desired...
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:35 PM   #4
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WELL, checking just at the cigarette lighter on the dash, the voltage is down at about 12.6 when I have the selector on "dual" and the ignition on either "start", or "accessory" positions - BUT, if I switch the ignition OFF, and the selector in the neutral (center) position, the battery voltage instantly jumps to 13.1, and slowly starts rising higher - apparently receiving charging power from the converter....
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary - K7GLD View Post
WELL, checking just at the cigarette lighter on the dash, the voltage is down at about 12.6 when I have the selector on "dual" and the ignition on either "start", or "accessory" positions - BUT, if I switch the ignition OFF, and the selector in the neutral (center) position, the battery voltage instantly jumps to 13.1, and slowly starts rising higher - apparently receiving charging power from the converter....
Well you might want to leave it alone and simply control it from the dual/mom switch.....
I like mine the way it is (acc switch on OR ignition side on)

Jim
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:23 PM   #6
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Well you might want to leave it alone and simply control it from the dual/mom switch.....
I like mine the way it is (acc switch on OR ignition side on)

Jim
YUP - that's the way I'd personally prefer it - the engine battery always getting charged the same as the coach batteries while on shore power - without the ignition switch being involved.

Way too early to tell about the new WFCO 9845 ultra III converter I just installed - no more flickering lights or random electrical clicks heard in my Ham Radio stuff - the DC voltage is nice and stable, and the converter runs nice and cool - cooling fan clicks on pretty quickly as the drain increases when lights and such get turned on, but the fan is very quiet and you have to get down where it is to hear it run.

Only questionable item is the claimed freedom from radio frequency radiation some switching supplies are prone to - ours seems to be putting out some pretty strong RF junk up around 30 MHZ when operating on shore power that I don't like - will have to actually get it out in a CG situation to see what happens in more typical operation.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:38 PM   #7
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If the chassis alternator will charge both in that third position then shore power will also charge both unless there is a pretty hefty diode in the line.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:43 PM   #8
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If the chassis alternator will charge both in that third position then shore power will also charge both unless there is a pretty hefty diode in the line.
YUP!

But of course, that raises the question as to what then is the PURPOSE of the "dual" position...
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:40 PM   #9
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YUP!

But of course, that raises the question as to what then is the PURPOSE of the "dual" position...
Only one question at a time John.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gary - K7GLD View Post
WELL, checking just at the cigarette lighter on the dash, the voltage is down at about 12.6 when I have the selector on "dual" and the ignition on either "start", or "accessory" positions - BUT, if I switch the ignition OFF, and the selector in the neutral (center) position, the battery voltage instantly jumps to 13.1, and slowly starts rising higher - apparently receiving charging power from the converter....
Gary, I think it's miswired cuz the only thing that goes through the "Neutral switch" or in park is the "start (S) lead" which heads over to a relay that sends the power to your starter.
On mine in the "OFF" positions it works like this.......Ignition on ACC or run position the relays are off until the "DUAL SWITCH" is pressed on then a relay CLICKS ON and allows the power to travel to the batteries (Both coach & engine)..

Jim
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:25 PM   #11
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Gary, I think it's miswired cuz the only thing that goes through the "Neutral switch" or in park is the "start (S) lead" which heads over to a relay that sends the power to your starter.
On mine in the "OFF" positions it works like this.......Ignition on ACC or run position the relays are off until the "DUAL SWITCH" is pressed on then a relay CLICKS ON and allows the power to travel to the batteries (Both coach & engine)..

Jim
Dunno Jim - it sure seems that to operate the way mine seems to, the center position pretty well negates the purpose or need of the "dual" position, at least without the engine running - causes no problems I'm aware of this way, and to ME is preferable to be able to maintain charge on both coach and engine batteries without need to have the ignition switch used. I guess the final test will be to actually start the engine while shore power is connected, and see what happens then - hope I don't set the rig on fire!

I sorta suspect that with the engine actually running, the connection of the MH power converter to the engine battery is defeated (opened), and that for the engine alternator to then charge both sets of batteries, the switch THEN has to be in the "dual" position - sorta makes sense to do it that way...
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:58 PM   #12
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Dunno Jim - it sure seems that to operate the way mine seems to, the center position pretty well negates the purpose or need of the "dual" position, at least without the engine running - causes no problems I'm aware of this way, and to ME is preferable to be able to maintain charge on both coach and engine batteries without need to have the ignition switch used. I guess the final test will be to actually start the engine while shore power is connected, and see what happens then - hope I don't set the rig on fire!

I sorta suspect that with the engine actually running, the connection of the MH power converter to the engine battery is defeated (opened), and that for the engine alternator to then charge both sets of batteries, the switch THEN has to be in the "dual" position - sorta makes sense to do it that way...
Gary, Have you checked out both sets of batteries with only the engine running?
I personally don't like traveling charging both sets of batteries cuz of the load imposed on the alternator.

Jim
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:32 PM   #13
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Gary, Have you checked out both sets of batteries with only the engine running?
I personally don't like traveling charging both sets of batteries cuz of the load imposed on the alternator.

Jim
Not yet, need to do that check both WITH the shore power connected, and then disconnected, to see more precisely WHAT that battery control switch does in both circumstances - the MH owner manual doesn't provide any detailed info.

Naturally, one would not ordinarily be running the engine while still connected to shore power, but I'm interested to see what changes in battery charging control occur with/without the engine running - I would hope and expect that there are no cross-feed issues that damage or endanger either the engine alternator, OR the new MH power converter I've installed...
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