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Old 01-19-2010, 12:13 PM   #1
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Low battery voltage warning

Has anyone ever heard of a product that would plug into an outlet or be easily wired in that would gave and audio warning of battery voltage?

Let me give you an example, I was boondocking at the tampa rv show last weekend and watching tv with the battery as source of electricity (through the inverter of course). I forgot to get my lazy butt off the couch and go to the info center to check batt charge and my tv of course shut off. No big deal but then had to start the gen, wait for ac power to come on, and then wait for the DTV to reboot. I MISSED A COUPLE OF MINUTES OF A PLAYOFF GAME! So I thought, it should would be nice to get a warning at a preset point to allow me to be proactive and start the gen BEFORE the electronics shut off. In mild temps its nice to leave the gen off cause I can watch tv for several hours before needing to re charge.

Any thoughts, advice, tricks, products?

David
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:41 PM   #2
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Hi David,

Not sure if your system is similar to mine, however if you have a Trace Inverter with a remote control/gen starting panel RC7-GS in one of your OH cabinets, there is a menu that will allow you to program when the generator will automatically start based on time of day and also level of battery charge.

For example, if your batteries were depleted maybe around 90% or some other percentage depending on what you select, the generator will kick in automatically and start charging your batteries back up. WRT the time program, it can be set so that the generator doesn't turn on during "Quiet Time" if your RV park has that rule.

If your system doesn't have those capabilities, then you will either have to monitor them yourself or maybe find an aftermarket device that can be attached to the house battery bank that will monitor them for you.

Dr4Film ----- Richard.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:51 PM   #3
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Aftermarket

Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, my older coach doesn't have an auto start feature. I know they are available but I was hoping for a more economical alternative.

I guess what I'm looking for would be similar to the discharge reading feature you are talking about, but instead of starting the genset at 90% discharge, it would give me a good loud beep and I could start it myself.

David
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:29 PM   #4
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Dr4Film straighten me out, Converter 110v to 12v and Inverter 12v to 110v. I have a converter on my coach but not an inverter. I always get these confused.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:50 PM   #5
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You got it right, a battery charger is a converter, turns the 110 to 12v to charge your batteries/provide power to all your 12v stuff. When all you have is battery power, the inverter takes 12v to 110 so you can use all your stuff that plugs into a homestyle outlet, if you brought it from the house its 110 and its the inverter that makes it work in the RV. Of course unless you are connected to shore power or have a genset that puts out 110.

Now I'm confused.

David
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:03 PM   #6
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David
Onan makes an AGS system (automatic generator start) that can be wired into your generator if its an Onan. It ain't cheap, but is would start your generator when you reach a predetermined low voltage point

Good luck
George
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:03 PM   #7
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Try this, there are several manufactures that make similar relays, tie the output to a buzzer or light. http://relays.tycoelectronics.com/datasheets/WOUV.pdf
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:08 PM   #8
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David is not confused, he's got it correct. Usually some coaches will come with a combination converter/inverter, or they may be two separate devices. Mine happens to be an all-in-one device.

The inverter will take 12 volt current and turn it into 120 volt current to power any device that only runs on 120V. The converter will take 120 volt current and turn it into 12 volt current to charge your 12 volt coach and chassis batteries if you have a battery maintainer and power any device that requires 12 volt current such as interior and exterior lightning, fans, dash radios, water pump, heater fans, HW ignition, etc.

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Old 01-19-2010, 08:48 PM   #9
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Here is one you can make yourself:

Low Voltage Alarm
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEG503 View Post
Has anyone ever heard of a product that would plug into an outlet or be easily wired in that would gave and audio warning of battery voltage?

Any thoughts, advice, tricks, products?

David
Hi David,

I just came across this product while looking at inverters/converters on the Internet.

Here is the link.

Voltminder

Let me know if this will work for you.

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Old 01-20-2010, 06:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
Hi David,

I just came across this product while looking at inverters/converters on the Internet.

Here is the link.

Voltminder

Let me know if this will work for you.

Dr4Film ----- Richard.
That looks nice, that should work well for him.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:13 AM   #12
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The voltminder!

I think we have a winner! It would be cool to get an autostart but I will just make sure that is in my next coach.

To be honest, It would be way cool to build one but I don't have time for another project this winter or spring.

I'm gonna order one this week and I'll let ya'll know how it works.

Thankyou for all the help

David
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:47 AM   #13
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Dr4Film,

I have not needed anything like this since we have hookups most of the time, but I was reading this thread out of curiosity- and your device really seems to hit the nail on the head, thanks! (I've bookmarked it too)
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:38 AM   #14
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On the way

I ordered a voltminder this morning!

David
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