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Old 07-10-2016, 02:49 PM   #29
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If interested in a high output alternator, look at " Zena Welding " for some info on Alternators.

I used one with an adjustable 3 stage, external regulator, for a few years in my trawler.
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:28 PM   #30
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That power brick you are getting for your bipap is it the one that takes it from 12 to 24 volt? If so I wish you the best. Bought one didn't last long. Went to auto zone bought a 100 watt unit for 30 bucks. To finish the trip with. Worked so well I mounted it to bed frame ( box ) low current draw can easily use for three nights on two 12 volt marine batteries that I have installed on tt now. Wish I had gone to 6 volt gc's but that is another topic. Will wear these out first. ....Dusty
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:43 PM   #31
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That power brick you are getting for your bipap is it the one that takes it from 12 to 24 volt? If so I wish you the best. Bought one didn't last long. Went to auto zone bought a 100 watt unit for 30 bucks. To finish the trip with. Worked so well I mounted it to bed frame ( box ) low current draw can easily use for three nights on two 12 volt marine batteries that I have installed on tt now. Wish I had gone to 6 volt gc's but that is another topic. Will wear these out first. ....Dusty
Dusty--yes, the adapter is to go from 12 to 24 volts. I had a bad experiences with a 12 to 19 volt computer charger, I hope this is not a waste of money. I will always bring the 120 volt brick with me on trips just in case.

I am going to make a trip to a big battery stores and see what they say about the various battery options. Nearest one seems to be about 40 miles away in San Jose.
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:15 PM   #32
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If interested in a high output alternator, look at " Zena Welding " for some info on Alternators.

I used one with an adjustable 3 stage, external regulator, for a few years in my trawler.
Yes, lots of information at Learn about choosing and retrofitting high output alternators

Lot of work to adapt their units to my truck, though. I like the idea of an adjustable regulator, and have seen some of these, pricy. Supposedly my truck will allow a bolt in/plug in replacement one physical size up from the Delphi 130D (130 mm diameter) I have stock. All of the higher amp alternators I have seen are in this larger size.

I shall see what happens.
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:25 PM   #33
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It is possible to go with 3 12 volt deep cycle batteries, as they can be added in any number. These options offer a range of about 230 to 400 amp hours capacity at the 10 hour discharge rate. Conventional wisdom says go with the 6 volt batteries, but is this really true if the 12 volt batteries are real deep cycle batteries?
Yes. 12 batteries will be fine, if they are true deep cycle, not marine. That is a fine idea.


Quote:
(SNIP)

I am assuming that the "45 amp" charger will do OK on fewer amps, i.e. the 34 amps (3.7 amps 120 v) provided by the generator I have, but I need to confirm this with Iota, if I can get them to respond to my inquiry. I am assuming it would just put out fewer amps to the batteries, but I don't know. I could install a 30A IQ4 charger, but then I would have no head room should I decide to go with a bigger generator. 45 amps is about the highest output I would want if I run ~230 AHs worth of batteries. If I have 400 AH of capacity, I could go with a bigger unit. It is all a compromise, as even slower charging rates would extend the batteries lifetime, but make my life more difficult.
Never assume when dealing with a product. Wait for Iota to answer your questions. MAke sure the warranty will not be voided.

Now, your BiPAP has a max draw of about 8 amps, but in real life it draws 4 amps. Just for the BiPAP, for an eight hour night of sleeping, you need 32 total amps. A battery with more than 60 amps capacity would do it, more is always better, as you are figuring out.

Hundreds of amps available just lengthens the time between charges if you like. With the proposed max of 400 amps, that is ten nights of sleep if you were able to use the BiPAP only for the battery bank, which is not feasible.

If you keep your energy usage low, I can see needing to charge the batteries once, maybe twice a week. If you keep the draw down amount low, they should last a long time.

I'm sure you already know that alternators put out their better power amounts above idle. Find the rated power at ""X RPM for your alternator and you'll have something to compare it to if you are wondering if it is up to what you need from it.

Good luck, let us know how you make out in the end.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:29 PM   #34
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[QUOTE=1bigmess;3154597]
If you keep your energy usage low, I can see needing to charge the batteries once, maybe twice a week. If you keep the draw down amount low, they should last a long time.

I'm sure you already know that alternators put out their better power amounts above idle. Find the rated power at ""X RPM for your alternator and you'll have something to compare it to if you are wondering if it is up to what you need from it.
___________
Yes, in summer my power demands are pretty low. Back when I was camping with my son we would watch a lot of movies on the TV, listen to a lot of music and run the incandescent lights a lot. Now, the lights are LEDS with negligable draw, I rarely use the TV and use the headphones if I want to listen to music. Now I need to run the BIPAP, furnace and computer charger, and when I go out for astronomy, the telescope.

The computer charger is a major hog, I did have a dc-to-dc charger that greatly reduced the power draw, but it lasted about one year and then died. These adapters are still available, but one year of life seems about the norm, if you are lucky. IF you are unlucky they damage your computer when they fail at 3 days.

If I go with a bigger alternator, I will only buy one if they quote the "hot idle" amperage, or better yet, provide the RPM vs amperage graph.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:36 PM   #35
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[QUOTE=1bigmess;3154597]

Never assume when dealing with a product. Wait for Iota to answer your questions. MAke sure the warranty will not be voided.
_______

Anyone have experience with COTEK products? They seem like a very sophisticated operation, with very detailed information on their products available on line. Their AC to DC smart chargers seems to be much more efficient than the Iota chargers, 87% vs 80%. Their 25 amp DC unit draws 4.1 amps AC, exactly what I have available. However, I can not find any reviews of these chargers on line---
CX1225, Battery Charger ? COTEK Product
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Old 07-11-2016, 07:22 PM   #36
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Just to let you know that website I gave you alternator parts.com also has kits that you can use to upgrade your existing alternator to higher amperage. Something else to look into might be cheaper then buying a new alternator. Thought I'd mention it. My question to you is using 6 volt batteries you can get around 220 amps which means you can use about a hundred and ten of them can you get that out of your 12 volt batteries that you're thinking of. Just food for thought... Dusty
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Old 07-11-2016, 07:54 PM   #37
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Just to let you know that website I gave you alternator parts.com also has kits that you can use to upgrade your existing alternator to higher amperage. Something else to look into might be cheaper then buying a new alternator. Thought I'd mention it. My question to you is using 6 volt batteries you can get around 220 amps which means you can use about a hundred and ten of them can you get that out of your 12 volt batteries that you're thinking of. Just food for thought... Dusty
The Trojan J150 12 volt batteries have a 150 AH rating. 2 will give him 300 AH with usable 150 AH, down to 50% capacity.

More capacity then 6 volt units but so is the much higher cost.
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Old 07-12-2016, 12:47 AM   #38
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The Trojan J150 12 volt batteries have a 150 AH rating. 2 will give him 300 AH with usable 150 AH, down to 50% capacity.

More capacity then 6 volt units but so is the much higher cost.
_________
Yes, I will call the big battery store tomorrow and figure out the actual cost of the two options. I could go with 3 of the J150's 12 volt batteries if cost were not an issue, but still-uncertain medical expenses this year mean less spending than usual, at least for now. Sad thing is that I can't go back later and add a third battery, it all has to be done at the same time.

I finally bought myself a battery hydrometer today and set about an experiment trying to rejuvenate a 4 year old Costco Marine battery that had sat outside without being charged for 8 months. Surprisingly, it was sitting at 1.150 SG and about 12 volts, so not completely dead. After several charging cycles from my "microprocessor controlled" big Sears charger, it is reading ~1.270 (temperature corrected) and 12.64 volts. ~90% capacity according to most tables.

The charger applied potential as high as 15.6-16V while holding a constant current of 8 amps, (equalization? Desulfonation?--the owners manual is silent, just says it is "automatic") and this definitely resulted in some heating, outgassing and slight water loss, which I have replaced. Now to load it up and see if it really will function as indicated by the electrolyte density and voltage. I'd be shocked if it did, shocked I tell you! (hey, two puns there).
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:13 AM   #39
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It is hard on an alternator to refill large banks of batteries. They are designed to refill the vehicle battery and run the other stuff. It is done all the time but to the detriment of the alternators.

If you are camped and the batteries are very low, how long will you have to idle that big block to bring them back up?

That little genny may work fine except in the case when the batteries are very very low it may overload. In a case like that you would need to run the engine for a few minutes.

I use my 1000 Honda to top off my 40 ft DP battery banks. I do have to turn the charger output down a bit from the 100 it can put out but the little Honda is very quiet when sitting behind a tree and it sips gas.

I have solar panels but there are often trees in the way so the output can be very low.

Getting 40 amps to your batteries via the alternator is excellent. Going down the highway where there is plenty of cool air will help it.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:22 AM   #40
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You also should check out the new Li-Fe (lithium iron, not to be confused with lithium ion) batteries, they are just coming on the market, but they put out more AH in about half the space and can be drawn down to 20% without damaging the battery. Only problem is cost. AGM's are double wet cells, Li-Fe are 4 times AGM's, or 8 times wet cells. But smaller size, higher output and more capacity might be worth looking at particularly if you are boondocking a lot.
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:44 PM   #41
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[QUOTE=YC1;3156677]It is hard on an alternator to refill large banks of batteries. They are designed to refill the vehicle battery and run the other stuff. It is done all the time but to the detriment of the alternators.

That little genny may work fine except in the case when the batteries are very very low it may overload. In a case like that you would need to run the engine for a few minutes.
_____
Good information, yes I want to avoid long idles with the 6 liter engine, and get as much as I can out of it when I am driving around, without destroying the alternator. Getting a recharge started with the engine/alternator makes sense, as the current the batteries will accept falls off pretty rapidly during charge, making it possible to use the small generator. I want to play with the dc-dc charger first (already shipped, should have it in a day or two), and once I am good with that get an appropriate 3 stage AC-DC charger for the camper (Leaning toward COTEK brand).

The dc-dc charger I have on order has an alternator temperature sensor, which will hopefully keep me from frying the electronics in the alternator. If it really works as indicated, then the recharge draw on the alternator will be 45 amps max, not that much more than I am getting by direct-connecting the starting battery and alternator to the camper batteries. Only testing will tell if I really need to go to a higher output alternator. If I do, it is not that big of a deal, just a bit more expensive than one battery, a swap I can easily make myself (famous last words).

Speaking of batteries, according to my most accessible vendor of Trojan batteries, there is only a $10 difference between the Trojan T-145 6 volt batteries ($210) and the higher amperage Trojan T-1275 12 volt batteries ($220). The J150's have been discontinued and replaced by the T-1275s. Performance is identical. Thus going with the higher capacity 12 volts seems appropriate. Unfortunately, neither offer the type of terminal I am now using (combo automotive stud and screw attachment), so rewiring will be required.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:08 PM   #42
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Ruining the engine without a decent load isn't good for it, either. At least change your oil earlier or start getting the oil tested to see if it's loaded with fuel.
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