Battery Capacity Indicator

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by Steven Edge on Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:13 pm

Anyone experiencing any problems with the battery capacity indicator?
We have a 64 plate Broadway EB with factory fitted EC480 control panel (EC500 PSU).  We have seen the battery capacity falling from 100% down to zero in a couple of days when the van is hooked up (standard living with lights, heating, fridge etc on). The actual battery voltages appear to be OK, and this has been confirmed by the dealer as we have had the panel recalibrated 3 times now.  Basically the capacity indicator falls all the time, the only time it seems to go up is when we are driving.
We are new to motorhoming and thought the capacity indicator was useful to tell us about the state of the battery, but the dealer is telling us that all we need to know is that the battery voltage is good.  However we are a bit concerned that with all the clever electronics in there that if the capacity is showing as zero then other aspects of the system may not work correctly (e.g. Smart charging - already had one problem with it not switching over and letting the vehicle battery go flat when on hook up in storage).

Anyone seen anything similar, got any advice or thoughts?
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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by Peter Brown on Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:38 pm

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The 'offload' voltage is the only accurate measurement but the indicator should 'indicate'.  I think you are right to be concerned that the system might be faulty so would contact Sargent and discuss before going back to your dealer.

I'm sure this particular indication has been discussed on the forum previously but I cant find it.

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by inspiredron on Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:50 pm

I too would be very concerned. Capacity will drop before voltage drops. The latter should only drop when capacity has dropped markedly, say to 20%. But if you are connected to mains and the charger is switched on the capacity should rise, not fall. The EC500 can provide 25A and I cannot believe you are using that amount. I sould guess that a fuse has gone - check the 20A fuse by the leisure battery.
Also phone Sargent - their technical support is really helpful.

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by inspiredron on Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:00 pm

I too would be very concerned. Capacity will drop before voltage drops. The latter should only drop when capacity has dropped markedly, say to 20%. But if you are connected to mains and the charger is switched on the capacity should rise, not fall. The EC500 can provide 25A and I cannot believe you are using that amount. I would guess that a fuse has gone - check the 20A fuse by the leisure battery.
Also phone Sargent - their technical support is really helpful.

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by -mojo- on Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:39 pm

As Peter says, I'm sure that this has been mentioned by another member here recently - certainly within the last 6 months. I can't recall where or what the outcome was, but a forum search for Sargent or EC480/500 might find it.
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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by roli on Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:34 am

Going back in time!  I posted on the questionable accuracy of these Sargent Displays in relation to dry and unsoldered joints, which when sorted made a big improvement to the accuracy (well it got them to within 0.7v of what they should be )

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by ScribesWtr on Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:08 pm

I took delivery of a 2014 Broadway last month and have had a similar experience with the leisure battery dropping from 100% to 0% over a couple of days.  The vehicle has so far been back to the dealer three times for this and other electrical inconsistencies.  After the control panel was re-configured at the dealers, the dropping capacity issue does seem to have gone away.  However,  I am still keeping a close watch on the other control panel functions including the active battery switching from leisure to vehicle for no apparent reason and then producing a 'vehicle battery low' warning.  This all takes place even when the MH is permanently connected to EHU at my home and both batteries appear to be fully charged.

All very confusing and frustrating as I am also a first time motorhomer after nearly 30 years of caravanning where I can't remember anything so fundamental going wrong.
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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by Steven Edge on Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:06 pm

Good to hear that someone else has had similar problems. Our dealer claims to have fixed the switching issue, although this was after the vehicle battery discharged fully when on hook-up. Check with Dan at motorplus for what was done. With regards the capacity indicator, we have now started to follow the AutoSleeper instructions religiously, i.e. Isolation of the electrics and the charger prior to connecting to EHU, then turning on the isolator black button and then green charger button and this now seems to have kept the capacity indicator at 100%. It must be said however that now we don't see this dropping! Not sure whether the two things are linked. Alan Curry at Autosleepers has also been taking the information from us about what we have observed in an attempt to try and understand what is behind it all, he may also be interested about your experiences.
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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by ScribesWtr on Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:58 pm

I've now searched the Sargent website and found something which I have tested and which definitely makes the battery capacity display as either 100% or a much lower figure.  It is also the recommended setting from Sargent according to the document.

See [url=http://www.sargentltd.co.uk/EC500 Dealer Guide Issue 1.pdf][You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I found that changing the setting from 'Peugeot', which you would automatically think was the correct setting for a Peugeot Boxer, to the 'Fiat' alternative option, made the difference.  The relevant extract is copied below for information.


MH Vehicle Type
This setting is used to change the system from the standard Fiat configuration to one tailored to meet the requirements of Peugeot.  When set at Fiat the vehicle battery voltage cut-off is set at 10.9V, a usable yet safe level approved by Fiat.  When set at Peugeot, the vehicle battery voltage cut-off is set at 12.4V, a level stipulated by Peugeot to meet type approval. This basically makes the vehicle battery unusable because as current is drawn the voltage drops and the cut-off is triggered. We recommend that all system are operated on the Fiat setting.





Last edited by Peter Brown on Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:50 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Tidying up layout)
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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by Peter Brown on Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:11 pm

Well spotted.

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by Jaytee on Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:54 pm

Interesting what you said Steven Edge about following the procedure to switch off the charger and ELCB before connecting or disconnecting the EHU. I 'always' do that to ensure no spikes or back  EMF damage to sensitive components. However 'every time' I have been to a service centre including I am sorry to say AS themselves, after they have had the EHU connected I 'always' find the above mentioned switches 'all' left on

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by inspiredron on Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:11 pm

ScribesWtr wrote:I've now searched the Sargent website and found something which I have tested and which definitely makes the battery capacity display as either 100% or a much lower figure.  It is also the recommended setting from Sargent according to the document.

See [url=http://www.sargentltd.co.uk/EC500 Dealer Guide Issue 1.pdf][You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I found that changing the setting from 'Peugeot', which you would automatically think was the correct setting for a Peugeot Boxer, to the 'Fiat' alternative option, made the difference.  The relevant extract is copied below for information.


MH Vehicle Type
This setting is used to change the system from the standard Fiat configuration to one tailored to meet the requirements of Peugeot.  When set at Fiat the vehicle battery voltage cut-off is set at 10.9V, a usable yet safe level approved by Fiat.  When set at Peugeot, the vehicle battery voltage cut-off is set at 12.4V, a level stipulated by Peugeot to meet type approval. This basically makes the vehicle battery unusable because as current is drawn the voltage drops and the cut-off is triggered. We recommend that all system are operated on the Fiat setting.



Can you edit the link in the post to delete the [/url] so that the link works.  When I clicked the link I got an error until I deleted the [/url] in my browser address box.

But- agreed with Peter  - Well found!

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by ScribesWtr on Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:42 pm

Re-Posted as I couldn't see the extra characters in my original post.  Hope this offering is better!

I've now searched the Sargent website and found something which I have tested and which definitely makes the battery capacity display as either 100% or a much lower figure.  It is also the recommended setting from Sargent according to the document.

See the Sargent EC500 Dealer Guide [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I found that changing the setting from 'Peugeot', which you would automatically think was the correct setting for a Peugeot Boxer, to the 'Fiat' alternative option, made the difference.  The relevant extract is copied below for information.


MH Vehicle Type
This setting is used to change the system from the standard Fiat configuration to one tailored to meet the requirements of Peugeot.  When set at Fiat the vehicle battery voltage cut-off is set at 10.9V, a usable yet safe level approved by Fiat.  When set at Peugeot, the vehicle battery voltage cut-off is set at 12.4V, a level stipulated by Peugeot to meet type approval. This basically makes the vehicle battery unusable because as current is drawn the voltage drops and the cut-off is triggered. We recommend that all system are operated on the Fiat setting.
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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by inspiredron on Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:16 pm

And Peter Brown has edited your original post!
Thanks, Peter

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by Pete Taylor on Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:01 pm

Some interesting stuff in this post: as previously reported elsewhere, some time back,  we had the leisure battery indication drop off rather alarmingly after a mains power-cut at home, van was on on EHU (it turned out that I had re-set everything apart from the "charger" switch under the bench seat.

Whilst scrolling through the menus on the control panel it transpired that Sargent (A-S?) do not have a Mercedes option; it was set to Pug, so that's where I left it! I owned a few FIATs back in the 70/80s and all of them had electrical gremlins, so that was not an option I chose to repeat! lol4

Regarding long web-links, this:  [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is an invaluable free tool for shortening those daft lengthy links. Just copy and paste the long link in and even I can do the rest!

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by Peter Brown on Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:08 am

Pete Taylor wrote:
Regarding long web-links, this:  [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is an invaluable free tool for shortening those daft lengthy links. Just copy and paste the long link in and even I can do the rest!
That doesn't shorten the link, it stores the link on the bit.ly server and gives you a new link to that server so all access to that link is routed through the bitly server where I guess they grab your IP address for advertising (or worse) purposes.

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by JDS on Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:59 pm

My 2015 Bourton AS build Dec 14 has the Mercedes setting.

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by Greyhound on Fri May 26, 2017 9:11 am

I know I'm dredging up an old thread, but this is most appropriate as we've got a new Symbol and I've noticed the leisure battery capacity has dropped to zero (volts ok) and I get the vehicle battery low warning (again volts ok) just as mentioned above.

The links to the Sargent website don't seem to work anymore, so interested to know if the process to get to Fiat sorts the issue or if I'm going to have to have a trip back to the dealer.

I'm presuming the batteries are actually ok regardless and it's simply the display and warning that's a bit ropey until sorted?


Edit - in Sargents FAQ I found this pdf file which details the re-calibration of the battery setting.
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Looks like it could be the capacity problem as it's software calculated rather than hardware.  Just need to find the Fiat setting to remove the battery low warning.
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Post by Peter Brown on Fri May 26, 2017 9:24 am

You should find all of the Sargent technical info reproduced in your AS handbook plus there are several threads on this forum that advise on the calibration process.

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Battery Capacity Indicator Empty Re: Battery Capacity Indicator

Post by Greyhound on Fri May 26, 2017 10:12 am

Peter Brown wrote:You should find all of the Sargent technical info reproduced in your AS handbook plus there are several threads on this forum that advise on the calibration process.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Thanks for this, but that wasn't really my question.

I appreciate a lot of information is out there, in manuals and other sites, but my question is if others have found the re-calibration and change to Fiat settings solved their issues, so I can have a little prior knowledge whether this is the simply solution or if I'm going to have to take it back to the dealer, and this also helps new members coming with these issues who may not have any idea about finding this information.

The beauty of a forum is if a problem is encountered, someone may have found a great solution and quick fix or link or can re-assure others that it works, so that others don't need to go through the whole process and it helps out the community.  I was just wanting to check these solutions worked as hoped.

As it's difficult to read intent in replies, this is meant with good intent to clarify my query and not an attack on your reply, hope that comes across :)
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