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battery drain Empty battery drain

Post by duffie on Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:16 pm

hi my autosleeper winchcombe 2014 seems to drain the leisure battery when left for a week without use the solar panel isnt enough to keep it topped up it looks like a 1.7 amp drain approx  cant see anything left on any ideas
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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by PLOUGHLIN on Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:09 pm

TV aerial amplifier?

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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by Gromit on Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:14 pm

Alarm?
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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by -mojo- on Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:06 pm

duffie wrote:it looks like a 1.7 amp drain approx

That's one hell of a drain - what are you measuring it with? If with a power management system, it may be that it needs recalibrating...

But if it's a real full-time drain of 1.7A then that's enough for something to be getting pretty warm. At that level it ~should~ be easy enough to find just by pulling fuses and then tracing the wires from whatever fuse supplies it.
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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by artheytrate on Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:22 pm

If it only needs recalibrating and you have the EC480 display fitted hold the centre button in on the right hand side until it reads recalibrating then let go of button and then it will read recalibrated and then should read near enough zero or a very minute discharge, if it still reads a high reading you will have to do as mojo says.

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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by duffie on Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:02 pm

thats what shows on the control panel display i will check the tv amp in the morning
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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by Jaytee on Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:08 am

How are you getting on with battery drain Duffie? 

As I hadn't used mine for three weeks (not by choice but circumstance) I checked voltages yesterday before starting up and everything battery wise was full. 13.8 a on all three (I put an additional leisure battery in) and leisures at 100% capacity. So the solar panel does keep up OK. I only switch off the electrics on the EC480. And I only have the M-B vehicle alarm.

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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by padraigpost on Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:44 pm

On my Bourton I switch off the power on the EC500 power supply unit and prior to going away last week the van had been stood for 4 weeks and both betteries stayed fully charged by solar panel via the fitted battery master, if I  do not turn off the supply unit the batteries will drain down, besides the Mercedes alarm I also have a strikeback alarm fitted.
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Post by Jaytee on Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:09 pm

It must be the alarm then as I don't have one and only shut off at the EC480. I only touch the EC500 when I am fettling electrics as that is a complete 12v system shut down. Wonder what the 'actual' current drain is on the alarm?

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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by duffie on Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:19 pm

mine seems ok now if i turn it off on the main control panel 
i found a secret feed to my satellite system
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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by phil1855 on Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:48 am

Cheers Guys,

               That's my Saturday sorted   allthumbz

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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by ChrisP28 on Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:27 am

If you're going to do the re-calibrating thing, don't forget to cover the Solar Panel or do it at night and disconnect the mains supply. Sounds daft but it means the calibration is done with zero charge flow.
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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by bolero boy on Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:15 am

to identify a rogue parasitic drain, just google this and there are dozens of videos showing you how to do it, for cars, vans whatever.
in essense its very simple...
put an ammeter across the leisure battery, read the 'drain', now pull the fuses one by one until the drain suddently stops.
this will be the circuit that is the issue.
its then up to you to determine why.
i had a 1.8 amp drain from a pioneer dvd/gps/dab head unit, i now isolate it by removing the security face plate, no more drain.

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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by Dare-devil-dennis on Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:42 am

I'm sure Bolero Boy didn't mean quite what he said here.

Whatever you do, DO NOT PUT AN AMMETER ACROSS THE BATTERY!

Depending upon the meter you are using, at best, you will blow the meter fuse or damage the meter and your testing will end there.

An ammeter, or multimeter switched to be an ammeter has a very low resistance and will attempt to draw HUGE amps from the battery. In this mode, the multimeter (or ammeter) should be connected in series with one of the battery leads, If testing the parasitic drain on the vehicle battery, this means disconnecting it. On some vehicles, there is a special procedure for this that must be followed (and a similar, but different, procedure for reconnecting). for the leisure battery(s) you need to first turn off the Sargent system with the button on the EC500 and disconnect the EHU. Then make your (in series) ammeter connection and after checking you are on the correct meter range for a multimeter, restart the 12V system using the EC500 button AND turning on the control panel. You should disconnect your Solar panel if fitted, or cover it up, or do it at night.

Reverse this procedure when your testing is complete.

Also, remember not to introduce any other vehicle / habitation loads during parasitic testing as the meter leads and meter electronics/fuse will suffer. Most meters will say on them the maximum amps you can draw on any range, so be careful and understand your test equipment, or you may get some unexpected and inconvenient outcomes.

Use clip on test leads so you don't inadvertently disconnect the battery during testing with hand held probes

Good luck
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Post by bolero boy on Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:45 am

ah, yes.....not across the battery.......thanks Dennis...
but you get the picture.....
check out the above post and plenty of youtube autoelectrician videos for finding these drains.

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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by Peter Brown on Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:32 pm

It is extremely dangerous to connect a conventional multimeter in series with your starter battery. If you operate the central locking, an electric window or put on the headlights it will go up in a puff of smoke.

There is also a slight risk of the same thing happening with the Leisure battery.

Maplin supply a series of inexpensive digital ammeters designed for this type of investigation. The ammeter plugs into a blade fuse socket and the fuse that has been removed is them inserted into a socket on the ammeter to complete the circuit. The device is rated at 20A max so you only test circuits fused at 20A or less. Above that use a clamp ammeter.

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Post by Dare-devil-dennis on Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:13 pm

Peter, unless the physics has changed, clamp meters only work on AC circuits, not DC.
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:24 pm

Dare-devil-dennis wrote:Peter, unless the physics has changed, clamp meters only work on AC circuits, not DC.

I thought that until I was proved wrong during a debate on this forum and now have one.

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Post by Dare-devil-dennis on Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:40 pm

Peter, I stand re-educated.

Seems modern technology has changed the physics. Now I wonder how it works and how accurate it is, especially on the low (2ADC) range.

I will order one and check it out. 

Thanks
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Post by meanchris on Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:00 pm

Pretty accurate, bearing in mind that it can get confused by variations in the background local magnetic field.

You have to zero it (EDIT: Only on the D.C. A ranges) near to the wire to be tested, and then try to keep it in the same orientation when you clamp it on.

They are accurate to at least 10mA, and probably better on the 2A range.

The physics is called 'Hall effect' BTW.

These little meters are extremely useful in a motorhome, as they can be used for all sorts of checking and fault finding without breaking into the circuit being measured.

One thing to be cautious of: The ferrite core in the clamp will become magnetised if the meter is overloaded much beyond its maximum 60A (I'm even more cautious than that) and the readings will then be way off. It's not permanent, you can pass the meter through an A.C. degaussing coil to fix the problem.
IOW, don't use it to measure your engine start current. allthumbz
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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by brodco on Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:21 pm

Hi wave

What meanchris said!

No change in physics required. AC meters use a coil to make current transformer. Since they rely on induction they can only detect AC current. DC versions use a solid state magnetic sensor (Hall effect chip) that can respond to a static magnetic field.

Dare-devil-dennis wrote: Now I wonder how it works and how accurate it is, especially on the low (2ADC) range.

Better accuracy than you might expect on milliamps. Not perfect but certainly good enougth to detect  an unwanted current drain.

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battery drain Empty Re: battery drain

Post by ChrisP28 on Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:48 am

Thanks Peter, just ordered the fuse meter from Maplin. Thanks for the tip.
I had been using a power meter ordered from a well known internet buying site. It's wired in both the + and - cables and can handle up to 50A @ 12V and has good low current resolution. It works well but is fiddly to install. This fuse meter looks just the job and so much easier to use.
Thanks again.
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