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Sargent EC328s Control Panel Empty Sargent EC328s Control Panel

Post by jwells on Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:40 am

I have a 2013 Nuevo with a Sargent EC328s Control Panel which needs a Firmware update to fix known problems with power drop out. This was resolved by update V2.20 back in July/August 2013, but mine was never done and is still causing problems!
Sargent have told me to go to a dealer to have it done - they have to have a V3 programing box - so far Auto Sleepers and Marquise have failed to respond to my request!
 Has anyone had this done in the past, if so where?
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Post by Roopert on Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:18 am

How long have you waited for a response from A/S? Bearing in mind that they have had a recent change of staff and also we're only just through one of the longer public/school holidays, you could probably expect a bit of a delay.

I'm a bit surprised that Sargent won't help, though. They have done a firmware update for me in the past, no problem, at no cost - though in that case the panel was well within warranty, and yours won't be if it's the original in a 2013 van.
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Post by AndyRoyd on Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:33 am

jwells wrote:I have a 2013 Nuevo with a Sargent EC328s Control Panel which needs a Firmware update to fix known problems with power drop out. This was resolved by update V2.20 back in July/August 2013, but mine was never done and is still causing problems!
Sargent have told me to go to a dealer to have it done - they have to have a V3 programing box - so far Auto Sleepers and Marquise have failed to respond to my request!
 Has anyone had this done in the past, if so where?

What is the actual problem?
I have a 2012 Broadway, had it for 2 years and last month while away the 12v dropped out, pressing the button on the control panel started it again, this happened twice in one day.

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Post by Roopert on Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:44 am

I had a conversation with Sargent about this in around 2014. IIRC, the main problem that 2.20 solved was when a larger (>60W) solar panel is fitted. The solar controller was generating short peaks in voltage during fast changes in the solar panel output, and this was causing the main power controller to shut down. There were a few other minor things that the update fixed, but I can't recall offhand what they were.
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Post by jwells on Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:58 am

AndyRoyd wrote:
jwells wrote:I have a 2013 Nuevo with a Sargent EC328s Control Panel which needs a Firmware update to fix known problems with power drop out. This was resolved by update V2.20 back in July/August 2013, but mine was never done and is still causing problems!
Sargent have told me to go to a dealer to have it done - they have to have a V3 programing box - so far Auto Sleepers and Marquise have failed to respond to my request!
 Has anyone had this done in the past, if so where?

What is the actual problem?
I have a 2012 Broadway, had it for 2 years and last month while away the 12v dropped out, pressing the button on the control panel started it again, this happened twice in one day.
What is the firmware version on your control panel?
If you have solar panels, fully charged batteries, and a lovely sunny day and the power keeps dropping out, maybe it is a similar problem. Search the forum for ec328 problems brings it all to light!
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Post by AndyRoyd on Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:05 pm

jwells wrote:
AndyRoyd wrote:
jwells wrote:I have a 2013 Nuevo with a Sargent EC328s Control Panel which needs a Firmware update to fix known problems with power drop out. This was resolved by update V2.20 back in July/August 2013, but mine was never done and is still causing problems!
Sargent have told me to go to a dealer to have it done - they have to have a V3 programing box - so far Auto Sleepers and Marquise have failed to respond to my request!
 Has anyone had this done in the past, if so where?

What is the actual problem?
I have a 2012 Broadway, had it for 2 years and last month while away the 12v dropped out, pressing the button on the control panel started it again, this happened twice in one day.
What is the firmware version on your control panel?
If you have solar panels, fully charged batteries, and a lovely sunny day and the power keeps dropping out, maybe it is a similar problem. Search the forum for ec328 problems brings it all to light!

I fitted a 120w panel a year ago, just checked the panel and it an EC328s V2.2, it has only happened twice and that both on one day when I was at Baltic Wharf in early March and it was not wall to wall sunshine.
Been away twice since and it has been OK

Just been looking at the thread  [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
This suggests that Sargent upgraded the software to V2.22 to solve the problem.


Last edited by AndyRoyd on Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : New info found)

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Post by jwells on Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:20 am

Quite right - it is v2.22 that I am trying to get the panel updated to!!
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Post by Roopert on Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:53 am

Yes - my post above should have said V2.22. For some weird reason this forum only allows you a short time to notice your mistakes, and after that you can no longer go back and edit to correct them...
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Post by jwells on Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:09 pm

Auto Sleepers service department unable to do the update!!
Now have it booked in to Marquis at Tewksbury next week, £39 to do the job!
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:36 pm

Sargent  will do a complete repair/update of firmware and software for £60 including collection and delivery. £39 sounds a rip off.

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Post by AllaFEvans on Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:43 pm

The issue is the Solar Regulator, not the EC325/8. The firmware was a work around to the problem, not a fix. The Sargent Solar Regulator/Controller will continue to spike the electrics, all the firmware change does is 'ignore' the Solar power spikes.

The Solar regulator is generally a very poor unit, gaining a reputation for eventually faulting and overcharging the batteries, see example email from Gillian at the base of this post where her batteries got a near 17v charge. 

If you want to address the issue fully, double the Solar Power you harvest and completely stop the risk of spiking the EC3xx then swap to a quality Solar Regulator, the best can be acquired for around £58. 
For FREE Solar Regulator advice, without any 'sales pitch' see here : [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Note that the problem doesn't normally occur in 'wall to wall sunshine', but when the sky is bright but cloudy. As the Sun goes behind the Cloud so the Solar output drops. When the sun suddenly reappears the Solar Regulator is slow to regulate the sudden rise in Solar Voltage and allows through a spike of higher voltage than the designers thought a good idea.   



Email to Martin on the 12th April 2019 -
"Hello, Have read your advice on solar panels, could you advice me, please! We bought an Autotrail with a solar panel (not sure of size, poss 100watt). It has Sargent EC325 and Epsolar LS1024 solar charge controller. Today the battery showed charge of 16.8!
Gillian G"
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Post by jwells on Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:01 pm

AllaFEvans wrote:The issue is the Solar Regulator, not the EC325/8. The firmware was a work around to the problem, not a fix. The Sargent Solar Regulator/Controller will continue to spike the electrics, all the firmware change does is 'ignore' the Solar power spikes.

The Solar regulator is generally a very poor unit, gaining a reputation for eventually faulting and overcharging the batteries, see example email from Gillian at the base of this post where her batteries got a near 17v charge. 

If you want to address the issue fully, double the Solar Power you harvest and completely stop the risk of spiking the EC3xx then swap to a quality Solar Regulator, the best can be acquired for around £58. 
For FREE Solar Regulator advice, without any 'sales pitch' see here : [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Note that the problem doesn't normally occur in 'wall to wall sunshine', but when the sky is bright but cloudy. As the Sun goes behind the Cloud so the Solar output drops. When the sun suddenly reappears the Solar Regulator is slow to regulate the sudden rise in Solar Voltage and allows through a spike of higher voltage than the designers thought a good idea.   



Email to Martin on the 12th April 2019 -
"Hello, Have read your advice on solar panels, could you advice me, please! We bought an Autotrail with a solar panel (not sure of size, poss 100watt). It has Sargent EC325 and Epsolar LS1024 solar charge controller. Today the battery showed charge of 16.8!
Gillian G"
I fully understand what is going on I have been monitoring it for a long time! However I would point out the solar controller inside my EC 328s is an Epsolar EPIPDB-COM 10A 12/24V bought via Ebay for£36 or available direct from Sargent for £61.66! Replacing the solar controller on Sargents advice made no difference to the fault.
 I am now updating the Control Panel firmware from v2.20 to v2.22  on advice from Sargent, and which is going to cost me £39 from Marquis the original supplier of my Auto Sleeper, and as far as I am concerned it should have been done under warranty 5 years ago! I could have my panel recond by Sargent £60.23! I reserve my actual feelings about the present saga until this episode is completed!
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Post by AllaFEvans on Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:04 am

jwells wrote:
AllaFEvans wrote:The issue is the Solar Regulator, not the EC325/8. The firmware was a work around to the problem, not a fix. The Sargent Solar Regulator/Controller will continue to spike the electrics, all the firmware change does is 'ignore' the Solar power spikes.

The Solar regulator is generally a very poor unit, gaining a reputation for eventually faulting and overcharging the batteries, see example email from Gillian at the base of this post where her batteries got a near 17v charge. 

If you want to address the issue fully, double the Solar Power you harvest and completely stop the risk of spiking the EC3xx then swap to a quality Solar Regulator, the best can be acquired for around £58. 
For FREE Solar Regulator advice, without any 'sales pitch' see here : [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Note that the problem doesn't normally occur in 'wall to wall sunshine', but when the sky is bright but cloudy. As the Sun goes behind the Cloud so the Solar output drops. When the sun suddenly reappears the Solar Regulator is slow to regulate the sudden rise in Solar Voltage and allows through a spike of higher voltage than the designers thought a good idea.   



Email to Martin on the 12th April 2019 -
"Hello, Have read your advice on solar panels, could you advice me, please! We bought an Autotrail with a solar panel (not sure of size, poss 100watt). It has Sargent EC325 and Epsolar LS1024 solar charge controller. Today the battery showed charge of 16.8!
Gillian G"
I fully understand what is going on I have been monitoring it for a long time! However I would point out the solar controller inside my EC 328s is an Epsolar EPIPDB-COM 10A 12/24V bought via Ebay for£36 or available direct from Sargent for £61.66! Replacing the solar controller on Sargents advice made no difference to the fault.
 I am now updating the Control Panel firmware from v2.20 to v2.22  on advice from Sargent, and which is going to cost me £39 from Marquis the original supplier of my Auto Sleeper, and as far as I am concerned it should have been done under warranty 5 years ago! I could have my panel recond by Sargent £60.23! I reserve my actual feelings about the present saga until this episode is completed!

Replacing the Solar Controller with the same poor quality, low efficiency unit won't make any difference, as many have discovered. The issue with the voltage spiking, failure to control the charge rate correctly and it's very low efficiency are all design 'features', which many of the generic Solar regulators have.

If you read our web page, it lists a Solar Controller which will literally harvest twice the power of the generics, equivalent to doubling the size of your Solar Panel, plus work exactly as it should with a motorhomes electronics.

It has very controlled charge rates, even an extra  low 'maintenance'/'Float' rate which will extend the life of your batteries. It floats at 13.4v, the rate that the industry recognises as much better than the 13.8v of the generic Solar regulators.
 


If you have the firmware 'updated', the EC32x won't shutdown when voltages are reached that the designers originally believed to be dangerous, so when the solar regulator eventually faults from overload, as so many are, and starts putting out 16+v, the EC32x unit is unable to protect itself.

Read Gillian's email above, she had the 'Firmware update' in place and was lucky there wasn't more severe damage. Had the firmware not been updated the unit would have protected itself against the 16.8v, and also protected the Fridge controller, Truma heating electronic controller, etc. which are all very expensive items and easily damaged by spikes. 16.8v is a heck of a voltage to have running through a 12v system, and that is why the protection was originally included by Sargent.


When the issue has always been the very poor quality Solar Regulators (and so many other issues surrounding them) a 'fix' to remove the voltage detection/protection, without addressing the real cause, seems a very odd approach to me.



Back in 2012 we identified the exact same issue with the German made Reich e-Box power controller that also shutdown if the voltage went above 15v and the solution we advised was not downgrade any inbuilt voltage protection, but switch to a high quality Schaudt, motorhome specific Solar regulator. 
The factory took up our suggestion and from 2013 specified only the Schaudt LR1218 Solar reg should be used.


We stopped supporting the Reich e-box back in 2015, so the web page has not been updated since then, so currently states :-

"Note that the Reich e-Box is very sensitive to higher (15v+) than normal voltages and will shut down if any are detected. Many Solar regulators are lazy at controlling voltage changes and allow a very short duration 'high' voltage of 15+volts when the Solar Panel moves from Shade to bright Sun".
 
See here for full text : [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Our advice would be to leave the 'voltage protection' firmware in place and address the issue by fitting a quality Solar regulator. Solar regulators are not born equal, the Votronic MPPT Solar regulator range are at the very least, twice the Solar regulator the eBay/Sargent generics are.
By fitting the likes of the dual battery Votronic MPP 165, you not only gain really tight voltage control, but at least double the power, and the £39 you would have spent with Marquis will go a long way to paying the £59 bill.


They can be fitted in two ways, both external to the Sargent EC32x box, with wires running into the EC32x and joining to the existing Solar reg out puts.
Or, for even greater efficiency, go 'direct' to the batteries. Note that you will have access to both battery cables at the EC32x so you don't need to run cables across the vehicle. All you need, from Solar Panel cables to Starter battery +, habitation battery + and an Earth should all be close to the Ecxxx. 
Obviously the cable from the Solar Panel needs to feed into the Votronic, not the Sargent Solar reg which should be removed and recycled.
If you adopt the second approach you are no longer tied by the Sargent's 100w Solar panel limit. Up to 165w with the Votronic MPP165 and 250w with the Votronic Mpp 250, etc.
Depending on exactly where you wire the Votronic, you may lose the Solar charging rates values on the ECxxx display.

The advantage of wiring 'direct to batteries' through the EC32x is that it will be the Votronic itself that will control the charging to the Starter battery. As a result the Starter battery will get more fully charged, particularly in winter. You also won't need to waste precious Solar power by needing to leave the ECxxx powered 'On'. The Sargent box can then be completely shutdown yet the Solar will still charge both batteries optimally. 
This is the way we would recommend, as it works on most ECxxx units, not just the EC325/328. 
Also on some units the 'Smart' charging feature is flawed in operation, in some cases only 'topping up' the Starter battery once it has become heavily discharged and at risk from sulphation damage.
By adopting a Votronic, wired in this way, can result in up to 3 times the power getting to the Starter battery in winter months.



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

The £7 Wattmeter shown above can be fitted to the new Votronic if you need  to see Solar charge rates, very easy to fit. Search Wattmeter on eBay.


This second unit below fits at the battery negative terminal and logs ALL power going into and out of the battery and then sends it to the separate wireless remote display. Shows all charge rates, including Alternator, and the wireless display can sit on the dashboard so you can see what your Alternator is doing, even though the Sargent has shut down the conventional display.

Obviously the wireless remote display can be moved any where around the vehicle, again look on eBay for a supplier.


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Post by jwells on Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:07 pm

Thanks AllaFEvans, cancelling the firmware update, ordering the controller, already have the wattmeter!
At present I have 2x domestic batteries , usually off grid and not very power hungry. Would I be better off with only 1 domestic battery?
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Post by AllaFEvans on Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:01 pm

jwells wrote:Thanks AllaFEvans, cancelling the firmware update, ordering the controller, already have the wattmeter!
At present I have 2x domestic batteries , usually off grid and not very power hungry. Would I be better off with only 1 domestic battery?
Hard to answer, but I would suggest that 2 batteries would be better as they are likely to discharge to a more shallow level than a single battery. That should mean they last longer.

However, the wattmeter will tell you what power you put into the battery to get them back to full charge each day so give you a guide as to how much you draw each day, etc.
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Post by rventhusiast on Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:32 pm

This has been interesting reading. Since acquiring the 2013 Worcester I have had 2 X Varta Lfd batteries fitted and a 120w solar panel wired via the Sergent smart charge unit. At first it seemed to be working fine registering up to 5.5 ah on the control unit.

This weekend is the first time we have tried using the solar panel without hookup at Peterborough show and the solar panel is not showing anything on the ammeter - both batteries are sitting at 12.5v

On two occasions the main 12v fuse on the Truma Combi has blown and I have not been able to find an explanation for that but hadn't thought of any connection between it and possible spikes from the solar regulator. 

As we are travelling to France for a few weeks after the show I am anxious to try and resolve the solar charging so (Allan) would you advise my having a separate, better regulator fitted while I am here to a) fix the solar problem b) avoid the future potential for spikes causing any damage and c) to get a better solar harvest?

David
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Post by Peter Brown on Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:02 pm

jwells wrote:Quite right - it is v2.22 that I am trying to get the panel updated to!!

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

The thread linked above from 2013 describes how the problem was discovered by several forum members, tests done and corrective actions taken. The only effective remedy was to use a sargent controller with software version 2.22, the evolution of which is described in the thread.
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Post by AllaFEvans on Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:10 pm

rventhusiast wrote:This has been interesting reading. Since acquiring the 2013 Worcester I have had 2 X Varta Lfd batteries fitted and a 120w solar panel wired via the Sergent smart charge unit. At first it seemed to be working fine registering up to 5.5 ah on the control unit.

This weekend is the first time we have tried using the solar panel without hookup at Peterborough show and the solar panel is not showing anything on the ammeter - both batteries are sitting at 12.5v

On two occasions the main 12v fuse on the Truma Combi has blown and I have not been able to find an explanation for that but hadn't thought of any connection between it and possible spikes from the solar regulator. 

As we are travelling to France for a few weeks after the show I am anxious to try and resolve the solar charging so (Allan) would you advise my having a separate, better regulator fitted while I am here to
a) fix the solar problem
b) avoid the future potential for spikes causing any damage and
c) to get a better solar harvest?

David
Hello David, To answer them in turn :
a) fix the solar problem 
A) There is no way of knowing what the problem is so if it is a poor connection, a new reg won't fix the issue. However, it will probably make it easier to diagnose what the issue actually is. 

b) Avoid the future potential for spikes causing any damage  
B) Yes.

c) To get a better solar harvest?
C). Yes. Typically we see about double the power harvested in typical UK conditions over a Sargent/generic.

Not that long ago we got an email from Paul T. that said - "Thank you, the Votronic mppt controller is working fantastic such a massive improvement". 






Peter,  the thread you refer to has only one thing I can see that was found to be an issue which was the Solar regulator generating voltage spikes, exactly as poor quality ones tend to. Sargent confirmed that in their text.

Lets be absolutely clear here, at no point does Sargent say there is a fault in the software that needed addressing. The softwere was working correctly reporting on high voltage, damaging spikes greater than 15v and then correctly shutting down the ECxxx unit to protect it
 That is clearly documented in the thread.

What Sargent choose to do was modify that safety alert. 

At no point did Sargent spend thousands of pounds to replace the faulty regulators, the real source of the issue. 
Their 'effective remedy' that you call it was to change the software so it no longer tried to protect/alert against those spikes. 
They put in a bodge to ignore the danger and stop alerting all those customers to a risk. 
How can you possibly think that is any kind of resolution? 


How do you know there haven't been thousands of spike damaged components now the alert has been de-activated? 
If the software no longer alerts the customer to a spike, any failure of the EC328 would not be directly attributed to the Solar regulator.
You have a weird way of seeing things if you think just because the software doesn't react to the over voltage any longer, doesn't mean no damage is occurring.


The first time the receivers of that 'fix' will know there is an issue with the Solar regulator is when some part is spiked into the damage zone. 
15+v (and I quote Sargent) is one heck of a voltage spike to throw into a Fridge Controller.  
 

Anyone had a strange EC555 or EC328 power Controller failure since fitting Sargent Solar? 
How about a damaged Truma heater electronic control module?
Or what about the LCD Display suffering a 'glitch' that needs a 'reboot', or even burnout of the LCD display?



You try and contradict everything I write, I really don't know why I bother.


Last edited by AllaFEvans on Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by rventhusiast on Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:42 pm

Thanks for the quick response Allan. I accept (unless the Sergent regulator is the problem) that I will have to resolve the issue with the solar panel not producing energy - but as you say, having a new regulator fitted should either find it or bypass it. Following advice previously given by you I have fitted a Votronic regulator to a previous motorhome (Hymer) with excellent results. So, having read the issues with the Sergent system, I am more than happy to do that again now and avoid any future problems.

I have to say, I have always held Autosleepers in high regard and probably the best of British converters for many years. However, I have been surprised and a bit disappointed so far with some of the decisions made on systems/equipment used. The first thing I did was replace the temperamental whale internal pump and pressure switch with an external whale pump. At the moment, I am persevering with the whale fresh water filler system but it isn't ideal. Now I will replace the solar regulator with what I suspect will be a superior system.

Thanks again for the advice - I have someone coming to have a look tomorrow to see if we can sort it out before we leave for France.

David
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Sargent EC328s Control Panel Empty Re: Sargent EC328s Control Panel

Post by rventhusiast on Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:36 am

Just a quick update. S&G leisure are at Peterborough show and kindly came round to see why I was not getting any solar input. It was easy enough to diagnose. The built in regulator on my Sergent EC500 has burnt out. They have fitted a Victron 75/10 MPPT regulator temporarily wired back through the Sergent control box to get us through our trip to France and on our return we will call at their workshop to have it wired properly direct to the batteries - probably with a bit bigger cabling than was present. I can't say whether any of that contributed to the blown fuses on the Truma Combi but time will tell if that occurs again.

So, I am indebted to the help given by S&G but, more importantly, to the usual good advice given by Allan.

Allan I know from messages on other forums your present situation and can only say that I hope your remaining time is filled with joy and happiness for you and your family. Thank you for all the help and advice you have given me and many, many others over recent years.

David
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Sargent EC328s Control Panel Empty Re: Sargent EC328s Control Panel

Post by Cymro on Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:42 am

rventhusiast wrote:
Allan I know from messages on other forums your present situation and can only say that I hope your remaining time is filled with joy and happiness for you and your family. Thank you for all the help and advice you have given me and many, many others over recent years.

David

Very well put, David. May I echo those sentiments, and thank Allan for his expertise and support.

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Sargent EC328s Control Panel Empty Re: Sargent EC328s Control Panel

Post by AllaFEvans on Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:15 pm

rventhusiast wrote:Just a quick update. S&G leisure are at Peterborough show and kindly came round to see why I was not getting any solar input. It was easy enough to diagnose. The built in regulator on my Sergent EC500 has burnt out. They have fitted a Victron 75/10 MPPT regulator temporarily wired back through the Sergent control box to get us through our trip to France and on our return we will call at their workshop to have it wired properly direct to the batteries - probably with a bit bigger cabling than was present. I can't say whether any of that contributed to the blown fuses on the Truma Combi but time will tell if that occurs again.

So, I am indebted to the help given by S&G but, more importantly, to the usual good advice given by Allan.

Allan I know from messages on other forums your present situation and can only say that I hope your remaining time is filled with joy and happiness for you and your family. Thank you for all the help and advice you have given me and many, many others over recent years.

David
Hello David, Thank you. I don't know how long I have left and not sure it is going to be filled with 'joy and happiness', but the Palliative Care team have vowed to keep it pain free, which is all you can ask under the circumstances.
I will keep posting for as long as I can, as it makes me think and takes my mind off the discomfort, etc


While we highly rate Victron Energy products, we don't rate the Victron Solar regulators.
The Victron Mppt 75/10 is not specifically designed for a motorhome, another of the generics, as noted by the absence of any provision to dynamically charge the Starter battery, which is key on a Motorhome. 
The Victron 75/10 does have tight voltage control, so you won't see any spikes on this model as the Sun goes from Shade to bright Sun. However, it is not in the same league as the Votronic MPP165, despite the Victron costing a whole lot more. 


Victron have recently introduced a Dual battery solar charger, but you will see this Victron bottom of the range Solar regulator comes from the same Chinese factories as the Sargent version : [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
We have opened them up, and strongly suggest you avoid, poor functionality quality, fixed charging, low efficiency and flawed 12v/24v operation.


If you do stick with the Victron with it's 'automatic 12v/24v sensing' be very careful in use as serious issues can result. Most of the Solar regulators not designed specificly for motorhome use can have a 12v/24v option which works by 'sensing' the battery voltage and adjusting itself accordingly. For this to work reliably you must connect the battery first, so it sees the 12v, and only then connect the Solar Panel with it's 21+v afterwards.
Can you guess what will happen if the Solar panel with it's 21+v is connected first? 

So if in normal use, someone disconnects the battery for maintenance, or a fuse blows, etc, some generic regulators switch to 24v charging so when the battery is reconnected.............

Hence us always suggest having a fuse in the Solar panel side of the wiring and disconnecting this first before disconnecting the batteries.

Better still avoid the generics altogether. When did you last see a mainstream motorhome with 24v? So if the regulator has a 24v option, it isn't motorhome specific. It won't dynamically alter the charge rate for the starter battery automatically, to make sure it gets little in Summer but more when laid up in Winter, etc. 

You will note most generics with dual battery charging are designed to charge two house battery banks at 50% each and that is usually the default setting. Clearly no Motorhome specific designer would adopt that approach for a Starter battery which is almost always full.
While you can set the generics statically to 90%/10%, etc. a fully dynamic approach is obviously going to maximise battery life.
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Sargent EC328s Control Panel Empty Re: Sargent EC328s Control Panel

Post by Spospe on Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:25 pm

I had a Duetto which had the solar panel wired via the consumer unit in such a way that when the engine started, the battery was disconnected from the regulator. When the engine was switched off, the regulator was connected back to the solar panel and during daylight hours assumed a 24 volt system was present. The effect of this was to overcharge the leisure battery. Sounds obvious, but it was not apparent at the time, because I took delivery in the winter and quite often it was dark when switching off and restarting. The effect of all this was that the regulator had a confused life, spending time as both a 12 volt and a 24 volt unit. When we went to Norway and were north of the arctic circle, the regulator was in continuous 24 volt mode and boiled the battery.
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Sargent EC328s Control Panel Empty EC328 solar controller

Post by jwells on Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:21 pm

Update on my original thead:- Thanks to AllaFEvans my repaired EC328 system with Votronic 165 and monitoring bits together with a set of new batteries all seem to be running very stably! This controller is so much better than the original, and other than deciding to mount it outside the 328 it was easy to do. John topmarks
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