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Nuevo Computer Control Panel Problems

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Nuevo Computer Control Panel Problems Empty Nuevo Computer Control Panel Problems

Post by Bertie Bus on Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:48 am

We're getting Bertie (Nuevo ES) ready to go after a winter of being idle under heaps of snow.....
We seem to have a problem with the computer which keeps switching itself off. Sometimes it stays on for just a minute or two, sometimes a lot longer, on both mains or habitation battery power.
We have a solar panel which we assume should keep the battery charged. The charge is reading as good when we're plugged in to mains, but low when we're not.
Can anyone suggest what might be causing our problem? Could it be damp on some connection or other perhaps?
Thanks

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Post by -mojo- on Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:34 am

If it's a Sargent controller, it seems that the multi-way connector on the back of the display module can work loose - that should be very easy to fix.

But when you say the battery is low when off EHU - how low? As I understand it the system will shut down if the battery level becomes critically low, so it may either that your battery is completely knackered, or that a fuse has blown between charger and battery and it's never being charged.
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Post by Bertie Bus on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:10 pm

Not sure if its a Sargent, book says MES Control Unit.
We've been on mains and have put the heating on for a couple of hours....so far so good!
We hoped the hab battery was charging up but we're not sure if it is, when its on mains the battery charge level says 12.8V GOOD, but when on battery its showing 11.5V OK.
So now when we run it on battery alone, everything works for a bit but then the control unit trips out. Surely this shouln't happen if the battery reading says its OK, not LOW?
We don't understand why the solar panel hasn't been keeping the battery charged, that goes direct to the battery, not via the charger, so nothing to do with the fuse between battery and charger.
Very confusing!
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Post by -mojo- on Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:17 pm

I'm not familiar with an MES unit, but if the leisure battery voltage goes up when on EHU and the charger is on, then some charging is happening!

But 12.8V sounds very low while on charge - mine go to 14.2V or so as soon as I turn the charger on. How old is the battery, and what history does it have (i.e. has it ever been run completely flat)?
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Post by mccormw on Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:37 pm

Yup 12.8v sounds definitely low for on charge!

btw does your computer stay on when the leisure battery is charging? Is there any way to plug your computer into a kosher mains supply where you are now? If so, then does it work OK?
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Post by Bertie Bus on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:09 pm

Yes, its certainly looking like the battery is at fault.
It did go completely flat once last summer (before we got the solar panel!) but worked ok since.
But my son says if they've been allowed to go flat they work ok when its warm, but are useless when its cold. And it sure is cold here!
We've been for a drive which seems to have charged it a bit, but then it seems to discharge quite rapidly.
Its now on charge in the garage with an ordinary charger, so we'll see in the morning if that has made any difference.
Thanks for your thoughts...I'll keep you posted :)
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Post by Bertie Bus on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:13 pm

At first the computer didn't stay on when plugged in to kosher mains, but that seemed to rectify itself. Its now when its on hab battery that the computer cuts out.
It appears to be charging when on mains, but we're now testing it with a normal charger.....watch this space!
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Post by Bertie Bus on Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:50 am

Morning! So, the battery has been plugged into a charger and is now back in the van and was showing 13.4V at first. We turned the computer on and put a couple of lights on. The battery now reads 12.9V. Now we turned on more lights and the computer has tripped off. We put it back on mains, everything works and the PDU fan came on...presumably because its charging the battery. Does all this point to needing a new battery?? Could the very cold temperatures have killed it, 'cos it was working fine last October and the solar panel should have been keeping it topped up?!
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Post by -mojo- on Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:11 pm

It's an odd one, because those voltage readings don't (to me at least) appear at all bad. If an external charger was able to bring it up to 13.4V overnight then the battery would not appear to be in too bad a way.

It's looking more like a fault with the power controller - it should not be shutting down at such a healthy voltage (mine for example won't auto shutdown until the battery is around 10.5V). However, it's difficult when you are relying on getting voltage measurements from a unit that is shutting down. It really needs someone putting a multimeter on it to get an independent view of what's happening.

I guess it's possible that battery voltage is taking a sudden nosedive before the controller has a chance to reflect that on the display, but in my experience that generally doesn't happen to a battery with small loads such as lighting.
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Post by Bertie Bus on Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:33 pm

Thanks for that.
The battery is now on the external charger again and is going off to be tested tomorrow.....
If it turns out to be that then we'll get a new one, any suggestions of good makes? This one is Numax 100AH.
But if the battery isn't at fault, then it must be either the computer or the control unit, but since both of these seem to work fine on mains it does all seem to point to the battery. I take your point about not trusting the read out on the computer if it's that which is faulty, but how do you test that? I think we'll have to get an auto electrician at that point!
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Post by ubuntu1 on Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:31 pm

It really does sound like your battery.

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Post by Bertie Bus on Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:34 pm

Let's hope so!
Off to watch Country File now, far more exciting :)
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