Agile battery separator

irvingj

2015 RT SS Agile (3.0L)
Sure sounds like the battery has no problems! Is that an AGM? They're noted for holding voltage very well.
 

BobLLL

Member
Steve, there isn't any reason why you shouldn't reconnect the separator now that you have isolated the problem to the radio circuit.
 

Inspector

2012 Roadtrek Agile
Irvingj, the battery is a stock M-B lead acid.

BobLLL, thanks for the information, I'll try it and see what happens.

Autostaretx, thanks for the 3rd party radio wiring schematic, I printed it up to include in the owner's manual.

I want to thank you gentlemen for hanging in there with me and your patience with me, you are good friends. Thank you! I will let you know what happens

Steve
 

irvingj

2015 RT SS Agile (3.0L)
No problem, Steve-- it's been an interesting saga, better than all those seemingly endless series that are making the rounds on commercial TV that my daughter watches! :rolleyes:

Was just telling my wife yesterday about the 6-week ordeal you've been through. (Just checked: your first post was 6/1/19!) It's been great to see your perseverance regarding this issue; we could all learn from that -- to not give up.

Hope I'm not being premature, but it sounds like you've found the culprit -- congratulations! :thumb: :cheers:

Walt (irvingj)
 

Inspector

2012 Roadtrek Agile
Walt I appreciate the help everyone has extended to me and I hope down the path I might be able to help someone. If I find anything more, I'll post. I like reading the posts even if I don't post I learn a lot.

Steve
 

Inspector

2012 Roadtrek Agile
Follow-up. I charged the batteries up, disconnected the separator ground and waited. On the sixth day with out the van moving, the starting battery voltage dropped to 12.5v. Ok, lets try again. Charged to 13 v, again the van has had zero action, ground still off at the separator. Three days! and it's sitting at 12.5 v...what the...? Nothing changed. It went half the time, arrrgh.

Steve
 

BobLLL

Member
13v isn't a full charge. So you're losing ground each cycle. Need 14v at least, 14.5 charge would be better. Are you using the tripplite or your other charger?
 
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autostaretx

Erratic Member
In my experience, a flooded lead acid battery that:
is a couple of years old
AND
has been dragged down below 11 volts at least once in its life

will tend towards 12.5 or 12.4 volts as its "resting" voltage after a night of inactivity.

--dick (been there, lived with it for 4 years after a 10 volt incident)
 

Inspector

2012 Roadtrek Agile
The charger was the 10A bench charger, I was unsure if the onboard charger would charge the starting battery with the separator ground disconnected. Same the second time around. I would prefer the van charger, I think it would be easier.

The starting battery was installed late January or first of February but has seen three deep dives in voltage. How long the dealer had it on the shelf before I got it I don't know.

Steve
 

BobLLL

Member
I suspect your bench charger is not up to the job for some reason.

You don't need to disconnect the separator unless you are testing the current drain with a meter. Leave it connected and let it do its job. It will disconnect itself when the battery voltage drops below 12.8. Plug in the van charger for a couple hours. Unplug the van and check voltage once a day and and see how fast it goes down.
 

BobLLL

Member
Make sure you connect the separator before plugging in the charger.
After charging, before unplugging the van charger, check that starting battery has settled at the float voltage of 13.3 to13.4. Just to make sure the charging system is working as expected.
 

Inspector

2012 Roadtrek Agile
Thanks for the tips, I'll reconnect things and plug the van in to charge. I'm wondering about the bench charger as well. Thanks!

Steve
 

Inspector

2012 Roadtrek Agile
Quick question, is the separator suppose be warm with the van parked and everything off? With the separator ground disconnected the starting battery with out the radio connected only dropped from 12.9 to 12.78 in 8 days. Separator connected, both starting and house batteries go down equally, presently 12.75 after charging 24 hrs prior. Just wondering about the separator draw.
 

BobLLL

Member
It doesn't matter whether the van is parked and everything is turned off. The separator operates independently. It engages when the voltage on either main terminal rises above 13.4, and disconnects when the voltage drops below 12.8. The specification for these trigger voltages is plus or minus 2%, so it could stay engaged a bit below 12.8. The way to test the separator is to turn on a significant load like the headlights (without the engine running or the shore power connected) which will pull the voltage down well under 12.8, and the separator should disconnect. It should reconnect after you start the engine or plug in the shore power.

The solenoid coil in the separator draws 0.75 amps when engaged, which means it dissipates about 10 watts, so yes, it gets pretty warm. Too hot to leave your finger on very long, as I recall. As discussed in other threads in this forum, this separator is a pretty crappy unit and should be replaced by a Blue Sea relay if you suspect it is malfunctioning.
 

BobLLL

Member
When the separator is disengaged, it only draws 13ma for its circuitry to monitor the voltages.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
... 13 milliamps * 12 volts = 0.156 watts. You shouldn't be able to feel that feeble output.

Something is probably wrong.

--dick
 

BobLLL

Member
... 13 milliamps * 12 volts = 0.156 watts. You shouldn't be able to feel that feeble output.

Something is probably wrong.

--dick
As I interpret his post, the separator is still engaged because the voltage is still at or above the cutoff point. Therefor, it is drawing 0.75 amps. This is why I suggest he turn on the headlights, drawing voltage down and check that the separator disengages.
 

BobLLL

Member
The +-2% voltage specs for the separator means the cutoff point could be as low as 12.54 and still be in spec. Add whatever inaccuracy in his meter, and we can't be sure the separator has failed unless it is still engaged at a lower voltage.
 

Inspector

2012 Roadtrek Agile
I checked the separator and it now feels cool to the touch, but I tried the headlights which had no effect. The voltage at that point was 12.74, so if the tolerance is +/- 2% it appears to be on the tighter side. I'm still trying to find a replacement for the current radio, GPS,, camera to kill that draw.

Steve
 

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