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Old 03-07-2011, 09:33 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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noob here, help with electrical

What is the most economical way to run power for a flat screen tv, coffee pot, backup camera and monitor, laptop and cellphone charger? Plus any other ecential minor electronics? Please help.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:35 AM   #2
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

I am capable but not an expert in electronics, so the simpler the better.
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

A lot depends on how you're going to use your bus. My bus will be doing a lot of traveling, so powering nearly everything off of 12v is "free power." I don't plan to do much (if any) boondocking, so I'll be plugged into shore power. But I will still have a lot of 12v "stuff" so I am going to get a converter (not inverter) to power my 12v stuff while on shore power. Even if I do any boondocking, I'll have a genset (probably 5000 watt). It'll run through the converter. The converter will also charge the house batteries...when I get them. I haven't calculated the load just yet, so I'll have to do that when I get to that point.

To me, for me, running most everything 12v is the way to go. However, if you'll be parked most of the time, 120v AC might be better.

I hope that helps...just think about how you're going to be using your bus. Best of luck.

Ben.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:38 PM   #4
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

Awlright, Starting with the engine, and bus. Its a 1996 ford bseries amtran with a cummins 12v 5.9l w/allison transmission. I'm using the bus right now as a moving vehicle, to move all my things up north from down south. Roughly 2500 miles. I'm still trying to rap ma head around the whole inverter, converter. As far as that goes, I have a 750 watt inverter from wally world, but have seen 1000 watters from harbour freight for the same amount as the 750. I guess we'll be running the tv, stereo/dvd/backup camera continuously while the bus is running. For the kids dora is queen and diego king. Eventually we will be converting it to an rv, but thats in the future.
So, with that info what can I do?
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:40 PM   #5
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

Will the inverter drain the battery while the bus is running? Isnt the battery continually being charged while the bus is running? And no, I dont have a generator. Sorry I'm learning as I go.
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:37 PM   #6
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

yea, ruffing it till moved. Running the inverter dirrectly off the battery.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:29 PM   #7
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

I seen this thread, so I figured it's around the same heading so I would jump in here. I am also just starting a project that will take me quite a while, as money is hard to come by right now. I have two deep cycle batteries to use in my battery bank. My Goshen already has a protector on it from factory, at least that is what it looks like on below the dash. There is a button that says charge protect, and the light lights up every time I start it. My question is, with the two batteries I have, do I just get a positive and a negative cable and run from the battery that is already hooked up as the aux to the second battery? Go from pos to pos, neg to neg? How do I figure out how much time I will have before I drain both batteries? Can I put two 750 watt inverters instead of one 1500 watt? There are two 750's on sale right now that I can get cheaper than the 1500. Mainly going to be using this for tailgating, so the bus won't be running very often for hours at a time.
Thanks for the info guys!
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:38 PM   #8
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

So, I got two deep cycle batterys from wal-mart which are group 27, 150 amp, will this work all right? also, how do I run them to the two existing batterys? What kind of switch should I get to charge and use the deep cycle batterys, and can I run 120v with these batterys? I should be able to wire in the inverter to these two right?
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:08 AM   #9
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

ok, I've been doing some reading, and what I'm getting inaddition to what you're saying is, from the alternator I need either a blocking diode, or battery isolator, from there it should (and correct me at any time, please) run into a 3 stage converter/inverter, a monitering system, and then into the 12v DeepCell batteries.
At which point you should be able to run electrical from the 3 stage converter/inverter?
Do I have that right Nicky?
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:32 PM   #10
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

Which Isolator would yoou advise?
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:33 PM   #11
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

or what type?
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:38 PM   #12
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

I would recommend using a solenoid instead of battery isolator. Does the same thing, probably cheaper for same current capacity. Most big motor homes us them as they are less likely to fail than the isolator witch is just big diodes.

Make sure you get one rated continuous duty.
I've found good prices here.
http://order.waytekwire.com/products...d%20Solenoids/

NAPA has them but at about double that in price.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:10 PM   #13
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

I also just simply use a cut-off switch between my 1 starting battery and my 2 house batteries. It is rated to 1000 amp surge. Until I get more batteries, I'm not really worried about an isolator. Check out my set up more in depth here: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6778&p=71719&hilit=battery+ban k#p71719
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:15 AM   #14
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

should I go for the largest amped solenoid I can find? Will it matter if its higher amped than what I need? the battery says 150 amp.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:55 AM   #15
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

The SOLENOID allows you to flip a switch from inside your cabin whenever you want all the batteries connected or just the starting battery. It uses simple 14 gauge speaker wire. The cut-off SWITCH is typically inside the main battery box outside the bus. This is because you would have to run a few feet of 2 or 4 gauge wire clear up into the cabin and is not really fun or as easy, but it can be done. Mine is in the main battery box and after I start the bus, I go out and flip it on. When I turn the bus off, I turn it off (unless i want to run the tv and fans all night). This works fine for me, but I may put the switch in the cabin in the future. The ISOLATOR has some diodes inside it that split the current coming from the alternator in order to charge 2 seperate battteries EQUALLY at the same time. These are the 3 main solutions that you can read more about here: http://www.custombatterycables.com/batt ... lators.htm These things are small prices to pay for safety and security ($50 - $150)

The cut-off SWITCH isn't as smart as an ISOLATOR. It just lets the current go through, but is just fine if you only have 2 house batteries. If you have 3 or more, you will want an ISOLATOR. If you have 4 or more, you will also want to ground your batteries to the frame/chassis according to this diagram in order for them to be equally charged/depleted: http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/batt_con.html

Stinger makes nice isolators in the 80 - 500 amp range. They are probably the best brand out there. I would use a 200 amp isolator between your starting battery and your 1st house battery. This will keep if from blowing too frequently @ 150 but is not too beefy to let a surge through @ 200+ I would also put a 200 amp fuse between your 1st and 2nd house battery positive to protect them from each other. The charging current from your alternator will flow through to everything just fine. I like the ANL type fuses and they are cheap on Ebay. The reason my cut-off switch is rated to 1000 amp @ 12volts, 500 @ 24 volts is because I am using 8D batteries. You are using Group 27 so a switch with a 500 rating will be fine. Don't go higher than that!

Personally, I think you'll be fine with just the simple cut-off switch with no fuses or isolators like me until you start to add more batteries.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:08 PM   #16
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

so this is what we've been dealing with in between the electrical and a bday prty for 12 yr old....girl.
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:02 PM   #17
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Change of plans

Ok, so I returned the 12 v Deep cycle in exchange for 2 of the trojan t 105 6v batterys. After taking everything you gentleman have said into consideration, I would like to try this route. That being said, would these two items from Blue Seas work on my bus? Again, I think the alternator I have on my bus will push 136 amps. Its in a 95 cummins 12v 5.9l turbo. I'm going crazy here fellas please help.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:46 AM   #18
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

anybody?
come on fellas.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:21 PM   #19
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

The automatic relay probably senses chassis voltage, and connects the house system for charging when the engine is running and the voltage is up. The label says it is rated for 120 amps, and if your alternator rating is 136, you are risking overloading it. Stick with the switch.

The whole switch does not show in the picture, but I am assuming the Blue Sea yachtsman's switch has positions "Off," "1," "2," and "Both" like the Cole-Hersee and Perko yachtsman's switches. These are also commonly used in ambulances and fire trucks. These are generally used with one load and two banks of batteries.

The drawing shows the engine (alternator) and loads connected to the bottom, and two battery banks connected to 1 and 2. In an RV-type vehicular configuration, with two sets of loads, the engine and starting battery would usually be connected directly on "2," so the switch would not disconnect battery 2 from the vehicle chassis systems.

The switch could be used as just a house system shut-off, with the load on the bottom, and the house batteries on 1. Your house loads would work on "1" or "Both," but not "Off" or "2." But you are also looking for a charging solution.

You could put the house load on the bottom as pictured, and wire both sets of batteries to 1 and 2 as in the diagram. In "Off" both your house battery bank and your house loads would be disconnected, but the engine would run normally. On "1," your house would be running on its own batteries, and the engine and its batteries would run normally. On "2," your house batteries would be disconnected, and your house loads would run with the chassis loads on the starting battery. Not a good choice. On "Both," the battery banks would be tied together, and could both be charged, or the house battery bank might be used to help "jump start" an engine with a weak but not dead starting battery. Beware that deep-cycle batteries are not designed for high starting currents, but sometimes just a little extra juice is all you need.

What I would do with that switch (your mileage may vary), is to connect "2" to the engine battery system, connect the house loads to "1," and connect the coach battery bank to the bottom terminal. "Off" and "1" would be the same as above. Selecting "2" would turn off all the house loads, and would connect the two battery banks together on the chassis system for battery charging when running or for jump starting. Selecting "Both" would join the loads and batteries all together as above. With this variation, accidentally leaving the switch in "2" would not kill the starting battery and leave you stranded. Plus, by turning from "Both" to "2" and shedding the house loads, it would help the alternator top off both batteries, especially if running in bad weather with headlights and markers, heater fans and wipers drawing a lot of the alternator current on the chassis side.
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:16 PM   #20
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Re: noob here, help with electrical

Another question I have. Please indulge me....Can I put my 2 6volt batteries next to my 2 startin batteries. I'm talking right up next to eachother, kissing as it were? Would there be an issue? I'm trying to save money by NOT building another battery housing box, but not at the cost of the batteries falling off or out, or expanding and not having space.
Anybody got an opinion?
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