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Old 30-12-2012, 09:34   #1
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Anybody Know What These Are...?

Hello good people of CF.

My low battery alarm just went off so I guess it's time to figure out this electrical mess. The original owner of the boat went crazy with the electrical, so says everybody who's looked at it. So I am aware that it is a mess.

Nonetheless, can anybody tell me a) what these things are, b) what they do, and c) what they are generally supposed to be connected to?

Basically I'm trying to figure out how to get the battery to charge from the solar panel, b/c right now it isn't.

Many thanks for any suggestions. I'm about as green as it gets.
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Old 30-12-2012, 09:40   #2
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Re: Anybody Know What These Are...?

The first photo is a thermal circuit breaker. A large fuse that can reset if you like. Maybe anchor winch, although I don't like the thin wire if this is what it is.

The second is a solar regulator.

The third photo is a battery monitor in the top right.
Top left is a battery charger.
The bottom is an alternator regulator.
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Old 30-12-2012, 09:47   #3
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Re: Anybody Know What These Are...?

Top left photo is just a circuit breaker controlling something. Top right is a solar panel charge controller. The Echo Charge is a charge follower device. Once the main battery bank is up to a certain set point it starts charging the starter battery. This is a very good way to separate and keep charged house and start batteries.The thing on the bottom left is a smart regulator for your alternator. It is all pretty good stuff so you just need to figure out if it is hooked up properly and functioning.

As to solar input, I would first check those input wires into the grey charge controller and make sure you are getting some good voltage there, like probably 14-17 volts at least. Most likely reason for getting no juice from solar is a bad connection somewhere between that panel and the controller. Plus, there may be a fuse (should be) in that line somewhere that has blown. Corrosion up on deck where the wires connect to the panels is always a good place to start.
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Old 30-12-2012, 09:49   #4
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Can you explain the "battety charger" to me? I get the name, but how does it work?
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Old 30-12-2012, 09:51   #5
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Thermal break is not tripped push the red button and a little arm flips out. Then it is tripped. Probably tied to the solar panels. Check continuity. The solar regulator looks like the connections may be corroded/ loose. Third is the 110 charge inverter. looks like it is off as the link control is not illuminated. Not familiar with these so not much help. Somewhere there is a shore power breaker that turns this on. Alarm could be a bad sensor. Check voltage with voltmeters. Could be your batts are cooked. If lead acid open they need water added. Real bad if their going dry and you are charging them. Check batts ASAP.
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Old 30-12-2012, 09:51   #6
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Re: Anybody Know What These Are...?

Yep sorry kettlelwell is correct.
Here is the manual
http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Acc...204-01-01).pdf
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Old 30-12-2012, 09:58   #7
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Re: Anybody Know What These Are...?

Quote:
Third is the 110 charge inverter. looks like it is off as the link control is not illuminated.
No 110 inverter in the photos that I see.
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:00   #8
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Re: Anybody Know What These Are...?

The circuit breaker looks to be 100 amps if I'm reading it correctly, and since it is positioned right above those switches for things like the fridge, etc., I would take a wild guess that it is a master breaker for the main house circuit. It appears to be in the On position.

CAUTION: If you are new to this, I would completely disconnect shore power before working on the wiring and electrical system.
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:12   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sentientcj View Post
Hello good people of CF.

My low battery alarm just went off so I guess it's time to figure out this electrical mess. The original owner of the boat went crazy with the electrical, so says everybody who's looked at it. So I am aware that it is a mess.

Nonetheless, can anybody tell me a) what these things are, b) what they do, and c) what they are generally supposed to be connected to?

Basically I'm trying to figure out how to get the battery to charge from the solar panel, b/c right now it isn't.

Many thanks for any suggestions. I'm about as green as it gets.
using farmer John troubleshooting logic.

- Remove the wires from the solar panels as close as possible from where they bundle together to go to the boat.
- Stick a volt meter across the wires and see if you are getting voltage from the panels.
- Presumably the red wire from the solar goes to the grey charge controller in your pics (25+v Max Input) and the black or ground wire from the solar goes to a ground bus or the battery negative.
- you need to see if there is continuity in these wires - disconnect the red input wire at the charge controller and the black ground wire wherever it attaches to the ground bus or battery.
- join the red and black together at the solar panel and put an ohm meter on the red and black you removed at the boat end. There should be little to no resistance - if there is high resistance you have a dirty connection somewhere or a busted wire.
- If the resistance checks OK - reconnect at the solar end and check the red and black at the boat end for voltage this time - if that is OK reconnect to the charge controller.
- remove the output from the charge controller and check between the red and ground on the output side. If no output the charge controller is likely fried. if output exists trace the red out put back to the battery or positive bus and check for voltage there.
- This should complete checking the solar circuit.

The other devices should not be in play unless one of them is grounded/failed. The circuit breaker (first item) can easily be checked by disconnecting the wires and putting an ohm meter across the input and output terminals - should be zero resistance.

The echo charge should only be in play when the house is full - I can't see the third wire in the echo charge but that may be the photo angle. It needs house+, Start+ and ground. You can actually disconnect the house+ temporarily for troubleshooting the solar and be assured it is out of the system.

This is basically a pretty easy troubleshooting exercise - start at the solar panels and ccheck in various places along the way "following" the flow of charge current until you get to the batteriies.
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:20   #10
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Re: Anybody Know What These Are...?

By the way, from you have shown us of the electrical it doesn't look "crazy" at all. Can't tell what the wiring and connections are like behind the scenes, but from what little we know the components are good for making a cruising system that will work.
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:20   #11
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Re: Anybody Know What These Are...?

That is a 7102 100amp breaker, it's a waste of space on those wires.
Also those Radio Shack terminals...yuck.
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:32   #12
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Re: Anybody Know What These Are...?

Is that a residential distribution panel on the left of the bottom picture?
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:33   #13
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Re: Anybody Know What These Are...?

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That is a 7102 100amp breaker, it's a waste of space on those wires.
Also those Radio Shack terminals...yuck.
Those wire are going to melt well before 100A.
When I see something like this, you need to inspect the whole electrical system very carefully
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:35   #14
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Those wire are going to melt well before 100A.
When I see something like this, you need to inspect the whole electrical system very carefully

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Old 30-12-2012, 10:37   #15
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Re: Anybody Know What These Are...?

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I can't see the third wire in the echo charge but that may be the photo angle. It needs house+, Start+ and ground.
I think I can see a white or yellow wire behind the red and black wires.
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