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Old 29-06-2007, 08:52   #16
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donradcliffe,
The wires attached to the original meter were tight. They could have had some corrosion. Today I will going to redo the connections. Thanks for the heads up. I still have the moisture behind the lens. The meters around this meter do not have the moisture.

Thanks for your perspective,
John
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Old 29-06-2007, 11:56   #17
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donradcliffe,
I will go back and check the terminals.
John
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Old 09-07-2007, 05:53   #18
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Thanks to all who responded with suggestions to my ammeter question. It appears the alterator and the voltage regulator were doing their job charging low batteries. The batteries were strong enough to start the diesel but low enough for the alternator to sense that the batteries needed charging. I had to completely disconnect the house battery from charging system and just leave the starting battery connected. After starting the engine, the ammeter slowly diminished the number of amps being sent to the battery. I charged the house battery by bringing on board an automobile battery charger. After the battery was charged it was then placed back in the boat electrical circuit. Everything seems to work fine. I do not know why just selecting battery 1 or battery 2 on the battery selector switch did not indicate a problem with a battery. As was pointed out to me on this forum, just because an ammeter shows 60 amps does not mean the meter can handle a continuous load of 60 or more amps. Thanks for all of your suggestions, I am going to take a mental break before adding solar or wind generators.
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Old 09-07-2007, 14:35   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scallywag
How do you check an ammeter?
It might be kind of late for this, but an electrical technician checks an ammeter with -!- another ammeter! Specifically, an instrument that clamps around the wire and measures current by the magnetic field it generates.
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Old 09-07-2007, 15:17   #20
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EngNate thanks for your suggestion. This a great forum to help problem solve a confusing situation.
John
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Old 09-07-2007, 16:47   #21
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"Specifically, an instrument that clamps around the wire and measures current by the magnetic field it generates."

Easy enough for AC current, but a bit pricey to find a clamp-on ammeter for DC work. Too pricey for amateur or one-shot users.
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Old 09-07-2007, 17:21   #22
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hellosailor, that is the reason I did not go out and buy a clamp-on ammeter. I decided to hire a boat electrician instead. I found the problem before the electrician could schedule an appointment. I also found out that a Freedom Converter does not like to recharge batteries if they fall below a certain level of charge. Another tidbit of information to log in the "Why it does not work book".
John
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Old 09-07-2007, 21:04   #23
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Check your ground. Resistance is the only thing that should be building up heat. Good luck!
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:42   #24
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John-
"a Freedom Converter does not like to recharge batteries if they fall below a certain level of charge." That's actually no longer "odd", even a number of automotive alternators are set up so they won't charge a battery that has gone too low. I don't know why this is, I suspect it has something to do with an engineering choice designed to make sure something can't blow up or burn out. (Or, the insideous spread of German Engineering: All nice and high tech, just ain't gonna get you home when you need it most.)
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:59   #25
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Most of the charge regulators have "high voltage" and "low voltage" disconnects. Usually they will trip, go offline for a period, then come back to charge later. I had the problem with a MorningStar solar regulator. Ended up bypassing the Xantrex voltage regulator on the alternator, firing up the donk and getting some juice back into one battery bank, and then the regulator would charge.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:33   #26
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hellosailor and starfish62-
Thanks for your responses. Hopefully, the responses will help someone diagnose their 12volt electrical system.
John
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