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Old 14-11-2005, 14:05   #16
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Thanks for the reply Mr. Bickford.
On my boat there is no LED lights on the breakers, they are the old fashoined dark kind.

I did however find the problem:

The stereo was warm to the touch, but the power button was off and the backlighted LCD was dark...In other words the radio and the tapeplayer was OFF.

Not so, when I disconnected it from the fuse, the 0.8 amp drop went away and it showed a true 0.0 on amps flowing in or out with the rotary switch to any position.
(Disconnected the solar panels before I did this of course)

So, there was an internal problem in the stereo, an old Horizon MST 60.
Noticed a tape was left in the machine and perhaps the tape motor was spinning, and have been doing it for severeral months.

Hmm, glad I installed that Battery Monitor as I would not have found the propblem otherwise.

Not a bad idea "feeling up" the equipment from time to time, if something is warm, that should be dead and cold, we have a problem, and we did.

But now Mr. Rick and the rest of us can sleep good....

PS...Any recommedation on a good and inexpensive CD stereo player with AM and FM radio...? It don't have to be no "Marine" stuff as it will live in a cabinet down below and there ain't no deck leaks down there...Knock on wood...
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Old 14-11-2005, 16:17   #17
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Agreed. Best toy I've installed since I bought the boat. You learn a lot about electricity - how much you REALLY use! Even when you are not supposed to be using any. I don't know how you could have known where to look otherwise.
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Old 14-11-2005, 19:40   #18
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Hi John:

Replace that solenoid at least with one with half the power consumption. I have done some work in this area because most propane solenoids have a pull-in voltage below 9V which means that all voltages much above that cause a complete waste of power in addition to adding to the demise of the coil itself over time.

The real solution has been to provide a dc-to-dc converter capable of converting 8 to 16 Volts input to about 9Volts output for the solenoid in order to get an effective infinite soleniod life with good efficiency.
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Old 14-11-2005, 20:01   #19
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Basic project managment principle. You have to be able to measure it before you can effectively measure it.


Metrics are such a wonderful thing..
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Old 14-11-2005, 20:49   #20
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Yes Rick, those solenoids are a real pain in the butt with power hungryness. And don't they get hot!!! that's all wasted power folks. It's being turned into heat.
I have two tanks and two solenoids, one for each tank of course. It means I can turn either or or both tanks on and off from the controll panel. But two valves draw some current. Using a DC circuit regulater may not be the best idea though. It too has a certain amount of waste. I think the best is to use a higher voltage coil. I will do some home work on what maybe able to be done in the area.
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Old 14-11-2005, 21:33   #21
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Stereo

I bought a cheap one and wyred it in. The instructions say that it needs power all the time to run the clock, and it would do silly things if you did not wyre it properly. I chatted with others and the ones that are plugged in to shore power all the time ( power boaters ) use the clock in the radio. But they can be wyred so that the clock is not on ( which would happen when you shut the batteries off ) and the unit will work. It just will not give you the correct time.
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Old 15-11-2005, 05:12   #22
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CSY Man (you wouldn't want to share a first name, would you? sure feels odd passing all these messages back & forth to a moniker...) just about any AM/FM/CD auto stereo system is going to have two +12V power wires plus a ground. This is not only so a clock circuit can be powered non-stop but also to hold memory channels and other data in volatile memory. Dont' forget these are designed for multiple regions of the world and in some of those places the radio indicates which radio station has been selected, automatically shifts from one freq to the next (without you doing anything) when you move within a given country, and so forth. We found our new unit drew very little when 'off' and so didn't bother giving it its own dedicated breaker (like you, I've filled the panel); we just live with it in the same way we live with the small drain for our Link 2000R (comparable to your Xantrex unit).

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Old 15-11-2005, 05:28   #23
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CSY Man (you wouldn't want to share a first name, would you? sure feels odd passing all these messages back & forth to a moniker...)
Name is Dag Hanssen, made in Norway, residing in Ft. Lauderdale.

Roger on yer last message and a small drain from the radio and from the battery monitor...Wonder how much that is?

(The gizzmo does not show it's own drain.)

Now I am cruising e-bay to find a suitable CD player with AM/FM radio..I may have to open up a breaker for it as I don't need no constant drain, albeit small and don't need no memory chip or automatic tuning, etc.

Simple minds need simple equipment...
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Old 15-11-2005, 05:52   #24
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Norwegian eh? That explains a lot. I knew you couldn't be a native 'merican because you spelt "arse" correctly.
Sorry I'm not adding anything constructive, couldn't resist a little dig at our US friends though.
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Old 15-11-2005, 06:10   #25
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On automobiles*, parasitic drains, due to volatile electronic memories (stereo, amp, CD changer, alarm, clock, etc), are generally considered to be excessive at about 35 milliamps or 0.035 A (a Honda Civic, for example, specifies only .015 to .020 amps). Often, the parasitic drain will initially be as high as 0.15A, then decline over a half hour “power-down” mode, to a “normal” stand-by current of under 0.035 A. - so wait an hour, before you panic.

Automobiles generally have a large number of 'volatiles' - your specific acceptable drain will be dependant upon the installed load. Repeating myself, a 0.8A ghost drain is roughly equivalent to an Anchor Light left on 24 hrs/day.
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Old 15-11-2005, 08:53   #26
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I have a power amp wired off my cd player - there is a wire that hooks into the amp to tell the amp to power off when the deck is turned off - I found a 0.8A draw with the deck turned off, even the power led on the amp was off. I have been meaning to email the amp manufacturer to find out if this is normal.
I did phone a car audio place and the guy there told me about 0.3 amps is normal but I just think that is too much for a car (would drain the battery in about 2-3 weeks with no use).

Kevin
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Old 15-11-2005, 11:42   #27
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Yep that can be normal for a "ghost drain". And yep, it will indeed flatten your batteries in 2-3weeks. The best sure fire way of killing Ghost drains is to turn of the systems that unnecessary equipment is wired to. Especially if you are leaving the boat. What In mean by unnecesary equipment, is anything that is not required for the safety of your boat. Pumps should be always on and anchor lights if required, but anything else should be off.
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Old 15-11-2005, 15:19   #28
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CD

I think I connected those two hot wyres together to make it work.
Nothing wierd happens when I turn the batteries on / off and there is no power drain from the CD, am fm radio.
I bought mine from a drug store for about $90-
I also use regular bookshelf speakers that are about 12 X 8 inches. They sit on the shelf, and if I want noise outside I move the speakers outside.
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