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Old 14-05-2012, 10:01   #1
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Xantrex Charging Rate <5%: Problem????

Sat on hold for 20 minutes waiting for Xantrex customer support. Gave up when daughter had to go to school.

Oh well at least I tried to add yet another battery thread....

My Xantrex TrueCharge 20+ never shows more than 5% of charging capacity being used. I've run the batteries (2 Group 24 flooded cells.) down to 12.25 volts which is below the level that should kick in the "bulk charge" mode.

Also if I simply run the stereo (modest car stereo no fancy amps, etc...) the Xantrex doesn't maintain the battery voltage level (indicated voltage drops at about same rate with the TrueCharge unit circuit breaker in either state (on/off).

I would expect the the charger to go to a higher rate of output based on rate of drain or lower detected voltage level.

????

Ford Johnson
1965 Alberg 35
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Old 14-05-2012, 10:45   #2
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Re: Xantrex Charging Rate <5%: Problem????

I have the TrueCharge 20 as well. I can't see any logic to what it does. Sometimes I leave a light on for 5 mins and it goes into bulk charge. Sometimes after a week or two's use it throws an error light and refuses to charge any more. A quick on/off fixes that. Good thing I never leave the boat for more than a week, as it would eventually sink when the batteries were exhausted. Me and a local tech have tried to get help from Xantrex support to no avail.

However, my batteries are 5 years old and going strong so it must be doing something right.

I certainly wouldn't recommend one to anyone else.
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Old 14-05-2012, 11:04   #3
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Re: Xantrex Charging Rate <5%: Problem????

I thought about this and the one explanation I can think of, apart from a faulty charger, is a high resistance between the charger and the battery. It sounds like you have a DVM. Is it possible to measure the voltage at the charger AND at the battery? They should be the same. Any significant difference suggest a bad connection or undersized wire. Note that the live wires, AND ground wire, should be rated for 20A.
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Old 14-05-2012, 12:06   #4
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Re: Xantrex Charging Rate <5%: Problem????

Thanks for suggestion to measure voltage at charger terminal and at battery. The charger is mounted very close to a horizontal surface that the DC wires pierce en route to batteries. So the small rubber terminal boots can't be pulled off without un-mounting charger from the vertical wall and working some slack up to access the bottom of the unit. Visually the connections looked fine, so I got a little lazy... When I'm back on board this week I'll pull unit from wall and do that check.

The wire run is only about 3' and I used 8 gauge wire (installation manual only required 10) , so I'm pretty confident about not having resistance.
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Old 15-05-2012, 01:08   #5
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Re: Xantrex Charging Rate <5%: Problem????

The wire may not have much resistance but the connections can have, especially at the battery end.
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Old 15-05-2012, 03:10   #6
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Re: Xantrex Charging Rate <5%: Problem????

may i recommend sterling chargers of the uk - they have an enormous range and v technical looking specs, which appear to be the best around (that are available in oz anyway). if anyone has a peek at the website i would appreciate a second opinion
J
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Old 15-05-2012, 08:21   #7
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Re: Xantrex Charging Rate <5%: Problem????

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
The wire may not have much resistance but the connections can have, especially at the battery end.
Thanks. I started by making sure the lugs and terminals are clean and tight. I did spray them with WD 40 prior to re-attachment, but I don't think that would cause significant resistance.
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Old 15-05-2012, 08:54   #8
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Re: Xantrex Charging Rate <5%: Problem????

Xantrex has 4 techs. Jeff, Jeff, Larry and I forgot! 4 guys to handle every boatyard tech, marine electrician and doit yourselfer in North America. Once you get through they will stay on the phone with you until they have a solution for your problem. The problem you describe is worth waiting on hold.
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