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On-board "Smart" Charger
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  1. On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #1
    After a few years of using our MK-330 as an "off-board" type charger, replacing the factory power hungry bulk charger that died, we decided to see if we could mount the MK330 somewhere ON the tractor.

    I found a thread where a member had mounted a similar charger in the forward, under hood area of an ET, but that this required extending the wires to reach the rear battery pack. This is something I very much wished to avoid, because it would cause the temperature probes to become ineffective or even useless. The affect of that would be the wrong charge voltage in extreme hot or cold, neither is good for the life of the batteries.

    One of the things we wanted to achieve was to ensure we had GOOD electrical connections between the charger and the batteries. The alligator clips just were not good enough to achieve 100% SOC under even ideal conditions.

    First we removed all the batteries, cleaned the battery boxes, battery bags and interconnect cable terminals. We slid the front tray forward and made some beginning measurements. The charger would fit against the rear wall of the front battery box and the cables would reach the rear pack w/o modification, IF the output leads were on the bottom. I cut a piece of plywood to mount the charger to, then a 1/2" x 1" board to support the charger off the bottom of the battery box, hanging it from the upper ledge.

    Please reference the photos below, the only tricky part was getting the cables thru the hole in the bottom of the box w/o allowing them to chafe or be cut, careful routing and cliping was all that was needed.
    Attached Images
    Last edited by JohnG; 08-19-2011 at 10:32 PM. Reason: stil kant spel
    JohnG
    1973 E-12 (26AE12JA / DS02 020)
    Born 02 April 1973

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote - Benjamin Franklin

    I vote LIBERTY!
     
     

  2. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #2
    Senior Member behaines's Avatar
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    Upstate NY, USA
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  3. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #3
    D@MMIT! Now I HAVE to get the ET painted!!!!!!

    NICE job!!!!!!!! Damnear too nice to be a working tractor in fact.....
    JohnG
    1973 E-12 (26AE12JA / DS02 020)
    Born 02 April 1973

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote - Benjamin Franklin

    I vote LIBERTY!
     
     

  4. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #4
    Does your charger get HOT!?

    I realize that when it's 108*F outside it is hot already, but man this charger seems to get hotter now that it is hard wired than it did using alligator clips.

    I imagine that is normal to some extent, bette connection = more voltage to the cells = more amps = more heat. I don't think there is any danger at all, the battery bag just barely touches the charger and there is no evidence of discoloration or melting from the heat. If it can't even discolor the plastic bag, it cannot catch anything on fire.
    JohnG
    1973 E-12 (26AE12JA / DS02 020)
    Born 02 April 1973

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote - Benjamin Franklin

    I vote LIBERTY!
     
     

  5. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #5
    Senior Member pewamo758's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    pewamo, michigan
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    John,

    My charger gets to hot to touch. I'm sure they are designed for the heat, but I put a fan on mine just for piece of mind. Its on a therostat switch that comes on around 115 degrees.

    My 2 cents

    Tom
    Pewamo758
     
     

  6. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #6
    Senior Member housewiz's Avatar
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    Richmondville, NY
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    John,

    That Minn-Kota 330D charger does get pretty hot - the reason I unplugged it right away during the 1st charging session. The manual indicates they would prefer 6" of air space on two sides and the front. That didn't happen so I have considered a fan also.

    Now that cool charger has a stable mate.

    Steve

    IMG_5335.JPG
    Attached Images
     
     

  7. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #7
    Sure, go RIGHT AHEAD and RUB IT IN!!!!! LoL

    Steve has a nice newly painted tractor...

    Steve has a on-board MK330.....

    Steve has a rotary inverter....

    AND THEY ALL LOOK NEW!!!!!!! LoL!

    YES, I am in fact, jealous. I'd be "green" with envy, but that's another forum
    Last edited by JohnG; 08-19-2011 at 10:36 PM. Reason: jon kant spel
    JohnG
    1973 E-12 (26AE12JA / DS02 020)
    Born 02 April 1973

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote - Benjamin Franklin

    I vote LIBERTY!
     
     

  8. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #8
    Senior Member
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    California
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    How difficult is it to install that MK330? Does it require a lot of rewiring or is it simpler than that?
     
     

  9. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #9
    Senior Member housewiz's Avatar
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    Richmondville, NY
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    857
    Brian should respond soon. He installed it on my tractor. The manual does say it prefers more space around the charger however there just isn't much extra room in the front battery compartment.

    Steve
     
     

  10. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Apple Farmer View Post
    How difficult is it to install that MK330? Does it require a lot of rewiring or is it simpler than that?
    It is *simple* once the factory charger is removed....

    Decide if you want to install the new charger in the front or rear of the battery box:

    Front will require extending the leads a little so they will reach the rear pack, 4 pieces of 14ga wire (2ea Black and White) and four 14ga self sealing butt connectors. Advantage is that there is more room in front for air circulation.

    Rear will require shifting the front pack forward in the box up to the lift motor. The advantage is no need to add wire to the charger and more weight to the front if you use a tiller etc.

    Withe either choice, remove the battery cables noting their location and orientation. Removing all the cables helps ensure no unwanted sparks during the installation process. Clean the cable ends and battery terminals to ensure good electrical contact.

    1) Disconnect front pack, remove batteries and clean/inspect the bag and tray.

    2) Move the tray forward in the battery box, install cleaned bag and batteries into tray.

    3) Make a plywood backer for the charger, Apx 10" x 17" - you just need to be able to cover the mounting holes on the charger

    4) Cut a 1/2" x 1" to fit accross the ledge and attach to the plywood backer so the charger output cords will be off the floor of the box ~1.5".

    5) Route the LEFT two charger cords thru the hole in the center rear of the box floor, you can see the steering shaft under the hole.

    6) Connect the Right most charger cord to the front pack (12V configuration)

    7) Route the cords for the rear pack along the existing harness to the rear box, tie securely out of the way of the drive belt.

    8) Using a SHARP razor knife CAREFULLY cut into the black insulating outer covering on the two rear cords so you can srtip about 8" of this black outer covering off of the inner conducting wires. Note: Use caution when stripping at the end of the insulation where the covering ends, there is a small temperature probe inside. Peel the covering off GENTLY and slowly.

    9) Connect the WHITE wires to B+ and the BLACK wires to B- (orientation depends on how your batteries are installed, that is which way around they are installed)

    Let me explains this differently, because those steps seem more complex than they really are....

    Look at your tractor with the lids open.

    The MK330 has THREE 12v output wires, one will be connected to the FRONT pair of batteries, the other two to the REAR pack, LH pair and RH pair respectively.

    The rear pack is 4 batteries, the batteries on each SIDE are connected togather to make 2 12V packs. The "+" and "-" of the 12V pair might be at the front of the rear box, or the rear, that does not matter. Just remember three things: each SIDE is a "pair" making 12V, forget where they are connected to each other and White goes to "+" / Black goes to "-".

    In ALL cases, you will need 6ea 14ga x 5/16" "ring terminals" (also called eyelets) to crimp onto the bare ends of the charger wires. I did not use the "insulated" type terminals but the UN-insulated type because that is what I had. There is no reason to chose one over the other.
    Last edited by JohnG; 08-20-2011 at 02:26 PM.
    JohnG
    1973 E-12 (26AE12JA / DS02 020)
    Born 02 April 1973

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote - Benjamin Franklin

    I vote LIBERTY!
     
     

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