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On-board "Smart" Charger - Page 3
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  1. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    162
    Thanks drombit!
     
     

  2. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #22
    "Guest" brand charger are widly regarded as the premium in the on-board charger world, certainly MinnKota and Xantrex make quality pieces as well. I would strongly consider a lower amperage Guest for my next purchase, one I hope never to make.

    A typical "Range" recepticle/plug has 4 prongs: 2 are 240V, one 120V + "ground". They are available for about $30/set from any decent home, electric supply or hardware store. This type is very beneficial due to his 40A/circuit output, I would not go with a charger larger than 15A/circuit myself and 5A or 10A is more than adequate. nothing wrong with 40A, but extra care is needed in the wiring and connections.

    The "female" range recepticle is wired perminantly to the tractor batteries. The Xantrex uses a "common" ground and three B+ wires for a total of 4. The "male" plug is then wired to the charger itself (Xantrex does not have charging leads installed, unlike most others). As long as the negative (common) terminals are in the right place, the B+ wiring does not matter at all.

    Good idea actually, but I wanted to KNOW that I could charge the tractor anywhere we might need to. The extra weight is not even noticable and actually helpful in many cases.
    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!
     
     

  3. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #23
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Ithaca NY
    Posts
    31
    So here are the pics of how I use my Xantrex charger with three 88AH AGM batteries.
    The first pic shows the male dryer plugs attached to the terminal strip of the charger.
    The positive leads are all on the right dryer plug. The left dryer plug is the three negative leads tied together as you can see in the second pic.
    From the female receptacles mounted on the plywood, the charging leads go out to there respective batteries & poles.

    Pic three shows the charging leads grey wires) and the disconnects (green knobs) that are removed to take the pack out of series so each battery can be charged simultaneously at the charger's rated 12 volts.

    It's not very pretty but it has worked for a year and a half. I yanked the ferro charger a while back. The transformer was toast anyway.






     
     

  4. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #24
    I see the disconnects on the batteries, I was goind to ask how you used a common ground w/o allowing all the magic smoke to escape.

    This is one reason I chose the MinnKota, it has 3 ISOLATED banks allowing direct wiring with no wires common to any two banks. Guest and a few others offer this feature as well, it is not all that common, but a very important consideration.
    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 
    #25
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Ithaca NY
    Posts
    31
    Yeah. If I had three ground connections on the charger I don't think I'd have to have the disconnects. Maybe my next charger will be an MK, though as you said before, I want this one to last.

    One drawback of removing the charger after the charge is completed is that the terminal blocks get a lot of abuse, especially with those big honking wires attached.
    I just replaced the terminal block the other day on the charger. That's why the +/- labels don't quite line up with the terminal ports.

    Some nice flexible welding wire would be much better. Maybe I'll get a nice 4 conductor plug and couple it with flexible wire to simplify the setup.
     
     

  6. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #26
    Senior Member Bush_EGT120's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    West Milton, OH
    Posts
    390
    Drombit,

    You could have just mounted a ground bar/terminal strip for the three grounds and used a copper lug to attach the charger. If you flipped the plug/receptacle orientation, you could use single, 8 gauge MTW/THHN wire from the charger terminals to the receptacle and just have a cord on the tractor, which takes up less room and helps on the charger terminal block issue. I believe they make a wall-mount range outlet that comes with some pretty flexible cord as well. Lots of options there...

    Good idea for AGMs! Do the 3-12s provide enough capacity?

    Chad
     
     

  7. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #27
    I am VERY pleased with the charging performance now that the unit is hard-wired.

    Knowing what I know now, there is NO WAY I would suggest any form of temporary conection(s) to the battery pack. There is just too much resistance in the circuit using plugs and alligator clips.

    After two days of charging with alternating Green and Orange lights and a GALLON of DI water, the "fuel gauge" reads well into the green, about 60% scale, far more than ever before.

    I would call the the second best alteration to the tractor, the first was the MK330 itself.
    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 
    #28
    Great charger aint it? Add some desulphators to the mix and you will be even happier....
     
     

  9. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #29
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    25
    I'd been looking for an ElecTrak for some time, and saw an E15 nearby on Craigslist, but it went before I could go see it. But it turns out the purchaser had an E8M and he then contacted me and I grabbed that instead. I just brought it home. It is complete but somewhat battle worn. As part of 'fixing' it up I intend to replace the charging circuit with something more efficient... While looking at the charger described in this thread I found this one, at:

    http://www.amazon.com/NOCO-GEN3-On-Board-Battery-Charger/dp/B003JSO1X2/ref=pd_sbs_sg_2/177-2013896-3383115

    Has anyone used one, and have you any thoughts, the price seems very cheap?

    I have 11 off 12V Deep cycle batteries, which are still 'good' to varying degrees from my eCar project ( http://pontiacfirefly.com/ecarGallery/ ) which are now 5 years old, ( I'm planning on rebuilding the car with an AC motor and lithium batteries, ) some charge fine, some never come up to voltage and one causes my charger to lockout with a fail message as soon as I turn the charger on. But I potentially have 6 that are good, so 2 separate or one 'parallel' 36V string is possible.

    The Tractor came with 2 decks, both the blades on one won't turn, (reading this forum I see that the magnets might have come unstuck, or bearings might just be seized?) but on the other deck both turn, I haven't tried applying power or freeing them up yet, but once 'sorted' I visualise using one set of 3 batteries for the mower deck and the other 3 for the traction motor, perhaps with a separate charger for each bank.

    I'm in Osoyoos, BC, Canada, but the S. end of town is the US border, and look out over the border to Oroville in WA, are there any other Elec-traks in this area?

    I probably should have separated this post out into several different subjects, but please excuse my enthusiasm, I'm really chuffed to finally have an ElecTrak even if it is just the baby of the family!

    Thanks,

    Colin
     
     

  10. Re: On-board "Smart" Charger 
    #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Nixa, Missouri
    Posts
    627
    Welcome Colin.

    I have two of the units. No complaints...

    I wouldn't separate into two packs. The traction motor uses very little power compared to the deck. You will end up having a short runtime on the one pack...
     
     

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