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Old 07-28-2017, 01:27 PM   #271
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IIRC, the Balmar is programmed for both soft start and delay. Perhaps that is what is involved. I've noticed that the GU alternator voltage delivered wanders around and assume that it's the Balmar doing its multi-stage thing. If that was happening with a single stage external regulator, I'd be more concerned.

These Balmar regulators are programmed and supplied by Nations and I believe they supply it with a 15 amp inline fuse to address a field winding short. In the event of a regulator failure, RT deals with Nations, not Balmar. I plan to carry a spare.

I would be reluctant to tinker with the program which if discovered in a warranty claim would undoubtedly void the warranty.
I would certainly agree he should not mess with the Balmar program, but reading the status and comparing to the voltages he is seeing would be vital information for Roadtrek, Nations, or Balmar to know if the regulator is working properly, or not. The voltages he has been seeing would indicate the alternator is not charging the batteries for some reason, I think.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:35 PM   #272
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If you look at the ecotrek modules,
you will notice there are 2 inputs and 1 outputs.
Not sure what you are saying?

There are 4 external connections on an Ecotrek battery module.

Black negative/ground terminal

Red charge terminal, usually connected to the GU, solar charge controller, and the auxiliary AGM battery. Some vans have been delivered with the solar charge controller on the load terminal and in some cases RT has had this changed to the charge side.

Red load terminal, usually connected to the inverter/charger and the 12v power distribution with the battery disconnect controlling some or all of the items connected to this terminal. There are some vans that have been reported to have some items hard wired to the load side before the battery disconnect.

A multi conductor connector that has the wall switches connected and also supports a tester used to analyze the battery module by technicians. This connection likely was used for the touch screen display on some early deliveries.

How many inputs and outputs there are depends on how you count things. The charge terminal is connected to the batter cells through a relay and normally has current flowing into the cells but nothing prevents current flow out of the cells. The load terminal has current flowing both ways since it has both the inverter function and other loads along with the shore battery charger. The other connector has inputs and outputs.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:37 PM   #273
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It's holding at 13.18 now. So I guess that is some increase after 15 minutes or so of idling. Not sure if that's enough though. There are idle speed settings on the chasis but I haven't messed with any of those.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:48 PM   #274
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I'm curious if the GU is working properly. I ran one ecotrek down for a bit. Then cranked up the engine. It started by showing 13.15 volts. I'm running inverter and powering one laptop (and frig). Idling now for ten minutes and it's showing 13.16 volts currently.

I was under the impression that with the GU and the engine idling, the A/C could be powered without discharging the battery (and arguably still charging the battery although I think many believe that isn't the case). But with the A/C off I would expect more of a voltage increase. So far no dice but maybe I'm just misreading things.

Edit: About 5 mins later and despite going up to 13.18 momentarily, it's now back down to 13.15.

The GU output is affected by temperature.
All alternators do.
The higher the temperature, the lower the output.

Many people have made the mathematic calculations. They are posted on various forums including this one, you can do a search to find out -- while running the aircond, the GU can only replenish a small amount of battery. For the 35 min VoltStart cycle, you will not be able to fully top up one single depleted ecotrek.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:49 PM   #275
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It's holding at 13.18 now. So I guess that is some increase after 15 minutes or so of idling. Not sure if that's enough though. There are idle speed settings on the chasis but I haven't messed with any of those.
Sprinter manual seems to suggest that changing engine power settings will void the warranty. I guess I'll stick with the set idle settings then.

Showing 13.19 volts now. So it has increased a bit. Makes me think the GU is doing something then. But I don't see how this could possibly sustain the A/C and charge a battery.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:49 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
The GU output is affected by temperature.
All alternators do.
The higher the temperature, the lower the output.

Many people have made the mathematic calculations. They are posted on various forums including this one, you can do a search to find out -- while running the aircond, the GU can only replenish a small amount of battery. For the 35 min VoltStart cycle, you will not be able to fully top up one single depleted ecotrek.
Makes sense. It's early morning with a temp in the 60s ambient. Engine hadn't been run all night.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:51 PM   #277
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It's holding at 13.18 now. So I guess that is some increase after 15 minutes or so of idling. Not sure if that's enough though. There are idle speed settings on the chasis but I haven't messed with any of those.
How many modules were turned on at that time?
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:52 PM   #278
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How many modules were turned on at that time?
Just one. One module on, inverter on, and one full laptop plugged into an outlet.

It has been 30 mins trying to charge one ecotrek so I'm going to shut off the engine now. After 30 mins of idling the battery went from 13.15 to 13.18.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:57 PM   #279
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Just one. One module on, inverter on, and one full laptop plugged into an outlet.
It could simply be a float voltage caused by the Balmar regulator if that module was already near fully charged. I'd turn on more discharged modules to see if the voltage increases.
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Old 07-28-2017, 02:03 PM   #280
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It's holding at 13.18 now. So I guess that is some increase after 15 minutes or so of idling. Not sure if that's enough though. There are idle speed settings on the chasis but I haven't messed with any of those.
Did you order the high-idle option?

IIRC I think you need it if you require regular GU operation.
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