Daily Archives: December 23, 2014

Wiring and Re-Wiring . . .

Luckily the forecasted rain bypassed us this morning, so after coffee and a sampling of some of Jan’s freshly-made sausage balls, I went next door to Randy’s so we could finish up his electrical repair and rewiring.

But first I wanted to see how his batteries were doing after being discharged down to about 6 volts. We turned off shore power and check the voltages, and everything looked pretty good. Then I turned on the inverter and then the TV and the refrigerator, and voltage only dropped about a 10th of a volt, and didn’t budge after another 10 minutes or so. So far, so good.

Next I had him start up the coach to see how his engine batteries were doing. The first thing I noticed was that he just put the key in, tuned it on and started the engine. No waiting for the ‘Wait To Start” light to go out. In fact the ‘Wait To Start” light never went out, even after the engine was running.

Randy said that PPL (finally found out that’s where he bought the coach from) told him it didn’t work right, but it wasn’t important and not to worry about it. He said the engine runs just fine and he’s had no problems with it.

Suggested that he might want to wait 15 – 20 seconds before cranking up anyway, and that he should have it checked at some point. I suspect that a sensor is not returning the correct code to the computer that shuts the light off.

Oh well. Just another problem.

Now it was on to the rewiring. Or maybe I should say the re-rewiring, since the problem seems to have been caused by the rewiring that the solar guy did.

The other day, in trying to get the power converter working, I moved the end of the short red wire shown in the orange box from one side of the isolator, indicated by the orange arrow, over to the output side of the power converter. That meant that the power converter was now feeding the house batteries as it should.

Randy's Rewiring 1

But I was bothered by the fact that the hole in the wire lug was not big enough to fit down over the stud of the power converter fuse block. I was able to jam it on there so that it was working, but it wouldn’t stay on when the coach was moved. Circuitwise the wire should go there, so why didn’t it fit?

Then the other night I was thinking about it and realized that maybe the solar guy had removed the wire completely, and then put it back on backwards And when I took the wire off today and reversed the ends, it fit perfectly. Yeah!

Next I disconnected the wire that the solar guy had used to connect the engine batteries and the house batteries together, and rerouted it up the isolator terminal where it needed to go. And it too fit perfectly.

So now I had the power converter feeding into the house batteries as it should, and the engine battery and house battery banks connected together through the isolator as it should.

The only real question is the isolator circuit. I physically tested the isolator and it works, but I don’t know If the signal that controls the isolator is working, i.e. is it switching over to keep the engine batteries charged when it s supposed to. So I told Randy to keep an eye on his engine battery voltage to be sure it’s working.

Wrapping up,  the last thing that needed to be done was to move the output of the solar system from the engine batteries to the house batteries. That’s the smaller red wire with the black lump in it.

Randy's Monaco 1

The black lump is an inline splice, so all I needed to do was to remove the short wire from the splice and connect a longer one with a lug on the end to reach into the next compartment and connect to the house battery banks. I had the right wire to do it, but no lugs of the right size so I told Randy to go into Columbus and check out the AutoZone for some.

In the meantime it was time for Jan and I to walk across the circle to have dinner with Janice and Dave Evans. They had invited us over for a Grilled Chicken and Sausage Dinner, and boy, was it good. Especially the Roasted Veggies that went with it.

We always have a great time with Janice and Dave, and this time is no exception, but unfortunately this will be our only chance to get together for now. We’re headed to Conroe tomorrow, and they’re heading on to San Antonio in a few days. But I sure we’ll connect back up soon. We always do.

Getting back to our rig a little after 6 I found that Randy had gotten the lugs so I went back over, crimped the new lug on the wire, connected it into the splice, and hooked it up to the house battery bank.

And after checking out all the voltages, the inverter, and everything else we could think of,  we declared it a job done. Whether it was ‘well’ done or not, will remain to be seen. I’ll keep you updated.

Tomorrow we’ll pull out of our site, get propane for the first time since September 18, 2011, then get diesel at Colorado County Oil for $2.58 a gallon (YEAH) and then make the two hour run back over to the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails. And as soon as we’re parked and hooked up, we’ll head down to Clear Lake for our annual Christmas Eve Family Dinner at the King Food, something we’ve done every year for about 30 years.

Then it’s back up to Brandi’s to spend the night so we can be there with Landon on Christmas morning. And then of course Brandi’s big friends and family Christmas Party that afternoon.

No wonder everyone’s exhausted after the holidays.


Thought for the Day: