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  #1  
Old December 20th, 2010, 11:44 AM
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Jeff Labbé
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Dual battery

I have set up my dual battery with 1 red top optima (starter), 1 yellow top (auxiliary) and a National Luna intelligent split charger. Since then My battery are draining electricity somewhere/somehow. Before, I had a single battery and I could turn on the Webasto pre-heater for 45min to an hour and then fire the beast. Now it doesn't put out enough energy to crank the engine!!! What when wrong?
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  #2  
Old December 20th, 2010, 12:00 PM
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Did you leave the webasto on overnight? When I installed my Webasto the tech at Webasto told me to make sure that how ever long you run the heater you need to run the engine.

So if you use the Webasto for 45 min you need to drive at least 45 min to ensure you get the charge back..
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  #3  
Old December 20th, 2010, 12:06 PM
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Yep, No problems there. Usually when I turn on the Webasto Preheater it's for 3/4 - 1 hrs. Then I fire up the beast and the shortest drive I make is 30 mins at 50-55 mph. That's to get to the service station. Then to get in town, it's a 1 1/2 back and forth. So they're suppose to get recharging in that period. I've check the alternator (45 amps Lucas), except from being a small unit, it seems to cope well.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Dumb question... Is it possible that one of the batteries is shot? Do you have a diode between the two..
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  #5  
Old December 20th, 2010, 01:02 PM
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45 amps seems low for a dual battery setup imo.
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  #6  
Old December 20th, 2010, 01:14 PM
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Couple of questions:
1 - not sure 45 amps will ever charge those batteries fully...how long do you drive each day? I have 190amps coming out of mine...and am worried I won't have enough juice when I am at full load...
2 - What battery is the webasto hooked to?
3 - Does the Luna connect the two batts when you turn the key? You may be draining the starting battery. Do you have a setting where you can keep the batteries disconnected until you start?
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  #7  
Old December 20th, 2010, 10:37 PM
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Everything is on the red top one for the moment. On start up the Luna separate the two battery then, after +/- 5mins. The second one (yellow top) is connected. But before I had the same energy consumption with only one battery and it was working fine! ... 190 amps alternator, is that for a 200 tdi unit?
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  #8  
Old December 21st, 2010, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDNRover View Post
Everything is on the red top one for the moment. On start up the Luna separate the two battery then, after +/- 5mins. The second one (yellow top) is connected. But before I had the same energy consumption with only one battery and it was working fine! ... 190 amps alternator, is that for a 200 tdi unit?
Not a TDI...but you need more juice to charge two batteries.

Also, ccording to your Luna manual, you have this setup wrong...your heater and accessories should be on battery 2...

Step 1 would be to move the heater to the non-starting battery...running a heater for 45mins is more of a yellow-top type activity either way.

http://www.nationalluna.com/Datashee...structions.pdf

The controller will disconnect the two batteries if the charge on #1 is below 12.7v...therefore in your situation, you have a perfectly charged battery #2 sitting disconnected :-(

Step 2 is to see if your alternator is giving enough output.

There are also some battery and alternator testing steps in the manual linked above....

I would bet that your alt is incapable of fully charging your #1 battery and your backup sits disconnected...

I guess I am wondering what your dual battery plan was...that is...why the second battery if you are not really using it?

Optima does not recommend mixing red and yellow...why that choice?

My setup is
Painless Wiring controller
Two Yellow tops
Starter and standard accessories on Battery 1
Lights, Winch, etc. on battery 2

The painless has 3 settings:
1 - Always connected
2 - Connected only when ignition is on
3 - Disconnected

In your situation I would leave mine in position 3 to run the heater, start the truck then switch to position 1 (or leave in position 2...but if #2 drained too much I would be afraid I would pull too much charge from #1)

Technically, your Luna will operate this way if you hook the heater to battery 2.

Dave
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  #9  
Old December 21st, 2010, 10:44 PM
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Yeah I know that, just haven't had time to do all the wiring. I still have plenty to do.. I will connect the webasto to the auxiliary battery. But even so, as it is, it's like a normal one battery operating system with a second battery that is not use. How come a red top isn't able to do the job that a cheap "car" type battery did before?
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  #10  
Old December 21st, 2010, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDNRover View Post
Yeah I know that, just haven't had time to do all the wiring. I still have plenty to do.. I will connect the webasto to the auxiliary battery. But even so, as it is, it's like a normal one battery operating system with a second battery that is not use. How come a red top isn't able to do the job that a cheap "car" type battery did before?

You are probably not ever getting a full charge to it. The AGM batteries take more to charge...I bet they never fully charge(esp with two of them drawing on the alt...)
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  #11  
Old December 22nd, 2010, 07:23 AM
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What I found is that the 45 amp alt does not charge at idel if there is any electrical load. To keep up with the heater and lights it needs to be over 1200 rpm. In the winter with these running all the time plus the Webasto load, it never fully charges back up when driving around town. The stock 65 amp unit works much better and handles the normal load even at idle.
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  #12  
Old December 22nd, 2010, 09:14 AM
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Oops...just realized that I wrote 190 amp above....stupid iPad keyboard...meant to type 100. It ij a stock 85 amp model that is tested at 100 amps. Point is your 45 amp could be putting out 35 or 55...but either say...a new alt should be in your future.
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  #13  
Old December 22nd, 2010, 09:16 AM
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Let say I change the alternator, does it worth "supersize" it? I mean putting the 65 amp would be a starting point but does it worth putting a 120amp instead? mind as well do it right!
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 12:51 PM
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depends on what you are going to run with it.

My 100amp is just sufficient to run my lights and winch (the winch will draw down the batts under heavy load)

I am not aware of the difference in electical draw of the tdi and the gas motor...so it might be good enough...someone with tdi eperience will have to chime in...
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  #15  
Old December 22nd, 2010, 01:59 PM
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No electric winch so far.

------ Follow up post added December 22nd, 2010 01:59 PM ------

no electric winch so far..
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  #16  
Old December 22nd, 2010, 03:39 PM
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I would reccomend a battery isolator as opposed to the Luna unit. I believe your current setup allows one battery to drain. Also, they usually recommend a split as close as possible to the alternator.
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  #17  
Old December 23rd, 2010, 02:22 PM
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Not too off topic, but, what is the best way to measure how many amps the alternator is putting out???

I'm assuming a multimeter, but where can you hook it up??
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  #18  
Old December 23rd, 2010, 11:13 PM
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inductive pick up clamp and carbon pile.

http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_101...&blockType=L10

or sim.... it needs to read dc amps, the carbon pile will produce a load greater then the alt can put out...crank up the cp and read the alt output.
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  #19  
Old December 28th, 2010, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikojo View Post
Not too off topic, but, what is the best way to measure how many amps the alternator is putting out???

I'm assuming a multimeter, but where can you hook it up??

My local rover mechanic did it NC
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  #20  
Old December 28th, 2010, 10:03 PM
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Ground to a ground and positive to a positive with a meter.
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