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Old 03-21-2012, 09:19 PM
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Default IBS Dual Battery System ?

I posted this on MUD but not getting any answers.

I'm in the process of installing the IBS Dual Battery System (with RBM) in my 100. As I'm going through the system I don't understand how the system recharges the batteries if one is drained lower than the other.

If I camp somewhere and use the inverter, fridge, camp lights and external DVD player and deplete the aux battery, it will take forever for that battery to recharge because the regulator will send the electricity along the path of least resistance, correct? In other words, it will send a charge to the main battery and very little to the aux battery, in turn taking a very long time to recharge the battery I really need charged. Will the "manual link" feature charge the aux battery faster?

Has anyone experienced this? Any electronics guys want to chime in? Or, am I wrong?
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Last edited by Fishy; 03-21-2012 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:08 AM
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You will charge the main battery first, the once it crosses the threshold you will charge the second battery. Presuming you wire everything to the backup, this will happen right away when you start the truck, but technically could be delayed if the main was worn down. I have never seen this though, both batteries read full voltage on mine instantly every time I start up, regardless of what I ran down. I suspect that's because the alternator is providing more juice than #1 can handle, so the ibs deal diverts that surplus to #2. And pushing manual won't make a difference, since you will see both are combined instantly automatically.

Manual link will allow you to pull from the main without turning the truck on, but only for a couple minutes then it switches back. I suspect that's a feature not a defect, but can be annoying since the thing beeps incessantly when there's a low voltage condition- on the cheaper Hellroaring you can flip a toggle switch to run your main battery down too, but I haven't found that option yet on the ibs, without running back to push the button every 5 minutes.

Edit: if you need he wiring that RBI let me know, Texas Chris installed that in his 100, took us a bit to figure it all out but I could put you in touch!
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:27 AM
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Do these systems monitor both batteries and how many (of those evil) relays or switches does it use? IOW, how does the alternator get connected to the batteries? Can the batteries be paralleled for starting & winching? A link or datasheet would be helpful, I'm not familiar with them. I run the old fashioned dual batteries, I bring along one of the spares I keep charging at the house (to run the Engel, some lights and a radio if we lose power) and if my battery is dead, I swap them. But we have designed a few solar array/battery charge controllers so I'm curious what these things do.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:36 AM
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Tim,
I think that's incorrect.


Don't both batteries read full on start up because it's reading the current from the alternator? The regulator doesn't know you have two batteries, it only sees a battery, could be one or ten. It's reading full because it's reading alternator current while the truck is running.


Let's say I take the kids camping for 2 days. Day one we run the inverter, plug in a bunch of things, use camp lights and so on. I run the aux battery down. The next day we drive for 30 minutes and set up camp again. My aux battery will not have charged because the system thinks I only have one battery (the main). It will read full for both on my display while my truck is running, but if I unhooked the main, and shut my truck off it wouldn't show full anymore.


If I started my truck and then unhooked my main battery, the LED display will still show 2 batteries because the relay is closed. Then it would read low voltage and the aux battery would charge quicker.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:45 AM
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Is this the guy?



If so, looks like to me that with the engine running the batteries will always look 'full'. With the engine off, then you get a true state of charge.

Also looks like to me that the main battery is always being charged and the second battery only gets switched in once the main is sensed to be full. When it does the regulated voltage will get some combination of sense of the the two and the main battery will supply current to charge the second one. This is not an optimal setup (I'd prefer to prevent main-to-secondary flow) but it works as long as the second battery is not allowed to remain in the circuit with the engine off. It also allows using both for winching and self-jump starting.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:49 AM
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Yeah Stan that's a good point, you're right. I run my 2nd battery down to between 12.0 and 12.4 every day at work, depending on how hot it is... and when I drive home of course the gauge shows full charge, but an hour after I shut the truck off I get a more truer reading, like 12.6. If it's a short trip at lunch or something the 2nd is only up to 12.2-12.4. I think I remember hearing it takes about 3 hours of actual driving (higher than idle rpm's) to get back to a more full charge. I have also heard many times that our alternators are not designed to work well with type AGM batteries, they will charge them but not all the way, so doesn't hurt to put them on a charger/tender every now and again, particularly before a big trip.

And Dave you are correct, and just one evil relay, for the record.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakman View Post
I have also heard many times that our alternators are not designed to work well with type AGM batteries, they will charge them but not all the way
This is not true unless your charging system isn't functioning right. If it undercharges an AGM, it would undercharge flooded types, too. Now that is a problem, voltage regulators that need to be checked or adjusted. Things are (or were) often set to minimize the chance of over charging in the worse condition (say Phoenix in the summer).

At 75F (ideal charge voltage is a function of temp), they want to bulk charge (e.g. be fed as much current as they want held at a constant voltage) at 14.4V (2.4V per cell) and float at 13.5V (2.25V/cell) just like flooded type. You never normally want to exceed 2.4V/cell on any flooded or AGM battery, since that'll over charge, over heat and probably start the battery venting.

The problem with auto charging systems is using sealed gel (so called SLAB), they must never be subjected to higher than 14.0V as that will ruin them.

Whatever the case, you can tell if you're charging right if the resting open circuit voltage is 12.8V for an AGM or 12.7V for a flooded type. If it's not, then yes, you are undercharged or the battery is wearing down.

One thing our charging systems do not do is equalize batteries well. That requires 2.6V/cell for flooded and 2.5V/cell for AGM but must be done carefully so as not to overheat. You must use constant current and constant voltage for a controlled period. Automotive charging systems are not designed to control charge current and have no timed function, thus they only operate in bulk mode and quasi float. This is where a smart charger is required, but that was true of flooded batteries, too. I personally use a IOTA DLS-45 to condition my batteries and float the reserve ones.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
Is this the guy?



If so, looks like to me that with the engine running the batteries will always look 'full'. With the engine off, then you get a true state of charge.

Also looks like to me that the main battery is always being charged and the second battery only gets switched in once the main is sensed to be full. When it does the regulated voltage will get some combination of sense of the the two and the main battery will supply current to charge the second one. This is not an optimal setup (I'd prefer to prevent main-to-secondary flow) but it works as long as the second battery is not allowed to remain in the circuit with the engine off. It also allows using both for winching and self-jump starting.
Dave,

That's the one. I see a flaw in the LCD display system. It gives you warm fuzzies when you start your truck and think you're golden on your batteries. Unless you really know what's going on, you could get yourself stranded thinking you can use your main battery for something and let it run down, because your aux battery reads full, you assume it will start your truck if need be. In fact, that may not be the case. This is not a fool proof system at all.

I so bad want to borrow a quote from Tommy Boy....ah why not?


"Here's the way I see it, Ted. Guy puts fancy lights on a box 'cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside"

"Yeah, makes a man feel good"

'Course it does. Why shouldn't it? Ya figure you put that little box under your pillow at night, the LCD Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right? The point is, how do you know the fairy isn't a crazy glue sniffer? "Building model airplanes" says the little fairy; well, we're not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that's all it takes. The next thing you know, there's money missing off the dresser, and your daughter's knocked up. I seen it a hundred times.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
This is not true unless your charging system isn't functioning right..


To clarify, the reference is to charging an AGM that has been drained. First reference, off the top of my head...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeoffroad View Post
Ken, are you using a AGM charger with the generator? My experience was the same when I had the Kimberly Kamper. The vehicle or a generator will not charge the AGM batteries up to full capacity. They will read full voltage, but they have virtually no capacity. Now I have not tried to the AGM charger but from talking to the Oddessy rep, the recommended way to charge those is to use a AGM specific charger to get them back up to spec when you fully drain them.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:25 PM
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Without knowing current, there's no way to judge charge conditions with the engine running or a solar panel connected. So you do need to know the health of the batteries before starting out for the day. But driving on the highway for a couple of hours should get the majority of both batteries charged, presuming you only use the main for starting, since it will not need a lot of energy and most of it should be consumed by the aux battery.
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