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Old 02-09-2009, 11:29 AM   #1
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isolators

When would you use a solinoid isolator over a solid state unit?
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:49 AM   #2
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Re: isolators

I use a solenoid seperator, not an isolator. Not what you're talking about?
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:13 PM   #3
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Re: isolators

I would use the solonoid whenever I wanted to be sure it worked.
I've used both, and would only go with the solonoid now. If you ever have a problem with the solonoid you can always bypass it with a jumper wire. The solid state ones are a real bear when they fail. I've had 'em smoking and on the verge of flames. They do have their advantages, but not in my rigs.
This is just my humble, unbiased, opinion of course.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:45 PM   #4
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Re: isolators

Oh sure, Scatter- I'M cynical, while YOU'RE humble and unbiased.

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Old 02-09-2009, 06:47 PM   #5
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Re: isolators

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywagon
Oh sure, Scatter- I'M cynical, while YOU'RE humble and unbiased.

Bill
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:48 AM   #6
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Re: isolators

I still don't get it. Is there a difference in the job they do? I'm trying to seperate a house batt from the engine and want the alternator, and 110v generator powered charger to charge both. Can I hook all the charge souces including a solar to the cenert tap on the isolator?
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:26 AM   #7
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Re: isolators

Are you trying to decide what to buy, or do you have an isolator already?

There is some good information here RV Battery Isolation Relays. I don't know that it covers solid state, but it might have the info about wiring.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:25 AM   #8
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Re: isolators

This what I have: 02 E350 4x4 Salem Kroger that was built for the goverment to be a camera and computer transport of some kind with 25 gallons of fresh water. 55k miles V10. The wife, kids and I have drooled over SMB's and 4x4 RV's for two years when we stumbled across this. At 10 grand I had to buy it or wait till the kids are gone for a nice one. I gutted interior wall, work station and 8 miles of wiring of every type. Whats left is a comercial Onan 5500 neatly built into the side going to a breaker box. The box powers an AC unit and the few outlets I left. The Onan cranks from the chasis battery and charges it back with 13.7 volts but I'm told at just a few amps. I was told it had a bank of batterys and an inverter but they left no trace. You can see where it all was but not a single component or wire was found.

Since it has the generator I will use it for a hot plate and microwave and anything power hungry so I'm just wanting 1 house battery to power lights and a laptop. I'll use a cheap truck stop inverter for when I need 110v for somthing small and don't want to run the generator. Basically I'll keep the 110v generator seperate. I can run a battery charger of some type off of the Onan to charge the house battery as needed. Sugestion on that would be good.

What I want to do is add a house battery. I have the geny putting out 13.7 volts, the alternator putting out 13.7 and I want to be able to hook up a battery charger thats run off the generator to charge the house battery. It would be nice to add a solar 15 pluss watt panel to maintain both batteries when stored. I'm not afraid of wiring but really have no clue as to the best way to get this done with as many charging sources as I have. I don't want to burn up the 5 amp source comming out of the generator or fry the Ford parts either. I have money to do it right but not so much as I can afford to do it twice or do it wrong. What would you do? Any sugestions or tips on any of this project would be a great help. Thanks
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:49 AM   #9
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Re: isolators

We have a battery separator in our SMB and like it.

http://www.surepower.com/separator.html

We have the model 1315. It will charge the house battery from the alternator, charge the starting battery from the solar/generator, allow the house battery to assist in starting, yet keep one system from pulling the other down.

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Old 02-10-2009, 11:50 AM   #10
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Re: isolators

I would have the solar (eventually) and the Onan charge the house battery. You're likely to be using the house battery when running the Onan anyway.

Power your cheapo inverter, the lights, etc off the house battery. Possibly make the Onan start off the house battery.

The alternator still charges the van battery.

So now you've essentially got separate systems- the house side with it's charging sources, the starting side with it's charging sources.

Between (my opinion) you want a separator. Normally the separator will be open, leaving the systems disconnected. During charging, from either the alternator or house side (via Onan) when the battery reaches a certain level the separator closes, connecting the other side. The charge continues in the other set of batteries as well.

That way when you run the Onan the house battery is charged first, then the starter battery topped off.

The separator can also be wired with an override switch. SMB has it wired to key-start, so whenever you crank the batteries are connected. Personally I prefer an override switch so I can force them together or separate, or leave in "auto" where the separator will close at a voltage.

SMB uses a PowerSure separator, I upgraded to a BlueSea 400a. There are probably tons of makes and models.

The brain from the generator and alternator alternatively should keep the system from overcharging, but I'm not sure if there is anything more you need to do than the obvious connection of + and - battery cables to each side of the separator.
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