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Old 05-16-2009, 11:47 PM   #1
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Running your engine while using high draw items?

Off and on I run my engine to make toast. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. In Moab Angel let me use her microwave several times and she always turns on the engine... I wish I could be that consistent, but it turns out it might not have mattered.

When I was later using the engine to supplement my batteries to put the PH up I realized something important about the process that is true in late model vans with the separator: Your alternator does not connect to the house batteries until the starter batteries are topped off.

For my diesel, warming the glow plugs and cranking the engine takes a good five to ten minutes to top off the starter batteries, even in high idle. Until this is complete, unless you manually engage the separator, you're not helping your house batteries any.

I don't know how quickly the gassers top off from a start, but you might want to watch your house voltage to know when you're actually helping and when you're just running the engine.
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:37 AM   #2
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Re: Running your engine while using high draw items?

Good point jage. Hey, where's the report on the trip???
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:09 AM   #3
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Re: Running your engine while using high draw items?

Did you use the microwave to make toast ???

(I can see this being another toast thread..... )
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:56 AM   #4
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Re: Running your engine while using high draw items?

No, hot compresses for the kitty. I can't imagine how you would make toast in a microwave... hey, you started it.

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Old 05-17-2009, 11:39 AM   #5
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Re: Running your engine while using high draw items?

I must push my top up, but I do use the microwave and never start the engine to do so. That's why we have 4D batteries! My typical usage is a three minute re-heat, maybe twice for two people's food. I've used it more than that along with lights and some sound system, and have never run out of house battery juice. I do, however, run the engine with the high idle switch on when I am using the ExtremeAir compressor because I believe that is run from the starter batteries. I would do the same for the winch.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:00 PM   #6
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Re: Running your engine while using high draw items?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
When I was later using the engine to supplement my batteries to put the PH up I realized something important about the process that is true in late model vans with the separator: Your alternator does not connect to the house batteries until the starter batteries are topped off.
But aren't your starting batteries always showing a full voltage as soon as you start the engine? I know there is a short 1 min delay for the exciter whatchamacallit to do its thing on the alternator but you see the dash voltmeter jump up to the alternator voltage even if the batteries are below 13 volts once the alternator is running. It seems on my rig with the key "on" and the alternator putting out a constant 13.2 or higher voltage, the separator engages. Now I can see if the load is so great that the 12 volt system slowly begins to drop from say 13.8 to below 12.8; after that, the unit opens and you might as well shut down the engine. That's one of the reasons I put in a 200 amp alternator; it helps delay losses. I'll have to do a check because even though the microwave is running my alternator voltage stays around 13 .4 volts with the engine running. You got me thinking about this now. I'll have to do a voltage check.

(BTW my 200A alternator runs normally between 13.3 and 13.9 and rarely above 14V but can charge at about 20A)
Here is the link to the 1315 sure power PDF installation instructions. Seems SMB left out the bypass switch and indicator light both of which I wish were installed.
http://www.skeiron.pl/zawartosc2_do_pod ... 1koj2pkgo4


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Old 05-17-2009, 06:08 PM   #7
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Re: Running your engine while using high draw items?

What alternator/regulator did you install DaveB. Ford unit?
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:22 PM   #8
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Re: Running your engine while using high draw items?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Here is the link to the 1315 sure power PDF installation instructions. Seems SMB left out the bypass switch and indicator light both of which I wish were installed.
The bypass switch is hooked to your ignition and I'm pretty sure mine engaged when the key was in "start" position. On my van it was a green wire, however if it was connected to something else in your build (or if I can't remember correctly) then it might be engaging when you have the key in run, or when the engine is running.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:27 PM   #9
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Re: Running your engine while using high draw items?

hhhmm.... with the engine on High-idle.... maybe you could do toast ON the engine ????

then you don't have to worry about any delay...
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:32 PM   #10
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Re: Running your engine while using high draw items?

I think those of you who still have the SurePower and the green wire should test it's function... personally I think any manner of wiring from SMB is wrong, and the only correct application is to replace it with a switch. But if you've got it and don't know when it engages you could be hiding or causing problems.
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