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Author Topic: Vanner Equalizer  (Read 1430 times)
buswarrior
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« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2017, 07:58:27 AM »

Ok, since we're still working on plans... here comes the devil's advocate:

What are all these 12 volt devices, and why?

Ignore history. All that #$%&$^&* camping and RV "thought process" steaming bovine waste stuff.

In late 2017, why wouldn't you design your coach to work just like your house? Heck, even using the same appliances, carried out to the coach as part of packing for the trip?

Why would using your coach, and spending thou$and$ on an electrical system, be even an inch less convenient, or different, or difficult, or oppressive, than living at home?

The Busnut pleasures himself with the manipulation of the machine, the more switches, wires, valves, procedures, open baggage doors, stuff to remember... the more he feels the master of his environment.... but the busnut is rarely alone in this adventure...

I DARE YOU... the Significant Other silently puts up with the Busnut Shittery, right up until the snapping point... If you have to open even one single baggage door to fool with the electrical on a regular basis, the clock is ticking...

SO...BS

Beyond a 12 volt automotive sound system, and a CB radio, what else might be 12 volt?

The better LED don't care whether they get 12 or 24 volts.

Cost/complexity/benefit ratios might suggest the cheapest way is the path beaten down by the masses: 24 volt battery bank, big inverter charger, new 3/4 stage regulator for the existing 24v coach alternator, a combining device to tie all the batteries together while on the road, a used transit bus Vanner EQ or any smaller size for the radios, put on the house bank, cuz, you listen to the radio while camping.

Start batteries, if you keep 'em, ONLY start the engine and power the chassis systems that religiously do not get used while camping.

The big savings is figuring out how to use the existing big alternator. The new multi-stage regulator is key for proper charging on the typical camper daily move of a couple hundred miles or less, the stock regulator needs more time than you will drive on many days, leaving you under-charged entering the campsite. Heavy cabling $$ for 12 volt can't be ignored. Features on a wider range of available inverter/chargers at the 12 vs 24 volt...

We all build our own, to make it our own.

Keep the ideas churning!!!

happy coaching!
buswarrior



 

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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2017, 08:34:01 AM »

  ... I DARE YOU... the Significant Other silently puts up with the Busnut Shittery, right up until the snapping point.... 

        Wise point to remember.  If you get on the wrong side of The Management, you may be forced to install a cast iron big-foot bath tub to make amends.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
richard5933
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« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2017, 09:56:46 AM »

Have you got more information on the new 3/4 stage regulator for the 24v bus alternator? Maybe a link?

Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108A-125 (Current bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (totalled Sept 2017)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB
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Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB
Lee Bradley
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« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2017, 10:19:20 AM »

Here is a link. This makes sense for marine use where engines are run for days on end but most of us don't run our buses long enough to justify these regulators.

http://www.balmar.net/
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eagle19952
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2017, 01:33:14 PM »

well... (imo)...u don't need DC current to listen to music/radio either.

house and chassis can easily be the same in this day and age.

and you can do it all without a Vanner.

you might need two more batteries.

lots of my 110v needs are run thru my inverter 24/7 and have been since day one.

inverter feeds a 110v AC sub panel. and minimal 12v lighting
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Donald PH
1978 Model 05 Eagle w/Torsilastic Suspension,8V71 NA, DDAllison on 24.5's 12kw Kubota.
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belfert
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« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2017, 01:52:08 PM »

It didn't make sense to me to run 110 volt lighting off my inverter.  I run a 24 volt inverter so I can get power from my big 50DN.  It also makes the cables to the battery smaller.  I kept my 24 volt overhead lights since they were already there.

24 volt stuff: water pump, front lights in kitchen living area, rear lights in bunk area
12 volt stuff: radio, Fantastic vents, bathroom light, hallway LED light, Proheat heater and fans for heater, lights and 12 volt outlets in bunks
110 volt stuff: Air Conditioners/heat pump, refrigerator, microwave

I don't have a significant other.  The guys I travel with all know how to start the generator if they want to use heat or air conditioning.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2017, 02:57:43 PM »

well... (imo)...u don't need DC current to listen to music/radio either.

house and chassis can easily be the same in this day and age.

and you can do it all without a Vanner.

you might need two more batteries.

lots of my 110v needs are run thru my inverter 24/7 and have been since day one.

inverter feeds a 110v AC sub panel. and minimal 12v lighting


So many questions about this...

If your house and chassis systems share the same batteries, how can you be certain that you can start the bus in the morning?

If I run household devices through an inverter, aren't I really wasting a lot of the battery capacity to the losses of conversion? Since many modern AC devices are actually running internally on DC, seems like a waste to first convert DC to AC only to have the device convert it back.

When we are boon docking we run a fairly minimal system. There is a 12v roof vent, a 12v fridge, 12v water pump, 12v LED lighting, and the 12v sound system. In cooler weather we also need to run the blower on the furnace. At this point I'm not sure if the furnace blower is 12v/120v or 120v only, so it might need to be on the inverter until I can get that upgraded to 12v. The only luxury we allow ourselves when not on shore power is usually a flat screen TV and Blue Ray player through the inverter, usually for only a couple of hours max. We use propane to cook and run the genset long enough to heat the hot water tank for a couple of short showers in the morning. In the warmer months when a/c is needed we'll have to run the genset as our basement a/c units won't run easily on inverter.

I plan to install an 1800-watt inverter to power the furnace and a few outlets for TV, etc. I know that using a 12v inverter requires larger cable than 24v, but according to the Xantrex information they both 12v and 24v versions function at about a 90% efficiency.

The big question I had at the beginning of this thread is how to best charge the house batteries while driving down the road. After reviewing the currently posted info, the two viable options are:

    -Set up a 24v house battery bank which is charged directly from the bus engine alternator while driving. This would then require the use of a Vanner to pull 12v from the house battery bank for the various 12v devices. Advantages would be the ability to jump start the bus from the house batteries, and the simplicity of charging by flipping a switch to engage a bridge solenoid.

    -Set up a 12v house battery bank which is charged by the use of a 70-amp 24v to 12v battery-to-battery charger while driving. Big advantage to me of this setup is the simplicity of the 12v side and the ability to use over-the-counter equipment for virtually everything.

Either way, I'm going to use 6-volt batteries for the battery bank. Previously I had installed four Trojan T-145 for a total of approx. 575ah at 12v. I have more than enough room in this bus for four Trojan L16 batteries which would give approx. 960ah at 12v. Regardless of which I choose to use on this bus, they can be configured for either 12v or 24v use so I'm not permanently locked into either.

Couple of other notes...I know that if I go with a large battery bank it will take a long time to charge using whatever setup I choose. Hopefully we'll add rooftop solar to help that down the road. No rooftop a/c units, so there is plenty of room for solar. I'm planning to install a 120v ac 70-amp charger (assuming 12v) so it should take about 8 hours or less to recharge from 50% on shore power. Also important to note that we're not trying to re-create our house in the bus. Neither of us is expecting nor desires things to be as easy as it is at home. I have full buy-in on having to flip a couple of switches on the inside control panel to energize devices & outlets to run from the inverter when necessary. We're also both in agreement that we don't want to redo the interior at this time to accommodate household-sized appliances. We both really love the retro 1970s vibe in our new bus and are willing to put up with some inconvenience to keep that, at least for now.

I'm dutifully taking notes as comments are added. At some point this winter I'll hit the 'buy' button and start assembling a system. Till then, I hope that you'll continue to provide input on the various ways to accomplish this. If anyone has first-hand experience with the battery-to-battery chargers I'd love to hear about it as that's one of the big unknowns at this time.
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Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB
eagle19952
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2017, 03:31:38 PM »

my generator has it's own battery.
there is not enough real estate on a bus to use solar to replace a charger (imo)
you will always need to top the batteries. solar will not be there when u have to have it. Murphy's Law applies.
an inverter with a 130 amp charger will more than pay it's worth in premature battery deaths... if you bake bread or vacuum or whatever...you're going to run a gen or pole sooner or later. frequently is better...
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Donald PH
1978 Model 05 Eagle w/Torsilastic Suspension,8V71 NA, DDAllison on 24.5's 12kw Kubota.
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richard5933
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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2017, 04:16:03 PM »

my generator has it's own battery.
there is not enough real estate on a bus to use solar to replace a charger (imo)
you will always need to top the batteries. solar will not be there when u have to have it. Murphy's Law applies.
an inverter with a 130 amp charger will more than pay it's worth in premature battery deaths... if you bake bread or vacuum or whatever...you're going to run a gen or pole sooner or later. frequently is better...


Agree that generator needs its own battery. That's in the plan for now. The current setup is that the gen battery is also the house battery. Bad idea and soon to be changed. I'll add a small alternator to the Perkins diesel powering the gen so that it can top off its own battery.

I'd love to run a 130-amp charger. Problem is that I simply don't have adequate wiring for it in the current 120v system. There are a couple of 20-amp breakers, but they're taken and the rest of them are only 15 amp. The most I can safely run on a 15-amp breaker is a 70-amp charger. I was using the Progressive Dynamics 9270 on our previous coach and plan to do the same again. Eventually I'll have to rewire the 120 breaker panel to provide more capacity, but until then I'll run with the max that I can safely. I'm also going to keep the charger and inverter separate for now since I'm not going to be running it with an automatic transfer setup.

Solar will be added to augment, not replace, the use of shore power or generator. Depending on how many panels we can initially get on the roof and how we configure the MPPT system, we should be able to add 15-30 amps charging capability while the sun is shining.
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Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB
sledhead
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2017, 05:28:15 AM »

this is the inverter charger I used and a small 24 v to 12 volt electronic converter like this but mine was only 20 amps and I put a small 12 volt screw gun lith . battery in line to boost the amps if needed . my largest draw was the slide out motor 1 1/2 hp at 24 volts stepped down to 12 volts for a slower speed

http://www.samlexamerica.com/documents/product-specs/12004-SDC-30-0715.pdf

https://www.solar-electric.com/magnum-energy-msh4024re-hybrid-inverter.html

dave
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dave , karen
1990 mci 102c  6v92 ta ht740  kit,living room slide .... sold
2000 featherlite vogue vantare 550 hp cat
 home base huntsville ontario canada
buswarrior
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« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2017, 07:21:16 AM »

A few broader statements to delve into:

"If your house and chassis systems share the same batteries, how can you be certain that you can start the bus in the morning?"

Because the system has been designed and sized correctly, you manage your power properly, a battery monitoring system is used, (like this one, just buy one, from here or somewhere... https://marinehowto.com/smart-gauge-battery-monitoring-unit/  ) Do you wonder if you have enough fuel for today's trip? Then why would you wonder if there are enough electrons to spin the starter...? Exactly the same issue, but not in many minds...


"If I run household devices through an inverter, aren't I really wasting a lot of the battery capacity to the losses of conversion?"


eagle 19952 suggested maybe adding 2 more batteries. Do the math, exactly how much amp/hrs are we fretting about, for what advantage/disadvantage? limiting yourself to a dark cave, inadequate 12 volt devices, for how many amp/hrs? What is the "loss of efficiency" for any other part of a conversion? We don't fret about how much fuel turns into heat instead of motive force from the engine? You already know to buy a good name brand inverter above 90% efficient, so.... "a lot" might not be the term?

"I know that if I go with a large battery bank it will take a long time to charge using whatever setup I choose."

You have to put back what you take out. And actually, a much larger battery bank can be charged harder and quicker to replace a given amount of power taken out, due to its ability to absorb a higher charge rate. We need a link to one of these C10 C15 C20 articles...?

You already are on track for using solar to finish your daily charge, you want BIG amps, to quickly get you to where the solar can readily finish the job.

"I'd love to run a 130-amp charger. Problem is that I simply don't have adequate wiring for it in the current 120v system."

This might be the cheapest part of the job? Down to Home Depot and fix this.
 
The rest of your system is being held back by what pittance of readily available box store pieces? Back to the invisible electric design, a high power charger pounds how much power into your batteries in the 30-45 minutes you run the generator for breakfast... and then you have a Balmar regulator for the big Delco alternator ( http://www.balmar.net/?product=regulator-mc-624-h ) that will put how much more power into the batteries on a leisurely 1-3 hour drive down the highway to the next camping spot? And then an afternoon of solar input of how much more?

Without quantifying the power consumption, and then a real model of returning that power, you can't make confident deci$ion$?

My experience? I went straight to the top from the beginning, buying the old Trace 4024, because of reading the tribulations of other busnuts, trying to save money, and in the end spending far more, putting in inadequate stuff, and having to re-do it. That, and some horrible foolishness with mobile command and mobile training vehicles, constant foolishness, foolishness, foolishness. I vowed to never own something that did not simply "do the job".

Don't get me wrong, we are all FREE to experiment as we please, this is a HOBBY after all!!! Some busnuts live for fooling with the machine, spending a bit of money carelessly is part of the adventure of the experience, others, just want to go camping.

The Significant Other's true wishes are rarely spoken, even when the busnut is trying to listen...

"Neither of us is expecting nor desires things to be as easy as it is at home. I have full buy-in..."

Yeah? We've heard that from lots and lots of male busnuts... until you camp beside a well designed conversion and she watches wistfully out the window at the neighbours, drive in and "just start camping", and drive away with just as little "entertainment"... while she has to wait while you jump through hoops to change configuration for everything... Lock her up, don't let her talk to the other "her", they will compare notes and when she finds out they spent the same amount of money as you did.... LOL, and a wink, but seriously... is she reading these threads with you?

Some want to learn by doing, some want to learn by watching the misadventure of others...

So long as it is informed decision making... into the breach!

Hooray that we all meet up on here!!

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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richard5933
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« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2017, 11:10:59 AM »

...This might be the cheapest part of the job? Down to Home Depot and fix this....
happy coaching!
buswarrior


Thanks for all the information. I've got lots of homework to do before ordering parts and getting to work. First step will be for the two of us to figure out our priorities and decide which set of benefits fits our needs best.

Oddly, the one thing that will get me in trouble fast on the home front is if I do anything to mess with the look of things and detract from the 'cool 70's vibe'. If I replaced the existing 120v panel with a standard HD gray breaker panel, no matter how well I concealed it in a cabinet or closet, I might be in the bus alone. Keeping the vintage look and feel is going to be a priority and make upgrading the 120v service and panel a bit trickier than just ripping things out and replacing them. Someone had already done this on our 4106, so I had a much easier time in this department when upgrading to 50-amps. On this bus I'm going to have to find a way to add the more modern underpinnings and safety features while keeping the original look. I'm going to take this part slowly, even if it means living with the current 120v system and making less-than-ideal upgrades for now.  Eventually I'm sure I'll be told that it's time to put in a proper 120v panel, and hopefully there will be a replacement for our current marine panel that will be acceptable and keep the proper look.
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Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB
eagle19952
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« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2017, 11:46:42 AM »

If I replaced the existing 120v panel with a standard HD gray breaker panel, no matter how well I concealed it in a cabinet or closet, I might be in the bus alone. Keeping the vintage look and feel is going to be a priority and make upgrading the 120v service and panel a bit trickier than just ripping things out and replacing them.

best learn to live with what you have then....
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Donald PH
1978 Model 05 Eagle w/Torsilastic Suspension,8V71 NA, DDAllison on 24.5's 12kw Kubota.
Wants Paint Smiley
Previously owned by Wee Willie Ent.
chessie4905
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« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2017, 04:05:52 PM »

If you have 4 house batteries and two coach batteries, 24 volts , do you really need a 12 volt battery for the generator? Couldn't you draw 12 volts from either set of batteries or the Vanner. It isn't going to take much to start a generator. What am I missing here?
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buswarrior
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« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2017, 04:38:40 PM »

The existing period electric panel may continue to do its thing out in the open.

The controls on its face can be used to trigger your upgraded pieces for maximum battery charging, and whatever else you dream of doing, that the existing panel, as currently used, cannot?

Think of turning existing panel into a switching device, and put the modern protection and distribution elsewhere out of sight?

You can have your cake, and eat it too?

happy coaching!
buswarrior





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Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area
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