Anyone have experience with onboard battery chargers?

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!

nickburt

Rank VI
Member
Supporter

Advocate III

2,871
Wallasey, UK
Member #

2714

Since he is getting ideas from me, ill answer.

Looks like traxide updated the kit I ordered, but its essentially the same.



My aux battery looks like:



The DT-90 has the ABG aux isolator built into it. But mine is separate.
Yup, I'm (copying) taking a leaf out of your book, MPPT connected direct to the aux battery.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Road

trailhunter

Rank IV

Traveler I

854
US
Since he is getting ideas from me, ill answer.

Looks like traxide updated the kit I ordered, but its essentially the same.



My aux battery looks like:



The DT-90 has the ABG aux isolator built into it. But mine is separate.
That wiring job for some reason is so sexy, all nice n clean
 

Mike W

US MidWest Region Director
Staff member
Member

Influencer II

3,121
Ankeny, IA, USA
Member #

538

Ham Callsign
KE0GCN
That wiring job for some reason is so sexy, all nice n clean
I've redone parts of it about 5 times in order to make sure everything is solid, secure and in no way a function or safety hazard. Having said that, I still have some areas that I am not happy with. (Don't get me started on the poorly designed Warn Zeon Platinum 'accessory' power port fiasco. I had to install my own relays for my ARB lights as a result because the warn just flat out has **** design, so now I have a relay wire hairball behind my headlight.)

I do have to admit that after messing with my setup the other day, I made a mistake with electricity. I had the positive cable off the aux battery, its still tied to the other positive terminal on the other battery, so it's live. I put it in a plastic bag and secured it up on the plastic windshield cowl. (That's being safe right?)... well, it still managed to slide over and momentarily SHORT through the friggen plastic bag onto the wiper arm!

Result.. wipers wont work. FML. I am hoping its just a fried wiper motor or the relay thats in the wiper motor. $30 used on ebay. A new motor is $350. If its not that, its the central junction box, a $700 mistake. I am pretty sure its the motor, because i've been through the wiring diagrams, tested the connectors. Put power to the wiper motor (nothing happens). etc.

So... be friggen careful with this stuff. It gets expensive to mess it up. You don't want to 'install' electrical gremlins yourself!
 
  • Like
Reactions: nickburt and Road

nickburt

Rank VI
Member
Supporter

Advocate III

2,871
Wallasey, UK
Member #

2714

I've redone parts of it about 5 times in order to make sure everything is solid, secure and in no way a function or safety hazard. Having said that, I still have some areas that I am not happy with. (Don't get me started on the poorly designed Warn Zeon Platinum 'accessory' power port fiasco. I had to install my own relays for my ARB lights as a result because the warn just flat out has **** design, so now I have a relay wire hairball behind my headlight.)

I do have to admit that after messing with my setup the other day, I made a mistake with electricity. I had the positive cable off the aux battery, its still tied to the other positive terminal on the other battery, so it's live. I put it in a plastic bag and secured it up on the plastic windshield cowl. (That's being safe right?)... well, it still managed to slide over and momentarily SHORT through the friggen plastic bag onto the wiper arm!

Result.. wipers wont work. FML. I am hoping its just a fried wiper motor or the relay thats in the wiper motor. $30 used on ebay. A new motor is $350. If its not that, its the central junction box, a $700 mistake. I am pretty sure its the motor, because i've been through the wiring diagrams, tested the connectors. Put power to the wiper motor (nothing happens). etc.

So... be friggen careful with this stuff. It gets expensive to mess it up. You don't want to 'install' electrical gremlins yourself!
We've all been there, usually just when you think you're safe, that Gremlin will pop out and kick yer ar$e.
Even worse when you just know the "trick" isn't one really, but you do it anyway.
Oh, and never trust someone else to do an isolation, I have a nice wire insulation stripping notch in my "best" side cutters for that reason ....
 

trailhunter

Rank IV

Traveler I

854
US
The jeeps stock alternator pumps out 160 amps and I see the alternators voltage is around 13-14v. I have genesis dual battery kit with a hersee isolator between both batteries in parallel (photo attached)

From what I've heard is a stock alternator doesn't output the 14.4 volts to fully top off an AGM battery. I was looking at the ctek 250sa as supplemental power to provide the necessary voltage while driving without having to periodically charge them with 120v charger. I also want the ability to charge via solar which looks like the 250sa could do fine.

To my understanding, the CTEK, uses the alternator power to convert the power to 14.4 volts, is this correct? If I went with the CTEK, how do I wire it? I'm guessing from red post of one battery to the next red post on the other battery?

 
  • Like
Reactions: Road

Mike W

US MidWest Region Director
Staff member
Member

Influencer II

3,121
Ankeny, IA, USA
Member #

538

Ham Callsign
KE0GCN
yes, that type of ctek is a dc-to-dc charger. that will do what you want, but the output would only be on your aux battery. i dont think you would tie the starter battery while using it, unless just for solar. it would be wierd to take alternator power, which is directly connected to the start battery and then step the volts up and connect it to the same ciruit.... right? I never considered a dc-to-dc setup, so im no expert.

My LR4 alternator is 150 amp, and puts out 14.7 when charging, but i’ve seen it pump out 14.9v at times.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Lone Overlander
New member here. Joined after reading this thread.
I have a Land Rover Discovery 3 with a traxide dual battery system installed.
We were using an Odyssey pc1200 as the aux battery but it didn't provide enough juice.
I'm thinking of upgrading to the PC1500 in Mike's setup above.

I run a 52L National Luna, and some other minor 12v charging outlets for phones etc.
Sometimes we run a 350W inverter to charge cameras etc. But that's rare when we aren't running.

Wondering how well the traxide and pc1500 works for you.
The alternative for me is a lithium battery and a suitable DC/DC charger like the redarc BCDC1225D.

I'm also looking at the Victron 75/15 smartsolar MPPT charger. Interested in how that works for you and what size solar panels you run and how well it charges the Odyssey batt.

Any comments appreciated.
I'll post some pics later of my setup.
 

Chetta58

Rank V
Member

Contributor III

1,402
Walla walla wa
Member #

5934

I have the genesis system as well with a Red top starter and Yellow top secondary. I have acceptable performance out of the system imho... I just saw the date on this string but I’m going to post it anyway because the longevity of my secondary battery (cost of replacement) concerns me if I’m not charging it correctly and by now people probably know more than when this was posted.
As I said, I get the amp hours out of my system that I expected but would running a dc to dc on the secondary side manage that battery charge (give a more full/complete/efficient charge) via the 5 stage thus extend the battery life. I haven’t sat down and drawn out the wiring of such a setup but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, but would it really be a benefit vs the cost? A lot has changed since I bought my Genesis. Not how I’d go if I did it over again...
 

bmwguru

Rank V
Member

Influencer I

2,271
Indianapolis, IN, USA
First Name
Jim
Last Name
Pickrell
Member #

14032

I have been looking into the dc/dc chargers for a bit. I have a home charger from Ctek that is awesome. I was initially looking at the Ctek 20a dc/dc but now I am leaning towards the Redarc 25a dc/dc charger. The main reason is the Redarc will charge LiFePO4 batteries where the Ctek will not. The Redarc has a built in MPPT solar controller like the Ctek. IMHO the next big thing in batteries is the LiFePO4. They are stupid expensive now but as all tech they will come down in price. You can use 80% of a LiFePO4 battery as opposed to only being able to use 50% of an agm battery. As well as the fact that you can get 3000+ discharge cycles from a LiFePO4 as compared to 300 or so from an AGM battery. For example you could discharge a LiFePO4 battery every single day for 8+ years and get full capacity. With the right charger you can charge a LiFePO4 battery in as little as 2-4 hours from "dead" LiFePO4 also works much better with heavy loads. Think large inverter and the wifes blast furnace hair dryer. My perfect setup would be a Battleborn 100a LifePO4 battery with a Redarc 25a dc/dc charger. That battery is equilivant to 2 100a agm batteries in terms of capacity and is smaller and only weighs 29lbs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chetta58

Chetta58

Rank V
Member

Contributor III

1,402
Walla walla wa
Member #

5934

Yea, I bought a Lithium for my son’s portable ham setup and thought I picked up a demo battery with nothing in it. Couldn’t believe how light it was. You are right I hope, they will come down in price over the next couple years. The setup I have using the agm’s keeps my fridge running, runs lights in camp at night, and runs a small fan I sleep with to drown out the ringing in my ears for a couple days but not much else. I’m curious if running a DC-DC would do me any good on the secondary battery. Would it charge it ‘better’ giving me any more performance out of what I already have. My setup actually does what I got it for but more is always better, right! Lol
I’m going to change it out when I can afford lipo setup but that probably won’t be until next Spring. Thanks for the reply.
 

Viking1204

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,798
Fort Walton Beach, FL
First Name
Scott
Last Name
S
Member #

17968

Even better than DC-to-DC setups... SC80
Thanks for this, makes adding a second battery pretty simple. I have a Flexopower444 but I'm still thinking of adding a second battery to give me more options on what I can power when I'm in the woods hunting or camping. I'm just waiting until I find a great deal on a deep cycle AGM marine battery, once I have it I'll buy the Isolator and build my 12V power setup in the back of the truck.

Edit: This made me think of something, could I use the Traxide isolator and charge the Flexopower444? Something I'm going to have to research more.
 
Last edited:

Viking1204

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,798
Fort Walton Beach, FL
First Name
Scott
Last Name
S
Member #

17968

The Flexopower has the ability to charge with a Cigarette lighter plug in your vehicle so I'm thinking of just running a cable from the battery isolator to a panel at the back of the truck that has a female cigarette lighter plug, this should allow me to charge it off the main battery or alternator when the truck is running. The isolator will keep the Flexopower from discharging the vehicle battery past 50%.

BTW, found this MPPT charge controller on Amazon, rated pretty high, probably what I'll end up using once I get that far.

 

toxicity_27

US MidWest Region Member Rep
Member

Pathfinder I

2,528
Minnesota
Member #

0656

This thread has me thinking. I also have the Genesis Dual Battery system. I've used Torque Pro to see what my alternator is putting out (can't remember off the top of my head but will see it again this weekend and will update accordingly). The isolator has a little red light on the top that tells me when the system is fully charged, typically on my short daily drives it doesn't get fully charged, but on longer trips it's fully charged. Using the stock JK alternator too. I believe there is a Mean Green alternator that significantly ups the output. I'd like to eventually add a solar setup, and I thought Genesis made something to make it easier, but might need to do some more research.
 

Chetta58

Rank V
Member

Contributor III

1,402
Walla walla wa
Member #

5934

The red light comes on when ur primary battery get above 12.7 volts, at which time the isolator kicks out and both batteries are charging at the same time. My alternator fully charges at 14.10 volts so the batteries are actually charging together from 12.7 to 14.10. (140 amp alternator) Just info I’ve gleaned from spending too much time with a meter under the hood and reading their tech specs etc...
I’m told that the Durango alternated is the same as our JK (at least mine from 2009) and is a high output (140 comes to mind????). I haven’t verified that so take it for what it’s worth. Point being it is wayyy cheaper than the mean green version (160 amp I thin). I believe that is from ‘Way of Life’ forum... this is from memory so verify but may save you starting from scratch.
My Redtop and Yellowtop charge to full charge in a short period of time (I’ve not times it) at an fast idle, above 1200 rpm. One thing to consider, is ur computer reading actual voltage or surface voltage? Batteries can develop surface charge that drops immediately (or really quick) after a load is put on them. This is one of those topics that would fill a book or ten trying to figure in all the variables. I’m gonna stop here but hope it takes u in a direction of thought at least.
My Genesis does what I ask for a reasonable amount of time and I can recharge and be back at it quickly, what more can I ask for the dollars? Later
 

toxicity_27

US MidWest Region Member Rep
Member

Pathfinder I

2,528
Minnesota
Member #

0656

So on the trip this weekend Torque Pro was giving me constant readings from 14.7-14.9 volts for the entire trip. Hovered mostly between 14.7 and 14.8, however for the first couple of hours it was at 14.9.
 

Chetta58

Rank V
Member

Contributor III

1,402
Walla walla wa
Member #

5934

A simple way to check is to put a load on the circuit. Surface charge will ‘melt away’ very quickly, if it exists, when a load is on the circuit and u get a true reading. I’m not sure how relevant surface charge in the new rigs/batteries etc any more. Mine is a 2009 and I’ve seen just short of 2 volts difference by just hitting the circuit with a load and removing it. That would mean the alternator would have kicked off it 12.1 - 12.5 volts instead of 14.1 -.7 etc... taking away 2 volts of useable power from my system. I will add that since switching to the Optima’s I have not been able to repeat it...
if ur curious, put a meter on ur battery, Open the lid on your fridge until the compressor comes on for example and see what happens to ur voltage reading when the battery is topped off. Should just slowly drop but if it drops a volt-2volts all at once then that’s the issue I described, although not very well maybe...
My rig has 114000 miles on the original alternator so it probably produces a little low or you have a newer rig than me, thus the 14.7-.9... your rigs system is putting out more than ur load (yea :)) do u have the monitoring system for ur genesis system? I don’t, I used a meter and experimented.
I am an electronics tech but I don’t claim to be an expert in dual battery systems, just a user like everyone else. Take it as my experience and my opinion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: toxicity_27

Krej

Rank 0
Member

Contributor I

60
Texas
I have a similar set up with a Genesis Dual Battery on a 4Runner. I spoke with Genesis about my alternator not fulling charging the AGMs. Whoever I spoke with was very patient and walked me through all of my issues.

After looking at all of the options, I decided to go with a Vectron 75/15 solar MPPT for $120 off of Amazon and then purchaed a decent 10A power supply.

Parts are still on the way, but the intent is to permanently mount the MPPT under the hood and have a quick connect on the power supply. This set up should allow me to top off the batteries while the 4R is in the garage and also allow for a solar pannel (either portable or semi permanent) to be added whenever needed.
 

toxicity_27

US MidWest Region Member Rep
Member

Pathfinder I

2,528
Minnesota
Member #

0656

A simple way to check is to put a load on the circuit. Surface charge will ‘melt away’ very quickly, if it exists, when a load is on the circuit and u get a true reading. I’m not sure how relevant surface charge in the new rigs/batteries etc any more. Mine is a 2009 and I’ve seen just short of 2 volts difference by just hitting the circuit with a load and removing it. That would mean the alternator would have kicked off it 12.1 - 12.5 volts instead of 14.1 -.7 etc... taking away 2 volts of useable power from my system. I will add that since switching to the Optima’s I have not been able to repeat it...
if ur curious, put a meter on ur battery, Open the lid on your fridge until the compressor comes on for example and see what happens to ur voltage reading when the battery is topped off. Should just slowly drop but if it drops a volt-2volts all at once then that’s the issue I described, although not very well maybe...
My rig has 114000 miles on the original alternator so it probably produces a little low or you have a newer rig than me, thus the 14.7-.9... your rigs system is putting out more than ur load (yea :)) do u have the monitoring system for ur genesis system? I don’t, I used a meter and experimented.
I am an electronics tech but I don’t claim to be an expert in dual battery systems, just a user like everyone else. Take it as my experience and my opinion.
I have a 2015. Like I had said, I'm seeing the volts through Torque Pro, which is ran off of the OBD2 port to my tablet. I haven't looked into the load with a meter or anything, but I do have a battery tester that also doubles as an alternator tester, so I could check it with that too, and see what it says.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chetta58