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Everything posted by Buzzy

  1. Bill, You touch upon an important issue. At what point should an owner be reliant upon OTT for technical knowledge concerning a trailer component? I would not expect Jason to have that knowledge and if he did, I would verify the figures with a Trojan Technical Support Engineer. Randy, Thank you for posting the link to the Trojan manual. Keep in mind, my batteries are in a black case. Last summer it appeared Trojan was selling multiple 6V AGM batteries and I would not assume the red case and black case AGMs used the same parameters. Reed, You may have accidentally omitted an important qualifier on my guidance. “So as an example, if the 320 watts of solar power is producing say about 18V, then 320W/18V= 17.78 amps. However; please keep in mind that in real world conditions, 320 watts of solar panels hardly ever produce their full power.” Since I do not live in a southern state, nor do I tilt my panels to the sun, I would not expect to come anywhere near the 17.78 figure. Over time I will be tracking this metric for my camping locations and energy use. It may guide me if I seek to expand my solar array. The issue regarding the fridge might be best discussed on a separate thread. Buzzy
  2. GrayGhost, OK, the discussion on the battery parameters is below. ( First off, for those who are reading along and new to manipulating the parameters within the IPN ProRemote Monitor, review page 3 in the manual.) Hi Stacey, I have four of your 6V-AGM Dual-Purpose AGM batteries (black case). I also have a 320 Watt Photovoltaic Array which is controlled by the Blue Sky Energy Solar Boost 2512i(X)-HV Controller and the IPN ProRemote Monitor. I am in the process of configuring the solar controller and the Blue Sky technical support representative suggested I contact you prior to adjusting the battery parameters from the factory defaults to the AGM specific values. First off there are two parameters which I adjusted to match what I believe is appropriate for my four AGMs. 1. Set Battery Amp Hours = 400AH (The factory default was set at 220AH) 2. Set Self Discharge Rate in Percent per Month at 25 degree C. = 2% (The factory default was set at 12%) Do the adjusted values look appropriate? #1 is great. 5% is a better estimate for #2. The solar controller has eight Battery Charge Parameters which are software programmable settings. 1. Set Acceptance Charge Voltage Setpoint. Range 10.0 to 80.0V (Factory default = 14.4V) 14.4 is fine 2. Set Float Charge Voltage Setpoint. Range 10.0 to 80.0V (Factory default = 13.4V) 13.5 3. Set Equalize Voltage Setpoint. Range 10.0 to 80.0V (Factory default = 15.2V) No equalization for AGMs 4. Set Equalize Time. Range 0.5 to 10 hours (Factory default = 2.0hrs) 5. Set Days between automatic Equalize. Range is 10 to 400days. Full MANUAL equalization is selected by a setting of less than 10 days. (Factory default = 30days) 6. Set Charge Voltage Temperature Compensation Factor. Range is -0.00 to -8.00mV/degree C/cell. (Factory default = -5.00mV/C/C) This is fine. 7. Set Float Transition Current. Range 0.1 to 10.0A per 100AH. A setting of 0 (zero) disables function such that full charge is based on acceptance charge time only. (Factory Default = 1.5A/100AH) This is fine 8. Set Acceptance Charge Time. Range 0.0 to 10.0 hours (Factory Default = 2.0hrs) Between 2 and 4 hours. Use the low end if the batteries are discharged less than 30%...the high end if they are discharged more than 50%. Do you have any recommendations for altering the default settings? Noted above. In particular, do you have a preference for the transition from acceptance (absorption) to float to be based on AH or time period for my batteries? 1.5 A / 100AH means that the batteries are accepting current equal to 1.5% of their capacity. This is a very good way of knowing the batteries are fully charged as batteries naturally accept less and less current as their state of charge increases due to changes in their internal resistance. I made the adjustments on my IPN ProRemote Monitor based on Stacey's recommendations. Please be certain you have the same make/model of batteries if you plan to use this guidance! Circle back if questions arise. Buzzy PS - As previously stated, I deactivated the equalization process in both the parameters as well as the switch within the controller.
  3. Sherry, The nice aspect of posting the chart, which DavidS created in this thread above, is the ability to easily check battery health. I use that information all the time. You just need to correlate it to Battery Capacity and Battery Amp/Hr from Full. Buzzy
  4. Dave, It is important to understand the requirements for your specific brand and model of battery. Since I use the black case AGM Trojan batteries, I contacted the technical support engineer at the Trojan Battery Company. Her name is: Stacey Delzeit, Technical Support Engineer, Trojan Battery Company, Tel: (478) 845-7707, sdelzeit@trojanbattery.com The paragraph below is just one section of our communication. I also noted on page 22 of your Trojan Batteries User’s Guide you state I should NEVER equalize deep-cycle AGM batteries. Is that true for my batteries? This is true. AGMs should never be equalization as the overcharge condition would cause the internal pressure relief valve to open allowing the battery to “dry out.” If so, I would need to adjust the parameters for the solar controller. I also have installed the Progressive Dynamics Power Control Center which regulates shore and/or generator power going to the batteries. That device also has an automated equalization procedure. Should that be turned off as well? Yes. Never EQ AGM batteries. (It is important to note, I have not made any adjustment on the Progressive Dynamics Power Control Center inverter which also initiates an equalization process since I do not use shore power. If that approach were to change, I would seek assistance from their technical support engineer.) By the way, as I worked with Boz at Blue Sky he recommended I work with Stacey on “fine tuning” the battery parameters within the IPN ProRemote Monitor for my specific batteries. Stacey guided me and I can post her guidance for those who seek to adjust their parameters. Just ask. Buzzy
  5. Thank you Bill! Recently, I found myself struggling to find all the pieces of knowledge regarding solar system discussions in an effort to help a new owner. As we continue to expand the number of discussion threads, the ability to "mine" the data will become more challenging. Interestingly, it is not just topics like the solar system. Last fall when I was determined to construct a procedure for winterizing my Ollie, I spent many hours hunting through categories and threads to find the information I was seeking. Eventually, I created a Word document and now I would not know how to help a new owner find it within the many categories or threads. There has got to be a better way to do this! Oh well! Buzzy
  6. George, That is disappointing. I suspect Ryan will be able to help. Last summer when I worked with Boz, each of my emails had pictures to aid him in guiding me. Just a thought. Buzzy
  7. Hi STEVEnBETTY, I have not heard from the company. I ordered my Privacy Room around February 15. The expectation was for Italy to take 90 to 120 days before the product would arrive in the US. I placed a reminder in my calendar to inquire on May 15, which would be around the 90 day mark. I did ask to have all items shipped together and the US distributor agreed to my request. I do hope to receive my shipment no later than July 1. I will post here as events unfold. Buzzy
  8. David, That video is excellent! I do not remember it being available last summer. Thank you for posting! Buzzy
  9. As our community of owners grows, I can see the need to examine our topic headings to facilitate easy retrieval. That realization hit home when Jason created a separate heading for the Oliver Technical Service Bulletins. What a great approach! No need to dig through multiple topics or engage the search function. Are there other headings needed? What about a separate heading for videos, Word documents, etc.? Not sure if our Forum Moderators can create new headings for us. Seems we are constantly welcoming new owners, which is a good thing, and they frequently have the same questions/concerns as previous owners. I am not sure if our headings or subheadings are as helpful as they could be. As a contributing member on our Forum, I struggle to find my own previous postings which might help new owners. The postings are all there, they just get buried under a topic heading which is not always what would be my search topic. Oh well, maybe it is just me. Buzzy
  10. George, I almost forgot! Let me shed some light on a metric which you will observe on the “Battery Volt/Amp” screen. It is the “Amp” reading. You would expect to see a value which could resemble “+XX.XA”. This value can vary based on environmental conditions. I typically review this value during the day when the controller is regulating power to the batteries. The amps reading on this screen is the net charge amps going into the battery. So as an example, if the 320 watts of solar power is producing say about 18V, then 320W/18V= 17.78 amps. However; please keep in mind that in real world conditions, 320 watts of solar panels hardly ever produce their full power. Knowing how this value is determine and what you might expect, could help you identify a problem. Example being, a poor connection involving the shunt. In case you are at a cocktail party and the question comes up regarding the calculation of net charge amps, now you know! Aren’t solar systems fun?! ???? Buzzy
  11. George, I am glad to hear your solar system is working! Excellent work! Thank you for sharing your experience. One of the advantages of owning an Ollie is the community of owners. When you buy an Ollie, you don’t just buy a piece of camping equipment, you buy into a village of happy owners. Many of us enjoy learning new aspects of how our equipment works and then sharing that knowledge. It is in the sharing that our knowledge can transition into wisdom. With Blue Sky equipment, you have access to a whole set of metrics. The key is understanding when the metrics are indicating a problem. To add to the complexity, some metrics have prerequisites and can give a false positive until the system learns. The system can also experience multiple interventions which mask the corrections needed. Since you own AGM batteries, the following series of metrics may be of help. I like knowing these values since a can gather the data at night when the controller has gone to sleep. (I obtained this information from the engineer at Trojan Batteries.) For the AGM batteries, you should understand the following relationship between battery charge (capacity) and volt reading. 100% = 12.84, 75% = 12.54, 50% = 12.24, 25% = 11.94, 0% = 11.64. Your goal should be to keep your AGM batteries within the 100% to 50% range. I can tell you from first-hand experience it is possible to draw the battery charge (capacity) down to 8.1 volts. Since the controller requires a minimum of 9 volts to turn back on, how you resurrect the system can be a challenging experience. In other words, I would not recommend you try that aspect of knowledge acquisition. ???? Please feel free to circle back if questions/concerns arise. Have a great camping trip. I have fond memories of kayak camping the San Juan islands of Puget Sound. Beautiful section of the country! Buzzy
  12. GrayGhost, Thank you for your comments! I do hope any readers of this thread understand I absolutely love both the Blue Sky equipment and my Ollie. As an owner coming up on my one year anniversary, I am discovering how two aspects of camping can result in 95% of my maintenance issues. The first is environmental conditions such as; sun, salt, dust, rain, etc. You cannot avoid these and still have fun, so you just need a plan for preventive or ongoing maintenance. The second aspect pertains to the “rocking and rolling down the road”. Unless you plan to camp in a Walmart parking lot the rest of your life, you will cause a jarring effect on the Ollie components. This aspect can have multiple examples, but in the Blue Sky equipment the loose wire I discovered could be directly related to my love of traveling on dirt roads with pot holes. Keep in mind, I do not expect OTT to be able to discover these kind of issues, nor are they usually related to poor design within the components. For me, they are just aspects of enjoying camping! Like a full belly after eating a pound of bacon washed down with a six pack of Rebel IPA! ???? Buzzy
  13. George, I see nothing incorrect in the process you have used to “reboot” the solar controller by using the “red knob” and one of the breakers. To help those readers who are following along, I have attached a brief video I created and cued it up to the point at which I identify where you find the “red knob” and breaker. Does this video identify the components you have noted above? George, I apologize for being imprecise in my use of the term “Reboot”. I was attempting to describe my efforts to force the migration of the controller though the charge cycle by manipulating the parameters via the monitor. This will all become clear if we need to get to that point in our work. Buzzy
  14. George, First off, thank you for offering to share your experiences with the Blue Sky gear. I want to take a moment to confirm the problem as described in your initial posting to this thread. As I understand, your Battery Capacity screen would record a less than full percentage, such as 75 percent, and your monitor would not show your system returning to 100 percent unless you were plugged into shore power. Is that a correct statement of the problem? It will be important to continue our work on the solar system without the use of shore power. I will add, it is important to the life of the AGM batteries that you not draw down the Battery Capacity reading to 50 percent or less. Also, you should be cautious about dropping the volt reading on the Battery Volt/Amp screen to 12.1 or less. (This knowledge was obtained from the Technical Support Engineer at Trojan Battery Corporation.) As an aside, when you are connected to shore power or when running a generator, the inverter would be regulating the voltage to the batteries at a level of 13.5 volts. That process would mask any efforts to identify the solar system issues. Your observations indicate you have obtained a reading of 21.3 volts coming from the PV array to the controller. I assume you obtained that reading from using your multi-meter on the controller terminals after removing the controller cover panel. Is that correct? You also indicate a reading of 13.2 volts. I assume you used your multi-meter to obtain the voltage going through the controller to the batteries. Is that correct? I assume this work was performed without shore power. Correct? You also indicate the Charge Status light (I assume you are referring to the light on the monitor panel.) remains lite for an extended period. This would indicate you are in Bulk status regarding your charge cycle. At this point could you describe the values on two screens? Battery Capacity and Battery Amp-Hrs From Full. I believe your goal will be to restore the Battery Capacity to 100% and Battery Amp-Hrs From Full to 0 without the use of shore power. (Sorry if this approach is too basic, I am just attempting to help the gentle readers who might be following along on this thread.) As the PV array sends power through the controller to the batteries, we hope to see three variations as indicated on the monitor. (It is important to focus on the Blue Sky IPN ProRemote monitor, since that is the device you need to have operational at the end of your work.) The monitor should show: 1. Fluctuation in the volt reading on the Battery Volt/Amp screen. 2. Changes in the Charge Status light indicating progression from Float to Acceptance to Bulk within the charge cycle. (Please notice markings on the monitor panel for each phase in the cycle.) 3. Increase in the percent for Battery Capacity with the offset reduction in the Battery Amp-Hrs From Full. It would be valuable to minimize too many interventions until we can record the before, during and after readings. As recordings are being collected, you might take a moment to reading the information within the technical manual for the monitor (Blue Sky IPN-ProRemote). We may need you to record the values within the parameters controlling the transition from Float to Acceptance to Bulk. More on that later. George, it would be wise to contact Boz at some point in the future since he may be very helpful to you. I also hope Steve (ScubaRX) will jump on this thread as time permits. The work you are performing will be valuable in any communication with Boz or Steve. If possible, you might consider posting pics to confirm your observations. So far so good? Buzzy
  15. I suspect many owners have had, or continue to have, issues with their Blue Sky gear. Despite that realization, I believe Blue Sky gear is the best-of-the-best. Just like an Ollie! Last summer I had my issues and worked closely with Steve (ScubaRX), Tommy and Boz. At the time, Tommy mentioned to me how there was not a depth of knowledge in problem solving Blue Sky issues within OTT. I was not certain Tommy had an opportunity to train co-workers prior to leaving OTT. Also, my research indicated no Blue Sky service technicians within my New England region. In addition, OTT has now migrated away from Blue Sky to Zamp. That all adds up to a strong need for growing knowledge within our community of Forum members and document our work within the Forum history files. I believe if we are unsuccessful with this task, the day could come when we would need to switch out our gear for Zamp as the problem solution. In my view, that would be disappointing. As we craft a path forward, I believe we should each document in some way our problem(s) and solution(s) so we can assemble a trouble shooting guide. The reason I say this is due to my experience with two issues. One issue involved a loose wire between the shunt and the monitor. That could happen at any time to any owner. The other issue involved a lack of understand on how to reboot the controller. Once again, a base of knowledge we all need. Buzzy
  16. George, It is good you notified Jason. Keep in mind the newly built Ollie trailers will come equipped with Zamp gear in place of the Blue Sky. I believe you may have the Blue Sky Solar Boost 2512iX-HX installed. (You should verify that assumption by looking at the markings on the cover panel.) If that is true, please review Page 7 of the manual in great detail. The Setup and Wiring Diagram will guide you when using your multi-meter. I asked the question regarding your battery choice for a reason. Please keep in mind you must never allow the controller to equalize your AGMs. That process will fry your batteries and they would need to be replaced. There are two methods for turning off the equalization function within the controller. The first method involves setting the Dip Switch #4 to the "off" position. You would need to pop the cover and understand the layout of the internals. Your system should have been configured in this fashion at time of installation. My feeling is, you should double check that this was done with your own eyes. The second method involves a knowledge of the configuration parameters as accessed via the monitor. I developed a knowledge of both methods and set both to prohibit equalization of my AGMs. You may need coaching to work with the multiple layers of parameters. A word to the wise. The OTT staff may not have all the information you require. Our Forum or Boz may be your best sources. Buzzy
  17. Hi geokeg (George and Gretchen), As Randy mentioned above, it is useful to contact the technical support engineer at Blue Sky in California. His name is Boz and he is excellent! His contact email is below. "Boz Kamyabi" techsupport@blueskyenergyinc.com Chances are Boz will direct you to aid him by performing a few diagnostic activities centered around the controller. As Russ and Mary suggests, you would be wise to own a multi-meter and know how to use it. I assume you have copies (paper or electronic) of the technical documents for both the controller and the monitor? Boz will be referring to these documents as you gather the data he will need. Is it safe to assume your controller is operational? Have you seen any indication via the monitor or via the indication light on the controller cover, of progression through the charge phases? Are you familiar with the charge phases as documented in the technical manuals? Boz will be expecting this level of knowledge. Keep in mind, you will need to pop the cover in the controller to measure the voltage coming from the PV array as well as the voltage going to the batteries via the controller. These actions have risk and you need to feel comfortable working safely around electrical equipment. It is also valuable to attach photography to your communications to greatly aid in the diagnostics. Keep in mind you are not the first to encounter issues as you describe, however, each owner may have implemented slightly different solutions. Curious! Can you describe your batteries? I assume you have four AGMs. There may come a time when you will need to speak with the technical support engineer at the Trojan Battery Company, but let’s hold off on that guidance until we know more. Buzzy
  18. Hi Jason, Thank you for initiating a very helpful blog! The following ideas may be of help. 1. I have the EZ-Flex installed so I add grease to each fitting. 2. I like to inspect the metal connections on the 7-pin trailer connector and treat with Permatex dielectric grease. 3. To lessen the work involved in removing dead bugs from the front of the trailer, I treat with CorrosionX 61002 Rejex. 4. To minimize any issues with the four exterior locks, I treat each cylinder with AGS LE5 Lock Ease. 5. To lessen any issues with the black and grey tank valves, I treat with Cameo 40246 TST Drain Valve Lube. 6. I use a new Cameo 40043 TastePURE Water Filter each spring. 7. After a harsh New England winter, I inspect each porch light gasket and treat with Captain Tolley’s Creeping Crack Cure. 8. I use Boeshield T-9 Waterproof Lubrication to protect the rims against corrosion. It also helps lubricate the front steps, door hinges and window slides. I could keep going, but at least this is a few additional ideas regarding my spring prep routine. Buzzy
  19. I tend to go for dog walks when it is dark and have been using a Boruit RJ-3000 headlamp. It does free up my hands for leash and poop retrieval. It has four light options and is very bright! It is easy to operate with a gloved hand, stays put on your head, easy to recharge. I hang it on a hook near the door. I have been happy with this gear. https://www.amazon.com/Boruit-Rechargeable-Headlamp-Lumens-RJ-3000/dp/B01AI1SN4A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492521006&sr=8-1&keywords=boruit+headlamps+rj-3000 Buzzy
  20. Matteo, You might consider sending a Personal Message (PM) to "Hardrock", (Coy) who is the owner point person for the Rally, and/or "Essary17",(Jason) who is the Oliver Travel Trailer point person. Buzzy
  21. David and Matteo, Thank you both for helping our community understand the EasyStart product. Back when David first highlighted his installation, my focus was on other aspects of my Ollie. With the arrival of the 2017 camping season, the purchase and installation of an EasyStart is on my list of modifications to enhance my dry camping. Here in northern New England we do not have many hot and humid days, but we do have enough that this product would be helpful! Matteo, thank you for coordinating the coupon for Ollie owners. Your efforts to help our community is very much appreciated. Buzzy PS - Just ordered mine!
  22. FYI Heard back from the Micro-Air rep via a PM. He is planning to post comments here later today. Making progress! Buzzy
  23. Overland, Yes, some owners have installed the Easy Start. Not sure if we have Forum members who are also using the Penguin II AC. Since many of the Ollies in circulation use the Penguin II, I am hoping the Micro-Air rep will post his experience working with Penguin II owners. I should think if your dry camping in southern states, you absolutely need an Easy Start. Never made sense to me that I can dry camp and run my furnace, but not my AC. I guess I view this technology as essential if it works on my configuration. Although an Easy Start may allow me to fire up the AC, not sure how long I could run it on my battery supply. I do not plan to utilize a generator. Would enjoy hearing from an experienced owner for a reality check! Buzzy PS - Sent off a PM to our Micro-Air member with the hope he/she will post on this thread. Fingers crossed!
  24. Forum Members, I noticed a new member, Micro-Air, joined on April 11, 2017. A review of his/her profile indicates a YouTube link to a variety of videos which can be helpful to our community. In the past, our Forum has benefited from vendor representatives, such as Sage at Andersen Hitches. Perhaps the Micro-Air representative will step forward? Have any Ollie owners utilized the equipment manufactured by Micro-Air? Buzzy
  25. Hi Jason, Welcome! It is good to hear you and Matt will team up to help our Forum. In the past, Matt had high hopes for posting videos to aid existing owners. A video on “Winterizing an Ollie” was one which comes to mind. With all the duties and responsibilities, I suspect there was never enough time to focus on the “How to Videos”. Any chance you and Matt will have time soon? Thank you, Buzzy
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