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John Thompson
22-12-2013, 09:37
We had a Waeco 40 amp B2B fitted in December 2011 just before our trip to Italy to get the Gasparini Generator repaired at the factory.

We ran into bad weather in southern France and Northern Italy in January 2012 and we were using lights heaters and wipers. We stalled at a toll and found our starter battery was showing only 8v when I tried to restart. We were recovered to a garage who put a new diode pack into our alternator and then we found the battery was dead so we had to have a new battery. As the fitter was putting the wires back on the lead to the B2B kept sparking so we left it off. We thought our leisure batteries were failing also after that and cut the trip short ( it was minus 11c on the Med coast at Narbonne Plage) and returned to Birmingham where the B2B had been fitted. They tested it and said it was OK and they also tested our batteries and found them to be OK as well. The B2B was reconnected and gave us no more problems until September this year when again we had a wet spell and we found ourselves again with a flat starter battery after a run from Doncaster to Darlington with Heater, lights and wipers on. Again the starter battery was down to below 8v.
We went to our usual garage and he tested the battery and said it seemed OK but on another tester it showed borderline. We fitted another new battery and went from near Consett in Co. Durham to Selby in North Yorkshire again in wet conditions again. Next morning the new starter battery was dead.

I put a meter on the battery and jump started from the leisure batteries. The B2B cut in immediately and we could see the starter battery voltage dropping as the leisure battery voltage increased. I quickly disconnected the B2B and the starter battery voltage began to rise immediately.

We left the B2B off for the trip down to Spain but tried it again down here and all seemed to be fine. Two nights ago we spent the night at Garrucha and set off early to find a campsite at Vera. We were running with headlamps on and on arrival I found the start was laboured after dumping our waste and getting water.

I have read the Max and Min voltages on our Solar readout and again the starter battery had gone down to 8v on the 12km run with lights on to Vera. The day before it was 12.92 v max and 10.58v min.

Not all B2B are the same and the Sterling does continuously check your starter battery condition and will not let this situation happen.

I definitely would not now recommend the Waeco B2B offering even if it does look a lower price alternative. While it does the job of boosting the leisure batteries on a 4 stage charge it does not seem to have the circuits to check the state of the Starter battery.

In delving into these problems I found that batteries are rated at a temperature of 25c. Working in low winter temperatures you cannot expect to get the stated capacity from your batteries if they are out in the cold. We have insulated our old gas bottle locker which now houses our 3 x 110 Ah batteries but even that I feel need to be heated to maintain room temperature.

John

Teutone
22-12-2013, 09:59
We had a Waeco 40 amp B2B fitted in December 2011 just before our trip to Italy to get the Gasparini Generator repaired at the factory.

We ran into bad weather in southern France and Northern Italy in January 2012 and we were using lights heaters and wipers. We stalled at a toll and found our starter battery was showing only 8v when I tried to restart. We were recovered to a garage who put a new diode pack into our alternator and then we found the battery was dead so we had to have a new battery. As the fitter was putting the wires back on the lead to the B2B kept sparking so we left it off. We thought our leisure batteries were failing also after that and cut the trip short ( it was minus 11c on the Med coast at Narbonne Plage) and returned to Birmingham where the B2B had been fitted. They tested it and said it was OK and they also tested our batteries and found them to be OK as well. The B2B was reconnected and gave us no more problems until September this year when again we had a wet spell and we found ourselves again with a flat starter battery after a run from Doncaster to Darlington with Heater, lights and wipers on. Again the starter battery was down to below 8v.
We went to our usual garage and he tested the battery and said it seemed OK but on another tester it showed borderline. We fitted another new battery and went from near Consett in Co. Durham to Selby in North Yorkshire again in wet conditions again. Next morning the new starter battery was dead.

I put a meter on the battery and jump started from the leisure batteries. The B2B cut in immediately and we could see the starter battery voltage dropping as the leisure battery voltage increased. I quickly disconnected the B2B and the starter battery voltage began to rise immediately.

We left the B2B off for the trip down to Spain but tried it again down here and all seemed to be fine. Two nights ago we spent the night at Garrucha and set off early to find a campsite at Vera. We were running with headlamps on and on arrival I found the start was laboured after dumping our waste and getting water.

I have read the Max and Min voltages on our Solar readout and again the starter battery had gone down to 8v on the 12km run with lights on to Vera. The day before it was 12.92 v max and 10.58v min.

Not all B2B are the same and the Sterling does continuously check your starter battery condition and will not let this situation happen.

I definitely would not now recommend the Waeco B2B offering even if it does look a lower price alternative. While it does the job of boosting the leisure batteries on a 4 stage charge it does not seem to have the circuits to check the state of the Starter battery.

In delving into these problems I found that batteries are rated at a temperature of 25c. Working in low winter temperatures you cannot expect to get the stated capacity from your batteries if they are out in the cold. We have insulated our old gas bottle locker which now houses our 3 x 110 Ah batteries but even that I feel need to be heated to maintain room temperature.

John

I had somehow the same sort of problems. Have a B2B fitted as well. Replaced B2B (FOC from supplier), replaced a perfectly good starter battery (found that out afterwards) and replaced a perfectly working alternator and NOTHING changed. The real problem was corroded earth straps!

Take a jump lead, connect one end to the alternator housing, then connect the other end directly to the MINUS of the battery. Attach a multimeter to the battery before and with the engine running watch the Voltage reading on the multimeter. If there is a big difference with the jump lead attached, you found your fault.

I didn't even need to look at the multimeter, as soon as I went to attach the jump lead to the MINUS of the battery the sparks where flying.

So after spending 300-400 and a few weekends of fiddling about, a simple earth strap solved it all.
I didn't replace the earth straps, I ADDED another one (must be THICK!!) from the alternator housing/bracket to the battery and chassis ground point.

ivecotrucker
22-12-2013, 12:57
Hello John,
Your experience suggests that the Waeco B2B doesn't sense what is happening to the starter battery voltage.
The B2B is taking too much of the alternator output relative to the headlights, wipers, heater etc under adverse driving conditions. Teutone's comment about integrity of the earth return is also worth bearing in mind.

What is your alternator output rated at ?. What I cannot explain is that if the Waeco B2B is only a 40 Amp model where is the rest of the alternator output going, which should be sufficient to power all the other driving current requirements - unless your alternator has a very low output rating.

John Thompson
22-12-2013, 14:53
Hello John,
Your experience suggests that the Waeco B2B doesn't sense what is happening to the starter battery voltage.
The B2B is taking too much of the alternator output relative to the headlights, wipers, heater etc under adverse driving conditions. Teutone's comment about integrity of the earth return is also worth bearing in mind.

What is your alternator output rated at ?. What I cannot explain is that if the Waeco B2B is only a 40 Amp model where is the rest of the alternator output going, which should be sufficient to power all the other driving current requirements - unless your alternator has a very low output rating.

The alternator on our Merc 410D is rated at 55 amps (makers specifications). It is not the battery as that had just been replaced fully charged at the start of the trip to Selby. Everything works OK if I don't have to run the headlights etc. and B2B together. But putting headlights, heater fan and/or wipers on together on a run just leaves me with a flat starter battery if the B2B is connected.

It didn't happen until the B2B was installed and everything is Ok if the B2B is disconnected. The starter battery charged up despite the load of headlamps heater and wipers without the B2B connected.

I will have a look for faulty earths however. It has cost us 2 batteries since early last year. I am sure the last one was replaced un-necessarily now, but we wanted to be sure we had a good battery for the winter trip around Spain. I would have kept it if I had had the available space but the B2B occupies that space now.

We normally don't drive at night so from Feb 2012 to September 2013 we were only doing day and fine weather driving. We ran from the UK to Spain without the B2B connected and there was no charging problem despite lights and wipers being used.

It was clear that this B2B does not sense the starter battery as even when the leisure batteries were reasonably high it still sucked the new starter battery down below 10v and the leisure batteries were standing about 13v and going up.

ivecotrucker
22-12-2013, 22:20
I think you have answered the question John.

Alternator output 55A minus B2B 40 A only leaves 15A for headlamps, wipers, heater etc. - that simply isn't eneough to run everything in adverse weather. Did anyone suggest re-chipping (different diode) your alternator to step up it's output ?.

FULL TIMER
22-12-2013, 23:21
Seems a strange system pretty sure the Sterling ones don't take anything until the starting battery is adequately charged, from the sterling website
"How does it work?
The unit monitors the engine start battery, the unit will not start until the battery voltage exceeds 13 volts, then it waits for 2.5 minutes to ensure that some charger is replaced after engine start, it then pulls the engine battery down to no less than 13 volts, this enables the engine battery to still receive a charge and ensures the alternator works at its full potential to further ensure the engine battery is OK".

it would seem a poor product from waeco if it doesn't work in a similar manner,

phillybarbour
23-12-2013, 05:56
Intersting read thx for the info

Teutone
23-12-2013, 05:59
I think you have answered the question John.

Alternator output 55A minus B2B 40 A only leaves 15A for headlamps, wipers, heater etc. - that simply isn't eneough to run everything in adverse weather. Did anyone suggest re-chipping (different diode) your alternator to step up it's output ?.

changing the diode will raise the VOLTAGE but not output of the alternator. 55A is indeed a little bit low.
The B2B is boosting the voltage to the Leisure battery already no matter what the Voltage of the alternator is.
I am surprised that such a low output alternator is fitted to a diesel engine. I changed the standard 80Amp to a 150Amp when I fitted a new alternator and since this my B2B shows the full 25A of charging current on the control panel (fridge on 12V and everything else running, even the heated seats).
My B2B has a low voltage protection of the started battery, it simply switches off if the supply voltage is too low.

wildman
23-12-2013, 10:59
This is a common problem with the Waeco B2B it does not contain sufficient circuitry to sense the charge state of the engine battery before diverting charge to the leisure batteries. Other makes are more expensive but do contain that check and the problem does not arise.

John Thompson
23-12-2013, 12:26
Seems a strange system
it would seem a poor product from waeco if it doesn't work in a similar manner,

That was the reason for my original post. There is no warning in the Waeco instructions that it is just a switch and does not sense the source battery.

John

Teutone
23-12-2013, 12:37
That was the reason for my original post. There is no warning in the Waeco instructions that it is just a switch and does not sense the source battery.

John


I tried to google it but found nothing. What model is it exactly?

Giving the price tag of Waeco products, Iwould be very disappointed to find out it's not doing what is says on the tin!

John Thompson
23-12-2013, 16:42
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