Anderson Plug & F250

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:20
ThreadID: 120038 Views:2801 Replies:14 FollowUps:0
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Having been forced to review the charging of our batteries in our BT & indeed the whole battery set up BT & F250 we are looking to add an Anderson Plug. Our set up is perhaps a bit more conservative than most, partly by evolution & partly because we are very cautious. Wanting to have the option to run an Engel or two in the F250 when we were not using the BT we initially had a solonoid fitted so that with the ignition off the two F250 batteries were seperated & we used the main battery to start. Not really a good idea as the starter motor draws a hell of a current & the voltage drops to about a 9V low valley - much too risky. Then of course there was the Winch. The concern there was that the F250 alternator is a big bastard, nominally, I have been told, 125Amps. The winch was connected to the main battery & we got a bit frightened about the possibilities: to run the Winch we needed to have the engine running to avoid the risk of not being able to start but I was a bit concerned about the full alternator current being pumped for an extended winching period into the batteries. Deciding to take the cautious, & unfortunately expensive, path we installed a spare battery in the back of the F250, removed the battery separation solonoid & yesterday we bit the bullet & had a Rotronics Unit fitted. This solves all of the above. Now for the next logical step, with the capability of the Rotronics unit to charge the auxillary battery(s) why not add to this circuit the three batteries in the BT. As an aside our batteries are out for maintenance & I think have survived - my mate who origionally contacted me (see "Boiling" Batteries) has lost all three. It seems to me, again in logic, at any time when we were parked in the shade or during a cloudy period, that with the Rotronics set up and an Anderson Plug we could charge the batteries in the van much faster with the F250 alternator than with the charger in the BT & the Honda 10i. All of the above has been a long winded way of asking, has anyone had an Anderson Plug, speficically the cabling, retrofitted to a BT? Andy
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Reply By: Andy1 - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:26

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:26
Collyn My concern was not for the battery(s) but the F250 Starter Motor - I ran a bit of a (crude) test, the speed at which the Starter Motor ran was noticably slower with one battery than the two. Both were fully charged at the time. The long term effect of this sort of treatment is never going to enhance Starter Motor Life. I have not seen a curve Output vs Revs for the F250 Alternator but am aware the the trend with modern alternators to to produce a much higher % of rated capacity at low revs - where the F250 unit stands in this progression I have no idea. My saga playing around with the BT batteries continues - posted in "Boiling" Batteries. Andy
AnswerID: 559243

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:27

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:27

I did misunderstand your concern - apologies. Certainly not a good idea to run the starter motor at too low a voltage - but it might pay to check the voltage drop across the starter cables (copper is very costly and even the best vehicle builders tend to economise on things like this.

You are quite correct about alternators. Current practice is to have more output at lower rpm - but in most cases output is still limited to about 70% by pulley size.

Of course all this is about to change as the 36/42 volt systems gain ground.
Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 559244

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:28

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:28
I know I don't have an F Truck, but I'm fitting an Anderson plug powered by it's own Alternator exclusively for the BT batteries. Probably a silly idea, but better than the guy that put an Anderson on the batteries direct & some smarty shorted it out on him. Not pretty. Griff
AnswerID: 559245

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:29

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:29
Why not fit a fusible link?. The vehicle's alternator does nothing most of the time so why not utilize it? Why not use a spare pin on the trailer plug and forget the anderson connection. You will not get much current out the end of the cable run anyway due to the cable resistance with the long run.


AnswerID: 559246

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:30

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:30
Precisely what I did was to run 6mm cable from
the ignition to the heavy duty socket on the tow bar which connects through to
the van's batteries. No need for additional plugs and cables.
AnswerID: 559247

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:31

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:31
OK, I'll have another confab with my Sparky. I was looking at DC resistance through the trailer plug connections generating a lot of heat in the plug itself, especially if I've got 3 x 150Ah batteries in a depleted state sucking in the amps - hence the idea of using an Anderson. With heavy cable and an A-frame battery box, I had thought to aleviate somewhat the cable run losses. Agree, using the trailer plug would be easier. (By the way, I am using a 12 pin - not BT's standard, as I need the extra pins for rear view camera and trailer low battery condition warning system), but if I won't be getting much charge due to the length of cable run anyway, wouldn't it be therefore worth going to a heavier, dedicated setup to minimise the loss? Trying not to fry my brains Griff
AnswerID: 559248

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:32

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:32
Griff, all of this highlights the fact that we are trying to squeeze the last drop out of the lemon with using a 12 volt system with the electrical loads we are running today, but unfortunately we are stuck with it. The sooner we can use 36 volt the better. The NSW regulation about monitoring the trailer battery is just another knee-jerk and unnecessary impost on us by our beauracratic masters. It’s just another out for the insurance companies. I would like to see the figures on how many breakaways occur and couple that with the probability of a low battery at this time and all the other factors is just ridiculous. If I were to run a company with a risk management regime like this I would go broke quick. After all we monitor the battery condition every time we use the trailer break, which is a much better indication of low battery than a meter on the dash board. I could go on and on about automatic solar charging etc etc.

Putting the batteries on the A frame increases the distance from the primary charging source(solar panels) while decreasing the distance from the secondary charging source(vehicle generator) as well as increasing the distance from the load which may include an inverter. So what you pick up on the swing you lose on the roundabout. The circuit is solar-panels/solar-controller/batteries. This run should be kept as short as practical. For very heavy cables the Anderson cable is the way to go but I think you will still be surprised how little current you will suck out the end. You certainly will not fully load an alternator. If you could get one with a remotely controlled current control, now that would do the trick, never heard of one though. I would be making sure I got a good quality battery charger because if the sun aint shining you will be running on your charger either through the 240v mains or portable generator. I don’t like the idea of charging batteries with the vehicle while stationary especially with a diesel engine. Your battery charger is a very important item in the inventory.

There has been a lot of unnerving discussion about battery boxes under beds lately. I have never heard of a problem with this arrangement but you would think with the tone of the dialog that an atomic explosion could happen at any time. Batteries have been but in boxes since Adam was a boy and providing adequate ventilation is provided there is no problem. I hope BOG members will not launch into expensive modifications to their BT because of what has been posted on this subject. The DO NOTHING option is often the best option.


AnswerID: 559249

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:33

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:33
I'm at the do nothing stage .... as I have a good charger ! The only mod I will do, to keep an eye on the frank electrolyte (if) depositing on batteries, is to fit a 12mm clear perspex lid to battery box to save unscrewing it all the time to inspect batteries. Can keep an eye on connections as well ... I did enquire at a battery importer (ac delco) to see if I could get better caps for the cells to try and get better electrolyte recovery ..... to no avail. Anthony
AnswerID: 559250

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:34

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:34
Good point. It's all compromises - getting the balance right is the trick. I had been giving consideration to placing the inverter & charger in the boot on the front wall in the middle in it's own little crash cage for protection/ventilation (not that the electronic units put out that much heat) to keep the run to a minimum. Need an electrical engineer on this one! Griff
AnswerID: 559251

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:35

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:35
Griff, Save your money, just go for the standard BT setup with good batteries and a good charger along with the generator that you will require for the Air conditioner you won't have a problem. Look at all the other Bushtrackers happily touring around without all the fancy extras.Bushtracker are now using a much better type of battery to what they have available 2 years ago, so you shouldn't have any problems. Brian
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AnswerID: 559252

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:36

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:36
Time for a dumb question. What is the purpose of an Anderson plug? My LC has one on the towbar, fitted by a sparky who obviously figured that's what I should have if I was planning to buy a van. I'm still reading/asking/digesting/deciding about vans before final decision time. Griff's comment about "some smarty" shorting out a plug has me wondering if I should be tucking it out of sight or taking some other precaution until tow-time.
AnswerID: 559253

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:37

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:37
Having an open unprotected low resistance(read high current) device is inviting disaster including loss of vehicle. I am sure your insurance company would would give you the flick to rub salt into the wound. I cannot imagine a autosparky doing this.


AnswerID: 559254

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:38

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:38
I'm not sure if my question has been answered but I get the impression from your reply that an Anderson plug is both illegal and dangerous. I'll take it up with the electrical people. Thanks.
AnswerID: 559255

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:39

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 17:39
No I am not saying that just that the way it was wired without circuit protection. There are regulations for these things and rightly so.

AnswerID: 559256

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