Happy 4th all!  Hopefully most everyone is out camping and not working on the RVs, but if anyone is around I am stumped on something.  Remembering my rig is small and simple, I have one 12v accessory socket.  And, it doesn't work.  So, today I decided to start dismembering things to try to figure that out.

First here is my converter panel:

The wires that I am working with are "B" - a green and white wire that go nowhere except to the accessory socket.  

Here's the converter's fuse panel:

I did two things, I removed and retwisted the green and white wire and retightened that nut.  I also checked all the fuses with the multimeter for resistance and like the other fuses it shows resistance.  Note #1 is not currently being used.  The other three go into the rv to assumably all my lights and fan which all work. Bottom nut "D" is negative it appears (and ground?) and the far right "C" goes on to the storage battery which is kept up under the truck hood.

The wires coming out from the converter appear to have a grounding (?) bit here.  Note the red and black wire which were also attached to the outside of the 12v accessory back:

Here are my 12v accessory wires I clipped off the accessory plug (which looked clean) and I had tried three different plugs in:

The green and white went directly into the back of the 12v accessory, again the black and red clamped to a ring on the outside.  So I am assuming green/white is positive and red/black is negative/ground.

So after I stripped I tested the wires with a multimeter - nothing, nada, forgettaaboutit.

So here's my question:

1) Is it possible my "filtered" connection on the converter is bad even though the others are working, and if so, could I potentially move the green and white wire over to unused #1?  Or since that's not unfiltered is that a bad idea for the 12v socket (it would be used for weboost, wifi repeater, 12v vacuum and possibly inverter for laptop - although I figure for that I'll have my solar set up in by then and have an inverter directly into my battery bank.

2) OR, am I not understanding this particular connection and it will only work when my storage battery is hooked back in (right now it's been wintering in the basement on a trickle charger). And I just made myself a lot of unnecessary work?

Thanks all, in advance - and again - hope everyone is camping, and not futzing around in the humidity and heat!

Tags: 12v, accessory, converter

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I have worked with live stuff for so long I do not kill the power even on 120 volt. I get bit every now and then, but does not bother me anymore--[caution: do not do this at home, professional with no brains and no common sense at work LOL].

Your like me,,,, bzzzzzz   zap...  instant reminder,, that wire is hot,,, put hand in pocket,,,,  shake it off,,,

Haha - well I did learn the hard way today that NEGATIVE comes off the battery terminal first, and goes on last.  But I won't forget that anytime soon now.

 

Dawn, looks like I agree with the Wolf Man and Russ and FWIW here's my explanation.

 

 The house battery is ONLY wired to those B and C terminals (that feeds your 12 VDC power outlet) and it works ONLY if the house battery is in place, we already solved that riddle. Its best for sensitive electronics as its battery pure DC fed.

 

 The other 3/4 terminals are basically fed by the Converter/Charger which is why they still work if plugged in even if there's no house battery, but that's best for lights and non sensitive resistive loads.

 

HOWEVER the Converter/Charge output is also connected to the house battery so it charges it when plugged in AND THATS WHY THEY (other 3/4 circuits) STILL WORK EVEN IF NOT PLUGGED IN as long as there's a house battery connection.

 

 The Converter/Charger feeds the 3/4 circuits and the B is fed ONLY by the house battery. Butttttttt the Converter/Chargers output charges the house battery so its connected, therefore so also are those 3/4 terminals which is why they still work even if not plugged in

 

 The B (to 12 VDC outlet) works if theres a house battery in place. The other ¾ work IF a battery is in place ORRRRRRRRRR its plugged in powering the Converter/Charger since its hooked to the house battery

 

 DISCLAIMER ( We Lawyers and Engineers love them lol) NOT being there and NOT having your data this is ONLY my best guess and may be wrong as rain

 

 make sense???  John T

Just going to put a cap on the discussion -

Very quickly I wired my battery monitor in.  Several trips to the autoparts store as first inline fuse didn't work (tore the fuse to heck) and I decided to return the on/off switch. For now I'll just pull the fuse when I don't want to use - it's just a simple one for a simple wally world battery - I know it doesn't give true state like a controller but at least it will give me some indication of what is going on with it.

It's not well- mounted- need to get creative or go buy a tool to cut through the dash plastic better I think. Need to think on that.

Lakota's words kept going through my mind - "running wire is fun" said no one ever.  I AM so glad though I ended up with my Dodge instead of one of those tiny Toys.  I was able to move around under that dash, and get up and down without too much ouching and curse words.  Hope I don't have to run any more wire.  No more spots.  If I do, I'm going to have to untangle some of that unhooked in unholy mess under the dash to see if I can backtrack it and make myself some room.  For now, though, no plans to do that.

Didn't fool with the accessory socket I pulled apart in the camper - just mounted another another (nice Atwood marine) one so have that working. And then extending that with a plugin with two ports and two usb. Hopefully that will cover my wifi and cellular antenna for now and offer a cell phone/tablet charging part for the interim.  Not sure what they'll take.  I'm just a try it and see girl.  If it's not enough I'll keep figuring it out.

Pulling that far right fuse did at least cut the power to the accessory, but rest stayed on which I understand John was saying - which was nice. Had the fan blowing, put some lights on for an hour or two, and going to check this morning and see the state of the resting battery and see as well how much the monitor is drawing.  I do want to add a switch though to that incoming cable so I can turn stuff off at once though when working on electric without unhooking the house.  Haven't worked with that size wire - I sure hope I don't need ANOTHER tool.  

It's funny my grandfather was a commercial electrician and I'm finding I love working with this stuff and figuring it out.  I should have joined the family business!!  It's like magic!!

 

Also put those boots on the terminal - eh - too small - aggravated with those/but it will give me that extra ounce of protection. Overall not real happy with the things I've bought so far at O'Reilly.  Going back to ordering from Amazon.  

I still need to do a better job of strapping down my starter battery and replacing the negative ground on it. Otherwise I spent the rest of the day just trying to tie wires up better and at least make things cleaner.  Going with the advice of not going to dig into it until I have to fix it.  After I have a few more of the heavy jobs out of the way I'll go back to tracking down the front parking light issue.

Thanks again, everyone!  Thursday she goes into a repair place near me.  Not going to deal with the sewer gates - just have it done.  I'll have to sacrifice something down the line but I am running out of time and that has to be attended to.  Some things gotta give, and why not the stinky job??? 

I'll touch base again when I have more to report!

Hi Dawn, I was catching up on GORV's and am sorry you wasn't able to run down your lighting situation. One thing I would like to share with you that may save you a headache down the road. I'm not a fan of probing wires with pins or test leads and try hard to never do it myself because in DC circuits corrosion will some how get in there at some point. I am not knocking the practice because there is some instances where you simply have no options. That being said, it is important that you do the very best job of insulating each and every point you probe or you will in time regret it. There is a product called liquid tape out there that does a good job of infiltrating those holes then follow up with a good vinyl tape. I like Scotch 33 some people like the thicker one 77 or 99 ? I never buy it so I;m not sure of the nomenclature. 33 is flexible and seals very well. Short of cutting, soldering and using shrink tube I think this is the best you can do. (IMHO) Anyway that's my 2 cents on the subject.  Moving away from the subject like you are doing is a good way to refresh and and recenter. You should feel good about that. hope this helps some.

It does.  I did retape but a good chance to try NEW STUFF.  

 Congratulations Dawn and thanks for the feedback. To avoid corrosion and oxidation when you have spliced wires or they are exposed to the ambient in any way YOU NEED TO KEEP MOISTURE AND OXYGEN AWAY (causes oxidation DUH lol). I use the likes of heat shrink tubing and liquid tape and even top all off with electrical tape as one last final means of preventing the entry of moisture and oxygen. In certain applications I may use dielectric grease.

 I'm glad you understood my "best guesses not there" how the house battery and the Converter/Charger work together and why that B circuit that feeds the 12 VDC outlet is fed off the house battery while the other 3 or 4 fused circuits are fed by the Converter/Charger EVEN IF the house battery isn't there.  BUT since the Converter/Chargers output must be wired to the battery in order to charge it, the house battery can still power the 3/4 fused circuits even if not plugged to shore power

 YES proper hold downs are necessary for batteries because if left loose a sudden stop can allow them to slide then STOP n shock suddenly which can jar materials off the lead plates.

 Wi Fi and Cell charging and tablets and laptops aren't generally high power devices and "some" 12 VDC outlets may only be rated for say 100 or 200 or probably 300 absolute max watts, but hopefully you are well within the limits of the outlet BUT ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY FROM HERE. Just insure the ampacity of the wire from the panel to the outlet is sufficient and then its protected by the proper size fuse.  

 When I attach cables to lead acid batteries I use BOTH the felt washers PLUS once completed I top everything off with that red battery terminal protectant spray.

 Were gonna make a master electrician out of you yet.

 Best wishes n God Bless, hope this helps. Post back any questions

 John T Too long retired Electrical Engineer and rusty, but believe the above is still correct I HOPE LOL

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