In the BatteryMINDer Blog that I just wrote, Assure Automotive Power, I was missing 2 optional accessories which we just recently made available to me. At this point I can finish up my installation. The 2 pieces that I received were the ABS-248 Temperature Sensor (TS) and the 12103 Battery Condition Indicator. (BCI)
Details of the wire loom applied to the charge cables which are connected to the automotive battery circuit. When I need to accomplish coach battery maintenance, all I need to do unplug the unit and un-clip the charger cables.
The importance of the Temperature Sensor cannot be over stressed. There are 4 pages in the owner’s manual that pertain to the TS. What the TS does is to automatically adjust the charge rate of the BatteryMINDer extending the useful life of the battery by 100%. If a battery is being charged in any temperature range from 32°F to 125°F the sensor must be used. The sensor can be installed on either the positive terminal or the negative terminal. The instructions warn not to modify the cable in any way. The optimal location is to attach the cable directly to the battery. The second choice would be to locate the sensor as close to the battery as possible. In the battery enclosure that I have I chose to locate the sensor on the positive terminal which is within 6 inches of the automotive battery.
Installing the wire loom on the cables was a lot of fun it looks professional and it’ll protect the cables from the harsh environment . Every inch of exposed cable was covered or in the process of getting covered.
The ABS248 has 2 modular plug connectors along the length of the cable. When installing the sensor you need to look at the modular plugs and line up the Minus sign and plus sign above each other between the male and female connections. It is important to maintain this polarity. There aren’t any keys in the modular connectors so it is possible to connect those 180° out.
The red clip has a big bite on the automotive positive post. Although care must be exercised at all times, being connected here would appear to offer less chance for a spark to cause problem with battery gases. These clips are larger and provide more compression in the jaws than the previous unit I was using.
Once I obtained the TS I cut the ty-wraps and temporary mountings that held the cables and remade all the connections both inside the coach and in the battery compartment I made a few mental notes and went to the NAPA dealer and picked up a few lengths of plastic wire loom in ¼” ½” and 1” in diameter. I began inside by covering the charge cable from the unit to the battery compartment. A piece of ½” wire loomed was used and it is able to hold both the charge cable and the temperature sensor cable.
The opportunity for a much bigger bite on the ground cable was presented here so I moved the ground cable off of the side terminal of the battery. The wing nuts seen on the battery post can work themselves loose and require checking from time to time.
I was challenged to either drill holes in the floor and hide the cables or run the cables on the surface and make them as neat looking as possible. I chose to run the wire loom on the surface. I’m sure that I can live with it. Using the wire loom that I obtained every visible inch of the cables has been covered. My next challenge was how best to connect the charge cables. In the owner’s manual it states to connect the negative cable to the chassis ground. For me to do this would require me to remove my batteries to get a hand hold so I opted to connect the negative cable to the best possible ground connection that I have. Clearly clamping on the negative side terminal of the battery does not present the most amount of contact area for the clamp. Reviewing the options, the best negative connection was on the negative cable coming off of the coach batteries which is connected directly to a chassis ground. Clamping the black lead on this cable presents most amount metal to bite on.
Once I finished looming all the cables and tying them up I wound up with a much better setup and the installation looks pretty good. At least is not something that I would be ashamed to show anyone. I used ¼” wire loom for the Temperature Sensor wire since it appears to be a single conductor and the loom fits the wire really well. I used ½” wire loom for 2 or more conductors. There are 2 cables, 3 wires that go from the unit and down to the battery compartment. Once in the battery compartment any bulky wire and devices fit nicely in the 1 inch wire loom. I used a piece of 3M 33 at 6 inch intervals or less on the wire loom to help keep it closed. I did not use any tape on the loom that comes down the stairwell wall. 1×1 Adhesive ty-wrap anchors stick well and hold the cables in place. In the stair well I used a ½” #6 sheet metal screw to hold one of the anchors to the side wall. So this concludes the installation of the BatteryMINDer and Temperature Sensor.
Seen from overhead the cables from the unit run toward the the stairwell and down the side. I can live with this the way it is knowing the job that is getting done. The other option was to drill a hole in the floor … NOT.
I have a Battery Condition Indicator however I have not found a suitable location for it. What I use to really determine the condition of the battery is the volt meter in the Winnebago One-Place.
Getting a true reading of your batteries can only be done when the battery has had time to rest before testing. Rest is described as a condition where the battery is not receiving a charge OR is being discharged.
The procedure is described as allowing the battery to charge for 72 hours and then allowing it to rest for at minimum 12 hours. You can test your battery using a hydrometer or a digital volt meter. If the battery reads 12.9V to 13.1V after rest the battery is 100% charged. See the chart in the owner’s manual for other readings and more information.