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Subject Topic: Battery Charger Unit failed AGAIN!!! Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by Tim and Cary09/4/2013 at 5:43pm
Outfit:  Kia Sorento Titan Bailey Senator Ariz     Location:  Criccieth Gwynedd
Joined: 26/3/2005
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Hi

My Bailey Senator Arizona (2006) is fitted with BCA PS276-1BC battery charger which slots into the top of the PDU housing.

A couple of years ago I replaced this as it had stopped working. However, after returning from a 3 week trip to Keswick I noticed that the 12v lights were very dim even when hooked-up on our drive. I checked the battery with my multimeter and found it was flat despite being on hook-up after our 100 mile drive back from the Lakes.

Having had problems with the charger unit before I moved on to checking that next. The mains "kettle" plug showed 240v but there was no output whatsoever from the 12v lead from the charger. (The "kettle" lead WAS fully connected - I know that a loose kettle lead can be a problem but mine is held in with a cable tie!!!) I had taken the battery out by this time to put it on charge - does it need a battery to be connected to get an output reading???

I chatted to David Brannon of: http://leisureelectronicrepairs.co.uk/.

He was very helpful and said that it would probably cost around 60 for him to repair the charger. He did say that my "issue 14" model was supposedly a model that had been revised so that the fan cut in earlier to prevent overheating.

I think that an inherent problem is that the ventilation in the fuse box housing is very limited.

I'm now in a quandary as to what to do.   The cheaper new replacement BCA unit I could find on the internet costs c110, with delivery, but I don't want to be spending that every couple of years.



My electrical skills are not really up to fitting an alternative type of charger in better ventilated position.

All helpful comments would be valued.



Tim


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Tim and Cary

Message posted by Tim and Cary10/4/2013 at 9:54pm
Outfit:  Kia Sorento Titan Bailey Senator Ariz     Location:  Criccieth Gwynedd
Joined: 26/3/2005
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I seem to be "talking" to myself here but heyho!!

I replaced the battery in the caravan today having charged it in the garage for 24 hrs with my Halford's smart charger. The battery gave a reading of 13.3v on my multimeter. I tested the charger again with the battery re-installed. 230 volts from the "kettle" plug. 0v on the charger output cable connector. 13.3v on the other side of the 12v connector - presumably from the battery. So it appears that my original diagnosis is correct.

I'm now wondering about possible solutions:

(1) Having the existing charger repaired by David Brannon (http://leisureelectronicrepairs.co.uk). He estimated c60 plus postage costs so a "bit" cheaper than the internet prices of c100 for a new one.

(2) Having an alternative charger fitted outside of the PDU but space is rather limited.

(3) Fitting an additional "computer type" fan to blow some air through the new/repaired charger.

There are vents built into the PDU casing above and to the sides of where the charger is currently located. There is, also, a large floor vent just behind the PDU and so it is hard to see how the airflow could easily be improved without an additional fan.

I am surprised that the charger could have overheated given the low temperatures we experienced during our recent 3 week stay in Keswick.   On the other hand it is quite close to the heater and one of the blown air pipes runs close behind it in the bed locker. All in all, it does not bode well for any replacement charger I may fit when we go to warmer climes in the summer!!!

Now that I've established that the charger is "dead" I will be getting in touch with John of Caravancare my, mobile, service engineer to discuss the best solution.

I'm pretty disgusted both with the BCA chargers and the design of the whole PDU - hardly fit for purpose. :angry: :angry:

Tim

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Message posted by Peridot10/4/2013 at 10:39pm
Outfit:  Mazda Bongo & Cabanon Pacific     Location:  South Wales
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Quote: Originally posted by Tim and Cary on 10/4/2013

0v on the charger output cable connector. 13.3v on the other side of the 12v connector - presumably from the battery. So it appears that my original diagnosis is correct.



I'm not quite certain what you mean here. Did you take the two measurements with the 12v connector disconnected? If the charger does need to 'see' a battery connected then you may not have confirmed that it is dead.

The way I'd do it is to discharge the battery a bit, say down to somewhere between 12.5 and 12.9 volts. Connect everything up but with mains to the caravan switched off. Connect the meter across the battery terminal and switch the mains to the caravan on. If the charger is healthy the voltage across it should rise to somewhere between 13.5 - 14.4 volts, depending on the characteristics of the charger.

If the charger is dead it's difficult to recommend the best course of action. If it were me I think I'd go for one of the well regarded makes of alternative stand-alone charger.

Given the advances in other areas of caravan technology it really is scandalous that manufacturers are still fitting the rubbish electrical control gear that they are.




Message posted by jayc00112/4/2013 at 1:57pm
Outfit:  1996 Bailey Senator 5000     Location:  Essex
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If it's possible that the unit suffers from poor ventilation then adding a computer case fan is cheap and easy to do.

They only cost a few quid and will happly run of a wide voltage 10-15V dc.. No point putting a fan into a sealed box. You'd need to pay attention to how the air flow is directed ie where are you pulling air into the unit and where it exits as batteries give off hydrogen gas when charged so it should vent externally if the charge is in with the battery. . A couple of holes (entry/exit) and suitable grills would surfice.

You'd also need to consider how it will be switched/fused. I'd fit a relay so it only powers the fan when the charger is outputting. Simply running it in parallel to the battery would mean it would run whenever the battery was connected.


Message posted by Tim and Cary12/4/2013 at 10:41pm
Outfit:  Kia Sorento Titan Bailey Senator Ariz     Location:  Criccieth Gwynedd
Joined: 26/3/2005
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Thanks jayc001 and Peridot

Using my multimeter I tested the charger and battery again today. With the battery and mains connected the charger still showed no output voltage or ampage. I, also, tested the voltage at the battery terminals it was just over 13v with the mains power disconnected but there was no change when I turned on the mains power. It looks, therefore, as though the transformer/charger has failed as I originally suspected.

I'm now looking at having John, my service engineer fit an alternative unit when he services the 'van next month. I'll be looking for a less confined and better ventilated place too.

Thanks for your advice.
Tim

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Message posted by joanshubby20/9/2013 at 4:41pm
Outfit:  Bailey Champagne S6     Location:  Kent
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Hi Tim, I am interested how you have got on with your charger problem. I have the same thing happen to me while I was in France this July. The charger kept tripping out one of my trips so that I had no hot water or 240 lights. I pulled out the kettle plug and sorted out the tripping out. Then I went out and bought a small car battery charger to get me through my holiday.I am looking for some sort of replacement and wondered what you have used ? I don't fancy
going down the BCA rout as they seem to be US IMHO.

Dave    

Message posted by chindley20/9/2013 at 8:58pm
Outfit:  Chevrolet Captiva 4x4.Lunar Quasar 524     Location:  Lowton Warrington
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I had the same problem on my Lunar. I disconnected the fuse box and took out the PSU/charger inside, drilled out the rivets to open it up and noticed there was a black area on the circuit board and one of the resisters was loose. I soldered the resister back on and it worked fine. I think I will put a computer fan in there to keep it cool in case it goes again. Worth having a go yourself and if it doesn't work you havn't lost anything, you can buy the units off ebay
here

just noticed it was an old post, never mind

Message posted by Tim and Cary20/9/2013 at 11:16pm
Outfit:  Kia Sorento Titan Bailey Senator Ariz     Location:  Criccieth Gwynedd
Joined: 26/3/2005
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Quote: Originally posted by joanshubby on 20/9/2013
Hi Tim, I am interested how you have got on with your charger problem. I have the same thing happen to me while I was in France this July. The charger kept tripping out one of my trips so that I had no hot water or 240 lights. I pulled out the kettle plug and sorted out the tripping out. Then I went out and bought a small car battery charger to get me through my holiday.I am looking for some sort of replacement and wondered what you have used ? I don't fancy
going down the BCA rout as they seem to be US IMHO.

Dave    

Hi Dave

On the recommendations of folk on another "blue" caravan forum I purchased direct from Amperor an 18 amp 3-stage charger/PSU. It cost 69.95 plus carriage and was delivered promptly.

In May John, my caravan engineer, fitted this during my c'van's annual service. John was already familiar with these units and had fitted a number of them as replacements without any subsequent failures.

At my request he bolted the charger onto the OUTSIDE rear of the wooden housing surrounding the electrical supply unit. I had him do this as having 2 of the original chargers fail I felt that enclosing them inside the unit had caused them to overheat and burn out.

John did have to use additional connectors to connect up the 12v wire and drill a hole through the back of the casing to route the new wiring.

The new charger has worked very satisfactorily keeping the battery fully charged and supply power as needed for the 10+ weeks we have subsequently spent away in the c'van. The metal casing of the new unit has lots more ventilation slits than the one it replaced. I sometimes hear the unit's internal cooling fan cycling on and off to prevent it overheating.

Amperor currently seem to be currently out of stock of this unit. Amazon list it too but they seem, also, to be out of stock.

This is the link I used:

http://www.amperorassociates.co.uk/c-battery_chargers/BatteryC-3_18A.html

I hope this helps.

Tim




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Message posted by joanshubby21/9/2013 at 7:47am
Outfit:  Bailey Champagne S6     Location:  Kent
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Thanks Tim for your fast and informative answer to my question. I will keep my eye on that site that you recommended to see if they have some in stock.

I'am also on that "Blue" site that you mentioned, as I have read some of your blogs,loved the one about Annecy as we were there in June at a site in Doussard (http://www.campingletaillefer.com/situationGB.htm)and this is were my charger burnt out. We will definitely be going back there as we didn't do half the things we wanted to do and the weather was fantastic.

Thanks again.

Dave

Message posted by Timmytwoshoes17/4/2015 at 12:26pm
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Hi,
I know this is a bit of an old thread. But I have a faulty charge controller with a PCB marked: PS276-1-BC NO.6569 ISSUE 14
PCBM-9320021-M1 12/04
It 'poped' and when I opened it up it appears that a VDR has blown in VDR 1 slot. It has blown so dramatically that I can't read any of the Values on it. Would any one be able to help me out and let me know what value the VDR has so I can try replacing it.

Many thanks

Tim


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