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Unread 10-11-2016, 06:00 PM   #1
Gone Wild
 
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Default 48V to 12V voltage reducer problem

I recently installed a 48v to 12v reducer to run my headlights. I noticed when I connected the leads to the batteries that I got a pretty good spark without having any lights turned on. I thought this seemed a little strange but everything seemed to be working normal. Several days later I was checking the voltage of my 5 year old Trojan T-875's and noticed the battery that had the lead from the inverter hooked to positive was showing 6.5 volts. All the others were normal. I checked the batteries several months ago and they all checked out good with little to no voltage differences in all of them. All were above 8.5 volts. My questions are as follows.

1) Is it normal to get a spark if you remove and reinstall the lead from the reducer with no lights on. Is there always a draw on the batteries with a reducer?

2) Could this situation with the amp draw ( spark from reducer lead) cause a problem with the 1 battery?
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Unread 10-11-2016, 06:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: 48V to 12V voltage reducer problem

It is normal to get a spark when you hook up the reducer. The reducer should draw equally from ALL of your batteries. They are in series. If one is low, that battery is probably bad. Not the fault of the reducer. Your reducer should be wired across the entire 48V pack. If it's not then you have a problem that could drain the batteries unequally.
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Unread 10-11-2016, 07:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: 48V to 12V voltage reducer problem

I have the reducer wired across the entire pack so that's done correctly. I'm glad to hear the spark from the reducer is normal. I guess it's just a coincidence the bad battery was the one hooked up to the positive lead on the reducer.
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Unread 10-12-2016, 01:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: 48V to 12V voltage reducer problem

How much amp draw does a voltage reducer draw with no load on the reducer? Once my battery charger shuts off I could see how a constant battery drain could be a problem. I don't think the charger comes on when the batteries go below a certain voltage unless you unplug it and plug it back in. Is that correct?
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Unread 10-12-2016, 02:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: 48V to 12V voltage reducer problem

As long as the reducer was installed with a trigger wire hooked up to the key switch side that only has power when the key is on, then the reducer should have very minimal (under 1 amp) draw.

It would depend on what reducer you have as to what the exact draw would be. If you have an electrical test meter, it's pretty simple to check. Just put the black lead in the common (negative) plug on the meter and the red lead in the AMP plug on the meter. Set your meter to the 5-10 amp setting so you do not blow your fuse inside. Unhook the positive wire from the battery pack to the reducer and attach it to the red lead of your meter. Attach the black lead of your meter to the positive post of your battery pack and you will get the amp draw reading on your meter. Basically, you're just putting your meter in line (in series) with the positive wire from your battery pack to your reducer.

If you have it wired across your battery pack there is no way that it would only draw one battery down.

The spark is normal as you are completing the circuit and there is a sudden draw of power to charge the capacitors inside the reducer.
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Unread 10-12-2016, 03:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: 48V to 12V voltage reducer problem

No trigger wire hooked to key. I guess I never got that memo. Not sure how to wire it that way. Could I just put an on off switch or some kind of interrupt switch on the positive lead wire that goes to the reducer from the battery?
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Unread 10-12-2016, 06:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: 48V to 12V voltage reducer problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by noserider View Post
No trigger wire hooked to key. I guess I never got that memo. Not sure how to wire it that way. Could I just put an on off switch or some kind of interrupt switch on the positive lead wire that goes to the reducer from the battery?
If the reducer you purchased does not have a trigger wire that turns it ON/OFF with your key then it is what you would say always "on" and this is generally not good as it draws a small amount of power even when not in use. But it would draw this against ALL your batteries not just one of them... And it is considered normal for those things to create quite the spark when first hooked up as the capacitors suck up energy as they pre-charge. Unfortunately for you one of your 5 year old batteries has **** the bed and due to the overall age of the pack it is best to replace them all or if you must your better off with looking for a used batter closer in age to your used pack.
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Unread 10-12-2016, 09:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: 48V to 12V voltage reducer problem

A lot of cheap reducers do not have an on/off relay internal so you need to add one externally. Otherwise 2 things happen. They are always on and this drains the batteries down even when not in use. And always on shortens the useful life of the reducer.
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Unread 10-12-2016, 09:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: 48V to 12V voltage reducer problem

I use an on/off switch instead of running through the ignition key. I run several accessories from a fuse box (headlights, running lights, stereo and underbody lights.)
So, I have an on/off switch on my dash, that turns on the reducer. The reducer then sends power to my fuse box. Then, I have other switches for each accessory. Only the stereo turns on automatically when I turn on the reducer.
I don't want/need the reducer to come on every time I use the cart.
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Unread 10-12-2016, 09:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: 48V to 12V voltage reducer problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by gumpbuck View Post
I use an on/off switch instead of running through the ignition key. I run several accessories from a fuse box (headlights, running lights, stereo and underbody lights.)
So, I have an on/off switch on my dash, that turns on the reducer. The reducer then sends power to my fuse box. Then, I have other switches for each accessory. Only the stereo turns on automatically when I turn on the reducer.
I don't want/need the reducer to come on every time I use the cart.
There are many ways to skin this cat. Even the key switch trigger is no guarantee the unit will be shut off when it should be. Some people have put a led indicator on the dash to remind them of when the reducer is powered up.
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