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Unread 08-19-2010, 09:44 AM   #1
Not Yet Wild
 
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Default Voltage on frame---normal or not?

Hey, guys. I'm a long-time lurker, and I want to say thanks for all the help that this forum has been so far. This is the first problem I've had that I couldn't figure out using the search.

2004 Club Car DS Series

I have a voltage reducer (48-->12) that was working fine until yesterday when I decided to wire in a fuse block. I currently have my lights, horn, and 12V power outlet wired through it. After installing the fuse block, I checked the voltage from the neg battery terminal to the yellow output wire and got 51.7V (I was expecting around 12.7 like in the past.). Also, the voltage reducer leads no longer spark like they did before--the package said this was normal--when I connect them.

This morning, when trying to troubleshoot, I disconnected all loads from the reducer and checked it again--input=output. I disconnected ALL wiring from the voltage reducer and checked the voltage from frame to neg battery terminal and found 12.8V. That surprised me.

Here are my questions:

1. I know not to ground anything to the frame, and I haven't done that...but is it normal to find voltage (strangely, the same voltage I was trying to produce) between the frame and neg terminal? If not, where is it coming from (since I now have no 12V input), and how do I get rid of it?

2. If a voltage reducer failed, would output=input, or would there be no output? It could be that my reducer is shot.

Thanks for the help in advance. This forum has been invaluable.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 10:41 AM   #2
nimda
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Default Re: Voltage on frame---normal or not?

Voltage on the frame is common...dont know if i'd say normal but common. This is why you dont ground to frame. Cleaning all the crap off batts and out from under them will help reduce that if there is any.

The voltage reducer is shot.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 11:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Voltage on frame---normal or not?

If as you say you have wired the voltage reducer to fuse block correctly and feel you have no items grounded to frame one of the following is happening
#1 You may have had voltage to frame for long time but just now checked it for first time and found voltage? Done that?
#2 You have as ROADY89 says need to clean all outsides of batterys and mounts and dry to eliminate voltage as this is common ( not noticed until digital meters came out )
#3 Question when you unhooked reducer and got 12.8 volts ( refer back to #2 ) to frame did you then hook reducer back up and get 51 volts again? If so you may have used ground wire from lights etc rather than plus side to hook to your fuse panel, OR its possible voltage reducer may be feeding through metal outer housing??
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Unread 08-19-2010, 08:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Voltage on frame---normal or not?

Thanks for the help...I've never checked the frame to ground voltage before--never had a reason to think I should. It just seems really strange that it was exactly the voltage I was looking for.

The batteries are pretty clean, but I'll clean them again to make sure.

I did check the frame-to-ground again with the reducer connected, and it stayed at 12.8. Also, I checked for continuity between the voltage reducer casing (which is mounted directly to the frame) and the output wire (which could have been feeding it 12.8V), but there was no short there.

Would there be any benefit to trying to discharge the frame--maybe with a light bulb wired from frame to neg terminal? or should I just leave it as is?

I think I'm done with voltage reducers/converters. A 12V battery would be a lot simpler.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 09:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Voltage on frame---normal or not?

wow, interesting. I will say that I will need to have the address of the Holiday Inn that you stay at acousticallyblue to understand the light bulb thing....but I have no doubts that you know what you are talking about ! Maybe you should not lurk so much and give some input towards the site.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 10:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Voltage on frame---normal or not?

Yep, you have overloaded the voltage reducer,Its really only good for lights.You need a voltage converter now.Been there to.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 10:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Voltage on frame---normal or not?

What size reducer did you have, was it a 10a one or a 25a one? Also how many accessories were attached to it?
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Unread 08-19-2010, 10:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Voltage on frame---normal or not?

There are many ways for this stray voltage to ramble around a cart frame, but if the voltage cannot support any current, we don't need to worry about the readings on the multimeter. Using a 12v tail light bulb, connect it between any positive battery post and the frame. If the light turns on, you have a problem. If the light stays off, there is nothing but surface charge showing on the meter.
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Unread 08-20-2010, 08:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Voltage on frame---normal or not?

Thanks again. I'll try the light bulb thing--that made sense to me, but I just wanted to confirm that it wasn't a bad idea. I had a 10A reducer (the cheap one from eBay...I know), and I had the lights, horn, and a 12V power outlet connected to it. I've never run more than one of those at the same time, and I wouldn't have thought they would draw more than 10A. It probably has something to do with the fact that I bought the cheap one from eBay.

Hopefully, as soon as I get this straightened out and the other projects that I'm working on closed up, I'll be able to contribute more.
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Unread 08-20-2010, 09:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: Voltage on frame---normal or not?

If you purchase another one, get the larger one, it will be worth in the long run.
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