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Unread 05-08-2011, 11:11 AM   #1
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Default Range, Battery Level and Meter

I need some help with how much range I should expect with my Golf Cart. My setup is a 2008.5+ Club Car Precedent with new Trojan batteries (six 8 volt batteries). I use my cart around the neighborhood, but also on dirt roads and such while hunting. I also usually have my two little boys with me when I am riding so being stranded is not a very good option to consider.

I have Duro Desert tires on a six inch lift that I run about 7 psi in and my passenger weight runs about 370 lbs. I also carry about 50 lbs worth of emergency supplies and hunting accessories. My terrain is mostly flat with most of the dirt roads being relatively hard packed sand with some soft spots and mud.

I have one of the Datel battery meters from ScottyB installed and keep a print out of the battery charge chart on my cart at all times. I like the meter, but it does seem affected by ambient temperature and is difficult to understand when you are moving. I keep a GPS on my cart to record my distance traveled and average speed, etc.

Should I do my best to not run my batteries to less than 50% charge to prevent damaging them? It seems I have to let my cart sit for around 5-10 minutes
before I can get an accurate, steady readout from my battery meter.

Based on my cart setup and the terrain I travel while hunting what distance should I be able to travel? If I drive slower does that increase the distance I can travel on a full charge versus going faster for a shorter amount of time?

I really like my battery meter from ScottyB and this is not a knock on the meter or ScottyB as he has been extremely helpful in answering my questions. I have considered adding a second meter like a Curtis meter that shows a state of charge. Has anyone done this and if so what meter did you install? Would this be a waste of money?

Thanks,
Thomas Woods
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Unread 05-08-2011, 11:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: Range, Battery Level and Meter

The meter gives extremely accurate readings, sampling the pack voltage 2.5 times per second to do so. What you are seeing 5-10 minutes after you stop is the surface charge returning.

The rear seat, long top, brush guard, tool kit, etc. all add to the cart's load. Top that off with the 23" tires and you have reduced the run time just because it now takes more power to run the cart. ... especially in soft sand and muddy footing. Normally the cart will run for 90 minutes on a charge. Add your gear and mods, I would guess you would have about 60 minutes of actual peddle time on healthy 190ah batteries.
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Unread 05-08-2011, 11:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Range, Battery Level and Meter

from everything i have ever been told your plain stock cart with good batteries should get 22 miles give or take a tenth of a mile or so between charges, as scotty said with all the other varibles going on my best advice would be to gps it for a few weeks making sure you duplicate everything as close as possible and keep records than you should be able to get real close as to what you can expect with your cart.............taking into account the condition of the batteries..........................
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Unread 05-08-2011, 01:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Range, Battery Level and Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by vetman1 View Post
Should I do my best to not run my batteries to less than 50% charge to prevent damaging them? It seems I have to let my cart sit for around 5-10 minutes
before I can get an accurate, steady readout from my battery meter.
Any meter will vary up and down while your cart is in use... it's normal.

If you want a working pack voltage number BEFORE the 5-10 minutes are up…

Once your cart is stopped with the Go pedal released what your meter will read is around .7 volts LESS then what it will read after 5-10 minutes of rest time. If it reads 48 volts once stopped then you are going to be at 50% with a little extra, (if it is like mine.) Good time to plug it in! Scotty's Meter is THE BEST on the market... Believe me I've used the eBay "cheapies"... over and over and over again. They just don't last, are not waterproof and the accuracy leaves something to be desired. If anyone wants the best use the Datel meter that Scotty offers

Also here are some runtimes I did quite a while back...4-12 volt Battery Pack Run Times compared to 6 8 volt
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Unread 05-08-2011, 02:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Range, Battery Level and Meter

That's good info Scubba
True too what you say about the cheapy meters. I also bought several eBay models in my search for a suitable meter... What I finally found is a bombproof industrial unit. My test unit has sat outside for a year without being turned off. Our weather ranges from 15 inches of rain to dust storms and from 20 to 120 degrees.
I have hooked this meter up backwards without problem and I get accurate readings from 30 to 199 volts.
We have not had one failure.
Zero returned units!
I'm real pleased with the meter itself.

Once the meter is installed, the user decides how far down they are going to drain the pack down on average and set mental limits based on the 2 charts below... I like to recharge often. Any reading below 80% is rechargeable in my fleet.... yes I have a small fleet.
On occasion if it is not convenient, or my wife has a cart at a 3 day horse show I will let them go down to 50% ... But I prefer the feel of a full pack under the seat....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg battery life cycle Capture.jpg (122.0 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Batterytable1-1.jpg (88.7 KB, 17 views)
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Unread 05-08-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Range, Battery Level and Meter

I have no qualms about the meter, but I guess I am still learning how to use the meter in real time. Thanks for all the quick replies and the information. The guy that fixed my cart likes my battery meter better than any he has ever installed.

ScottyB can you explain the surface charge and what that means concerning the charge of the batteries?

If I were to "mess up" and get close to the 50% charge rate, could I "rest" my cart and then slowly drive back to my truck without a lot of long term damage? I usually try to park my truck centrally and try to be careful.

Thanks again,
Thomas
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Unread 05-08-2011, 02:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Range, Battery Level and Meter

Certainly a 50% draw down is not going to hurt the pack or shorten their life... I have added the life cycle chart Trojan sent me when I asked them the same type of questions. You can see that the life cycle of the battery has a varying number of recharge cycles in its lifetime.

It can do 5000 shallow or 700 deep recharge cycles.
The most damage is done by letting the deeply discharged battery sit idle.
Deep discharge is not necessarily bad if the battery is recharged as soon as the discharge is ended. Deep discharging will simply reduce the number of recharge cycles in the battery's useful life. Hope this makes sense with the help of the chart?
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