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Sentry Troubles ?
April 15, 2012
1:23 pm
CaptainYAH
Waretown, NJ Hot summers
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HI Steve,

The boat is in the water and the batteries are not getting charged. When plugged into shore power the charger didn't go on. Batteries are new, just replaced. Can you advise how to check this out? I'll be working M-Th and be available Friday to reun any tests you think I should do. I'm going to recheck the unit for bad fuses, etc in the nterim, but if it can't e fixed soon I might opt for a new one, if I can afford it?

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Bob

January 3, 2012
9:17 am
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Steve Pooler
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Bob~

You may have more than one thing going on here but yes...

My first guess is that 6 year old batteries with those kind of readings are pretty much shot  Cry

The reason the Sentry fuse may have blown is the charger was on when you tried cranking an engine...

With weak batteries...This caused it to try to act like a booster & thus caused it to draw more amperage than the fuse would allow.

One indication that those batteries may be done is...If when you replaced the fuse (with batteries showing that low) if the charger meter did not go up above 40 amps for quite awhile...The batteries will not accept amperage & are done.

Your model Sentry does have a "Auto Reset" DC output breaker built inside (on the negative return) that could stop output & there is also a capacitor inside that might fail & either reduce output, or stop it altogether, but you can't/shouldn't assume that till you have fresh batteries...

No charger will perform as designed with bad batteries that won't accept amperage.

As far as your question about leaving the Sentry on...Yes that is what it is designed for...Providing you have "Auto" selected (not Manual) on the switch on the face of the charger...But again it can only perform that way as designed with good batteries.

Once you have good batteries we can look at the function/s performance of the charger...

Note: I still don't see any diodes...At least not any that could carry any type of amperage (such as they would need to for engine starting as you described)...I do however see a solenoid for parallel (the white cylinder with 2 large red wires) and it seems to be wired to tie the port bank to the starboard bank when energized...

Ocean may have wired this to the starter/s circuit/s to energize automatically when you hit the starter button/switch...This also might be where a Diode or two would be used to stop current from flowing backwards to the opposite starter when one was energized...But it would only be lower amperage flow (only enough to energize that solenoid ) and that would be concurrent with what we are seeing...The yellow wires go to the post that energizes that parallel solenoid.

It/Those would have no effect on the charger, charging the batteries...Except that again...Without all 4 batteries combined (due to the broken solenoid energize wire/diode/connection)...The heavy amperage of a starter draws two batteries very low when cranking & causes the Sentry to blow a fuse trying to help keep up battery voltage...

 

I still say it's time to replace batteries first...Then fix the bad solenoid connections/diodes...

 

Steve~ 

January 2, 2012
3:56 pm
CaptainYAH
Waretown, NJ Hot summers
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January 2, 2012
3:03 pm
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Scott Pooler
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CaptainYAH said:

Trying to attach pictures, but tool bar is missing

Bob,

I have tried to replicate your problem on several browsers the toolbar seems to be working fine on all of them. Please check your local browser for updates and be sure to clear your cache once in awhile.  Thanks!

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Sample of Browser Image Uploaded in 2009 and inserted here from the images stored in my member folder. 

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New image uploaded today....Wink

January 2, 2012
1:58 pm
CaptainYAH
Waretown, NJ Hot summers
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Trying to attach pictures, but tool bar is missing

January 2, 2012
12:32 pm
CaptainYAH
Waretown, NJ Hot summers
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Steve,

I checked all four batteries with a digital volt meter. The two on the port bank read about 5.8 volts and the two on the starboard bank read about 10.8 volts. I checked all of the cells with a hydrometer and the port bank read very low, 1.150 and the starboard bank read about 1.210. I'm giving you all of this information, because the charger turned on after reinstalling the main fuse in the charger.

I also discovered that a radio/cd player on the bridge was on for the past two weeks. It probably turned on when I took a cd out of it. The volume was so low that I could hardly hear it.

There's some liquid in the bottom of the battery compartment, which I will take out. I'm sure it's battery acid and will be careful with it.

Also, the charger was left on over the past month, but it only seemed to turn when something on the boat was being used on the DC side. Any suggestions as far as leaving this on during the out-of-the-water season?

Do you think the batteries are shot? They're dated 1/06.

I checked with another Ocean yacht owner and the diodes are there because the engines automatically pull from all four batteries when starting. There's no manual parallel switch.

I'm attaching pictures for your review.

Thanks!

Bob

December 31, 2011
12:53 pm
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Steve Pooler
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CaptainYAH said:

Steve,

 

Here are some of the details. I found one bad fuse, white ceramic in the bottom of the unit that appears to be bad, no reading on ohm meter. There is a set of diodes on the battery bank, of which one has some rust on it. I posted a you tube video of the battery bank with the bad diode so you can see it…I don't really see a diode Bob & the wires I think you are referring to are not large enough for charger outputs…Once you open up the charger you will see what size & color wire is going out to the batteries…It looks like you have two banks (2 batts per bank) with a parallel solenoid (maybe for emergency starting) to tie all 4 for together…The inside of the charger appears to be without any blown parts, no burn marks.

The batteries are on an 2007 46' Ocean, 4 batteries wired as you can see, with separate battery switches. Do you think the diode is the problem? Can you suggest how to trouble shoot this?

Thanks,

Happy New Year!

Bob

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December 31, 2011
12:51 pm
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Steve Pooler
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Bob~

If the charger does run…Shut it off…Remove the access cover to the connections on the lower half of the charger.

Once off, locate the output posts inside….With a voltmeter & the charger powered OFF…Take a voltage reading at each post…

This will verify that we have connection to the batteries…Let me know what you get & we can go to the next step.

 

A picture of the inside of the charger might help me point out things & where to test…Video not needed…Just a snapshot.

 

Steve~

December 31, 2011
12:49 pm
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Steve Pooler
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Hi Bob…I didn't know we had a problem here but we will get it figured out….Thanks for pointing it out !!!

 

The Sentry….First I need to know…Does it run ?

I mean come on ???

If so…Other than that….What is it that you feel is not working ?

Is it overcharging ?…Or is it just Not charging & running ?

 

Steve~

December 30, 2011
8:37 pm
CaptainYAH
Waretown, NJ Hot summers
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Steve,

 

Here are some of the details. I found one bad fuse, white ceramic in the bottom of the unit that appears to be bad, no reading on ohm meter. There is a set of diodes on the battery bank, of which one has some rust on it. I posted a you tube video of the battery bank with the bad diode so you can see it. The inside of the charger appears to be without any blown parts, no burn marks.

The batteries are on an 2007 46' Ocean, 4 batteries wired as you can see, with separate battery switches. Do you think the diode is the problem? Can you suggest how to trouble shoot this?

Thanks,

Happy New Year!

Bob

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