Low Input Voltage in Mobile


Dan Fisher AI4GK
 

Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the IC-7K's dependence on input voltage. In my 2016 F-150, the computer decides how much power the alternator puts out. Gone are the days of constant 13.7 Volts. The problem is, I can't rely on the input voltage from one transmission to the next. Has anyone resolved this problem? I've been looking at a constant-voltage DC power conditioner, but can't find anything. Any ideas?


Thanks in advance,

Dan AI4GK


bobsayers2000 <bobsayers2000@...>
 

I've got an MFJ unit which maintains a supply at a constant 13.6. I can't remember the model number at the moment as I'm not at home, but it works well. 

Bob, G8IYK


On Sun, 10 Feb 2019 at 17:27, Dan Fisher AI4GK
<ai4gk@...> wrote:
Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the IC-7K's dependence on input voltage. In my 2016 F-150, the computer decides how much power the alternator puts out. Gone are the days of constant 13.7 Volts. The problem is, I can't rely on the input voltage from one transmission to the next. Has anyone resolved this problem? I've been looking at a constant-voltage DC power conditioner, but can't find anything. Any ideas?


Thanks in advance,

Dan AI4GK


davebb123456
 

Hi Dan
I am selling a W4RRY voltage booster for this problem,
I have it on ebay number , 
303034056371

Thanks Dave 2E0DMB




On 10 Feb 2019 17:27, Dan Fisher AI4GK <ai4gk@...> wrote:
Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the IC-7K's dependence on input voltage. In my 2016 F-150, the computer decides how much power the alternator puts out. Gone are the days of constant 13.7 Volts. The problem is, I can't rely on the input voltage from one transmission to the next. Has anyone resolved this problem? I've been looking at a constant-voltage DC power conditioner, but can't find anything. Any ideas?


Thanks in advance,

Dan AI4GK


r norris
 

Even when you find a power conditioner, consider….

Back in the 90’s, a couple Ford Bronco’s had room for a second battery tray, under the hood.
I have also done a battery in the truck bed toolbox.
Charge both while driving, tap the fuse block for a source that the ignition key drops a relay to disconnect the “radio” battery, when stopped.
There are also automatic diode wigits for not letting current flow from the “truck” battery to the radio.
Run the radio until the second battery dies, always start the truck and drive away.

Been there, done it. (Don’t ask why)…….

On Feb 10, 2019, at 12:27, Dan Fisher AI4GK <ai4gk@cfl.rr.com> wrote:

Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the IC-7K's dependence on input voltage. In my 2016 F-150, the computer decides how much power the alternator puts out. Gone are the days of constant 13.7 Volts. The problem is, I can't rely on the input voltage from one transmission to the next. Has anyone resolved this problem? I've been looking at a constant-voltage DC power conditioner, but can't find anything. Any ideas?


Tom Bohacek
 

I did the exact same thing with the 1960 Chevy.  Installed a second battery, but connected both of them to the alternator when the car was running.  No Diode drop.  I had purchased a 100 AMP alternator from the junk yard to charge both batteries.  When the engine was off, I could use the accessory battery as much as I wanted, and still be able to start the car.  I also had a heavy duty starting relay, that I could energize connecting both batteries together to start the car on very cold mornings.  I remember it being 26 below zero in Iowa and my car was the only one that ould start.  I spent the rest of the day, giving people jump starts.

On 2/10/2019 2:30 PM, r norris via Groups.Io wrote:
Even when you find a power conditioner, consider….

Back in the 90’s, a couple Ford Bronco’s had room for a second battery tray, under the hood.
I have also done a battery in the truck bed toolbox.
Charge both while driving, tap the fuse block for a source that the ignition key drops a relay to disconnect the “radio” battery, when stopped.
There are also automatic diode wigits for not letting current flow from the “truck” battery to the radio.
Run the radio until the second battery dies, always start the truck and drive away.

Been there, done it. (Don’t ask why)…….

On Feb 10, 2019, at 12:27, Dan Fisher AI4GK <ai4gk@cfl.rr.com> wrote:

Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the IC-7K's dependence on input voltage. In my 2016 F-150, the computer decides how much power the alternator puts out. Gone are the days of constant 13.7 Volts. The problem is, I can't rely on the input voltage from one transmission to the next. Has anyone resolved this problem? I've been looking at a constant-voltage DC power conditioner, but can't find anything. Any ideas?


--
Thank You
Tom


N1GBE
 

https://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-4416C

Is the link to the MFJ product...


-------------------------------------------

On Sun, 2/10/19, Dan Fisher AI4GK <ai4gk@cfl.rr.com> wrote:

Subject: [ic7000] Low Input Voltage in Mobile
To: ic7000@groups.io
Date: Sunday, February 10, 2019, 12:27 PM

Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of
the IC-7K's dependence on input voltage. In my 2016
F-150, the computer decides how much power the alternator
puts out. Gone are the days of constant 13.7 Volts. The
problem is, I can't rely on the input voltage from one
transmission to the next. Has anyone resolved this problem?
I've been looking at a constant-voltage DC power
conditioner, but can't find anything. Any ideas?


Thanks in advance,

Dan AI4GK


Glenn Corrie
 

Install a dual battery system for your truck!

Make sure you have a DC-DC charger too!

Kind Regards
Glenn Corrie
Senior Product Manager
T: +61 3 9900 9542 M: +61 414 445 597 E: glenn.corrie@nec.com.au
NEC Australia Pty Ltd: Level 9 720 Bourke St. Docklands, Victoria 3008

-----Original Message-----
From: ic7000@groups.io <ic7000@groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Bohacek
Sent: Monday, 11 February 2019 6:43 AM
To: ic7000@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ic7000] Low Input Voltage in Mobile

I did the exact same thing with the 1960 Chevy.  Installed a second battery, but connected both of them to the alternator when the car was running.  No Diode drop.  I had purchased a 100 AMP alternator from the junk yard to charge both batteries.  When the engine was off, I could use the accessory battery as much as I wanted, and still be able to start the car.  I also had a heavy duty starting relay, that I could energize connecting both batteries together to start the car on very cold mornings.  I remember it being 26 below zero in Iowa and my car was the only one that ould start.  I spent the rest of the day, giving people jump starts.

On 2/10/2019 2:30 PM, r norris via Groups.Io wrote:
Even when you find a power conditioner, consider….

Back in the 90’s, a couple Ford Bronco’s had room for a second battery tray, under the hood.
I have also done a battery in the truck bed toolbox.
Charge both while driving, tap the fuse block for a source that the ignition key drops a relay to disconnect the “radio” battery, when stopped.
There are also automatic diode wigits for not letting current flow from the “truck” battery to the radio.
Run the radio until the second battery dies, always start the truck and drive away.

Been there, done it. (Don’t ask why)…….

On Feb 10, 2019, at 12:27, Dan Fisher AI4GK <ai4gk@cfl.rr.com> wrote:

Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the IC-7K's dependence on input voltage. In my 2016 F-150, the computer decides how much power the alternator puts out. Gone are the days of constant 13.7 Volts. The problem is, I can't rely on the input voltage from one transmission to the next. Has anyone resolved this problem? I've been looking at a constant-voltage DC power conditioner, but can't find anything. Any ideas?



--
Thank You
Tom


Mark Schoonover
 

Once the vehicle is running and the output of the alternator is
greater than 12 volts, the alternator is supplying 100% of the rig's
power. Adding a second battery has no impact when the engine is
running but it does if you like to park and operate. Test it, start
your vehicle, disconnect the negative lead of the battery and your rig
& vehicle will run just fine. Now if your alternator has low output
I'd get that checked just to be sure it's good before investing in one
of those power boosters.

73! Mark KA6WKE

Website: https://www.ka6wke.net
Live Stream: https://www.ka6wke.net/live-stream
YouTube: http://bit.ly/ka6wke-live-stream
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ka6wke
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ka6wke
EMail Announcement: ka6wke-announce+subscribe@groups.io
Author: 4NEC2 The Definitive Guide
EMail List:: 4nec2defguide@groups.io

On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 4:17 PM Glenn Corrie <glenn.corrie@nec.com.au> wrote:

Install a dual battery system for your truck!

Make sure you have a DC-DC charger too!

Kind Regards
Glenn Corrie
Senior Product Manager
T: +61 3 9900 9542 M: +61 414 445 597 E: glenn.corrie@nec.com.au
NEC Australia Pty Ltd: Level 9 720 Bourke St. Docklands, Victoria 3008



-----Original Message-----
From: ic7000@groups.io <ic7000@groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Bohacek
Sent: Monday, 11 February 2019 6:43 AM
To: ic7000@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ic7000] Low Input Voltage in Mobile

I did the exact same thing with the 1960 Chevy. Installed a second battery, but connected both of them to the alternator when the car was running. No Diode drop. I had purchased a 100 AMP alternator from the junk yard to charge both batteries. When the engine was off, I could use the accessory battery as much as I wanted, and still be able to start the car. I also had a heavy duty starting relay, that I could energize connecting both batteries together to start the car on very cold mornings. I remember it being 26 below zero in Iowa and my car was the only one that ould start. I spent the rest of the day, giving people jump starts.

On 2/10/2019 2:30 PM, r norris via Groups.Io wrote:
Even when you find a power conditioner, consider….

Back in the 90’s, a couple Ford Bronco’s had room for a second battery tray, under the hood.
I have also done a battery in the truck bed toolbox.
Charge both while driving, tap the fuse block for a source that the ignition key drops a relay to disconnect the “radio” battery, when stopped.
There are also automatic diode wigits for not letting current flow from the “truck” battery to the radio.
Run the radio until the second battery dies, always start the truck and drive away.

Been there, done it. (Don’t ask why)…….

On Feb 10, 2019, at 12:27, Dan Fisher AI4GK <ai4gk@cfl.rr.com> wrote:

Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the IC-7K's dependence on input voltage. In my 2016 F-150, the computer decides how much power the alternator puts out. Gone are the days of constant 13.7 Volts. The problem is, I can't rely on the input voltage from one transmission to the next. Has anyone resolved this problem? I've been looking at a constant-voltage DC power conditioner, but can't find anything. Any ideas?



--
Thank You
Tom








Richard
 

In newer vehicles that will cause the diodes to fail.

73, 
Rich W6ABJ

On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 5:25 PM Mark Schoonover <mark@...> wrote:
Once the vehicle is running and the output of the alternator is
greater than 12 volts, the alternator is supplying 100% of the rig's
power. Adding a second battery has no impact when the engine is
running but it does if you like to park and operate. Test it, start
your vehicle, disconnect the negative lead of the battery and your rig
& vehicle will run just fine. Now if your alternator has low output
I'd get that checked just to be sure it's good before investing in one
of those power boosters.

73! Mark KA6WKE

Website: https://www.ka6wke.net
Live Stream: https://www.ka6wke.net/live-stream
YouTube: http://bit.ly/ka6wke-live-stream
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ka6wke
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ka6wke
EMail Announcement: ka6wke-announce+subscribe@groups.io
Author: 4NEC2 The Definitive Guide
EMail List:: 4nec2defguide@groups.io

On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 4:17 PM Glenn Corrie <glenn.corrie@...> wrote:
>
> Install a dual battery system for your truck!
>
> Make sure you have a DC-DC charger too!
>
> Kind Regards
> Glenn Corrie
> Senior Product Manager
> T: +61 3 9900 9542  M: +61 414 445 597  E: glenn.corrie@...
> NEC Australia Pty Ltd: Level 9 720 Bourke St. Docklands, Victoria 3008
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ic7000@groups.io <ic7000@groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Bohacek
> Sent: Monday, 11 February 2019 6:43 AM
> To: ic7000@groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ic7000] Low Input Voltage in Mobile
>
> I did the exact same thing with the 1960 Chevy.  Installed a second battery, but connected both of them to the alternator when the car was running.  No Diode drop.  I had purchased a 100 AMP alternator from the junk yard to charge both batteries.  When the engine was off, I could use the accessory battery as much as I wanted, and still be able to start the car.  I also had a heavy duty starting relay, that I could energize connecting both batteries together to start the car on very cold mornings.  I remember it being 26 below zero in Iowa and my car was the only one that ould start.  I spent the rest of the day, giving people jump starts.
>
> On 2/10/2019 2:30 PM, r norris via Groups.Io wrote:
> > Even when you find a power conditioner, consider….
> >
> > Back in the 90’s, a couple Ford Bronco’s had room for a second battery tray, under the hood.
> > I have also done a battery in the truck bed toolbox.
> > Charge both while driving, tap the fuse block for a source that the ignition key drops a relay to disconnect the “radio” battery, when stopped.
> > There are also automatic diode wigits for not letting current flow from the “truck” battery to the radio.
> > Run the radio until the second battery dies, always start the truck and drive away.
> >
> > Been there, done it. (Don’t ask why)…….
> >
> >> On Feb 10, 2019, at 12:27, Dan Fisher AI4GK <ai4gk@...> wrote:
> >>
> >> Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the IC-7K's dependence on input voltage. In my 2016 F-150, the computer decides how much power the alternator puts out. Gone are the days of constant 13.7 Volts. The problem is, I can't rely on the input voltage from one transmission to the next. Has anyone resolved this problem? I've been looking at a constant-voltage DC power conditioner, but can't find anything. Any ideas?
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> --
> Thank You
> Tom
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>




Bob Rodgers <kc4tvo@...>
 

I agree on diodes failing. 

 

I run two IC-7000s, they are designed to operate at 13.8V to output full power.  Try dropping your output power a bit and the turning itself off should go away.  I dropped mine to 50% and then worked my way back up.  I found with a good battery, I could consistently run 75+ watts! If you have to have the full 100W, then either run the engine or install a batter booster (MFJ-4416C)  They are a little pricey though.

 

For a dual battery setup, I found the West Mountain Radio ISOpwr+ to be just the ticket. It charges both batteries from the alternator, but isolates them for operation.

 

The above works for me.  YMMV.

 

Bob

KC4TVO

 

 

From: ic7000@groups.io [mailto:ic7000@groups.io] On Behalf Of Richard
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 9:14 PM
To: ic7000@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ic7000] Low Input Voltage in Mobile

 

In newer vehicles that will cause the diodes to fail.

 

73, 

Rich W6ABJ

 

On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 5:25 PM Mark Schoonover <mark@...> wrote:

Once the vehicle is running and the output of the alternator is
greater than 12 volts, the alternator is supplying 100% of the rig's
power. Adding a second battery has no impact when the engine is
running but it does if you like to park and operate. Test it, start
your vehicle, disconnect the negative lead of the battery and your rig
& vehicle will run just fine. Now if your alternator has low output
I'd get that checked just to be sure it's good before investing in one
of those power boosters.

73! Mark KA6WKE

Website: https://www.ka6wke.net
Live Stream: https://www.ka6wke.net/live-stream
YouTube: http://bit.ly/ka6wke-live-stream
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ka6wke
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ka6wke
EMail Announcement: ka6wke-announce+subscribe@groups.io
Author: 4NEC2 The Definitive Guide
EMail List:: 4nec2defguide@groups.io

On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 4:17 PM Glenn Corrie <glenn.corrie@...> wrote:
>
> Install a dual battery system for your truck!
>
> Make sure you have a DC-DC charger too!
>
> Kind Regards
> Glenn Corrie
> Senior Product Manager
> T: +61 3 9900 9542  M: +61 414 445 597  E: glenn.corrie@...
> NEC Australia Pty Ltd: Level 9 720 Bourke St. Docklands, Victoria 3008
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ic7000@groups.io <ic7000@groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Bohacek
> Sent: Monday, 11 February 2019 6:43 AM
> To: ic7000@groups.io
> Subject: Re: [ic7000] Low Input Voltage in Mobile
>
> I did the exact same thing with the 1960 Chevy.  Installed a second battery, but connected both of them to the alternator when the car was running.  No Diode drop.  I had purchased a 100 AMP alternator from the junk yard to charge both batteries.  When the engine was off, I could use the accessory battery as much as I wanted, and still be able to start the car.  I also had a heavy duty starting relay, that I could energize connecting both batteries together to start the car on very cold mornings.  I remember it being 26 below zero in Iowa and my car was the only one that ould start.  I spent the rest of the day, giving people jump starts.
>
> On 2/10/2019 2:30 PM, r norris via Groups.Io wrote:
> > Even when you find a power conditioner, consider….
> >
> > Back in the 90’s, a couple Ford Bronco’s had room for a second battery tray, under the hood.
> > I have also done a battery in the truck bed toolbox.
> > Charge both while driving, tap the fuse block for a source that the ignition key drops a relay to disconnect the “radio” battery, when stopped.
> > There are also automatic diode wigits for not letting current flow from the “truck” battery to the radio.
> > Run the radio until the second battery dies, always start the truck and drive away.
> >
> > Been there, done it. (Don’t ask why)…….
> >
> >> On Feb 10, 2019, at 12:27, Dan Fisher AI4GK <ai4gk@...> wrote:
> >>
> >> Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the IC-7K's dependence on input voltage. In my 2016 F-150, the computer decides how much power the alternator puts out. Gone are the days of constant 13.7 Volts. The problem is, I can't rely on the input voltage from one transmission to the next. Has anyone resolved this problem? I've been looking at a constant-voltage DC power conditioner, but can't find anything. Any ideas?
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> --
> Thank You
> Tom
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>



Mark Brueggemann
 

From: Bob Rodgers <kc4tvo@oakcreekcorp.com>


I agree on diodes failing.
What is the failure mode? This is the first I've heard of it. It certainly isn't due to the tepid draw of a mobile radio.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Richard
 

As it was taught to me, and 18 years of experience as a ASE Master Tech, it is the current surge and the heat that is generated that causes the rectifier diodes to fail. When you remove the battery cable, the voltage regulator looses the ability to "sense" the battery voltage, and usually sends the voltage regulator in to oscillation due to the charging circuit being having a minimal electrical load or unloaded. I have seen voltages swing from 10vdc to 18vdc very rapidly when this "test" has been done.

73, 
Rich W6ABJ 


On Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 4:29 AM Mark Brueggemann via Groups.Io <qrq_cw=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

From: Bob Rodgers <kc4tvo@...>


> I agree on diodes failing. 

What is the failure mode?  This is the first I've heard of it.  It certainly isn't due to the tepid draw of a mobile radio.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM




Mark Schoonover
 

Rich,

Thanks for the warning on this. I've done it a couple of times on
various vehicles and didn't have an issue with it. These were on late
90 early 2000 vehicles.

73! Mark KA6WKE

Website: https://www.ka6wke.net
Live Stream: https://www.ka6wke.net/live-stream
YouTube: http://bit.ly/ka6wke-live-stream
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ka6wke
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ka6wke
EMail Announcement: ka6wke-announce+subscribe@groups.io
Author: 4NEC2 The Definitive Guide
EMail List:: 4nec2defguide@groups.io

On Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 9:34 AM Richard <wile2u@gmail.com> wrote:

As it was taught to me, and 18 years of experience as a ASE Master Tech, it is the current surge and the heat that is generated that causes the rectifier diodes to fail. When you remove the battery cable, the voltage regulator looses the ability to "sense" the battery voltage, and usually sends the voltage regulator in to oscillation due to the charging circuit being having a minimal electrical load or unloaded. I have seen voltages swing from 10vdc to 18vdc very rapidly when this "test" has been done.

73,
Rich W6ABJ

On Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 4:29 AM Mark Brueggemann via Groups.Io <qrq_cw=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:


From: Bob Rodgers <kc4tvo@oakcreekcorp.com>


I agree on diodes failing.
What is the failure mode? This is the first I've heard of it. It certainly isn't due to the tepid draw of a mobile radio.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM



Mark Brueggemann
 

From: Richard <wile2u@gmail.com>


When you remove the battery cable, the voltage regulator looses the ability to "sense" the battery voltage,
Ah, I missed the post about "testing" by removing a battery cable. I wouldn't be too concerned about the "diodes" in the alternator but all the other connected systems subjected to the load dump. 10-18V would be a walk in the park, I believe the automotive load dump spec is upwards of 90V. So the automotive qualified systems might take it but I'm betting a connected ham radio wouldn't.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


 

I betcha that the regulator (many or most of which are in the CPU for the car or in the alternator itself) dares little if the battery is in the circuit or not.
The battery will act like a great big filter when charging, but less when topped up.
The regulator can only see the voltage for the main buss ( that the battery does connect to) and will maintain it  with or without the battery. The new regulators are pretty good and will act faster than the old relay types. 
The regulators actually control the current through the field circuit, the higher the field current the more the alternator puts out.
The regulator connect one side to the ground (not at the battery, by the way) and the main buss or very likely the actual terminal at the alternator. 
Newer cars have the regulator within the software of the CPU and it senses the voltage at the CPU.
Still it is best to not disconnect the battery as surges and spikes could easily occur especially if the battery is discharged and has a high charge rate.


Jim Szalajeski
 

There are some good diode isolators on the market that are made just for applications like this.  Many are used in the marine area on the larger pleasure boats.  It is a low voltage drop device that you install between the alternator and the two batteries.  Like lift the wire from the alternator that would normally go to the original battery. Put this on one of the battery terminals on the diode isolator.  You will have to add some length of wire.  Don't cut the wire so you can remove this isolator when you go to sell your vehicle.

Run a wire from the output of your alternator where you removed the original wire and go to the common input terminal on the diode isolator.  Then run a wire from the second battery terminal on the diode isolator to your second battery.

A hint here is to use wire ring lugs for your connections.  Then you can use like a 1/4 inch short bolt and some washers to connect together the wire you removed from the alternator.  I always put just a small amount of some anti oxidant compound like Pentrox or Never Seize on the threads and connections.  This way you can get the connections apart later down the road with no problems.  This also goes to the diode connections.  You don't need a whole lot of the paste.  Just enough to get it on the threads.  Don't glob it on and make a mess.  You can use a Q Tip to put the compound where it needs to be.  Just remember a little goes a long way. 

To go to the other question, my memory is lacking me right now, but there is a company that makes a device that I used on many front end loaders to run some big Motorola radios on.  It took the 24 volts and made it into the needed 12 volts.  I am pretty sure that they also made some units that was just 12 to 12 volts.  They provide regulated voltage and come in various current selections.

Hope some of this information is of some help.

Jim




On Thursday, February 14, 2019, 6:29:15 AM CST, Mark Brueggemann via Groups.Io <qrq_cw@...> wrote:



From: Bob Rodgers <kc4tvo@...>


> I agree on diodes failing. 

What is the failure mode?  This is the first I've heard of it.  It certainly isn't due to the tepid draw of a mobile radio.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM




Mark Brueggemann
 

________________________________
From: Jim Szalajeski via Groups.Io <jimszal=yahoo.com@groups.io>

there is a company that makes a device
...
It took the 24 volts and made it into the needed 12 volts.

Astron is one of them. I've also used similar converters to run negative ground equipment from positive ground heavy equipment.

<https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/asr-n2412-24>



Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Dan Fisher AI4GK
 

Thanks, all. I have something to work with. I have had my charging system checked, especially with the 12 Volt alternator output. Ford told me that this is controlled by one of the computers and that there isn’t any way to circumvent it. On the other hand, I wonder if there’s a tweak inside the radio that is causing it to put out less than full power at under 14.5 Volts? That seems like a pretty high threshold if you ask me. FWIW, the radio is under the back seat and I’m feeding it with #6 wire. One thing I have not done is to measure the voltage at the radio’s input and compare it with what I’m measuring at the DC power ports in the front seat.

 

I’ll keep everyone posted.

 

73, Dan AI4GK

 


Geoff
 

Hi Dan,

There is a way to "trick" the modern vehicle's charging system into increasing its charging voltage. I run with two batteries in my 4WD with my IC7000 and a automatic battery isolator that protects the cranking battery from going flat by isolating the two batteries when the cranking volts falls below 12.7 volts. It reconnects both batteries when the cranking volts goes above 13.4 volts. 

The alternator charging system is controlled by the engine computer unit (ECU) in order to achieve a prescribed fuel consumption. It does this by limiting the load the alternator has on the engine. There is a alternator sense wire that runs from the alternator to the ECU that controls the alternator's field circuit. There is a fuse for this line in the master fuse box usually located in the engine compartment. I have place a diode, a 1N4004, in series with this fuse with a small piece of fuse wire in series to protect the circuit. This has the effect of adding a volt drop in the sense voltage which tricks the ECU into thinking the battery voltage is lower than its nominal 13.8 volts that the ECU sets as the " fully charged" figure. The State Of Charge (SOC) of the SLA battery is only 80% with 13.8 volts, as this is sufficient to get cranking of the engine in a normal start. 

My system now runs at around 14.1 volts fully charged with the engine running. 
I built my own "booster" using a piece of PCB cut to fit the dimensions of the OEM fuse, cut a OEM fuse's legs off to solder onto the PCB and using a dremel tool cut the copper accordingly to fit the diode and fuse wire, then covered it in clear heat shrink. You can buy these boosters in the 4WD market here in Oz and they are very popular, but I found it much cheaper to build my own.

I have been running this system for 5 years and never had any issue. Email me if you want a picture of it.

73
Geoff

.

On 18 Feb 2019, at 06:41, Dan Fisher AI4GK <ai4gk@...> wrote:

Thanks, all. I have something to work with. I have had my charging system checked, especially with the 12 Volt alternator output. Ford told me that this is controlled by one of the computers and that there isn’t any way to circumvent it. On the other hand, I wonder if there’s a tweak inside the radio that is causing it to put out less than full power at under 14.5 Volts? That seems like a pretty high threshold if you ask me. FWIW, the radio is under the back seat and I’m feeding it with #6 wire. One thing I have not done is to measure the voltage at the radio’s input and compare it with what I’m measuring at the DC power ports in the front seat.

 

I’ll keep everyone posted.

 

73, Dan AI4GK

 


Dan Fisher AI4GK
 

That’s my plan, although when the voltage display drops below 14.3, the transmit power drops below max. So, I believe that the voltage shown on the display fairly accurately displays the voltage to the radio. I have two different style cigarette-lighter port voltmeters—from different manufacturers, that read within 0.1 Volt of each other.

 

73, Dan AI4GK