Wiring help, enclosed trailer, diode, feedback - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-08-2016, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Wiring help, enclosed trailer, diode, feedback

Enclosed trailer with a battery to run lights when not hooked to truck tapping into the running light wire @ rear of trailer. When towing, battery gets some "charge" , but the battery will feedback to both my truck and the running lights of trailers when truck/key is off.

Putting a diode in-line should stop the feedback shouldn't it? Does the black banded diode go on the truck side "incoming" of the wiring, or the battery side?

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post #2 of 13 Old 11-08-2016, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowlover View Post
Enclosed trailer with a battery to run lights when not hooked to truck tapping into the running light wire @ rear of trailer. When towing, battery gets some "charge" , but the battery will feedback to both my truck and the running lights of trailers when truck/key is off.

Putting a diode in-line should stop the feedback shouldn't it? Does the black banded diode go on the truck side "incoming" of the wiring, or the battery side?

I
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-09-2016, 03:39 AM
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Without increasing the size of the wiring I doubt you will ever put any charge into your battery especially if you add a diode into the mix.

Even running 8B&S from the front of a vehicle to a trailer it will struggle to put any meaningful charge into a battery.

Relying on the vehicles tail light system will not help things because of voltage drop and it will not carry enough amps to be useful.

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post #4 of 13 Old 11-09-2016, 06:51 AM
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If you have a 4 pin trailer harness, it is not designed for battery charging, you'd need a 7 pin harness with a 10 gauge or larger wire from the vehicle's battery to charge the trailer battery.

In the case of an rv and some enclosed trailers , the position lights are not hooked up to the battery, only the interior lights.

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-09-2016, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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OK. Just looking for a way to provide trailer lights when not hooked to truck, have a small 12v lawnmower battery and hoped it would get some charge when I hooked up to the truck.

I still need to know which way to put the diode so my trailer light system will not work if I do put my spare battery in line to light my trailer as it sits.

Black line on the battery side or the trailer light side.
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-09-2016, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowlover View Post
OK. Just looking for a way to provide trailer lights when not hooked to truck, have a small 12v lawnmower battery and hoped it would get some charge when I hooked up to the truck.

I still need to know which way to put the diode so my trailer light system will not work if I do put my spare battery in line to light my trailer as it sits.

Black line on the battery side or the trailer light side.
(Answering as an electrical engineer: )
Current (viewed as movement of positive charge) flows from the + terminal of a DC source to its - terminal (or ground on modern vehicles.) You want to place and orient your diodes so that desired current flows from anode to cathode (the barred end, usually marked with a physical stripe.) The cathode will be closer to your trailer battery's + terminal than to (blocked) loads in the truck, so that undesired current would have to flow from cathode to anode (which it cannot.)

I don't think a 12V battery in the trailer, with the same chemistry as the truck battery, is going to charge properly with a diode put in series between it and the charging source in the truck. The voltage will be lower due to the diode's forward drop. You might get it charged halfway, however.

I strongly recommend posting a schematic of what you plan to build rather than hoping for the best and coming back with questions when it does not work. (You would then need a schematic anyway.)
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-10-2016, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Answering as a non-EE Production Manager, I just want the thing to work

I have learned what I need. I will put the diode in to prevent drain back into system and continue to use the garden tractor battery I have been using. It has lasted 3 years, and cutting off the trailer light feedback drain will more than double its life, charging from truck or not.

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post #8 of 13 Old 11-10-2016, 03:21 PM
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Speaking as someone with no professional qualifications in electrickery!

You could look at using a VSR (voltage sensitive relay). These are used in boats, RVs etc, when there is a starting battery for the motor(s) and a 'house' battery to run accessories. These need to be connected in parallel when the motor is running so both get charged, but disconnected at lower voltage to save the starting battery from being discharged.

If you put the VSR on the trailer, it would connect trailer to vehicle if the voltage was high enough (motor running) and disconnect if not. You would not have the voltage drop that you'd get with a diode. Rolex's previous comments regarding size of wiring to get a reasonable charge current still apply.

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Last edited by strominateacup; 11-10-2016 at 03:23 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-10-2016, 08:17 PM
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Speaking as someone with no professional qualifications in electrickery!

You could look at using a VSR (voltage sensitive relay). These are used in boats, RVs etc, when there is a starting battery for the motor(s) and a 'house' battery to run accessories. These need to be connected in parallel when the motor is running so both get charged, but disconnected at lower voltage to save the starting battery from being discharged.

If you put the VSR on the trailer, it would connect trailer to vehicle if the voltage was high enough (motor running) and disconnect if not. You would not have the voltage drop that you'd get with a diode. Rolex's previous comments regarding size of wiring to get a reasonable charge current still apply.
Something like this could well be part of a viable, robust solution. However, there is one detail above and associated difficulty which would be enough to make me go beyond just connecting a VSR sensibly. In the OP's usage, the tow vehicle battery and the trailer battery could get to very different charge states. Connecting a well charged battery to another battery which has been discharged very much will cause high currents to flow until the batteries' charge states equalize. Either the wire and VSR contacts will get hot, or if the trailer battery is a lot smaller than the other battery, it will limit current and get hot. I cannot predict a certain failure or disaster, but the prospect for problems is serious enough that I would want to see the issue dealt with responsibly rather than taking a "hope it works" approach.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-11-2016, 07:59 AM
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are you looking for one of these....?

What Battery Isolators Do | All About Lead Acid Batteries

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