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Troubleshooting help, battery backup related.
#1
Troubleshooting help, battery backup related.
Not sure what's going on or where to go from here, so hoping someone has some clue.

My wife and I are both running PR Dreamstations.  A couple of years ago I put together a battery backup consisting of a 12v power supply, supplying a West Mountain PWRGATE PG40S which is float charging/switching a 12v deep cycle battery in a Minn Kota Trolling Motor power center (batt box with 2 12v cig lighter outputs).  Each of our machines is supplied by a 12v cord from the batt box (but fed by the PWRgate).  Credit goes to OMyMyOHellYes for the concept.

For some time both machines would sporadically, and never at the same time, display a "Incorrect power supply" error, which can only be cleared by a reboot.  This error message only occurs when the machine is in the off state, never during use, and is frequently days between occurrences.  During use, they both function fine.

Since the cords came from Amazon, I thought there was a chance they might be aftermarket, so I replaced mine with a known PR branded one from a licensed DME.  No change.  Next I blamed the power supply, as it was generic Chinese.  Replaced it with a Samlex SEC-1235M Desktop 30A Switching Power Supply.  Again, no Change.

It should be noted that the error occurs on both machines at different times, and that both work flawlessly on the 110v brick.  I just don't know how else to chase this.

Thoughts?
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#2
RE: Troubleshooting help, battery backup related.
Bump2
Can anyone advise?
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#3
RE: Troubleshooting help, battery backup related.
Have you checked the output voltage for the power supply?  For the SuperPWRgate on the output side while the power supply is running?

If you don't already have one, you probably need a multimeter.  Probably a digital multimeter.  And probably an auto-ranging digital multimeter, especially if you're not familiar with using one(cuts down on having to figure out which setting to turn the control knob to).

I'm knida a meter snob but you don't need a real expensive one.  One that I would like to have on the real affordable end of the scale (except I already have 4-5 of the buggers - Fluke, HP/Agilant/Keysight, Hioki, Brymen), , might be the Extech EX330 for about $50 on Amazon.  They also have the Extech MN35 listed for about $22.  The MN35 will work just fine for this but you have to know to set the switch to the 20V DC setting which is shown by a long line over three short lines.  Black wire in the COM hole, red wire in the "V-Ohm-mA-Temp" hole.
Make sure that you crank up the output voltage on the power supply to 14.5.  13.8, which is probably what the power supply shipped set at, is not enough to give the powergate enough to charge an AGM battery (if you have an AGM/SLA or even a gel battery - i didn't get that from reading - wet battery dxifferent).  From the SuperPWRgate manual:

"All major radio manufacturers specify that the radio will operate up to 15 volts DC. Therefore, using the Super PWRgate at an elevated voltage should not harm the equipment. Vehicle alternators also will supply a higher voltage for battery charging. Gel Cells Adjust the power supply to 14.1V to achieve a full charge. The internal jumper should not be installed. This is the factory default setting when shipped. AGM Cells Adjust the power supply to 14.5V to achieve a full charge. Install the AGM jumper inside the Super PWRgate unit." This should not compromise your CPAP units - I suspect my real expensive radios are more sensitive than the board in a CPAP - note that if you had them plugged into  vehicle's alternator powered system it would run up to that voltage anyway.

Also, what is the current rating (amperage) for the power supply? (disregard - went back and re-read the message - 30A is WAY more than enough for this application. I think I'm using a 12 A supply and I consider it over kill)

OH AND check output voltage on the battery - those can (and do) go bad. And not fully charging (if they have not been charged at the right voltage) will hasten their demise. I buy new and rotate mine out every five years whether they need it or not.

Don't know if this is will get you where you need to go, but it would be where I would start, especially since the machines are showing voltage errors.
There.  I said it.

OMMOHY
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#4
RE: Troubleshooting help, battery backup related.
Harbor Freight often has multi-meters for cheap-cheap.  You only need a reasonably accurate diagnostic here, something within 0.25 volts.  Check the PS when first plugged in and powered up, but also later after it has provided service for about half an hour to see if there's any change and it's warmed up some.  The might be a difference...??
Serial Tapist
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#5
RE: Troubleshooting help, battery backup related.
Yeah, I have a few meters, nothing at the Fluke level, but adequate, lol.
The power supply did indeed come at 13.8v and I didn't change it.  Will look into that as well as checking output level before and after the PWRGate.  The battery is a vanilla Sams Club boat/deep cycle battery.
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#6
RE: Troubleshooting help, battery backup related.
(10-13-2019, 01:09 PM)mckevin32 Wrote: The battery is a vanilla Sams Club boat/deep cycle battery.

A wet battery or SLA/AGM or a gel deep cycle type?  They can take different charging voltages.
There.  I said it.

OMMOHY
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#7
RE: Troubleshooting help, battery backup related.
Update. Finally talked myself into crawling under the bed yesterday, lol.
Popped the power supply apart and found the pot to adjust output voltage. Took it up to 14.1v DC output. At that setting I'm getting 14.07 on the output side of the Pwrgate. Three hours later go in to bed and there's the "Incorrect Power Supply" message. Grrrr...
Might give P.R. a call and see if they have any input, though all I'm expecting is a "we don't support that..."
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