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Smartbank E11 error


Nev
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How does my boat know when I am at last going to go on a nice cruise.... it starts giving me smartbank E11 error codes ...

 

From the background reading this is either faulty wiring or a faulty relay. The wiring has not changed so i am rounding on the relay. I have been in touch with merlin and waiting a call back to either be advised how to test the relay or hopefully get another one as it appears you cannot buy them separately (?)

 

I need a plan B or my trip will be cancelled. I have a 100 amp battery isolator switch. I am presuming I can use this in place of the relay (max 70 amps from the alternator) - basically connecting the starter and the leisures together as the relay would do - I'll just have to do what the smartgauge does and disconnect the banks using the switch after cruising?

 

Sorry for the dumb question, I just need someone to confirm my thinking, it's been a long day already !

 

Nev

 

 

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Yes, that 100 amp switch should be fine PROVIDING the alternator's main positive runs to the domestic battery, if not it could suffer a short life.

 

I have no data on the relay but I would measure the resistance of the coil and maybe another member with such a relay would do the same and put the reading on here. then compare the two.Personally I doubt its the coil.

 

Next get the cove off and lightly push the contacts together and measure the resistance through them. It should be zero ohms or very close.

 

Disconnect the relay to do the above tests.

 

The other test id to measure the volt drop across the relay contacts with the engine revving and the domestic battery discharged. that is multimeter set to 20 volts DC and the probes on each either side of the contacts. Expect/hope or under 0.5 volt.

 

 

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Those Albright contactors are really high quality. It's rare for them to die although nothing's impossible.

 

E11 can also occur if one of the batteries is very low and the cabling to and from the relay (in other words the cable that links them) is too small. Do you have a multimeter to check the voltages of the main bank and the starter battery?

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In which case a volt drop test between both battery positives should give you a clue.

Absolutely, but in this case the E11 already tells us there will be a discrepancy (that's what E11 means). Basically, SmartBank has linked the batteries and subsequently noticed a difference in voltage between them. That could be the relay or it could be undersized cables or it could be a poor connection.

 

Hence I was wondering if there might be a large discrepancy between the two batteries which is highlighting a problem not previously observed.

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Thanks gents for all the replies .... I have taken the executive decision to repair to the Mucky duck for steak and ale and will review options when my hangover is easing ! I can report the relay is working fine after checking by putting 12v across the connectors as advised by Mike from Merlin.

 

Nev

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Actually without a voltdrop reading across the contacts I am not sure that your assumption is safe. As WotEver says it could be a cable problem or as I said it could be a contact problem that is only causing voltdrop when under Heavy loads. The fact the relay makes a contact of some sort does not prove the contacts are OK.

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Niggling me this is .... trust me I am not in the engine room under the influence ! A couple of thoughts and responses to advice given.

 

The battery voltages (that smartgauge is recording and I did check the accuracy of this yesterday with a meter ) is 12.35 on the cabin bank and 13.00 on the starter.

 

I think the pointer is the relay is not closing at all despite it being checked as working when it gets 12v.

 

A further clue is that when pressing the emergency connect (this should close the relay allowing the starter access to all four batteries) I have used this before, Smartgauge goes into the Ec (emergency connect mode) but the relay does not close. So the relay cannot be getting either the current from the c1 & C2 wires from smartbank or the signal to send the current.

 

Mike at Merlin asked me to check if the c1 & c2 terminals we ok - not burnt out - I have checked this and they are clean and no smell of burnt pcb , something else he asked me to check.

 

So I am thinking to look at

 

1. the two cables from c1 & c2 that run to the relay to check they are not damaged or broken so I'll check for their conductivity in the morning.

2. the RJ45 cable that is the connection between the smartgauge unit and the smart bank unit - I'll see if this looks ok - harder to check it is ok unless I can get the meter on the individual wires....

 

I'll also check the fuses for the smart bank unit - I have done so already and they looked ok but I guess replacing them will do no harm in case there is a fracture that I cannot see on the blade meaning the smartbank unit is getting the signal from the Smartgauge but not able to pass the current to close the relay....

 

Trouble is messing about like this may well hamper my reason for having the boat - cruising !!

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Okay, so as I understand it...

 

The relay operates when you supply it with 12V directly.

The relay does not operate when SmartBank tries to operate it.

 

If that is correct then obviously the relay is not getting 12V from Smart Bank and your task is to determine why not.

 

Check fuses for continuity with a multimeter - easy and quick.

 

Check C1 & C2 cables - they supply the power to the relay.

 

An RJ45 cable can be purchased cheaply from Maplin if you suspect that, although unless it's physically damaged or there is corrosion in the sockets it's unlikely to be that - RJ45 leads rarely just fail unless damaged.

 

Good luck,

Tony

 

Check on the Smart Bank for 12V between the C1 & C2 connections when SB is trying to operate the relay. If it's present then you know it's the C1/C2 cables. If there's no 12V present then it's either the RJ45 cable or a faulty Smart Bank, both of which are unlikely but not impossible.

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Okay, so as I understand it...

 

The relay operates when you supply it with 12V directly.

The relay does not operate when SmartBank tries to operate it.

 

If that is correct then obviously the relay is not getting 12V from Smart Bank and your task is to determine why not.

 

Check fuses for continuity with a multimeter - easy and quick.

 

Check C1 & C2 cables - they supply the power to the relay.

 

An RJ45 cable can be purchased cheaply from Maplin if you suspect that, although unless it's physically damaged or there is corrosion in the sockets it's unlikely to be that - RJ45 leads rarely just fail unless damaged.

 

Good luck,

Tony

 

Check on the Smart Bank for 12V between the C1 & C2 connections when SB is trying to operate the relay. If it's present then you know it's the C1/C2 cables. If there's no 12V present then it's either the RJ45 cable or a faulty Smart Bank, both of which are unlikely but not impossible.

 

 

Morning...

 

1.The relay operates when it get 12v so I am discounting that

2. All fuses are checked and are ok

3. When I put the SG into emergency connect I get -.17v on C1 and 0 v on C2 on the smartbank

4. When the smartbank is not in EC I am reading .03v on c1 and 0v on c2

5. I have checked all 4 of the cables within the rj 45 lead for continuity and they are all good

6. I have done a factory reset of the Smartgauge

 

So I am rounding on the Smartbank being fubarre'd

 

My maggot box switch lash up is now in operation and I think I need to go cruising

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I'm tempted to say that once you get it off replace it with a decent quality bi-directional or single directional if you do not have solar voltage sensitive relay. and ensure the alternator is connected to the domestic bank.

 

To my mind the perceived need to charge the start battery first is very much overplayed so try to keep things simple. No fancy leads connecting components and minimal electronics.

 

Sorry Gibbo

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You do realise that's not what SmartBank does?

Tony

It depends on the installation. If the alternator is connected to the starter battery, and the second battery is set to "eng", then there is a period of up to 90 seconds of "engine priority" when the relay is open.

 

Better, IMO, is to connect the alternator to the domestic bank, and set the second battery type to "aux", which disables the "Engine Priority" feature.

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Spoken to Merlin and they have asked I send the Smartbank back for testing. Interesting the helpful lady advised e11 is a general error advising there could be many different problems more so than what the manual says ! Regarding the connection rom the alternator this is how the system gives charge priority to the starter using ep engine prot ct mode what are the benefits of connecting the alternator to the cabin bank rather than the starter ?

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... what are the benefits of connecting the alternator to the cabin bank rather than the starter ?

The biggest benefit is that the split charge relay only carries the minor current required to charge the engine battery instead of the potentially huge current required to charge the leisure bank.

 

Tony

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You do realise that's not what SmartBank does?

 

Tony

 

I have read a little about it and it seems to major on charging the engine battery first. As it uses a hefty great contactor I do not see how it can do anything significantly different to any other form of relay, its only the control systems that differ.

 

I quote; " SmartBank is available in 2 different flavours. Both are relay based, intelligent, split charge controllers. SmartBank Standard is the self contained unit taking care of all your split charge needs, whatever the charge source. When installed in conjunction with the SmartGauge battery monitor, the SmartGauge operates as a full remote display along with emergency battery paralleling and comprehensive error reporting. SmartBank Advanced is the slave operated split charge device which performs the same functions as SmartBank Standard, plus more, and operates as a remote slave device controlled by the SmartGauge battery monitor."

 

So there we have it - relay based "intelligent" split charge controllers.

 

The advantages listed on the site seem very similar to those of a decent VSR.

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The advantages listed on the site seem very similar to those of a decent VSR.

Agreed. The biggest differences are firstly that the voltages at which it will link and unlink are user configurable and secondly that in the case of a highly discharged 2nd bank which would pull the voltage down enough to disconnect a VSR the SB won't do that. Also, it has the handy emergency link feature built-in.

 

Tony

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Thanks Tony.

 

I feel that in its day the Smartguage/Smartbank combination was probably the best you could easily get, much as the Smartguage still is for state of discharge readings, but today simpler and probably cheaper solutions are available for the majority of users.

 

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