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Old 09-24-2008, 11:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonman76 View Post
There are delay circuits online, you can build one, then connect it into your power going to the relay coil. Youd have to figure out how much delay you want.
The situation would be: key-off to kill the engine, lights-out, then key-on, lights-on. I'll look into the delay circuits.

I'm just curious -- my batt is ancient (6-years). Would it benefit me to just replace it and perhaps save the alternator before Winter hits? It hasn't failed to start yet -- and I've drained it down to 10.9V when parked for storm spotting, radios-on, blower running -- and it started right up (charged to 13V and shut down, repeat) -- I know, off-topic a bit

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Old 09-24-2008, 11:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonman76 View Post
Ive never owned a car with factory DRLs (my newest vehicle is a 92 Pontiac Trans Sport van). I have heard about how some vehicles can disable the DRLs with the e-brake switch. So how does that flash the lights? Do they turn on when starting then go off once it realizes the e-brake is on?

Or is more like you want the lights to stay on when EOCing?

The lights wont flash if you just plain start the car. The fuel pump needs to run to get the car started, as well as keep it running. Now if you turn the key to on and leave it there without starting, the lights will come on while ....
On my 96 Geo I have not yet grounded the E-brake wire to shut off the DRLs. Every time I shut the key off they go out, turning the key to the on position does not make them come back on....they will come on as soon as the motor starts running.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Do you really care about what other people think about your lights flashing? In 5 seconds ( or less - LOL) they will have forgotten...IF they even notice!
The cop that was in front of me thought I wanted him to pull over, I told him a lie about my lights having an electrical problem that was getting fixed in a shop in a hour since in our state (IN) EOC is illegal. I was following my wife the other day and she thought the same thing. Now I simply drive with my lights on so that when I kill the motor for EOC no one notices because the lights stay on.

Our so called by-pass has red lights every 1/2 to one mile and is near perfect for EOC since as soon as you speed up you need to slow down for the next light and/or traffic.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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There are other options. You could possibly tap your relay coil power from the ignition module instead, which should have power in both RUN and START positions but be off when the key is off. Then the lights wouldnt go out when starting. Itd do exactly like you described without the flashing. However youd also be running your lights if you need to be parked with ignition on to run your storm spotting gizmos. A DRL switch could take care of that but could be easily forgotten. Or just run the gizmos off constant battery power if theyre not already.

Thats why I like going off the fuel pump. They cant be on unless the engine is running. And I dont EOC. You could run yours off the fuel pump, and put a delay in there and set it for awhile longer than the longest you plan to EOC, then your lights will stay on the whole time and if you care what others think of them, thered be nothing for them to notice.

About your battery, I guess it depends on what kind of cold you expect there and how readily you can get and replace one when it goes. Mine, even when in marginal condition, work great all summer but once it starts getting even mildly cold out, I might as well forget it. I can expect many -20F winter mornings. But Ive got 3 reliable rides plus chargers and jump starters and getting and changing the battery is a cinch. So I milk mine as long as I can.
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:26 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonman76 View Post
There are other options. You could possibly tap your relay coil power from the ignition module instead, which should have power in both RUN and START positions but be off when the key is off. Then the lights wouldnt go out when starting. Itd do exactly like you described without the flashing. However youd also be running your lights if you need to be parked with ignition on to run your storm spotting gizmos. A DRL switch could take care of that but could be easily forgotten. Or just run the gizmos off constant battery power if theyre not already.

Thats why I like going off the fuel pump. They cant be on unless the engine is running. And I dont EOC. You could run yours off the fuel pump, and put a delay in there and set it for awhile longer than the longest you plan to EOC, then your lights will stay on the whole time and if you care what others think of them, thered be nothing for them to notice.

About your battery, I guess it depends on what kind of cold you expect there and how readily you can get and replace one when it goes. Mine, even when in marginal condition, work great all summer but once it starts getting even mildly cold out, I might as well forget it. I can expect many -20F winter mornings. But Ive got 3 reliable rides plus chargers and jump starters and getting and changing the battery is a cinch. So I milk mine as long as I can.
The delay sounds like the best option.

Remember though, that extreme heat tends to kill batts too. This summer has been mild comparatively. I'm just worried that a failing batt will slowly kill the alternator.

I have AAA and an '06 Acura to jump from every other day (carpool free-up), so that's not the biggest concern. I just hear about batts destroying alts, which kill new batts, ad infinitum.

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Old 09-25-2008, 09:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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There was a post and review on cleanmpg.com about LED replacement bulbs for DRL. They are about $30/ea but could let you have the safety without too much power drain.

As for adding the safety to a non DRL car, you might be able to drill into the reflector housing of a non sealed beam headlight system.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:50 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Those $30 LEDs are overpriced. Here are some for under $8 each:
SparkFun Electronics - Luxeon III LED - White 3 Watt
You'll also need some heatsinks (under $10 each, or free from an old monitor, etc.) and a ballast resistor (under $1).
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Old 09-29-2008, 01:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
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An old battery that does not take a charge properly can rob you of FE as the alt is constantly trying to charge it.

On short trips your battery can become discharged and not have enough time to recharge. This costs gas and shortens battery life as batteries become sulfated when they sit even slightly discharged. The best thing to do is install a battery tender and plug it in when you are parked or get one of those solar trickle chargers.

You could get yourself a deep cycle battery like a yellow top when you replace your existing battery and run alternator free for commutes and medium length trips. Just recharge it at home and connect your alt for long trips.

The reason I found this forum was my alternator belt was squealing when I started every morning trying to recharge my dead battery and my FE sucked. So I looked into running without alt and found the posts here on alt less life. Now I'm getting much better FE and my batteries will pay for themselves pretty soon.
Good luck
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orange4boy View Post
An old battery that does not take a charge properly can rob you of FE as the alt is constantly trying to charge it.

On short trips your battery can become discharged and not have enough time to recharge. This costs gas and shortens battery life as batteries become sulfated when they sit even slightly discharged. The best thing to do is install a battery tender and plug it in when you are parked or get one of those solar trickle chargers.

You could get yourself a deep cycle battery like a yellow top when you replace your existing battery and run alternator free for commutes and medium length trips. Just recharge it at home and connect your alt for long trips.

The reason I found this forum was my alternator belt was squealing when I started every morning trying to recharge my dead battery and my FE sucked. So I looked into running without alt and found the posts here on alt less life. Now I'm getting much better FE and my batteries will pay for themselves pretty soon.
Good luck
About how long will a deep cell battery last without being charged if you're using say, lights, heater blower since winter is coming up and windshield wipers in case of rain? Does anyone have any idea?
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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If you have an ammeter in your car you can estimate your battery life by the capacity rating. Example is a Trojan 12v 27tmx with a 175 minute capacity. This battery can provide 25 amps of power for 175 minutes in ideal conditions and down to 100% discharge. You should really only discharge to 50% (12.06V) max for deep cycle batteries. So half that figure is about an hour and a half.

Watts / volts = amps. Amps x volts = watts.

Low beams are typically 55 W each X2 = 105 / 12 = 8.75 amps. The heater fan depends on the setting and the vehicle. Many lights can be replaced with
LEDs which only use a fraction of the power.

From another forum...Don't know the car model but would be good enough to estimate.

Quote:
I tested at both voltage settings of the alt, where 14.4 is typical alt voltage, and 12.7 is similar to a fully charged battery. The idle current is subtracted out of the other settings.

Idle: 128w @ 14.4v, 89w @ 12.7v
Rev up to 3500 rpm: +35w, (not tested)
Heater fan setting 1: 55w, 38w
Setting 2: 98, 67
Setting 3: 141, 99
Setting 4: 189, 135
Marker lights: 95, 71
Full lights: 240, 179
A/C (heater fan subtracted, but including condenser fan): 163, 114
Defroster: 104, 77
Wipers 1: 48, 38
Wipers 2: 76, 64
Radiator fan: 144, 83
The more current you draw the less capacity your battery can provide.

Your homework
Welcome to Battery University

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Last edited by orange4boy; 09-29-2008 at 04:48 PM.. Reason: clarity = added formula
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