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Drive motor and electrical issues
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Battery Pack Range Reduction

Thu May 16, 2013 3:11 pm

Built up a new front-mount wheel horse deck earlier this year and have been using it on a B-145 with a new, rebuilt drive motor. Already had installed a Landis charge controller last fall and only had a few chances this winter to plow the driveway, so the batteries stayed charged with little use. Up until now, I could have mowed my entire yard twice almost on one charge with an EGT120. I have had to stop and charge twice before finishing the yard, even with it being caught up and only mowing a minimal amount. Has anyone had range issues like this with a charger controller? Or just in general? Everything works as it should on the tractor. I found a few small issues, but no change in range after fixing them. Power use meter stays low in the yellow while mowing, just is about dead after half an hour or so.


Re: Battery Pack Range Reduction

Thu May 16, 2013 4:19 pm

I've been using Landis controllers and I've been thinking that my range is not that great either, but I can mow an acre for 1 hr and I only notice the drop off mowing up hill. The Landis controller shuts off the charger based on pack voltage. The original timed charger does not, and charger voltage climbs as the percent of charge increases doesn't it? So Maybe the Landis controller is just not topping the batteries up enough. I'm no expert here so this is just my guess. You can adjust the shutoff voltage of the Landis controller btw.

Also spring grass is tougher to mow so that could be part of it. Are the blades sharp? You might try raising the shutoff voltage and see if that helps. Also I have noticed that I have never needed to add water in the year since I bought these batteries, which I thought was strange.

Re: Battery Pack Range Reduction

Thu May 16, 2013 5:41 pm

Blades just sharpened by hand before the first mow with it. Just finished second mow yesterday at 4". About 1.5 acres of grass all together. I have debated raising the setpoint on the controller, but have not done that yet because the resting voltage for 6x6V is stated to be the current setpoint. I realize that I was most likely overcharging them up until installing the controller, and had to add fluid a few times a year, but as you said Jeff, have yet to need it the past year or so. I checked the levels just to make sure that wasn't the problem. My batteries are less than 3 years old. The current draws that I am seeing do not seem troublesome and last night between rounds of charging it only took about an hour to an hour and a half to bring the batteries back up to voltage with the controller for the final mow. Are you running yours on a new idea without pushing the deck around, Jeff? Or is that on a GE? I may need to free up my casters and rear roller a bit to ease the pushing force.

I think I'll have to start experimenting with voltage setpoints to get correct range. Hopefully I can get the range I need without it going above 39 volts or so. Good thing I have an accurate power supply on the bench.

Re: Battery Pack Range Reduction

Thu May 16, 2013 8:13 pm

I'm mowing with my restored 150 and that is my run time. I noticed it does not charge very long either after a mow. I bet we are under charging.

Re: Battery Pack Range Reduction

Thu May 16, 2013 9:04 pm

Maybe we can get someone to weigh in on what the resting voltage SHOULD be for a standard pack. I'll keep you updated if I make any GOOD changes. An E16 that I resurrected for my parents to use as a secondary, which ended up being the primary, is doing the same thing. I had also installed a Landis on it, hoping that would serve them a little better. Guess I can do a little more research on the battery topic.

Re: Battery Pack Range Reduction

Thu May 16, 2013 10:37 pm

This probably does not help... but I run 3-12v's with a Minn kota 3 bank charged. Pack float is usually around 41v.

I also have a 4 bank wall mount auto battery charger. Every few charges I switch to that charger as each charger seems to have it's own algorithm. It does seem like your packs are not fully charging. I would remove the landis for two or three cycles and see if your runtime improves any.

Re: Battery Pack Range Reduction

Fri May 17, 2013 12:37 am

I have seen charts that indicate 13.4 volts ok at room temp up to 13.8 volts at lower temps per 12 volt batt . About the same as car batts . When checking for vehicle running volts for communication stuff the shutdown circuits shut down if batts not charged to this standard . Mr Laumeister in the original lit refererred to taper as being neccessary - just don't fry the batts with it .

Re: Battery Pack Range Reduction

Fri May 17, 2013 1:46 am

I set my Landis controllers up on a switch so that I can use either the timer or the Landis.
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Re: Battery Pack Range Reduction

Fri May 17, 2013 2:11 am

This charger that I use seems to shut off and stay off when the pack voltage reaches about 46volts.
Current starts at 25amps and drops off when the voltage rises.
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Re: Battery Pack Range Reduction

Fri May 17, 2013 2:20 pm


The resting state of charge of a six volt battery is 6.37 volts (100% charged). Specific gravity would be 1.277.

After fully charging, measure each battery in the pack. Measurements should be taken after the charger has been shut off for about 4 hours to get the battery's resting state of charge.

Boiling off water would be a sign of over-charging. The only time over charging might be necessary is if an individual battery has cell(s) out of balance.

If you only get a half hour of mowing, I don't think you have a mechanical problem. Here are the likely problems to look for:

1) Battery pack not fully charged.
2) Battery pack not balanced. One or more batteries not getting fully charged.
3) One or more batteries are bad or have bad cells.
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