Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hints from Paul on Paktrakr Installation

I'm just cleaning up my e-mail this morning and found a message from Paul Pancella about more installation issues regarding the PakTrakr system:

I can share my experience with the PakTrakr if you want. Ken Hall was very helpful, but the device itself was a little disappointing. The main thing is to be very careful with installation. The directions mention it, but it can't be emphasized enough, the remotes are easily destroyed if the ring terminals contact any battery terminals out of sequence. Depending on your physical setup, this can be hard to avoid during installation, since long wires are provided for each input. I'd recommend taping over all the ring terminals except the black one before getting near the car, then untaping individually as you install.

The temperature data from the remotes can be very useful, but the calibration on my units is at least 10 F degrees off. This was on my list of complaints when I twice sent the units back to Ken, but he was either unable or unwilling to do anything about it.

The individual module voltages are reported to 0.1 V precision, but again at least in my case, a few channels have offsets larger than this (up to 0.4 V). This magnitude is obviously significant in terms of balancing, so you will want to check every channel against a meter after installation. The offsets appear to be stable, so they can be accounted for if known.

I assume you will still have the Link-10? The PakTrakr has a "fuel gauge" function, but I'd guess the one on the Link-10 is a lot better. It will be interesting to compare them. I think mine is not very useful, maybe in part because it gets fooled by big voltage swings with regen. The whole system probably works better with lead acid than NiMH anyway.

I just wanted to pass this information along to all of you.


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