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sethb
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About a year ago, I posted information on certain modifications I made to my PASO Procast PA unit, to extend its battery capacity beyond the normal 4-5 hour runtime (click HERE to view).

Basically, I added a second internal 5 amp-hour battery that I connected in parallel to the original 2.7 amp-hour battery. [I understand that connecting the two batteries “in parallel” keeps the voltage the same (12 volts) but increases the amperage.] In theory at least, this created a virtual 12 volt, 7.5 amp-hour battery with at least 12 hours of runtime. I needed that capacity because I sometimes do an outdoor Svengali Pitch for 8 or 10 hours. This battery/wiring plan was based upon a similar arrangement that I discovered had been used in Carvin PA systems (two 12-volt batteries also wired in parallel).

The problem was that I never really got the full 12-hour runtime I had hoped for. In fact, I usually got about only 7-8 hours at best, more often only 6-7 hours. So I would sometimes end up running out of juice before I ran out of showtime –- not good! Furthermore, I’ve read that this sort of very deep cycling (to a full discharge) is not good for a lead-acid battery and can cause premature failure. I also had problems figuring out when and if each battery was fully charged.

So after a year of using this arrangement, I decided to rewire the two batteries so that each one now operates completely independently of the other. I did this by installing two external single-pole “on/off” toggle switches on the PASO cabinet, one in the ‘hot’ (red/positive) line to each battery. Now I’ll be able to charge and use each battery separately, and hopefully will have a little better control over the situation. When one battery is low, I can just switch over to the other fully charged one, and go on from there. That way, I should be able to get the 8-10 hours of runtime I need without fully draining either battery.

We’ll see if this new battery arrangement works out better than the prior one. Meanwhile, I’ve now learned more about batteries and electrical wiring than I ever cared or expected to know! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
sethb
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Inner circle
The Jersey Shore
2700 Posts

Profile of sethb
I'm happy to report that the "operation" was successful, and both the PASO and I have survived! <grin>

I ran a "bench test" of the unit over the weekend by playing music through the PA system at half volume (normally I only go to about 40% volume). The original battery ran for 4 hours without the "low battery" indicator light turning on. I then switched over to the larger additional battery and ran for another 8 hours without a low battery light. Other than the fact that I got pretty sick of listening to Jerry Vale sing "Luna Rosa" and "Oh Marie," everything worked out fine.

I also discovered that for some reason, a "trickle charger" does not work well with this unit. Although a slow & small charge is supposed to be better for the battery, the trickle charger never fully charged the PASO batteries, even when the unit's LED indicator showed that it was supposedly fully charged. When I went back to using the OEM charger/adapter that came with the unit, both batteries charged up nicely and worked fine.

The only downside to this arrangement is that you have to manually switch over from one battery to the other when necessary, but it only takes two seconds to do that, and it isn't a big deal. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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