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Old 11-19-2012, 09:01 AM   #1
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Default Recommendations Desired: Converter/Chargers

lesson #? (and many more to come, im sure).

I pluged into a 30a connection that had 120v across the ground...
I checked the plug w/ my meter (before i plugged in), but i only checked the 2 hot legs (not the ground - DOH!)

SMOKED (literally) the converter/charger

any recommenations ? and why you like 'em would be appreciated.
and yes i will be adding a surge / wiring protector !
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:41 PM   #2
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I have the a iota converters in my rig. Twin 45 amps with the smart iq modules, they work well and a small footprint for mounting. Three stage charging.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:47 PM   #3
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TWIN charger/converters ? why ?
Ive got a <burnt> 55a in there now, seems plenty & ive got no plans to add more 12v accessories (if anything i wouldnt mind a couple of 120v a/c lamps (for situations like this).

i definitely want a good (built in) intelligent battery maintainer....at least 3 if not 4 stage charging....right now, when the coach is in storage i kill the charger/converter & use batteryminders to prevent overcharging of the batts.

footprint isnt too much of an issue, since the current mounting location is inside, behind a closet/drawer & the distribution panel/breakers...quiet is important though.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:35 PM   #4
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Google one stop cop shop in Colorado I bought my Xantrex unit from him, he does a lot of ambulances and saftey vehicles great guy to do biz with regarding inverters and converter chargers, he understands our truck are unique compared to class A and B motor-homes good guy


-blizz
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:23 PM   #5
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ordered an Inteli-Power pd9260 w/ the integrated charge wizard and pendant.
at least now ill have more inteligent (multi-stage) battery charging & monitoring.

ive also ordered and will be adding a Progressive Industries EMSLCHW50



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Old 11-21-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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Don, I'm confused about how this blew out to begin with. The recepticle had 120v positive coming from the ground hole? That sounds crazy. How could that have happened?

With a good converter/charger, like what you got, it shouldn't be able to overcharge anything, should it? I wouldn't think you would need to use that battery minder. I've got an Iota 55 amp unit and that's all I use all the long MN winters for storage. I don't think it's been a problem for me.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
lesson #? (and many more to come, im sure).

I pluged into a 30a connection that had 120v across the ground...
I checked the plug w/ my meter (before i plugged in), but i only checked the 2 BLADE legs (not the ground - DOH!)

SMOKED (literally) the converter/charger

any recommenations ? and why you like 'em would be appreciated.
and yes i will be adding a surge / wiring protector !
on edit: corrected "to say i checked the BLADE" legs
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob86ZZ4 View Post
Don, I'm confused about how this blew out to begin with. The recepticle had 120v positive coming from the ground hole? That sounds crazy. How could that have happened?

With a good converter/charger, like what you got, it shouldn't be able to overcharge anything, should it? I wouldn't think you would need to use that battery minder. I've got an Iota 55 amp unit and that's all I use all the long MN winters for storage. I don't think it's been a problem for me.
the 30a outlet was either wired wrong or SHORTED.
the outlet had 120v on the ground and hot/blade - which gave me 240 volts.

i have an analog meter plugged into one of my 120v outlets in the coach, it was PEGGED after i plugged the coach into shore power & my Volt/Ohm meter showed 240v across the 120v outlets.

all my 120v outlets were recv'ing 240v....the converter recv'd 240v instead of 120v. i would have expected a breaker to trip or some (possible) internal over voltage protection to have "tripped" inside my converter/charger - but i only see fuses for improper battery wiring (not improper ac voltage).

MY MISTAKE -

i only checked the two BLADES on the outlet and had 126v, had i checked the ground i would have seen the ground also had 120v across it too.

a surge protector would have saved me from this ground fault/short (lesson learned). I consider myself lucky that i didnt burn anything else up (electrically or by fire).

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Old 11-21-2012, 06:56 PM   #9
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That's messed up. I hope it didn't mess up any items plugged in, like tv, stereo, ac, etc....
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob86ZZ4 View Post

With a good converter/charger, like what you got, it shouldn't be able to overcharge anything, should it? I wouldn't think you would need to use that battery minder. I've got an Iota 55 amp unit and that's all I use all the long MN winters for storage. I don't think it's been a problem for me.
the POS parallax 7455 that was in the coach (and filled 1/2 the coach & bathroom w/ SMOKE) was not a multistage charger...generally i only kept the house batteries connected when we were traveling or dry camping, when the coach was in storage i used battery minders to keep the batteries charged (and to keep them from being overcharged).

ive used battery minders for years on our motorcycles, and have NEVER over charged or boiled dry any batteries.

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That's messed up. I hope it didn't mess up any items plugged in, like tv, stereo, ac, etc....
both flat screens, and the outside (3rd) tv, along w/ all (3) stereo's, the microwave, fridge, and A/C's are fine...amazingly enough.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:24 AM   #11
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You are correct on the POS parallax unit. My trailer had on older one in it when I got the trailer, and when it started acting up, I replaced the "guts" with their "improved" unit. Still a POS. Generally it would only work reliably when plugged into shore power. Any time we were running on the generator it would be dicey whether it would decide to charge or not, no rhyme or reason at all.

So after reading up on the internet, the general consensus out there it that the parallax unit is in fact a POS, which I had already determined for myself, twice.

I called up Best Convertor BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics and ordered up a Progressive Dynamics upgrade unit 4600 series Upgrade Kits to replace the "guts" yet again. Time being short as always, I tossed the box in the trailer to install when I got a chance. Well, this week after being on the generator for 4 days, and the old POS unit acting up after the 3rd day, I went ahead and put in the Progressive Dynamics unit. Easy conversion, and worked perfectly after. My lights have never been this bright, and the batteries have never had this good of a charge.

I also added the charge wizard pendant. The upgrade unit has a charge wizard build into the circuit board, but you have to open up the cover to see what it is up to. Adding the pendant just lets me stick it on the wall in easy view. Best convertor has a document on their website as to how to wire up the remote to work.

They also suggested the surge protector, which I bought at the same time.

If you have a parallax, just pitch it in the trash now and save headaches later.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:18 AM   #12
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there was on salvaging my parallax 7400....i pulled it out, drilled out the pop rivets
and pulled the cover just to see how bad it was....120v across ground and 240v total input charred the pcb and components in several places - around 5 resistors near the input, an old transistor was melted and charred so bad that the side of it flaked right off...and one of the larger capacitors melted its heat shrink rap & blew the top out....its not just toast but BURNT toast.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:06 PM   #13
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enjoying some winter down time, doing some upgrades.

The replacement converter/charger & PI surge/wiring guard is in and working.

I recently picked up some inexpensive panel meters & am in process of installing them
in the coach - its nice to be able to see the input voltage & current consumption (i was unwilling to pay the 70 bucks extra for the remote PI display)...

Without the remote display i can check the display on the PI surge/voltage protector OUTSIDE (in the electrical bay) AND inside via the panel meters.

the meters were inexpensive (15 bucks a piece) & theyre easy connected (i have 'em wired on their own 15amp circuit breaker (so i can disconnect/turn them off independent of anything else)...the amp input comes from an inductive (donut/ring) pick up that just slips over the line input....the meters themselves run on ac voltage.

I plan to mount the panel meters in the wood just about the circuit breaker panel (below the a drawer that goes in the opening, seen in the photo).

I am still undecided on how best to monitor my batteries, but that will come later,
i very likely will do similar (dc) meters mounted in the same location.



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Old 01-01-2013, 06:37 PM   #14
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Those are nice looking guages. Where did you get them?
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:01 PM   #15
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Those are nice looking guages. Where did you get them?
got 'em off of ebay - they ship outta china, so allow plenty of time (i'd forgotten i even ordered them)...i think they took about 15 days to arrive.

here's the seller - he's got MANY panel meters (including DC volt/amp with shunts) - eBay My World - elite.element

i got 'em mounted in the wood today - killed me to cut that oak...and its not a PERFECT location (but it makes logical sense to have 'em here)...have to bend down a bit to fully see the volt reading, but im more interested in the AMP load (when im INSIDE the coach)...and ive got other volt meters that i can use for a quick glance.



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Old 01-05-2013, 11:47 AM   #16
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Ok, so in light of what happened, the next most obvious question might be:

Does anyone have a recommendation for a surge protector? I have heard of issues at campsites before. In fact, the show I travelled with last year, a vendor went to a different site, and the power there fried his A/C unit and his TV. And I really dont want that happening to any of my electronics on board.

I worry that the type that plugs directly into the camp outlet and you plug into the surge unit might grow feet and disappear. But in order to keep the protector in the truck, I would need a short extention (one of those 5 footers) to put the protector in the truck?
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:02 PM   #17
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heres MY thoughts -

I like monitoring, i dont want to have to walk out to see the CONDITION of the power (v/a & hz), at the same time, i dont want to have to go INSIDE to know if the outlet or pedestal i just plugged into is ok.

i personally dont think a SURGE suppressor is sufficient - you need POLARITY & GROUND protection too.

i was FAIRLY good (but not good enough obviously) about using a VOMeter to check power, but i made a mistake & didnt check the grounds last time....BUT at the end of the day, a VOMeter is only good for the INTIAL connection & does nothing to interrupt power in the event of a spike or over/under voltage....so no matter how good i thought i was...ONE mistake was all it took !

If you want to do a portable thats fine...but i would recommend you buy a HARD WIRE device & put plugs on it....that leaves you the options LATER of making it a perm. hardwire....put the plug/connections inside the electrical bay...that way its no ON the power pedestal and you can lock your electrical bay to prevent theft.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:49 AM   #18
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I got the surge protector recommended to me by best convertor when I replaced the charger unit (see previous post). It is the sort that plugs into the 30A outlet, then your cord plugs into. It is a surge protector, plus has lights to tell you about open grounds, wrong polarity, etc. I never really thought about it growing feet, but the way my electric is set up I have a short 30A cord inside the side compartment, then I just use a 50' 30A extension cord (or longer) to get to the electric outlet. I guess I could just as easily plug the surge protector at the rv end of the extension cord so it is inside the side compartment. Theft problem solved.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:09 AM   #19
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I got the surge protector recommended to me by best convertor when I replaced the charger unit (see previous post). It is the sort that plugs into the 30A outlet, then your cord plugs into. It is a surge protector, plus has lights to tell you about open grounds, wrong polarity, etc. I never really thought about it growing feet, but the way my electric is set up I have a short 30A cord inside the side compartment, then I just use a 50' 30A extension cord (or longer) to get to the electric outlet. I guess I could just as easily plug the surge protector at the rv end of the extension cord so it is inside the side compartment. Theft problem solved.
I was more or less thinking the same thing. And that unit is also more or less what I was looking it. Looks like a external plug in you would find at the house, and you plug that into the camp power, then plug into that. I dont have side compartments under the truck yet, still deciding what I want to do for that. In the meantime, I just run the cords out of the back, under the rollup door. Not the most elegant solution, but it works.
I will most likely buy a short (25' or less) power cord to leave inside the back of the truck, and connect my 50' to that and run it out to the camp power. I was being cheap when I didnt want to buy another cord. lol. I am over budget atm, but still way under what everyone else thought I would be at.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:45 AM   #20
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You guys are killing me! I hadn't thought of guages to monitor the AC/DC voltage. At least it's only a change in the cabinet design since I haven't built it yet. Keep the good ideas coming. I may never finish this thing....... MMM
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