Adding a new converter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-01-2006, 07:47 PM   #1
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In the past I have been quilty of boiling my 2 12v deep cycle batteries dry. Fortunately I put in water and they took a charge. Yesterday I added a new 12v converter with a built in Charge Wizard. This device will measure the batteries charge and reduce it's output accordingly as well as providing a full charge every month to aid in the desulfification proceedures.

We opened the electrical box under the bunk and located the 12v converter with AC breaker board. Opening the converter we were able to locate the red wire coming from the charger board. We disconnected this wire and spliced on the positive output of the new converter. Then we did the negative to the white common nutral wire at the old converters output bar.

To power the new converter, we added a 7th AC circuit breaker and gave it a dedicated line. (4 inches away.) We cut off the plug end and hard wired it. Now it sits next to the original converter and only functions as a smart battery charger.

We left the original converter intact since it had a complicated switching board for when the unit is on shore power or battery. It had always worked just fine, except that it sent too high a charge rate. Besides, the new charger will send a high charge for the 1st eight hours to bring the batteries back to above 80%, then it will reduce as neccessary. This can only help.

Paul
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Old 06-03-2006, 10:13 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your sucessful converter modification! The only observation I would make would be that there is really no need for the original converter other than for a back-up. The "complicated switching board" in the original consists only of a relay that connects the 12V fuse bank either to the battery when not on shore power or to the unregulated (unfiltered) output of the old converter when connected to shore power. You could simply connect the (usually) blue positive wire going to the fuse panel to your new converter and completely eliminate the old unit. Your new converter will provide near pure DC to the circuits as opposed to the unfiltered pulsed DC output of the old converter. The overall current output of the new converter is more than enough to recharge the battery quickly as well as supplying the routine house DC demands.

Some electronic components are sensitive to the quality of input DC and always should be connected directly to the battery or to a well filtered supply. The unfiltered DC output of the older converters is not suitable for this purpose and was only intended to power lightbulbs, pumps, and other non-critical loads.

Please note that none of the above is intended as criticism of your perfectly workable solution, but rather as some supplementary information.

Steve.
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:00 AM   #3
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I changed out my old converter about two years ago for a new one with the charge wizard. I think your really going to like it.
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:40 AM   #4
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My concern about leaving the old converter really amounted to my lack of understanding about this sort of thing. If the new converter can read the condition of the battery and lower it's output accordingly. Doesn't it at the same time, lower what it would be sending to the DC fuse panel? I thought I would have two output positives from the new converter, one that came from the Wizard and one directly from the converter. Since I didn't, I wired only to the battery. How can the new converter lower the output to the battery and not affect the fuse block output?

Paul
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Old 06-04-2006, 12:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
My concern about leaving the old converter really amounted to my lack of understanding about this sort of thing. If the new converter can read the condition of the battery and lower it's output accordingly. Doesn't it at the same time, lower what it would be sending to the DC fuse panel? I thought I would have two output positives from the new converter, one that came from the Wizard and one directly from the converter. Since I didn't, I wired only to the battery. How can the new converter lower the output to the battery and not affect the fuse block output?

Paul
Hi Paul, Yes the output to the fuse block will vary, but this is really no problem as the lights, pump, etc. will work fine in this voltage range. In fact, the voltage of the old converter could vary depending on the AC input voltage and the load. I can't remember what the output of the old converter was, but it was probably in the 13 to 14 volt range as well - the lights were much brighter when supplied by the converter as opposed to the battery. The new converter supplies aproximately 13.2V in the maintenance mode up to a maximum of 14.4V in the boost mode. The charge wizard will often detect added loads and adjust the voltage to 13.8 if it was originally in the maintenance mode. Many new RV's are now coming factory equipped with these newer "smart" converters, so there is no issue with the output voltage.
These "smart" converters do work very well - I left my trailer plugged in all winter and the battery electrolyte level dropped only about 1/8". No more worries about boiling the battery dry! Recharge times for a depleted battery are also way better - hours instead of days.
There is an excellent overview of a converter replacement at http://home.comcast.net/~rabarber/magnetek.htm
Steve.
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Old 06-04-2006, 01:47 PM   #6
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Trailer: Bigfoot 17 ft (15B17G)
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In the past I have been quilty of boiling my 2 12v deep cycle batteries dry. Fortunately I put in water and they took a charge. Yesterday I added a new 12v converter with a built in Charge Wizard. This device will measure the batteries charge and reduce it's output accordingly as well as providing a full charge every month to aid in the desulfification proceedures.

We opened the electrical box under the bunk and located the 12v converter with AC breaker board. Opening the converter we were able to locate the red wire coming from the charger board. We disconnected this wire and spliced on the positive output of the new converter. Then we did the negative to the white common nutral wire at the old converters output bar.

To power the new converter, we added a 7th AC circuit breaker and gave it a dedicated line. (4 inches away.) We cut off the plug end and hard wired it. Now it sits next to the original converter and only functions as a smart battery charger.

We left the original converter intact since it had a complicated switching board for when the unit is on shore power or battery. It had always worked just fine, except that it sent too high a charge rate. Besides, the new charger will send a high charge for the 1st eight hours to bring the batteries back to above 80%, then it will reduce as neccessary. This can only help.

Paul

I also replaced the old Magnetek converter that was factory installed in my 17' Bigfoot, and replaced it with the Inteli-Power PD9160, with the Charge Wizard controller. It took me about 1 hour to remove the old Magnetek junk, and put the new converter in the exact same spot, as the old was . Now I have more power available than I can use. The power is cleaner too, as it is filtered in the new converter.

Yves.
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:36 AM   #7
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Yves, What did you do about the switching relay and other odds and ends that were connected to your old converter? How do I cut them apart? Is the old converter just the large transformer?

Paul
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:50 AM   #8
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Paul,

Best Converter has instructions for upgrading different MagnaTek converters:

Best Converter

Maybe you can find yours.
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Old 06-05-2006, 12:29 PM   #9
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Yves, What did you do about the switching relay and other odds and ends that were connected to your old converter? How do I cut them apart? Is the old converter just the large transformer?

Paul
Hello Paul;

I removed everything that was inside the metal box, at the bottom of the electrical panel: including the relay, the transformer, the two diodes, the fan, and also the big resistor. You discard everything, but the breaker/fuse panel. The new converter is installed in the space where the old components used to be. It fits nicely.

http://home.comcast.net/~rabarber/magnetek.htm

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Old 06-05-2006, 08:48 PM   #10
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I installed a PD9245 with charge wizard and removed a Allanson D30-BRA-E converter

Paul
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:59 PM   #11
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My concern about leaving the old converter really amounted to my lack of understanding about this sort of thing. If the new converter can read the condition of the battery and lower it's output accordingly. Doesn't it at the same time, lower what it would be sending to the DC fuse panel?
Yes, but that's no big deal, the voltage variation is minimal. My Bigfoot has no DC fuse panel. I only have a 30A fuse (inline fuse socket), where the 12Vdc enters the trailer.

Quote:
I thought I would have two output positives from the new converter, one that came from the Wizard and one directly from the converter.
The Charge Wizard is a small module that is the brain that enables the smart capability of the converter. It does not output power by itself. It only controls the charging of the converter. The Charge Wizard (a $25.00 option, in my case)can be purchased, or not. It's optional. If you chose not to purchase the Charge Wizard, the converter will behave essentially in the same manner as your old converter, and that's not desirable. ...


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How can the new converter lower the output to the battery and not affect the fuse block output?
The Charge Wizard alters the charging pattern by lowering or raising the voltage, automatically, and still provide, at the same time, all the necessary DC voltage, to your trailer's 12Vdc accessories, as it has a 60AMP capacity.

With the Charge Wizard, the voltage nevers goes beyond 14.4Vdc, and never goes below 13.2Vdc, so between the full charge mode, and the maintenance charge mode, there's only a 1.2Vdc difference. It will not burn your bulbs and will not burn your water pump.

To give you an example: When you press the button on the Charge Wizard module, it goes to full charge mode. When this occurs, you will see a slight increase in the light output of your bulbs. When you press the button again, the converter goes to maintenance mode. When this occurs, you will see a slight decrease in light output from your 12Vdc bulbs. The same thing happens when the pump operates. It pumps a little faster, or lower, according to the charge mode selected by the Charge Wizard.

Hope this helps.

Yves.
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Old 06-10-2006, 03:53 PM   #12
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OK...I went back in and removed the old converter and it's associated relays and charging circuits...wired up the PD9245 as a stand alone converter. Thanks Steve,Yves and Suz it works fine.

Paul
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:27 AM   #13
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Replacing my Allanson D30-BRA-E converter

Hello Paul....Have just found your converter replacement thread, and can say I have experienced all of the issues addressed, especially the unfiltered power on new electronics, and just recently a boiled battery. My 1986 Bigfoot 5th wheel has the same (original) Allanson D30-BRA-E converter. Can you provide any further information about just how you proceeded to replace your converter, as I am not very well versed in electrical matters. As a for instance, did you in the end pull out the entire old unit including the AC panel, or just the 12v components? Any photo's of the way it looks today would be valued as well. Thanks, Denis


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Originally Posted by jrnutpaul View Post
OK...I went back in and removed the old converter and it's associated relays and charging circuits...wired up the PD9245 as a stand alone converter. Thanks Steve,Yves and Suz it works fine.

Paul
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