Building my own converter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-17-2015, 03:27 PM   #1
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Building my own converter

My LiteHouse has a transformer based converter. When it's turned on, it buzzes. I've done some repairs on it but the buzz continues. I'm currently working on replacing the old converter with a 12v 30 Amp switching power power supply I found on Amazon for short money. Battery charging will be handled by an independent Battery Minder. To handle the AC coming into the trailer, I've purchased a 20 amp marine circuit breaker.

I'm currently laying out a new panel to replace the old and loud converter. I hope to cut that on the mill at our local makerspace. I have already used one of the 3D printers there to build a cover for the new power supply.

Battery Minder - Amazon.com: BatteryMINDer Charger/Maintainer/Desulfator System - Model# 1500: Automotive

Power supply - Amazon.com: 12v 30a Dc Universal Regulated Switching Power Supply 360w for CCTV, Radio, Computer Project: Computers & Accessories
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:26 PM   #2
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Davie, I followed an alternate electrical route - no convertor.

I wired the 110v AC with two circuits - one to the air conditioner with the other powering three outlets. A Battery Tender is plugged into one of the outlets.
The 12v DC circuit powers all lighting (LEDs) and a Fantastic Fan.

The decision to go this route was largely based on cost containment, but it has served well for three years now. I wired a rebuilt Scotty in the same way, and it also performed well over several years of use.

The only down side I can see is that I have to have a functional battery to power the lighting and fan - but I would want one anyway for off the grid camping.

I'd be curious to hear if my set-up raises any concerns from those with more electrical expertise than I can lay claim to.

Steve
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:58 PM   #3
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my solution....

before somebody chimes in, as they always do, that you should go out and buy some new wiz bang, digital, next generation, converter charger....I'll share my "experiment"...

I got rid of the converter/charger...kept the original panel part and permanently wired in a three stage simple charger....all 12 volt power comes from the batteries all the time....the max charging power of the charger is 6 amps and can keep up with my normal use (and then some) when plugged in somewhere....when I'm sleeping it tops up my batteries....the fan on the charger was kind of noisy so I swapped it out for a little 12V computer fan that even had the same plug-in as the original noisy fan....the charger is on its own breaker that I use as the on/off switch for it....I have a panel meter that tells me "what's going on" (as Marvin Gaye would say)

I have run this way for a year with no problems....my "experiment" worked just fine....yep, probably all wrong...not "proper"....might even be "unsafe" according to some "experts"....I don't care

Have fun out there....
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:21 PM   #4
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I think that the no-converter, full time 12 v from the batteries route is a brilliant one. The 12 v power supply was about $20, the cost of a cheap bottle of bourbon. I figure it isn't a bad addition and does provide one more alternative for powering up the LED lights, electronics and the fan. I suspect that mostly, it will be off.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:27 AM   #5
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There are always alternative ways of achieving the same results and each has it's own advantages and disadvantages. but there seems to be a bit of "Anti-Something" going on as it pertains to power chassis.


In as much as the description of "Converter" is a device that converts AC to DC, the very nice power supply shown is really a "Converter" with a different name on it. And matching up a box full of different parts can work well, if someone has the skill, time and/or desire/need to take a different approach.


But not having a conventional power chassis is not, in any way, 1) "Beating the Man", 2) may not be cost effective,3) in some examples I have seen, may not be safe and while of less import to some, 4) may reduce resale value and appeal.


As a complete power chassis, with AC distribution, DC converter & fuse panel, a multi-stage battery charger can be bought in the lower provinces for well under $200, I see it as a small expense when compared to even the lowest priced of FGRV's.


But, all that said, if it was even suggested that something I ever did was "Unsafe", I would investigate and rule out that possibility.
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:53 AM   #6
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Last year right after I bought my Scamp and was elbow-deep in repairs and modifications I planned on installing a new PD-something converter/charger. But then I got to wondering why since I also planned a Solar charging system. Two 6V batteries on tap (w/Solar charging) should do me for any foreseeable senario and if not, and 120V is available for charging, I already have a pretty nice stand-alone "smartish charger" that can get things going in the right direction.

As to the "resale value" question, I did not buy a 26 (now 27) year old trailer to fix up because I was worried about resale. For all my work on the old trailer it damn well better suit ME (and my daughter), the other fellow can get his own to do with as he sees fit.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:06 AM   #7
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At 26 y.o. ,in the world of FGRV's, your Scamp is hardly OLD, it is only "Middle Aged".

And many is the FGRV owner that falls in love with something 3' longer than that forever project they started with.... LOLOLOL
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Old 03-18-2015, 12:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
At 26 y.o. ,in the world of FGRV's, your Scamp is hardly OLD, it is only "Middle Aged".

And many is the FGRV owner that falls in love with something 3' longer than that forever project they started with.... LOLOLOL

Tiz true, I would like to have an Escape 19 for my "retirement" trailer. Even so, my daughter has called dibs on the Scamp so it will stay in the family one way or another. After I get done paying for college the Scamp may be the best I can do for a graduation present.
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