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Old 03-13-2008, 08:11 PM   #21
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For me the issue is ... they supposedly will not have a shortened life because of excess voltage.
I have a 30 year old Converter that is putting out in excess of 18 volts DC and I don't have an extra $250 for a new converter.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:15 PM   #22
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I have a 30 year old Converter that is putting out in excess of 18 volts DC and I don't have an extra $250 for a new converter.
How is this possible with a battery connected?
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:42 PM   #23
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How is this possible with a battery connected?


When I plug in the trailer's 30 amp cord into shore power, and energize the converter's circuit breaker, I read 18.4 VDC at my interior fixtures. The lighting gets noticeably brighter. Over a short period of time, I have burnt out several LEDs. This does not happen when I am boondocking on battery power. While the CCFL's don't seem to be affected, I have taken to swaping to incandescent bulbs while on shore power and only use LED "bulb replacements" when boondocking on battery power. I suspect that the converter has a failure in the output regulator circuit, but with a work-around, fixing it (without so much as a schematic) is low on my priority list.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:52 PM   #24
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When I plug in the trailer's 30 amp cord into shore power, and energize the converter's circuit breaker, I read 18.4 VDC at my interior fixtures. The lighting gets noticeably brighter. Over a short period of time, I have burnt out several LEDs.
It is difficult to get 6 cells lead acid battery to over 18V (I assume you donít have 3 X 6V batteries). You must have 4V voltage drop between converter and battery.

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Old 03-13-2008, 09:09 PM   #25
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When I plug in the trailer's 30 amp cord into shore power, and energize the converter's circuit breaker, I read 18.4 VDC at my interior fixtures. The lighting gets noticeably brighter. Over a short period of time, I have burnt out several LEDs. This does not happen when I am boondocking on battery power. While the CCFL's don't seem to be affected, I have taken to swaping to incandescent bulbs while on shore power and only use LED "bulb replacements" when boondocking on battery power. I suspect that the converter has a failure in the output regulator circuit, but with a work-around, fixing it (without so much as a schematic) is low on my priority list.
OK.

Modern converters have a method of disconnecting the battery when the battery voltage reaches a preset voltage to prevent overcharging (boiling out the water). I suspect you're right about the regulator being bad, which would could have the effect of disconnecting the battery. If it was me I'd check the voltage at the battery with converter is on. If you're getting more than around 14 volts disconnect the battery to keep from boiling it all away then check the voltage at the interior fixtures, it might go higher.

Another option would be to use a battery charger instead of the converter. Run off the battery all the time, when in camp where you have power connect a charger to battery to keep it charged. 10 Amp smart chargers are pretty cheap and will do the job.

As for the LEDs, I'm kind of surprised that they would "burn out" at that voltage. It possible that the design of your LED fixture or replacement bulbs is set to run near maximum current instead of nominal current. They would do that to get maximum light output.

Anyway good luck with it all and happy camping.

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Old 03-13-2008, 11:39 PM   #26
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Frederick:
An aside to your experience: my old Newmark converter did what yours does. The lights would grow alarmingly bright, dim abruptly, etc. This was in addition to the buzzing.

I tried a 12v compact fluorescent bulb from West Marine some time ago and it blew out in short order. Using a 120v compact off an inverter solved that problem.

As I was checking all this yesterday I happened to catch the system at the 14.4 desulfation level (a Link 10 battery meter keeps tabs on this). I waited until the prescribed period was over and expected the voltage to drop to 13.6 or maybe as far as 13.2v. It did, but it took 3-5 minutes to slowly descend instead of doing the expected sudden drop. It suggests that the new converter really is a smart charger and keeps a tight grip on how it handles its business.
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:40 PM   #27
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Installed the first four IKEA LED lights. They are used as ambient lights in front, with a compact fluorescent used as task lighting above the table.
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