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Old 12-11-2004, 09:28 AM   #1
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Micro Pulse Tank monitor calibration

I've had several issues with our 2004's tank monitoring system. I was put into contact with the manufacturer, who was very helpful and great to work with. He sent me .PDFs of the procedures on how to calibrate these units. For a while now, I had been emailing these requests to folks that have PM'd me, but now have placed them onto a website for the masses to grab.


Part one on how to get the unit into calibration mode can be found here:


[404 Not Found]


Part two on the actual steps to take to calibrate can be found here:


[404 Not Found]


Happy calibrating!
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Old 12-11-2004, 09:45 AM   #2
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I went through the same thing with ours. They sent me the same instructions but mine would not calibrate, They sent me a new one "already" calibrated under warranty. The new one is not any better than the old . It works but is just close,"i give up"! The only thing that's anywhere accurate is the fresh water measurement . The waste water isn't close and I've yet to figure out what 1/2 or 5/8 means when it comes to the battery. After a year I think I have all the other issues taken care of , think I'll just live with this one. It's like a can of worms , every time I open one thing something else craws out.----Pieman
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Old 12-11-2004, 01:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the files. I'll see if they help me.

I took my 2005 back to the dealer the day after I picked it up because the black water tank read full after 3 flushes of the toilet. The tech at the dealer replaced the tank sensor and then replaced the MicroPulse unit. I took us through the calibration steps following the instructions in my blue briefcase. The tech didn't seem familiar with this process. After all the filling and draining and waiting, it looked like all was well... but when I got home the freshwater tank read 1/2 full when the tank is full to overflowing.

I was beginning to wonder if this is one of those things you just learn to live with. But part of me, wants every thing to be perfect on a $46,000 purchase.

I'll try to recalibrate one of these days.
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Old 12-11-2004, 06:25 PM   #4
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I have had similar problems with mine ... mostly with the black tank.

The monitor says it is empty until the tank contents approach the top of the tank ... then the monitor will indicate the tank is 1/8 or 1/4 full. When the tank contents begin to come up the connecting pipe to the toilet ... the monitor will then indicate the tank is full. Sort of like an "ON/OFF" switch ... no in between at all.

Jim Parrett at the factory was kind enough to send me a new "calibrated" unit ... it cured the bad readings I was getting on the LP tanks ... but the black tank problem remained the same. So I did the recalibration thingy.

The first two efforts failed to recalibrate at all ... the monitor panel stayed in the recalibrate mode. Each time I started with 5 gallons of water in the black tank as my "empty tank" ... then filled it full ... then got the calibration error.

The third time I started with NO water in the empty tank ... filled it up ... and got a "successful" calibration. Or so I thought.

It still acts as an ON/OFF switch ... I can't tell when the tank is 1/2 full or 3/4 full ....I give up.

Grey Water, Fresh Water, and LP seem to be accurate. I have no idea if the battery indicators are true or not ... I'm plugged in all the time.

Perhaps the sensor on the black tank is faulty?
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Old 12-11-2004, 09:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit'the'road
Thanks for the files. I'll see if they help me.

I took my 2005 back to the dealer the day after I picked it up because the black water tank read full after 3 flushes of the toilet. The tech at the dealer replaced the tank sensor and then replaced the MicroPulse unit. I took us through the calibration steps following the instructions in my blue briefcase. The tech didn't seem familiar with this process. After all the filling and draining and waiting, it looked like all was well... but when I got home the freshwater tank read 1/2 full when the tank is full to overflowing.

I was beginning to wonder if this is one of those things you just learn to live with. But part of me, wants every thing to be perfect on a $46,000 purchase.

I'll try to recalibrate one of these days.

Glad to see this post, I also have a problem with black tank monitor which reads full when it has barely been used like your initial problem, although less scary than your and Porkys current issue.... I would be going in there armed with a flashlight

Dealer is great but far, and suggests I bring in to local AS tech to handle, but after reading here am wondering if they can really fix this problem as it doesn't seem like anyone has corrected this issue, even the tech.

All other systems work fine along with the battery...I assume that is accurate as solor monitor shows similar info as this monitor. Hopefully others will chime in here if they have successfully repaired this problem, and what they did if different to get an accurate reading, unless as Porky suggests the sensor on the black tank is faulty, as you received a new one which isn't working either! If you don't mind my asking...where in CA did you have this repaired, or if more comfortable please PM me with this info!

Barbara
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Old 12-12-2004, 02:34 PM   #6
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FWIW, I have similar issues with mine, even after 2 successful calibrations. Moreover, some of the LEDs keep burning out on the display. The manufac sent me a new calibrated unit that I installed and shipped back to them. Same issue with tank levels, but all the LEDs worked. Now about 6 months since it was installed, and sure enough, went to look at the system a few days ago and one of the LEDs is again history.

It is a small issue granted, but these were suppose to be far better than the old system. All tanks are not really good, but the black is the worst of the lot. I was told that Airstream Factory folks were "re-trained" on proper installation....and that was way back in early 2004, so 2005s should be darn near perfect.......
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Old 12-13-2004, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
FWIW, I have similar issues with mine, even after 2 successful calibrations. Moreover, some of the LEDs keep burning out on the display. Now about 6 months since it was installed, and sure enough, went to look at the system a few days ago and one of the LEDs is again history.
Problem is Twink, is that you wore the system out. Aren't you just about full timing in that driveway? I can just see you last weekend. "Well Brandi I've got the bucket so I'm going out to the Safari to fill the holding tanks!". You just can't leave that poor trailer alone!

Jack
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Old 12-13-2004, 10:35 AM   #8
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You're not too far off....I was out in the Safari this weekend, but only to get some of the things I may need as I got a place across town that I can store it inside in a heated (somewhat) storage space.

No harsh winter this year for the Twinkie.
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
FWIW, I have similar issues with mine, even after 2 successful calibrations. Moreover, some of the LEDs keep burning out on the display. The manufac sent me a new calibrated unit that I installed and shipped back to them. Same issue with tank levels, but all the LEDs worked. Now about 6 months since it was installed, and sure enough, went to look at the system a few days ago and one of the LEDs is again history.
I just went out to sanitize the fresh water holding tank and discovered the full LED (green) is burnt out. I assume that these aren't easily replaceable?

Jack
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:53 PM   #10
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Wow, I was begining to wonder if it was just my trailer that couldn't tell the difference between full and empty. Has anyone out there tried replacing the standard micropulse system with a different aftermarket unit? I saw the "vena" system in trailerlife and was wondering if a new system was what I needed to cure my woes.
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:23 AM   #11
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Actually my unit has worked perfectly as far as monitoring of volume is concerned. In this case its just a burnt out LED so far. In my opinion the system has worked better than anything I have had in my SOB and '01 Safari. Obviously there are some units that haven't worked right from day one for some folks, but I'm hesitant in recommending anything else since I've never had luck with other systems in the past.

Jack
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Old 05-10-2005, 12:53 PM   #12
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Jack,

I had the same issue 2x. First Micro Pulse sent me a new unit with a pre-pay to send the defective one back. The second from the top green only failed. I installed the replacement panel and it was fine, though I still could not get it to calibrate right.

Then, after winter passed and I started dewinterizing and the second LED from the top (same as last time) green only failed again. When I was at Airstream service a few weeks ago, the not only replaced the unit as well, but they got it to calibrate correctly.

I am not sure what could have caused the green led to fail. LEDs are fairly robust and last hundreds of thousands of hours, if not more. So after one failure I was concerned, after the second one failed, I became even more concerned. I am wondering if the cold has something to do with it...guess I'll find out next spring, though I'll be out of warranty......
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:00 PM   #13
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Too much voltage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
..I am not sure what could have caused the green led to fail. LEDs are fairly robust and last hundreds of thousands of hours, if not more. So after one failure I was concerned, after the second one failed, I became even more concerned...
Sounds like a design boo-boo in that LEDs do generally last a long time. LEDs are simple, but they do require a voltage dropping resistor. Nowadays, while you can still buy just an LED, many vendors are offering LEDs prepackaged with a resistor built in to the plastic base. The designer simply chooses whatever fits his application, and does not have to do the math to figure out the right resistor.

I have never seen the device the two of you had fail, but there is a good chance that the output to the LED is 12 volts because using the battery voltage would simplify the design. I know of at least one vendor who sells prepackaged "12 volt LEDs".

But when you are running on shore power, or towing the Airstream with the charge wire attached, battery voltage could go to 13 volts or higher. If your tank monitor is on at this time, and the designer neglected to include a voltage regulator in the circuit, the LEDs could also see this higher voltage. Higher voltage equates to more current to the LED which will shorten its life.

What can you do? Pre-emptively, in lieu of Airstream admitting there is a problem, you could add a 12 volt regulator to the device's input power leads. Radio Shack sells piece parts. Post-emptively, or after the LED goes out, you could replace the LED and add a bigger resistor.
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Old 05-10-2005, 03:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Jack,

I had the same issue 2x. First Micro Pulse sent me a new unit with a pre-pay to send the defective one back. The second from the top green only failed. I installed the replacement panel and it was fine, though I still could not get it to calibrate right.

.
I guess I can live without the top green LED to work. I was hoping that it was a simple replacement (much like replacing a burnt out bulb). I assume that if you end up replacing the entire panel, the entire thing would have to be recalibrated. Not something that I really want to do since measurement really hasn't been a problem. I have warranty left until November so I can get the dealer to fix it.

How do you get to the LED? I was feeling around and it looks like there may be screws below the decal on the unit? I don't see anything much to grab onto if it pops off the wall.

BTW, according to the manual for the device, it has a 5 year manufacturer's warranty so I guess if you DIY, you could still get a replacement even though the Safari would be out of Airstream's warranty.

Jack
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