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Old 04-09-2003, 10:21 PM   #1
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'92 Excella Converter

I have replaced the ancient Univolt in my '72 International with an Intellipower converter and charge wizard. I'm positive this is a major upgrade.
I have a '92 Excella with unknown original converter: is it excellent, ok, or perhaps just a Univolt updated?? Should I leave it alone, or think about replacing it with an Intellipower unit? Does it do 3-stage battery charging as does the Intellipower?
I welcome your comments.
Mark
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Old 04-10-2003, 07:07 PM   #2
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mark

your '92 should have a magnatek in it.

mine is ok, just have to check the water level in the batteries monthly.

john
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Old 04-15-2003, 12:09 PM   #3
 
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Talking about Univolt vs Magnetek

we are trying to figure out if the converter in our 32' 1990 Excella is original or was replaced at some point.
It is a Magnetek, but the book talks about Univolt.

Anybody knows when AS went from Univolt to Magnetek?

Is it "Magna" or "Magne" ??? I have seen about 50% of each?
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Old 04-15-2003, 05:33 PM   #4
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Magnatek manufactures several types of battery charging systems, and that is their brand name.

A "univolt," is the name that Airstream uses when referring to the charging system, not the brand.

Over the years Airstream has used 4 different "univolt" manufacturers.


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Old 04-15-2003, 05:40 PM   #5
 
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Thanks for the clarification.

One thing looks clear, this "univolt" in the 1990 does not look like the "univolt" we replaced in the 1974. That one was noisy and boiled the batteries.
This explains why the "univolt" in our 1971 is nice and silent. Must be a different brand.
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Old 04-15-2003, 05:53 PM   #6
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i replaced the univolt in my motor home the intellipowerr 9160 with the charge wizard. havent needed to add water in about three months. some of the cells look to be getting ready for water. i burned up a pair of inter state batterys every 11 months. after four sets the folks ask if i would mind buying the next set. decided to get a different charging system. i manually force the charger into store mode when at home . other times i let the wizard do what everi wants to do. other than the fan noise it is great charger. but at night after a while it doesnt come on or i havent hears it. do your batterys a favor and get rid of the junk charger that airstream uses. lol
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Old 04-15-2003, 06:05 PM   #7
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Univolts

Technology changes with time.

So have the univolts. They have improved many times over.

Unfortunately, some prefer to compare a charging system such as the inteli-power, which is somewhat new on the market, to a univolt of yesteryear.

That's like saying my new 30 inch flat screen television set is better than your old GE that has a round metal 9" picture tube.
I think comparing apples to apples is evry fair. Comparing and apple to an avacado, isn't.

Rebuilt Magnateks are not available. Rebuilt Inteli-power chargers are.

Does someone really want a charging system that failed in warranty and then rebuilt? Most people don't.

As with most anything, you get what you pay for.


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Old 04-15-2003, 08:00 PM   #8
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war dance

andy
i thought of the old indian chief when i read your post . you did a dance around the fire and didnt get your feet burnt do you or dont you like the intelipower charging system ??? ive been led to beleive it is a good system. if not pls tell us what you see at your facility.
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Old 04-15-2003, 08:29 PM   #9
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Actually, a rebuilt "MagneTek" is available, I talked to them (Laurie) two days ago and they have about 50 of them but they don't sell them direct like Progressive Dynamics (maker of Inteli-Power).
Parallax Power Components, LLC bought MagneTek last year and the name on a new MagneTek will say Parallax unless it's old stock. You can buy rebuilds from BR wholesale, according to them. They just don't advertize them on their website like Progressive Dynamics does.
As for reliability, both companies claim their return under warranty is less then 1/2 of one percent with Progressive Dynamics advertizing "The most reliable in the industry" on their literature. I would think that would be challenged if far from the truth.
The choice comes down to comparing price and features. Parallax uses 13.8 volts nominal no load output to the battery, with an optional T1 timer that reduces the output after 13 hours of shore power, only to be boosted back to 13.8 with any interruption of AC input.
PD has chosen 13.6 because of the Charge Wizard, assuming users want to have more control over the charging of the battery. Normal mode is 13.6 and will go into the 13.2 storage mode automatically with a deslufation quick boost cycle of 14.4 volts for 15 minutes every 21 hours. Manual boost mode is 14.4 for four hours and then it goes back to normal 13.6. All outputs are based on no load on the converter.
When I spoke to the Parallax lab several months ago, they claimed that PD's Charge Wizard is not as smart as they (PD) say because it treats any drop in voltage as an excuse to go into the boost mode of 14.4 volts, leading to overcharging. I asked PD about it and they denied it, saying in part, that it senses the battery state just like all of the others do and reduces the output accordingly.
They both do the same thing BUT, neither has the ability to remind you to check the water in the battery. They all agree on that!
Randy
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Old 04-15-2003, 09:44 PM   #10
 
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Looking on the internet for info on Magnetek, I stumble unto a recall. It is from 1998, so we are safe with our 1990 AS, and luckily we have a rebuilt Inteli-power on our 1974, but I pass it along in case some of you are affected:

"Year of Recall: 1998

Component: Electrical System: Wiring: Other Part

Summary: Recreational vehicles equipped with 45 amp Magnetek power converters. A weakened bypass capacitor on the converter's printed circuit board can cause a breakdown of the capacitor allowing electrical current leakage.
Electrical current leakage could result in a fire.

Magnetek is replacing these power converters. Magnetek is conducting the owner notification for this recall. Owners who take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Magnetek at 1-219-356-7100, ext. 469"
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Old 04-16-2003, 10:19 AM   #11
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We have replaced a number of Inteli-power systems due to failures, including overcharging.
The magnatek univolts average replacement at our facility is about one per year.
By those numbers, the Magnatek has proven much more reliable, over the long haul, and with far less failures.
Progressive Dynamics has always made a good product. But others have made better one's. More expensive, yes, but also more reliable.

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Old 04-16-2003, 07:39 PM   #12
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thnx andy
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