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Old 11-02-2006, 02:04 PM   #1
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almost....almost....

Ok. I just bought a fuse panel from BestConverter. Here is the link to it.
http://www.bestconverter.com/12-Posi...k_p_57-62.html
I also have a PD 60 amp converter now.
I am trying to figure out how to wire it all up. My Manual shows the wiring on the original fuse panel and it's very different so I'm totaly confused. The manual shows an ammeter? I'm not sure what that is exactly and the new fuse panel doesn't seem to have one. The fuse panel says that it 20 amp fuses are as high as you can go, but the original shows a 40 amp fuse where the car battery positive goes as well as circuit #5. It also shows a 50 amp fuse going to the trailer battery positive and also for the negative but since my converter is 60 amp now I'm guessing I need a 60 amp fuse. So the fuse panel I have now has 12 positions to run through the trailer and 4 grounding spots as well as 3 spots for positive input. So where does the negative come in from the converter and how does it go out to the battery? So I don't know what's going on here obviously and could really use some help. Thanks everybody!
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Old 11-02-2006, 02:20 PM   #2
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I'm surprised there's not a pair of 'negative' terminals on the fuse box. Negative is grounded, so perhaps they are relying on the ground path. It's OK to do so, just not what I'd recommend. You can take a negative line directly from the battery to the converter, except see below.

However (isn't there always one of these?), if you have monitor connected to the battery or converter, I think you'll find that you want to 'isolate' the negative battery line from ground with the sensing resistor. It will look like a 3/8" wide strip of copper, about 0.1 ohms. The other side of this resistor is connected to ground. It looks like a dead short to you, but there is enough voltage generated across it to measure current. The will be two wires from it to the monitor. There will also be another wire from the positive battery terminal to the monitor, for direct monitoring of the battery voltage.

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Old 11-02-2006, 02:36 PM   #3
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Thanks Zep. Any ideas on the ammeter situation and what kind of fuses I need and where? I know it's alot of questions but I'm dead in the water without some help. Thanks again.
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:54 PM   #4
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Ok. I'm getting more confident. Whew. I am plugged into shore power so I won't be using a battery just yet. I don't have one right now anyways. So my only questions are, what guage wires do I need running out of my 60 amp converter, can I run the positive and negative wires straight into the fuse panel or should there be some fuses inbetween, and what guage wires should I use to ground my converter and fuse panel? I assume that I need to ground both, right? Also, there are no spots on the fuse panel for fuses for the positive and negative, so if I need fuses on those wires somewhere I will have to cut the wire and put them on the cables themselves. Thanks for all the help!
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Old 11-02-2006, 04:42 PM   #5
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If the precautions mandate 20 amp maximum please return that fuse panel since you have bigger fuses to fry.
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:12 PM   #6
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That's as good as the fuse panels get at bestconverter.com. Kind of surprising. Oh well. I'll return it. So any ideas on what fuses I need for my converter cables and what guage? Thanks.
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:18 PM   #7
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http://www.bestconverter.com/7300-Re..._p_57-108.html
What about this panel. It's a replacement for a paralax converter but it looks like it might be better suited. Plus it's cheaper!
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:24 PM   #8
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Nevermind on that paralax fuse panel. Doesn't look like there is a ground lug or a place for a positive and negative in. Does anyone know where to get a decent fuse panel if besconverter doesn't have one?
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:39 PM   #9
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First, let's talk about wire. We are not cranking an engine with this battery, so it should never be tasked for currents higher than your converter rating. (OK, maybe for a second or so to start a pump, but any wire in the guages we're talking about, 8-14, can handle a zillion amps for a second). You can get away with #10, or if you want to be extra careful, #8.

You need a fuze in one of the battery lines, not at the fuze box. Usually these are isolated fuze holders that mount to the structure--wire comes from battery to holder, then another wire from the other side of the fuze goes to the main fuze panel. Why? Well, if there is a place for a big fuze on the panel, like 50 amps, that's fine if you never see a time when you'd remove the wire from the panel before you removed it from the battery. You never want to have a live end of a wire that's connected to a battery waving around--batteries have lots of energy and it will come screaming out the end of a wire that accidentally gets shorted to the chasis. You can even blow up the battery if the short lasts long enough. Anyway, the battery line fuze needn't be any bigger than your converter rating.

Don't forget that you have a charging line from the tow vehicle, so just because you've disconnected the battery and you're not on line power (the converter is not powered), you can still have a hot wire when you disconnect the battery, ergo, fuze in battery line. It can be in either the negative or positive.

Ammeter: NO! Unless the ammeter is in the battery line and doesn't add any wire length, you want a resistor in the negative lead of the battery. Then you measure the voltage across that resistor. One end of the resistor is grounded, which makes the lead from that end to the voltmeter totally safe. The wire from the other end (these can be #20 guage, really small, or even smaller--there's essentially no current in them) of the resistor sees only the voltage across the resistor, which is

remember E=IR where E=volts, I=amps and R=Ohms

so if you think you might pull 50 amps and R=0.01 Ohms, you get 1/2 volt

so you install a 1 volt meter and it reads 0-100 amps full scale. Now, if either of these monitor wires gets shorted to the chasis, you never see much current, so they are very safe. On the other hand, if you put the resistor in the positive battery lead and then got a short, the wires would melt (12 volts across them) pretty quick.

However, I recommend you skip the ammeter for the time being. It's really easy to add in later.

I'm not sure you need to send the fuze block back. If you fuze the battery lead using a separate fuze block with an individual fuze (probably easy to find one for the round glass type fuze), then surely this little fuze panel is able to carry your full 60 amps on its input side. I doubt you have any 12 Volt circuit that needs more than 20 amps. I'm also a little puzzled by the limit because you can buy automotive fuzes in the new (not the round tube, but the plastic rectangles) to pretty high ratings. There's only two sizes of these things (as far as I know) and if the standard socket for the appropriate fuze fits, then it's got to be able to carry the current (notwithstanding the comments that will come flooding in about fuze blocks "we have seen" with #24 wires in the back). I've got two 40 amps in my panel for the battery input lines, and then 6 each 20 amp fuzes for the 12 volt distribution circuits. The thing I like about the automotive fuzes is, they are easy to pull, so I can isolate a battery very easily. There is a main fuze for the converter, but since I'm running a 30-amp converter (the Caravel is small and all the Sovereign has is lights and the water pump, despite its size) that's no problem, either.

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Old 11-02-2006, 05:48 PM   #10
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Thanks zep. Your a godsend. I will skip the ammeter for now. I wasn't really sure what it was at first. Now when I have a battery I'll know how to wire it up. So, for my "last" question. Since I don't have a battery right now, just shore power. I will be wiring the converter dirctly to the fuse panel. Do I still need isolated 60 amp fuses on the positive and negative cables, or is that just for battery wiring? In other words, can I wire the converter dirctly to the fuse panel without fuses. Thanks again so so much. I'm dying to have some power. I NEED LIGHT!
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:57 PM   #11
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check and see if your converter has a fuze on its 12 V output. Don't be misled by the 110 V power fuze. If you do have an output 12 V fuze, yes, wire directly. This is the best arrangement.

For just a quick fix, like a day or two until you can get a individual fuze block, I also think you can take the risk and wire directly from the converter to the fuze panel. This is a judgment call on your part. Remember, the fuzes don't perform any function unless something goes wrong. If you hook it up directly and everything seems OK, it probably is. Modern converters have an automatic current limiting feature that shuts them down if the output is shorted.

Just don't forget that you've got a temporary lash up. And don't go moving around (towing) with the tow vehicle charging line hot and vibrate some pot down on an unfuzed high current wire, either.

Also, if the fuze panel has an input main fuze, like 50-60 amps, you're all set. Go ahead and wire to the panel directly. Just think about how the battery and the tow vehicle charging line will be protected when you get around to connecting them.

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Old 11-02-2006, 06:19 PM   #12
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I won't be towing for awhile. No, there is no input main fuse on the panel. There are 3 25 amp fuses on the converter (PD 9260) but I don't know if it is for the 12 volt or AC. Anyways, thanks again.
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:22 PM   #13
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So I'll just give it a shot, but I still need to know if I need to later purchase a 60 amp fuse for the positive line only, or do I need one on the negative cable as well. Hopefuly this will be my last post for awhile. Thanks Zep.
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:28 PM   #14
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I think you should use the 12V panel for wiring to devices like the lights, pump, furnace, and use circuit breakers for the "distribution" side.

You should have a 30a circuit breaker in the charge line from the tow vehicle. You need another 50a circuit breaker on the positive line from the battery. There should be a 20a circuit breaker going to the powerjack/breakaway switch, and a 50a circuit breaker and kill switch feeding your new fuse panel. Make sure the wire sizes match the circuit breaker sizes.

Buy a separate ground bar with about 12 taps. You can get them at Home Depot or Lowes. Mount that securely on the shell somewhere, and run all your grounds to that location, the four taps on the 12V panel won't be enough.

You can buy 12V circuit breakers at most automotive supply stores.
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