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Old 01-14-2007, 12:19 PM   #1
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Converter advice needed in freezing 29 Palms

Hello,
I am writing to you from beautiful 29 Palms where it was in the teens last night. (Not very common here in Southern California).

I need a little help with a converter problem (I think). I have an Inteli-power 9180 converter (with charge wizard) which has been installed and operating normally for one and a half to two years, until last night.

Here are the symptoms:

1. Hooked up to 120V power (measures ~ 110V). All 120V devices work fine

2. Dim lights (12V), low voltage reading at 12 volt power points in the MH (11.0-12.1V) depending on load. The smaller the load, the higher the voltage, if I shut off everything I can I get 12.9 - 13.4V.

3. Disconnect batteries (powering the MH only with the converter), with nominal load I get 14.4 V, when I turn on the lights, voltage plunges and lights barely glow.

4. Batteries read 12.1V after being disconnected from the MH.

My hypotheses is that either I have a bad connection at the inverter output OR the inverter is bad.

Any other possibilities?
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:41 PM   #2
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Did you check the fuses at the back of the converter? Ground cables attached securely?
If all the fuses and connections are ok, then one would have to assume that the converter/charger has a problem. Especially since your batteries are as good as dead at 12.1V
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
Did you check the fuses at the back of the converter? Ground cables attached securely?
If all the fuses and connections are ok, then one would have to assume that the converter/charger has a problem. Especially since your batteries are as good as dead at 12.1V
I didn't check the fuses but my assumption was that since the converter does produce voltage, the fuses are intact. I just checked the connections and everything seemed ok.
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy99
I didn't check the fuses but my assumption was that since the converter does produce voltage, the fuses are intact. I just checked the connections and everything seemed ok.
OBTW anyone know where to buy and converter in or around 29 Palms?
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Old 01-14-2007, 02:38 PM   #5
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Guy,
Check your closest neighbors and see if anyone has a regular automotive battery charger that you can borrow. Turn your fridge and hot water heater on gas, and attach the charger to your house batteries. As uwe said, check your ground cables. Don't just check where it attaches the the battery, but to the chassis as well. Take them off, and twist the ends to ensure they are still securely attache to the cables. Reattach them after cleaning everything. If the charger will charge at 10 amps or greater, the batteries should charge up by the day after tomorrow, considering you don't spend too much time in the coach. All this is predicated on your batteries being good ones. Troubleshoot the convertor when you get home, or at least after the rally. It is a shame to waste good rally time on this. Have a good time and remember it can be permantently fixed afterward.
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Old 01-14-2007, 03:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbird312
Guy,
Check your closest neighbors and see if anyone has a regular automotive battery charger that you can borrow. Turn your fridge and hot water heater on gas, and attach the charger to your house batteries. As uwe said, check your ground cables. Don't just check where it attaches the the battery, but to the chassis as well. Take them off, and twist the ends to ensure they are still securely attache to the cables. Reattach them after cleaning everything. If the charger will charge at 10 amps or greater, the batteries should charge up by the day after tomorrow, considering you don't spend too much time in the coach. All this is predicated on your batteries being good ones. Troubleshoot the convertor when you get home, or at least after the rally. It is a shame to waste good rally time on this. Have a good time and remember it can be permantently fixed afterward.
Thanks for the suggestions. Just bought myself a 20 amp charger (I now own three). We won't be home until mid-February. Fridge only runs on 120V and propane, both modes need 12V for the electronics. Need 12V to run the furnace which is needed overnight.
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Old 01-14-2007, 04:07 PM   #7
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That 20 amp charger will easily keep up with the fan needs on your furnace, all the while charging the batteries up to full speed, however, the few minutes it would take to follow UWE's thoughts on the ground straps might pay off BIG.
Maybe a ceramic heater addition would be nice? Heck, then everything would be 120!
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:32 PM   #8
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OK the rally is over and a good time was had by all.

Now I need to get this sorted out so we can head on down to Mexico. I need the converter to be working so that I can charge my batteries while boondocking on the beach.

I've called Progressive Dynamics twice about getting a replacment, left two messages, no call back so far. I was thinking I could have them send me a working unit and then send them mine. Seemed most economical and easy since I already have one installed so swaping would be easy.

OTOH, this will be the second time I have had to replace this unit, the first one I got failed after a few days. This one has been working a couple of years.

Anyone with experience/opinions about the Inteli-power 9100 series from Progressive Dynamics?
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy99
OK the rally is over and a good time was had by all.

Now I need to get this sorted out so we can head on down to Mexico. I need the converter to be working so that I can charge my batteries while boondocking on the beach.

I've called Progressive Dynamics twice about getting a replacment, left two messages, no call back so far. I was thinking I could have them send me a working unit and then send them mine. Seemed most economical and easy since I already have one installed so swaping would be easy.

OTOH, this will be the second time I have had to replace this unit, the first one I got failed after a few days. This one has been working a couple of years.

Anyone with experience/opinions about the Inteli-power 9100 series from Progressive Dynamics?
Call Randy's office at 888-828-1893. (BestConverter - Inteli-Power Converters, Inverters, Solar Chargers) He's a forum member, btw.
They carry these converters, and might be able to help you with a possible warranty. If you get them early enough, they could overnight one to you, providing things work out.
They also carry other converter/chargers.
I use a 9160, and am not sure about it. For a while it was hyped all over teh forums, but it seems that mine has a noisy fan and does boil the batteries dry over time. I also question the charge wizard circuitry for proper function. Sometimes the lights inside the trailer seem alittle dim, then I push the charge wizard button, and teh lights come on bright, and the fan of teh converter starts running shortly thereafter. This happens with teh unit plugged in for a few weeks.
Anyways, that's been my experience. Sounds like you do not have very good luck with yours, either. I'd buy a different brand, if I was you, unless they warrant it.
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:19 PM   #10
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On this inverter, I have had mine for 2 years woth zero problems. I have the 65 amp model.
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:49 PM   #11
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Guy:
It was great meeting you folks at the rally. I hope everything works out with your electrical issue. Keep us posted. Ron
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:57 PM   #12
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Day late...but if it's "in the teens" at night, take you stuff out of the fridge & just set it outside 'til you get it fixed, then you won't use/need the 12v for the fridge ~

Glad to hear you had a good time at the rally, safe travels in Mexico!

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Old 01-15-2007, 06:05 PM   #13
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If it were the charging system in a car, I would say part of the diodes were blown. This causes only limited charging, if any. If it was coild there (and we know it was), your converter may have been a victim of a power spike in the middle of the night when everybody's furnace kicked on at once.
Since you have had an issue before, maybe the next go round you could put a surge protector in the circuit before the converter.
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:23 PM   #14
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I second the suggestion about calling Randy at bestconverter. I have a WIFO unit purchased from them and have been very happy with their service and tech support.
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