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Old 05-06-2014, 09:55 PM   #29
RAH
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My Progressive Dynamics Converter installation

I replaced my Parallax 7355 converter with a Progressive Dynamics 4655 in my 2013 FC30. I have factory solar/inverter/Lifeline AGM batteries. I bought the new PD 4655 from Best Converter website. Here is what I encountered in the converter install:

Problem #1. How to get the converter cover off? What is a T10 Torx screw? Thanks to someone with the big motorhome in the B storage building for helping me with that.

Problem #2. One of the 4 cover Torx screws was stripped (I am blaming the factory on this one although I may have tried my Swiss Army knife on this one). Thanks to the same guy with the big motorhome and bigger tool box for help with that. (Luckily PD 4655 comes with 4 new screws for the cover – and they are Phillips. The Torx screws are in the garbage now)

(at this point, I was an hour into a process that others have said took them 30 minutes. Good thing I like spending time in my Airstream, even at the storage location)

Problem #3. Step 10 of the instructions “In the AC power section, connect new converter neutral (white) wire to neutral distribution block and converter ground (green) wire to ground bar.”
The old converter only had 2 wires – a white and a black. The PD 4655 has 3 wires that go to the AC section. So what to do with the green wire? Where is the ground bar? Thanks to posts by Rrroberts40 and Luckydog for their earlier posts and pics. I attached my green wire to the ground bar running along the top of the AC panel - I used the far right position because it was not unused.

Problem #4. I had just about finished wiring the AC section, and I was left with one grey wire with its end exposed. It was not a new wire, but an existing wire. For the life of me I could not remember where it was connected, and I didn’t take enough pictures to show. What to do with this wire and why can’t I remember where it came from? Based on the picture from the instructions, it looked like there were 3 wires connected with the black wire from the converter (connected with a yellow twist cap), and based on the location of this wire and its length, I decided this is where it came from, so I undid the yellow twist cap, added this wire to that and connected all 3 together, and added a little electrical tape.

Problem #5. In the original install, there were 2 wires with slot connections to the original connection – one white and one black. You can see the 2 wires in the original picture – lower right corner. Replacing the white wire was easy – the new converter had a white wire that I connected to the neutral bar on the left side of the AC panel. But the original black wire, with the slot disconnected from the original converter, had the other end going into circuit breaker #3. There was no mention of this extra, unneeded wire in the instructions. So what to do with it? I figured it was not needed, but I didn’t want to remove it from the circuit breaker in case for some reason I had to reverse this whole process and put the old converter back in, so I put some electrical tape around the slot connection, coiled up the wire, and tucked it back into the AC section where it would (hopefully) do nothing.

On the DC side, I installed the new DC panel that is provided with the PD 4655 unit. I don’t know why the old panel wouldn’t have worked – they look very similar. But they gave it to me for some reason so I put it in. You need an allen wrench for these connections (the old panel just used regular screws), and it is a tedious job to transfer all 12 of the wire connections in the right order. My main battery cables had enough slack so didn’t have to add any wiring – I had to give the battery cables a good pull to get 5 inches or so more, which is about what I needed since the connections are in different locations. If I had to do it over again, I would have pulled the battery cables out when I had the converter location empty – I think I could have reached down and helped the cables through the hole if I had thought of that earlier. With the 8 colored wires along the bottom of the DC panel, I skipped positions 1 and 2 on the new panel since they were labeled “low voltage”, so the positions 1-8 in the original install were shifted to 3-10 in the new one. Position 6 (original, or now Position 8) was interesting – the original install had 2 wires (red, and black with grey stripe) here whereas all of the others had one. I had difficulty getting the 2 to fit, so I was going to separate them and put the second wire into its own slot (that should work, right?) but as I kept working at it I got better at it, and then I went back to slot #6 and put the same 2 wires there that had been in the original install. I had extra slots in the DC panel – in addition to 1 and 2 being unused, 11 and 12 were also unused. Once nice feature of the new DC panel is there are red lights to tell you which fuse is blown.

(all told, I spent 4 hours doing this. I took the tortoise approach on this one. Even though this project was more difficult than I thought it would be, I would do it again.)

So for the moment of truth once I re-installed the AGM batteries that have spent the winter charging in my garage (I took better pictures and notes from that, no guesswork there!) and everything seems to work. It has been 3 days now. Time will tell and hopefully I have accomplished what I wanted – a better converter that will extend battery life, hopefully quieter with the fan activity - that Parallax was very noisy when the fan went on, usually in the middle of the night (although the Parallax manual says it is whisper quiet!). And when I’m connected to shore power I don’t have to remember the battery disconnect button or worry about frying the batteries.

If anyone is going to be at Alumapalooza in JC in late May, I will be there and I can give you and update on how the PD 4655 is working.

Rich
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:00 PM   #30
RAH
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pictures now

Original converter (if I can figure out how to post a picture)
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:04 PM   #31
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rest of install pictures

original converter no fuses
new converter before wiring
the wire - what to do with it
what I did with the wire
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:06 PM   #32
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final 2 pics of my PD 4655 install

new converter no fuses
new converter, final
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:02 PM   #33
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I have a brand new A/S, if I upgrade the converter to a 4655 55 amp will this effect my two year warranty?
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:18 PM   #34
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Well, I am no lawyer but if the new converter causes a problem due to a defect or bad install, I wouldn't expect Airstream to cover it. Why would they? The Parallax will work fine if you don't plug in for very long and don't cook your batteries, and in any event that will likely take longer than 2 years and the warranty period will be over. I am no electrician, and I changed out the converter (in a 1 year old unit) based on what others have said at last year's Alumapalooza and what I've read on the forums. I wanted to do this last summer, but I didn't have the confidence to do it. But since then I have replaced the tires (had to get rid of the Marathons), the jack switch (broke-jack would only go down!), the water pump (leak), and now the new PD 4655 converter. They are all "little" projects that aren't worth a trip to a dealer, or are repairs I would rather do myself.

You'll have to make a decision of what you're comfortable with. No reason to jump into this as your first repair -- especially if nothing is broken at the moment.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:20 PM   #35
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What if I had my dealer install it? That should maintain the warranty. It would cost a lot more, but using an authorized service technician ought to cover it.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:11 AM   #36
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Ah, interesting. Switz makes a good point here in a very similar parallel thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/1452453-post.html
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:26 AM   #37
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Thanks to everyone who posted their experiences and pictures for this conversion. I could not have done it without your help and support. Here's a post of my experience doing the upgrade today: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...ml#post1478980
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:43 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvery Moon View Post
Thanks to everyone who posted their experiences and pictures for this conversion. I could not have done it without your help and support. Here's a post of my experience doing the upgrade today: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...ml#post1478980
And a big thanks to you. I received the converter in the mail yesterday, and because I had read your account numerous times, I got it installed on the same day and everything works!
Airstream sure saves money on the amount of wire they use,don't they.
Thanks for the hint about the wire for the "charge wizard ". It was much easier to put through the hole before sliding in. Other than having a bit of trouble lining up the 2 holes on the DC circuit board ( short pos. battery wire.) and one bad screw for the cover it was a very straightforward install. Now I can relax a bit when on shore power.


George
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:22 AM   #39
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Thanks, I'm really pleased that the advice was helpful. Welcome to the upgraded converter club!
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:54 PM   #40
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My next project ... thanks for taking the time to post experiences and photos.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:36 PM   #41
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Does anybody know if the PD 4655 has any sort of surge/ or electric management system included to protect the electronics of the Airstream? Is it recommended to get a separate surge protector like the Progressive Industries: Progressive Industries 30 Amp Portable Electrical Management System - Surge Guards - Power Protection - Electrical
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:55 PM   #42
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Does anybody know if the PD 4655 has any sort of surge/ or electric management system included to protect the electronics of the Airstream? Is it recommended to get a separate surge protector like the Progressive Industries: Progressive Industries 30 Amp Portable Electrical Management System - Surge Guards - Power Protection - Electrical
I bought the Surge Guard # 34730.


George
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