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Old 03-27-2003, 11:39 AM   #15
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Battery switch

Great switch to allow use of converter without charging the battery.
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Old 03-27-2003, 11:48 AM   #16
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my Airstream has the simple blade disconnect switches on the batteries to prevent charging when you want to. Unfortunately I didn't understand some of this when I bought my rig, and left it plugged in too often, overcharging the batteries. One works ok now, the other is a goner.
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Old 03-27-2003, 11:49 AM   #17
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My electrical changes

I'm old and like things to be easy. So I made a few changes. The fuses and those problems are gone, replaced with aircraft circuit breakers. Converter located into floor for cooling and more useable floor space. Battery switch for opportunity charging selected battery or batteries, or no charge with use of converter. New 120 vac recepticle and switch for control of converter. Next will be a couple digital dc and ac voltage meters....... Ya know the easy kind..........
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Old 03-27-2003, 11:58 AM   #18
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Battery cut-off switches

Frank you are multi talented.
I think I saw that red switch in the control room of the command center in the movie China Syndrome.

BTW when installing a cutoff on the battery, do you need to break both negative and positive cables or just one of them?
I would guess the negative??? Please advise.

Also if I wanted a remotely located battery cutoff switch, say 6-8 feet away from battery, how big a cable and where to get such a switch?

I would use a blade at the battery but would prefer some sort of toggle at a remote location.

Whach ya think?

Oh and one more dumb question;
If a converter is a step-down transformer, is an inverter a step-up transformer?? Which generates the most heat?
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Old 03-27-2003, 12:28 PM   #19
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Electric stuff or how to...

Hey Pap, ya found me out. I did work for the film industry for 11 years in special effects. Very interesting world. My film work ended in 1973.
Back to twisting wires. Most wiring requires only disconnecting the positive lead using dc current.
Remotely controlling a switch can have many choises. The choises are, to relocate a heavy duty switch and some large conductors ro use a heavy duty constant relay or a latching relay. The costs are all about the same. There are some really good aircraft breakers and relays or Ebay. To locate a battery switch as shown, would require some number 6 MTW [machine tool wire], red is a nice color for a positive cable, and some terminal ends of the correct size. The number 6 awg will handle up to 80 amps easily to and from switch. Wire is available from many sources as Home Depot, electrical supply stores, big rig truck shops, and any good electrician. This wire is very common. Battery switches are procured from any RV or boat supply or Ebay. I chose to locate switch close to batterys to avoid long wire runs. I am NOT a big fan of open blade switches. They can make a great spark and fire show.
Both the convertersand inverters use big transformers. The converter is a step down transformer and the inverter is a step up transformer.
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Old 03-27-2003, 03:02 PM   #20
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Hey Frank:
You must have missed my earlier question post on the Univolt repair.
My research has lead me to believe it's a silicone coated rectifier I need.
Comments please!
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Old 03-27-2003, 03:44 PM   #21
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Univolt....repair.

The univolt is a very basic device. Most electronic/electric repair shops can easily repair and find any necessary parts. I am not trained as a bench repairman. I do not have any schematics or parts lists. I think Univolt went out of business because they were rarely replaced. Univolts are very tough and require some poor choises to destroy same. It is very difficult to diagnose parts and problems long distant via the net and a few words.
I buy about any converter I can. Most prices are about $35-50 for a 75-90 amp model. Transformers just cannot wear out. They can be overheated and the insulation fail or they maybe mechanically deformed, ie crushed. Some other RV guys have attached small fans to cool the unit. New converters can cost as much as $425 depending the electronics package. The new inverters are a terrific device that will do many battery tasks. I like the pure sine wave type inverters. The big name hi dollar units are the best. Good old Ebay is a great source for these units. I have an inverter in each RV and my puller Ford truck
Hey Creampuff, I have never heard of a silicone coated rectifier. Is this like a louvered gas tank? Some converters use a couple diodes to make the low voltage into pulsed ac and the battery "sees" this voltage as dc.
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Old 03-27-2003, 08:50 PM   #22
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Frank :
The SCR is the component that screws into the hole in the center of the aluminum baffle(?).It is fed by a wire from the circuit board.It is the same as 2 on the other side (fed by wires from the transformer)but about twice the size.I tried to post a picture but can't get it to upload.I'm new at the attachment thing.
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Old 03-27-2003, 11:53 PM   #23
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Univolt Configuration

The things you learn late at night. Interesting discussion regarding Converters,Univolts & batteries. I'll admit to my lack of knowledge on this subject, so I'll ask some stupid questions. What's the differance between a converter & Univolt ? I think I may know, but increase my knowledge. When we purchased our 02 Bambi I never gave it a thought ( & of course no one told me ) that it was possible to over charge the battery. The discussion around a battery disconnect switch led me straight to the owners manual where it says " The Bambi has a master kill switch between the battery & the 12 volt distribution panel. The appliances & 12 volt acc. are designed to operate with the batteries in the system & the switch should always be in the on position". Am I right in thinking I should install a switch between the battery & the converter to avoid over charging my battery?
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Old 03-28-2003, 12:14 AM   #24
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We got answers

There is no difference between a converter and a univolt.
I am not sure of what you wrote about the master switch. My idea of a master switch is one that controls everything. With the switch "off" nothing will operate. A battery switch is a switch that "opens" the power from battery to the system. I think also that a master switch in a Airstream is to prevent battery discharge while trailer is not being used. The reason for any switch is for better control of any system. Please ask lots of questions. I have some answers I have not yet used. Most discussions areabout getting the most fun and enjoyment from a great adventure.....
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Old 03-29-2003, 07:22 AM   #25
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Post SCR and Inverter Explanation

For your information, an SCR is a silicon controller rectifier, and and inverter traditionally refers to a device that "creates" alternating current (usually 120 volts) from a DC source (in tis case 12 volts).

A converter usually converts alternating current (120 volts usually) to direct current (12 volts in this case).
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Old 03-29-2003, 11:41 AM   #26
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Thumbs up

Thanks Phil:
Now that I have the correct terminology I can hopefully track down the device.Being electronically inept is hard at times.Give me mechanical things and I'm in my element!
I also understand that another term for SCR is 'thyristor".Would that be true,and since not all the numbers are on this part,does it matter significantly that I get an exact match?
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Old 03-29-2003, 01:20 PM   #27
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I think you may be in over your head and could get hurt and or cause damage to other things.
There are two families of thyristors,SCR's and Triacs.

Thyristors are semiconductor devices with three leads small current at one lead will allow a much larger current to flow through the other two leads the controlled current is either on or off.
SCR's is more of a switch that once on stays on until power is removed they also have three wires going to them.
I suspect you are talking about an SCR and you can swap out a larger one for a smaller one but never the other way and it is best to only go a slightly larger if you can find an exact replacment. BUT I still advise you to find a qualidied tech to help you out on this one.

Garry:
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Old 03-29-2003, 06:41 PM   #28
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Roger that one Gary!
As soon as I can figure out why I can't post a picture,I'll get one up of the part.
Meantime,if I can find a parts counter-I'll just ask them to match my "whatchamacallit"!!
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