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Old 02-12-2015, 08:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Good detective work Sal, but almost every solar installation that I do includes a Magnum inverter/charger in some form. Many folks only want minimal 120VAC available when off-grid, but they DO want the excellent charging capabilities of the Magnum, and they consider the $1000 or so that they have to spend for the MMS-1012 (1000 watt pure sine wave inverter/50 amp charger) very well spent.

They feel this way not because they think they need the inverter (8 amps is minimal at best), but they are investing in a fully capable charging system that will prolong the life of their expensive new (generally Lifeline) battery bank well out past 5 years.

It's a simple, proven and tested solution that many feel is definitely worth the additional expense.

Will a marine charger work? Sure! Is it the optimal solution that you seek......perhaps.

Just remember that Magnums are made in the USA, are fully field repairable in the unlikely event that something goes wrong, and parts are also easily found from factory authorized service centers (like ME).

Seems to me that the solution is readily available.....but perhaps not within your budget. Nothing of quality comes cheap!

As the old saying goes "ya pays yer money and ya makes yer choice". Hope you make a good one.
Hey Lew,
Just wondering how you utilize the Inverter in a trailer? Not sure how it would tie in......or if you would want to tie it in. I have heard that inverter efficiency is below 65%? If so, is it better to directly utilize DC where possible. If this is the case, the only remaining AC items are the microwave? Hairdryer?

Anyway, if the choice of a Magnum Inverter is a by-product of the Converter/Charger choice, I was wondering if you would consider taking a look at the Sterling Pro Ultra and give me your critical analysis of the product. Your input is very appreciated.

Thanks,
Sal
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Old 02-12-2015, 04:32 PM   #16
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I = E/R. Awesome discussion.
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:19 PM   #17
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I agree, very good discussion. But what other issues might occur in the switch with the intent of changing as little to the AS as possible to make it work.

I thought that I had the wiring diagram for my 2013 International but must not. Would like to see where the Micropulse monitor is tied into battery and would it be sufficient or do I also need to add a MAGNUM ME-RC50 REMOTE PANEL (perhaps in addition to micropulse)? Is it a simple swapping inverters plus add a feed to batteries for charger (removing existing from converter/charger of course). There should be room in conduit to run temperature sensor for a MM inverter.

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Old 02-12-2015, 05:45 PM   #18
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Sal-
We use our 1000w inverter all the time! The primary use is to keep our laptops plugged in while we work---microwave and AC loads are extremely high to run off a battery bank unless you go big, which doesn't sound like it fits your budget. It's also really nice to be able to recharge a power drill's batteries, or recharge batteries for flashlights and other small appliances. As long as the sun's gonna shine, we're golden with these light inverter/battery usages.

Strong suggestion? Listen to Lew! Hard to go wrong....
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:10 PM   #19
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My batteries always last a good 6 years, I do check their water level every couple of months,in the winter months I hook a 1 amp battery tender to them every other week.......
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:05 PM   #20
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Sal-
We use our 1000w inverter all the time! The primary use is to keep our laptops plugged in while we work---microwave and AC loads are extremely high to run off a battery bank unless you go big, which doesn't sound like it fits your budget. It's also really nice to be able to recharge a power drill's batteries, or recharge batteries for flashlights and other small appliances. As long as the sun's gonna shine, we're golden with these light inverter/battery usages.

Strong suggestion? Listen to Lew! Hard to go wrong....
===============
Hi gecko,
Makes a lot more sense to use an inverter for powering computers and cell phones. I use a cigarette charger for my cell phone that is always plugged into the vehicle. I have a 200watt Trip Lite inverter (for TV / Computer) that is also powered from the cigarette lighter. My Trailer has three lighter plugs, one at the front couch, one above the microwave, and one in the rear bed room. So I'm able to use a portable inverter in the trailer when required.

Question. Does the Inverter/Charger have a direct 120V outlet or do you have to wire to an outlet? Anyway the converter I bought is a direct replacement for my existing converter. Meaning, no wiring changes (I think)
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:12 PM   #21
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Hey Lew,
Just wondering how you utilize the Inverter in a trailer? Not sure how it would tie in......or if you would want to tie it in. I have heard that inverter efficiency is below 65%? If so, is it better to directly utilize DC where possible. If this is the case, the only remaining AC items are the microwave? Hairdryer?

Anyway, if the choice of a Magnum Inverter is a by-product of the Converter/Charger choice, I was wondering if you would consider taking a look at the Sterling Pro Ultra and give me your critical analysis of the product. Your input is very appreciated.

Thanks,
Sal
Sal,

First, Magnum inverters run about 85%+ in the efficiency department, with the higher voltages (24 and 48 VDC units) running in the 90% range. Don't know what inverters are in the 65% range, but they are not made by Magnum.

It's always better to utilize direct DC power as there is no conversion loss. DC powered TVs are around, but most folks I speak with prefer the 120VAC units. These need the inverter, along with the microwave and hair dryers. The larger amp draw items like the microwave and hair appliances require larger inverters, more in the 2000 watt range and a minimum of 300 amp/hour (and preferably 400+) to power that larger items for any length of time. Some folks just haul around a Honda 2000 and the required fuel and call it a day.....others want no part of a generator. As always....YMMV!

The electrical connections are not rocket science, but Do require an installer with a good working knowledge of the AC and DC systems of an RV and their interactions.

I looked at the product description on their web site. Sounds impressive until I looked further into the exact pre-programmed charging profiles...none of which work much better for Lifelines than some of the converters that you mentioned. There IS a custom program, but being unfamiliar with the unit I have no idea of how adjustable it is. I also noticed the the lithium battery profile is off from what is generally accepted.

I also researched this unit a bit on some of the marine forums. There was a significant amount of dissatisfaction with these units from some folks that have had to replace them multiple times from failures. They seem to NOT be repairable.

They are also NOT CHEAP, as pricing that I saw was in the $450-$550 range. half the price of a similarly capable Magnum (50 amp PFC charging section), and I saw no mention about temperature compensation. I also assume that charging multiple battery banks is not an option that you require.

Let us know how it works and if it keeps on working. It will be interesting for sure.
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Old 02-13-2015, 02:35 AM   #22
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I do believe I saw that temperature compensation is an option on these.
They do seem to be on the expensive side.
I have kind of a low buget, lowtech/ high tech solution that worked great for me.
I got an old battery charger that had some switchable settings and added a variable regulator
circuit cobbed into one of the switch settings that allows me to set the voltage from 13- 16 V.
JB
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:56 PM   #23
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Hi Sal-
We made the mistake of ordering the Airstream solar package from the factory, instead of adding it ourselves. It came with an inferior solar charger (one-stage), and the standard converter, which is also not optimum. They provided one outlet off the inverter--it's directly under the standard 110v outlet next to the door, which is handy because it's easily accessible from outside, too. The inverter itself is buried under the L return of the front couch along with the subwoofer, the BlueSky main unit, the grounding plate for the BlueSky, the converter, the hot water heater, and the second pair of 6volt AGM's that make up half of our battery bank. They also wired it to the bulkhead by the dinette where the TV lives, so that powers it, too. When we upgraded our solar, we changed out the solar charge to a BlueSky (great!) but stayed with the supplied inverter and converter for economic reasons. We had the guys pull a short line from the inverter supplied outlet into which the TV is plugged to a more convenient outlet under the dinette. This is where we plug our laptops in.

So we have a bit more convenient and cleaner setup, in that we have 100v where we are most likely to use it, instead of moving around your cig lighter powered inverter, which of course is not a big deal.

Now that we've worked with Lew, I would only work with him for this stuff. He's going to replace our 440 amp/hr AGM bank of four 6 volt AGM's that weigh 260lbs with a 300 amp/h lithium bank that weighs 84 lbs, plus 3.5 lbs for the required and provided BatteryManagementSystem. The lithiums can be discharged to 80% from full According to the battery manufacturer, our Airstream supplied converter and inverter will work fine with the lithiums. But we'll check with Lew as the definitive source on that.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:28 PM   #24
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Just a quick comment. Lithiums require a very specific charging regimen called CC/CV, which means constant current constant voltage. The lithiums we are using need a bulk charge of 14.3VDC and float at 13.5VDC.

The only charging equipment that can handle this very specific requirement is a high quality solar charge controller like the Blue Sky with the iPN PRO remote and a Magnum inverter/charger.

The stock Parallax, or any available converter will kill the very expensive lithiums in short order.


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Old 02-15-2015, 09:56 AM   #25
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Poor Lew, this has been an interesting topic. But I feel like Lew is having to repeat himself.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:52 AM   #26
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Poor Lew, this has been an interesting topic. But I feel like Lew is having to repeat himself.
Yes. He is very good at repeating himself, however

He's been doing it for years around here. Awesome asset to this forum.

He's a very patient man. Even when someone insists on addressing him as "Lester" That is a good thread to read.

Thanks Lew!
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:55 AM   #27
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No problem! It happens a lot as many folks never read the entire thread.


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Old 02-15-2015, 11:30 AM   #28
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No problem! It happens a lot as many folks never read the entire thread.
OMG YES! This is my biggest internet pet peeve. Inserting opinion without reading the discussion before giving said opinion to ensure it was on topic.

Is there a thread anywhere detailing the installation of the Magnum. I noticed some of the other units seem to get installed in the same place as the Parallax, where as with the Magnum units I've seen them installed elsewhere. Usually closer to the batteries.
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