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Old 08-28-2009, 10:03 AM   #1
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Need help with electrical problem (Outing a PM)

I got a private message this morning & consider the communicated problems a " clear and present danger" to health and safety so I am publicizing the message and contents - and forward this posts link onto the private messages author sender to see if they will appear...

No names mentioned but it involves a small human-powered boat typically with a covered deck and a cockpit covered by a spraydeck...

Quote:
I'm a new member and have read some of your posts; you sound like a good problem solver, so here's my question:

The electrical system in our 72 Ambassador International (not road worthy and used only for guests in summer in Maine) stopped working normally this summer. When we plug into the external electrical socket to get power, there are no overhead lights, some outlets work, and the airconditioner compressor or fan or both come on even though the thermostat is set to "off." How do I shut off the AC? Where is the electrical panel that controls all this stuff located?

Someone suggested that maybe a critter chewed through wires. We need to get the lights working asap, and don't care about using the AC.

Thanks for your help!
My only suggestion is remove and clean all the fuse points - and loosen/retighten the wire terminations, especially the battery primaries and grounds at the junction box area and the AC circuit breakers.

As to 'where' to find these items I have no clue offhand... busy day here, having 110-feet of concrete retaining wall pulled and landscaping done so I am back out the door NOW..

Good luck small human-powered-boat-410...
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:14 AM   #2
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The A/C doesn't have a control panel. There's only two places to look--the thermostat (which can be locked on by bug trash in the contacts) and its associated wires (4-wires) or the relay box in the A/C. I think you can get at the relay box by removing the interior shroud. Make sure you unplug before you open that box--it's got lots of 110V terminals inside.

You can kill the A/C totally--it's on its own 110V breaker. You only have two breakers (I also have a 1972 Overlander).

Your overhead light problem is more difficult. If you outlets work, then you still have 110V to your converter, which is dead. All your overhead lights work on 12V. If you've got the original Univolt converter, it's probably been putting out bad juice for years and finally died. For the non-roadworthy condition you state, you can replace it with the smallest modern converter, which is way good enough to run the lights and water pump--you don't even need a battery installed to buffer the output (which you do need with the old converters).

Zep
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:47 AM   #3
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Wall is out - and so is my back, sitting at the desk chair almost brings tears to my eyes so the punishment for outing a PM is severe let me tell you!

Hope you have had some success small-human-powered-boat!
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:51 PM   #4
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electrical problem update

Am waiting for electrician to help with problem. Have not been able to turn off air conditioner fan - still trying to locate breaker. Overhead lights don't work either, and message from Zep suggested the Univolt converter might be bad. I'm in over my head on this, and hoping electrician will show up soon. thanks for your help.
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:26 PM   #5
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Best to not touch the trailer while it is plugged into the power.
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:55 PM   #6
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The breaker box in a '72 Sovereign is located in the bathroom, inside the cabinet directly forward of the toilet (assuming a rear bathroom and not a Canada trailer). It's on the wall, above the water heater. You'll need to get on your hands and knees to see it. There were two breakers on mine. One for the A/C and one for everything else.

Chris
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:06 PM   #7
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thank you

Really appreciate the help from those of you who responded to my questions about the electrical problem in our 72 International. With your assistance I did find the breakers and the electrician shut down the AC; at least now we can keep the power on and use the wall outlets for lamps while we try to figure out a fix for the overhead lights.
We were not able to locate the inverter, however; can anyone tell me where it is located?
Thx again - this forum is so helpful.
Linda
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:34 PM   #8
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Do you have a rear bath? Assuming that, and assuming that everything is original, it's located behind the bathtub and over the battery compartment. I think access to it is through the closet directly in front of the bathtub. Can't really verify that as I gutted Little Girl already. According to my service manual, there are 4 12 volt fuses for 4 circuits. Unfortunately, none of the circuits are labeled, so I can’t tell you which fuse to focus on for the overhead lights.

Chris
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:42 PM   #9
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12V Fuses

On mine (it is a '74) the farthest of the 4 fuses (closest to the curb) is the front lights and the rear lights (bathroom) but not the middle. It also controlled the "over the sink light". Just happen to know because it blew last week camping (don't run both reading lights, upper lights, bathroom lights and kitchen at the same time).

Hope this helps.

Alex
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:57 AM   #10
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update: 72 International electrical problem

Followed the advice from this forum and with the help of our electrician determined the converter needs to be replaced, as expected.
Has anyone had experience doing this? Specifically, where do I find the right replacement unit? It's Model #TU345A Airstream Univolt automatic battery charger and power supply.
thx
Linda
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:14 AM   #11
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a member of this forum can help you.
BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics

tell randy airforums sent you :-)
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:26 PM   #12
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Specifically - the old Univolts are stone-age technology. They die an extremely fast death if they are left on without a battery in place, and always Univolt chargers hammer batteries too - boil them dry, etc. Very inefficient, make a lot of waste heat - but will work a long time if you keep feeding them new batteries...

There are a couple of different flavors of new technology converters - make a list of the differences, it's a pain when once bought there was something needed that was overlooked (been there done that) ...

I've seen the fuse box half of the Univolts cut away and recycled since it is all-in-one, keeps things simple. If the Univolt is discarded some functions are lost, the battery meter on the control center is one of them, there is a shunt built in on the Univolt. Here's a shot of my Univolt so sectioned.. I used a high-speed cutting disc and it went easy.

So - will you go with plain-jane Walmart - Sam's club battery or you want something more exotic, less maintenance and low/no self discharge, blah blah...
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