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Old 05-14-2012, 10:45 PM   #1
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'68 Tradewind 12V between converter and control panel

I am replacing my Univolt with a Progressive Dynamics 9245. I am perplexed by the fuse panel on the Univolt. Basic issue: 4 fuses are in place on the fuse panel, but they do not appear to be connected to the appliances they are protecting.

When I disconnected the Univolt, the only wires going in were those in the Romex coming from the 110v circuit breakers. The Romex wires connected to three wires emerging from the interior of the Univolt, white, black, and a thinner green (ground) wire that connected to the chassis of the Univolt.

The only wires connected to the + and - buses were a jumper cable connected from the 12v + and - to the battery + and - for charging the battery, and one red and one white 12v wires that led from the + and - buses to the 2 40Amp glass fuses, and those wires went on to the battery.

At the battery, two wires connect to each post, 2 red +, 2 white -. One of each, red and white, have the two 40 amp glass fuses in line. The second pair of red and white disappear behind the fiberglass end cap.

Beside the fuse panel, two wires with ring connectors emerged top left from the Univolt interior, one blue and one red. These also connected to the buses on the fuse panel, blue for + and red for -.

[I wish I had taken photos while I was dismantling the Univolt wiring. I will keep searching my backups of my web site.]

The Univolt door has a diagram explaining what's going on with the wiring. There are 4 15amp circuits, and each has a specific set of electrical duties of protection. I'll try to find a photo of this diagram and the labels.

And -- that's it. None of the four circuits on the Univolt fuse panel has an emerging wire going to the fridge, the water pump, the hood over the stove, the furnace fan, and the lights. Those circuits show up again in the box for which the control center with its gauges serves as a door.

So, why are there 4 15amp glass fuses in the Univolt fuse panel? If power gets distributed in the control panel box, what's the purpose of those 4 fuses?

I think everything behind the control center deserves another chapter with photos. Preview: the four circuits are labeled and are connected to circuit breakers. There are + and - buses in the box. Behind the box, through the interior skin, many, many wires connect to things in the box. There are also two glass fuses in line for two somethings.

So, the 12v power that comes from both the battery and the converter splits up across the buses, and the wires have protection by fuses and circuit breakers, the non-switched kind. Not all the wires have these. Little ones like the tank level sending units and other little small-amp wires are connected to ground and + bus.

I don't know what to do with this converter now. I have a Blue Sea fuse block, and nothing to connect in it. I get how the converter connects to the battery, and where the 110v goes in (a line with a 3-prong plug on it). I can put an outlet in the area for power.

The red and white wires with the 40 amp glass fuses in line: do I insert those into the + and - ports on the IntelliCharger? Is that all? I can leave everything in the control panel box how I found it? The box is getting 12v power, appliances are fused, there is even a device that would monitor the car battery, if I had that set-up.

The wires coming through the wall have very dim labels, little fabric labels with printing on them. Labels inside the box are helpful. The control panel is pretty scruffy, but I want to keep it, even if I have to add a digital battery monitor, amp meter, and 110v shore power line protection gauges somewhere else.

By the way, the Univolt went from humming to scary sounding. That's why I am replacing it.

I'm pretty sure no one will work on this in RV shops around here.

Some photos follow. I don't know how helpful they are. I'm still looking for better ones.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:49 AM   #2
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More photos for first post

If all of the positive leads for appliances, etc., are fused in the control panel box, why does the Univolt fuse panel need four fuses? Only 110v goes in, only 12v and a jumper cable for battery charging goes out. That's all.

I'm replacing with 9245 PD converter. I don't see a need for the fuse panel. The 12v wires out have in-line 40amp fuses from Univolt to battery.

At the battery, 12v splits, one set goes up behind the end cap, I suppose to feed to the buses in the control panel box.

I'm learning as I go. I spent hours searching the forums for my exact question, but did not find anything -- but I did a lot of reading of related posts and learned a lot.

Thanks,
Anne
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
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If the circuits have fuses on them, then you probably do not need the fuse panel. It sounds rather untidy and difficult to deal with, though.

However, 40 amp fuses sound high - you want a fuse that limits the current to what the wire can handle given it's entire length (this is 12 volt, remember), and no more. This is usually in the 15 or possibly 20 amp range at most for trailer wiring.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:33 PM   #4
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http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/...ilerWiring.jpg

The 40 amp fuses are for protection of the battery circuit. One in the positive side and one in the negative side.
You should also have charge line wiring to the TV.
I have attached a sketch of a typical converter wiring scheme. This particular one uses 30 amp fuses, but the principle is the same. Ignor the 20 amp fuse in the house battery circuit, it was there in this persons trailer. That is why it is on the drawing.
Does the red wire coming from the second fuse in the Univolt power the control panel by chance?
Let's start by shorting out the mess. Looks like a PO might have done some imagineering here.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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If all of the positive leads for appliances, etc., are fused in the control panel box, why does the Univolt fuse panel need four fuses? Only 110v goes in, only 12v and a jumper cable for battery charging goes out. That's all.
There should be a wire powering the control panel from the general area of the converter, this wire is probably larger than the rest. it needs to be fused at the fuse block close to the converter, otherwise there is no protection on this wire other than the converter crowbaring.
Fuses only protect what is down stream.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
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Thanks, Twinkie and Skater. Nice schematic, T. There is no wire to the Tow Vehicle found in the area of the converter and battery. I expect to find it at the bus in the low voltage panel, along with the "car low voltage cut out" device.

So, if I need a fuse block from the Univolt, or new one, would it begin with fuses near the converter (as you said), and then there are additional circuit breakers/fuses at the panel?

I should credit the person who posted these. My wiring is for the 24T.

The schematic sheet is blurry, but I'm working on matching the labels with what I find in the control panel box -- that I should be calling the "low voltage distribution center".

Yes, it's a mess. I'll be back with photos later.

Anne
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:50 PM   #7
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Anne,

Here are some pics of my install, not pretty but it works. The swap was easy, but then I left all my fuses intact. If you need any closeups let me know.

This is on my 68 tw
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:59 PM   #8
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The wires in back were just the neg. and pos. from the old univolt, the orange wire is a ground attached to the frame.

The old univolt was direct wired so I had to provide an a/c receptical for the power max.

Also make sure you are fused between the converter and the battery.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:13 PM   #9
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Kevin,

Thank you so much for your messages. You broke it down for me very clearly, and your photos were great!

So, you have the low voltage panel at the control panel, too? I am still not clear on the need for fuses at the converter. I understand the fuses between the converter and the battery. The fuses within the front compartment of the Univolt, I don't understand.

I'll post some photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinb View Post
The wires in back were just the neg. and pos. from the old univolt, the orange wire is a ground attached to the frame.

The old univolt was direct wired so I had to provide an a/c receptical for the power max.

Also make sure you are fused between the converter and the battery.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:20 PM   #10
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You need the fuse to protect the wiring from the converter to the control panel. If that wire (the positive one) comes in contact with the skin or frame due to chaffing, the fuse will blow. Perhaps preventing serious damage or even a fire.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:32 PM   #11
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Anne
Glad I could help, sometimes pictures are the best way to explain. Like Twinkie said the fuses are there just for protection.

Yes, my low voltage dist panel is up front, and the good thing about ours (if they are the same) is you dont need a darn thing out of the old univolt, just wire the new one. In my 64 not quite that easy.

So your converter should have fuses in it, (see mine in pic) and you should have a fuse block just to the rt. of the one stop access door looking from outside in. That is your protection between battery and dist panel. That is it. Just wire it and go. IF your setup is like mine.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:21 PM   #12
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KevinB -- First of all, please check out my Flickr set of photos relating to this discussion.

I hope I understand: my converter does have 2 30-amp fuses near the location of connection for the white and red wires, that then lead to the battery. Yours looks like mine. And, a ground wire goes from the converter chassis to the trailer chassis. Yes, it does look the same. Did you remove the original two 40amp glass fuses?

So, I do not need an additional fuse distribution box? I was looking at other configurations, and either the fuse panel from the Univolt or a fuse block for all the circuits is essential.

And, in addition to the converter's two blade fuses, there are two 40amp glass fuses in-line. I have a photo on Flickr showing the original location of this fuse block.

At the battery + and - posts, two red two white wires are on each post. One set of red and white wires heads off to the unexplored territory behind the fiberglass end cap but I don't know where it is going -- guess: to the low voltage distribution center.

Please help with corrections as needed.

Thanks,
Anne



Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinb View Post
Anne
Glad I could help, sometimes pictures are the best way to explain. Like Twinkie said the fuses are there just for protection.

Yes, my low voltage dist panel is up front, and the good thing about ours (if they are the same) is you dont need a darn thing out of the old univolt, just wire the new one. In my 64 not quite that easy.

So your converter should have fuses in it, (see mine in pic) and you should have a fuse block just to the rt. of the one stop access door looking from outside in. That is your protection between battery and dist panel. That is it. Just wire it and go. IF your setup is like mine.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:31 PM   #13
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TG,

I hope I'm starting to get it. I set up a Flickr set on this discussion. You might help me clear up some confusion if you don't mind taking a look at my captions.

I'm hung up on the purpose of the 4 screws on the right in the Univolt. Are those needed if the red and white wires leading out of the Univolt are fused in-line with 40amp fuses before they get to the distribution center.

Are those four glass fuses on 1-4 protecting anything? They are each 15 amps. In the distribution panel, those four circuits are on circuit breakers, right?

If nothing is attached to those screws before and after those 15 amp glass fuses, what's the purpose of that fuse block, other than to transfer the 12v power to the battery and distribution center?

Photos on Flickr might help with my muddled questions.

Thanks,
Anne

Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
You need the fuse to protect the wiring from the converter to the control panel. If that wire (the positive one) comes in contact with the skin or frame due to chaffing, the fuse will blow. Perhaps preventing serious damage or even a fire.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:34 PM   #14
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Kevin and TG:

According to Kevin's photos, I don't see a fuse block anywhere near the converter, either the Univolt fuse block, or another. Is a fuse block necessary in that location?

Anne
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