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Old 11-27-2012, 12:35 AM   #1
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Another Univolt Question

My univolt has an integrated fuse block. I want to install a new Intellipower 45 amp converter, but I would also need to install a new fuse block. My question is would I be better off to install an Intellipower PD40450 AC/DC panel (or equivalent) vs a separate converter/fuse block? These things look like they are the modern "all in one" approach that my '72 Univolt was back in the day.

Thanks as always
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:38 AM   #2
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fuse box

here is what I used, from Best Converter. It has 10 fuses in it. I am using it with a PD9260.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DryFly View Post
My univolt has an integrated fuse block. I want to install a new Intellipower 45 amp converter, but I would also need to install a new fuse block. My question is would I be better off to install an Intellipower PD40450 AC/DC panel (or equivalent) vs a separate converter/fuse block? These things look like they are the modern "all in one" approach that my '72 Univolt was back in the day.

Thanks as always
Most owners salvage the fuse panel from the original Univolt.

Andy
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:50 AM   #4
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A lot of us previously remove dthe fuse block from the old Univolt and used it. The advantages are (1) cheap, (2) retain the clips for higher amperage (>50 amps) glass fuses, and (3) you retain the original current shunt (the small copper plate used to sense battery current).

Disadvantages are (1) need for mechanical mounting and (2) continued use of the old glass fuses.

I recommend getting the Intellipower without a fuse block and buying a separate item. You can find really good DC fuse blocks for $17-$35 that use the new automotive fuses up to 40 amps. You can make your own current shunt using a 2-terminal electrical terminal strip and about 11" of #10 stranded copper wire.

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:31 AM   #5
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Thank you all. I'll take the Univolt out and check out salvaging the fuse block as noted. One good thing that should come out of this is that I get to learn what a shunt is. I'll carefully make notes of the current setup and should be able to transfer that information to successfully put together a new converter with old fuse block and shunt. I mean, what could go wrong?
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:18 AM   #6
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You can see how I used a $17, 8-position fuse block in my Overlander here.

This is a shunt. It is important that it is in the ground (-) wire from the battery(ies). You can measure total current into or out of the batteries with the wiring configuration shown in the post. At 50 amps the shunt has only 50 millivolts across it, so there's negligible loss of voltage with it in the circuit. The problem with the old Airstream control panels was that the mechanical voltmeter was calibrated to 100 amps, plus and minus, so you couldn't see much movement when you were drawing less than 5 amps. Most of the time you're boon docking you're interested in small continuous current draw, eg, the radio at 0.5 amps. You just can't read that with the old voltmeter. Use a new digital voltmeter and you can read out 0.01 amps through the shunt.

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Old 11-27-2012, 12:02 PM   #7
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Randy at Best Converters can give you advise on the best product for your trailer. He stocks anything you will need.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:46 PM   #8
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I own and work on old buildings and have learned a lot over the years about mechanical and electrical systems (and structural systems, and even more about water infiltration and all the problems that thing involves), at least when to recognize an issue and when and how to hire a good contractor to repair or replace that which is necessary. This is a new planet, and I am soooo humbled.
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