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Old 11-03-2013, 08:03 PM   #1
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PLugged in AS after ride today. Click image for larger version

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Old 11-03-2013, 08:26 PM   #2
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Hope you had some marshmallows handy…...

Looks like it's a good time to upgrade!!
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Hope you had some marshmallows handy…... Looks like it's a good time to upgrade!!
Yup!
I replaced three months ago with a BOONDOCKER. It lasted a month.

I put the original back in to keep things camping.

They sent a new BOONDOCKER ... I planned to replace today. Good thing.

We had a short trip today then when I plugged in and went inside to power up, I hit the main power and immediately heard the distinct sound of ARCING electricity. I slammed power off and by time I got to front of AS, smoke was billowing from the Gaucho.

I quickly pulled out the drawer and verified there was no fire... Thankfully. There was lots of black debris which was blown out by the fan. You can see on the pics above.

I removed the Gaucho drawer to gain access. The power was off but I verified by pulling power cord and shutting off Storage switch because at this time I did not now if I only had an AC power problem.

I went out to the battery boxes and disconnected the batteries just to be sure. They looked and are fine.

Started fans to blow out the smoke.

Inside, I pulled out the old smoking converter after verifying 12volt power was out. Then took to workshop where I opened it up to find blown capacitors, completely separated from the board and now bridging the input power terminals. We definitely "let the smoke out" of this one and it is now modifying the inside smell of my trash can.

I then installed the BOONDOCKER, connected battery curbside then verified ok inside. Then connected street side and verified. All good. Battery voltage around 12.6 VDC.

Powered up all AS AC systems, verified AC power good at Converter outlet. Plugged converter in and now pushing over 14 volts.

I realized the old converter stopped working before out trip because the lights inside wee a tad low in brightness However, I should have checked systems RIGHT THEN!!! Lesson learned....again.

So now after a couple hours steady run time, the BOINDOCKER is going strong. I am running a low draw fixture with LEDs to put a minimal load on the system.

I still MUST get a voltage monitor for 12V side.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
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Per recommendation I bought some activated charcoal, the type used in aquariums. Set out 3 part platefuls. Much better today!
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:19 PM   #5
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Wow - well - glad there was no fire!!
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:22 PM   #6
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Old capacitors can be iffy especially if they have been unused for a spell. Sometimes they can be saved by ramping up the power slowly to full voltage over a few days, but that doesn't always work either. Good thing you were paying attention!
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:54 PM   #7
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When my old parallax fried, it took about a week for the stench to go away. I'm glad your '34 is ok! If you don't mind me asking, what happened to the first boondocker? Anything we should watch for?
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:12 AM   #8
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When my old parallax fried, it took about a week for the stench to go away. I'm glad your '34 is ok! If you don't mind me asking, what happened to the first boondocker? Anything we should watch for?
On the original..low power, then pretty bright lights,.....then A cracking sound... Sorta like the Frankenstein movies electric arcs. Then Smoke. Since I worked around electricity most of my life, the problem was immediately obvious and power was cut within 3 seconds. Damage done.

On the BOONDOCKER...it was in storage....
Dear Wife says.."by the way, there is no electricity in AS. I forgot to tell you two days ago." Oops. To her the Air Conditioner was not working...so no power. Simple, eh..?

There was AC power.. Hmmm...

When I checked voltage at BOONDOCKER it was >4vdc!

That meant there was no 12VDC Control power.

I caught very mild smell of electronic failure... Phenolic combustion??? yanked the converter and up close I detected the telltale odor...someone let the Genie out of the electronic bottle...and that guy needs a bath!

I was directed to return to manufacturer but never heard back. That's been over a month.

I did get a replacement which is now putting along in the AS from Sunday...I hope. It started at 14.5 and is running at 13.4 Monday and yesterday. Will check output again today.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:00 AM   #9
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That must have been scarey when you turned it on and heard it self-combust!
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:17 PM   #10
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That must have been scarey when you turned it on and heard it self-combust!
Yeah! My DW freaked... I just aggressively resolved the threat.

It is hard to find sound location when it comes from gaucho. At first you have to click off in your mind what is there... Then access.
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