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Old 11-20-2009, 08:13 AM   #1
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Inverter - On or Off?

Taking my generator and multi meter up to do some investigating today, but I'm not an electrician. My brother is and he gave me some instruction. In the meantime, I'm really not sure if my batteries are being charged. Here is a pic of the inverter on/off switch. Not real intuitive...is it ON if you can see ON, or is it ON with the rocker arm covering ON (and leaving OFF visible)?

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Old 11-20-2009, 08:17 AM   #2
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It is hard to say, it depends on how the cover was installed. This looks like something that a PO installed. Testing it with a meter would be the only way to know for sure.

BTW, I think you meant to say converter.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:36 AM   #3
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Normally those come with the switch installed so the handle points at the condition. As shown, it would be off.

You can however take the screws out and turn the cover over so that it shows the opposite. Like Richard says it's possible the PO switched the switch so it could be "on". Need to test it with a meter.

I would suggest if it is "on" with the handle as shown, that you change it back to the correct "off" condition.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:19 AM   #4
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I would suggest if it is "on" with the handle as shown, that you change it back to the correct "off" condition.

Agreed, else somebody will be in for a shock.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:50 AM   #5
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Interesting the different viewpoints! I would have said that in teh pic, it is definitely in the "Off" position!

We could take bets, and then Big_John can settle it when he gets his multimeter out!

Brian.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:03 PM   #6
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So I took my multi meter up just a while ago and lugged the generator up as well. My converter is a relatively new IntelliPower 9200 series. Here is what I determined:

1. With the switch in its current state and no AC power applied the meter read 12.5 VDC on both batteries.

2. With the trailer hooked up to the 120 VAC generator the voltage across both batteries read 0.0 VDC.

....so, I think the answer is now clear...the position shown in the picture above is OFF.

3. I flipped the switch so the rocker arm was pointing to ON and the voltage across both batteries, while plugged into 120 VAC generator, was +14.5 VDC.

My battery indicator (Poor, Fair, Good) on the info panel soon went from Poor to Good. Mystery solved
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:07 PM   #7
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2. With the trailer hooked up to the 120 VAC generator the voltage across both batteries read 0.0 VDC.
I don't understand why the batteries would ever read 0.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:16 PM   #8
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. . . We could take bets, and then Big_John can settle it when he gets his multimeter out!

Brian.
Pay up, sucka!
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:00 PM   #9
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I can only think that it would read 0 because:

a. the converter was "off" hence any potential potential (ha) was "short circuited" by the converter as it was not ON.

b. coupled with a) above, the AS is designed so that when AC power is provided, all DC power is stopped.

c. the reason there is a switch on the converter is to allow charging while connected to AC power, hence when the switch was thrown we got 14+ volts for charging.

Again, I'm not an electrician so I am merely making an educated guess (I am an engieer, but a chemical flavored one).

What do you all think?
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:07 PM   #10
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Pay up, sucka!
That's why when we go to casinos I just look over my wife's shoulder!

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Old 11-20-2009, 06:15 PM   #11
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Unless the batteries were completely dead you should always be able to read some voltage at the battery posts regardless of AC or converter state.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:39 PM   #12
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So I took my multi meter up just a while ago and lugged the generator up as well. My converter is a relatively new IntelliPower 9200 series. Here is what I determined:

1. With the switch in its current state and no AC power applied the meter read 12.5 VDC on both batteries.

2. With the trailer hooked up to the 120 VAC generator the voltage across both batteries read 0.0 VDC.

....so, I think the answer is now clear...the position shown in the picture above is OFF.

3. I flipped the switch so the rocker arm was pointing to ON and the voltage across both batteries, while plugged into 120 VAC generator, was +14.5 VDC.

My battery indicator (Poor, Fair, Good) on the info panel soon went from Poor to Good. Mystery solved
We know that the batteries have a charge from the measurement in step #1

We know that the switch is on in step #3 because of the higher voltage reading at the batteries.

In step #2 AC power is applied to the trailer, but the converter is not powered up. The readings should be the same as in step #1.

I can not think of anything that would cause the batteries to read zero volts. If something is pulling them down to nothing, it would be a dead short. You would smell something smoking at that point.

Could you verify that the voltage in step #2 again. Check each battery individually and then check them in parallel. If the line between the two batteries is some how controlled by the switch, you might read zero if you only tested the batteries in parallel. If that line is switched, it would keep the batteries from charging but would allow the converter to keep powering the 12 volt items in the trailer. This is the only solution I can think of. Since it only seems to work with power on the trailer, I would think that the switch would be controlling a relay to open and close the connection. This is a stretch, but who knows...
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:49 AM   #13
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ok. we're going back up today and I will recheck and even take some pictures because this is kinda fun.

from what I recall from yesterday I know I read BOTH batteries at 0 vdc after shore power was attached....?

I'll post some pics later this afternoon.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:14 PM   #14
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Didn't make it to the trailer today...going tomorrow after church. Stay tuned.
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