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Old 12-09-2018, 08:46 AM   #1
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MaxxAir electronics keep failing due to Equalization Charging??

Hey Kids!

Problem: My two Maxx Air fans have both failed. As a result I've had to warranty the little "keyboard" that turns the unit on, adjusts fax speed, etc. Also, a small 12v amp used for my iPod kept failing, but it was pretty cheap, so I suspect it was just poor build quality.

Question: Is my Progressive Dynamics multi-stage charger blowing my electronic devices??

Supporting Information:

I called Progressive who were astounded when I told him that MaxxAir support told me their fans could only handle +/- 10% voltage variance from 12.0. That would translate to a max voltage of 13.2. If my multistage charger is outputting a max of 14.4 that would certainly suggest an over-volt situation for my fans.

I was under the impression that 12v devices were built to accommodate an industry standard RV electronics scenario:

BOOST Mode 14.4 Volts
NORMAL Mode 13.6 Volts
STORAGE Mode 13.2 Volts
EQUALIZATION Mode 14.4 Volts

Any thoughts? AM I supposed to have a voltage regulator between my battery bank and my 12v dc panel??


Thanks so much for your help!

Brek
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:21 PM   #2
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1. A voltage regulator shouldn't be necessary. But if you can't find a solution, this might work for you.

2. Verify your Progressive Dynamics unit with a voltmeter in each mode just to make sure there's nothing suspect with this unit.

3. Call MaxxAir back. Try to elevate the issue with management and see if they really designed this product for only 12 V +/- 10%. If it's false, they should warranty their products and send you a replacement. If it's true that their products are only designed for 13.2 V max, RVers should avoid this product.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:00 PM   #3
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I am very suspect that there is something else wrong in your system. There are thousands of these fans in use, and this is the first that I have heard of this problem. I have used Progressive Dynamics multi stage converters in several applications and have had no failures. The fans are supplied from the battery power, which are charged by the PD unit. Have you checked your batteries?
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
I am very suspect that there is something else wrong in your system. There are thousands of these fans in use, and this is the first that I have heard of this problem. I have used Progressive Dynamics multi stage converters in several applications and have had no failures. The fans are supplied from the battery power, which are charged by the PD unit. Have you checked your batteries?
I have a maxxair fan with a borked board. Was hit or miss for a while whether it would work at all, now blows out, but not in. I haven't bothered to try to get it warrantied yet, but I imagine I should.

I have my doubts that an equalization charge could fry the board. If so, that seems like a massive design flaw that would affect nearly every unit in service. I'd suspect a bad ground is more likely, or just a factory defect. If both fans were purchased at the same time and both boards were from the same lot, it could easily be the same defect on both. If this isn't a recurring problem, I'd suspect a defect.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:53 AM   #5
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If you read the entire thread, you'll see that you're not the only one complaining about the voltage specification.
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:48 PM   #6
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Hi Alano:

I have twin digital voltmeters (for comparative verification) and they report precisely what the MS charger is putting out - and yep - it's exactly where it should be. I did a complete resto-mod on my Overlander, and with respect to a bad ground, I ran dedicated grounds to every electronic device. I know it's over kill, but it really didn't add any cost, and I didn't want to suffer with "grounding related gremlins" so, both MaxxAir fans have a return ground all the way back to the buss bar, with no other connections in between. Additionally, I ran a double Chassis ground from the buss bar to the frame using number 4 copper welding wire.

In short, I don't think it can be a ground. I just really didn't want to deal with any grounding issues.

Perhaps I'll fire off an email back to MAxx Air concerning the quoted +/- 10% voltage. That just seems crazy to me!

Thx,

Brek
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
I am very suspect that there is something else wrong in your system. There are thousands of these fans in use, and this is the first that I have heard of this problem. I have used Progressive Dynamics multi stage converters in several applications and have had no failures. The fans are supplied from the battery power, which are charged by the PD unit. Have you checked your batteries?
Hi CB:

I have several checks for my battery bank:

I have two 6v deep cycle, in series. Each battery has its on digital volt meter, and I also have a voltmeter connected to the bank. I also have Renogy solar 40 amp commander with remote which also has a volt meter. Thus, my batteries are maintained with regular multi-state charging, even when boon docking. I also check them with the hydrometer. They are both pretty much spot on in terms of voltages each and added together. So I know what voltages they are outputting and they are also in the ranges listed above.

Thanks for the suggestion!

B
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarmanFL View Post
Hi Alano:

I have twin digital voltmeters (for comparative verification) and they report precisely what the MS charger is putting out - and yep - it's exactly where it should be. I did a complete resto-mod on my Overlander, and with respect to a bad ground, I ran dedicated grounds to every electronic device. I know it's over kill, but it really didn't add any cost, and I didn't want to suffer with "grounding related gremlins" so, both MaxxAir fans have a return ground all the way back to the buss bar, with no other connections in between. Additionally, I ran a double Chassis ground from the buss bar to the frame using number 4 copper welding wire.

In short, I don't think it can be a ground. I just really didn't want to deal with any grounding issues.

Perhaps I'll fire off an email back to MAxx Air concerning the quoted +/- 10% voltage. That just seems crazy to me!

Thx,

Brek
I'd be interested in Maxxair's response. Maybe you can escalate a bit. I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea that they'd have such a glaring design flaw.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:05 PM   #9
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While I admit to not being a electrical engineer, and I might have the wrong end of the stick here, just because the the unit is charging the batteries at 14+ volts in boost mode, does not mean that it's sending that voltage to all the rest of the 12 volt items in the trailer. It's pretty simple for them to step down that voltage to 12 nominal. Which is why, I assume, the lights don't dim when it switches from 14 to 13.

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Old 12-11-2018, 12:26 AM   #10
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Mike, when the converter delivers 14.2 V in BOOST mode, all the appliances will eventually see 14.2 V as the voltage across the battery creeps up.

Brek, let us know what they say about their voltage spec. If it's true that they have such a tight range and they don't have another solution for you I'd be livid. It's totally unacceptable to promote products for RVs with such a tight range.
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:50 AM   #11
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Caffeinated Mike:

I don't know how all RV electrical systems work, but in my Resto-Mod - the voltages to the battery bank do pass through the battery bank and to all electrical components.

Each 12v circuit - I have 12 - is fused, but none of my 12 vdc circuits have any voltage regulation or conditioner that would lock the voltage to a strict 12.0v dc.

That means that all dc devices - tv, radio, led lights (I have no incandescents), refrigerator, water heater, AC, laptop chargers, etc ,etc all must be able to withstand the various states of dc voltage outputted by my power converter. (

Note: Many AC powered devices, such as air conditioners utilize a 12v DC circuit for control purposes)

It does seem pretty sketchy - why not have a 12v dc voltage regulator - say rated for 40 amps @12.0 vdc - BETWEEN the battery bank and the 12vdc distribution panel. Problem solved, and really it would be a better design.

Have any of our fellow Airstream nerds installed such a device? I have never come across anyone doing so in any of my A/S rebuilding literature.
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:52 AM   #12
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I know this is not an optimal solution, but if the MaxxAir does have a narrow voltage range you might look at a 12VDC to 12VDC converter for that circuit.
The following unit accepts a 8-17V input and outputs a constant 12.2V (Pot adjustable between 10 and 15V. It costs about $65.00 and is probably cheaper than replacing the fans.

Victron makes higher wattage units, if required. Below is the URL:

https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-...rters-isolated

Pat
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:57 AM   #13
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I actually bought a 12vdc regulator, which is rated at 4 amps @ 12.0 volts. So it's a okay solution, but I'd need to install two, as I have two fans. It's not a money thing it's a system design thing. It's annoying and one more potential failure point.

It annoys me that things are not systematically considered, and kinda hacked together. Oh, well, it won't be the last time I guess!

Who makes an RV fan that cannot survive in an RV!

Turds!

Thx, Guys for your thoughts and suggestions.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:25 AM   #14
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Caffeinated Mike:
It does seem pretty sketchy - why not have a 12v dc voltage regulator - say rated for 40 amps @12.0 vdc - BETWEEN the battery bank and the 12vdc distribution panel. Problem solved, and really it would be a better design.

Have any of our fellow Airstream nerds installed such a device? I have never come across anyone doing so in any of my A/S rebuilding literature.

I did some research a while ago looking for a 40A or greater 12VDC/12VDC converter/regulator. Don't know exactly why, but they are almost impossible to find. If you have a 24V or 48V battery system, not a problem to find one with a 12V output. The largest, with a 12V input, I could find was a 30A device.


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