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Old 01-13-2012, 08:16 PM   #1
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Power Converter/Charger Replacement

After I cooked one of my batteries, Mr. Robert Cross (I am sure all of you have read many of his thousands of posts) recommended that I replace the single stage Power Converter/Battery Charger to a three-stage unit. He even pointed me to a site that sold the correct size converter for a good price. I could not find it at a better price, so I went to that site when I was ready to purchase one.

So, I will show the change-out process in the pictures below. The changeout went quite well. The hardest part was unplugging the old one and plugging in the new one into the 120V outlet.

I would highly recommend that all batteries be disconnected prior to performing this change to make sure no 12V leads are shorted.

The new converter seems to be working great. Thank you all for your ideas in this, I especially thank Robert for his help.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:21 PM   #2
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New Batteries

After I replaced the Converter, I purchased two new batteries from Costco. The one I cooked was all bulged out on the ends and no fluid was visible in the cells. See these exciting battery pictures (old and then new)...
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:46 PM   #3
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Clean work done!
just wondering the specs on the converter and where did you get it from?
thanks
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:12 PM   #4
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You can see the model and specs on the data plate in the picture above. I purchased the converter from bestconverters.com.

Comparing the two converters (old -vs- new):

Input: 105-130VAC -vs- 108-132VAC
Input Watts: 975 -vs- 950
Output: 13.6VDC (single stage) -vs- 13.4VDC (three stage)
Output Amps: 55 -vs- 55

From the manual: "IOTA Models with an internal IQ4 smart-charger give the user the benefit of automatic Bulk, Absorption, and Float stage charging. This increases the charging capacity of the IOTA charger, decreases charge times and insures proper and safe battery charging without over-charging. The green LED on the fan end of the unit will indicate which charging phase the IOTA unit is currently in. When the unit is first activated, the LED will flash as it reads the number of cells in the battery. The unit will then proceed directly to the Bulk charging or Float charging phase depending on the charge status of the battery. Use the LED CODE TABLE for reference when checking the LED."

Another nice feature is that the fan is proportional speed, so it is not as loud most of the time.

David
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:16 AM   #5
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Thanks David
I could see clearly on the pic.
So how do you like the swap? We will look into it.
Thanks
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:03 AM   #6
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We have the two stage converter that came as OEM on our '09 AS. At some point I think want to upgrade to a three stage converter. How important / relevant is it to upgrade from a two stage to a three stage
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:01 PM   #7
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55 amps vs 45 amps

I'm also considering a 3-stage converter to replace my 55 watt Parallax 7300. Since I would like to scale down our 2000 watt genset to a 1000 watt model, I would need to replace the 55 amp converter with a 45 amp model. What disadvantage(s), if any, would a 45 amp converter present? Is it compatible with shore power sources? We mostly dry camp, and have solar panels (two 55 watt) to keep the battery charged. All interior lights are LED, as well as the step and patio lights. Other than two laptop computers and cellphones to recharge, and the occasional hair dryer (low wattage) burst - with a 1500 watt inverter, we have no other appliances to run (coffee makers, microwaves, toaster ovens, etc). This works great in the Southwest deserts, where we do a lot of our camping, but I want to make sure power demands could be met in less sunny locations by topping off the battery with the smaller genset and 1500 watt inverter, or the occasional shore power charge.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD View Post
I'm also considering a 3-stage converter to replace my 55 watt Parallax 7300. Since I would like to scale down our 2000 watt genset to a 1000 watt model, I would need to replace the 55 amp converter with a 45 amp model. What disadvantage(s), if any, would a 45 amp converter present? Is it compatible with shore power sources?
If you go to a Honda 1000 watt inverter generator, you are correct, you will need to go to a 45 amp converter/charger, at least with a Progressive Dynamics Intellapower converter (actual experience here). This is due to the low power factor of the converter and how it interacts with the inverter generators.

With the 45 amp unit, the battery charging may be slightly slower but I doubt you will see any real difference. Most batteries take far less than the maximum output of the converter/charger within 15 to 20 minutes of their initial charge, simply due to the current acceptance characteristics of the battery.

I use a PD 9245 (45 amps) on my Argosy 20' with two golf cart batteries, and it works just fine. I also have a small (60 watts or so) solar system on that Argosy, and the combination works very well for me. I have the Honda inverter 1000 watt generator for the very rare times I need more power when boondocking.

A smaller 45 amp converter/charger will work just fine on Shore Power, in fact it will put a slightly lower load on the 120 volt system.
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:39 PM   #9
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PD 9245C vs 4645?

Thanks, idroba! I looked on the bestcoverter.com website, and the upgrade for the Parallax 7300 (PD 4645) is more expensive than just replacing the Parallax with a PD 9245C unit. Would I be just as well off with the 9245? Thanks for your help.

Jerry
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:10 PM   #10
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Jerry,

I have no experience with the Parallax 7300, but I do know that the PD 9245 with the built in three stage "charge wizard" will do the job for you the job very well. I have one in each of my 3 trailers and find them faultless. I belong to another forum on GMC motorhomes and most of the replacements the forum members there use are the 9245's with a few the 9260's. In the GMC I had I used a 9260 and that is where I found it would not work on my Honda 1000 inverter generator. That took a while to figure out why, but it was the Power Factor issue I mentioned in my other post.

So, in my opinion, you will be just fine with the PD 9245. They have worked for me, and again, many GMC motorhome folk have found it works very well for them. BTW, most GMC motorhomes use two Golf Cart batteries in series for their house supply.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10Smiles View Post
After I cooked one of my batteries, Mr. Robert Cross (I am sure all of you have read many of his thousands of posts) recommended that I replace the single stage Power Converter/Battery Charger to a three-stage unit. He even pointed me to a site that sold the correct size converter for a good price. I could not find it at a better price, so I went to that site when I was ready to purchase one.

So, I will show the change-out process in the pictures below. The changeout went quite well. The hardest part was unplugging the old one and plugging in the new one into the 120V outlet.

I would highly recommend that all batteries be disconnected prior to performing this change to make sure no 12V leads are shorted.

The new converter seems to be working great. Thank you all for your ideas in this, I especially thank Robert for his help.
10Smiles,

Your very welcome....
Looks like a great install, I'm sure you'll be very happy with the unit. It has worked like a charm for us.

Stream happy...

Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott J-24 View Post
We have the two stage converter that came as OEM on our '09 AS. At some point I think want to upgrade to a three stage converter. How important / relevant is it to upgrade from a two stage to a three stage
Scott,

I can only speak too our experience....

The P-lax 7455 (two stage) cooked the OEM Interstates the second season.
It worked adequately for three years under constant monitoring, on the second set but when I switched to the Lifeline AGM's I upgraded to the IOTA IQ4 for the added peace of mind.
I recommend the three stage up-grade.

Bob
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Scott,

I can only speak too our experience....

The P-lax 7455 (two stage) cooked the OEM Interstates the second season.
It worked adequately for three years under constant monitoring, on the second set but when I switched to the Lifeline AGM's I upgraded to the IOTA IQ4 for the added peace of mind.
I recommend the three stage up-grade.

Bob
Bob,

Thanks for your response. Looks like I just added another item to my "to-do" list.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:00 AM   #13
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Thanks for your upgrade.
Heres the correct link I think:
DLS-55 (55 Amp Power Converter w/IQ4)

D
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:31 AM   #14
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I did not read this whole thread thoroughly, but I don't believe this was mentioned yet. The Iota converters are available with the IQ-4 as an external module. I elected to do it that way, because the converter in our trailer is not visible without a lot of trouble. The IQ-4 is small about 3/4" x3/4" ? The LED is mounted on the module. It connects to the main unit with small telphone like cable. This allowed me to mount the IQ-4 on the front of the Box that the converter is mounted in. It is now visible and accessible by opening the drawer under the couch a few inches.

The advantage to this is at least two fold. 1. You can observe the LED and determine what cycle the converter is presently in. 2. You can easily reset the IQ-4's timing cycle back to the beginning by unplugging the cable from it and then plugging it back in. I also thought that if the IQ-4 ever went bad, that it could easily be replaced without removing the whole converter and sending it in for repair.

FWIW,

Ken
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