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Old 06-21-2008, 04:36 PM   #1
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1966 17' Caravel
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Fantastic fan question

I have a 66 Caravel. The original roof vent did not have a fan. I had an Airstream dealer install a Fantastic. It works fine on the battery power, but just makes a noise and won't run when switched to 110 hookup. The guy who installed it says they had to bring the power over from a light, so that's the only way it will work. Doesn't make sense to me as the light circuit runs off of either the 110 or battery. I'm not very knowledgable in things electrical. Any thoughts on this? Am I getting the straight scoop? It's the original Uni-Volt system--seems to work fine in all other respects.
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:46 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure that the univolt in your trailer does not produce 12 volts DC. It's outputs are 12 & 19 volts AC. You can take a look at the owners manual for a 65 on-line at the VAC site.
http://www.airstream.net/members/doc...s%20Manual.pdf
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:49 PM   #3
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It may be that the Univolt is producing some AC current. Does it keep the batteries charged?
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:50 PM   #4
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If you are trying to use the Fantastic with 110, it will burn out the 12 volt dc motor in seconds. It is 12 volt dc only.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:20 PM   #5
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I strongly suspect that your Univolt is putting out some very nasty, adulterated DC. While a light bulb won't much care (even though you may notice a 60hz flicker) the motor in your Fantastic Fan sure will and if it's that bad, it could knock out the control boards in your furnace and reefer eventually.

Why not call Fantastic Fan? They have great customer service and have probably seen everything by now...

mike
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:39 PM   #6
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Like AZ said, the older AS's used a low voltage A/C current for the fans so there is no rectified current available from the "Univolt". I believe the motors were all universal and would work on either. You'll need to be thinking about a modern unit that has D/C outputs. It's just like your computer–you buy a nifty new program and then you have to 'upgrade' the system before you can use it.
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:11 PM   #7
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Okay, now I'm confused -- you mean to tell me that Airstream used 12VAC to charge the batteries? Wow. What do you suppose the thinking was there? With the reversal of polarity in an AC wave form... Clearly my electronics theory class way back when has faded more than I thought.

My Univolt (granted a 1986 version) put out 12VDC and 19VAC but the 19VAC was used only to power the "AC Power" light on the panel.

I'll be quiet now as I obviously have lost the bubble.

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Old 06-21-2008, 08:22 PM   #8
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The Univolt did not charge the batteries. Here is the diagram of how it works. The charge line goes to the TV only.
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:27 PM   #9
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Okay, I can stop drinking now. (well, I could, but I hate to be a quitter...)

An interesting design choice. I wonder what the thinking was?

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Old 06-21-2008, 08:30 PM   #10
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Okay, I can stop drinking now. (well, I could, but I hate to be a quitter...)

An interesting design choice. I wonder what the thinking was?

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It was the 60's....
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:19 PM   #11
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The Fantastic Fan will only run on 12vDC. It must be hooked up to a 12vDC source ONLY. 12vDC motors only like 12vDC. Anything else will let the smoke out!

We all know that when you let the smoke out of any electric or electronic device, it will stop working. Smell bad too.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:28 PM   #12
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If you wish to maintain your present configuration, you can install a little soid state bridge circuit just ahead of your fantastic fan. This will rectify the AC and allow you to run the Fantastic. Find the amperage of the Fantastic and buy an appropriate bridge. Cheap and super easy to install.
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:20 AM   #13
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If you wish to maintain your present configuration, you can install a little soid state bridge circuit just ahead of your fantastic fan. This will rectify the AC and allow you to run the Fantastic. Find the amperage of the Fantastic and buy an appropriate bridge. Cheap and super easy to install.
In case you're confused, I believe that Bill is referring to a solid state 'bridge rectifier' which will convert the AC from the Univolt into useable DC for the fan.

Better yet, just dump the old relic and upgrade to a modern electronic switch-mode power converter that produces nice, relatively clean DC power for your trailer AND provides 3-stage charging for your batteries when connected to shore power.

Give Randy at BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics a call and he'll fix you right up!
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by lewster
In case you're confused, I believe that Bill is referring to a solid state 'bridge rectifier' which will convert the AC from the Univolt into useable DC for the fan.

Better yet, just dump the old relic and upgrade to a modern electronic switch-mode power converter that produces nice, relatively clean DC power for your trailer AND provides 3-stage charging for your batteries when connected to shore power.

Give Randy at BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics a call and he'll fix you right up!
And if you really, really want to keep your dinosaur, err, Univolt, the Fantastic uses about 4 amps max, you can get parts for a rectifier bridge that are rated at 10 amps.
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