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Old 07-10-2005, 11:10 PM   #1
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Got 3-stage charging yet?

We have finally decided to carry the popular WFCO 3 stage converter chargers with built-in charge technology. Available from 35 to 75 Amps output. The industry is moving toward built-in charging technology. Thanks to all of you that have purchased the Inteli-Power and you will most definitely see great service from those units but we feel these new WFCO units are the cutting edge. We will still carry the Inteli-Power units also but have tested the WFCO and it has several advantages. Foremost, the boost stage is not necessarily timed but rather will drop down to absorption sooner if needed and not over charge even the slightest. There is also no need for an external Charge Wizard. We will still carry the Parallax units for those that insist on what Airstream uses and other dealers recommend but if you do any boon docking at all, you will definitely see the difference in 3 stage charging. www.bestconverter.com
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Old 07-11-2005, 06:47 AM   #2
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Randy, Can I have a schematic and specifications of this WFCO unit? I would like to know how clean and how well filtered it is. Can I return the unit for a full refund if I am not satistied within a month? Thanks
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Old 07-11-2005, 09:37 AM   #3
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Frenchbern, the current schematics are proprietary information and companies normally will not release them while they are in production. Some will release older model schematics but not current models. As for the quality of the DC output, it is 100 percent filtered and less than 1 percent ripple free. Voltage outputs are 14.4 boost, 13.6 nominal and 13.2 storage. They have a two-year warranty. Yes, if it doesn't perform as advertised, you can return it.
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:07 AM   #4
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Randy,

Do you have any converters that are temperature compensated, meaning there is a thermistor that mounts on the battery to prevent overheating?
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:24 AM   #5
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Hi Don,
No, they are not that popular and some question how effective they are. I don't have any first hand experience with them so I won't suggest one way or the other. I just know they are expensive. Of course we can get them but there is not that much demand so we don't keep them in stock.
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:37 PM   #6
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Parallax converters from Airstream

We appear to be having an ongoing problem with 3 failing batteries in a year and a half. Our new batteries are Lifeline 12v 27 AGMs. Now we are doing our own battery of tests on the 12 volt system, converter and batteries. I think a new converter that charges faster and goes to float would be better. We were told the Airstream converter doesn't have the timer as the booklet shows. Is this true? Can we add the timer? Would it then be a two stage? We were told it does go down from the higher charging. With AGMs we don't need a middle range (absorption) for charging, correct? The dead batteries were boiled out I think because we stay hooked up to shore power for long periods and because there may be a short. What would be a good charger if we changed it? Intellipower, the WFCO? Are the fans quiet? What about units with temperature control and selectable amounts---though now that all seems to be getting too complicated...

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Hi Don,
No, they are not that popular and some question how effective they are. I don't have any first hand experience with them so I won't suggest one way or the other. I just know they are expensive. Of course we can get them but there is not that much demand so we don't keep them in stock.
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Old 11-22-2005, 04:57 AM   #7
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A wise man

Yes indeed. This is a book title: 'Wherever You Go There You Are" MIndfulness meditation in everyday life.... Jon Kabat-Zinn...

Worth having in your library.
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Old 11-22-2005, 10:50 AM   #8
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can I make book on this?

WOW! Hmmm...a learned monk's advice or a tv sit-com dad's advice, let me see...

"Clinical research has demonstrated the effectiveness of a spiritual approach to controlling fear, anxiety, and panic. From this compassionate and nonreligious book, learn to use the principle of mindfulness to relieve a wide range of stress-related conditions. A quality common to all human beings, mindfulness is a receptive, nonjudgmental, present-moment awareness. a state of focusing attention only on the here and now. Learn to become more present in your life experiences. Develop skills for calming and relaxing the mind and body. By putting the exercises into practice, find more power for controlling disruptive feelings in your life. The resources and techniques in this book provide you with a direction that leads to greater experiential learning and dramatically effective, life-affirming attitudes."

Soooo, just to recap. You are telling me that my power struggles can be adressed through meditation and accepting the fact that for now, in the present, I have lights and should enjoy them?

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Originally Posted by davesamuelso
Yes indeed. This is a book title: 'Wherever You Go There You Are" MIndfulness meditation in everyday life.... Jon Kabat-Zinn...

Worth having in your library.
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Old 11-22-2005, 02:15 PM   #9
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Can the WFCO be used on all three types of batteries?
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Old 11-22-2005, 04:08 PM   #10
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any discount for forum members?

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Old 11-23-2005, 08:48 AM   #11
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Wheel,
Yes you would be much better off with a 3-stage converter/charger for your AGMs. They work great with flooded or AGM but I don't recommend them for Gel as they require a lower charging voltage. We have spoken to Lifeline several times and the charging curves of the WFCO are fine with the Lifeline. Yes the fan is quiet.
Over59,
Like I mentioned above, Gels can be finicky and require special charging curves. I would not recommend Gels with the stock Magnetek/parallax or especially older linear converters that are not voltage regulated. If you have flooded lead acid or AGMs, any 3-stage converter/charger will work great.
John,
Of course we do...
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:29 AM   #12
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Can you tell me

why you recommend that one now over the Intellipower with the wizard? We want one that chargers fast. I think I saw another as well that was recommended, I can't remember the name but it had 40 in the name, ring a bell at all? Thanks

The paper from Lifeline says;

3 stage chargers
Bulk 14.2-14.4
Acceptance 14.2-14.4
Float 13.2-13.3

I was concerned about the higher float rate since we have had so much trouble with too high a charge left on.


Quote:
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Wheel,
Yes you would be much better off with a 3-stage converter/charger for your AGMs. They work great with flooded or AGM but I don't recommend them for Gel as they require a lower charging voltage. We have spoken to Lifeline several times and the charging curves of the WFCO are fine with the Lifeline. Yes the fan is quiet.
Over59,
Like I mentioned above, Gels can be finicky and require special charging curves. I would not recommend Gels with the stock Magnetek/parallax or especially older linear converters that are not voltage regulated. If you have flooded lead acid or AGMs, any 3-stage converter/charger will work great.
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:58 AM   #13
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Carol,
The charge curves are the same with either... 14.4, 13.6, and 13.2 float. The main differense being that WFCO uses "Current sensing" do determine the actual output it will provide where Inteli-Power is set at those three voltages. In other words the micropressor on the WFCO will not automatically jump to 14.4 if connected to a fully charged battery and also, might only go to 14.1 for instance if it determines based on curent sensing that 14.1 is all that is needed. If you look at the manual on our websire, you will see it says one of three modes like mentioned but does not reference what I described. They are working to update the manual, so I understand. It can also be said that the WFCO output voltages will "slide" within the three modes.
Am I recommending one over the other, not really because I like them both..we are just learning there are slight differences but nothing you would likely ever notice.
Not sure about the other one you mentoned with a 40 in the name unless you mean PD9140 which is Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power.
As for the voltages from Lifeline...Those are max in each mode.
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Old 11-24-2005, 01:26 AM   #14
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68 Overlander, I was not able to post since last July so I could not ask you this question. The WFC with current sensing rather than strickly voltage regulating sound like what I need. Can you tell me if there is an internal potentiometer that set the output voltage for the float so if I ever switch to Gel cells I could reset it to the lower voltage needed? Also is there a separate, isolated 12 volts output available to operate the power light on the old Airsdtrem panel that indicate the Univolt has power? Incidentally that is why I was asking for a schematic in my original question. Thanks
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Old 11-24-2005, 07:34 AM   #15
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Carol, the slower a battery is charged, the better it is for the battery. The faster it is charged, the more heat is generated, with more chance of it running low on fluid because it is outgassing.
I have found that the battery in our coach will fully charge overnight when the charger is set on the "low" or 10 amp setting, maybe charging your AGM's at a slower rate will halt the failures you have experienced.
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Old 11-24-2005, 07:45 AM   #16
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Xantrax vs. Intellipower

I was planning on installing gel batteries, parallel and hooking them up to either an intellipower 45 or Xantrax convertor. I was warned not to use gel batteries with my truck charging system cause it will charge the batteries too quickly. I was then instructed by an RV mechanic that the truck regulator will not provide more current than the battery (which ever type) will accept. I have a feeling this may be debatable.

My question is, what would be the best combination or arrangement under say 800 dollars, before I spend the money. How do Xantrax products in the 45 amp range compare and would they have a lower charge rate than an intellipower. Would the newer convertors, 3 stage, work OK with gels ?
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Old 11-24-2005, 09:04 AM   #17
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Frenchbern,
There is not an external potentiometer to adjust the float but you would need to adjust all three modes anyway, not just the float. This is the reason I’m personally not a fan of Gels…everywhere you read, you will see references and warnings for how sensitive they are to charging. If you really want Gels in the future, get the Inteli-power and ask for the specially calibrated Charge Wizard. Many dealers don’t carry it because they don’t know about it.
There are several threads here on reusing the power on light if you do a search. I have not done it so I would be following those steps as well. When I swapped mine out years ago, I installed a voltage monitor instead of the power on light because it gives more detailed information. I respect wanting the light to work, but it has little use for me.
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Old 11-24-2005, 09:23 AM   #18
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sorry about the large font above.
Jim,
I don't have any experiense with Xantrex but I understand their true-charge has a setting for Gel. Might be a good option. It only comes in 20 and 40 amp models if I recall and cost is about twice as much. If you are using multiple batteries, 40 or 45 amp output will take longer to recharge if that is a concern. The Inteli-Power does have a Gel calibrated Charge Wizard option but you have to specify. If you buy one, look on the packaging for a white strip that reads "specially calibrated for Gel batteries" because you cannot tell by looking at the Wizard. I suppose you could measure the output to be sure as well.
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Old 11-24-2005, 11:59 AM   #19
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Intellipower /w built in Charge Wizard

Thanks Randy, having people on here like you is so valuble. Thanks for your input and the time you take to answer these questions.

1. Who makes the three stage converters, I was not familiar with the acronym WFCO. What does it stand for. It sounded like World Federation of Camping Officialdom... but somehow I don't think that is right . Would the WFCO work better with Gel than intellipower if a person values automatic as opposed to manual charge settings.

2. Do you know if the new intellipowers have a built in charge wizard and if so I wonder if the slower charge rate for Gels would be available.
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Old 11-24-2005, 12:42 PM   #20
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Jim,
The leading 3-stage manufactures are Progressive Dynamics, WFCO, IOTA. Parallax (which Airstream now uses) only makes a single and 2-stage that I'm aware of.
WFCO (World Friendship Company) has been making electronics since 1972 and has a great reputation for their converter/chargers as well as other fields of electronics. Last I heard, they supply over 70 percent of all Fleetwood products today. Not that there is anything special about Fleetwood, that's just a lot of units and they rarely fail.
No, I would NOT recommend the WFCO or the Inteli-Power with standard charge wizard (built-in or not) for Gels. They are designed for flooded lead acid (deep cycle) and work great with AGM too. The new 9200 series do have the Charge Wizard built-in but the charging voltages are the same as the 9100 series. They do make a special Gel Wizard, but only for the 9100 series, not the 9200.
BTW, the only difference in the 9200 series Inteli-Power that I'm aware of, is that the charge technology is built-in to the microprocessor and they are made in China now like most of the others.
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