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Old 01-11-2021, 10:26 AM   #1
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1990 34.5' Airstream 345
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Recommended replacement for Magnetek Auto Line/Generator switch

Hi AS experts!

The auto transfer switch on my 1990 345LE has failed (it's the only thing I didn't replace yet on the motorhome electrical system rebuild - it's causing intermittent power problems with the Victron 2k inverter charger) the stock unit is the Magnetek Model ATS 30 - anyone replaced this? What is recommended? Anyone used one of these https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-D...dp/B002UCADGW/ ? My new gennie is the Onan Commercial EFI 5500 which is 30amp...and the coach has a 30amp shore power system... many thanks!
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Old 01-11-2021, 11:20 AM   #2
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I have a Parallax ATS-301. This one worked fine for a long time until we had an electrical storm overhead one summer and lightning hit a nearby power pole/line. Spike must have fried the relay in the unit and I had the same issue as you do now. I bypassed it and haven't replaced it yet. I would probably replace with the same unit since I don't blame it for the lightning hit. Would be nice if there was some unit out there that also included a surge protector for around the same price point.
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Old 01-11-2021, 01:42 PM   #3
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A salvage Magnetek is available: https://bit.ly/2MY5Nsh

or substitute with a PowerMax unit (PMTS-30):

https://bit.ly/3i1V5MJ
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:10 PM   #4
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I thought most 345ís came with (2) 30 amp transfer switches. If you have (2) ACís your generator should have (2) separate circuits, (1) 30 amp and (1) 20 amp. Of coarse they are usually located in (2) separate locations. 50 amp service, I believe was never factory installed in any of the classic motor homes. You say you have a 5000 series generator, well that is more than 30 amps. Regards, Bob
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:06 PM   #5
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The Parallax ATS-301 is still available. It's on Amazon for $130. It is a direct replacement for the Magnatek Model ATS 30.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmiller1 View Post
I thought most 345ís came with (2) 30 amp transfer switches. If you have (2) ACís your generator should have (2) separate circuits, (1) 30 amp and (1) 20 amp. Of coarse they are usually located in (2) separate locations. 50 amp service, I believe was never factory installed in any of the classic motor homes. You say you have a 5000 series generator, well that is more than 30 amps. Regards, Bob

Bob,

I talked to Will about this and yes he has 2 Transfer switches and a 30 and 20 amp leg, but didn't really make that clear in his post. His main 30 amp transfer switch is intermittent and he is looking to replace it. And yes, I also quizzed him about the 2k Inverter to make sure the 110v output is running on its on dedicated circuit.
On my 350 they added a third transfer switch for the inverter they factory installed.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:41 PM   #7
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Oh, thatís interesting.....was it factory installed or dealer installed ? Iíve seen factory transfer switches that have a provision for an inverter. Regards, Bob
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Oh, that’s interesting.....was it factory installed or dealer installed ? I’ve seen factory transfer switches that have a provision for an inverter. Regards, Bob

Definitely factory, since my Owners Handbook is referring to it and calls it "Energenius", supposedly already installed in the last 345 and the 350's. It has a 400 watt inverter, claiming to give you the luxury to use selective plugs and make your morning coffee without the need to start the generator or having shore power. But it is the last one in the power distribution and is not allowed to contribute until there is no signal coming from the shore line or generator.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:05 AM   #9
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The Energenius as I recall had a very spotty service history. Recommend you contact Airstream customer service to ask what they use on the modern coaches.
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:39 AM   #10
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1990 34.5' Airstream 345
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HUGE THANKS for feedback and help

As always...

Yes confirming the problem was with the autotransfer switch that is under the kitchen sink, the one that switches between the shore power and the gennie. I finally figured out that was the problem by opening it and manually pushing the relay with a plastic pen a couple of times, which then (for a while) fixed the current draw problem. I have replaced it with one of these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UCADGW/ - I'll report back how well this works.

But this is really simple tech, so not a lot to go wrong!

I now have replaced pretty much all the main components in the power world. I'll do a detailed post next week with photos of the project. New Onan QG 5500 Commercial EFI generator, 400 Ah Battleborn lithium batteries, Victron 2k inverter charger, Victron 150/60a solar charger with 475w Renogy solar panels, new cabling, etc. System so far working well, although a lot of fiddling around to get everything in place.

Warmest to all, Will
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Old 01-13-2021, 05:05 PM   #11
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Oceanside , CALIFORNIA
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Question Posting about transfer switches....

Gentlemen, a very timely topic.
I am in the process of upgrading my 86 345 to make full use of 50 amp services when they are available. Thanks again Brad for parting with your spare electrical reel. Good progress is being made to adding a fourth slip-ring and brush assembly.
I have located the transfer switch that I believe is dedicated to energizing the rear air conditioner via the generator or the rotary switch. My plan is to run a new dedicated 120 VAC line (the L2 portion of a 50 amp service) and connect it to where the rotary switch contacts were landed. I will use a 20 amp HACR breaker to protect the wiring to the rear air conditioner.
My question is where is the other transfer switch located? This switch connects to the circuit breaker panel and is energized either via the generator or the land line.
I have followed the dedicated power line (from the junction box in the electrical reel bay) and verified that it runs along the driver side bedroom wall. It then appears to run in between the inner and outer shell of the bedroom wall and up to the breaker panel (which is located behind the overhead bins at the very back of the bedroom). I can see multiple power line attached to the breaker panel (I assume power in as well as power out to the three AC circuits). What I can't see is the transfer switch (which I believe would have to be upstream from the breaker panel).
I haven't pulled the circuit panel out as I believe that could generate more problems then the potential reward.
I want to locate and verify the operation of this other transfer switch to ensure the when the generator is powering the coach the rear air conditioner will not be subject to two out-of-phase power sources.
I appreciate the wisdom and experience you so generously provide.
Best regards,
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Old 01-13-2021, 05:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RETIREDRIVER View Post
Gentlemen, a very timely topic.
I am in the process of upgrading my 86 345 to make full use of 50 amp services when they are available. Thanks again Brad for parting with your spare electrical reel. Good progress is being made to adding a fourth slip-ring and brush assembly.
I have located the transfer switch that I believe is dedicated to energizing the rear air conditioner via the generator or the rotary switch. My plan is to run a new dedicated 120 VAC line (the L2 portion of a 50 amp service) and connect it to where the rotary switch contacts were landed. I will use a 20 amp HACR breaker to protect the wiring to the rear air conditioner.
My question is where is the other transfer switch located? This switch connects to the circuit breaker panel and is energized either via the generator or the land line.
I have followed the dedicated power line (from the junction box in the electrical reel bay) and verified that it runs along the driver side bedroom wall. It then appears to run in between the inner and outer shell of the bedroom wall and up to the breaker panel (which is located behind the overhead bins at the very back of the bedroom). I can see multiple power line attached to the breaker panel (I assume power in as well as power out to the three AC circuits). What I can't see is the transfer switch (which I believe would have to be upstream from the breaker panel).
I haven't pulled the circuit panel out as I believe that could generate more problems then the potential reward.
I want to locate and verify the operation of this other transfer switch to ensure the when the generator is powering the coach the rear air conditioner will not be subject to two out-of-phase power sources.
I appreciate the wisdom and experience you so generously provide.
Best regards,

on most of the 345's I have seen, the main 30 amp transfer switch is located under the stove. The rear AC 20 amp transfer switch circuit is typically mounted to the generator box. I personally would disconnect the rear AC from the rotary switch in your application, since the rear AC will only receive power L2 of the 50amp service or from the 20 amp generator circuit.
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Old 01-13-2021, 05:23 PM   #13
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In case anyone is interested in seeing the factory anno 1991/92 400 watt inverter. Quite a fancy machine at its time, putting out a solid 118/119 volts.
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Old 01-13-2021, 05:28 PM   #14
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
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My main transfer switch is located under the bed, next to the water tank. The second transfer switch is mounted to the generator box (like Peter said) underneath the kitchenette.
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Old 01-13-2021, 05:38 PM   #15
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My main transfer switch is located under the bed, next to the water tank. The second transfer switch is mounted to the generator box (like Peter said) underneath the kitchenette.

Looks like they did move them around a bit. On the 310 they were close to the 30 amp landline entry.

One way to find them is have someone plug and unplug the 30 amp power line and listen to the click.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH-350LE View Post
on most of the 345's I have seen, the main 30 amp transfer switch is located under the stove. The rear AC 20 amp transfer switch circuit is typically mounted to the generator box. I personally would disconnect the rear AC from the rotary switch in your application, since the rear AC will only receive power L2 of the 50amp service or from the 20 amp generator circuit.
On the 86 I dismantled one xfer switch was back in the electrical compartment and the other under the seat where the generator was located, mounted to the generator steel box.
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:40 AM   #17
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
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Question Still looking

Thanks for the feedback on where the main transfer switch may be located.
I have checked under the bed and found the water pump and air compressor (along with their connections and associated instrumentation) but no transfer switch.
Under the stove is the new converter I installed as well as the DC distribution bus but no transfer switch.
I checked the utility bay (where the electrical and water hose reel are located) and there is a junction box that connects the wire from the electrical reel to the wire that runs to the main AC panel but no transfer switch. I also checked within the utility bay for evidence of holes where a transfer switch might have been attached but found none.
My plan is the trace the two output power lines from the Kohler generator. One will connect to the transfer switch under the bench which is attached to the generator box (which I believe is the rear air conditioner transfer switch). The other has to connect to the main transfer switch. I just hope I can follow the power line without too much de-construction.
Bottom line is I have to find it to confirm I can safely complete my 50 amp upgrade project.
Thanks again for the help,
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