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Old 01-13-2004, 06:53 PM   #21
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univolt

Thank you Andy, for the info you will be hering from me in the next few weeks for this and a few other items.
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:14 PM   #22
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wannabe,
Not to take away from Andy's business, Inteli-powers are made in 30, 40, 55 and 80 amp models. The univolt is a good unit and so is the Inteli-power.
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Old 01-14-2004, 05:27 AM   #23
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Inteli-Power

Actually, PD has stopped making the 55 amp but there are a few left out there on dealer shelves. The 60 AMP replaced it and the price did not increase. We sell the 60 amp for $184.95 including the Charge Wizard. We usually have the 55 amp Parallax (7455) in stock also but it just doesn't sell like the Inteli-Power with Charge Wizard, except to a few Airstream people that insist on it because Airstream used it and calls it the Univolt. Most prefer the reliability of the Inteli-Power along with the control of the Charge Wizard. The Charge Wizard does have an "internal brain" and varies the output based on the battery state. Camping World charges $233 for either unit.
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:20 PM   #24
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Thanks Everyone,

I just ordered the Inteli-power 60Amp with the Charge Wizard from Randy. It sure is great to have "fellow streamers who have been there ... done that" to get good information from.
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Old 01-14-2004, 09:18 PM   #25
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Univolt Biography needed

Our Univolt 5 is we guess the factory installed one. It is in a darn awful place to investigate.

Do any of you know if there is info available to determine the different models?
Were all 74 univolts #5 or did the model # depend on the size of the trailer?

Was there a Univolt 6 ,7, 8, etc. how bout 1, 2, 3, as well?

Is the company or its decendent still in business?
Litton Industries had something to do with it in 74 apparently as I see their logo on the Univolt cover.
Is Litton still around?
Has anyone tried to contact them for old literature and data?

We are a long way off on Univolt but I feel it will need repair too.

TIA
$&V
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Old 01-20-2004, 07:37 PM   #26
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Randy,
Just received my Intelli-power and Charge Wizard! Compared to the Univolt in apprearance, they sure have came a long way in 30 years. I will not install it until I have completed the re-insulating and re-placed the interior panels. Hopefully within the next month. Thanks for your input again, good price, timely delivery, and the lady that took my order was very friendly. That is what I like when dealing with ANY business.

Sue&Von
I looked in my Service Manual and my Owners Manual, no mention of a Univolt "5" "6 - 7 - 8 - etc." Maybe you can get an answer from A/S or from Andy @ Inland RV. He gives great information and has plenty of experience to back it up.

Ray
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Old 01-21-2004, 09:37 AM   #27
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Univolt numbers stopped at 5.

Litton has nothing to do with Univolts at this time.

Will your power on light work correctly with the Intelli-power?

Andy
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Old 01-21-2004, 11:48 AM   #28
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Power sizing

In my other life (Not the wife's Trailer repair guy) I maintain and install DC power systems for Communications sites. These systems work 24/7, 365 days a years for 20 years straight.
The theory is the same for a trailer.
I hope this will shed a little light on this subject.
Design questions for a system are:
1.) What is the load on the battery going to be?
2.) What is the expected growth?
3.) How long does the system need to run on the battery?
4.) How much space is available for the battery set?
In a trailer this would also include a.)weight, b.) weight distrbution.
Once you know these factors you are ready to make a determination on what size your battery plant and (Charger/Converter) should be.
Storage Batteries are usually rated at a 8 hour discharge rate
[the maximum current flow that can be supplied for 8 hours], look for this rating to tell you how much power the battery will supply. The (Cold Cranking Amps) does not really mean much in this useage of a battery.
Example: Your rig will draw 300 Watts when at full load. 12/300=25 amps (E/P=I Wattage devided by Voltage equals Current) you want to be able to run for 16 hours on battery. The battery should be rated at 55 Amp Hours at a 8 hour rate. You should always derate your battery by 10% for lost capacity, this will always happen.
That should help you get the correct size of your battery needed for your rig.

Now for the Charger/Converter.
I like to look at this question from 2 directions.
1.) How long do I want to take to recharge my battery plant after a deep discharge?
2.) How good is the equipment at correctly "Floating" my battery?

Question 1: How long do I want the recharge to take?
For example, take the total capacity of the battery say 125Ahr8, this would take about 12.5 hours to rechage at a 10Amp charge rate. a 50 amp charger would take about 1 1/4 hours to charge the battery.
Also you must subtract any other load you have running from the current available for the battery charge. I also derate the system by 3% for losses and age.

Question 2: How good is the Charger/Converter at Floating the battery? A car battery charger is not a device I would use to maintain a trailer battery, most of them are constant current and you want a constant voltage device for Floating a battery. The charger must be able to provide a constant voltage while providing variable current to the battery while charging.
This type of device is made to keep a battery at a fixed charge(full) without boiling away its battery electrolite.

One other issue that is often overlooked. Wire.
I don't care what anyone says use the largest gauge wire that is practicle. We use 4/0 and 2/0awg when ever possible even though it will never carry that amount of load. We look at the voltage drop of the wire loop( total length of the wire to and from the battery plant. The larger the wire the less loss (heat/voltage drop).

I know this is rather long but it will work for you if you work the hype.

That's my $0.02
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Old 01-21-2004, 11:50 AM   #29
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Update on time

That shoud be 2 1/4 hours for the recharge not 1 1/4 hours.
Sorry
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Old 08-11-2004, 11:31 AM   #30
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Dying Univolt??

Before we go out and buy a new Univolt (or OB) I will ask a few ??

We just got back from a 4 day camp trip where we used the Univolt w/battery exclusively. Prior to leaving for the trip, we had the trailer plugged into shore power and everything was working. Also, while on trip, the Univolt w/battery was working fine, w/power going down toward the last day (lights dimming). We got home yesterday, plugged back into shore power w/Univolt still going, and LOW AND BEHOLD, the lights were WAY DIM and the wall plugs non-working. Price unhooked Univolt, the wall plugs worked, but lights did not. What's up, is it dying??? I will also mention, Price washed the trailer as soon as we returned, prior to plugging in to shore. Could something have gotten wet and the Univolt is not working properly because of that? It sure gets frustrating when something is working properly, then all of a sudden isn't. Help
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Old 08-11-2004, 12:04 PM   #31
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Hi, this is Price...(Gary, I'm Leigh's Trailer Repair Guy...that's Leigh's Trailer and Leigh's repair guy!)...anyway, I thought I would clarify what has occured since we returned. First, I took the battery out of the battery compartment and plugged it into our Battery Minder in the house. I washed the trailer. I plugged in the shore power. The rest is as Leigh said...but with an addition. After we tried the lights/wall plugs etc., with AND without the Univolt plugged in, I again plugged in the Univolt and left the shore power on all night. This morning when I went to the trailer, I could smell hot electrical wiring...you know the smell, I'm sure. I unplugged the Univolt (which was quite hot) and unplugged shore power. That's basically the same routine I do every time we come back from a trip, with the exception of washing the trailer...I don't do that every time. We've naver had anything like this happen before. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Price
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Old 08-11-2004, 01:03 PM   #32
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Two questions:
1. Did you put the battery back in Before or After the "Hot Wire" smell?
2. Did the leads that you pulled off of the battery touch each other or metal on the camper while you had the battery unhooked?

John
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:43 PM   #33
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Did you hook the battery back up, "exactly" the way you disconnected it.

Plus to plus and minus to minus?

Andy
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:51 PM   #34
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John,

1. The battery was removed before we hooked up to shore power, and was not in the trailer at all after that.
2. To my knowledge, the terminal cables never touched. However, they could have been connected through water when I washed the trailer, as they were lying in the bottom of the battery tray. The battery door was closed, but does not seal against the elements at all.

Our system is comprised of two pieces: the converter and a 12 volt fuse distribution panel. The converter is made by Litton: model TU-440-6 Triad-Utrad.

I examined the fuse distribution panel and found an SFE 30 fuse had been blown...replaced it and still have the dim lights, etc., as previously reported. I didn't leave the unit plugged in long enough to find out if the electrical smell and converter/panel were hot again. Also I have not tried putting the battery back in to see what happens because we need to be able to use shore power on occasion anyway.

Color me confused and baffled! With electricity, don't you either have it or you don't? I can't understand how we could have "partial" power...i.e. dim lights.

Price
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Old 08-11-2004, 06:13 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COArgosy78
John,

1. The battery was removed before we hooked up to shore power, and was not in the trailer at all after that.
2. To my knowledge, the terminal cables never touched. However, they could have been connected through water when I washed the trailer, as they were lying in the bottom of the battery tray. The battery door was closed, but does not seal against the elements at all.

Our system is comprised of two pieces: the converter and a 12 volt fuse distribution panel. The converter is made by Litton: model TU-440-6 Triad-Utrad.

I examined the fuse distribution panel and found an SFE 30 fuse had been blown...replaced it and still have the dim lights, etc., as previously reported. I didn't leave the unit plugged in long enough to find out if the electrical smell and converter/panel were hot again. Also I have not tried putting the battery back in to see what happens because we need to be able to use shore power on occasion anyway.

Color me confused and baffled! With electricity, don't you either have it or you don't? I can't understand how we could have "partial" power...i.e. dim lights.

Price
Just a thought on what you might be actually smelling, and what you might want to check out in the Univolt. The burned wire smell you mention might actually be the large transformer in the Univolt. If the battery was not in the circuit, it's possible that the transformer was heating more than usuall since it was not dissipating the charging energy. This may have caused either the transformer windings (hundreds of wraps of wire around an iron core) to short or open. If they opened, then the Univolt would not output any power, if shorted, it may act strangely. As mentioned in a number of other posts on the Univolt, your capacitors (a critical circuit component) may be damaged and require replacing. You could open the unit and examine the transformer and capacitors, but be very careful! If the capacitors are still working they hold what could be a lethal electric charge! If it is the caps, they can be easily replaced. Search on "York Capacitor" in the forum, they stock the exact 4uf (microfarad) 660volt capacitors.
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Old 08-12-2004, 07:33 PM   #36
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Since I last posted, I have put the battery back in the trailer and everything works fine...with the Univolt plugged in and with the Univolt unplugged. When I again remove the battery, and plug into shore power, the same situation occurs...dimness and "that smell".

Now, as for the capacitors...exactly what do they look like? And how will I know if they hold a lethal charge...short of learning the hard way? Is it advisable to take the unit out of the trailer and have it tested by a professional, or leave it in the trailer and have it tested by a professional? I'm not sure I want to risk a "charged" capacitor without any better (translatation: NONE) knowledge of this thing.

Thanks for all the helpful advice...and knowledgable tips. If I haven't fried myself, I'll return for another post at some future point!

Price
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:45 PM   #37
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If the 12 volt system reads 13.0 Plus while plugged in, 12.5 or less with the trailer unplugged then the univolt is fine.
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:24 AM   #38
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COArgosy78,
If you do not have experience working on electronics, don't open the case. Get an experienced technician to help you. Someone who installs furnaces, or an electrician. The danger is not the small 4 uf AC capacitors, but the exposed 115 VAC with only the house circuit breaker to protect you. The secondary of the transformer can melt things with the current avail. If the transformer is truly fried, it's a boat anchor. Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2004, 11:13 AM   #39
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I'm trying to wrap my mind around this problem, so going to see if I can summarize what we have so far.

1. Plugging in the battery - the lights,fan,etc. seem to work regardless of the Univolt - they were of the same intensity when the Univolt was plugged in or not plugged in.

2. Removing battery and using Shore Power - Wall sockets work when Univolt is unplugged, but no lights,fan,etc. When Univolt is plugged in, it seems to lessen the current to wall sockets and lights,fan,ect. work, but are significantly dim.

So, Univolt is not dead, but something is shot within. Not knowing the ins/outs of the Univolt and not having a diagram or any basic knowledge of this unit - I would like to ask for a concensus. Does it seem like an easy fix (ie, something that can be pinpointed and a walk thru of repair given) or does it seem more likely that we should go the replacement route? We are leaning toward the replacement, but hate to toss anything that potentially works safely and reliably if fixed.
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Old 08-14-2004, 12:05 PM   #40
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I'm not sure if you have an actual Univolt or you're just using that term generically.

However, I belive univolts require the battery to be in place in order to work correctly, it's part of the circuit. Some of the newer type chargers can work either way.

A better test for you would be to put the battery back in and test across the battery terminals with a meter. It should be around 12.5 volts.

Plug in the trailer and the univolt should be charging the battery and with the meter you should see around 13.2 v - 14 v. Much out of this range with a good battery your univolt is probably shot. Generally if the univolt is shot your going to be replacing it.

As a side note, your wall sockets don't have anything to do with the univolt. They are only hot when the trailer is plugged in. The lights and water pump, and some other small items always run off the battery. Which, when plugged in is kept charged by the univolt when its working properly.

Good luck with your electrical work!
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